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[Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'



Michael/all

I  go back a few posts (as ever being a bit slower than this list-serve
demands - let me do this before the discussion moves to 'binocular
vision') and challenge the metaphor of commodity/utterance: I can see it
has merit but also I want to look at the limitations.

You say: 'the sign is to the verbal exchange what the commodity is to the
Commodity-exchange' … But I think I was asking for a characterisation of
the larger totality involved - e.g. The 'economy/mode of production and
its contradictions/collapse' and 'what - dialogue?'

And I think Andy B agrees with you when he says 'both take an
artefact-mediated relation between individuals as the unit'… But suggests
he recognises my problem when he refers to 'its language' (or I might say
'consciousness', 'discourse'  or maybe 'intercourse').

But - as I argued in critique of the metaphor 'labour = learning', this
mapping only goes so far, and has certain dangers. The relation between
commodity/economy (and the mode of production) and utterance/discourse
(and the ideological super/infra-structure) is much more interesting in
the concrete relations of history. I refer to Marx (the German ideology)
and Volosinov.

In reality the relation between commodity production and
'sign-related/mediated' discourse (Marx calls 'intercourse') is
dialectical. Each 'mediates' the other in historical development, and even
in collective production-and-dialogue.

Thus, I suggest, the 'exchange/use value' of an utterance/dialogic
exchange maybe ought to be examined in the ideological context of its
relationship with the 'whole' of social re/production where class power
becomes visible. I don't know how to do this, but the argument is there in
Bourdieu: the power relations between people are part of the
capital-mediated structure of relations in a field (including the field of
opinion/discourse), and this explains the forms of discourse that express
these power relationships and help to hold powerful positions in place in
the field. In this view it is not possible to identify the 'value' of an
utterance or a sign outside of this wider analysis… and an analysis of the
particular discursive/cultural field within its wider sociality.

Sorry this is a bit prolix and so likely to provoke tangential responses:
I did not have time tonight to write a shorter more focussed post.

Best wishes

Julian

Ps The separate discussion on mediation: this might be another thread. I
only want to note here that the mediation of the 'intercourse' through its
'other' in the material form of 'production' (I call the economy above)
and vice versa does not involve a mediator 'between' the two, but is
purely hegelian in seeing the mediation of 'x' through 'not x' in a
totality.




On 18/04/2017 16:34, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:

>Larry, do not be confused. Take it with Bateson (Mind and Nature), and see
>Andy and Michael as two eyes. You then get this:
>
>It is correct (and a great improvement) to begin to think of the
>two parties to the interaction as two eyes , each giving a monocular view
>of what goes on and , together , giving a binocular view in depth. This
>double view is the relationship . (p.133)
>
>What is gained by comparing the data collected by one eye
>with the data collected by the other? Typically , both eyes are aimed at
>the same region of the surrounding universe, and this might seem to be
>a wasteful use of the sense organs. But the anatomy indicates that very
>considerable advantage must accrue from this usage. The innervation of
>the two retinas and the creation at the optic chiasma of pathways for the
>redistribution of information is such an extraordinary feat of
>morphogenesis
>as must surely denote great evolutionary advantage . (p.69)
>
>Michael
>
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------
>------
>Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor
>Applied Cognitive Science
>MacLaurin Building A567
>University of Victoria
>Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2
>http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth <http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
>
>New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
><https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-directions-in-mat
>hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-mathematics/>*
>
>On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>
>> different trajectories, Larry.
>>
>> a
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>> On 18/04/2017 11:44 PM, lpscholar2@gmail.com wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Andy, Julian, Michael,
>>>
>>> My learning curve at this moment is in the way of Michael describing
>>>the
>>> back and forth double movement. That is both giving/receiving, both
>>> (expressing/listening) occurring WITHIN our relationship. This prior
>>>to or
>>> more primordial then taking the individual stance as primary and the
>>> relation as derivative.
>>>
>>> So... In this ‘spirit’ I will pose a question?
>>>
>>> Andy says: ‘artefact mediated relation BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS as a unit.
>>>
>>> Michael says: You remain with back-and-forth movement that is NEVER
>>> action but IS transcation. Here the back-and-forth ‘relation’ is the
>>>UNIT,
>>> and the individuals emerge from WITHIN this primordial double relation.
>>>
>>> Are Andy and Michael on the same trajectory, shifting the accent, or
>>>are
>>> imdividuals situated differently in the comtrasting notions of units.
>>>
>>> In particular does Andy ‘figure’ bridges whereas Michael ‘figures’ gaps
>>> in the notion of BETWEEN.
>>>
>>> Pursuing my growing edge, going out on a limb
>>>
>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>>>
>>> *From: *Andy Blunden <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>> *Sent: *April 17, 2017 11:54 PM
>>> *To: *xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>> *Subject: *[Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'
>>>
>>> Julian/Michael,
>>>
>>> I remember getting very excited back in the early '80s when
>>>
>>> I spotted the symmetry between the first chapters of Capital
>>>
>>> and Marx's critique of algebra in his Mathematical
>>>
>>> Manuscripts. That lasted about a week. The symmetry between
>>>
>>> Vygotsky's analysis of speech and Marx's analysis of
>>>
>>> production is a strong one because both take an
>>>
>>> artefact-mediated relation between individuals as the unit.
>>>
>>> There is a symmetry at the level of the molar unit as well,
>>>
>>> which, so far as I know has been neglected. But this
>>>
>>> structural symmetry cannot usefully be taken too far. The
>>>
>>> "point" is that the unit is a unit of a whole, and the
>>>
>>> productive activity of a community is not the same as its
>>>
>>> language, which as Marx said "the philosophers are bound to
>>>
>>> make into an independent realm." Concretely, speaking is not
>>>
>>> producing. But like all human activities, both are subject
>>>
>>> to analysis by units of artefact-mediated actions.
>>>
>>> Andy
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> Andy Blunden
>>>
>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>
>>> On 18/04/2017 7:01 AM, Julian Williams wrote:
>>>
>>> > Michael
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > In principle I am Ok with the idea of the unit that contains the
>>> essential
>>>
>>> > contradictions… but of what?
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > For Marx the whole point of commodity exchange/value is that it is
>>>the
>>>
>>> > beginning of an explanation of the 'economy', capitalism, and the
>>>labour
>>>
>>> > theory of value is the key to its collapse …
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > What is the equivalent 'point' of sign exchange in dialogue? And
>>>where
>>> is
>>>
>>> > the equivalent of the theory of value? I think the
>>> sensuous/supersensuous
>>>
>>> > is a distraction from the 'point'.
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > That’s my puzzle.
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > Julian
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> > On 17/04/2017 21:49, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
>>>
>>> > Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
>>>
>>> > wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> >> Hi Julian,
>>>
>>> >> the sign is to the verbal exchange what the commodity is to the
>>> commodity
>>>
>>> >> exchange--both the sensuous and supersensuous parts are there that
>>>Marx
>>>
>>> >> and
>>>
>>> >> Vygotsky are writing about. :-)
>>>
>>> >> Michael
>>>
>>> >>
>>>
>>> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>
>>> >> ------
>>>
>>> >> Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor
>>>
>>> >> Applied Cognitive Science
>>>
>>> >> MacLaurin Building A567
>>>
>>> >> University of Victoria
>>>
>>> >> Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2
>>>
>>> >> http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth <http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
>>>
>>> >>
>>>
>>> >> New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
>>>
>>> >> <https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-dir
>>> ections-in-mat
>>>
>>> >> hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-mathematics/>*
>>>
>>> >>
>>>
>>> >> On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 12:11 PM, Julian Williams <
>>>
>>> >> julian.williams@manchester.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>> >>
>>>
>>> >>> Michael and all
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> I am coming late to this discussion and maybe have been missing
>>>some
>>>
>>> >>> important thingsŠ but I want to see a few issues addressed by the
>>>
>>> >>> Functor:
>>>
>>> >>> Commodity => Sign: my skepticism follows to some extent the
>>>critique I
>>>
>>> >>> wrote of the mapping 'labor = learning' that you are familiar with:
>>> but
>>>
>>> >>> in
>>>
>>> >>> some ways I am even more skeptical of this metaphor. So:
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> Commodity to sign, is a unit of a totality as in 'economy' to ..
>>>'Š?
>>> Š '
>>>
>>> >>> What ? Maybe 'dialogue/discourse'?
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> What is the 'value' that is exchanged in discourse, and how does it
>>>
>>> >>> ultimately realise its 'use value' in some sort of dialogic
>>>
>>> >>> 'consumption'
>>>
>>> >>> of useful understanding?
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> How does the producer of value 'labour' to produce it, and how is
>>>the
>>>
>>> >>> 'labour time' related to the 'exchange value' of the sign that
>>> results?
>>>
>>> >>> [Bearing in mind that the labour theory of value is Marx's
>>>essential
>>>
>>> >>> contribution.]
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> Then how does this work relate to devious studies: we already have
>>>the
>>>
>>> >>> work of Bourdieu who assigns cultural capital/value to symbolic
>>>power
>>> in
>>>
>>> >>> the cultural fieldŠ is there a connection here?
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> Best regards as ever
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> Julian
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> Ps I need to come back to you about Hegel (I am far from happy with
>>>
>>> >>> reading the 'Ideal' as a straightforward negation of the 'Real'
>>> implicit
>>>
>>> >>> in what you sayŠ) when I have thought about this a bit more -
>>>maybe in
>>>
>>> >>> 2018Š we should pick up!   :-)
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>> On 17/04/2017 18:22, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
>>>
>>> >>> Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
>>>
>>> >>> wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>>> Hi Larry,
>>>
>>> >>>> things become easier to think through if you do not take an
>>>
>>> >>> individualist
>>>
>>> >>>> starting point but a relational one---not "she has to produce . .
>>> ."
>>>
>>> >>> but
>>>
>>> >>>> look at what is happening in the exchange, where each giving also
>>>is
>>>
>>> >>>> taking, such that in a commodity exchange, you have double
>>>
>>> >>> giving-taking;
>>>
>>> >>>> in a verbal exchange, each speaking also involves listening and
>>>
>>> >>> receiving,
>>>
>>> >>>> and the receiving is for the purpose of giving (speaking,
>>>replying).
>>> As
>>>
>>> >>>> soon as you do this, you remain with back-and-forth movement, no
>>> longer
>>>
>>> >>>> action but transaction.
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> The other interesting thing is that the Russian word znachenie,
>>>
>>> >>> translated
>>>
>>> >>>> as "meaning" (really, signification) also translates as "value"
>>>and
>>>
>>> >>>> "magnitude," and Il'enkov (2009) parenthetically adds "function"
>>>and
>>>
>>> >>>> "rôle". I am quoting from p. 178:
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> Marx joins Hegel as regards terminology, and not Kant or Fichte,
>>>
>>> >>>> who tried to solve the problem of Œideality¹ (i.e., activity)
>>>while
>>>
>>> >>>> remaining Œinside
>>>
>>> >>>> consciousness¹, without venturing into the external
>>>
>>> >>> sensuously-perceptible
>>>
>>> >>>> corporeal
>>>
>>> >>>> world, the world of the palpable-corporeal forms and relations of
>>>
>>> >>> things.
>>>
>>> >>>>      This Hegelian definition of the term Œideality¹ takes in the
>>> whole
>>>
>>> >>>> range of phenomena
>>>
>>> >>>> within which the Œideal¹, understood as the corporeally embodied
>>>form
>>>
>>> >>> of
>>>
>>> >>>> the activity of
>>>
>>> >>>> social man, really exists ­ as activity in the form of the thing,
>>>or
>>>
>>> >>>> conversely, as the thing
>>>
>>> >>>> in the form of activity, as a Œmoment¹ of this activity, as its
>>>
>>> >>> fleeting
>>>
>>> >>>> metamorphoses.
>>>
>>> >>>>      Without an understanding of this state of affairs it would be
>>>
>>> >>> totally
>>>
>>> >>>> impossible to fathom
>>>
>>> >>>> the miracles performed by the commodity before people¹s eyes, the
>>>
>>> >>>> commodity-form of
>>>
>>> >>>> the product, particularly in its dazzling money-form, in the form
>>>of
>>>
>>> >>> the
>>>
>>> >>>> notorious Œreal
>>>
>>> >>>> talers¹, Œreal roubles¹, or Œreal dollars¹, things which, as soon
>>>as
>>> we
>>>
>>> >>>> have the slightest
>>>
>>> >>>> theoretical understanding of them, immediately turn out to be not
>>>
>>> >>> Œreal¹
>>>
>>> >>>> at
>>>
>>> >>>> all, but Œideal¹
>>>
>>> >>>> through and through, things whose category quite unambiguously
>>> includes
>>>
>>> >>>> words, the
>>>
>>> >>>> units of language, and many other Œthings¹. Things that, while
>>>being
>>>
>>> >>>> wholly
>>>
>>> >>>> Œmaterial¹,
>>>
>>> >>>> palpable-corporeal formations, acquire all their Œmeaning¹
>>>(function
>>>
>>> >>> and
>>>
>>> >>>> rôle) from Œspirit¹,
>>>
>>> >>> >from Œthought¹ and even owe to it their specific corporeal
>>>existence.
>>>
>>> >>>> Outside spirit and
>>>
>>> >>>> without it there cannot even be words; there is merely a
>>>vibration of
>>>
>>> >>> the
>>>
>>> >>>> air.
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> Michael
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> -----------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> >>> ---------------
>>>
>>> >>>> ------
>>>
>>> >>>> Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor
>>>
>>> >>>> Applied Cognitive Science
>>>
>>> >>>> MacLaurin Building A567
>>>
>>> >>>> University of Victoria
>>>
>>> >>>> Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2
>>>
>>> >>>> http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth
>>><http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
>>>
>>> >>>> <https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-
>>>
>>> >>> directions-in-mat
>>>
>>> >>>> hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-mathematics/>*
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>> On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:31 AM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> >>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> I am attempting to follow Wolff-Michael¹s trajectory as
>>>presented in
>>>
>>> >>> his
>>>
>>> >>>>> article (A Dialectical Materialist Reading of the Sign). On page
>>>149
>>>
>>> >>> he
>>>
>>> >>>>> attempts to clarify the difference between sign complex
>>>Œuse-value¹
>>> &
>>>
>>> >>>>> sign
>>>
>>> >>>>> complex Œvalue¹.
>>>
>>> >>>>> His methodology is to read Marx Œsubstituting¹ the word ŒSIGN¹
>>>
>>> >>> (implying
>>>
>>> >>>>> sign complex) FOR Œcommodity¹ and intuites this method will be
>>>
>>> >>>>> generative.
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> Here is his realization through the method of re-reading as
>>> (trading,
>>>
>>> >>>>> translation, transposition) as I am carried along.
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> a) USE-VALUE: Œnatural signs¹ such as animal footprints are
>>>
>>> >>>>> useful/functional to the hunter inherently; they do NOT have
>>>Œvalue¹
>>>
>>> >>>>> (exchangeble value) though they do have use-value for the hunter
>>>or
>>>
>>> >>>>> hunting
>>>
>>> >>>>> party in finding game.  Similarly a sign complex can be useful
>>>and
>>>
>>> >>> the
>>>
>>> >>>>> product of human labour without being Œvalue¹ (exchangeable).
>>> Someone
>>>
>>> >>>>> who
>>>
>>> >>>>> satisfies HER needs through her product produces Œuse-value¹ but
>>>NOT
>>>
>>> >>>>> Œvalue¹.
>>>
>>> >>>>> b) VALUE: (exchangeable). To produce SIGNS (complexes), she has
>>>to
>>>
>>> >>>>> produce
>>>
>>> >>>>> not only Œuse-value¹ but use-value FOR others. She has to produce
>>>
>>> >>>>> Œsocietal¹ use-values.... To be/come (exchangeable) SIGN, the
>>> product
>>>
>>> >>>>> HAS
>>>
>>> >>>>> TO BE TRANSFERRED to another, FOR whom the SIGN complex
>>> Œconstitutes¹
>>>
>>> >>>>> use-value.
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> The production of signs that produce no Œvalue¹ that is
>>>exchangeable
>>>
>>> >>> FOR
>>>
>>> >>>>> others leads to personal notes often having NO use-value to
>>>others.
>>>
>>> >>> To
>>>
>>> >>>>> trans/form use-value to BE come Œvalue¹ requires exchangeability
>>>
>>> >>> under
>>>
>>> >>>>> lighting various forms of SIGN (complexes).
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> Apologies to Wolff-Michael if my echoing his re-reading
>>>methodology
>>>
>>> >>>>> garrbled the trans/mission?
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> I offer this because it helps clarify my reading of Œuse-value¹ &
>>>
>>> >>>>> Œvalue¹
>>>
>>> >>>>> (exchangeable)
>>>
>>> >>>>> My morning musement
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >>>
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>