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Re: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?

I just stumbled across this, in chapter 4 of Leontiev's Activity, Consciousness, and Personality. Available on Andy's site, at <http://marxists.org/archive/leontev/works/1978/index.htm>

"Thus meanings interpret the world in the consciousness of man. Although language appears to be the carrier of meaning, yet language is not its demiurge. Behind linguistic meanings hide socially developed methods of action (operations) in the process of which people change and perceive objective reality. In other words, meanings represent an ideal form of the existence of the objective world, its properties, connections, and relationships, disclosed by cooperative social practice, transformed and hidden in the material of language. For this reason meanings in themselves, that is, in abstraction from their functioning in individual consciousness, are not so “psychological” as the socially recognized reality that lies behind them. 

"Meanings constitute the subject matter for study in linguistics, semiotics, and logic. Also, as one of the 'formers' of individual consciousness, meanings necessarily enter into the circle of problems of psychology. The main difficulty of the psychological problem of meaning is that in meaning arise all of those contradictions that confront the broader problem of the relationship of the logical and the psychological in thought, in logic, and in the psychology of comprehension."

Seems to me that Leontiev too considered meaning to be first something public and social, even material (in their ideality, of course) and only later psychological. 


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