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Jon Hellevig
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Things

Concepts and other Words – seen as Things - even as Animated Things

Some of the words used to describe social relations have been grouped to form concepts. These concepts, which are merely the symbols for cumulated experience have created a lot of confusion in philosophy due to the fallacy to think that the concepts represent something independent (and to think that ‘independent’ is a ‘thing’). - And where the idea emerges that concepts represent cumulated experience, there they think that experience is faultless and clear; the possibility that the concept has captured faulty belief, superstition and nonsense is totally disregarded. - This confusion and erroneous philosophy was brought to new heights by Kant.

The analogy to things and their properties has always been used for justifying philosophical speculation. The examples philosophers refer to always concern physical objects in one or another form ranging from Moore’s hands to tables and chairs. – I am saying that there is no philosophical value whatsoever on looking at a pair of hands, tables, and chairs, they do not bring any insight to expressions and interpretations.

There is e.g. talk about ‘law being a unique social phenomenon’. – This statement is illustrative in showing how wrong it is to regard perceptions on past activity as ‘phenomena’, because thence they really give ‘phenomena’ a thingly role. – A ‘phenomenon’ is taken to be something, it is something with its own properties; I would even say that they take it to be a thing-in-itself. But, there are no such phenomena, there is just a lot of human activity going on, and ‘law’ is a certain type of perception on what happened.




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© 2017 Jon Hellevig