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[Xmca-l] Re: intersubjectivity and perspective taking, po russkii

Greg, you do as almost any Hegel reader of our times would do and turn to the master-servant dialectic in the Phenomenology for an answer to a question about Hegel. The problem is that this dialectic is about the confrontation between two subjects who have no third, no means of mediation of their relation (in the wild so to speak) and find themselves in a situation of having to fight to the death, etc., etc., but manage to live together only by one subordinating the other, and by means of a dialectic of needs and labour, so one, at least (the servant), gets to know the Other. Secondly, no Marxist or psychologist took any interest in this passage until after Vygotsky's death. Mead in the US and Kojeve in France in the mid-1930s, were the first to write about it.

There are a number of passages to go to in Hegel to find about his ideas on empathy, but I would think the natural place to go is the Philosophy of Right where Hegel is concerned that the growth of "bourgeois society" (i.e., the market) is leading to mutual alienation. In his early work he thought that the market, by publicly circulating and valuing someone's product would be the means of mutual recognition or mediation, but this is less prominent in the Philosophy of Right. Mostly he looks to all manner of voluntary association as the means by which conflict and failure of recognition may be mediated. And *mediated* is the big word there. Marx actually makes fun of Hegel for his obsession with mediation in the Philosophy of Right. But I think that is Hegel's answser (if one wants to know that): mediation. That is the problem which the two subjects running into each other in the wild had.

*Andy Blunden*

Greg Thompson wrote:
Not so dumb, I would think, since this is a very central part of Hegel's
social ontology of the subject. (Too) Simply put, self-consciousness arises
from our awareness that others are subjects just like ourselves. Here is
what I take to be Hegel's description of perspective-taking:
"It must cancel this its other. To do so is the sublation of that first
double meaning, and is therefore a second double meaning. First, it must
set itself to sublate the other independent being, in order thereby to
become certain of itself as true being, secondly, it thereupon proceeds to
sublate its own self, for this other is itself."

This is, of course, the second paragraph in the introduction to Hegel's
Master/Slave dialectic (all 5 paragraphs of the intro are below). In that
tale, perspective-taking fails b.c. although the slave takes the
perspective of the master, the master has no reason to take the perspective
of the slave. This is imperfect recognition and does not allow for the full
constitution (consummation, following Bakhtin) of the subjects as fully

[There is good evidence that this was part of G. H. Mead's inspiration in
his development of perspective taking (but this is both debatable and, to
my mind, of little consequence).]

 I also wonder if some variant of perspective taking can be found in Marx's
early concept of species being, or perhaps in the idea of the relations of
persons one to another. It would seem that Marx's writings on the commodity
fetish are precisely a problem of perspective taking - the individual
participants no longer see that there are others who are full and rich
individuals like themselves; instead, other people become tools for
accomplishing MY aims. And it is this that communism is supposed to
reconcile - bringing all people into a deep appreciation of not just our
deep dependence upon one another, but also of our universal kinship, i.e.
our "mutuality of being" as Rupert Stasch has so eloquently put it.
Mutuality of being requires an understanding that other people are "just
like us".
Isn't that perspective taking?

But I have no clue how or in what linguistic forms this would have made its
way from Hegel's and Marx's German to Vygotsky's Russian (if at all...).
p.s. psychological anthropologist Doug Hollan has been seriously looking
into "empathy" along with fellow psyc anth scholar C. Jason Throop. One of
Doug's pieces is listed in the email that just I'll forward in just a
minute to XMCA.

Full text of paras 179-184 from Phenomenology of Spirit:

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p179>
179 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m179>
. Self-consciousness has before it another self-consciousness; it has come
outside itself. This has a double significance. First it has lost its own
self, since it finds itself as an *other* being; secondly, it has thereby
sublated that other, for it does not regard the other as essentially real,
but sees its own self in the other.

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p180>
180 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m180>
. It must cancel this its other. To do so is the sublation of that first
double meaning, and is therefore a second double meaning. First, it must
set itself to sublate the other independent being, in order thereby to
become certain of itself as true being, secondly, it thereupon proceeds to
sublate its own self, for this other is itself.

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p181>
181 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m181>
. This sublation in a double sense of its otherness in a double sense is at
the same time a return in a double sense into its self. For, firstly,
through sublation, it gets back itself, because it becomes one with itself
again through the cancelling of *its *otherness; but secondly, it likewise
gives otherness back again to the other self-consciousness, for it was
aware of being in the other, it cancels this its own being in the other and
thus lets the other again go free.

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p182>
182 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m182>
. This process of self-consciousness in relation to another
self-consciousness has in this manner been represented as the action of one
alone. But this action on the part of the one has itself the double
significance of being at once its own action and the action of that other
as well. For the other is likewise independent, shut up within itself, and
there is nothing in it which is not there through itself. The first does
not have the object before it only in the passive form characteristic
primarily of the object of desire, but as an object existing independently
for itself, over which therefore it has no power to do anything for its own
behalf, if that object does not *per se *do what the first does to it. The
process then is absolutely the double process of both self-consciousnesses.
Each sees the other do the same as itself; each itself does what it demands
on the part of the other, and for that reason does what it does, only so
far as the other does the same. Action from one side only would be useless,
because what is to happen can only be brought about by means of both.

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p183>
183 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m183>
. The action has then a *double entente* not only in the sense that it is
an act done to itself as well as to the other, but also in the sense that
the act *simpliciter* is the act of the one as well as of the other
regardless of their distinction.

Φ <http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/philosophie/hegel/phaenom/kap4.htm#p184>
184 <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/help/findlay2.htm#m184>
. In this movement we see the process repeated which came before us as the
play of forces; in the present case, however, it is found in consciousness.
What in the former had effect only for us [contemplating experience], holds
here for the terms themselves. The middle term is self-consciousness which
breaks itself up into the extremes; and each extreme is this interchange of
its own determinateness, and complete transition into the opposite. While
*qua* consciousness, it no doubt comes outside itself, still, in being
outside itself, it is at the same time restrained within itself, it exists
for itself, and its self-externalization is for consciousness.
*Consciousness *finds that it immediately is and is not another
consciousness, as also that this other is for itself only when it cancels
itself as existing for itself , and has self-existence only in the
self-existence of the other. Each is the mediating term to the other,
through which each mediates and unites itself with itself; and each is to
itself and to the other an immediate self-existing reality, which, at the
same time, exists thus for itself only through this mediation. They
recognize themselves as mutually recognizing one another.

On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Larry-- You are almost certainly way ahead of me on these issues. My
interest at present is on the development of social and relational
perspective taking. From, say, a Vygotskian, or Bakhtinian point of view
(perspective!) what are the socio-cultural contributions to interpersonal
understanding that we associated with psychological perspective taking,
perhaps just the ability to "stand in someone else's shoes"? Empathy has to
be one potential contributor, and...... (in the Russian traditionS we often

Perhaps just a really dumb question. Wouldn't be the first time!!

On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 6:37 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

I am wondering if you could expand on your question that is referring to
perspective taking and its possible meanings. I believe this question of
perspective taking is also converging with your other question on *kinds*
or *types* of persons. [personhood like childhood]

I am asking for more clarity on your *bad question* which seems to be
central to the multiple discourses on *sociocultural* theory and practice
This *space* or *zone* of  questioning which opens up a clearing for the
multiple notions of the concept *intersubjectivity* and its convergence
with the concept of *perspective-taking* and how this topic is explored
Russian translation is a topic I want to explore further.

I wanted to offer a quote which I found interesting exploring notions of
*identity* AS KINDS [categories]

Oakeshott argues that "This distinction, then, between 'goings-on'
identified as themselves

exhibitions of intelligence and 'goings-on' which may be made
but are not themselves

intelligent, is not a distinction between mental and physical or between
minds and bodies regarded

as entities. It is a distinction within the engagement of understanding,
distinction between

'sciences' (that is, ideal characters) and the identities with which they
are concerned. And in

calling it a categorial distinction what is being asserted is that the
understanding of identities

recognized as themselves exhibitions of intelligence cannot be 'reduced'
to the understanding of

identities no so recognized", *On Human Conduct*, pp. 14-15.

I was intrigued by Oakeshott's understanding of *sciences* [multiple] AS
RESPRESENTING IDEAL KINDS [categorical distinctions]. This realm of KINDS
AS perspective taking moves the question of intersubjectivity to converge
with *culture* and *history*.

I will pause, but this topic is endlessly fascinating.

Larry Purss

On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Russian experts on XMCA

I have been reading about the development of intersubjectivity and
perspective taking, including an article by scholars who say they are
working in the "sociocultural perspective." It got me to wondering how
Russian scholars discuss these topics. No Russians are cited in the
work I
am reading, but Mead and

When looking at suggested translations into Russian from English for
terms, the cognate
perspectiv seems to appear almost everywhere. The phrase for "point of
view" is literally that,
tochka-point  zreniya-seeing, genetive case.

I figure I am blind to something obvious here, but darned if I know what
is. Any help out there??

S-- Eugene wrote an interesting article in MCA a while back on
intersubjectivity and there are Vygotsky
refs but they do not seem to go to the question I am asking. Perhaps its
just my bad question!