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RE: [xmca] Arne Raeithel's "genealogy"

One of the most interesting discussions I have ever read about was one that went on I guess for years between Santayana and Dewey - on I think that haunts me always.  Santayana considered himself a Pragmatist (which surprised me when I first read it for some reason) - but only partially so.  They argued about how important it was to teach history.  Dewey argued that history should only be taught as political science rather than history per se because individuals would always understand history in order to reach their own goals.  There is no way to know what actually occurred because history is always a tool in its presentation.  There is never history for history's sake.  Santayana argued that we must examine history as history - if we are sincere it might not be possible to understand exactly what happened, but we could come to understand why things happen - that careful study of history leads to a reality of process if not of product (which sort of puts his famous "doomed to repeat" quote in a different context.
Having lived my life in the United States in my head I think that Dewey is right.  History isn't so much written by the victors as recreated by those who might use it to promote their current goals.  And yet in my heart I want to believe that Santayana is right, that we can reach a point, through careful study, in which we can tear away the veil and understand the real reasons as to why tragedies occurred.  Charts such as Andy and Arne's - I like and enjoy them - but what is their purpose?


From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of mike cole
Sent: Sun 11/8/2009 12:30 PM
To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Arne Raeithel's "genealogy"

I think your pictured genealogy is interesting, Andy. I thought Arne's was
too, and I a sure others can make interesting modifications. If anyone could
do this in three D it could get really fascinating.

Part of what makes for the partiality of any such attempt is the position of
the creator. Arne was a radical cultural historical cognitive scientist of
70's-90's (roughly), an importatant odd hybrid and unusually nice guy.
Maturana, who is on his list, with Varela, were central figures on bringing
dynamic systems into the discussion but you do not know about him just
as many of us do not know some of the figures you name, and the connections
such as Dilthey-Wundt or Mead-Dilthey-American pragmatism are poorly known
altogether, but fascinating (to me!) in their implications.

And, of course, the historical events that various of us might highlight as
most relevant are going to vary as well.

Thanks for the new tool to think with. I'll try to get Arne's genealogy put
up where yours is and perhaps others will contribute from their

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 6:42 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Well, here's my shot at it:
>   http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Paper/Genealogy-CHAT.pdf
> I have tried to deal with your very valid point, Martin, that it is more
> the milieux than individuals, but I have also just omitted a billion
> possible arrows so it is readable. It needs more than one person to do this.
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>> My question about the map is what the links represent. After all, one
>> scientist or philosopher may accept the ideas or another, or react against
>> them, or modify them, or misunderstand them. Seems to me each of these is a
>> different link. Also, a family tree indicates two parents for every progeny,
>> where Arne's genealogy seemingly shows spontaneous generation - one figure
>> alone can produce another. And wouldn't we want to have a way to map the
>> milieus within which people were working? Perhaps something along the lines
>> of the social fields that Bourdieu was fond of sketching, but with an added
>> historical dimension.
>> Martin
>> On Nov 4, 2009, at 1:44 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>  To tell the truth Louise, there are a couple of names I don't know and
>>> half a dozen I know so little about I don't know why they're included ... or
>>> not. Two of the three "outcomes" are people who think humans are a type of
>>> computer, so I am not surpised that this genealogy is odd to me. But there
>>> is sooooo much out there. So much to read. :(
>>> Up till a few weeks ago I thought that starting with Descartes was not
>>> justified, but I take that back now. But somehow, Rene's nemesis, Aristotle,
>>> needs to be included as well.
>>> I don't know anything about Vico, but I find Locke, Berkeley and Leibniz
>>> to be rather peripheral to *our* story.
>>> Kant certainly deserves an important place, but I think his nemesis,
>>> Goethe, may be more important for us.
>>> Fichte is actually the inventor of Activity as a philosophical concept (I
>>> just learnt that Hegel asked to be buried next to Fichte; like Goethe, very
>>> under recognized in the Anglophone world).
>>> Hegel is the inventor of Cultural Psychology, so agreed there.
>>> I think Stirner and Mach are total diversions from our tradition. But
>>> maybe someone can explain to me their role.
>>> Wundt and Dilthey are important, though I don't know them well.
>>> Feuerbach is a bit of a footnote, but if you're going to have Feuerbach,
>>> you've gotta have Moses Hess, author of "Philosophy of the Deed", and
>>> inspiration for "Theses on Feuerbach". Of course if you think Frege, Russell
>>> and Turing are important to the genealogy of CHAT, then you wouldn't want
>>> Hess.
>>> MARX, obviously, in CAPS.
>>> And I would have lines from a whole bunch of people going to Dewey, as
>>> well as Peirce and Mead, but even though Peirce was the elder, I don't think
>>> you can give him such priority. Dewey surely was the leader. Arguable.
>>> And where are the Gestaltists? Again, not for computer cognition, but
>>> there needs to be lines between Goethe and Kant and then to von Ehrenfels,
>>> and on to Koehler and Co.
>>> Russian linguists like Potebnya, but I don't know where they came from.
>>> And these threads are all tied together with LS Vygotsky, yes?
>>> Freud has to be mentioned (I forget his sources), with arrows to Luria.
>>> And after Vygotsky and Luria you have ANL and thus to present day people,
>>> I guess, you can't leave out Piaget, and I don't know Piaget's sources.
>>> I know some people rate Merleau-Ponty, but if you're going to give
>>> Merleau-Pony a seat, you have to put in Lukacs and Horkheimer. I guess
>>> Habermas for discourse ethics, etc.
>>> I have no idea why Husserl and Heidegger get a mention. I my humble
>>> opinion, as clever as they might be, their impact on Activity Theory has
>>> only been negative.
>>> I have no idea why Bergson is mentioned: was he a source for Piaget?
>>> Don't know why Nietzsche is there. Interesting guy, but so are many others.
>>> Why von Uexhill?
>>> I agree that Wittgenstein rates a mention, though I don't know how much
>>> of a source he has been for us. He is some kind of version of Activity
>>> Theory.
>>> Frege, Russell and Turing are nothing to do with CHAT. What about
>>> anthropologists??
>>> Never heard of Maturana.
>>> That's my reaction,
>>> Andy
>>> Louise Hawkins wrote:
>>>> Andy,
>>>> I remember seeing this diagram a number of years ago, and I found it
>>>> useful as a big picture diagram to get my head around the significant
>>>> theorist.
>>>> Regards
>>>> Louise Hawkins
>>>> Lecturer - School of Management & Information Systems
>>>> Faculty Business & Informatics
>>>> Building 19/Room 3.38
>>>> Rockhampton Campus
>>>> CQUniversity
>>>> Ph: +617 4923 2768
>>>> Fax: +617 4930 9729
>>>>  -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net] Sent: Wednesday, 4
>>>> November 2009 01:05 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: [xmca] Arne Raeithel's "genealogy"
>>>> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Paper/Theoretical%20connections.jpg
>>>> I never found this map very useful to be honest.
>>>> Andy
>>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>>> Have you found Arne Raeithel's "genealogy" of cultural-historical,
>>>>> activity theory thinkers from several years back. I am sure it is somewhere
>>>>> at lchc.ucsd.edu <http://lchc.ucsd.edu <http://lchc.ucsd.edu/> >. Perhaps you (and Andy,
>>>>> and.....) could update it with
>>>>> more detail. Hegel generated so much that has been "laundered" by
>>>>> subsequent "original" thinkers its totally amazing, and ditto Mead (whose
>>>>> writings i know far better, although very inadequately).
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>>> --
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>>> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20
>>> ea
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20
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