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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?



Andy,

indeed I was struck by your sort of shut me up inviting me to “take a year
or two” before making up words and concepts ...


I admit that I am not an expert in the literature on dualism. The object of
my research was not that one. Yet I adopted a CHAT influenced perspective
to carry out my research and therefore my stance cannot be dualistic. So I
am interested in this debate and ready to learn more.


I read your posts – Andy – and it seems to me that your stance is that
thought has a different substance from that of the world. You write that
there is a categorical difference between our thought of the world and the
world itself. You also write that our development is not the development of
the world. From my CHAT readings so far and my interpretation of it, I have
developed a different conception of the substance of thoughts.


My interpretation of what I read so far is that thoughts are connected to
the body: for example, the child cannot do and think certain things till
her body has developed so that she can stand up. I also remind that when I
am thinking, and writing as in this precise moment, there are synapses and
peptides moving in my body, maybe according to the habits I have developed
along my life to deal with this type of situation. This is in a certain way
supported and shown by biological studies: it has been proved that the use
of tools induces plastic changes in the brain/mind (Cardinali, L., F.
Frassinetti, et al. (2009). "Tool-use induces morphological updating of the
body schema." Current Biology 19(13): 1157.).


But if you mean that if you think of rain, that is not enough that it
rains, I can understand your stance.


Yet our unit of analysis is the project or the activity, not a single
thought. This is also what Leontiev has pointed out.


Talking about development: I agree that my development is not the
development – for example - of my Institute of Research. But this is
because I am participating in (and to) many other activities. Not because
me and my Institute are two separated entities. At the same time my
Institute of Research is formed by the participation of many other
researchers who also participate in other activities. In my Institute of
Research we all mediate our actions with cultural tools that we have
internalized in other activities, and after years of collaborative work we
have now in common a certain way of doing research and talking about
research and so on. We have also developed common motives which help give a
bit of coordination to our work. Of course the discourse would be much more
complex here. But I need to make a long story short.


I would say that we – my colleagues and me - have developed
material-discursive practices (from Karen Barad who says that the atomic
physics theory has empirical evidences to support the break with the
Cartesian dualism. Her book: Meeting the universe halfway, page 138) about
research and we are parts of these latter. I could say the same about all
the other participations of mine. Indeed I can see that my personal
development along my life is very connected to what I have been doing so
far.


Here the issue of determinism seems to emerge. I do not want to talk about
this. I just say that I think I could argue that my stance does not fall
into the determinism.


Now I want to take your example – Andy – of the soldier. I would reply to
your question by saying that the victory of the soldier’s country is the
victory of the soldier in a patriotic material-discursive practices. If the
soldier’s upbringing has occurred in this type of practices, he could feel
proud to die for his country. Of course, if he had had a pacifist
education, but were forced to be a soldier, then he might have undermined
the success of his country in that war.


In any case, I can see a single development: the pacifist soldier has to
die for his country. We are part of something which is bigger than us even
when we try to get out of it.


When I say that I need to talk to myself first using a Cartesian language,
it is because I am aware that my upbringing was through material-discursive
Cartesian practices. So I need first to talk in ‘Cartesianism’ and then try
to change slightly my language to try to render what I can see now, after
the internalization of a CHAT influenced perspective.


I prefer the word ‘dimension’ because it recalls a solid form: activity is
a solid form with its dimensions: material, collective and subjective. The
word ‘level’ points to what is up and what is down. I don’t have valid
criteria to decide what is up and what is down.


Hope this is useful to answer your questions, Andy.

Comments are welcome.


Cristina



2014-08-06 15:17 GMT+02:00 Robert Lake <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu>:

> Hi Peter,
> Speaking of Philip Jackson, I called him
> a couple of months ago to make sure I was
> clear on his particular reading of Dewey's work. In passing,
> I mentioned how pleased I was to see his work on Hegel
> in* Teacher's College Record.*(Speaking of Thinking:
> A Beginner's Guide to Hegel's *Science of Logic*, Parts I-5).
>  He said that series of articles represented ten years of
> research and that I was the only person that
> ever mentioned anything about this work
> to him. That is sad.
> Robert
>
>
>
> On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 6:34 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
>
> > I read After Virtue in grad school, assigned by Philip Jackson (and it
> was
> > Lortie, not Jackson, who made the apprenticeship of observation a common
> > term among teacher educators--someone posted earlier on this question. In
> > case anyone's interested, I've got a forthcoming study of apprenticeship
> of
> > observation that complicates Lortie's conclusions based on interviews
> from
> > a different era, and would be happy to send the pdf to anyone who's
> > interested).
> >
> > Anyhow, on MacIntyre: I remember discussing at the time that the book
> > seemed like a rough draft that really would have benefitted from a
> thorough
> > revision to cut out the meandering and make a more pointed argument.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> > Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:55 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?
> >
> > Relevant references to MacIntyre's "After Virtue" are on pp. 7-8 of
> > "Collaborative Projects. An Interdisciplinary Study," which I know you
> have
> > a copy of, Greg. He uses the expressions "internal reward" and "external
> > reward."
> > Andy
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >
> >
> > Greg Thompson wrote:
> > > And one more thing Andy (I realize given the hour down-under, you are
> > > probably slumbering - hopefully not dogmatically...), could you sell
> > > us on why we should look at MacIntyre on extrinsic and intrinsic
> > > motivation.
> > > Your suggestion that Cristina read MacIntyre on extrinsic and
> > > intrinsic motivation was less than convincing to me if only b.c. I
> > > know nothing about it!
> > > -greg
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM, Greg Thompson
> > > <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com <mailto:greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>> 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
> >
> >
> >
>



-- 

Maria Cristina Migliore, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher


IRES Istituto Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte

Via Nizza, 18

10125 Torino – Italia

Tel. +39 011 6666463

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