An interdisciplinary theory of activity by Andy Blunden

By Andy Blunden

Andy Blunden offers an immanent critique of Cultural-Historical job conception, the present of psychology originating from Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934). Tracing the roots of this idea from Goethe, Hegel and Marx, the writer attracts out the foundations with which Vygotsky built a concept of the brain within which the person and their social state of affairs shape a unmarried Gestalt, transcending the issues of mind-body  Read more...

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You don’t need to reify the concept of Spirit, as if it were something which could pre-exist human life, and only manifest itself in human activity. We can use Hegel’s concept of spirit as something which is constituted by rather than manifested in human activity; we can refuse to make that move which Hegel made around 1803–4, and still appropriate what Hegel has to offer in his mature works. The other implication of this conception of Spirit was that it really emphasized the unitary character of spirit; everyone shares in the culture of a people, its language, its forms of production and distribution, its institutions and its religion.

Hegel’s response was to claim that all concepts were internally contradictory. And rather than this contradictoriness being a fault of thought transgressing its rightful limits, contradiction was inherent in the objective world itself, and only thanks to this internal contradictoriness did concepts have reality and depth. Hegel’s breakthrough sprung from his concept of the ‘subject’ (Blunden 2007). Most writers interpret Hegel by importing into their reading of Hegel Kant’s concept of subject. This is wrong.

Goethe had observed that the progress of science made its great steps forward thanks to that rare perceptive insight, or aperçu, which somehow gets to the essence of a complex phenomenon. Such an insight was possible only on the basis of prolonged observation, but was neither a deductive or inductive process, but reliant on Anschauung8 or active contemplation. The key to understanding natural processes through such insights was the discovery of the Urphänomen, which allows Nature to be understood in its own terms, and in terms of common experience, something which is easily communicated and shared with others.

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