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



I am happy to withdraw my comment about "Marx died too," David, your point is taken. But I do think that a new concept or a new word such as "wording" requires a succinct explanation without footnotes or it cannot perform the function for which one coins a new word.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 23/04/2017 8:52 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
p. 25, Mike.

I wasn't saying I had anything figured out. You asked a question about
"wording"--as you say, it was a carefully chosen word, I am trying rather
desperately to be clear about my ideas so I can get them published and get
back to being obscure to students.

I guess I still haven't got it right. First Andy calls to point out that
Marx died too. Then David says to go read Harris. Then Wolff-Michael says
that Ricoeur knows more about what I mean to say than I do.

Marx died 16 years after he published his book, and Vygotsky died six
months before he published his; there is a non-trivial difference here and
it really does have to do with whether we can consider a single word to be
a concept (Chapter Five) or not (Chapter Seven and Chapter One).

I  actually have read many books by Roy Harris (I even corresponded with
him briefly, before he died) and I still find that  the concept of
"wording" is very useful in dealing with my data.

I have also read enough Ricoeur to know that he doesn't mean the same thing
by "narrative" that I do--I am trying to distinguish between "dialogue" and
"narrative", and Ricoeur's observation on the difference between the act of
saying and the content of saying applies as much to dialogue as it does to
narrative.

Can't I talk about "wording" without all these footnotes?

David Kellogg
Macquarie University



On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 8:27 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Hi David -

Thanks for correction of primitive. Preliterate will do. I figured your
observations applied to adults. They certainly applied to adults,
non-literate or literate in Vai in the later work I did with Sylvia
Scribner.

OK. I will not read Roy Harris instead of David Kellogg and those members
of xmca who have it figured out! Sheesh.

I do not know Cole and Gay, 1972. In Cole, Gay, Glick, and Sharp (1971)
we wrote:

Cultural differences reside more in the differences in situations to which
cultural groups apply their skills than to differences in the skills
possessed by the groups in question.


I do not have Cole&Scribner to hand. What page was that quotation from? A
shortcoming of our work back in those days and in more recent work as well
was our failure to fully consider and understand the role
of values and normativity in human culture, so it would help to have the
context to see why we did not use the cole et al ideas which we were still
working past in the 1980's.

Looking for that quotation from Cole et al. 1971 i came across the one
page, attached, commentary on those early works that is very short, but
gives the essence of Gay and Cole, the starting point in my own involvement
in those issues.

Word meaning develops in ontogeny.  :-)
mike


On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 2:18 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
wrote:

Mike:  I think what I said was "preliterate" children and not "primitive"
children. But what I said is true of preliterate adults as well: they are
often unable to say how many words there are in a sentence, just as
literate speakers of English find it hard to say how many syllables there
are "upholstery" or how many morphemes there are in "nuclear".

I don't think we need Roy Harris to "prove" that "word" is ineffable.
Yes,
a definition is made of words. So when you define a word, you simply
replace one word with many. Anybody who has tried to learn a language
with
a monolingual dictionary knows this. And because "word" is itself a
word, the same thing happens when you define "word".

That doesn't mean linguistics is useless; it only means that linguistics
doesn't have some privileged ontological, quasi-metaphysical status: it
is
just language turned back on itself, as Firth used to say. But so what?
Psychology is consciousness turned back on itself. Chemical and physical
experiments are matter turned back on itself.

And we keep finding that some ways of turning language back on itself are
more useful than others. The word "word" all by itself is not very useful
because it is a little like Bakhtin's "utterance". It's the space between
two spaces on a typewriter, just as the word "utterance" is the space
between two changes of speaker. It's phenomenological, in the sense of
pre-analytical.

But "wording" is not a word all by itself; it's part of a system of
concepts. A "morpheme", a "word", a "group", a "clause" or a "clause
complex" is not "in between" the utterance on the one hand and the
statement on the other. All of them are distinct, but linked, levels of
structure. A word ("worker") is made up of one or more morphemes ("work",
"~er"), a group is made up of one or more words ("workers and
peasants"), a
clause is made up of one more word groups ("the means of production
belongs
to the workers and peasants") and a clause complex of one or more clauses
("Socialism is possible in the USSR because the means of production
belongs
to the workers and peasants").

Vygotsky says that word meanings develop. That's true. But the specific
way
in which we watch this development in data is neither through counting
morphemes (Brown) or trying to observe "meanings" (Freud) but rather
through wordings. We need a view of grammar that will allow us to do
that.
Ruqaiya Hasan criticizes Cole and Gay (1972), and later Cole and Scribner
(1974), for saying "The reasoning and thinking processes of different
people in different cultures do not differ--just their value, beliefs,
and
ways of classifying differ." Ruqaiya asks--how could one differ and not
the
other? And how would you know that was the case?

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

gropu

On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 2:05 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Thanks for the tip on the Harris book, David. I know his work mostly
through his book on the origin of writing.

Which reminds me of a question for David K. Why is it that you make
reference to primitive children, David? Why not primitive adults as
well?
mike

On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 12:10 AM, WEBSTER, DAVID S. <
d.s.webster@durham.ac.uk> wrote:

Reflexivity and the thorny question of metalanguage seems to be at
issue
here: might I suggest that the late Roy Harris's book 'The Language
Connection' might set the scene. Harris's description of how
Linguistics
constantly fails to define the word 'word' is wonderful.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: 21 April 2017 01:47
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'

Choosing your wording carefully, David, you come up with "wording" to
describe what I think of as the holophrases in question. To help me
clarify
your point for myself, and to use your way of communicating about it,
how
does the wording "wording" relate to the wordings "statement" or
"utterance" offered by Michael in the first case and by others in the
group
on behalf of Bakhtin?

is there a holphorastic rendering/wording that might help us out
here?
Mike

PS- As an afterthought, the examples feel like an utterance to me.
But
that might make a liar out of me too :-)

On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:33 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com
wrote:

In English, the number of syllables or morphemes in a word is often
unclear, while the number of words in a sentence is always fairly
clear.
This isn't true for preliterate children, who have a hard time
understanding that "a" and "of" are actually words. It's true
enough
for people who can read and write, but its really an accident of
orthography (notice that "it's" appears to be one syllable but two
morphemes, and it's not really clear, even to the normally quite
overwheening "wordcount" function in Word, how many words are
actually
there.

Other languages are not like English. So for example in Chinese (a
non-alphabetic language), the number of syllables and morphemes is
always clear, but the number of words in a sentence is quite
unclear
(when you read a page of Chinese, there are no spaces between
morpho-syllables that mark out "words". Chinese poetry, and
classical
Chinese, plays with this a lot: the unit is the morpheme rather
than
the word, and the overall effect (at least on me) is a stream of
syllables and morphemes and meanings but not words.

So I think the place to look for Vygotsky's unit of analysis is not
in
the actual word "word" or "word meaning" (slovo or znachenie
slova).
Holbrook Mahn has proposed translating "znachenie slova" as "verbal
meaning", and although this isn't exactly an accurate way of
presenting how Russian grammar really works, it IS a good way of
getting around the trap set for those who are only going by the
English
word meaning of "word meaning".
I think the place to look is in Vygotsky's examples. In the first
part
of Thinking and Speech, for example, Vygotsky agrees with Stern
that
the child's first "word" has to be construed as not a word but a
whole
wording.
He goes even further: he says it's a whole "wording-in-context",
that
is, a meaning. (And remember, Vygotsky NEVER agrees with Stern
about
ANYTHING unless he absolutely has to!) And in the LAST part of
Thinking and Speech, Vygotsky gives many examples: 'the clock
fell",
"the tram B is arriving", "Would you like some tea"? What all of
these
examples have in common is that they are not single words but they
are
single wordings.
Remember that Russian has no articles; this is something that Andy
himself points out with respect to whether "perezhivanie" should be
"a
perizhivanie" or just "perizhivanie". I think Andy's observation is
essentially correct (although of course we undo part of his insight
when we insist that all languages must "really" have an article of
some kind). But it needs to be generalized: Vygotsky could NOT have
ever written that the unit of analysis is "a" word meaning, simply
because "a", as any preliterate child will tell you, is not a word
(and certainly not a Russian word).

David Kellogg
Macquarie University


On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 5:19 PM, WEBSTER, DAVID S. <
d.s.webster@durham.ac.uk
wrote:
Re the development of punctuation and the origin of 'words' see
http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?3.61

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: 20 April 2017 01:45
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'

"the word" in Russian, Andy, has shades of meaning tending toward
the biblical from current common understandings of the term as a
sort
"lexical
object."  The Vai didnotmakethesamedistinction when writing and
neithr
did
the Greeks.
I believe there are those who would include the utterance in its
meaning as used by Vygotsky. Slippery these translation problems!
But discussion
of
them often reveals clarification of the various concepts involved
as
they appear in different peoples' vocabularies. Mediation has
some
of those properties.

The polysemy of just one language is enough for one poor
translator
to deal with! The polsyemic playing field when you cross
language/cultural systems is what gives academics something to
do.
:-)

mike

mike

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
wrote:
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-mak
ing 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-dir
ections-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-
maki ng 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
-mak
ing

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-
mathemat
ics/
* 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