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[Xmca-l] Отв: Re: Unit of Analysis



Dear Ivan.

To say that "that the neo-nate is not active at all, but passive, and that therefore neo-nate behaviour is not activity" means to say that neo nate is not alive creature, but mechanic agregate of dead parts. And I am not sure that idea about passiveness of animals or neo-nate fallows from Spinoza :-).

Sasha 

    понедельник, 11 сентября 2017 18:07 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> писал(а):
 

 Yes, I think a further elaboration of this idea would lead 
to an examination of needs and activity and sensuousness in 
connection with needs and their development in connection 
with activity.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
On 12/09/2017 1:01 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>
> Thanks Andy, the sense of 'visceral' is much more nuanced 
> in your text, yes, and quite different from what one could 
> grasp from the previous e-mail. ​​​And I ​now follow your 
> elaboration on micro- and macro-unit much better, so 
> thanks for that. I was hoping, however, that the 
> elaboration would lead to some acknowledgement of the role 
> of needs, real needs, as key to what the word 'visceral' 
> was suggesting here. I was thinking that rather than a 
> 'grasping', we gain more track by talking of an orienting, 
> which is how I read Marx and Engels, when Marx talks about 
> the significance of 'revolutionary', 'practical-critical' 
> activity, the fundamental fact of a need and its 
> connections to its production and satisfaction.
>
> A
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> *Sent:* 09 September 2017 03:30
> *To:* Alfredo Jornet Gil; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> *Subject:* Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
>
> Yes, it is tough discussing these topics by email. All the 
> issues you raise are treated in 
> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Goethe-Hegel-Marx_public.pdf
>
>
> I am *not* dividing the world into 'immediate, bodily, 
> and sensuous' and 'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous'. 
> The whole point is to begin by *not* dividing. By contrast 
> for example, Newton explained natural processes (very 
> successfully!) by describing a number of "forces"; a force 
> is an example of something which is not visceral or 
> sensuous (and also not discrete so it can't be a 'unit'). 
> The "expression" of a force can be visceral (think of the 
> effect of gravity) but gravity itself is an invention 
> needed to make a theory of physics work (like God's Will) 
> but has no content other than its expression. People got 
> by without it for millennia. This is not to say it does 
> not have a sound basis in material reality. But it is 
> abstract, in the sense that it exists only within the 
> framework of a theory, and cannot therefore provide a 
> starting point or foundation for a theory. To claim that a 
> force exists is to reify an abstraction from a form of 
> movement (constant acceleration between two bodies). 
> Goethe called his method "delicate empiricism" but this is 
> something quite different from the kind of empiricism 
> which uncritically accepts theory-laden perceptions, 
> discovers patterns in these perceptions and then reifies 
> these patterns in forces and such abstractions.
>
>
> If you don't know about climatology then you can't guess 
> the unit of analysis. Marx took from 1843 to about 1858 to 
> determine a unit of analysis for economics. Vygotsky took 
> from about 1924 to 1931 to determine a unit of analysis 
> for intellect. And both these characters studied their 
> field obsessively during that interval. This is why I 
> insist that the unit of analysis is a *visceral concept* 
> unifying a series of phenomena, something which gets to 
> the heart of a process, and which therefore comes only 
> through prolonged study, not something which is generated 
> by some formula with a moment's reflection.
>
>
> Each unit is the foundation of an entire science. But both 
> Marx's Capital and Vygotsky's T&S identify a micro-unit 
> but quickly move on to the real phenomenon of interest - 
> capital and concepts respectively. But capital (which 
> makes its appearance in chapter 4) cannot be understood 
> without having first identified the real substance of 
> value in the commodity. The rest of the book then proceeds 
> on the basis of this unit, capital (i.e., a unit of 
> capital, a firm). To ignore capital is to depict bourgeois 
> society as a society of simple commodity exchange among 
> equals - a total fiction. Likewise, Vygotsky's real aim it 
> to elucidate the nature and development of concepts. He 
> does not say it, and probably does not himself see it, but 
> "concept" is a macro-unit (or molar unit in ANL's term), 
> an aggregate of actions centred on a symbol or other 
> artefact. The whole point of introducing the cell into 
> biology was to understand the behaviour of *organisms*, 
> not for the sake of creating the science of cell biology, 
> though this was a side benefit of the discovery.
>
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> On 9/09/2017 5:31 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>>
>> Andy, thanks for your clarification on the ​'visceral'. 
>> The way you describe it, though, suggests to me an 
>> empiricist position that I know you do not ascribe to; 
>> and so I'll take it that either I've missed the correct 
>> reading, or that we are still developing language to talk 
>> about this. In any case, I assume you do not mean that 
>> whatever our object of study is, it is divided between 
>> the visceral as the 'immediate, bodily, and sensuous' and 
>> something else that, by implication, may have been said 
>> to be 'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous' (you may as 
>> well mean precisely this, I am not sure).
>>
>>
>> I do not know what the climatologist's unit of analysis 
>> is when discussing hurricanes either, but I do think that 
>> Hurricanes Irma, José, etc, are expressions of a system 
>> in a very similar way that ​any psychological fact is a 
>> expression of the society as part of which it occurs. I 
>> was thinking that, if we assumed for a second that we 
>> know what the unit for ​studying of hurricanes is (some 
>> concrete relation between climate or environment and 
>> hurricane), ​'feeling' the hurricane could be thought of 
>> in may ways, only some of which may be helpful to advance 
>> our scientific understanding of human praxis. The way you 
>> seemed to refer to this 'visceral' aspect, as 'immediate, 
>> embodied, and sensous' would make things hard, because, 
>> are we 'feeling' the hurricane, or the wind blowing our 
>> roofs away? In fact, is it the wind at all, or the many 
>> micro particles of soil and other matter that are 
>> smashing our skin as the hurricane passes above us, too 
>> big, too complex, to be 'felt' in any way that captures 
>> it all? And so, if your object of study is to be 'felt', 
>> I don't think the definition of 'immediate, embodied, and 
>> sensuous' helps unless we mean it WITHOUT it being the  
>> opposite to ​​'mediated, disembodied, and a-sensuous'. 
>> That is, if we do not oppose the immediate to the 
>> mediated in the sense just implied (visceral is immediate 
>> vs. ​'not-visceral' is mediated). So, I am arguing in 
>> favour of the claim that we need to have this visceral 
>> relation that you mention, but I do think that we require 
>> a much more sophisticated definition of 'visceral' than 
>> the one that the three words already mentioned allow 
>> for. I do 'feel' that in most of his later works, 
>> Vygotsky was very concerned on emphasising the unity of 
>> intellect and affect as the most important problem for 
>> psychology for precisely this reason.
>>
>>
>> I have also my reservations with the distinction that you 
>> draw in your e-mail between micro-unit and macro-unit. If 
>> the question is the production of awareness, of the 
>> 'experience of having a mind' that you are discussing 
>> with Michael, then we have to find just one unit, not 
>> two, not one micro and one macro. I am of course not 
>> saying that one unit addresses all the problems one can 
>> pose for psychology. But I do think that the very idea of 
>> unit analysis implies that it constitutes your field of 
>> inquiry for a particular problem (you've written about 
>> this). You ask about Michael's mind, and Michael responds 
>> that his mind is but one expression of a society.I would 
>> add that whatever society is as a whole, it lives as 
>> consciousness in and through each and every single one of 
>> our consciousness; if so, the unit Vygotsky was 
>> suggesting, the one denoting the unity of person and 
>> situation, seems to me well suited; not a micro-unit that 
>> is micro with respect to the macro-activity.
>>
>>
>> If you take the Spinozist position that 'a true idea must 
>> agree with that of which it is the idea', and then agree 
>> with Vygotsky that ideas are not intellect on the one 
>> hand, and affect on the other, but a very special 
>> relation (a unity) between the two, then we need a notion 
>> of 'visceral and sensous' that is adequate to our 'idea' 
>> or field of inquiry. We can then ask questions about the 
>> affects of phenomena, of hurricanes, for example, as 
>> Latour writes about the 'affects of capitalism'. And we 
>> would do so without implying an opposition between 
>> the feeling and the felt, but some production process 
>> that accounts for both. Perezhivanie then, in my view, is 
>> not so much about experience as it is about human 
>> situations; historical events, which happen to have some 
>> individual people having them as inherent part of their 
>> being precisely that: historical events (a mindless or 
>> totally unconscious event would not be historical).
>>
>>
>> I am no fun of frightening away people in the list with 
>> too long posts like this one, but I think the issue is 
>> complex and requires some elaboration. I hope xmca is 
>> also appreciated for allowing going deep into questions 
>> that otherwise seem to alway remain elusive.
>>
>>
>> Alfredo
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>> *Sent:* 08 September 2017 04:11
>> *To:* Alfredo Jornet Gil; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> *Subject:* Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
>>
>> Alfredo, by "visceral" I mean it is something you know 
>> through your immediate, bodily and sensuous interaction 
>> with something. In this sense I am with Lakoff and 
>> Johnson here (though not being American I don't see guns 
>> as quite so fundamental to the human condition). Consider 
>> what Marx did when began Capital not from the abstract 
>> concept of "value" but from the action of exchanging 
>> commodities . Commodity exchange is just one form of 
>> value, but it is the most ancient, most visceral, most 
>> "real" and most fundamental form of value - as Marx shows 
>> in s. 3 of Chapter 1, v. I.
>>
>> I have never studied climatology, Alfredo, to the extent 
>> of grasping what their unit of analysis is.
>>
>> In any social system, including classroom activity, the 
>> micro-unit is an artefact-mediated action and the 
>> macro-units are the activities. That is the basic CHAT 
>> approach. But that is far from the whole picture isn't 
>> it? What chronotope determines classroom activity - are 
>> we training people to be productive workers or are we 
>> participating in social movements or are we engaged in 
>> transforming relations of domination in the classroom or 
>> are we part of a centuries-old struggle to understand and 
>> change the world? The action/activity just gives us one 
>> range of insights, but we might analyse the classroom 
>> from different perspectives.
>>
>> Andy
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
>> https://andyblunden.academia.edu/research
>> On 8/09/2017 7:58 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>>> I am very curious about what "visceral" means here (Andy), and particularly how that relates to the 'interrelations' that David D. is mentioning, and that on the 'perspective of the researcher'.
>>>
>>> I was thinking of the Hurricanes going on now as the expressions of a system, one that sustains category 5 hurricanes in *this* particulars ways that are called Irma, José, etc. How the 'visceral' relation may be like when the object is a physical system (a hurricane and the climate system that sustains it), and when it is a social system (e.g., a classroom conflict and the system that sustains it).
>>>
>>> Alfredo
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu  <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>  on behalf of David Dirlam<modesofpractice@gmail.com>
>>> Sent: 07 September 2017 19:41
>>> To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Unit of Analysis
>>>
>>> The issues that have arisen in this discussion clarify the conception of
>>> what sort of entity a "unit" is. Both and Andy and Martin stress the
>>> importance of the observer. Anyone with some experience should have some
>>> sense of it (Martin's point). But Andy added the notion that experts need
>>> basically to be able to agree reliably on examples of the unit (worded like
>>> the psychological researcher I am, but I'm sure Andy will correct me if I
>>> missed his meaning).
>>>
>>> We also need to address two other aspects of units--their classifiability
>>> and the types of relations between them. What makes water not an element,
>>> but a compound, are the relations between the subunits (the chemical bonds
>>> between the elements) as well as those with other molecules of water (how
>>> fast they travel relative to each other), which was David Kellogg's point.
>>> So the analogy to activity is that it is like the molecule, while actions
>>> are like the elements. What is new to this discussion is that the activity
>>> must contain not only actions, but also relationships between them. If we
>>> move up to the biological realm, we find a great increase in the complexity
>>> of the analogy. Bodies are made up of more than cells, and I'm not just
>>> referring to entities like extracellular fluid. The identifiability,
>>> classification, and interrelations between cells and their constituents all
>>> help to make the unit so interesting to science. Likewise, the constituents
>>> of activities are more than actions. Yrjo's triangles illustrate that.
>>> Also, we need to be able to identify an activity, classify activities, and
>>> discern the interrelations between them and their constituents.
>>>
>>> I think that is getting us close to David Kellogg's aim of characterizing
>>> the meaning of unit. But glad, like him, to read corrections.
>>>
>>> David
>>>
>>> On Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 10:08 PM, Andy Blunden<ablunden@mira.net>  wrote:
>>>
>>>> Yes, but I think, Martin, that the unit of analysis we need to aspire to
>>>> is *visceral* and sensuous. There are "everyday" concepts which are utterly
>>>> abstract and saturated with ideology and received knowledge. For example,
>>>> Marx's concept of capital is buying-in-order-to-sell, which is not the
>>>> "everyday" concept of capital at all, of course.
>>>>
>>>> Andy
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
>>>> https://andyblunden.academia.edu/research
>>>>
>>>> On 7/09/2017 8:48 AM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Isn’t a unit of analysis (a germ cell) a preliminary concept, one might
>>>>> say an everyday concept, that permits one to grasp the phenomenon that is
>>>>> to be studied in such a way that it can be elaborated, in the course of
>>>>> investigation, into an articulated and explicit scientific concept?
>>>>>
>>>>> just wondering
>>>>>
>>>>> Martin
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sep 6, 2017, at 5:15 PM, Greg Thompson<greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Not sure if others might feel this is an oversimplification of unit of
>>>>>> analysis, but I just came across this in Wortham and Kim's Introduction
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> the volume Discourse and Education and found it useful. The short of it
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> that the unit of analysis is the unit that "preserves the
>>>>>> essential features of the whole".
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Here is their longer explanation:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> "Marx (1867/1986) and Vygotsky (1934/1987) apply the concept "unit of
>>>>>> analysis" to social scientific problems. In their account, an adequate
>>>>>> approach to any phenomenon must find the right unit of analysis - one
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> preserves the essential features of the whole. In order to study water, a
>>>>>> scientist must not break the substance down below the level of an
>>>>>> individual H20 molecule. Water is made up of nothing but hydrogen and
>>>>>> oxygen, but studying hydrogen and oxygen separately will not illuminate
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> essential properties of water. Similarly, meaningful language use
>>>>>> requires
>>>>>> a unit of analysis that includes aspects beyond phonology,
>>>>>> grammar, semantics, and mental representations. All of these linguistic
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> psychological factors play a role in linguistic communication, but
>>>>>> natural
>>>>>> language use also involves social action in a context that includes other
>>>>>> actors and socially significant regularities."
>>>>>>
>>>>>> (entire chapter can be found on Research Gate at:
>>>>>> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319322253_Introduct
>>>>>> ion_to_Discourse_and_Education
>>>>>> )
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ​I thought that the water/H20 metaphor was a useful one for thinking
>>>>>> about
>>>>>> unit of analysis.​
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ​-greg​
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>>>>> Assistant Professor
>>>>>> Department of Anthropology
>>>>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>>>>> Brigham Young University
>>>>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>>>>> WEBSITE: greg.a.thompson.byu.edu
>>>>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>>>>
>>> >
>>
>