Re: [xmca] Emotion at Work

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Wed Aug 01 2007 - 00:10:45 PDT

Of course both these quotes come from 1927, at a time when LSV was
searching for that basic notion on which a science can be built.
Concretisation of the abstract notion certainly involves re-definition of
the notion as its ramifications become better understood, or generalisation
as it penetrates different fields, but concretisation means knowing more
and more about how that "cell" develops, its relations and qualities, but
at the time it is always what it is, a molecule, a commodity, a
psychological tool.
As has been pointed out on this list in the past "word meaning" is open to
accusations of being quite unclear; "word" is too arbitrary a category, it
is not quite equal to the smallest meaningful linguistic element. I also
find the notion of "activity" as an abstract notion quite vague as well, in
much the same kind of way. Perhaps I should agree with you?
At 11:01 PM 31/07/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi Andy. I am trying to echo Vygotsky's call for seeking the "cell" of
>psychology, and for developing a general science of psychology. If I
>spoke of discovering this "cell" or "unit of analysis" as an "end" then
>perhaps I was going overboard - it would be more accurate to say it is a
>quest for a method, for a means, than the "end" of a quest. The larger
>goal is the development of a unified, new general science of
>psychology. I totally agree with your point about looking for a
>"concretisation of the notion," what Ilyenkov called a "concrete
>universal," as a very important part of this "quest".
>Here are a couple quotes from Vygotsky that I really like that capture
>these ideas for me:
>"He who can decipher the meaning of the cell of psychology, the mechanism
>of one reaction, has found the key to all psychology." From The
>Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology: A Methodological
>Investigation, 1927, chapter 13, page 320 in the Plenum Press Collected
>Works vol 3, pg 320.
>"I advance the thesis that the analysis of the crisis and the structure of
>psychology indisputably testifies to the fact that no philosophical system
>can take possession of psychology directly, without the help of
>methodology, i.e., without the creation of a general science. The only
>rightful application of Marxism to psychology would be to create a general
>psychology its concepts are being formulated in direct dependence upon
>general dialectics, for it is the dialectics of psychology." pg 329-330
>transcribed by Andy himself (very appreciated) at
>.- Steve
>At 10:00 AM 8/1/2007 +1000, you wrote:
>>Steve, I was surprised by your description of the "unit of analysis" as
>>something which lay at the end of a quest. The way I see it is this: the
>>"unit of analysis", like Marx's commodity or Dalton's molecule is an
>>"abstract notion" which forms the starting point of a science; what
>>happens from the selection of a unit of analysis onward is a
>>"concretisation" of the notion, not a "quest". Of course, if a problem
>>absolutely lacks a scientific basis for its solution, then there is a
>>place for a "quest" for a "unit of analysis."
>>What did you mean?
>>At 12:55 PM 31/07/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>>My sketchy outline of a quest for a "unit of analysis" and "model" of the
>>*individual* psychological process -
>>xmca mailing list
>xmca mailing list

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Received on Wed Aug 1 00:11 PDT 2007

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