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[Xmca-l] Re: In Defense of Fuzzy Things

David, it may seem picky, but I can't agree with this formulation below, in particular the use of "thinking". To interpret Vyotsky's observation in terms of "thinking" is to *intellectualise* Vygotsky, or to put it another way, to impute to Vygotsky an intellectualisation of human life. This move was a principal line of attack of Vygotsky during the Stalinist years after his death, so it is important not to repeat it now. You correctly analysed the difference for a child of having a drunk for a mother, rather than for a father or a neighbour. But this was not a question of what the child *thought* about these relations, but the real significance of each relation for the child having its vital needs met, within the horizon of consciousness of the child. And I use "consciousness" here as a Marxist, to indicate the entirety of subjective processes of the child which mediate between their physiology and their behaviour, not as a synonym for the intellect. The child will perceive their situation (and threats to it) in the only way they can, that is, in an age-appropriate way. And they will change their own activity in response to the perceived threat also in an age- and circumstances-appropriate way too. All of this - significance, perception, needs - are not to be interpreted as categories of thinking, but categories of the life-activity of living beings, that's all, not necessarily thinking. But of course, the capacity for thinking - the use of symbolic actions - and the capacity for extended reflection on an experience, are additional resources and points of vulnerability, over and above vital relations which do not imply intellectual relations.
*Andy Blunden*

David Kellogg wrote: ...
It's not that nothing is real until thinking makes it so; it is only that
meaning is made by thinking and not simply by experiencing. ...