[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [xmca] Where is thinking

Michael and whoever else is interested,
I was sitting in a bar during Graduate School with a bunch of friends who happened to be physicists.  I was talking about my social science research and they started laughing at me saying if I had to be so complex I was probably hiding something because the best ideas are really simple.  I asked "Oh yeah, where are ideas simple in physics."  And that was the first time I heard that Einstein's theory of relativity was really pretty elegant and straight foward.  I said "So explain it to me.'  But they said I wasn't worth it.  One of those physcists became a very close friend.  Years later I was sitting in a car with my son and this friend.  A car next to use moved and my sone was startled thinking we were moving.  My friend said that is because we actually were moving, that all bodies were always in motion,at  we were just all moving at different speeds.  We just didn't realize it at the moment because sense of movement was based in relative terms.  Legend has it that's pretty close to what Einstein initially scribbled down - of course then we worked out the formulas.  What becomes more complex is what you do with the theory.  Maybe I'm wrong about this - wouldn't be the first time.  But honestly Michael this was just a throwaway at the end of a paragraph - not really worth pulling out that much I think - hmmmmmm
I'm also interested that you decided to make the judgment that the conversation isn't going anywhere.  I actually think Andy's point that often times we use ideas that have gone through multiple revisions very well taken.  I can really understand his frusration.  Some people might be interested, some people not - but to judge the value of what is being discussed - I don't know.


From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Wolff-Michael Roth
Sent: Wed 4/22/2009 1:40 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Where is thinking

Hi Michael, Andy,

I don't think this can lead anywhere. I don't think Michael that the 
statement highlighted in red makes much sense. Did you mean, "THe 
theory of relativity can be stated in a few lines?" Since when? Did 
Einstein state it in a few lines? Wouldn't it then point to a few 
thousand years of cultural history on which it depends? Moreover, I 
suspect it took more than a few lines to state it first, like J. C. 
Maxwell, who took an entire book to work out what now is shown in 4 
simple equations.  But in each of the signs that are probably 5,000 
years of human experience and voices recorded. . ..


On 22-Apr-09, at 7:41 AM, Michael Glassman wrote:


I'm a little uncomfortable with this five page thing.  Okay, you 
don't think it's important, but I don't think length has much to do 
with it.  Plato's allegory of the Cave was only a few pages if I 
remember correctly and yet it it in many ways one of the primary ways 
of discussing Plato's ideas and eventually became the basis for 
idealism.  Short does not equate with unimportant and long does not 
equate with important.  The theory of relativity is only a few lines.



From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
Sent: Wed 4/22/2009 10:34 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Where is thinking

Ha, ha, ha! And imagine, if those 5 pages of his first book
have proved to be so rich, just imagine the wealth to be
uncovered in the remaining 99.9% of his corpus!

:)    Bloom away!


Martin Packer wrote:
> Let 1,000 Hegels bloom!
> Martin
> On 4/21/09 7:28 PM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> Let 1,000 flowers bloom. And may every flower cross
>> pollinate with every other flower! No problem. But that does
>> not mean that there is no problem with the Hegel that Marx
>> and Lenin read being cast into the skip parked out the back
>> of the library, or with the meaning of terms being jumbled
>> up into meaninglessness. ("Being determines consciousness"
>> said Marx, but if Being is personal identity formation, does
>> Being still determine consciousness? For example)
>> It is my very mission to facilitate interaction between
>> divergent currents of thinking, most specifically
>> Hegelianism, Marxism and CHAT, and I am more than happy to
>> appropriate French philosophy along with the way.
>> But this wave of master-servant (NB "servant" not "slave"
>> which was an insertion of Kojeve's) mythology is actually
>> destroying, burying and eradicating Hegel's legacy. Kojeve
>> and Sartre were brilliant writers whose contribution I
>> value. I even see Sartre as a precurser of my own work. But
>> why dump Hegel? Isn't it worth considering that one passage
>> in his early work which in its whole structure and tenor
>> though not content, is very untypical of Hegel, if taken out
>> of context, could lead to misunderstanding? even if that
>> misunderstanding is itself an interesting insight?
>> Andy
>> Martin Packer wrote:
>>> Andy,
>>> I don't see the mixing of Hegelian and existentialist concepts as
>>> problematic. Existentialism started with Kierkegaard, right? He 
>>> was writing
>>> a kind of anti-Hegelianism, in which rather than there being a 
>>> logic that
>>> guarantees the movement of spirit, there are moments in which a 
>>> leap is
>>> necessary. He wrote of a "leap of faith" but (just as with Hegel) 
>>> a secular
>>> reading is possible. These are the moments when humans must 
>>> choose, without
>>> guarantees, without certainty, without transparent rationality.
>>> So existentialism has always had ties to Hegel. The existential-
>>> Marxists, it
>>> seems to me, were rediscovering in Marx what Michael just 
>>> mentioned, a place
>>> for agency on the level of the individual. That has been a valuable
>>> counterpoint to those readings that find in Marx, like Hegel, 
>>> only an
>>> anonymous movement to the historical process in which no genuine 
>>> choices are
>>> available.
>>> Martin
>>> On 4/21/09 10:28 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>> I'm actually quite fond of Sartre, Martin, and I appreciate
>>>> his efforts in "Critique of Dialectical Reason" to make
>>>> something like an activity reading of Hegel. It is the
>>>> eclectic mixing up of Existentialist concepts with Marxist
>>>> or Hegelian concepts that I object to. What does "Being"
>>>> mean? It depends doesn't it, whether you are reading Hegel,
>>>> Engels or Heidegger. I can't cope with mixing up these
>>>> sources indiscriminately.
>>>> There may be differences between French and German Marxism,
>>>> but I think we are here talking about post-WW2 Marxism, yes?
>>>> and the particular experiences of Algeria, 1968, Berlin, the
>>>> PCF, etc., and Kojeve. And there is no doubt that the legacy
>>>> of the French Revolution still figures hugely in France.
>>>> But I really think this has little to do with a reading by
>>>> Marx or French Marxists of the master-servant narrative at
>>>> any time earlier than 1933.
>>>> For a start, the Phenomenology had not even been translated
>>>> into French until 1939. So a knowledge of the master-servant
>>>> narrative was kept to a pretty small group in France. A few
>>>> professional philosophers like Koyre and Hyppolite.
>>>> When I started up the Hegel-by-HyperText website in 1999, it
>>>> intrigued me that I got mail from two quite distinct groups
>>>> of people. One of these groups I just could not understand
>>>> what they were talking about. After a while I realised that
>>>> these were people who had read Kojeve or were reading Hegel
>>>> in the wake of Kojeve. This is a completely different
>>>> philosopher than the one I learnt as a Marxist, reading
>>>> Marxists texts and then moving on from Marx, Lenin and
>>>> Lukacs to study Hegel's Logic. This other group only knew
>>>> these 2% of Hegel's first book. The other group usually knew
>>>> only the Logic and Philosophy of Right, the books that Marx,
>>>> Engels, Lenin, Lukacs & Co. commented on.
>>>> Why not read my book Martin? Much easier to read than the
>>>> Phenomenology!
>>>> Andy
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
  From Erythrós Press and Media <http://www.erythrospress.com/>.

xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list


xmca mailing list