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[Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
- To: Blunden Andy <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
- From: Martin John Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:45:22 +0000
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
What I'm thinking is this, Andy. LSV could hardly be clearer that his interest was the scientific study of consciousness. Whole sections of Crisis are about the importance of not abandoning the study of consciousness to the phenomenologists, precisely because they were idealist in their assumptions. The summary that David just sent us of one of LSV's lectures is about the ontogenesis of consciousness: the differentiation and reorganization of psychological functions such as emotion, perception, memory, and thinking, which LSV insists are aspects, components, of consciousness.
Why, then, do you feel a need to 'rescue' LSV from ANL's claim that his focus was consciousness? Why do you need to insist, against all the evidence, that LSV's focus was action? (Do we find a detailed analysis of action in any of LSV's texts? No.) It must be because you view consciousness as "inside the head," as subjective. And this means that, ironically, you have accepted ANL's key assumption.
No, for LSV the mind is material. What goes on "inside the head" are neurophysiological processes, and while these are a component of psychological processes they are not the whole story. As LSV wrote, "Either mental phenomena exist, and then they are material and objective, or they do not exist, and then they do not exist and cannot be studied." That sentence is worth reading carefully. Mental phenomena are material, and they are objective.
On Oct 18, 2014, at 7:13 AM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Don't be sad, Martin. You still think the second world war is being fought inside your head and your last night's dream is going to be broadcast on the nightly news, but I know there's nothing I can do to help.
> *Andy Blunden*
> Martin John Packer wrote:
>> Andy, I'm a little saddened to see that you are still stuck in talk of two "domains," and of concepts within which things are treated as "intrinsically" of one ontological kind or another. And then in addition an odd category of things that are conceptualized as "both." One day, I feel sure, we will be able to rescue you from your dualism.
>> On Oct 17, 2014, at 11:33 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> Martin, I think the issue is that we have certain concepts which are intrinsically both subjective and objective (action, activity, meaning, experience for example) but we also have other concepts which are intrinsically either objective or subjective (behaviour, weight, thinking, consciousness, mood for example). Of course, because subject and object are mutually constituted, any of these domain-specific concepts also entails relations to the other domain. Otherwise we have nonsense. If I say "The Stock Market crashed in 1929" I am not talking about a state of mind, though obviously states of mind were entailed in this event. Likewise "I'm in a bad mood today" is not a statement about events in my life, even though these may be the cause.
>>> What Vygotsky has done which allows him to develop a nondualistic psychology is that he took as his *most fundamental* concept "action". His other key concepts, his units of analysis for the various investigations, are also concepts which are intrinsically subjective/objective. E.g., word meaning, defect-compensation, perezhivanie. This is it: choose as your unit of analysis a concept which is a unity of objective and subjective.
>>> ANL would agree with his, but in his critique he is trying to muddy the water by claiming that Vygosky takes as his fundamental concept, "consciousness".
>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>> Martin John Packer wrote:
>>>> Who says that emotional experience is "subjective," Huw? LSV writes throughout The Problem of the Environment that perezhivanie is the child's relationship to social reality. In my book that makes it personal, not subjective. The word "subjective" doesn't occur once in the text. It is certainly a common assumption in today's dualistic psychology that experience is subjective, a mental state.That would indeed be idealist. But since LSV is avoiding dualism...