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[Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
I realize there is an important value of not treating signs and language and tools as identical entities. I suppose my question then has more to do with how these mediations key into perception and embodied experience?
Vygotsky's separation of signs as a cultural indication is not without value, and I don't mean to spoil that distinction.
Still, what happens when the tool IS a sign, or the sign IS a tool? Consider the computer, for example, how it is both tool and sign.
Is it not like the red hot iron ball? We can never separate out the fire from the iron and the iron from the fire except when we conceptually understand the attributes of iron and of fire.
If we do not understand them as conceptually separate, then we can confuse the properties with iron with that of fire and vice versa. But in terms of material, it is impossible to look at the red hot iron ball and materially separate them at that moment in time. To our perception, it may appear that the fire is round and heavy or the iron is red and hot (hence red hot iron ball as represented in our language), but we know that it is iron that gives shape and weight, and fire that gives temperature and color.
However even if we confuse them, that is a kind of mediation. It may not be an informed one, but it has an apparent reality that is acted upon as such.
We don't really change our behavior in the hot sunshine knowing that the earth goes round the sun, even if we perceive it the other way around. In fact our perceptions are the means in which we reason to take off our sweaters, right?