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Re: [xmca] Operations

Mike, I attach pp 154-180 from A N Leontyev's "Development of Mind" where he introduces the concept of "operation" as part of a "second stage of evolution of the psyche".

Full text at http://www.erythrospress.com/store/leontyev.html


mike cole wrote:
Yes, thanks Andy: OPERATIONS are something like automated actions, subject to conditions not goals.

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    "operations", you mean.
    mike cole wrote:

        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 <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto: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
               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
               through actions is tried, tested, and increasingly
            I make no claim to be a psychologist, Michael, but it always
            seemed to me that ascribing a knowledge of the world to
            would be a hard position to sustain. We have to find some
            way of understanding the behaviour of neonates and infants
            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
            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
            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
            might begin to associate the behaviour with an object,
            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!


            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
                processing but it can also perhaps be defined through
                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
                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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-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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