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[Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'



Marx did die in the middle of writing Capital, David, and it was finished by Engels thirty years later.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 21/04/2017 3:38 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
I think that "statement" is too tight, and "utterance" is too loose. A
statement is an indicative-declarative wording of some kind: we don't
usually refer to commands (imperatives), questions
(indicative-interrogatives), or exclamations as "statements" because their
primary purpose is not to state facts (that is, if there are facts, they
are ancillary, and not constitutive: we can have a command, a question, or
an exclamation without any statement of any state of affairs, e.g. "Look
out!" "Why?" "Oh, no!"). So "statement" is too narrow.

An utterance, as Bakhtin defines it, is simply the stretch of language we
find between two changes in speaker (this is why a book is a single
utterance). This is an entirely descriptive unit: if I give you a tape of
listening test dialogues for the Test of Proficiency in Korean, you will be
able to tell me exactly how many utterances there are in each dialogue, and
even whether the speakers are men or women, without understanding any of
the language. As a link between thinking and speech, such a unit is beside
the point. So "utterance" is too broad.

And linking thinking and speech IS the point. I think you and Vygotsky are
using the word "holophrase" somewhat teleologically, like a fond, but
expectant, grandpa. You both think that the baby who says "mama" really
means a holophrase like "Mama, put me in the high chair". It's not the case
that "Mama" is a reduction of a full sentence (like "Fine, thanks, and
you?"). It's more like the Ur Wir, or "Grandwe", the "we" that pre-exists
"me" and "you" the way that my grandpa pre-existed me. I am also using the
word "wording" teleologically, you notice: "Mama" is, from the child's
point of view, meaning and sounding, but not wording at all. But teleology
is very useful here; indeed, I think that teleology in speech ontogenesis
is a more useful principle than evolution: there is, after all, a "complete
form" right there in the environment.

The problem with Thinking and Speech is that, unlike Capital, the author
died in the middle of writing it, and it had to be eked out with his old
articles. So although Chapter One and Chapter Seven really do use wording
and not word as a unit of analysis (and the "phoneme" is really the
morpho-phoneme, e.g. a Russian case ending, something Vygotsky probably
learned all about from his old professor Trubetskoy and his classmate at
Moscow University Jakobson). you also have Chapter Five, which our late,
beloved friend Paula Towsey loved so much.

She had reason: Chapter Five is Vygotsky, and so it's brilliant. But it's
OLD Vygotsky, 1928-1929 Vygotsky (that was the year that Trubetskoy and
Jakobson left Moscow for Prague and set up the Prague Linguistic Circle
which eventually became systemic-functional linguistics). Chapter 5
is based on something from the German idealist psychologists Reimat and
Ach, who really DID believe in one-word concepts. And so we have this weird
block-like model of word meaning. Vygotsky tries to disenchant and
de-fetishize the blocks by saying the concept is really the process of
relating the word meaning to the block, but that still means that a concept
is an abstraction and a generalization of some block-like quality.

Chapter Six is better, because here the "model" of word meaning is a
RELATOR, like "because" or "although". Notice that these are the kinds of
words that preliterate children do not consider words. And in fact that's
why Piaget got the results he did--the kids really couldn't figure out what
he meant when he asked them to explain what the word "because" meant in a
particular sentence--they assumed he wanted to know what the sentence
meant, because asking what a word like "because" means in a sentence
without the rest of the sentence is really a little like asking if there
are more white flowers or more flowers in a bouquet of red and white
flowers. But suppose (over a period of some years) we give the kid the
following
utterances-cum-statement/wordings-cum-wordgroup/wordings-cum-words.

a) A rational, designed, and planned economy is possible in the USSR. (Why
is that, Teacher?) Oh, it is just because all the means of production
belong to the workers and peasants.
b) Planned economy is possible in the USSR because all the means of
production belong to the workers and peasants.
c) All the means of production belong to the workers and peasants so
economic planning is possible in the USSR.
d) Workers and peasant's ownership of the means of production means
socialist construction is possible.
e) Public ownership of production enables social construction.
f) the proprietary preconditions of construction
g) socialist property forms
h) socialist property
i) socialism

By the time the child is the age when children beget other children,
this child will see that the clause wording "all the means of production
belong to the workers and peasants" has become a nominal group wording
"public ownership", and the nominal group wording "a rational, designed,
and planned economy" has become a single, block-like word "socialism". And
because for Vygotsky the "internal" really means the psychological, while
the "external" really just means the interpersonal, and because wording is
inversely proportional to the internalization of inner speech, I think we
can see that e) is a kind of internalization of a) and I) is an
internalization of e).

But neither tight knickers nor baggy trousers will show this. We will need
a theory of grammar that can make fine distinctions between clause-level
wording, group-level wording, and word-level wording in order to describe
and explain it, much less intervene in it and promote it. Otherwise, not
only will our model of the concept look like a wooden block, our model of
"internalization" will look like a "suture" or  an "ingrowing" (c.f. end of
HDHMF Chapter Five). No fond, expectant, grandpa wants a grandchild's
mind covered with scars.

David Kellogg
Macquarie University






On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 10:47 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Choosing your wording carefully, David, you come up with "wording" to
describe what I think of as the holophrases in question. To help me clarify
your point for myself, and to use your way of communicating about it,  how
does the wording "wording" relate to the wordings "statement" or
"utterance" offered by Michael in the first case and by others in the group
on behalf of Bakhtin?

is there a holphorastic rendering/wording that might help us out here?

Mike

PS- As an afterthought, the examples feel like an utterance to me. But that
might make a liar out of me too :-)

On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:33 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
wrote:

In English, the number of syllables or morphemes in a word is often
unclear, while the number of words in a sentence is always fairly clear.
This isn't true for preliterate children, who have a hard time
understanding that "a" and "of" are actually words. It's true enough for
people who can read and write, but its really an accident of
orthography (notice that "it's" appears to be one syllable but two
morphemes, and it's not really clear, even to the normally quite
overwheening "wordcount" function in Word, how many words are
actually there.

Other languages are not like English. So for example in Chinese (a
non-alphabetic language), the number of syllables and morphemes is
always clear, but the number of words in a sentence is quite unclear
(when
you read a page of Chinese, there are no spaces between morpho-syllables
that mark out "words". Chinese poetry, and classical Chinese, plays with
this a lot: the unit is the morpheme rather than the word, and the
overall
effect (at least on me) is a stream of syllables and morphemes and
meanings
but not words.

So I think the place to look for Vygotsky's unit of analysis is not in
the
actual word "word" or "word meaning" (slovo or znachenie slova). Holbrook
Mahn has proposed translating "znachenie slova" as "verbal meaning", and
although this isn't exactly an accurate way of presenting how Russian
grammar really works, it IS a good way of getting around the trap set for
those who are only going by the English word meaning of "word meaning".

I think the place to look is in Vygotsky's examples. In the first part of
Thinking and Speech, for example, Vygotsky agrees with Stern that the
child's first "word" has to be construed as not a word but a whole
wording.
He goes even further: he says it's a whole "wording-in-context", that
is, a
meaning. (And remember, Vygotsky NEVER agrees with Stern about ANYTHING
unless he absolutely has to!) And in the LAST part of Thinking and
Speech,
Vygotsky gives many examples: 'the clock fell", "the tram B is arriving",
"Would you like some tea"? What all of these examples have in common is
that they are not single words but they are single wordings.

Remember that Russian has no articles; this is something that Andy
himself
points out with respect to whether "perezhivanie" should be "a
perizhivanie" or just "perizhivanie". I think Andy's observation is
essentially correct (although of course we undo part of his insight when
we
insist that all languages must "really" have an article of some kind).
But
it needs to be generalized: Vygotsky could NOT have ever written that
the unit of analysis is "a" word meaning, simply because "a", as any
preliterate child will tell you, is not a word (and certainly not a
Russian
word).

David Kellogg
Macquarie University


On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 5:19 PM, WEBSTER, DAVID S. <
d.s.webster@durham.ac.uk
wrote:
Re the development of punctuation and the origin of 'words' see
http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?3.61

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: 20 April 2017 01:45
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'

"the word" in Russian, Andy, has shades of meaning tending toward the
biblical from current common understandings of the term as a sort
"lexical
object."  The Vai didnotmakethesamedistinction when writing and neithr
did
the Greeks.
I believe there are those who would include the utterance in its
meaning
as used by Vygotsky. Slippery these translation problems! But
discussion
of
them often reveals clarification of the various concepts involved as
they
appear in different peoples' vocabularies. Mediation has some of those
properties.

The polysemy of just one language is enough for one poor translator to
deal with! The polsyemic playing field when you cross language/cultural
systems is what gives academics something to do.  :-)

mike

mike

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
wrote:
and as a further note of caution, the unit in "Thinking and Speech"
is
a word, not an utterance, and yet it is utterance which seems to be
analogous to "commodity."

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
decision-making
On 20/04/2017 7:01 AM, Julian Williams wrote:

Michael/all

I  go back a few posts (as ever being a bit slower than this
list-serve demands - let me do this before the discussion moves to
'binocular
vision') and challenge the metaphor of commodity/utterance: I can
see
it has merit but also I want to look at the limitations.

You say: 'the sign is to the verbal exchange what the commodity is
to
the Commodity-exchange' … But I think I was asking for a
characterisation of the larger totality involved - e.g. The
'economy/mode of production and its contradictions/collapse' and
'what
- dialogue?'
And I think Andy B agrees with you when he says 'both take an
artefact-mediated relation between individuals as the unit'… But
suggests he recognises my problem when he refers to 'its language'
(or I might say 'consciousness', 'discourse'  or maybe
'intercourse').
But - as I argued in critique of the metaphor 'labour = learning',
this mapping only goes so far, and has certain dangers. The relation
between commodity/economy (and the mode of production) and
utterance/discourse (and the ideological super/infra-structure) is
much more interesting in the concrete relations of history. I refer
to Marx (the German ideology) and Volosinov.

In reality the relation between commodity production and
'sign-related/mediated' discourse (Marx calls 'intercourse') is
dialectical. Each 'mediates' the other in historical development,
and
even in collective production-and-dialogue.

Thus, I suggest, the 'exchange/use value' of an utterance/dialogic
exchange maybe ought to be examined in the ideological context of
its
relationship with the 'whole' of social re/production where class
power becomes visible. I don't know how to do this, but the argument
is there in
Bourdieu: the power relations between people are part of the
capital-mediated structure of relations in a field (including the
field of opinion/discourse), and this explains the forms of
discourse
that express these power relationships and help to hold powerful
positions in place in the field. In this view it is not possible to
identify the 'value' of an utterance or a sign outside of this wider
analysis… and an analysis of the particular discursive/cultural
field
within its wider sociality.
Sorry this is a bit prolix and so likely to provoke tangential
responses:
I did not have time tonight to write a shorter more focussed post.

Best wishes

Julian

Ps The separate discussion on mediation: this might be another
thread. I only want to note here that the mediation of the
'intercourse' through its 'other' in the material form of
'production' (I call the economy above) and vice versa does not
involve a mediator 'between' the two, but is purely hegelian in
seeing the mediation of 'x' through 'not x' in a totality.




On 18/04/2017 16:34, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:

Larry, do not be confused. Take it with Bateson (Mind and Nature),
and see
Andy and Michael as two eyes. You then get this:

It is correct (and a great improvement) to begin to think of the
two
parties to the interaction as two eyes , each giving a monocular
view of what goes on and , together , giving a binocular view in
depth. This double view is the relationship . (p.133)

What is gained by comparing the data collected by one eye with the
data collected by the other? Typically , both eyes are aimed at the
same region of the surrounding universe, and this might seem to be
a
wasteful use of the sense organs. But the anatomy indicates that
very considerable advantage must accrue from this usage. The
innervation of the two retinas and the creation at the optic
chiasma
of pathways for the redistribution of information is such an
extraordinary feat of morphogenesis as must surely denote great
evolutionary advantage . (p.69)

Michael

------------------------------------------------------------
--------------
------
Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor Applied Cognitive Science
MacLaurin Building A567 University of Victoria Victoria, BC, V8P
5C2
http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth <http://education2.uvic.ca/
faculty/mroth/>
New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
<https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-dir
ections-in-mat
hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-mathematics/>*

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
wrote:
different trajectories, Larry.
a

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
decision-maki
ng On 18/04/2017 11:44 PM, lpscholar2@gmail.com wrote:

Andy, Julian, Michael,
My learning curve at this moment is in the way of Michael
describing the back and forth double movement. That is both
giving/receiving, both
(expressing/listening) occurring WITHIN our relationship. This
prior to or more primordial then taking the individual stance as
primary and the relation as derivative.

So... In this ‘spirit’ I will pose a question?

Andy says: ‘artefact mediated relation BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS as a
unit.
Michael says: You remain with back-and-forth movement that is
NEVER action but IS transcation. Here the back-and-forth
‘relation’ is the UNIT, and the individuals emerge from WITHIN
this primordial double relation.

Are Andy and Michael on the same trajectory, shifting the accent,
or are imdividuals situated differently in the comtrasting
notions
of units.

In particular does Andy ‘figure’ bridges whereas Michael
‘figures’
gaps in the notion of BETWEEN.

Pursuing my growing edge, going out on a limb

Sent from my Windows 10 phone

*From: *Andy Blunden <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
*Sent: *April 17, 2017 11:54 PM
*To: *xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
*Subject: *[Xmca-l] Re: Contrasting 'use-value' & 'value'

Julian/Michael,

I remember getting very excited back in the early '80s when

I spotted the symmetry between the first chapters of Capital

and Marx's critique of algebra in his Mathematical

Manuscripts. That lasted about a week. The symmetry between

Vygotsky's analysis of speech and Marx's analysis of

production is a strong one because both take an

artefact-mediated relation between individuals as the unit.

There is a symmetry at the level of the molar unit as well,

which, so far as I know has been neglected. But this

structural symmetry cannot usefully be taken too far. The

"point" is that the unit is a unit of a whole, and the

productive activity of a community is not the same as its

language, which as Marx said "the philosophers are bound to

make into an independent realm." Concretely, speaking is not

producing. But like all human activities, both are subject

to analysis by units of artefact-mediated actions.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------

Andy Blunden

http://home.mira.net/~andy

http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
decision-mak
ing

On 18/04/2017 7:01 AM, Julian Williams wrote:

Michael
In principle I am Ok with the idea of the unit that contains the

essential

contradictions… but of what?
For Marx the whole point of commodity exchange/value is that it
is

the

beginning of an explanation of the 'economy', capitalism, and the
labour

theory of value is the key to its collapse …
What is the equivalent 'point' of sign exchange in dialogue? And

where
is

the equivalent of the theory of value? I think the
sensuous/supersensuous

is a distraction from the 'point'.
That’s my puzzle.
Julian
On 17/04/2017 21:49, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf
of Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on
behalf
of wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Julian,
the sign is to the verbal exchange what the commodity is to the

commodity
exchange--both the sensuous and supersensuous parts are there
that
Marx
and
Vygotsky are writing about. :-)
Michael
------------------------------------------------------------

--------------
------
Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor Applied Cognitive
Science MacLaurin Building A567 University of Victoria
Victoria,
BC, V8P 5C2 http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth
<http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
<https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-dir

ections-in-mat
hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-mathematics/>*
On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 12:11 PM, Julian Williams <
julian.williams@manchester.ac.uk> wrote:

Michael and all
I am coming late to this discussion and maybe have been
missing
some
important thingsŠ but I want to see a few issues addressed by the
Functor:
Commodity => Sign: my skepticism follows to some extent the

critique I
wrote of the mapping 'labor = learning' that you are familiar
with:
but
in
some ways I am even more skeptical of this metaphor. So:
Commodity to sign, is a unit of a totality as in 'economy' to
..
'Š?
Š '

What ? Maybe 'dialogue/discourse'?
What is the 'value' that is exchanged in discourse, and how
does it ultimately realise its 'use value' in some sort of
dialogic 'consumption'
of useful understanding?
How does the producer of value 'labour' to produce it, and how
is

the
'labour time' related to the 'exchange value' of the sign that
results?
[Bearing in mind that the labour theory of value is Marx's
essential
contribution.]
Then how does this work relate to devious studies: we already
have

the
work of Bourdieu who assigns cultural capital/value to symbolic
power
in

the cultural fieldŠ is there a connection here?
Best regards as ever
Julian
Ps I need to come back to you about Hegel (I am far from happy
with reading the 'Ideal' as a straightforward negation of the
'Real'
implicit
in what you sayŠ) when I have thought about this a bit more -
maybe in
2018Š we should pick up!   :-)
On 17/04/2017 18:22, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on
behalf
of Wolff-Michael Roth" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on
behalf of wolffmichael.roth@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Larry,
things become easier to think through if you do not take an

individualist

starting point but a relational one---not "she has to produce
. .
."
but
look at what is happening in the exchange, where each giving
also

is
taking, such that in a commodity exchange, you have double
giving-taking;

in a verbal exchange, each speaking also involves listening
and

receiving,

and the receiving is for the purpose of giving (speaking,

replying).
As

soon as you do this, you remain with back-and-forth movement, no
longer
action but transaction.
The other interesting thing is that the Russian word
znachenie,

translated

as "meaning" (really, signification) also translates as
"value"
and
"magnitude," and Il'enkov (2009) parenthetically adds "function"
and
"rôle". I am quoting from p. 178:
Marx joins Hegel as regards terminology, and not Kant or
Fichte, who tried to solve the problem of Œideality¹ (i.e.,
activity)

while
remaining Œinside
consciousness¹, without venturing into the external

sensuously-perceptible

corporeal
world, the world of the palpable-corporeal forms and
relations
of

things.

       This Hegelian definition of the term Œideality¹ takes
in
the

whole
range of phenomena
within which the Œideal¹, understood as the corporeally
embodied

form
of
the activity of
social man, really exists ­ as activity in the form of the
thing,

or
conversely, as the thing
in the form of activity, as a Œmoment¹ of this activity, as
its

fleeting

metamorphoses.
       Without an understanding of this state of affairs it
would be

totally

impossible to fathom
the miracles performed by the commodity before people¹s eyes,
the commodity-form of the product, particularly in its
dazzling money-form, in the form

of
the
notorious Œreal
talers¹, Œreal roubles¹, or Œreal dollars¹, things which, as
soon

as
we

have the slightest
theoretical understanding of them, immediately turn out to be
not

Œreal¹

at
all, but Œideal¹
through and through, things whose category quite
unambiguously
includes
words, the
units of language, and many other Œthings¹. Things that,
while
being
wholly
Œmaterial¹,
palpable-corporeal formations, acquire all their Œmeaning¹

(function
and
rôle) from Œspirit¹,

>from Œthought¹ and even owe to it their specific corporeal

existence.
Outside spirit and
without it there cannot even be words; there is merely a

vibration of
the
air.
Michael
-----------------------------------------------------------

---------------

------
Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor Applied Cognitive
Science MacLaurin Building A567 University of Victoria
Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2 http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth

<http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
<https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/new-

directions-in-mat

hematics-and-science-education/the-mathematics-of-
mathematics/
* On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:31 AM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
wrote:

I am attempting to follow Wolff-Michael¹s trajectory as

presented in
his
article (A Dialectical Materialist Reading of the Sign). On
page
149
he
attempts to clarify the difference between sign complex
Œuse-value¹
&

sign
complex Œvalue¹.
His methodology is to read Marx Œsubstituting¹ the word
ŒSIGN¹

(implying
sign complex) FOR Œcommodity¹ and intuites this method will
be
generative.
Here is his realization through the method of re-reading as

(trading,
translation, transposition) as I am carried along.
a) USE-VALUE: Œnatural signs¹ such as animal footprints are
useful/functional to the hunter inherently; they do NOT have

Œvalue¹
(exchangeble value) though they do have use-value for the hunter
or
hunting
party in finding game.  Similarly a sign complex can be
useful

and
the
product of human labour without being Œvalue¹ (exchangeable).
Someone
who
satisfies HER needs through her product produces Œuse-value¹
but

NOT
Œvalue¹.
b) VALUE: (exchangeable). To produce SIGNS (complexes), she
has

to
produce
not only Œuse-value¹ but use-value FOR others. She has to
produce Œsocietal¹ use-values.... To be/come (exchangeable)
SIGN, the

product
HAS
TO BE TRANSFERRED to another, FOR whom the SIGN complex

Œconstitutes¹
use-value.
The production of signs that produce no Œvalue¹ that is

exchangeable
FOR
others leads to personal notes often having NO use-value to
others.
To
trans/form use-value to BE come Œvalue¹ requires
exchangeability
under
lighting various forms of SIGN (complexes).
Apologies to Wolff-Michael if my echoing his re-reading

methodology
garrbled the trans/mission?
I offer this because it helps clarify my reading of
Œuse-value¹ & Œvalue¹
(exchangeable)
My morning musement
Sent from my Windows 10 phone