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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance

Mike et al
Reading "Crisis" recently again left me no doubt that Vygotsky , of his own will and for good sake , had accepted the "order" of the Day , that is , Marxism . What he did not like was something else .
With the idea of 'ontology' and 'epistemology' again in "Crisis" we have this :
Categories of 'subject' and 'object' as they refer to 'being' , that is , ontologically , are not tied to our content of 'knowledge' while categories of 'matter' and 'mind' do need our content of knowledge to be comprehended .
"One has only to apply the epistemological formula  of  materialism,  given  by  Lenin  (a  similar  one  can  be found  in  Plekhanov)  for the psychological subject-object, in order to see what is the matter:the  only  ‘property’  of  matter  connected  with philosophical  materialism  is  the  property  of being an objective reality, of existing outside of our  consciousness  ...  Epistemologically  the concept  of  matter  means  nothing  other  than objective  reality,  existing  independently  from human  consciousness  and  reflected  by  it. [Lenin,Materialism and Empirio-Criticism]"
Epistemologically , it is in our 'knowing' ; Ontologically , it is in itself according to some especial laws and with some especial properties , subject-matter of a couple of sciences . 
"  We must not mix up the relation between subject and object with the  relation  between  mind  and  body,  as Høffding [1908] splendidly  explains.  The  distinction  between  mind [Geist]  and  matter  is  a  distinction  in  the  content  of  our knowledge.  But  the  distinction  between  subject  and  object manifests  itself  independently  from  the  content  of  our knowledge."
He continues :
"Elsewhere  Lenin  says  that  this  is,  essentially,  the  principle of realism, but that he avoids this word, because it has been captured by inconsistent thinkers.Thus,  this  formula <seemingly> contradicts  our  viewpoint:  it cannot  be  true  that  consciousness  exists  outside  our consciousness.  But,  as  Plekhanov  has  correctly  established, self-consciousness  is  the  consciousness  of  consciousness.  And consciousness can exist without self-consciousness: we become convinced  of  this  by  the  unconscious  and  the  relatively unconscious.  I  can  see  not  knowing  that  I  see.  That  is  why Pavlov [1928] is right when he says that we can live according to subjective states, but that we cannot analyse them.Not  a  single  science  is  possible without  separating direct  experience  from  knowledge.  It  is  amazing:  only  the psychologist-introspectionist  thinks  that  experience  and knowledge  coincide.  If  the  essence  of  things  and  the  form  of their  appearance  directly  coincided,  says  Marx  [1890],  all science would be superfluous. If in psychology appearance and being  were  the  same,  then everybody  would  be  a scientist-psychologist and  science  would  be  impossible. Only  registration  would  be  possible.  But,  obviously,  it  is one thing to live, to experience, and another to analyse ."
In this respect , even Spinoza is rejected :
" In this respect we are first of all reminded of Spinoza’s attempt to  investigate  human  vices  and  stupidities  by  means  of  the geometrical method and to examine human actions and drives exactly as if they were lines, surfaces, and bodies. This method is  suitable  for  descriptive  psychology  and  not  for  any  other approach. For it takes from geometry only its verbal style and the  outward  appearance  of  irrefutability  of  its  proofs,  and  all the rest – its core included – is based upon a non-scientific way of thinking."
And one more thing again from "Crisis" :
A is the table ===> material a is its reflection in the mirror ====> just nothing , phantom X is the operation and hitting of the light ====> material 
His explanation : two objectives : material     mere relationship between them : subjective ====> non-material 
We can ask ourselves if attributes of 'matter' are also 'material' , the more so with 'extension' .  
There are original 'emphases' if referencing is made .
   From: mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
 To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
 Sent: Sunday, 23 November 2014, 17:53:50
 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance
Hello Samuel--

I am not familiar with the term, "philosophical copout." Could you explain
what it means and how it applies to the notion that language is not
material? Or that part of language, meaning, is not? (Which I take to be
your view).

Sperber is a person relatively well versed in matters philosphical but also
anthropological perhaps even psychological. Does the copout influence how I
should think about his idea of the epidemiology of representations (today
we might here them referred to as "memes")?

So far as I can tell from the sampling of opinions on MCA it is safe to say
that we have some serious confusions about matters concerning ontology and
epistemology. Is there a currently prominent thinker we can turn to who can
provide better guidance through that maze?

Superceding the material/ideal dualism is one of the topics of conversation
here for the past 30 years. If someone has the agreed-upon, agreeable-upon
way to solve the problem, lets for goodness sake hear it! The older I get,
the more complicated the whole matter seems to me.

As you have seen, from time to time we pick some common text or texts and
some group of us all read them, and they discuss along with people who have
not read them. Perhaps you could offer a text we could use in that way.
Then we could bounce our different interpretations off of that common


On Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM, Samuel Paul Louis Veissière, Dr <
samuel.veissiere@mcgill.ca> wrote:

> Dan Sperber dismisses the question by saying that "public representations"
> are sound waves and light patterns, and are as such material phenomena.
> That's a philosophical copout. Meaning (what we embed sound waves with) is
> not material, unless one goes full-on neuro-reductionist. If all human
> cultures are dualistic, or have found ways to talk about or try to solve
> the problem of dualism, it may be because, as far as humans are concerned,
> we have a pretty serious ontological problem. No?
> On Nov 23, 2014 7:06 PM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, Analisa --
> It they're not material, what are they?
> Helena Worthen
> helenaworthen@gmail.com
> On Nov 23, 2014, at 3:25 PM, Annalisa Aguilar wrote:
> > Andy,
> >
> > Please explain how words are material. Do you mean this literally or
> metaphorically?
> >
> > I am prone to accept that mind is material, but of a different order
> than Grandma's apple pie, mountains or a vinyl record. I can't quite see
> how words are material. Sounds traveling through space are movements of
> material (air), so that to me would be like saying dancing is material, if
> dancing is material, then what is the body who dances? And how is the body
> different from the dance?
> >
> > Kind regards,
> >
> > Annalisa

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.