[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] Re: Word Meaning and Action: What' Plausible branch?

Mike, I wasn't attributing the "it's just sound" view to you. Rather, this seems to be Andy's view: that meaning is all in the listener; what is in the world is just material sound.  I think you and I agree that speech is both material *and* ideal. The ideal has objective existence. Meaning is in the world.

This is the difficulty of three people talking at once!


On Jun 17, 2011, at 12:19 PM, mike cole wrote:

> Martin-- We have slipped again. How do I signal when I am trying to make
> sense, for myself, with all of my confused background, the psychological
> consequences of mediation of actions through artifacts (among other things,
> we are slipping back and forth between activity and action in this thread,
> again)?
> No language is not a spade.
> About the following:
> If Mike speaks to me in Russian, his words have meaning, but it is meaning
> that I cannot recognize until I go to the trouble of becoming a sufficiently
> skilled participant in that language.
> Right. You must have your everyday actions in the waking world crucially
> mediated by the speech of others as a condition of your own existence.
> It would be a mistake to conclude from an example like this that words,
> whether Russian or English, are just sounds, and the listener fills in the
> meaning.
> Right. I was not saying they are "just sounds." I am standing there in front
> of a class trying to explain what I mean by artifacts being both material
> and ideal and that the listeners' experiences are both "direct" and
> "mediated." What could "just sounds" be, and not just in those
> circumstances? Human sounds, to which humans are born sensitive, never "just
> happen." They are always embedded in an ongoing human life process. We are
> talking about a bi-directional, assymetrical, complexly organized, of
> actions in activity.
> That kind of conclusion is common, but it runs into all sorts of
> difficulties in explaining how communication can occur, and it is not what
> LSV is proposing.
> Right, but I was trying to signal that I was taking that "interpretive"
> branch of the discussion
> that I thought you and Tony had agreed to!!
> Sigh. Time to log off for a while! My head hurts.
> :-)
> mike
> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 8:13 AM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:
>> I don't think I'm contradicting myself, Andy. We'e trying to figure out the
>> statements LSV made about language; about speech and its relationships to
>> thought. Speaking and thinking are both activities (I'm not sure if you're
>> using the term in some special sense), but they are clearly not identical
>> activities. Words are artifacts, obviously, and they are constituted in
>> activity, obviously. The point is to figure out the character of the
>> particular kind of artifact that is the word. If you want to adopt an
>> ontology in which activity is fundamental, I won't try to dissuade you! I
>> just don't see any evidence that this was LSV's ontology. And I don't think
>> it is sufficient to stop there.
>> Let's consider some of your examples:
>>> A person who utters a word in their sleep, or reads out the text of
>>>  a document in a foreign language, for example, is not meaning
>>>  anything by what they utter. There is a word, but no meaning. A
>>>  meaningful word is always essentially an active constituent of a
>>>  social relation (including to a social relation to oneself). When I
>>>  say "stop please!" to [sic] you, then as an English-speaker you know
>>>  that I mean I want and command you to stop.
>> I think you are confusing meaning with intention. If the sleeper speaks in
>> my language their words can have meaning for me. If others listen to me
>> reading a text in a foreign language my words can have meaning for them. But
>> more importantly the task is to explain *how* it is that a word can be taken
>> as meaningful, and on some occasions but not on others. What is it about the
>> word, as a kind of artifact, that enables it to "carry my meaning," as you
>> put it? Can a spade carry meaning? Can a 1000 peso bill carry meaning? It
>> can carry value. Is the meaning that a word carries truly "my" meaning, or
>> "yours"?
>> On Jun 17, 2011, at 9:06 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>> Martin, you are arguing against yourself. The idea of talking speech as
>> as artifact-mediated activity is *not* that this is a special property of
>> the spoken word or speech, and nor is it so that we can make analogies with
>> other domains of activity. It is a fundamental view of the world. Not matter
>> and mind. Not the four elements. Not subject and object. Not God.
>> *Activity*. Activity always uses artefacts, but the nature of the artefact
>> is constituted in activity. Activity is social.
>>> By defining "subjective/objective" solely in terms of indivual
>> consciousness you are using an ontology of mind and matter to prove that an
>> ontology of activity is wrong. Of course, that makes sense. If your world is
>> made up of individuals with their individual consciousness sending messages
>> to each other, then Acitivity Theory is a big mistake. But the claim is that
>> activity is THE fundamental category, from which concepts like mind, matter,
>> space, time, meaning, value, etc., etc., are derived.
>>> Andy
>> __________________________________________
>> _____
>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> __________________________________________
> _____
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

xmca mailing list