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

Thanks again Andy,

What is happening in the planning theory field is that planning theory
based on Habermas's Discourse Ethics ('Critical Planning Theory') has
been heavily challenged for a good while now. There seems to be also
some miscommunication on what the nature/scope/aim of CPT theory is,
and whether it actually is a theory of planning at all, or rather a
philosophy of planning communication.

There seems to be a need for a planning theory, which could provide
descriptive and prescriptive  accounts of actual planning practices.
Theoretical resources are being sought elsewhere (Foucault, Deleuze,
STS, CHAT...). This is an ongoing project of which I am part of too.

My question, however, was more on how do people read Habermas'
influence on today's Activity Theorists.


2009/11/9 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>:
> I think there are a number of people on the list, Jonna, who are familiar
> with Habermas.
> Habermas is the youngest of the 2nd generation of the Frankfurt School,
> elder stateman for the current generation. As per Frankfurt School
> traditions, Habermas did a lot of "immanent critique". This meant that, like
> Vygotsky in the 1920s, he trawls around the competing theories of the time,
> mining them for insights (well that's putting it very crudely, ok?). Among
> famous appropriations was his appropriation of Piaget, which I personally
> think was idiotic, leading to H's embrace of the biogenetic hypothesis and a
> rigid schema of historical development following a Piaget-type program.
> Among H's many great contributions though was his Discourse Ethics, and all
> CHAT people should study this. His concept of the public sphere is also
> something we should all learn.
> The significance of Discourse Ethics is that he replaces conceptions of
> objective truth knowable by rational thought, with a dialogic conception of
> truth, well actually of Right, not truth.
> He is very old now and his current trajectory is to come into complete
> agreement with John Rawls.
> The next generation of his followers are more interested in G H Mead rather
> than Piaget, which is of course a step forward in theory  though backward in
> time. It is my cherished hope that the Franfurters will one day swallow
> their pride and read Vygtosky. There are millions of young Marxists out
> there waiting to be unleashed on Vygotsky if the Frankfurters were to
> suggest it.
> As to H. being an Activity Theorist, no, but I included him in my diagram
> because I think his Discourse Ethics set the Fransfurt School on to a course
> which leads to CHAT. The fact that many of them are still Marxists gives
> added reason for hope.
> My main beef, as I have said earlier, is that Habermas sees no role for the
> concept of mediation, seeing culture as a kind of resource which can be
> drawn upon. Here is an article on the question of why followers of Habermas
> should read Vygotsky:
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/critical-theory-and-psychology.htm
> and a review of Habermas's most recent book:
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/habermas-review.htm
> Hope that helps.
> Andy
> Jonna Kangasoja wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I would be especially interested if someone could say something
>> (anything) about the influence/role of Habermas in the picture. I am
>> working nowadyas with (urban) planning theorists, to whom Habermas is
>> a very central, although contested figure. Most of my colleagues have
>> never heard of Activity Theory, and the one's who have, regard present
>> day Activity Theorists as 'Habermasian' - I am not sure if this is
>> quite the way to put it, or at least I never thought Habermas to be
>> very central in e.g. Engestöm's theory - does anyone have any comments
>> on this?
>> best, Jonna
>> 2009/11/9 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>:
>>> I've been thinking ... What these diagrams lack is any information about
>>> why
>>> a writer is included and what they contributed to CHAT. Would anyone on
>>> the
>>> list like to put their hand up to write a paragraph (max 100 words
>>> probably)
>>> on a writer on the diagram explaining their contribution to CHAT and
>>> their
>>> sources? I would be happy to collate them and fix the essays to
>>> hyperlinks
>>> on the names of each writer? ... if others do most of the writing ...
>>> then
>>> the diagram might be genuinely useful.
>>> Andy
>>> Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>> Mmmmm. I didn't sign up for an intellecual map of the universe here! The
>>>> French Revolution produced a mass of political theory of course, but
>>>> also,
>>>> it is widely regarded as the inspiration for Classical German
>>>> Philosophy,
>>>> which is one of our sources.
>>>> World War One?  I don't know, but I have thought in the past that what
>>>> Vygotsky called "The Crisis in Psychology", viz., the myriad of
>>>> conflicting
>>>> currents in psychology suddenly contesting each other after WW1, was
>>>> some
>>>> kind of reaction to WW1 and the Russian Revolution.
>>>> The Reformation and the Industrial Revolution deserve mention somewhere
>>>> too, in the atlas of ideas. ...
>>>> Andy
>>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>>> Hmmmmm, like the French revolution or world war I for example?
>>>>> :-)
>>>>> mike
>>>>> On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>   Both Arne's and mine are listed on
>>>>>   http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Paper/index.html and both are in that
>>>>>   directory. I too would be interested in seeing some other versions.
>>>>>   Something might emerge out of the crowd.
>>>>>   It is interesting isn't that it is a quite small number of ... what
>>>>>   do you say? ... millieux? events? movements? which produced the main
>>>>>   ideas, via a whole mass of individual writers.
>>>>>   Andy
>>>>>   mike cole wrote:
>>>>>       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 the
>>>>>       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
>>>>>       perspectives.
>>>>>       mike
>>>>>       On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 6:42 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>       <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>       <mailto: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
>>>>>       <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>                      <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>       <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>
>>>>>                          <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).
>>>>>                      _______________________________________________
>>>>>                      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://www.erythrospress.com/
>>>>>                  Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev,
>>>>>       Meshcheryakov,
>>>>>                  Ilyenkov $20 ea
>>>>>                  _______________________________________________
>>>>>                  xmca mailing list
>>>>>                  xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
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>>>>>                  http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>          --
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>          Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>>>>>          Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov,
>>>>>          Ilyenkov $20 ea
>>>>>          _______________________________________________
>>>>>          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://www.erythrospress.com/
>>>>>   Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov,
>>>>>   Ilyenkov $20 ea
>>> --
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>>> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20
>>> ea
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea
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