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

Re: [xmca] Progress: Reality or Illusion?

Yes, and in fact if we were to introduce vector quantities into the discussion we see that Quantity, in the strict Hegelian sense, is not limited to integers or even numbers. Quantity is something abstracted from a perceptual field which may vary without the object from which it is abstracted becoming something different. (The old thing about transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa).

So it is fine to compare two entities by means of a bundle of numbers. But of course if you do that you don't get to "more" or "less". So the notion of "progress" does imply a single attribute type of abstraction. Characterising a complex entity like an entire form of life by a single attribute is as far from concrete thinking as it is possible to get. I'll go for concrete thinking I think.

(Why don't elephants drive a Porsche?)

David H Kirshner wrote:
The literature on understanding of integers notes a developmental
difference between a "two-attribute" and "single-attribute"
interpretation of negative number. Consider a child who places one hand
in a bucket of ice cold water and the other in a bucket of hot water,
and is asked "which bucket has warmer water?" The "two-attribute"
approach is characterized by dichotomous thinking, as in the bewildered
response, "This water isn't warm at all, it's cold!" As a later stage of
development hot and cold are realized as poles of a single dimension.
Seems like both of these perceptual frames are phenomenologically valid.
Maybe you're arguing from different frames.

Davis, R. B. & Maher, C. A. (1993). The reality of negative numbers. In
R. B. Davis & C. A. Maher (Eds.), Schools, mathematics, and the world of
reality (pp. 51-60). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

xmca mailing list