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

While I can see that the self can be a form of inner world which only arises as a cultural and historical accomplishment, I would not go so far as to refer to it as an artefact. I think the human body is an artefact, i.e., a natural, material product of human social activity, formed by the purposes of human activity and communication, I would need to be persuaded that the self is such a material entity, albeit also ideal. However, I do think that the self is a phenomenon, in just the
sense that Vygotsky talked of the consciousness apprehended by
introspection as phenomenon.


Larry Purss wrote:
I agree that the "inner world" is cultural historical. This "inner world" as a "concept" did not exist in Aristotole's time [and not in Homer's texts] The term "construct" may suggest that this "inner world" is an epiphenomenon OF the real cultural-historical world and could therefore be 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" as possessive constructions. Andy, cultura-historical formational artifacts such as "selfs" and "texts" are not conceptualepiphenomena that can be deconstructed [as merely "epiphenomenal concepts"] unless the entire collective activity from which 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 intimately 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 to SIMPLIFY and REDUCE dynamic complexity, [life always exceeds our theories] points to the need for collective activity but a central kind of activity for the "inner world" to arise I believe is hermeneutical and dialogical con-verse-ations. Gadamer's notion that these conversations CONTINUE to occur across the centuries [not as a backward glance but in real time]. "I" read an author 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 terms "construct" and "understood" [as a dialogical intersubjective notion as used by Gadamer] Andy, I "hold" [possess] these perspectives tentatively, but it is where my curiosity alights. Larry On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 2:33 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto: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 would 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 download.
        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
        subject. I'll
        quote what he says.

        "The idea of the "inner world" is very important in cultural
        and social
        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 world" is
        possible only when the IDEA of "the inner" arises in culture*,
        in other

        words, when it is realized in forms of collective activity.
        This means that
        there may exist cultures and forms of activity including forms of
        communication where the subjects have no feelings of the ego
        and "the inner
            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
        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
        UNDERSTOOD to
        be a collective subject. A specific feature of such a
        collective subject is
        that it is embodied in a single physical body and has a unity of
        consciousness and a central ego, REGULATING activities of
        subegos.  In cases of multiple personalities a central ego is
        absent so
        several egos coexist in the same body."

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

    *Andy Blunden*
    Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

    xmca mailing list
    xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

*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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