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[Xmca-l] Re: The mirror has two candles

First of all, a word of appreciation to Martin for his candle in the
mirror and his delightful formulation of "Plump Materialism", and also
to Michael for recognizing the beauty of the image and using it to
revitalize a thread that was growing somewhat tiresome to me: no fault
of the participants; it was my own inability to see past "fatalistic
determinism", "captive to bourgeois theories", and ANL's other fatuous
formulae. As Mike points out, this is not just name calling: these are
blood libels.

Secondly, let me put in a word for Andy's counter-blast. For those of
you who have not read it; it is available on Andy's academia.edu page,
and it's well worth a look:


Thirdly--can I draw attention to the top of page fourteen of ANL's
dishonest and dishonorable hatchet job? Here he rounds on Basov for
non-Marxist, idealist notion that humans in some way "double" the
natural environment. ANL returns to this theme at the bottom of the
page where he says:

"To the animal, however, any “artificial” object created by humans is simply
a natural object, it is nature because the animal’s relation toward it
will always
be an instinctive relation. Thus, of course, in reality there is no
doubling of the
environment. The environment as a whole is transformed into a human environment,
that is, for the human being, into a social environment, based on the
fact that humans themselves relate to it in human terms, that is, as
social humans."

Note the use of "Thus"; it marks a shameless non sequitur. First of
all, it is a non sequitur to say that because animals and very small
children treat i-phones as natural objects, THEREFORE there is no
doubling of the environment Secondly, it is a non sequitur to say that
the environment "as a whole" becomes a human environment (because
animals and infants do NOT see it that way??) without any trace of the
natural environment. But the biggest non-sequitur is the least
explicit: it is the insinuation that the process of social
idealization of nature that we call enculturation is prima facie
subversive of Marxism.

Consider the following, from a great subversive of Marxism and primal
plump materialist:

"We pre-suppose labour in a form that stamps it as exclusively human.
A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a
bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells.
But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is
this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he
erects it in reality. At the end of every labour-process, we get a
result that already existed in the imagination of the labourer at its
commencement." (Capital, Vol 1, Chapter III, Part 7)

What is THIS if not a doubling of reality--a mirror with two candles?

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

have a look:

On 20 October 2014 00:15, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's an example memory paper abstract by Sereda (2011), titled "A
> Theoretical Model of Memory
> as a Mechanism for Systematically Organizing Individual Experience"
> "In order to improve the explanatory potential of activity theory, this
> article
> proposes a theoretical model of human memory as a mechanism for
> the systematic organization of individual experience, organization that
> is an essential condition for performing future activity. The model rests
> on the idea that the main factor in human memory is the motivational
> and semantic sets of personality and thus orientation toward the future
> (prospective orientation)."
> The storehouse metaphor as used in psychology merely reflects a rather poor
> approach.
> Best,
> Huw
> On 19 October 2014 15:20, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu> wrote:
>> Hi Larry,
>> I renamed this thread because it seems to be taking a tangent from the
>> very rich discussion on LSV and ANL, but perhaps it might circle back.
>> Anyway, I thought Martin's very interesting illustration deserves a moment
>> of fame.  I wonder if memory is the right word in current circumstance.  In
>> U.S. psychology memory is very often viewed as a storehouse of information
>> where you send your messages back to retrieve information when needed to
>> apply to the current situation.  Do you think Pierce would see the overall
>> process this way (did he actually talk about memory?)  For him it seems it
>> would be part of a more active process of establishing relationships of
>> that which came before with that which is currently being explored.
>> Michael
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
>> on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com [lpscholar2@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 6:40 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
>> Michael Glassman and Martin and How
>> I want to ex-tend the exploration of *models* and *memories* and
>> *contextualism* as linked in Michael’s rejoinder to Martin.
>> Michael wrote “if ALL you can *see* [perceive] is what is IN the mirror
>> [metaphor of reflection AS mirroring] how do you “know” there IS a mirror
>> The IF IMPLIED is the ‘ALL’ .
>> However, is that “all there IS” in *seeing*?
>> IS “memory* also existent as an existent IN seeing?
>> In other words, do *interpretants* ACTUALLY exist IN FACT? [as such]
>> Umberto Eco suggests there is both ORPHIC knowing/seeing [when Picasso
>> paints THAT PARTICULAR yellow shoe in a painting the SINGULARITY of THAT
>> experience IS “orphic”
>> POETS and artists are “biased” to privilege THIS WAY of knowing [Peirce's
>> secondness as orphic and possibly orphaned]
>> HOWEVER, Umberto Eco suggests that this orphic “knowing* is also
>> *indicative* [indexical] of further *interpreting* AND THIS TYPE of
>> *knowing* EX-TENDS Orphic knowing. [Peirce's tiredness]
>> Now in Peirce's metaphysics THIS interpreting creating interpretants also
>> is EXISTING as facts.
>> Is this transforming orphic [what IS present] TO forming *interpretants*
>> AS *something* that actually exists {through the interpreting process}
>> INCLUDE memory but that IS NOT ALL.
>>  IS creative imagining potentially existent?  that goes BEYOND memory?
>> I believe Umberto Eco’s question of a deeper knowing than orphic/orphan
>> knowing *things-in-themselves* EX-tending BEYOND the orphic [secondness] to
>> INCLUDE interpreting and forming actual *interpretants* [tiredness] must be
>> considered within the memory process.
>> This returns to *models* that are necessary but NOT ALL there *is*.
>> The *relation* between *orphic* knowing and *interpreting* knowing seems a
>> KEY question [and may ex-tend back into metaphysics?
>> Larry
>> Sent from Windows Mail
>> From: Glassman, Michael
>> Sent: ‎Saturday‎, ‎October‎ ‎18‎, ‎2014 ‎5‎:‎18‎ ‎PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Hi Martin,
>> That's a very interesting metaphor, but let me see if I can take it a step
>> further.  Basically you seem to be saying that Vygotsky is making a
>> mechanistic argument - I'm not talking about the more colloquial expression
>> of mechanistic but the one that Pepper talks about in World Hypothesis.
>> You are looking into the mirror and seeing the reflection of a candle - but
>> you are making the assumption that there must be a mechanism that is
>> causing the reflection of the candle.  You cannot know this mechanism
>> itself - it is too difficult to reach - but you can build models that bring
>> us closer to understanding. This I think is almost exactly how Pepper
>> discusses this root metaphor.  Our goal as scientists is to find the
>> mediate description of the underlying mechanism.  This
>> Pragmatists/Conextualists would say this is dualism - not the dualism you
>> get from Formism where you depend on your mind to bring you closer to a
>> known but unreachable ideal, but in the sense that there is this mechanism
>> that exists that is somehow separate from and causing the reflection in the
>> mirror.  So the Contextualist asks, if all you can see is what is in the
>> mirror how do you know there is a mirror.  That is the only information you
>> have and you have to base all interpretation of the world on that
>> information - to suggest you are looking at a reflection is an assumption
>> based on a belief system that there must be causing what you are seeing.  I
>> think you are right, Vygotsky wants to assume the mirror, but in the end
>> doesn't that suggest a dualism to his thinking.
>> Michael
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
>> on behalf of Martin John Packer [mpacker@uniandes.edu.co]
>> Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2014 6:38 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
>> Hi Michael,
>> LSV points out that no proper science sets out to study appearances. Every
>> science studies entities that exist, in order to *explain*  appearance. One
>> of his examples is from the science of optics. When we place a burning
>> candle in front of a mirror there *appears* to be a second candle burning
>> behind the mirror, or 'in' the mirror. The scientist doesn't study that
>> second candle. What he or she studies is the first candle, and the mirror,
>> in order to discover principles by which to explain why an 'image' of a
>> second candle appears, apparently located 'in' the mirror.
>> It's the same with the mind. It *appears* to us (at least to those of us
>> raised in western, scientific cultures) that our thoughts and feelings
>> exist in a special, internal, subjective, hidden place that we call "the
>> mind."  A scientific psychology, says LSV, needs to try to explain how that
>> appearance is possible. It's not too difficult, in fact: our verbal
>> thoughts, our private subvocal speech, is possible, first, because we can
>> use vocal speech to direct our own actions and second, because a fibre
>> bundle called the arcuate fasciculus forms between Broca's area and
>> Wernicke's area (to considerably simply the neuroanatomy and
>> neurofunctioning).  The appearance of a "mind in the head" is a *folk*
>> psychology: it is simply one way, among several, in which people try to
>> make sense of an experience that they have; it is the way our own
>> psychological processes *appear* to us. Scientific psychology cannot study
>> the mind, any more than it can study the second candle. It can, however,
>> set out to *explain* the mind, and that is part of what LSV did.
>> Martin
>> On Oct 18, 2014, at 8:11 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>> wrote:
>> >  I sort of feel like (at this point) Vygotsky did open himself up for
>> being critiqued for going inside the head.  It was a choice, I don't think
>> he was willing to give up the idea of individual development (which I think
>> you have to do if you are going to escape dualism - because what develops
>> if you can't say there is something inside the head that develops (remember
>> I am suggesting individual development here).