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[Xmca-l] Re: operations and practical consciousness



Hi Andy,

Yes, operations needn't be physical actions (overt object-oriented).

However, you may not need to refer to Leontyev if you're happier with
Vygotksy.  The distinction between involuntary attention and voluntary
attention may be sufficient for you (vol. 4).

Regarding giving explanations for involuntary activities, a secondary
problem is that you may then find that these explanations are 'excuses' for
involuntary activity and not necessary the conditions that brought these
activities about for the subject.

Hope that helps,
Huw

On 31 January 2016 at 11:19, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Can I get an opinion on this from xmca-ers?
> Anthony Giddens has his own modified-Freudian structure of the
> personality: "basic security system", "practical consciousness" and
> "discursive consciousness" instead of id, ego and superego.
> I am involved in criticising this concept of "practical consciousness" and
> using Leontyev's three levels of activity.
> For Giddens, "practical consciousness" is not the practical intelligence
> which an infant acquires by handling objects or the ability to solve manual
> tasks, but simply the kind of knowledge which allows people to carry out
> routine functions, administrative tasks for example, whether social,
> practical or intellectual in form. According to Giddens this knowledge may
> have been acquired without ever passing through conscious awareness
> (although this is not a category he uses). In fact "without conscious
> awareness" would probably be the correct name for what he calls
> "practical". SInce Giddens accepts Freud's concept of the Unconscious, it
> seems that "practical consciousness" is part of the Unconscious.
>
> My question is this? - Am I right that operations are not necessarily
> physical actions (like stepping over a curb without thinking, forming a
> letter when writing or tying your shoelaces), but can equally be things
> like estimating a person's intentions from their expressions, greeting
> someone appropriately, filling out a routine form - that is, *not limited
> to the physical operations* we usually use as examples?
>
> According to Giddens, if asked to explain why they did something
> (practical consciousness) then the subject will have to reflect on it and
> provide an explanation through discursive consciousness. But he says
> (correctly  I think) that this discursive explanation could only be an
> *interpretation* of what they did under practical consciousness, i.e.,
> "unconsciously," and do not normally formulate theories about. He says that
> there is no "barrier" between practical and discursive consciousness, but
> the movement between the two seems not to be theorised.
>
>
> Andy
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>