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[Xmca-l] Re: operations and practical consciousness

Thanks Paul, Huw and (off-line) Francine.
Points all taken. :)
*Andy Blunden*
On 1/02/2016 3:01 AM, Huw Lloyd wrote:
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,

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