# Fwd: activity theory and Peirce

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Wed Jan 26 2005 - 16:26:22 PST

Arthur had trouble posting. Here is the post.
mike

> Hi all,
>
> Following the discussion on semiotics (mainly Peirce) and activity theory, I thought I should ask the experts for some advice on the research project I am involved in.
>
> We are interested in the mathematical literacies employees need in their work practice. Activity theory - on the macro-level - helps us analyse the different goals and interpretations of operators and managers, but not the differences in knowledge to interpret computer outputs, graphs and data. In that realm - on the micro-level - I feel Peirce> '> s semiotics has to offer more to characterise the knowledge (in terms of interpretants - how to response to signs) needed to make sense of representations of work processes.
>
> Questions: does this make sense? What literature is there combining AT and semiotics in a convincing way, preferably focusing on the epistemological issue of knowledge needed in mathematical practices?
>
> Thanks so much,
>
> Arthur Bakker
>
> PS I was particularly intrigued by Jay Lemke's paragraph:
>
> In AT the basic function of a "sign" is mediation, between an agent and a
> goal (actor and object-ive), it is part of what constitutes meaningful
> actions as part of larger (or longer term) activities. This is a different
> function from the function in semiotics of mediating a relationship between
> a signifier (representamen) and signified (object) for some interpreter (or
> interpreting system). Combining the two notions together (i.e. assuming
> they are complementary), we are led to see semiosis as an aspect of
> meaningful action. At a first level, what makes an object (bare object) an
> objective (or goal) for an actor is its meaning for him/her/it. What makes
> an action a relevant part of an activity is the fact that in some community
> we construe it as being so (meaning again). In this sense an action can be
> a sign of an activity, and an interpreted-object can be a sign of a
> goal-directed action.
>
>
> +++++++++++++
> Dr Arthur Bakker
> Institute of Education
> University of London
> 23-29 Emerald Street
> London WC1N 3QS
> Tel: 020 7763 2175
> Email: a.bakker@ioe.ac.uk
> www.ioe.ac.uk/tlrp/technomaths
>

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