[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
Yes, I really HATE that quote. Let me count the ways.
1) I really LIKE the word "demiurge" as a description for the role of language, not just with respect to meaning but also with respect to mind. A demiurge isn't really a deity, you know. It's a kind of CRAFTSMAN, a DESIGNER, an ARCHITECT which in the final analysis (but only in the final analysis) is consubstantial with the thing that it makes.
2) Then ANL sets up a layer of social "operations" (or maybe actions) which stands BEHIND meaning. So meaning isn't a social operation at all, huh? Why not? Well, it appears that one is REAL, that is to say, sociological, and the other is IDEAL, that is to say, psychological. Oh, no! Here we go again....
3) ANL then says that the MAIN problem is something called the contradiction between the sociological and the logical. Why do I feel that the two things are completely consubstantial? Why do I feel that this is really a profoundly TRIVIAL problem, compared to (for example) the contradiction between the sociologically ideological and the interpersonally emotional?
I think you once pointed out to me that Vygotsky's theory of consciousness is semiotic (that is, NON-representational) except for its final layer of thinking, where we do appear to need some kind of representation of the self, some from of the "will" or the "consciousness" or the "volition", some species of demiurge, some kind of "role model".
Children don't have to believe that roles are real in order to use them. Vygotsky describes thinking as a cloud and inner speech as a downpour, but I don't leave the house with an umbrella lest I be overtaken by a sudden fit of inner speech on my way to class. I don't see why I can't think of demiurge, or for that matter "language", or even "mind", in exactly the same way.
By defining language as that thing that stands in front of objective social relations, obscuring and mystifying them, ANL is starting off with a very clear distinction between the objective, constative and the subjective, evaluative functions of speech. Sometimes things are so very clear and so very transparent that you could swear they are actually non-existent.
Seoul National University of Education
--- On Sun, 6/5/11, Martin Packer <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Martin Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Date: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 2:58 PM
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.
xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list