Re: [xmca] Re: déjatel¹ nost¹

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at duq.edu>
Date: Wed Oct 01 2008 - 07:39:20 PDT

Andy, Steve, et al.

"It doesn't make sense. Six months, ago, everybody thought it was the eighth
wonder of the world. Then all of a sudden everything fell apart." [Interview
excerpt from Aramis, by Bruno Latour]

"The instability doesn’t grow in the market gradually, but arrives suddenly.
Beyond a certain threshold the virtual market abruptly loses its stability
in a “phase transition” akin to the way ice abruptly melts into liquid
water. Beyond this point, collective financial meltdown becomes effectively
certain. This is the kind of possibility that equilibrium thinking cannot
even entertain." [from NY Times Op Ed piece, today]

I'm still trying to think through the implications of global economic crisis
for our selection of a unit of analysis. Haven't got too far yet. But it
seems clear that the complex derivatives that have become "toxic" products
have that same commodity form that Marx studied. We do indeed return to
Capital for insights into today's social reality, including his insights
into its dynamic character (what Schumpeter called its "creative
destruction").

We pick a unit that seems to have properties of the whole (Andy, you wrote
that it has properties of a "class" of objects. That puzzles me.) But noone
can see the whole, as a whole. (Engestrom writes of the way the researcher
describes an activity system as though "from above." But who gets "above"
everyday activity, and how? There are ways to totalize, but none of them is
objective.)

Latour on a number of occasions has been able to throw light on social
reality by studying objects, entities, that came into being and then,
strikingly, went out of being. A new polypeptide, if I remember, in
Laboratory Life. A new transportation system in Aramis. So today we have a
new commodity that came into being, brimming over with value, and suddenly
lost it. It hasn't gone out of being yet (it's still on the market, though
not worth much - not much more than $700 billion, at least!). But it seems
that we're soon going to have new legislation and regulation that are going
to prohibit its production (like weapons grade plutonium, I guess). I seems
that here too is a case for study that could help us understand the kind of
world we live in, and in which our children develop.

Could Marx have predicted this crisis, from studying simple exchange? He saw
that capitalist economies are unstable, for sure. But even the investment
bankers responsible for this mess were unable to predict it, a few months
ago. We study this kind of thing in retrospect, I think. The kind of "phase
transition" that has occurred supports Vygotsky's analogy of the water
molecule, for water too passes through sudden phase changes, though not
individually. We would need to trace these new commodities through the
pathways of - for example, distinct nations with interlinked though
differently regulated - banking systems to understand the transition, and
then the social reality that has changed.

Martin

On 9/30/08 10:24 PM, "Steve Gabosch" <stevegabosch@me.com> wrote:

> Andy and Martin and Mike and many others on xmca have been giving me a
> lot to think about on this units of analysis question. Something
> important to consider is that the idea of units of analysis has
> evolved quite a bit since Vygotsky used the term. Quantitative social
> research, especially that which employs statistical analysis of
> samples, has a whole literature on units of inquiry, units of
> analysis, units of sampling, etc, and teaches it regularly in
> colleges. Below, I copied a brief but typical entry level explanation
> of how units of analysis are conceived and employed in quantitative
> social research. It is from an internet site on research methods.
>
> But what about the use of units of analysis in qualitative research?
> Andy showed how it is fairly easy to develop a rule-based method for
> sorting out such a unit of analysis in a field of candidates within
> some research domain. The problem with this kind of method, of
> course, is it assumes a fairly static field of objects, which Andy
> would be the first to explain is a false assumption, because no field
> of objects or system remains fixed. Quite the contrary. The
> "secret," which isn't really a secret to most of us on xmca, is to
> find a "unit" that perhaps initially fulfills the rules Andy
> suggested, but somehow maintains its internal "identity" even when it
> radically transforms over time - and we know it will, given enough
> time. These transformations are the parts of the puzzle that are
> difficult to formulate formal rules for because these inevitable
> transformations are not determined by linear, categorical logic, but
> instead by far more complex and nonlinear processes. We must employ
> dialectics to understand, describe and determine the essential forces
> and components of these kinds of changes. Formal logic at best can
> only get us started and help us do things like make elementary
> distinctions and keep our artifacts organized. The complex, ever-
> changing, transformational processes we research require higher forms
> of logic and thinking to be deciphered.
>
> When Marx studied value, he recognized that value took a variety of
> forms, such as the commodity, money, capital, and wage labor. It was
> regarding the latter value-form where Marx made one his most important
> discoveries and explanations. He showed that wage labor under
> capitalism is just another commodity, but one with a very special
> characteristic. Unlike any other commodity, it can be purchased at a
> value less than it is worth. And therein lies the basis of profit,
> and the inherent, historic conflict between labor and capital.
>
> The thing that makes Marx's study of capitalism so coherent is the way
> Marx showed how the basic properties and contradictions of value are
> present in each and every value-form (contradictions, for example,
> such as those between concrete and abstract labor). This is why
> Ilyenkov suggested that the value-form was the concrete universal that
> Marx explored in Capital. It is the universal "content" - value -
> which all these forms possess, ad which is the heart of the matter,
> despite the fact that these formsare qualitatively different from one
> another in most other respects, and in some ways, do not appear to
> have much at all in common.
>
> I bring all this up to suggest that the concrete universal, on second
> thought, is appearing to me to be something quite different from a
> formal unit of analysis. It is expressed and can be detected in such
> units, but it goes on to develop and transform into new, possibly
> radically different and more complex forms, such as the commodity-form
> becoming transfored into the money-form. This is a shift from the
> way I was looking a this a few weeks ago, when I was thinking the two
> were similar, if not the same thing. Perhaps they are essentially
> different animals.
>
> The question on my mind pertaining to this: which one did Vygotsky
> have in mind when he spoke about the need to discover the "cell" of
> psychology? Did he have in mind a rule-derived unit of analysis,
> determined by formal rules such as those formulated by Andy, or was he
> thinking of something much more like a concrete universal, which must
> be determined by understanding the actual historical development of a
> process or system?
>
> A few weeks ago Martin raisd some very interesting and cogent points
> abut how a unit of analysis can only be understood and examined in
> the ontext of the whole it is part of. He went on to raise some
> questions about Ilyenkov's concept of the concrete universal, which
> includes the notion that it contains inherent contradictions that lead
> to these transformations of form. Martin asked: how can a single
> commodity or commodity exchange in isolation contain the
> contradictions that drive it to transform? Doesn't it have to be
> connected to the largersystem it is part of? Didn't Marx also study
> the commodity in term of the larger economy?
>
> In Capital Vol I, Marx spent some time looking at the relative and
> equivalent poles of exchange when two commodities are traded for one
> another. Marx used this terminology to describe the contradictions in
> a single exchange to show how this tension within the direct exchange
> of commodities tends to drive toward the selection of a universal
> commodity, which becomes the equivalent pole in all exchanges. This
> form in urn has contradictions which drive it toward the development
> of money, usually the metal money form. This again metamorphoses into
> currency, and then later, paper notes. (And now, servers that store
> digital representations of deposited money, which we can access from
> our computers and use to spend entire paychecks without ever passing a
> single coin, dollar (etc.) or check!) Martin wondered, though, how
> Ilyenkov could claim that Marx could somehow determine this evolution
> to more complex forms from the contradictions inherent in a single
> commodity exchange.
>
> Martin picked up on a passage in Ilyenkov about hydrogen and wondered
> the same thing: how can the characteristics of hydrogen be inferred
> from the "contradictions" inherent in a single hydrogen atom? Doesn't
> it have to be also undertood in its relation to other atoms, and in
> its overall context, within the whole, to be fully understood? Same
> with the "elementary protein (protean?) body" (as Martin suggests, we
> should probably assume Ilyenkov is referring to the cell) as the basic
> unit of analysis of life-forms - don't we also want to study the more
> complex forms they take, such as multi-cell organisms?
>
> These are very good questions, and I will be thinking about them.
> Just what was Ilyenkov trying to say? Is the concept of the concrete
> universal a viable concept? Is it something different from a formal
> unit of analysis? And how do these questions of concrete universals
> and units of analysis fit in with what Vygotsky was trying to discover
> for psychology? And - the intriguing question Mike asked the other
> day that got me started on this post in the first place, and which I
> am FINALLY getting to: can the concept of the "social relations of
> production" as a "candidate" for being a basic unit of analysis
> (unwieldy and hopelessly abstract as it appears to be for such a job
> at first glance) be reframed in CHAT terms as "joint, mediated
> activity"?
>
> In the meantime, perhaps Martin would be kind enough to clarify any of
> his points from the earlier discussion, which I may have muddled up or
> left out in describing them here. And perhaps add to them. Anyone
> of course is welcome to chime in - now, or later. This is the kind of
> topic that comes and goes all the time, and can always use
> reexamination and resharpening.
>
> - Steve
>
> (Below is that blurb from a quantitative social research perspective
> on units of analysis).
>
> http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/unitanal.php
> Unit of Analysis
> One of the most important ideas in a research project is the unit of
> analysis. The unit of analysis is the major entity that you are
> analyzing in your study. For instance, any of the following could be a
> unit of analysis in a study:
>
> • individuals
> • groups
> • artifacts (books, photos, newspapers)
> • geographical units (town, census tract, state)
> • social interactions (dyadic relations, divorces, arrests)
> Why is it called the 'unit of analysis' and not something else (like,
> the unit of sampling)? Because it is the analysis you do in your study
> that determines what the unit is. For instance, if you are comparing
> the children in two classrooms on achievement test scores, the unit is
> the individual child because you have a score for each child. On the
> other hand, if you are comparing the two classes on classroom climate,
> your unit of analysis is the group, in this case the classroom,
> because you only have a classroom climate score for the class as a
> whole and not for each individual student. For different analyses in
> the same study you may have different units of analysis. If you decide
> to base an analysis on student scores, the individual is the unit. But
> you might decide to compare average classroom performance. In this
> case, since the data that goes into the analysis is the average itself
> (and not the individuals' scores) the unit of analysis is actually the
> group. Even though you had data at the student level, you use
> aggregates in the analysis. In many areas of social research these
> hierarchies of analysis units have become particularly important and
> have spawned a whole area of statistical analysis sometimes referred
> to as hierarchical modeling. This is true in education, for instance,
> where we often compare classroom performance but collected achievement
> data at the individual student level.
>
> <end>
>
>
>
>
> On Sep 27, 2008, at 9:19 AM, Mike Cole wrote:
>
>> This "old" discussion seems to connect to the post ISCAR messages in
>> the
>> comments that Steve made on the use of the activity triangle as a
>> tool of
>> thought.
>>
>> From all the richness of the discussion, this point stuck out for me:
>>
>> 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).
>>
>> Question: Might this UoA be termed, "joint, mediated, activity" ?
>>
>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 6:03 PM, Steve Gabosch <stevegabosch@mac.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi Martin,
>>>
>>> You bring up extremely important points, which interest me a lot.
>>> I really
>>> appreciate your perspective. Let's take this up in a few weeks
>>> once we are
>>> settled down after San Diego.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>> - Steve
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sep 4, 2008, at 4:45 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>
>>> -------- Original Message --------
>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] déjatel' nost'
>>>> Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 15:27:28 -0400
>>>> From: Martin Packer <mpacker885@gmail.com>
>>>> To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>
>>>> Andy, I'm having technical problem sending email. Any possibility
>>>> you
>>>> could forward this to XMCA? thanks!
>>>>
>>>> Steve,
>>>>
>>>> I'll admit I have some problems with Ilyenkov's reading of Marx.
>>>> Consider, for example, the following excerpt. Is he saying we
>>>> should study
>>>> the hydrogen atom? Is this the "elementary manifestation" that is
>>>> analogous
>>>> to the the commodity in Capital? Yes, hydrogen is the simplest
>>>> element, and
>>>> its analysis can enable us to understand the properties of more
>>>> complex
>>>> elements. (The Schrodinger wave equation, for example, can be
>>>> solved for a
>>>> hydrogen atom but is unsolvable for more complex atoms, if I
>>>> remember my
>>>> college chemistry).
>>>>
>>>>>> Hydrogen appears in this
>>>>>> case as the elementary structure in the decomposition of which
>>>>>> chemical properties of matter disappear in general, whether the
>>>>>> analytical decomposition is performed in an actual experiment or
>>>>>> only
>>>>>> mentally. Hydrogen is therefore a concrete universal element of
>>>>>> chemism.
>>>>
>>>> But not all the properties of hydrogen show up (appear) in a
>>>> single atom.
>>>> Hydrogen atoms bond to form H2 molecules, and at low temperature and
>>>> pressure show a more exotic bonding form (the Bose-Einstein
>>>> condensate). A
>>>> single atom doesn't go through phase changes (solid, liquid, gas).
>>>> So, yes,
>>>> "the concrete universal concept registers a real objective
>>>> elementary form
>>>> of the existence of the entire system rather
>>>> than an empty abstraction." But not in isolation.
>>>>
>>>> Ilyenkov claims that with the "single form" of direct exchange
>>>> alone Marx
>>>> was able to identity all the phenomena and categories of advanced
>>>> capitalism, "without exception." I just don't think this is true.
>>>> Marx
>>>> traced the commodity form back to these simple origins, but he
>>>> analysed the
>>>> contemporary version of the form as well. So where Ilyenkov says
>>>> that to
>>>> understand life we ought to study "the elementary protein body" (I
>>>> think
>>>> this should be "protean" body), which I take to mean unicellular
>>>> organisms,
>>>> yes of course this is important, but surely we also need to study
>>>> modern
>>>> complex multi-cellular organisms?
>>>>
>>>> If it really were the case that Marx could come up with "all
>>>> phenomena and
>>>> categories of advanced capitalism" from studying only "direct
>>>> exchange of
>>>> one commodity for another" this would amount to be being able to
>>>> predict, or
>>>> perhaps logically deduce, the direction and outcome of cultural
>>>> evolution.
>>>> It would be like studying a single-celled organism and accurately
>>>> predicting
>>>> its evolution into ammals and then humans. This might be possible
>>>> if there
>>>> were a "universal dialectical law" unfolding everywhere. Ilyenkov
>>>> appears to
>>>> believe that there is, and this is one way of reading Marx. But it
>>>> is not
>>>> the way I read Marx, and I don't believe that there is an
>>>> "objectively
>>>> universal" dialectical
>>>> logic that can be identified even in the simplest of forms.
>>>>
>>>> Martin
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 9/3/08 10:05 AM, "Steve Gabosch" <stevegabosch@mac.com
>>>> <mailto:stevegabosch@mac.com>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> You raise really good points, Martin. What are you thoughts on the
>>>>> distinction between an "analytical unit" versus a "basic unit of
>>>>> analysis", and where do you see the "concrete universal" fitting
>>>>> in?
>>>>> - Steve
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sep 3, 2008, at 6:16 AM, Martin Packer wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Andy, Steve,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I like the idea of exploring further the way Marx's analysis of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> commodity gives us a concrete (!) example of methodology. A good
>>>>>> place to
>>>>>> start is with the fact that the commodity is the unit of
>>>>>> analysis in
>>>>>> Capital, in the sense that Andy defines, that it is the smallest
>>>>>> component
>>>>>> that shows the properties of the whole: in this case, it shows the
>>>>>> contradiction between use value and exchange value that
>>>>>> characterizes
>>>>>> capital as a whole.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> But at the same time, it is a constituted unit, no? Or, better
>>>>>> put,
>>>>>> it is at
>>>>>> the same time a process, which can be analytically decomposed into
>>>>>> cycles of
>>>>>> production and exchange. Ilyenkov apparently focuses on Marx's
>>>>>> analysis of
>>>>>> the historical development of the commodity, from unmediated
>>>>>> exchange
>>>>>> through to complex money forms. But there is a synchronic
>>>>>> dimension of
>>>>>> analysis too, and Marx explores how the process of exchanging
>>>>>> commodities is
>>>>>> the basis for the abstraction in which they come to have common
>>>>>> measure.
>>>>>> Equally the labor of producing commodities becomes abstract, and
>>>>>> what
>>>>>> remains in each case is value.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> So we learn little by looking at a unit in isolation. "We may
>>>>>> twist
>>>>>> and turn
>>>>>> a single commodity as we wish; it remains impossible to grasp it
>>>>>> as
>>>>>> a thing
>>>>>> possessing value... [its objective character as value] can only
>>>>>> appear in
>>>>>> the social relation between commodity and commodity" (Marx). We
>>>>>> need
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> examine units in relation. This seems to me to suggest that
>>>>>> although
>>>>>> a unit
>>>>>> has the characteristics of the whole, this is the case only when
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> unit is
>>>>>> examined *in* the whole. We need to study a commodity *in*
>>>>>> capitalist
>>>>>> society.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> More specifically still, we need to study the unit in the
>>>>>> processes
>>>>>> of which
>>>>>> it is the product. So Chapter 2 of Capital considers "The
>>>>>> Process of
>>>>>> Exchange" in which "in order that these objects may enter into
>>>>>> relation with
>>>>>> each other as commodities, their guardians must place themselves
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> relation
>>>>>> to one another as persons whose will resides in these objects."
>>>>>> Our
>>>>>> analysis
>>>>>> only *begins* with an examination of the unit, the commodity. It
>>>>>> must
>>>>>> proceed to an examination of the relations among units, and then
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> relations among people which bring the units into relation.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Here of course the famous passage, "a commodity appears at first
>>>>>> sight an
>>>>>> extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that
>>>>>> it is a
>>>>>> very strange thing, abounding in metapysical subtleties and
>>>>>> theological
>>>>>> niceties." "The mysterious character" of the commodity "reflects
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> social
>>>>>> characteristics of men's own labour."
>>>>>>
>>>>>> My reading of this is that the analysis of a unit cannot replace
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> analysis of the whole, even though the unit "reflects" the
>>>>>> whole. We
>>>>>> must
>>>>>> analyze the unit *in* the whole which constitutes it, for it is
>>>>>> *we*
>>>>>> who
>>>>>> make the commodity what it is, "without being aware of it."
>>>>>> Analysis
>>>>>> is a
>>>>>> process in which we "try to decipher the hieroglyphic, to get
>>>>>> behind
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> secret of [our] own social product." This analysis has an
>>>>>> emancipatory
>>>>>> character because it enables us to see the contingent, historical
>>>>>> genesis of
>>>>>> forms which had come to seem natural, immutable, and finished.
>>>>>> Marx is
>>>>>> interested in the commodity. But one might argue that he is *more*
>>>>>> interested in the festishism with which we generally understand
>>>>>> commodities,
>>>>>> the alienation which quantitative exchange of commodities gives
>>>>>> rise
>>>>>> to, and
>>>>>> the "metamorphosis" of commodities into money which is the basis
>>>>>> for
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> exploitation of labor (so Chapter 3 analyzes "The Circulation of
>>>>>> Commodities" now as a process that becomes mediated by money).
>>>>>> None
>>>>>> of this
>>>>>> is exactly "in" the commodity, but only if we begin our analysis
>>>>>> with the
>>>>>> commodity will we be able to understand the other phenomena.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Does this all get played out in Vygotsky's analyses?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 9/2/08 8:19 AM, "Steve Gabosch" <stevegabosch@mac.com
>>>>
>>>> <mailto:stevegabosch@mac.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Andy, I am still absorbing your last message. While doing that I
>>>>>>> wanted to look at Ilyenkov's 1960 book The Dialectics of the
>>>>>>> Abstract
>>>>>>> & the Concrete in Marx's Capital, which deals with many things we
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> talking about in this thread.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ****************
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The lengthy passage below is a helpful description of the
>>>>>>> concrete
>>>>>>> universal by Ilyenkov. After pointing out how Marx uses value
>>>>>>> as the
>>>>>>> concrete universal in the development of the capitalist economy,
>>>>>>> Ilyenkov gives helpful examples of concrete universals in
>>>>>>> chemistry
>>>>>>> and life in general.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Btw, this transcription on Marxist Internet Archive is by Andy.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> http://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/abstract/abstra5a.htm
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Ilyenkov
>>>>>>> The dialectics of the Abstract & the Concrete in Marx's Capital
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> from Chapter 5 – The Method of Ascent from the Abstract to the
>>>>>>> Concrete in Marx's Capital
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the beginning of the section Concrete fullness of Abstraction and
>>>>>>> Analysis as a Condition of Theoretical Synthesis
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We shall now turn to a consideration of the logical structure of
>>>>>>> Capital, comparing it both with the logic of Ricardian thought
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> theoretical views of Marx's predecessors in the field of logic;
>>>>>>> this
>>>>>>> discussion should reveal Marx's logic in its actual practical
>>>>>>> application to the analysis of facts, to the analysis of
>>>>>>> empirical
>>>>>>> data.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Our task is that of singling out the universal logical elements
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> Marx's treatment of economic materials, the logical forms that
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> applicable, due to their universality, to any other theoretical
>>>>>>> discipline.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Capital, as is well known, begins with a most thorough and
>>>>>>> detailed
>>>>>>> analysis of the category of value, i.e., of the real form of
>>>>>>> economic
>>>>>>> relations that is the universal and elementary form of the
>>>>>>> being of
>>>>>>> capital. In this analysis, Marx's field of vision encompasses a
>>>>>>> single and, as we have already noted, extremely rare, in
>>>>>>> developed
>>>>>>> capitalism, factual relation between men – direct exchange of
>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>> commodity for another. At this stage of his inquiry into the
>>>>>>> capitalist system, Marx intentionally leaves out of account any
>>>>>>> other
>>>>>>> forms – money or profit or wages. All of these things are as
>>>>>>> yet
>>>>>>> believed to be non-existent.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Nevertheless, analysis of this single form of economic relations
>>>>>>> yields, as its result, a theoretical expression of the
>>>>>>> objectively
>>>>>>> universal form of all phenomena and categories of developed
>>>>>>> capitalism
>>>>>>> without exception, an expression of a developed concreteness, a
>>>>>>> theoretical expression of value as such, of the universal form of
>>>>>>> value.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The elementary type of the existence of value coincides with
>>>>>>> value in
>>>>>>> general, and the real actually traceable development of this
>>>>>>> form of
>>>>>>> value into other forms constitutes the objective content of the
>>>>>>> deduction of the categories of Capital. Deduction in this
>>>>>>> conception,
>>>>>>> unlike the Ricardian one, loses its formal character: here it
>>>>>>> directly
>>>>>>> expresses the real content of some forms of economic
>>>>>>> interaction from
>>>>>>> others.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> That is precisely the point missing in the systems of Ricardo
>>>>>>> and of
>>>>>>> his followers from the bourgeois camp.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The conception of a universal concept underlying the entire
>>>>>>> system of
>>>>>>> the categories of science, applied here by Marx, cannot be
>>>>>>> explained
>>>>>>> by the specificity of the subject-matter of political economy. It
>>>>>>> reflects the universal dialectical law of the unfolding of any
>>>>>>> objective concreteness – natural, socio-historical, or
>>>>>>> spiritual.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This conception is of great significance for any modern
>>>>>>> science. To
>>>>>>> give a concrete theoretical definition of life as the basic
>>>>>>> category
>>>>>>> of biology, to answer the question of what is life in general,
>>>>>>> life
>>>>>>> as
>>>>>>> such, one ought to act in the same way as Marx acted with value
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> general, that is, one should undertake a concrete analysis of the
>>>>>>> composition and mode of existence of an elementary
>>>>>>> manifestation of
>>>>>>> life – the elementary protein body. That is the only way of
>>>>>>> obtaining
>>>>>>> a real definition and of revealing the essence of the matter.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Only in this way, and not at all by abstraction of the general
>>>>>>> features of all phenomena of life without exception, can one
>>>>>>> attain a
>>>>>>> really scientific and materialist conception of life, creating
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> concept of life as such.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The situation is the same in chemistry. The concept of chemical
>>>>>>> element as such, of chemical element in general, cannot be
>>>>>>> worked out
>>>>>>> through abstraction of the general and identical features that
>>>>>>> helium
>>>>>>> has in common with uranium or silicon with nitrogen, or the
>>>>>>> common
>>>>>>> features of all the elements of the periodic table. The concept
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> chemical element may be formed by detailed consideration of the
>>>>>>> simplest element of the system – hydrogen. Hydrogen appears in
>>>>>>> this
>>>>>>> case as the elementary structure in the decomposition of which
>>>>>>> chemical properties of matter disappear in general, whether the
>>>>>>> analytical decomposition is performed in an actual experiment
>>>>>>> or only
>>>>>>> mentally. Hydrogen is therefore a concrete universal element of
>>>>>>> chemism. The universal necessary laws that emerge and disappear
>>>>>>> with
>>>>>>> it, are the simplest laws of the existence of the chemical
>>>>>>> element in
>>>>>>> general. As elementary and universal laws they will occur in
>>>>>>> uranium,
>>>>>>> gold, silicon, and so on. And any of these wore complex
>>>>>>> elements may
>>>>>>> in principle be reduced to hydrogen, which, by the way, happens
>>>>>>> both
>>>>>>> in nature and in experiments with nuclear processes.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> In other words, what takes place here is the same living mutual
>>>>>>> transformation of the universal and the particular, of the
>>>>>>> elementary
>>>>>>> and the complex which we observed in the categories of capital,
>>>>>>> where
>>>>>>> profit emerges as developed value, as a developed elementary
>>>>>>> form of
>>>>>>> commodity, to which profit is continually reduced in the real
>>>>>>> movement
>>>>>>> of the economic system and therefore in thought reproducing this
>>>>>>> movement. Here as everywhere else, the concrete universal concept
>>>>>>> registers a real objective elementary form of the existence of
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> entire system rather than an empty abstraction.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> <end>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Sep 1, 2008, at 10:27 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Steve,
>>>>>>>> as I understand it, the concept of "concrete universal" is
>>>>>>>> closely
>>>>>>>> related to UoA (or notion or "abstract concept") in this way. In
>>>>>>>> approaching the understanding of a complex phenomenon, the
>>>>>>>> researcher tries to determine a notion which will reveal at
>>>>>>>> least
>>>>>>>> the aspects of that whole she is interested in. One and the same
>>>>>>>> phenomenon (e.g. "the real life of people" or "personality")
>>>>>>>> may be
>>>>>>>> approached using different units of analysis (abstract
>>>>>>>> notions) and
>>>>>>>> the result will be different insights into the same phenomena.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> This is where the ascent from the abstract to the concrete
>>>>>>>> comes in:
>>>>>>>> the complex whole is to be "reconstructed" in thought, beginning
>>>>>>>> from this abstract concept of it, and the end result of such a
>>>>>>>> reconstruction is a "concrete universal". So if (for example) a
>>>>>>>> certain social formation is to be understood as a "concrete
>>>>>>>> universal", then you must begin by determining an "anstract
>>>>>>>> notion"
>>>>>>>> of it. (The tricky bit is discovery of the "abstract notion"
>>>>>>>> and the
>>>>>>>> only place to read about that process is in Hegel's Doctrine of
>>>>>>>> Essence in the Logic.)
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> The contrary method is to begin with a thoughtlessly chosen
>>>>>>>> element
>>>>>>>> and analyse it into its properties (or "attributes" or in old
>>>>>>>> English "accidents"). (The subject is the sum of all the
>>>>>>>> predicates
>>>>>>>> which can be attached to it?) These attributes may then be
>>>>>>>> used to
>>>>>>>> reconstuct a whole, which would be an "abstract general". For
>>>>>>>> example, someone who thinks that the working class are people
>>>>>>>> who
>>>>>>>> work for a wage, then define the working class as the set of all
>>>>>>>> wage earners, and include policemen and senior managers among
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> proletariat--+, whilst ecluding housewives. The same person
>>>>>>>> might
>>>>>>>> define a bourseois as someone with a lot of money, and decide
>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>> the Professor of FIne Arts is not a bourgeois, because he does
>>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>>> own capital, only culture.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Does that help?
>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Steve Gabosch wrote:
>>>>>>>>> That is very helpful, Andy. The problem to solve, of course, is
>>>>>>>>> determining the "simplest" component of a whole, without
>>>>>>>>> entering
>>>>>>>>> into the realm of "elements," as Vygotsky would warn against
>>>>>>>>> in his
>>>>>>>>> example of water, which is not flammable, whereas its elements
>>>>>>>>> hydrogen and oxygen are. Your history of the concept is a very
>>>>>>>>> useful place to start and is appreciated. I got from
>>>>>>>>> Ilyenkov's
>>>>>>>>> writings, btw, that he thought "value" was the basic unit of
>>>>>>>>> analysis of commodities, money, capital, etc. and that Marx
>>>>>>>>> chose
>>>>>>>>> the simplest manifestation of value - the commodity - to
>>>>>>>>> build his
>>>>>>>>> case on what capital is and how it works. But that does not
>>>>>>>>> take
>>>>>>>>> anything away from the central points you are making.
>>>>>>>>> Here are some more questions, for you, anyone. Ilyenkov also
>>>>>>>>> speaks of the concrete universal. How does the "concrete
>>>>>>>>> universal" concept fit in with the "unit of analysis" concept?
>>>>>>>>> Also, what is the distinction between unit of analysis, basic
>>>>>>>>> unit
>>>>>>>>> of analysis, and analytical units? And to just make sure
>>>>>>>>> there is
>>>>>>>>> no confusion, what is the difference between a "unit" and an
>>>>>>>>> "element"?
>>>>>>>>> - Steve
>>>>>>>>> On Sep 1, 2008, at 7:20 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Others may chine in on this. I am in the midst of writing
>>>>>>>>>> stuff on
>>>>>>>>>> the topic, but a few basics:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> "Unit of analysis" is the simplest component of something
>>>>>>>>>> which
>>>>>>>>>> exhibits all the properties of the whole. It originates from
>>>>>>>>>> Goethe who called it the *Urphanomenon*, and David tells me
>>>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>>>> Goethe got it from Vico, though I haven't been able to confirm
>>>>>>>>>> that myself. Goethe insisted that the UoA had to be itself a
>>>>>>>>>> "phenomenon" rather than a hypothesis or principle or
>>>>>>>>>> mechanism
>>>>>>>>>> lying behind and beyond appearances, like an *embryo* or
>>>>>>>>>> *germ-
>>>>>>>>>> cell*. Hegel took over the idea and he called it the *Notion*
>>>>>>>>>> (Begriff), and it is the key idea in his logic and his
>>>>>>>>>> theory of
>>>>>>>>>> science. Marx applied the idea to political economy and came
>>>>>>>>>> up
>>>>>>>>>> with the *Commodity*, as the simplest relation of bourgeois
>>>>>>>>>> society and the simplest unit of capital. Vygotsky took up the
>>>>>>>>>> idea and his study of Pavlov's work on the *conditioned
>>>>>>>>>> reflex*
>>>>>>>>>> was his first idea for a UoA for psychology, and then of
>>>>>>>>>> course
>>>>>>>>>> the famous *word meaning* as a UoA for the study of
>>>>>>>>>> intelligent
>>>>>>>>>> speech. ANL then (it seems) took it further with the idea of
>>>>>>>>>> *(an)
>>>>>>>>>> activity* as the UoA for the social life of humans.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> It is important that the UoA contains nothing outside within
>>>>>>>>>> itself (preconditions, axioms, etc.), and is in that sense
>>>>>>>>>> absolutely simple, and that it _is itself_ "an example" of
>>>>>>>>>> what it
>>>>>>>>>> is the simplest component of, for example the *molecule* for
>>>>>>>>>> chemistry and the *particle* for physics. Hegel took *right*
>>>>>>>>>> (which he took as private property) for the UoA for the
>>>>>>>>>> study of
>>>>>>>>>> modern society.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Hegel explained that a science must begin from the *Concept*
>>>>>>>>>> (is
>>>>>>>>>> UoA) of its subject matter, and then while studying the
>>>>>>>>>> field of
>>>>>>>>>> phenomena to guide perception, unfold out of the conception,
>>>>>>>>>> logically so to speak, everything that is contained within it.
>>>>>>>>>> Davydov and Elkonin's method of teaching the science of number
>>>>>>>>>> actually takes that conception of science as a research
>>>>>>>>>> program
>>>>>>>>>> and applies it to teaching and learning, with *external
>>>>>>>>>> comparison* as the UoA for mathematics.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Hope that helps,
>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Steve Gabosch wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>> <http://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>
>>>> <mailto: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>
>>>>>>>>>>>> <mailto: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>
>>>> <mailto: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>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>>> ----- Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>> Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435
>>>>>>>>>>>> Skype andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> <
>>>>>>>>>>>> winmail
>>>>>>>>>>>> .dat>_______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>>> -----
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435
>>>>>>>>>>>> Skype andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------->
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>> -
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
>>>>>>>>>>>> andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> 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/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
>>>>>>>>>>>> andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>> 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/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
>>>>>>>>>> andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>> 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/<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
>>>>>>>> andy.blunden
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> 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/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>>>> +61 3 9380 9435 Skype andy.blunden
>>>> Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
>>>> http://www.marxists.org/admin/books/index.htm
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>
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Received on Wed Oct 1 07:42 PDT 2008

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