[OPE-L:666] Re: on unitiated students

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 15:04:21 -0800

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I'm teaching Vol. I right now--from beginning to end--and I find it does
help to stress that the development usually from what is implicit to
is explicit. Another way I put it is to caution people about jumping
ahead (the royal road thing), presupposing more than has already been
developed, which brings in extraneous things. People want to latch the
categories onto specific determinations (a key example of the "picture-
thinking" against which Hegel warns), i.e., to *identify* concept A with
phenomenon B. This does not permit the category to develop and this
tendency is thus one I fight tooth and nail.

As an educational method I am sure that what Andrew says is
laudable. I dont teach economics, but in teaching my subject
I think that what I aim at is just the same, to get people to
grasp concepts in the most abstract and general form possible.
However, abstraction is a very hard thing to come to. It may
be easier to grasp an abstraction by being presented with
as many different concrete instanciations of it as possible.