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What Are Concepts?

 
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 05:29 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;113918 wrote:
You used the word "objective." You really don't think that concept was created? Even the word "object" is abstract. The word "animal." You also use the word "stands" in a non-literal way. Stands is an example of trope. It's figurative language that generates concept.

Go back to the first time someone used "stand" that way. How strange it must have seemed. It caught on, though, because it was good figurative language. It got the point across. (which is more figurative language.)

This is where concepts come from: figurative language reused until it no longer seems figurative but literal (the word "literal" comes from "letter" = figurative language (trope))

Of course it was not created...Is the mental path you hold in your mind for the way to work created...Is that something you did consciously???We learn, and as we learn our concepts no... At some point every concept amounts to a question: what is that??? First comes recognition, that it has been seen before, and from that one only adds to the knowledge...Knowledge is not created, but discovered, and concepts are knowledge, and for that reason we cannot conceive of infinites, because in truth, if we cannot hope to know the last thing, as we may hope of finite reality, then we cannot honestly say we know the first thing...

Language, even figurative language is abstraction, almost entirely... Words have no meaning except the meaning we give them, mostly; but it is because they have no meaning of their own that they can be used to express another meaning, an abstract meaning; but language is not consciously created...People make up an odd word, or use them creatively, but the great mass of our language is not an invention, but is received whole from the whole of humanity....It is not the language than generated the abstraction, but the need to communicate reality out of sight of it that generated names which represent a small detail of concepts...Your name is your name and stands for you, but is not you...It is not an abstraction of you... Every fact about you would be your abstraction...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 01:44 am
@Fido,
Fido;113923 wrote:
.People make up an odd word, or use them creatively, but the great mass of our language is not an invention, but is received whole from the whole of humanity..


New metaphors on the backs of old metaphors. I don't think the metaphor "metaphor" was just lying around. Discovery/creation would be the same thing, except "creation" is a better description I think. We humans pick a particular sound and old word to use in a new way. Words have specific sounds and histories. A different conquest here or there and we would have different languages than we do now.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 06:54 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;113959 wrote:
New metaphors on the backs of old metaphors. I don't think the metaphor "metaphor" was just lying around. Discovery/creation would be the same thing, except "creation" is a better description I think. We humans pick a particular sound and old word to use in a new way. Words have specific sounds and histories. A different conquest here or there and we would have different languages than we do now.

Words as sounds are simply not concepts, and the exception is onomonpia...Bells ring, lions roar, horses neigh, chickens squawk, cows moo... Words as sounds do not mean the thing, but the words as concept do, and building on them, on the idea- has been the building of our language... Look at the word plague which Frenchman made something of once... Why is plague one syllable, and ague two??? In fact, the variations of this word, on a theme are numerous, acute, cut, ache execute all from the idea of a cut with a blade... Do you suppose the sound of the word at some point meant the same, or something similar???My guess is that the action named resulted in a feeling, or a result... If you look at the words for the parts of a mechanical clock you may find they all result from older water clocks...Clearly, this is the transfere of a common idea to a newer process...Complex words are made of less complex ideas...The fact that our language is sonagrams does not mean words have meaning as sounds apart from the idea... The idea comes fiirst, and the name follows...Fully fifty percent of our language comes from Latin, many from Greek, others from Arabic, some scandanavian, Gemanic, and Celtic... What may have once been a sound having a significance to those who first used it became the name of an idea perhaps all the more useful because the sound was itself meaningless... Ideas are meaning... We use sound to give meaning, and if sound had meaning as with onomonapia then it use would be limited...It is hard to say grunt without evoking a hog...I hope this helps becaue talking about talking is the second intention...
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:20 pm
@Reconstructo,
It's not the sound that concerns me. It's the development of more abstract concepts from less abstract concepts- which eventually trace back to names of things in the sensual world. It's the creation of concepts like "causality" and "abstract" and "essence" that concerns me. I'm sniffing out the nature of logos. I think highly of etymology as it provides us with clues.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 12:56 pm
@Reconstructo,
What Shoenhaur says: That, although concepts are fundamentally different from ideas (based upon the concrete, physical- fido) of perception, they stand in necessary relation to them, without which they would be nothing. This relation therefore constitutes the whole nature and existence of concepts...

He later goes on to explain that we know about cause and effect, and through our devices, mentioning for example, the arch, rope and pulley, cog wheel, and lever that are ideas of perception; but to do with them we must understand them abstractly, that is, as concept...

What you are thinking of is a bit of sympathetic magic, as if a part can control the whole...We know from some of our myths and fairy tales of the power of names to evoke the same...Rumplestilskin is an example... So is the name of God in the Bible...This is nearly universal to the experience of childhood and mankind... How the Hippo got his name is another example; but among the Analects of Confuscius were offered the ideal of benevolence, (jen), The mean, (chung yung), The will of Heaven, (T'ien), Propriety, filial piety, (Li), and for our purpose: The Rectification of Names, cheng ming, or recognizing the nature of things by giving them their right names...

The whole of philosophy could rest upon cheng ming as far as I can tell because until we can name and define our reality we cannot classify it, or offer any judgement upon it, which is knowledge...

Now you must understand that I have read some of words, and the power of word... sweet words of love to levitate the beautiful into my bed were all I said... Once.. You may know that rhymes were Druid curses, and the name Carmon is Latin for song, from which we get our word- charm... The childhood of the soul is not the mentality of a man...I think if you look back far enough you may find some link to some words in the sensual world... Mother and water are two words that go back through Celtic, French, German, Latin, Greek all the way to India...If these were not words we got through our mother's mouths we would not have them...Is there something to momma like a sound the baby makes at the breast??? Does water sound like water... You may as well ask if Gears grind, or does grain grind... There is a sense of sound, and echo of an action in many of our words; but long ago words came to stand for abstractions and were all the better at that for not having a sonic reference... Ideas are primarily visual... Think of numbers compared to things...If we could not count we could not add, nor subtract, nor follow all the functions, and we must see to count..Aristotle says as much in Metaphysics as Schopenhaur suggest in the world as idea..

I will be the last to say that words of love, like Love itself are hard...They could hardly convey tenderness if they were...Justice as a word seems sharp edged by comparison, as is the act made out of it... Our word candy does not convey so well the thought as Bonbons... Goodgoods belong in the mouth of a child....Reason to the Greeks and Romans was a Goddess as well as a goal... We may desire liberty, but as a goal worth working for, fighting for, and dying for, La Liberte' is more suggestive...

Power is the nature of logos...You can see logic in it, but in the Bible all of creation came out of a word, and so the life of Jesus... But to think reality came out of a word is as faulty as thinking concepts are created... Knowledge is the discovery of certain relationships...At the moment we know the first true thing about any part of reality we have our idea of it... Concepts are abstractions... They refflect a sort of moral of spiritual reality that defies measurement or definition... As concepts of meaning rather than being we can give our entire lives to the definition of moral forms, or concepts, if you prefer...They are not created but out of the moral reality we live in...It is a relationdhip, as are all ideas...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 09:27 pm
@Fido,
Fido;114218 wrote:
..It is a relationdhip, as are all ideas...


With this I agree. There's man and his world. The relationship between them includes all sorts of things, and certainly as much passion as metaphor /concept/abstraction. Plenty of dirt and blood there, no doubt.

I'm not trying to make concepts god, here, though. It's just a specific investigation into the development of a particular breed of word. It's not something that just anyone is going to care about, by any means. But I'm a student of the craft. As a painter obsesses over paint, so do I concern myself with the evolution/use of language.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 10:04 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;114309 wrote:
With this I agree. There's man and his world. The relationship between them includes all sorts of things, and certainly as much passion as metaphor /concept/abstraction. Plenty of dirt and blood there, no doubt.

I'm not trying to make concepts god, here, though. It's just a specific investigation into the development of a particular breed of word. It's not something that just anyone is going to care about, by any means. But I'm a student of the craft. As a painter obsesses over paint, so do I concern myself with the evolution/use of language.

Concepts also relate dog to cats, and mice to elephants...They are our way of relating one thing to everything, a form of classification...You were closer to correct before...Thought is impossible without forms and concepts...If thought were impossible we would be impossible...God grows out of our power of abstraction as does consciousness generally...
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 01:00 am
@Reconstructo,
harrison
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 07:21 am
@Reconstructo,
Concepts are not created...Concepts are what we call all disovered relationships, such as the one between numbers and reality...Each concept represents a certain accepted bit of knowledge...

Have you ever Read Piaget on cognative development... He talks about the principal of conservation...That is something I had to figure out painfully on the pages of one of these forums, only to find that it was common knowledge to everyone else...Me too, really; but unconsciously...In any event, Pieget would test children of a certain age to determine their ability with the principal which he calls essential to reason... We talk abouy the same thing, conservation as identity...

Children were asked about water moved from tall containers to shorter and fatter container to see if they realized that the volume did not change, that volume was conserved from shape to shape...To reason we must reason against constants...We must limit what can change to know what does change.. If we can say that weight stays constant with volume of water we can use water to measure space with weight, as in specific gravity, which is another concept...To build upon knowledge in any systematic fashion one must use concepts as stepping stones...It is the job of physics to discover the concepts of the material world, concreta, and it is the job of philosophy to find these concepts of the moral world...At some point every concept is a theory, and most moral concepts never progress beyond that point because there are no means of proving them...
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 03:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
I still don't think you are seeing my point. I also doubt that the notion is common.
But--and this is Derrida's point--if the full sense of a sentence must be given not by relating its terms one by one to essences given externally to language, but by relating them to other terms within the 'chain' of language, then the notion of a fully expressed, non-elliptical sense evaporates into vacuity; for since the chain of such explications is potentially endless, the accretion of supplementary (another favourite term of Derrida's) layers of meaning is potentially endless also.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 04:56 pm
@Reconstructo,
The guy is cleaning his tools when the job is half done... Talking about talking has a name...It is called the second intention...The first intention is communication and what we communicate are concepts...What came first; the concept or the name???Judging from sound words, onomonopia, the concept came first.....Yet to primatives, the word is the thing and gives power over the thing, even if it is other people...The fact is that once they could conceive of a thing they could weave it into their purpose, study, and eventually master it...Matin Heidegger's brother lived in the town of their birth, and he always typed up his brother's papers, and he gave some good advice to all of us in his demands to his brother to allow no more than one idea per sentence...The great thing about words is that if we do not get it the first time we can do it over...At the risk of sounding stupid, people do not have to understand their language to understand their language, and of course you know I refere to linguistics...If you study people in talking, there is a great deal of cueing going back and forth.... A lot of it is politics, but much of it is just making certain step, by step, that your message is getting across, and that they are being understood... I just cannot get all gooey about a process when the process is one that seems to confuse even the experts...I just know that even simple people can make themselves understood if some one wishes to understand them...There is a reason we do not reverence words as once humanity did...Now we realize that it is us that do, and not the magic in words that do...We still have force at a distance as a concept, but magic and word power is not included...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 07:24 pm
@Fido,
Fido;114487 wrote:
..At the risk of sounding stupid, people do not have to understand their language to understand their language, and of course you know I refere to linguistics...If you study people in talking, there is a great deal of cueing going back and forth.... A lot of it is politics, but much of it is just making certain step, by step, that your message is getting across, and that they are being understood... I just cannot get all gooey about a process when the process is one that seems to confuse even the experts...I just know that even simple people can make themselves understood if some one wishes to understand them...There is a reason we do not reverence words as once humanity did...Now we realize that it is us that do, and not the magic in words that do...We still have force at a distance as a concept, but magic and word power is not included...


But words are force at a distance. Books can cause revolutions, if they are sprinkled on oppression and poverty.

Yes, a person can use language without studying its structure. It's not necessary to contemplate the evolution of concept. I agree.

I find it fascinating. But then I like to write, and I pride myself on this. Words are coins that I bite to test their metal. If my food supply were cut off, my interests would quickly change.

I'm interested in movies and music as well, and myth and math. I want to see the human mind whole. I feel that grasping the essential nature of logos is a big part of this.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 09:34 pm
@Reconstructo,
Paaa leeze.... Gravity is force at a distance... Electro magnatism is force at a distance... The strong force, and weak force are force at a distance, though at a lesser distance...The power to persuade is not force at all since all you can ever do is get some one to do as they wish to do...Do you think that Germany was not extremely criminal only because Hitler was a criminal who gave them the legal justification for acting illegally???...They did as they wished, and it is true of most of us that we are low and mean and we will do the worst to others so long as the justification is there... Well; that is what is possible, and that is what is wanting to get people to move: Tell them the crime they wish they can do... No amount of words can cause some one to do good who is not good, no amount of words can make anyone do evil who is good... We have the power of persuasion... We can make a rational argument for good...The best we can hope for is that we are talking to some spark of humanity within the empty shells and hopeless souls of humanity... We are doomed... Our morality has been destroyed along with our communities...Law keeps us at peace even while it burdens every man with prejudices and injury... If law were to fall tomorrow there would be blood running in the streets... All philosophy can do, is remind people of their families, of the bonds of family that once bound all of humanity, and ask people to pick up those broken stitches, and bind us up once more as a family... We cannot make anyone do anything... Just as with children, we have no authority, and no power...All we have is a little influence that we must treat as gold, because it is all we have... Remember that there is such a thing as humanity of which every person is a member...Teach that we are a family, and once more may be a happy family... Do not support the madness that passes today for sanity... Do not feed hate... Encourage the best, and seek virtue, because it is all we have...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 10:15 pm
@Reconstructo,
We are influenced by the words of dead men. One could call this "force at a distance." Surely the US constitution was influenced by the words of living and dead Europeans...
0 Replies
 
longknowledge
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:25 pm
@Fido,
Fido;114744 wrote:
Paaa leeze.... Gravity is force at a distance... Electro magnatism is force at a distance... The strong force, and weak force are force at a distance, though at a lesser distance...The power to persuade is not force at all since all you can ever do is get some one to do as they wish to do...Do you think that Germany was not extremely criminal only because Hitler was a criminal who gave them the legal justification for acting illegally???...They did as they wished, and it is true of most of us that we are low and mean and we will do the worst to others so long as the justification is there... Well; that is what is possible, and that is what is wanting to get people to move: Tell them the crime they wish they can do... No amount of words can cause some one to do good who is not good, no amount of words can make anyone do evil who is good... We have the power of persuasion... We can make a rational argument for good...The best we can hope for is that we are talking to some spark of humanity within the empty shells and hopeless souls of humanity... We are doomed... Our morality has been destroyed along with our communities...Law keeps us at peace even while it burdens every man with prejudices and injury... If law were to fall tomorrow there would be blood running in the streets... All philosophy can do, is remind people of their families, of the bonds of family that once bound all of humanity, and ask people to pick up those broken stitches, and bind us up once more as a family... We cannot make anyone do anything... Just as with children, we have no authority, and no power...All we have is a little influence that we must treat as gold, because it is all we have... Remember that there is such a thing as humanity of which every person is a member...Teach that we are a family, and once more may be a happy family... Do not support the madness that passes today for sanity... Do not feed hate... Encourage the best, and seek virtue, because it is all we have...


Sic-um!

By the way, nobody's answered my question about the difference between an elephant, a flea, and a family?
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:29 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;114804 wrote:
Sic-um!

By the way, nobody's answered my question about the difference between an elephant, a flea, and a family?


I can't find it, this question. I will try if you will restate and refer me.
longknowledge
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:33 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;114806 wrote:
I can't find it, this question. I will try if you will restate and refer me.


That is the question.

The answer is that an elephant can have fleas, but a flea can't have elephants.

---------- Post added 12-28-2009 at 12:57 AM ----------

Fido;114487 wrote:
We still have force at a distance as a concept, but magic and word power is not included...


Speaking of "word power" as "force at a distance," there is no equation or set of equations that can explain how a the action of a cavalry troop can be caused by the word "Charge!"

---------- Post added 12-28-2009 at 01:02 AM ----------

Reconstructo;114765 wrote:
We are influenced by the words of dead men. One could call this "force at a distance." Surely the US constitution was influenced by the words of living and dead Europeans...


Sorry. I meant to quote your post.

Viva Ortega!

[CENTER]:flowers:[/CENTER]
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:34 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;114804 wrote:
Sic-um!

By the way, nobody's answered my question about the difference between an elephant, a flea, and a family?

A flea can be as big as an elephant if your give one to your wife, and it could be heeeeeellow elephant, goooood bye family...
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 04:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
I find it significant that concepts are figurative language in disguise. For these concepts are used as idols, weapons, tools....

I want to know what's in my hand, if only to use them better.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 05:10 pm
@Reconstructo,
Signification is abstraction... Concepts are a way of saying this means that...The two worst uses to which concepts are put, are, to measure man against some ideal when there is no fair way to test an ideal or to judge it but to try it out; and the other is to use principals, concepts, ideas, forms, or notions instead of thought rather than as a means to expedite thought....
0 Replies
 
 

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