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Re: [xmca] Types of Generalization: concepts and pseudoconcepts

Steve Gabosch wrote:
One, what do you mean by "an absolutely non-empirical social factor"

One. When I say "absolutely non-empirical" I do not try to deny that all knowledge begins from the senses. For example, if I drive on the left because the law requires me to, I still have to be able to read signs, understand speech etc. to know and obey that law. But you wouldn't call that "empirical" would you? Concepts come to us through using artefacts in joint actions with other people, i.e., activity, not passive contemplation. See "Theses on Feuerbach." Conceptual knowledge presupposes all the senses, but is not thereby "empirical."

any game. In chess, for example, rooks and pawns are "concepts" - yes?

Two. I thought about exactly this one as well. So if playing a good game of chess, knowing the moves for Kings and Knights etc., and how to play a good strategy, implies *conceptual* thought, then all the primary school children who participate in chess championships are alredy masters of true concepts. And it doesn't stop there, does it? The implication is that *logical thinking* is ipso facto, conceptual thought. But primary school kids in general use logical argument, apply strategies in games, learn arithmetic and grammatical rules, etc, etc.

So why is LSV so insistent that conceptual thought is possible only for adolescents? I couldn't find the reference, maybe someone can, but I am sure LSV believes that logical thinking and argument by giving reasons "belongs" to the 7-11 age group, not 15+ - like with LSV's example of a "dog", "rook" may be a concept for you, but for a child "rook" is a potential concept.

The point is that "machine-like" logical thought is not conceptual thought. It relies on pre-concepts, or what Davydov calls (charitably in my view) "empirical concepts" or on one occasion "general notions."

Does that help?

Andy Blunden
http://www.erythrospress.com/ Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea

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