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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
- From: Huw Lloyd <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 15:24:10 +0100
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On 10 August 2013 15:12, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Well Huw, I didn't mean to introduce a diversion by taking computers as an
> example. I could have taken a stone tool just as well.
> It seems, Huw, that in responding to my challenge you have made a start at
> developing a theory of human needs.
'fraid not. Simply asking the question.
> Viz., that there are certain "vital" needs, and all other "needs" are
> merely means to meet these vital needs. I don't imagine that I am going to
> be able to refute the claims for a theory of human needs in a single
> message, it is after simply the claim for the existence of human nature - a
> concept with a very long history! (Aristotle built his theory of biology on
> the basis of a theory of needs.) But "vital" human needs are very elastic
> and other than in very general terms are quite indefinable. But as we
> change our world, what you need to live in that world are very real and
> very specific, and those needs arise directly out of participation in that
> life-world. Which of the thousand different ways that there are to meet the
> "vital" need of, say, nutrition, becomes a real need for a person, is
> determined by the cultural context of a person's life and their activity.
But these "real needs" are known needs. Which Leontyev calls motives, does
> So I prefer Activity Theory, in which needs are the product of activity,
> while, as conceived in any given activity, they provide the motive for that
So it seems that we do not know whether needs are produced, or whether they
are exposed. Did Leontyev make such a distinction?
> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> On 9 August 2013 14:57, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> I don't have any doubt that needs are produced. 25 years ago no-one
>>> a computer. Now it seems that everyone needs them. I don't see you r
>>> objection to this, Huw?
>> Well, if you consider needs as primal (vital) such things as computers and
>> the languages people speak are simply ways to meet such needs.
>> From a Marxian social perspective computing is interesting in this respect
>> in that the needs met by the first generation workers is qualitatively
>> different to the management saturated situation we have now. i.e. on the
>> cusp of technological practice workers are more free from the tyranny of