Re: [OPE-L] marx's conception of labour

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Sat Nov 18 2006 - 10:35:52 EST

Quoting Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU>:
 > Yet we *know* when we act intentionally; the portia spider does not. We
> also know what it means to lose the capacity for action; the portia spider
> does not.
Rakesh, I agree that this seems plausible, but we should not be too
sure. The discovery of planning and intentionality in spiders is very
recent, and came as a great surprise to neurologists who has assumed
that such a small organism could not have such an elaborate behaviour.

It is perhaps unsafe to generalise and assume that knowing when we lose
the capacity for action is specifically human. I think a caged
animal knows that it is caged, and will try and escape.

My general point though, is that we can not seem the specificity
of human labour in intentionality.

>  >
> > So Bees and Spiders too, have goals for their labour, which goals
> > they must presumably store in their heads.
> Are our goals stored in our head; is that where the self is, simply
> localized as a neural object? I thought the integrative biologists had
> provided good reasons for skepticism. See for example Denis Noble, The
> Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome.
Whether the intentions are stored in the head is not vital, the issue
is whether they are internal to the organism or can be externalised
in the form of spoken or written instructions. Internal intentions
are commonplace among animals, written instructions, are as far as I
know unique to civilised humanity.

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