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  • Yes, concise and direct!

    I don't understand what is meant by "the level of the percept."

    Can someone frame this for me both in the context of cognitive science as it existed when RS wrote it, and perhaps how it would be defined now?

    •  The word "cognition" is a translation of the original German word "Erkennen" which roughly means "knowledge through experience" - and we simply don't have an equivalent in English. So for example, "Epistemology" (theory of knowledge) is "Erkenntnis Theorie". But German also has "Wissen" which also means "knowledge", but it means knowledge of a more abstract nature.

      Perhaps "cognition" is then a bad translation - Hoernle translates it as simply "knowledge" -  but it is not unusual to speak of knowing as "cognition" - we say in English "cognitive dissonance" which really just means that someone can hold two contradictory opinions simultaneously.

      This makes the answer to your question much easier.  "the level of the percept." Hoernle translates this as "in conformity with the percpet" which again is perhaps a better way of putting it.

      I believe Steiner is here referencing an example he makes earlier in the book --  the example is edited into this video for the benefit of clarification -- it is the example of the stone being thrown and it's flightpath through the air . What I believe Steiner is saying is nothing radical at all. He is simply saying that the successive visual percepts of the stone's positions in space determines the type of concept we can form of its movement. ie, we can't call the flight of the stone anything but a parabola. It can't be confused with the concept "straight line", or the concept of a "right angle". Hence the connection of the concept 'parabola' with the percept of the stone's movement must be "in conformity" with the stone's visible positions in space (ie, in conformity with the percept).

      I hope that's helpful.

      • Woops, I accidentally deleted Edward Martin Walker's comment so I am adding it here.

        VERY helpful indeed!

        Your description of the German word for knowledge reminds me of the English phrase "learning from experience."

        I don't know how these two, potentially divergent concepts, can be reconciled but I'd love to try!

  • Concise and direct... I desire to know more.

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© Tom Last 2017