Re: [xmca] subjectivity/concepts

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 04:56:53 PST

   Dot, some questions.

                Do you think that the CHAT tradition has tended towards a
                too-narrow focus on the rational as opposed to the
                irrational? If so, how can we explain this?
                What do you mean by "other lines of development" in
                contrast to "subjectivity"?
                In Ch 13 of "Historical Crisis etc", Vygotsky says that
                the unconscious should not be treated as a
                "thing-in-itself" [I paraphrase awfully] but as part of a
                process of movement into/out of consciousness, partial
                consciousness, etc. Do you agree with this?

   At 07:45 PM 28/11/2005 -0800, you wrote:

     Dear Friends,
     When viewing subjectivity, or also conscious processes, we tend to
     intellectualize these concepts as being totally rational, and they
     are not. When viewing subjectivity, I believe that we simply must
     return to an understanding of “sense,” another term deeply
     rooted in the individual, personal, which appears to be
     autonomous…in other words, “sense” must be connected to the
     social. However, “sense” contains emotions, which can bring us
     back to the irrational, the unconscious. Surely, there is not one
     level of subjectivity, and discussions of subjectivity cannot be
     linear and symmetrical. Lacan is most instructive at this point in
     many ways, by claiming that the subject (which is represented for
     him by the je/moi) is not unified in consciousness (it must include
     the unconscious). My understanding of subjectivity cannot be
     divided from the inclusion of Vygotskian “concept” building,
     along with thoughts on sense and inner speech. My perception of
     subjectivity is that it is understood as a modus operandi used for
     personal/social/societal transformation (for good or bad)… is
     a vehicle that drives us to continue developing, to make choices,
     and it is not a single entity that can be understood without
     context. I truly believe that subjectivity is a living and delicate
     function that can never be understood through the intellect alone,
     and cannot be divided from other lines of development. And, I
     firmly believe that we need to return to areas such as “will”
     “freedom”…..which of course are relative terms, never
     absolute. We can= not divide discussions of subjectivity from
     thoughts on consciousness/the unconscious, and I believe that
     Vygotsky’s language theories are most relevant to such
     discussions. My thinking has entered the discipline of Holography,
     which speaks of a new reality that is truly very different from
     three-dimensional thinking, but something that is being proven.
     Subjectivity, for me, is not something I can describe in words (and
     when I try I am drawn back to sense, inner speech, consciousness,
     etc.). I can feel an intuitive truth in Holography as a model, but
     I cannot prove it in three-dimensional thinking. It is the same
     with subjectivity….. for me, it is a living phenomena that
     connects me to the world, to others, to myself, and it is dynamic,
     fluid, a trajectory where growth and transformation can occur…it
     is more like art and poetry and a larger faith in bigger
     things….it is potential, and it is not analytic per se. However,
     it can be better understood through “concept formation” and
     “word meaning,” etc. Vygotsky stated “Psychologically, the
     development= of concepts and the development of word meaning are
     one and the same process.” My understanding of subjectivity
     returns to areas such as “image” “prolepsis,”
     “transformation.” Peter M. stated part of t= his belief in a
     beautiful way: “So, it is an individual’s ‘subjective imag e’ of ‘how to act in the new situation’ that drives forward
     the socially-shared body of knowledge. If we think of the
     ‘concept' not as the existing body of knowledge but as a kind of
     vector along which that knowledge increases then the concept is
     intimately tied to individuals’ subjective ways of acting. But
     it’s a subjective suggestion for action that is socially
     (intersubjectively?) evaluated.”
          Subjectivity for me is a type of magical zone of the
     transformation of the ideal. All in all, I believe that we need to
     go back and read Vygotsky (maybe include Lacan) for some clues on
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   Andy Blunden, on behalf of the= Victorian Peace Network, Phone (+61)
   03-9380 9435
   Alexander Surmava's Tour - September/October 2006


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