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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?

There is far too much in your message to deal with on an email list. What I usually do in such cases is simply pick a bit I think I can respond to and ignore the rest. OK?

I think *real human languages* - as opposed to made up languages like Esperanto or the kind of mixture of neologs, hyphenated words and other gobbydegook fashionable in some academic circles - can be underestimated. Sure, one must use specialised jargon sometimes, to communicate to a specialised collaborator in a shared discipline, but generally that is because the jargon has itself a long track record. Don't try and make up words and concepts, at least, take a year or two about it if you have to.

Secondly, Descartes was no fool. He was the person that first treated consciousness as an object of science, and the many of those belonging to the dualist tradition he was part of wound up being burnt at the stake for suggesting that the world was not necessarily identical to how it seemed. So I'd say, better to suffer association with Descartes than make up words and expressions. The Fascist campaign launched against him in the 1930s was not meant to help us. He deserves respect.

For example, my development is not the same the development some project makes. And no amount of playing with words can eliminate that without degenerating into nonsense. I must correct something I said which was wrong in my earlier post though. I said that the relation between projects was the crucial thing in personality development. Not completely true. As Jean Lave has shown so well, the relation between a person and a project they are committed to is equally important, their role, so to speak. Take these two together.

Motives instead of motivation is good. More definite. But I don't agree at all that Leontyev resolves this problem. For a start his dichotomy between 'objective' motives, i.e., those endorsed by the hegemonic power in the given social formation, and 'subjective', usually unacknowledged, motives, is in my view a product of the times he lived in, and not useful for us. The question is: how does the person form a *concept* of the object? It is the object-concept which is the crucial thing in talking abut motives. Over and above the relation between the worker's project of providing for his family (or whatever) and the employer's project of expanding the proportion of the social labour subsumed under his/her capital. The relation between these two projects doubtless seems to the boss to be the difference between the worker's subjective, secret, self-interest, and his own "objective" motive. But his point of view is not necessarily ours.

Have a read of Alasdair MacIntyre on extrinsic and intrinsic motives, too.

That's more than enough.
*Andy Blunden*

Maria Cristina Migliore wrote:
Greg and Andy,

Thank you for your comments.

Greg, I absolutely agree with you about the difficulties of overcoming our
western language and thoughts, so influenced by the Cartesian dualism.
Andy, I hope to be able to show a bit how I connect activities in what

About my attempts to overcome a dualistic language: I tend to prefer to
talk about a) single development (as suggest by Cole and Wertsh) instead of
individual and activity (or context or project) development; b) dimensions
of a phenomenon instead of levels of a phenomenon (micro-meso-macro); c)
motives instead of motivation.

However it happens that I need to swing between ‘my’ new language and the
‘standard’ one, because I am living in a still Cartesian world and I need
to be understood by people (and even myself!) who are (am) made of this
Cartesian world.