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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?
Would it be asking too much to ask for more elaboration of Vygotsky's
distinction between the ontological and epistemological problems in the
Feeling quite ignorant...
On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Descartes, along with his fellow dualists Galileo and Copernicus, did have
> some problems, which took about 200 years to sort out. (I don't count
> Spinoza as having resolved them). The main difficulty was that he (the
> others didn't get this far) tried to resolve the mind/matter problem
> *natural-scientifically* (which is what many of his professional critics
> do, despite the benefit of 380 years experience), rather than
> distinguishing between the ontological and epistemological problems, which
> is what Vygotsky advises. But what is quite unhelpful, in my view, is
> resolving the problem of dualism by declaring it bad and simply denying it.
> And as you say, "we Westerners" are far from alone, in believing that there
> is a categorical difference between my thought of the world and the world
> itself. Thank Christ for that! Do deny this simple observation is the
> definition of insanity. Most people simply don't understand the question
> which Descartes was trying to answer.
> *Andy Blunden*
> Greg Thompson wrote:
>> I'm a bit baffled by your response to Cristina. It seems fair enough to
>> try to recover Descartes as not necessarily a bad guy. But I didn't take
>> that to be Cristina's point.
>> It seems to me that she was arguing against Cartesian dualism - a
>> particular way in which we Westerners (and we aren't the only ones who do
>> this) divide up the world into various kinds binaries - subject/object,
>> mind/body, nature/culture, emotion/reason, and so on. Are you advocating
>> that these should be the governing categories of the human sciences?
>> If so, then "real human language" will work just fine.
>> If not, then the "real human language" called English will pose some
>> significant problems for imagining things other than they are.
>> On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:
>> email@example.com>> wrote:
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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.
>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of Anthropology
>> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>> Brigham Young University
>> Provo, UT 84602
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602