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Entweder eine Art passt zu ihrer Umgebung oder sie passt nicht, d.h. sie überlebt entweder, oder sie stirbt.  +
Der einzige Aspekt der "realen" Welt, der tatsächlich in den Bereich der Erfahrung eintritt, sind die Einschränkungen dieser Welt.  +
Ablösen klassischer Denkweisen  +
Erfahrungen und alle Objekte der Erfahrung sind unter allen Umständen das Resultat unserer Wege und Mittel des Erlebens  +
So wie Umwelt dem lebenden Organismus Grenzen setzt und beseitigt, was die Grenze überschreitet, so bildet die Erfahrungswelt die Grenzen für unsere Ideen (kognitiven Strukturen)  +
Die Umwelt kann bestenfalls für das Aussterben verantwortlich gemacht werden, aber nie für das Überleben  +
In this requirement, representation is similar to recognition. Both often work hand in hand, e.g., when one recognizes a Volkswagen though one can see only part of its back but is nevertheless able to visualize the whole.  +
An example may help to clarify what I am trying to say. If, in someone’s account of a European journey, you read or hear the name “Paris”, you may register it as a pointer to a variety of experiential “referents” with which you hapen to have associated it—e.g., a particular point on the map of Europe, your first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa in the Louvre— but if the account of the journey immediately moves to London, you would be unlikely to implement fully any one of them as an actual re-presentation. At any subsequent moment, however, if the context or the conversation required it, you could return to the mention of “Paris” and develop one of the associated re-presentations.  +
Any re-presentation, be it of an experiential “thing” or of a program of actions or operations, requires some sensory material for its execution. That basic condition, I believe, is what confirmed Berkeley in his argument against the “existence” of abstracted general ideas, for it is indeed the case that every time we re-present to ourselves such a general idea, it turns into a particular one because its implementation requires the kind of material from which it was abstracted. This last condition could be reformulated by saying that there has to be some isomorphism between the present construct and what it is intended to reconstruct. Clearly, this isomorphism does not concern a “thing-in-itself” but precisely those aspects one wants to or happens to focus on.  +
By this I mean that, as particular users of the word become more proficient, they no longer need to actually produce the associated conceptual structures as a completely implemented re-presentation, but can simply register the occurrence of the word as a kind of “pointer” to be followed if needed at a later moment. I see this as analogous to the capability of recognizing objects on the basis of a partial perceptual construction. In the context of symbolic activities, this capability is both subtle and important.  +
No act of mental re-presentation, which in this context of conceptual analysis means neither less nor more than the re-generation of a prior experience, would be possible if the original generation of the experience had not left some mark to guide its reconstruction.  +
Hence I suggest that, pace Berkeley, we are quite able to abstract general ideas from experience and that we do this by substituting a kind of place-holder or variable for some of the properties in the sensory complex we have abstracted from our experiences of particular things.  +
With regard to the need for an acting agent, a program is similar to a map. If someone draws a simple map to show you how to get to his house, he essentially indicates a potential path from a place you are presumed to know to the unknown location. The drawing of the path is a graphic representation of the turns that have to be made to accomplish that itinerary, but it does not and could not show what it is to move and what it is to turn right or left. Any user of the map, must supply the motion and the changes of direction with the focus of visual attention while reading the map. Only if one manages to abstract this sequence of motions from the reading activity, can one transform it into physical movement through the mapped region.  +
If someone, having just eaten an apple, takes a bite out of a second one, and is asked which of the two tasted sweeter, we should not be surprised that the person could give an answer.  +
Hence I suggest that, pace Berkeley, we are quite able to abstract general ideas from experience and that we do this by substituting a kind of place-holder or variable for some of the properties in the sensory complex we have abstracted from our experiences of particular things.  +
I hope to make this clear with the help of an example. A child growing up in a region where apples are red would neessarily and quite correctly associate the idea of redness with the name “apple”. A distant relative arriving from another part of the country, bringing a basket of yellow apples, would cause a major perturbation for the child, who might want to insist that yellow things should not be called “apples”. However, the social pressure of the family’s usage of the word will soon force the child to accept the fact that the things people call “apple” come in different colors. The child might then be told that apples can also be green, which would enable the child to recognize such a particular green thing as an apple the first time it is brought to the house.  +
In my terms this means, symbols can be associated with operations and, once the operations have become quite familiar, the symbols can be used to point to them without the need to produce an actual re-presentation of carrying them out.  +
In other words, one can be quite aware of what one is cognitively operating on, without being aware of the operations one is carrying out.  +