[xmca] Dewey and Prolepsis

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sun Apr 29 2007 - 13:49:22 PDT

Dear colleagues--

We have often stumbled over the notion of object in our discussions of
activity. Yesterday, reading
in Dewey's Logic I came across the following passage that I found
particularly interesting because it
relates the notion of object to prolepsis, a term I did not know Dewey used,
but which has been important
in my thinking. Here is the passage (p. 119).

The name objects will be reserved for subject-matter so far as it has been
produced and ordered in settled form by
by means of inquiry; proleptically, objects are the objectives of inquiry.
The apparent ambiguity of using "objects"
for this purpose (since the word is regularly applied to things that are
observed of thought of) is only apparent. For
things exist as objects for us only as they have been previously determined
as outcomes of inquiries. When used in
carrying on new inquiries in new problematic situations, they are known as
objects in virtue of prior inquires which warrant
their assertibility. In the new situation, they are means of attaining
knowledge of something else. In the strict sense, they
are part of the contents of inquiry as the word content was defined above.
But retrospectively (that is, as products of prior
determination in inquiry, they are objects).

This way of expressing the temporally double sided, or double directionality
of action in activity seemed useful.
On a Sunday afternoon.
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Received on Sun Apr 29 14:51 PDT 2007

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