[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

Thanks for these.  They're interesting but I don't think they quite answer
the question about operational definitions -- i.e. the experimental
paradigms used to establish and measure the unit.

On p. 364 Leontiev elaborates on an example with a student, in which he
states that psychological testing needs to be done in order to find out
what the current activity is for the subject.

But this does not really bring any bearing onto "the very complex
cross-links" (1977) between the individual and society.

I am guessing that he uses leading activity as the means for setting the
scope of societal practices for revealing the formation of new motives etc.

I am partially interested in this for observing how the object is
demonstrated objectively, and the relation of complex motives (e.g. doing
work in an ethical way) to notions of a "single basis of development".


On 7 August 2013 22:14, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> 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<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.
> Andy
> ------------------------------**-
> 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
> http://marxists.academia.edu/**AndyBlunden<http://marxists.academia.edu/AndyBlunden>