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



​For those interested in the sign/tool discussion, I recommend a search on
the homepage at lchc.ucsd.edu using key words tool sign. David Kellogg has
written about this a good deal in addition to Andy so if you search on sign
tool kellogg it might prove useful. LSV's book on this topic is available
at ​http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1934/tool-symbol.htm.
mike

On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 10:09 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Isn't a sign equivalent to a tool, that language itself is a tool?
>
> Or are there different transformations in the brain going on depending
> upon which sense it enters? Ears, touch, eyes, smell, taste?
>
> Don't these all function similarly in the way they transform mind through
> perception? I don't know what is gained by separating them since we don't
> experience our senses as separate functions; they are connected to one
> another through the body.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Annalisa
>
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces+annalisa=unm.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+annalisa=unm.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Andy
> Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 6:46 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
>
> Just a couple more quotes from Vygotsky which shed some light on Mike's
> question. These come from the last paragraphs of Chapter 1 of "Ape,
> Primitive Man and Child."
>
>     "Once symbols enabling man to control his own behavioral processes
>     had been invented and were in use, the history of the development of
>     behavior became transformed, to a large extent, into the history of
>     the development of those auxiliary artificial "means of behavior",
>     and the history of man's control over his own behavior."
>
> So it is essentially sign-use which characterises cultural development,
> not tool-use, and going to the question of whether there are two
> temporally distinct phases of development:
>
>     "This of course does not mean that, left to itself, the development
>     of the hand, that fundamental organ, and of the intellect came to an
>     end as soon as man's historical development began. Quite the
>     contrary: the hand and the brain, as natural organs, probably never
>     developed so rapidly, and at such a gigantic pace, as during the
>     period of historical development."
>
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Andy Blunden 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.