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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

Yes, but there is a strange way in which once qualia is named, then we are
thrown into the 2nd order. I think "moods" are probably somewhat similar
and I tend to see moods as something that is distributed between people (as
in "the mood of a room" or "the mood of a situation").

In doing some looking into Victor Shklovsky, I came across this post from
David Kellogg back in 2007 that seems rather relevant to our discussions of
motive and mood:

"Vygotsky talks about native language learning as a progression from
unconscious use of language to conscious, deliberate analysis and synthesis
(for example, the use of a monolingual dictionary). He talks about the
learning of science as being a progression from the spontaneous,
unselfconscious use of ideas to the rigorous definition and deliberate use
of concepts. He talks about moral development in terms of a progression
from other-regulation to conscious, volitional self-regulation. Now, all of
these things are forms of cognition. In each case, the new element is not
cognition but VOLITION, that is, the deliberate exercise of human will

  So it seems to me that Vygotsky is really talking about word-sense as a
unit of VOLITION. Remember that LSV lived through a period of great ferment
in the verbal arts. At the beginning of the 20th Century, literati from
T.S. Eliot to Shklovsky agreed on one thing: meaning comes to us from the
outside, not from within our souls. Eliot claimed it came from "tradition"
and Shklovsky from disembodied structure. LSV is neither a traditionalist
nor a structuralist, but he certainly DOES hold that volition comes to us,
not from within ourselves, but from out there.

  If you think a minute, you will see that it has to be that way. Expecting
human volition to come from within is like, as Luria says, expecting a
shadow to carry stones. Or expecting a monolingual dictionary to make

This seems to resonate nicely with Andy's more distributed reading of
motive (volition) as residing outside the individual. But I can't help but
wonder if David K is reading too much into Vygotsky's work?
What is the nature of this "deliberate exercise of human will power"? Of
(and Larry, can we do the same thing with "mood" - seeing it as an inside
that comes from without? Or would you say that moods are more primal than

On Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Greg,
> Thanks for making the distinction between *qualia* [as to conceive
> *conceiving* AS felt relations between something else as a 1st order level]
> AND *abstract concepts* [relations between relations] at the 2nd level.
> You also bring in the notion of *moods* which we are often *captured by*
> which you contrast with intentionally planned activity.
> These *moods* as primordial and then after the mood flows through us [from
> within] we retrospectively [in our conversational realities including inner
> dialogue] compose understandings AS motivations.
> I hope qualia and moods as 1st order level understandings dynamically
> flowing through activities can become fore-grounded as this 1st level seems
> vital to Merleau-Ponty's existential phenomenology of actual experience
> within naïve *folk* psychology.
> Activities *capture us* within moods and this level of qualia as
> spontaneous may be primordial. Merleau-Ponty used the phrase *expressive
> cognition* to explore this realm of qualia. How it links up with concepts
> is an open question.
> Systems, and functional explanations seem to focus on knowing-how something
> functions with something else. This form of knowing seems to front load
> concepts.  Christine's exploring *valencia* [spelling?] I read as an
> approach to systems and structure that includes 1st order qualia.
> Larry
> On Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 6:49 AM, Peg Griffin <peg.griffin@att.net> wrote:
> > I agree!  And that's what research on all the relevant kinds of genesis
> in
> > Field College types of places is all about -- seldom supported and
> > sustained enough for long enough but worth keeping the eye on that prize.
> >
> > By the way we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on
> > Washington this week and lots of new historical insight are being
> published.
> > Also lots of celebration including shouting and food and drink!  I'll
> > raise toasts when I can to distant friends, meaning folks like you and
> > otheres on XMCA.
> >
> >
> > Peg
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> >  From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:50 PM
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
> >
> >
> > That's exactly right, Peg, but it is not enough to state that activities
> > are subject-objects and dynamic, unless we can explain exactly how their
> > dynamism is formed. Exactly *what* are the dynamics of activities? I
> agree
> > that diversity is a part of it though.
> >
> > Andy
> >
> > Peg Griffin wrote:
> > > I see it as dynamic ( ready meaning ready to grow) because I see
> > subjective-object and objective-subject  rather than objective or
> > subjective.
> > > As diverse "who" are the  obejctive-subjects the odds of changes in the
> > subjective-object motives go way up.  We might all change enough to
> survive
> > after all.  Working on diversity wasn't an accidental part of LCHC's
> > concern, nor was it for charity or to be nice. It's the dynamism and hope
> > bought by diversity that might separate me (and probably Mike) from the
> > Politburo :)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> > > *To:* "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > > *Sent:* Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:48 AM
> > > *Subject:* [Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
> > >
> > > I think your example and your way of explaining is perfect, Peg, for
> the
> > purposes of psychology and education. The "socio-cultural motive/activity
> > is ready." It is just this objectivist stance in relation to the societal
> > activities which has always been my main problem with Leontyev. I know,
> of
> > course, that you and Mike and the others involved in 5thD designed
> > activities which were well aligned to widely held aims for the children's
> > development, but where did they come from? Speaking generally, what is
> the
> > dynamic of the activities we see around us? When surveying social and
> > cultural life in general it is obviously not sufficient to say "Mike and
> > Peg designed these activities" any more than it was sufficient to say
> that
> > the Politburo decided the targets for social production.
> > >
> > > So it seems to me that Greg's main problem remains unsolved in your
> > approach, Peg. What do we mean by the "motive" of the activity? *Whose*
> > motive?
> > >
> > > Andy
> > >
> > > Peg Griffin wrote:
> > > > I like the idea of a "well-motivated argument" as used in classical
> > and contemporary logic.  So I say stick to motivated.
> > > > It works so nicely with the distinction between "merely understood"
> > and "really effective" -- and the transition as merely understood motive
> > becomes really effective.  The subject may engage in the actions that are
> > motivated by two different activity systems with two different motives --
> > but say the second is merely understood by the subject and the first is
> > really effective for the subject.  When the human conflict-ing (Luria)
> > mash-up happens and the person lapses into a mosaically related but
> > contradictory action -- poof -- the merely understood is now the motive!
> > > > So the child you and Leontyev describe doing homework is first really
> > effectively motivated by play with adult rules of priority/timing etc.
> but
> > when that child scrunches up his homework paper and throws it in the
> waste
> > basket and starts all over -- poof-- the really effective motive/activity
> > falls apart and the merely understood socio-cultural motive/activity is
> > ready and willing and takes up the slack.  Having alluded to both Luria
> and
> > Leontyev, I now bring in the Beatles -- it's a long and winding road.
>  Not
> > a one-time enlightenment! But praxis makes possible.
> > > >
> > > > When we at LCHC, ages ago, were running the after-school school we
> > called "Field College" (pun and polysemy intended), a funding program
> > officer (Marge Martus) commented that she hadn't seen a single child off
> > task in two hours.  And believe me they were not school or adult governed
> > children!  It was because Field College was strewn with motives that
> > virtually begged for children to engage but also to transition from
> really
> > effective to merely understood and hence to "grow" into a new activity.
>  It
> > would be, I told Marge, like being in a rainstorm and trying to avoid the
> > raindrops if a child were off-all-the available operating tasks!
> > > > We had "center table" rituals and "fifth dimension" constitutions
> that
> > exposed the merely understood motives. And we had participant structures,
> > tasks, procedures, a lot of bells and whistles that fit in dual activity
> > systems/motives, some combonation of which elicited the child's voluntary
> > engagement in a really effective way.
> > > > Peg
> >

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602