Re: [OPE-L] Inter-species slavery- was marx's conception of labour

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Wed Nov 22 2006 - 16:21:05 EST

Quoting Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU>:

> But what is distinctive to human labor? Imagination. Imagination is
> also the key to our amazing capacity for "self transcendence and
> rational analysis--for viewing ourselves from a vantage point outside
> the self and for imagining what it would be like to someone else."
> Davis, p. 33

This involves, I think, considerable romanticisation of the labour
process. It often involves little or no imagination, the tendancy
of industrial capitalism has been to reduce tasks to sub tasks which
can be performed 'automatically' without imagination. A requirement
for imagination would slow down the production-line.

The self transcendence that you write about above, seeing ourslves
as others see us, was the basis of Smiths theory of Moral Sentiments,
about which Dogan has written his book. Reading these texts by
Smith I am struck by the extent to which he anticipated the
discovery of mirror neurons
  {{Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind-reading}},
  {Gallese, V. and Goldman, A.},{Trends in Cognitive Sciences},
  volume={2}, pages={493--501},year={1998}
Also available as:

Adam Smiths theory of morality as being based in an inate empathic
capability of humans now seems to have a sound materialist foundation.

However, these mirror neurons are present in other higher primates,
and experimental evidence seems to indicate that they too have a 'theory
of mind', i.e., can put themselves in the position of another monkey
watching themselves. So this indicates that we are dealing with our
common primate heritage here.


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