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[Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history



Hello,
Andy, i disagree with your statement that Engels  "narrates a story which
continues from this point up to socialist revolution as if it were one
continuous story". Engels is just trying, in a little bit speculative -but
fruitful- way, to find the evolutionary background for historical
materialism. I think he gives a key to understand the relation between
humanization/homininzation process, and historical one, trying to find the
biological origins of human work (which presents en an alienated form in
capitalism, and which is criticized by Marx in Das Kapital, etc.). Stephen
Jay Gould has said that he was right in his bipedestation hipótesis, which
was to be later confirmed by the discovering of Lucy and Ardi´s skeletons.
And it doesn´t mean, in Engels to accept "a story which continues from this
point up to socialist revolution as if it were one continuous story". Where
does he say so? He is just saying that new ways of organizing society
(socialist, which implies revolution, not "continuous" process), will give
man new ways to understand and control biological process.

Greets,
Juan Duarte
Universidad de Buenos Aires

2015-01-14 4:36 GMT-03:00 David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>:

> Mike--
>
> See Vol. Four of the Collected Works in English: the quote you refer to is
> the epigraph to HDHMF. It's from Dialectics of Nature, and Vygotsky keeps
> coming back to it again and again, throughout the whole text of HDHMF,
> which is one reason why I am assuming (against what Anton Yasnitsky has
> written) that HDHMF is a whole book, one of the very few that Vygotsky
> completedly completed (and also his longest work).
>
> We had to gloss this epigraph as part of our translation. I assumed that
> what Engels is saying is that man's knowledge of nature, viewed from the
> point of view of nature, is nature's knowledge of itself. But of course
> man's knowledge of nature is historical; we know nature through human
> experience and human experience is historical. So, for example, the idea
> that water boils at exactly 100 degrees centrigrade is entirely dependent
> on the human ideas like "degree", "centigrade", the decimal number system,
> and the tendency of human beings to settle near sea level.
>
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>
> On 14 January 2015 at 13:38, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > yes, highly coordinated join activity that satisfies the participants
> does
> > tend to do that. An academic flow creating device. But you should be
> > careful of the not transcending biology part. :-)
> > mike
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 8:04 PM, Kindred, Jessica Dr. <jkindred@cnr.edu>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > The dopamine rush of solving a problem together is not so much
> > > transcending biology as just kind of living up to it. That was fun.
> > > ________________________________________
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> ]
> > > on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
> > > Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:53 PM
> > > To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
> > >
> > > Bingo! I was not hallucinating!
> > > Thanks a lot Jesica and Andy- I was just thumbing through my hardcopy
> and
> > > stopped to send an email.
> > >
> > > Do we interpret this as a belief that humans have transcended
> biological
> > > evolution? Its in our capable hands now that we are no longer just
> apes.
> > >
> > > Brrrrrr.
> > >
> > > mike
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 7:41 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Jessica refers to:
> > > >
> > > >    "Indeed, the struggle for existence and natural selection, the two
> > > >    driving forces of biological evolution within the animal world,
> lose
> > > >    their decisive importance as soon as we pass on to the historical
> > > >    development of man. New laws, which regulate the course of human
> > > >    history and which cover the entire process of the material and
> > > >    mental development of human society, now take their place."
> > > >
> > > > Andy
> > > > PS, I am not the translator, Jessica, just the transcriber.  René van
> > der
> > > > Veer and Jaan Valsiner did all the work, and I just scanned it to
> HTML.
> > > >
> > > >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > *Andy Blunden*
> > > > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Kindred, Jessica Dr. wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Mike, your paraphrased is very clearly ststed in Vygotsky's essay,
> The
> > > >> Socialist Alteration of Man, especially in the second through fifth
> > > >> paragraphs. I think this may be the source of the phrase you are
> > looking
> > > >> for, though clearly Vygotsky is riffing on Engels.
> > > >> ________________________________________
> > > >> From: xmca-l-bounces+jkindred=cnr.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > >> [xmca-l-bounces+jkindred=cnr.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of
> Andy
> > > >> Blunden [ablunden@mira.net]
> > > >> Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 9:23 PM
> > > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > >> Cc: Mikhail Munipov
> > > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
> > > >>
> > > >> Actually, I think that "the more that human beings become removed
> from
> > > >> animals in the narrower sense of the word, the more they make their
> > own
> > > >> history consciously" is near as dammit what you are looking for.
> > > >>
> > > >> Engels of course lacked good information. Even in his day Vygotsky
> had
> > > >> poor information. In "Ape, Primitive Man and Child", "primitive" is
> > > >> taken to mean "non-literate", as it was for Luria in his Central
> Asian
> > > >> expedition, and a great deal of emphasis is put on the origins and
> > > >> development of *writing*. But writing only appears in Egypt c. 2,000
> > BCE
> > > >> I think, in any case, in evolutionary time scales 5 minutes ago. The
> > > >> development of writing is nothing to do with evolution of the
> species.
> > > >> Vygotsky defines primitive man as follows:
> > > >>
> > > >>     “This term is commonly used, admittedly as a conventional label,
> > to
> > > >>     designate certain peoples of the uncivilized world, situated at
> > the
> > > >>     lower levels of cultural development. It is not entirely right
> to
> > > >>     call these peoples primitive, as a greater or lesser degree of
> > > >>     civilization can unquestionably be observed in all of them. All
> of
> > > >>     them have already emerged from the prehistoric phase of human
> > > >>     existence. Some of them have very ancient traditions. Some of
> them
> > > >>     have been influenced by remote and powerful cultures, while the
> > > >>     cultural development of others has become degraded.
> > > >>     “/Primitive man, in the true sense of the term, does not exist
> > > >>     anywhere at the present time, /and the human type, as
> represented
> > > >>     among these primeval peoples, can only be called “relatively
> > > >>     primitive.” Primitiveness in this sense is a lower level, and
> the
> > > >>     starting point for the historical development of human
> behaviour.
> > > >>     Material for the psychology of primitive man is provided by data
> > > >>     concerning prehistoric man, the peoples situated at the lower
> > levels
> > > >>     of cultural development and the comparative psychology of
> peoples
> > of
> > > >>     different cultures.”(Preface, 1930, Italics in the original)
> > > >>
> > > >> And from the start, this chapter is framed as "cultural development"
> > as
> > > >> distinct from "evolutionary development." Chapter 1 on primates
> > focuses
> > > >> on the limited use of tools possible for apes, with the implication
> > that
> > > >> the cultural development around the emergence of labour, i.e., the
> > > >> production of tools, was part of evolutionary development, prior and
> > > >> leading up to the formation of homo sapiens sapiens. There is no
> > chapter
> > > >> covering the period between 2 million years ago and say `00,000
> years
> > > >> ago, where cultural and biological formation are interacting.
> > > >>
> > > >> According to Engels and others including Dewey, speech emerges
> > > >> simultaneously with tools. Dewey makes the point that a tool is not
> a
> > > >> tool until its use is institutionalised, linking social, symbolic
> and
> > > >> tool-using activity together.
> > > >>
> > > >> Andy
> > > >>
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >> *Andy Blunden*
> > > >> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> mike cole wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>> So perhaps its just my bad memory, Andy. the issues remain central.
> > > >>> THANKS for the appropriate links!
> > > >>> mike
> > > >>>
> > > >>> On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 4:51 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
> > > >>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     There can only be two sources of this idea: Engels' "Part
> Played
> > > >>>     by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man" (1876)
> > > >>>     http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1876/part-
> > > >>> played-labour/index.htm
> > > >>>     and the Introduction to "Dialectics of Nature" (1883)
> > > >>>     http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1883/don/ch01.htm
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     In the latter work, after explaining how freeing the hands by
> > > >>>     adopting an erect gait, led to the use of tools, meaning
> labour,
> > > >>>     and this led to the expansion of the brain, language and sundry
> > > >>>     other changes, and thus eventualy the emergence of human beings
> > as
> > > >>>     a species. Then he says:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>        "With men we enter /history/."
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     In the earlier document, he says: "Labour begins with the
> making
> > > >>>     of tools" which Engels claims happened before the formation of
> > > >>>     modern homo sapiens, contributing to that formation rather than
> > > >>>     being a product of the formation of modern humans, and he
> > narrates
> > > >>>     a story which continues from this point up to socialist
> > revolution
> > > >>>     as if it were one continuous story, blurring over the
> distinction
> > > >>>     between evolution of the species and historical development of
> > > >>>     culture.
> > > >>>     The nerest we come to your quote is: "the more that human
> beings
> > > >>>     become removed from animals in the narrower sense of the word,
> > the
> > > >>>     more they make their own history consciously." The "narrower
> > > >>>     sense" I presume means biological differentiation. So this
> could
> > > >>>     count for what you are looking for, Mike.
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     Andy
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >>> ------------
> > > >>>     *Andy Blunden*
> > > >>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > > >>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>     mike cole wrote:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>         Dear Colleagues--
> > > >>>
> > > >>>         I seem to recall reading an idea, that I recall being
> > > >>>         attributed to Engels,
> > > >>>         that (rooughly) "more and more the laws of evolution are
> > being
> > > >>>         replaced by
> > > >>>         the laws of history."
> > > >>>
> > > >>>         Can anyone enlighten me either as to the source of this
> > > >>>         "quotation" or as
> > > >>>         to the source of my own confusion in this regard?
> > > >>>
> > > >>>         mike
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>> --
> > > >>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as
> an
> > > >>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
> > object
> > > that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
> object
> > that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >
>



-- 
Juan