All 4 entries tagged What Is A Concept

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February 15, 2005

Concepts as powers

Follow-up to Some questions concerning creativity from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

The concept of 'I', that of the cogito, works as a concept through its application to a range of components, through the inseperability of those components from the concept. Thinking is concieved as belonging to an I or otherwise, as a posession of an I. Similarly, being, which only achieves certitude through being thought, must therefore be the property of an I that thinks. In a Cartesian world, 'thinking' without the I loses its sense, is hardly an activity at all, is a free-floating component, with no definite concept. Clearly it is still an 'activity', or at the very least some kind of event. But they are vague and empty concepts, place-holders that absorb differences.

In this way we can see that being a concept means having a power over a set of components, of raising issue with them. The power of 'I' is to ask the question of possesion, in fact and by right, of everything. Leading directly to the transcendental I as the concept is developed.

Companion concepts, black–hole concepts, apocolyptic concepts

Follow-up to Schizoanalysis as philosophical imagination, as philosophical method from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

To repeat that conjecture: there is a class of special helper concepts that assist us through the pain and uncertainty of deep conceptual change, that manage our entry into and exit from chaos, being companions on the journey, modifying appropriately with the new situation, being recognizable as we emerge out of the other side, but at the same time being different. Art .

The second conjecture is that: there are some concepts that appear to help us through such change, but in fact are empty, absolutely un-changing, and hence of no effect, black-holes that merely absorb any efforts to effectuate change. Origin .

A third conjecture: this class of pseudo-helper concepts exist to offer hope and comfort in the face of deep and irreversible material change, apocolypse even. Being completely transcendent, they are the first tool that we reach for after the disaster. God .

What sort of concept is creativity ?

February 08, 2005

Methodology – what is a concept? what is philosophy?

What difference does the concept make? What becomes inevitable when the concept is available? And further, what becomes inevitable when the concept is used? (which is not the same question). A concept is not understood by its potential to exist or not, but rather by what it makes inevitable, what it determines. The choices are components in the concept, but the scope of those choices is already determined as the intension of the concept.

In considering a concept, consider the life of the concept – its sustainability. Can the concept stand on its own, permanently? Or does it inevitably carry the seeds of its own destruction, its own subjugation to a higher concept, of which it is only a component? For example, the way in which a badly analyzed concept of 'free speech' results in a babble of opinion. If what the concept of 'free speech' makes inevitable is a meaningless babble, then it is actually just a component in the 'higher' concept, meaningless babble.

The extension of a concept – its portability. This makes a concept more than just a raw event. What is the limit of a concept's extension? – the point at which it becomes a component? No, it is the point at which it fails to engage at all, and leaves a void into which a search for a new concept becomes necessary?

The 'over' of Nietzsche's 'overman' does not indicate that man as a concept becomes subservient to a new order, for example a component in the National Socialist program. Rather it indicates the point at which the extension of the concept of man is reached, and at which point it no longer engages. A new concept must be found.

The tasks of philosophy:

  1. finding the concept, going beyond the components to the absolute field that holds them together, the sustainable concept;
  2. testing the extension of the concept;
  3. forming new concepts when the extension of a concept is surpassed.

And when we pass through the void, are there special concepts that help us to generate new concepts? Is the concept of creativity one of those concepts?

November 06, 2004


Does it have to have a word or phrase associated with it? Or is it enough just to have some identifier that indicates its presence?

It must make a deifinite difference when used, not necessarily always precisely the same difference. But that difference must make a different eventuality occur or at least be possible whenever it is deployed (Leibniz?).

Like a tool, its cutting edge changes slowly, but how we handle it can be altered radically.