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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action



Metaphors help us grasp ideas viscerally, mobilising our practical intelligence to grasp ideas remote from our experience. But understanding basic philosophical concepts is a different problem. It is more one of freeing ourselves from sense-consciousness, stripping away our desire to see and touch an idea.

Glad we're all on the same page.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 16/07/2017 3:52 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
Yes, thanks Larry for pointing to the resonances with where I was trying to go and Andy's paper, and for catching that my query about gravity was in the interests of considering gravity as a parallel to activity. Seemed a useful metaphor (along with the idea of matter at the subatomic level). But, of course, I recognize that metaphors are of limited use (helpful for initial grasping but always lacking in that they fail to fully and precisely represent what they are metaphorizing). It is much more precise to simply describe these things in words.
-greg


On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 11:19 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:

    Greg, Andy,
    As I  am listening to your discourse from the margins
    I hear Andy saying (take activity) as the mono basic
    fundamental  approach.
    I will respond to how I understand this discourse:

    Consciousness, matter, gravity, are concepts and as
    concepts are  derivative from more basic activity
    which is primary.
    Activity as the basic (substance) , concepts as
    derivative.

    As substance, activity is NOT COMPOSED of other things.
    Andy gives the example of the concept  (chair) that is
    not a material object but is an activity. The (entire
    activity) is REPRESENTED in the concept of the chair.
    Whatever artifact is considered, it is not the
    material object that is represented by the conceptual
    artifact, but the (entire activity) is represented in
    the conceptual artifact.
    Mediating artifacts used by philosophers in their
    social practice are words.
    Just as we are inclined to IDENTIFY the concepts of
    ordinary artifacts with the material object ITSELF
    (rather than the entire activity mediated by the
    artifact) we likewise are inclined to talk about the
    concept mediated by the word (such as the word
    ‘being’) AS IF the word were ITSELF the concept
    (therefore loosing awareness of the entire activity
    IDENTIFIED in the concept (being) as used by philosophers.

    So, in Hegel’s time the concept (Spirit) expressed
    this entire activity, but today the entire activity is
better understood as (activity). Both the concept Spirit in Hegel’s time and the concept Activity today,
    indicate the same phenomena (the entirety of activity).
    Activity (the entirety of activity)  is the one
    SUBSTANCE that cannot be decomposed into other things.

    Matter, consciousness, gravity, can be understood as
    activity (the one substance) so these words represent
    concepts and concepts are NOT the words, concepts are
    the activity (the entirety of activity) and activity
    is more basic than consciousness or material.

    Andy, not sure if I am taking (activity) as you
    intended, but is my response to listening to the
    discourse between you and Greg as I listen from the
    margins.
     A tentative probe

    Sent from my Windows 10 phone

    From: Andy Blunden
    Sent: July 15, 2017 6:03 PM
    To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
    Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action

    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