L'Hydre et l'Académie

    Peter Saint-Andre, Conceptualism in Abelard and Rand

    Johnathan R. Razorback

    Messages : 4498
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Peter Saint-Andre, Conceptualism in Abelard and Rand

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback le Sam 24 Oct - 21:28


    "Abelard made abstraction the core of his account of conceptual knowledge, and Rand did the same, albeit in more modern and psychologically advanced language. Indeed, I would argue that we can see Rand's epistemology as an updating of the project that Abelard pursued over 800 years ago."

    "Whereas Aristotle's moderate realism assumes a rather passive approach to cognition (since universals exist in the world and can therefore imprint themselves on the mind), both Abelard [...] and Rand held that human conceptual consciousness plays a more active role by drawing concepts out of the particulars through a process of abstraction."

    "5.Conceptualism. The conceptualists hold that the only universals are human abstractions or concepts. While concepts are human creations, the process of concept-formation is one of abstraction from the actual features of particular entities, and therefore concepts (in general) contain nothing that does not exist in reality. On this view, there are no universal entities: universals exist neither in a separate realm nor in particular entities. However, human concepts are based on abstraction from particular entities, so that the names we give to things are neither arbitrary nor subjective, but directly grounded in the features of entities. Thus both existence and consciousness contribute to the process of concept-formation: reality contributes the particular entities and their features, while human cognition contributes the abstractions that unite those entities and features into universal concepts.

    Based on this five-fold system of classification, it is clear that both Abelard and Rand are conceptualists
    -Peter Saint-André, First published in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Volume 4, Number 1 (Fall 2002), pp. 123-140.

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