Re: [xmca] If all hopes are lost for establishing a more workable social system , then please tell me where A.N.Leontyev has gone wrong with his definition of his "personal meaning"

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sat Feb 16 2008 - 15:39:23 PST

Very interesting Heidi. I am still reading and enjoying Martin's article, so
will respond locally with questions.

Where is the bolding?? Didn't come through for me.
What is the relationship between the idea of "personal meaning" and "sense"?
Does this passage imply that working class people think like children?

On Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 1:36 PM, varnam soupend <>

> Paul
> Your response to Lois of 14 Feb. 2008 indicating your defense of
> "socialism" gave me courage to post what I had previously gathered from
> reading and rereading A.N.Leontyev's "Activity and Consciousness" . Bold
> types are mine :
> [This side is revealed, however, only by analysis of the internal
> relations that link meanings with yet another "formative element" of
> consciousness – the personal meaning…
> At the early stages, when people participating in collective labour still
> have common motives, meanings as phenomena of social consciousness and as
> phenomena of individual consciousness directly correspond to one another.
> But this relationship does not endure in further development. It
> disintegrates along with the disintegration of the original relationships
> between individuals and the material conditions and means of production,
> along with the emergence of the social division of labour and private
> property. [Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy]
> The result is that socially evolved meanings begin to live a kind of double
> life in the consciousness of individuals. Yet another relationship, another
> movement of meanings in the system of the individual consciousness is
> brought into being…
> Marx writes. This thought throws into relief a very important feature of
> consciousness at the early stages of development, namely the fact that
> objects are reflected in language and consciousness as part of a single
> whole along with the human needs which they concretise or "reify"…
> At the early stages of the formation of consciousness objective meanings
> merge with personal meaning, …
> It is these personal meanings that create what L. Vygotsky has called the
> "hidden" plane of the consciousness, which is so often interpreted in
> psychology not as a formative element in the subject's activity, in the
> development of his motivation, but as something that is supposedly a direct
> expression of the intrinsic, essential forces originally implanted in human
> nature itself…
> "It is the personal meaning that gives human consciousness its
> partiality…
> The embodiment of personal meaning in objective meanings is a profoundly
> intimate, psychologically significant and by no means automatic or
> instantaneous process. This process is seen in all its fullness in works of
> literature and in the practice of moral and political education.
> It is most clearly demonstrated in the conditions of class society, in
> the context of the ideological struggle…
> Picture the fundamental contradiction which this situation brings about.
> In contrast to society the individual has no special language of his own
> with meanings that he has evolved himself. His comprehension of reality can
> take place only by means of the "ready-made" meanings he assimilates from
> without – the knowledge, concepts, and views he receives through
> intercourse, in the various forms of individual and mass communication. This
> is what makes it possible to introduce into his consciousness or even impose
> upon that consciousness distorted or fantastic notions and ideas, including
> those that have no basis in his real, practical life experience. Because
> they have no proper basis they reveal their weakness in his consciousness,
> but at the same time, having become stereotypes, they acquire the capacity
> of any stereotype to resist, so that only the big confrontations of life can
> break them down. But even when they are broken down, the disintegrity of the
> consciousness, its
> inadequacy, is not removed; in itself the destruction of stereotypes
> causes only a devastation that may lead to psychological disaster. There
> must also be a transformation of the subjective personal meanings in the
> individual's consciousness into other objective meanings that adequately
> express them…
> If the individual is forced to choose in certain circumstances, the
> choice is not between meanings, but between the conflicting social positions
> expressed and comprehended through these meanings…
> Man's activity is the substance of his consciousness…]
> heidi
> ---------------------------------
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Received on Sat Feb 16 15:40 PST 2008

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