… in the univocity framework, the ONE-ALL of the omni-axis is an absolute scope polarity, and therefore a univocal tautology, where infinite omni-local immanence is infinite transcendence and the ALL is already contained in the ONE , and vice versa. In this absolute ineffable tautology we can oscillate endlessly, moving everywhere at once and thus nowhere … except for the nondual realisation of this identity itself.
p.261. There is, at this point in the embriogenesis of the concept of mathematics, only the pre-differentiated Infinite, absolute boundless, formless, logical Emptiness or absolute Unity, abstracted into an undifferentiated “multiple aspect”, the infinite multiplicity and continuity of the ONE-ALL.
From this pre-differentiated multiple aspect in the ALL we begin the embriogenesis of operation and number. But only through a “breaking of symmetry” – from the absolute scope of Infinite Unity, through its aspects in absolute multiplicity, and ultimately into the relative scope of fimite unity – can mathematics proper even begin.
pp.266-267. (In Spinoza’s view) The Infinite is “that, which can be understood but not imagined” and the finite is “that which can [be understood and] also be imagined.” This is the primary scope distinction between absolute and relative – the fundamental polarity of the Univocity Framework – rendered in terms of the multiple or quantitative aspects of the imagination, and the limitations of the forces of representation.
In Spinoza’s view, all images or representations are part of the relative and finite (or indefinite) imagination. This would then include perception and conception, while the reality of this necessary representational illusion of sensation and other forms of the imagination is our qualitative connection, our interface with, and as, reality (and specifically a finite unity thereof).
The best we get with the imagination is the indefinite, not the infinite.
Therefore, as the rationalists correctly noted, the abstract understanding, coupled with the intuition, can grasp things (at least relatively so) of a general and symbolic nature extending beyond, or transcending and including the capabilities of the detailed imagination, including both objective and subjective forms such as perception.
p.268. But without the imagination and its foundational perceptions to aid in the process of transcending itself, there is no understanding of the finite or of the infinite.
A note on Fuller’s Finite Absolutism. … as soon as a boundary is introduced for the extent of Universe, its magnitude is surpassed by the necessity of an outside in relation to an inside.
p.270. The Triune Infinite: Interfacing Emptiness.
According to the evolution and embriogenesis of the concept, polarities generally differentiate and integrate to triunities, or cultivated thirds. What then is the cultivated third of the polarity we just explored between The Infinite and the finite, or more properly between the quantitative aspects of the absolute and relative scopes?
… it is fascinating to note that many thinkers, for whatever reason, have independently come to the same general conclusion of the three types or degrees of infinity. … there may be more than coincidence at work here in this relative interface of the number three with the absolute scope or the divine.
p.271. … essentially, Cantor’s three infinites can be expressed as absolutes, Ontic and Mathematical (this last category of mathematical infinities is merely a subset of the epistemic or representational forms of the infinite (aspects), i.e. mathematics as the representation (art/science) of pure relation.
p.274. Order 1; The Absolute Infinite.
The 1st order Infinite is “The Absolute,” the ALL is ONE, the “Boundless ALL”, our absolute scope, Emptiness and Infinite Unity which is not ‘one’.
p.275. The imagination is always exhausted in a finite amount of time and therefore can only ever reach a limited, indefinite depth of extension (transitive), division (immanence) or time.
Order 2: The Aspect Infinite.
The Aspect Infinite is the second order infinity and it derives its infinite nature directly from the first as unfolding aspects, perspectives, infinite modes of being or mental abstractions from it. The Aspect Infinite mediates as a cultivated third, or a triune-interface between the first and last orders of infinity, (footnote: it is important to note that the absolute and relative scopes are not locations, or scales of interaction in a relation or reduction, one to the other. They are, rather, the basic conceptual contexts from which the mind attempts to make sense of the world and itself. Indeed, the absolute scope only comes in to the conceptual field of view when the relative scope attempts to relativise itself in order to find its context in its identical opposite. And thus the bounded relative scope must find its basis and meaning in the boundless absolute scope and the concept comes full circle to grasp its genesis in the pre-conceptual, and the finite in the infinite.
p.279. The linear aspect of the Infinite appears from the continuity because we put emphasis upon it, and it disappears when we let it go. Once manifest, we can then assign to its intrinsic nondual or transrational continuity an arbitrary set of numbers based on whatever set-generating algorithm and relative to whatever transitive scale we choose …
The sense here is that these mental forms of set-generators, omni-/uni-directionality, “linearity”, “planarity” and n-dimensionality are abstracted as singular or grouped directional/positional (relational) aspects from the concept or reality of the Absolute Infinite, but furthermore, the omni-axis enfolds and unfolds the uni- and directional- axes, and hence is a more primitive order in the embriogenesis of the concept of mathematical, ontological and epistemological infinity.
p.281. Order 3: The Modal (or Bounded) Infinite:
The Bounded Infinite is the third and lowest order of infinity as it deals with the unbounded within the bounded.
The modal infinity is a 2nd order derivative from the Absolute Infinity, and it unfolds from the confluence of the two main aspect infinities: the I/T (omnidirectional) and the transitive (uni-directional) derived from our finite unity as a frame of reference. The modal infinity is the interface between the immanent and transitive aspects or directionalities, and can thus be seen as a subset of the 2nd order…
p.282. We have found only unbounded dimensions, because beyond every boundary we have always found more dimension, where we are capable of finding anything at all. Indeed, a boundary cannot even be found until it is surpassed, exposing the fundamental polarity of the infinite and finite.
p.283. Everywhere man looks he finds the boundlessness of the indefinite, the interface between The Infinite (both within and without him) and the finite.
p.287. … we can also take Spinoza’s definition of The Infinite and finite generally in termsof the polarity of Substance and its Modifications, respectively, and it’s Cycle of Unity, within which substance turns around its modes and vice versa. Tha which is modified is, in some sense, necessarily bounded and has magnitude (e.g. size, length, width, duration) reletive to other modifications; modification is necessarily in the relative realm of form in identical opposition to the absolute realm of Emptiness.
p.291. Since we are dealing with the absolute scope, and therefore necessarily with the philosophical and pre-mathematical, rather than the mathematical notions of infinity, and given that infinity in either case is not a number these (vision-logic equations) VLEs are not rigorously mathematical, but rather meta-mathematical, logical or relational, with their own peculiar logic.
p.296. … this unbounded infinite is th abstract vision logic description of the Lebnizian “monad” and the Spinozan “simplest body”, the joint metaphysical and meta-mathematical union of the absolute and the relative; the infinite and the finite. It is also the previously unacknowledged beginning place of mathematics itself, as it codifies the origin of the number 1 as an implicit infinite number, enfolded into the primitive natural numbers, whose implicit infinity will not be broken open until the Rational numbers and fully with the immanent infinities of the “irrational” numbers.
p.297. Boundary and Dimension:
… beyond the infinite representationality of dimensioning systems, there is real, finite and infinite, sub-representational, a priori volumetric extension and it is only quantified (differentiated and integrated in the embriogenesis of the concept) a posteriori with the use of dimensions ad systems thereof.
Most of what passes as knowledge in people who are reasonable is provisional. Even the most indisputable facts can be disputed on some grounds.
The average person is inclined to accept as true that which is consistent with his beliefs rather than waiting to determine whether the matter is rue or not before ha commits to believe it.
To say a belief is objective is not to say it is true. Only that it is shared by others in a group or community. To say a belief is subjective is not to say it is false, only that it is idiosyncratic and not shared by others. The more idiosyncratic the belief, the more fantastical or incomprehensible the content, the more the belief approaches a delusion – or creative discovery. The more widespread the belief, the greater the consensus, the more belief approaches fact or dogma.
The pursuit of truth must proceed with a suspension of belief and a profession of lack of knowledge. Perhaps this is easier to do in science, which deals with relatively impersonal facts, but not of course when those facts (values) are bound up with the vanity and ambition of the scientist, or when they threaten to undermine another belief system, e.g. evolution and divine creation. A spirit of doubt, uncertainty, openness, even mystery, is essential for discovery.
… it is quite hopeless to change the moral character of someone – much less an army, country, mob – bent on a malevolent undertaking. The greater the disparity in beliefs or values, the less hope of moral conversion. The psychological transformation that is required for such a conversion is not unlike a realignment of faith or a shift in a scientific paradigm.
Perhaps reason does not always prevail in the decisions of a life because a life lived according to reason, or its correlate in strict moral rules, may not be a life worth living. The path laid out by logic, … , may not be the most scenic or interesting. The highway of truth may be a less exciting voyage than the byway of fortune.
Many of the most perceptive of moralists and the most poetical of the philosophers have asked whether the human spirit seeking self-realisation is not tethered to choking by layers of obligation, manners, responsibilities, the oughts of decency and consideration. The fear id that the social and self censure of moral acts will de-nature the spontaneity of non-moral action, e.g. that a habit of self-denial may smother the creative spirit. The artist is particularly sensitive to this concern, for his conduct embraces work and life in a way that is foreign to the average person. The artist more than most must steer a path between the imaginative and the real, self-expression and constraint, the wishful delights, the shackles of convention, and the more unusual and brazen the personality, the more difficult the adjustment.
The ancient idea of a man as an animal tamed by imperial reason is a false description of the human psyche. We have learned from behavioural anthropology and the bloody history of the past century that the most primitive of communities is no less moral than the most advanced culture. Reason can justify good or bad intentions, while magical or syncretic thinking can promote peace and co-operation as much as barbarism. There is no evidence that ancestral societies, given the harsh conditions, are less moral than contemporary ones.
A thoughtful assessment of the architecture of the mind leads to the conclusion that the qualitative shift from unconscious to conscious thought is not a relation of the animal to the rational, but a successive analysis of a non-temporal core into temporal objects. When we descend into the dark night of the soul, we do not find brutal, immoral and murderous impulses, rather a different mode of thinking: paralogic, animism, symbolism, metaphor.
The implementation of an action by character in relation to available choices, and the growth or decline of character in the options that are chosen, are the inheritance of each new instance of self in the recurrence of a living moment. The ancestry of every act is successively realised in each momentary existence. What counts is Now. Past acts do not exist except as a ground for the occurrent state. Yet we do think of a life as a collection of acts, responses, initiatives, that must be taken as a whole.
The microphysics of birth and death that frame a life, a day, a moment, a particle, have their analogy in the resignation and renewal that punctuates the reflective life. Self- realisation is not an accomplishment but a process that must be reasserted and renewed.
Life is the one great idea an individual has that pours itself out onto the pages of daily living, except that the jackets to the book are the fatal limits to its continuation, save for the debt to writers past or readers future – our personal or literary ancestors and descendants – who are illusory bridges to the bound and unbound volumes of innumerable other life stories.
Creativity is volition in service of novelty in which the agent is given over to the involuntary act.
The agent accedes control to the volition that runs through him, not as a voluntary impulse where he is acting as a conscious doer, but as a felt creation of which he is a product.
The ability to assume an attitude of passivity or receptiveness is the essential character of the creative personality. The air of authority or assurance that one sees now and then in creative people is merely an attempt to achieve mastery of the conditions of life so the individual can surrender to the creative impulse. This, incidently, is an important piece of any theory of responsibility. The feeling that an action is one’s own, that it belongs to the self, or emanates from the self, is the basis for responsibility. However, this may occur in the absence of a feeling of agency.
The traction of the past weighs heavily on the freshness of the moment. One wants to shed the familiar garments for the naked sonorities of innocence and awe, feel the power sleeping in the subtle ferocity of words, listen to ancient wisdom, silent, at the throne of magic, possibility.
The conscious mind does not invoke, it edits what unconscious mind has written, which is I believe the direction of thought itself, from obscurity to light.
Authenticity is not found in the assessment of acts “from outside” as a judgement, or in a feeling that action is fluid or that conflict is absent, even if the goal of self-realisation is to be whole in every act. The transition to the concrete is not merely for comfort in acting. The unbroken is sensed by an intuition that is given whole as an immediacy that does not lead to something beyond itself.
Conscience refers to the effort at authenticity in a given act, but the feeling of having lived with authenticity is an intuition that pertains to a lifespan coherence of conduct with character. Self-realisation applies to personality in art, to character in ethics. Character is personality with ego- and exo-centric values at stake.
Knowledge partitions the self into beliefs, values and desires. Each is defined by the distribution of personal and impersonal conceptual feelings.
Experience is shaped in a way that is irreducibly subjective. Intuition is a way of knowing the rightness of action in relation to that experience. Ultimately, intuition and authenticity concern the view from inside, i.e. what a thing or person is.
The standard for intuitive truth is not the correspondence of scientific relations but the coherence or rightness of intrinsic relations.
The greater the depth of intuition, the closer to character or personality, the more resistant to verification. If adequately realised, the contextual relations recur and enclose a succession of nested particulars.
Coherence simply requires a correlation of self-nature with conduct,not good or bad acts. A malicious person may act in a malicious way or perform a good act, but he is no more or less authentic for the choice than a good person who acts well or badly.
Sel-realisation is the completion of existence of all entities, not the satisfaction of a momentary self.
Thus the stability of the self-concept does not owe to an unchanging core that is accessible to conscious thought. It is not a matter of a self that satisfies its desires, but realises the full actuality of the person.
Life is enacted in struggle. In the ordinary life, one adapts as best he can. The life of the genius is the fulfilment of the potential of self through works of art or science in spite of the claims of others. But for the great soul the other is “represented” in the self, and self-realisation is equally a realisation of the other’s needs.
The entity specifies a field in opposition. It defines by way of contrast what it is not by becoming what it is. … The concept of the self as having a subjective and an objective nature entails a contrast or opposition in every act of cognition or self-realisation. However, in the second sense of contrast, every particular that individuates is felt to be opposed not only to what it might have been or to a field of antecedent potential, but to another particular with which it is coordinate or coextensive. … In sum, every object in a perceptual field is a contrast with every other object, especially those adjacent objects (or colours) that form its demarcations. And, every object in the field is opposed to the antecedent ground out of which it individuates.
Though we find duality in every aspect of mind, the dual as an explanatory principle is not itself explained. The contrast of thought and language, or mind and world, is an artificial duality. They are interdependent phases in succession, not co-ordinate oppositions.
Even if truth and falsehood can be construed in a binary manner within a system or language of logic, most things in the world merge into other things, yet we still focus on the extremes, not the transitions. This is a result of the substantialist bias in thought. … The relative deafness or blindness to continua and the predilection for pairs in opposition occurs because the mind is more comfortable with polarities or contrasts than with transitions. The category stabilises the object over a range of transitions, while the transitions themselves are invisible to thought.
One can say, the whole gives way to the parts, which then serve as irreducible wholes for further analysis. No matter how deeply the spectrum is analysed, the termini are categories for analysis and instances in a (prior) category out of which they individuate.
In all forms of perception, we are aware of the objects (categories) the mind produces, not the temporal process (change) through which they arise, nor of the transition form one momentary object or state of the world to the next.
Unity is a dynamic harmony, not a spatial homogeneity. In oneness there is no division, no specification. Once a line is drawn, unity may persist but oneness is broken. A commitment is a loss of possibility. Every act embodies its negation. Something is emptied by the enactment, and defined by the non-act on the far side of its boundaries. … There is no oneness in consciousness, for its essence is the relation of self to image or object, but there is a unity that begins with the duality of parts and wholes, of relata and plenitudes. Oneness is the sought after, the profound but never uncovered primordium from which unity and diversity emerge. This primordial oneness is glimpsed in the recognition of multiplicity or many-in-oneness that leads to an inference of origins in the intuition of an unmarked whole. Self-realisation is the experience of becoming into being as every entity, to exist, strives to become what it is.
Morality lies in the capacity to choose and the responsibility that comes with decision, but choice depends on values embedded in character. Desire and conflict are manifestations of such valuations, while the final moral act is an adaptation of the psychic to a social world of duty and commitment.
… the tendency in moral philosophy has been to slice off psychology, eliminate the psychic precursors of action and focus on conduct, its context and justification. Psychology is individual covert, inferential, messy and complex, while action for the most part is clear and explicit.
Certainly, for a moral subjectivism, the antecedents of an action are fundamental.
The goal of a moral philosophy is a human psychology that incorporates a personal judgement of one’s acts and aspirations, ideally, a self-realisation of the better portion of one’s character.
Intentions are primary to resolve or disambiguate values and choices.
Choice is central to moral action, but there are desires without (explicit) choices, choices without acts, and acts without choice, though there is an implicit choice in every thought and act.
There is a qualitative difference in form between thinking a thing and saying or doing it.
Each moment, action resolves a mix of personal values, past experience, present conditions and future expectations, even if the person is revealed to be someone he himself does not admire.
It has to be conceded that “free will” comes at a price; once confronted with indecision, one is already in trouble, the more so if choices have equal weight. The greater the menu of options, the multitude of perspectives, the detachment, the less a person is likely to commit to a single path of action. The openness obligated by reason becomes a sanctuary for moral retreat. Reason confronts options exposed in the suspension of action and a withdrawal from objects.
We can begin by putting reason aside, for it does not help us to act. Knowledge is essential in providing conceptual alternatives, but it must be implanted in values for the right act to arise. … An emotional push is necessary for choice.
… the failure to search for error, a too hasty leap to the truth, or an easy acceptance of dogma – scientific, philosophical or religious – are marks of intellectual dishonesty and an attack on truth itself.
To act with an internalised social conscience is to be morally scrupulous. Darkness should remind us of light, the Buddhists say, and in the same sense the knowledge of life’s gifts ought to be tinged with a melancholy for their loss, for oneself and for others.
… detachment is less the assumption of another perspective than the capacity to entertain multiple perspectives, as in a dialectic, in which personal interest is neutralised by deference to alternative points of view. Ambiguity is the antidote to dogma and error. This entails a categorical perspective that does not capitulate to rival attitudes but surrounds them.
… conscious knowledge of right and wrong is not so much a prescription for action as a justification for actions motivated by the values through which knowledge was installed by the experience. … The idea that the knowledge of right and wrong can tell one what to do is sheer causistry.
Goodness may derive from a sense of duty or responsibility, but most people think it ought to flow naturally from character. … Goodness as obligation uncouples feeling from action when the impulse to self-interest is overcome.
Duty as motivation exacts a response by way of values; but duty as mere obligation is coercive and thus intrapsychically inert.
With the primacy of action, agency, thought and desire are subordinate to conduct. What them becomes of moral theory if the feeling of passivity to a thought, say in obsession, or that of agency in voluntary action, turn out to be phenomenal by-products of act- and object -realisation, not measures of actual control?
Even in the best of people, the examined life cannot fail to discover traces of moral corruption. We must account for our acts, and injuries to others, but it is the inner life that calls us to judgement.
The problem for subjectivism is to import greater significance to the psychic precursors of action, and to bring action back into the mind of the subject where it arises, rather than displace it into the world where it has its effects.
I think the ought of duty or obligation will continue to be a confound for a naturalist theory of value unless the necessity in virtue can be shown to be grounded in the is of natural process. Duties must be conceived as psychological constructs, values in ones character, not motives or brakes on conduct.
Goodness of character is to rightness of conduct as potential to actual, not universal to particular.
In mathematics, the numerical concept of ‘one’ has a formal identity across applications … This is not true for a real entity, which does not remain unaltered when it is separated from its context in order to compare it to similar entities in other minds or the same mind at different times. Every actuality actualises a unique qualitative ground.
The right becomes the good when conduct recedes from the objective surface of the mind to its sources in subjectivity.
Authenticity points to the unconscious moral tendencies of the individual that actualise valuations in the self-concept. Morality applies to the resolution of character and choice, the reconciliation of an authentic yet unconscious self with the decision and freedom to choose that are necessary to informed moral conduct.
What gives a person pleasure or makes one happy is not necessarily good in a moral or aesthetic sense. The dissociation of pleasure, desirability and the good is such as to vitiate theories of pleasure, happiness and desirability on the basis of goodness.
Desire is a conceptual feeling that arises in the “drive-representations” that lay down the self and its conceptual feelings or value categories. Desirability is desire that moves value outward from self to object. Desire specifies value in the desirability of the object. Desirability is the desire for an object of worth, since not all objects of worth are desired. Desirability straddles the subject/object transition. Because of its greater proximity to the object, desirability relates more to preference or taste that to desire, which is closer to drive-based affects.
The passage of what is desired, to what is desirable, to what ought to be desired corresponds to a shift from the subjectivity of desire to an intermediate phase of desirability, and then to an objective valuation of the act or object. The ought begins in the extraction of desire form drive, and continues in a progression toward the object, in desirability, which is “half way” from desire to worth, then concludes with its full objectification in the valuation of external objects.
The objectivity of object value, the feeling of obligation as (usually) external and the subjectivity of desire are interpreted as reversible and interactive, whereas subjectivity objectifies in a unidirectional becoming.
… the self is anything but rational, reason being an endpoint in the passage from meanings to words. For most people, rationality is a rare achievement. … The residual value in abstract and “affect-free” concepts must then be looked for in the value underlying the so-called pure reason.
Naturalism does not equate the good with hedonism, which is antithetical to morals, nor does it appeal to social ecology, or the behavior of sub-human primates, or the imperatives of “selfish genes”. Self-preservation does not translate to pleasure-seeking as the expense of others. The self goes out into the world and fills it with value; it does not accrue value for its own needs.
Loyalty is an affective bias; goodness is impartial. A preference based on kinship, affection, tribe, ethnicity, is rational from the standpoint of self-interest but counter to moral logic.
Truth has empirical and logical grounds, these grounds are thought to be the basis of conviction, but the certainty of truth, i.e a belief that the truth is true, requires the subjectivity of belief to impact on the presumes objectivity of fact.
Beauty differs from truth and goodness in that it may arouse neural configurations that respond to balance, averaging or whole/part relations. This may explain the immediacy of the perception of the beautiful.
As to the association of the ideal good with reason, the good is reinforce by logic but not dependent on it. … In logic, thought retreats from the particular to the idea behind it, or the re4altions between ideas. Logic cannot instruct us how to act in a given circumstance. Logic does not usually tell us what we do not already know. … It is better at refutation than assertion.
The relation of the individual to society might correspond to the part/whole relation in beauty, but individual good is often achieved as the cost of much suffering, while the good of the many demands the sacrifice of the few. At least in this way, the part/whole relation of beauty differs from the one/many relation in society.
The universal is immanent in every particular.
The aha experience, the sudden apprehension of a profound truth, the awareness of time and space in the perception of nature, the apprehension of deep order, symmetry and perfection that gives the experience of the sublime, for truth or for beauty, do not occur with the recognition of the good. Nor is there the same degree of cynicism. Because the good is a secondary construction, a good act raises questions of intent that do not occur for truth and beauty.
Goodness is conceived as the whole of its relations. If objects are relational there is no demarcation of object an property. The bundle of properties that constitutes an act of goodness is a complex of relations. The idea of the good as an object with properties rests on the distinction of substance and quality, or subject and predicate, for the property has to be a property of some object.
The good is not a natural, physiological (culture-independent) category like beauty or colour, or a consensual fact-based category like truth.
… the perception of colour, though subjective, is independent of personality, whereas goodness is directly related to character.
Any property is a category of sub-types, but this is especially so with goodness where the property has both a subjective and an objective aspect.
Even the most obvious property of goodness needs to be contextually decontaminated. An unselfish parent can ruin a child, generosity can degrade the feeling of self-worth, etc. As with truth or beauty, the good is illustrated and taught by examples, but the category of the good rests more precariously than truth and beauty on its concrete illustrations.
The presence of covert emotion in reason, or the ability to rationalise feeling, implies that reason itself has an affective tone. The ideal develops out of the conceptual feeling as an experience of the pre-object category. Put differently, ideals are created out of categories as rational aims that can supplant the affective aims of desire. When an ideal becomes the goal of a desire, the affective element dissolves in an object into which it can discharge, while the rational element reatins the meaning in a concept that is unspecified as to content and intention.
It is not a simple matter to desire a generality, a universality or an ideal that is not accented by some instance of possibility.
… the desire for the category is more like a yearning or a longing, which is a waiting for the object to clarify, while a desire directed to an object embodies the wish to have it: it excludes similar objects and suffers the fear of its loss. Just as we generalise an ideal from the particular in the good objects of desire, we seek an ideal love or in life the particular in the category.
The good is not a natural category, like beauty, nor a logical one like truth, which enfold instances of their expression, but an artifice derived from its examples. … Goodness is a conventional category abstracted from its examples not prior to them.
As an ideal self, the good is a subjective possibility that aims at self-realisation. That is, the categories that specify the particulars of conduct can themselves be idealised at subjective or objective polarity. … On this view, one’s moral duty is not to conform one’s conduct to the ideal good, but to realise in all acts the ideal self.
The psychology of value, the transition of drive to desire and its distribution to worth, the relation of desire to conduct, and the conceptual derivation of feeling are the determinants, however complex and elusive, of whether the object one desires is good or bad or whether the conduct that stems from desire is right or wrong.
There are two ways to achieve adaptive success, one by organic sculpting, in which constraints specify acts out of concepts, the other by compulsion or coercion, which is a more emphatic instance of sculpting in which constraints on the specification are imposed. The distinction of inner and outer is fuzzy. Belief, law and custom infiltrate the mind as personal values, reason depends on presuppositions and shared beliefs, and coercion sharpens the focus of the self-preservation drives.
Unconscious conflicts that arise into consciousness may be acknowledged as competing impulses within the individual that tend to be apprehended as contradictory voices. The conflict is portrayed as between an individual and a parent, or between a person and society, a trend that objectifies values as arguments between individuals or with the community, when the conflict is primarily among competing tendencies that are fully intrapsychic. Indeed, an option that is conscious has already become a kind of fact; one could say it is post-cognitive, past the point where it is active in shaping a decision.
Whether or not reason provides an “emphasis upon novelty” or is a novel emphasis, or whether novelty depends on reason rather than its precursors, there is a progression from value to fact, which, like the transition from concept to object, points to the origin of facts in value. Specifically the conceptual antecedents of facts are evoked as values that actualise in choice.
Whether or not a history is ingredient in an action, it provides a ‘folk’ explanation of its causal ancestry. … A microgenetic analysis seeks an account of the action in terms of its immediate conceptual antecedents. In contrast, a moral theory that is a folk theory of everyday life tends to treat conduct and its causes as “face value,” judging them in relation to character on one side, obligation on the other and choice midway between.
… rational thought and propositions are a terminal derivation of lexical and syntactic objects that objectify unconscious presuppositions, conceptual feelings and personal valuations.
The ‘objective’ laws of interaction among objects are internalised by psychology as operations on mental content that are the antecedents of those objects (acts). These operations then become the psychic laws, or the rules that guide discourse, mitigating or competing with emotion to decide the best course of action. But the laws of rational thought applied to facts are not equivalent to the process through which the facts materialise. Rules, laws, customs, are not in-themselves determinants.
The transition from one phase (of language, perception etc.) to the next is a whole-part or context-item shift. This transition entails the individuation of figural elements within background formations. These elements then serve as a background for an ensuing transform.
The formal rule-based theory of syntax that has governed explanation in psychology is not relevant to the process involved in generating a statement, or any cognition.
Reason can justify a failure to act as well as an action, it can weaken the will, divert the passions, dissapate resolve, and often, sadly, turn the heart from its true course. At the least, the more rational a person is, the better his reasons for an action. … reason can justify almost any action.
Reason is a mark of the linguistic coherence of a fully realised concept. The more rational the realisation, the more is articulates the richness of the underlying concept, even if it does not fully satisfy what the concept is aiming at. … A rational statement, a logical argument, is like a perceptual object, in that its goal is its own actualisation.
The agent’s argument may provoke an action in the listener, but didi it cause the agent to act? It may provide a template over which the action unfolds, but there can be a considerable delay subsequent to the rationale before the action occurs. Indeed, though we assume a causal linkage of argument to action, the argument could as well follow that action as precede it.
Reason may delay an ill considered response and allow a more thoughtful one to arise, but it may also derail a course of action that is necessary and desirable, and it may do this not by persuasion, but by exhausting the potential that would lead the concept into action.
Unlike animism, in which subject and object inhabit a common space, rational thought divides the other from the self and, as reason develops and matures, depletes nature of psychic feeling. … A separation of mind and world is essential for intentional feeling. The aim of a statement or a desire must be distinct from the self to convey purpose and direction.
The subject does not require an agentive relation with the objects specified in the intentional state to be a vector of feeling. Even if it is hidden in the statement, the feeling gives intentionality a direction to the aboutness that is the signal property of intentionality.
A covert metamorphosis occurs in which positive and life-enhancing values are , ideally, reinforced at the expense of maladaptive ones.
The perceived strength of an argument merely points to the poverty or insufficiency of alternative concepts in the speaker or the listener or, alternatively, is mitigated by the affective strength of, or emotional commitment to, a contradictory point of view.
The promotion of unselfish attitudes occurs through a process of value-enhancement, the efficacy of which depends on the existing value distribution. On has to be reasonable for reason to work. Reason comes to fill the interval that hesitation provides [neoteny]. This is also the ground of choice. The absence of choice entails direct action, whether for good or bad.
The specification of unconscious values into conscious particulars, in which the particulars are then evaluated by certain of the values that were assumed to guide their specification, is a shift from the process through which the particulars are realised to their logical relations in the mind and the world. There is no reason why this shift, which ruptures the continuity of non-moral and moral acts, should occur.
The psyche is disposable if concepts are logical solids verifiable across subjects and decomposable to atomic elements.
The truth of art, or that of a subjective theory of moral conduct lies in its aesthetic value, its authenticity, not its proof or validity.
In microgenetic theory, the sculpting of endogenous forms occurs at all phases in the derivation of the mental state. In a sculpting model, an implicit choice at every phase cancels competing options. The final actuality, the act, the thought, the object, individuates through a veto-like process that inhibits alternative routes of development over its entire trajectory. We are just conscious of the final ones, and those final ones usually involve conscious, rational thought. In deliberation or introspection, implicit selection in the process of sculpting at an early segment of cognition becomes explicit as choice.
No matter how detached an impartial, a rational statement is derived from unconscious, symbolic and magical thinking. Reasons are linked to personal beliefs and valuations.
In microgenetic theory, the initial construct is a combined act-object. This construct diverges into the separate but conjoined paths of act- and object-development, with language an offshoot of both branches. The process from unconscious depth to conscious surface is a qualitative sequence that reiterates like a fountain.
As writing is a literary art, speech is a vocal one. Discourse or conversation can aim at beauty of expression in poetry, persuasion in rhetoric or clarity in logic. These are all manifestations of the language art. To say a statement id rational is comparable to saying an artwork is beautiful. The rational has features of art in harmony, balance and proportion. Reason formalises and refines language in the same way that an artwork may formalise a musical or spatial cognition. A rational argument, like a logical or mathematical proof, is a work of beauty that is to be admired, illustrative but not instigative.
A morality is rational when the reason for an action elicit a judgement of equity according to an external standard or ideal of fairness or law. The standard is a kind of social organism, external yet internalised, normatively, in the form of personal valuations, and enforced by their constraints on self-expression in addition to the strictures of law.
Philosophy reifies, even deifies reason, with emotion the beast within, while psychology and neuroscience reinforce this distinction, assigning reason to the neocortex and emotion to the older limbic system. The notion still persists that limbic emotion discharges upward to cortex for subjective feeling, and downward for emotional display.
In moral philosophy, the emotional grounds of a decision are usually conceived as secondary to its rational grounds. … Some form of reason and emotion inheres in all acts of cognition. Rational or irrational choices are made every moment without a bearing on ethics.
Reason does not tell us that one life is worth the same as another, nor that all people should have equal opportunity, nor that a human life is worth more than that of a sub-human primate or dolphin…
Doing ones best and hoping for the worst is subjectively immoral, hoping for the best and not doing what it takes is objectively immoral. One is hypocrisy, the other cowardice.
Every decision in life is a rationalisation of feeling.
There are many descriptions of levels of awareness but few accounts of the specificity os awareness to a perceptual channel. … The awareness or lack of awareness is not a general reaction but specific to the perceptual system.
The demonstration that the loss of the visual world [through cortical blindness] is accompanied by a loss of the memory of that world has implications for a theory of perception. One implication is that an object is not received and put together by the brain, then transferred to a memory store for recognition, but rather, if the ‘store’ suffers with the object, the object must be ‘remembered’ into perception.
An external world is necessary for introspection. Dream is what happens to introspection when the external world is lost. The awareness of a mental space distinct from a public space occurs only if there is a public space for a comparison.
…images and objects are moments in a continuum leading from self to world. The continuum lays down levels in mid that are either mind-like or world-like, but the levels are stages in mind as self and world are constructed. The awareness of a content is elaborated by the same process through which the content is elaborated, since a disturbance of the content gives a disturbance of the awareness of the content. … the awareness is in the presentation.
But there cannot be multiple awarenesses for every potential content or every stage in every perceptual system. Awareness is a unitary phenomenon, not a piecemeal construction. The unity of awareness, lost in the analysis of the content, can be recovered in the sources of the content in the self.
In the experience of awareness, the content is only half the awareness, the other half is the self, the agent of the awareness, shifting and focussing like a lens with a zoom that is directed towards inner or outer contents. But the self that is scanning the contents of awareness is developing into the contents it is scrutinising, and this is the basis for the unity of awareness, that the awareness of content is derived with the content out of an underlying self concept that stands behind and distributes into the awareness content.
The Self in Awareness.
The object is preceded by the image and the image develops out of memory and the experiential store of the personality. The self is a stage in the unfolding prior to the image, arising early in the activation as a configuration in subconscious memory. The configuration of the self embraces all the potential images that the self can generate. The different aspects or expressions of the self are not isolated components but ideas the self pours out. The unity of the self derives from this position at a depth beneath analytic consciousness. Self, image and object are stages in a process of creative becoming. … The self is not the subject but the ground of the introspection. It is not the I in “I think” but the “I think”, and not just the “I think” but the whole context of the mental state in which the ‘I think” is embedded. … The thinking up of the I and the perception of the world flow from the self. The I is an element, an idea of what the self is. The I is like an object, which is an element in our idea of the world. The I is an invented self that does not correspond with the deep self that is generating the whole scenario in which the I of the introspection appears.
(I can see what he is getting at here, there are other approaches to this which shed more light upon the matter – however from an idealist and even potentially solipsist viewpoint, what he says makes sense, even if it does not totally convey the whole point to a mind with other resources to draw on.)
The depth and scope of knowledge directly available to the self seem to narrow as the theoretical issues clarify. The only direct, primary, unmediated knowledge is the content of consciousness in the absolute now. … The real object cannot be penetrated through the representation, which is the limiting point in the mind’s knowledge of the world. The inability to know the physical object is part of the desolation of the privacy of knowledge, but what is sacrificed in the loss of the object is compensated in the expansion of mind to include the object representation.
…what enters awareness, creates awareness. … Without the content there is no awareness, even for the loss of the content.
The solipsistic conclusion is not that the world does not exist, nor that the mind alone exists, but that one cannot access any event beyond it’s momentary mental representation. This is not the only way of thinking about this problem. There is another perspective that has to do with the enlargement of mind to include the world of perception. The limited knowledge of mind and world within a fleeting mental representation and the privacy of all knowledge of self and world are offset by the realisation that the observer participates in the objects he perceives. The world is literally part of the self, the objects in it extensions of the life of the observer.
Logic is not a means of discovery but an outcome. Logic is one form of knowledge. Logic seems to be an operation in introspection, yet like introspection it is a product of the process through which [mental] contents are generated. … world and language are shaped by the same generative process. … Because it is an outcome and not a creative activity, and because it leads to nothing new, logic is dead cognition.
Reality is a matter of conviction. It is always contingent. The world is as real as it seems.
The word is the full set of changing configurations, not the outcome of the configuring process. Without these stages [life experience, word category, and word or object] there is no meaning. The meaning is the entire configuration behind the word as well as the word itself.
The way a word is used is no more a part of it’s meaning than than the function of an organ is a part of it’s structure.
At best the description is a portion of the deep structure of the word that is accessed into consciousness, thus a part of it’s preliminary meaning content. When this content is derived into consciousness, however, it loses it’s original character, leaving behind, so to say, the real meaning that was the initial goal of the description.
It is a matter of faith that there a real objects “out there” that give meaning to our perceptions, but what is the real self “in there” that gives meaning to it’s representation?
Soul and world are creation myths that attain the status of inferences according to their degree of plausibility. If the world seems more plausible than the soul, that is just a cultural oddity of our present outward bias. … If soul and world are the history of the inner and outer segments of the brain state, the impulse to causal thinking entails that even souls and worlds have an origin and destiny. The need for a causal theory on the ultimate source and fate of the soul and the world is the basis for the idea of a God from whom all things are derived and to whom all thins return.
The existence of the object is inferred directly from the representation, the animation (mind) of the object is inferred from change in the representation over time.
We live in the brief segment of introspection positioned between a core that is unfathomable and a surface extending into a world that is endless.
… sanity is not subverted by the knowledge that the objects upon which it depends are unreal. Knowledge is dangerous when it penetrates into feeling – when the idea becomes painful – for it is the nature of the felling accompanying the knowledge that determines whether the knowing is an intuition or a pathology.
The continual laying down of the present gives the deception of a present surging into a future that is waiting just beyond reach. Since the individual lives within the unfolding, the vertical series is interpreted as a longitudinal flow, the carrier of the self through time, with no experience of the replacement of one state by another. In this way, the linkage of states propagates the self into the next moment.