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[Xmca-l] FW: Leontyev's activities

Dear Huw,

Here is the first website I got with <Leontiev Activity>: http://www.igs.net/~pballan/AT.htm 

Look at the table that shows the structural levels of activity and the phenomena that direct them. Maybe a web search with a combination of those keywords will yield what you are looking for. I know there is a lot of material in Russian, but have no access to references. 



-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 5:15 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Leontyev's activities

Leontyev says that an activity is defined by its motive.
See "The Development of Mind," Leontyev 2009, p. 28-29 http://www.erythrospress.com/store/leontyev.html

But Leontyev, in my opinion, does not adequately distinguish between "an activity" and "a type of activity," leading to confusion on this point.
Plus the fact that the object or motive is given externally to the activity, underming his claim to have created an activity theory, rather than a theory of human needs.


The specific processes that realise some vital, i.e. active, relation of the subject to reality we shall term processes of /activity/, in distinction to other processes.

We shall also, accordingly, limit the concept of object. It is normally used in a dual sense: in the broadest one as a thing standing in some kind of relation to other things, i.e. as 'a thing having existence'; and in a narrower sense - as something withstanding (German /Gegenstand/), resistant (Latin /objectum/), that to which an act is directed, i.e. as something to which precisely a living creature relates itself as the /object of its activity/ - indifferently as outward or inward activity (e. g. /object of nutrition/, /object of labour/, /object of meditation/, etc.). >From now on we shall employ the term /object/ precisely in this narrower, special sense.

Any activity of an organism is directed to some object or other; activity without an object is impossible. Consideration of activity therefore requires us to single out and distinguish that which is its real object, i.e. the object of an active relation of the organism.

All lower filtrable organisms (certain larvae living in water, copepods, all Tunicata, etc.), for example, are capable, as we know, of altering their activity in connection with a change in the aqueous medium; in that connection it can sometimes be said with confidence that the change in the organism's activity is specifically linked with a definite activating property of the medium, for example with a greater or less concentration of nutrients. Imagine, however, that we have artificially altered the medium, for example, of a daphnia, by putting it into water that lacks its nutrient, plankton but contains particles of some neutral inorganic substance; the daphnia would react to this by a slackening of the movements that create a flow of water to its ventral slit. Is the observed slackening of the water flea's filtering movements a response to the absence of plankton in the water? Or is it, on the contrary, a response to the presence in it of unassimilable particles? Or does it, finally, depend on some other moments still, not considered by us? Only by answering these questions can we decide precisely /what/ property of the medium is the object of the daphnia's activity, i.e. with what kind of a relation we are dealing with here.

/Thus, the principal 'unit' of a vital process is an organism's activity; the different activities that realise its diverse vital relations with the surrounding reality are essentially determined by their object; we shall therefore differentiate between separate types of activity according to the difference in their objects/.

Huw Lloyd wrote:
> Well I am currently looking for specific text on how leont'ev 
> operationally defines a unit of analysis of activity, I'm sure I'll 
> find details, but some pointers may help me get there faster.
> Thanks,
> Huw
> On 7 August 2013 18:57, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Seems we are up and ready for chatting.
>> mike
>> On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com
>>> wrote:
>>> testing.

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