Re: [xmca] dialectical ideas

Date: Wed Nov 29 2006 - 07:44:45 PST

Nice explanation Wolff-Michael! It is interesting that you refer to the
triangle as a crutch. Wouldn't tool be a better word?


                      Roth To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
                      <> cc:
                      Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] dialectical ideas
                      xmca-bounces who-is-at web
                      11/29/2006 09:34
                      Please respond
                      to "eXtended
                      Mind, Culture,

I don't think that it is quite as Andy suggested. The subject (of
consciousness) and the object (of consciousness) are different AND
are not different. They are not entities, and above all they are NOT
elements in the activity system. They are moments, which I understand
as identifiable structures that cannot stand on their own but are
mutually constitutive with all the other structures.
             An object (of consciousness) always is the object of
to a subject of consciousness. At the level of activity and action,
it orients the intentions (motives, goals) of collectives and
             If you want to use the triangle as a crutch, then think of it
existing twice---not just the object----materially and in consciousness.

On 29-Nov-06, at 7:28 AM, wrote:


I know this may oversimplify things, but. . . .


THE explanation for this? You being the Hegelphile i hope you could


                       Andy Blunden
                       <ablunden who-is-at mira.n To: "eXtended
Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
                       et> cc:
                       Sent by: Subject: RE: [xmca]
Empirical Evidence for ZPD
                       xmca-bounces who-is-at web

                       11/28/2006 03:22
                       Please respond
                       to "eXtended
                       Mind, Culture,

Big question Michael.
index.htm for
a book-length answer from Lektorsky.

Subject and object are always two distinct entities, but the subject
self-conscious system of activity) arises out of some definite,
system of activity when it becomes self-conscious, and the activity then
constitutes (in AN Leontyev's words) the "intertraffic" between
subject and

object. The activity of the subject then is to objectify itself in the
object, giving its activities material forms deposited in the objective
world around it, vested with meanings by which the subject
"institutionalises" itself.

So in the beginning there is no distinction, because the relevant
system of

activity has not yet become self-conscious, and in the end there is no
distinction because the subject has "naturalised" its activity and
indistinguishable from the object. These are of course both
tendencies, and

not absolute truths, and the whole life of a subject exists between
two poles.


At 02:03 PM 28/11/2006 -0500, you wrote:
> Andy and Paul,
> What is the argument that a dialectical approach, even dialectical
> materialism, dissolves the difference between subject and object?
> I guess

> we are all influenced by what we have been reading lately, but it
> seems
> that it is difficult for a dialectic based perspective to escape the
> idealism trap.
> Thanks,
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:xmca-
>] On
> Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 5:09 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Empirical Evidence for ZPD (was= Does
> VygotskyAccept
> the "Assistance Assumption"?)
> Paul, surely you overstate the matter.
> ZPD is, like all scientific concepts, a theory-laden object. To say
> that
> exists says that certain more or less well-defined procedures
> understood
> within the Vygotskyan theory, will produce this or that verifiable
> result.
> Otherwise what is the useof the concept and the theory of which it
> is a
> part? While there are lots of concepts within the Vygotskyan theory
> which
> are new and unique, or have a Marxist genealogy, there are also plenty
> which are shared with all pedagogical theories and common sense. In
> fact,
> all scientific theories must incorporate "common sense" concepts into
> framework in order to be truly scientific. "Empiricism" denies that
> scientific objects are "theory laden" and that there is anything
> problematic in the idea of a purely factual test for the existence
> of some
> object. But to deny Empiricism is not to deny the validity and
> necessity
> empirical evidence.
> And surely it is wrong to say that in Marxism or Vygotsky "the subject
> object distinction is dissolved". The absolute independence and
> separateness of subject and object is certainly denied by Marx and
> Vygotsky, but neither claim that "subject" and "object" are invalid
> concepts, or concepts between which no distinction can be made. For
> example, Marx does not claim that an object (e.g. ZPD) exists
> insofar as a
> subject (Vygotskyan psychology) incorporates the concept in its
> activity,
> so that empirical refutation of the concept is ruled out in
> principle. No
> subject exists in absolute separateness from every other subject, all
> subjects exist in a material and therefore infinitely interconnected,
> world. So the identity of subject and object can only be relative, not
> absolute.
> Andy
> At 12:26 AM 28/11/2006 -0800, you wrote:
>> Isnī't the idea of "empirical" evidence for the ZPD something of an
>> oxymoron in itself? Didn{t Vygotsky develop his thinking within the
>> framework of dialetical materialism, something that many north
>> and others seem all too ready to forget? Isn't the concept of a
>> ZPD a
>> dialectical model in itself, which is to say, a model in which the
>> subject object distinction is dissolved, a dissolution which
>> defies the
>> concept of empirical?
>> Paul Dillon
> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380
> 9435, AIM
> identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
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   Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380
9435, AIM
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