Re: sign/tools in interacting levls and forms of operation

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Thu Jun 16 2005 - 18:18:33 PDT

> but perhaps i don't understand what you mean (or maybe we disagree?).
> habituation to an artifact, whether as an extension of the body
> (Bateson's cane for example) or otherwise, mediates consciousness
> whether it is at the level of operation in a smoothly functioning
> process-ontology or migrates up to an action should a challenge
> present itself.

This is exactly where you are not taking into account Heidegger's
analysis (Being and Time, pp. 76-83) of the sign, or Derrida's analysis
of language. You are also not consistent with Buber's distinction
between I-You and I-It, both of which involve language, but of
different kind.

> the same holds for language of course. this is why, in many (though
> not all) ways, "native" or expert users, struggling with a complex
> social-emotional, information, or cognitive situation  exhibit
> behaviors on a continuum with those of a second or foreign language
> learner. in an effort to regain self-regulation, the expert speaker
> regresses to earlier stages of development.

This is a very in-the-head-kind of analysis. . . so that we really
differ in the unit of analysis, which, in your case, cannot be activity
but the brain case. This, too, is something I wanted to dispel in my
Talking Science.

Back to the above point, the mediating relationship in the activity
system, or for action, cannot be the same as that in the operation
case, and this is exactly the point Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Buber and
others seem to make in my view.


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