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Re: [xmca] Peter Smagorinsky on concepts

On 19 January 2012 11:33, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Mmmm, hard to keep track of whatever it was we disagreed about here, Huw,
> but my reaction to what you say would be that an abstract concept also
> mirrors reality, but in a different way. The task of the thinker is to
> "reconstruct the real in thought" and that begins from an abstraction which
> best encapsulates the whole Gestalt, but lacks concreteness, and must
> therefore mark the beginning point of a mental reconstruction of the real.
> Yes?
> Andy

The abstract system, in the sense portrayed by Marx, could not be
implemented.  It would not work.  It would not be a system in its own right.

Thought inheres within a material system.  One is never outside
materiality.  Although the system of thought allows us to mentally
construct pseudo systems that would not work if implemented.

I think there can be value in beginning with abstractions (in this sense),
although Marx in the passage quoted seemed against it.


> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> My understanding is that a concrete conception, as referred to here, by
>> Marx, refers to conceptions that authentically mirror the concrete, the
>> material, the phenomena.
>> All systems comprise of material relations.
>> I refer to material here because this is directly related to structure.
>> Concrete is not merely a concentration of abstractions, it is a
>> concentration that mirrors the phenomena of interest in the concrete world.
>>  Alternatively if we were to implement our concrete conceptions we would
>> also have a concrete system.
>> Huw
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