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Concept formation and Integration

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A is not B

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Lately I've been studying Objectivist epistemology more than any sane man should :-) (6 hours a day is a LONG time to stare at a glass jar and differentiate it from a cotton pouch and identify the.similarities and integrate it within the broader concept "container")

I want to present something to you guys and see if I understand the concept formation and integration.

Starting with sense perception-- I've visually see three shapes ( which later will be two pouches and a glass jar) and I touch the 3 shapes and sense their heft and texture. And I can see visually what their function is, to put stuff in them.

From here my senses note the similarities and the differences between the shapes, the textures, and the function. ( I suppose function can be perceived sensually, I.e. visually.)

I assume that separating the jar from the two pouches, cognitively, based on their differences is an automatic process? And that grouping the two pouches together based on their similarities is also an automatic process?

From here the two concepts are solidified by omitting the measurement, that is to say, forgetting about any particular instance of these existents while retaining their distinguishing characteristics namely their shape and functions, then symbolizing these new concepts with a word, in this case jar and pouch.

To go further than this, you could note the similarities between jar and pouch, namely their use of "holding stuff" and you could form the concept "container," grouping earlier concepts based on utility.

Now was that a proper concept formation? Was that also an example of hierarchical integration?

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Except for a few corrections, yes.  The "grouping' of the two pouches is not an automatic process.  Perceiving the pouch's similarities and differences from the jar is the automatic process. 


Measurement omission does not consist of forgetting the measurements.  The measurements are just not specified, with the implication that they may exist in any amount and must exist in some specific amount.


When forming the concept container, you'd need a third object that is not a container, something to serve a difference (as a foil or counter) in function from the jar and pouch which are similar in function.  



Edited by A is A
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You don't perceptually see what something's function is. You don't perceive function strictly speaking. That's a conceptual level thought. You use the percepts to form concepts which you use to form the concept of 'jar' and to understand function. So, 'jar' is not a percept either. That's a concept.

Edited by Peter Morris
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  • 4 months later...

You are talking about integrating the concepts "jar" and "pouch" into a wider concept "container".


First you distinguished jars and pouches from other objects.  That view held in your mind the similarities among jars and pouches that distinguish jars and pouches from other objects. 


Then you integrate your concepts of jar and pouch into the wider concept "container".  In this process, your input concepts serve as units.  You treat them as if each were a single item in the mind, though you know that each actually stands for an unlimited number of jars and pouches.


The distinguishing characteristics of various containers are specified categories.  You leave them unspecified on the principle that a container must have some shape, specific function, etc. but may have ANY shape, involve ANY kind of containment, have ANY contents, etc.


There is also a Conceptual Common Denominator from which "container" could be differentiated.  Similarity is reducible to some common unit of measurement or categories of measurement ultimately reducible to units of measurement.


The critical thing to remember is that similarity means quantitative difference.

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  • 1 year later...

You are jumping from 1st person perspective to 3rd person perspective, with no clear idea of the jump.

Similarly, you are haphazardly using similarity and differences.

Those are the main two aspects that I would guess that you don't have a complete grasp of.


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