Re: [xmca] déjatel’nost’

From: Steve Gabosch <stevegabosch who-is-at mac.com>
Date: Mon Sep 01 2008 - 18:46:49 PDT

On your last comment, Andy, I for sure have much to learn about the
concept "unit of analysis". I like the way Dot speaks of a "system"
of units, levels, methodology, etc. A very quick read of the AA
Leontiev article on "Units" that Dot refers us to reveals that it will
take some serious study for me to absorb - in a way, it is a summary
of many key themes over the history of activity theory, a history I
most certainly have much to learn about. I know that one thing I do
as I am learning a new concept is try to find ways to use it, to apply
its terms, to incorporate it wherever I can, including into everyday
situations if possible; in short, play with it - and sometimes I will
stretch it too far from its intended meaning, throw it around too
loosely, as you put it, and I will need to get reined in, which
appears to be what you are graciously doing.

So would you, or anyone, help me out: what is the "precise meaning" of
"unit of analysis"?

- Steve

On Sep 1, 2008, at 4:46 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

> This is a bog topic, Steve. Marx's own views were hindered by the
> non-existence of workers' states and substantial welfare states, so
> he took quite an extreme position in relation to "the public
> sector". But obviously I am saying that *labour which has been
> subsumed under Capital* - the expression Marx uses in the
> "unpublished sixth chapter of Capital" - has the object only of
> expanding capital. Most people refer to house work as the production
> of labour power for sale. Although over the yearws, capital subsumes
> a greater and greater proportion of the social labour, it has not
> yet subsumed all. That is obvious.
>
> I am mixing two sligtly different genres here, marxist political
> economy and soviet cultural-historical activity theory, but I'd be
> interested in reactions. The Soviets always intended to be faithful
> to Marx and political economy after all.
>
> Andy
>
> PS, Steve please revise the meaning of "unit of analysis". It has a
> precise meaning and IMHO should not be thrown around so loosely."
>
> Steve Gabosch wrote:
>> Andy wrote:
>>> One could go on, but if one were to ask what object is served by
>>> work then the answer is "expansion of capital". I caould give 1000
>>> examples of Marx making ths claim. The idea that the object of
>>> one's labour is profit is always problemtatic for people that work
>>> in the public sector, especially in education or health, but if
>>> you were in the USSR where the state is paying the wages, it would
>>> seem strange indeed. The idea that one's work is part of the
>>> reproduction of the community in a division of labour seems far
>>> more appealing. But that turned out to be a passing episode in
>>> twentieth century history.
>> Perhaps you didn't mean this, but it sounds like you are saying
>> that all work serves the accumulation or expansion of capital. But
>> as you know, there are many kinds of work that don't. Here are
>> three examples, as I see it:
>> 1) House work (cleaning your own house) does not produce surplus
>> value.
>> 2) Cuban workers today don't contribute to the accumulation of
>> capital, except in some small businesses and enterprises (such as
>> some restaurants, farms), where how much gets accumulated is highly
>> restricted. There is no capitalist class of any significance in
>> Cuba today.
>> 3) Public sector workers in the US are not producing surplus
>> value. The health and education sectors especially are examples of
>> workers and other oppressed layers demanding and fighting for
>> social programs that enhance their quality of life, forcing the
>> capitalists to devote a small percentage of the surplus value they
>> accumulate to such programs - which have been under attack for some
>> years now by the capitalists and political forces that support them
>> precisely because these programs do not produce surplus value -
>> they consume it.
>> When one begins to look at economies, blocks of capital, wages,
>> government, public service workers, workers states, classes, and
>> other such issues, many of the core features of activity theory
>> appear on a new level of analysis: historical materialism. There
>> are of course other world views, but this is the one Vygotsky
>> used. Vygotsky said he was applying historical materialism to
>> psychology, which he explained would require the discovery of new
>> laws of development and a new basic unit of analysis.
>> Andy and I had some conversation about class and activity offline
>> recently and I said that "class" is a unit of analysis in Marxism,
>> as in "class analysis" and "the history of all hitherto existing
>> society is the history of class struggle" (Communist Manifesto).
>> But on further thought, that is incorrect. Marx and Engels say it
>> right in that quote - they say **class struggle**, not "class".
>> Thinking about this, a common error in sociology is to use class as
>> the unit of analysis. Classes are only elements of class
>> struggles. Class is an analytical unit, but not a basic unit of
>> analysis.
>> Relating this to CHAT, as I see it, classes are to class struggles
>> as actions are to activity. Class struggle is a unit of analysis
>> in historical materialism in the way that activity is seen as a
>> unit of analysis in cultural historical psychology.
>> But is activity really the **basic** unit of human existence? As
>> David was saying, there is a difference between units of analysis
>> and analytical units. Is activity an analytical unit, but not the
>> basic unit of analysis? This would not overturn any work CHAT has
>> done, just shift its attention to a different basic unit of
>> analysis, and "demote" activity to an analytical unit, albeit a
>> very useful and powerful one.
>> Mohammed Elhammoumi argues in a paper he will present at ISCAR that
>> the unit of analysis is the social relations of production. If
>> that is the case - I find this idea thought provoking - then
>> activity would be an element in that larger entity - activities are
>> carved out of the existing social relations and artifacts
>> (artifacts include nature insofar as humans directly interact with
>> it). Activity could be understood as mutually constitutive with
>> the aggregate social relations in a particular society, in the way
>> that Michael describes actions and activity as mutually
>> constitutive. Interesting to think about.
>> Steve
>> On Aug 31, 2008, at 7:57 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>> Thanks for all that Michael. I actually hardly slept last night
>>> going over in my mind the points you made. I think I can see my
>>> way through this now, and that "(a system of) activity" or "an
>>> activity" is indeed a very good candidate for a "unit of
>>> analysis". You will doubtless get something from me on your
>>> editor's desk in a couple of months on the topic. But altogether I
>>> feel much better about ANL now. Thank you.
>>>
>>> But the questions about word meanings here are still outstanding:
>>>
>>> (1) "activity" - as used in Hegel and Marx and Leontyev when he
>>> says:
>>>
>>> "[The processes that mediate the influences of the objective world
>>> reflected in the human brain] are those that realise a person's
>>> actual life in the objective world by which he is surrounded, his
>>> social being in all the richness and variety of its forms. In
>>> other words, these processes are his activity."
>>>
>>> - is not a unit of analysis, but a presupposition, whilst "an
>>> activity" or "system of activity", you have convinced me, is a
>>> good "unit of analysis" for the study of the social life of human
>>> beings. As when Marx says:
>>>
>>> "The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not
>>> dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made
>>> in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity
>>> and the material conditions under which they live, both those
>>> which they find already existing and those produced by their
>>> activity." (The German Ideology, 1a, 1845)
>>>
>>> My concern is that we use the same word and I suspect the
>>> observation that we have here two qute distinct concepts is not
>>> something which is widely recognised.
>>>
>>> (2) "activity" and "work" - I am going to spend some time revising
>>> how ANL takes labour as the prototype of an activity and the bases
>>> on which "an activity" and "a type of activity" are delineated or
>>> developed. This is my major concern.
>>>
>>> But look. Marx, Capital Vol 1:
>>>
>>> "As a capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the
>>> soul of capital. But capital has one sole driving force, the drive
>>> to valorize itself, to create surplus value, to make its constant
>>> part, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount
>>> of surplus labour. Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like,
>>> lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more
>>> labour it sucks." - Capital, p.342
>>>
>>> One could go on, but if one were to ask what object is served by
>>> work then the answer is "expansion of capital". I caould give 1000
>>> examples of Marx making ths claim. The idea that the object of
>>> one's labour is profit is always problemtatic for people that work
>>> in the public sector, especially in education or health, but if
>>> you were in the USSR where the state is paying the wages, it would
>>> seem strange indeed. The idea that one's work is part of the
>>> reproduction of the community in a division of labour seems far
>>> more appealing. But that turned out to be a passing episode in
>>> twentieth century history.
>>>
>>> I.e., the most important "activity" today is "capital." That seems
>>> to have been lost somewhere, at least to some extent.
>>>
>>> Andy
>>>
>>>
>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>> I am not trying to give you advice. I am talking about my own
>>>> experiences of having struggled.
>>>> One of the things Marx criticized his contemporaries for is that
>>>> they looked at value abstractly. He wrote Das Kapital as a
>>>> concrete analysis of value, its one-sided expressions in use-
>>>> value and exchange-value, and how these concretized themselves in
>>>> possible cases. Any time I want to think about activity
>>>> abstractly, I get into trouble, which resolve themselves when I
>>>> take concrete cases of activity and work them through, culturally
>>>> and historically. I then realize that activity concretizes itself
>>>> very differently, the activity of schooling is very different in
>>>> U.S. suburbia then it is in inner-city neighborhood schools in
>>>> Philadelphia. Not when I do an abstract analysis, but when I go
>>>> concretely into the nitty-gritty details of everyday life in the
>>>> schools.
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Michael
>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 8:07 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>> Oh Gosh, Micahel I thought we were going to have a good ol'
>>>> flame! :) and I was just getting started.
>>>> OK. As I said, I will study those quotes, and their contexts,
>>>> where I can, and think some more about it, but I really don't
>>>> think I want to shift to "concrete cases" to clarify a concept if
>>>> the concept isn't clear at the start. That's just not my style,
>>>> if you know what I mean. I am not anywhere saying that the work
>>>> Leontyev and others have done with these ideas is not perfectly
>>>> good, valid science. But there *are* problems, there *are* limts
>>>> to the applicability of these ideas, and I am exploring them.
>>>> More later, and thanks heaps for laying hold of those quote and
>>>> your explanations so speedily!
>>>> Andy
>>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>> Hi Andy, After I sent off the mail I thought you might
>>>>> misunderstand. I do understand and know your background. I meant
>>>>> to say rather than discussing activity in the general, take a
>>>>> concrete one and talk about it. I meant discuss concrete cases.
>>>>> I think if you were to have taken a concrete case of activity
>>>>> from your experience and discussed activity in this situation
>>>>> some of the problems that appear when you discuss it in the
>>>>> abstract would not show up.
>>>>> Sorry for having written a message that could have been and was
>>>>> mistaken in its intention.
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>> Michael
>>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 7:41 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>> C'mon Michael. I spent 30 years as a union activist
>>>>> transforming activity and thinking about what I was doing. At 62
>>>>> I am now reflecting on that work. I don't need to be told to "go
>>>>> out" and put someone under my microscope and observe them.
>>>>> Andy
>>>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Andy, it is and is not a system of actions. Actions and
>>>>>> activity stand in a constitutive relationship. There are no
>>>>>> actions independent of activity and no activity independent of
>>>>>> action. One of the problems that can arise is because---as we
>>>>>> have done today----we talk about activity in the abstract, and
>>>>>> this is what Marx didn't like about Hegel, we talk about ideal
>>>>>> things, not about concrete sensual activity, which you only get
>>>>>> when you analyze real activity rather than the idea of
>>>>>> activity. I see you struggle with the idea, when what you
>>>>>> should be doing is go out and study concrete activity. What you
>>>>>> need to do is study concrete everyday activity, that is, actual
>>>>>> cases where an activity realizes itself. And here you will find
>>>>>> that people act but in the process concretize the activity in
>>>>>> THIS rather than other possible ways. Their actions are not
>>>>>> JUST actions, they are oriented toward the activity, which only
>>>>>> comes about in and through the actions; yet the actions
>>>>>> presuppose the activity that they realize.
>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 7:25 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>> Apologies. I sent two mails just to Michael instead of the list
>>>>>> by mistake!
>>>>>> I will think about this some more. "Activity" here means a
>>>>>> system of actions which have a common societally-determined
>>>>>> object, like the collective hunt in his famous example. But it
>>>>>> seems to me that the idea of "activity" (in this sense) as a
>>>>>> "unit of analysis" poses some problems.
>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi Andy, you can always identify structure, the question is
>>>>>>> whether you can understand it own its own or only in its
>>>>>>> relation to other structures. I think it is the latter. So
>>>>>>> even within the unit you can identify all sorts of things, but
>>>>>>> they are not independent and constitute each other. That is
>>>>>>> why Yrjö's website is a bit deceiving, because he talks about
>>>>>>> elements----I think the word appears 6 times----when Vygotsky
>>>>>>> and Leont'ev always talk about doing unit analysis. So there
>>>>>>> is structure, just that it cannot be understood independently
>>>>>>> of other structures, each of which is a one-sided expression
>>>>>>> of the unit, which is activity. Or so I read it.
>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 6:55 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>> Well spotted, Michael.
>>>>>>> In that same paragraph he says: "activity is ... a system that
>>>>>>> has structure" so he is here referring to what might be called
>>>>>>> the "*system of* activity", as opposed to acts or operations,
>>>>>>> and actions - this entity that Robert explained to me is
>>>>>>> constituted as an entity by means of system-theoretic means.
>>>>>>> Is that right?
>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>>>>>> I think he does say something that is at least very close to
>>>>>>>> naming it unit analysis on p.50:
>>>>>>> Activity is a molar, not an additive unit of the life of the
>>>>>>> physical, material subject. In a narrower sense, that is, at
>>>>>>> the psychological level, it is a unit of
>>>>>>> life, mediated by psychic reflection, the real function of
>>>>>>> which is that it orients the subject in the objective world.
>>>>>>> In other words, activity is
>>>>>>> not a reaction and not a totality of reactions but a system
>>>>>>> that has structure, its own internal transitions and
>>>>>>> transformations, its own development.
>>>>>>>> Where I would accentuate as follows:
>>>>>>>> Activity is "a *unit of life*", "a system that has structure,
>>>>>>>> *its own* internal transitions and transformations, *its own
>>>>>>>> *development."
>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 6:27 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>>> OK, thanks for that Michael. I understand Tätigkeit, so that
>>>>>>>> settles some questions, though not all.
>>>>>>>> I have another question about Activity to add to these.
>>>>>>>> Vygotsky, Davydov, Engstrom (to take just three) all talk
>>>>>>>> about "unit of analysis", "germ-cell" or single instance (as
>>>>>>>> in Pavolv's study of the reflex), but in the works of AN
>>>>>>>> Leontyev that I have access to (on marxists.org) he makes no
>>>>>>>> reference to any of these terms. This seems not accidental to
>>>>>>>> me actually. Can anyone clarify this?
>>>>>>>> Did Leonteyv (a) think that "activity" passes as a "unit of
>>>>>>>> analaysis", (b) disagree with the idea that a science should
>>>>>>>> begin from a Unit of analysis, or (c) define subject-activity-
>>>>>>>> object as the "unit of analysis somewhere?
>>>>>>>> And I need citation, I'm afraid.
>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>>>>>>> it's not just the Russian. In German there is the parallel
>>>>>>>>> distinction between "Tätigkeit" (deiatel'nost') and
>>>>>>>>> Aktivität (aktivnost'). In the former there is an
>>>>>>>>> orientation----toward object/motive, which is not in the
>>>>>>>>> latter, and the former is oriented toward and a result of
>>>>>>>>> society (Gesellschaft), whereas the latter is not
>>>>>>>>> (necessarily). When Leont'ev is translated into German, you
>>>>>>>>> find the words Tätigkeit and the adjective
>>>>>>>>> "gesellschaftlich" (societal) whereas in English there is
>>>>>>>>> activity and social----and that has made all the difference,
>>>>>>>>> to quote Robert Frost.
>>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>>>> On 31-Aug-08, at 4:18 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>>>> I wonder if our Russian speakers could indulge me again with
>>>>>>>>> a point of clarification. déjatel'nost' (or
>>>>>>>>> деятельность) is the Russian word for "activity".
>>>>>>>>> 1. I understand that in Russian the use of definite and
>>>>>>>>> indefeinite partcles (a and the) is rare, so in the title to
>>>>>>>>> AN Leontyev's famous book, does déjatel'nost' mean "an
>>>>>>>>> activity" or "activity" - with the connotation of substance
>>>>>>>>> that a word has in English if used without a or the. When we
>>>>>>>>> have "act, action and activity," is that third category the
>>>>>>>>> same word, déjatel'nost'?
>>>>>>>>> 2. déjatel'nost' can also be translated as "work". How
>>>>>>>>> strong is the connection between "work" and "activity" in
>>>>>>>>> the Russian mind when talking of "activity theory"? Does
>>>>>>>>> that sound like "work theory"? Or is this just like any
>>>>>>>>> ambiguous word. I mean, English speakers would not think
>>>>>>>>> that in this context "activity" referred to autonomous
>>>>>>>>> physiological processes, which can also be called
>>>>>>>>> "Activity". When "Theses on Feuerbach" is translated into
>>>>>>>>> Russian, can Russian readers see the diffrence between
>>>>>>>>> "work" and "activity"?
>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Fascinating response, Robert. So let's see if I understand
>>>>>>>>>> you right. A mass of interconnected actions can be
>>>>>>>>>> understood as some *whole* (and not just an arbitrary
>>>>>>>>>> collection of individual things) if we can perceive some
>>>>>>>>>> kind of *constraint*, operating over the domain, which
>>>>>>>>>> limits the domain of possible configurations? Is that it?
>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>> Robert Bracewell wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Andy and all,
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> I agree with Michael that the relationship between
>>>>>>>>>>> activity and action is a
>>>>>>>>>>> constitutive one, but I think this points to a big
>>>>>>>>>>> theoretical gap in CHAT
>>>>>>>>>>> generally. If actions are the constituents of activity,
>>>>>>>>>>> then the issue
>>>>>>>>>>> arises as to how the constituents are arranged in order to
>>>>>>>>>>> constitute
>>>>>>>>>>> activity (and there may be other types of constituents in
>>>>>>>>>>> activity also). As
>>>>>>>>>>> Leont¹ev said, this arrangement cannot be serial (e.g.,
>>>>>>>>>>> chains of s-r
>>>>>>>>>>> pairs), nor additive in the sense of accumulative (as
>>>>>>>>>>> contrasted with the
>>>>>>>>>>> mathematical sense). So how are we to theorize the
>>>>>>>>>>> arrangement? The issue of
>>>>>>>>>>> arranging constituents to achieve higher order structures
>>>>>>>>>>> has been treated
>>>>>>>>>>> by both linguistics and artificial intelligence. The
>>>>>>>>>>> general approach is to
>>>>>>>>>>> constrain the possible relationships between constituents--
>>>>>>>>>>> in linguistics
>>>>>>>>>>> this usually done via a grammar, in AI via a program. For
>>>>>>>>>>> CHAT I think our
>>>>>>>>>>> task may be to build on Leont¹ev and figure out these
>>>>>>>>>>> constraints.
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> --Bob Bracewell
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> On 8/29/08 1:24 PM, "Wolff-Michael Roth" <mroth@uvic.ca <mailto:mroth@uvic.ca
>>>>>>>>>>> >> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>>>>>>>>>> I think he expresses the constitutive relation between
>>>>>>>>>>>> actions and
>>>>>>>>>>>> activity. Activity is not just the sum of actions, it
>>>>>>>>>>>> presupposes
>>>>>>>>>>>> them but is itself presupposed by the actions that
>>>>>>>>>>>> constitute it. I
>>>>>>>>>>>> am pasting the definition from OED, which appears to be
>>>>>>>>>>>> consistent
>>>>>>>>>>>> with this (my) reading of Leont'ev. Leont'ev and Vygotsky
>>>>>>>>>>>> want to do
>>>>>>>>>>>> unit analysis, not element/al analysis. That is, even if
>>>>>>>>>>>> you can
>>>>>>>>>>>> identify structures within activity, these cannot stand
>>>>>>>>>>>> on their own
>>>>>>>>>>>> like elements. What they are is dependent on all the
>>>>>>>>>>>> other structures
>>>>>>>>>>>> that can be identified, with which they stand in a
>>>>>>>>>>>> constitutive unit,
>>>>>>>>>>>> and which are subordinate to activity. :-)
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> molar, adj.3
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> 2. Psychol. Designating a large-scale unit of behaviour,
>>>>>>>>>>>> esp. an
>>>>>>>>>>>> integrated set of responses serving to bring about a
>>>>>>>>>>>> common goal, as
>>>>>>>>>>>> distinguished from an elementary unit of behaviour such
>>>>>>>>>>>> as a
>>>>>>>>>>>> physiological response (cf. MOLECULAR adj. 5); of or
>>>>>>>>>>>> relating to (the
>>>>>>>>>>>> study of) such behaviour.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> On 29-Aug-08, at 7:11 AM, Michael Glassman wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy,
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> This is just my perspective, but I still believe Activity
>>>>>>>>>>>> Theory goes
>>>>>>>>>>>> back to roots in work done by Stanislavsky - in
>>>>>>>>>>>> particular "On Being
>>>>>>>>>>>> an Actor" and his book on character development. I think
>>>>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>>>> argument that Stanislavsky makes is that you should never
>>>>>>>>>>>> consider
>>>>>>>>>>>> each scene individually, as encapsulated and whole, I
>>>>>>>>>>>> guess you could
>>>>>>>>>>>> say there should be no reification of a scene. You have
>>>>>>>>>>>> to consider
>>>>>>>>>>>> a scene, and the actions of a character, not only in
>>>>>>>>>>>> terms of the
>>>>>>>>>>>> entire play, but in terms of what has come before and
>>>>>>>>>>>> what comes
>>>>>>>>>>>> after - that activity is part of an ongoing process.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Stanislavsky
>>>>>>>>>>>> was working off the new form of playwrights such as
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ibsen, Strindberg
>>>>>>>>>>>> and especially Chekhov of course. To give an example,
>>>>>>>>>>>> when Nora
>>>>>>>>>>>> walks out on Torvald and her father at the end of "A
>>>>>>>>>>>> Doll's House"
>>>>>>>>>>>> the scene makes little sense in an of itself, and if you
>>>>>>>>>>>> think of the
>>>>>>>>>>>> scenes of the play as simply being additive you are
>>>>>>>>>>>> shocked. But if
>>>>>>>>>>>> you consider it as part of a moral activity, with a
>>>>>>>>>>>> building
>>>>>>>>>>>> motivation that leads to a choice of action it is
>>>>>>>>>>>> extraordinarily
>>>>>>>>>>>> complelling.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Anyway, that's my two cents.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>>>>> > on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> Sent: Fri 8/29/2008 9:53 AM
>>>>>>>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>>>>>>> Subject: [xmca] Molar, Molecular and Additive behaviour
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Can anyone help me out here. Leontyev says:
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> "But human practice is not just a series or a sum of
>>>>>>>>>>>> actions. In other words, 'activity is a molar, not an
>>>>>>>>>>>> additive unit'."
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> OED says:
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Molar, Psychol. Designating a large-scale unit of
>>>>>>>>>>>> behaviour,
>>>>>>>>>>>> esp. an integrated set of responses serving to bring
>>>>>>>>>>>> about a
>>>>>>>>>>>> common goal, as distinguished from an elementary unit of
>>>>>>>>>>>> behaviour such as a physiological response (cf. MOLECULAR
>>>>>>>>>>>> adj. 5); of or relating to (the study of) such behaviour.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> 1932 E. C. TOLMAN Purposive Behavior "On the one hand,
>>>>>>>>>>>> Watson has defined behavior in terms of its strict physical
>>>>>>>>>>>> and physiological details, i.e., in terms of
>>>>>>>>>>>> receptor-process, conductor-process, and effector-process
>>>>>>>>>>>> per se. We shall designate this as the molecular definition
>>>>>>>>>>>> of behavior. And on the other hand, he has come to
>>>>>>>>>>>> recognize
>>>>>>>>>>>> that behavior is more than and different from the sum of
>>>>>>>>>>>> its
>>>>>>>>>>>> physiological parts. Behavior has descriptive and defining
>>>>>>>>>>>> properties of its own. And we shall designate this latter
>>>>>>>>>>>> as
>>>>>>>>>>>> the molar definition of behavior."
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Am I missing something. By "not additive" does Leontyev
>>>>>>>>>>>> simply mean that there's more to it than S -> R ?
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> David Preiss wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> based on the work made by max plank and run by san
>>>>>>>>>>>>> francisco's
>>>>>>>>>>>>> exploratorium
>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.exploratorium.edu/evidence/
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> David Preiss, Ph.D.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Escuela de Psicología
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Av Vicuña Mackenna - 4860
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 7820436 Macul
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Santiago, Chile
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Fono: 3544605
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Fax: 3544844
>>>>>>>>>>>>> e-mail: davidpreiss@uc.cl <mailto:davidpreiss@uc.cl>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> web personal: http://web.mac.com/ddpreiss/
>>>>>>>>>>>>> web institucional: http://www.epuc.cl/profesores/dpreiss
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>> Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435
>>>>>>>>>>>> Skype andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
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>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> <
>>>>>>>>>>>> winmail.dat>_______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435
>>>>>>>> Skype andy.blunden
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
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>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>
>>> --
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
>>> andy.blunden
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>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
> andy.blunden
>
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

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Received on Mon Sep 1 18:51 PDT 2008

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