From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Sat Nov 18 2006 - 05:10:00 EST
Hi Paul, intentionality is a dialectical category and applies to everything in space and time. Everything in space and time refer always beyond themselves, that is, they refer, apart to themselves, to other things. This is an ontological condition and ebales us to determine things in space and time in relation to one another. The question of what the human being is cannot be defined without relating him, in closer focus, to 'other animals' (Smith). In a broader focus human beings must be related to everything else in space and time. This is one meaning of intentionality. The other meaning has to do with consciously aiming at someting and according to Marx this meaning of intetionality applies only to human beings - not in the narrow, say, Hegelian sense of the term that it is only the capacity of thinking what human beings differentiates from animals. In the passage Marx refers to building house in our heads he explicily defines his subject: the concept of labour in history after human beings left behind animal world . That is to say Marx is very well aware of the problem and his approach should not be interpreted in dualist sense that there is, on the one hand, animal labour and, on the other hand, human labour. Dialectical approach recognises the ways of transition from one form of labour to another form of labour. Paul, your discusion is, then, just to remind us of these froms of transitions. But this does not argue against Marx. It become, however, problematic if you reject to recognise the qualitative difference between animal and human labour. This is an old discussion. Some refer to the capacity of thinking, others to language, other again to morality. But all these discussions end up in asking what makes the difference between other animals and human beings. Marx says humans work consciously, that is to say that they plan before they work. Human labour according to Marx comprises, then, : thinking, it is a conscious action; it comprises language, it is a communicative action; it comprises morality, it is an ethical action involving moral judgments, This is, of course, not a God given capacity. It is a result of of a historical process of tousands and tousand of years. Now, tell me, is there any species of animals (apart from human beings) which plan the future, say, reproduction of subsistence and the means of production in the next few years to come. It is perhaps imporatnt to refer to Helmuth Plessner's distinction to understand Marx. Plessner says that animals ajust themselves to their natural circumstances (though they also conduct some changes), whereas human beings change their natural circumstances (though they also adjust themselves to their natural circumstances). Human beings accumulate culture in the broad sense of the term by creating their ecological space. So we have to think in broader contexts to understand marx. Cheers Dogan In einer eMail vom 17.11.2006 23:20:10 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt clyder@GN.APC.ORG: Quoting Dogan Goecmen <Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM>: > > > > A bricklayer has to be as much as an architect as an achitect has to be a > bricklayer. Otherwise they caanot build a house in cooperation. Whatever they > > may do it remains bodily activity. Marx does not say more than that. He talks > > about human beings - not about a particular profession. > > But he is attempting to make a distinction between human and animal labour here, comparing architects to spiders and bees. His claim is that human labour is teleological and goal directed whereas that of bees and spiders is not. We now know that this is untrue: "Anticipatory maze learning has been demonstrated in salticid jumping spiders of the genus Portia. These animals are presented with a maze that can be viewed in its entirety from the vantage point of the spider. The maze consists of a set of wire walkways representing potential paths from the starting position to that of a food lure placed at the maze endpoint (Figure 1). One route reaches the food but the other does not. After scanning of the entire maze, visually following the tracks back from the food source, the spider chooses an entry point to the maze, choosing correctly in 75% of first time trials [11,12]. This remarkable display of problem solving is carried out by a creature with a brain several hundred microns in diameter. Salticid spiders share with insects a rough similarity in body plan and size, and they have a complex brain with structures that somewhat resemble those of insects without being strictly homologous [13,14]. Although not a case of place learning per se, the maze solving behavior of Portia spiders reveals a capacity for planning and anticipation that surpasses mere implicit memory." (Cognitive consonance: complex brain functions in the fruit fly and its relatives Ralph J. Greenspan and Bruno van Swinderen , TRENDS in Neurosciences Vol.27 No.12 December 2004) So the behaviour of Spiders is goal directed too. Since the work of von Frisch, ( (1923) Uber die ‘Sprache’ der Bienen. Eine tierpsychologische Untersuchung: Zoologischer Jahrbücher (Physio- logie) 40, 1–186), it has been known that bees labour is not only goal directed, but involves collaboration mediated by inter-worker communication. So Bees and Spiders too, have goals for their labour, which goals they must presumably store in their heads. What then remains of Marx's attempt to clarify the specificity of human labour. Neither goals, nor, contra Franklin, the use of tools distinguish our work from animals, but : 1. The richness of our speech, whose vocabulary and syntax far exceeds that of the humble bee 2. An enhanced memory capacity allowing us to memorise from imitation or hearing, a longer sequence of actions than other animals These two allow the construction of new action programs for our bodily actions, which can be communicated between individuals. By itself the distinction between us and animals is still a matter of degree, as studies of learned labour culture among Japanese Macaques or Chimpanzees demonstrates. What finally distinguishes civilised labour from that of savage or ape is the invention of technologies of record. There is no architecture without the means of producing architectural drawings. It is these drawings existing outside the body of the architect that allow the coordinated labour required to construct large and complex buildings. It is materialised plans, drawings, moulds, patterns, dies, and software that allow industrial production to superceed handicraft. ---------------------------------------------------------------- This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
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