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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?



Thanks Andy for this extension. the

IF the difficulty is how to conceptualize this *general* community without abstractions such as *context* or *society* and *project* is a preferable unit of analysis which becomes more complicated when communication is between multiple projects then we require a DIFFERENT ETHICS [and language and concepts].  

Rather tan the concept *play* I will translate to *subject matter* which may have some affinity with *project*   

IF projects are *projected* then they may be *made available* AS *subject matter*.

I would like to also bring into this discussion the concept of *perspective* as used by Justus Buchler in his book *Toward a General Theory of Human Development*


Robert Corrington in his reflections on Buchler’s book notes that for Buchler,

“A perspective is a ‘humanly occupied order’ that has a direction and a meaning BEYOND given conscious intents. Buchler saw the *community of interpreters* as the place where perspectives [as humanly occupied order] are shared and communicated]


Andy I will pay attention to your developing the notion of *projects* and ETHICS. 

PLAY, as a concept shares with Buchler’s concept of *perspective* a notion of *subject matter* which HAPPENS to us in our engagements.  *Subject matter* [die Sache] is the *mediating 3rd* within dialogue.

I wonder if there is a possibility of a to-and-fro translating between the concepts *subject matter* and *projects*. Both concepts may be *projected* as a kind of order beyond mere subjective *will power*

Thanks Andy for the chat

Larry









Sent from Windows Mail





From: Andy Blunden
Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎August‎ ‎5‎, ‎2014 ‎8‎:‎29‎ ‎PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity





I don't know about play, Larry, and I wouldn't want to counterpose 
Heller to MacIntyre. Heller is adding a further dimension to what 
MacIntyre has pointed out. The importance for me is how she points to 
the fact that different ethics (and different forms of cognition and 
language) apply within a project as opposed to in "the general 
community." The difficulty then is how to conceptualise this "general 
community." This is where people often introduce open-ended abstractions 
like "context" or "society", but I prefer to stick to project as a unit 
of analysis, and recognise that communication and interaction between 
projects requires a different ethics (and language, concepts, etc.) than 
that which applies within any one project - you don't talk to your 
family the same way your talk to strangers in the street or colleagues 
at work.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


Larry Purss wrote:
> Greg
> thank you for posting this section of Andy's book.
> Andy
> I appreciated your highlighting the ethical concerns and linking projects
> to MacIntyre's exploration of *virtue* and *ethics*.
>
> I would like to hear more about Heller refuting MacIntyre's understanding
> of the loss of virtue through the loss of a dense ethos of  institutional
> relations in the tendency or movement towards  the looser ethos of
> modernity.
>
> Is Heller questioning the communitarian orientation of MacIntyre's ethics??
>
> This *introduction* certainly opens a field for further play
> Larry
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>   
>> A lovely book indeed!
>>
>> For those playing along at home (and without access to the book), I have
>> pasted the relevant section from Andy's chapter below. Please note that
>> this is from Andy's introductory chapter in the book Collaborative
>> Projects: An Interdisciplinary Study. The book can be found here:
>>
>> http://books.google.com/books?id=Ukv3AwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
>>
>> Cheers,
>> greg
>>
>> "
>>
>> One of the great strengths of Activity Theory with ‘collaborative project’
>> as the unit of analysis is that collaboration is not only an observable
>> phenomenon which can be a means of scientific description and explanation,
>> but it is also an *ethic*, and one with powerful normative force in
>> contemporary, secular society. Having a concept which is both a unit of
>> analysis for science and a secular ethical norm gives it a special place in
>> social science and its practical application, particularly in sciences such
>> as economics, jurisprudence and sociology whose subject matter is ethical
>> life.
>>
>> For example, economic science assumes that economic agents will act
>> ‘rationally’ within the bounds of the information available to them at the
>> time. But the definition of ‘rational’ assumed by economic science is
>> contrary to the ethics of large sections of social life. When governments
>> make policies and laws based on a conception of what is ethical, then such
>> laws function so as to *propagate *the ethic which is built into the
>> science. This process, which has gone on since governments began to take
>> policy advice from economists in the 18th century, has had deleterious
>> effects on human welfare.
>>
>> In 1981, Alasdair MacIntyre published *After Virtue*, which, despite the
>> fact that MacIntyre had converted to Catholicism in 1980, became a
>> reference point for secular ethics. MacIntyre situates ethical norms in
>> ‘practices’ which he understands much as I understand ‘projects’: “Every
>> activity, every enquiry, every practice aims at some good” (1981, p. 139).
>> MacIntyre distinguished between ‘internal goods’ “realized in the course of
>> trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to,
>> and partially definitive of, that form of activity” (1981, p. 175) and
>> ‘external goods’ such as prizes, monetary rewards and wages which are used
>> to sustain the practice, and are associated with the transformation of the
>> form of practice into an institution. In this connection, MacIntyre refers
>> to the “corrupting power of institutions” (1981, p. 181). For MacIntyre
>> also, the concept of ‘project’ extends from the organizations such as a
>> school or hospital to entire political communities, “concerned with the
>> whole of life, not with this or that good, but with man’s good as such”
>> (1981, p. 146). The virtue ethics which MacIntyre builds on this conception
>> of social life is precisely consistent with the ‘project’ approach to
>> Activity Theory.
>>
>> One qualification to MacIntyre’s ethical project which is important to the
>> task at hand is Agnes Heller’s (1987) contrast between the sense of
>> equality which prevails within the ‘dense ethos’ uniting participants in a
>> project, and the ‘loose ethos’ which characterizes the marketplace of
>> public intercourse. Heller observes that the obligation to treat others as
>> equals is not universal. While we are obliged to treat equals equally,
>> within the practices of an institution ‘equals should be treated equally
>> and unequals unequally’ – the boss gets paid more, managers give orders to
>> subordinates, parents bear the burdens of care for their children, etc.
>> Utopian dreams notwithstanding, there is no real project within which
>> equality is truly the norm. Consequently, Heller points out that the
>> ongoing displacement of the formerly dense ethos of institutional life by
>> the loose ethos of modernity which underlies MacIntyre’s concerns is *not
>> *a
>> regressive development. However, the critical problem of developing a
>> universal ethos which can sustain a genuinely human life still lies before
>> us. Since human freedom can only be attained through mediated
>> self-determination, *i.e.*, participation in projects, the ethics of
>> *relations
>> between projects *must be central to our concerns.
>>
>> Finally, I will briefly touch on discourse ethics (Habermas, 2001) which
>> requires that “all those affected” be counted as participants in a
>> discourse. This requirement is not only vague and abstract, but untenable.
>> Who decides who is affected, and how exactly does an individual remote from
>> the discourse participate? But more significantly, what are the
>> discussants *doing
>> together *which gives a purpose to the discourse? Seyla Benhabib (1992)
>> reminds us that “discourse ethics ... is not to be construed primarily
>> as a *hypothetical
>> *thought process, carried out singly by the moral agent ... but rather as
>> an *actual *dialogue situation.” Moral maxims based on the hypothetical
>> interests of a generalized other are meaningless. To be meaningful at all
>> such an ethics presupposes state or supra-state institutions, as
>> representatives of the generalized other, to mediate social action, which
>> is an unwarranted restriction on the moral standpoint. Rather, the real
>> relations between any two individuals is given by the projects in which
>> they collaborate, whether that ‘collaboration’ entails cooperation or
>> conflict over the object. Collaboration is a strong ethical norm, but
>> encompasses a complex variety of nuances according to the mode of
>> collaboration. The complex ethics entailed in consultation, attribution,
>> privacy, sharing, ownership, division of labor, negotiation of norms,
>> consistency, and so on, provide a real basis for the construction of an
>> ethics for the modern, secular world.
>>
>> One of the corollaries of Benhabib’s (2002) approach is that the concept of
>> nation-state has to be disentangled into the several distinct projects
>> which are conflated in the notion which has pertained since the Treaty of
>> Westphalia. This is a task which can only be resolved by a social theory
>> which takes projects and not abstract general categories as its basic
>> units.
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 6:54 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>
>>     
>>> 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
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>       
>> --
>> 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
>>
>>     
>
>
>