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Re: [xmca] fetishism


For Kant, sensation testifies to the existence of an objective noumenal world beyond us, but this world cannot be known as such: we can only know that world as it appears to us from within the constraints of the subjective conditions of our experience and thought. But for Hegel, such an attitude attributes to a wholly inadequate form of cognition (sensation or feeling) a power that is being denied to a much more determinate form—that articulated by concepts. To think that our inarticulate sensations or feelings give us a truer account of reality than that of which we are capable via the scientific exercise of conceptualised thought indicates a type of irrationalist potential lurking within Kantian thought, a potential that Hegel thought was being realised by the approach of his romantic contemporaries. The rational kernel of Kant's approach, then, had to be carried beyond the limits of a method in which the conditions of thought and experience were regarded as merely subjective. Rather than restrict its scope to “formal” conditions of experience and thought, it had to be understood as capable of revealing the objective or material conditions.


On Apr 23, 2011, at 8:35 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

> Martin, you don't seem to see any change of meaning from "knowledge of objective reality" to objective reality. You think that because I say something about "objective reality" I really mean "knowledge of objective reality." Try not making that frankly idealist assumption (if we have to use such words).
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>> On Apr 23, 2011, at 11:20 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>> Mmm, I haven't been called an idealist for 27 years, Steve, and I'm a bit reluctant to pursue this on list. But I will risk a brief explanation.
>> It's not intended as an insult, Andy. It's merely a philosophical position. And it seems to me to be the position you have been defending in recent posts, as far as I can make sense of them. But frankly I am puzzled, trying to follow your argument. For example, you write:
>>> You can express an opinion about something, but you shouldn't confuse your opinion about objective reality with objective reality itself.
>> Much depends on what you mean here by "confuse," but it is hard for me to reconcile this statement with your avowed Hegelianism. It was Hegel who argued that we *can* come to have genuine knowledge of objective reality - not merely (subjective, individual) opinions. Even though *he* was an idealist!  Although you cite Marx's definition, you seem to me to be describing consciousness as something separate and distinct from, and indeed opposed to, a material reality, and also as *prior* to that reality. You seem to view knowledge as a process of consciousness observing this independent reality through a "window," a process in which reality can "wind up in your consciousness" as something merely subjective and individual.
>> You are of course entitled to your opinion. What I have been trying to say is that I don't think this is very like the view of consciousness and knowledge that Vygotsky articulated.
>> Martin
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