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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
Yes, I'm fond generally of the Shotter approach to emotions, and I think
that explains some of my difficulties with engaging AT and also points to
the kinds of problems of paradigm that Lubomir is pointing to.
But it seems that Activity Theory could be broad enough to encompass
alternative, non-substantialist or at least non-essentialist notions of
motive (I think Martin was making a similar argument with respect to
emotions not too long ago here on XMCA).
And that is at the heart of my concern with Austin-derived theories of
meaning (e.g. John Searle's or Grice's developments). These views often
resort to what I like to call a Horton Hears a Who model of meaning. Horton
is a Dr. Seuss children's book character who says "I meant what I said and
I said what I meant..." I think that meaning can't be simply pegged to
intention and motive. Individual intention and motive certainly has
something to do with meaning, but, imho, meaning is, first and foremost,
distributed. As Bakhtin says, the word is shot through with the intentions
of others. Distributed intentionality?
Larry, I think you are right about the potential for development. Still
hesitating on committing to Gadamer - these big figures require a big
commitment - you can't just read a little here or there b.c. there are
landmines placed everywhere in the literature..,
p.s., I deleted previous responses in the thread as per Mike's request. But
I pasted Larry's response below since the above responds to it.
Your exploration of boundary *object* as actually a boundary *relation* I
believe has the capability of drawing our attention to the fluid nature of
boundary. I believe Gadamer would shift the emphasis to boundary
*affinity*. The notion of the boundary as having *plastic* qualities and
only coming into existence within communication processes [more than
linguistic] focuses on the notion of *between*.
If you want to elaborate this way of reflection further I see real
As an aside, John Shotter suggests *motives* develop or are secondary
phenomena emerging WITHIN our ways of talking [about motives]