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[Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL



Here's an excerpt from http://www.marxists.org/archive/leontev/works/1947/historical-development-consciousness.pdf in which social theory is taken up under the heading of the historical development of consciousness. He could not loudly proclaim a new social theory of course because the USSR already had a social theory, viz "historical materialism." This is a chapter from "The Development of Mind" which begins with amoeba and works it way up to Soviet Man.

   The same process that led to separation of the producers led on the
   other hand to a separation as well of the conditions themselves,
   which appeared as the property of capitalists in the form of
   capital. The capitalist now also personifies these conditions,
   which, as far as the worker is concerned, are opposed to him, the
   worker. But the capitalist’s capital also has its own existence
   separate from the capi­talist, which takes possession of his own
   life and subordinates it to itself.

   These objective conditions, engendered by the development of private
   property, also determine the features of man’s consciousness in the
   conditions of class society.

   The traditional psychologist, of course, refuses to consider them,
   seeing in them only a relation of things. He demands that psychology
   should, come what may, remain within the context of the
   ‘psychological’, which he understands purely as subjective. He even
   reduces psychological study of man’s industrial activity to
   investigation of its ‘psychological components’, i.e. of those
   psychic features for which engineering presents a demand. He is
   unable to see that industrial activity itself is inseparable from
   people’s social relations, which are engendered by it and determine
   their consciousness.

   But let us return to our analysis of these relations.

   A consequence of the ‘alienation’ of human life that has occurred is
   the emergent disparity between the objective result of man’s
   activity on the one hand, and its motive on the other. In other
   words, the objective content of the activity is becoming discrepant
   with its subjective content, with what it is for man himself. That
   also imparts special psychological features to his consciousness.

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


Huw Lloyd wrote:


On 18 October 2014 02:56, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    He? ANL or LSV.
    LSV states his aim to create a General Psychology in "Historical
    Crisis"
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri13.htm

    ANL, I think the aim of a creating general theory of human
    activity was always meant to be interdisciplinary. Although for
    very good reasons it has only ever been taken up by Psychologists,
    I think it is very obviously interdisciplinary.


Yes, ANL.  Did he state an attempt to provide a social theory.  Seems not?

Best,
Huw
    Andy
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>


    Huw Lloyd wrote:



        On 18 October 2014 02:20, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

            Which only means that Vygotsky did not attempt to create a
        Social
            Theory, only a Psychology.
            But in creating a General Psychology, he left us a
        paradigm for
            the human sciences. ANL attempted to carry that through to
        create
            a Psychology which was equally a Social Theory, but in my
        view he
            was largely unsuccessful. But to have created a Psychology
        rather
            than a Theory of Everything does not make one an Idealist,
        just a
            specialist.


        Does he state this aim somewhere?  That might be interesting
        to look at.

        Best,
        Huw




Andy ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            *Andy Blunden*
            http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>


            Huw Lloyd wrote:



                On 18 October 2014 01:48, Andy Blunden
        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
                <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>

                <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>> wrote:

                    No, LSV is quite right, Huw. You and I can go
        through the same
                    sequence of events, but if, for example, the
        events really get
                    under your skin, and perhaps due to past
        experiences, or
                to some
                    sensitivity or another, it really shakes you up
        and causes
                you to
                    dwell on the experience, work over it and reflect
        on it,
                then most
                    likely you will make a personal development. If
        perhaps on
                other
                    hand, maybe because of some prejudice I had, the same
                experience
                    just went like water off a duck's back for me and
        I didn't
                care
                    tuppence about the experience and just simply
        turned to next
                    business, then I will not make a development.


                But does ANL refute this?  He is simply asserting that
                experience is derivative to activity, not that meaningful
                things don't follow from experience.
                             It is *only* the "subjective" side of
        experience and the
                    *reflection* of "objective" relations/events that
        forms
                personal
                    development. Only. And that is LSV's point.


                And it is ANL's point that these experiences arise in
                activity.  Note that LSV doesn't provide a medium for
        their
                formation, he simply refers to them as forms.
And can I just echo Martin and David's observation
        that
                    consciousness before language was well-known and
                foundational to
                    Vygotsky, and consequently consciousness other than
                language. And
                    Julian and Mike's observation that "the ideal" lies
                ultimately in
                    social practices, the doing-side of which give
        content and
                meaning
                    to speech which speech would lack outside its
        being part
                of those
                    activities. Vygotsky knew this, and this was why he
                introduced a
                    range artifacts derived from the wider culture, as
        mediating
                    elements, into social interaction.

                    So ANL is going along with the still widely held
        prejudice
                that
                    Vygotsky was *just* all about language. Not true.


                I would read these in terms of the opening paragraph
                ("propositions that have been connected to a unified
        system,
                but are far from equivalent") and then there is the
        politics
                of survival.

                Best,
                Huw
Andy https://www.academia.edu/7511935/The_Problem_of_the_Environment._A_Defence_of_Vygotsky ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    *Andy Blunden*
                    http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
                <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
                    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>


                    Huw Lloyd wrote:

                        ....

                        Hence ANL is right to impute (metaphysical)
        idealistic
                        tendencies to this
                        paper of LSV's.  Because to base the
        development on
                subjective
                        emotional
                        experience is idealistic.  ANL, conversely,
        refers to the
                        relativity of
                        experience upon activity.  It does not help
        that LSV
                refers to
                        his norms as
                        ideals and that all of the examples he
        provides are
                about speech
                        communication.  It is ripe for
        misinterpretation as an
                        idealistic paper.

                        Best,
                        Huw