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[Xmca-l] Re: Polysemy of "Community"
- To: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Polysemy of "Community"
- From: "Cliff O'Donnell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:35:48 -1000
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So I can see a problem with making "community" the subject matter,
or "unit of analysis" for a study;
We agree. That is why activity settings are the units of analysis we
one would have to first select an artefact or combination of
artefacts, (such as language and land) which serves to define the
basis of the said "community." The point then is that the
"community" is *not* defined by shared *meanings*;
So why define community by artifacts? Why not by shared meanings?
in fact, different components of the "community" may attach
diametrically opposite meanings to a given artefact (word, symbol,
tool, ...) or even use it in ways which are quite incommensurable.
If community is defined by shared meanings, those with "diametrically
opposite meanings" would by definition belong to different cultural
communities (even if they did live in the same geographical unit).
But! the material form of the artefact is *universal* in what ever
way it is used, meant or interpreted. The *materiality* of artefacts
is the foundation was what is *universal* in human life. Projects
give us what is *particular* in human life (ascribing different
meanings to one and the same artefact), and actions (not persons)
give us what is *individual* in human life, for the purposes of
The material form of an artifact may be universal in the sense that
we may all agree on the label for it. However, the artifact may have
very different meanings for us and these meanings may lead to quite
different actions and, as you point out, be the basis for conflict.