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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
On 12 August 2013 16:09, <email@example.com> wrote:
> Pardon my ignorance on this issue (I can assure you this is more than just
> pretense!), but if conversation is activity, what is the object of this
It is your purpose(s) in conversing.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Aug 11, 2013, at 7:28 AM, Huw Lloyd <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > FYI, Greg.
> > Activity is defined by its object. See p. 363 in The Development of Mind
> > (Problems of Dev.)
> > Huw
> > On 9 August 2013 04:24, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> >> Greg Thompson wrote:
> >>> Andy, I think I need still more help.
> >>> I got lost at, well, "an activity (generally) exists". Wondering what
> >>> this could mean.
> >> xmca didn't exist when Mike Cole launched it. But for the many
> >> thousands who have joined it since, it *existed*. Thus is
> >> "generally" exists. On the whole, we *join* rather than create
> >> activities (projects).
> >> Then the middle part seems to make some sense for me: activities don't
> >>> simply and reasonably follow the intentions of their participants, but
> >>> lost you again at the end, with "the outcome in '*immanent* in the
> >>> itself". Not sure what exactly that means either.
> >> As Vygotsky says somewhere, the problem which stimulates the
> >> activity (the development of the concept) cannot in itself account
> >> for the project (or concept). The *means* utilised, which
> >> corresponds to how the problem or task is conceived by the agents,
> >> is what is crucial. I.e., not the problem or task as such, but the
> >> conception of the task, constitutes the ideal. But what this ideal
> >> is, is *only realised by the work of the project itself*.
> >>> And as a bigger question, I am trying to figure out "where" the
> >>> exists? And "who" is a part of it?
> >> OK, but just don't expect to find an abstract empirical (logical
> >> positivist) answer to that. An activity (or project) is an aggregate
> >> of *actions* not *people*. These actions are the fundamental (micro)
> >> unit of an activity, which is a molar unit of human life as a whole.
> >> So an activity exists in its artefact-mediated actions, not a group
> >> of people.
> >> For example, with XMCA, is each thread or discussion an activity? What
> >>> about all the intersections and overlaps with previous and soon-to-be
> >>> discussions? Or is the whole history of XMCA an activity?
> >>> And as to "who", is it just the people talking (i.e. writing!), or are
> >>> the "lurkers" part of the activity? And are non-XMCA folks with whom
> >>> writers and lurkers speak, and who have significantly influenced the
> >>> writers' ideas - are they a part of the activity?
> >> (1) Like all the concepts which are part of a science, projects are
> >> *nested*. An aggregate of actions may have ideal or object which
> >> makes sense only as part of one or more larger projects. All the
> >> concepts of a science obviously have complex interactions and
> >> interdependncies. No clear boundaries or lines of demarcation. Their
> >> truth is part of the *whole*. (2) The question of "who" is part of
> >> it is the wrong question. An activity is an aggregate of actions,
> >> not individual persons. Also, a project is the particular of a
> >> concept. As a particular, the project has a relatively definite
> >> location in time and space. But it is an instance realising a
> >> concept which is a unit of an entire social formation. So the scope
> >> of a project, being part of a family of such projects, may be larger
> >> than the immediate participating actions.
> >>> In short, what are the bounds of an activity?
> >>> (oh, and where does a "project" fit into all of this?)
> >> Boundary questions are the royal road to confusion. The question is
> >> what is the concept (or in common parlance the "essence") of a
> >> "A project" is just another word for "an activity." But it has its
> >> own history and connotations in our culture. (BTW "project" and
> >> "design" are the same word in Russian: "proyekt" and the etymology
> >> of "de-sign" is interesting too) and also, by using a different word
> >> I can get away from the orthodoxy of what ANL or someone else says
> >> is the case for "an activity." So if I say that the object of a
> >> project is immanent within the project, I am not directly
> >> contradicting an Activity Theorist for whom the Object or motive is
> >> given for the Activity. I want to re-discuss all the concepts of
> >> Activity Theory without being stumped by orthodoxy, so a new word
> >> Andy
> >> -greg