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[Xmca-l] Re: The Stuff of Words
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Stuff of Words
- From: Haydi Zulfei <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 1 May 2017 20:16:08 +0000
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- Reply-to: Haydi Zulfei <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Andy,What I think has been omitted from your discussion is 'metamorphasis' or 'reification' of ideals which requires objectification and deobjectification of objects in practical processes. As you well know , Marx never reduces 'material' to 'ideal' . Ilyenko is quite in agreement with Marx concerning the problem. Their objection is over the issue of thinking that the ideal should be inside the mind. What is outside the mind is material . He , as you know , gives many examples : A church is an ideal , A diplomat is an ideal as talers are , etc. and they are outside the mind. Respectively , the worship of God has been idealized in a church , the diplomat gets out of his ordinary posture becomes a representative for the State , talers in the pocket are nothing more than ordinary metals but replacing precious golds in turn representing the labour spent on their extraction in mines. The above-mentioned items are ideal NOW; Hammers WERE ideals THEN at the start of the practical process. Now they are 'materials' reified and metamorphosed , that is through the furnace of practical activity one essence has been tempered and converted into another essence for which marxists including Ilyenko have different definitions.
From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, 1 May 2017, 11:30:04
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Stuff of Words
And tables carry with them the practice of eating "at table"
and meeting a the board room table etc., it not that the
table carries the idea of table but is the bearer of
practices, which have refined the size and shape of tables
for eating, talking, etc. LIkewise pencils are for cursive
writing on paper. not scratching hieroglyphics into clay.
Great quote from Mike! There is a LOT of resistance to this
idea ... everywhere. It smells of Marxism.
On 1/05/2017 4:43 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> Gordon Wells quotes this from an article Mike wrote in a Festschrift for
> George Miller. Mike is talking about artefacts:
> "They are ideal in that they contain in coded form the interactions of
> which they
> were previously a part and which they mediate in the present (e.g., the
> structure of
> a pencil carries within it the history of certain forms of writing). They
> are material
> in that they are embodied in material artifacts. This principle applies
> with equal
> force whether one is considering language/speech or the more usually noted
> of artifacts such as tables and knives which constitute material culture.
> differentiates a word, such as “language” from, say, a table. is the
> relative prominence
> of their material and ideal aspects. No word exists apart from its material
> instantiation (as a configuration of sound waves, or hand movements, or as
> or as neuronal activity), whereas every table embodies an order imposed by
> human beings."
> This is the kind of thing that regularly gets me thrown out of journals by
> the ear. Mike says that the difference between a word and a table is the
> relative salience of the ideal and the material. Sure--words are full of
> the ideal, and tables are full of material. Right?
> Nope. Mike says it's the other way around. Why? Well, because a word
> without some word-stuff (sound or graphite) just isn't a word. In a
> word, meaning is solidary with material sounding: change one, and you
> change the other. But with a table, what you start with is the idea of the
> table; as soon as you've got that idea, you've got a table. You could
> change the material to anything and you'd still have a table.
> Wells doesn't throw Mike out by the ear. But he does ignore the delightful
> perversity in what Mike is saying, and what he gets out of the quote is
> just that words are really just like tools. When in fact Mike is saying
> just the opposite.
> (The part I don't get is Mike's notion that the structure of a pencil
> carries within it the history of certain forms of writing. Does he mean
> that the length of the pencil reflects how often it's been used? Or is he
> making a more archaeological point about graphite, wood, rubber and their
> relationship to a certain point in the history of writing and erasing?
> Actually, pencils are more like tables than like words--the idea has to
> come first.)
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University