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[Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
- To: Andy Blunden <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
- From: Huw Lloyd <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:33:34 +0100
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On 23 September 2014 01:31, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Exactly, Huw. But I am interested in the change!
> You expressed that change on the passive voice. But it was an active
> struggle to change that concept. It's object was a concept which was
> *contrary* to conventional wisdom. ANL's AT is ok before and after a
> revolution but fails to understand the overthrow of the former and its
> replacement by another.
Ok, good, so there's no contradiction. With respect to change, AT is not
imputing any generalisation of the specific local object. For the actor,
the object ceases to be the object when it is recognised as being
inadequate or harmful.
>From the AT perspective we have numerous activities coming together around
various collective enterprises, many of which may have "asbestos" as their
object or concern, but have rather different objects of activity. Even for
those with an ostensibly comparable object, the object comes into existence
and is rejected at different times. Hence overthrow or other forms of
change are manifest in the changing localised needs.
So this still doesn't address why this a "grave defect in Leontyev's
version of AT, which prevents it from ever being taken seriously as a
I suspect what you need to address are these "project" level regularities
and how they extend or disagree with AT and provide better explanatory
power. In what I read, you don't do that... the only clue I have presently
is that you may be imputing "project" level object to localised activities.
> *Andy Blunden*
> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> Hi Andy,
>> So it was the object until it was fully recognised that it shouldn't be.
>> Why does this contradict Leontyev?
>> On 22 September 2014 14:32, Andy Blunden <email@example.com <mailto:
>> firstname.lastname@example.org>> wrote:
>> It's an 12 minute talk, Huw, (8 mins for discussion) aimed at
>> critiquing the foundations of AT, proposing a new foundation, and
>> presenting an outline of how asbestos was first produced and then
>> banned. :) The full story is in the book. But thanks for the
>> pointer. I'll try to address it.
>> I don't touch on AN Leontyev's dualism of need and object, but you
>> have raised it. There is a need for insulation material for
>> buildings. There is also a need for buildings that don't give you
>> cancer. The need for insulation does not find an adequate object
>> in asbestos because asbestos fails to meet the need for safety. A
>> need can be met by different objects. I can resolve that
>> contradiction by spelling out the need more precisely. But
>> asbestos production *was* the object and yet it didn't meet the
>> need - for safe insulation.
>> But the real object of the talk is to critique the idea that if a
>> social formation is producing something (either because the
>> Central Ctee said so or because the market said so) then ipso
>> facto there is an objective need for it. This is OK for dealing
>> with the child who is not doing their homework and failing to
>> learn to read. The teacher with some good reason thinks they have
>> the final say, the Truth, about the objective need for literacy.
>> But the fact is that the Central Committee and the Market both get
>> it very wrong sometimes. And these are after all, for social
>> theory, the interesting cases. In large measure that is the
>> problem I am addressing myself to.
>> *Andy Blunden*