Re: [xmca] Artifacts, Tools and Classroom

From: bb (
Date: Wed Jan 18 2006 - 05:49:30 PST

If we are thinking neither of how mathematical signs are used in engineering,
in designing things, in architecture, changing the physical world -- nor how
mastering tools necessitate mastering oneself, as in a child picking up a
hammer for the first time, or putting on a pair of ice skates, then the raw
quote from LSV makes wonderful but naive sense. Tools and signs as
categories expressing difference in function, theoretically, is just fine.
But in instantiation there are many things that are both tools AND signs.


On Monday 16 January 2006 12:01 pm, Mary K. Bryson wrote:
> On 1/15/06 1:20 AM, "Steve Gabosch" <> wrote:
> > The
> > point LSV is making is that in this respect,
> > tools and signs are similar and not
> > different.
> "A most essential difference between sign and tool, and the basis for the
> real divergence of the two lines, is the different ways that they orient
> human behavior. The tool's function is to serve as the conductor of human
> influence on the object of activity; it is externally oriented; it must
> lead to changes in objects. It is a means by which human external activity
> is aimed at mastering, and triumphing over, nature. The sign on the other
> hand changes nothing in the object of a psychological operation. It is a
> means of internal activity aimed at mastering oneself; the sign is
> internally oriented. These activities are so different from each other that
> the nature of the means they use cannot be the same in both cases."
> LSV, Mind in Society, P. 55
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