Part I: Foundationof Activify Theory

Chapter2: Beingand -Ontologyand the Conceptionof Evolution in Activity Theory

Pp.79-172 IN:

Karpatsclrol.B. (1000). actit,ity. Contributions to the A nI hr op oI og i c'u I Sc' i en c e s .fr om a P er.s p ec t it,e of A ct iv i ty Theory. Copenlragen:Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. ISBN: 87 7706311 2. (Front.cover + xii + 513pages).

Re-publishedriith acceptancefrom the authorand copyright- holder. PART I

FOUNDATIONOF ACTIVITY THEORY 2. Beingand Becoming and the Conceptionof Evolution in Activity Theory

As mentionedin thetirst chapter.this treatiseis abouta specificanthropo- loeicaltheor-v. Activitl'Theory'. In the flrst chapter.the historicaltradition of Activitv Theor.vu'as discussed. Before presenting the core of thetheory. how- eier. I uill intloduceand discuss its philclsophicalbasis. This philosophical tootingis ccrnrprisedof theba.irt' (onLept o.f reulitt andour knorletlg,eof tli.s realitt. The currentchapter presents the former.the onlo/ri,qr'.and chapter 3 presentsthe latter. the epistetrtologr.

2.1 Ontology

Ontologr is thc'philosophicaldiscipline that erplores the question of beurg. Thus.the ontolog),'of Activin' Theori'mLlst ans\\'er such questions as. "What thingsexist iiroundhere'1" "Are thereditterent nrodes of eristence'1"Mclre- over.although episteurological in ."How areue. thesub.ject.s discussing ontolog)-.relatecl to theerrlrtrr,r 'ul e arediscnssin-g'1" In .I u ill distinguishbenr,een Ihe ntutlel'of ontologv (i.e.. the categorvof tlteotttit. and the content of ontolo-ufitself) and the ontolosi(ul (i.e..the description of theontic). This is in principal.because u'hen there is no dangerof confusion. I rnal bea little lar in theterminolo-t1'. The retrsonfor going into ontologr'.a sonte'uvhatfo.l-ey field within rneta- Pltvsies.is tltnttherc lrrc. letuullr. \{)nle r'rlheI irrrp,rl-1;1111 er)nll'o\er\ie\ in \ei- cncerclated to ontolo-licaiproblems. This is true e speciallv in a scientificfield suchas anthropolog)' that is in itselfsomeu hat fogg1,. This is evenmore appro- I Jlriatefor a theorvlike Activin'Theon:. u,hich most of mv colleagueswithin anthropologvfind at leastmistr'. There is indeeda lot of ambiguityorcontro- r crsvabout the of u hatn e arediscussing. Whena clinicalpsl,cholo-list talks about a personulittconfli<-t. or a de.fertce trteLltLuti.rrrt. not to mentiona patient'snurc'is.si.stic per.sonality.s/nrclure. is this psy'chologistpostulatin-e that the ternt ref'ers to somethingthat exists'l When the 82 Ch. 2: and Becoming sociologistdiscusses class tensiort and etJuic conflicts. how or wheredo these phenomenatake piace'l When the culturai anthropologist describes a culturehe or shehas studied. u'hat is thisentitl'called "culture" l Scientificcontroversies are largely about pt'rsitir e or nesativea\\ertions of existence.'Forinstance. the radical behaviourists otten state that nteiltul plte- tlonlen(l.not to mentionmetttal ug,ettcies. do notexist. q'hereas behuriLttrr cToe: exist.The maingoal of thedeconstructivist school of socialscience is to negate assertionsof existence.implying that there are no objectiveentities correspon- dingto conceptslike culture.as these are merely social constructlons.

2.1.1 To be or not to be Parmenidesis generallypresented in thehistorr of philosophra\ thcantago- nistof Heraclite.the tbrmer being the founder of theEleatic ckrctrinc ol'inr an- ance.asserting the illusory' character of perceiVedchangc. the latter heing the fatherof dialectics.teaching the illLrsorl' character of perceivedidentitl andthe permanentl1ux of change.I havealreadl' announced nt1 afTiliation to theHera- clitic line,but I admitthat had a validpoint w'hen he refused to talk aboutnon-existence.'\l'e are involved in anembanassing conundrum when we statethat sonrcthin,q does not e.rlst.The verl,linguistic form of the staterrent suggestsan obiect-predicatelogic. the something not existin-sbeing the o[.r1c.ct andthe predicatebeing eristence. Modern to a certainextent has s()l\cd someof theparadoxes that .,1'ere obstacles to Parmenides. SinceRussell, however. the correspondin-e to the description ol theobjce r is ernpty.The exact neaning of thesentence that. "the celebrated Se orti.h ntLrn- stercalled Nessie does not exist." should thus be that. "the e\ten\i()n oi rhc.ct of hugeaquatic animals living. at the being. in Loch\err is nrl.'flou- ever.if we attelnptto anah'sethe content of theternt "\r-ssrr-.". \\c \\()uld\()()n be in trouble. It wouldbe unsatisfactor)'tosimply suggest that the ternt is nt!-i.uullgless. becausenothing with thattenll asits narneerists. Nonethelc-s.. \\ !' nll\ lreable to go on living u"ithoutany clear solution to thesemantics of Nes.ic. However.n'hen some psychologists assert that the nurnberoi narcissistsis increasingand psychologists deny that such a categor\of indir,iduals exists.rt revealsan ontolo-eicaiproblem in psychologlas a discipline.Like- wise. some)'ears ago the PLO declareditself to be the exile governmentof Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 83

Palestine.Israel. on the otherhand. denied that thereu'as such a thing as a Palestinianpeopie. This wasa disputeof not only ontology.but alsoof an tm- portantpolitical . To clarify our ideasof existence.we first haveto specit,vthe coordinotes of existence.The existence of somethingmeans that this sornething has existed in a certaininterval oftinte andspace. Talking about such an entityas the Sume- rians.we cannotjust bluntlvdeny their existence. Instead. \.\'e say that between about21.000 and 2.000 BC. thesepeople populated the area of theMiddle East calledMesopotamia. Of course.u'e do not haveto specrf,vthis when vr'eref'er to somethingpre- sent.the here-and-nowspecification has a privile_tedstatus: it is normally unmarkedas a deicticdef-ault. Nonetheless.ntv primaryconcern is notproblems of spatial-temporalspecr- lication.but deeperproblen.rs of existence.In the Israeli-Palestinianconflict. theIsraelis did notdeny' the existence of somepeople callin-u themselves pale- stinians.nor did thevdeny' the existence of suchpeople going to theextrerne of announcingtheir ou,n .sovernment. what they'did denl'rvas that these indivi- dualsconstitnted apeople. The Israeligovernment perceived their antagonists n01 as a peopleentitled to a state.but asa criminaltenorist organisation. ln a way.this conceptual aspect of the Middle Eastconflict ma1'be morecorrectly understood as a semantrc. not an ontologicalantagonism. Hor'"'ever. it is not alway'seasv to distinguish betrveenontological and semantic questions. Not manl'people u'ould be wil- ling to sacrificetheir lives to fight tbr a semanticposition. but for rnillionsit is a mattelof lit'eand cleath r.r hether a certaincategorv of peopleis to be recognised asa nationor not. Thefbllou ing examplesshould help to clarit'vthe relation between ontology and semantics.Are therean-r enriries corresponding to phl,sicalconcepts like blackholes or clnrks. or evena conceptu'ith a firmerstanding such as theelec- tron'lrn thepsy'cholo-uical arena. hou' do we makeup our mindsabout the dis- putedontolo-ev of thesuperego. not to mentionthemind (that we aremaking up so ofien.ilithout everrealh knorvin-sq'hat is). And what aboutthe aura ol a pL'rson.the postulated niental surroundin-e that is a popularobject of diagnosis and evenmassage in somevalieties of rnoderntherapl. of course.an ardent materiirlistcould bluntlv deny that stalementsref'erring to "aura" har.eany meaningat all. Hou'ever.I can sug-sestan alternativeway to dealwith such 84 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming problematicentities. Partlv concurrin-e u ith Parmenides.I arn rather reluctant to makea total verdictof non-existence.This is true aswell for the supposed ref-erentsof "Unicorn"and "" or "The holv spirit". Generally.I amheading in thedirection ofredefining rather than denying the existenceof ret-erentsof elusiveconcepts like the onesjust mentioned.These conceptsmay be misunderstoodand rnisrepresented. verv oftenbecar"rse they arethought of in a contertto u,hichthey actuallydo not beltlng.In particular. the misrepresentationcan be a mis-cate-qorisation.Theretore. the re- rl,'illotien be a re-contertualisationand a re-catesori:ation. An1,kind of ontologicalcritique. even as nroderate as the one proposecl. at bestwill bea criterionfor theu'eakness of thepositions criticised. btlt ltot a crl- terionfor its validity.To arguetbr ther aliditvof a certainontological positit'tt. we needan explicit criterion to acknowledgesomething s exl\tence. Incrden- talll'.it shouldbe noted that u,hat I am su-egestingis rl o'rterrott tor ttckttowletlq- inge.ristente.notadelinitiortof'e.ristence.whichisericlentlrsolnethingentire- ly difl-erent.

2.1.2 PracticalNecessity as a Criterion for the Acknowledgementof Existence I will nou'proposethe following criterion:

We acknowledgesomething as existing when ue are/rrt r'rlto rcrtliseits existence.thus being unable to denvits eri.stertt'e.

And conversely:

We can deny that something is in existenceonl,v rvhen \\'e Are//()r lrtrt t'tl ttt realiseits existence.thus being uutble to ossert rt.lr',rrln'1t. . Part I: Foundation of Activitl.Theory 85

In fact.this criterion tbr theacknowledgment of existenceis a key to devel- oping an ontology.but is not an ontologyin itself. Therefbre.the criterion shouldnot be understoodas a detlnitionof existence.In thisform. the criterion would be a positionof extremelvontoiogical : our refusalto acknow- led_uethat sontething exists implies that we arethrouing it out of eristence. Yet.often entities har,e eristed long betbre their presence r', as known b1, human .The crucialquestion is whetherthere are also entities in existencethat nevern'i1l be known by humanbeings. As a metaphysicalpostulate. this seems quiteplausible to me.However. according to mv own criterion.I haveto deny n.r/their e.\istence.but theut:knrn;ledgntent of e.tistentrc clf such entities until theirtime of arrival.u'hen thev can nicell'and orderll'announce their exist- ence. Furthermore.the plausibilit,n.-that thereis more in existencethan human beingsare auare of is irnpliedb1'the specific relativitv theory that we enclose u'ithina triangleof space-time(the aper being the point of Hereancl Norv). out- sicleof vn'hichr.'"'e are unable to recei','eintbrmation. Eventshappening a billion light yearsa\\,a]- thus will notbe availablero us u ithin thenext billion vears.Havin-9 ernphasised the nature of thecriterion fbr theacknowled-sment of existence. I u ill erplainits iniplicationsand present themerits clf the criterion. What.then. is the suprernecourt of ontolo-uythat tbrces us to acceptsome- thing asexisting'/ This courtis our mundanepractice. Recentll. the so-called hole in the ozoneIaverhas been the centreofcontroversv. Currently. there rs widespreadacceptance that this hole erists. because the apparent effects of this phenonrenonseem to be a threatto ourvery existence. Mv critericlnis 'er1,much inspired bl, internationallaw. in which thereare two conceptstbr therzcogrtitiott of one st(Ltebt another.on theone hanti, there is thede jure recognition.where a new stateor a ne\\,governnlent of an olclstate is recognisedby the le-eitimateruler of a certainterritory. This is the normal stateof af-1birs.Sometimes. how'ever. a new stateor governmentis only recog- nisedtle facto. The recogniserrvould rather not recognisethe new political entitvat all. becausethe recogniser does not consider it legitimate.The cle facto recogniseris moreoften than not verv reluctantand has probably taken a long trnrelo admitthat the ner.r entrt\ i\ in eristence.The de l'actorecognition is somethinglike thetollowing: "I wishyou hadne\ er comeinto existence. and I 86 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming actuallyhope that your existence will be short.As it is. I will haveto admitthat you area (n) (uncomfbrtable)partof realitv. If we now go backto the Israeli-Palestiniandispute. for someyears one of thefollou'ing three scenarios has been destined to happen:

l. ln theend. Israei u'ill deportthe Palestinians to sucha distancethat they no longerrepresent any political problem.or they rvill beatand fiustrate thepolitical and military' opposition of the Palestiniansuntil theygive up anvpretences of beinga particularpeopie

2. The Palestinransand the allieswill crushthe lsraelimilitarv or theprolonged military and economic stress will resultin a t-louof Jeus emigratingto morepeacetul parts of theworld

3. The two antagonistsuill. on theone hand. maintain their own political coherenceand pretensions. but they will beforced. on theother hand. to a de I'ttctorecosnition of one another

However.I will refrainfrom speculatingon or evaiuatingthe tutureof the threescenarios (the third scenarioat thetime beingis still a ratherweak new- born). The main point is that thereis a connectionbetween the questionof existenceand our practicalrelation to the mattersconcerned. This is truealso for scientificquestions. We hal'eto accepta ps1'chokrgical phenomenonas real when it forcesus to do somethin-sabout it. Thus.eren atr ardentatheist is forcedto a defacto acceptance of thesocial torce of . My pragmaticcriterion of existenceintroduces some serious prohlents. Hou' do I distinguishbetrveen ideological oppression. on theone hand. and the tbrce of what I call practiceon the other'lThus the lnquisitionand afier the Reforma- tion. eventhe Protestant sol'ereigns could enforce the dogmas of Christianity for man,vyears. Would it not be in accordancewith ny criterionto sa1'that the poor Jewsor Catharssurrendering their ou'n convictionafter being toltured werejust forcedby practiceto acknowled-sethe existenceof the ?Or thatthe poor women accused of witchcraftin accordancewith N{alleaMallefi- Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv

corum were movedbv practiceitself to admit the existenceof the Devil as the agentthat hadseduced thern to a black sabbathin his own satanicperson'? Nonetheless.my immediatecourt of practicemust be distinguishedfrom the courtof politicalpower. By practice.lmean the organised activitv of a societal entity.And theverdict must be a consistentone. I thushave smuggled in a sci- entific criterionof consistency.what is more.it is a criterionof consistenct orer time. The interestingthing is not what v!'emomentarily find necessaryto adnrit,but what u,'eare forced to admit in theend: forced to admit by thetotalin of our existence.not just by a randomregime in politics.religion or evensci- ence. It is evidentthat this criterionof existenceconcerning verdicts (that they shallbe consistent.and consistent over time) is actualll,identicalwith a postu- latethat thereis a convergencein the progressof knowledge.Furthermore, that sucha knowledgeevolution is possibleat all presupposesa corresponding politicalevolution. The tyranny of arbitraryreligious and ideological doctrines mustbe replacedb,v a Popperianscenario of an "Open society".where a ratio- nal scientificdiscussion is the supremecourt. This evolutionaryscenario has beenheavily criticised in recentdecades. fbr instanceb1'Lyotard ( 1984)and Giddens( 1990a). The critics assert that an evolutionary conception such as the one advancedin this treatiseis a hopelesslyoutdated frame of thoughtcalled ntodernismor the enlightenmentprogramme. Parallel criticisms have been raisedagainst evcllutionism. and thesewill be discussedin the sectionon the phylogenicand cultural evolution of . I am willing to admitthe relevance of thiscriticism. If thecoherent and con- vergentevolutionary course tiom theRenaissance until nou'isbroken by a new Dark Age with a surgeof fanaticismand repression of freethought under the burdenof an ecologicaland social breakdorvn and dissolution, the wholeedi- ficeof thephilosophy of scienceand especially of theanthropological sciences wouldcertainly become impotent and non-functionin-s. Just as the science and philosophyof ancientGreece was pushed aside tbr a considerableperiod. This meansthat the principleof acti'itv is a guideto scientificquesrions. implying as a presuppositiona certainorganisation of the totality of human actil itv.unfoftunatell'. it is notcefiain that such an organisation will endurefbr theremainder ofthe presenceofour spectes. My proposalof the activityprinciple is co-extensivewith a proposalfor a certainrational and humanistic organisation of global activity.In oppositionto 88 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming theneo-relativist and neo-pessimist. I find it prematureand unwise to giveup a in the continuousevolution of knowledgeand a belief in a reasonable way of arranginglit-e on this somewhatshattered planet. The remainderof this treatiseis. among other things. a det'ensoratefor thisview. This optimrsticscenario for the future of humankindis perhapsjust a pipedream.However. it is my intentionto shor'"'that m)' point of vieu. naile and outdatedas it may be. is at leastconsistent. and foundedon manv -tood arguments. We havebeen concerned thus far rviththe political and historical pre supprrsi- tionsfor my criterionof eristence.Hor.r'er.er. there is anotherconcern: the dan- gerof a too liberalcriterion. accepting a\ 3 particulalentity whatever is pestcr- ing or excitingpeople. I will now discussdiff'erent catesolies of eristencethat canpotentially circumvent this problem.

2.1.3 Categoriesof Existence Until now.we haveprirnarily talked about the question of existenceassum- ing thatit canbe answeredby an unequir.'ocalYes or No. Howel'er.the exam- pleshave shown that there are several wavs of beingin existence.Theretore. I will introducediff'erent of existence.By a categoryof existence.I meanacertainntotlusofbeing.Isuggestthattherearethreeofthesecategolre.. nameiyphenomenon. object and (German Wesert). I have alreadl usedthe term ""to referto the someu'hatcasual mode ol erist- ence.where something just appears.An ttb.iec'tis a moresubstantial entitr : it i: a memberof a categoryof ontolo-Uyand from whomwe expecta moresolitl enrl dignifiedbehaviour. Finally.essence (this is the nearestterm in Englishto what in the Gcrnlan philosophicaltradition is calledWe.sen) is a categor,vthat refers 1o sorllething thatexists in aneven more fundamental sense than objects. An objcctis art t'tlti- ty that can be subjectto dramaticchanges durin-s its eristence.rlhereas an essenceis theensemble of propertiesthat have a totalresistance to chan,ue.or at leasta rateof changethat is magnitudeslower than that of theobjects to which theessence is attached. The precedin-qcan be consideredthe commonsense definition of thecate- goriesand from whichI wrll trv notto retirecompletely'. In thetollowing. I will changethe orderof presentation.starting with the categor.vof the object,as the lalt t alourylation of Activity' Theon' 89

neighbouringcate,sorv of phenomenonin a way is negativelycletermined by the former. Object I proposethat an object shouldbe definedas somethingthat has a cerrain aLttotlontousand bountlecl presence. An objectmust be locatablewith a specific precisionrin time and space.Its temporalpresence must be coherent.and in respectto theplace that the object is occupyin-u.it shouldbe pref'erablya rela- tively coherentregion of space.Finalll'. an objectmust have a certainontic autonorlvin relationto otherobjects and to phenomena(of which we will talk '*'hen in a moment).Even anobject is inertricablvbounci up w,ithother objects. we canat leastsay something about how theserelations are constitutins condi- tionsofexistence fbr theobject. Er identll.rlanv objects.r.r hich u e u illjust call t/irns.i.are quite unproblem- atic in respectto thesedefining characteristics: for example.a cup of cof-fbe. *'hich probablyis themost popular item ro be discussedin philosophicaldis- cusslons:or an exanrplenith a moresentimental standing. a puppy.However. leavingtoclls and pets aside. there are of courseother entities that are someu,hat moreintangible. These tbrms can be:

Intangible Entities

l. \licroscopic

l. Astronon'tic

3.Compound s\,stems


5. Totall1' dependent on otherobj ects 6.Natural kinds

7. Abstractconcepts

In otherwords.1.2 and-1 are intangible objects. -1 and -5 are phenomenon. and6 and7 belongto thecateeory of essence. Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

To start.I will renouncepalpability as a characteristicof objecthood.Atom- ic particles._ealaxies and natiot.ts should not be excludedfiom theobject c:rte- gory lbr this .Perhaps palpability' is a criterionof the narrowercategorY of rftlng-i.a categorythat therefbrehas an anthropocentricstanding. and hence moreof a specificepistemologicai than ontological interest. The problemsof temporaiand spatial coherence are better solved within the specificscientific disciplines.For exarnple. Heisenberg'. the tbunder of quantummechanics. sug- gestedthat atomic particles realiy existed (possessing Wirklichkeit. Engl' actu- ality).but withouta thing-likeexistence (not possessing Realitcit. Engl. reali- t]-'). I will proceednow to thethree criteria ercluding entities fiom thecategory of objects:the criterionof dependence.the criteritlnof naturalkinds and the criterionofconcepts. The flrst criteriau'ill be discussedunder the headinsof thephenomenon. Phenomenon Generally,a phenomenonis somethin-s:

thatis directlypresent to us.but presentin sucha tuzzl'.incoherent or tran- sientway thatwe cannotaccept it asan object

or it is somethingof which u e haveonly' an indirectknowledge. indicat- ing thatit lacksthe coherence and stabilitl' of anobject

or it is somethingof which u'e know too little to be convinced indeeditself an object. and notjust the ettect of anotherobject

A t-vphooncan be categorisedas a phenomenon.becausc it fulfils thepracti- cal criterionof existence(in a ratherin.rpressive \.\'a\'). e\en thou-shrt doesnot possessthe spatio-ternporalstability and boundedness. that is. the substantia- litl' of an object.And the samegoes fbr a sunset.a headache.a depression.a revolutionor a crashat the internationalstclck exchange. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theory 9l

ln this subcategoryof the transientphenomena. I am ref'erringto processes. However.in the main categoryof phenomena.I rlould alsoinclude another subcategoryof phenomenathat havemol'e .r1.7/lo,?cn attributes. Thus. even thoughit is in oppositionto normallanguage. I will putquolities of objectsand evenof otherphenomena into this categorl'.In this way.the red colourof the sun is a phenomenon.the speedof a typhoon.the of a headache,the despairof a depression.and the panic of thecrash. all thesequalities are placed in thecategory ofthe phenomenon. This categorisationapplies to relationshipsas r.l'ell.which can be seenrzs qtrctlitiesof ststensof object.s. Thus. the maritalbond of a coupleis a relational phenomenon,and therefbre is includedin thesubcategory of qualities. But whatabout the concepts attached to thesequalities l This problemwill be treatedspecifically in chapter.l.which concerns semi- otics.Here I shalllimit mvselfto thepremature assertion that a conceptis a spe- cific instanceof .Meaning is a specificrelation between a semiotic carrier.which is anentity (phenomenon or object)called the.si,qn and the semi- crticgoal (phenomenon or object)called the reJerent. This brief definitionsug- geststhat a (ot1('eptis a typeof phenomenon. Thus.the fifth pointin thelist of problematicforms of existenceis placedin thiscategory. Please note that there is an ambiguityin theuse of theword "con- cept".Here I havetalked about the semioticmeaning of a "".meaning exactlymeaning. i.e.. what we meonwhen using the concept. There is. how- et,er.also anontic senseof theterm "meaning".referring to actualconditions of theworld:. to naturalkinds or theessential concerning objects. This ontic type of meaningis discussedin the presentationof the categoryof essence. TheCopenhagen Interpretation of quantumph;-sics" is thatthe quantum phe- nomenaare associated u,ith the total experimental setting. includin-c the macro- scopicinstruments and the experimenter.and that thereconsequently is no basisfor talking aboutatomic particles as objects.I personallydo not agree u,iththis opinionon atomicparticles. but I a-sreervith the ontological distinc- tion betweenan object and a phenontenon. Accordingto my interpretation.the distinctionmade by Heisenberg(who concunedwith the CopenhagenInterpretation)is that the atomicphenomena arepart of actualin'(Wirklichkeit).but not objecthood.rerzlin (Realitar). This interpretationis consistentwith my understandingof thecategory of phenome- 92 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming na in relationto thecategor,v- of objects.Howe"'er. it is not in accordancewith my understandingof thenature of theatomic parricles. but that is anothermat- terto bediscussed later in thischapter. The uuru is a postulatedobject-like entitl' ref-erred to (andmanipulated t rn certaintypes of therapv.This entitl'. u'hich has a moremetaphl'sical tlarour thanI wouldpersonally recommend. also should be seenas a phenonrenon. Thisis regardlessof thedisagreement about the status of auraas being either an efl'ectof theastral bodl' attached to thepefson seen. as physiological attributes influencingexperimental instruments. or asi1n amodal of a certain psychologicalstate. I rejectthe first interpretation. that the aura is theproof of theexistence of an astralbody. Actually. I seethe assertionthat a non-materialastral bodv is the producerof the auraas a caseof /rlpo.stasr'.B1 that I meana circulariissign- ment.whereby a phenomenonis eitherdirectlv elevated to the statusof an object.or is more or lessidentified u,ith a hvpotheticalobject. of r."'hichwe haveno otherevidence than the phenomenon that u rs our startin-spoint. Turnin-eto a phenomenonlike nartls.il.ilr. I am verv liberalin rny'phenome- nology.That is. I am quiteu illing to discussthe phenomenon. the existence of whichhas been so eagerll det-ended by imninent ps1'chotherapists.Horvever. I anrqr"rite restricti'n'e when ret'errin-c to the objects.not to mentionthe essence. by whichthis phenomenon is tc'rbe understood. The interest in thephenomenon thatni)'clinical colleagues are reporting does not necessaril,vimplicilte an acceptanceof explanatorvconcepts like riarrl,ssl.sticper.sonulitt disortler. ntrr- cl-s.sr.stlc sot'ial c'harac'ter. or on the mostgrandiose level. a cultttrettt tttrtti:- .ri.rnl. Whatthen is thedemarcation line betueen phenomena and ob.jecr''\\ hat arethe definingcharacteristics of objecthood'lI ri'ill no\\'setup a eriterionirr accordancewith m1"fbrmer practical criterion of existr'nec. Whensornething is shownin practiceto beof sucha standingthat t c-har c to dealwith it at all. andto dealwith it assomething u ith anautonont()Ll\ and sta- bleexistence. then'*,e are coping with anobject. Converselr. rlhen u c'are deal- ing u'ith somethin_sthat sureil' erists. but onlv asan appearanceof a specific objector svstemsof obiects.then we arejust copingu ith a phc-nontenon. Forinstance. a specifictvphoon being a meteorologicalprocess produced by ir r"astsection of the atrnosphereis apltenornetton.trot att olt.jet't.Likewise. e Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 93 depressionis a phenomenonattached to the ob.lectthat is a specificperson. ratherthan an objectin itself. How arewe to conceir,'eof an atom:)Around the turn of the 20th century.the famousphysicist and philosopher Mach sug-resred a phenomenalistic theory of atomic physics.Intending to circumventdualism. he introduceda neutral monismbased on whathe calledan "element".This termref-ers to w,hatI have calledphenomena. but in Mach'sphenomenalistic ontologv it impliessonte- thingthat is alwavsnecessarilv attached to what we call "the materialworld'' andto whatwe call "". Thus.phlsical phenomena. according to Mach'sneutral . cannot be separatedtiom .because phenornena at thesame trme constitute our con- ceptionof nrutterand of thetrtirtcl. Therefbre. \,'e cannot assert the objective eristenceof atoms.Atonts cannot possibl-v be separatedfiom our mind.Instead of an objectivestandin-e. Mach suggestedthat the conceptof an atont is a tlrougltt-ec'onotniccort.struction. ln fact. there could be argumentsfor this regardlessof the specificontolo-uical approach. as long asa specificphysical termis ret'erringto a hvpotheticaltheoretical construction intending to explain as nruchas possibleof the phenomenaknou,n in certainareas of research. Hou erer. the problem r.i ith Mach'sposition is thatinstead of otl'eringa dialec- tical theorl of the evolutionclf scientific concepts. he constructed.in fact.an anti-ohieetiristie rletuphl :ic:. Thrsso-called monistic philosophy of Mach pror,,okedLenin" sc'r much that hevu'rote a polemic book about it. Nou,alntost a centurvhas passed since Mach developedhis philosophr. and three quarters ofa centurvsince Lenin's diatribe againstMach. In spiteof then.rentionecl disagreement about the nature of atomicpheno- menii.the sophisticated teaching of Machabout the atoln as a thou,glt-et.onom- ic deviceseems unsatisfactorl, todal'. ln a r.r'orldw,here atomic bombs and atomicplants are important parts of realitv.the natureof atomsis no longera nrerematter of discussionfor phl.,sicistsand philosophers. The people bein-u threatenedbv theradiation of Chernobllu'ill nclrbe calntedbl,hearing that tlievare just victimsof theeffects of a -ec'rn()ntiee()ncept. In lnct.they are hit bv radiationfrcirn a certainntaterial. r.vhich happens to be radioactiveatoms. what Machseems to haveignoreci is that discussions should not be limitedto theoreticalmatters. and that in thetechnolo-sical evolution. practicaland scientific matters are connected to oneanother.', 94 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

Becauseof thisinterconnection. (which I shaildiscuss in detailin thechapter concerningscience. chapter 6) rl,'ehave to suppiementthe direct practical crite- rion of existencewith a scientificone. The scientificcriterion should require u consistenttheory explaining the mattersof existence.If rvetake an objectlike theAndromeda galaxy. it u'ouldbe somewhatdifficult to establishits eristence merely in accordancewith the criterion of practice.Besides the ernpincal observations.which arein themsell'eshardll' demonstrating the existenceof any object.cosmological and astrophysicaltheories are hor.l'everarailable. enablingus to producea convincingportrait of not oniy thetopographl of the galaxymentioned. but also of its birth.career and famil,v . The specific practicewithin the professionsof astronomy.astroph.vsics and cosmologl'"' would certainlyexperience an enormouserisis if thev suddenll'had to relin- quishthe existence of galaxies.such as the one named after the Androrneda star constellation. Themembers of thesebasic sciences would not be the only oneshard hit: the total theoreticalframework of naturalscience would be in a stateof a virtual coma,and as a consequence.the high technologybased on naturalscience wouldhave its ver,vbasis of understandingseverely compromised." Actually.the primarily scientiflc question concerning the existence of a spe- cific object.the question ofthe truthof scientifictheories and the question ()t how we humanbeings organise our dai11'lives to suit our o\\'ne\i\telrce ilrc closeiyinterrelated. because technology is simultaneouslya part of sciL'ncL'an(l a pan of ordinarypractice. This is a pointI discussin moredetarl in thc chaptc-r on science. A criticalreader could le-eitimatelyask about the epistemologicalslih.ic'ct: that are the decisionmakers in thesematters of ontologl'.Who is to dceidc' whose existenceis linked to what questions'?I pref'erto postponL-it rlrL)re detaileddiscussion to the next chapteron episternoio-uy.Hc-re I shalJnterell' pointout the controversial alternatives: Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorr 95

The subjectcould be the individual. which would dissolve ontology to rhe asylumof .

The subjectcould be sontesocietal or historicalagent. a class.a govern- ment.a knor.vledgere-uime. which r.l'ouldreduce ontology to .

Finally.the could be transcendentallike theHegelian spirit o.f'the v'orldtt,

I hold a variantof the latterposition. The subjectmaking decisions about knowledge.horvever. is not lfteghost o.f objectit,e idealism.bul the c'ultural his- tor-t'o.f huntan.s. Which of coursepresupposes a belief in humanprogress: this beliefdeveloped durin-r the period of Enlightenrnenrand is nowadaysridiculed bv thedeconstructjr,ist and post-modern thinkers. r Atier thisepisternological excursion. I returnno\\' to ontolo-s)'.In thelist of the problentaticforms of eristencethat arenot /lririg.s in the daily meanin-sand may not er,'enbe objectsin theextended meaning. the two lastpoints are natlt- ral kindsandttbstact conceptsin the onticsense. I assertthat these points do notlit intothe category of eitherphenornenon or object.

2.f .3.3 Essence In our daily existenceand even more in our scientificactivity. we arequite oftendealing with thin_ssthat can be piacedneither in the caregr.rrro.f'objet.ts nor in the categoryof phettornena.When \tv'e are talking about the personalih. of a specificperson or of the cultureof a certaincountry (or if so pref-erreda certainpeople). or just perceiring a certuinanimal as a do_u.we areret-erring to entitiesof a moremvsterious nature than the two precedingcategories. An entity of this kind is often calleda concept.but this rerm is seriousll, ambiguous.It is difficuitto decidewhether u,e are just thinkingof thelinguistic or cognitir,ephenomenon that appears in our speechor .or whetherwe aredesignating something objective. an entityofan extra-linguisticand extra- psvchologicalnature. 96 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

To startwith the simplestsub-case of thisevasive categorv. we cantake the lastexample mentioned. the naturalkind of clog.s(i.e.. the universalconcept signifiedb1'the tern.r "dog"). \\'e shallthen proceedto the issueof the even morecomplicated problerr.rs associated u.ith concepts like Trcr'.iorrrrlitr'

A Natural Kind

A setof objectshaving not only'common qualities. but er,ena common origin andpossiblv a commondestinr,:. Thev mustfulfil the conditionof genealogicalrelutedne::.

This definitionrefers to thethird andfinal cate-sorvof eristence.the catego- rv of essence.Classitication as a naturalkind impliesan aspectof theessence of an object.This wasactuall)' Aristotle's strate-sy. Moreor,'er. he triedto cap- ture the speciflcindir,idualitv of primarv substanceb.v specif_ving the characte- 98 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming risticsthat areunique to a certainindividual. However. this is whereI depart fiorn Aristotle'smore taronomic and logical than historical approach. Anotheraspect of essencein my ontologyis of a Hegeliandescent. Addi- tionally,the conceptessence refers not onl) to rhee.ristenc'e oi thestutiorrun' qualitiesofan indiridualobject. but evento its wayofchanging.the essence is thuseven to be understoodas a conc'eptof lheevolutioti of the object. In f'act.the mostimportant concepts of essencein this treatiseare the con- ceptsof culture in the social sciencesand of psrche in psychology(more specifically.personality rvith respect to thehuman ). I will postponethe definitionand discussion of theseconcepts to the chaptersdedicated to them. but I will repeatthat I distinguishbet'uveen the semioticand the ontic senseof thew'ord "concept". If 1'ousa1'thttt personulitl is a concept.that is quitecor- rect.The term "concept" has. however. a doublesense. and there is thereforean ambiguitlthidden in theassertionthat"per.sonallrl is a concept". Thus.the word "personality"is a signwith a certainnteaning. Ho'"i ever. /fte personalitt'ofa specilicperson is an entitvref'erring to evervthingof impor- tanceabout the mannerof bein-sand behaviour of this person.not onlv his or her stationaryattributes. but evenhis or her total pursuitof life. The relation betweenrhe sentioticand orttic aspectsis that the ontologicalcateg()rv of essencecannot be perceiveddirectly' r,ia the senses. as both Plato ancl Aristotlt' rightlyasserted. This is at thesame time a vervelusire and a lerl irnportant factof lit'e.An Essencecan onll' be understoodthrough its sen.rioticrepre\enta- tion. i.e..rhe mettning o.f the concept.a meaningthat u'e haveto represctrtin words.The most efficientwav of -eraspin-ethe essenceof the objectsin the u'orldis bv developingscientific concepts. especialll' the concepts oi es:ettce. or theessential concepts. In thistrichotomite ontolog,v.the object is thecentral categor\ f ronra rrrill.r- rlcposition. The phenontenon is centralfrom a phenomertalistit position. Hori - ever.the essence is centralfiom a scientiticpoint of vieu. The r err taskof sci- enceis to searchfor u'hatis essentialin theempirical phenomena. Er en in daily life. it seemsrather difficult to maintainthe verf identityof a certainobject overtime. because with theoften immense changes in thephenorlenal appear- anceof theobject. one must consider the essence of theobject. For example.consider Adolph Hitler's personalitl'developn'rent from his youthas a socialloser in imperialVienna to his careeras Ftihrer of a Gerrnany on thever-se of worlddomination. We do notconceive of thisimpalpable entity Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv personalih'to be an invariant.the psychologicaltraits bein-e unchanged during this30-year period. Ratherthan sucha stationaryset of invariantattributes. we are thinking abouta biographicalcoherence. This coherenceguides the development from hrsinitial state offrustrated impotence (characterising the unsuccesstul afiist in Vienna)to thelater state of near-omnipotence(of thedictator and r.lar lord) tcr the final stateof the bitternessand contempt(of the defeatedwarrior). This biographicalhistory can be perceivedas the courseo1'an individual lif'e. an individuallif-e to be seen.if not understood.as a totality.This unstable(dyna- mic) andintangible lbasic t entit)'is thepersonalin' of theindivrdual. and more -renerally.it is theessence of theobject. We aredeaiing u ith mattersof essenceall thetime in our daily lit-e.but ulti- rnatel.v_.thearea of practiceis r.rnfitto decidethese matters. The areaevolved to dr'nluithrnrlter\ofessenceinanappropriateuar i.theor).inothernords.sci- entificactivity.

2.I.3.1 Forms of Existenceand N'Iodesof Appearance This discussionon thedistinction between phenomenon. obiect and essence hasrevealed a certainambiguity' in theuse of theseconcepts. On theone hand. they wereapplied to phetrcmenologiculmatters (i.e.. the \\'avwe perceiveor understandwhat is presentto us).On theother hand. they were usecl with pure- ly ontologicttlmatters (i.e.. regarding what we assertto be actuallyout there).I suggestusing the categoriesfor the modesof appearanceu'hen ret'erring to phenomenologicalmatters. When we discussontologl'. I proposeusing the threecategories of theforms of eristence. This distinctionis of particuiarimportance when we usethe word "pheno- ''phenomenon" menon".It is my assertionthat u,ecan consistentll'use as a phenomenoloeicalconcept about an appearancethat lacksan object-or an essence-likequality. ln otherwords. this shouldbe thecase whenever we per- ceivesomething as having a certainfluid or un-substantialappearance. and we arewithout the necessary' competence or interestin makinea verdictabout the onticbasis of thephenomenon. This is referringto phenomenasuch as "aura" or "narcissism". Thus.n'ithout much argumentwe can characteriseall of thesematters as phu'nomenaby their ntodeof crype(rrunce.On the otherhand. I want to reserve the alternatemeaning. lbrtn o.fexistence. to phenomenathat really do havean 100 Ch. 2: Being and Becoming actualityindependent of thesubject that has knowledge of them.but that do not havethe boundedness. substantialitl,or stabilitl of anob.ject. or thefundame n- tai qualityof essentictlin.Maybe we couldmake the distinction between a phe- nomenonas a rnodeof existenceand a phenomenonas a form of eristenceb1 understandingthe first asphenomenonlike-ness and the second as phenome- non-hood. In otherwords. we cancaretulll, start to clescribeourobv its phenomenon- like-ness.and then we canproceed to investigatethe arguments (pro andcon) concerningthe.fornt o.f e.ristertce of this aura.The possibleconclr.rsion of this investigation.but certainll'notthe necessarv one. is thephenomenon-hood of theentity in question. Likervise.I will makea distinctionbetween the phenornenological and onto- logicaluse of theword "object".In thefirst sense.u,e talk aboutthe ob.ject-like qualitt of an appearance.in the secondabout sclmething actua1l1' beittg un object.Here I su-vgestthat \\'e should talk of objectlike-nesswhen we aredis- cussin-smode o.f ap;teoron(e and object-hood u hendiscussing.lb nns o.fe.tist- ence.For instance.in thecase of thephenonrenon of arl'c (herejust perceived asa mcrdeofappearance'). it is experienced.no .as an object-like rnode of oppeurutrceb1' the aura-therapistor -masseur. Thus.assertin-r the phenomenonlike-ness of the aura seems to be a purell phenomenolo-sicalfact. This has quite a ditferentmeaning tiorn themuch more controversialassertion about the eristence of theobjecthocld of thc aura.The fundarnentaldisagreement does not be_einu'ith the statementof pltt,ttrtnrt'rtrtrr- like-rressof'aura'. it starts.however. r'u'hen an aura-therapistproceeds to a\\ert Iheobjectltootl o.f the rturu. For the term e,r.r{,/?('e.I also wiil distinguishbetween a phenonrenologieal andontological meaning. An appearancecan have an e.rrercc-11 kt' trtotlt. On theother hand. we cantalk of thees.ierillclirl or e.ssencehotttlattachedto quali- tiescontained in a certainconcept. For instance.manl clinicalpsrcholoursts perceivethe attributesof a narcissisticpersonalitv structure as har in:: a ".ery essence-likequalitv regarding the u'av a certainperson is perceircd.This. no doubt.can be a usefulwav to vie\\'clinicalproblems. On the otherhand. there is alsothe strictlr theoreticala\sertion that narcrs- sismis the basictrait of the personalityof a certainindir idualor evenof our entirecontemporary culture. In this case.the issueis not thatnarcissism has a Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorl 101 certainessence-like rnode of appearance.but thatit is assumedto be an aspect of theessencehood of theDersons involved.

2.f .3.5 The Dialecticsof the Forms of Existencein the Historl'of Science The distinctionmade betueen forms of existenceand modes of appearance is not to suggestthat our judgment about tbrms of eristenceis purelysub.iec- tive. otherwiseile could be satisfiedu'ith the cate-goriesof the modesof appearance.There is. however.an epistenlologicaland rneta-scientificpro- blem associatedwith the historicalprocess by which \\'e assessthe fbrm of eristencetbr anobject of inl esti-uation. Returningto atomicphysics. the concept of theatom started as a purelyspe- culativetheory of essencein thematerialistic school of naturalphilosophy.'t In theevolution of thelleld of chen.ristry'during the l9th centur1,.it maturedinto a conceptofthe essenceofthe chemicalsubstance consisting ofa compositionof elements.the concept of theelement gradualll' being nrade scientific vra an ernpiricalfoundation of chemicalexperiments. However.it n,asnot befbre the turn of thecentury'. uith thediscovery of the radioactiveelements and the tvpes of radiationattached to these.that the new atomicph-vsics. led bv Rutherford.was able to desi_sna series of experimental investigationson the ml steriousmicrocosm of the still hypotheticalatoms. WhatRutherfbrd did observe.of course.r'uas.iust the phenclmena of secondary radiationfiom a targetthat rvas hit b1'othersources of primaryradiation. This appearance.howerer. enabled him to developa theorvofthe specificessentia- lity of theatom. This r.r'asthe famous model of theatom. $,ith the beautiful structural corres- pondencebetween the rnicrocosrnof the atomand the macrocosmof the solar system.The radiantphenomena that appearedfor the atomic phvsicistwas soonupgraded vu'hen it acquireda firm err-rpiricalbase. This empirical base was developedin conjunctionlr'ith the search fbr thestill hypotheticalentities: that is.the dtor?.r t/?t// u'ere the intended goal objects of theexperiments. This is wherethe mentioned dispute began about the objecthood or thelack of objecthoodof the"atom". a discussioninvolving. for instance.Mach. Bohr andHeisenberg (and from a positionof rvhatcould be calledTro/itrc'ulnreto- ''. 7rlir'.rrr'.reven Lenin). We shallreturn to this problemof atomicobjecthood shortly. Ho'ul,ever. what I wouldlike to pointout is thatthe vert- evolution of sucha prof-essionaldomain 102 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming with its own .manipulations and conceptualisations produces an amodalobjectlike mode of appearance.'According to my ctiterionof exist- ence.when the objectlike-nessof the atom is propagatedby technoiogical implementations(here the nucleartechnology) to peopleas an importantand inevitablef-act of lit'e.we actuallyhave to admit theobject-hood of the atorn. This is the caseeven u'hena speciticobjecthood of the atom appearsin a bafflingand unfamiliar \\'ay. at leastin thebe_uinning. Theatomic physicists. horvever. were not satistled u'ith an empirical basis of the atom asan object.or if pret'erred.a phenomenon.The theoreticalphysicists wantedto know theessence of theseobjects. respectivel-y phenomena. Characteristicallyin thehistory of chemistr,v.a theor,v about the essence of chemicalsubstances tends to be morespecificall-v a theorl, of theexistence of morefundamental objects or phenomena.The e.i.ierrriali rl of thecherlical sub- stanceinvolved at first the h1'potheticalobject-hood of the componential atoms. The objectson the levei of the chemicalsubstance are the rnolecuies.the essenceof which is explainedby the cornpositionof their constituents.the atoms.Horvever. this reductionistict-vpe of explanationonl,v has heuristic if the enormousnumber of chemicalsubstances are characterisedby chemicalobservations. These chemical obserr.'ations then must be erplained by the assumptionsof the chemicalsubstance as a composition.the con- stituentsof whichare a strictlylimited numberof qualitativelv ditl'erent atoms. The numberof elementsincreased dramatically as an et-fectof this ven' endeavourundertaken bl, scienceand bf itstwin siblingtechnology'. Therefbre. thechemists had to abandonthe hope of theparsimony'of the kinds of otoms' andinstead look ior chemicalinvariance. not on thelevel of thechemical crrr- position,but u'ithinthe very s)'stemof elenrcnts.This s1'stemwas the periodic system''.The essentialdifferences and similaritiesof the elements\\ere thus expiainedby an abstractsystem. and of coursethis waspromising as a begirr- ning.but notvery satisfying as a result. To proceed.science had to look for a moresubstantial explanation. and this couldonl.v be tbundwithin the structureclf the atoms: that is. thecomposition of atomic particles.This is where cherlical explanationended and atomic physicsbegan. Justas with theanalysis of theessence of thechemical substance. the essen- tialitv of theatom was considered an abstractstructure. and this was explained Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory 103 by the assumptionof the object-hoodof someeven more minor hypothetical objectscalledotomic particle.s. \\'e seehere a dialecticof threeontological le- vels:the levelofthe chemicalsubstance. the level ofthe atomand the level of the atomicparticle. A-eain.the ontologicalstatus of the new found entitieswas discussedand disputed.An importantingredient of thisdiscussion was the mixture of a phe- nomenon-likeappearance (the wave-likebehaviour of the atomicparticles) andan object-like mode of appearance(the particle-1ike behaviour of theatom- ic particles). Thenext problematic step in thisdeveloping story concerned no1 only estab- lishingthe nctture of thenew entities.but alsothetr number as well. So many new particleswere being discovered by theresearchers in thenewborn field of particlephl,sics that the elegance and explanatory parsimony ofthe reductron fiom the levelof theatom to the level of the atomicparticle u'as severely depre- ciated.Actually. the number of atomicparticles discovered soon increased to aboutthe samemagnitude as the number of elements.r'rThe strategyused was precisell,the sameas the one developed in thefield of chemistry.The particie physicistsbegan to look for structuralinvariance in the baffling numberof atomicparticles. And onceagain. there \\'as success. The structureof theatom- ic particleswas expressed in theso-called gau-se theories. The objects that were designatedas being atomic particles had their essenceexpressed in a purely mathematicalway. as had been done r.l'ith the periodic system. Again. this pure- ly mathematicalrepresentation of essencewas unsatisfactorv.A more solid explanationwas sought. and again the answerwas a new hypotheticaltype of objectconceived as the can'ier of thealready'found mathematical structure. This new endeavour.caiied particlephysics. is thus the child of atomic physicsand the grandchild of chemistrv.The mainhypothetical constifuent of particlephysics was named the quark. Just as chemistry started with just fbur elements.and atomic physics w'ith three atomic particles. the new field opti- misticallytried to restrictitself to threeor tbur quarks.The hunt startedagain fbr empiricalevidence of the neu'hypothetical objects. Just as with the atom andtl.re atomic particle. initially' there r','as health,v scepticism concerning the 'ofthese sub-constituents. Houever. now after30."-ears. there is hardly an!'particlephvsicist doubtin-u the eristence of thequarks. Actually.the historical . already seen tu'ice. is now aboutto berepeat- ed for thethird time.The numberof quarksand their related sub-particles, the 104 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming so-calledleptons. is nou' increasingin a ratherembarrassing way. And of collrse.structural theories are created to explainthe essenceof the ditferent quarks.During the last l0 1'ears.a neu,hvpothetical sub-sub-particle. a conpo- nentof the quark.has been proposed. Hou'e''er. here is uhere my storvends. tbr thisnew hypothetical entitv is vetu,ithout any empirical basis. I havekept n.ry discussion on thedialectics of the modesof appearanceand theepistemological discoverl'of the fclrms of existenceto thehistorl'of natural science.because it is the best-knownarea of know,led-se.It is. hower,er.an exampleof u hatI seeas a generaltrend in theevolution of theHurnan's under- standin-eof theworld. It alsodemonstrates the interplav of ther-rse of thecate- goriesof phenomenon.object and essence. What seemsto be thegeneral pattern is a progressionliont phenomenlike- nessto objectlike-nessto essencelike-nessin the antodal perception of thena- tural scientist.Additionalll. thereis a paralleldeveloprnent of argurnentfbr tirstthe p/rerro rnett-hortd.later the object-hoodanci finally, the e.ssent e-ltootl of whatis discor"ered.The progressioncln a superiorlelel seemsto presupposea relatedprogression on its in.rmediatefbllowing ler,el. To establishthe essentiu- litiesof thechemical substances. the recognition of theobjecthood of its con- stituents.the atoms. was needed.To proceedfiorn theabstract structure of the periodicsvsteln to the theoreticalunderstanding of the essentialitiesof the atorns.the objecthood of theirconstituents needed an enrpiricalfoundarion. Finally'.the essentialitvof the atomic particles\\ras at first describedin an abstractsystent only'. but soonthere','uas a searchtbr an erplanationol this abstractionbv presupposin-uthe objecthood of someuhat hvpothetical enrities calledthe quarks. Perhapsthe transition lrorn the status of phenomen-hoodand onlr hr pothe- ticalob.jecthood to establishedobjecthood is notthe storv of a changefronr one to anotherof trvo clearcut (dichotomous)categories. but rathera nratterof whatis calledfuzzv logic. That is to say.there is a graduallr,incleasing con\ lc- tionamong the scientists about the realitv of anentitv. Perhaps the sanre pattern is fbundin theparallel transition of thestatus of essencehood. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 105

2.2 Conceptionof Evolution (Genealogy)

In the title of this chapter.I hal'eplaced the conceptiorto.f erolutiort as a philosophicaldiscipline parallel to thatof ontologv.The philosophicalback- groundof Activit-vTheorf is the traditionof dialecticsfiorn Heracleitestcr Marx. Within thisfiarne of ret-erence.beliig cannot be prttperlvunderstood in abstractionfrom hec'omin.q. consequently' orrtolo,ql rnd evolutiort(ltl.theorv are understoodas inseparable. Nevertheless. traditional philosophy has been do- minatedb1' the Parmenidian-Platonian tradition of immutableinvariance. and thereforeno comnlonconcept has been coinecl for a philosophicaltheory of er,olution.t' Therefore.I will proposea someu'hatodd term tor this.namel.v geneulogt. a term that-eenerally means the pastime of finding.hopefully. somethin-s inter- estingamong one s ancestors.Afier havingbeen i-enored by philosophy.the ideaof e'r'olutionat last-sot a stablefoothold in biologicalscience u'ith Dar- u'in'stheory' of ph1'lo-eenicevolution. Vico's ( 1986)and Hegel's ( 1986)theo- riesof historicalevolution \\'ere proposed. With Marr's theoryof sclcio-eco- nomicevolution. the social sciences -sot a genetictheor\'. which sinceits birth hasbeen rightfully'disputed. not only'b1'social science. but alsoby thehistori- cal evolutior.ritself. The theorl'of the materialforces in humanhistory has. nevertheless.an impressiretheoretical consistencv and an or,erwhelming empiricalbasis. Psycholo-lvboror,"ed the of evolutionfiom Dar"vin.around the turn of the lastcentur\'^ with Freud'sintegration of a theor.vof serualdevelopnrent in theslstern ol'ps1'choanali'sis and Bindt's fbunding of developmentalpsycholo- gi (Piagetand Vvgotskl being successors in de",elopmentalpsvchcllclgy ). Paradoxicalll'.the most basic of all sciences.the sciences of pre-biological nratter(i.e.. the disciplines of astronoml-.phl,sics and chemistr,v) u'ere the latest to derelop a theor)of evolution.One possible leason for thisis thatin thesesci- ences.the anti-dialectic tradition has had its greatesttriumphs originating with Pythagoras(the -godfatherof Parmenidesand Plato) and culminatingwith Nevuton. The ideaof eternal.imnrutable lau's is not easvto combinewith the ideaof derelopment. SinceWorld War II. thedominating area u ithinthe astronomical field has beencosmolo-ev. $'ith Hubbell as its empiricalparent. Hubbell discovered that the recldisplacement of li-ehtfiom a celestialbody'increases with thedistance 106 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming from the observer.Einstein. 's theoretical parent, by proposinghis generaltheory'of relativitl,'. unintentionally. and in fact elen unsuspectingly. providedthe theoreticalpresupposition for an exacttheory of cosmological evolution. The so-calleddialectical \!'as the otficial philosophl' of thefor- mer SovietUnicln. a qualificationof dubitablevalue. It '"'"'as.however. also the frame of ret-erencefor the lbundero1 the cultural school.Vy'gotsky. and tbr the fbunderof Activity Theory.Leontiev (both of thesepsycholo-sists $ere intro- duced in the first chapter).In the lifelong cooperationbetween Marx and Engels,it wasthe latter who took responsibilitl,for codit,vingdiaiectical rnate- rialismas a coherentphilosophical svstem. a dialecticol nature.as he calledit. Engels"tried to definean abstracttheory of changeand evolution b1 settin-eup threelaws of dialectics-eoverning all n.ratter.I have already criticised this idea. which aptly hasbeen criticised by Sartreas ln'perdiolecric.s:'. The primarf ideaof this sectionon genealogyis to work torvardsan elel'a- tion of the Parmenedianand the Heraclitiantradition. I suggestthat the static theoriesofeternal essentiaiity have only'relative validitl', because they have to be complementedwith theoriesof chan_ee.er.oiution. The Pythagorian-Par- menidian-Platonicr"arieties of laws of naturemust be combinedwith thetheo- riesof er.'olution. Hyperdialecticsin thetradition of Engelsis. however.problematic because it paradoxicalll'takesa static vieu'on theconcept of er,olutionitself. The lerl essenceof evoiutionis supposedto incorporategeneral. eternal and abstract larvsof nature.This rnakes hyperdialectics an that is problenraticin two difl'erentrespects:

Firstly.it is a generaltheory assuming the same pattern of evolutionin all branchesof theuniverse.

Secondly.these of evolutionare seenits eternal.The laws of hyperdialecticsare elevated above the mundanedimensions of space andtime. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory t07

How.then. do I seechange and evolution'l For onething, I suggestthat the morestatic traits of beurgco-exist with the changingand evolt'ing traits; the ontic and the genetictraits are thus inter- twined.We should theretbre never talk about ontology without having genealo- gy in mind.and vice versa. In the remainderof this chapter.my intentionis to proi'ide a fbundationfbr all the sciences,including (and up till) anthropologl'.by outlining a more detailedontology than was created for thegeneral categories in thebeginning ofthis chapter. I will definethree fundamental ontic domains called object fields. The crcc- trori.thee.ssettialitv andthe histor-t of theseobjectfieldsandconsequentlyof theirindir,idual objects. as vu'ell as the relations betu'een the three dornains. will bedescribed fiom anevolutionarl"point of view. The dispositionof the lastpart of this chapteris thereforethe creation, the evcllutionand the nature of thethree successive domains or obiectfields. These fieldsbeing:

The 3 Fields of Nature

TheCosmological Field

The BiologicalFieid

The AnthropologicalField

For instance,the cosmolo-eical field uill havea cosmogony(theory of crea- tion),a cosmogenesis(theorl' of evolution)and a deflnitionof thecosmologi- cal object field. Of course.there is a scienceassociated with eachdornain, in thiscase cosmology. but theseu'ill be treatedin thechapters on ' andscience (Chapters 4 and5). 108 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming

2.3 Cosmogony,Cosmogenesis and the CosmologicalObject Field

For the pastse'eral decades. the irrefutablecosmolo-9ical theo^ h.. hce. theso-called Bi-e Ban,e theorl'. uhich is a svnthesisof astronon)\anrl lrr,rlrr' physics.According to this theorr'(that surell,is not incontestable. bLtt unril rtori hasbeen without serious alternatives). . the il'hole unirers,-.. orisinrirctl out of purenothingness as a point-likeconcentration of r.natter.lntl hrt.bccn expandinger,er since. This is a cosmogony'.and althoush it r: conecl.rurillrrr rathermeagre one. it hasthe mathematical strensth of Einstein'sgen!-r'iri the ()r.\ of relativitv.There are. ho'"r'e','er. some fundamental problent' \\ ith th. nritu|e of theBig Bangitself. as it representsa singularitl in rhelnilth!'nrarie ;rl\.1r\c. andthus bv thedefinition of rnathematicsitself. is placedoutside rhc \!,\,|c (,1 itsbasic theorl' of spaceand ntatter. Of course.there har,e been manv speculative theories on tlre or.igin rrt rhc Bi-s Bangitself. a favouredtlpe beinga spontaneousgeneration ol Ilrtir,l.', hr rh.' vacuumoscillations. At present.this is the most detailcd scientil're lhL.( rr\ (rt lhe creation()f our universe.Hou'ever. I sug-uestthat cosmogon\ l\ r lclln Ir,rri :trll ratherempt)' concept. It is a conceptthat seems to be lrpotential l'rr'a1cr (i1 ; ! ()lt tentthat is notvet fbund b1'cosntolo-e1,. Swallowin-ethis unerplained cosmo.sronl' of the Big Bangcosnrologr ith;rr. on theother hand. is llo \\'orsethan the parallel creationi\t \t()r'\ r)t Gq.11s:1. r. resultsin animpressive tale of rihatimmediatell folloned cr.earion. Thecosmogenesis of cosmologypro'ides a timetablcspecitr ing * ircr thc constituentsand objects of theuniverse originated: a tintetablr.in.lie lrrng rhr' time of birth agein billions.millions and thousands or'rear: t'orthc llr.gcr. obJects.and in minutes.seconds and nanoseconds for thc rtrinor-objer.t:uncl constituentsof matter. one of thecrucial f-eatures of thiscosmolo-rv is thatthere i: l link berueen ontologyand genealo-er'. The structuralrelations of nrrtter.the srsternicor mereological'-pattern of sy'stems.parts and constituent\ of parts.is connected with theevolutionarl'pattern of holv theseentities canre into beins.There is a logicalstrin-e betu'een bein-u and becoming. cosrnos is subjected to the same geneticand mereologicalhierarchv. The genetichierarchy describes the suc- cessionof cosrnolo-eicalentities being created as: Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 109

The GeneticHierarchv

theConstituents of Particles Atomic Particles Atomic Nuclei Atoms.Molecules Galaries Clusters Superclusters SolarS1'stems CelestialBbodies

Themereolosical hierarchl' is hou'ever:

The MereologicalHierarchy

theConstituents of AtomicParticles AtomicParticles Atomic NLrclei Atorns.Molecules Starsand Planets SolarS) stelrs Galaxies Clusters Superclusters 110 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming

A Model for the CosmologicalObject Field

t (geneticdimension)

Formiition of solu svstems cos- rno- Formatrcxrof :olr svstems

ne Formation of solar sr stemi tlc Formation ot \uperciuster\ dt- rnen Fomation of clusters ston Fomation of galaxicr

Fomation of moiecuies

Formation of atonis

Formation of ele:lentan panicles

Big Bang ontic dimension mo- ce- \o- ga- menl lc- les- lirr la- arv cu- tral xles It-s s]s- ho- tems dir':


Thesetwo hierarchiesare similar. with the sin-uleexception that the torntl- tion of starsand planets (i.e,. solar system-s) comes afier. not before. the tirrnra- tion of galaxies. This generalcorrespondence between genealog)' and mereolosr\.r)r rather betweenthe -qenetic and systemic dimensions. is referredto asthe sc-ueral coin- cidencebetrveen the part of thewhole and the ance-stor of thctttfspring. \\'e find the sametendenc)' in biology.and, to a certain.but lessextent. e\ en in anthro- pology. Using the cosmologicalobject field, I rvill describethe phenomena.the objectsand the essentialquaiities created in the cosrnclsonvand der,'eloped throughcosmogenesis. I have already menrioned the hierarchyof cosmologi- cal objects.Attached to theseobjects are the essentialqualities that are the Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv u1 bosicforces of cosmos.These torces are the four so-calledfundamental tbrces: gravitt'.elec:tromugnelrsni. and the x'eak andstrong interoctionsof atomic physics.According to somecosmological theories. it rnayeven be necessary/to addto thesefundan.rental forces the universalexpansion of theuniverse. Justlike thestruggle in physicsto integrateknowledge of materialstructures by reducingthem to more basicconstituents, there has been an attemptto inte- grate the basic forces.Until nou'. there has been a successfulintegration betweenonlv twt'rof them.electromagnetism and the rveak interaction (which is responsiblefor atomicfission). Hor,r'ever. there is a ratherrvidespread opti- mism amongparticle ph1'sicists about the possibility of a furtherintegration of the stronginteraction (u'hich is responsibiefor thebonding ofquarks into ele- mentarypanicles). There have even been some serious attempts of supefinte- gration.bv including the lburth of the lundamentalfbrces. gravity. iilto a total theor!. The superstringtheory seemsto be the most promisingof theseat- tcrnpts.However. up to now. thereis no theorycombinin-e the cosmoiogical erpansionwith thefundamental forces. \\'ithoutintending a hypostasisof theseessential qualities. I suggesta con- ceptthat describesthe total functionin-sof cosrnos,naming its modusoperandi causalitl'. or if you like a morephrlosophical flavour. the principle of causali- t)'.

2.3.1 The Principle of The principle of causalityis simpll'theinterplay of the basicforces in the cosmologicalob.ject tield. How thisrnterplay is to be characterisedprecisely is of coursea taskfor physics.I haveno ambitionsof metaphysicalprescriptions for physics.On thecontrary, I intendto -setfree of asmuch metaphysicsas pos- sible. Here. however.it is of particularimportance to overcomethe two strongestmetaphysical trends in naturalphilosophy. the metaphysicsof deter- minism andthe of thermodynamic disintegration. The Metaphl''sicsof The greatsystem builders ofscience and philosophy in the celebrated17th centuryleft behinda strongbelief in naturaldeterminism: a view of a cosmos gcxerned by etennl ttnd inescapablelav's o.f nature. This determinismwas mostsharply formulated bv Laplacein his tamousequation of the :pro- vidrn-ea svstemof differentialequations. for instance.one for eachatom in the tl2 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming universe.Knowing this tru1,v universal equation. a subiectu'oulcl be ableto cal- culatethe pastofthe rvorld.and even its tuture.the subsequentaction\ ()f thc subjectincluded. The only loopholein thisdeterrninism was a ratherinconsistent arlclition o1'l deistictheism and an idealisticbelief in thefl'ee will. Thus.derernrrni:rrr 1.rrc- senteda terribleexistential dilemma fbr humanlif-e. a sercrephrlo:op|11g;11 problemfbr moraiphilosophy and latera scientificproblent for rhc 'e icnrr.l within theanthropolocical field:

ue hadto admitthat we u'erenatural objects of determinisiiccau.alrtr. just aspredetermined as billiard balls and celestial bodies (at leasr ace or'.1- ing to the scienceof thattime). In this way.tiee lvill and feeling'ol responsibilitvwere just illuson,.but at the same time necessarrphc- nomena.because even these illusions were themselves predeterrrinecl. Or we hadto accepta dualisticand inconsistent theorv combining the du'tcr- minismof thebodv with theI oluntarismof thesoul.

Duringthe 20th centur-y. however. determinism has becn rr aning iurrl \cL'nr\ now to havebeen totallv abandoned. It actuallvstarted uith th.'c\()lutrr\lt()l probabilitytheory. in which paradoxicallvenou-eh Laplace. hrnr,clt. u l. u leadingfigure. Probability theorl,lvas one of theprcsuppo5i11ir1l:,rt ritcrher- modynamicsthat was founded in the 19thcentur\. In thcrrlotirnuntii,.the conceptol deterntitristir:t'ctu.salit\ and probabilisti< cltttttt (, \.ent bcirutiiLrllr, integrated.but some unsolved problems rentain about the orrtologre ai andepis- temologicalstatus of theconcepr of probabilitr. From theperspectir,e of Laplaciandeterminisnt. thc beharirrur-of an indivi- dualparticle of a _sasis fulll, determined.and consequentl\ rhe uas consisting of theseparticles must be determined.The subsecluenttherntod\,narnic theory explains.however, the stateof a gasand the statisticaloutcorre of numerous pafticles,whose movements are supposed to follo* a certainprobability distri- bution. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 113

Thus.fiom thestandpoint of Laplace.the subsequent thermodynamics must be seenas a mereapproximatic'rn. using a pseudo-stochasticdescription of the constituentparticles that reall,v-' are deterministic. From the standpointof therrr.rodlnamics. the suppositionof stochasticindi- vidualparticles was nioreepistemological than ontolo-cical. The prescription of probabilitywas not seenas an expressionof a rnetaphvsicalindeterrninirm. but ratheras our lackof knowiedgeabout the microcosm. The thermodynamrc phl"sicistswould still pref-er a Laplacian* orldequation. As longas this was not available.they had to accepta statisticaldescription. Thus.at the end of the 19thcentur\'. the microcosm of theindividual particle wasstill understood as. in principal.and thus ontolo-uically. quite deterministic. but in practicethis microcosrnic determinism appeared to beepisternologically inaccessible.The macrocosmsof gas(or thetherrnomechanic assembly) are actuall1'described in a quasi-deterministicr'''av by' the liiu'sof thernlomecha- nics.Thc elementof chanceseemed rnainll attachedto our descriptionof the individualparticles. which u'ereunderstood as deterministic and pseudo-sto- chastic.the prescriptionof probability'being actuall,vepistemological, as it erplessedour lack of knowledge about the nticrocosmic determinism. In this il ay.thermodl'namics was not a breakwith determinism.but neither was its directotfspring. the theoryof (luLtltutnntecJtottir:s in the new atomic physics.The theory' is riota probabilisticmacro-apprrrximation to a principally deterministic.but epistemologicallfinaccessible microcosm. lnstead. it is the microcosmof theatornic particles themselves that are understood as governed by probabilisticlaws. not as a matterof approxin.ration.but as:i ntatterof prin- cipal. Even afterthis breakwith determinismin the microcosm.however. deter- ministicmetaphysics still governedthe understanding of the classicalmacro- world.but thestrength of deterrninism\\'as very much u'anin-e. Justas therrnodynamics u'as a compromisebet'ul,een determinism and inde- terrninism.with the stresson the former.the interpretation clf the Copenhagen schoolwas an attempt to reconcilethe detern.rinisn.r of the classical macro-theo- ry ri'iththe stochastics of thernicro-theorv. but with a stresson thelatter. The compromisewas Bohr's principleof correspondence.r.l'hich asserted thenecessitl' of reconcilingthe t\\'o seemingh' contradictory descriptions tt4 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

The Two SeeminglyContradictory Descriptions Referred to in Bohr's Principle of Correspondence

On theone hand thevery description of theatomic phenomena involr,ed a classicalpart. expressingthe experimental apparatus and the measurin-9 device. and a quantummechanic description of themicro-phenomena.

And on the otherhand therewas, just like in thermodvnamics.a mathematical consi-\tenc\' of thelwo lerels of descriptions.

The decidingbreak with determinism.hou'ever. happened verv recently with theemerging chaos theorv.tt This theorf is a directattack on thevery heart of determinism.name11' the dynamic description of macrocosmicphenomena. In chaclstheorl''. the conceptsare turnedupside down. Indeterminismis no longera practicalapproximation to an epistemologicallyinaccessible conr- plexityof micro-events. Rather.detern.rinistic theories are no\\ generallvseen as practical.but not truthful.descriptions of. in principle.indeterministicto nracrocosnrs. I therc-fore suggesta decisivemodification of rnacro-physicaltheorl': the \entouilrr understandingshould not be discarded. but rather reduced to thestittu\ r)t hr'ln! anindeed excellent approximation or at leasta r,ervspecial case of realitr . Newton'sbeautiful celestial and terrestrial mechanics u asthe rolutit'rr oi simple,linear difterential equations. Horve'n'er. a calculable solution onl) cri:ts for the mostsimplistic case. the trvo-bodv problern. Even tor threchodics. for example.the Sun. Earth and the Moon. there is no erplicttsolulion. lnd there rs actuallynow empiricalevidence for celestialbehaviour thut demrrnstrates the unpredictable.chaotic movement of certainnrembers of the solar svstem. Thus.the clockworkmodel is not the paradigmof unire-rsaldvnamics. but eithera grossapproximation to complicatedsvsterns behar ine complicatedly. ol at nlostan adequatemodel of the simplest-qvstems in existence(e.-e., the lart I : FogoqutrololA.troityl gory 115 movementof a doublestar). If thereis a contradictionbetween the apparent determinisn.rof Newtonianmetaph)'sics and the unpredictabilityof life, the errorseems thus to beon theside of Newtonianmetaphysics. Another f'ascinatingaspect of chaostheorl, is that. in a r,','ay.it representsa Hegeliansublation of thetraditional contradiction between order and chaos. In fact.chaos and indeterminism were complementary concepts to orderand determinism.When states of. for instance.political upheaval \\,'ere so unorgani- sedthat thev wereconceived as unpredictable.chaos was the alternateto an orderlydeterministic description. In chaostheory. however. chaos and order areno longermutuall) erclusir.e concepts. On thecontrary. even the most com- plicatedchaotic system has at the sametime an orderedstructure and a beha- viourthat is outsidethe scope of practicalcontrol or prediction. The implicationof thischan-se in theconception of determinismfor thefield of anthropolog.vis actuallyindirect rather than direct. I do not believein the ner,''positive metaphysics of quttrttunrpltilosopht or qLtdtttluttpslc'fto1o,qr't'. in rvhichthe new understandingof phvsicsis somehou,ertrapolated to human existence. Hou'ever. I do supportthe dissolutionof the old positivemeta- phvsicsof determinism.u'ith its relevancefor anthropology.In termsof our self--understandrng.it signals the release of thevoke of not onll' a physical.but alsoa generalisedorttolo,qicttl detenninl.srrr that gave anthropolo-ey the betweenthe absurdin ofan apparentlvscientilicallr,based predeterntinism and anidealistic and inconsistent voluntarism. The N{etaphysicsof Thermodynamic Disintegration The otherbrand of phvsicalmetaphyslcs that hasgiven the biologicaland anthropologicaldisciplines a hardtime is thennodt'namicdisintegration. After theNewtonian world picture.with its conceptionof theuniverse as an eternal alwayscorrectly u'orking clockwork. thermod-vnamics presented the opposite perspectiveof unavoidabledisintegrtttlon. In anv closedsvstem.Lhe entopt. thatis thedegree of disorderin thes1,stem. increases all thetime. until thesys- ternis turnedinto an amorphous.but homogeneousgas. This doyt,nhillcosnto- 1o,qr'.based on oneof themost influential theories in physics.was just asa con- ceptualbarrier fbr thethinking in thelii'e sciences as rhe metaphysics of deter- minismwas. How couldthe er,olution of life formson eafihbe possiblegir en thisgrim metaphysrcsof universaldisinte-sration'l 116 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

Onebreakthrough towards solving this riddle was Schrddinger's concept of negentrop\'.Negentropy is theworking principle of life andis definedas being notin contradictionu'ith thermodynamics. but on thecontrary. a directelJbct of thermodynamics.Negentropy implies an uneven distribution of entrop,vwithin a greatersystem. the solar system fbr exan.rple.The sunis thesource of a grund total increasein entropyby exhaustingits atomicpile. However.at the salne time, thereis a local entropicdec'rea.se in theorganisms that import negentropy (a ditfbrencein temperatureor chemicalconcentration.) from their surround- ingsand expoft entropy (a lesseneddifference in temperatureor chemicalcon- centration)to thesesurroundings. Eventhis concept of negentropywas onl1, a partialrelief tiorn theburden of metaphl'sicaldissolutionism. Negentropy. to a certainextent. reconciled the f'actof the highly structuredfunctioning of lit'etbrms. u,ith the expecrarion of ultimatethermodynarric extinction of any lif'ea consequenceof r,anishin-s thermaldifferences. Nevertheless. the existenceof a monotonousentropic increasewas still in flagrantconf-lict with the Darwinianperspective of the tbr- mationof bioiogicalstructure. How couldphylogenesis be running up hi11,when thermodynamics taught us that all changewas downhill. in the directionof entropy'lThermodynamics wasa basictheory of dissolution.whereas the theory of evolutionwas a theory of fbrmation. Actually.one of thereasons fbr thellrall.iric tendenc-v in biologywas exacrl) thiscontradiction. leading to a dualisn.rbetween physical and biologrcal rnarref. This wassimilar to theway thatthe contradiction between physical detelnrin- ism and anthropolo-uicall'oluntarisrn led to the dualismof a materialistic physicsand an idealistic anthropology. The evolutionin recentthermodynarnics has been dramaticallr changed br, Prigogene'stheory of non-linearstates.r' The grim prospectof the cntlopic increaseof anyclosed system is just aslimited as the prospect of theNew rttnian determinismof a mechanicalsystem. Just as the simplesolution of a linear mechanicalequation has very restrictedr alidity.limited ro rhemost simplistic system,the thermodynamic prospect of entropicincrease is restrictedto states wherethe thermodynamicequations are linear. Thispresupposed linearity is notuniversally fulfilled. however. It is truethat any closedsystem with an overwhelmingprobabiiity will undergoan entropic increase,Hou'ever. there is a certainpositir.e. althou-sh normally very low. pro- Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorv rt7 babilitythat there will be an entropicdecrease. The "norntal"state of thermo- dynarnicequilibrium is systematicallysuspended in thebiological and the so- calledpro-biontic structures. u'hich we shalldiscuss in thefbllowing.

2.4 Biogony,Biogenesis and the Biological Object Field

Thetwo metaphysrcalpositions I havejust discussedpresented some serrous obstaclesfor the developmentof a scientifictheory of lif-e.The deterministic anddisintegrative laws of ph1-sicscontrasted so drastically r,r'ith biological phe- nomenathat it was theoreticallyimpossible to developa theoreticalbiology thatwas consistent with thekno."i,,led-ee of the fundamental laws of nature.That lefi twcrthecrretical positions for biolo-e1':theistic <-reuticttistrt and anti-mecha- nisticlltrrll.ini. Both positionsregard purpose or goal-directedactiritl' as a fundamental attributeof living orsanisms.This attribute.which rrn'asunexplainable fiom a phy'sicalperspective. thus pointed either to a divinecrecror ()r [() \olne special "lif'efbrces" that vanquished the disruptir,e physical forces to ensurethe struc- tureand functionin-s of living beings.Recently. however, the in the cosmologicalsciences have approached the anti-mechanistic positions of bio- logl'. At the sametime. pro-uressin molecularbiologl, has narrorl,ed the gap betweenour understandingofnon-living and living nature.I shallreturn to this discussionin a moment.but u,ill no\r'putthe history of biolo-ey'asideto focus on thehistor) of life. As with thefbrnrer section on cosmolo-ricalmatters. we havea startingpoint whenstudyin-u the history of lit-e:the birth of life or thebiogony: the evolution of life or the biogenesis;and the biological object field, consisringof life fornrs,their interrelatedsvstems and the phenomenaattached to theselife fbrmsand ecological svstems. I proposethat there is a basicprinciple common to bio_rony,biogenesis and thebiological object field: the principle of functionalism. 118 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

2.4.1 The Principle of Functionalism In apparentcontradiction to thecosmological principle of causality.the prin- ciple of functionalismstates that living bein-usand their interrelatedsystelns aredesigned in sucha \\'a,vthat the)'can rlaintain their ou'n existenceor the existenceof theirspecies. Danlin proridedan essentialcontribution to the principleof functionalismu,'ith his theor.vof naturalselection. Dar"i'in pro- posedthat the purposivedesi-sn of livin-ubeings could be understoodas the resultof biologicalphenomena and not merelvas their prerequisite. Actually, purposivedesign riu'as redetined by Darwinin tu'orespects. First. the adequacy of thedesign of anorganism or it. parl\\\as relatite to its:urrouttding:. its living conditions.Secondly. adequacl'\\'as not a diline guarantee.but an empiricalrelation that cerrainly'\\'as not alu'avs met. or rvasotien comprclniised by changesin thesurroundin-ss. Dar\a'in's principle of naturalselection thus has two basicassumDtions:

TheTwo Basic Assumptions of Darwin'sPrinciple of NaturalSelection

I . Theassumption of competitionbetu'een individuals. with r arving attributesofthe naturalresources oferistence and procreation

2.The principle of inheritanceof someof thevarying attributes

Darwin's theoryhas been consistently. and to a largeextent errone()Llsl\. accusedof circularity.The veryheart of histheorf is thatthe select- ed arethose best fitted to theirenvironment. Critics have clain.red that this the- sis is vacuous.because the \,ery fitnessthat is the e.rplurtuttsof the thesisis identicalwith theexplanandunr. the good luck of survi.,'al.This cnticismis not fair. The explanctnsis a relationbetween. on the one hand.certain lil ing condi- tions.and on theother hand. certain morphological or ethologicalattributes of theorganism. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 119

This relationcan be evaluatedfor a specificeco-niche. and different compet- ing speciesor sub-speciescan be compared.It can el'en be predictedthat changesin the living conditionsin a certaineco-niche wili resultin a certain pressof evolutionfor thespecies occupying that particular eco-niche.

2.4.2 Biogonyand the Theory of Evolution Thetheory of evoiution.fiorn its verybeginning. has been burdened with the problemof biogony.To constitutethe competitionnecessary to drive natural selection.some lif-e forms areneeded to beginwith. howeverprimitive. Dar- win's theory.however. does not explainhoil, this competitioncan ever get started.This is wherePrigogene's non-linear thermodynamics and modern molecularbiology come in. Coveringthe apparent gulf betweenthe causal and disintegrativelumps of ph-v-.sicalmatter and the functionalityof living beings, thereis a large spectrumof chemicallyvery active carbonatecompounds. Actualll'.the basic building blocks of life. the amino-acids(of which thepro- ternsare made). as well asthe nucleotrdes. (the constituents of heredity)have beenexperimentally constructed tiom chemicalelements in the laboratory throughthe outletof energyin the form of lightning.Further, they havebeen found in the cosmosoutside the Earth as well, tbr instanceintroduced bv cometsor meteors.t' Naturalconditions have existed without variationsince shortly after the for- mationof planetEarth. The basicchemical elements were present on the sur- faceand in the atmosphereof our planetor introducedby meteorites.Energy wasnot only providedin theform of lightning.but alsowas supplied through tectonicactivity from thevolcanic core of Ear1h,breakin_u through the cracks of thecrust, where the tectonic plates were colliding. If we now presupposea certainprobability of non-linearthermodynamic self'-organisationin the chemistry of thecombinations of carbon,whenever the otherelements and the necessaryenergy are present. the atomsor the simple moleculeswill be turnedinto increasingll'complicated combinations. Thus, therewill be a biogenicdirection opposite to thedisintegration of linearther- modynamics. Thesechemical combinations (i.e.. proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, rhe ener- gy-preservingmolecule ATP andthe protein-building and heredity-preserving 120 Ch.2: Beineand Becoming

RNA and DNA) will be spontaneouslymade. and oncemade. they will con- stitutewhat Prigogenecalls dl.i.irpatire structures. These di.s.sipatit'e strLtctures areentities that consume matter and energy to preservethemselves or to ex- pandby transformingoutside matter into their ovu n design. Thispartofbiogonvisreally atrtolec'ulurctr1trttbiontic evolution.touhich Darwin'sprinciple of naturalselection can readily be applied.The macromole- culesare not -vetliving. but thev do competefor the surroundin-senergy and matter.They havea quasi-biologicalr.vav of maintainingtheir eristenceand propagatingtheir design. a way of functioningquite similar to theparasitic, quasi-bionticmodus operandi of thevirus. A virusis a macromolecule(rttainly a stringof RNA or DNA with a jacket of protein).r'r'ithout internal means of energy.but designedto usethe energ,vand n.raterial resources of otherlirins organlsms. Virusesare actuall.v not pr?-. but rather4urr.il-biontic. because they pre.irrTr- pose.nor prececle real litb. Horvever.there must be a greatsimilarity in the functionofthe virusand the lunction ofthe h1'potheticalprobionts. The schemeMargulis proposes is thatthe simplestlife fbrr' s.the prokaryo- tic bacteria.u'ere constituted b,v a possiblycannibalistic combination of pro- bionticstructures. The prokaryoteis a cell with a protectivemembrane inside. whichhas some protein-structures. some enzvmatic proteins. some ATP-mole- culesand hereditarl' genes of RNA clrDNA. Horver,er.these. the simplestof reiilorganisms knou n. havea greatadvantage compared to theprobionts: they havetheir own metabolism.their own meansof notjust absorbingenergr. but alsopreservirig energy. That meansa dramaticchan-ee in their functit'rtrng. They arenot only passivebeneficiaries of the instantaneouserternal crtcrg\ outletin their surroundings.but thel'har.'etheir ov''ninternal po\\er \tutir,rt\. Theseorganisms can be tracedalmost back to thever,v beginning ol life. :ottte 4 billion yearsago. They are the anaerobic bacteria: they are not rnerelrprofit- ing from naturalchemical processes in their surroundin-rs.but ther actlvely organisechemical processes by theirown enzvmesand then bincl the chernical energyinto ATP from which afterwardsthel- can -set the energv to drivetheir metabolism. Thus.a new kind of processis born.Besides the causalprocess of cosmo- logicalobjects. now we havethe metaboiistic uctivin' of theorganism. This is theactual biogonl' and now thebiogenesis can -set started. Margulis developeda theoryto explainthe next t$'o steps in evolution: Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorl t2l

Margulis' EndosymbiosisTheory of Evolution

Stepone is thej unp from theproft a n oti c bacreriato thee ukct n otic protist of one-celledorganisms. These har.e an internalnucleus that includes their genetic matter and specialisedorganelles like mitochondria (ilhich aremore elaborate power stations). chlorophyllic organelles of' photosvnthesisand microtubuli(\\hich arethe meansof locomotion andinternal eomnrunie ation ).

Steptwo is thenthe jump fiom theeukaryotic prorists (like theamoebae) to the multicellularorganisms constituting the realm of fungus.plants andanimals.

Bothof thesesteps are explained by Margulisusing svn"rbiosis. The tirst step is rnediatedby the endo-symbiosisof original organismsbeing reducedto or-eanelles.and the secondstep is n.rediatedbv thecollective symbiosis of the colonvof singularorganlsnls.

2,4.3 Biogenesisand the BiologicalObject Field In accordancewith Margulis'rheor)'of the biolo-eical "big bang".I wil sug- gestthe fbllou'ing hierarchl of thetypes of biologicalobjects (next page): In this list. at leastuntil level ,1.the samecorrespondence exists between ontologyand genealogythat we fclundin the cosmoiogicalfieid: that is. the confbrmitybetween composition and evolution. The relation between the com- ponentand the composite sYStenl coincides with the relationbetween the old andthe new. 122 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming

The Biological Hierarchy

1. probionts(akin to virus) biochemicallyactive structures with theability to self-reproduce.no\\' extinct.but probablyrather akin to virus. and as a parasitewithout internalmeans of energyis quasi-and not pro-biontic

2. prokarl otesr like bacteria t full1"formed. one-celled rvith a relatirell' sirnplestructure. lacking a nucleusand most of the organelleslbund in the higher organrsms

3. eukaryotes(protists like amoebae) one-celled.but already'highl1'. structured organisrns with a separate nucleusand with manvorganelies. like mitochondria(sites of energy' storageand use).microtubuli (tube-likestructures for internaland externalmotor tunctions) and plastids (chlorophyll or pigrnents)

4. polycellularorganisms (fungi. plants and mammals) organismsconsisting of many'cells that according to Margulis'theorl originatelrtrrn indir iduul one-celleel organistttt Iir ing in e()operati()n. eitheras a colonyor in a s,vmbiosis

5. ecosystems a partof thetotal biosphere. in whicha largenumber of separateorsan- ismsfiorn differentspecies are liling interdependentl)'.these relations being eithersymbiotic. parasitic. use of wasteproducts. or the food chainrelation between orev andDredator.

6. total biosphere- Gaia thetotalit-v of lif'eon earth.according to the Gaiahi'pothesis of Love- lock ( 1979).the organisedsvstem of -ueological.n.reteorological and biologicalcomponents and processes maintaining an equilibrium. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv r23

However.the ontic level 5. consistingof theecosystems, is muchmore com- plicatedand problematic than its preceding level. The ecosystems are onrologi- cally distinguishedby theirvague boundaries and their extraordinary hetero- geneity.One important aspect of Margulis'theory of evolutionof morecompli- catedlife formsthrough endo-symbiotic cornposition is, nonetheless.that the compositelife fbrrnsactuaily start as a kind of micro-ecologicalsystem. Thus, I will assertthat an ecos\stemis notju:t a system-theoreticalabstraction, but alsoa real entity.a bictlogicalobjec't. The highestlevel in thebiological object field is Ihebiosphere. or Griia"'.the quasi-organismicsystem of the wholeplanet. The conceptof thebiosphere as thefiame ofall ecologicalprocesses is now generallyaccepted (notjust in sct- entific circles.but in an ever-increasingu al in practicaland political public life).However. the Gaia-hypothesis isjust aboutto go tiom a rathermetaphysi- cal or poeticmetaphor to anempiricallv testable theory. examined by palaeon- tologicaland geophysical data. The total modelfor thebioiogical object field is presentedin thefbllowing diagran.r: A model for the Biological Object Field

t (geneticdimensions) t

dl- men- sIon

t"\ nlc \ leap brological oblect lield ontic dimension c,rsmolosiral rn,,le- . cU- f"l) s.o. blo- object field cular kary larr - cellu \) - sphere otic otic lar stems enti tie\ or- or or-

lti-ln. nl!m. nl\lll!

fig.2.2 t24 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

2.4.4 The Principlesof Functionalismand the Controversy about Finalism Above. I assertedthat the cosmologicalobject field is characterisedb1, a principleof cttusality.rvhereas the biolo-eical object field is peculiarbecause it followsa principleof .functionalirr'. What does that mean? Here rve face one of theoldest problems in science.the controversv of.frlcllsrl. In his metaphrsie s. Aristotleintroduces several kinds of causalin'.In thescholastic translation thev arecalled:

l. causamaterialis 2. causaefflciens 3. causaformalis ,1.causa finalis

From our perspective.the flrst trvo catesoriesare similar to what I have termedc'ausalitv'. that is. the causalitl, of thecosmologicai object field. Further. t'ctu.stttrtolerialis refers to //rlis, oneof thet\\'o aspects of cosmologicalexist- ence.and causa e.fticien.i ref'ers to the otheraspect. energy. Adrnittedly, Ari- stotle'sdynamics are deviant fiom their moderndescendants. However. there areno greatproblems u'ith these tu'o forms of causality.even though it seemsa littleredundant to definetu,o fbrms instead of one. On the otherhand. the othertrvo typesof causalitvhave ser.'erel1' rnarked Aristotle.notiust asa ratherunluckr phr sicist.but alsoas a pre-scientificand metaphysicalnatural philosopher riith anthropomorphic.or even animistic tendencies.The cousu.fitt'nralls is the hidden fbnn. similarto whatis herecalled essencet'.and thus this t1,'pe is relatedsomewhat ro ctursa.finu1r.i.u'hich is the forceexerted fiom the_toal situation. that is thefinal statefound rfre r thecausal process. When Galileefounded modern science in his anti-Aristolelian.or as he calledit anti-peripatetic.diatribe. cou,safirtulis \\.as one of his rnajoltarsets. Galileewas justified in his evaluationthat the physicsof Aristotle\\as so heavilyloaded with finalism.that it wastotaliy useless. For instance.in Arisro- tle'stheory of thelbur elements.the earth is theheaviest elernent. placed natu- rally atthe base. then comes the lighter element of vu'ater.then air andabove the otherthree is tire.From this premise. he thenexplains the tiee fall of a stoneas theresult of the ccrrsa.finalr.iattached to the seekingof theearthly stone. dis- Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorv 125

placedin the inadequateelement of air. to get back to the earrhwhere it belongs. SinceGalilee. rnechanistic science has maintained that there is just oneprin- cipleofcausality. the efTicient one that adheres to thecondition that the cause is alwavsantecedent ofthe effect:

The processof efficient causality

point of time: t1 tr

causal relatant: cause -----> efTect

However.if we now turn to the caseof finality. we find a reversalof the sequence:

The processof final causality

point of tin.re: t. tl

causalrelatant: cause(teleologic) -----> etlect

That is. thefinal cause.fbr instancethe harmonicstate of the stonehaving tbunditsrightelement.isdefinedatapointoftimesubsequentto.notprlorto. the cause.This criticismof finalismhas been accepted as valid in physrcs. However.the successof n'rechanicsin thecosmological sciences (astronomy, physicsand chemistry) resulted in anexport ofthe principleofefTicient causal- ity to thelife sciences,that is thebiological and the anthropolo_eical sciences. This is.however. precisely where the rational mechanics of physicstends to be expandedto metaphvsical mechanisril.Contrarv to this. therehas been a continuoustradition of finalism rn the lif-esciences. One basicunanswered questionis whetherthis concept of finality is iust attachedto meresecondary ytltertctntertn.actualllr compatible with theprinciple of causalityand even pro- ducedby thisprinciple. or ratheran essentiolprinciple. intrinsic to thebiolo- gicaland the anthropological object fields. 126 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

The apparentincompatibility bet$'een finalism and reductionisticmecha- nismpresented a gravedilernma for thelif'e sciences. A dilernmathat resulted ln:

1.The Positionof Mechanism:

The mechanisticposition claimed that researchersof the lit'e sciences shouldpursue knowledge in concordancewith the methodologicalrigor ofnaturalscience. and consequently they had to ad.lustto thethesis ofa det e rnt i n i.s ti t: c'au sal i tt .

2. The Positionof Vitalism:

Alternatively.the vitalisticposition claimed that researchers could (and should.)reject the vaiidityof theph,vsical sciences in therealrl of livings beings.but in this case.they had to postulatesonle rather obscure and m.vsteriousforces or .specific for life. forcesor principlesby' definitionincompatibie with what is acknor"'ledgedin thepsvchical sci- ences.

Thus, the consequenceof mechanistnwas an ofien rigorous.cornnlonll' unimaginative.barren. study of living beings.On the otherhand. the conse- quenceof the positionof r'italisrnu'as possiblynrore imaginatire :tudies. However.the abandonn.rentof mechanismoiien resultedin a metaph\sical idealismtending towards unscientific speculation or evenoccultism. This conflict betweenthe mechanisticand the vitalisticconception repre- sentsa caseofa Hegeliancontradiction. This contradiction actually'has led to a sublcttion(German: Auf-hebtmg)'. a negation of theprevious negation. produc- ing a theoryon a higherlevel, where the mechanisticprinciple of causalityis reconciledwith thevitalistic principle of finalism.This synthesisis theprinci- ple of functionalism. As mentionedearlier, Darwin's theory is a precursorof sucha functionalistic theoryof life. The processof naturalselection associated with the ecological Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 127

level is _governedby a principleof purecttusa efticien.s, and that is alsothe case for thechan_ees in the morphology and ethology of a speciesliving in thiseco- logy.Through the interplay of selection.hou'ever. the result is a tunctionalistic adaptationthat appectrs to be finalistic: that is. the outcomeis characterisedby a phenomenalflnalism. not in discordance.but on thecontrary in concordance with theprinciple of causalitv. In thiswav. the adaptation in a speciesof a cerlainorgan to a functionis ne- cessaryin its specificeco-niche. For example. the evolution of tubularbones in birds,on thephenomenal surface. is in accordancervith the finalistic principle of Aristotle.Daru'in's theory'. hou,er,er. has fieed us from thequite unattractire theoreticalassumption of an occultpredetermination of an evolutiontending towardsthe fbrrn that is most appropriatefor the well-beingof a particular 'Ihis species. dy'namictlnalism is just asmetaphvsical as the staticone assum- ing thehand of anomniscient creator that has designed the shape of all hiscrea- turesin themost bener.'olent rvav possible. Thus.evolutionarl' theory of naturalselection does present the conect alter- nativeto. on the onehand. tnechani"srt. rvith its insufTicientprinciple of effi- cientcausalitv. and on the otherhand. r.irc1i.snr, with its just as unacceptable princrpleof occultfinalism. This negationof the negation.hower.er. is valid only for the more stable attributesof a species.such as morpholo-e1,.undergoing an adaptationin the processof phvlogenesis.It does not explain.in preciseenough terms. the apparentfinalism of indiridual behaviour.Another limitation of Darwin's theoryof evolutionis thatit is still verv coarse.Although. it is a macro-theory concernedwith the grandlines of naturalhistory. it doesnot coverthe causal micro-processesthrou-sh ilhich the lbrcesof selectionactually work (i.e..the irttbrn.rationals)rstem in whichthe hereditary traits of a speciesis conservedor changed). Althoughthe Daruinian macro-theory of ph1'lo-uenesisaddressed the riddle of tlnalism.the ontogenic rlicro-.,','orld of behaviourand the detailed processes tlf thetransmission and the changes of thestill hl,potheticalhereditar.v carriers werestill inaccessible.In otheru,ords. no theorl'of genes\\'as vet at ailablefbr eithera mechanicalerplanation or a dialecticalsublation of thecontradiction betu'eenthe principleof phvsicsand the factsof lifb. Hower,,er.jusr as non- linearthermodynamics reconciled bio-chemistrl' with inorganicchernistry, it 128 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming was the formationof the conceprirlfonnatiott that solvedthe problemof final- ism in biology. Around World War II. the progressin electronicsand telecommunication inspiredthe theoreticalwork in intbrmationprocesses (i.e.. the physicalpro- cessesin inanimatesystems. constructed by humansto transmitsignals). The seminalworks in this areau,ere by Shannonand Weaver ( 196,1)and Wiener ( I 949).The work of the lbrmer led to nathemaical irfonrurtion andcomtnutti- cationtheort. the latterLo cvbentetic.i. Next. I r.l'i11present this secondline of work.attempting to givea ratherstrict definition of thebasic concepts. The aim of thisis to illustratethe relation between the cosmological principle of causa- lity andthe biological principle of functionality. Signals, and self-regulation In thecosmological object field. there are cosmological objects (understood asnon-living entities) characterised by theirphysical attributes such as mass. andcausal processes characterised by a calculusof energy.In therealm of life. on theother hand. there are self'-regulated and (at least seerrin-ely) goal-seeking beingsthat arefinalistic entities. How, on (cosmo-and biological) earth. can thesetwo typesof conceptse"'er be reconciled? Let us look atone of thesirnplest manifestations of lif'e.the chemo-kinesis of a bacterium.One of theobligatory abilitres of anybeing is whatLeontier,'r: calls irritability.which is thedisposition to reactto. fbr instance."harmful" chemical inf-luencesin theenvrronment. If a strongacid is pouredinto the water ot'a bac- terium.the prokaryotewill usuallymove a\\'ayfiom theacidic area. an "action" that is iust as sensibleas it is unexplainablefiom the principleof etfieient causality. Now,let usdescribe the process in thelanguage of signals: Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory r29

The Information process

Sourceof the Signal Signal SignalReceirer

----l t--_- F't",r--l I Keler\. I r"i,,.' mechanism + I I I I

il lo\\ cnerge a )ou energenetic an entitl equrpped the result of thc netlc proce\\ rs process.called the nith dericc Releasemechartistn initiatccl in an Signal. changer lunctionaiiti is a high energ-v- entitl. called the tlc-idaround reintirrce: and release.called the the Source the Source redirects the Signal Reaction


In the currentexample. the sourceof the signalis the acid pouredinto the water.The so-calledsignal is the chemicalprocess of theions moving around in the vicinity of the acid.The signalreceiver is. of course.the chemo-kinetic bacterium.the reactionof u,hichis a rvell-adviseddeparture from the acidic scene.This reaction.hou'ever. is not directlycaused by theenergl outlet ofthe acid. The chemicalsignal is ener-eeticall,vvery 'uveak.t"hereas the locgmotory energyspent bv theclever litt1e f'ellow is on a considerabiyhigher level. This is thekernel of rationality'in the vitalists'criticism of mechanismand its principleof efficientcausalitv. Vitalisn-r. in fact.rightl.v opposed the mecha- nisticpostulate of a directcausation. Mechanism was right andvitalism wrong in thequestion of a possiblereconciliation betr"een ph.vsics and biology. The reconciliatory'explanation. hower,er. must operate with tlvo modificationsof themechanistic scheme: 130 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

The Cybernetic Modifications of the Mechanistic Scheme

7.The energt'tralsmittitlg, proce.\sctf the signttl is an indirect. and not a direct causeof the biological reaction.

2. In betweenthe signal and the reaction is hidden o re.\potl.\etneclnnisttt of the receiver.and this mechanism has its ou'n high-energ.vresources at its disposal.

This modificationtakes into considerationthat the responsentechantsm shouldbe describedin a purel1'cosmological (physico-chemical) u a1'. It is. in fact. the biochemicalpower station.ATP. that is the hidden high-energy responsetriggered by thesignal and released as locomotion. Thus.the release mechanism is themissing link betweenthe rnechanistic postulateof causalityand the vitalisticpostulate of spontaneitland purpose. Therelease mechanism has a doublefunction:

The Double Function of the ReleaseMechanism

l. reinforcement: thelevel of thelow-ener-ey signal is amplified

2. directing: thedirection of thereaction is defined.ncx by thesi-enal in isolation. butby the"image" or tunctionalr alueof thesignal in thepre-clesigned systemof therelease mechanism. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 131

Followersof. tor instance.Bateson's speculative philosophy of informa- tion| havetended to asserta neo-vitalisticconception of informationas a cate- gory thatis akin to theclassical categories of matter.mass and energy. ln my opinion. this is a stepbackward to the old. but now solved.contradiction betweeninorganic matter and life. I will presenta system-theoreticalexplanation of therather obscure phenom- enoncalled emergence. Emergence means the sudden creation of a qualitynot presentin theold state.Here we candistinguish possibly between sin.rple com- positional emergenceand er,olutionar,v emergence. In compositionalemergence. something neu. a compositeentity arlses throughthe composition of old partsthat individually lack the emerging quali-

In evoiutionaryemergence. a new entity is not createdby composition. Instead.an alreadl'existing entity in the courseof its develclpmentsuddenly obtainsa new .originated for instancethrough a new type of relation betweenits partsor througha changingprocess. The emergentphenomenon we arediscussing here is information. A basic conceDtthat. ofcourse. has to bedefined:


The quality of a certainsignal in relationto a certainrelease mecha- nism. the signalbeing a low-energyphenomenon fulfilling some releasespecifications. The signal is thusthe indirectccase.and the processof the release mechanismthe direct cal.ie of there-sulting high-energy reaction.

Therelease mechanism itself is. of course.an emergent entity. when it is seen from a cosmologicalposition. This is theprecise a-senda. for biogonyand bio- genesisto furnishtheories uith an analysisof this emergence.W'e can thus moreprecisely define: 132 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming


Systemshavin-e at theirdisposal a storeof potentialenergv. the svs- tem bein-v"designed" to let this ener-qyout in a specificrvar,. u hen- evertriggered by a signalfulfilling the specificationsof the releasc mechanism.

It is now clearwhv therehas been this tendency to considerinfirrrnation to be an obscurecate-gory that is in additionto theclassical categories ot'phrsies. Informationis indeeda new categorl'.but it cannotbe placed.eclecticallr'. besidethe prior physicalcategories. Infbrmation is a categorr.nor 1re.r/e. but indeedaboye the classical categories ofphysics. Therefore. infirrnration is ner- therdirectly reducible to theseclassical categories. nor is it l radicallydifTerent categoryof anothernature than mass and ener-s\'. Inforntation is. in fhct.the causalresult of existingphysical components and procerses. Nloreover. it is an emergentresult of suchphy'sical entities. This is revealetlin thesystemic defi- nitionof intbrmation.It is a relationalconcept that includes the .ir.rrot r,. the ,sl,q- nul,lhe releasemechcutisnt and the reactiotl as its relatants. One might askwhere I placethe cate-torvof int'ortnutiorrin mv svstentof ontology.Should it be placedin theobject field ofcosniologr.iusras rnass. energyand causality? Or. should it be placedin theobject field of biolo-triI N,lr answerto thisquestion i.l'ill be the latterposition. But. here $e aregettin-s inr() the ambiguitiesof the conceptof the7rlir.srca1. The verv reasonI haveintro- ducedthe rermcosnnlo.qic'ul. tn fact. r.vasto ar,'oidthese conceptuirl problems. In thepreceding section. I haveactually used the ill-defined concept of "phy,si- cal".but only asan innocent synonym Ior cosntoktgitttl. 'l Whatthen is theanbiguity of theconcepr of phvsicaiitr Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 133


The firstwav to usethe term is a\ an iirlton)'mtct biological, meaning not at all relcttedto life (eithernon-human or human).rather iri- or p re-o rqatl tc .

"Physicall"is thusanything existing in totalindependence of life.It existsin placeswhere there is no lil'e.or at a timebefore the arrival of lif'e.or possiblyas entitiesor phenomenacompletely uninf-luenced by any processesof lif-e (includinghuman life processes).Here, I u'ill useanother dichotomy that is cosmologicalin contrastto biological.


The second\\'ay to usethe term is in signifyin g technologicrzlentities andohenomena.

Physical.is often identifieduith ph,vsicall.because both are seemingly attachedto inanirnateentities or processes.There is. horvever. a quiteimportant difi'erence:physical, is a directresult of humanactivity. and consequently the resr-rltof a specialkind of life process.Hower,er. I will not simply include humanactivity and its resultsin thebiological object field. but instead,in a fbl- lowing sectionand chapter. define a specialobject field. the anthropological one.Thus. the processes and artefacts of technologyare not cosmolo-gical.but r alher un t h rop o Io g i ca I . In this way. we shall not confuseoriginal cosmologicalphenomena or objectsu'ith thetechnolo-cical ones. Thus. electronic devices are often detined asphysical objects (in thephysical. sense). but they are ofcourse technological entities.that is, they arenot cosmologicalat ai1.As anthropoiogicalentities. theyare emergent in relationto theprior object tlelds. such as the cosmological one.In a wav.they are even emergent in relationto thebiological entities. Basi- 134 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming cally.the rationality of thecl berneticidentification of biologicaland anthropo- logicalinformation processes u'ith theelectronic ones is basedon the1'act that theelectronic devices are genealogi cally po.sterior and not prrol' to thec()slro- logicalobject field. Hou,ever.I am recklesslyusin-e the concept of cybernetics.although I hare only just now detinedthe simplequality of signalreception and response mechanisms.In orderto progressto thefull vocabulary'of c1'bernetics.u e hare to proceedto theconcepts of feedbackand self-regulation. In orderto getto theheart of theproblem. rve hale to in'uolve thephenome- nonof f'eedback.Wiener's master concept. We go fiom simpleirtformution to feedbat'kb1'enclosing the di'parate svs- temsof the signalemitter and the signalreceiver in thesame s\'\tenl. a svsten'l capableof self'-regulation.Via thisloop. the simple concept of intbrniationas a signalmediating an indirect influence frorn the source of thesignal to thesignal receivin-ssystem is turnedinto an integratedintbrmation entitl. theself-re-sula- tory system.As an examplefiom purebiologl'. \\'e can look at the irnportant conceptof homeostasis.a qualitv possessed b1' all or-ranismsancl ecological systems.and indeed by theplanet itself according to Lovelock'-. Justas with theconcept of information.there is theproblem of technologi- cal,seemingly physical (that is un-biologicall.self-regulation. For exanrple. this is evidentwith thethermostat. A_eain. $'e mustsee this ontological contu- sionas a specificqualitl' of technolog,n-and science. It is theconrbined process of a technolo-eicalexternalisation follou'ed by the utilisationof the fornrelin science:it is a forrnof a scientificre-intemaliscttioir ofthe externalised artet'act. In short.we makeour artefactsin the imageof nature.and then understand natureas an imageof our artefacts. This scientificre-internalisation of technological erternalisation.,las pre- ciselythe thought figure of theclassical mechanism of the l Tthcenturl'." The mechanicaldevices ofearly manufacturing can be understood. on theone hand. asexternalisations of themotor systemof the humanindividual. On theother hand.the re-internaiisation of mechanismwas seen as a tentplatefbr theprinci- ple of a mechanisticworld-r'iew. With Wiener( 1950)as the inventiveprecursor and inventor of cvbernetics. thesame man is theoriginator of thetechnolo_eical externalisation of cybernet- ics understoodas a technolog.vand of thescientific re-internalisation of cyber- neticsunderstood as a branchof science. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory 135

Therefore.using the thermostatas our exampleactually will not compro- misethe understandin g of biologicu/ self-regulation.We just haveto remem- berthat the eiectronic. self-regulatory devices are highly simplifiedin compa- risonto thereal biological system. If we look at a thermostatas the regulator of a heatingsystem. we havea sub- systemattending the main system for w'hichthe thermostat is a dedicatedcom- ponent.In thiscase. the system attended is theheater. or possiblythe system fbr which eventhe heater is dedicated.This attendedsystem is in fact thesignol etnitter,that is. the temperature of theattended s,"-stem is thesignal. To be more precise.the signalsare thermal processes of theattended system. The thermo- statis a.srgilaI receiring.rr'sre/rl. consisting of a thermometer,which is theinput part of the releasemechanism. and a thermallalve. which is the outputpart controllingthe outlet of theheat of the heatproducin-e machine (or in warmer partsof theworld a coolingmachine). The controlprinciple is the following: whenthe thermostatreceives input signalsspecifying a temperatureabove the parameter of thethermostat. it will emit outputsignais to the valvestorting the heater. and when it receivesinput signalsspecifying a temperaturebelo*'the parameter of thethermostat, it will emit outputsignals to the valvestopping the heater. This kind of f'eedbackis *'hat Wiener hascalled ne gutit,e .feedbacft, because a spontaneousincrease in themain system. through the reaction of theresponse system,will resultin a decreasein thesystem attended by theresponse mecha- nism.The otherkind of feedbackis the positivekind. wherean increasetn a certainquality of themain system causes the response mechanism to providea furtherincrease of this quality.An isolatedresponse mechanism of positile feedback.however. can be only a partof a morecomplex system also consist- ing of otherresponse systems working on the principleof negativefeedback, otherwisethe system is doomed.The systemis boundto breakdown as soon as the parameterconcerned transgresses the intervalin which the systemcan exist. 136 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

The Self-RegulatorySystem

S,r''stemattended (Signal emitter)

Feedbackof the response to the svstemattended

In the self-regulatorysvstem. the signal and the releasentechanisnr are boundtogether. Together thev fbrm a closedcircuit in r,,'hichthe verr rlistinc- tion betweeninput andoutput data. and consequently betu'een siqttul uttitter andsignal receivirtgreleuse rnechcurisnt may be sublated. I will suggestthat the quality'of functionality is the rightful heir to thc anr- misticprinciple of finalism.That an entity is designedin a funcrionaln ar rvirh respectto a certainquality means that the design in questionis a {possrblrpar- tial)causal condition tbr theattribure mentioned. Thus. functionalitr is reallr a relationbetween a certaindesign and a certainattribute, For instance.the hol- lownessof birds'bones is a partialcausal condition tbr theattnbute of llvrng. andtherefore this morphological trait is functionaltbr theabilitr of tlr ing. This is an exampleof the statictype of functionalitl'.r.ihich I call morpho- logical functionality. Thereis. however.also a d'rr',lrc functionalit,vthat I call processualfunc- tionality (i.e..the functionality of a cerlainphvsiological process or thefunc- tionalityofa certainkind ofbehaviour).A processis tunctionalfbr achie'rnga certaingoal state ifthe processis cyberneticallystructured in sucha rvaythat it realisesor maintainsthe goal state.unatfected bv possiblevariations in the externalconditions and disturbances. The l-eedbackprocess throu-eh u,hich a deficitin oxv-senintake is compen- Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 137 satedfor by an increasein the productionof blood cells is an exampleof processualfirnct ional ity. A third kind is device functionality. the functionalityof an organ or a device.The organor devicehas a certaindesign that possesses mor1thologicol .fLrnctionalinu'ith respectto a certainprocess that is itselfcharacterised by a processuttlJiol(tionalitr u'ith respectto a certaingoal state.Thus. the thermo- statpossesses device.func'tiorralln w.ith respect to maintaininga fixedtempera- ture. A fourthkind of functionalityis designingfunctionality. the very process shapingan entityin sucha way thatthe entity possesses eirher morphological or detice.functionality. This type is primarilyconcerned with two varietiesof functionality:the plrlogenic.finctionalin in theprocess of evolutionand the orttogenic.furrt'tionulih o.f beltut'iour. The fbrmeris er.'identlyof rhedesigning tvpe.whereas the latter is of theTrroces.irral tvpe. To or.'ercomef inalism. the theoryof el'olutionhas to producean explanation tbr thec,vbernetic mechanism through which the phylogenic designing is done in sucha \\.avthat nrorythological or tleticeJirn(tionulin'is ensured. Likewise. etholo-e1'has to erplainhorv the schemesof behaviourare construed in sucha \\ ay thatther possessprocessual functionalitl'. Ideally'. the explanation of func- tionalityshould be carried throu_eh all theontic levels.

Thus.the concept of functionalityin theanalysis is dividedinto.l sub-con- ceDts:

l. morphological functionality'

2. processualfunctionalitJ'

3. devicefunctionality

4. designingfunctionality r38 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

The discoveryof thegenetic code was vital to explainingthe cl,bemetics on thebiochernical micro-level of boththe genetic apparatus of evolutionand the physiologicallevel ofbehaviour. I shallabstain here fiom goingdeeper into the detailsof biology.but insteadI will sumup with thepossible dialecrical les:on of this pieceof sciencehistory. The battlebetu,een the oppositeschools of mechanismand vitalism was never decided by' the victory of either.Neither did the diatribeend in a compromise.The endresult u'as not eventhe ofien seen terminationknown as mutual fatigue. The clutcomewas none of theabove. br-rt exactlyof thekind thatHegel has described as asublotiort o.f tlte tontrudit.- tions.Thatis. it resultedin the evolutionof a completelvneu and tiorn both sidesunforeseen third possibility,the sublation oJ the contrutlittiorts. or in the somewhatpompous language of dialecticalmaterialism. the rtegutitttt ol tlte neSatton. After thisexcursion into cl,berneticsand the historv of biolo-er,.\\'e can lt()\\ definetheprlnciple o.f .funt'tionalitt' characterising the biological object field in the sameway that theprint'iple o.fcausalitv characterises the cclsmological objectfield. The pnnciple of functionality'is essentialfor all biolo-cicalL'ntrrres. includingecosystems. social groups of animals.organisrns. cells. orcanelles. and even para-organisms,such as virus (structurallydesi_ened as strinq' o1' DNA or RNA. but havedeveloped a parasitickind of quasi-lifevu ith qLralitic' like procreationand phylogenic evolution). The principleof functionalitymeans that the structure and the proec:rrr 1rf biologicalobjects are not simply reducibleto rhe cosmolo-uicalprint,iplc ot causality.The design and the functioning ofbiological objects is soconrpler thatthe mechanistic principle of a directcausal explanation is. tiont a praetical point of view, an impossibleand. from a theoreticalperspectit,e. t poittrlt's.s strategyof .Biolo-eical objects are essentiallv characterised br theirfunctional qualities. that is. by thetunctionality of theirrnorphologl. their physiologyand their ethology. The old mechanisticgoal of physicalisticreduction. however. is attainable on themetu-lelel. The qualitiesof thebiological objects are nor accessible fbr physicalisticexplanation. Instead. the biologicaltheories do a far more suc- cessfuljob of explanation.Specifically. these theories can be consistently linkedto cosmologicaltheory'. This meansthat in a way.\\'e can decompose the biologicalobjects to theirultimate cosmological components. and the biologi- Part I: Foundation of Activity'Theor.v- 139 cal processesto theirterminal cosmological constituents. However, it should be kept in mind thatthis clecornpositionis theoreticai. not empirical. scientificrelation is obtainedby somestrategic riclging theories (such as the genericcode). through which the termsof thebiological theory are translated to the terms of cosmologicaltheory. However. this transiationis not possible usingthe methods of empiricalscience. because the biological data cannot be effectivelytranslated (reduced) to thecosmological data. The lattertype of reductionisticreduction will generallyfail to seethe orga- nised complexity that is the very basisfor the functionalityof biological objects.The irreducibilityof biologyto cosmologyis not rnetaphysical.and in a way noteven theoretical. fbr aswe haveseen there is no essentialinconsisten- cy betweenthe theories of thetwo objectfields. The ineducibility is attachedto .We cannot directly observe the complexity of thebiological phe- nomenaby cosmologicalmethods. nor canwe directlydescribe them by cos- mologicalterms. Finally. we cannoteven reduce the theoretical explanation of biological phenomenaby cosmologicaltheory. The biological complexity necessitatesthe use of specificbiological theories that are logically consistent, but in general.not practicalll' reducrble to cosn-tologicalterms and theses. I will endthis -theclretical section by returningto thelevel of theobiect field.that is to thequestion of thedifference in theessentialitl' of thecosrnolo- gical andbiological fields of objects.We canconclude that where the lbrmer can be characterisedby the conceptof causalitv.the latterhas the essential quality of functionalitl'. After havingdiscussed the relationbetween the cosmologicaland the bio- logicalobject fields. \\'e can now proceedto thenext lel'el ofontology and the nextrelation between consecutive levels: the biological and the anthropolog,i- cal objectfields. Just as r'"e started the sectionon biologyr,r'ith the concept of informationas signal emission and reaction between ditterent entities. we have to go backto therelated concept of communication.This mustbe doneto pave the way for the sublationfollowing the -uenealogicaljump from energyof the cosmologicallevel to informationof thebiological level. the jump from infor- tttttliott Io meaninp. r40 Ch- 2: Being and Becoming Animal communication Until now.I havebeen talking about signals liom a mainlycvberneric pe r- spective.The conceptof infbrrnation.however. is relevantoutside thc rntra- individuailimitation of self-regulation.Signals carrying intbrmation al:o ri olk well. in principle.between individuals, that is. within thefiameri ork of rnrer- individualcomrlunication. Indeed. intra-organismic comrrunie;rtirrn r:. ee cordingto Margulisr".just theclosing of whatwas originall), an inrer-orr.rni.- mic communicationbetween symbionts. Because we are actuall\ h.'adrnS towardshuman communication. \\'e should fbcus on a specialcase o1'c()nllnLl nicationbetween individuals, namely int ra- s pe c i.fir, communicarr on. We shallproceed liont thesimple concept ctf in.forntttiorr touard: ( ()nlntutlt- (otion in r"erymuch the sameway thatwe derivedthe conceptof sell-r.'-cul;r tion.That is. we usethe concept of infbrmationrecursir,ell. In thisca\c. h()\\- ever.the recursion is not an auto-recursivecircle. but ratherthe douhle u.e r,r theoriginal relation between Ihe source of thesi-snal and the rzc ellt,r'ol thc 'rs nal.Thus, we geta chainconsisting of threeentities. two signalsand a rernrrnal reaction,as shown in thediagram below:

Intra-specific Signals

Erogenous Phrlogenous Signal Signal

Erogenous Sending Retciring Source {nimal .\nimal

Emitterof Raeirer oi Riierrlr ,i Erogenous Erogenous Ph\.itsnou' Sisnal 5isnal i rin,rl

fig.2.5 t4l

Thechain of intra-specific communicationstarts. as in theoriginal definition of information.with an externalsource ernittin-t a signalin the previously describedmanner. This signalcan be anythingof biologicalimportance fbr the firstreceiverofthe signal. This is thecase. forexample. when the source is a predatorof a certainspecies of lish. thesignal of thetormer being optical (i.e.. energyin the tbrm of light). The fish that hasthe unfortunatefate of being the prey of its predatoris. asa certaincompensation. the proprietorof a phyloge- nousrelease mechanisrn detecting signals emitted (certainly most involuntari- ly) by thepredator. which releasea reactionof swintmingaway at thehighest speedpossible. This releasemechanism is rvhatethologists call an lnnote ResponseMechani.snt. abbreviated IRM. andthe signaltriggering the IRM is calleda KetStinrulu.sl' In theterms of functionality.the function of swimmingis of theprocessual tvpe.whereas the IRM (understoodas etholo-eical mechanism) can be charac- terisedas clerice.furt(tionalit\'. The phvlogenicevolution by which thesetwo kindsof f'unctionalitl,'are created thus can be describedas clesigning.fiutction- alin. Whateverthe selectionvalue of thesefunctionalities. a third can now be placedabove them. This paramountphenomenon is the el'olutionaryrefine- nientof.liigltt <-onmtunicutroil.Afier all. survil'alcannot be restrictedto the singleindividual. because it is a matterconcerning the whole species. Thus. if our vigilant little fish besidesassuring its own individuallit-e could simulta- neously'secure the livesof someother co-specific indir,iduals. this rvould be a majorevolutionary advantage. This is indeedwhat hashappened amon-g our piscineancestors. Hou' is thisintra-specific. inter-individual alarm svstem reiilised'l Evolution is generalll'characterised bv a rle.ilgrrillg funttionalirl operatingaccording to the sLrpplementaryfunctionalit.v condition of porsimorlr'.In this case.the new communicationsystem is basedon the already'developed IRN{. that is. the detectionand the reaction svstem directed tou,ards the danger of thepredator'. Actually'.the first. the nearestor the mostvigilant fish doesnot needanything lurorethan the IRM alread.vavailable. What is neededon topof thatis a second- ar1 detectionand reaction rnechanism. so that anotherfish in the neighbour- hoodcan take advantage of thereaction of thefirst fish. 142 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

Thus.in thesecondary IRM. thekey srgnaldoes not havethe predator as itr source.Rather. it is the reactionof the first fish. eitherthe movementof in- creasedswimming speed. or someexpression of the affectivestate of anrusal. This expressioncan be chemical:it canbe producedby hormonesintplcnrcnt- ing theinternal phvsiological regulation needed in thiscase of enrergcner.It canalso be visual.implemented by someexternal changes in the surt'aec cha- racteristicor theappearance or behaviourof thefish detecting the dangc.r. Actually.there often is a furtherevolution of theprimarl IRNI in :ueh a * ar thatit developsdouble-device functionality. Besides the original functronrlir) of securingthe life of thedetector tish itself.it candevelop neu qualitie.n ith devicefunctionality directed towards the detectability in relationro rhenL'arb\ speciesfellows. In thiscase. the intra-individual or er en iutru-orgunirnric.eli- regulationthat is part of the emotive systemof the atfect called t'righthrr obtaineda superstructureof inter-ircliyidualc'onununicatite.firnctiortttlirt . This phenomenonof fishesbehaving unanimously is known as./ir/ier rr1 scltooling".Besides the defensive version just described.there is alsoa precla- tor type. rvhereour speciesis no*'the big one and the prey the little one. A schoolof predatorfish hasan originalIRM directedtoward the detection and the hunt of the prey fish, and a derivatil'eIRM consistingin the cottagiou: reieaseofhunting behaviour among the nearby co-specific individuals. Proceedingyet a stepfurther. we go liom thechain of inter-indiridualsi-s- nalsto theclosed circle of inter-individualcommunication. Here we aregoin-s to make anothermodification of our original schemeof information.This trnre we shalltake away the external source ofthe signal,and we changethe consec- utiverecursion of signalsto symmetricrecursion. That is. we observetw

Intra-specific Communication

Sending .{nimal

Receirertrl Erogenoui Slgnrl

Feedbackfrom receiverto


Hereue huretutr indiridualsl-rom the \anle \pee ie\ engagingin genuine communication.Actually. we neednot. and we oftencannot. appoint either of the two individualsas the originatorof information.They are sendingand receivinginformation simultaneously from oneanother. Instead of thespecific rz1e.iof the senderor the receiver.there are the comolimentarvand alternative l'trttttitttts ol'rending and leceir ing. In fact.this structure closely resembles another closed circle of information, namely'self-regulation. and indeed intra-specific communication can be seen asan exampleof seif-regulation.However. it is not workingat the individual level.but atthe level of a socialsystem. in thiscase a dyad. A beautifuland rather romantic example of this kind of communicationis clnceagain found in our piscineorigin, the greatprecursor ofall informational exchange.The casein questionis thewell-studied "ritual" of courtshipamong the three-pickledstickleback (Tinbergen 1969). In a prolongedexchange of dance-likemovements. a sexuallymotivated male and a rutting f-emaleare checkingthe intentionsand adequaciesof one another.The specific(in fact species-specific) signals involve a sequenceof movements,in whicheach suc- cessivemovement is orthogonalto its antecedent.Thus. the courtshipbe- haviouris calledthe zigzag dance. every consecutive pair beinga zig anda zag. This zi-egingand zagging continues until eitheror both partiesare convinced that the otheris a memberof the right speciesand of the satisfactorysexual t44 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming stateto be a prospectivefianc6(e). Once this has been concludecl. thc realrnu- tingcan occur. The rnating is. ofcourse.just another case ofintra-speciiie eont- munication.but as in any goodlove storv.it is designecito leadt() l hlpp\ encounter.

2.4.5 Biogenesisand Evolutionism Oneheated contro\ ersv concerning the theorl of evolutioni s u hcthcrc r,, l rr- tion hasa directionol'not. Leontier''spsl,cho-uenic theor\ (thlitIrieecIt in broadterrns) postulates a certainevolutionarv direction uith re:petttr, rhc levelof theworking of theps1,che. and according to thefollori ing \L-rlucitue'

Leontiev'sSequence of Reflection:


Sensibility Perceptibility Intellect


Thistheory seemingly presupposes a specific interpretation of rhebrological evolutionof biogenesis.namely, a Spencerianevolutionism. As sLrch.there is notonly themicro-evolution of specificadaptations to theever-changing. mul- titudinouseco-niches. but alsoa macro-evolutionof lit-eforrrs. This ntacro- evolutionforms a hierarchyof higherand higher or-ranisms and even social or societalfbrms. characterised by an increasin-uler,el of or-qanisationand com- plexity. This evolutionistichierarch-'- should not be understood.using vulgar Dar- winistic terms.as a tendencyof the higherlife forrnsousting the lower life forms.[t is my thesis.however. that a sequencecan be definedthat is at least methodicallysound. if we fbilow theprinciples of the so-calledcladistic inter- Part I: Foundation of Activit;- Theory 145 pretationof evolution.This branchof evoiutionarytheory. called cladism. rejectsthe traditionof systernaticbiolo-ty to defineclasses of speciesby an arbitraryarray' of attributes.The basic principle of cladismis thata classof bio- logicalspecies is only'meaningful if it is open-ended.For instance,the class of fishesis not a soundone. because it arbitrarilycuts off .n'ertebratesfiom a later formation.such as amphibians.reptiles, birds and mammals.According to cladism.there are no relevantattributes specific to fishes.but thereare such attributesspecific to thesuccessive clades:

A Cladistic Genealogyfor the Descentof Humankind

l. Chordates 2. Vertebrates 3. Semi-or fully air-breathin-evertebrates (amphibians.reptiles. birds and mammals) -1.Fully air-breathingvertebrates (reptiles. birds and mammals) 5. Hi_ehervertebrates (birds and mammals) 6. Primates 7. Hominides 8. Humanbeings

Thereis. however. a problemwith thispedigree. The problem is notthat it is inconsistentin relationto therules of cladism.'"What is problematic,hou'e'u'er, is thatthere could be manl'other ways of selectinga consistentline of evolu- tion besideswhat could be cailed the local or anthropocentricpedigree. This is akin to a snobbishgenealogist who experiencesan unpleasantreaction to his elaboratelydesigned pedigree. for example.that it wasreally rather egocentric andwithout any interest for peopleof anotherdescent. Therefore.the tendency to hypostasisethe seemingly quite arbitrary, or even subjectivepedigree to theessential history of theworld. could be criticised as a meaninglessevolutionism, and indeed even an anthropomolphisticevolution- ism.Thus. fiom a certainentomocentric (or to beprecise myrmecocentic) point of view.we couidsuggest an alternative pedigree. r46 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

An Alternative Pedigree

L Arthropods 2. Land-livingarthropods 3.Insects -1.Ants

Theclassic metaphvsics of .born bl theRenai"an!e . nr.rl',.:.'.j-:rLr . ingtheeraofenlightenmentandturnedintoasystemandphilo.t'ph,,,,r1.,.',''' by Hegel"'and into aphilosophy of evolutionb1,Spcnc.'r-. thi\ nlci.r:'i:...... hasrecently been under hear.'v flre from theso-called post-rlotle rni'tr. ..: , However.in evolutionar)'theoryand anthropologl during m()\t r)l thr...r'.i.,:.. a constantrnethodological and theoretical criticism of suchrn c\()iutr\,nr.:l hadbeen raised even before this. As an adherentof thisevolutionistic tradition. I uill discusr1|1s'111 ,r ir.,. . problernsof thisposition:

Two BasicProblems of the EvolutionisticTradition

The non-arbitrarl choiceof evolutionarl'terminal: Theend point is on anubsoltrtc. nclt just on asel.f-de.fittetl. higherlevel than other species''

B. The theoreticalll'soundpath of evolutionto this terminal theprocess of evolutionagrees w ith thechosen order of successivespecies. and this process is erplainedrn a def'ensiblew ay.

The def'enceof point A is often a somewhatarrogant meta-theoretical argu- ment.namely that possible competing claims of beingthe terminatorsof the pecligreeare evidentlv not ableto articulatecompeting theories of evolution. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorv t47

However.I shalltrr,to neutralise my' position by'admitting that what I amabout to tormulatehas a clearanthropogenetic perspective. This doesnot meanthat my theory'should be considered adequate onll'fbr humanbeings. because I will certainlystick to theall-embracing scope of mv tradition.The anthropological dornainis notjust pra grnotic'alh of particularinterest. but also ontologicallt ot a uniquestanding in beinga sublationof biology,.being in a relationto biology correspondingto therelation between biologv and cosmologv. Thus.in my theoryof biogenesis.I shallmove roward the endpoint of this evolution.which is rea111,an anthropogonicjump out of thebiological object fleld.This is similarto themanner in whichwe trearedthe biogonic jump outof thecosmological object tield at thebeginning of thischaprer. In fact. this defencefbr an anthropomorphictheorl' of evolution\.\'ill retreat to a methodolo-eicalar-gument. To a certainextent. this resernblesthe cosmo- logicaldiscussion concerning the natureof criticalcosmological parameters determiningsuch qualities as openness or closeness(u'hether the universe will expandforever or is goingto eithershrink or oscillate).and the magnitudeof thebasic tbrces (grar.itation. electricitl and the atomic interactions). All theseparameters seel.n to be fixed at r,aluesthat are extremely conven- ientfbr thetvpe of iife that\\'e humans share u'ith our planetary cohabitants. Thereis to dateno scientificerplanation of this cosmologicalgenerositv,.. but of coursea ratherevident theological one. Hou ever.if we pref'erthe scien- tific line ratherthan the theological.a sophisticatedtype of explanationhas beengiven. It is. at the least.a logicalfact that an1:thinkable, and in the lan- _uuageof modallogic possible. universe must necessarilv be shapedin sucha way as to accor.nmodatethe scientistr,,h(.) is formulatingthese cosmological theories.Of course.there har,e been sorne mis-eirin-us about this tuihntpic principle.-5It hasbeen called circular and metapht'sical. Although the principle hasbeen branded as theoretically unsound. it is hardto imagineit to befalse. If it is meaningfulat all. a truenteta-ris\ertion niust be thatin orderfor suchan lissertionto beassefted about the uniVerse. this unir,erse must be inhabitable fbr theperson nrukirrg the assertion. Thereare even cosmological scenarios r'"here the anthropicprinciple gets a rnoreontolo-nical status. Namelr'. this rs true if u'eassume the theorv of parallel universes.where our universeis not theonlv one.but onlv oneof a classof diverseand possible diffbrent universes. In thistheoretical case. the anthropic 'Ihat principleboils dorl n to a methodolo-eicalselection efl-ect. is.the universes r48 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming aboutand in which cosmologicaltheories are formulated are those in sucha shapethat they can accommodate living beingswith sutTicientintelligence to be engagedin suchan endeavour. We havenot yet discussedhow far the anthropicprinciple can specifythe natureof thecosmologist being able to studyhis (using"his" in its gender-neu- tral sense'o)cosmos. Let us.however. now leavethe anthropic principle of cos- mologyand go backto theevolution of thisspecific planet in thisspecific solar systemin thisspecific galary of this(possibly) specific universe. The question is whether\!'e can take a perspectiveon evolutionthat is somewhatsimilar to theanthropic principle. Just as many types ofuniverses seem to betheoretically possible.a lot of evolutionar-vpedigrees. alternatives to our anthropogonic pedi-uree.are thinkable.and indeedsome of thesepedigrees are not only'theo- reticallypossible. but empirical actualities. A matingbetween cosmological and biological speculation has created the somewhatmonstrous offspring called e.ro-blo1ogr.Exo-biology is a non- ernpiricalbranch of science(as of yet).focussing on thepossibility and even- tual shapeof lit'eon otherplanets. An especiallyinteresting, although again somewhatanthropocentric problem of exobiologvis the determinationof whetherother intelligentlife forms can erist somewhereelse. (See Sagan 1973.)Thisquestion ccluld be describedaslhe mono- r'ersuspol-r'-gene.v.s of intelligentlif'e. The exobiologicalspeculation can be dii,idedinto a line of eitherconrer- gence

science-fiction.the so-called pulp sciencefiction. v,'here this specialty ofgene- rally ratherl'icious creatures have been given the technical name of "Bug Eyed Monsters"(acronym BEM). Yetnearerto us is thereptilian'ariety of intelli- gentexobiology. which in pulp sciencetiction -senerallv shows terrestians hav- ing a sexualinterest of a maybeless perverted. but anywaymost bestial nature. A tar nearerspeculative evolution is ofcoursethe Daru,inian ape (or ratherpri- mate)scenario. Theobjective for thisexcursion to exo-cosmologyand exo-biology has been to accentuatethe two questionsof anthropocentrictheories of evolution:

Two Questionsof AnthropocentricTheories of Evolution

A. Why is ourpedigree of a specialstanding or arleasr interest,l

B. Whl havethe anthropic qualities. such as . conscious- nessand culture. developed in just our line. Wht,not in otherlines. suchas the entomological. the reptiiian. the pongidian /

QuestionA may be answeredin a way'thatis inspiredby theanthropic prin- ciple.along the fbllowing line. Any satisf'vingbiogenic theory must ar leasrtake into considerationthe ernpiricalfact that human beings appear to engagethemselves in biogeniccon- templation.Thus. an ttnthroltoc'entric point of vie',vcan be justif ied bv anepls- tenn-certtricperspective. ln theconcluding section of thischapter. I r.l'illintro- ducethe basicanthropology of Activity Theory.and later.the n.rainpartof this treatisewill bededicated to anthropology. Here it will be argr.redthat the e'olution of Humansis at the sametlme a jump orrrof evolution.That is. the anthropo-eonic jump is a creationof anontic objectfield. which is actuallyno longerbiologicai. or at leastnot justbiologi- cal.In verymuch the same way thatthe biogonic jump is a.iumpout of cosmoi- ogy.there is a distinct.neu' object field with characteristicsof its own. not in contradictionwith. but outside the scope of thecosmological field. r50 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

In theremainder of this section.however. I uill concentrateon questionB whichcan be tbrmulated as the follow ing:

Given that the anthropological(and in the caseof ero-biological speculation.even quasi-anthropological) end point is an especialll' interestingterminal of a pedigree.do ile havenon-circular argu- mentsfor necessaryqualities of our actualgenealog.v. and can we. in the casegiven. explain the evolutionarvprocess b1' which this has beenbrou-sht aboutl)

The psychogenictheory of Leor.rtier'.shich has lately beenmodified by E,ngelsted.is in factsuch an argumentation.Before concentrating on Leontier". however.I wiil placehis theorr,of theemergence of thepsychic. or thepsyche if vou dareto usea strictsubstantiation. u'ithin competing theories.

2.4.6 PsychogonicTheories Leontiev'stheorl'. which u'ill be introducedshortll'. is on the phylogenic levela psychogonl'and psychogenesis. a theor)' of theformation and the evolu- tion of thepsychic. Making the psychic or thepsyche the subject of a theory.a questionto be addlessedmust be the extensionor the scopeof the concept. Herewe will discussthe mostimportant positions in thisdiscussion on the extensionof thepsychic. Anthropsychism The modernconcept of thepsy'chic is a productof comparativepsychology. becauseas long aspsychologv rvas exclusively occLrpied with the consclous- nessof the humanbeing, the psychicwas of coursea quality'thought to be tbundonly in ourou'n species. In thisunderstanding. the concept of thepsyche will notbe of particularimpo(ance. The psyche of a specificperson will beco- extensivewith expressionssuch as the person's personality. This conceptionof the psychiccan be calledanthro-psychism. and has Descartes(Cottingham 1992) asone of its mostinfluential and eloquent advocates. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theorv 151

In Cartesiandualism. there was. on onehand. the world of resextensa.Ihe phvsicalworld containingthe animalsand the humanbodv. and on the other hand.the u'orld of re.scogitans. the world of consciousness.Cartesian meta- physicsdominated biolo-r1' until Danr,in.and psychologyuntil Pavlov and Watson. In anthro-psychism.there is a _graveproblem regarding the iiaisonbetr,"'een thesplit parts. that is thebody and the ps1.che. but no problemofpsvchic evolu- tion. In fact.Descartes describes not onlv thehuman body. but eventhe animal (a conceptthat of coursedid not includehuman beings ) asan ctutorrtatott! . Wecan see anthro-psychism as the narrowest definition of thepsychic," Panpsychism At the otherextreme. we havetheories gii'ing the psychican extensionof literalll'universal breadth. Neo-occulr authors like Capra( 1983)propose psy- chic qualitiesto be foundeven in the micro-r'u'orldof the atoms.This concep- tion I will call panpsychism.and in this scenario.there is no reasonto distin, guishbetween the cosmological. the biological and the anthropological object tields.This universalismis similarto mechanismin its identificationof the non-livingand the living nature. Howe'er. where mechanism. in conceiving the living as non-livin-e.is reducingdownward. pan-psychism is reducrns upwardsby seeingthe non-living as livin-s. In pan-psychism.there is no prob- lem of psycho-sonv.the ps1'chic has no specificorigin. because cosmos in itserf is sentient.The price is thatthe very concept ofthe pslchic is rathervasue. not to saymetaphorical. In spiteof a sometimesquite impressi'e scientific cloak of for instance quantummechanics. the modernversion of pan-psychismis. afterall. a true heirto primordialanimism and classic pantheism. as fbund in for exampreHin- duismor Buddhism. In betweenthe ratherarid extremesof anthro-and pan-psychism, we have threeinterrnediate positions as illustrated in thetable belou. It shouldbe noted thatthe presentationsequence ofthe threepositions is not following the sys- tematicorder of the table.but ratherthe historicalsuccession of theseosv- chogonictheories. 152 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

Schoolsof Psychologyaccording to the Extension of the Psvchic

Extension Cosmolo- Living \Iobile Sentient Human of the gical organisms organisms organisms Psychic entities

School of Pan- Bio- Kino- \euro- -\nthro Psychology pslcbisnr ps\chlsn] psvchlsrl pslchism pslchism

Theoretical Ciapra Aristotle Engelstetl Leontier Descartes Advocate

Evolutionarl x ------> x .---,.-...'> x ------> \ -'-----'---)> x Position Biopsychism Aristotle'sposition (1907) is consistentwith his strongbiological tounda- tion. He definesthe psycheas the essenceof a living or-9anism.and thus includesnot only all the animals.but alsoeven the plants.In fact. Aristotle establishesa hierarchy'somewhat like that of Leontiel"s.but is systematic ratherthan evolutionary. The psychic hierarchy of Aristotleis:

The PsvchicHierarchv of Aristotle

L thevegetable psyche l. theanimal psy'che 3. thehuman psy'che

The vegetablepsyche had. accordin-eto Aristotle. the facultiesclf ,qiol //r and reproduction." The animal psl,che had in addition the attributesof .ren.rtrlron, Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorr 153

desireand moremert(autokinesis).t'' Finally. the human psyche is evenequip- pedwith re0 so,1(). An er.'aluationof thepstchologt of Aristotle.who was. in fact. the very inventorol theterm. must take into accountthat the word "psyche"originally meanrbretttht'. Ps1'che. in thetime of Homer.simplv n)eanlJorce o.f tife.rnthe earlvclassical period of GreekAntiquitl. Ttst'che.ho*'ever. began a semantic el'olutiontorvard a dualisticseparation fiorn thebor1r,. possibll' under the influ- enceof orientalcreeds imported through the orphic movementin mysterious andreligious-philosophical sects. such as the pythagoreans.:, This inf-luence vuas of decisiveimportance tbr theimmortalitt, teaching of plato. Aristotletakes. as usual. a 'ery sensiblerniddle position. between the origi- nal holisticmeaning of psvcheas the.lbrce ctf l('e andtheneu,'religious mean- ing crfan immortalsoul. This conceptualcontprontise. which is nota sublotton in theHe-eelian sense. is madethrough the Aristotelian concept of .fonn.psyche isdeflnedasthe.fl.rnrio.t''theorgani.yl.thusacquirin-uthemeaningof formof lit'eor ratherTtrincipleof lif'e. Neuropsy'chism Leontier''sposition. sketched out in rhefirst chapter. places psychogony after the mere irritttbilltl that is the tendenc), to direct n.retaboiicreaction tou,'ardrelevant substancesin elementarvlit'e tbrns.

At theearliest stage of lif-e.interaction with theen'ironment depends on the irritabilit"" of the orsanrsmtowards the en'ironmental qualities.either b1. immediatelvserving rhe assimilationor immediatelyreleasing det-ensive reactions...It is. h.qe'er. hard to imaginethat theseprimitile organisms r"'ouldalso be influencedbl, stimulithat were neutral to its lit'e..,

This stageof lif'e.the stageof irritabilitl. is consideredpre-psychogenic. The immediate reactionsto the relevantchemical compounds imply no psychic retlection on the environment. according to Leontier. But then. an evolurion in biogenesistakes place that is in tact the birth ofthe pr1e he. the ps1chogon.r :

At a definitestage in the biologicaie'olr,rtion. the interactionprocess ser- ving the maintenanceof lit-eis biturcated.so to speak.on the one sicle.r,u,e seethe impacrfrom thesunoundings immediatelv cleternining the existen- 154 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

ce of the organismand on which it reactswith the basic life processesand tunctions.on the otherside. neutral influences operate. on whichthe orga- nism responds*,ith processesthat onll,realisethe organicbasic functious mediately.that is. behaviouralprocesses. lAuthor's translation]"

With thisbifurcation. the tirst stageof psychogenesisis created.the sttLgeol \en.tibilit\'l

transitionfrom [T]he originof sensiti\'it},is connectedri ith the organisnt:' 'medium-element' a homo-lenousmedium. li0m a to oneformed as things to an enr,rronmentof discreteobjects. The organisms'aclaptation. which is al$,a1,s.it goesuithout saving.a kind of reflectionof the propertiesof the environmentarouncl them. no,,,,acquires the tbrrr-ras rvell of ret-lectionof the aflectir,eproperties of the enrir0nment in their objective connections and relations, This is also a specific iorm of ret'lectionfor the psyche. objectretlection. For the obiect,i.e. a nraterialthing. llrials has sereral interconnecteciproperties: in that senseit i-saluals u knot of propertie\. At a certainstage of brologicalerolution. the tbrnler single cornplex pro- cessol reciprocalaction realisingorganisrnic life. thus bifurcatedas it r.l.ere.Some ol the enr.ironment'sinf'luences atl'ected the or-ganisrnas deter- minants(positi\e or negatiYe)of its rerr,existence.others onlv as stimuli antldirc. torr of it: aetiritr. There uas also.corresponclingll'. a bilurcation ()f the organisms'r'ital actiYit). on the one hand.the processesthat rveredirectll linked *'ith the support antl maintenanceof life becamedift'erentiated. Thev constitutethe prinrs- ry. initial form of the organisms'vital actiriti'' underlling uhich arephe- nomenaof their plimordial initabilit)'. on the other hand. processesbecame ditl'erentiated that drclnot directl)' hale lif-e-supportinglunctions and simpll medrat.'dln ttrganisnt'slinks with thoseproperties of the enr,ironmenton rvhichit-s eristence depended. They constituteda specralibrm of vrtalactivit) thatalso underlar thr' orga- nisms'sensiti\it} and their psl'chic ret-lection ol theproperties C)1'the exter- nalenvironment. (Leontier' 1981. 1-51

Thus. sensibility.presupposing a distinctign bet\\'eennere biochentica! ntetctl:tolisnt and ethologi< ul ut tit'itt. rs a sensitivitl to signalsnot in themselves of metabologic relevance-.but carrf ing information of objt-cts of such rele- \ ance. Leontiev is sorner,,'hatcauticlus to specitl' the enrpiricaljump in evolu- tion from irritability'to sensibilitv.The exampleshe tlsesto illustrate sensibili- Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv r55 ty,however. point in thedirection of organismsthat possess organs of sensation anda certainneural organisation to processthe sensory information and to acti- vatemotor reaction. Thus. he usesthe jellyfish andthe starfish to illustratethe sta-qeof thesensitiv'e pstche.

2.J.6.5 Kinops.rchism Engelstedholds a positionslightly modifiedfrom Leontier'( I 989. I 993). andis moreinclined than his predecessor to stressthe dynamic side of biologi- cal activitl,.Engelsted considers the sensoryor (in his materialisticdialectical terminology)the reflectory side oflife to be a consequence(not to saya reflec- tion) of goal-seekingactivity. for which he usesthe technicalterm teleologt'. Here.psychogony is the spontaneousgoal-seeking activitv of mobileorgan- isrns.that is. organisms not merelv reacting to immediatepresent substances of nourishingor adversemetabolic relevance. but engagin-ethemselves rn an activepursuit of foodor othergoals. such as a matingpartner. Thrs autokine.st.g, asit is calledbv Aristotle.presupposes not onlv organs(or at leastorganelles) of locomotion.but alsoa mechanismof sensoricdetection that is ableto identi- fy the objectsought. Engelsted is arsuinsthat this sensibilityof spontaneous mobileorganisms is alreadyfound in. tbr instance.the amoeba. Thus.Engelsted actualll' accepts Aristotle's definition of theanimal psyche. buthe deviatesfrom theancienr master in denyingthat plants have any kind of psychic1ife.55 Kirtopstchisnr(u'hich is rny namefor Engelsted'sposition. not a namehe used.)is thusthe psvchogonic thesis that the psvche originates with thesponta- neousteleological autokinesis of themobile or-sanism.

2.4,7 The Major BiogenicLeaps A u,ayof svnthesisingthese conflicting psycho-eonic r,iews is to seethem as a descriptionof consecutivesteps in a biogenicevolution. which at a certain stepjustifiesthe concept of pstchogonia.from whichpoint a psychogenicevo- lutionis occuring. I shall norv presenta tableof the major biogenicleaps. placing this psy- chogenicevolution u'ithin the table: 156 Ch. 2: Beingand Becoming

Table of the Biogenic Leaps

Biogenic Defining Biological Leap Qualitl' Scope

1. The pro-biontic Cr berneticReactivin Probionts.Virus Leap "Telenomic"processes

2. The Biontic Leap Autonomous.self-sr-rstain- Prokarvotes ing Metabolism

3. TheTeleological Spontaneousgoal-seekin g Protists Leap (Engelsted's Activity definition)

4. The Sensitrility Splittingof Nletabolism N{ulticellularOrganisms Leap (Leontiev's andPsvchic Reflection (Sensor-v/neural equip- definition) ment) The Pro-bionticLeap The first leapis in a way thebiogonic one. but theentities of this stepin the evolutionof lit'eare not reallylltulg organisms.In fact.these pro-biontic enti- tiesare neither living. nor or_sanisms.vet. However.I will includethese pro- biontsor quasibiontsin thebiolo-sical object fleld for systematicas well asfbr evolutionaryreasons. In termsof systematics.they arealready fbllowing the principle of functionalit.'-.eren thou_ehthey do not disposeof their own resourcesof energy'.and thus cannot maintain their clu'n metabolism and pro- creation.In terms of evolution.they occupl"the ver,v.'essential position of molecularevolution. The Biontic Leap The secondleap is thebiontic leapto real 1rle. to or-uanisnisi.l'ith autonomou.\ metabolismand procreation. as found in prokanotes such as bacteria. The TeleologicLeap (Psychogonicaccording to Engelsted) Thep,slc/rogr.,irlc leap malks the beginning of thepsychic as a revolutronrn thebiological processes. These processes are dirided into the alreadydefined metabolismand the newly created d./i |in. ActiVirr i\ a spontaneoussearch tbr Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory, 157 a specifickind ofobject.as a truefinalism and teieology. Here. the goal is pre- sentin thethriving of theorganism. before it is fbund.that is. identifiedas an objectin theactual neighbourhood of theorganism. According to Engelsted's position.this leap is alreadyfound in protists. The Sensibility Leap (Psychogonicaccording to Leontiev) The tburthleap is theleap to multiceilularsen.sitiyin. Leontier,. who is more demandingin his psychogolt-ythan Engelsted. places the leapto thepsyche in animalswith an at leastelementar)' sensory and neural system. such as worms andmolluscs. ln thefbllowing section. I will presentthe rotal psychogenic theory of Leon- tiev. trying to staystrictly' rvithin the tiame of his theory.Thus. all the concepts arein italics.not in bold.meaning that they are unchanged and not personally redefined.Nonetheless. the ernphasis and intelpretation of thisgreat theory can hardll'failto becoloured by mv personalunderstanding.

2.4.8 The Psychogenesisof Leontiev Havingdefined the psychic as a theoreticalquality and fbr a while abstract- ing from the ernpiricalquestion about rvhere on this world (andpossibly on otherworlds) spontaneous and sentient beings are tbund. we cannow proceed to theother psychogenic leaps according to Leontier. Leontie"'suggests the follo$ in-sstages:

A Diagram of the Psychogenesisof Leontiev

0. thestage ofirritability

1.the stage ofsensibility' 2.the stage ofperception 3.the stage ofthe inteilect

;1.the stage ofconsciousness 158 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

In the table.the intermediatethree stages are separated from the first andthe lastby dividing lines.The tirst stagedoes not belongto psychogenesis.but only to pre-psychogonicbiogenesis. The laststage is not includedin psycho- genesiseither. Hon'ever. this separation is notthe result of ailder-qualificatron. On the contrar)'.it is dueto oler-qualification.as this sta-se.the stageof con- sciousness.is co-extensivewith anthrogenesis.and as suchrepresents a leap orriol'bio- and psychogenesi. The Stageof lrritability' This stagehas alreadl'been presented in Leontier'spsychogonic theory. It is consideredpre-psychic. as there is no segregationof metabolismand object- orientedactivity, and no reflectionof the objecttoward which theorganisnt is oriented. The Stageof Sensibility This stagecontains the first form of the psychic.which is characterised simultaneouslyb1' motivation and ref-lection. Nlotivation means that the organ- ism hassome biological needs that are expressed in its activity.as an orienta- tion towardthose objects suitable for satisf,vingthese needs. Reflection means that thereis sensor,vand neuralequipment enabling a representationof an objectas a specifictype of psychicref'lection. The Stageof Perception The secondleap in theps1'cho-uenesis of Leontier, is thetransition fiom sen- sibiiityto perception.This is the leaptiom gonl identi.fic'utiottthrcugh signol detectionto goal av'(rrenes.\thtottgh object perce;stion.Thrs is what Leontier, callsthe leapfrom thesensible to lhepercepln'e stage of ps1'chogenesis.The signaldetection type of sensibilityin the stageof merely'sentient orgiinisms meansa ratherrigid schemeof innatereacti\it)'to so-calledkey stimuli, sc'hliisselrel:es. These are innatere\ponse nrechanisms (abbr. IRN{). that althoughsomewhat modifiable by learningare basically' svstems of reactions to certainschematic features in thetotal tield of theanimal set in a certainbio- logicallydef ined situation. However.perception is somethingmore. It meansthe awareness of objects asdistinctil'e entities. In thecase of cxheranimals (and in factwe arereferring Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 159 to animalsonly), this implies an understanding of theseanimals as beings with a specifickind of actir,itythat is directedtou'ards specific goals and a perfbrrn- anceaccording to this. Accordin-sto Leontier:

Thenext stage after that ofthe elementary sensory psvche. the second stage of evolution.can be called that ol theperceptir e psvche. lt hasthe capaci- t1'to reflectexternal. objective realitl alreadvin theforrn of a reilectionof riilrg.srather than in thelbrm of separateelententarr sensations evoked b1' separatepropenies or a combinationof properties.(Leontiev 1981. 175)

Justas with theprevious transition ofpsychogenesis. hor"ever. it is notjust onlhe reJTecton'(rnirror)side that the changetakes place. The moreintegral con.rprehensionof theobject as not just a si-cnalreleaser of instinctivemotor behar.'iour.but ratheras an or_eanismcapable of learned.non-stereotypic. situa- ted iictir.'itr.tou,ard a specificobject. indicates the changeon the e,rectlrrngside of the activit)'.This is demonsrratedclearly in thebehaviour of an animalthat bypassesa hindranceblocking its goal.

[Tlheinfluence to r',hichmamnials'activitv is directedno longermer-ees rvithintluences from thebarrier in them.but bothoperate separately fiom oneanother lbr them.The direction and end result ol theactivin, depends on thefbrnrer. rihile tlie u,av it is done.i.e.. the mode in whichit is per- formed(e.-e.. b-v going around the obstacle)depends onthe latter. This spe- cialmake-up or aspectof activin.which corresponds to the conditions in whichthe object erciting it is presented.ue shallcall operation.(ibid. I 75f)

Thus.just asthe previous leap from iritabilitl,to.selsilrlrn. andthereby to the psyche,was characterisedb,v the bifurcationof ntetubolr.inland object- tlirec'tedo(tit'it\'. the next leap fiom sensibilityto perceptirin is distinguished by a bifurcation.This is a bifurcationofthe object-directedactir,ity into the integralsystem of object-directedactivitf itself.and pafil)' into theplastic part of this.In otheru,ords. it is not directedimmediatell, roward the object itself, but tol'"'ardthe situationalaspects modifving the actiritr. Thesemodifying partsof uctirit\ xrc theoperdri()tt.\. 160 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

In definingthe consecutil'estages. Leontier,consistently focuses on the aspectof reflection.rather than the aspect of motivation.This is thecase fbr the presentstage. the stage of perception.Hou'ever. in my'opinion. we couldmake thedefinition of slagemore well-founded by fbcusingon theactivity of theper- ceptiveanimals. The nevupsychogenic stage is peculiarbecause of its object- specificmotivation. The motivation of theanimal is directedtowards a specific objectdistinguished fiom the field that simultaneouslycontains the anirnal it:ell'andthe object in question. The object-directivenessirt the ntcttit'crtionof the animal and the obje<-t-per- c'eptivenessin rhe cognitionof the animal are logically combinedinto an object-orientationin there^'uctiyin' of theanimal. Thatis, just asthe motivation and the cognition of theanir.r.ral is getting rnore specificin relationto certainobjects (such as prey.predators. competitors. matesor offspring).the actir.'ity' as such ittcreuses in spet'iJit'itt'.The phenome- non of increasingspecificitlt is. of course.the empirical basis of thetheory of psychogenesis. Thatthe perceptive activit) is object-specificmeans that the animal can dis- tinguishbetween the ob.ject.towards w'hich the actir.ityis directed.the ,q,ctal .itnrebeing the successcriterion of the behaviourand the conclitiort.soJ tlrc lield thatare settin-e the requirements fbr itsperformance. The Stageof the Intellect This evolutiontowards a more complex organisationof object-directed activityis reinforcedin thenext sta-se. the stage of consciousness(in Leontier''s theory).Here, the operational aspect of activitv.in a u'ar,.is madeindependent asa separate.preparator), phase betbre the goal-seekingactivitl,, itself. Addi- tionally.the intellectualanimal (Leontiev had the primatein mind) hnsto indulgein purereflection about strateglr before continuin-s its business. ln thesubsequent (and final) hurnan stage ofconsciousness. there is a clear distinctionbetween Ihe ttction. the conscious _eoal-directed part of actil'ity.and theoperation. the possiblyconscious. pctssibly automated part relatedto the conditionsof implementin,ethe action. Leontier''s concept of operationco\rers the subordinatesections of activitl'.the choice of which is n.rerelydetermined by thespecific conditions of thetie1d. Additionally. (Lctiotl. according to Leon- tier'.is refering to theintentional totalirt oJ'octivin'directedtoward the object Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 161

anddefined in relationto the superordinate-goalsituation. Granted. there are importantcharacteristics of consciousaction _uenerally missing from theper- ceptivestage. this is not quitethe casein the intellectualone. Therefore. the superordinateportion of activity definedby the objectoncl the gonl shouldbe calleda proto-action. Theproto-action is deflnedbf itstwo constituents:


1.The goal eitherdirectly present. or placedin theproximate. but not visiblepart of theneighbourhood that has to bemediated ( and represented) by memor)'.

2. The way towards the goal thatcan be somehoublocked or disturbed.so that the animalhas to chooseand perform certain operations that fit into the specificconrii- tlon.iof thesetting of the proto-action.

Until the laststage. the anthropologicalone (or in Leontiev'srerminology, tlte .stogeoJ'cctt't.scioust?e-!r ), the activity of an animal or a group of animalsis a ready-rnadecomposition of fixed operations.In the higherr.ertebrates. how- erer. and especiallr in thcapes. a cenainuctir ity canconsist ol'a proto-aetion thatcontrols the choice of an operationsuitable tbr overcomingthe complica- tionsto goalrealisation determined by theconditions of thesetting. As an example.we cantake the shrer','dchimpanzee misleading a dominant bully by deliberatelyr.isiting a treewithout bananas. He thusleads the muscu- larl1'superior. but cognitivelvinferior fellow to a tutile searchfbr fruit. while he runsto a treeof real abundance.5i'Here the proto-actionis the composite nrocessof: 162 Ch.2: Beineand Becoming

Proto-action as a CompositeProcess

, Choosin-sthe second (abundant)tree as its mainob.ject and thecon- | sumptionof thebananas as the goal situatron I I I I h D-".-i. ;,,. rh- h,1llyas a threat.thus constituting the specific condi-

I tion ol'theproto-actiorr I I t_. c.Figuring out thct the bu1l1' can be fooledbl performingthe first t-I I operrtionof runningto thef ake trce I I d. realising perfbrming I Conclusively the-soal b1' thesecond operation I ofrrrnninrro rhe genuine banana Iree.

Unlike Leontiev.I will not makea systematicdistinction between a percep- tiveand an intellectual stage (defined to be inhabitedby'' the apes ). Leontievhad accessmainly to Kohler'scognitive with apes(Kohler 1973). Thereis growin-uevidence. ho*'ever. that manl'other mammals can also erhib- it. to anadmittedly much lou'er de-sree. intellectual abilit-v. Nonetheless. not all thestages are of courseplane levels. but ratheroblique ones. On theother hand. field observationsas well as carefullydesigned experiments u'ith primates havedemonstrated the wide scooe of r,rrimateintellect. The Stageof Consciousness I am notquite satisfied with thename of theformer stage. as intellectuality' is not an evidentcharacterisation of primates.hou,ever clever ther, sonletlmes seemto be. Nevertheless.in this dissertationI llill concentrateon the next level.which is the stagethat Leontiel callsthe levelof hunnn t'onsciousne.\.\. Theleap to thispsvchogenic level is. hou'e., er. a leapout of biologr'.just asbio- gonywas a leapout of cosmologl". In fact.Leontiev provides a characterisationof hunranacti\ it\'. He empha- sisestwo constituentsas a cotrditiortsirte qttu rtort of humanacti\ itv. il'hichis hereanalysed in thepeculiar form calledwork: 163

The two following f-eaturesare abor,eall typical of labour.The first is the 'Labour'. 'begins useand making of tools. Engelssaid. with themaking of tools'. The secondfeature is thatit is pertbrmedrn conditionso1'joint. activitv.so that man lunctionsin this processnot onlv rn a cefiainrela- tionshipwrth nature.but also u,ith otherpeople. members of a given so- ciety.Onlv througha relationu.ith other people. does man relateto nature itself. nhich meansthat labour appearsfiom the verv be-ainningas a pro- cessmediated b1'tools (in the broadsense) and at the sametime rnediated socially.(Leontiev 1981. 208)

Here. Leontiev pinpoints two of the three defining qualities of the theory of human activity I am going to presentin the next chapter.The two characteris- tics outlined b1' Leontier,' are the use of lool.i and cooperatlon. "common ccll- lectir,e actiVit)". The third characteristic that is missing. but certainly fbund else\\'herein his writings. ts meonirtg.Meaning is in tact the category contain- ing the very key to the purpose and coherenceof a specific instanceof human activit)'. The anthropogonic leap is at the same time the last leap of biogenesis.and especially'ofpsvchogenesis.and the first leap ofanthropo-senesis.a leap that is much more than just psycho-eenic.This will be treatedin the last sec- tion of this chapter.in the sectionintroducing the anthropoiogicalobject field.

)< Anthropogony,Anthropogenesis and the AnthropologicalObj ect Field

Until now.this chapter has tbcused on theobject fields studied in thenatural sciences(the cosmological and the biological disciplines). However. the aim of thistreatise is primarill'theanthropological sciences. not thenatural sciences. The naturalsciences har,e been introducedjust as steppingstones. According to theevolutionary perspective ofthe theor,vofactivity. the natural sciences are necessarvto understandthe creation. and therefbre also the natureof man. The presentsection is only meantto be an introductionto the subjectof the verv topicof thistreatise. In a way.the remainder of the book will be a contr- nuousexpansion of thissubject matter. The following chapter treats anthropo- logy in moredetaii. and the ditferent aspects of anthropology'are presented in 164 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming the chapterssucceeding the anthropologicalone. Presentlv.I shall confine myselfto a briefpresentation of theultimate basics of anthropologl".accordrn g to my own theory'.Only a scarcenumber of fundan.rentalconcepts are inclucled here.and they,are defined in a Laconic\\,a)'. as a morethorough presentrrion followsin thesucceeding chapters. Onceagain. I shalldistinguish between a finalisticand a hisroricalunder- standingof evolution.From afinalirll('perspective. Humankind is a necessarv terminalpoint in theevolution of lif'e.and possiblv even of matter.Front a /ll.i- tori<:alperspective. the beginning and the course of lit'e.trnd possiblv even of matter.are necessary. but cerlainlvnot sutlicient.preconditions fbr theproper understandingofthe natureofthat peculiarspecies ofman thathappens to beat the sametime the obiectand the subjectof anthropolo-t1'.As the restof this bookwill be dedicatedto thissubject matter. I will notgo into anydetail in this briefintroduction. Anthropogonymust be understood to bejust asdramatic as the two previous onticleaps. i.e.. cosmo- and biogony. It is analogousin particularto biogony.as a leaplrr a specificobject field. and at the samerime a leaporrr o/this object fleld.This ieapis a particularkind. it is anelevation to usethe Hegelian expres- sion. What thenis this anthropogonicleap. which startsas an ordinarypart of phy- logenicevolution. but thenhas revealed itself asthe beginning of something quitedifferent'l In accordance*ith the activitl'concept of the basictheory of Leontiev.it is a fundamentalchange in thever;' structure of activityitself. It is a changethat comprises that mode of actir,itythat is production. Theproduction of humanacti\,itv means that human beings produce a totally' new kirrdsof entitl'.i.e.. c'ultural prodlt('ts. these include cLrte.fttcts, ststem.s oj meaningand organisationul structurz-s. Ultimately. these cuitural products. whichI callsociological objects, are integrated into thesuper-enriry ofanthro- pology.rhe societal ststem. Thus. the objectsof the anthropologicalfield are either socioiogicalobjet'ts (i.e.. cultural products)or persons(i.e.. human beings).The humanbeings at first sightseem to be.justbiological objects like anyother organisms. Elen humanbeings are or-eanisms. They are. however, at the sametime somethingelse. somethin-e radically different fiom otherorgan- isms.On the onehand. they are otfspring tiom thebiolo-sical object field. and asnewborn. verv much so.On the otherhand. they arealso cultural products. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory' 165 just asare the artefacts.the organisationalstructures and the meaningsystems. As a culturalproduct. hor'''ever. a human being is not producedjust by other people,but to a very largeextent is a productof his or her own struggleto oppropriutethe cultureas an inte-gralpart of the personality'. Thus.we havetwo kinds of anthropologicalobjects. We have.on the one hand.the sociologicalobjects that are Ihe ertenutli.ierlproducts of human activity.On theother hand. ll'e have the persons who. b1' producin-u themselves viatheappropriationofculture.aretheinternalrserlproductsofhumanactivity. The contextof humanactivit)'is not an eco-nichedefined in a bicllogicalwiiy. asis the casefbr otherspecies. Rather. we haveL\.\cene oJ'hwtnn actluirr', the specificcontext of which is the societalsvstem. which is in itselfa productof humanactivitv. The eco-niche of a non-humanspecies is. of course.also partly theresult of theactivity'of the speciesitself. but onlyprrrllr'.because the eco- nicheis at the sametime substantiallydeterrnined by rnan)'other species and evenbv geologicaland meteoroiogical processes. The societalcontext of humanactivitl-. however. is decidedlyproduced by bumanactir,ity. and is notonl;- rnaintained. but alsorestructured by thisactivi- ty. And asit is norvbecomins more and more visible. restructured in sucha largescale that it is notjust a local humaneco-niche that is affbcted.but the entirebiosphere. This macro-productionof thehuman context brings us to the nextcharacteristic of theneu objectlleld: thechan-ee in thef'abric of evolution actuall-vis at thesame time anarutihilcrtiorr and an evolution. Itis a Sublation(or Au.fltebLll,q)that transfbrms biogenesis to sociogenesis:it is a leapfiorn theevolution by naturalselection to thehistorical development of humansby culturalaccumulation of change. fiorrespondingto thechange on the macro-levelofthe speciesis thetrans- formationof theontogenesis of the indil'idualanimal through maturation and learningto the humanontogenesis that is personaldevelopment or develop- nientof personality. The fbllou'ing dia-uramshovu s the major characteristicsof the anthropolo-ei- cal obiectfleld: 166 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

A Model for the Anthropological Object Field


*, /

ontic dimension o!0toslcal rnthropoiogicrl oblect tield object field

psycho- rrr io- 1og ical |0g r.rl ob-tect obt ect iield: I iel.l: person! eulturrl lntefna- produat\ lisation e\ternal r- ol \tlton\ Lrl cullurc pers()ndlrt\


In the diagram.we seeho.,v the anthropolo_vicalob1ect field emergestiom thebiological object field throu-eh the anthropo-uonic leap. just asthe biological objectfield emergedfrom the cosmologicalobject field throughthe bio,gonic leap. Theanthropological object field is.hou,ever. a generaltiame having two dif- ferentobject flelds as constituents. These are, on theone hand. the psvchologi- cal objectfield. consistin-s of psychologicalobjects. that is to sa1'.human indi- viduals.persons. and their internalisations of theculture in rvhichthey lil'e. On the otherhand. are sociological objects that are human products. and as such externalisationsof personality'. Part I: Foundation of Activity Theory r67

When I introducedthe biologicalobject field. I explainedhow the word "physical"can be ambiguous.and I stressedthat I shallconsistently use the word only in the first sense.meaning u'hater,'er is not a living organismor a par1.function or qualityattached to suchan entity. or a s\ stemconsisting of liv- ing organisms. Similariy,we canuse the word "biological" in two ways:

The Term "Biological" usedin Two Ways

I . Biolo-eicall: The first way to usethe term is asan antonymto meaningnot at oll relutedto humanlife (eitherthe psychologicalor the sociologic aspects).but s&b- or pre-anthropological.

2.Biological.: The secondway to usethe term is asan ali encompassingconcept meaningnrtt'thing related to li.fe(either non-human or human).

I avoidthe use of thesecond sense of theword. not becauseI denythe obr.'i- ousf-act that human beings are animals. and that our life processesfbllow the -eeneralbiological paths. as this fact is a banality.Nevertheiess. I restrict myself to usingthe word in the first sensein orderto avoidambiguity. I thususe the word biolo-sicalin sucha mannerthat it relatesits ontologicalstage to thepre- lious clnein the samemanner used u,ith the u'ord "physical". Thus. the three consecutiveobject fields are detined as a categorysystem. in f'act.as an ordered kind of sucha system. By'follor,l'ing this .\\'e have the methodologicaladvantage that an1'phenomenon. object or essentiality.can be placedwithin oneobject field onll'.For instance.n'ork. according to thisterminology. is an anthrcpoktgitul. not a biologicrrlphenornenon. Person-s are cutthropological and p*c'hologicul objects,ncrt biological' ones (meaningnotntereh bioLog,icalobjects). Tools are onthropologir:ctlor sociologicnlobjects. but not phtsical ones.In all these 168 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming assefiionsit is. of course.a tacitprecondition that the terms are used based on theirexclusive. not their inclusive meaning. Now thatthe majorcharacteristics of theanthropolosical object field har,e been sketched.u'e could ask whetherthere has beena changein terms of es.tence,a distinctir,e difference in theessential principles of theto trvofields. I shalltry to explainthe change as a sublationfrom thepritrciple of t'unt'tionttlin IoIhe prirtt:ipleo.f intetttiormliry.Il you so u,ish.y'c'ru could also savthat the chan-tewas to theprintiple ofcon.sciousintetrtionalitt. or just cttrt.stiottsnes.s. This terminology.however. stresses the psychological sub-field too muchand accordinglyneglects the sociological sub-field. Whereare we then.just beforesetting out tbr thereal matter of thisbook. the problemof anthropologl,.In thisintrodu*ory sketchof theanthropogonic leap andof theanthropological object field. u,ehave fbund a seeminglyconfuring plethoraof diversephenomena and objects. what thenis theessence of it all'l Whatis thecontent of theprinciple of intentionaiity,l In accordanceu'ith ther erv guidingconcept of Actir,ityTheory. I shalllook for thisessentiality in thegeneral characteristic of hunnn activity.This .spec lli- ca tlilJerentiaI will call the rnediutionor maybe rather the medicttionalittof' ctctit'it\'.All theaspects of cultureand personality just mentionedcan be under- stoodas mediators for humanactivity: the societal mediators fbrming the total- ity of culture.consisting of tools.(societal') meaning and the organisational structure:the psltchological mediators creating personality'. rr,,ith its substs- temof consciousness.The mediating processes are then societal procluL'tiotr.s <'tf culturein thesub-field ofsociology and personal appropriation ofculture in the psychologicalsub-tield.


Existerrcehas been kidnapped bv theexistential philosophers and applied bl thenr to theexclusi\,e context of huntanlit'e. For instance.Heidegger ( I 9-19I has used an etymcrlo-eicalargument for this interpretation.(ek-sisto: Greek tbr to sttuttloti- srrle)In thisbook. houever. eristence is r-rsedin an inclusire$a\'. encomoassinc all organismsand all non-livingobject. (Kirk & Raven1957 t. The degreeofprecision. houever. rs dependent on thetvpe ofentin.to \\'hich$,e refer.Thus. the statue of Libertl'canbe located*ith a precisionof u,ithina metre. whereasan object like theU.S. is not conflnedu.ithin its geographicalboundan. Part I: Foundation of Activitv Theorv 169

but alsohas rnovable parts like its uarshipsand bombers. The objects we callcor- porations.like Shellor l\'licrosoft.are even fuzzier in theirlocations. 4 If thel'lthe :ltomsl are erpressions of thenaiur:rl laws. that is thecentral order of the rnaterialworld. r'ou hare to acknouledgethern as actual Iuirklich]. its there erlana- 'real'. teseflects fiom them.\ ouc,rn not. horr ever. acknou ledge then a\ asthet are 'res no . . lHeisenberg 1971. )1ft 5 This is.of course.a (con(ept) rrall.rtpositron in thediscr-rssion of universals. This discussionwill betreated in chapter5. 6 Bohr's redefinitionof the term "phenomenon"is clearin this quotationfiom an internationalconference in Warsar'"1938: Speaking.as is ollendone. of disturbinga phenomenon bv observation.or eren of creatingphvsical attrihutes to objectsbr measuringprocesses. is.in fact.liable of berngconfusing. since all suchsentences irnpll a departurefrom basic conventions oflanguagewhich. eren though it sornetimesmal bepractical tbrthe sake ofbreri- t\. cannc\er be unamhicuous. It is certainll1'ar more in accordanceu'ith the struc turcand intcrpretation ol the quantum mechanical srnrbolism. as $ell aswith ele- mentanepislemological pnnciples. t() reser\e the *ord 'phenomenon'tirr the conr prehensionof theeltects of obsenedunder giren erperimental conditrons. (Pais I991..+-ll) ThemostertensiveerpositionofBohr'sphilosophl isfbundinthreebooksthatas fal asI kno* har,enot been translated (Bohr 19-59.I96,1 and 1965). 7 See(Karpatschol 1983 t. 8 (Lenint977). 9 In all fairness.it shouldbe borne in mindthat this lack of awarenessof thetechno- logicallvrnediated evidence $as not at all aserident aroundthe turn olthe last centur) asit is nor.r'. 10 Hereto beunderstood in itsnornral. narro* meaning.that is thetheory ofthe historvof Cosmos. I I Crisisas intheconceptof (Kuhn 1960). ll (He-sel1975.p.-126). l3 (Kvale1992 t. l:l (Copleston1985. r'olII.p.l36-155). l5 Democrite'satomic theorf is describedin (Kirk & Raven1957 ). I 6 I havehere taken the libert-v of usingthe concept of politicaleconomy in its Marx- ian( double ) senseas a matrixfor coiningthe concept political metaphysics. 11 See(Michotte 1963). l8 It shouldbe rememberedthat the originalnumber of elementsbelier.'ed to be in existencewas -1. The final numberexceeding 100 was thus far from theintended simplicity. l9 For a descriptionof Mendeler"sdiscovery of the periodicsystem. see (Danaher I988 ). l0 Thereare about 100 elements and at leastas manv kinds of atomicparticles. 2l Darn'in'stheor-v is not precedednor succeededbv sucha philosophicalinvestica- tion of evolution.and Popper has explicitl)' repudiated the verv idea of a scientitlc t70 Ch.2: Beingand Becoming

theoryof evolution. 22 (Engels197,1). 2-3 (Sartre1978). 24 Mereologvis a term suegestedb1' the Polishloeician Stanislaw Lesnoieu ski for thestudl,ofthe part-whole relation. See (Bastable 1915.p.2121. 25 See(Gutzwiller 1990) llorenz 19951. 26 chaostheorv- still conceives of thisindeterminacy as epistemological. as even the slightestimprecision in measurementsof a systemmay havean efl'ecton predic- tion thatis totallvdestructive. According ro mv own epistemolog-v,this distinction betweenan epistemological indeterminism and a conservedontological determrn- ismu'ill proveto beun-defendable in thelong run. 21 See(Capra 1983). 28 See(Prigo-eine l980ttPrigogine & Stengerst98.1). 29 See(Margulis & Sagan1986). 30 See(Lovelock 1982). 31 This interpretationof Aristotlehas been sug-sesred bl Engelsted( 1989). 32 See(Leontiev l98l ). 33 See(Bateson 1987). 34 See(Lovelock l9[i2). 3-5 See(Dijksterhuis 1961). 36 See(Margulis & Sagan1986). 37 See(Eible-Eiblesfeldt 1970i. 38 Seetbrexample (Panish 199-1.t. 39 See(Leontiev 1981 ). ,10 See(Ridle1" 1986). '11 lHegel1982). 12 tSpencer1850). "13 In thesociological chapter. I wrll assenin a similarwa-v. now apparentlyethnocen- tric. that our present.\\'estern societv is on a higherlevel thanother societies. 11 In fact latelv.an explanationhas been proposed. however. that is at leastas weird asthe anthropicone. This theorv is that thereare. in t'act.a multitudeofuniverses existingbeside one another, and that through a kind ofpseudo-Darwinianselec- tron.they developin differentdirections. the onesfultilling the critical paramerers beingthe most extensive ones. 45 (Barrow& Tipler 19861. z+u As we arehere abstracting about our o\\n species.the politicallycorrect use of "his andher" will notwork. In thisimaginarive contexr. I i'indit. if not malechau- Vinistic.then at leastterra-centric to presunethe universalexistence ofexactlv nl,o sexesand exactly the sexesof mctlecutd.fbntole . A- ''The Descartesthus writes in passtonsof thesoul": of AcqviqTh t7l lart I: lor1ntti* gor"v

...let us recognizethat death never comes through lailure of the . but solely becausesome one ofthe pnncipai partsofthe bod."-disintegrates. Let us hold that the bocly.of a lir ing rnandii'ter: frorn rhatLrf a deadman just as anr rnachinethat lnove\ of itself(e.g.. a watchor otherautonlalon uhen rt is uound up and therebl has in itselfthe corporealprincrple o1 those r.norenrents for uhieh it is desisne,l.together r.rtthall elsethat is requiredfbr its actiontdiilers fiom itsell\hen rt i' brokenrntl the principleof its moven.ientceAses to act.(Descartes 1958 167f) And funher in the Discourse: teem \lritngct() This [morement*ithour beingguided b1,the uilll rvil] not rt lll thosev,ho knou, ho* manl krnds ot automatons.or nioving machines.the skill of nlan can constructuith the useof |en fe$ parts.in conrparisonwith the greatmultl- tutle0f bones.muscles. nerres. arteries. reins and all the otherparts that ale ln the bodl oi an1animal. For thel $ ill regardthis bodl asa machine.$hich. haYingbecn ntadeb1 the hand of God. is incomparabh betterordercd than an) machinethat cirn bedet.isedblntanandcontainsinit:elfntorententsn.roreuonderfulthanthosein .lr't\\u( h lrlir\hinc I made specialelforts to shttu that lf an1 such nlachilleshad the organsand out- $ard shapeof a monket or someother animal that lacks reason. tre shouldhal'e ntr nreansof knouing thatthel did not possesentirelr tht' s,lllle lliltllre rs the'eanitrrtl: $hereusif anl strchntachines bore I re:enlblanCeto otlr bodiesand inlitatedour ilctiolt\ii\ closelvas possible for all practicalpurposes. $e shtlultistill hare t$0 \'erY cenainmeans of recognizingthat the) \\ erenot realmen. The flrst is thatthev could ne\ er Llse\ ords.or put togetherother :iqns. as rre do in orderto tleclareour thoughts to others...secondil.eren thoughsrrch machines nlrght do somethinss as uell asu'e do lht-nl.or perhapseven better' tlle) uould ineritabll tail in tlthers'uhich tould rereal that ther wereacting not throughunderstanding but onlr tiom thedlsprrsttton oftheir organs.For uhercasreason is I unirersalinstruntent uhich can be usedin all kinds0f:ituati0n-.. the\e organs need stlme particular disposition fbr eachparti- cularaction: hence it is ior ail practicalpurpo\cs irrpos:ible tor a nlachineto have enoughriitterent or!:ans ro makeit act in all the contingencie\ofLfe in the \\a)'in uhich our reasorrInakes u\ act.(De\cartes i9E8.l'lft :18 If r,,econfine our discussionof the extension and genealog-vof the psYchic to the special tilrm called consciousness.there is a tendency to\\ard i.rne\en narrower ciellnition.The argumentlor Descartes'Anthropslchism \\'asactuall) his identifi- cation of the ps)'chic \\'ith consciottsness.Further. Jal nes ( I 976 ) trustedthe Carte- sian restriction of cor.rscigusnessas ii human qualitl' b1 fbrl"'arding the hl pothesrs q'ith that consciousnessis a prod,Jctof cultural historr. n()t born our species.but jgrelopcdirr the high r'rrlturc\ (rl thc Antiqtril) -19 Aristule thus r.r'ritesabout the soul lps\che] of the plants: The nutritiresoul Ipslchelbeiongs to other]iving thing\ as uell a: man.betng the frr't iinclmost siilell di:trihutedfacult\. in rirtue ol$hrch all thing: possesslilc lts tuncrionsare rcproductionand a:sintililtionof nutrinrent.lAristdle 1907.63IDe Anina ll. ch.3.-11t.

a0 The aninral soul fps1'chelis characterisedin this quotation: its The soullpslchel in anirralshas been dctined in \ irtueot tut) faculties.nol onl\ lacLritlt0.judge. rvhich is rhe llncrron ol thoughtand perception.but alsoof local n10\.ement.,,rhrchit imparts the anintal(.\fl\totle 1907.1+7[De Anima III. ch.9]t. 5l From "ps1'chein"=to breathe,See (Jat'ne s I 9 76. 170f) (lbid.) 172 Ch. 2: Being and Becoming

53 (Leontie' 1973. 109). All the quotations of Leontiev in the remainder of this sec- tion are the author's translationsfrom the German edition of his major opus. 5.1 Auf einer besfinlnrtenStufe der biolosischenE'olultion *erden die der Lebens- erhaltungdieneneden \\'echselu irkungsprozesse glerchsant in zwei Teilegespalten. Auf der einen Seite sehenqir die Umrielteinurrkungen.die die Eristenz des oraganisrnusunmittelbar bestimnren und uf die er mit grundlerendenLebens Prozessenund Lebensfunktionenreaeierr. .{uf der anderenSite *irken neutraie Reize. auf die der Organisrnu:mit Prozessenant\\ortet. die die organischen Grundfunktionenmur nrittelbartrealisieren. den prozessentles verlrtltens ( Leontie\ 1973.1I0) [TheEnglish quoration is ofthe author'stranslarion. as the section quoted rs not includedin the EngJishedrtionl.

55 This deviation can be interpretedas a terminological rather than conceptual one. as explained abor,ein the discussionof the Aristotelian concept of osvche. -56 (Lawick-Goodall I 97 I ).