[xmca] motive/project

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sat Dec 13 2008 - 13:43:26 PST


Among all the issues on the table, could I inquire more about
(This query could some help from our native Russian speakers as well as
scholars because I figure issues of translation are involved).

The question concerns the term, motive. You want to move away from it with
relation to
activity because (in part? ) because of its internal/mentalistic
connotations (or maybe
denotation?). Project is the preferred alternative. I'll let that one lie
for now, but it, too
is worth coming back to because of links (least!) to Sartre and Heidegger
which I do not
well understand).

But concerning motive. A long time ago, when LCHC was first busily trying to
Leontiev we had a lot of discussion about motive. It is a term with a long
and varied history
in English. Waiting for someone to drop off more exams for me to read, I
snuck over to
the OED and read under "motive." If there is interest, I could post the
whole, long entry.
But it really IS complicated, and far from all its uses are internal mental,
although that is
where the entry starts. I pulled just the first several such definitions,
sans examples. They

   1. Senses relating to inner impulses and mental activities.
   2. A matter or issue moved or brought forward, *esp.* a question
   requiring an answer; a motion, a proposition. Freq. in *to move *(also*make
   *)* a motive*
   3. Chiefly *Sc.* An inward prompting or impulse. Chiefly in *of
*(also*by, from
   *)* one's own *(*proper*)* motive*
   4. *a.* A circumstance or external factor inducing a person to act in a
   certain way; a desire, emotion, reason, argument, etc., influencing or
   tending to influence a person's volition. Also: a contemplated end the
   desire for which influences or tends to influence a person's actions.

*b. *More generally: the reason or cause behind something. *Obs.*
5.* *Proof, justification; an argument or consideration offered as grounds
for believing something to be true; a piece of evidence intended to
convince or produce assent. *Obs.*

Note that as we move down this list, internal starts to be joined with
external. My colleague Peg Griffin particularly
liked a version of #5, as in "a well motivated decision" where motive means
based on prior evidence, experience, etc.

It is clear which of these various senses Leontiev was using??
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Received on Sat Dec 13 13:43:57 2008

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