Re: [xmca] motive/project

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Fri Dec 19 2008 - 15:44:54 PST

To Martin.

There must be of course many units of analysis in any
comprehensive approach to human society. "Need" and "system
of activity" are two such concepts which aim at the level of
greatest generality. And of course the concept comes out of
protracted and reflexive consideration of the subject
matter, as per Paul's quote from the Grundrisse.

To Paul.

As I see it, the "commodity relation" is indeed the form of
joint activity characteristic of capitalism. What we need is
a relation of which the commodity relation is a special
case, a norm in fact, for all human joint activity.

To Wolf-Michael.

As you know, my reading is that the fatherless father of the
Unit of Analysis is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I trace the
idea from Goethe to Hegel to Marx to Vygotsky. ("Germ cell"
is of course from Goethe's morphology.) I am not at all
surprised to learn that other 20th century philosophers have
come across the idea too. It is part of the issue that today
there are so many different streams and pathways in
philosophy. Hegel, Marx and Vygotsky are where I received
the idea, and I have found that they got it from Goethe. I
think fatherless father is however still an inadequate
definition of unit of anaylsis. Ilyenkov's text on concrete
historicism shows how the "historical first" is always an
open question.


Martin Packer wrote:
> I'm suggesting that there is no unit of analysis for activity in general,
> but a unit for each particular form of life one wants to study. But I'm also
> suggesting a general criterion for the selection of a unit of analysis: that
> it contain/embody the central contradiction of a form of life. But of course
> one cannot know what that contradiction is for certain until one has
> completed the analysis. So the hermeneutic circle applies
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Received on Fri Dec 19 15:45:39 2008

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