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[Xmca-l] Re: Noumenal and Phenomenal

This about sums up the Pragmatist position Andy - at least for me.  I'm not sure I understand mind as abstracted from activity, or perhaps I am struggling with the notion of if you abstract mind from activity, where do you abstract it to?


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 4:24 AM
To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Noumenal and Phenomenal

As I understand it, the problem with the aspiration to non-dualism which Michael, as a Pragmatist, is challenging may be this: If you claim that an individual has a number of mental attributes which are "carried" from one context to another and go through a process of development, then this implies that the locus of these capacities is the person's body. If a person is replaced in some activity with another person, to carry on the same activity, then they take those attributes with them. The fact that this is not 100.0% true (a person may lose certain capacities when they change the context of their activity, and an activity will change when a new person enters it) does not alter the fact that the individual's body is the locus of their mind (cognitive activity, thinking, personal development, etc).

So this appears to be a problem for those of us who are Activity Theorists, and see the mind (or mental processes) as phenomena abstracted from activity not as something distinct from or counterposed to activity. Activity is *not* a dualist concept, as Michael suggested earlier, when he
asked: "How do you posit activity as developing without a human mind that manipulates activity?" That is, Activity Theory does not see subjective mind "manipulating" objective behaviour.

It is similar to the problem which Mike drew our attention to a few months ago of how he spent a car journey ruminating on a problem, and only acted on that when he arrived at his destination.

Now, I do *not* believe that this conundrum forces us to adopt a dualism, and nor does a rejection of the problematic nature of the conundrum oblige us to abandon the idea of mental development (which presupposes a human body as the locus of mind). But I do think it is a reasonable problem to pose.

Now I may have misunderstood you, Michael, but does my puzzle fairly present your issue?


Andy Blunden

On 29/06/2016 2:11 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
> Don't mind the piling on.  Just making the point that perhaps non-dualism is an issue to be grappled with rather than adhered to.
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
> Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:02 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Noumenal and Phenomenal
> Michael,
> I didn't mean to be cavalier. Just posing a genuine question.
> One more question:
> Do we carry a constant something around with us?
> And does that constant something not develop/change?
> (if not, then it sure sounds a lot like a soul. Designed intelligence
> perhaps?)
> And, is there no one else out there in XMCA land willing to support Michael's doubting non-dualism? (Feeling badly for piling on here...
> someone switch sides?).
> -greg
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 12:43 AM, Glassman, Michael 
> <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> wrote:
>> Yes I worried about using the example of intelligent design for this 
>> reason, we would get bogged down in the whole God thing rather than 
>> the idea that there is a separate mind manipulating and controlling 
>> our activity or consciousness or personality, or whatever you might 
>> want to call this constant that we carry around with us.  I'm not 
>> making an argument for intelligent design - and I actually think you 
>> know that.  I am saying that our conception of development has 
>> similarities to the conception of intelligent design, in that there 
>> is a mind, an internal, constant force which is manipulating activity.
>> One of the reasons the early Pragmatists were no against dualism is 
>> because of the destructive tendencies of the idea that God has a plan.
>> If we can't get there then I would like to withdraw my example because it just becomes a distraction.
>> Michael
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
>> [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Martin John Packer 
>> [mpacker@uniandes.edu.co]
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 11:33 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Noumenal and Phenomenal
>> I am not following your argument, Michael. You suggest that the 
>> explanation of individual development is somehow parallel to the 
>> issue of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is the claim that the 
>> order we see in the universe must have been designed, and design 
>> requires intelligence, therefore a god must exist. Presumably you 
>> find that argument convincing, or you would not suggest the parallel. 
>> I, however, do not find it a convincing argument: order in the universe emerges and evolves over time.
>> In the same way, the order in human activity emerges and evolves over 
>> time. You seem to be suggesting that explaining order in individual 
>> psychological development must require something that remains 
>> "constant as the circumstances of activity constantly change.” Well, 
>> children are born into a highly structured social context. And LSV
>> *does* posit something else that is, or becomes, relatively “constant”
>> in human psychological
>> development: he calls it personality. Not mind.
>> Martin
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson