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Re: [xmca] "Rising to the concrete"

On 14 August 2012 22:22, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

> Still in between boxes but came across this quote from Lenin today:
> ‘In order to understand it is necessary empirically to begin understanding,
> study, to rise, from empiricism to the universal. In order to learn to swim
> it is necessary to get into the
> water<
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/cons-logic/ch03.htm#LCW38_205
> >
> ’.
> (found at:
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/pilling3.htm)
> and it reminded me of one of mike's favorite statements "rising to the
> concrete." Yet Mike's phrase appears quite different. So Mike, if you're
> out there, does your "rising to the concrete" bear any significant relation
> to Lenin's rising to the universal? They seem like very different concepts,
> no?
> -greg
Hi Greg,

Respect for taking on Lenin.  :)

My readings of universal usually accord with dialectical (developmental)

A rivulet's movement on a window pane is 'universal'.  Each instance is
superficially different although there is a process at work that can be
seen to be the same.

The concrete refers to the relations that make up the psychological
reflection of its reality, not abstractions (or aspects) of it.

A strictly empirical process would not deliver this concrete discovery, it
does not extend beyond measuring.  To obtain the concrete one needs to
explore 'universal' processes, which entails (from a developmental, i.e.
learning, sequence) integrating abstractions into a concrete whole which
necessitates dialectics (the contradictory tensions in which the concrete
thing inheres).


> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
> Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
> Department of Communication
> University of California, San Diego
> http://ucsd.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
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