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Re: [xmca] Operations

Our discussion of whether or not infants can participate in an 'activity' (or 'project') seems to have centered around the question of whether an infant has the capability to "form a goal and then take appropriate premeditated action to realise that goal" (Andy), to form a "mental image" (Michael, though I think he was arguing against this), to have "an inner image of the future situation" (Manfred), to have a "psychic image" or a "conscious goal" (Leontiev).

I think this is a misleading way of framing the issue, for several reasons. Some of them I've already mentioned, or at least hinted at. Here is another:

What Marx actually wrote, in the Grundrise (at least as the English translation has it) was this: "consumption ideally posits the object of production as an internal image, as a need, as drive and as purpose. It creates the objects of production in a still subjective form. No production without a need. But first consumption reproduces the need" (p. 92).

This is in the context of a discussion of the teleological character of productive activity. Marx's central point is that the goal of production is always created by consumption (because reproduction is always necessary). In this passage he is describing the manners in which consumption can "posit" the object that is to be produced, and consequently the ways in which the goal of productive activity is defined. 

I read this as indicating that, for Marx, "internal image" is only *one* way in which consumption can posit the object that is to be produced. Consumption (that is, for example, the hungry person) can *also* posit that object as a need, or as a drive, or as a purpose. These seem to me to be qualitatively quite distinct, from each other and from a "mental image".

The question really ought to be, can an infant form a need, a drive, or a purpose.


On Apr 9, 2013, at 3:27 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you Manfred. I have the same understanding of operation/conditions
> action/goals as you write about. It was a mistaken typo on my part in the
> orginal note that Andy kindly corrected, but in the flow
> of messages its hard discern.
> So starting with your clear statement my question becomes: how does it come
> about that operations proceed actions in early infancy and in what sense(s)
> is that true and why?
> mike

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