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[Xmca-l] Re: how to broaden/enliven the xmca discussion

This discussion has sent me back to looking at A N Leontyev's "Development of Mind." For all his faults, ANL expended a lot of energy in tracing the phylogenetic evolution of activity (which for ANL is a broad category, inclusive of unconscious activity). He traces the evolution of behaviour (as in animals without a central nervous system operating on a reflex basis) through conditioned reflexes and habits to operations (scripts which can be moved from one situation to another and adapted to conditions without conscious awareness) to actions (consciously determined by their immediate goal) to activities (where the goal is remote from the immediate actions, and a whole series of actions are required to meet the goal). Then he is able to trace the movement back and forth between behaviour, operational activity, actions and activities in both ontogenesis and microgenesis. I have always been a bit impatient with this kind of move (reifying a theory of human activity into Nature and then importing it back), but I have to say it was a useful exercise. And clarifying. Here is a link to an excerpt from part of this work: http://www.marxists.org/archive/leontev/works/1981/evolution.htm
*Andy Blunden*

David Kellogg wrote:
All of which has to be sung with screams of pain (Strauss has, you
see, stacked the deck in Rousseau's favor). But maybe both singing and
speech are exaptations of something that is functionally neither and
not specific to humans at all, which for want of a better name we can
call activity WITHOUT thinking.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies