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

Right, the question here is whether the data used - from the World Atlas of Language Structures - was sufficiently accurate and detailed in its characterization of the phonemes in each language.


> On May 5, 2016, at 8:09 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:
> 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