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Re: [xmca] Operations

What is your understanding of this issue, Manfred. In the text most used by
Americans, actions
are something like automated actions, subject to condions not goals.
Components of actions.

What does it mean, ontogenetically, for operations to preceed actions? How
does this relate to the classic Leontiev formulation?


On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 6:28 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Michael, here is what Manfred said in his message:
>    "A young infant has not already established a goal-driven level of
>    actions. In the first weeks one can observe the acquisition of first
>    operations and of first expectations what should happen. But these
>    expectations are not yet represented as a mental image about the
>    desired future states. This is the product of the acquisition of a
>    sign system which enables the person to evoke and  imagine a future
>    state in the here and now and to start to strive for it. And for
>    this starting point, not only to imagine different future states,
>    but also to select one of them and to start to strive for it,
>    emotional processes come into play that color one of the imagined
>    future state e.g. in a state worth striving for and that mobilize
>    the executive power to start striving for it. However, the ability
>    to form such notions of goals and to transform them into actions is
>    not something that occurs automatically. It emerges in a long-drawn
>    ontogenetic learning process in which the attainment of goals
>    through actions is tried, tested, and increasingly optimized."
> I make no claim to be a psychologist, Michael, but it always seemed to me
> that ascribing a knowledge of the world to neonates would be a hard
> position to sustain. We have to find some other way of understanding the
> behaviour of neonates and infants other than presuming that they form a
> goal and then take appropriate premeditated action to realise that goal.
> An "operation" is a form of behaviour which has the potential to be
> transformed into an action, that is, for the subject to become consciously
> aware of the behaviour and subject it to conscious control. So at first I
> think we have to say that the neonate smiles, moves its hands around,
> pouts, squeezes, etc, etc., without first forming the idea "I think I will
> smile at this woman, and she might give me some more food" or any such
> thing. But after the relevant stimuli have been repeatedly accompanied by
> the various kinds of responses which adult carers provide to the child and
> the successful satisfaction of the stimuli, the child might begin to
> associate the behaviour with an object, accomodate its behaviour to the
> social world around them, and what began as an operation may be transformed
> into an action. Otherwise, I think we are imply a hell of a lot about
> innate knowledge!
> Andy
> Glassman, Michael wrote:
>> .... But I also I think disagree with Andy to some extent.  Do infants
>> simply engage in operations?  Is that possible? Isn't there an action tied
>> to every operation, or else why is the infant doing it.  I think infants
>> definitely do react to stimuli (feedback I think can be define through
>> information processing but it can also perhaps be defined through social
>> cognitive theory which is more behavior oriented).  But when they react
>> don't they have an aim of some type?  It might be very rudimentary but it
>> is an aim and the child is developing operations to meet those aims (it
>> also seems to me that there are much fuzzier boundaries between operations
>> and actions at this point).
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