Yes, bb, it is hard to think of human beings as other than hybrids of the
natural and cultural.
In my view.
At present I am more focused on the treatment of the examples in the article
than issues of definition, although they
are certainly relevant to interpretation as Steve indicated. For example:
"The flip chart and the easel as material artifacts were central to the
activity. They established that reading was the object and the artifact
provided the mediational means to reading in unison".......... "the artifact
determined the reading behavior".... "the flip chart was adult designed to
encourage shared reading. It carried the additional message of authority,
power, and agency......"
To me, these examples indicate the co-presence of material and ideal aspects
of the artifacts, but at the same time I come away uncertain about
of causality. Such uncertainty seems to me to be closely related to
polysemic nature of artifacts as the authors indicate in their citatino of
wertsch at the bottom
of p. 119.
On 1/16/06, bb <email@example.com> wrote:
> Ok, presently dropping into this discussion from albuguerque airport, on
> my way home, and i only have the time, space, and conciousness for one,
> perhaps specious, line of reasoning: If thought is a material process of
> developing humans and, if, to paraphrase wartofsky, "ideas" are
> artifacts, then should not humans be artifacts?
> -------------- Original message ----------------------
> From: Steve Gabosch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Interesting observations about being and having, Kevin. It is true
> > that our terminology implies that physical characteristics "exist"
> > within an object that in reality don't when we say a thing "contains"
> > ideality or is "imbued" with meaning. In reality, we are projecting
> > social relations onto an object by virtue of manipulating it and/or
> > its representations, and acting accordingly. Even more confusing
> > than an object just "having" say, ideality, is an object "possessing"
> > it! Our language just keeps steering us toward anthropocentric
> > metaphors, doesn't it? In the way I was looking at this question,
> > the operative qualifiers were "encounter" and "in the sphere of human
> > activity." An object outside of the human-sphere (unencountered in
> > any way by humans) may generate noise in a forest - acoustic waves
> > exist independently of humans - but it cannot "have" or "possess"
> > ideality or meaning independently of humans. Stars are uninfluenced
> > by humans but humans encounter and observe stars and their movements,
> > and "invest" them (another of those metaphors!) with meaning, with
> > ideality. Humans do this so constantly and so thoroughly with each
> > and every object in their spheres of observation and influence that
> > they can lose sight of the difference between the material and the
> > ideal, confuse one with the other, and think it is possible to "have"
> > one without the other.
> > - Steve
> > At 03:12 PM 1/15/2006 -0500, Kevin wrote:
> > >As to your questions Steve, not to get too Philosophy 101 about the
> > >whole thing ;-), but part of the dilemma is in the Derridean
> > >"supplement of copula" perhaps. You write "can one encounter
> > >physical objects that have no meaning"? And the trick, to me, is
> > >in the verb "to have" being close to an existence claim, i.e., the
> > >physical object intrinsically "has" meaning versus meaning being
> > >something that arises from human subject-physical object
> > >interaction. In other words, does it have meaning when no one is
> > >around? (tree in the forest? ;-)) And, as Derrida suggests, perhaps
> > >that is just the bias of a language that requires constant existence
> > >claims given the relative and fundamental dominance of the verb "to
> > >be" (cleverly concealed in your statement in the verb "to have"),
> > >no? (since not all languages have that "to be" requirement)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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