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[Xmca-l] Re: Отв: Re: Unit of Analysis



Ivan, the word passive has some unfortunate connotation. The term
passibility--the capacity to suffer--seems to come with a range of
affordances (e.g., see my book *Passibility*).

Michael


Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor

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On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:37 AM, Ivan Uemlianin <ivan@llaisdy.com> wrote:

> Dear Sasha
>
> Passive as in driven by the passions. Isn't that how Spinoza would
> characterise animals and infants?
>
> Ivan
>
> --
> festina lente
>
>
> > On 11 Sep 2017, at 18:05, Alexandre Sourmava <avramus@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 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
> >
> >    扭抉扶快忱快抖抆扶我抗, 11 扼快扶找攸忌把攸 2017 18:07 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> 扭我扼忘抖(忘):
> >
> >
> > 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, Jos谷, 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, Jos谷, 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
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>