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Re: [xmca] concepts

Andy wrote:

> Yes Huw, for the purposes of comunication, as you say, I can explain the
general idea of "activity" to
> any other English-speaker. But that was not my point. Michael asked me to
explain "activity" as a
> response to me asking him to explain "information" and "receive" in the
context of a discussion about
> concepts and cognition. I asked Michael that question because, for me,
those terms belong to the
> cognitivist "constellation" which implies that a human being may be
understood as a machine. So
> "machine" (or some cognate) would have played the role of "fundamental

Distinguishing a scientific theory from a philosophical one, we can, I
believe, state that the sum of the within-paradigm conceptions combined with
the means of measuring (creating) phenomena provide the working definition
of the conception of the subject.  This conception is still, in theory,
comparable to other conceptions of the phenomena (e.g. a cognitive model
compared with a cybernetic model), this seems to introduce a certain
relativity to the term 'fundamental concept', so I'm not sure I agree with
"I can't define it in terms of anything else", as opposed to "It would take
me a long time to define it".

Part of the interest here is in the semantics of the term 'concept'.  To
conceptualize something implies that you can conceptualize something else or
something similar, implying that all concepts (or conceptions) can be
conceived of as residing within a matrix of commonalities and variabilities
(which was my starting point).

> I think that for science, it is important to know what the concept of the
subject matter is, even if we
> can communicate adequately without that understanding.

That seems perfectly reasonable and necessary.

For me, another slightly confusing aspect of the term 'fundamental concept'
in the context of philosophy is that it suggests Idealism which may, or may
not, be your cup of tea.

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