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Re: [xmca] concepts

Huw, I think by dissolving all distinctions you also dissolve all meaning, and the result is meaningless. What on earth do *you* mean by "epistemology" if "any organism" has an epistemology? What on earth does "physical" mean to *you* if it does not mean anything distinct from "mental".
Makes great bar-room chatter, but no science.


Huw Lloyd wrote:

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

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.


    Huw Lloyd wrote:

        On 19 April 2011 02:01, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto: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
           which is ultimately unsustainable. On the other hand, it is
           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
           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
           between problems of recognition or categorisation, on one hand,
           and conceptulisation on the other. Concepts actually always
           fuzzy boundaries, and focus on boundary problems often
        misses the

        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.

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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
MIA: http://www.marxists.org

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