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What Are Concepts?

 
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 05:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
Do you see what I mean by figurative language? That concepts derive from metaphor?
0 Replies
 
dan b
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:58 pm
@Fido,
When I was seventeen years old I ate a very large quantity of sylosiben mushrooms. Many hours later after returning to a little cabin in the mountains my mind began to realize that the many ideas and the assorted notions that I had in my mind were simply held there to enable my human existence. Mental concepts and ideas are held on to and kept as a base from which to operate out of.
As I realized this each one began to fade away since it was only my belief in them that gave them any existence at all. It was only my mental attention that was allowing them to exist. One after another I zapped away all types of mental conceptions by simply gazing ata them and realizing their transparency. Soon even the most simple and basic concepts were being disspatched into nothingness.

I realized then that I would soon be unable to retain my human consciousness because it is dependent upon my mental concepts. At this time I turned my visual gaze upon a window frame in the cabin and continued focusing upon it intensely for several hours. Finally the effect of the mushrooms began to weaken and I relaxed but have never forgotten.
I realized that without some concepts to believe in we would not have the affixiating properties to hold our consciousness inside our human body. This physical world is a medium for awareness and without a medium human consciousness cannot exist at all. This may be how consciusness can consume mankind. To remain as a human being in this world you need to continue focusing and conceptualizing in the six perspectives. dan b
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 06:37 am
@Reconstructo,
Does anyone notice that concepts are weightless, and primarily visual... Picture this is worth its weight in gold...Too bad they don't weigh more...Then I'd have to lug them around in the hopes that one of them might be worth carrying...

---------- Post added 12-29-2009 at 08:00 AM ----------

Reconstructo;115031 wrote:
Do you see what I mean by figurative language? That concepts derive from metaphor?

And metaphores are visual...Fish with bicycles, as if we all haven't seen enough of that..Look at Pound...Didn't he get all gooey about the ability of language to communicate on a literaly level, of sounds touching the emotion...Language is what is said and not the saying... We say with words... We communicate with language, and we communicate concepts...If I tell you that equity was essential to justice then I have referenced at least three concepts having their own baggage...And that is the extent of social concepts...If you want proof for your idea of metaphore as idea, look at math as a metafore for matter... Now, what is it used for but building up a mental/visual picture of reality???
Concepts do not just exist as if reality; but they exist for a specific human purpose, and it is to survive, for us to survive... Old ideas are yesterday's refuse...We have no time for useless forms, so philosophy like physics, has no time for word play...We do with our ideas...I built a house out of my concepts, and if I could conceive of my infinite emotions I would tell you if I like it... I can tell you that it is very like its conception...Not much and the best I could afford...Linguistics, and its counterpart, the literal love of words, Philology, are cull de saks, wastes...

Words, which are all ideas have a purpose...If you really thought about driving no one would get there...We don't think about how we get there, or we got from there... We just do it...No one could ride a bycycle if they thought about it...People learn to do it without thinking about it...We should consider our words and their meaning, but metaphore is a meaning, and this is the purpose of words -to convey meaning...To think about it as process, even for a moment obstructs our ability to communicate meaning...Understanding is the same as speaking... Each is unconscious, and must be, or we would only hear words and not meanings...Language works because it occurs unconsciously...But concepts exist only in the consciousness...Every concept represents the complete classification of a subject...What it is, and how it relates...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 12:39 am
@Fido,
Fido;115257 wrote:

Words, which are all ideas have a purpose..


I agree with you there. I think words are well described as tools. To think of them as tools is to remember their relation to human desires/needs.

What are these tools made of? Sometimes a hammer-word becomes a screwdriver-word, by being used in a new way.

For instance, when Nietzsche says the spirit is a stomach. Our minds try to see our vague notion/image of spirit in relation to our notion/image of stomach. The word spirit is enriched (arguably) by being compared to an organ for digestion. But where does "spirit" come from in the first place?

c.1250, "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from O.Fr. espirit, from L. spiritus "soul, courage, vigor, breath," related to spirare "to breathe," from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (cf. O.C.S. pisto "to play on the flute").

The abstraction "spirit" traces back to blowing or breathing. "Breath" was used in a new context until it took on an abstract/contextual/metaphorical meaning.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:11 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126326 wrote:
I agree with you there. I think words are well described as tools. To think of them as tools is to remember their relation to human desires/needs.

What are these tools made of? Sometimes a hammer-word becomes a screwdriver-word, by being used in a new way.

For instance, when Nietzsche says the spirit is a stomach. Our minds try to see our vague notion/image of spirit in relation to our notion/image of stomach. The word spirit is enriched (arguably) by being compared to an organ for digestion. But where does "spirit" come from in the first place?

c.1250, "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from O.Fr. espirit, from L. spiritus "soul, courage, vigor, breath," related to spirare "to breathe," from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (cf. O.C.S. pisto "to play on the flute").

The abstraction "spirit" traces back to blowing or breathing. "Breath" was used in a new context until it took on an abstract/contextual/metaphorical meaning.

I am not disputing the changing meaning of words at times under social influences...That is how bad became good to the Blacks...When you are living in a world of polar opposites and others see you as bad, and you know better, such changes are likely...I read in a respectable magazine in the early 70s that the language of black people full of slang or code words was even often misunderstood by them..In my old neighborhood, that is my old neighborhood because I could move out of it, the blacks by the corner store used to ask me if I was all right...Until I was literally moving, and hired a messed up victim of gang violence for some help, I never knew what they were asking me...They were playing doctor and wondered if I needed some medicine; Drugs...
The point is, that if language is going to serve a common purpose of effective comunication, meaning must remain stable...If it serves a devisive, or subversive use then anything goes, but positive change will be unlikely...Give up on language communication and other forms of communication will be found, like music, or violence..
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:32 pm
@Fido,
Fido;126362 wrote:

The point is, that if language is going to serve a common purpose of effective comunication, meaning must remain stable...If it serves a devisive, or subversive use then anything goes, but positive change will be unlikely...Give up on language communication and other forms of communication will be found, like music, or violence..


I see what you mean, and agree to a certain point. Shifts in meaning also serve human purposes. Slang, for instance, is the poetry of Everyman. The sounds and associations of slang words are anything but random.

Music will always be with us, I expect, as music says what words cannot say. Music, as Schopenhauer says, seems to speak to and from the "Will" directly.

In the political sense, the erosion of meaning is dangerous indeed. For instance, the word "democracy" is used as propaganda for invasion. I don't see how one can force critical thinking on a well-fed, well-entertained populace. We are better described as cunning rather than rational animals.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:56 am
@Reconstructo,
I was talking to a local college professor of Social Science from Trinidad...He confessed the utter impossibility of convincing his students that they are living in luxury...We are modest people around here, struggling like many in america for our livelyhoods, and we compare ourselves to those better off with envy, mostly because we cannot imagine worse; but worse there is, and there is no point telling people from some distant Island that they are breeding themselves into oblivion, when we are all working slower or faster to that goal...The more insecure is our future the more we shoot children at it...

All this is way off track...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:01 pm
@Fido,
Fido;127034 wrote:
I was talking to a local college professor of Social Science from Trinidad...He confessed the utter impossibility of convincing his students that they are living in luxury...We are modest people around here, struggling like many in america for our livelyhoods, and we compare ourselves to those better off with envy, mostly because we cannot imagine worse; but worse there is, and there is no point telling people from some distant Island that they are breeding themselves into oblivion, when we are all working slower or faster to that goal...The more insecure is our future the more we shoot children at it...

All this is way off track...


It may be slightly off topic, but one thing we can agree on is a distaste for greed and ingratitude. I work, get by without a safety net. Don't plan on bring kids into the picture. Wife agrees. It's selfish and cynical in one way, and kind in another. In a different society, we probably would make a different decision. Still, I'm not complaining. Life is good.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 03:28 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127106 wrote:
It may be slightly off topic, but one thing we can agree on is a distaste for greed and ingratitude. I work, get by without a safety net. Don't plan on bring kids into the picture. Wife agrees. It's selfish and cynical in one way, and kind in another. In a different society, we probably would make a different decision. Still, I'm not complaining. Life is good.

Life isn't life without children...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 12:35 am
@Fido,
Fido;127128 wrote:
Life isn't life without children...


Now there you go using figurative language to express wisdom. Of course I worry that I might be missing out, but then it's not exactly like getting a hair cut.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 09:08 am
@Reconstructo,
I don't expect anyone has the right to over breed...When people forgo having children out of economic concerns while there is plenty enough to go around then they are suffering injustice whether they do so by choice, or only accept what they cannot deny...Usually people stop having children, or do not have children because they think they cannot keep them in luxury, which is the last thing any child needs, only to find out that they could have afforded more than they thought early on...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:27 pm
@Fido,
Fido;127446 wrote:
I don't expect anyone has the right to over breed...When people forgo having children out of economic concerns while there is plenty enough to go around then they are suffering injustice whether they do so by choice, or only accept what they cannot deny...Usually people stop having children, or do not have children because they think they cannot keep them in luxury, which is the last thing any child needs, only to find out that they could have afforded more than they thought early on...


I can generally agree with that. I would want to be sure decent healthcare and education would be available for him/her. At the same time I don't view offspring as necessary to happiness.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 06:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127606 wrote:
I can generally agree with that. I would want to be sure decent healthcare and education would be available for him/her. At the same time I don't view offspring as necessary to happiness.

Not everyone has to have children, but to see your genes and life survive you is a cause for joy... Some animals do not contribute directly their genes to the life of their community... Some have life, but are effectively sterile...Their contribution is secondary, and yet is essential... The thing is that those humans who by choice take their lives, the cost of them, the knowledge of culture, and spend it in luxury emulate the Greeks and Romans who destroyed themselves because they had no sense of meaning and purpose... All they had was the moment, and then they caved in...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:27 pm
@Fido,
Fido;127694 wrote:
Not everyone has to have children, but to see your genes and life survive you is a cause for joy...


Yes, my father sees it this way. But I don't identify as much with my genes as with the wrinkles I have added to my gray matter. Books are babies whose diapers don't need changing.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 09:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
LIfe is all beauty without children...Life is passed...Or lost.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 07:32 pm
@Reconstructo,
I was just reading Kojeve, as usual, when I stumbled on this sort of thing--an awkward paraphrase:

Being minus being is "being." Concepts are impossible without time. A concept is the name of something that isn't there. It's the memory of something that was there.

Also, The future cannot be experienced in the present except as concept.

Time is dependent upon concept and concept is dependent upon time. Time is Concept. (But this is human time we are speaking of...)

We cannot form a concept of that which does not pass away. The concept of a dog is not any particular dog. But unless we had seen many dogs come and go, we could not form the concept of "dog". If there was only one dog, the word "dog" would refer to this living dog, whose story was not finished.
A concept is a sort of stain. Dog minus dog equals "dog." (Not nothingness, for this is not math.)

Man is the act of conceptualization. And human-time is the presentness of the past and future, which is only made possible by concept. In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was Man and the Man was Concept and the Concept was Time. Concept-Man-Time is a permanent rainbow above the rolling flux of experience.

Except that this rainbow is dialectical. Why? But our concept of the future (which is made from our concept of the past) is an image of our desire. Man operates on the present (which is spatial reality) in order to make this present or spatial reality conform to his concept of the future.

Truth is conformity of concept and being. Man works/("negates") Space/The Present into the shape of his concept of the Future. Man also works and negates the concept(s) by which he works and negates. Man is essentially historical.

---------- Post added 02-24-2010 at 08:45 PM ----------

Reconstructo;132099 wrote:
Concept-Man-Time is a permanent rainbow above the rolling flux of experience.


It should be noted that while this rainbow is permanent, it does change. Man is the Concept that becomes conscious of itself as Concept. But this is a dialectical process. Philosophy is the hard-won self-knowledge of Spirit/Man/Time/Concept
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 09:41 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127731 wrote:
Yes, my father sees it this way. But I don't identify as much with my genes as with the wrinkles I have added to my gray matter. Books are babies whose diapers don't need changing.

Books are whores without qunts...They will open up for anyone with money, but use them, and take them for anything you can, and trash them...
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 09:34 pm
@Reconstructo,
A concept is one pole of a dialectic that also includes experience. We go back and forth from qualia to concept, concept to qualia, adjusting the concept as necessary. Concepts are inconceivable except as node in a network, as one concept refers to and is referred to by another. Because of this, we also find ourselves comparing a concept not to qualia/sensual experience, but to other concepts.

Philosophical discourse is largely an investigation of concepts and their relationship to one another. It seems only natural that at some point the concept itself must be examined, by which I mean the concept of concept. What is concept?

My current view: the concept is the presence of an absence. By absence I mean spatial absence. The concept is present in the mind, as a memory (the past) or a project (the future). The concept has been described as "nonbeing." Hegel took some heat for this. But Hegel did not mean nothingness. For those of you who like math, I suggest that the imaginary number ("i") is a good metaphor for "nonbeing." Being * i = concept. This is another way to say that Being - Being = "Being."

This may sound strange but the conceptualization of conceptualization is/was an important task for philosophy. I have presented my understanding(concept) of Hegel's concept of the concept. I don't expect that the game is over, but I'm delighted by what is already achieved.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 03:32 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;132639 wrote:
A concept is one pole of a dialectic that also includes experience. We go back and forth from qualia to concept, concept to qualia, adjusting the concept as necessary. Concepts are inconceivable except as node in a network, as one concept refers to and is referred to by another. Because of this, we also find ourselves comparing a concept not to qualia/sensual experience, but to other concepts.

Philosophical discourse is largely an investigation of concepts and their relationship to one another. It seems only natural that at some point the concept itself must be examined, by which I mean the concept of concept. What is concept?

My current view: the concept is the presence of an absence. By absence I mean spatial absence. The concept is present in the mind, as a memory (the past) or a project (the future). The concept has been described as "nonbeing." Hegel took some heat for this. But Hegel did not mean nothingness. For those of you who like math, I suggest that the imaginary number ("i") is a good metaphor for "nonbeing." Being * i - concept. This is another way to say that Being - Being = "Being."

This may sound strange but the conceptualization of conceptualization is/was an important task for philosophy. I have presented my understanding(concept) of Hegel's concept of the concept. I don't expect that the game is over, but I'm delighted by what is already achieved.

This is like one of the smartest things you ever said...
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 03:42 pm
@Fido,
Fido;132958 wrote:
This is like one of the smartest things you ever said...

Thanks man. So you're not being ironic, right? Cause you have given me hell on this before. Maybe my thoughts were clear enough before. Or my expression. I just corrected a slight error/typo. "Being * i = concept" is what I meant to write. To give credit where credit is do, that's mostly from Kojeve on Hegel. I swear to you, Fido, it's a great book. I've started a thread on it & no one is biting. I think it's a neglected masterpiece.
 

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