Re: [xmca] Re: the Strange Situation

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Thu Oct 23 2008 - 16:35:59 PDT

Colin, apologies for arcane Hegelian expressions! No, when I
talk about "The Concept" (deified with CAPS to boot!) I am
referring to a thought-form or type of practical relation, a
  mode of action, not some particular or individual concept.

But your point is quite on the mark, not at all silly,
because for Hegel, in fact, there is *ultimately* only one
concept. For example, in Chemistry, all the ideas found
within this science both constitute the concept of chemistry
and rely upon it. Take Christianity for another example:
every action, ritual, habit, institution, building, or
whatever iun Christiandom, both constitutes and manifests
"Christianity". And ultimately, according to Hegel, all of
these are nothing other than the march of Geist through the
world, i.e., the one and same Idea.

But I am not a true Hegelian in this sense, and I take that
view as a kind of "limiting" or extreme case, not an
existing reality. I use the word as in the first paragraph


C Barker wrote:
> 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
> way.
> 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
> impact.
> I’m sorry if I’m asking a really silly question.
> Colin Barker
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Received on Thu Oct 23 16:36:27 2008

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