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Re: [xmca] (no subject)

Dear Mike 

Larry himself
(though after having put up some confusion as to the main stream of Vasilyuk's line of discussion to the effect that he magnifies the CLASSICAL at the cost of THE MODERN) came up with his justification concerning the ‘ontogenesis’ of the child
learning activity which is not something you’re not familiar with .

Now the format
does not allow me to act as Larry did . I wonder while you apparently had or
have the very book at your disposal , why you didn’t continue from where Larry
stopped . The gist of the matter relates to the ‘fisrt thesis’ . On this side ,
the living being ; on that side , things in themsleves ; and in between the
contentless vacuum . Then it remains for the ‘reflecion’ to step in and push to
a start for the future act . 
The counter
argument which is at least partially support for the activity theory , comes next

[[The cognitive
image provides the basis for all CLASSICAL psychology and is the source of its
fundamental ontological postulates (“immediacy”, “conformity” , identity of
consciousness  and MIND , SELF-IDENTITY
of the individual) and of its methodological principles]] 

[[The way in
which activity is understood , within the “isolated individual” ontology , is
directly defined by the “postulate of conformity” , according to which any
activity of the subject is of an INDIVIDUAL-ADAPTIVE nature . If subject and
object (or , strictly speaking,individual and thing) are laid down in the
PRIMARY ontological figuration as separate and independent one of another ,
then the “conformity” of activity –introduced at the next stage(refuted by
Vasilyuk-mine)—can be seen as based on either one of two quite OPPOSITE

He then comes
up with his explanation of either case . As for the isolate individual he says

[[… Even the
emotion-based variant of this idea (the basis of action is feeling) still
retains the main cognitivist thesis : activity is sanctioned by MENTAL
REFLECTION (rational or emotioanl)]]

[[… The second
possibility , characteristic for reflexology and behaviourism , is given its
most clear-cut expression in B.F.Skinner’s radical behaviourism . … Here any
and every subject is thoght of on the model of an animal , and an animal at a
pretty low evolutionary level at that .]]

Which of these
ontologies , then , is to be counterposed to the “subject-object”
EPISTEMOLOGICAL schema found in CLASSICAL psychology ?       <<The ontology of “the lived world”.>>

Only within the
framework of this ontology can A.N.Leontiev’s idea of motivation , outlined
above , be properly appreciated and given its rightful place within the
activity theory of pyschology . 

[[As activity
itself is a unit of life , so its main constituent CAUSE –the object of
activity—is a unit of the world . … An object is thus not simply a THING
lying OUTSIDE the life-circuit of the SUBJECT , BUT a THING ALREADY ABSORBED
that being , has been SUBJECTIVISED by life process even BEFORE BEFORE any
takes place . … This world , while still an objective , material entity , is
not “the physical world” in the sense which that carries for the science of
physics, which studies the interactions of things : this is the lived world .
It is the lived world , in fact , which is the SOLE stimulator and source of
CONTENT for the creature living in it . That is our PRIMARY ontological picture
. … we are not yet apeaking of the various forms of IDEATIONAL mediations
involved in th initiation and regulation of concrete activity on the part of an
actual , concrete person – that will all transpire later , that is NOT what we
start from but what we will come to , “ascending from the abstract to the
concrete .]]   



 From: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Monday, 16 January 2012, 10:49:43
Subject: [xmca] (no subject)

Larry. Thanks for your earlier posting selecting from the Vasiliuk text. I

know too little about the realm of ideas

into which you took this passage to comment. -- But I found the passage

very helpful. Here is the passage again.

Andy, Thanks for sending out Chapter ll of Vasilyuk's book.

On page 87, I appreciated how he articulated the "ontology of the isolated

individual." I quote:

For the latter [ontology of the isolated individual], the situation taken

as primary for subsequent theoretical development is one where you have, on

the one hand, a separate being isolated from the world, and, on the other

hand, objects, or more precisely things, existing "in themselves".  The

SPACE BETWEEN, empty and contentless, only keeps them APART from one

another. Subject and object are both thought of as existing from the

BEGINNING and as INTRINSICALLY definite, PRIOR TO and independently of any

practical connection between them; they are independent natural ENTITIES.

Activity, which brings about a practical connection between subject and

object is STILL IN THE FUTURE; in order [for activity] to commence, it must

be sanctioned while the PRIMARY situation OF SEPARATION between subject and

object still prevails."

This is the classical psychological understanding of the source of activity

as DERIVED and IN THE FUTURE. In the ontolology of the isolated

individual's  most highly rationalized FORM can be REDUCED to a view that

activity is BASED on a cognitive calculation thesis.  Reflection PRECEDES

the activity within the subject's mind and only after does the activity

take place.


Larry suggest this passage as a jumping off point into a discussion of

terms such as "personality" and

"character" . I hope to keep learning from that discussion, but meantime, I

would like some advice on

the productivity of thinking about alternative formulations in terms of the

way they deal with temporality.

We see very clearly in this passage a characterization of what Goethe

attributes to those scientists who

first declare a "first" from which seconds and thirds can be deduced. He

uses the weaving metaphor

to capture the properties of the life process which have been exterminated

as the scientist murders while

dissecting. So far as I can tell, the weaving metaphor is a lot more useful

to thinking about life processes, so long as

we think of weaving as the constant creation of a variety of strands.

There is an argument about the ontology of the individual that focuses on

the issue of being able to reflect upon

the world BEFORE acting on it; reflection before action. If I understand

correctly the views of people such as Vladimir Zinchenko, a student of

Leontiev's, based upon a variety of evidence from his research on

stabilized images on the retina and the microgenesis of action, both point

toward a kind of "simulation" theory of mind, one which can operate far

more rapidly than the events they are a part of and constituting. It is

implied by the very folk cultural notion that

we all should remember to "stop and think" when things are not flowing

smoothly our way.

It seems to me that it is premature to turn away from kind of claim. It

goes well beyond any narrow discussion

of obscure Russians doing obscure stuff. Its sits right in the middle of

some influential contemporary developmental theories concerning "theory of

mind" that are the foundation of forms of education and therapy ubiquitous

in society.

There are probably some issues of morality of concern at this level, as



To begin with



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