Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

TALK: Siyaves Azeri (Queens, Canada) on “Conceptual Cognitive Organs: Toward a Historical Materialist Theory of Scientific Knowledge”, 17/12/2012

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Siyaves Azeri (Queens, Canada) will give a talk at Bogazici on Monday, December 17th from 5-7pm in TB130.

“Conceptual Cognitive Organs: Toward a Historical Materialist Theory of Scientific Knowledge”

ABSTRACT: The relation between scientific concepts and reality cannot be satisfactorily explained unless the empiricist supposition that dramatically differentiates “appearance” and “reality” is dropped. Concepts are components of sign systems, which function as tools of cognitive activity. Conceptual cognition, qualitatively speaking, is not different than perceptual cognition. Concepts are extensions of human sense organs. They are particular higher cognitive organs the function of which is cognitive activity.
Unlike empiricists that locate perception and cognition in human mind, Vygotsky’s historical approach locates perception and cognition outside the psyche or consciousness. It is the degree of abstraction and generalization that differentiates between perceptual and cognitive activities and between different forms of cognition. Scientific concepts and conceptual systems (theories) appear to be a particular form of higher mental activity. They are cognitive tools that provide the ability of systematic cognition of phenomena, which are not available to the grasp of ordinary sense organs. They are tools of scientific “groping” of phenomena. Scientific concepts free perceptual and cognitive activity from determination of “biological” sense organs by providing a high degree of cognitive abstraction and generalization. Scientific cognition, like perceptual activity, is actualized by consciousness but outside the consciousness.

Keywords: Activity, cognition, concept, consciousness, empiricism, reality, science, theory, Vygotsky

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

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