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[Xmca-l] When does an apprentice become an inventor?

David, collaborative projects are generally something people join rather than create, just like one usually learns rather than invents, the words of your native language, but sometimes a person does add a new word to their language. I wouldn't see any point in drawing a line between those two "types of word," so long as you recognise that the general idea of a language is that it exists independently of any individual. The same goes for projects. It is precisely the absence of any sharp line between something which is simply interpersonal, whose dynamics are easily grasped by anyone with life-experience, and those great social projects which are enscribed in our language, which makes the notion of collaborative project useful for analysis of social formations.

It is rarely appropriate to ascribe psychological concepts to projects, but there are concepts which span the psychological and the cultural-historical domains which are useful in understanding projects. "Concept" is one of those concepts; we talk about the "Newtonian concept of momentum" without meaning to make any claim about the psychology of Isaac Newton, but rather refer to something implicit in certain well-established scientific forms of action. At the same time a teacher might say: "Johnny's concept of momentum still includes the friction acting against the object" - a concept manifested uniquely in Johnny's actions in Physics lessons. The "temporal" issue you pose, David, is one of development: projects have a life-course which passes through various recognisable phases just as does an individual human life.

*Andy Blunden*

David Kellogg wrote:
... when
does a collaborative project shift from being interpersonal to being
social, and what does this mean for the role of consciousness, volition,
ethics/politics and whether we divide the latter with a slash or with a


Collaborative projects, by definition, cannot have have a single guiding
consciousness, or at least cannot have a single psychology, else they cease
to be collaborative. But at a certain point they also cease to have several
different consciousnesses, and attain a generalized, abstract consciousness
(Andy calls this a consciousness a concept; I think of it as a potential
culture). The problem is precisely a temporal one: when?

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies