[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] concepts

On 19 April 2011 09:01, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> You miss my point, Huw in the 1st paragraph. Having "Activity" as a
> fundamental concept is the only way I know to *avoid* the mental/physical
> dichotomy. But I wouldn't go so far as to try to avoid the "distinction."
> Would you?

Adopting the words of Beer, I'd dissolve the distinction.  :)

I've been thinking about it, though I don't think that cybernetics entails
the 'fundamental' concept of activity and yet meets all the conceptual needs
I've had for it to date.

> You mention: "subject/organism/host of the epistemology". Are you
> suggesting that something other than a human being can have an epistemology?
You can point to any organism and say it knows something.   To know that you
know is just another kind of knowing or affirmation.  In the sense of models
and Godel.


> Andy
> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> On 19 April 2011 02:01, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>    Huw, I think any scientific theory should aspire to be
>>    philosophically rigorous. Philosophial rigour though is not
>>    something that depends on results as "scientific" rigour does. For
>>    example, is we use the concept of "activity" in our scientific
>>    work as a relation between the mental and the physical for
>>    example, then we need to be aware that this introduces a dichotomy
>>    which is ultimately unsustainable. On the other hand, it is almost
>>    impossible to talk about, let alone explain, Activity without
>>    referring to "states of mind" and so on. This is the difficult
>>    distinction between communicative action and concepts.
>> The mental/physical distinction looks like a dead-end to me beyond the
>> sphere of social discourse, though I understand your gist here to be about
>> coherence.  Yes, I'd only offer mild surprise that you'd willingly employ an
>> incoherent theory.  The distinction between the "-graphy" aspects of science
>> and the "-ology" may be apt.
>>    On concepts: It is true that a concept **can** be conceived of
>>    within a matrix of similarity and differences, but I think that is
>>    a view which really misses what a concept is and fails to capture
>>    the full breadth of meaning of the word. It has the effect of
>>    replacing the study of a concept with the study of "features"
>>    ultimately leading to an arbitrary decision on what counts as an
>>    "irreducible" "chunk" or "feature". I think there is a difference
>>    between problems of recognition or categorisation, on one hand,
>>    and conceptulisation on the other. Concepts actually always have
>>    fuzzy boundaries, and focus on boundary problems often misses the
>>    essence.
>> Yes.  Most definitely.  Although these fuzzy boundaries exist (or are far
>> greater in proliferation) when the subject/organism/host of the epistemology
>> entailing the concepts is considered as an open system rather than a closed
>> system.  I agree about the semiotic aspects, although I fear if it is
>> insisted that this aspect part of the definition of a concept (rather than
>> part of it's generation), you will create more confusion and disagreement in
>> your wake, especially in the positivist camp.
>> The only other pithy point I have to make about the commonalities &
>> differences view of concepts right now is that you can cover a lot of ground
>> with a few mirrors.  The uniqueness and variety of our minds and behaviour
>> is also a function of the uniqueness and variety in the world, sometimes
>> this variety and fuzziness may simply be a reflection of it, not something
>> intrinsic to our own epistemology.
> __________________________________________
> _____
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
xmca mailing list