Re: [xmca] concept as gambit

From: Victor (
Date: Fri Nov 18 2005 - 14:43:01 PST

It's late and I should have turned in an hour ago, so I hope this will do.

Subjective activity can be unpacked into 3 basic terms.

1. Subject, which is the self-producing (reproducing) entity

2. Subjectivity (understood in psychology as "self"), which is
self-reflection or what EVI calls the reflective plane of activity.

3. Subjective product, which is the embodiment of interaction in the imaged
object or array of objects. The corporeally embodied form of the activity
of social man,

Just a bit of elaboration:

The subject is in fact an object that is a subject by virtue of its rational
activity, non-conscious, unconscious or conscious.

Subjectivity is the reflexive activity of a subject that is aware of itself
as an active entity or object, i.e. that is able to "make his life activity
itself the object of his will and of his consciousness" [Marx, Estranged
Labour, 1844]

The subjective product is necessarily an imagined object or array of objects
or model of social activity reified, objectified (and de-objectified),
alienated and the sublating alienation:

As the internal pattern of the activity of consciousness, as a pattern
"immanent in the consciousness", ideality can have only an illusory, only a
phantasmal existence. It becomes real only in the course of its reification,
objectification (and deobjectification), alienation and the sublation of
alienation [Ilyenkov, "The Concept of the Ideal 1977"].

The subject as object is the externally detectable agent, subjectivity is a
negation of the subject as object in the "spiritual (internal activity " of
the agent, and the subjective product is in its turn the negation of the
negation of spirit in the embodiment of spirit as imagined object/s internal
to the agent.

The subjective product is the negation of the objectivity of social ideals
or conversely:

"Here ideal form actually does stand in opposition to individual
consciousness and individual will as the form of the external thing
(remember Kant's talers) and is necessarily perceived precisely as the form
of the external thing, not its palpable form, but as the form of another
equally palpable thing that it represents, expresses, embodies, differing,
however, from the palpable corporeality of both things and having nothing in
common with their sensuously perceptible physical nature [op cit.]".

The "gambit" is the transformation of the subjective product into an
objective social form, as a symbol or set of symbolic representations, in
the course of its realization in social interaction. The process whereby the
subjective product becomes a contribution to social interaction is
necessarily one in which its subjective origins and forms are sublated in
its new socially significant symbolic form as a strictly social object.
While neither subjectivity nor the subjective product are actual components
of objective social activity, subjectivity and its products sublated in the
forms of participation in social activity transmit the negation of the ideal
that is implicit in every individual social act. In this sense the ideal is
the very opposite of social inertia, but the dynamic outcome of the
continual concatenation of the collaborative activity of community.

Victor Friedlander-Rakocz
----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Packer" <>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 18:37
Subject: Re: [xmca] concept as gambit

> Victor,
> Could you unpack this for me? The subject acts. Reflects upon that
> activity
> and in doing so acquires a self. Since the activity is social, the
> acquired
> self is socially defined. OK. But subjectivity? Exists in the fact of
> reflection? Is a psychological condition?
> I understand Mary to be saying (and interpreting Anna as saying) that
> subjectivity is first of all in activity. You seem to see subjectivity as
> (only? primarily?) in reflection.
> Am I understanding you?
> Martin
> On 11/18/05 2:35 AM, "Victor" <> wrote:
>> The subjectivity of the conscious subject, he who reflects upon his
>> activities and thereby acquires a self, is not in the properties of the
>> product of his reflection but in the otherwise empty fact of his
>> reflection.
>> This view is mirrored in Symbolic Interactionism of GH Mead and Dewey in
>> their presentation of the self, i.e. subjectivity as a psychological
>> condition, as propertyless, without specifiable characteristics or form.
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