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[Xmca-l] Re: Parts and wholes

Greg, Rein, Larry

is it not that Rein was talking about *working ontologies*, but that institution and constitution are about epistemology? about how Mind ("in the widest sense of the word") goes about?

Ontology, seems to me, has not much to do with life, but with a particular epistemology that concerns itself with either things or with life, but not with their relation (which is what epistemology is about). And in my way of seeing it, the interesting discussion is about epistemology. ​​I hear Larry's comments on the bi-directionality of part and whole, as well as those comments from Greg about humanly constructed or naturally constructed, as being about epistemology, about History, about how things become, not just how they are. This is not to say that it is not important to be clear about what one refers to when saying part, whole, or entity, or function, etc, but that these questions are interesting as per how they make our epistemologies better or worst. From an epistemological point of view, that relations between stones rather than stones in themselves are mental (of the type of ideas) is not a comment about what they are in themselves (as opposed to what stones are in themselves) but about their *genetical* function with regard to Mind. A focus on stones alone did not allow the concept of arch to ascend to the concrete in the  sense Andy and David were commenting, to develop into a new cultural form of building bridges. Attending to the arch-like properties of some arrangements of stones (bridges) did. In that sense, Rein comments on the difference between treating stones as entities or as characters of a formula are interesting, in my view, not in that they better or worse describe the world as it is, but in that they describe two possible ways in which we may go about stones and bridges in development of forms of (human) life. Institution and constitution are, in my view, elements of an epistemology, not of an ontology.


From: Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
Sent: 03 September 2016 16:27
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: Alfredo Jornet Gil; David Kellogg
Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Parts and wholes


I'm confused about the ontological distinction between the stone and the arch. Seems like the stone is just a collection of relations between parts in the same way that the arch is a relation between parts of stones. The stone is made up of molecular relations that are subsequently made up of atomic relations. If you look at the atomic and molecular scale of the stone, it looks something like a bridge - a bundle of relations that are held together in time.

And if you look across long enough scales of time, you could watch the relations of molecules begin to fall apart as the stones turn to dust.

Thus if we look across longer timescales or smaller spacescales, the relational nature of the stone is no more "closed and implicit" than the arch of the bridge.

It seems like the important difference between the two has to do with "humanly-constructed" vs. "naturally constructed"?  One was constructed (instituted) by human ideas, the other by natural ones...

This seems less of an ontological matter and more of a practical matter of "how it's made".

But, perhaps I've misunderstood the proposed ontological distinction?


On Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 7:21 AM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com<mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:
Alfredo, I notice you referred to the “mental” in scare quotes. This reminds me of an earlier post where we explored the notion of the “mental” as an aspect of our “folk” psychology.
In the background I also hear David Kellogg moving from material problems of existential problems with flooding bridges, abstracting and going deeper, and then re/turning to the concrete.
Does the language of *parts and wholes* express this bi-directional movement adequately?

I also hear in the background Merleau-Panty's notion of developing “new organs of sense”.
The word “repetition* in relation to same/difference seems critical.  To repeat the (identical) may be technology, mechanical, scientism, but something is lacking?
Reading the movement of *repetition* not as (identical) or the (same) but as bidirectional *back and forth* through questions and answers, and through regression to the known and  anticipation of *something* new seems to be a  particular notion of movement, moving towards developing *new organs of sense*?

In anticipation of discussing the meaning of perezhivanie it seems we may be *setting the table* for a lovely chat by opening a clearing
Possibly, could be.

Sent from my Windows 10 phone

From: Alfredo Jornet Gil

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602