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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action



I've very much enjoyed this discussion - it's enlightening, thanks to
Andy's Marxist verve.

I'm an apolitical linguist, more inclined to discourse upon things that are
elusive, nuanced and abstract!

James

*_____________________________________*

*James Ma*  *https://oxford.academia.edu/JamesMa
<https://oxford.academia.edu/JamesMa>*



On 16 July 2017 at 06:52, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> 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> 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://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>> 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://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>>> 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>>
> > >
> > >             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>>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >         --
> > >         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>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > 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>
> >
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> 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
>