[xmca] Re: the Strange Situation

From: C Barker <C.Barker who-is-at mmu.ac.uk>
Date: Thu Oct 23 2008 - 14:35:02 PDT

I have been following the discussion with interest. I have a small question, though perhaps it has larger ramifications.

I pick up something Andy Blunden wrote, and something Martin Packer wrote.

Andy said:

As usual, I will make my comment from the Hegelian
perspective. LSV's description of Concept (_Begriff_) and
pseudo-concept and the development possible from ps-c to C,
does not have a direct parallel in Hegel, but the ideas are
clearly identifiable and make sense in the Hegelian
framework which underlies so much of LSV's work. Hegel calls
a pseudo-concept an "abstract general" concept as opposed to
a true concept which he calls a "concrete universal." In his
exposition of _Begriff_ in the _Logik_, he describes a
series of stages in the transition from one to the other.

Martin said:

For Hegel we can come to know things as they really are, and this is when we
know them in terms of concepts. For this kind of epistemology to be able to
work, the concept has to be out of the head, socially distributed in
practical activities. I read Vygotsky this way (though as I've said here
before he wrote about concepts in two quite different ways, early and late).
Thinking in concepts enables us to grasp the rich, complex interconnections
among concrete things, in a way that penetrates beyond their surface
appearances. To me its important to remember that Vygotsky sees all the
higher psychological functions working together, so conceptual thinking goes
along with new kinds of directed attention and deliberate memory, and so on.
The conceptual thinker literally sees the world in a qualitatively different

I am insufficiently schooled in Hegel, and it may be that my question has a very obvious answer.

The question is, are we talking “the concept” (as against “the pseudo-concept”), as if this is in the * singular *? Or does
“conceptual thinking” involve thinking in terms of * systems of concepts *, which are more or less systematically
inter-related? The latter reading seems to me to make much better sense, and makes Martin’s final sentence much stronger in its

I’m sorry if I’m asking a really silly question.

Colin Barker

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Received on Thu Oct 23 15:44:43 2008

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