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Dear all,
Marc Clara has many good things to overread in his article . He remains loyal to Vygotsky's excellency and superiority ; therefore he diminishes "struggle" for reaching a relief and catharsis to ideation , meaning transfer , transmission or telementation . Things get mixed up during reasoning and argumentation . As I'm somehow excused to work hard on so many articles , to the partial recommendation of Andy , I send my trivial scripts to the list.

Hi Andy,Happy New Year and may you are all well !As you said , the problem refers to when everything worked as S====R , that is , an animal as well as a man was somehow instigated by a need , then it , he , she had to , quite automatically , automaton-like aimlessly/goallessly come to a equilibrium/catharsis for an ongoing life . They exemplify Buridan ass's case to depict the inevitability of doing something not to die out of all absurdity . This , they say , came to be called stimulus means , that is something physical was used to resolve the problem but it was not the physicality of the thing which worked for resolution of the problem ; rather , it worked as a sign and this caused the differentiation between tool and sign and then the coinage of one word as an artifact. 

That's why two formulas came into being : S====sign/word/language====R   and S====activity====R . They say : it makes no difference whether activity is carried out with a sign or with a tool and Vygotsky himself says perhaps it would be better to use the general label : mediation . They separate the two processes : sometimes this , sometimes that . Leontiev says the STRUCTURE is the same . But Ilyenko asserts the two processes are one , indeed . That is the same moment the tool is used within the real situation which we know transforms the world and ourself as well , the reflection of it within the process of action with the help of the virtual head/mind is displayed as sign .
  Now , I'm with you on the matter of believing originally that the main problem was whether we are encountering essentialism , that is the dyad , SR direct automation common to man and animal undifferentially or the triad S*R that is , either goal-directed joint activity or S*R that is , sign in between , specific to man . * seems to indicate something that needs to be DONE , not to transmit or convey hence preferable for ACTION IN HARD KNIT URGENT PARTICULAR SITUATION CONSIDERING EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION OF ALL MOMENTS OF EXTRA/INTRALINGUISTICS IN UNITY AND INTEGRATION inventing and creating on the spot urgent appropriate to the circumstances SIGN sidestepping ACT-FREE TRANSMISSION AND TELEMENTATION as fixed code or already determinate sign .

As to the problem of mediating and mediated , though you are quite right in your previous remark , I wonder if we can conditionally argue this way : when we say processes , phenomena , etc. must be mediated one could ask by what thing that must be mediated and when we provide a response , that "what thing" becomes a 'mediating factor' but our problem with the colleagues is that they don't enlighten us with the vagueness created by inconsiderate ambiguity and ambivalence . Another problem also emerges : mediated activity is intervened by SIGN the superb truth of us ! ; then how is it that we let ourselves allowed to say : 'the mediating activity' because what caused the allowance to realize was the SIGN not the activity . It seems we are still fluctuating between Leontiev and Vygotsky . Though at the end of 'thinking and activity' Vygotsky stresses in fact the investigation should have gone in reverse order , that is beginning with deed rather than with word and the formation of concepts . 

Dear Peter,
what I summarily take from your writing first instance is maneuvering among meaning-making , that is , sign alteration as a generic one stage phenomenon . It more resembles 'social meaning' and sense or personal meaning of Leontiev . You refer to particular settings . As far as personality formation is concerned and when you're swerving as to what way to choose out of critical points in your life either you choose out of or among different social meaning available to you which is then healing your maladies if practically carried out to the end or if not , you'll get engaged in distress , psychoses , deterioration and finally ruining your life this way or another .   
On the second instance , again you remind us of hierarchies of motive of Leontiev . You already have gone through a 'mediational process' as the one explained in the first instance . Then , you reach a critical point and have to go astray from traversing the previous path and form "another value system" according to which you have to mount another level or layer to the previous configuration of prior action . This forms double senses and in Leontevian terms , you have to go one level higher and replace one of the three levels : motive , goal , conditions , the highest might be a sacrifice .