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Re: [xmca] Peter Smagorinsky on concepts
- To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Peter Smagorinsky on concepts
- From: Huw Lloyd <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:47:03 +0000
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On 17 January 2012 04:19, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> My interpretation is that equating thought (the business of thinking) or
>> a thought (singular consideration) and concept is a form of metonymy --
>> perfectly adequate in most circumstances. I would say that the thought (in
>> this form, if the talk is regarding logical material) is making use of a
>> (scientific) concept, or more likely many (scientific) concepts, in a
>> similar way to how I can behold a scene and describe it. I am happy
>> equating "The thought" with a conception, idea, a conceiving, or even 'my
>> concept' (short for my conception), but not a (scientific) concept. If we
>> were to call 'a thought' 'a scientific concept' it would seem, to me, to
>> be an incredible fudge.
> I can't agree, Huw. To do justice to explaining a scientific or any
> actual (developed) concept would always require holding that concept
> in mind for a protracted period of time.
Did you mean to say that, Andy? Hold a concept?
What is it that does the holding? I would call this the thinking process.
> Of course, if you just
> presented a definition, that would be over in a sentence, but a
> definition marks only the beginning of the process of development of
> a true concept.
>> It's been a while since reading T&S etc. Does Vygotsky talk about
>> concepts that are not scientific concepts, that would lead you to believe
>> that his use of the term 'concept' is referring to anything other than a
>> scientific concept?
> The main thing, in my view, is that Vygotsky is not an empiricist.
> He does not analyse objects and list their properties. Vygotsky
> deals (1) with /lines of development/ and (2) /ideal types/. Any
> actual concept (whether scientific or religious or everyday) is a
> process, not an entity, and its process includes both the ideal type
> of a true concept and the ideal type of an everyday concept.
> Otherwise it is a poor concept. He takes not only scientific
> concepts as the ideal type for a "true" concept, but a concepts of
> /Marxist social science/. Such concepts are the most pure of the
> type of true concept, inasmuch as they can begin only from book
Seems fine to me, apart from 'book knowledge' which needs more pinning down.
Piaget took as his ideal type the concepts of physics.
> But these are not pure scientific concepts because they contain an
> element of development via sensorimotor practical experience, prior
> to scientific development. The scientific concept is /essentially/
> book knowledge /alone/. Further, there are many types of true
> concept, not only scientific - eg the concepts of the Orthodox
> Christian Church, soccer, Astrology, etc., but Vygotsky was not an
> empiricist. Like Pavlov, he chose to investigate just one type of
> relation, confident that by so doing he would unlock the key to all
> concepts. Most important to know is that Vyvgotsky did not believe
> that concepts were /things /which could be categorised into this or
> that type (pseudoconcepts). His program was to investigate the
> various ideal types of development of (all) actual concepts.
>> BTW, in accord with Peter, my thinking on these lines has all come from
>> personal (auto-didactic) understanding and consideration. Much of Vygtosky
>> resonated (and still resonates) with my appreciation of these different
>> problems, but I do not go to the texts as the source. I think this helps
>> with the fact that I am, to date, only competent with English literature,
>> for I'm always reading between the lines and reflecting on my understanding
>> which frees me, a little, from the vagaries of translation.
> From one audo-didact psychologist to another (most of us on xmca are).
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