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Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts)

On 22 April 2011 02:30, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Even in this translation, I still see a Marxist talking about *acts* of
> thought and speech. So far as I can see you assimilate Vygotsky to language
> *fetishism*, in the same sense as Marx criticises fetishism of commodities
> in Chapter 1 of /Capital/. That is, you want to ascribe human powers to
> words which are material artefacts produced and used by human beings, and do
> not have human powers. Modern economics and modern linguistics require this
> fetishism, but what attracts me to Vygotsky is that he does not.
> BTW, I don't think one can "use a concept" except in acceptably loose talk.
> One can refer to or evoke a concept, but not really use one. One can use a
> word, yes, but not a concept.
I would call that thinking.  Or is thinking not an act for you?

Off to bed.


> Anyway, if you want to talk linguistics, go for it.
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>>  On Apr 21, 2011, at 10:39 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>> Good ol' Lev is never that unambiguous is he, though? Consider this:
>>>  "This justifies the view that word meaning is an act of speech. In
>>>  psychological terms, however, word meaning is nothing other than a
>>>  generalization, that is, a /concept/. In essence, generalization and
>>>  word meaning are synonyms. Any generalization - any formation of a
>>>  concept - is unquestionably a specific and true act of thought. Thus
>>>  word meaning is also a phenomenon of thinking" (Vygotsky Volume 1: 244).
>>> Andy
>> Andy, Let me offer this cleaner version of what you have found (basically
>> it's David K's 'triangulated' translation). From the start of chapter 7. You
>> highlight the word "concept." But notice that the meaning of a word is a
>> generalization *from the psychological side.* Words are used, in acts of
>> speech and in acts of thought. When a word is used in an act of thought, it
>> is to generalize. But that doesn't mean that word meaning in itself is an
>> act of thought, or that word meaning itself is a concept.
>> "We found this unit, showing in simplest form a unity of thought and
>> speech, within the meaning of the word [значении слова]. The meaning of the
>> word, as we attempted to clarify above, represents a further indecomposable
>> unity of the two processes, beyond which we can not say that it represents
>> the phenomenon of speech or the phenomenon of thinking. A word devoid of
>> meaning is not a word, it is an empty sound, hence meaning is a required,
>> constitutive feature of the word. It is the word itself, viewed from the
>> inside. Thus, we seem sufficiently entitled to study it as a phenomenon of
>> speech. But the meaning of the word from the psychological side, as we have
>> been repeatedly convinced in this entire study, is nothing but a
>> generalization, or concept. Generalization [Обобщение] and meaning of the
>> word are synonymous. Any generalization, any formation of a concept
>> [образование понятия], is the most specific, authentic, most obvious act of
>> thought. Therefore, we have the right to think of the meaning of the word as
>> a phenomenon of thinking.
>> "The meaning of the word is both a spoken and an intellectual phenomenon,
>> and this does not mean a purely external participation in two different
>> mental lives. The meaning of the word is a phenomenon of thought only in so
>> far as the thought relates to the word and is embodied in the word, and vice
>> versa: it is a phenomenon of speech only insofar as it relates to thought
>> and is illuminated by its light. It is a phenomenon of verbal thought, or of
>> meaningful words; it is the unity of speech and thought."
>> Martin
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA:
> http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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