[xmca] artefact 3

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Jan 10 2008 - 01:52:11 PST

I haven't participated much in this discussion although I have read every post. In a way that has been part of the problem since I've followed out the threads and references. I often begin responses to threads that I don't finish in one sitting and save in the drafts folder. So it seems coincidental (synchronistic?) that I was preparing an post entitled "artefact" that got stored in the drafts folder just about the same time Andy must have been preparing his "artefacts" post. Now it seems relevant to at least share and expand.
  This was stored 4 or 5 days ago:
    Mike’s “ugh”, in a message responding to my post questioning the word “culture” , impelled me to read the chapter of Cullt Psych that he attached I read Cult Psych 5 or 6 years ago but really had forgotten the specifics of the model of culture presented in the book, the key elements of which I understand to be : the ideal/material duality implicit in all artefacts; Wartofsky’s 3 types of artefacts,; the notions of schema and script, in which (at least) type-2 artefacts are linked contextually to activity/practice; where context also has has a dual existence as “that which surrounds” and “that which weaves together.” The term culture reconnected to its etymological origins in cultivating, a garden being an appropriate metaphor for the domain of artifact mediated activity or practice whose manifestation in “cultures”, coherent and consistent groups of activities/practices, in w .
  Although I can see some of the relations between Hegel and CHAT that Andy proposes; e.g., the relationship of meaning to scripts or schemas (CHAT) and that between the universal and the particular (Hegel),
  And that's as far as I got before storing it the drafts folder.
  Moving on: if Andy is using mike's model of "culture" I don't believe he adequately deals with the differences implicit Wartofsky's artefact-type differentiation. In fact, it seems as though all the artefacts in Andy's presentation are Type-1, which on another plane is analogous the analytic philosophers' mania to reduce all logic to first-order propositional logic, a comparison Andy might well be able to relate to (beneath Godel's beaming grin). The idea that artefacts can be usefully categorized as "cultural" and "social" seems a step backward from Wartofsky's approach, especially as enhanced by mike's refinement of the type-2 artefacts into schemas and scripts (pure and practical reason?) while reserving the aesthetic dimension for type-3 artefacts (play, imagination, fantasy, art, etc. w/ no grounding in "necessity"). So I share mike's concern about the utiltiy of that "cultural/social" distinction.
  At the same time, I am not persuaded that mike's appeal to Geertz can provide a "coherence" keystone that could hold together all the different elements that one might want to call "a BongoBongo culture" as opposed to a "BingoBango culture" . It is well known that Geertz's "thick description" really provides no guidelines allowing someone other than Geertz to go out and find the same thing, produce the same description. So I remain skeptical about the utility of "culture" as anything more than a catch-all term. But insofar as one uses that term, Andy's definition "all artefacts" seems inadequate.
  On the other hand, the Sawchuk message that Andy forwarded, emphasizes the important contribution I think Andy is trying to get at. Schemas and scripts are universals the specific meanings they assume in real-time activity the particulars. The universal-particular yes providing an important insight into the relation between the cultural-historical processes and structures and the individuals participation. Sawchuk moves in a very useful direction from my perspective . . . especially his emphasis on the use-value/.exchange-value dichotomy .
  Well, this one doesn't get stored, incomplete as it may be. Perhaps Andy could elaborate a bit on the flattening of artefacts into type-1 that I perceive in his analysis .

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Received on Thu Jan 10 01:54 PST 2008

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