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[Xmca-l] Re: Mediating Activity and Mediated Activity



my bad, I should have done better than just skim both the paper and the critique at the outset.
Helen

> On 5 May 2016, at 10:13 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
> 
> Helen,
> 
> This is a different analysis, in a different paper, that purports to document how selected members of the Indo-European language family spread geographically between the seventh millennium BC and 1974. 
> 
> Martin
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On May 5, 2016, at 12:11 AM, Helen Harper <helen.harper@bigpond.com> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> The theory is attractive, but these theories are always a bit bothersome. I don’t enough about historical linguistic theory to say anything sensible but it always pays at least to look for the counter argument: 
>> 
>> http://www.geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/linguistic-geography/quentin-atkinsons-nonsensical-maps-of-indo-european-expansion
>> 
>> Helen
>> 
>>> On 5 May 2016, at 11:46 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Remarkable and beautiful!
>>> 
>>> andy
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden
>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making 
>>> On 5/05/2016 12:02 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>>>> <http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=3285>
>>>> 
>>>> <https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/where-on-earth-did-language-begin/>
>>>> 
>>>> Martin
>>>> 
>>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 6:47 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> David,
>>>>> 
>>>>> No, Cavalli-Sforza studies human migration by tracing shared genes. I was referring to the work of Quentin Atkinson:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Phonemic diversity supports a serial founder effect model of language expansion from Africa. Science, 332, 346-349.
>>>>> 
>>>>> I tried to include an image in my last message, but it seems to have been stripped out.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Martin
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 6:40 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Henry:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Martin's referring to the work of Cavalli-Sforza, which assumes that you
>>>>>> can trace the spread of language by studying mitochondrial DNA. This
>>>>>> overlooks the fact the people do not simply inherit languages. They learn
>>>>>> them.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I think that this may be Vygotsky's most overlooked contribution.
>>>>>> Vygotsky's description of the proto-language of the child's first two years
>>>>>> of life, combined with Halliday's great "Nigel" studies, provides us
>>>>>> with...the key to the origins of language.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> The question of the origins of language in linguistics is a little
>>>>>> like string theory in physics; it's something linguists go into
>>>>>> because they find working with data messy and unpleasant, and dead speakers
>>>>>> tell no tales. For most of Western intellectual history, the only field
>>>>>> workers were amateur archaeologists seeking Biblical confirmation: a quest
>>>>>> for the Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel. In the 19th Century, the
>>>>>> field became so speculative that the Royal Society and the French Academie
>>>>>> des sciences banned the acceptance of scientific papers on the subject.
>>>>>> It was almost forgotten in the twentieth, and recent attempts to revive it
>>>>>> by searching the Human Genome Project for a "language gene" have led
>>>>>> absolutely nowhere.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Vygotsky shows us what language looks like when the infant tries to invent
>>>>>> it. When he says that thinking and speech have separate roots, and then
>>>>>> come together, what he means is that the first languages, which are still
>>>>>> being invented right in front of our noses, have separate two layers: a
>>>>>> semantics and a phonetics, and these are then linked. But that link is not
>>>>>> yet wording; it's not lexicogrammar: it's simply pointing out and naming
>>>>>> things: matching sounds to objects.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Halliday shows us how the child is able to exapt the lexicogrammar he sees
>>>>>> and hears being enacted around him to his own functional purposes, his own
>>>>>> semantics and his own phonetics. It's a big step, but it's a step that even
>>>>>> a two year old human can make given the collaborative help of conspecifics.
>>>>>> So it is not reasonable to assume that it was made only once. Throughout
>>>>>> human history, the number of human languages has tended to diminish and not
>>>>>> increase, either through genocide or through literacy or both. Babel was
>>>>>> indeed our past, but the single language that supposedly preceded it is
>>>>>> really a long-ago that is yet-to-come.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:04 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Gente,
>>>>>>> As far as the invention of language, whether spoken, signed or written, do
>>>>>>> we know whether it was invented once, or many times, independently? Are we
>>>>>>> humans alone in the universe, the only inventors of language? Are these
>>>>>>> questions relevant to the thread? If not, I only have questions, so they’re
>>>>>>> my best shot.
>>>>>>> Henry
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 3:57 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Well, but then in hindsight everything coevolves with everything, Andy.
>>>>>>> And
>>>>>>>> only in hindsight. Three problems with that.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> First of all, this view of "co-evolution" renders the idea of evolution
>>>>>>>> vacuous. There is no obvious reason why the larynx should be considered
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> "rudiment" of language rather than the mouth or the ears or for that
>>>>>>> matter
>>>>>>>> the hand (Stokoe makes a very convincing argument that sign languages
>>>>>>>> predate vocal ones). So then we have to say that speech co-evolved with
>>>>>>>> mouths and ears and hands?
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Secondly, to pre-empt a little the upcoming issue of MCA, that this view
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>> co-evolution also makes it impossible to explain crises as internal
>>>>>>>> phenomena. The pace of change of language is qualitatively different from
>>>>>>>> the pace of change of the "rudiment" of language, wherever you choose to
>>>>>>>> locate it, and this changing of gears needs to be explained. It wasn't a
>>>>>>>> simple adaptation to the environment, whatever it was; it doesn't appear
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> be environment specific at all.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Thirdly, this notion of co-evolution, discovering "rudiments" in
>>>>>>> accidents,
>>>>>>>> does not give us a unit of analysis that has all of the properties that
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>>> are interested in studying. The quipu and the notched stick
>>>>>>>> are deliberately endowed with meaning, but the larynx is not.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Perhaps what you mean is not the larynx but the vocal tract: the lungs,
>>>>>>>> the bronchial tubes, the wind pipe, the voicebox, the oral cavity, the
>>>>>>>> tongue, the lips and the nose and nasal passages. But this did not evolve
>>>>>>>> at all; in  fact, as a physiological organ the vocal tract does not even
>>>>>>>> exist. It's not an adaptation but an exaptation--a bringing
>>>>>>>> together of organs which evolved with very different functions for
>>>>>>>> a purpose which is not an adaptation to the environment but an attempt to
>>>>>>>> create a qualitatively new type of environment, namely a semiotic one.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> The notion of the co-evolution of tools and signs not only renders the
>>>>>>> idea
>>>>>>>> of evolution almost meaningless, it also makes it next to impossible to
>>>>>>>> consciously and deliberately and rationally introduce design into
>>>>>>>> development. If signs are, like tools, just ways of slavishly adapting to
>>>>>>>> an environment or (worse) slavishly adapting the environment to human
>>>>>>>> whims, we can only stagger and struggle against each other, from one
>>>>>>>> adaptation to the next. But if speech is an audaciously wise attempt to
>>>>>>>> create an environment of an entirely new type, an environment made of
>>>>>>>> meaning rather than merely of matter, then we humans might have some hope
>>>>>>>> of transforming the bitter blind combat of each against all into a common
>>>>>>>> collaborative project. That would be co-evolution indeed.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> David, I am responding to "Tool use--and even tool manufacture--is quite
>>>>>>>>> common in higher primates. But while the higher primates regularly use
>>>>>>>>> gesture, there is no evidence of any other species developing anything
>>>>>>> like
>>>>>>>>> a lexicogrammar."
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> In his somewhat discredited book "Ape, Primitive Man and Child,"
>>>>>>> Vygotsky
>>>>>>>>> makes the point that the form of activity which is found in non-human
>>>>>>>>> animals in *rudimentary* form but is fully developed in humans, is the
>>>>>>> key
>>>>>>>>> to the "transition from ape to man" and is thus the "essence of man" (to
>>>>>>>>> use a lot of 19th century language). That is why he was so determined,
>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>>>> the time, to find "rudimentary" forms of writing among not-literate
>>>>>>> peoples
>>>>>>>>> (those memory sticks and knots).
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> For all the faults of this work, I think this was a profound insight.
>>>>>>> What
>>>>>>>>> he seemed to have been blind to is that the larynx evolved together with
>>>>>>>>> the hand, and human beings learnt to speak at the same time as they
>>>>>>> learnt
>>>>>>>>> to make tools. It was only in 1931 that he recognised that a spoken word
>>>>>>>>> was as much a sign as a piece of technology manufactured for
>>>>>>> communicative
>>>>>>>>> purposes - which nonetheless, did turn out to mark a qualitative leap in
>>>>>>>>> human cultural development.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> The great insight from this work is that despite himself, he looked
>>>>>>> *not*
>>>>>>>>> at the attribute of human beings which was exclusively found among
>>>>>>> humans
>>>>>>>>> (lexicogrammar) as the "essence of man," but on the contrary to the
>>>>>>>>> mediating activity which produced the change from one species to
>>>>>>> another.
>>>>>>>>> This is the Hegelian idea of concept, a.k.a. species, as opposed to the
>>>>>>>>> positivist concept of species/concept which looks for "essential"
>>>>>>>>> attributes as definitive. But he didn;t know that until 1931.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>>>>>> On 4/05/2016 1:48 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> Greg:
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> Tool use--and even tool manufacture--is quite common in higher
>>>>>>> primates.
>>>>>>>>>> But while the higher primates regularly use gesture, there is no
>>>>>>> evidence
>>>>>>>>>> of any other species developing anything like a lexicogrammar. It's in
>>>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>>>> sense that I was arguing that tool use has temporal priority over
>>>>>>> signs. I
>>>>>>>>>> don't think tools and signs co-evolved phylogenetically any more than
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>>>>> co-evolve ontogenetically. I think that practical intelligence and
>>>>>>>>>> speech have separate genetic roots and separate functional paths, the
>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>>>> oriented towards the environment and the other towards conspecifics.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> While he was in prison, Oscar Wilde was allowed one sheet of paper a
>>>>>>> day,
>>>>>>>>>> which was issued to him in the morning and then locked in a safe in the
>>>>>>>>>> evening. He used this to write a very long letter to his lover Lord
>>>>>>> Alfred
>>>>>>>>>> Douglas (about a third of this letter, with the long and highly
>>>>>>>>>> contradictory complaints removed, was published as "De Profundis").
>>>>>>> But it
>>>>>>>>>> was only after his release that he was able to transform the sorry mess
>>>>>>>>>> into great art, a ballad about a trooper who was hanged while he was in
>>>>>>>>>> prison.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> He did not wear his scarlet coat
>>>>>>>>>> For blood and wine are red
>>>>>>>>>> And blood and wine were on his hands
>>>>>>>>>> When they found him with the dead
>>>>>>>>>> The poor dead woman that he loved
>>>>>>>>>> And murdered in their bed
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> It's all there: the blue coat of the trooper is now red, Christ
>>>>>>> transforms
>>>>>>>>>> blue water into red wine at Canaa, wine is transformed into blood
>>>>>>> before
>>>>>>>>>> Gethsemane and Golgotha, and even the main complaint Wilde has against
>>>>>>>>>> Douglas in "De Profundis", which is that "each man kills the thing he
>>>>>>>>>> loves
>>>>>>>>>> but each man does not die" is changed into "murdered in their bed". But
>>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>> very first step in this transsubstantiation of mere suffering into
>>>>>>> great
>>>>>>>>>> art happens in the very first word, where Wilde begins with "he"
>>>>>>> instead
>>>>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>>>> "I".
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> Of course it's possible to use your personal misery to create great
>>>>>>> art.
>>>>>>>>>> But it's hard, for (at least) three reasons. First of all, it's hard to
>>>>>>>>>> stand back and let the material alone rather than try to whip it into
>>>>>>>>>> shape. Second, it's hard to reconcile the sense that your pain is the
>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>>>> and only and incomparable and ineffable and the sense that you are at
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>> same time everywoman. Thirdly, pain is debilitating: it withers your
>>>>>>>>>> embrace right at the very moment when you need to reach out, makes you
>>>>>>>>>> unfit for companionship right when you need it most, fills your mouth
>>>>>>> with
>>>>>>>>>> incoherent screams precisely when you most need the precision of words
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>>> convey what you are feeling to others. On top of that, as Vygotsky
>>>>>>> says,
>>>>>>>>>> really good art is not the contagion of feeling: it's the
>>>>>>> individuation of
>>>>>>>>>> social emotion and not the socialization of individual emotion.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> The unmotivated reconciliation that ends "Lemonade" is deus ex machina,
>>>>>>>>>> i.e. both unartistic and unrealistic. Either it was manufactured for
>>>>>>> mass
>>>>>>>>>> market consumption, or the raw emotion that preceded it was. Or both.
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM, Greg Mcverry <jgregmcverry@gmail.com>
>>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>> I would have to agree with Andy on the co-evolution of the tools. To
>>>>>>>>>>> separate one as developing phylogenetically as ontogenetically seems
>>>>>>>>>>> false.
>>>>>>>>>>> Could one argue that agriculture was a pre-cursor to formal writing
>>>>>>>>>>> systems
>>>>>>>>>>> but sign systems evolved as a form of communication long before? I am
>>>>>>>>>>> not a
>>>>>>>>>>> cultural anthropologist. I really do not know if there has been a
>>>>>>> writing
>>>>>>>>>>> system developed in a hunting and gathering culture.
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> Yet that does not mean those same cultures were not ripe with sign
>>>>>>>>>>> systems
>>>>>>>>>>> and meaning makings.
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> I think the mediation and differentiation of tools coevolving is even
>>>>>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>>>>>> stark when we consider the age of the web. For the first 25 years of
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>>> web the people building the web were also doing their own identity
>>>>>>> work.
>>>>>>>>>>> People that hung out on the the Well, Usenets, chat rooms. xmca
>>>>>>>>>>> listservs,
>>>>>>>>>>> etc were defining the tools in a way to help define themselves. Here
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>>>>> agreat piece by Ben Werdmuller reflecting on how his tool development
>>>>>>>>>>> could
>>>>>>>>>>> not be separated from his own ontological development:
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> https://words.werd.io/we-are-the-monkeys-of-rum-70f81d4a02df#.n0x23ugom
>>>>>>>>>>> In terms of Beyonce. Whether you call it a mediating activity or a
>>>>>>>>>>> mediated
>>>>>>>>>>> activity. I am not sure it matters. The point is to be a force. For
>>>>>>> those
>>>>>>>>>>> not in the states her latest release has been seen as a call to women
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>>>>> color. Her Super Bowl performance was both celebrated and vilified.
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> I haven't heard Lemonade yet ( I suffer from severe pop culture
>>>>>>> deficit)
>>>>>>>>>>> but I hear it getting talked about all over the web. I wonder how
>>>>>>> Hegel
>>>>>>>>>>> would think of something like the web where the culture is both
>>>>>>> affected
>>>>>>>>>>> by
>>>>>>>>>>> market pressures but not limited to any one national identity. Is the
>>>>>>> web
>>>>>>>>>>> the world spirit?
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 8:44 PM Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> I think the evidence is in that speech and labour (i.e.,
>>>>>>>>>>>> tool-use) co-evolved, but writing came a whole epoch later.
>>>>>>>>>>>> I do not think it is a sustainable "developmentalist" point
>>>>>>>>>>>> of view that a form of activity can first be differentiated
>>>>>>>>>>>> and then be mediated: the mediation and the differentiation
>>>>>>>>>>>> co-evolve (so to speak). That's the whole point.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> On my update to:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/4781886/From_where_did_Vygotsky_get_his_Hegelianism
>>>>>>>>>>>> I never claimed that Vygotsky only got his Hegel through
>>>>>>>>>>>> Marx: his knowledge of Hegel was mediated through a number
>>>>>>>>>>>> of sources (including Lenin and Engels and probably
>>>>>>>>>>>> Plekhanov, followers of Deborin and Lewin). The correction
>>>>>>>>>>>> you referred to was my admission that the passage you drew
>>>>>>>>>>>> my attention to in HDHMF I had overlooked in my catalogue,
>>>>>>>>>>>> and that it had to be included with the one or two other
>>>>>>>>>>>> allusions which seem to have come from a reading of the
>>>>>>>>>>>> section of Hegel's Subjective Spirit named "Psychology".
>>>>>>>>>>>> Someone, c. 1931, drew his attention to these passages.
>>>>>>>>>>>> There are other passages of The Subjective Spirit which
>>>>>>>>>>>> would have been of great interest to Vygotsky and would
>>>>>>>>>>>> certainly have been appropriated if he had ever read them,
>>>>>>>>>>>> but he hadn't, far less the Logic (though he had studied
>>>>>>>>>>>> Lenin's Annotations on the Logic) or the Phenomenology,
>>>>>>>>>>>> which no Marxist or Psychologist read in the period of his
>>>>>>>>>>>> lifetime.
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Is it time yet, David, for you to make a correction to your
>>>>>>>>>>>> claim that the Vygotsky archive would eventually turn up
>>>>>>>>>>>> Vygotsky's annotations on the Phenomenology?
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>>>>>>>>> On 3/05/2016 9:00 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> You and I both come out of the pugilistic left, and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> we live in a country where socks are considered formal
>>>>>>>>>>>>> apparel. So I imagine that no question mark is required to
>>>>>>>>>>>>> start a discussion; nor pulling of punches to finish one.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> I think I made the case that the distinction was pretty
>>>>>>>>>>>>> useful, at least to Beyoncé fans--if not, see Vygotsky's
>>>>>>>>>>>>> conclusion to Chapter Two of HDHMF, where he points out
>>>>>>>>>>>>> that the precise nature of the relationship of signs and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> tools needs to be worked out yet, but in any case that
>>>>>>>>>>>>> relation is indirect; it MUST pass through a
>>>>>>>>>>>>> super-category he calls MEDIATING activities. For YOU and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> for HEGEL, all activity can be said to be both mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>> and mediated, but this is a non-developmental point of
>>>>>>>>>>>>> view: for a developmentalist, one must perforce be
>>>>>>>>>>>>> differentiated first. Phylogenetically, it seems likely
>>>>>>>>>>>>> that tools were differentiated before signs, but
>>>>>>>>>>>>> ontogenetically it is usually the other way around.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> What really IS academic in the extreme is your
>>>>>>>>>>>>> own distinction between "really quoting" Hegel and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> quoting Hegel in a footnote to Marx academic. It's also
>>>>>>>>>>>>> quite unprovable. By the way, this might be a good place
>>>>>>>>>>>>> to acknowledge the corrections you have recently made to
>>>>>>>>>>>>> your assertion that every single Hegel reference you have
>>>>>>>>>>>>> found in Vygotsky's work can be found verbatim in Marx.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>> <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> I didn't see a question mark anywhere David, but (for
>>>>>>>>>>>>> reasons of my own) could I just note that Vygotsky is
>>>>>>>>>>>>> not really quoting Hegel, but rather quoting Marx
>>>>>>>>>>>>> quoting Hegel's Shorter Logic in an author's footnote
>>>>>>>>>>>>> to /Capital/. Marx puts an interesting twist on the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> point Hegel is making in the original. I think it is a
>>>>>>>>>>>>> twist which preserves Hegel's meaning, but it is
>>>>>>>>>>>>> really the opposite of what Hegel is saying.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> By "the cunning of Reason" Hegel means how History and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> social processes in general unfold according to their
>>>>>>>>>>>>> own logic, irrespective of the intentions of their
>>>>>>>>>>>>> human actors. Marx twists this to make the point that
>>>>>>>>>>>>> natural objects act according to human purposes, not
>>>>>>>>>>>>> their material properties as such.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> I agree that when Hegel is talking about human
>>>>>>>>>>>>> affairs, "Spirit" means "Activity", but of course
>>>>>>>>>>>>> unlike Marx, Hegel deifies Spirit. For Marx, men make
>>>>>>>>>>>>> history, only not under conditions of their own
>>>>>>>>>>>>> choosing. For Hegel, men are mere tools of the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Weltgeist (world spirit).
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> I was able to grasp the distinction between mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>> and mediated activity, though given that all activity
>>>>>>>>>>>>> is mediated and all activity is mediating, the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> distinction strikes me as academic in the extreme. I
>>>>>>>>>>>>> remain to be convinced that Hegel knoew of any such
>>>>>>>>>>>>> distinction.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> The paragraph following the note on "cunning of
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Reason" in the Shorter Logic is an interesting one:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> TheRealised Endis thus the overt unity of subjective
>>>>>>>>>>>>> and objective. It is however essentially
>>>>>>>>>>>>> characteristic of this unity, that the subjective and
>>>>>>>>>>>>> objective are neutralised and cancelled only in the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> point of their one-sidedness, while the objective is
>>>>>>>>>>>>> subdued and made conformable to the End, as the free
>>>>>>>>>>>>> notion, and thereby to the power above it. The End
>>>>>>>>>>>>> maintains itself against and in the objective: for it
>>>>>>>>>>>>> is no mere one-sided subjective or particular, it is
>>>>>>>>>>>>> also the concrete universal, the implicit identity of
>>>>>>>>>>>>> both. This universal, as simply reflected in itself,
>>>>>>>>>>>>> is the content which remains unchanged through all the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> three/termini/of the syllogism and their movement.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>>>>>>>>>> On 2/05/2016 9:03 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    I'm reading a chapter by Janette Freidrich in the
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    collection "Vygotski
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    maintenant" published in 2011. It's an imaginary
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    dialogue between Buhler
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    and Vygotsky on the former's theory of language
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    and the latter's criticisms
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    thereof, very cleverly written in INDIRECT SPEECH
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    so that Friedrich doesn't
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    have to waste time trying to imitate the voice of
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    each or pretend that she
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    knows the exact wording of each argument.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Friedrich begins with Hegel's
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    distinction (from the LONGER Logic, the one that
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    I've never read) between
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    mediating activity and mediated activity.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Mediating activity is what Vygotsky talks about
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    using the quote from Hegel
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    in HDHMF Chapter Two: it's when your role is
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    essentially bystanding, when
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    you use one force of nature, more or less in the
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    natural state, against
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    another.For example, you arrange the downspout of
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    your house roof gutters
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    so that it bores a hole in a piece of limestone.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Or you hang your wet
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    laundry on a tree branch and let the sun dry it
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    out instead of trying to
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    wring it dry yourself..
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Mediated activity is in some ways the same, but in
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    others completely
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    opposite. It's the same in that you are using one
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    natural force against
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    another, but it's opposite in the sense that your
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    role is not bystanding;
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    you are yourself one of the forces of nature. For
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    example, instead of
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    arranging the downspout, you make a chisel or a
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    drill of some kind to bore
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    a hole in a piece of limestone and sculpt it into
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    a flagstone or a
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    tombstone. Or you beat the laundry dry with a tree
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    branch instead of just
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    hanging it there.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Friedrich points out that in Vygotsky's early work
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    (e.g. "The History of
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    the Crisis") Vygotsky speaks of psychic tools--he
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    is treating ALL activity
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    as "mediated" rather than mediating. But in HDHMF,
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    we know that he
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    CRITIQUES this point of view, precisely because it
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    equates the sign and the
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    tool. Now, you might think that the sign even more
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    like mediated activity
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    and even less like mediating activity than the
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    tool. After all, sign users
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    are not bystanders; they are even more intimately
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    and intensively and
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    deliberately involved as subjects than tools. But
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    that confuses the sign
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    user with the sign itself. It also ignores a key
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    difference between
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    mediating activity and mediated activity--which is
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    that in mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    activity the force of nature is allowed to act
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    according to its own
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    properties. When I use a word, I do not try to
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    transform it from a sound
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    into something else; or rather, if I do, then I
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    get something that is less
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    obviously language and more like onomatopoeia.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    While I read, I am listening to Beyoncé's new
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    album "Lemonade", which is an
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    attempt to take a force of nature (the sour lemons
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    of a husband's
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    infidelity) and to transform it into something
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    larger than life or twice as
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    natural (the eponymous lemonade). It's an uneasy
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    cross between a mediating
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    activity ("for colored girls who have considered
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    suicide | when the rainbow
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    is enuf", where 20 imaginary characters are used
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    and Ntozake Shange simply
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    stands back) and a mediated one ("Black Macho and
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    the Myth of Superwoman",
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    where Michelle Wallace tries to use her own
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    experiences alongside a
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    traditional academic approach). Beyoncé can't
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    quite figure out whether she
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    wants to do this as a mediating choreographer for
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    an ineffable everywoman
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    or as a mediated activity by the one and only
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Pasha Bey.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 


Status: O