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Re: [xmca] Operations

Hi Larry,

I think Marx's point was that consumption seeks to fill a lack or need, a negation. But first, production is necessary to obtain whatever will satisfy that need. Production too involves a negation: a negation of the current circumstances so as to transform them so that they come to contain what is needed. The two form a cycle - consumption defines the goal of production, which satisfies the needs of consumption.

I think Carol is right, infants have needs that manifest themselves instinctively. Crying is, I suppose, a instinctive response to the felt need of hunger. I guess I'd prefer to avoid the term 'response' because it's so often paired with 'stimulus.' LSV did use the term 'stimulus' (or at least he's translated that way), but he was writing in the 1930s when behaviorism was the vogue. But he insisted that: 

"The initial perceptions of the child represent nonarticulated impressions of the situation as a whole where not only are separate objective moments of the situation not articulated, but elements of perception and sensation are not yet differentiated. The fact itself is remarkable that the newborn, long before he exhibits the ability to react to separately perceived, articulated elements of a situation, begins to react to intricate, complex, emotionally colored wholes. For example, the face of the mother and its expressive movements evoke a reaction in the child long before he is capable of distinct perception of form, color, or size. In the initial perception of the newborn, all external impressions appear as inseparably united with the affect or sensible tone of the perception that colors them. The child is more likely to perceive the affable or the threatening, that is, generally expressive rather than objective, elements of external activity as such."

Very relevant to our discussion of emotion, I think. Not response associated with stimulus, but unified perception-emotion-action gestalts. 

But my next questions is, is the need that an infant manifests sufficient to define an activity, which will then have as its goal the satisfaction of that need?


On Apr 10, 2013, at 5:04 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Martin,
> Would it be accurate to consider  that consumption *creates* or
> *constitutes* a lack or negation as need, drive or purpose. I'm playing
> with the notion of *response* to the fact of consumption which then
> requires reproducing that which was consumed.
> Then the question becomes, Does the infant form [as a mode of life] a need,
> drive, or a purpose FROM lack or negation AS a response? Is this a more
> accurate way to suggest the infant *responds* to what is lacking or negated
> or *gaps* in their forms [modes] of life??
> The concept of *participation* puts in question the understanding that
> consumption necessarily generates all human subjectivity. Participation may
> not always consume resources but may be a form or mode of inter action
> which generates motive energy. In the same way as participating in
> experiences of *love* may be generative and not merely consumptive. It may
> depend on the *mode* of participation.
> This is not to say love may become consumptive, and experienced as lack but
> does participation/love necessarily become consumptive? It may depend on
> our modes of life.
> Larry
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Martin
>> 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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