Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Abstractions' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 OCTOBER 2011

Phenomena we confront are always richer than the abstractions we use to explain them

"The realization that the phenomena we confront are always richer than the abstractions we use to explain them is central to a Goethean approach. This realization is the expression of a two–fold awareness or sensitivity that Goethe points to with his expression 'delicate empiricism' (Goethe, 1829, in Miller, 1995, p. 307). First, we experience a phenomenon (a mouse, a wooded swamp, a range of blue hills in the distance, or the clouds moving across the sky) as a kind of fullness that calls forth wonder, curiosity, questioning. We want to get to know it better, or as Goethe states it radically, 'become utterly identical with it' (ibid.). This is empiricism, because we orient all our striving around the phenomena themselves. A phenomenon is what meets the eye but we also experience it is as something more, as a kind of surface that is pregnant with a depth we may be able to plumb. But we realize that we will not fathom these depths with models and theories, which more likely than not will lead us away from the phenomenon itself."

(Craig Holdrege, 2005)

Craig Holdrege Summer 2005, 8.1. 'Doing Goethean Science' Janus Head.


abstract modelsabstractionabstractionsacademic journal • delicate empiricism • enquiry • Goethe • Goethean approach • Goethean methodology • Goethean science • Johann Wolfgang von Goethephenomenaphenomenologyphenomenonresearchtheoretical reflectiontheories


Simon Perkins

Historical Materialism: a critical resources for the de-reification of capitalism

The materialist conception of history "retains its relevance to contemporary social life insofar as it offers critical resources for the de–reification of capitalism and its various forms of appearance. It reminds us that commodification of social life, and especially commodification of labour, are not natural, necessary, universal or absolute; nor, therefore, is the separation of the political from the economic which is entailed in the capitalist wage relation. Historical materialist critiques imply that capitalism's abstraction of politics from the economy and the naturalisation of a civil society of abstract individuals are historical conditions which are open to question and hence potentially to transformation. This transformation would necessarily entail (but not necessarily be limited to) the re–politicisation and democratisation of the economy and of civil society, such that they cease to be pseudo–objective and apparently natural conditions which confront isolated individuals as an ineluctable external "reality". Rather, they would become sites for – and objects of – reflective dialogue and contestation, mutable aspects of a broad process of social self–determination, explicitly political."

(M. Scott Solomon and Mark Rupert, Syracuse University)



abstractionsbusinesscapital accumulationcapitalismcommodificationcontestationdialogueeconomyfirm • historical materialism • Mark Rupert • Michael Scott Solomon • mutableproductionreflective process

to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.