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[Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Отв: Re: Unit of Analysis



Yes Sasha Please do continue! This is helping so far!
Robert

On Sep 12, 2017 5:38 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> I enthusiastically agree with you on this one, Alfredo.
>
> I all the discussions I have had with CHATters about
> Vygotsky's idea of "unit of analysis" and in all the
> discussions I have had with Marxists about the "method of
> Capital" or in any of the discussions I have had with
> Activity Theorists (ANL variety) about the Units of
> Activity, I have never come across anyone who on even a
> single occasion has suggested or referred to the application
> to other domains of the method of analysis by units, other
> than by way of passing off-hand references (such as your
> example of analysis of hurricanes). Surely the whole idea of
> a "method" is that it is portable, so to speak?
>
> And yet Vygotsky himself identified as many as 4 different
> units in various domains of research. Is there anyone on
> this list who can tell of research they have done using a
> unit of analysis which was a product of their own research?
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> On 12/09/2017 7:14 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
> > Alexander, the topic is interesting, so feel welcome to continue. The
> topic is most interesting if, at some point along the thread, we can begin
> to mobilise this thinking in such a way that its practical implications
> become apparent and obvious to most xmca readers interested in seeing how
> all this can be relevant to research and practice.
> >
> > Alfredo
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Alexander Surmava <alexander.surmava@yahoo.com>
> > Sent: 12 September 2017 02:27
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Отв:  Re: Отв: Re: Unit of Analysis
> >
> > Some reflections on the category of activity
> >
> > Theoretical understanding of the category of activity (deyatelnosti) in
> the philosophy of the Modern Era goes back to Spinoza. The one whose cause
> of action belongs to himself is active. Active is the one who acts
> (according the form of it's object). It is not the one who moves according
> to an external impulse or program of a trajectory. Conversely, the one
> whose movement or conditions are determined by any external cause, external
> influence or stimulus is passive. By the way, the concept of the Subject as
> it is is inseparable from the concept of activity. There where is no object
> oriented activity, there is no subject, no psychy, no life.The
> Stimulus-Reaction relationship is entirely passive, at least from the
> reacting side. Therefore, the S->R relationship is an attribute of the
> mechanism and is incompatible with living subjectivity. Thus, a computer
> responsive to clicks of a mouse or keyboard in accordance with its program
> is not a subject, but an entirely mechanical autom
> >  aton, a passive obedient to our will object of OUR activity, our
> subjectivity. The same can be said about the Cartesian animals and the
> primitive, non-cultured man in the representation of the old philosophy
> (and to a large extent of Vygotsky and paradoxically even Ilyenkov).The
> question arises - how, according to the old philosophers, emerges a
> subject?Descartes' responce is - magically. Through the magical joining of
> the disembodied soul to the mechanical body. Through the addition of a
> purposeful free will to the causal mechanical stimulus-reactive automaton.
> Obviously, from the point of view of rational, scientific logic, Descartes'
> solution is a dead end.Meanwhile, the problem, in this formulation, simply
> has no solution. Basically.Starting from passive, simply reacting body we
> will never come to free subject.  (In parentheses, recall that
> stimulus-reactive logic in any scientific understanding of both physiology
> and psychology is almost the only logic up to the present
> >   day.)
> > The next attempt to solve the problem belongs to the philosophers of the
> Enlightenment. Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant, who completed this line
> of thought, belive that the transition from the unfree, animal-like
> existence of people to freedom and reason take place through a social
> contract. In other words, according to these philosphers freedom is
> achieved through a specific convention, agreement. Let's notice, that over
> a natural question, how mechanical, in fact automatic machine is capable to
> make such a somersault of a mortal they did not reflect. According to their
> teachings, it is necessary to distinguish between the natural state of a
> person in which he is similar to an animal, and his cultural state in which
> he becomes above his unfree natural affects and bodily impulses and gains
> freedom. You probably noticed that actually this is the formulation of the
> so-called cultural-historical theory of Vygotsky and this logic is equally
> far from both the real culture, and f
> >  rom real history, and from Marxism.Although, it can not be denied that
> Vygotsky had good philosophical grounds for his theory. Rousseau and Kant
> are the greatest thinkers in the history of culture.
> > Let me finish this now, for it's already 3:00 a.m. in Moscow :-)If the
> topic seems interesting, I'll continue it tomorrow.Sasha
> >
> >
> >     понедельник, 11 сентября 2017 23:38 Alfredo Jornet Gil <
> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> писал(а):
> >
> >
> >  Just to add some precedents, Dewey had taken the transactional view
> more or less at the same time as Vygotsky was lecturing on perezhivanie,
> when he formulated the notion of 'an experience' as unity of doing and
> undergoing, in his Art as Experience (1932-1934), and explicitly names his
> approach as *transactional* (vs self-factional and interactional) in Dewey
> and Bentley's Knowing and the Known, 1949.
> >
> > Marx and Engels too speak to the 'passible' nature of 'real experience',
> in their "The Holy Family", when critiquing "Critical Criticism" and
> speculative construction for going against "everything living, everything
> which is immediate, every sensuous experience, any and every *real*
> experience, the 'Whence' and 'Whither' of which one never *knows*
> beforehand".
> >
> > Alfredo
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
> > Sent: 11 September 2017 21:14
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Unit of Analysis
> >
> > Ivan--
> >
> > your comment about everything being relative and the citation from
> Spinoza
> > seem to fit pretty well with what Michael commented upon.
> >
> > For those of us trained as experimental psychologists, Spinoza was not a
> > central feature of the curriculum (a well known cognitive psychologist
> > colleague of mind outspokenly banned philosophy from consideration
> similar
> > to Pavlov's ban on use of psychological vocabulary to talk about
> > conditional reflexes in dogs.
> >
> > Consequently, your remarks are very valuable in helping to understand the
> > issues at stake at stake among the cognoscenti vis a vis the particular
> > topic at hand.
> >
> > thanks
> > mike
> >
> > On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 12:08 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> >> I agree with your suggestions. I also consider actions to be
> transactions
> >> and happy to open the way to "feelings" instead of "sensations," which
> in
> >> English would accomplish the job.
> >>
> >> But its a terrible problem that we live life forward and understand it
> >> backwards. Leads to all sorts of tangles in the tread of life.
> >>
> >> mike
> >>
> >> On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 11:40 AM, Wolff-Michael Roth <
> >> wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Mike,
> >>> if you add, "the capacity to be affected," then you open up theoretical
> >>> possibilities for affect (emotion).
> >>>
> >>> I have recently suggested to think not in terms of actions but
> >>> transactions. So, for example, listening to someone else requires (a)
> >>> actively attending and (b) receiving what you (in most cases) not
> already
> >>> know. That is, while actively attending to someone else speak, you do
> not
> >>> know (grasp) what is affecting you until you realize that you are hurt
> >>> (insulted etc).
> >>>
> >>> Anyway, you cannot reduce this to activity or passivity, because there
> are
> >>> two movements, a going (attending) and a coming (receiving), efferent
> and
> >>> afferent... So you are thinking in terms of transactions, the kind that
> >>> you
> >>> would get if you take seriously perezhivanie as the unity/identity of
> >>> person and environment.
> >>>
> >>> 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-mathematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics
> >>> -of-mathematics/>*
> >>>
> >>> On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 11:18 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Aha! So we are not talking about a passive neonate. Whew.
> >>>>
> >>>> Passibility is a new word for me, Michael. The OED's first two entries
> >>>> appear to incompass both Ivan and your usage:
> >>>>
> >>>> 1. Chiefly *Theol.* The quality of being passible; capacity for
> >>> suffering
> >>>> or sensation.
> >>>> 2. Passiveness; inaction; sloth. *Obs.* *rare*.
> >>>> To me, the addition of the word sensation to suffering broadens its
> >>> meaning
> >>>> significantly.
> >>>>
> >>>> Recently a Russian colleague suggested to me that Spinoza's use of the
> >>> term
> >>>> passion would best be translated as perezhivanie. Certainly it bears a
> >>>> relationship to the concept of perezhivanie as that term is used by
> >>>> Vasiliuk.
> >>>>
> >>>> mike
> >>>>
> >>>> On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:49 AM, Wolff-Michael Roth <
> >>>> wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Ivan, the word passive has some unfortunate connotation. The term
> >>>>> passibility--the capacity to suffer--seems to come with a range of
> >>>>> affordances (e.g., see my book *Passibility*).
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 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-mathematics-and-science-education/the-
> >>>>> mathematics-of-mathematics/>*
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:37 AM, Ivan Uemlianin <ivan@llaisdy.com>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>>> Dear Sasha
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Passive as in driven by the passions. Isn't that how Spinoza would
> >>>>>> characterise animals and infants?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Ivan
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> --
> >>>>>> festina lente
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> On 11 Sep 2017, at 18:05, Alexandre Sourmava <avramus@gmail.com>
> >>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>> Dear Ivan.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> To say that "that the neo-nate is not active at all, but passive,
> >>> and
> >>>>>> that therefore neo-nate behaviour is not activity" means to say that
> >>>> neo
> >>>>>> nate is not alive creature, but mechanic agregate of dead parts.
> >>> And I
> >>>> am
> >>>>>> not sure that idea about passiveness of animals or neo-nate fallows
> >>>> from
> >>>>>> Spinoza :-).
> >>>>>>> Sasha
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>     扭抉扶快忱快抖抆扶我抗, 11 扼快扶找攸忌把攸 2017 18:07 Andy Blunden <
> >>>> ablunden@mira.net
> >>>>>> 扭我扼忘抖(忘):
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Yes, I think a further elaboration of this idea would lead
> >>>>>>> to an examination of needs and activity and sensuousness in
> >>>>>>> connection with needs and their development in connection
> >>>>>>> with activity.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Andy
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>> Andy Blunden
> >>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> >>>>>>>> On 12/09/2017 1:01 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Thanks Andy, the sense of 'visceral' is much more nuanced
> >>>>>>>> in your text, yes, and quite different from what one could
> >>>>>>>> grasp from the previous e-mail. And I now follow your
> >>>>>>>> elaboration on micro- and macro-unit much better, so
> >>>>>>>> thanks for that. I was hoping, however, that the
> >>>>>>>> elaboration would lead to some acknowledgement of the role
> >>>>>>>> of needs, real needs, as key to what the word 'visceral'
> >>>>>>>> was suggesting here. I was thinking that rather than a
> >>>>>>>> 'grasping', we gain more track by talking of an orienting,
> >>>>>>>> which is how I read Marx and Engels, when Marx talks about
> >>>>>>>> the significance of 'revolutionary', 'practical-critical'
> >>>>>>>> activity, the fundamental fact of a need and its
> >>>>>>>> connections to its production and satisfaction.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> A
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> >>>>>>>> *Sent:* 09 September 2017 03:30
> >>>>>>>> *To:* Alfredo Jornet Gil; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>>>>>> *Subject:* Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Yes, it is tough discussing these topics by email. All the
> >>>>>>>> issues you raise are treated in
> >>>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Goethe-
> >>>>>> Hegel-Marx_public.pdf
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> I am *not* dividing the world into 'immediate, bodily,
> >>>>>>>> and sensuous' and 'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous'.
> >>>>>>>> The whole point is to begin by *not* dividing. By contrast
> >>>>>>>> for example, Newton explained natural processes (very
> >>>>>>>> successfully!) by describing a number of "forces"; a force
> >>>>>>>> is an example of something which is not visceral or
> >>>>>>>> sensuous (and also not discrete so it can't be a 'unit').
> >>>>>>>> The "expression" of a force can be visceral (think of the
> >>>>>>>> effect of gravity) but gravity itself is an invention
> >>>>>>>> needed to make a theory of physics work (like God's Will)
> >>>>>>>> but has no content other than its expression. People got
> >>>>>>>> by without it for millennia. This is not to say it does
> >>>>>>>> not have a sound basis in material reality. But it is
> >>>>>>>> abstract, in the sense that it exists only within the
> >>>>>>>> framework of a theory, and cannot therefore provide a
> >>>>>>>> starting point or foundation for a theory. To claim that a
> >>>>>>>> force exists is to reify an abstraction from a form of
> >>>>>>>> movement (constant acceleration between two bodies).
> >>>>>>>> Goethe called his method "delicate empiricism" but this is
> >>>>>>>> something quite different from the kind of empiricism
> >>>>>>>> which uncritically accepts theory-laden perceptions,
> >>>>>>>> discovers patterns in these perceptions and then reifies
> >>>>>>>> these patterns in forces and such abstractions.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> If you don't know about climatology then you can't guess
> >>>>>>>> the unit of analysis. Marx took from 1843 to about 1858 to
> >>>>>>>> determine a unit of analysis for economics. Vygotsky took
> >>>>>>>> from about 1924 to 1931 to determine a unit of analysis
> >>>>>>>> for intellect. And both these characters studied their
> >>>>>>>> field obsessively during that interval. This is why I
> >>>>>>>> insist that the unit of analysis is a *visceral concept*
> >>>>>>>> unifying a series of phenomena, something which gets to
> >>>>>>>> the heart of a process, and which therefore comes only
> >>>>>>>> through prolonged study, not something which is generated
> >>>>>>>> by some formula with a moment's reflection.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Each unit is the foundation of an entire science. But both
> >>>>>>>> Marx's Capital and Vygotsky's T&S identify a micro-unit
> >>>>>>>> but quickly move on to the real phenomenon of interest -
> >>>>>>>> capital and concepts respectively. But capital (which
> >>>>>>>> makes its appearance in chapter 4) cannot be understood
> >>>>>>>> without having first identified the real substance of
> >>>>>>>> value in the commodity. The rest of the book then proceeds
> >>>>>>>> on the basis of this unit, capital (i.e., a unit of
> >>>>>>>> capital, a firm). To ignore capital is to depict bourgeois
> >>>>>>>> society as a society of simple commodity exchange among
> >>>>>>>> equals - a total fiction. Likewise, Vygotsky's real aim it
> >>>>>>>> to elucidate the nature and development of concepts. He
> >>>>>>>> does not say it, and probably does not himself see it, but
> >>>>>>>> "concept" is a macro-unit (or molar unit in ANL's term),
> >>>>>>>> an aggregate of actions centred on a symbol or other
> >>>>>>>> artefact. The whole point of introducing the cell into
> >>>>>>>> biology was to understand the behaviour of *organisms*,
> >>>>>>>> not for the sake of creating the science of cell biology,
> >>>>>>>> though this was a side benefit of the discovery.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Andy
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
> >>>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> >>>>>>>>> On 9/09/2017 5:31 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Andy, thanks for your clarification on the 'visceral'.
> >>>>>>>>> The way you describe it, though, suggests to me an
> >>>>>>>>> empiricist position that I know you do not ascribe to;
> >>>>>>>>> and so I'll take it that either I've missed the correct
> >>>>>>>>> reading, or that we are still developing language to talk
> >>>>>>>>> about this. In any case, I assume you do not mean that
> >>>>>>>>> whatever our object of study is, it is divided between
> >>>>>>>>> the visceral as the 'immediate, bodily, and sensuous' and
> >>>>>>>>> something else that, by implication, may have been said
> >>>>>>>>> to be 'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous' (you may as
> >>>>>>>>> well mean precisely this, I am not sure).
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> I do not know what the climatologist's unit of analysis
> >>>>>>>>> is when discussing hurricanes either, but I do think that
> >>>>>>>>> Hurricanes Irma, Jos谷, etc, are expressions of a system
> >>>>>>>>> in a very similar way that any psychological fact is a
> >>>>>>>>> expression of the society as part of which it occurs. I
> >>>>>>>>> was thinking that, if we assumed for a second that we
> >>>>>>>>> know what the unit for studying of hurricanes is (some
> >>>>>>>>> concrete relation between climate or environment and
> >>>>>>>>> hurricane), 'feeling' the hurricane could be thought of
> >>>>>>>>> in may ways, only some of which may be helpful to advance
> >>>>>>>>> our scientific understanding of human praxis. The way you
> >>>>>>>>> seemed to refer to this 'visceral' aspect, as 'immediate,
> >>>>>>>>> embodied, and sensous' would make things hard, because,
> >>>>>>>>> are we 'feeling' the hurricane, or the wind blowing our
> >>>>>>>>> roofs away? In fact, is it the wind at all, or the many
> >>>>>>>>> micro particles of soil and other matter that are
> >>>>>>>>> smashing our skin as the hurricane passes above us, too
> >>>>>>>>> big, too complex, to be 'felt' in any way that captures
> >>>>>>>>> it all? And so, if your object of study is to be 'felt',
> >>>>>>>>> I don't think the definition of 'immediate, embodied, and
> >>>>>>>>> sensuous' helps unless we mean it WITHOUT it being the
> >>>>>>>>> opposite to 'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous'.
> >>>>>>>>> That is, if we do not oppose the immediate to the
> >>>>>>>>> mediated in the sense just implied (visceral is immediate
> >>>>>>>>> vs. 'not-visceral' is mediated). So, I am arguing in
> >>>>>>>>> favour of the claim that we need to have this visceral
> >>>>>>>>> relation that you mention, but I do think that we require
> >>>>>>>>> a much more sophisticated definition of 'visceral' than
> >>>>>>>>> the one that the three words already mentioned allow
> >>>>>>>>> for. I do 'feel' that in most of his later works,
> >>>>>>>>> Vygotsky was very concerned on emphasising the unity of
> >>>>>>>>> intellect and affect as the most important problem for
> >>>>>>>>> psychology for precisely this reason.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> I have also my reservations with the distinction that you
> >>>>>>>>> draw in your e-mail between micro-unit and macro-unit. If
> >>>>>>>>> the question is the production of awareness, of the
> >>>>>>>>> 'experience of having a mind' that you are discussing
> >>>>>>>>> with Michael, then we have to find just one unit, not
> >>>>>>>>> two, not one micro and one macro. I am of course not
> >>>>>>>>> saying that one unit addresses all the problems one can
> >>>>>>>>> pose for psychology. But I do think that the very idea of
> >>>>>>>>> unit analysis implies that it constitutes your field of
> >>>>>>>>> inquiry for a particular problem (you've written about
> >>>>>>>>> this). You ask about Michael's mind, and Michael responds
> >>>>>>>>> that his mind is but one expression of a society.I would
> >>>>>>>>> add that whatever society is as a whole, it lives as
> >>>>>>>>> consciousness in and through each and every single one of
> >>>>>>>>> our consciousness; if so, the unit Vygotsky was
> >>>>>>>>> suggesting, the one denoting the unity of person and
> >>>>>>>>> situation, seems to me well suited; not a micro-unit that
> >>>>>>>>> is micro with respect to the macro-activity.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> If you take the Spinozist position that 'a true idea must
> >>>>>>>>> agree with that of which it is the idea', and then agree
> >>>>>>>>> with Vygotsky that ideas are not intellect on the one
> >>>>>>>>> hand, and affect on the other, but a very special
> >>>>>>>>> relation (a unity) between the two, then we need a notion
> >>>>>>>>> of 'visceral and sensous' that is adequate to our 'idea'
> >>>>>>>>> or field of inquiry. We can then ask questions about the
> >>>>>>>>> affects of phenomena, of hurricanes, for example, as
> >>>>>>>>> Latour writes about the 'affects of capitalism'. And we
> >>>>>>>>> would do so without implying an opposition between
> >>>>>>>>> the feeling and the felt, but some production process
> >>>>>>>>> that accounts for both. Perezhivanie then, in my view, is
> >>>>>>>>> not so much about experience as it is about human
> >>>>>>>>> situations; historical events, which happen to have some
> >>>>>>>>> individual people having them as inherent part of their
> >>>>>>>>> being precisely that: historical events (a mindless or
> >>>>>>>>> totally unconscious event would not be historical).
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> I am no fun of frightening away people in the list with
> >>>>>>>>> too long posts like this one, but I think the issue is
> >>>>>>>>> complex and requires some elaboration. I hope xmca is
> >>>>>>>>> also appreciated for allowing going deep into questions
> >>>>>>>>> that otherwise seem to alway remain elusive.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Alfredo
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>>> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> >>>>>>>>> *Sent:* 08 September 2017 04:11
> >>>>>>>>> *To:* Alfredo Jornet Gil; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>>>>>>> *Subject:* Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Alfredo, by "visceral" I mean it is something you know
> >>>>>>>>> through your immediate, bodily and sensuous interaction
> >>>>>>>>> with something. In this sense I am with Lakoff and
> >>>>>>>>> Johnson here (though not being American I don't see guns
> >>>>>>>>> as quite so fundamental to the human condition). Consider
> >>>>>>>>> what Marx did when began Capital not from the abstract
> >>>>>>>>> concept of "value" but from the action of exchanging
> >>>>>>>>> commodities . Commodity exchange is just one form of
> >>>>>>>>> value, but it is the most ancient, most visceral, most
> >>>>>>>>> "real" and most fundamental form of value - as Marx shows
> >>>>>>>>> in s. 3 of Chapter 1, v. I.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> I have never studied climatology, Alfredo, to the extent
> >>>>>>>>> of grasping what their unit of analysis is.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> In any social system, including classroom activity, the
> >>>>>>>>> micro-unit is an artefact-mediated action and the
> >>>>>>>>> macro-units are the activities. That is the basic CHAT
> >>>>>>>>> approach. But that is far from the whole picture isn't
> >>>>>>>>> it? What chronotope determines classroom activity - are
> >>>>>>>>> we training people to be productive workers or are we
> >>>>>>>>> participating in social movements or are we engaged in
> >>>>>>>>> transforming relations of domination in the classroom or
> >>>>>>>>> are we part of a centuries-old struggle to understand and
> >>>>>>>>> change the world? The action/activity just gives us one
> >>>>>>>>> range of insights, but we might analyse the classroom
> >>>>>>>>> from different perspectives.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Andy
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
> >>>>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> >>>>>>>>> https://andyblunden.academia.edu/research
> >>>>>>>>>> On 8/09/2017 7:58 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>> I am very curious about what "visceral" means here (Andy), and
> >>>>>> particularly how that relates to the 'interrelations' that David D.
> >>> is
> >>>>>> mentioning, and that on the 'perspective of the researcher'.
> >>>>>>>>>> I was thinking of the Hurricanes going on now as the
> >>> expressions
> >>>> of
> >>>>> a
> >>>>>> system, one that sustains category 5 hurricanes in *this*
> >>> particulars
> >>>>> ways
> >>>>>> that are called Irma, Jos谷, etc. How the 'visceral' relation may be
> >>>> like
> >>>>>> when the object is a physical system (a hurricane and the climate
> >>>> system
> >>>>>> that sustains it), and when it is a social system (e.g., a classroom
> >>>>>> conflict and the system that sustains it).
> >>>>>>>>>> Alfredo
> >>>>>>>>>> ________________________________________
> >>>>>>>>>> From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>>> <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.
> >>>>>> edu>  on behalf of David Dirlam<modesofpractice@gmail.com>
> >>>>>>>>>> Sent: 07 September 2017 19:41
> >>>>>>>>>> To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>>>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> The issues that have arisen in this discussion clarify the
> >>>>> conception
> >>>>>> of
> >>>>>>>>>> what sort of entity a "unit" is. Both and Andy and Martin
> >>> stress
> >>>> the
> >>>>>>>>>> importance of the observer. Anyone with some experience should
> >>>> have
> >>>>>> some
> >>>>>>>>>> sense of it (Martin's point). But Andy added the notion that
> >>>> experts
> >>>>>> need
> >>>>>>>>>> basically to be able to agree reliably on examples of the unit
> >>>>>> (worded like
> >>>>>>>>>> the psychological researcher I am, but I'm sure Andy will
> >>> correct
> >>>> me
> >>>>>> if I
> >>>>>>>>>> missed his meaning).
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> We also need to address two other aspects of units--their
> >>>>>> classifiability
> >>>>>>>>>> and the types of relations between them. What makes water not
> >>> an
> >>>>>> element,
> >>>>>>>>>> but a compound, are the relations between the subunits (the
> >>>> chemical
> >>>>>> bonds
> >>>>>>>>>> between the elements) as well as those with other molecules of
> >>>> water
> >>>>>> (how
> >>>>>>>>>> fast they travel relative to each other), which was David
> >>>> Kellogg's
> >>>>>> point.
> >>>>>>>>>> So the analogy to activity is that it is like the molecule,
> >>> while
> >>>>>> actions
> >>>>>>>>>> are like the elements. What is new to this discussion is that
> >>> the
> >>>>>> activity
> >>>>>>>>>> must contain not only actions, but also relationships between
> >>>> them.
> >>>>>> If we
> >>>>>>>>>> move up to the biological realm, we find a great increase in
> >>> the
> >>>>>> complexity
> >>>>>>>>>> of the analogy. Bodies are made up of more than cells, and I'm
> >>> not
> >>>>>> just
> >>>>>>>>>> referring to entities like extracellular fluid. The
> >>>> identifiability,
> >>>>>>>>>> classification, and interrelations between cells and their
> >>>>>> constituents all
> >>>>>>>>>> help to make the unit so interesting to science. Likewise, the
> >>>>>> constituents
> >>>>>>>>>> of activities are more than actions. Yrjo's triangles
> >>> illustrate
> >>>>> that.
> >>>>>>>>>> Also, we need to be able to identify an activity, classify
> >>>>>> activities, and
> >>>>>>>>>> discern the interrelations between them and their constituents.
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> I think that is getting us close to David Kellogg's aim of
> >>>>>> characterizing
> >>>>>>>>>> the meaning of unit. But glad, like him, to read corrections.
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> David
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>> On Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 10:08 PM, Andy Blunden<
> >>> ablunden@mira.net>
> >>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>>> Yes, but I think, Martin, that the unit of analysis we need to
> >>>>>> aspire to
> >>>>>>>>>>> is *visceral* and sensuous. There are "everyday" concepts
> >>> which
> >>>> are
> >>>>>> utterly
> >>>>>>>>>>> abstract and saturated with ideology and received knowledge.
> >>> For
> >>>>>> example,
> >>>>>>>>>>> Marx's concept of capital is buying-in-order-to-sell, which is
> >>>> not
> >>>>>> the
> >>>>>>>>>>> "everyday" concept of capital at all, of course.
> >>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>> Andy
> >>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
> >>>>>>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> >>>>>>>>>>> https://andyblunden.academia.edu/research
> >>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>> On 7/09/2017 8:48 AM, Martin John Packer wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>> Isn*t a unit of analysis (a germ cell) a preliminary concept,
> >>>> one
> >>>>>> might
> >>>>>>>>>>>> say an everyday concept, that permits one to grasp the
> >>>> phenomenon
> >>>>>> that is
> >>>>>>>>>>>> to be studied in such a way that it can be elaborated, in the
> >>>>>> course of
> >>>>>>>>>>>> investigation, into an articulated and explicit scientific
> >>>>> concept?
> >>>>>>>>>>>> just wondering
> >>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>> Martin
> >>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>> On Sep 6, 2017, at 5:15 PM, Greg Thompson<greg.a.thompson@
> >>>>> gmail.com
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Not sure if others might feel this is an oversimplification
> >>> of
> >>>>>> unit of
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> analysis, but I just came across this in Wortham and Kim's
> >>>>>> Introduction
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> to
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> the volume Discourse and Education and found it useful. The
> >>>> short
> >>>>>> of it
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> is
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> that the unit of analysis is the unit that "preserves the
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> essential features of the whole".
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is their longer explanation:
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> "Marx (1867/1986) and Vygotsky (1934/1987) apply the concept
> >>>>> "unit
> >>>>>> of
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> analysis" to social scientific problems. In their account,
> >>> an
> >>>>>> adequate
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> approach to any phenomenon must find the right unit of
> >>>> analysis -
> >>>>>> one
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> that
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> preserves the essential features of the whole. In order to
> >>>> study
> >>>>>> water, a
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> scientist must not break the substance down below the level
> >>> of
> >>>> an
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> individual H20 molecule. Water is made up of nothing but
> >>>> hydrogen
> >>>>>> and
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> oxygen, but studying hydrogen and oxygen separately will not
> >>>>>> illuminate
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> the
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> essential properties of water. Similarly, meaningful
> >>> language
> >>>> use
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> requires
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> a unit of analysis that includes aspects beyond phonology,
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> grammar, semantics, and mental representations. All of these
> >>>>>> linguistic
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> and
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> psychological factors play a role in linguistic
> >>> communication,
> >>>>> but
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> natural
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> language use also involves social action in a context that
> >>>>>> includes other
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> actors and socially significant regularities."
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> (entire chapter can be found on Research Gate at:
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/p
> >>> ublication/319322253_Introduct
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> ion_to_Discourse_and_Education
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> )
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> I thought that the water/H20 metaphor was a useful one for
> >>>>> thinking
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> about
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> unit of analysis.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> -greg
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> --
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Assistant Professor
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Department of Anthropology
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Brigham Young University
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> Provo, UT 84602
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> WEBSITE: greg.a.thompson.byu.edu
> >>>>>>>>>>>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>