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[xmca] AW: Polls are closed: Manfred Holodynsk's article is choice
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- Subject: [xmca] AW: Polls are closed: Manfred Holodynsk's article is choice
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- Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:40:11 +0000
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- Thread-topic: Polls are closed: Manfred Holodynsk's article is choice
thank you very much for all your valued comments on my article. There are a lot of aspects already discussed and I have some difficulties to follow all lines of argumentation. Therefore, I would like to answer to the following:
1. Emotions as psychological function within the macrostructure of activity.
As Andy claims it I get my Activity Theory from AN Leont'ev and I focused especially on his concept of macrostructure of activity and its levels of activity that is related to motives, actions that are related to goals and operations that are related to the conditions under which an action is given. And Andy gets precisely to the heart of it when he stated that my article needs to be read with attention to motivation and how the macrostructure of an activity is related to the motives and goals of an individual. One activity can be realized by different actions, and one action can realize different activities.
May I quote Andy's words:
" Because motives are not given to immediate perception; they have to be inferred/learnt. Emotional expression and experience signal the success, failure, frustration, expectation, etc. of goals and motives for both participant/observers and the individual subject themself, emotion is tied up with motives and goals and therefore with the structure of an activity. One and the same action could be part of different ""actions activities (!) (MH)"". It is the emotions which signal (internally and externally) the success, etc., etc., that is, in an action's furthering an activity, and it is this which makes manifest and actual that connection between action and activity, for both the observer/participant and the individual subject.
So there is no metaphysics here. No hypothetical "states of mind", or intelligent infants, etc."
a) Take the example of the opening of the window. That's the behavior. What's the goal?
b) Imagine the person is a leader and opens the window in order to greet his followers and to hold a speech. That's the goal. What is the activity?
c) If one look at the circumstances one can derive that the speech is a part of a political activity in order to celebrate the election victory. So, if the leader also feels pride and enthusiasm about the victory there is coincidence between the publically assigned meaning and the personally felt sense of the situation. However, it may also be possible that he doesn't feel pride but a great burden and he personally feels to be overloaded with the duties and future expectations. Then the societal meaning assigned by the followers to this situation and the personal sense assigned by the leader himself are not congruent. The leader framed this situation under an achievement perspective whether he is able to fulfill the leadership.
But, note when we talk about actions and activity, then we speak about an advanced level of activity e.g. in children or adults, but not in infants who start to have intentions but still not a mental image of a future state of affairs.
2. Differentiation between the basic level in infants and advanced level in older children:
- A young infant has not already established a goal-driven level of actions. In the first weeks one can observe the acquisition of first operations and of first expectations what should happen. But these expectations are not yet represented as a mental image about the desired future states. This is the product of the acquisition of a sign system which enables the person to evoke and imagine a future state in the here and now and to start to strive for it. And for this starting point, not only to imagine different future states, but also to select one of them and to start to strive for it, emotional processes come into play that color one of the imagined future state e.g. in a state worth striving for and that mobilize the executive power to start striving for it.
However, the ability to form such notions of goals and to transform them into actions is not something that occurs automatically. It emerges in a long-drawn ontogenetic learning process in which the attainment of goals through actions is tried, tested, and increasingly optimized. Older children are
So, for an understanding of my emotion concept the macrostructure of an activity is very decisive because I embedded emotions as a specific psychological function within the macrostructure of an activity.
Prof. Dr. Manfred Holodynski
Institut für Psychologie in Bildung und Erziehung
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Von: Andy Blunden [mailto:email@example.com]
Gesendet: Freitag, 22. März 2013 04:13
An: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: Holodynski, Manfred
Betreff: Re: Polls are closed: Manfred Holodynsk's article is choice
Mike, Manfred gets his Activity Theory from AN Leontyev, rather than Engestrom's "systems of activity."
So actions and activities are defined by their goals and motives. So Manfred's article needs to be read with attention to motivation and how the structure of an activity is related to motives and goals. Because motives are not given to immediate perception; they have to be inferred/learnt. Emotional expression and experience signal the success, failure, frustration, expectation, etc. of goals and motives for both participant/observers and the individual subject themself, emotion is tied up with motives and goals and therefore with the structure of an activity. One and the same action could be part of different actions. It is the emotions which signal (internally and externally) the success, etc., etc., that is, in an action's furthering an activity, and it is this which makes manifest and actual that connection between action and activity, for both the observer/participant and the individual subject.
So there is no metaphysics here. No hypothetical "states of mind", or intelligent infants, etc.
It's all in there.
mike cole wrote:
> Hi Andy - and here I was wondering why operation/action/activity were
> not prominent in Manfred's article. Where does he lay out the views in
> this note? Am I reading too superficially as usual? Seems important
> for me to get clear about!
> On Thursday, March 21, 2013, Andy Blunden wrote:
> Think of your illustration,Martin, about whether, in opening the
> window, you were acting as a technician or moral leader. I.e., the
> meaning of the action lies in the activity of which it is a part,
> which is not immediately given. Manfred does not refer this to
> "intention" or "belief". Manfred is quite specific that the
> signalising and self-perception of an action in relation to an
> activity - i.e., an action's being of this and not that activity -
> is a function played by emotion. Concepts like internal state and
> intention are derivative from operation/action/activity, not
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