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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action



Firstly, the page of my 15 page article is devoted to showing how if you begin from matter and consciousness you inevitably fall into irretrievable contradictions, so that I hope to convince the reader that it is worth reading the next 14 pages in which activity is taken as the starting point, not matter and consciousness. I have chosen to offer this for discussion on a list devoted to Cultural Historical ACTIVITY Theory because it seemed that such as audience would be open to that idea.

The difficulty I think is grasping the philosophical level at which I am deploying these concepts.

I am not formulating a new theory of physics, Greg. But you want my opinion on gravity. Gravity is a concept of natural science originating in the 17th century, expressing the observation of a tendency of bodies to accelerate towards each other at a rate proportional to the product of the inertial mass of the two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. As a result of Einstein's revolution in physics where he refused to take time and space and gravity as entities existing independently of human activity, but rather as interrelated properties of the human activity of measurement, the concept of gravity underwent a modification, in which it is shown to be implicit in the measurement of accelerated frames of reference. But I am not a physicist and maybe I have screwed this up a bit. But of course, I have only told you about the concept of gravity, and you asked me about gravity itself, as something existing independently of the practice of measuring gravity. I don't know about that. What I've read of Einstein tells me that gravity is a appearance. What I will say though is that the concept of gravity has a relatively sound basis in human practice. If I was an electron I would not know about gravity.

Matter (in the context in which I am speaking, i.e., not in a lesson on Physics) is a philosophical concept which denotes all that exists outside of consciousness. That is the definition of matter. If you want to define matter differently that's fine, but radical revisions of ontology should not be done lightly. Please try reading past the first page where I spruke the virtues of Activity as a foundational concept, rather than consciousness and matter. But if you are really stuck on matter and consciousness, I have a talk exclusively on this question https://www.academia.edu/9989816/Matter_and_Consciousness and a one hour video too https://vimeo.com/groups/301100/videos/121234193

My reference to psychokinesis was not a misinterpretation. My point was based on the confidence that don't believe in psychokinesis. Why not?

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 16/07/2017 1:27 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
Yes, difficult indeed! (and you've been doing a fair bit of misinterpreting as well - psychokinesis? As if!). If you won't take my gravity question then can I bother you to ask for an explanation of what you mean when you say that matter exists outside of consciousness? I'm sincerely trying to understand the position that you are setting out, but lots of stumbling blocks along the way.
-greg


On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 7:01 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    Communication is hard, isn't it? You have interpreted
    what I have said in the exact 100%  opposite of my
    meaning, Greg.

    The European Rationalists and Empiricists of the
    Enlightenment broke with the monism of the Catholic
    Church and proposed that matter existed outside of and
    independently of human consciousness but the nature of
    matter could be known by the respective programs of
    rationalism and empiricism. This is the view which
    guided the development of philosophy and science in
    the West and remains common sense to this day.

    *Hegel proposed a viable alternative to this ontology*

    But he did not do that by providing "new" definitions
    of matter and consciousness. He proposed a new monist
    starting point and reconstructed an entire world view
    beginning from that single concept which, in the
    spirit of his own times, he called "Spirit". I call it
    "Activity" and the article shows that this
    interpretation is true to Hegel's intention.

    So please, rather than imagining how matter and
    consciousness could somehow get mixed up with one
    another and we can discover psychokinesis and tell the
    future with dreams, be open to taking Activity as the
    substance of a world view.

    Andy

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Andy Blunden
    http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
    http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
    <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>

    On 16/07/2017 4:45 AM, Greg Thompson wrote:

        Andy,

        I must confess to being entirely confused by your
        suggestion that "matter is everything outside of
        consciousness". It sounds like you are starting
        the conversation by saying "there is matter on the
        one hand and there is consciousness on the other
        hand and never the twain shall meet." Perhaps that
        is an essential starting point for understanding
        activity, but I would at least like to imagine it
        could be otherwise.

        In my work I am trying to
        ​do this work of imagining
         how it could be otherwise. I'm trying to think of
        this another way
        ​, t​
        o get a grip on things in some way that does not
        split the world in two
        ​ right at the get-go​
        .
        ​
        ​I assume that for you this is an ontological
        commitment. You start by assuming (asserting?
        realizing?) that there are two types of things in
        the world - matter and consciousness. I'd rather
        not start there.​ Because this involves a
        disagreement in our starting assumptions, I don't
        suspect we'll get very far with that conversation
        (and we've dabbled in that conversation before and
        indeed we haven't gotten anywhere).

        So I thought I would ask a slightly different
        question: what is the nature of gravity? Is it
        more like matter or more like consciousness (in
        that one could imagine gravity being something
        "outside" of matter in the sense that you are
        saying "consciousness" is outside of matter)? I
        know you are committed to non-dualism in some
        sense and I'm just trying to figure out how you
        reconcile all of this.

        ​In solidarity,​
        -greg​


        On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:11 AM, Andy Blunden
        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

            No, it would be spreading confusion, Greg.

            "Matter" in this context is everything outside
        of my
            consciousness. "Activity" in this context is
        human,
            social practice. Moving attention to the
        sub-atomic
            level, a field where we have no common sense,
        sensuous
            knowledge, does not help.

            Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
            Andy Blunden
        http://home.mira.net/~andy
        <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
        <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
        http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
<http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>>

            On 15/07/2017 2:31 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:

                Andy,
                Just musing here but I'm wondering if
        "matter" is
                anything more than activity, particularly when
                considered at the sub-atomic level.
                At that level, matter seems a lot more
        like the
                holding of relations in some activity (not so
                different from the Notion?).
                Or would that be taking things too far?
                -greg

                On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Andy Blunden
                <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
                <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>

                <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>> wrote:

                    Anyone who got interested in that
        material about
                    "Hegel on Action", here is my
        contribution.

        https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
        <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>
<https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
        <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>>
<https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
        <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>
<https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
        <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>>>

                    Andy


                    --
        ------------------------------------------------------------
                    Andy Blunden
        http://home.mira.net/~andy
        <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
                <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
                <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
        http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
<http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>>
<http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
<http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
        <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>>>





                --         Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
                Assistant Professor
                Department of Anthropology
                880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
                Brigham Young University
                Provo, UT 84602
        http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
        <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>
                <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
        <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>>





-- Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
        Assistant Professor
        Department of Anthropology
        880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
        Brigham Young University
        Provo, UT 84602
        http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
        <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>
        <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
        <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>>





--
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson