I had no idea that Taimur Rahman had made a video on Hegel.
I also had no idea that Taimur followed Cockshott's work. Not to aggrandize, but the leftypol community has been instrumental in putting Cockshott's work in the limelight and popularizing it (however mildly) on the internet left.
On the topic of Cockshott's response, there are so many glaring errors, I don't even know where to start. Again, do keep in mind that I have a cursory understanding of Hegel, so a lot of these ideas come from shallow reading of secondary sources.
>These ideas are not relied upon by any of the contemporary sciences.
This is scientism. It is basically ignoring philosophy of science, which is very important and is one of the things that is gravely missing from modern science. And Hegel absolutely BTFOs science as a totalizing venture of specific fields precisely because they take as supposition the limits of their study. They must isolate un-isolatable phenomena in order to study them, and hence are forever doomed to not get a complete picture. And, further, science is philosophy's bitch, science's foundation depends on philosophy, not the other way around.
>Logic can only occur where matter is so configured as to perform logical operations, conjunctions, disjunctions negations etc.
I'm not sure I agree with this characterization. It is a weird one that IMO characterizes logic as a physical process, rather than a system that exists in different contexts. What I mean is that if true, then it can also be said that physics doesn't exist in nature, it can only occur where matter is configured to perform physics. Which is true to some extent, but also doesn't really explain what physics is, and makes this weird characterization of physics just being a mental masturbation with no relation to reality.
>But that is because it is advantageous to the evolutionary survival of organisms to be able to react to their environment
This is some teleology of evolution or some shit. It is ironic that he says "No biologist thinks that there are essences" then says something that implies an essence moving evolution forward. I really dislike this interpretation of evolutionary biology. He just says this as this were a scientific fact. Again, philosophy of science comes to view as crucially important. I might be stretching what he really thinks, but I see this "essence" of evolution all the time in reddit-tier pop-sci explanations of evolution. As if the species had a meta-mind that chooses what is advantageous. It also ignores completely that a stupid jellyfish or mushrooms, or even diatoms are just as "evolved" as a human. Where is this "advantageous" logic in mushrooms?
>A more sophisticated understanding would be in terms of matrix multiplication rather than simple logic.
Here he is committing the same mistake he says he is wary to avoid. Matrix multiplication as such is a human endeavor. He is projecting a purely mathematical structure onto an organism that is unaware of formal mathematics.
Which he then follows up with
>I can not think of any instances in which a useful understanding of any real process can be well modeled by the sort of abstractions that Hegel employs.
That's his problem. Even if I learned tensor math, I wouldn't know how to apply it to the spacetime manifold.
>We have so more tools to look at the world with developed in the last 200 years that to go back to 1820s would be a terrible retrograde step.
This assumes that we have overcome Hegel, which many philosophers do not think so. And it also assumes that there is no value in reading philosophy, which many prominent scientists of the 20th century would disagree. There is value in reading any philosopher, regardless of what time period they are from. Plato and especially Aristotle are still being "rehashed" by 20th century philosophy, and I'm sure 21st century as well.
>The great danger is that young people’s minds will get stuck in a time warp,
In other words "Don't read philosophy, it will make you get stuck in a time warp" This is absurd.
>employing modes of thought that have long since been abandoned
Yes. And this is a serious problem of so called scientists and contemporary science.
>whilst in the process they ignore the concepts and threads of intellectual development that have led up to a modern scientific understanding.
>If people are to understand a modern materialist outlook, and if they are to start that with philosophy then the starting point has to be Lucretius.
>Lived during 1st century BC
Oh by god! Please no! Otherwise young people’s minds will get stuck in a time warp
In fact I think a close reading of Marx might reveal a much more "mystical" component that Cockshott criticizes. I don't condemn the work that Cockshott does, of course. I don't even care that much that his philosophy takes are absolute trash (goes without saying that his takes on gender shit and other social issues are also trash). Neither Marx nor Cockshott are sacred cows. They both developed excellent ways of thinking about our current state of affairs that represent the only viable alternative of interpreting reality, with repercussions that impact basically all fields of knowledge.