Difference between revisions of "Concepts"

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<h1>Concepts—We think by grasping</h1>
 
<h1>Concepts—We think by grasping</h1>
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<div class="insert">Since about 1770, old words such as ''democracy'', ''freedom'', and the ''state'' have indicated a new horizon of the future, which delimits the concept in a different way; traditional topoi gained an anticipatory content that they did not have before.<ref>Reinhart Koselleck, ''The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts'' (Todd Samuel Presner, trans., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002) p. 5.</ref></div>
 
{{List of Concepts}}
 
{{List of Concepts}}
<div class="insert">Since about 1770, old words such as ''democracy'', ''freedom'', and the ''state'' have indicated a new horizon of the future, which delimits the concept in a different way; traditional topoi gained an anticipatory content that they did not have before.<ref>Reinhart Koselleck, ''The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts'' (Todd Samuel Presner, trans., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002) p. 5.</ref></div>
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; Uh-oh. This looks like it might be a bit hard. I thought ''concepts'' are universals that aren't supposed to change since about 1770. What's going on?
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: I don't think it will be too difficult. ''Concept'' has an old, original meaning, simply "something conceived in the mind; a notion, idea, image, or thought."<ref>OED, concept, I.1.</ref> To be a notion, idea, image, or thought conceived in a mind, it must be so conceived at some time and place, and consequently it has a history. A lot of thinkers treat concepts that way—it actually avoids some hard problems and helps to clarify what living persons do in thinking about important matters.
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; Skip who those thinkers are and precisely what they say—give me the gist in your own words.
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: ''Concepts'' describe and construct mental actions through which we grasp, make sense of, explain, or interpret complex phenomena.  
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Revision as of 13:29, 10 December 2019

Concepts—We think by grasping

Since about 1770, old words such as democracy, freedom, and the state have indicated a new horizon of the future, which delimits the concept in a different way; traditional topoi gained an anticipatory content that they did not have before.[1]
Uh-oh. This looks like it might be a bit hard. I thought concepts are universals that aren't supposed to change since about 1770. What's going on?
I don't think it will be too difficult. Concept has an old, original meaning, simply "something conceived in the mind; a notion, idea, image, or thought."[2] To be a notion, idea, image, or thought conceived in a mind, it must be so conceived at some time and place, and consequently it has a history. A lot of thinkers treat concepts that way—it actually avoids some hard problems and helps to clarify what living persons do in thinking about important matters.
Skip who those thinkers are and precisely what they say—give me the gist in your own words.
Concepts describe and construct mental actions through which we grasp, make sense of, explain, or interpret complex phenomena.





  1. Reinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts (Todd Samuel Presner, trans., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002) p. 5.
  2. OED, concept, I.1.