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Re: [xmca] Classical German Philosophy
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Classical German Philosophy
- From: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 19:53:04 -0800
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Now darn, I thought the "root model" was a paraphrase of the idea of
"genetically primary example" which I had (probably mistakenly!) associated
with the idea of urphenomenon, from, well, maybe, some once upon a time
German or other.
All of this may be related to the question of what the term, development,
For myself, I have been wondering a lot about the relationship between the
terms learning and development in Yrjo's writing. Sometimes they seem to be
different, sometimes the same. By contrast, its difficult to see how to make
the distinction at all in a variety of approaches that go under the banner
Gets puzzlinger and puzzlinger, the further I go. Probably some vicious
circle, sans spiral, despite time in the unit of analysis.
On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Engestrom's original book is a great book. I really enjoyed the critique of
> Mead, Popper and so on, and his stuff about mediation is just like the
> pre-Phenomenology Hegel (1803-5). And this is no accident because these
> triangles were passed down the line to us via Marx and Vygotsky.
> The difference comes when you get to the Concept. Engestrom abandons "unit
> of analysis" in favour of "root model," though he certainly doesn't make any
> big fanfare about this departure. But it is faithfully recorded in
> The Individual-Universal-Particular moments of a concept is a completely
> different thing from (for example) Norms, Tools and Division-of-Labour. Each
> of Norms, Tools and DoL can exist separately. It is true of course that a
> tool is not a tool until it is used in labour and there are many other such
> "mutual constitutions" going on in Engestrom's "root model," but in the end
> the root model is a collection of 11 different concepts. Hegel's is just one
> concept, a.k.a. "Unit of analysis." It is just impossible to think a concept
> without a word or artefact of some kind which is the focal point of the
> thought, instantiated in an individual and involved in some social practice
> (eg speaking and hearing, or reading and writing). This is more than "mutual
> mike cole wrote:
>> Hell, Andy, I know nothing, so to speak of Hegel. But after Michael helps
>> us focus
>> in on what he finds valuable in Heidegger, we will be better educated.
>> Note, re
>> "triangles within triangles"
>> You have to consider the expanded triangle, "genetically" in terms of its
>> and as a mutually constituted whole. Sounds a lot like your
>> characterization of
>> On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 4:23 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:
>> email@example.com>> wrote:
>> Although many others played a role, it was Hegel who taught us how
>> to finally overcome dichotomies and conceive things as a whole. In
>> his anatomy of Mind, Hegel has two cross-cutting triangles, not just
>> the usual series of triangles-within-triangles that are more widely
>> (1) Hegel makes the concept the unit of a social formation, not the
>> individual person, and expends a lot of heat and lots of
>> triads-within-triads tracing how the forms of practice and their
>> representation emerge, independently of the will and awareness of
>> individuals. First create your concept, then people can think it.
>> (2) The subject itself (still not an individual mind) has three
>> "moments" Individual, Universal and Particular. The Universal is
>> what we call "artefact" (well not necessarily a token, but what it
>> is that makes the artefact what it is, the whole class of things).
>> The Particular are the social practices (forms of practice,
>> institutions and their instantiation) in which the Universal is (as
>> Michael says) *constituted*. The Individual is an actual existent
>> thing or person which implements the actvity. As CEOs like to say
>> "an organisation is only as good as it people."
>> Hegel knew, like everyone else knows, that only individual human
>> beings, with skulls, think. There is no such thing (except
>> metaphorically) as "collective consciousness" - only shared
>> artefacts and social practices/activities and a lot of individuals
>> thinking and acting in concert.
>> So I make no apology for talking about individuals, or asserting
>> that without individual people and material tokens of artefacts and
>> practices, there would be no mind.
>> PS. I know nothing of Heidegger.
>> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>> Hi Mike,
>> the issue I want to highlight is the mutual constitution. It
>> makes no sense to talk about tools as if they could be isolated
>> and talked about independent of the concrete practical
>> object/motive oriented activity. You cannot talk about
>> subjectivity/identity independent of activity, and yet people do
>> it all of the time. Take, for example, all those scholars who
>> use interviews to get at "identity," and do not make thematic
>> the fact that the interview is the activity, and its
>> object/motive is the production of the interview/text. Whether
>> the text has anything to do with the activity of a teacher at
>> school, or a student at school, never (hardly every) is asked.
>> The same, we observe scholars who are looking for and writing
>> about the tools, as if the nature of the tool could be
>> identified independent of the activity---
>> This is precisely the point Heidegger makes, and – sorry Andy,
>> you are NOT right on this point in your commentary – Heidegger
>> says precisely in many instances what Leont'ev also says, and
>> Heidegger did it a few years before Leont'ev.
>> ((And again, sorry Andy, Heidegger works out precisely the issue
>> of consciousness in activity, and the relation of the subject to
>> the tool, which is at the heart of Leont'ev))
>> Mike, what we are getting to, then, is cognition separate from
>> life, cognition that makes no sense because it is not connected
>> to the senses in sensual practical activity.
>> Precisely when we substantialize the things that are part of the
>> activity --- for Leont'ev, only those things are relevant that
>> are relevant to the subject, and this point is brought out by
>> Klaus Holzkamp ---- not the kind of stuff outside researchers
>> bring to the situation when they take the triangle as the grid
>> through which they look at situations, at activities. For the
>> subject it is totally irrelevant what the researcher sees and
>> thinks, and this is another form of breaking things out of an
>> integrated and dynamic whole.
>> On 2010-03-07, at 8:28 AM, mike cole wrote:
>> Thanks Andy, and Michael for the section ref to Leontiev.
>> Could I repeat a second part of my question which appears to
>> have gotten
>> lost in the multiple threads?
>> Michael wrote: "you have been breaking out individual
>> (constitutive) moments
>> of activity and treated them as elements, much like others take
>> the YE
>> triangle and then break out the object, the subject, the
>> division of labor,
>> the tools..."
>> I asked about how one talks about how one breaks out "moments of
>> (that is how I phrase the matter when I am thoughtful enough to
>> do so), and,
>> having highlighted them, given the impression that they are
>> elements in a static sense. What sort of language does one use
>> to be able,
>> for example, to talk about a particular division of labor,
>> without at least
>> deep backgrounding, say, the tools being used or the web of
>> social rules
>> that are recruited in this instance?
>> Even to say that "everything is connected to everything else"
>> implies some
>> notion of "things/processes" that are connected. How to avoid
>> misunderstanding and distinguish it from disagreement?
>> On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 2:50 AM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
>> <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
>> If anyone is interested in exploring the German Idealists,
>> and the roots of
>> Activity Theory and Cultural Psychology in their writings, I
>> have put
>> together a page :
>> where you can browse as you wish ...
>> xmca mailing list
>> firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
>> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov,
>> Ilyenkov $20 ea
>> xmca mailing list
>> firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20
> xmca mailing list
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