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



The structure of "Thinking and Speech" is that the early chapters begin with the Word and the later chapters focus on the Concept. I take this as a guide as to what Vygotsky meant by "word", and that is not in the narrow sense. A word is the sign for a concept, and this is often 2 or 3 words, an "expression."

"Utterance" is Bakhtin's unit and it is quite different from "word." An utterance is defined in terms of transactions between interlocutors. An utterance begins when someone starts speaking and ends when they hand the talking stick on to the next person. That could be an entire speech, or it could be a single exclamation. An utterance may reference a thousand concepts or none at all.

Two quite different science are built on these two units.

Note that Marx's "Capital" has the structure of "Thinking and Speech" in that only the first 4 chapters use the commodity as a unit, and once Marx inverts the unit (C-M-C becomes M-C-M') the unit is capital. And yet I know of no analogous structure in Bakhtin's work .... but then, I don't haven't studied Bakhtin.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 20/04/2017 10:42 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
Andy, could you give bit more on that distinction between word and utterance as it pertains to the ongoing discussion? I am interested. Also, I note that different participants in the thread have used the different terms, 'sign,' and 'utterance.'

Alfredo
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent: 20 April 2017 02:26
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'

and as a further note of caution, the unit in "Thinking and
Speech" is a word, not an utterance, and yet it is utterance
which seems to be analogous to "commodity."

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making

On 20/04/2017 7:01 AM, Julian Williams wrote:
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