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[Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity and communication



Alfredo , Andy , all,
I'd like to give my take on this one but as it seems I'm many posts behind , I put it off to when I'm finished with the posts. Thanks for the prevailing discussions.
Best
Haydi


      From: Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
 To: "xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>; "ablunden@mira.net" <ablunden@mira.net> 
 Sent: Monday, 16 October 2017, 16:03:04
 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity and communication
   
Damn! Commodity exchange is the unit of burgeons society... I have to study more! Thanks Andy

"The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as “an immense accumulation of commodities,”[1] its unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity"

Alfredo
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent: 16 October 2017 14:22
To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity and communication

Just to illustrate that I am being an orthodox Marxist here,
from Chapter 10, Vol. 3 of Capital:

    "In the case of capitals of average, or approximately
    average, composition, the price of production is thus
    the same or almost the same as the value, and the profit
    the same as the surplus-value produced by them. All
    other capitals, of whatever composition, tend toward
    this average under pressure of competition. But since
    the capitals of average composition are of the same, or
    approximately the same, structure as the average social
    capital, all capitals have the tendency, regardless of
    the surplus-value produced by them, to realize the
    average profit, rather than their own surplus-value in
    the price of their commodity, i.e., to realize the
    prices of production."

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
On 16/10/2017 11:18 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> No, Alfredo. A unit of capital is a firm (or company). It is
> impossible to explain the formation of a rate of profit (at
> least as Marx does in /Capital/) without the conception of
> units of capital, namely, firms and the competition between
> them. Firms are of course, what Engestrom would call a
> "system of activity" or I would call a "project" and
> Leontyev almost could call an activity. But in the USSR
> there were no firms, only the state. It is perhaps A N
> Leonytev's greatest discovery  that there are both micro and
> molar units in any complex process. True in Psychology and
> true in political economy. Whereas exchange of commodities
> is an artefact-mediated action, a firm is an activity, a
> specific aggregate of actions, directed towards the
> quantitative maximisation of the value of the unit of capital.
>
> English is not a perfect language either. : ) The word
> "consciousness" has the unfortunate connotation of being a
> mass noun (or continuous substance) whereas it is know only,
> of course, in individual "consciousnesses" or "minds." But
> it sounds so clumsy to say "a consciousness."
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> On 16/10/2017 11:07 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>> Haydi,
>>
>> I think Andy does not mean 'one capital' versus 'several capitals', for, if I read Andy adequately, Capital is for him not a unit but rather the whole of which commodity exchange is the unit. Thus, the germ cell of Capital is thus not Capital, or 'a' Capital, which you seem to attribute to Andy; just as I don't think he is arguing that there is consciousness, and then many consciousnesses. So it may be that you two agree more than disagree, judging by your last paragraph.
>>
>> Whether his position on singular and plurals is more or less adequate than another positions, that I leave it up to the discussion.
>>
>> Alfredo
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of ‪Haydi Zulfei‬ ‪‬ <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>
>> Sent: 16 October 2017 09:45
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; Andy Blunden
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity and communication
>>
>> Thank you David for your explanation! Though for me it needs more than one read.
>>
>> The point was whether use of activity and activities in Leontiev is a contradiction. Whoever L was and whatever he believed in , he was not so negligent to the point of posing activity first and immediately after that recounting 'activities'. Translation ruled out a committed error. Then such a blundering display must have a justification rather than a misunderstanding in comprehension.
>>
>> In one sense all things are related. The more so with the Monistic View. We have so many corporate and incorporate things , two of them so problematic communication and practical activity since Descartes and we are determined to avoid Dualism and refer and return all phenomena to that same thing , the one substance. In the actuality of the world , there's nothing discrete , that is , absolutely unrelated. Is that pretext for us not to see this unbounded versatility and hues and dues as distinct coloring? Maybe one of the ways was for man to let Nature go unrestrained?? But man also did not come of its own will.
>>
>> The sole way destined or open to Man was of its Nature to engage with the surrounding. To deal with it sensually and subjectively/agently. Then Man in one time interpreted all phenomena as they appeared to him. But he grew up further than his infantile period. He learnt to delve into matters , go deeper and deeper. With one spectacle (plane) he observed how that single substance let its attributes multiply themselves into different shapes and colors and Modes. With another plane of the one spectacle observed the variation of the Modes themselves. I mean Ontology and Epistemology not yet separate from each other as I used a pair of planes for that matter.
>>
>> Then we usually don't use a nail-clipper for alterations and manipulations in Genes. Or devices for Genes for our feeding and nutrition. It is then within these constraints that corporate and incorporate phenomena differ. Singles and plurals differ. Discrete and the indivisible differ. Parts and Moments differ. Wholes and mere entities differ. A process and a product resulting from that process differ. No justification to interchange them because of the use of A in front of them.
>>
>> I wonder if this is true for others too. For me it's difficult to accept to say "this capital that capital" "those 8 capitals united" "capitals of the world dissolved into unanimity". If I'm correct in this , it's , I think , because Capital is a Whole , coming out of a long process of functions and disfunctions , moments of circulations and transient stagnation , booms and boosts and drawbacks and failures. The moment of its conception in the exchange of commodities up to the discovery of the private appropriation of the surplus value to the point of harnessing every means to penetrate each tight corner of the big World.
>>
>> Best
>> Haydi
>>
>>
>>      From: David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>  To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>; "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>  Sent: Monday, 16 October 2017, 2:21:12
>>  Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity and communication
>>
>> Of course, neither an object nor a process is discrete (or even, as Andy
>> says, "discreet"). Who can tell me where a mountain river ends and the
>> alluvial plain begins? Certainly not Cezanne or the phenomenologists who so
>> loved him. Yet a mountain is most assuredly an object, just as surely
>> as climbing the mountain to ascertain its degree of montagnitude is a
>> process.
>>
>> This last week I've been struggling through the "Curriculum Reforms"
>> wrought by three right wing governments in Norway, Finland, and New
>> Zealand. Like Catalonia, these are all countries where unpopular coalitions
>> of right parties are replacing a much more popular but obviously
>> unsuccessful social democratic coalition of left parties. In Norway and in
>> Finland, the coalition actually includes the far right, neo-fascist,
>> anti-immigrant parties, and in New Zealand it includes the ACT, that is, an
>> "association of consumers and taxpayers" whose main interest is cutting
>> education budgets, starting by making teachers and students fight each
>> other for scarce resources in the form of "block grants".
>>
>> Now, all of these governments are more or less bound by something called
>> DeSeCo, which is short for Describe and Select Competences. This is because
>> right-wing ideology sees education not as a public good but as a commodity,
>> to be judged by tangible results and priced accordingly. This presents a
>> real theoretical problem for right-wingers, because they ALSO see that
>> "flexible labor markets" and "entrepreneurial spirit" means that there
>> isn't any way of deciding on what skills or even what knowledge the
>> "economy of the future" will demand.
>>
>> We can see this in the emphasis on "competence". Competence is not a thing
>> or a process, and it is neither discrete nor discreet. Of course, if you
>> are a linguist, competence is something Chomsky thought of in the sixties,
>> an abstract form of knowledge in a hypothetical native speaker-hearer in an
>> imaginary homogenous speech community. It is "discrete" in the sense of
>> being nowhere and nowhen connectible to performance in any way. It is
>> therefore "discreet" in the sense of being untestable--as soon as you test
>> it, you have a form of performance, not competence. It's like standing in
>> front of a classroom with a picture of a guy swimming and trying to teach
>> the expression "i can swim". What you have in the picture is not "I can
>> swim"; it's manifestly "he is swimming".
>>
>> But in DeSeCo, you get these lists of competences, which are set up as if
>> they were discrete so you can list them on a Powerpoint slide and sell them
>> to ministries of education. And the real selling point is that, on the one
>> hand, because they are all "meta-skills" and "meta-knowledges", they don't
>> have any practical outcome or real commitment to a job and a livelihood.
>> And on the other, they sound terribly powerful when you phrase them as
>> "learning to learn" or "transversal competence" or "meta-cognitive skills"
>> or something like that. Jobs, in other words, are discretionary. After
>> centuries of promising jobs and livelhood in return for school and boredom,
>> the Western economies have decided that sticks are cheaper than carrots,
>> and the thing to do is simply to rule people who don't have educational
>> certificates out of the job market rather than try to provide
>> actual know-how and factual know-that.
>>
>> Here are my four favorites (i.e. the four that we stress in our own
>> curricular reform here in South Korea):
>>
>> interpersonal competence (sociability, the ability to 'be alone with
>> others' as Hughlings Jackson put it)
>> cultural competence (enculturation, the ability to understand traditions,
>> mores, and norms)
>> creative competence (intelligence, innovation, yadda yadda)
>> individual competence (the ability to dress yourself, feed yourself, and
>> show up for an interview where you will not be offered a job)
>>
>> Vygotsky, as usual, has a better idea--it's a mountain. We just turn the
>> DeSeCO PPT upside down. Then we add each competence---freedom, creative
>> intelligence, encultured habits and tastes, and instiinctive
>> sociability--as a superstructure  erected on the basis of the previous one:
>>
>> free will (the ability to make choices that are not necessarily intelligent
>> or habitual or instinctive)
>> intelligence (the ability to make choices that are not habitual or
>> instinctive but nevertheless adaptive)
>> enculturation (the ability to make choices that are not instinctive but
>> conform to the choices that have proven successful in the now socialized
>> environment)
>> instinct (the ability to make choices that are  responsive to the
>> environment and which conform to the choices that have proven successful in
>> phylogenesis)
>>
>> Are theses objects? Of course, if we say so. And processes? Well, how else
>> could they have come about? What they are not, however, is either
>> "discrete" or "discreet": they are clearly linked to each other, and they
>> are all linked, through the lower layer, to adaptations ot the environment.
>>
>> And there's the rub--where the rubber meets the road. The real question,
>> for our teachers and for our children, is about what will happen to them
>> now that these competences can no longer be redeemed in jobs. Will the
>> anti-Faustian bargain of exchanging your youth for a
>> stable middle-aged livelihood survive?
>>
>> David Kellogg
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 5:13 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>
>>> Haydi, you say "AN activity is not a thing ; it's a
>>> process." I wonder then what is a thing which is not also a
>>> process? (I interpret "thing" as meaning "something
>>> discrete," otherwise your objection makes no sense.) The
>>> point is that Hegel does not make this dichotomy - every
>>> thing is also a process and vice versa. That a process is
>>> also discreet is important because it is only thanks to its
>>> discreteness that we can cognise the process and in fact
>>> only thanks to its discreteness that a process can affect
>>> anything else. To speak of processes which are not also
>>> discrete is to speak in abstractions.
>>>
>>> On this point, when Hegel puts ideas above matter, it has to
>>> be realised that for Hegel "ideas" are social practices - he
>>> is simply place human practice at the centre of human life
>>> and its comprehension, rather than the mechanical and
>>> chemical processes of Nature. If you think that "ideas" are
>>> simply chimera inside our heads, then, of course, Hegel's
>>> idealism seems like madness.
>>>
>>> Yes, all the Marxists have blasted Hegel. As they must.
>>> Otherwise they must end up advocates of Constitutional
>>> Monarchy. But while Marx uses almost every mention he makes
>>> of Hegel to criticise him, often in extreme terms, it can go
>>> unnoticed the extent to which in practice Marx follows Hegel
>>> in philosophy. Of course Marx is not equal to Hegel, but
>>> simple formulae do not contribute to understanding the relation.
>>>
>>> Andy
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden
>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
>>> On 15/10/2017 6:51 PM, ‪Haydi Zulfei‬ ‪ wrote:
>>>> Andy,
>>>>
>>>> Let me first apologize to David Kellog because in others'
>>>> wandering and perplexity it was he who in his reading of
>>>> Gramsci's prison letters came across this point and made
>>>> you not only accept the inappropriateness of Hegel's
>>>> headstand as Crowning every worldly affair deriving from
>>>> the People's Heads "Idea" , "Absolute" but also
>>>> intensifying this point with more examples and references
>>>> from Engels' "utopian versus genuine socialism" on your
>>>> part. Of course you've been helping us on many occasions
>>>> and  you're very welcome for this nothing to be denied.
>>>>
>>>> At this point we have no problem with translation.
>>>> Leontiev meant it.
>>>>
>>>> Suppose that ANL does not know "individual" which is very
>>>> ambiguous because in what then one should seek the
>>>> embodiment of the "particular" and if one takes the very
>>>> particular as individual , then everything gets mixed up .
>>>> Then what about you who stick firmly on individual
>>>> discrete detached activities as an objection to Sasha's
>>>> sole ACTIVITY as theoretical understanding.
>>>>
>>>> As you well know even AN activity is not a thing ; it's a
>>>> process. And you once distinguished between GENERAL WORK
>>>> ACTIVITY and LABOUR ACTIVITY or VALORIZATION ACTIVITY
>>>> which was quite right and timely though you recently gave
>>>> differing definitions in no way harmonious to your
>>>> previous definitions. But the main problem is blending
>>>> clarity in expression with concrete in theory. No doubt
>>>> you're a Fan of Hegel. I should repeat myself : Hegel is a
>>>> hero of theoretical concepts. In theorizing , and for him
>>>> to explicate the Essence of Phenomena , he begins with
>>>> apparently concrete things as ABSTRACTS finally reaches
>>>> CONCRETE UNIVERSALS as concepts. And here we again very
>>>> surprisingly see you put your finger upon what you should
>>>> have known in person is contrary to your own erudition.
>>>> Turning Hegel down as believing in discrete abstracts.
>>>>
>>>> And now to his son's comment : What individual are you
>>>> pursuing? Your Hegel sees phenomena in their relations.
>>>> According to him and also according to ANL ACTIVITY as a
>>>> unit of Life is Molar non-additive. He even does not see
>>>> operations as single acts. It's a matter of the angle of
>>>> vision not detachment and concreteness. If his son had
>>>> talked of concreteness in moments of activity , then you
>>>> were right in your objections and oppositions. You please
>>>> give us your last definition of activity here (not in
>>>> lengthy references) so that we can have a discerning
>>>> option.
>>>> So far to remove the problem we should accept operations
>>>> are separately and independently carried out ; actions in
>>>> their own are carried out ; activities are carried out
>>>> arbitrarily. And these are done to the realization of man
>>>> as the ensemble of social relations based on some
>>>> infrastructure.
>>>>
>>>> Hegel's metaphor has been thrown back at him by Marx ,
>>>> Engels , Lenin , Vygotsky , Ilyenko , and many others. If
>>>> you like to stand above all Giants of Marxism , it's
>>>> something perfectly and absolutely Personal as you're
>>>> speaking out loud! Then why give us so many references.
>>>>
>>>> Best
>>>>
>>>> Haydi
>>>>
>>>> P.S. Alfredo! Though you have my previous private response
>>>> concerning the matters you pose I see myself accountable
>>>> to rewrite them to the Public. Thanks!
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>> *To:* xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> *Sent:* Sunday, 15 October 2017, 5:35:40
>>>> *Subject:* [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented activity
>>>> and communication
>>>>
>>>> Haydi, partly the problem with ANL's
>>>> philosophy-as-we-know-it is simply a product of its
>>>> translation into English. But partly it is also in his
>>>> philosophy. As Victor Kaptelinin first pointed out (so far
>>>> as I know), ANL knows the universal and the particular but
>>>> he does not know the individual. And his son's comment that
>>>> ANL did not conceive of Activity as being discrete proves
>>>> this to be the case. Thus his concept of Activity is not a
>>>> fully concrete concept. And this is not a product of
>>>> translation.
>>>>
>>>> As David Kellogg has kindly pointed out to me, it was Hegel
>>>> who actually first introduced this metaphor of people
>>>> "walking (or standing) on their heads." Personally, I don't
>>>> think it has ever helped anyone understand the defect of
>>>> Hegel's philosophy to throw this metaphor back at him. As
>>>> demonstrated in this issue (the concept of activity) it was
>>>> Hegel who understood that a concept must have all three
>>>> moments - universal, particular and individual.
>>>>
>>>> Andy
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
>>>> On 15/10/2017 9:24 AM, ‪Haydi Zulfei‬ ‪ wrote:
>>>>> Dear Mike,
>>>>> Giving thanks to a scholar and a philosopher and an
>>>> activist for his concreteness and clarifications is
>>>> crucially appreciated. But alas! you apparently forgot
>>>> ours and also dear Andy's discussion over Wholes , Parts ,
>>>> and Moments. He personally provided us with examples from
>>>> Hegel to the effect that considering wholes , they convert
>>>> Parts into Moments. Then , he's here again faced with the
>>>> same problem. Theorization in Hegelianism (his most
>>>> valuable contribution) does not begin with the individual
>>>> case in isolation which phenomenologically  speaking (in
>>>> contemplation) seems to be concrete (your cause for
>>>> appraisal) . Hegel says this way Essence is not obtained
>>>> because one instance is considered detached from all
>>>> relations and its subservience to the service of the
>>>> Whole. Each individual case (as abstract) is particular in
>>>> some feature/s. And these particulars are essential. With
>>>> other particulars in other individuals they are related
>>>> actively to make the Whole. In narrower sense , this whole
>>>> could be General Life Activity as the Unit of Life itself.
>>>> Leontiev is not satisfied with theory only , that is ,
>>>> with category and concept only therefore , following Marx
>>>> and quite contrary to Hegel , he puts Hegel again on his
>>>> feet (not that the firmament to that time did put "idea"
>>>> on the throne people walking (in fact thinking) on their
>>>> heads but to put them again headstand thinking and acting
>>>> with all their bodies and organs and tools and not just
>>>> with their brains. Then taking all options in translation
>>>> even that of a Machine into consideration it does not seem
>>>> to exist any contradiction between Leontiev's use of
>>>> Activity now Activities or a series or cycles of
>>>> activities thereafter. These activities are those arising
>>>> from the properties of versatile objects in turn arising
>>>> from versatile motives in turn arising from versatile
>>>> needs in order of priority of hierarchies. And I think
>>>> Leontiev by broader sense means associating individual
>>>> activities as moments with the broadest idea of the
>>>> Monistic Substantial Modes or States in Philosophical
>>>> terms. That is , when Wholes in their turn integrate and
>>>> are dissolved into Monism of Substance.
>>>>> Sasha rejecting double psyches believing psyche
>>>> (thinking identical to being--extension comprising one
>>>> Substance) is already there with the organism actively and
>>>> spontaneously and quite arbitrarily on its own ,
>>>> positioning its due object and moving along its contours
>>>> and its shape and form thusly allocating psyche to itself
>>>> , rejects arousal of psyche in evolution as leaps and
>>>> bounds (accumulation of quantity leading to mutation as
>>>> novel quality). Such reasoning goes word for word with
>>>> Spinoza's ideas in Ethics. Thus we are dealing with a huge
>>>> gap between meaning of word as the unit of analysis of
>>>> consciousness , now apparently ascending to "wording" and
>>>> "structure of sentence" (Linguistic Configuration) further
>>>> "communication" as something indispensable and necessary
>>>> and inevitable to the realization of life affairs.
>>>>> Best
>>>>> Haydi
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>      From: mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu
>>>> <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>  To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>; "eXtended Mind, Culture,
>>>> Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>> Cc: Alexander Surmava <alexander.surmava@yahoo.com
>>>> <mailto:alexander.surmava@yahoo.com>>; ivan-dgf
>>>> <ivan-dgf@migmail.ru <mailto:ivan-dgf@migmail.ru>>; Ivan
>>>> Uemlianin <ivan@llaisdy.com <mailto:ivan@llaisdy.com>>;
>>>> Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com
>>>> <mailto:haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>>
>>>>>  Sent: Saturday, 14 October 2017, 4:06:50
>>>>>  Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Object oriented
>>>> activity and communication
>>>>> Thanks for being so concrete, Andy.Could someone post
>>>> the Russian text next to the English so that it is
>>>> possible to compare it with the translation? I spent
>>>> several hundred hours on trying to edit "Development of
>>>> Mind" for Progress as a post-doc and it totally defeated
>>>> me. I sent it back with an apology and not extra rubles in
>>>> my pocket.
>>>>> Perhaps the expertise in this discussion can warrant us
>>>> a "true" translation.
>>>>> mike
>>>>> On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 5:21 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>> <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>> The Progress Publishers English translation of "Activity and
>>>>> Consciousness" in /Philosophy in the USSR, Problems of
>>>>> Dialectical Materialism/, 1977 has the following:
>>>>>
>>>>>    Activity is a non-additive unit of the corporeal,
>>>>>    material life of the material subject. In the narrower
>>>>>    sense, i.e., on the psychological plane, it is a unit of
>>>>>    life, mediated by mental reflection, by
>>>>>    an /image,/ whose real function is to orientate the
>>>>>    subject in the objective world.
>>>>>
>>>>> In the "Problem of the Origin of Sensation" in "The
>>>>> Development of Mind" we have:
>>>>>
>>>>> Thus, the principal ‘unit’ of a vital process is an
>>>>> organism’s activity; the different activities that realise
>>>>> its diverse vital relations with the surrounding reality are
>>>>> essentially determined by their object; we shall therefore
>>>>> differentiate between separate [i.e., qualitatively
>>>>> different] types of activity according to the difference in
>>>>> their objects.
>>>>>
>>>>> By calling "activity" a "unit," the first quote uses
>>>>> "activity" as if it were a countable noun. The effect has
>>>>> been that the meaning of "unit" has been mystified for
>>>>> English-speakers. It has generally been taken to mean simply
>>>>> "category." The second does the same, but in addition makes
>>>>> it evident that the plural does not refer to different
>>>>> activities, but to *types* of activity. This blocks the
>>>>> possibility of forming a true concept of activity
>>>> altogether.
>>>>> With reference to your paragraph, Sasha, if your claim is
>>>>> simply that "such an initial *category* can only be
>>>>> object-oriented activity" I have no objection, supposing
>>>>> that you do not aim to utilise Vygotsky's method of units,
>>>>> even in the half-hearted way AN Leontyev did.
>>>>>
>>>>> Andy
>>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.
>>>> <http://www.ethicalpolitics./>org/ablunden/index.htm
>>>>> On 13/10/2017 11:57 PM, Alexander Surmava wrote:
>>>>>> Dear Andy!
>>>>>> I am glad that our communication was resumed after many
>>>>>> years. The other day I was reviewing old letters and files
>>>>>> and found that the problem of "object oriented activity OR
>>>>>> communication" we discussed in the summer of 2006 before
>>>>>> our meeting in Melbourne. Well, the problem is serious and
>>>>>> it deserves to return to it today.
>>>>>> Last year I was close to being silent forever.
>>>>>> Fortunately, fate and well-chosen chemotherapy postponed
>>>>>> this case for an indefinite period. Therefore, I had the
>>>>>> opportunity and the time to try to sum up some of my
>>>>>> theoretical studies without entrusting this matter to my
>>>>>> descendants :-).
>>>>>> I will begin with honest recognition that I do not
>>>>>> understand your question. What means the distinction
>>>>>> between singular and plural number in your remark? Could
>>>>>> you give an example of the "wrong" translation of the
>>>>>> Leontief theoretical texts you mentioned? Although my
>>>>>> concept and the concept of AN Leontiev do not coincide,
>>>>>> moreover, I formulated the "Principles of the theory of
>>>>>> reflexive activity" (that is the title of my dissertation
>>>>>> work) in direct controversy with AN Leontiev's "Theory of
>>>>>> Activity", we coincide with him in method. Therefore,
>>>>>> having understood the theoretic meaning of your claims to
>>>>>> AN Leontiev or his translators, I can more easily
>>>>>> understand the essence of your objections to me.
>>>>>> In the meantime, I can say that both AN Leontiev and I
>>>>>> view "activity" as a theoretical category, and not as a
>>>>>> particular empirical case of its manifestation. Therefore,
>>>>>> object-oriented ACTIVITY there can be only one. Just like
>>>>>> Matter, Nature, or Substance.
>>>>>> Of course, with the Substance as totality, we come across
>>>>>> only in theory. Empirically, we are dealing with its
>>>>>> innumerable Modes. However, to draw from this the
>>>>>> conclusion that Substance is just a fiction of old
>>>>>> philosophers and that only the numerous individual "atomic
>>>>>> facts" of Wittgenstein with their plural number really
>>>>>> exist, it means to leave Spinoza and Marx for vulgar
>>>>>> positivism and empiricism.
>>>>>> However, all of this may not apply to your position ...
>>>>>> I will be glad to hear your explanations on this issue.
>>>>>> Best wishes
>>>>>> Sasha
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> воскресенье, 8 октября 2017 16:15 Andy Blunden
>>>>>> <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> писал(а):
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'll ask Sasha a question.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Sasha, when you say "activity" as in "such an initial
>>>>>> category can only be object-oriented activity" as it
>>>> stands,
>>>>>> in English, this is clearly wrong, though it may be
>>>> that you
>>>>>> are translating it from a Russian statement that is
>>>> correct.
>>>>>> Surely you mean "object-oriented activities", as in when I
>>>>>> say "every activity has an object."  But in your expression
>>>>>> above "activity" is not a word which has a plural and
>>>> unless
>>>>>> you are a religious person is not something which can
>>>> have a
>>>>>> specific object. All English translations of A N Leontyev
>>>>>> make this mistake which has caused no end of confusion
>>>> among
>>>>>> English-speakers.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Am I right? You meant "activities" not "activity," just as
>>>>>> you wouldn't say "water is a unit of water."
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.
>>>> <http://www.ethicalpolitics./>org/ablunden/index.htm
>>>>>> On 9/10/2017 12:03 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>>>>>>> Dear Sasha, all,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> thanks for this brilliant, though also demanding
>>>>>> response. I think you are right in your assertion that we
>>>>>> are discussing some of the most fundamental problems of
>>>>>> CHAT, ​and therefore it may be worth the try. However, one
>>>>>> can see in the lack of response by other members​​ that
>>>>>> not everyone has the privilege of the time it requires to
>>>>>> go through all of it. In any case, I continue believing
>>>>>> that this is a valuable resource for xmca to produce and I
>>>>>> hope it is/will be appreciated as such.
>>>>>>> If I may summarise ​​the core of your argument, I quote
>>>>>> from your response:
>>>>>>> "If we want to make our choice of the initial category,
>>>>>> without looking back at the academic fashion, then for us
>>>>>> as for the materialists the choice is obvious. We will
>>>>>> choose the one of the two categories from which one can
>>>>>> derive the entire diversity of human life, including
>>>>>> another, the opposite category. And it is obvious that
>>>>>> such an initial category can only be object-oriented
>>>>>> activity, for it is easy to deduce communication from the
>>>>>> latter, which is an attribute property of life. But from
>>>>>> communication, addressness, love, empathy and other such
>>>>>> spiritually uplifting plots, we will not get life or
>>>>>> object oriented activity with the greatest diligence"
>>>>>>> If we stay within the boundaries of the framework
>>>>>> according to which we are looking of the most original
>>>>>> germ cell, the one from which all others can be
>>>>>> developed​​, then object-oriented activity is primary. I
>>>>>> think it is possible, or perhaps necessary, to agree on
>>>> that.
>>>>>>> But ​​once we are back to the development of a concrete
>>>>>> Psychology, we still have to deal with the fact that, for
>>>>>> any child to participate in human forms of object-oriented
>>>>>> activity, and not just the forms of object-oriented
>>>>>> activity that also characterise any other multi-cellular
>>>>>> organism, this child needs to somehow socialise into those
>>>>>> forms of activity. So, while I assume that any category
>>>>>> devised to account for human psyche needs to agree with
>>>>>> the initial germ cell of reflexivity that you describe, is
>>>>>> this germ cell initial to human concrete psychology, or is
>>>>>> it a pre-requisite and not yet Psychology's one?
>>>>>>> As moderator, I should stop there and let others answer
>>>>>> (which I hope some do).
>>>>>>> As a participant, I'd like to give the question a try:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Object-Oriented activity can be found to be primary in
>>>>>> ontogenetic development too. Even in the case of teaching
>>>>>> deaf-blind children, as the classical studies show, this
>>>>>> is only possible through *involvement* in collective
>>>>>> activity. So, yes, object-oriented activity is primary
>>>>>> over, for example, the teaching of a language (which is
>>>>>> only possible in and through object-oriented activity).
>>>>>> But then, is not the teaching, the instructional aspect of
>>>>>> the relation between adult and child, inherently tied to
>>>>>> this collective object-oriented activity? Is not this
>>>>>> object-oriented activity already ​characterised by all
>>>>>> those attributes that you just called 'spiritually
>>>>>> uplifting' in the very moment in which we describe such
>>>>>> activity as human? Addressivity, empathy, how do you get
>>>>>> collective activity without them? On this, and precisely
>>>>>> in an edited volume titled "The Practical Essence of Man",
>>>>>> Vladislav Lektorsky (2015) writes, 'it is evident in that
>>>>>> case that communication is included in activity and is its
>>>>>> essential component: without relation to another
>>>>>> person(s), activity is impossible'  (144). Although I not
>>>>>> always share all of the ideas with Lektorsky, here I can't
>>>>>> see how he can be wrong.
>>>>>>> So, let me summarise that I agree that the idea of
>>>>>> reflexivity that you discuss and, in that sense, the
>>>>>> category of object-oriented activity, is most primary. Let
>>>>>> me also note that ​there are other authors who have
>>>>>> developed similar ideas to that of reflexivity that you
>>>>>> discuss, including Michel Henry, who himself built on
>>>>>> French philosopher Maine de Biran, and for whom
>>>>>> affectivity is the concrete 'essence of auto-affection' (
>>>>>> https://www.amazon.com/ Incarnation-Philosophy-
>>>> Studies-Phenomenology- Existential/dp/0810131269
>>>>>> )
>>>>>>> As we work towards a concrete human psychology, I wonder
>>>>>> whether ​we should be forced to choose between activity
>>>>>> and communication. Is not the distinction just an artefact
>>>>>> of a partial understanding of what it means activity and
>>>>>> what it means communicating. I still feel that
>>>>>> communication, in the sense of addressivity that Mikhailov
>>>>>> describes, is not a synonym for verbal activity, or for
>>>>>> semiotics. If the question is whether practical activity
>>>>>> precedes verbal activity, the answer is clear. You don't
>>>>>> get the latter outside of the former. But, in my perhaps
>>>>>> naive view, we ought to have a notion of communication
>>>>>> that would not reduce itself to 'verbal activity' (as in
>>>>>> the opposition 'practical' vs 'verbal' activity), for I
>>>>>> don't see how any practical activity can have any sense
>>>>>> (and so be achieved) for any human outside addressivity.
>>>>>> Unless this is a sense-less, human-less activity we are
>>>>>> talking about; one machines could perform on their own
>>>>>> without consciousness. ​
>>>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Alfredo
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ______________________________ __
>>>>>>> From: Alexander Surmava <alexander.surmava@yahoo.com
>>>> <mailto:alexander.surmava@yahoo.com>
>>>>>> <mailto:alexander.surmava@ yahoo.com>>
>>>>>>> Sent: 30 September 2017 01:54
>>>>>>> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.
>>>> <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.> edu>; Ivan Uemlianin; Alfredo
>>>>>> Jornet Gil; ‪Haydi Zulfei‬ ‪‬; Mike Cole
>>>>>>> Subject: Object oriented activity and communication
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Dear Alfredo, Ivan et al
>>>>>>> The discussion really becomes more and more interesting,
>>>>>> touching on the most fundamental categories. But before
>>>>>> proceeding to the answers, a short replica aparté (replica
>>>>>> aside) :-)
>>>>>>> Theoretical discussion can be productive only if it is
>>>>>> conducted in the context of a single theoretical approach,
>>>>>> based on the general principles accepted in its framework
>>>>>> and shared by the debaters. Here, on the XMCA, such a
>>>>>> common, unifying conception are usually considered the
>>>>>> theories of Vygotsky, Spinozism or even Marxism.
>>>>>> Meanwhile, I am afraid that the course of our discussions
>>>>>> reveals not just a difference, but a gap in the
>>>>>> interpretation of these concepts.
>>>>>>> For example, is semiotics compatible with the principle
>>>>>> of activity, is Spinoza's materialistic monism compatible
>>>>>> with the plurality of bases of the theory, that is, it is
>>>>>> possible to consider both objective activity and
>>>>>> communication as the "germ cell" of the theory. Or maybe
>>>>>> for completeness of the theory it is necessary to add to
>>>>>> these two principles something third, say - "subjectness"?
>>>>>>> I am convinced that without answering these and similar
>>>>>> fundamental questions at the very beginning of our inquiry
>>>>>> and without answering them in the most general form, we
>>>>>> are doomed to stumble on them at every next step. But this
>>>>>> leads us to another difficulty. Over and over again,
>>>>>> returning the conversation to the most basic theoretical
>>>>>> grounds, we come across the inevitable reproach that
>>>>>> instead of discussing a substantive psychological theory,
>>>>>> based on which we can practically solve socially
>>>>>> significant problems, let us say, create a consistently
>>>>>> democratic education system, we draw everyone to the
>>>>>> interesting only for us theoretical
>>>>>> verbiage<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>multitran.ru/c/m.exe?t=188297_
>>>> 1_2&s1=%EF%F3%F1%F2%EE%F1%EB% EE%E2%E8%E5>
>>>>>> about imposed on everyone in the teeth psychophysical
>>>>>> problem, and the real or imaginary contradictions between
>>>>>> Vygotsky and Leontiev.
>>>>>>> Believe me, it would be much more interesting for me too
>>>>>> to reflect on how to help find the path to education and
>>>>>> culture for the children of poor migrants from Central
>>>>>> Asia in Moscow or migrants from Mexico to San Diego.
>>>>>>> Agitprop
>>>>>>>              sticks
>>>>>>>                      in my teeth too,
>>>>>>> and I’d rather
>>>>>>>                    compose
>>>>>>>                                romances for you -
>>>>>>> more profit in it
>>>>>>>                        and more charm.
>>>>>>> But I
>>>>>>>        subdued
>>>>>>>                    myself,
>>>>>>>                            setting my heel
>>>>>>> on the throat
>>>>>>>                  of my own song.
>>>>>>>                                    Vladimir Mayakovski
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> И мне
>>>>>>>              Агитпроп
>>>>>>>                      в зубах навяз,
>>>>>>> и мне бы
>>>>>>>                    строчить
>>>>>>>                                романсы на вас —
>>>>>>> доходней оно
>>>>>>>                        и прелестней.
>>>>>>> Но я
>>>>>>>        себя
>>>>>>>                    смирял,
>>>>>>>                            становясь
>>>>>>> на горло
>>>>>>>                  собственной песне.
>>>>>>>                          Владимир Маяковский
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Among other things, such an over and over again forced
>>>>>> return to the very foundation makes it difficult to
>>>>>> understand even these very basics, for it forces us to
>>>>>> return to the most abstract level all the time, literally
>>>>>> stuck in abstractions, instead of moving from the abstract
>>>>>> to the concrete.
>>>>>>> Alfredo, you put in your post very interesting questions
>>>>>> about how to understand the principle of interaction as
>>>>>> such and about the relationship of object oriented
>>>>>> activity to communication. With pleasure I will answer
>>>>>> them. I will only note in brackets that the detailed
>>>>>> answers to these questions have been formulated by me in
>>>>>> my theoretic research almost thirty years ago ORIGIN OF
>>>>>> LIFE, PSYCHE AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS.docx In Russian
>>>>>> Принципы теории рефлексивной
>>>>>> деятельности<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>academia.edu/34223109/ORIGIN_
>>>> OF_LIFE_PSYCHE_AND_HUMAN_ CONSCIOUSNESS.docx_In_Russian_
>>>> %D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1% 86%D0%B8%D0%BF%D1%8B_%D1%82%
>>>> D0%B5%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B8_
>>>> %D1%80%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%BB%D0%
>>>> B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%
>>>> BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B4%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%8F%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%
>>>> D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8> .
>>>>>> Since 2006, an article with a brief outline of the
>>>>>> principles of the "theory of reflexive activity" is
>>>>>> available in English. It was even sent in published in
>>>>>> English international journal... but for some strange
>>>>>> reason was not published then or later.
>>>>>>> So, it's easy for me to answer both of your questions,
>>>>>> especially since I can answer by quoting my old text
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/ 33954148/LIFE_PSYCHE_
>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS.
>>>>>>> But before I start to quote myself :-) I would like to
>>>>>> repeat - I completely agree with you that the interaction
>>>>>> of the subject and his object (predmet) should in no case
>>>>>> be understood as a symmetrical interaction of two
>>>>>> ready-made things. I'm not sure if such a false approach
>>>>>> should be called a "dualism," the term dualism has in my
>>>>>> opinion a fairly precise theoretical meaning that should
>>>>>> not be expanded without special need, but it is obvious
>>>>>> that such a logic of interaction is characteristic of the
>>>>>> type of interaction that Hegel and Schelling called the
>>>>>> mechanism and chemism. When it comes to the object
>>>>>> oriented activity of a living organism, we are not dealing
>>>>>> with the logic of abstract interaction, but with the logic
>>>>>> of positing, positing of the object (логика полагания
>>>>>> предмета), or "organic" type of interaction in the
>>>>>> terminology of German classics. In other words, "positing"
>>>>>> is also an interaction, but that is its highest,
>>>>>> essentially different from the mechanism and the chemism
>>>>>> type. Mechanism and chemism are symmetric, in the sense
>>>>>> that one can not in principle separate out its active and
>>>>>> passive side, on the contrary, in organic interaction, in
>>>>>> the process of positing of an object one side is active,
>>>>>> subjective, while the other is passive, objective. There
>>>>>> are many interesting differences between them, but let us
>>>>>> return to this somehow later.
>>>>>>> In the meantime, the promised quote from my graduation
>>>>>> work of 1988:
>>>>>>> “Active or predmet directed (object oriented) relation
>>>>>> can not be possibly comprehended as interaction of two
>>>>>> objects external to each other. For example, the sun taken
>>>>>> abstractly, out of touch with the process of life, is
>>>>>> neither “predmet” for a plant, nor for astronomy. It
>>>>>> receives a specific predmet quality exclusively due to
>>>>>> spontaneous activity of a green plant (or astronomer)
>>>>>> “selecting” the sun as its predmet and “scrupulously”
>>>>>> imitating its celestial movement with that of the plant
>>>>>> leaves (with his telescope).
>>>>>>> That is to say that living, active or predmet relation
>>>>>> as such is possible only between a living, spontaneously
>>>>>> acting subject and a predmet positioned by its vital
>>>> activity.
>>>>>>> Something else again is a stimulating-reactive relation,
>>>>>> or a relation of irritability. Firstly, it is not
>>>>>> spontaneous on the side of a subject being stimulated.
>>>>>> Secondly, it is not productive since the organism does not
>>>>>> determine its predmet but has to satisfy itself with
>>>>>> accidental and therefore indifferent external influence.
>>>>>> Thirdly, the response of the organism (if only it is not
>>>>>> just a mechanistic action of an external cause) can be
>>>>>> conditioned only by abstract inner nature of the organism
>>>>>> itself but in no way by the shape of the external thing
>>>>>> indifferent to the organism incidentally coming into
>>>>>> contact with its living subjectivity. To put it
>>>>>> differently, we can find not the slightest trace of
>>>>>> predmet directedness within a stimulating-reactive
>>>> relation.”
>>>>>>> Now about the object oriented activity and
>>>>>> communication, and it does not matter whether in the
>>>>>> verbal form, or in the form of a special Mikhailovsky's
>>>>>> "addressing" to another person.
>>>>>>> Which of these two categories should be considered
>>>>>> primary and universal, in which of them we have to try to
>>>>>> discern the notorious "germ cell" of human consciousness
>>>>>> (psyche) is essentially the main problem that has been and
>>>>>> remains the central problem of theoretical psychology
>>>>>> associated with the names of Vygotsky, Leontyev and
>>>> Ilyenkov.
>>>>>>> To begin with, one preliminary consideration. If we want
>>>>>> to build scientific psychology in accordance with the
>>>>>> famous Marxist method of ascent from the abstract to the
>>>>>> concrete, whereas all three mentioned above thinkers
>>>>>> believed that the method of ascent, the method of
>>>>>> "Capital", is the only scientifically correct method, to
>>>>>> ignore which means to condemn one's own theoretical
>>>>>> discipline on vulgarity, then you will have to choose one
>>>>>> thing - either activity or communication. And at first
>>>>>> glance, the answer for any person who wants to be a
>>>>>> Marxist is obvious - of course, communication, of course
>>>>>> sociality, for it is not for nothing that the classic
>>>>>> coined his famous sixth thesis, stating that ".…the human
>>>>>> essence is no abstraction inherent in each single
>>>>>> individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the
>>>>>> social relations.. "
>>>>>>> And if the construction of a Marxist or, in Vygotsky's
>>>>>> view, which we fully share, the construction of a purely
>>>>>> scientific psychology consisted only in the need to
>>>>>> reconcile the basic propositions of theoretical psychology
>>>>>> with the "correct" ideological quotations from Marx, then
>>>>>> the task ... Then we would again be in an extremely
>>>>>> difficult situation, because the classics left us with
>>>>>> different meanings on this topic and with which of them it
>>>>>> is necessary to harmonize our theory in the first place,
>>>>>> and with which in the second, it would still have to be
>>>>>> solved by ourselves.
>>>>>>> So in the 1970s soviet psychologists divided on this
>>>>>> issue into two camps clustered around two «bosses». A
>>>>>> group of Moscow-Kharkov psychologists, whose leader was AN
>>>>>> Leontiev and to which Davydov and Ilyenkov undoubtedly
>>>>>> belonged, was inclined to the primacy of object oriented
>>>>>> activity, that is, to the formulation of the first, second
>>>>>> and fifth thesis "Theses On Feuerbach", whereas a group of
>>>>>> Leningrad psychologists, led by B.F. Lomov was inclined to
>>>>>> formulations of the sixth thesis. In other words,
>>>>>> "Muscovites" were for activity, whereas "Leningraders"
>>>>>> were for communication.
>>>>>>> Here, it is necessary, however, to clarify that our
>>>>>> reference to Marx's Theses on Feuerbach is not a literal
>>>>>> reproduction of a real theoretical discussion, but our
>>>>>> current reconstruction of its logic. In reality, such a
>>>>>> direct appeal to the texts and the authority of the
>>>>>> classics of Marxism in the 1970s was considered something
>>>>>> rather indecent.
>>>>>>> The end of the discussion between supporters of
>>>>>> "activity" and supporters of "communication" is also
>>>>>> characteristic. Lomov won a purely bureaucratic victory,
>>>>>> convincing the ideological authorities that, by organizing
>>>>>> the international Vygotsky conference, Davydov was
>>>>>> dragging through dangerous Zionist ideas. Davydov was
>>>>>> expelled from the party and dismissed from the post of
>>>>>> director of the Institute of Psychology, and the dean of
>>>>>> Leontief's psychology department was appointed a
>>>>>> well-known adherent of "communication" Leningrader
>>>>>> Bodalev. Thus, "communication" with the useful people in
>>>>>> the ideological department of the Central Committee of
>>>>>> CPSU won a pure victory over the supporters of scientific
>>>>>> "activity." This concludes all meaningful discussions in
>>>>>> Soviet / Russian psychology. To the leadership of the
>>>>>> Faculty of Psychology were no longer allowed  supporters
>>>>>> of any kind of controversial scientific ideas. Davydov's
>>>>>> short-term return to the Institute of Psychology of RAE
>>>>>> could not reverse the situation too.
>>>>>>> Let us return, however, to our sheep, that is, to
>>>>>> "communication" and "activity."
>>>>>>> If we want to make our choice of the initial category,
>>>>>> without looking back at the academic fashion, then for us
>>>>>> as for the materialists the choice is obvious. We will
>>>>>> choose the one of the two categories from which one can
>>>>>> derive the entire diversity of human life, including
>>>>>> another, the opposite category. And it is obvious that
>>>>>> such an initial category can only be object-oriented
>>>>>> activity, for it is easy to deduce communication from the
>>>>>> latter, which is an attribute property of life. But from
>>>>>> communication, addressness, love, empathy and other such
>>>>>> spiritually uplifting plots, we will not get life or
>>>>>> object oriented activity with the greatest diligence.
>>>>>>> And this is not an unsubstantiated assertion, but a fact
>>>>>> realized in a theory called the "Theory of Reflexive
>>>>>> Activity", which demonstrates how inner reflexivity and
>>>>>> the entire affective sphere associated with it is first
>>>>>> generated by objective activity at the most basic level,
>>>>>> in the evolution of life itself. Then a complex dialectic
>>>>>> of the relation of activity and reflexivity in the course
>>>>>> of the evolution of multicellular organisms is traced.
>>>>>> And, finally, it demonstrates how the external
>>>>>> reflexivity, that is, the relations of individuals,
>>>>>> together and practically producing their own lives,
>>>>>> assumes a specifically human character, being a
>>>>>> reflexivity, mediating the joint-tool activity of man.
>>>>>>> We emphasize that in the "Theory of Reflexive Activity"
>>>>>> communication and the affective side of life are taken not
>>>>>> as initial and independent concepts, of the origin of
>>>>>> which no materialist can say anything meaningful, but as
>>>>>> necessarily inherent to object oriented activity it’s
>>>>>> REFLEXIVE side.
>>>>>>> The concept of reflexivity was introduced by me in my
>>>>>> diploma thesis in 1988 and, it seems to me, it is a
>>>>>> Marxist theoretical solution to the question of the
>>>>>> relation of objective activity and "communication". In the
>>>>>> same time, reflexive object oriented activity, that is,
>>>>>> the active relation of the subject to the object and to
>>>>>> itself, is the only possible "germ cell" of the human, as,
>>>>>> indeed, any other, psychology.
>>>>>>> Формат интернет чата не самое подходящее место для того,
>>>>>> чтобы вводить столь фундаментальные понятия, потому тем,
>>>>>> кто хочет разобраться в проблеме пресловутой «клеточки»,
>>>>>> следует заглянуть в не слишком большой английский текст
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/ 33954148/LIFE_PSYCHE_
>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS
>>>>>> и прочитать его дальше первых нескольких страниц.
>>>>>>> The format of the Internet chat is not the most suitable
>>>>>> place for introducing such fundamental concepts,
>>>>>> therefore, those who want to understand the problem of the
>>>>>> notorious "germ cell" should look into not too large
>>>>>> English text
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/ 33954148/LIFE_PSYCHE_
>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS
>>>>>> and read it to the end :-).
>>>>>>> Полный текст на русском ORIGIN OF LIFE, PSYCHE AND HUMAN
>>>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS.docx In Russian Принципы теории рефлексивной
>>>>>> деятельности<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>academia.edu/34223109/ORIGIN_
>>>> OF_LIFE_PSYCHE_AND_HUMAN_ CONSCIOUSNESS.docx_In_Russian_
>>>> %D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1% 86%D0%B8%D0%BF%D1%8B_%D1%82%
>>>> D0%B5%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B8_
>>>> %D1%80%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%BB%D0%
>>>> B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%
>>>> BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B4%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%8F%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C% D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8>
>>>>>>> Наконец, краткий текст на русском, соответствующий
>>>>>> английскому переводу
>>>>>> https://www.avramus.com/app/
>>>> download/5446025763/%D0%9A%D0%
>>>> BE%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%86+%D0%BF%
>>>> D1%81%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%BE%D1%84%
>>>> D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9+%D0%
>>>> BF%D1%80%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0% BC%D1%8B.doc?t=1486819527
>>>>>> .
>>>>>>> Dear Alfredo, Ivan et al
>>>>>>> The discussion really becomes more and more interesting,
>>>>>> touching on the most fundamental categories. But before
>>>>>> proceeding to the answers, a short replica aparté (replica
>>>>>> aside) :-)
>>>>>>> Theoretical discussion can be productive only if it is
>>>>>> conducted in the context of a single theoretical approach,
>>>>>> based on the general principles accepted in its framework
>>>>>> and shared by the debaters. Here, on the XMCA, such a
>>>>>> common, unifying conception are usually considered the
>>>>>> theories of Vygotsky, Spinozism or even Marxism.
>>>>>> Meanwhile, I am afraid that the course of our discussions
>>>>>> reveals not just a difference, but a gap in the
>>>>>> interpretation of these concepts.
>>>>>>> For example, is semiotics compatible with the principle
>>>>>> of activity, is Spinoza's materialistic monism compatible
>>>>>> with the plurality of bases of the theory, that is, it is
>>>>>> possible to consider both objective activity and
>>>>>> communication as the "germ cell" of the theory. Or maybe
>>>>>> for completeness of the theory it is necessary to add to
>>>>>> these two principles something third, say - "subjectness"?
>>>>>>> I am convinced that without answering these and similar
>>>>>> fundamental questions at the very beginning of our inquiry
>>>>>> and without answering them in the most general form, we
>>>>>> are doomed to stumble on them at every next step. But this
>>>>>> leads us to another difficulty. Over and over again,
>>>>>> returning the conversation to the most basic theoretical
>>>>>> grounds, we come across the inevitable reproach that
>>>>>> instead of discussing a substantive psychological theory,
>>>>>> based on which we can practically solve socially
>>>>>> significant problems, let us say, create a consistently
>>>>>> democratic education system, we draw everyone to the
>>>>>> interesting only for us theoretical
>>>>>> verbiage<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>multitran.ru/c/m.exe?t=188297_
>>>> 1_2&s1=%EF%F3%F1%F2%EE%F1%EB% EE%E2%E8%E5>
>>>>>> about imposed on everyone in the teeth psychophysical
>>>>>> problem, and the real or imaginary contradictions between
>>>>>> Vygotsky and Leontiev.
>>>>>>> Believe me, it would be much more interesting for me too
>>>>>> to reflect on how to help find the path to education and
>>>>>> culture for the children of poor migrants from Central
>>>>>> Asia in Moscow or migrants from Mexico to San Diego.
>>>>>>> Agitprop
>>>>>>>              sticks
>>>>>>>                      in my teeth too,
>>>>>>> and I’d rather
>>>>>>>                    compose
>>>>>>>                                romances for you -
>>>>>>> more profit in it
>>>>>>>                        and more charm.
>>>>>>> But I
>>>>>>>        subdued
>>>>>>>                    myself,
>>>>>>>                            setting my heel
>>>>>>> on the throat
>>>>>>>                  of my own song.
>>>>>>>                                    Vladimir Mayakovski
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> И мне
>>>>>>>              Агитпроп
>>>>>>>                      в зубах навяз,
>>>>>>> и мне бы
>>>>>>>                    строчить
>>>>>>>                                романсы на вас —
>>>>>>> доходней оно
>>>>>>>                        и прелестней.
>>>>>>> Но я
>>>>>>>        себя
>>>>>>>                    смирял,
>>>>>>>                            становясь
>>>>>>> на горло
>>>>>>>                  собственной песне.
>>>>>>>                          Владимир Маяковский
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Among other things, such an over and over again forced
>>>>>> return to the very foundation makes it difficult to
>>>>>> understand even these very basics, for it forces us to
>>>>>> return to the most abstract level all the time, literally
>>>>>> stuck in abstractions, instead of moving from the abstract
>>>>>> to the concrete.
>>>>>>> Alfredo, you put in your post very interesting questions
>>>>>> about how to understand the principle of interaction as
>>>>>> such and about the relationship of object oriented
>>>>>> activity to communication. With pleasure I will answer
>>>>>> them. I will only note in brackets that the detailed
>>>>>> answers to these questions have been formulated by me in
>>>>>> my theoretic research almost thirty years ago ORIGIN OF
>>>>>> LIFE, PSYCHE AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS.docx In Russian
>>>>>> Принципы теории рефлексивной
>>>>>> деятельности<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>academia.edu/34223109/ORIGIN_
>>>> OF_LIFE_PSYCHE_AND_HUMAN_ CONSCIOUSNESS.docx_In_Russian_
>>>> %D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1% 86%D0%B8%D0%BF%D1%8B_%D1%82%
>>>> D0%B5%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B8_
>>>> %D1%80%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%BB%D0%
>>>> B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%
>>>> BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B4%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%8F%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%
>>>> D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8> .
>>>>>> Since 2006, an article with a brief outline of the
>>>>>> principles of the "theory of reflexive activity" is
>>>>>> available in English. It was even sent in published in
>>>>>> English international journal... but for some strange
>>>>>> reason was not published then or later.
>>>>>>> So, it's easy for me to answer both of your questions,
>>>>>> especially since I can answer by quoting my old text
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/ 33954148/LIFE_PSYCHE_
>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS.
>>>>>>> But before I start to quote myself :-) I would like to
>>>>>> repeat - I completely agree with you that the interaction
>>>>>> of the subject and his object (predmet) should in no case
>>>>>> be understood as a symmetrical interaction of two
>>>>>> ready-made things. I'm not sure if such a false approach
>>>>>> should be called a "dualism," the term dualism has in my
>>>>>> opinion a fairly precise theoretical meaning that should
>>>>>> not be expanded without special need, but it is obvious
>>>>>> that such a logic of interaction is characteristic of the
>>>>>> type of interaction that Hegel and Schelling called the
>>>>>> mechanism and chemism. When it comes to the object
>>>>>> oriented activity of a living organism, we are not dealing
>>>>>> with the logic of abstract interaction, but with the logic
>>>>>> of positing, positing of the object (логика полагания
>>>>>> предмета), or "organic" type of interaction in the
>>>>>> terminology of German classics. In other words, "positing"
>>>>>> is also an interaction, but that is its highest,
>>>>>> essentially different from the mechanism and the chemism
>>>>>> type. Mechanism and chemism are symmetric, in the sense
>>>>>> that one can not in principle separate out its active and
>>>>>> passive side, on the contrary, in organic interaction, in
>>>>>> the process of positing of an object one side is active,
>>>>>> subjective, while the other is passive, objective. There
>>>>>> are many interesting differences between them, but let us
>>>>>> return to this somehow later.
>>>>>>> In the meantime, the promised quote from my graduation
>>>>>> work of 1988:
>>>>>>> “Active or predmet directed (object oriented) relation
>>>>>> can not be possibly comprehended as interaction of two
>>>>>> objects external to each other. For example, the sun taken
>>>>>> abstractly, out of touch with the process of life, is
>>>>>> neither “predmet” for a plant, nor for astronomy. It
>>>>>> receives a specific predmet quality exclusively due to
>>>>>> spontaneous activity of a green plant (or astronomer)
>>>>>> “selecting” the sun as its predmet and “scrupulously”
>>>>>> imitating its celestial movement with that of the plant
>>>>>> leaves (with his telescope).
>>>>>>> That is to say that living, active or predmet relation
>>>>>> as such is possible only between a living, spontaneously
>>>>>> acting subject and a predmet positioned by its vital
>>>> activity.
>>>>>>> Something else again is a stimulating-reactive relation,
>>>>>> or a relation of irritability. Firstly, it is not
>>>>>> spontaneous on the side of a subject being stimulated.
>>>>>> Secondly, it is not productive since the organism does not
>>>>>> determine its predmet but has to satisfy itself with
>>>>>> accidental and therefore indifferent external influence.
>>>>>> Thirdly, the response of the organism (if only it is not
>>>>>> just a mechanistic action of an external cause) can be
>>>>>> conditioned only by abstract inner nature of the organism
>>>>>> itself but in no way by the shape of the external thing
>>>>>> indifferent to the organism incidentally coming into
>>>>>> contact with its living subjectivity. To put it
>>>>>> differently, we can find not the slightest trace of
>>>>>> predmet directedness within a stimulating-reactive
>>>> relation.”
>>>>>>> Now about the object oriented activity and
>>>>>> communication, and it does not matter whether in the
>>>>>> verbal form, or in the form of a special Mikhailovsky's
>>>>>> "addressing" to another person.
>>>>>>> Which of these two categories should be considered
>>>>>> primary and universal, in which of them we have to try to
>>>>>> discern the notorious "germ cell" of human consciousness
>>>>>> (psyche) is essentially the main problem that has been and
>>>>>> remains the central problem of theoretical psychology
>>>>>> associated with the names of Vygotsky, Leontyev and
>>>> Ilyenkov.
>>>>>>> To begin with, one preliminary consideration. If we want
>>>>>> to build scientific psychology in accordance with the
>>>>>> famous Marxist method of ascent from the abstract to the
>>>>>> concrete, whereas all three mentioned above thinkers
>>>>>> believed that the method of ascent, the method of
>>>>>> "Capital", is the only scientifically correct method, to
>>>>>> ignore which means to condemn one's own theoretical
>>>>>> discipline on vulgarity, then you will have to choose one
>>>>>> thing - either activity or communication. And at first
>>>>>> glance, the answer for any person who wants to be a
>>>>>> Marxist is obvious - of course, communication, of course
>>>>>> sociality, for it is not for nothing that the classic
>>>>>> coined his famous sixth thesis, stating that ".…the human
>>>>>> essence is no abstraction inherent in each single
>>>>>> individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the
>>>>>> social relations.. "
>>>>>>> And if the construction of a Marxist or, in Vygotsky's
>>>>>> view, which we fully share, the construction of a purely
>>>>>> scientific psychology consisted only in the need to
>>>>>> reconcile the basic propositions of theoretical psychology
>>>>>> with the "correct" ideological quotations from Marx, then
>>>>>> the task ... Then we would again be in an extremely
>>>>>> difficult situation, because the classics left us with
>>>>>> different meanings on this topic and with which of them it
>>>>>> is necessary to harmonize our theory in the first place,
>>>>>> and with which in the second, it would still have to be
>>>>>> solved by ourselves.
>>>>>>> So in the 1970s soviet psychologists divided on this
>>>>>> issue into two camps clustered around two «bosses». A
>>>>>> group of Moscow-Kharkov psychologists, whose leader was
>>>>>> Leontiev and to which Davydov and Ilyenkov undoubtedly
>>>>>> belonged, was inclined to the primacy of object oriented
>>>>>> activity, that is, to the formulation of the first, second
>>>>>> and fifth thesis of Marx's "Theses On Feuerbach", whereas
>>>>>> a group of Leningrad psychologists, led by Lomov was
>>>>>> inclined to formulations of the sixth thesis. In other
>>>>>> words, "Moscovites" were for "activity", whereas
>>>>>> "Leningraders" were for "communication".
>>>>>>> Here, it is necessary, however, to clarify that our
>>>>>> reference to Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach" is not a literal
>>>>>> reproduction of a real theoretical discussion, but our
>>>>>> current reconstruction of its logic. In reality, such a
>>>>>> direct appeal to the texts and the authority of the
>>>>>> classics of Marxism in the 1970s was considered something
>>>>>> rather indecent.
>>>>>>> The end of the discussion between supporters of
>>>>>> "activity" and supporters of "communication" is also
>>>>>> characteristic. Lomov won a purely bureaucratic victory,
>>>>>> convincing the ideological authorities that, by organizing
>>>>>> the international Vygotsky conference, Davydov was
>>>>>> dragging through dangerous Zionist ideas. Davydov was
>>>>>> expelled from the party and dismissed from the post of
>>>>>> director of the Institute of Psychology, and the dean of
>>>>>> Leontief's psychology department was appointed a
>>>>>> well-known adherent of "communication" Leningrader
>>>>>> Bodalev. Thus, "communication" with the useful people in
>>>>>> the ideological department of the Central Committee of
>>>>>> CPSU won a pure victory over the supporters of scientific
>>>>>> "activity." This concludes all meaningful discussions in
>>>>>> Soviet / Russian psychology. To the leadership of the
>>>>>> Faculty of Psychology were no longer allowed  supporters
>>>>>> of any kind of controversial scientific ideas. Davydov's
>>>>>> short-term return to the Institute of Psychology of RAE
>>>>>> could not reverse the situation too.
>>>>>>> Let us return, however, to our sheep, that is, to
>>>>>> "communication" and "activity."
>>>>>>> If we want to make our choice of the initial category,
>>>>>> without looking back at the academic fashion, then for us
>>>>>> as for the materialists the choice is obvious. We will
>>>>>> choose the one of the two categories from which one can
>>>>>> derive the entire diversity of human life, including
>>>>>> another, the opposite category. And it is obvious that
>>>>>> such an initial category can only be object-oriented
>>>>>> activity, for it is easy to deduce communication from the
>>>>>> object oriented activity, which is an attribute property
>>>>>> of life. But from communication, "addressness", love,
>>>>>> empathy and other such spiritually uplifting plots, we
>>>>>> will never get life or object oriented activity even with
>>>>>> the greatest diligence.
>>>>>>> And this is not an unsubstantiated assertion, but a fact
>>>>>> realized in a theory called the "Theory of Reflexive
>>>>>> Activity", which demonstrates how inner reflexivity and
>>>>>> the entire affective sphere associated with it is first
>>>>>> generated by objective activity at the most basic level,
>>>>>> in the evolution of life itself. Then a complex dialectic
>>>>>> of the relation of activity and reflexivity in the course
>>>>>> of the evolution of multicellular organisms is traced.
>>>>>>> And, finally, it demonstrates how the external
>>>>>> reflexivity, that is, the relations of individuals,
>>>>>> together and practically producing their own lives,
>>>>>> assumes a specifically human character, being a
>>>>>> reflexivity, mediating the joint-tool activity of man.
>>>>>>> We emphasize that in the "Theory of Reflexive Activity"
>>>>>> communication and the affective side of life are taken not
>>>>>> as initial and independent concepts, of the origin of
>>>>>> which no materialist can say anything meaningful, but as
>>>>>> necessarily inherent to object oriented activity it’s
>>>>>> REFLEXIVE side.
>>>>>>> The concept of reflexivity was introduced in my diploma
>>>>>> thesis in 1988 and, it seems to me, it is a Marxist
>>>>>> theoretical solution to the question of the relation of
>>>>>> objective activity and "communication". In the same time,
>>>>>> reflexive object oriented activity, that is, the active
>>>>>> relation of the subject to the object and to itself, is
>>>>>> the only possible "germ cell" of the human, as, indeed,
>>>>>> any other, psychology.
>>>>>>> The format of the Internet chat is not the most suitable
>>>>>> place for introducing such fundamental concepts,
>>>>>> therefore, those who want to understand the problem of the
>>>>>> notorious "germ cell" should look into not too large
>>>>>> English text
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/ 33954148/LIFE_PSYCHE_
>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS
>>>>>> and read it to the end :-).
>>>>>>> The full Russian text: ORIGIN OF LIFE, PSYCHE AND HUMAN
>>>>>> CONSCIOUSNESS.docx In Russian Принципы теории рефлексивной
>>>>>> деятельности<https://www.
>>>> <https://www./>academia.edu/34223109/ORIGIN_
>>>> OF_LIFE_PSYCHE_AND_HUMAN_ CONSCIOUSNESS.docx_In_Russian_
>>>> %D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1% 86%D0%B8%D0%BF%D1%8B_%D1%82%
>>>> D0%B5%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B8_
>>>> %D1%80%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%BB%D0%
>>>> B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%
>>>> BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B4%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%8F%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C% D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8>
>>>>>>> Finally short Russian text which corresponds to short
>>>>>> English one
>>>>>> https://www.avramus.com/app/
>>>> download/5446025763/%D0%9A%D0%
>>>> BE%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%86+%D0%BF%
>>>> D1%81%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%BE%D1%84%
>>>> D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%B5%
>>>> D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9+%D0%
>>>> BF%D1%80%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0% BC%D1%8B.doc?t=1486819527.
>>>>>>> Sasha
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>
>