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Re: [xmca] Classical German Philosophy

Hi Andy and others
Your comment on "appropriating"  ideas from other traditions and being aware of the background contexts that frame those ideas is much appreciated. 
I have been interested in the "self/other tension and how to appropriate its notions. Ivana Markova in her book "Dialogicality and Social Representations: The Dynamics of Mind" suggests Wittgenstein, Bahktin, and G.H.Mead have all taken a position that the Ego-Alter or Self-Other tension is ONTOLOGICAL to the FORMATION (or should I say production?) of mind.
 From this "tradition" or "framework" self/other are viewed as "figure/ground" and indivisible. We can for analytical purposes discuss either side of the tension to attempt clarity but in actual practises or situations it is impossible for one to exist without the other.
Now for NORMATIVE development. Is our current notions of "perspective taking" (reflection on reflection) as one function of development an historical and institutional recognition that selves and institutions in "modernity" require "self-reflective" forms of cognition and identity in order for modern persons to "develop" viable ways to participate in modern forms of "praxis"?
Another way of asking this question is the current articulation of dialogicality as ontological for the formation of mind a more "universal" notion of development as "reflection" and "abstraction" OR is this notion of development a normative construct?  Either way, we are living through modernity, so the insights from Bahktin, Wittgenstein, and Mead are valid. 
Finally, the tension of "certainty/uncertainty and the purpose of schooling seems relevant.  If "scientific" notions of truth are monological and speak to structure and formation and causality as explanations, then teachers should have the authority to TRANSMIT this knowledge as various Discourses with their appropriate frameworks.  (Knowledge through seeing)  However, if schools are to impart dialogical theories of knowledge, then UNCERTAINTY, negotiation and the recognition that all knowledge is provisional should be promoted in schools. (knowledge through the "mouth"-see Markova)
Andy, I'm not sure where the "ego-Alter" opposition as a theory of knowledge fits into CHAT frameworks but it is definitely central to socio-cultural notions of psychology.
If the Ego-Alter tension or the "Culture-cognition-social interaction" notion of sociality is a central unit of  analysis, then I will keep reflecting on the place of socioAFFECTIVE notions of communication in our ongoing debates. If self/other(s) tensions are mutually constituted and both constrain and afford situated practices and production (concepts, institutions, and SIGNIFICANT symbols frame this tension) then I believe e-motions need a central place in the negotiation of the ego-alter antinomy.
Finally, Andy I agree that every relational antinomy must be articulated specifically, but I'm trying to get clarity in how central this tension is to CHAT perspectives?
Just curious?
----- Original Message -----
From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Date: Monday, March 8, 2010 6:01 pm
Subject: Re: [xmca] Classical German Philosophy
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> Sure. And I have many dear friends who urge Heidegger upon 
> me with like advice. The reasons for my negative reactions 
> to Heidegger are complex, but I do need to get round to 
> evaluating his work by reading it. In the past, every time I 
> have taken the trouble read a great writer who for some 
> other reason I had maintained an hostility, I found myself 
> forced to modify my view and appreciate the work.
> My real issue, you know, is not whether Heidegger is good or 
> bad, or whether his ideas can contribute to CHAT or not, but 
> purely and simply that, if we are going to *appropriate* 
> (i.e. make our own) ideas from other traditions of thinking 
> and practice, then the work has to be done to investigate 
> the intellectual context and to follow the "semantic 
> network" of the relevant words, the ramifications of the 
> concepts and their role in the given theory/practice, and 
> make whatever changes are necessary, in the newly introduced 
> idea and in its new context, so that it makes sense. ...
> And when the classic works of our own tradition are out of 
> print and becoming unavailable secondhand, even more so.
> Andy
> Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
> > Andy,
> > Nobody here agrees with the atrocities committed by the Nazis, 
> or the Turks (Armenians), or the Ihuitus on the Tootsie, or the 
> Serbian genocides . . .
> > 
> >  But, being the dialectician you are, you should read 
> Derrida's treatment of the issue, Heidegger I mean, discussing 
> the position of the French-Jewish philosopher Jankélévitch, the 
> Jew-sh-French-Germman poet Paul Celan's visit to Todtnauberg 
> (where Heidegger had a cabin). Derrida (2005) writes, "to 
> forgive the forgivable, the venial, the excusable, that which 
> one can always forgive, this is not forgiving" (p. 32).The title 
> of the little book, in which he articulates Hegel, too, is 
> Forgiving: The Unforgivable and Imprescribable. The issue is 
> more complex than to condemn a person who, silently by and 
> large, perhaps also somewhere in talk or writing, has 
> fraternized with the Nazi. Did he know? Did you know that he 
> knew or not knew?
> > 
> > When you do not forgive the unforgivable, you are not doing 
> anything special; when you forgive the forgivable, you are not 
> doing anything special. There is nothing ethical because you can 
> do both in a mechanical manner. The true decision, the one that 
> demands commitment, is the one that Derrida proposes: Forgiving: 
> the unforgivable 
> > 
> > Derrida, J. (2005). Pardonner: l'impardonable et 
> l'limprescriptible. Paris: L'Herne.
> > 
> > Michael
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > On 2010-03-08, at 4:10 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> > 
> > Well "Identity and Difference" is on its way from Amazon, so I 
> can catch up with Heidegger to some extent. And I agree with 
> Emily. H-G Gadamer I found very useful.
> > 
> > Just a note: most people who have defended Heidegger to me ask 
> me to *overlook* the connection of his views with practice, and 
> take his ideas on their own merits separately from his practice. 
> So this is a first.
> > 
> > andy
> > 
> > Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
> >> Mike,
> >> Heidegger does so in Being and Time, in the section on the 
> tool, and in the section on the way signs function. In these 
> pages, Heidegger also points out that for the person using tools 
> and producing something, the ultimate product and its use are 
> important mediating moments in the awareness/consciousness of 
> the producer. This is precisely what we later find in Leont'ev, 
> and in the right-hand part of Yrjö's triangle, where you go from 
> obect --> outcome, and the latter is going to be taken up again 
> in this or another activity system. So perhaps Heidegger goes 
> even further in not limiting himself to the orientation toward 
> the outcome but goes right to the way in which future users 
> incorporate this material thing (which could also be a written 
> text) in their activity.
> >> What matters to Heidegger is not how a tool, object. . . 
> whatever looks to the detached theoretician, including a 
> Hegelian, but to someone caught up in praxis, coping (this is H. 
> Dreyfus' word in his reading of Being and Time, at least, he 
> read the first half). For many on this list who find Heidegger 
> hard to read, H. Dreyfus' reading /Being-in-the-World: A 
> Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time/ is probably a very 
> good introduction. Phil Agre in his early work at least bases a 
> lot on his reading of Heidegger (via Dreyfus, I believe) (Agre, 
> /Computation and Human Experience/) And I think David Chapman, 
> too, was doing "Heideggerian AI"
> >> Cheers,
> >> Michael
> >> On 2010-03-07, at 5:48 PM, mike cole wrote:
> >> Michael-
> >> Right, mutual constitution. But the problem of saying 
> everything about everything remains. Its kind of like Kenneth 
> Burke who has a pentad as a basic unit of analysis for human 
> activity (approximately), but carries out his analyses in terms 
> of various
> >> "ratios".
> >> Can you give us references to the parts of Heidegger and 
> Holtzkamp in English so that us non-German readers can get 
> connected with what have written? The Leontiev reference was 
> very helpful. There is so much to read!!
> >> mike
> >> On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 9:57 AM, Wolff-Michael Roth 
> <mroth@uvic.ca <mailto:mroth@uvic.ca>> 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.
> >>    Cheers,
> >>    Michael
> >>    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
> >>    activity"
> >>    (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?>>    mike
> >>    On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 2:50 AM, Andy 
> Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
> >>    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> 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 :
> >>     > 
> http://www.marxists.org/subject/philosophy/german.htm>>     > where you can browse as you wish ...
> >>     >
> >>     >
> >>    _______________________________________________
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> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>>    
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> -- 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> -------
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, 
> Ilyenkov $20 ea
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