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

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sat Nov 18 2006 - 14:14:20 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.
Can a non human animal distinguish between a movement which is also an
action and one which is not? If not, then how would a non human animal
know it has lost the capacity for action? Are these even empirical
questions? If not, should we move them on positivist grounds?
I wish I knew more about the philosophy of action and Donald Davidson's
writings. I have also tried a couple of times to understand Husserl's and
Merleau Ponty's ideas about the special intentionality of human
consciousness but have never felt satisfied. Just marking these
ideas/questions which I just can't pursue now.But I read you, Dogan, Ian
and Howard with interest

>>  >
>> > 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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