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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
mind/matter problem?
Feeling quite ignorant...
-greg


On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Greg Thompson wrote:
>
>> Andy,
>> 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.
>> Confused.
>> -greg
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>
>>     Cristina,
>>     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
>>
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>> ------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>
>>
>>
>>     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
>>         follow.
>>
>>
>>         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
>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson