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[Xmca-l] Re: Mediating Activity and Mediated Activity



Mark Liberman  considered the Atkinson work in the Language Log a little while ago 
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3090


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Martin John Packer
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 8:43 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Mediating Activity and Mediated Activity

Helen,

This is a different analysis, in a different paper, that purports to document how selected members of the Indo-European language family spread geographically between the seventh millennium BC and 1974. 

Martin




> On May 5, 2016, at 12:11 AM, Helen Harper <helen.harper@bigpond.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> The theory is attractive, but these theories are always a bit bothersome. I don’t enough about historical linguistic theory to say anything sensible but it always pays at least to look for the counter argument: 
> 
> http://www.geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/linguistic-geography/qu
> entin-atkinsons-nonsensical-maps-of-indo-european-expansion
> 
> Helen
> 
>> On 5 May 2016, at 11:46 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> 
>> Remarkable and beautiful!
>> 
>> andy
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>> On 5/05/2016 12:02 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>>> <http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=3285>
>>> 
>>> <https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/where-on-earth-
>>> did-language-begin/>
>>> 
>>> Martin
>>> 
>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 6:47 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> David,
>>>> 
>>>> No, Cavalli-Sforza studies human migration by tracing shared genes. I was referring to the work of Quentin Atkinson:
>>>> 
>>>> Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Phonemic diversity supports a serial founder effect model of language expansion from Africa. Science, 332, 346-349.
>>>> 
>>>> I tried to include an image in my last message, but it seems to have been stripped out.
>>>> 
>>>> Martin
>>>> 
>>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 6:40 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Henry:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Martin's referring to the work of Cavalli-Sforza, which assumes 
>>>>> that you can trace the spread of language by studying 
>>>>> mitochondrial DNA. This overlooks the fact the people do not 
>>>>> simply inherit languages. They learn them.
>>>>> 
>>>>> I think that this may be Vygotsky's most overlooked contribution.
>>>>> Vygotsky's description of the proto-language of the child's first 
>>>>> two years of life, combined with Halliday's great "Nigel" studies, 
>>>>> provides us with...the key to the origins of language.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The question of the origins of language in linguistics is a little 
>>>>> like string theory in physics; it's something linguists go into 
>>>>> because they find working with data messy and unpleasant, and dead 
>>>>> speakers tell no tales. For most of Western intellectual history, 
>>>>> the only field workers were amateur archaeologists seeking 
>>>>> Biblical confirmation: a quest for the Garden of Eden and the 
>>>>> Tower of Babel. In the 19th Century, the field became so 
>>>>> speculative that the Royal Society and the French Academie des sciences banned the acceptance of scientific papers on the subject.
>>>>> It was almost forgotten in the twentieth, and recent attempts to 
>>>>> revive it by searching the Human Genome Project for a "language 
>>>>> gene" have led absolutely nowhere.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Vygotsky shows us what language looks like when the infant tries 
>>>>> to invent it. When he says that thinking and speech have separate 
>>>>> roots, and then come together, what he means is that the first 
>>>>> languages, which are still being invented right in front of our 
>>>>> noses, have separate two layers: a semantics and a phonetics, and 
>>>>> these are then linked. But that link is not yet wording; it's not 
>>>>> lexicogrammar: it's simply pointing out and naming
>>>>> things: matching sounds to objects.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Halliday shows us how the child is able to exapt the lexicogrammar 
>>>>> he sees and hears being enacted around him to his own functional 
>>>>> purposes, his own semantics and his own phonetics. It's a big 
>>>>> step, but it's a step that even a two year old human can make given the collaborative help of conspecifics.
>>>>> So it is not reasonable to assume that it was made only once. 
>>>>> Throughout human history, the number of human languages has tended 
>>>>> to diminish and not increase, either through genocide or through 
>>>>> literacy or both. Babel was indeed our past, but the single 
>>>>> language that supposedly preceded it is really a long-ago that is yet-to-come.
>>>>> 
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:04 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> Gente,
>>>>>> As far as the invention of language, whether spoken, signed or 
>>>>>> written, do we know whether it was invented once, or many times, 
>>>>>> independently? Are we humans alone in the universe, the only 
>>>>>> inventors of language? Are these questions relevant to the 
>>>>>> thread? If not, I only have questions, so they’re my best shot.
>>>>>> Henry
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 3:57 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Well, but then in hindsight everything coevolves with everything, Andy.
>>>>>> And
>>>>>>> only in hindsight. Three problems with that.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> First of all, this view of "co-evolution" renders the idea of 
>>>>>>> evolution vacuous. There is no obvious reason why the larynx 
>>>>>>> should be considered
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> "rudiment" of language rather than the mouth or the ears or for 
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>> matter
>>>>>>> the hand (Stokoe makes a very convincing argument that sign 
>>>>>>> languages predate vocal ones). So then we have to say that 
>>>>>>> speech co-evolved with mouths and ears and hands?
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Secondly, to pre-empt a little the upcoming issue of MCA, that 
>>>>>>> this view
>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> co-evolution also makes it impossible to explain crises as 
>>>>>>> internal phenomena. The pace of change of language is 
>>>>>>> qualitatively different from the pace of change of the 
>>>>>>> "rudiment" of language, wherever you choose to locate it, and 
>>>>>>> this changing of gears needs to be explained. It wasn't a simple 
>>>>>>> adaptation to the environment, whatever it was; it doesn't 
>>>>>>> appear
>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> be environment specific at all.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Thirdly, this notion of co-evolution, discovering "rudiments" in
>>>>>> accidents,
>>>>>>> does not give us a unit of analysis that has all of the 
>>>>>>> properties that
>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> are interested in studying. The quipu and the notched stick are 
>>>>>>> deliberately endowed with meaning, but the larynx is not.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Perhaps what you mean is not the larynx but the vocal tract: the 
>>>>>>> lungs, the bronchial tubes, the wind pipe, the voicebox, the 
>>>>>>> oral cavity, the tongue, the lips and the nose and nasal 
>>>>>>> passages. But this did not evolve at all; in  fact, as a 
>>>>>>> physiological organ the vocal tract does not even exist. It's 
>>>>>>> not an adaptation but an exaptation--a bringing together of 
>>>>>>> organs which evolved with very different functions for a purpose 
>>>>>>> which is not an adaptation to the environment but an attempt to create a qualitatively new type of environment, namely a semiotic one.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> The notion of the co-evolution of tools and signs not only 
>>>>>>> renders the
>>>>>> idea
>>>>>>> of evolution almost meaningless, it also makes it next to 
>>>>>>> impossible to consciously and deliberately and rationally 
>>>>>>> introduce design into development. If signs are, like tools, 
>>>>>>> just ways of slavishly adapting to an environment or (worse) 
>>>>>>> slavishly adapting the environment to human whims, we can only 
>>>>>>> stagger and struggle against each other, from one adaptation to 
>>>>>>> the next. But if speech is an audaciously wise attempt to create 
>>>>>>> an environment of an entirely new type, an environment made of 
>>>>>>> meaning rather than merely of matter, then we humans might have 
>>>>>>> some hope of transforming the bitter blind combat of each against all into a common collaborative project. That would be co-evolution indeed.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> David, I am responding to "Tool use--and even tool 
>>>>>>>> manufacture--is quite common in higher primates. But while the 
>>>>>>>> higher primates regularly use gesture, there is no evidence of 
>>>>>>>> any other species developing anything
>>>>>> like
>>>>>>>> a lexicogrammar."
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> In his somewhat discredited book "Ape, Primitive Man and Child,"
>>>>>> Vygotsky
>>>>>>>> makes the point that the form of activity which is found in 
>>>>>>>> non-human animals in *rudimentary* form but is fully developed 
>>>>>>>> in humans, is the
>>>>>> key
>>>>>>>> to the "transition from ape to man" and is thus the "essence of 
>>>>>>>> man" (to use a lot of 19th century language). That is why he 
>>>>>>>> was so determined,
>>>>>> at
>>>>>>>> the time, to find "rudimentary" forms of writing among 
>>>>>>>> not-literate
>>>>>> peoples
>>>>>>>> (those memory sticks and knots).
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> For all the faults of this work, I think this was a profound insight.
>>>>>> What
>>>>>>>> he seemed to have been blind to is that the larynx evolved 
>>>>>>>> together with the hand, and human beings learnt to speak at the 
>>>>>>>> same time as they
>>>>>> learnt
>>>>>>>> to make tools. It was only in 1931 that he recognised that a 
>>>>>>>> spoken word was as much a sign as a piece of technology 
>>>>>>>> manufactured for
>>>>>> communicative
>>>>>>>> purposes - which nonetheless, did turn out to mark a 
>>>>>>>> qualitative leap in human cultural development.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> The great insight from this work is that despite himself, he 
>>>>>>>> looked
>>>>>> *not*
>>>>>>>> at the attribute of human beings which was exclusively found 
>>>>>>>> among
>>>>>> humans
>>>>>>>> (lexicogrammar) as the "essence of man," but on the contrary to 
>>>>>>>> the mediating activity which produced the change from one 
>>>>>>>> species to
>>>>>> another.
>>>>>>>> This is the Hegelian idea of concept, a.k.a. species, as 
>>>>>>>> opposed to the positivist concept of species/concept which looks for "essential"
>>>>>>>> attributes as definitive. But he didn;t know that until 1931.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-
>>>>>>>> making On 4/05/2016 1:48 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> Greg:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> Tool use--and even tool manufacture--is quite common in higher
>>>>>> primates.
>>>>>>>>> But while the higher primates regularly use gesture, there is 
>>>>>>>>> no
>>>>>> evidence
>>>>>>>>> of any other species developing anything like a lexicogrammar. 
>>>>>>>>> It's in that sense that I was arguing that tool use has 
>>>>>>>>> temporal priority over
>>>>>> signs. I
>>>>>>>>> don't think tools and signs co-evolved phylogenetically any 
>>>>>>>>> more than
>>>>>> they
>>>>>>>>> co-evolve ontogenetically. I think that practical intelligence 
>>>>>>>>> and speech have separate genetic roots and separate functional 
>>>>>>>>> paths, the
>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>>> oriented towards the environment and the other towards conspecifics.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> While he was in prison, Oscar Wilde was allowed one sheet of 
>>>>>>>>> paper a
>>>>>> day,
>>>>>>>>> which was issued to him in the morning and then locked in a 
>>>>>>>>> safe in the evening. He used this to write a very long letter 
>>>>>>>>> to his lover Lord
>>>>>> Alfred
>>>>>>>>> Douglas (about a third of this letter, with the long and 
>>>>>>>>> highly contradictory complaints removed, was published as "De Profundis").
>>>>>> But it
>>>>>>>>> was only after his release that he was able to transform the 
>>>>>>>>> sorry mess into great art, a ballad about a trooper who was 
>>>>>>>>> hanged while he was in prison.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> He did not wear his scarlet coat For blood and wine are red 
>>>>>>>>> And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with 
>>>>>>>>> the dead The poor dead woman that he loved And murdered in 
>>>>>>>>> their bed
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> It's all there: the blue coat of the trooper is now red, 
>>>>>>>>> Christ
>>>>>> transforms
>>>>>>>>> blue water into red wine at Canaa, wine is transformed into 
>>>>>>>>> blood
>>>>>> before
>>>>>>>>> Gethsemane and Golgotha, and even the main complaint Wilde has 
>>>>>>>>> against Douglas in "De Profundis", which is that "each man 
>>>>>>>>> kills the thing he loves but each man does not die" is changed 
>>>>>>>>> into "murdered in their bed". But the very first step in this 
>>>>>>>>> transsubstantiation of mere suffering into
>>>>>> great
>>>>>>>>> art happens in the very first word, where Wilde begins with "he"
>>>>>> instead
>>>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>>> "I".
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> Of course it's possible to use your personal misery to create 
>>>>>>>>> great
>>>>>> art.
>>>>>>>>> But it's hard, for (at least) three reasons. First of all, 
>>>>>>>>> it's hard to stand back and let the material alone rather than 
>>>>>>>>> try to whip it into shape. Second, it's hard to reconcile the 
>>>>>>>>> sense that your pain is the
>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>>> and only and incomparable and ineffable and the sense that you 
>>>>>>>>> are at
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> same time everywoman. Thirdly, pain is debilitating: it 
>>>>>>>>> withers your embrace right at the very moment when you need to 
>>>>>>>>> reach out, makes you unfit for companionship right when you 
>>>>>>>>> need it most, fills your mouth
>>>>>> with
>>>>>>>>> incoherent screams precisely when you most need the precision 
>>>>>>>>> of words
>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>> convey what you are feeling to others. On top of that, as 
>>>>>>>>> Vygotsky
>>>>>> says,
>>>>>>>>> really good art is not the contagion of feeling: it's the
>>>>>> individuation of
>>>>>>>>> social emotion and not the socialization of individual emotion.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> The unmotivated reconciliation that ends "Lemonade" is deus ex 
>>>>>>>>> machina, i.e. both unartistic and unrealistic. Either it was 
>>>>>>>>> manufactured for
>>>>>> mass
>>>>>>>>> market consumption, or the raw emotion that preceded it was. Or both.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM, Greg Mcverry 
>>>>>>>>> <jgregmcverry@gmail.com>
>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> I would have to agree with Andy on the co-evolution of the 
>>>>>>>>> tools. To
>>>>>>>>>> separate one as developing phylogenetically as 
>>>>>>>>>> ontogenetically seems false.
>>>>>>>>>> Could one argue that agriculture was a pre-cursor to formal 
>>>>>>>>>> writing systems but sign systems evolved as a form of 
>>>>>>>>>> communication long before? I am not a cultural 
>>>>>>>>>> anthropologist. I really do not know if there has been a
>>>>>> writing
>>>>>>>>>> system developed in a hunting and gathering culture.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> Yet that does not mean those same cultures were not ripe with 
>>>>>>>>>> sign systems and meaning makings.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> I think the mediation and differentiation of tools coevolving 
>>>>>>>>>> is even more stark when we consider the age of the web. For 
>>>>>>>>>> the first 25 years of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>> web the people building the web were also doing their own 
>>>>>>>>>> identity
>>>>>> work.
>>>>>>>>>> People that hung out on the the Well, Usenets, chat rooms. 
>>>>>>>>>> xmca listservs, etc were defining the tools in a way to help 
>>>>>>>>>> define themselves. Here
>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>>>> agreat piece by Ben Werdmuller reflecting on how his tool 
>>>>>>>>>> development could not be separated from his own ontological 
>>>>>>>>>> development:
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> https://words.werd.io/we-are-the-monkeys-of-rum-70f81d4a02df#.n0x
>>>>>> 23ugom
>>>>>>>>>> In terms of Beyonce. Whether you call it a mediating activity 
>>>>>>>>>> or a mediated activity. I am not sure it matters. The point 
>>>>>>>>>> is to be a force. For
>>>>>> those
>>>>>>>>>> not in the states her latest release has been seen as a call 
>>>>>>>>>> to women
>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>>>> color. Her Super Bowl performance was both celebrated and vilified.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> I haven't heard Lemonade yet ( I suffer from severe pop 
>>>>>>>>>> culture
>>>>>> deficit)
>>>>>>>>>> but I hear it getting talked about all over the web. I wonder 
>>>>>>>>>> how
>>>>>> Hegel
>>>>>>>>>> would think of something like the web where the culture is 
>>>>>>>>>> both
>>>>>> affected
>>>>>>>>>> by
>>>>>>>>>> market pressures but not limited to any one national 
>>>>>>>>>> identity. Is the
>>>>>> web
>>>>>>>>>> the world spirit?
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 8:44 PM Andy Blunden 
>>>>>>>>>> <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> I think the evidence is in that speech and labour (i.e.,
>>>>>>>>>>> tool-use) co-evolved, but writing came a whole epoch later.
>>>>>>>>>>> I do not think it is a sustainable "developmentalist" point 
>>>>>>>>>>> of view that a form of activity can first be differentiated 
>>>>>>>>>>> and then be mediated: the mediation and the differentiation 
>>>>>>>>>>> co-evolve (so to speak). That's the whole point.
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> On my update to:
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/4781886/From_where_did_Vygotsky_get_his_
>>>>>> Hegelianism
>>>>>>>>>>> I never claimed that Vygotsky only got his Hegel through
>>>>>>>>>>> Marx: his knowledge of Hegel was mediated through a number 
>>>>>>>>>>> of sources (including Lenin and Engels and probably 
>>>>>>>>>>> Plekhanov, followers of Deborin and Lewin). The correction 
>>>>>>>>>>> you referred to was my admission that the passage you drew 
>>>>>>>>>>> my attention to in HDHMF I had overlooked in my catalogue, 
>>>>>>>>>>> and that it had to be included with the one or two other 
>>>>>>>>>>> allusions which seem to have come from a reading of the 
>>>>>>>>>>> section of Hegel's Subjective Spirit named "Psychology".
>>>>>>>>>>> Someone, c. 1931, drew his attention to these passages.
>>>>>>>>>>> There are other passages of The Subjective Spirit which 
>>>>>>>>>>> would have been of great interest to Vygotsky and would 
>>>>>>>>>>> certainly have been appropriated if he had ever read them, 
>>>>>>>>>>> but he hadn't, far less the Logic (though he had studied 
>>>>>>>>>>> Lenin's Annotations on the Logic) or the Phenomenology, 
>>>>>>>>>>> which no Marxist or Psychologist read in the period of his 
>>>>>>>>>>> lifetime.
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> Is it time yet, David, for you to make a correction to your 
>>>>>>>>>>> claim that the Vygotsky archive would eventually turn up 
>>>>>>>>>>> Vygotsky's annotations on the Phenomenology?
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-ma
>>>>>> king
>>>>>>>>>>> On 3/05/2016 9:00 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> You and I both come out of the pugilistic left, and we live 
>>>>>>>>>>>> in a country where socks are considered formal apparel. So 
>>>>>>>>>>>> I imagine that no question mark is required to start a 
>>>>>>>>>>>> discussion; nor pulling of punches to finish one.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> I think I made the case that the distinction was pretty 
>>>>>>>>>>>> useful, at least to Beyoncé fans--if not, see Vygotsky's 
>>>>>>>>>>>> conclusion to Chapter Two of HDHMF, where he points out 
>>>>>>>>>>>> that the precise nature of the relationship of signs and 
>>>>>>>>>>>> tools needs to be worked out yet, but in any case that 
>>>>>>>>>>>> relation is indirect; it MUST pass through a super-category 
>>>>>>>>>>>> he calls MEDIATING activities. For YOU and for HEGEL, all 
>>>>>>>>>>>> activity can be said to be both mediating and mediated, but 
>>>>>>>>>>>> this is a non-developmental point of
>>>>>>>>>>>> view: for a developmentalist, one must perforce be 
>>>>>>>>>>>> differentiated first. Phylogenetically, it seems likely 
>>>>>>>>>>>> that tools were differentiated before signs, but 
>>>>>>>>>>>> ontogenetically it is usually the other way around.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> What really IS academic in the extreme is your own 
>>>>>>>>>>>> distinction between "really quoting" Hegel and quoting 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hegel in a footnote to Marx academic. It's also quite 
>>>>>>>>>>>> unprovable. By the way, this might be a good place to 
>>>>>>>>>>>> acknowledge the corrections you have recently made to your 
>>>>>>>>>>>> assertion that every single Hegel reference you have found 
>>>>>>>>>>>> in Vygotsky's work can be found verbatim in Marx.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM, Andy Blunden 
>>>>>>>>>>>> <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> I didn't see a question mark anywhere David, but (for 
>>>>>>>>>>>> reasons of my own) could I just note that Vygotsky is not 
>>>>>>>>>>>> really quoting Hegel, but rather quoting Marx quoting 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hegel's Shorter Logic in an author's footnote to /Capital/. 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Marx puts an interesting twist on the point Hegel is making 
>>>>>>>>>>>> in the original. I think it is a twist which preserves 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hegel's meaning, but it is really the opposite of what 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hegel is saying.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> By "the cunning of Reason" Hegel means how History and 
>>>>>>>>>>>> social processes in general unfold according to their own 
>>>>>>>>>>>> logic, irrespective of the intentions of their human 
>>>>>>>>>>>> actors. Marx twists this to make the point that natural 
>>>>>>>>>>>> objects act according to human purposes, not their material 
>>>>>>>>>>>> properties as such.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> I agree that when Hegel is talking about human affairs, 
>>>>>>>>>>>> "Spirit" means "Activity", but of course unlike Marx, Hegel 
>>>>>>>>>>>> deifies Spirit. For Marx, men make history, only not under 
>>>>>>>>>>>> conditions of their own choosing. For Hegel, men are mere 
>>>>>>>>>>>> tools of the Weltgeist (world spirit).
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> I was able to grasp the distinction between mediating and 
>>>>>>>>>>>> mediated activity, though given that all activity is 
>>>>>>>>>>>> mediated and all activity is mediating, the distinction 
>>>>>>>>>>>> strikes me as academic in the extreme. I remain to be 
>>>>>>>>>>>> convinced that Hegel knoew of any such distinction.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> The paragraph following the note on "cunning of Reason" in 
>>>>>>>>>>>> the Shorter Logic is an interesting one:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> TheRealised Endis thus the overt unity of subjective and 
>>>>>>>>>>>> objective. It is however essentially characteristic of this 
>>>>>>>>>>>> unity, that the subjective and objective are neutralised 
>>>>>>>>>>>> and cancelled only in the point of their one-sidedness, 
>>>>>>>>>>>> while the objective is subdued and made conformable to the 
>>>>>>>>>>>> End, as the free notion, and thereby to the power above it. 
>>>>>>>>>>>> The End maintains itself against and in the objective: for 
>>>>>>>>>>>> it is no mere one-sided subjective or particular, it is 
>>>>>>>>>>>> also the concrete universal, the implicit identity of both. 
>>>>>>>>>>>> This universal, as simply reflected in itself, is the 
>>>>>>>>>>>> content which remains unchanged through all the 
>>>>>>>>>>>> three/termini/of the syllogism and their movement.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> -----------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>>> -
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-ma
>>>>>> king
>>>>>>>>>>>> On 2/05/2016 9:03 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     I'm reading a chapter by Janette Freidrich in the
>>>>>>>>>>>>     collection "Vygotski
>>>>>>>>>>>>     maintenant" published in 2011. It's an imaginary
>>>>>>>>>>>>     dialogue between Buhler
>>>>>>>>>>>>     and Vygotsky on the former's theory of language
>>>>>>>>>>>>     and the latter's criticisms
>>>>>>>>>>>>     thereof, very cleverly written in INDIRECT SPEECH
>>>>>>>>>>>>     so that Friedrich doesn't
>>>>>>>>>>>>     have to waste time trying to imitate the voice of
>>>>>>>>>>>>     each or pretend that she
>>>>>>>>>>>>     knows the exact wording of each argument.
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Friedrich begins with Hegel's
>>>>>>>>>>>>     distinction (from the LONGER Logic, the one that
>>>>>>>>>>>>     I've never read) between
>>>>>>>>>>>>     mediating activity and mediated activity.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Mediating activity is what Vygotsky talks about
>>>>>>>>>>>>     using the quote from Hegel
>>>>>>>>>>>>     in HDHMF Chapter Two: it's when your role is
>>>>>>>>>>>>     essentially bystanding, when
>>>>>>>>>>>>     you use one force of nature, more or less in the
>>>>>>>>>>>>     natural state, against
>>>>>>>>>>>>     another.For example, you arrange the downspout of
>>>>>>>>>>>>     your house roof gutters
>>>>>>>>>>>>     so that it bores a hole in a piece of limestone.
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Or you hang your wet
>>>>>>>>>>>>     laundry on a tree branch and let the sun dry it
>>>>>>>>>>>>     out instead of trying to
>>>>>>>>>>>>     wring it dry yourself..
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Mediated activity is in some ways the same, but in
>>>>>>>>>>>>     others completely
>>>>>>>>>>>>     opposite. It's the same in that you are using one
>>>>>>>>>>>>     natural force against
>>>>>>>>>>>>     another, but it's opposite in the sense that your
>>>>>>>>>>>>     role is not bystanding;
>>>>>>>>>>>>     you are yourself one of the forces of nature. For
>>>>>>>>>>>>     example, instead of
>>>>>>>>>>>>     arranging the downspout, you make a chisel or a
>>>>>>>>>>>>     drill of some kind to bore
>>>>>>>>>>>>     a hole in a piece of limestone and sculpt it into
>>>>>>>>>>>>     a flagstone or a
>>>>>>>>>>>>     tombstone. Or you beat the laundry dry with a tree
>>>>>>>>>>>>     branch instead of just
>>>>>>>>>>>>     hanging it there.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Friedrich points out that in Vygotsky's early work
>>>>>>>>>>>>     (e.g. "The History of
>>>>>>>>>>>>     the Crisis") Vygotsky speaks of psychic tools--he
>>>>>>>>>>>>     is treating ALL activity
>>>>>>>>>>>>     as "mediated" rather than mediating. But in HDHMF,
>>>>>>>>>>>>     we know that he
>>>>>>>>>>>>     CRITIQUES this point of view, precisely because it
>>>>>>>>>>>>     equates the sign and the
>>>>>>>>>>>>     tool. Now, you might think that the sign even more
>>>>>>>>>>>>     like mediated activity
>>>>>>>>>>>>     and even less like mediating activity than the
>>>>>>>>>>>>     tool. After all, sign users
>>>>>>>>>>>>     are not bystanders; they are even more intimately
>>>>>>>>>>>>     and intensively and
>>>>>>>>>>>>     deliberately involved as subjects than tools. But
>>>>>>>>>>>>     that confuses the sign
>>>>>>>>>>>>     user with the sign itself. It also ignores a key
>>>>>>>>>>>>     difference between
>>>>>>>>>>>>     mediating activity and mediated activity--which is
>>>>>>>>>>>>     that in mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>     activity the force of nature is allowed to act
>>>>>>>>>>>>     according to its own
>>>>>>>>>>>>     properties. When I use a word, I do not try to
>>>>>>>>>>>>     transform it from a sound
>>>>>>>>>>>>     into something else; or rather, if I do, then I
>>>>>>>>>>>>     get something that is less
>>>>>>>>>>>>     obviously language and more like onomatopoeia.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     While I read, I am listening to Beyoncé's new
>>>>>>>>>>>>     album "Lemonade", which is an
>>>>>>>>>>>>     attempt to take a force of nature (the sour lemons
>>>>>>>>>>>>     of a husband's
>>>>>>>>>>>>     infidelity) and to transform it into something
>>>>>>>>>>>>     larger than life or twice as
>>>>>>>>>>>>     natural (the eponymous lemonade). It's an uneasy
>>>>>>>>>>>>     cross between a mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>     activity ("for colored girls who have considered
>>>>>>>>>>>>     suicide | when the rainbow
>>>>>>>>>>>>     is enuf", where 20 imaginary characters are used
>>>>>>>>>>>>     and Ntozake Shange simply
>>>>>>>>>>>>     stands back) and a mediated one ("Black Macho and
>>>>>>>>>>>>     the Myth of Superwoman",
>>>>>>>>>>>>     where Michelle Wallace tries to use her own
>>>>>>>>>>>>     experiences alongside a
>>>>>>>>>>>>     traditional academic approach). Beyoncé can't
>>>>>>>>>>>>     quite figure out whether she
>>>>>>>>>>>>     wants to do this as a mediating choreographer for
>>>>>>>>>>>>     an ineffable everywoman
>>>>>>>>>>>>     or as a mediated activity by the one and only
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Pasha Bey.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>     David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>>>>     Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
> 
> 



Status: O