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[Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or not]

Hi mike,

I'm sorry for confusion, and I will do my best to clarify. I am responding to a part of your previous post in this thread. You had written:

*Meaning *is not just a property of thinking. Meaning penetrates [infuses] the structure of motor and perceptual activities.

So we are talking, so to speak, about "zhivanie" followed by "perezhivanie" (living and living through, System 1 and System 2 in current cog sci jargon?

I found that I couldn't place affect in this representation, and yet affect is present, particularly in "living and living through." I had thought there might have been a jump from thinking to "motor and perceptual activities," without a space/place for affect. So I was adding how I saw the affect as a part (constituted with) of this, in addition to motor and perceptual.

It was something I was responding to in the words themselves.

Kind regards,


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2015 5:49 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or       not]

​Annalisa -- The way you have posted your note leaves me clueless about why
you are addressing me, or what it is that I wrote that you are addressing.
We certainly agree that emotion and cognition are mutually constituted.

Clue me into the message that gave rise to these thoughts and suggestions.


On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

> Hi,
> I would like to offer (with kindness, not adversity) that I don't think
> this is exactly right, mike, that meaning infuses the structure of motor
> and perceptual activities, because we have not included affect here. The
> body isn't a machine that just acts in activity without feeling.
> We know for example from Damasio that affect is required to reason, which
> means we sense and feel *before* we reason, if it is allowable for me to
> connect sensing with feeling and affect. Did Vygotsky know this? Or Shpet?
> I wonder why there hasn't been more climbing on board of Damasio's work.
> This seems to be a huge discovery.
> It is my sense (!) that sensing is not solely perceptual, but references
> memory as well. Learning and memory-making have important connections to
> affective experiences.
> Is it possible that Vygotsky was using "sense" as a way to discuss
> thinking with the body, but with feeling, in the moment of NOW as one faces
> one's environment? That these impressions are made in a unique manner that
> pertains only to the person. In other words, the process of
> structure-creating is phylogenetic, the scenario in which this process
> takes place is ontogenetic, and therefore the resulting manifestation is
> particular to the person and one's environment? We all have faces with
> certain properties: two eyes, a nose, a mouth, cheeks, etc., yet the face
> itself is unique to each person, despite family resemblances.
> If this is so, it could explain experiences of "race" or "gender" without
> there actually being a location for these experiences of "race" or "gender"
> in the body (explained genetically, for example). In this way, the
> experience is experienced by the experiencer at the moment of the
> experience. It is not pre-programmed, not totally.
> Let me try this way: because I have a female body, I will not feel danger
> any differently than other humans in a war zone of bullets flying, but I
> may feel danger differently walking down a dark street that a man may not.
> So it's because I have a female body, but not because I have a female body,
> that I have these experiences. And yet on a given night I may not have this
> experience at all walking down a dark street, because on that particular
> night, I feel completely safe.
> If affect were not important, then I could not have these experiences that
> I experience. It is this disconnect (removal of affect from the equation of
> being myself) that perhaps is something along the lines of the
> double-consciousness that African Americans experience (as Paul has
> explained), but I certainly do not want to speak for African-American
> experience, just that in my imagination, I can see connections and
> parallels.
> This dualism (the split of thought and affect) can only be eradicated when
> we reunite the affect (which actually has never been separated in
> experience, but is separated out in the manner of propaganda functions, a
> reality that is not really real, along the lines of C'est ne pas un pipe
> and yet, here is a pipe). I believe that this is the antidote, to remove
> the confusion by looking for wholeness in thought and affect. It is a
> removal, in order to unite.
> Because we have 450 years of Descartes to face, it is a slippery endeavor.
> Meaning: this isn't easy if we look inside our own culture which has no
> means for filtering this out. This is why I offer it may be useful to look
> to the East because I don't believe there is the same urgent project to
> separate mind from body. This is my sense. I could be wrong. Those people
> in the East are people too, after all, aren't they? :) What can be learned
> from comparing and contrasting? I'd think a lot!
> Isn't it true that otherness can only arise by removal of affect?
> Furthermore, isn't it possible to rationalize the unethical once the affect
> has been removed? These are questions I would invite further exploration,
> if there is interest.
> Kind regards,
> Annalisa

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.