Re: [xmca] Response to DK about Volition

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Mon Sep 10 2007 - 19:40:20 PDT

I was responding to Steve Gabosch, David, not your post.
At 05:38 PM 10/09/2007 -0700, you wrote:
> Andy, I feel a little like the little boy who is asked by the
> schoolmaster whether he would rather decline roast beef or the Latin noun
> for it, and ends up forgoing dinner as a result. I understand that I have
> in some way said something that somehow implies that the dialectic
> belongs to a pre-existing Popperian "World Three", just out there waiting
> to be discovered. But I can't see how.
> I didn't inject the word "nature" into the debate ("volition" was my
> contribution if you check the subject line), and I certainly don't
> understand what god is now doing nosing around it. (Allah, by the way, is
> quite different from either "nature" or the Christian notion of god; just
> as we would expect of what was historically the most modern of the great
> religions, knowledge of Allah is mediated by beauty--literary beauty, in
> fact--rather than by scientific concepts or brute faith).

yes but some Muslims at least believe that it is by the Will of Allah that
every little electron jumps from its orbit or spins around an atom - in
other words a quasi-pantheistic conception of God.

> What I understood by natural dialectics was simply dialectics for
> grizzly bears, that is, stuff that happens whether people are there to
> notice or not. Tony's right; grizzlies probably don't keep good enough
> records to think normatively about winter (humans didn't think
> normatively about climate until VERY recently). But bears notice when
> spring is late.
> Presumably, the social world IS dialectic in its laws of motion, and it
> didn't suddenly start being dialectic in 1848. It's just that a small
> portion of it became consciously so. Why is THIS observation not a form
> of nominalism (particularly if we are rejecting "nature" as a construct
> that leads us directly to god)?

Depends how far you push the point David. If I state some "law" (of nature,
society, mathematics, it doesn't matter) I obviously mean that the object
"obeys" this law. But if I really push this point, and claim that the law
exists independently of human activity, then I am in trouble. Einstein
could only resolve the problems of physics by abandoning the idea of
"space" and "time" as objectively existing entities whose properties could
be discovered by Pure Reason a la Immanuel Kant and instead simply
describing what we do when we measure the length and time of things, and
how the concepts of Time and Space are reifications of these activities. Of
course, Einstein did not believe that "Time-space do not exist" or that
Newton's laws of motion or his own Theory of Relativity were simply mental
constructs or imaginations, but were creations of the mind which have a
basis in Nature.


> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
>Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
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  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

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Received on Mon Sep 10 19:43 PDT 2007

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