Re: [xmca] Re: Questions

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sun Oct 16 2005 - 14:49:58 PDT

Interesting questions, Martin. How would you answer Mabel's questions?
What do others think about these matters?

On 10/16/05, Martin Packer <> wrote:
> A man works with a hammer and leather all day, making a pair of shoes. His
> interaction with the leather is mediated by the hammer, for sure, and
> there
> are other mediators too. At the end of the day, though, he goes home not
> with the shoes, nor with the hammer, but with a few coins that are barely
> enough for him to buy something to eat in order to get some sleep and go
> back to work the next day.
> How are we to understand this? It seems to go beyond the mediation of
> activity by artifacts, at least as we usually conceptualize this. Is what
> has happened the operation of the rules of collaboration? Is the key to be
> found in the division of labor? Do we need some concept such as
> 'ownership':
> the man owns neither the hammer nor the shoes, though they are the product
> of his actions. They belong to the person who owns the factory in which he
> works. And for sure we need some sense of the ideal - an illusionary world
> in the sense that it sure ain't real yet - in terms of which to say, such
> an
> arrangement is unfair and needs to be changed.
> Martin
> On 10/16/05 2:16 PM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:
> >
> > Long ago, Leontiev wrote: With all its varied forms, the human
> individual's
> > activity is a system in the system of social relations. It does not
> exist
> > without these relations.
> >
> > many people, myself included at an earlier time, believed that Leontiev
> did
> > not pay suffient attention to social relations and in terms of the way
> > activity theory was actually implemented in the USSR I think this is
> true.
> > The emphasis was on production, modes of production, rather than
> relations
> > of production. But "theoretically", I have come to believe, that he and
> his
> > colleagues understood perfectly well that mediated JOINT activity
> implies
> > always a double articulation of subject-non human world with
> subject-human
> > world. It is unfortunate that this gets reduced to subject-subject and
> > subject-object relationships. One affordance of Yrjo's expansion of the
> > mediational triangle is to represent this double articulation, and
> multiple
> > forms of mediation, in the basic
> > abstraction.
> >
> >
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