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Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts)

I'll leave Marx on comm9odity Fetishsm for the moment, Martin, and solely to make the point that I am not alone on this business of meaning as act.

For example, V P Zinchenko's "Vygotsky's ideas about units for the analysis of mind', iubn Culture, Communication and cognition: Vygvotskyan Perspectives, ed J V Wertsch CUP 1985, pp. 94-118:

   “one can consider tool-mediated action as being very close to
   meaning as unit of analysis.”

and Engestrom's "Learning by Expanding":

   “According to Vygotsky, the instrumentally mediated act ‘is the
   simplest segment of behavior that is dealt with by research based on
   elementary units’.”


Martin Packer wrote:
I'm still not seeing your argument, Andy. A word is not a natural object, of course. No more than is a commodity. I haven't claimed that, nor does Vygotsky. I thought you were trying to argue that word-meaning must be an act. Are you suggesting that the commodity-form is an act?

Think about it this way. We accept Marx's analysis of the commodity, including the fact that it has a form, and an internal contradiction between two kinds of value. It has these characteristics, of course, by virtue of its constitution in human society, in social practices. But a newborn baby recognizes none of these characteristics. Marx doesn't tell us how a child comes to grasp them. That remains an untold developmental story. To tell that story we don't to rehash what Marx's analysis has already made clear. We focus instead on the child.

LSV, similarly, is not directly interested in how human language evolved, or how a language is maintained by a community of speakers. In other words, he does not analyze how words have come to have inner form, or how that form changes historically. He tells us enough to establish the fact that the form does exist, and that it does change. He is focused, rather, on the ways in which a child comes to be a full participant in the world of human language and, in consequence, of human thought.

On Apr 22, 2011, at 7:56 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

You demonstrate my point exactly, Martin.
The commodity form is a relationship between people mediated by an artifact., not a thing.

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