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



On 25 November 2014 at 19:47, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> Haydi,
> What’s a “stop” signal?! I lack chat etiquette know how I’ll bet. But let
> me charge ahead. Respectfully. So, what do you, or anyone, think of the
> substance of my comment/conjecture? Are humans wired differently with how
> they use their eyes to point? Of course, this doesn’t explain how blind
> people acquire language. Still…
> Henry
>
>
It was an area of interest for Gregory Bateson who wrote about the
communication of perceptual organs, ears being a rather obvious one.  I
recall teaching a dog to follow my pointing using a kind of throwing
gesture.

Best,
Huw





> > On Nov 25, 2014, at 12:29 PM, Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks HENRY ! et al !
> >
> > First as I was not catching up with the posts , I didn't see the 'stop'
> signal on discussion . If you count my posts in a year , you will see that
> I'm the least-heard voice .
> >
> > Second Vera John-Steiner is not someone not known at least to old
> participants . Then As I knew her , I very seriously put some questions in
> the hope she will kindly help . Maybe tweeters and retweeters and
> button-pressers have seen sarcasm , arrogance ?? in what I humbly wrote in
> which case they have just been playing memoirs . We have a proverb saying :
> bowls hotter than soup . Please let your respectable teacher talk whatever
> and however they wish to . There was misunderstanding of clouding which
> very swiftly and fortunately switched to 'unclouding' . Why again ? It's a
> matter of hours !! Sorry !!
> >
> > Best
> >
> > Haydi
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > From: HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> > To: Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>; "eXtended Mind, Culture,
> Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > Cc: "vygotsky@unm.edu" <vygotsky@unm.edu>
> > Sent: Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 10:06:32
> > Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Fate, Luck and Chance
> >
> > Hi Haydi and Vera,
> > I don’t want to speak for Vera, but I remember her telling her students
> (when I has one of her students) about the importance developmentally of
> interaction between (human) care givers and very young children through
> “joint regard” toward objects at a distance. Am I wrong in thinking that
> this is very different for humans, vis-a-vis other critters? For example, I
> can have eye contact with my dog, but I can’t “use” my eyes (and language)
> to direct his attention to an object at a distance from both of us. As far
> as I know, only humans can do this. Am I wrong? If not, I think it says
> something about the ability of humans to “displace”, so important to the
> development of language, cognition, imagination. I believe this
> displacement applies both spatially and temporally.
> > Henry
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Nov 25, 2014, at 5:54 AM, Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com
> <mailto:haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Vera,
> > > Respectfully !
> > > 1.  "developmentally co-constructed process" does contain the bigger
> share of the truth . But...
> > > 2. The other side to "The newborn is not awareof a conscious self" is
> that it is aware of some other things . The problem is with the very 'being
> aware' for a newborn . It does not seem to be logical . The whole thing
> Vygosky and his followers tried to do was to put some thing between the two
> components of the formula Stimulus =====> Response . Else what do we have
> to answer Vygotsky on his refutation of reflexology , reactology , etc.
> > > 3. I think Vygotsky also uses 'feelings' of pain , hunger , comfort ,
> etc. Are not these 'reflexes' common to both animals and humans ? Having
> said this , can we put the question "With respect to the genesis (ignoring
> its being innate) of consciousness , is it a matter of leaps and bounds or
> gradience ?
> > > 4. Then , we are left with "Eye-motion coordination" which takes us to
> the idea that with so many things we know about the so-called
> 'intelligence?!' of the animals , birds , etc. , could we specify it to
> just human beings .
> > > 5. I got very pleased with the "add up to  thebeginnings of
> consciousness" . This helps a lot . But out of Vygotsky's 'emotions' I
> could not gather exact terms for the points on a continuum if any .
> amorphous what , intellect , irritability ??
> > > 6. If you are so kind to think of this also :
> > > a. you drive quite skillfully thinking of the xmca or whatever .
> > > b. You drive while the officer is testing you for certificate .
> > > c. You drive focusing on the manner you are driving with .
> > > Best
> > > Haydi
> > >      From: Vera John-Steiner <vygotsky@unm.edu <mailto:
> vygotsky@unm.edu>>
> > > To: "'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
> > > Sent: Monday, 24 November 2014, 16:34:24
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance
> > >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I just would like to add a postscript to the discussion on
> consciousness and
> > > that is that what we experience as adults
> > > is a developmentally co-constructed process, and that so much of it is
> the
> > > consequence of early exchanges. That is why(among
> > > other reasons) it is so dynamic and open to change. The newborn is not
> aware
> > > of a conscious self,but of pain, hunger, comfort,
> > > all of which, together with eye-motion coordination, add up to  the
> > > beginnings of consciousness. Or that is how it appears to me.
> > > Vera
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of Martin John Packer
> > > Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 4:11 PM
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance
> > >
> > > Well I think we are generally in agreement, Andy. However, there are
> some
> > > points of difference that it might be worth exploring.
> > >
> > > First, from the fact that consciousness is fallible it does not follow
> that
> > > consciousness is completely an illusion.  If that were the case, how
> could
> > > one come to judge its fallibility? How can you state with certainty
> that "My
> > > consciousness is an illusion"? No, consciousness is incomplete, and
> partial,
> > > but it can also be educated. Importantly, consciousness can come to
> know
> > > itself. And since I know the world not only from what I experience
> directly,
> > > in the first-person manner, but also from what others tell me and from
> what
> > > I read, I can become aware of the limitations of my own consciousness
> in
> > > this manner. (Consciousness is both natural and social, as I mentioned
> in a
> > > previous message.) I know, these are also given to me in my
> consciousness,
> > > but I don't see that any insuperable problems arise as a consequence.
> Unlike
> > > Descartes, I don't believe that an evil demon is bent on deceiving me.
> > > Consciousness is our openness to the world, as Merleau-Ponty put it.
> > >
> > > Second, since consciousness is personal, I have to make inferences
> about
> > > another person's consciousness. (With the exception of a few occasions
> of
> > > experiencing things together with another - like dancing salsa!)
> However, I
> > > also have to infer that, and rely on the fact that, my own
> consciousness is
> > > a material process. My own consciousness can be, and often is, outside
> my
> > > consciousness - this is, in a nutshell, LSV's argument in Crisis. In
> just
> > > the same way I come to learn that my digestion is a material process.
> I come
> > > to learn that my life itself is a material process - there is no 'life
> > > spirit' that animates me. Both life and digestion are, like
> consciousness,
> > > first-person processes, and nonetheless material processes. Perhaps I
> am
> > > helped in coming to these conclusions by observing other people, whose
> > > processes of living and digesting I cannot experience directly.
> > >
> > > Where is the paradox here? It seems to me the paradox lies with those
> who
> > > say that experience is all in the mind, and yet at the same time that
> we can
> > > know the world. That was Descartes' paradox, and it remains the
> paradox,
> > > unresolved, of most of contemporary social science.
> > >
> > > Martin
> > >
> > >
> > > On Nov 24, 2014, at 5:48 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
> > >
> > >> I'll try to explain it my way, why "consciousness is a material
> process"
> > > despite the fact that "matter is what exists outside of and
> independently of
> > > consciousness" as you say, Martin.
> > >>
> > >> In
> > >>
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a <
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a>
> > >> .htm#A Marx said "My relation to my environment is my consciousness"
> > >> although he crossed it out in the manuscript. But why did he suddenly
> > > introduce the first person pronoun here?
> > >>
> > >> Everything I know of the world, in any sense of the word "know," I
> know
> > > through my consciousness, but my consciousness is an illusion, a
> phantom,
> > > and fundamentally different from that which is outside my
> consciousness and
> > > reflected in it. Nonetheless it is what I use to determine my actions
> in the
> > > world. I do not act exclusively through conditional reflexes like a
> simple
> > > organism as an immediate material process, but on the contrary,
> mediate my
> > > relation to my environment through my consciousness, which I learn, is
> not
> > > 100% reliable, because it is just an illusion, but is reliable enough
> and in
> > > any case is more effective thanks to socially constructed mediation,
> than
> > > nervous reflexes.
> > >>
> > >> But *your* consciousness is also outside my consciousness, and
> therefore I
> > > must regard it as material, and if I am to get to know it, I rely on
> the
> > > fact that it is a material process, arising from your behaviour and
> your
> > > physiology, and although *like anything* I cannot have unmediated
> access to
> > > it, I can learn about it only through material interactions, the same
> way in
> > > that sense that I learnt your name and age.
> > >>
> > >> But you are of course in the same position. A world of phantoms and
> > >> illusions is all you have to guide your activity in the material
> > >> world, too. Vygotsky says that the confusion arises "When one mixes up
> > >> the epistemological problem with the ontological one". That is the
> > >> relation between consciousness (an illusion) and matter
> > >> (interconnected with all other processes in the universe) is actually
> > >> an epistemological one, that is, of the sources and validity of
> > >> knowledge, and not an ontological one, that is a claim that
> > >> consciousness is something existing side by side so to speak with
> > >> matter. So it is important that while I recognise that for any person
> > >> the distinction for them between consciousness and matter is
> > >> absolutely fundamental, I must regard their consciousness as a
> > >> material process, explainable from their physiology and behaviour.
> > >> This is not a trivial point. Consciousness is not neuronal activity.
> > >> Neuronal activity is the material basis, alongside behaviour, of
> > >> consci
> > > ousness, but the world is not reflected for me in neuronal activity,
> which
> > > I know about only thanks to watching science programs on TV.
> Consciousness
> > > is given to me immediately, however, and I am not aware of any neuronal
> > > activity there.
> > >>
> > >> So yes, what you said was right, "consciousness is a material
> process,"
> > > but I think it unhelpful to leave it as a paradox like that. And I
> admit it
> > > is unhelpful to be rude. Perhaps we both ought to exercise more
> restraint?
> > >>
> > >> Andy
> > >>
> > >> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> --
> > >> *Andy Blunden*
> > >> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/ <http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Martin John Packer wrote:
> > >>> Don't get your point, Huw. A rectangle is generally defined as having
> > > unequal sides, in contrast to a square, so that's not helping me.
> Obviously
> > > (I would think) I am not saying that consciousness is the entirely of
> > > matter.
> > >>> Perhaps you can help me in my struggle...
> > >>>
> > >>> Martin
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Andy,
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> I don't see that being rude advances the conversation.  When I
> > >>>>> assert a position here in this discussion I try to base it on an
> > >>>>> argument, and/or in sources that we all have access to. I'm
> > >>>>> certainly not trying to cloud any issues, and I don't think that
> > >>>>> arguing from authority (one's own assumed) dispels the clouds.  I
> > >>>>> guess I simply don't have access to "a whole tradition of science."
> > >>>>> :(
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> To respond to your other message, yes, I am arguing that
> > >>>>> consciousness (and thinking) are material processes. They are
> > >>>>> consequences of (certain kinds of) matter in (certain kinds of)
> motion.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Against whom am I arguing? I am arguing against all those
> > >>>>> psychologists who argue that consciousness (and thinking) are
> > >>>>> mental processes - processes which they believe take place in some
> > >>>>> mysterious realm called "the mind" that is populated by "mental
> > >>>>> representations" of the "world outside." I deal with people who
> > >>>>> make this argument on a daily basis. They believe that the proper
> > > object of investigation for psychology is "mind,"
> > >>>>> and so they have no interest in setting, or culture, or practical
> > >>>>> activities.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Yes, Haydi's message is the portion of Crisis that I pointed to in
> > >>>>> my last message.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Martin
> > >>>>>
> > >>>
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>