Re: [xmca] Monism Is Not Reductionist

From: Martin Packer (
Date: Mon Mar 12 2007 - 18:56:51 PST


I agree entirely. But you use three terms as though synonymous: mind,
consciousness, and psyche. Would you be willing to trade (forgive the
mercantile metaphor) 'reference to mind is necessary' for 'reference to
consciousness is necessary'?


On 3/11/07 8:59 PM, "Andy Blunden" <> wrote:

> Yes, sorry, I meant "Martin". :-)
> I am not claiming that there is a "correlation" between a concept and a
> thing. e.g. as you say, being a commodity does not depend on a participant
> in exchange knowing the concept "commodity". Such a judgment is possible
> from an observer perspective without reference to the participant's theory
> of what they are doing.
> But I am saying that the basis for a concept is the ideality involved in
> the activity. You can't recognise a commodity by its physical properties.
> Some reference to mind is necessary."Commodity" does not arise as a concept
> until the practice of exchanging products reaches a certain level of
> development, which includes products being produced for exchanged, i.e., as
> ideals. It is impossible to identify a thing as a commodity outside of
> consideration of the consciousness of the participants.
> For example, a thing produced *for the purpose of meeting the producer's
> needs by exchanging it for another person's product* is a commodity only
> because of the separation of the producer's needs from the producer's
> labour, and the existence of a relation with other producers such that
> someone else satisfies the person's needs, and each sees the other as a
> means to their own ends. This situation is sustainable only through forms
> of consciousness. It can't happen without appropriate orientation of
> people's psyches.
> And in fact if this situation were contrived independently of the
> consciousness of the participants (e.g., organisation of prison labour),
> then I would say that the products are not commodities, even though the
> movement of matter is the same.
> So "a commodity is a commodity, whether or not I recognize this in my
> thinking" but not for example if you intended to consume it yourself, but
> someone exchanged it for something else when you were out of the room, or
> you intended to exchange it, but no-one else wanted it.
> Andy
> At 07:42 PM 11/03/2007 -0600, you wrote:
>> And Andy, when you say 'David,' I presume you mean Martin? :)
>> But you're not saying, are you, that our thinking necessarily 'correlates'
>> with the concepts formed in our activity? I mean, a commodity is a
>> commodity, whether or not I recognize this in my thinking.
>> Martin
>> On 3/11/07 6:24 PM, "Andy Blunden" <> wrote:
>>> And David, when you say 'practice', I presume you mean purposive activity,
>>> as opposed to simply material action, such as digestion. Material actions
>>> which are not 'practical' in this sense are not a relevantly necessary
>>> substrate of concepts. It is only practice which is part of 'mind' which is
>>> the relevant necessary substrate of concepts.Things that we do that have no
>>> correlate in our thinking, such as the use of meaningful artefacts, are not
>>> the basis for concepts.
>>> Andy
>>> At 06:03 PM 11/03/2007 -0600, you wrote:
>>>> David,
>>>> So when Andy writes 'If you mean that concepts do not exist other than in
>>>> connection with human minds, then I agree,' I think what he *ought* to
>>>> have said, perhaps what he meant to say, was that concepts do not exist
>>>> other than in connection with human *practices*. I think wed agree that a
>>>> 'commodity' exists in the social world, not merely in a person's head. The
>>>> 'commodity form' is defined, created, by social practices, not in and by
>>>> individual minds.
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