Re: [xmca] more questions about Sawchuk and Stetsenko article: whose sociology???

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Wed Dec 10 2008 - 21:02:46 PST

Steve Gabosch wrote:
> ...
> A central idea I think Leontiev is trying to get at here is that needs
> do not just have a subjective content. ...

Of course. I found ANL useful in getting my head around this
topic, but I do find all I need about the objecvtivity of
needs in the Young Hegel and the Young Marx, without the
problems I find in ANL. ANL did not discover that needs are
objective after all!

> ... Three, I always worry if scanned text
> posted on the internet is exactly correct

Unfortuntely these texts on MIA are the only copies of ANL
that I have. His books are unavailable new or secondhand in
Australia and even my University library does not stock him.
Any help in proofreading his writings on MIA would be
appreciated. Seriously!

> A possible problem, by the way, of substituting the concept of "project"
> for "activity" is this could sever the zoopsychological side of activity
> theory. Only humans have projects, but both humans and animals engage
> in activity. Interestingly, the zoological aspects of
> cultural-historical activity theory rarely get discussed in third
> generation CHAT literature. ... compressing the biological up
> into the social is as erroneous as reducing the social to the biological.

Well, for me that is the advantage not a problem. Operations
and actions, it seems to me, capture all that is necessary
for non-human psychology; it is the fact that human motives
usually have their origin in cutlural-historical projects
which is what needs to be understood.

If we have an arrow coming from the outside world into the
individual organism marked: "motive < -object- > need" or
something, then that's fine, but we can't leave it like
that. For example, as a trade union and party organiser I
will tell you that the motive for people joining in an
activity (party, union, strike, campaign, ...) may be very
diverse and is usually not the "Aims" emblazoned on the
union or party banner. EG people join parties for reasons of
friendship, join unions for narrow self-interest or for
party reasons as well as for solidarity. The idea of the
individual simply chasing after the object of their desires
and activities being a manifestation of a human need, is
laughably uncritical and simplistic. That's why I say it
can't be taken seriously by sociologists.


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Received on Wed Dec 10 21:03:45 2008

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