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Re: [xmca] Vladislav Lektorsky's notion of the subject

I can't see this dichotomy, David. Leaving aside the fact that I was only calling attention of Lektorsky's claim and not staking my own (though I do give credence to what he says), and I do indeed "see the potential of individual human agency as extending inward to the roots of identity" (for example I set myself a project of "becoming a writer" when I retired in 2002. No-one else suggested that to me.) But such individual projects, individual in the sense that an individual sets the project for themself, are always only "forged within the reality of sociohistorical context." (How on earth could I become a writer other than through the existence of projects like xmca?)

That is the whole point isn't it? That self-determination (or sovereignty) is possible and meaningful only through membership of a larger community of sovereign agents who recognise the indiviuals' rights and interact with the individual so as to produce the preconditions for an individual's independence? i.e. mediated self-determination.


David H Kirshner wrote:
Very clearly etched distinction, Larry.

Seems like a deep sociocultural fault line between theorists who see the
potential of individual human agency as extending inward to the roots of
identity (e.g., Andy) and those who see identity as forged within the
reality of sociohistorical context (e.g., you). I'm curious as to how
the XMCA community divides along that line.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Larry Purss
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:30 AM
To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Vladislav Lektorsky's notion of the subject

I agree that the "inner world" is cultural historical. This "inner
as a "concept" did not exist in Aristotole's time [and not in Homer's
The term "construct" may suggest that this "inner world" is an
epiphenomenon OF the real cultural-historical world and could therefore
collaped back into the cultural historical. In other words the "inner
world" could be deconstructed.

My reading of this possibility is that once arisen as an ACTUALITY the
"inner world" cannot be deconstructed except if the entire collective
activity of which it is a "part" also is deconstructed.  In other words
"sovereign selfs" and "sovergeign states" and "sovereign rights" exist
together within a family resemblance with a shared notion of "identity"
possessive constructions.

Andy, cultura-historical formational artifacts such as "selfs" and
are not conceptualepiphenomena that can be deconstructed [as merely
"epiphenomenal concepts"] unless the entire collective activity from
the "inner world" and "texts" arises also is deconstructed [annililated]

If the "inner world" ACTUALLY ARISES FROM the cultural historical as a
particular KIND or TYPE of "psychological world" then once arisen
[developmentally/evolutionary]  it IS an actual "existence" that is NOT
MERELY IDEAL [as epiphenomenal] but rather exists as a particular KIND
of artifact every bit as real as cathedrals and states and rights.

The particular kind of subject that we are familiar with seems
linked to "texs" and "states" and "rights" and from my perspective is a
particular possessive kind of inner world.

Andy, going back to Charles Taylor's notion of "theories" as necessary
SIMPLIFY and REDUCE dynamic complexity, [life always exceeds our
points to the need for collective activity but a central kind of
for the "inner world" to arise I believe is hermeneutical and dialogical
Gadamer's notion that these conversations CONTINUE to occur across the
centuries [not as a backward glance but in real time].  "I" read an
such as Aristotle today and this reading [con-verse-ation] points to
"texts" and "inner worlds" both arising as artifacts which occupy the
same phenomenological [not epiphenomenal] actuality.

Therefore, we need to be cautious when saying we are constructing &
deconstructing "texts" and "inner worlds" AS IF they are epiphenomenal.
They ARE phenomenal and can annililated as actualities if the cultural
historical world is annililated but I don't think we can deconstruct the
texts and "inner worlds" and leave this particular cultural historical
world intact.

That is the reason I was attempting to make a distinction between the
"construct" and "understood" [as a dialogical intersubjective notion as
used by Gadamer]

Andy, I "hold" [possess] these perspectives tentatively, but it is where
curiosity alights.


On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 2:33 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

OK, Larry has selected Lektorsky's chapter in the 2009 book to read.

Larry, instead of running on to consider 15 different concepts of the
inner world, shouldn't we wait on a second and think about Lekotrsky's
claim? What do you think of the claim that the very idea of an "inner
world" or "self" is a cultural-historical construct, i.e., that in say
Aristotle's times, such a concept did not exist and therefore that it
simply not be sensible to talk of people having such a "self"?


Larry Purss wrote:

I went on Google Scholar and typed in "Vladislav Lektorsky"
The book "Learning and Expanding with Activity" came up free to
I'm sending an attachment if others are interested.
Chapter 5 "Mediation as a Means of Collective Activity" by V.
Lektorsky is
on pages 75 to 87.

Page 80 explores Lektorsky's perspective of the notion of the
quote what he says.

"The idea of the "inner world" is very important in cultural and
contexts. The subject as the unity of consciousness, the unity of an
individual biography, and the center of making decisions can exist
only as
the center of "the inner world". *But the appearance of the "inner
possible only when the IDEA of "the inner" arises in culture*, in
words, when it is realized in forms of collective activity. This
there may exist cultures and forms of activity including forms of
communication where the subjects have no feelings of the ego and "the
    The ego of an individual subject may be UNDERSTOOD to be a
complicated, changing, and somewhat problematic formation.  It has
different layers, which sometimes are INTERPRETED as different egos,
engaged in communication WITH EACH OTHER and formed in different
kinds of
activity and n different relations with other people. Ego identity
can be
confused and fragmented.  Thus, an individual subject can be
be a collective subject. A specific feature of such a collective
that it is embodied in a single physical body and has a unity of
consciousness and a central ego, REGULATING activities of different
subegos.  In cases of multiple personalities a central ego is absent
several egos coexist in the same body."

I am not endorsing this particular perspective, but offer Lektorsky's
version of the "self" formed within activity theory as an example
"self" "agency" "subjectivity" "individuality" "ego" "person" "agent"
"agency" "free will" "self-determination" "self-regulation"
"personhood" and the RELATION between these various terms are being
fully explored and expressed within activity theory as ARISING
I would like to propose that dialogical hermeneutical notions of
agency" have a place/space within this constellation of terms.


*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA:
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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