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Document status: January 16, 2007

Outdated; maintained out of interest

Essential content absorbed to and no further action needed for Journey in Being


Introduction…1.     Foundation…2.     Journey in Being…2

Supplementary chapters…2

Fundamental Problems…2.     Lexicon…2.     Sources and Influences…2.     Bibliography…2.     Index…2.     The Author…2

1           Introduction

Objectives. 1. Introduction – in ‘Dimensions,’ to the scope and in ‘Themes,’ to the nature, goals and ambitions of the Journey; the main ideas or concepts and themes. 2. Preface  – outline and audience

1.1         Dimensions

In this essay I have written of a system of transformation and of particular transformations – a journey that is a confluence of individual endeavor and universal process

Consider the universe commonly understood from humankind’s major paradigms of science and scripture (for example the Bible.) Or consider the universe as depicted in stories, poetry or myth. Consider the picture that emerges from all stories written or told. In so far as these stories, fictional or true, have definite form, the picture developed in this essay and so the potential of the journey is infinitely greater in depth, magnitude and variety

(It is assumed that when the stories are fictional they contain and entail no contradiction)

Among texts, ancient and modern, perhaps only the picture of the universe from the philosophies of India have approximation to the picture revealed here

The central developments and insight in this essay are founded in Logic (capitalized when I use it in the special sense to be explained shortly) and simple experience e.g. the fact of experience. If this is true, and I claim that it is, then the developments and claims based in them are more secure than those of science or faith

Some readers will doubt these claims; others may have sympathy for such claims and may anticipate the picture that I show. Of all readers I ask that they suspend judgment until they have traced through my argument and narrative

The conceptual Foundation for the journey is in the second chapter; the third, ‘Journey in Being,’ narrates the transformation. The development of the conceptual base is part of the process but the goal includes transformation not only in ideas but also of identity or self – of being

The conceptual foundation has two roles. First, it is a description of all being –of the universe– based in imagination and Logic and, second, it serves as foundation for transformation. However, it is no more than foundation for transformation requires its own journey and experimentation. I anticipate that I may find aspects of pure experiment or action for which the foundation provides no preparation. At present, the transformations are under way – the system and progress so far are described in the third chapter.

I will now attempt to show the magnitude of the canvas that has been revealed in the journey


‘Being’ is that which exists or has existence. Being is that which ‘is.’ The words ‘being,’ ‘exist,’ ‘is,’ have day-to-day uses that are perfectly adequate for many immediate purposes

These words are simple in their day-to-day use and are ‘general’ in nature e.g. to say that something is blue is much more specific than to say that it exists for everything exists (the reader may see that statements of the kind ‘everything exists’ contain an implicit paradox that is addressed later)

It is precisely the simplicity, general and uncommitted character of ‘being’ that is its virtue and that recommends its choice as a base from which to apprehend the entire universe and its variety

To suggest that some specific kind e.g. that matter may provide such understanding is to prejudice the endeavor from the beginning. If the universe is nothing but matter then the approach from being can only strengthen ‘materialism’ i.e. demonstrate it rather than assume it on the basis of (limited) experience

I emphasize an approach in which the nature concepts and categories (kinds of ‘thing’) are not taken as given in advance but whose natures unfold with experience and reflection

I have applied this approach to the most general kinds (being, universe, logic) as well as to more specific concepts such as human being, thought and feeling. Recognition and understanding of this approach has been revealed gradually in reflection on many topics and my estimation of its power has been enhanced by the unexpected depth and variety of understanding that it has made possible

Use and development of the concept of being (in the essay) has been instrumental in understanding the entire universe and its variety

Questioning every meaning at every use in day-to-day activity may be neurotic. However, it is essential when paradoxes or contradictions arise or in adapting concepts to new situations. Consider the assertion made earlier that ‘everything exists.’ Is it possible that a thing could not exist? The idea of a thing that does not exist appears to be paradoxical – if it does not exist then ‘it’ is empty and has no reference… If something exists it simply is; but there is a variety of uses of the word ‘is’ (the verb to be.) Resolution of a range of issues is taken up later… It is useful to make the following distinction at the outset. When I say that something exists I usually mean that it exists at the present time. However, since there is no common word that corresponds to existence at some time (and place) i.e. to mean that something existed, exists or will exist, I will use ‘exist’ in this sense as well. That is, I will use ‘exist’ in the usual temporal sense and in the less common atemporal sense (if ‘instants’ of awareness are actually small intervals of time, the distinction is not absolute.) ‘Exist’ and ‘is’ will have a temporal and an atemporal sense; I will specify the sense that is used only when it might not be clear. That time and space may not extend to all realms will require a generalization of the idea of atemporal existence

There is existence – without existence there would be no impressions, not even the impression that a reader is reading words. What exists? In day-to-day activities it is practical to think or act as though trees, mountains, books and automobiles do exist; only the neurotic would never act this way. However, there is a valid question whether ‘the mountain’ of my experience exists because every further level of description also seems to refer back to experience. If we are to be able to speak of things-in-themselves we will need either a dual understanding of thing and experience or to show that they are identical (at root)

The essay addresses the dual versus identity problem of being and experience i.e. of what exists; it further addresses the question of the variety of being (things, entities)

The Individual

Apparently some people claim to know precise details of a previous life; I have read of such people but not met one. Coming into being of every individual consciousness is obviously possible since it occurred at least once. That is, it is possible again and over and over. Development of the nature of being in this essay shows that all possibilities must be realized and, therefore, that every individual consciousness must be repeated infinitely into the future and has been preceded infinitely into the past: it means that every individual has been ‘here’ before. These conclusions have significance for the understanding of the place of an individual –and of humankind, even of life– in the universe, especially as the assertions have basis in Logic. Some people think that it is irrational to suppose that experience continues after death. The arguments given show the absolute error of this idea

The assertion regarding realization of possibility is part of the core foundation that is based in Logic

I do not have personal experience (yet) of having been alive before. Therefore every recurrence that is required by the argument will also lack experience of past and future consciousness. Therefore the recurrence described does not have the significance that there will be a conscious connection among the different instances of the consciousness of an individual

This raises the question of the nature of ‘self’ or individual identity. Perhaps knowledge of previous instances lies in the unconscious (whose existence may be shown fairly easily and which cannot have significance unless there is ‘communication’ between unconscious and conscious ‘levels.’) Therefore, it appears possible that awareness of other instances may enter into consciousness. This argument is speculative but it does show that an approach to connection among instances of the individual may be through identity

‘Identity’ is considered in second chapter, ‘Foundation’ where it is shown that individual or personal identity must have transformations in which it does not forget earlier identity but in which it merges in more inclusive and even universal identity

The ‘end’ of an individual life (death) is far from cessation of experience; the end is at most temporary. Death is gateway to the infinite

The Universe

Modern science has enabled reasonable speculation about the size and age of the universe that may be summed up as the ‘inflationary big-bang’ theory or model that the reader who is not familiar with it may learn about from texts or popular expositions. The bases of the theory are (symmetric solutions to the field equations of) Einstein’s relativistic theory of gravitation, quantum field theories, and experimental observations such as the cosmic microwave background radiation whose low temperature (2.725 Kelvin i.e. just 2.725 Celsius above absolute zero) is the current remnant, after cooling expansion, of an initially hot universe. Calculations based on the big-bang theory show the age of the universe to be about 14 billion years. If there is sufficient mass in the universe, gravity will slow and ultimately reverse the expansion and the universe will then collapse on itself (big crunch.) However there is evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating and since 2002 most cosmologists have considered the evidence to be conclusive. An alternative to the big-bang is a steady state model; however, the standard big-bang theory has faced stringent tests. It is possible to push ‘predictions’ of the model to early times (10-43 seconds) based on quantum gravitation for which no consistent theory is yet available; therefore, predictions of behavior at the down to 10-43 seconds is more speculative; earlier than this no prediction from modern physics is currently possible

What degree of confidence may we place on big-bang cosmology? The consensus among physicists appears to be that it well describes the large scale behavior of the universe from quite early times to the present. However, the following questions arise. What happened before 10-43 seconds or even earlier? Are final expansion, further cooling and death or contraction into an extremely hot big crunch the only alternatives for the destiny of the universe? And, where is the edge of the universe and what happens at that edge? In the symmetric models, a universe that reverses its expansion is finite and, like the surface of a sphere in three dimensions, has no edge. However, that a symmetric and edgeless model, finite or infinite, well describes the local behavior of the universe does not mean that the model must apply at far reaches where there may be further singularities or warps (deviations from the model) into other ‘universes’

Since theory and universe may deviate not only at physical edges, these singularities and warps may populate our immediate world

One scenario sees our universe as one of many bubble universes that are distributed in a much larger space-time continuum. Could these bubble universes be causally connected? In the Einstein theory of gravitation, two regions with common origin cannot interact if the distance between them is greater than the distance light traveled since the origin. The reason that light speed is a limit is not that it is an imposed limit but it is the speed at which effects (forces) propagate (light is a form of interaction.) I.e., the ‘speed of light’ is not an arbitrary or magical number, it is a constitutive property of the (local) universe. However, in a universe that includes this (our) cosmological system (that contains what we may call the empirically observed universe) as a ‘bubble’ there is no reason to suppose that modern physics applies at all (over the entire domain) or that the limiting speed of whatever physics may obtain is that of light in our system. Light speed is not necessarily a (constitutive) property of all being (it will be seen that it cannot be a property of all being)

The word ‘universe’ has not been used consistently in the discussion to this point. There is a use in which it refers to this (our) cosmological system. In a more inclusive use, ‘universe’ refers to a system of bubble universes and the continuum in which they lie. All conceptions of ‘universe’ so far build outward from some picture of a ‘local universe’

Instead, I define the universe as all being and this must contain the observable universe and, if indeed they exist, the bubble universes; that this definition make sense requires that there be no entities beyond the pale of interaction with the known; that there are no such entities will be seen to be the case (this implies that Einstein’s theory is, even in local application, cannot be necessary)

It will follow from the study of being developed in this essay that The Universe is infinitely greater in magnitude and variety than the empirically known universe of modern physics or the universe as in the bubble picture. This conclusion is based in Logic

This suggests questions. How does the conclusion follow from the study of being? What is the sense of ‘Logic’ when capitalized and how can anything follow from Logic alone? In modern analytic philosophy, the older metaphysics such as Hegel’s system, as the study of the entire universe as it is has been labeled ‘dogmatic metaphysics’ and criticized as impossible. Apparently, this criticism should also apply to the italicized claim about the universe. How, then, may the claim be supported?

It will be shown later in the study of being that any depiction or description of a state of affairs that does not contain or entail a contradiction must obtain. (This statement is a part of an analysis of being that is left for the second chapter of the essay.) That is, the universe must contain not only what we know it to contain but also whatever can be consistently depicted or described. For example, an infinite recurrence of the known world must obtain. ‘Imaginary’ creatures regardless of similarity to known ones, even ones that violate the known laws of nature, must obtain. Cosmological systems in which the ‘physical laws’ are different from those in our system must obtain. Works of fiction often contain logical inconsistencies; however, for any logically consistent account that is fictional in this (our) cosmological system there ‘is a place’ in the universe where it obtains (‘is a place’ is placed in quotes to indicate that a rough meaning is ‘somewhere and somewhen’ but that more precise meaning will be developed later.) Anything (including works) that is a depiction and that contains no inconsistencies or whose inconsistencies have been removed must obtain. Such works include classical and modern theoretical physics, any consistent variation of such theories, Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species,’ all works of literature including poetry, all ‘scriptures’ such as the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas and the Upanishad, all dreams, reveries, hallucinations, delusions, speculations, hypotheses… The universe is infinitely greater in magnitude and variety than the local universe and, since any actual imagination will likely fall short of all possible imaginations, it is likely infinitely greater than it has been or will be imagined by human being… These thoughts raise a concern. If so much is not only possible but also actual does this not appear to violate ‘common sense’ and ‘common knowledge…’ and what then is the status of the scientific theories; and what is the true status of the various limits that we typically associate with being human and as such being subject to physical and biological constraints?

I will now discuss this concern under ‘This World’ and subsequently address the concerns regarding Logic and metaphysics

This World

I have been talking at a level that reveals our immediate world (the empirically known universe) to be a minute fraction of all being. This does not mean that I have any thought that this world or even the very immediate present of day to day human life to be unimportant or insignificant. In all discussion of the ultimate, I have a concern for its relation to this world and the final two sections of the chapter ‘Foundation’ address the immediate human world

As far as day-to-day life is concerned, I see the individual whether he or she is typical or charismatic, carpenter or religious leader, tribal or modern, worker or academic on the same plane. Our immediate interest is this world

The infinite is seen through this world; and vision or knowledge of the infinite illuminate this world. What has been said above shows that the infinite is accessible from this world

I will now address the concern regarding the apparent violation of common knowledge, the status of scientific theories and limits. The immediate cosmological system and the limits of possibility within that system are related to the limitless possibility (except logical impossibility) of the entire universe through what I call the ‘normal.’ A normal system is one that arises in symmetry (or near symmetry) and (therefore) stability out of a background of transient ephemera. A normal system has ‘form and substance’ and, simultaneously, limits to possibility. However, the limits that are usually or often taken to be absolute limits or to mark the impossible actually mark what is improbable; the forms that may be taken to be universal and necessary e.g. are local and probable. This discussion is incomplete. It introduces a number of terms without explanation. The completion and explanations are provided in ‘Foundation’


It is now possible to provide a partial characterization of a scientific theory. The word ‘theory,’ even in science, has a variety of connotations. Early in the life of what later becomes an established theory, it may be regarded as hypothetical and its satisfactory status may be questioned. Testing and questioning leads to theories being regarded as more established – or questionable and in need of revision or, ultimately, abandonment. Theories may be quite specific as in the ‘Theory of the specific heat of solids’ or general as in ‘quantum theory’ or ‘Einstein’s relativistic theory of gravitation.’ What makes an established theory a theory? It is not merely that it may continue to have an hypothetical character in that it may be overturned by later discoveries. A theory is usually a system of explanation or prediction with a number of fundamental concepts, definitions and laws that may be expressed mathematically or conceptually; this system typically results in a large body of general theorems or behaviors and special applications and predictions. Thus a theory is an elaborate system and this distinguishes a theory from a simple statement of fact

What is the factual status of a theory? What does it mean to say that a theory is established? Does it merely mean that the theory explains or predicts much and has passed every test so far but that future discoveries may overturn the theory? Does this mean that theories are not facts? The history of science reveals that theories are overturned when the body of evidence against them mounts to intolerable proportions and when some new system is able subsume the domain of the old as well as the mounting evidence against the old. Does this not mean that even the modern theories that are regarded as established may be overturned. This is indeed one view. However the discussion of the concept of a normal (cosmological) system suggests an alternative view. Modern theoretical physics applies, in some sense and as far as is known, within this (our) cosmological system. The overturn of older theories was, in effect, an expansion of (our knowledge of the extent of) this cosmological system. Even within the cosmological system the latest theories are not regarded as absolute and there are various doubts regarding the quantum theories and Einstein’s and related theories of gravitation. However, if we imagine the realms where the application of these theories is incomplete as excised then we can see that

A theory may be regarded as incomplete (rather than hypothetical) relative to all being or complete and factual over a limited domain of being. A theory may be seen as factual but this requires focus on a limited domain. Because the quantum and gravitation theories have not been integrated, then regarded as applying to the entire universe they are certainly untrue; but, in the appropriate domains, they are true. However from the fact that the universe is infinitely greater in magnitude and variety than the known universe it the quantum / gravitation theories are true (if and) only if appropriate restrictions of domain are made

The big-bang theory is has a speculative character even within its own domain and it would not be appropriate to excise realms of incompleteness for these are precisely among the realms of interest. The fact that the big-bang theory has hypothetical elements is precisely part of its interest; that there are factual elements is also interesting in that it is possible to know something of the remote past and remote future

Some but not all theories have factual status. It is therefore not valid to think that a system of explanation and prediction is not factual because it is a theory. Judgment of the factual character of theories must occur on a case by case basis. A reason for the distinction lies in the varied uses of the word ‘theory.’ Some scientific theories are established (over a domain of the universe;) other scientific ‘theories’ are in the process of being established over some domain (which process may result in being modified or abandoned)

Consider the statement, ‘It is 10:00 AM.’ If it is 10:00 AM the statement is true – it is a fact; if it is not 10:00 AM it is not a fact. Thus simple statements of a factual kind (facts if true) are similar in this regard to the factual interpretation of scientific theories. However, the truth of a scientific theory seems to be not such a simple affair as the truth of an assertion that is of simple factual kind. Consider then, a simple statement ‘The sun is shining on my garden.’ If a mist forms gradually and gradually obscures the sun there will be a period of time when it will not be clear whether the sun is indeed shining on my garden. Even ‘simple’ facts are not invariably simple in their factual character

Regarded as universal, the theories of science are almost inevitably false. A biologist might object that the theory of evolution universally applies to life. Regardless of the truth of the biologists assertion, the theory of evolution (as it stands as a biological theory) cannot be universal without qualification because it does not even refer to the behavior of matter as such… Many biologists hesitate to assert that the theory of evolution applies at the boundary between living and non-living things e.g. to the origin of life. On the other hands even major opponents of the theory accept that it applies to adaptation within a species but deny that it may explain the origin of the species. The distinction between the traditional biologist and his or her opponent may be seen as regarding the domain to which the theory applies

Regarding theories as factual in kind (i.e. as capable of being either true or false) illuminates the nature of theory. Theories can be true or false even if establishment of truth or falsity is not simple and there are boundary and in-process cases. That is a theory is not conceptually remote from fact. As fact, a theory is seen to capture the essence of a domain or phase of being (thus a quantum theory applies to a certain kind of object, over a certain range of distances and energies and ‘range’ does not necessarily mean ‘space-time’ domain)

The discussion opened with reference to science and scripture. I have made some remarks that illustrate the nature of truth in science and will take up religion or faith in ‘Foundation’


I have used the idea of ‘theory’ extensively in this essay and so it will be useful to further discuss the concept

‘Theory’ has come to have various connotations within science, within philosophy, and in common speech. The assertion, ‘That’s only a theory’ regarding an explanation may mean something like ‘That explanation is suspect because while it does explain what it was intended to it is not known to be true independently of what it explains.’ Is a scientific theory anything more than this? In the beginning, many scientific theories do partake of this non-independent character; they may have been created to explain a restricted range of phenomena. In fact the scientist may tinker with more than a very small range and with a variety of systems so that when he or she publishes the theory it is at least a good explanation for the phenomena concerned. The development of theories is a process and a scientist may use ‘partial theories’ from a variety of sources in putting together a system. Still, at publication a theory is typically regarded as tentative or with suspicion and it is only after time and success in tests –experimental and conceptual– over time that a theory is regarded as established and treated by its practitioners as factual. However, even ‘established’ theories are overturned

An established theory appears to be factual over, at most, a limited domain of being

Are there ‘theories’ that are factual with regard to all being?

Metaphysics; Logic

Consider the ‘universe’ by which I mean ‘all being.’ Can the universe have a creator? The usual picture of a creator is that it is separate from its creation. In this sense the universe cannot have a creator because there is nothing outside it. The conclusion is logical; it is based on the concepts of ‘universe’ and ‘creator’ and not on any practical concern or difficulty; further, the logical conclusion follows from very general concepts – ones that refer to the entire universe or to a single division of it

It is possible to make universal factual statements based in Logic

How is it possible to deduce anything from logic alone? It is possible when the premise is part of the constitution of the entity or entities under discussion e.g. the universe is all being

In ‘Foundation,’ some very general properties of being will be developed in the approach just established. This will be labeled the ‘Theory of Being.’ It will be a theory in the sense of being a system; however it will also be factual. The factual character will be necessary i.e. logical

It is possible to establish universal theories that apply to all being; that have no limitation to a domain of being

It might be thought that the general nature of such theories requires that their application or utility will be limited. It will be found that this is not true. The system comprised of ‘Being,’ ‘Universe,’ and ‘Logic’ will be found to be have a range of necessary (and surprising) detail that follows from their constitution

Here, simplicity refers to the concept and not to the entity or entities to which the concept refers. Thus the concept of ‘being’ is far simpler than that of ‘matter’ while being itself, its variety, is far greater than that of matter. Simplicity in concept is that of building in less restriction which allows (and, in the case of being will be found to necessitate) complexity of the entities

The ‘Theory of Being,’ and the ‘Theory of Objects’ are universal and factual ‘theories’

The theory of being regards what is; the theory of objects regards what is known. Some views of the world start with a ‘theory’ of objects; these have the advantage that they avoid the problem of knowledge i.e. of the entity that lies behind the appearance (if there are such entities;) these, however, risk being incomplete with regard to being. Other views start with a theory of being and these must address the problem of knowledge. If either theory is committed to a special form of being (e.g. matter) or of knowledge (e.g. fact) their specific kind of problem may be insurmountable. If the theories are uncommitted at the outset, they should be equivalent

The theories of being and of objects are equivalent

(This will be shown)

These theories constitute a metaphysics. Demonstration of the theories is demonstration and illustration of metaphysics. Metaphysics is possible and necessary

Logic is possible because it is the application of logic to constitution. The reasoning can be reversed and it can be said that whatever form is the constitution of all being is Logic

Metaphysics and Logic identical. A logic is the restriction of Logic to a context; Logic includes all valid traditional logics

(In the beginning logic was inference and argument. However, inference and argument (must) follow some pattern of being. Therefore, logic must be some form of being. It may be said that Logic is the form of all being)

The ‘Theory of Identity’ is the name of the theory (mentioned earlier) in which it is shown that individual or personal identity must have transformations in which it does not forget earlier identity but in which it merges in more inclusive and even universal identity. This theory is developed in the second chapter, ‘Foundation’

Metaphysics and this world

In the sections ‘Cosmology,’ ‘Human Being,’ and ‘Faith’ of the second chapter, ‘Foundation,’ I have followed the following pattern. First, I have made a study of the topic focusing on details and general concerns. I have read others works but subject them to critical and imaginative review – the purpose of which is to better understand and adapt what has been written. I have formulated what appear to be general issues and objectives of study; what approaches best illuminate the topics; what insights conform to (I hope) the deepest and necessary (as far as possible) understanding. I will have had a general picture of the world and cumulative experience from life and study that help suggest question and insight

I then take up explicitly, a search for implications of the general theories (of being) for the system of specialized study. This often offers immense insight. If the general theories reveal the universe to be essentially indeterministic, it will then probably be inadequate to regard human growth, behavior and thought as entirely deterministic… and having made a probable connection I may then search for necessary arguments; I have often found such necessary arguments but have not stopped at the necessary for the probable is also useful (I will distinguish what is only probable.) Such general processes are immensely useful but are, for the most illuminating and reliable outcome, depend on insights from the special domain. Clearly the process cannot (or is probably unlikely) have been one of linear logic but has required incremental progress now of one discipline, now of another and now of the general theory. The reliability or necessity of the results depends, in addition to the reliability of the analysis, on the reliability and necessity of my understanding of the particular topic. Thus the actual reliability of the results is varied and I have attempted to indicate what confidence I place in reasons and conclusions

Sharing of ideas and principles among metaphysics (logic, theory of being…) and particular topics (this world, human being…) results in enrichment, illumination and (often much) improved foundation of the topics and elaboration of the metaphysics (and further confirmation of its utility)

Results – general and special

An entire system and its demonstration are developed in the chapter, ‘Foundation.’ Some results have been mentioned earlier. Here I state only a sample

Whatever exists has being; whatever is known is (called) an object. There are reasons to pre-commit to the nature of either being or of the object; investigation of the committed category is easier (in a narrow perspective.) However, if either of the pair (being, known) is specified at the outset of investigation, the prejudicial commitment is likely to make satisfactory analysis impossible. A dual solution of the nature of being and object is possible

It is not just the entities of the universe that have being; laws, patterns and forms also have being

The absence of being, that I call the void contains no entity, no pattern, no form and no law

If ‘from the void’ there were some entity, pattern or law that never emerged then the non-emergence would be a law. Since there is no law in the void, every entity, pattern and law must be equivalent to it. If there is a non-contradictory description of a state of affairs that does not emerge from the void, that would be a law. The void is equivalent to the entire system of non-contradictory descriptions

The void is the complement of the universe relative to itself; therefore the void exists

Therefore since the void is equivalent to the entire system of non-contradictory descriptions, every non-contradictory system of descriptions obtains (in the atemporal sense)

The complement of any entity relative to itself is ‘a void;’ therefore the number of voids is indeterminate – there are infinitely many voids; however these are all, together, equivalent to a single void; there is effectively one void

The only impossibilities are the contradictory descriptions; any non-contradictory description is possible – and actual

Whatever is possible is actual. It is trivially true that whatever is actual is possible. Therefore, the actual, the possible and the necessary being are equivalent

Every non-contradictory description must originate from the void

The formation of a manifest state of the universe from the void is indeterministic. Within a manifest state, further local deterministic-like and causal-like domains may emerge; emergence of deterministic-like and causal-like domains is necessary; every form must emerge – a form is (the pattern of) a relatively stable or self-adapted state of being; forms are dynamic and possessed of relative stability; static, perfect and completely stable forms cannot come into being – and if they did they would not be subject to spontaneous decay

All stories whether in science, or in scripture, or in myth, or poetry or fiction must obtain. (Except that contradictory systems do not.) The universe is infinitely greater in depth, magnitude and variety than any story or system of stories that has definite form

All entities have interaction. Power, the ability to have an effect, is a measure of being (being is a measure of being)

There is one universe. Although this is (was) true by definition, the interaction of all entities do not require the definition

If a ghost is an entity that has and can have no interaction (at all or with some specific entity) then there are and can be no ghosts. However, there are and must be systems of entities that interact very weakly or occasionally with any given entity. Such entities may be called ghosts; a ghost may have any property as long as it does not result in the entire system having contradiction

There are miracles. If a miracle is something that violates the understanding (laws, patterns and objects) of this (our) cosmological system then there must be miracles

(Relative to a complete understanding –of the entire universe– there can be no miracles. It is necessary that there are no absolute miracles)

If a creator is separate from what is created the universe has and can (logically) have no creator. However, one part of the universe can create another part

‘Intelligent design’ is not a solution of the problem of the origin of form. The designer (if design is causal or determinate) must be more complex than what is designed. It is then even more difficult to comprehend the origin of the designer than it would be to comprehend the origin of life (on a model of causal design or origin.) (Human beings are more complex than the systems that they design.) Neither origin as spontaneous is logically impossible. Origin of ‘the’ creator is simply far more unlikely. Although it may appear that incremental origin of life (random variation and selection of what is stable) is improbable, it is (far) more probable than the alternatives (single step origins or creation.) Further, the improbability regards the origin of a given system and not of some (unspecified) system. It was not given in advance that the life would develop as it has; ‘what will happen will happen’ does not have the same meaning as ‘what will happen must happen.’ The origin of complexity must be probable; the variety of complex forms and systems of forms must be infinite; the origin of any one of these (variation and selection) in a given case may be improbable; but its origin in some case must be probable (necessary;) and the background void must generate all cases

The individual is equivalent to every entity and all entities – in body and in identity

The normal distinguishes behavior in a cosmological system from the entire universe. What is seen to be an absolute limit based in understanding of this cosmological system is at most infeasible when the universe is taken into account; what is thought to be impossible is improbable. However, there is no absolute limitation of the entities whose form partakes of the this system to this system; and therefore the only absolute limits are the limits of logic

A problem of the journey in transformation is to find paths or ways to transform the infeasible into the feasible


Use of the term ‘Journey’ may now be apparent. In arriving at the ‘Foundation’ of understanding, I have traversed extensive realms of ideas and experience (whose useful aspects are elaborated in the essay.) I cannot say that this journey in understanding has been necessary to the conclusion which can be seen as standing independently in Logic. However, some journey is necessary to seeing the Logic as more than a dry framework; and what is the (significance of) life of an individual or society unless it (re) creates its world


… and the process continues in a search for transformations of being and identity

1.2         Themes

This section introduces some of the main themes, concepts, and achievements that are developed in the essay. My overriding ambition has been truth and realization (and adventure.) I have learned much from the traditions of thought and experience. Truth requires testing traditional confines and limits and I believe that I have had success in exceeding these. I have shown that the ultimate in truth and realization is explicitly possible in the direction of depth but that it appears to be only implicitly or in-process possible in the direction of variety. Truth also requires testing my own ideas and estimates of my success and I have endeavored to weave together imagination and criticism in seeking and testing understanding. Further, after arriving at conclusions, even (especially) those that appear final, I have sought to apply them, to integrate them with a picture of the world, to flesh them out – to give them life. Application is itself a form of criticism for it may reveal inadequacies and inconsistencies; I have also subject my reasoning and conclusions to explicit scrutiny; and I have learned that imagination subject to criticism secures not only foundation but also enhances understanding and imagination – within their limits of possibility; I have attempted to estimate these limits and compared them with some of the traditional estimates. The development has been cumulative and in continuing interaction with the ideas of others. As a result of the cumulative character of the development of the ideas, it is in its nature that this introduction should provide no more than a glimpse of the ideas, the realization, and their meaning and significance

Journey in Being


The essay narrates discovery and exploration of being toward the overriding ambition of truth and realization of all being (the universe.) This does not imply exclusion of the present; the present requires no justification of its value; and, the present is a ‘window’ (since the goals include transformation and realization ‘door’ would be an appropriate metaphor) to all being. It may be more accurate to say that every journey, every process, every voyage remains in ‘the’ present but that the ‘present’ is capable of transformation, of contraction and expansion


My external motives, I tell myself, seem clear to me – to contribute, to have recognition… However, my internal motives are not as clear. I know that I experience passion and adventure in the process, that the engagement gives me satisfaction. Why this is so is not altogether clear. As long as I can recall I have thrilled to the world – the green and blue of hills and skies, the rolling of the ocean and its distant horizons, the infinity of the night sky and the shades and shapes of clouds at night, day and night cities of men and machination, and feats of technology; and poetry. These are motivations to better know and experience the world and one expression of this desire is ‘Journey in Being;’ it is perhaps pertinent that my ‘deepest’ insight has occurred or has roots in thought while alone in nature – for weeks to months and miles from roads and other artifacts of civilization. (I work out consequences, interconnections and so on upon return.) However, the process has not been pure adventure; the tension of doubt is difficult, the work has been arduous (at times) and long and I have felt deprived of simple pleasure. I have not denied myself the normal pleasures of being; nor have I wanted to – I am not ascetic in nature or fact but this has made commitment sometimes difficult. Except travel or at the request of friends, I rarely plan ‘enjoyment.’ Instead I (think I) give in to the drive or desire for it and this, though random and undisciplined, has resulted (I think) in an enrichment of the commitment (because it is therefore integrated into life) and a heightened appreciation of living. In that my (inner) motive has an external source I will identify only my parents who were, on one side, significant in passion, poetry and enjoyment; and on the other side, significant in discipline,  and in labor and drive to achievement. I do not, however, see any clear separation of the given from the impressed. If all is influence –given and impressed– does originality have a role? Regardless of whether the particular author, myself, has originality the individual may certainly make claims to original contributions; and the argument in favor of originality is simple: five billion years ago there were no human beings, no human language, no myth or legend, no faith or religion, no poetry, art or science. The individual contributes even if only incrementally; and in any system of values in which claims of authorship have a place, individuals may make such claims. Arguments for freedom of will and choice are similar; such arguments do not imply that all is willing and choosing or that they are easy or more than incremental; nor do they show where and when freedom and choice occur. Even being aware of free will and recognizing or creating choice may be difficult… The (my) process has been an evolution of its aspects in interaction against a background –psyche– that remains in a shade between light and dark


Whatever exists is or has being. In intent, the subject is perfectly general – without restriction; the title of the essay does not imply any restriction to a special concern or interest

Why being?

Being focuses attention on ‘what is there’ without saying that it is this or that thing or kind of thing such as matter, mind, process and so on. It allows that ‘being’ might be matter (and so on) but does not require it in advance of discovery. If being is matter, that may be a result rather than an assumption (a priori commitment.) Therefore, if the world is made of matter, the approach from being will strengthen understanding of that ‘fact.’ Thus being is central to discovery with out a priori restriction – to exploration of the universe i.e. of all being. There are various standard ‘metaphysics’ or views of the way the world is e.g. materialism, physicalism, idealism or mentalism, dualism (mind and matter,) process, relationship, logical atomism (the world is a collection of facts that are either not analyzable because the are simple or are items of sense data.) None of these views is without controversy or problem; and this is almost bound to be the case because the view says right at the beginning ‘that is the way the world is.’ Now, an ‘advantage’ of these views is that one is making a commitment, taking a stand. However, to take being as fundamental is also to take a stand: it is to be committed truth and discovery of truth (and, of course, to the nature and domain of truth.) The concept of being involves no a priori commitments and is therefore fundamental and complete with regard to possibility, kind and extent; any ‘problem’ of the journey, of human and other endeavor, of navigation and knowing, is a problem of being. ‘Being’ also suggests connection to the traditions of thought and exploration; this is suggestive of ideas and promotes continuity of this narrative with the traditions


This material added to Journey in Being (simple version)

Principles of thought1

Anyone who spends time in careful reflection may spontaneously acquire and recognize certain habits of effective thought. Recurrent habits or themes may be recognized as formal or informal collection; the individual may observe that the collection of habits or principles is an ongoing process that is not altogether independent of reflection on the topics of interest. What is currently (c. 2007) called ‘critical thought’ and includes logic is a collection of principles; the forming, accumulation, and adjustment in light of experience of such principles is an ongoing process within culture

The objective here is some ‘principles’ that I have found useful and, since the discovery of such principles is interwoven with thought itself, to illuminate them with examples and brief discussion. The examples chosen are some of the central themes of the essay. This discussion, then, serves three purposes. It introduces the principles. It introduces the main themes of the essay. Since these themes are among the topics that provided the substance for the principles, the discussion is illustrates the origin and development of both themes and principles

The discussion is continued in more complete, systematic and precise terms in later chapters – especially in the section, ‘Logic’ of the next chapter

Introduction; Kinds of principle

A preliminary set of kinds may be written as strict versus suggestive, formal versus informal, critical versus constructive. In the tradition logic may appear to be strict, formal and critical in nature. However, it will be seen that there is a distinction between Logic as e.g. universal law and logic as the understanding or special context of Logic; and that that, therefore, logic is not fully formal or strict. Additionally, logic may also be constructive in suggesting forms of thought (in logic and mathematics, ‘constructive’ has a technical meaning that is not being used in this paragraph)

Thought versus principles

Although, ‘principles’ may be written down the separation may never be complete because the principles are themselves subject to criticism and because new principles may arise. Formalism, which may never be complete, beguiles us into a false sense of precision which may be attained only by cutting of areas of thought (psyche.) There may be no final separation of thought and principles

The place of feeling and intuition

This discussion has two purposes: first, to understand psyche as a whole and within that whole to understand relationships among cognition, intuition and feeling; and, second, to see what consequences these relationships may have for thought (in particular and, more generally, for the individual.) That is, what are the consequences of dislocations, fractures and lacks in the integration of the psyche. Clarification of the concepts and details are taken up in Chapter ‘Foundation’ – the discussion of psyche is taken up in the section ‘Human Being’ and the consequences for thought are taken up in the section ‘Logic’ under a discussion of Principles of Thought


In a common use as related to simple emotion, feeling is a form of binding to the world. My state of feeling excites me to action or encourages comfortable acquiescence in inaction or limited action. Feeling is also attached to thought or thinking. Thus feeling is one attachment of thought to self and world. Feeling is not among the standard or usual designated modes attachment which include knowing, understanding, representing, or preparing for action (motivated by other thought or feeling.) That a feeling may present in awareness without awareness of an antecedent is an aspect of the unconscious; this implies that the standard or usual function of thought is not necessarily its only function. A function of thought may be the precipitation of action as though there were reference even in the absence of reference. Thus while the standard criticisms of metaphysics from Critical Philosophy may be valid on the standard function of thought they do not even refer to thought on the ‘alternative’ function. (Critical Philosophy may hold on the standard function of thought, but further require thought –or knowledge– including thought in language to have a particular kind of relation to the world.) Later in ‘Theory of Being,’ Chapter ‘Foundation,’ the possibility of metaphysics will be shown by example. However, even if that demonstration did not exist there would be a place for metaphysics… Feeling is important because it motivates (is a form of) connection to the world. However, it is deeper than mere motivation because it conditions, moves, and interprets (is instrumental in the interpretation of) every perception and every thought. Without feeling cognition ‘freewheels,’ and there is no focusing of perception or thought. In the later development, feeling will be used in a more inclusive sense than its use here. The objective will be to develop a comprehensive theory (model) of the variety of states of mind on the basis of simple states. The system of feeling states will not be altogether simple and will (minimally) need to account for kind or function and, variety, intensity, degree of binding to context, and the afferent/efferent distinction; a ‘model’ of organization and interaction will also be necessary. Two features of the model or theory will be, first, to define and attempt some degree of completeness and, second, to show and characterize the integral character of the psyche e.g. binding between emotion and cognition


Here, intuition refers to the characteristic patterns of the modes of psyche –perception, thought, language, feeling– which are conscious but whose presentation in psyche occurs by means that are not conscious. That I perceive in spatial, temporal or causal terms does require conscious construction of a spatial, temporal or causal picture; and there is a use of language that does not require conscious production (some uses are conscious.) Analysis may be possible, either in learning or in reflection but this does not guarantee faithfulness of analysis; this may be a weakness when intuition is adequate but a strength when it is not. Thus even while analysis may be inadequate in showing limits of intuition it may be useful in overcoming those limits. Analysis itself has roots in intuition; that analysis may be rendered as marks on a piece of paper does not mean that those marks have no form at all. Critical philosophy points to the limits of psyche. However, what is revealed is that, without further reflection, psyche is not altogether adequate in revealing its own limits or possibilities

Integration of the psyche

Cognition may be bound or free. The bound ‘functions’ are those that are normally very closely attached to the world; free functions are those e.g. imagination and thought that may have (some of) the form of the bound functions but have no immediate or close attachment to the world. One ‘consequence’ of the fact the free function has some form of the bound is that thought, imagination may occur in intuitive terms; but that full form is not necessary is a source of the symbol; and this, too, is a form of intuition in that the world itself contains indeterministic or formless elements. It becomes clear that there are combinations of the functions that constitute ‘healthy’ psyche and others that constitute a psyche that is detached from the world or is excessively attached or is fractured. It becomes clear that thought is not possible without intuition and lacks mooring in the body (self) without feeling… It becomes clear that the intuitions have only partial susceptibilities to analysis; therefore there are degrees to which atomic analysis of thought is possible and, perhaps, areas within which it may be completely successful but that complete and precise atomic analysis of thought is apparently impossible. What is found, here, to be true of thought (about thought) will be found also to be true of thought about the world (metaphysics)

Criticism and imagination

Both are essential for without imagination there is nothing to criticize, no acquisition of ideas, concepts or knowledge; and without criticism, imagination is mere speculation. In a stereotype, the stern and angry critic eschews all imagination and requires strict adherence to rigorous principle. What is appropriate to require, is balance between criticism and imagination. The proper balance depends on sphere and phase of activity; there is a time for relentless criticism and another for (temporary) suspension of criticism. In actuality the different functions are often performed by individuals with different temperaments; however, any individual may seek a dynamic and reflective balance of imaginative and critical attitude and activity. Imagination is essential in the formulation of critical principles; and is (important in) hypothesis formation while criticism is (important in) experiment and analysis. I think that criticism and imagination are never completely separated although formal focus may be on one or other. When thinking imaginatively, that a thought even has form is critical even if implicit and constitutive – or intuitive. In critical thought, imagination is required in selection, adaptation, application and even (re) formulation of critical principles. I will now state and discuss some of the main ideas (principles)


A principle should satisfy its own form or criteria (if applicable.) this is the principle of reflexivity. It is one that I think is very important and generative of other principles. The principle can be generalized: every principle should satisfy all principles (pushing this to extreme might be practically absurd; when applied with care the principle may be highly useful.) The generalized principle may also be called reflexivity. Applied to suggestive ‘principles,’ reflexivity is cross-fertilization of ideas by synthesis or analogy. Reflexivity generates both criticism and imagination and critical imagination, imaginative criticism; it encourages search for tacit assumptions and limits. Some persons are naturally permissive in their own thought and prohibitive of play in the thought of others; some other persons exhibit an opposite tendency; applied, reflexivity encourages individuals to move away from counterproductive extremes

Extensive and continuing study, reflection and experience

Ideas in disciplines that are not in the immediate interest may be suggestive of imagination and criticism. When integrated, the system of ideas builds up toward a ‘world-view’ that is extremely useful in the rapid intuitive suggestion of ideas and rejection of untenable ideas. It may be thought that ‘no idea should be rejected.’ There is truth to this; however, given that there is always a welter of ideas (in the literature and in imagination) it might be crippling to have no rough and ready estimation and to have to explicitly analyze every idea. This is reflexivity-in-action at intuitive and even sub-conscious levels. Since a world-view can contain errors and can even be extremely limiting, it is good to have an open attitude towards ‘paradigms;’ this is a form of reflexivity. Since such paradigms are not always held consciously, it is not always possible to subject them to criticism. The individual is naturally resistant to a change in his or her world-view; a perspective that shifted every moment would not function well as a living world-view and, yet, shifts are sometimes necessary (or good or occasioned.) An exposure to a variety of perspectives and world-views is conducive to recognizing such a view as a perspective and, when appropriate, to change

Focus on questions in interaction with answers

On doubt and assertion. Consider the positions of materialism (the world is made of matter) and idealism (the world is made up of mind)

Mind and matter

Materialism is a standard position in the modern world c. 2007. It is not the only position. There are various reasons to doubt it. It seems clear enough (even though there are scientists and philosophers who disagree) that the world has minds in it. But how could mind be made of or be a manifestation of matter? This is one of the reasons for the doubt. However, the doubt regarding the existence of mind has an absurd ring and there are alternatives to this doubt. The first is that the world is made up of more than two (fundamental unchanging) substances – mind and matter; however, if mind and matter can interact as they seem to do, they would not exactly be distinct and so this position also has an absurd ring. A second is that the nature of ‘matter’ is not adequately understood. The notion of matter in science before nineteenth century science was largely of inert particles that interacted (force) without any mediating medium over space. This picture does not seem accommodating to mind. However, even though the quantum theory has not (may not have) explained mind it is clear that its picture of matter is more mind-like than was the older picture. There is no reason to suppose that the understanding of ‘matter’ has ended with quantum mechanics. In fact, there is no reason to suppose that the concept of matter at any given time is a precise description of what exists. Therefore, the statements, ‘the world is made of matter’ or ‘mind is a manifestation of matter,’ are not altogether right or wrong but lack in definite meaning. Therefore, if the objective is to get valid answers, the question ‘What is matter?’ should, pending a final clarification, be held in interaction with the twin question ‘Is the world made of matter?’ Now, a similar assertion can be made regarding mind. Many modern thinkers (c. 2007) object to the idea that the world could be made up of mind. However, any assertion or objection in this regard must be based on an idea or conception of mind; and, in modern practice, also upon a picture that mind obtains at some level or degree or kind of organization of matter. It is generally held that mind does not inhere at the lowest levels but must first inhere at some biological level i.e. at some level that is not the lowest. I have shown that this leads to contradiction and that therefore mind inheres at every level of ‘material’ organization. But this sounds quite absurd. The absurdity is that there may be a mind (with emotions and thoughts) in e.g. an electron. This absurdity is resolved by distinguishing human mind (mind-as-I-experience-it) or animal mind from Mind. This level of ‘Mind’ is not the very highest as in Hegel’s ‘absolute spirit’ but occurs at the lowest levels and is quite unlike human experience but whose organization into levels and so on is ‘higher’ e.g. human-animal mind. It becomes clear that mind and matter are not distinct substances that constitute the individuals (human beings, electrons) in which they ‘inhere’ but distinct aspects of the individuals. With further relaxation of definition it may be said that mind and matter are identical, are the same substance. If our common phenomenal world were the universe, this might be an ultimate resolution of the problem of mind and matter – the problem of substance

The constitution and variety of being

It is possible to go deeper – to ask ‘What is substance?’ and to ask ‘Is there any substance?’ (Substances are regarded as the uniform, unchanging and ultimate constituents of the world. A motive for introduction of substance is to explain or understand the variety of the manifest or phenomenal world in the simplest of terms.) ‘What substance or substances constitute being?’ presumes the existence of substances. Therefore ‘Are there substances?’ is an important question. An alternative to foundation in substances is a foundation in processes (or relationship.) However, ‘Being is made or constituted of process,’ though perhaps productive of insight, and though it does not require substances (there is no lowest level of organization) still sounds rather like substance theory (a modified substance theory might require no lowest level of substance.) I leave for the next chapter the development of the ‘Theory of Being’ that may be seen as a response to these issues

The Theory of Being

The actual source of the theory was a simple and sustained concern the character of being with tentative answers (the substance-like explanations: substance theory or ‘substance ontology,’ process and relationship theory, Plato’s theory of form – to which Aristotle’s substances were an alternative, insight from modern science) that suggested that there is no necessity for substance-like explanation i.e. a ‘foundation’ in the absence of being that I labeled the ‘void.’ In sustaining the question I was finally able to find the logical foundation for the Theory of Being developed in the next chapter. The results of the theory and its consequences have been so simple yet surprising and deep and varied that I continue to question its validity and to even question whether I ‘discovered’ it or stumbled across it (by luck.) Yet the theory shows that: the void must result in being and thus answers the ancient question of why there is a world, that the foundation of being is in the absence of being and that substance-like or form-like theories of being are neither possible nor feasible (but may have extensive practical uses,) that the universe cannot be deterministic or causal at large (it would be temporally deterministic if its state at one time determined its state at all times, the concept of cause is more complex but temporal causation is roughly and circularly the idea that every event is the necessary result of previous events or, in probabilistic causation, the probable result,) that the universe at large must be unstructured and indeterministic and a-causal but that local deterministic-like and causal-like do and must arise, that the indeterministic behavior at large must be complete in that deterministic-like behavior can only occur in limited domains or phases, that there are origins of time and space and ‘matter’ (though not necessarily of Time) while also explaining the apparently paradoxical phrase ‘origin of time,’ that the universe (i.e. all being) is (must be) infinitely greater than the human-empirically known universe in depth, magnitude and variety, that anything that is possible is actual (this assertion requires significant elaboration of meaning before demonstration, in particular however it seems to stand against the common regularities of our world but the necessity of causal-like domains and so on shows that this is not the case) that the one law of the universe is Logic (distinct from logic – the assertion characterizes Logic and leaves open a determination of its relation to logic,) that any actual occurrence recurs infinitely (unless such recurrence entails contradiction,) that the universe as all being cannot have a creator but that one part of the universe may create and ‘set in to motion’ another part (the terms ‘all being’ and ‘creator’ require elaboration;) this (our) cosmological system is an example of a domain with partial determinism-like behavior, it must be infinitesimal in relation to the entire universe which is present as background that may interact with the local system but, as revealed by the apparent stability of the local system, must interact with extremely low probability; the likelihood of ‘escaping’ the ‘normal’ or determinism and causal like behaviors, is also of low probability but not impossible and there is ‘always’ a possibility of annihilation of the local system; finally, the normal concept of impossibility (except logical impossibility) must be replaced by improbability, the necessity of normal behavior (e.g. scientific laws but not logical necessity) is replaced by high probability, and the concept of limit is replaced by infeasibility or difficulty. This is a small sample of the results of the theory; further results e.g. in metaphysics, logic and cosmology; proof and elaboration is left to ‘Foundation.’ This variety of examples has shown the importance of recognizing and holding the questions contained (often implicitly) in approaches to explanation, understanding and knowledge

Further examples

Further examples from the essay include the nature of language and thought and the nature of morals (what is the source of morals and morality, what is morality, do morals have justification except in convention or feeling or common belief or other morals, what is good, what is the relation between the real and the good – the world as it is and the world as it may be held that it should be, what is the relation between morals and feasibility i.e. what is the significance of something that is thought to be a moral good but turns out to have a remote physical, biological, psychological, economic or political feasibility?)

An alternate way to focus on questions is to…

Avoid a priori commitments

An a priori commitment is made when an analysis begins with a fabricated notion (construct) such as ‘The world is constituted of matter.’ It is rather like having an open mind but it is more than that because it requires awareness not only of explicit positions or beliefs but also of characteristic but not necessarily explicit forms of thought and speech

The nature of concepts and theory

In the discussion so far a number of concepts have arisen and include ‘mind,’ ‘matter,’ ‘substance,’ ‘void,’ ‘universe,’ ‘time,’ ‘space,’ ‘being,’ and ‘logic.’ ‘Concept’ is itself a concept that will be taken up later. Still, there is much that can be learned from the discussion about the nature of concepts; I will list these as a set of statements and explain those that may not be obvious by now. The meaning of a concept is not fixed. The meaning of a concept depends on the state of understanding; alternatively, the meaning of a concept is usually fixed only within a given world-view or metaphysics (a metaphysics is a description or theory of the way the world or universe is; this rough definition will be refined in the next chapter.) More precisely, even in a fixed world-view the meanings of the concepts are not fixed; it is the entire world-view that has meaning or is a picture of the world; within the total system of meanings the individual concept meanings may adjust and change. As understanding of the world grows, the world-view (metaphysics) grows; concepts may be added and discarded; (the meanings of) existing concepts may change. Growth in understanding is (in general) an incremental, step-by-step process; within any such steps there are minor step-wise adjustments of individual concepts. (It would be possible to give an axiomatic formulation of significant portions of ‘Foundation’ but I shall not do that while understanding remains in flux.) The historical progression of metaphysics (and science) is often taken to mean that the process of understanding is unending; however, that it has not ended does not mean that it will not end in a final view. Perhaps: there should be no a priori commitments to unending growth in understanding and realization or to finality (in the developments, finality with regard to depth but not explicitly with regard to variety will be demonstrated.) If the world is essentially infinite in relation to the instruments of psyche (including cognition,) growth in understanding could be final (complete.) If there is a mode of understanding or aspect of knowledge that is complete it must be regarding a finite portion of the world or a finite representation. Talk of the universe as ‘all being’ without regard to variety is finite. This is a source of the assertion that the Theory of Being is ultimate with regard to depth; that this very general assertion is not empty follows from its numerous implications just listed; further consequences follow regarding cosmology, human being and mind and society, faith when the general theory and more particular areas (necessarily regarded as tentative even when commonly and academically regarded as given or close to impeccable) are taken into mutual consideration

On fact and theory

I have made extensive use the idea of ‘theory’ in this essay and in the use here I have regarded a variety of theories as fact or even ‘superior’ to fact in that they are not ‘mere’ or ‘trifling’ facts. However, ‘theory’ is often regarded in contrast with ‘fact’ as in the phrases, ‘one theory of the emotions is the James-Lange theory,’ ‘there is a variety of theories of the origins of language,’ ‘it's merely a theory,’ and ‘I have a theory that you didn't show up because you're angry with me.’ So it's a good idea to explain and justify my use of ‘theory.’ The examples show that theory has a number of distinct uses such as ‘hypothesis,’ ‘model,’ ‘explanation or partial explanation,’ ‘guess,’ and, in ‘it's merely a theory’ the use may be derogatory. In contrast, some theories such as Newtonian Mechanics explain so much and so accurately that they seem like fact – except of course that it has been replaced by other theories in twentieth century science. However, regarded as an explanation of a range of phenomena, Newtonian Mechanics is factual. (There is a detailed discussion in ‘Foundation.’) The complete indeterminism of the universe shows that the theories of physics cannot apply to the entire universe, yet they are locally factual. This is one sense in which theory is fact; and it shows a breakdown in the distinction between fact and theory for, given that an electron cannot be an ultimate particle of being (this follows from the Theory of Being) its being must partake equally of fact and theory. (The assertion does not alter the immediate and practical aspects of our acquaintance with the electron.) Is there any theory that is universally factual? I have indicated above and will demonstrate the universal yet factual and necessary nature of the core Theory of Being. The core of the Theory of Objects and of the Theory of Identity are, similarly, factual (and are extensions of the Theory of Being.) Here too, in an ultimate realm, there is no distinction between fact and theory

The Theory of Identity

In referring earlier to the Theory of Being I listed a number of consequences that were to be shown in ‘Foundation.’ These included that the size (and depth and variety) of the universe (all being) is infinite in comparison to the size (and depth and variety) of the empirically known universe; that what is possible is actual; that what is actual is repeated infinitely; and that one part of the universe may create another but that the universe as a whole has and can have no creator. What is the relevance for the individual of such implications of the Theory of Being? The statement regarding possibility implies that there is a being whose identity is the universe. The Theory of Identity develops the concept and nature of identity and shows how the (sense of) identity of an individual overlaps and merges in universal identity

Human Being and Society

While the discussion so far is at an abstract level that appears removed from the everyday, the essay develops the topics human being, society and faith and consequences of the Theory of Being for them. What is the relation of the abstract or general level of the universe (all being) and its infinitesimal component – this (our) cosmological system and, particularly, the human world? I said earlier In the discussion of mind I use the term ‘psyche’ when referring to the necessarily interacting functions of cognition and feeling (emotion.) I prefer to not emphasize the term ‘psychology’ because of the flat characterization of mind in current academic psychology (c. 2007.) Under the discussion of mind, there are treatments of growth and exceptional performance of the human psyche


Morals were mentioned in a general context earlier. Some issues considered are the nature of morals and morality including the right and the good; the status of particular morals and systems of morality, morals and religion or faith; the logics of morals and moral systems; the origins of morals (which do not necessarily lie in logic;) significance of psychophysical and economic considerations for morals; morals and commitments; public and private morals; morals and politics; morals and politics; and some important moral problems of today e.g. war and peace, and poverty


There is a discussion of economics and technology, politics, education and research, law and direct and indirect (via other disciplines) implications for the nature and concept of these institutions from the Theory of Being


A study of history is useful in a number definite of ways. An example arises in the study of the nature of science. Acquaintance with the succession of scientific theories, e.g. in physics suggests that science is never final, that a scientific theory is always tentative. This is clearly a valid interpretation in a perspective that looks to a detailed science as being an ultimate theory of the (most fundamental elements of) the universe. It is necessary, however, to be careful with such conclusions. For example, restricting consideration to this cosmological system, there is a possibility that some form of quantum theory will be a final physical theory. An earlier discussion pointed out perspectives in which theories may be final. History, may be similarly conditionally useful in understanding religion and a variety of disciplines, human activities and institutions. There are more ambitious ways in which history may be useful. One of these is the use of history to make predictions or to learn lessons about choices. I am not an expert in history but there seems to be no general agreement about this possibility even allowing e.g. only general conclusions such as ‘civilizations decline’ or that there are factors of decline so that decline may be averted or slowed. (Some conclusions e.g. global nuclear will likely destroy modern civilization seem reasonable.) It might be interesting to speculate whether decline of civilizations is as practically necessary as death of individuals (neither appears to be logically necessary over finite periods of time excepting the end of the world or known universe.) A number of discussions have made some conditional appeal to history. However, I have not yet developed a systematic approach to history or its use and there is no general discussion of history in the present edition

Recognize tacit distortions of perspective and paradigm

It is natural for a perspective or perspective to have tacit aspects or components. In some cases a perspective is constitutive of a form of life; as a human being I may look at a mountain and experience it in the characteristic way that human beings experience mountains; I may talk to other human beings and, perhaps with a few words, evoke an experience whose general features are similar to those of my experience. Certainly, some of those features may be culturally determined but surely human biology defines limits to the possibility of culture defined experience. My experience of an actual mountain seen from a distance is similar to my experience of a photograph of a mountain. fuji.jpgIf I were to hang a traditional Japanese painting on my wall, my experience of ‘the mountain’ might come to be different. Perhaps the traditional Japanese visual experience of mountains and the modern Western experience are different and similar. Does a mountain goat resting in a shade at the heat of midday have a similar experience? I may speculate that the experience of a mountain goat is not (the same as the human experience) of ‘the mountain’ but, perhaps, of a vague and looming presence. The speculation is unfounded. I do not know what the mountain goat’s experience ‘is’ or whether its object-experiences has the same character as human object-experience but the following speculation is more reasonable. An inanimate object has no experience but there is a continuum from a rock to human (it does not follow that the mountain goat lies on this continuum) and that at some place in the continuum there is a vague visual experience that is not quite that of the object even though it is still definite and detailed. It is reasonable to suppose that the human experience of the object has contributions from the perceptual and the conceptual including linguistic (English and so on) system. The example is intended not as definitive of (an aspect of) perspective but as illustrative of its subtleties and manifold aspects – especially of perspective as constitutive of a form of life. In the history of ideas, perspectives and paradigms abound; they are characteristic ways of describing and so of seeing the world (or an aspect of it.) Given that they are different, they may each be seen as distorted; but when they provide some hold on the world they may also be possessed of truth. Given that a paradigm may be seen as a (cultural) way of life is the label ‘distortion’ appropriate? Whatever waits for perfect symmetry does not come into being. Distortion and constitution are twin aspects of being (becoming.) ‘Distortion’ is real enough and can be recognized via variations in paradigms but an essentially negative value attached to it also comes from a perspective – that of criticism (which has its own truth and distortion.) Perspectives and paradigms of culture (including ways of ‘seeing’) are maintained by (or in) institutions and include what amounts to ‘peer pressure.’ This pressure may be subtle and ‘enforcement,’ in addition to being applied may also be a state of mind: the individual expects and may seek reward and or avoid censure by remaining within the confines of the group perspective (in varying degrees of awareness.) Awareness of the phenomenon comes in varying degrees and education may include instruction in the perspective that ranges from the explicit to the subtle

An example of distortion

A quite well recognized example is the education of the modern analytic philosopher in the philosophy of mind. A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, 1994, Samuel Guttenplan, editor and author, may be used to illustrate the point. A central theme of Guttenplan’s introductory essay to the Companion is the difficulty of locating (understanding the phenomenon of) mind in a materialist perspective (which perspective is the ‘default’ and common position in the academic circles of analytic philosophy c. 2007.) Now there must be some subtlety to an accommodation of mind within materialism; however, Guttenplan deploys a number of (now) traditional artifices to raise the accommodation from needing care to the level of categorial chasm. Among these are the identification, by analysis, of difficulty without pushing the analysis far enough toward resolution of difficulty. This is done repeatedly so that the student is left with a ring of interlocking ‘problems’ that becomes his or her paradigmatic intellectual foundation. The student may go on to a life of intellectual productivity, publication and teaching; which process is thereby self-perpetuating. What is the ring of issues? There is the now common analytic map of mind as the tri-polar continuum: experience, attitude, and action; in the treatment of mind in this essay the placement of attitude and action on the same categorial level as experience and identification of a distinction of experience from action and experience from attitude (an implicit or tacit Cartesian divide) has been pointed out and rejected. However, the common analytic conceptual framework is seen to be plagued by Cartesian error (that it may presume itself to have avoided) at the outset – before the introduction of analysis of the three poles and before the analysis in terms of the ‘material substrate.’ A second set of issues concerns the analysis of each of the three poles. In each case, traditional ‘difficulties’ are introduced and analyzed sufficiently to establish the issues but not analyzed further or analyzed in terms of standard ‘solutions’ that are themselves not pushed to limits. What more can an author do than repeat what is in the literature? Well the author could follow Plato’s dictum and refrain from writing or, if write he or she must, then write in Plato’s often unassuming and non-dogmatic style. Here in the recanting of the state of literature (itself an example of the same) is a perpetuation of the system (ring) of issues. Finally, Guttenplan addresses the material base of mind. I select only two examples from the account that traverses a number of problems and standard solution attempts. The first example is the over-determination that is thought to arise in thinking that actions are caused by both experience/attitude and material (brain) processes. Assuming a distinction between the mental and the material (rather than seeing them as aspects or, better, descriptive modes of the individual) leads to the thought that actions are over-determined. Having introduced a difficulty which it is assumed exists, Guttenplan is now faced with the necessity of solving an artificial problem; the traditional solutions – identity, functionalist and eliminative ‘theories.’ These are all bound to inadequacy or failure since they are trying to solve a problem that is a problem of the introduction by definition of a divide or gulf that does not exist and whose solution approaches assume the problem. The second example is the problem of intentionality: how can mental states in which I have a thought about something (intentionality is precisely ‘aboutness’) be realized from matter which is (assumed to be) constitutively devoid of aboutness. The doubt about the ability of matter, even in complex organization, to have intentionality makes sense, perhaps, in the Newtonian picture. However to assert the impossibility on the modern picture of matter is to say that a sufficiently complex quantum system could not manifest intentional behavior; the basis of this claim would have to be a deep theorem in quantum theory or sufficiently complex computational model of the quantum theory. Needless to say there are no such theorems or adequate computational results. (There are additional concerns. Just as in the case of consciousness, the results will require interpretation; it should be necessary only to show that intentionality results from aggregate behavior; a negative result would not necessarily be conclusive – the quantum model or the theory itself, as it stands today, might be inadequate; and further analysis of intentionality itself may be helpful, perhaps even necessary.) The doubt regarding intentionality, therefore, equates a paucity in imagination or computation with a (lack of) property of matter. It is entirely analogous with the fundamentalist (creationist) argument: ‘I cannot imagine how complexity can emerge from the variation and selection of material process, therefore complexity cannot so arise’

Note: the discussion of the ring and of individual problems and the argument should be elaborated and sharpened

Further artifices of Guttenplan’s establishment of the standard perspective (I am not asserting that they are consciously selected to produce a desired effect) include an approach to concepts by eliciting student input (regarding the nature of mind;) thinking of examples is a necessary and excellent approach to concepts (as well as an excellent approach to instruction) but it is also essential to go sufficiently beyond immediate conclusions from examples and also to critique the examples themselves; lacking this, even though students are not formally exposed to the paradigm, prejudice may be built in from the outset due to the incorporation of naivety and because students may have had exposure to the literature and will have been somewhat exposed to the paradigm indirectly through the culture. This artifice as well as the selection of nice examples from life in London and Paris may have the effect of leaving the student with the feeling that this wonderful modern system of philosophy of mind, so careful and intricate in its development, is grounded well in life… I cannot avoid the thought that the conditions of survival of any institution (industry) include that it be functional but not too functional

Identifying tacit distortions

How may tacit distortions be identified? First, of course it is important not only to think carefully (imaginative criticism) about the subject (mind in the example) under consideration but also to think carefully about one’s approach to the subject. This is the reflex applied at multiple levels. Also note that the ‘standard analytic’ approach to mind involves a priori commitments: the Cartesian divide and the essential inertness of matter and a commitment that stabilizes many perspectives regardless of distortion: commitment to commitment. One of the difficulties identified in the standard approach arose out of a confusion between a deficit in imagination (or computation from a model) to a deficit of matter (or model of matter.) Broad study and experience and familiarity with history might help avoid these errors not only because of the exposure to other ways of seeing but also because the exposure to the idea of perspective and errors of perspective. In addition to applying and cultivating the reflex to one’s system of thought and group or culture defined paradigm, the individual may practice suspending (premature) judgment; this may be difficult for forming judgment is essential to development; what may be practiced, and this is a function of the individual and of instruction (mentorship,) is an intellectual fabric of commitment and doubt

Doubt and faith

The discussion has two parts. In the first I consider the necessity of doubt and faith in being alive. In this part I consider common and special faith; common faith is faith in the regularities of the world and normally requires no act of faith. Special faith is a high degree of belief or action based in a belief that the universe is greater in magnitude, depth and variety than is commonly accepted. Special faith is not necessarily religious faith but falls short of certain knowledge. Faith may be seen as a state of mind that is conducive to action in the presence of doubt. Why should there be any occasion for religious faith in light of the implications of the Theory of Being? The Theory of Being is a rational theory but doubt is a psychological condition. Even though I have been satisfied with the underlying logic, I continue to criticize it – doubt has been and remains an essential part of its development. Finally, while it is possible to act in the presence of doubt, faith may enhance the quality and strength of action. But is not truth a value? I will here restrict discussion to the case that truth is seen as being about the world. If truth is an ultimate value over becoming then it is being said that knowing is invariably more valuable than becoming. It is not at all clear that this is true. It seems, and the case is argued in detail in ‘Foundation’ that there may be a level of being that supports the level at which knowledge and truth function. This is a level, above that of being without symbolic reference, at which faith has valid and unquestionable function. At the level of truth and knowledge the values of faith and truth come into possible conflict and the resolution of any conflict may be an individual one in which the possible effects on others may be a deciding factor. An argument that places truth and faith on the level is that even where Truth has the potential to be an ultimate value, there are situations of crisis and opportunity that call for action but where at most truth (not Truth) is available

Religious faith

My interests in religious faith are as follows. The phenomenon; the psychosocial aspects are interesting; and although they have been ‘explained away’ as having basis in weakness or response to opportunity it seems to me that they also have basis in strength, intelligence and opportunity; the phenomenon is especially significant to me in relation to doubt: I doubt many aspects of faith e.g. the articles of Christian faith – such doubts are probabilistic rather than logical and in this regard I would like to have some continuity with ‘persons of religious faith.’ I have not generally been able to do this when the faith is literal; however, on account of what the Theory of Being says about possibility, I maintain doubt regarding my doubt. Another interest in religion is that I may learn something from it – especially in its figurative interpretations: ‘Jesus Christ rose from the dead’ may be seen as a statement or reminder of the nature of death (that death is necessary may be taken as a fact; however no empirical conclusion about the ‘other side of death’ is possible if nothing survives death; and if one is inclined to think that all there is to life is the material body, then an explanation of the origin of consciousness from nothing is just as difficult as the death of consciousness to nothing.) Since the paradoxical character of ‘Jesus Christ rose from the dead’ is significant, I should not expect an entirely warm reception from the faithful of its Logical (universal law) from the Theory of Being. There is also (for me) an important social concern regarding faith. Regardless of the truth and psychosocial value of faith, it appears to be here to stay – as of the present (c. 2007) faith and fundamentalism and their (often apparently negative) effect in the world have been rising and spreading. There are conflicts among faiths and between faith and secularism. What may be a good course of action regarding such problems? A problem that is of lesser importance to me is that of an evaluation of faith that accounts for its positive and negative aspects; it is important to distinguish Faith from faith or Religion from religions for the faiths and religions are not equal in there positive and negative aspects – for example, Buddhism does not appear to have a history of ‘holy war’ or to be used to justify violence for any purpose, especially to spread the faith. Finally is there a distinction between Faith or Religion and the religions? I suggest that in contrast to science (for example) Religion is the negotiation of all being by all psychophysical abilities of an individual and the group (and that there appears to be no alternate institution that satisfies this function.) On this concept, all truth (not just the truth of the ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’) is Religious truth; therefore science, the secular world, politics, economics, law and education fall within the domain of religion. There are those who would say that this is dangerous; they might say that the issue is not merely semantic and on account of the complex character of religion and its history I would agree that there is some danger. These issues are discussed in the section, ‘Faith’


The theoretical developments (especially being and identity) provide foundation for what is possible. The study of growth of human psyche, of doubt, of faith and exceptional performance (and other natural and human studies) and the functions of art suggest an initial point and possible progression for transformation i.e. for what may be feasible (considerations of value suggest that it is worthwhile spending some effort on what may be very valuable but whose feasibility is low i.e. it is worthwhile devoting some effort possibilities that are great even if remote.)  Finally, the essay develops the Dynamics of Being, an approach based in the theory, that is an approach to transformation, to limits and to the transformation of the infeasible into the feasible. A system of experiments and progress so far is described in Chapter ‘Journey in Being’

Theory of Objects

Dual address of the nature and relationship of Being and Knowing and its importance. Summary of main ideas. Introduction. Whatever exists is or has being; the object is whatever is known – as it is known. The idea of actual and conceptual divides between being and object has been a source of advance in thought –in science and in philosophy– but has also been a source of problem and confusion for the nature, magnitude and existence of the divide are neither clear nor given. A purpose of the dual address is to estimate the relationships between being and object. To be is to have effect; except insofar as having effect is being known, it is not necessary to be known in order to be. For an individual what exists is, effectively what can be known. (This will be shown and its meaning clarified.) Meanings. Object: the object as taken here is not the external object; existence; existence of the object; validity of use of the ‘object’ in its present sense as the concept-object. Knowledge: as knowledge of is a picture or model; the constitution and relationship –if it is relationship– may emerge from discussion. The instruments of knowledge. The psyche is the instrument of knowing; it is a whole – cognition-emotion as a unit; cognition is a whole – perception-conception as a unit. On knowing: faithfulness and identity; these two concepts of veracity are often conflated but are distinct; and the conflation results in the confusion. A confusion is as follows. While, in the typical picture of the nature of knowledge, identity is logically impossible, while faithfulness is at most contingently impossible; however, as a result of the conflation, faithfulness may also be taken to be logically impossible. Conditions for faithfulness may be always satisfied either (a) in a rough sense in which the only lack of faithfulness is what is constitutive of the filter-construct-projection of the psyche whose limits appear to be contingent and allow the possibility of perfection and (b) perfect faithfulness e.g. reason founded on self-evident facts e.g. that there is being; in this case the faithfulness depends on e.g. the level of abstraction. Conditions for Identity. Identity is not logically (constitutively) possible when knowledge is taken in its usual sense as knowledge of the object. Identity appears to be possible when the object is re-interpreted as knower, known and the relationship; in this case the meaning of knowledge or knowing is changed but the change is appropriate and useful at the depth where knowing and action are not separated and inseparable; it is also useful in placing in context the other meaning of knowing in which knowledge is (more) precise but less extensive – and, therefore, which is in some (clear) ways more useful and in other ways less

1.3         Preface

On publication of the essay

Outline; Audience

Outline to include. All objects – metaphysics, every problem of metaphysics, all human concerns; all ways and approaches

On reading the essay

2           Foundation

Introduction and outline

The nature of metaphysics. Suitability for the Journey

The primary concern of metaphysics is with being

Concern with ‘being’ makes metaphysics suitable as foundation for the Journey – individual, through the human traditions, and universal in experience (including knowing) and being (including being and transformation.) The section ‘Metaphysics’ elucidates the nature of the subject –at first by specifying what role or function it is to perform– then reviews criteria for foundation and the suitability of metaphysics as foundation; this results from the central concept of being

It is important that the metaphysics should be developed carefully from a foundation in being so that it satisfies the requirement of depth, magnitude and variety


The Theory of Being is the base for a metaphysics of ultimate depth and breadth. The topic Theory of Being first develops the idea of being, then develops the ‘theory’ (not in the sense of merely hypothetical but as a logically necessary system) of ultimate depth and breadth. The idea of the normal relates the immediate world to the ultimate. The remove of the ultimate from the immediate is merely apparent (due to abstraction) and a function of the idea of the normal (developed here and whose various connotations may not apply) is to bridge the immediate (e.g. cosmological) to the ultimate – the entire universe. Basic results of the theory and Some applications of the theory Applications of the Theory illustrate it and show its power (these two sections may be tied together) and (thereby i.e. theory and application or fact overlap and the ‘flow of logic’ is two way) lead into remaining topics that round out the metaphysics to complete ‘Foundation.’ First is Theory of Objects where a main concern is the crucial simultaneous address of the problems of being and of knowing; also taken up is the primacy of form over substance and initial consideration of identity and of individual, world and journey (becoming.) Further ‘application.’ ‘General’ concerns. The next sections are Logic (as the principle of depth or possibility) and Cosmology (study of breadth and actuality.) These general concerns are not removed from the immediate and the stand in a relation that gives significance and meaning to both; and the necessity that this world is infinitesimal may be seen as positive (the potential) or negative (insignificance which is, indeed, projection since any feeling of alien or lonely character resides in an individual and does not inhere in the universe just as insignificance does not inhere in the immediate.) The immediate is addressed in Human Being and Faith which consider the necessary and the contingent – and the necessary significance of the contingent; crucial questions concern relations among freedom, necessity and the contingent; various dimensions of human being and society; limits and possibility; morals – the real and the good; the nature of faith; the question of the necessity of faith: whether faith (not particular faiths and religions) is necessary; and the place and problems of the faiths

Order of development

The development here is Being – Object – Explanation – Cosmos – Identity and Human Being. An alternate order could be Identity – Cosmos – Explanation – Being – Object

2.1         Metaphysics

Conceptualizing metaphysics

Metaphysics is the study whose perimeter is defined by the outer limits of being. Within this scope, two interpretations are possible. In the first, concern is the outer limits and nothing else; focus may be on detail but only when it serves the study. In the second, metaphysics is the study of whatever falls within the perimeter. In this sense, metaphysics is philosophy. In this sense, philosophy includes not only its traditional branches but also the disciplines that once fell under philosophy but later acquired independent status

The purpose to a preliminary statement is to clarify use. It is useful to show the origin of the use that has been chosen and, unless a clean break is intended, to relate it to the tradition. (Even though a clean break is rarely desirable, distancing from some aspects of the tradition may be good.) I now take up the present use of ‘metaphysics’ and its relation to the tradition

Conceptions of metaphysics

Some traditional conceptions of metaphysics

‘An inquiry into what exists,’ ‘the science of ultimate reality,’ ‘the science of the world as a whole,’ and ‘the science of first principles’

It may be useful to consider to what extent these are equivalent; to consider relations between (my) concepts of the real and the good interact and significance for the natures and overlap of metaphysics and morals

Objectivity is returned by allowing the question, allowing doubt

Criteria for the criteria

Although placed before it, this section is not preliminary to the next. The idea of how to set up criteria occurred in parallel with setting up criteria for a number of concepts

A basic principle in ‘defining’ conceptions is a particular case of the principle of reflex that is elaborated under ‘Principles of Thought,’ below. In this case the reflex involved is to apply criticism and construction simultaneously. How is that possible? Criticism asks various questions of the concept. These include ‘What is its meaning?’ ‘What is its function?’ ‘What is its sense?’ ‘What kinds of thing fall under it?’ This suggests an alternative to a dogmatic approach in which the sense or reference of the concept is explicitly specified at the outset. Instead the concept may be specified indirectly – be required to satisfy certain conditions. Here, the preliminary concept of metaphysics will be set up in terms of ‘function.’ It is also implicit that metaphysics will somehow complement or overlap logic so that together the main branches of the foundation of thought will be established together (ethics and epistemology will fall under metaphysics and logic)

Criteria for the present conception

The conception will be adapted to the use of the term ‘metaphysics’ in this essay

The first present conception: metaphysics is (posited to be) the most fundamental study. This makes the concept of metaphysics a question (1) avoids as a priori, the question of possibility of metaphysics and (2) connects to tradition. Criteria for the fundamental object of study: it should involve no a priori commitments – either as to category or as to possibility of knowledge (phrase;) these two criteria coalesce as one in the object, below. The criteria lead to the second conception: ‘being’ as fundamental – it is found, below, to have no a priori commitments; therefore, the most fundamental study is the study of being (as being rather than as mind, matter or process and so on.) In saying that being is, simply, that which is the ontological commitments of being as mind or as matter are avoided. It is having no ontological commitments i.e. in regarding being as unknown at the outset of investigation that the strength of this approach lies. It permits (1) analysis of being as a process of discovery and (2) avoids the pitfalls of commitments prior to study as in e.g. idealism and materialism

Exclusive and inclusive senses of metaphysics; overlap and identities with logic and cosmology: as the study of being, metaphysics has an exclusive meaning, the study of being as being; which contains the inclusive sense of the elaborations – logic, cosmology (which, properly understood, are not so much elaborations but continuous with metaphysics and, in logically coherent senses identical to it) and the topics below down even to the particular including the sciences; and a possible extension of the concept through mode of ‘knowing’ to art… and to ‘metaphysical action

Universal and present significance. As conceived, metaphysics has significance to understanding, knowing all being –the one universe– in its nature and entirety. In the nature of the journey: metaphysics has significance to the journey, its ambitions; and, further, the universal and the apparently more particular concerns are equivalent

The project of the metaphysics. The following project requires more careful definition and placement. It is to address both timeless and immediate concerns and their relation which is also interpreted as the relation between metaphysics and the disciplines (interpreted not only as fields of knowing but also as disciplines of action.) While the absolute may be and is completed, the particulars have an element of experiment where it is important to have an idea of the right direction rather than to be precise (exclusively) for this is not only the path to being in the light but it is enabling of the regenerative journey of each individual, each age… Completeness of the theory of being

Completeness of the metaphysics based in the Theory of Being

Neither theoretical physics nor any theory whose scope is limited to this world, except perhaps a theory of functions of mind, will provide a framework for the address of the problems of metaphysics and every essential human concern

An objective of the project is to address every significant problem of metaphysics and to provide a framework for the address of every significant problem from the history of ideas and every significant human concern. Completeness is of two complementary types – by intension and by extension

Completeness by intension. This involves showing that the (present) concept or theory of metaphysics (being) is complete. This completeness in a general sense is shown in ‘Theory of Being’ below. The following highlights some main ideas of the argument but does not replicate it. The demonstration is based in an analysis of the necessary properties of an absence of being and an application to the fact that there is being. Elaboration of the theory follows from interaction of the general idea with the facts of being. Supplement with details. The completeness is shown in detail in the working out of interactions (mutual significance and implications of the theory and the variety of its objects) of the theory for a system of this world (it is a system of the world in that in relating this world to the universe we arrive at a fuller, richer, more articulated –if not full and maximally articulate– picture of the world) in the subsequent sections and chapters. In these chapters every essential topic of classical metaphysics is resolved or illuminated; some resolutions will be actual solutions, others will show the problems as artifacts of a point of view, yet others may show certain problems to be empty. This ties into the next topic

Completeness in extension. Demonstration of completeness in extension is executed via (1) a listing of problems of classical and modern metaphysics. For a list, see classical and modern (see the section ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ of the Chapter ‘Journey in Being’) and (2) From intension and its completeness, showing that the list is complete in some not too detailed sense, or if it is not complete then to give it reasonable completeness

Worldly, pedestrian and universal metaphysics

Worldly metaphysics sees this our (perhaps further limited to human) as the entire or essential world and that if there is a universal metaphysics then it does or should serve the immediate. Pedestrian metaphysics is the attempt to understand the basic things of this world in simple, perhaps common, perhaps even irreducible things or categories and so on. Metaphysics has become largely pedestrian. This is good except for attempts to exclude all else. The great critical traditions are necessarily keenly insightful and productive of developments in thought but are invariably based in an inadequate conception of knowledge and the nature or meaning of what is involved in such conception. An typical of exclusion is under some model of critical thought (good in its own right) that may be associated with various agendas such as fear of the dark (even of the shade) and consequent crawling thought, apology for productivity over the good, the philosophy of the academic and the teacher over truth, and the consequent abandonment of the real and the good. Metaphysics in the tradition of analytic philosophy is pedestrian. As I just said, this is not a criticism except regarding claims is that that is all there is in the world of metaphysics. The analysis of everyday objects may yield valuable information and clarify ideas. The ‘great critical traditions’ suggest and purport to show that universal metaphysics is impossible; invariably it is found in the arguments that follow that such demonstrations are productive and keenly insightful but are based on some inadequate conception of knowledge – whose inadequacy is due to either over-idealization or to subjugation to some extraneous but not necessarily acknowledged external concern such as productivity, support for prevailing moods and paradigms e.g. the success of science and materialism, ‘democracy’ of the disciplines (over truth,) excessive intellectualization by the academic or intellectual type or, even, loss of nerve (encouraged by the twentieth century specialization and academic isolation of the twentieth century academic philosopher.) The developments here learn from but as regards metaphysics are contrary to the critical traditions

Two approaches to the possibility of universal metaphysics

Older names, carrying negative connotations today (2007,) are dogmatic and systematic metaphysics. The older systems tended to dogma because the character of the metaphysics was specified in advance (today, even when it is not explicitly specified, materialism is and effective metaphysics and is no less dogmatic than the older speculative systems)

The system developed here is neither dogmatic nor speculative; it follows from reflections on being. It is not systematic by intent but ‘system’ follows upon working out necessities of the ideas. However, if I had avoided speculation and eschewed the possibility of metaphysics I would not have arrived at the necessities

The methods of demonstration that I employ are two. The first is constructive. It involves an assessment of the nature of knowledge (and being.) The approach is the one described above of examining the properties of the absence of being. Thus, possibility is demonstrated not merely in concept or by recipe but by the production of a metaphysics (whose validity my attempts to disprove have failed.) In this method, I am following the Geist of the tradition. In the second, I question the function and being of knowledge. Here I depart from the tradition and my motive is to enquire what I (we) want to do with knowledge. I argue that to do what is moral (morality and its conception is also subject to examination and renewal) requires abandonment of the over critical conception of knowing. This is not a justification for the first method; it is not a substitute but is found to be a ground for it. As regards depth, the Theory of Being stands by itself; it is when I harbor doubt regarding the translation of theory into action (due to doubts about the theory despite its logical character and due to doubts regarding my abilities) that the second method shows one of its uses. The Theory of Being, below, shows the possibility of universal metaphysics. Subsequent sections develop and show the richness or productivity of a universal metaphysics. In these developments I have learnt much from the tradition including analytic philosophy. Pedestrian metaphysics which may be defined by a limit to a metaphysic of what lies or may lie within experience, in its careful attention to detail and precision, has been one source, as a supplement to others that include imagination and metaphor, of motive and example by which the universal (which includes the pedestrian) has grown and been refined

2.1.1        Theory of Being

The Concept of Being

Motive: the following is adequate to set the desired fundamental character regarding a priori commitments: being is that which exists or which has existence. (Note a subordinate use in which a being is something that exists)

Why existence? To say something exists entails nothing more than that it is in the universe – it entails no property or, if it does entail the ‘property of existence’ it is not a property that enables it to be distinguished from any other existing thing; i.e. , as needed for fundamental character, existence entails no a priori commitments as do, e.g. , mind and matter as usually conceived, spirit, process, relationship… for any of these are defined by inclusion and exclusion

Analysis of existence – its meaning e.g. through sentience-power: the measure of being is being; the central syntactic problem of the concept of existence: the problem of the meaning of statements such as ‘unicorns do not exist’ – for if unicorns do not exist then ‘unicorns’ has no reference and so the statement has –seems to have– no sense … again, if existence is a property then, seemingly, it can only be a property that involves paradox, e.g. , consider things that do exist and things that do not then the only seeming distinction that existence makes is between things that exist and –the paradox– those that do not; resolution: sense vs. reference, concept vs. object; inadequacy of standard resolutions especially those of analytic philosophy;) verb ‘to be’ and its forms; other meanings of ‘is’

Reference of ‘exists:’ kinds of existing thing. Existence-as: as preliminary to existence. The claims of matter and mind: the claims of matter and of mind have dominated the question of being; in materialism, a natural first theory of being, the criterion of existence is whether the kind is material in kind; the difficulties of materialism lead to consideration of idealism and so on; in parallel with this progression the claims of substance, form and so on may be taken up. Matter may be thought to be a form of existence but even if so, it is not the only form; the theory of being will show that being agnostic about the assignment of existence to matter entails no loss. Power as the first common ground of being; the theory of being will provide formal (is this word appropriate) foundation – one that is not centered or based in the individual

The extension of the term ‘being’ is perhaps more significant than the intension

The essential confusions regarding what exists arise from a priori commitments of the nature of being. Thus a materialist is bound to eternal confusion regarding the existence of mind, form, idea, number because he or she insists that existence is existence-as-matter. It is this confusions that gives rise to the discomfort regarding the question of the existence of what are superficially abstract and apparently non-material (especially when the a priori commitment is implicit)

That existence is existence-as-matter is essentially confused as is existence-as-fact or existence-as-mind and so on; these are the original confusions (materialism, idealism, logical atomism)

These confusions do not arise if matter or mind are rid of their immediate connotations to have no connotations (a priori commitments) but in this case there is no significance to the use of the ideas of ‘mind’ or ‘matter’

Requirements for a theory of being

It should be explicitly ultimate with regard to depth or intension and breadth or variety or extension – although the present theory fails to achieve only explicit ultimate breadth, its explicit breadth is greater by an infinite factor than what is usually considered possible… this, however, is positive

The theory should be self-evident; it should simultaneously solve the basic problems of being and of knowing – relevance of free and bound elements of psyche; and it should illuminate the essential problems of metaphysics and the fundamental disciplines and human endeavors

The theory should introduce simplicity of explanation: equivalence of variety to uniformity, change to constancy (if possible (this is essentially the problem of substance but its solution does not require substance… and the theory developed does indeed introduce the extreme of simplicity that is possible

Theory of Being and its development

Five basic concepts: four constitutive concepts of being, the void, logos (or logic,) universe and the relational concept of the normal that elucidates the place of ‘normal reality,’ of this world in and among the universe of all being. On the simplicity of the logic.

Consider the claims of mind as a sixth basic concept. Choice of the term ‘the void;’ existence of the void. Since ‘nothingness’ is associated with an author with whom I wish to have no association, I considered ‘nonbeing’ as an alternate word. However, to consider whether nonbeing exists may sound absurd and to try and show that it exists may seem mind-bending; why get into this when ‘void’ is available to fill the intended role? Does the void exist? Note that the void is not nonbeing but absence of being. It is always there whether there is or is not actual being; it is the complement of any object relative to itself, the complement of the universe relative to itself

Basic results of the theory

The basic results concern its foundational character. Here is a sampling of results in approximate sequence of development. Basic propositions that establish the depth and breadth of the theory: laws and patterns have being i.e. common objects are not the only kinds of object – it will be seen that forms and universals, too, are objects; in the void there are no laws and patterns; the void is equivalent to any and every being, to the entire universe which must both, therefore, be indeterministic i.e. the universe is necessarily indeterministic as is every region of it even though as-if and quasi-determinism may occur for limited regions in phase; the void exists; every being is equivalent to every other being; the possibilities of every being are those of any being. On possibility and description: any description whether symbolic or iconic or conception that entails no contradiction is possible. Examples of descriptions chosen to show the depth and breadth and revolutionary character of the theory: ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead’ is true in countless cosmological systems; there is, however, no logical implication of its truth or untruth in this (our) cosmos. Implications are taken up in the section, ‘Faith.’ All actual occurrences are repeated infinitely in phase (e.g. in space and time.) There is an identity among personal identities and ‘higher’ identities. Implications are taken up in the study of identity, in the sections, ‘Cosmology’ and ‘Faith.’ Any consistent version of quantum theory in some cosmological system that is limited in space and time (phase) but it cannot obtain in the entire universe because of its law-like character. Assuming that no contradiction is entailed mechanics of Newton must obtain in some cosmological system that is limited in space and time (phase) but it cannot obtain in the entire universe for the additional reason that it violates the indeterminacy requirement

Analysis of the Post-Enlightenment Critical Attitude. The following discussion does not stand in isolation – it is one of a number of reflections on the state of modern thought. Additionally my attitude is not essentially critical but also constructive for, the main purpose of my criticisms is not criticism itself but to clear the path of debris so that (my) developments in thought can be seen with clarity. The basic results were chosen not only for their surprise value or particular implication but also because of the revelation of newness, depth and breadth of the theory and because they stand against the comfortable, self satisfied, criticism centered modern (post-enlightenment) view which may be characterized by a requirement that all knowledge activity must lie unwaveringly within the domain of criticism. I hold that this is a limited view of knowledge and criticism. That there is a domain of activity, a region of knowledge, in which critical thought is crucial, is certainly true; all claims to knowledge should have been subject to criticism at the level that is explicit or implicit in the claim. However, criticism does not function in a vacuum; imagination is essential to the production of new thought and is inhibited by requiring it to be subject at every moment to micro-criticism; although this is well known, the attitude of micro-criticism has retarded, for example, development within large portions of modern analytic philosophy. My argument does not address the usefulness of ‘piecemeal analysis’ but the idea that that is all that can be done; and the fact that the idea is so widespread that it obscures truth just as does widespread fundamentalist faith-as-belief (faith has functions other than belief.) Additionally, there are domains of infinite potential and promise outside the critical but the criticism centered view prohibits their access as if the micro-critic owns the world and not just the knowledge that suspension of criticism where criticism has not yet found access involves (unknown) risk. The development of the theory of being shows a distinction between pseudo-criticism and true criticism; and that true criticism (intertwined with imagination) takes logic to the boundary of all being. A possible reaction to the foregoing comments is ‘Do you not see that you have not addressed the great critical philosophies of modern philosophy – especially those stemming from Kant and Wittgenstein?’ This essay contains (is) a response to this (obvious) criticism, constructively in the development of a metaphysics (Theory of Being) in various pieces such as ‘Two approaches to the possibility of universal metaphysics,’ below

Logic is the study of possibility; logic and metaphysics (in its outer limits) are equivalent; a logic is the study of constitutive or necessary form of a context; that there is logic (as distinct from a logic) is the proposition that there is a context of application that has no limit i.e. that there is a universal logic i.e. that logic and being intersect which is the proposition that logic and metaphysics are equivalent i.e. that real logic is far from its depiction as without content or ‘flesh.’ This acquisition of flesh occurs by pushing the concept of logic to extreme

On interaction: any entity may interact with any other. If a ghost is an entity that has no interactions with the world, there are no ghosts. If a ghost is an entity whose interactions do not follow normal causal patterns, there are ghosts; and there are ghost cosmological systems; the entire universe ‘appears’ ghost-like but has the possibility, at any ‘time’ of annihilation of any cosmos or of all being i.e. of self-annihilation which is not seen as a causal event… the universe has phases of the void. There is one universe

What is possible is actual (over the entire universe in the supraphasic mode of description.) The actual, the possible and the necessary are equivalent (this is true when there is no restriction to a phase of the universe.) Implication for modal logic. The foundational character of the theory. The theory of being is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth or sense; no deeper foundation is possible, no further regress –finite or infinite– is necessary or possible – alternative foundations must be equivalent to the theory. It is implicitly ultimate with regard to variety – breadth or reference. Although not explicitly ultimate with regard to variety, that all descriptions are realized implies that the empirically known universe is an infinitesimal fraction of the universe, that what is explicitly known is greater by an infinite fraction than is traditionally conceived, and the realization of all descriptions appears to imply that the universe is greater in extent than what may be explicitly specified or known

Possible topic. Russell’s theory of descriptions. Develop this topic if there is any relation to my use of descriptions and possibility or if it is otherwise relevant here. If there is no need to develop the topic make a note that my use is different from Russell’s

A problem of the actual. Surely the fact that this (our) immediate world has a particular state or appearance and has not just any or every state is a limitation on the possibilities of the universe? I.e. if all descriptions (…) that contain and entail no contradiction are actual, then surely the immediate world could not obtain? Well no, the meaning of the ‘theorem of descriptions’ is exactly the opposite. The immediate actuality places no restrictions on the universe. This follows since the universe must (necessarily) contain the actual

Relative possibility. It is raining now. Yesterday I may have said ‘It is possible that it will not rain tomorrow.’ Does the claim that anything that is possible is actual? (‘Is’ is used in its atemporal sense in the previous sentence.) It does not because the claim was anything that is possible and does not entail a contradiction is actual (atemporal ‘is.’) However, does this not imply that ‘It is possible that it will not rain tomorrow’ is false? It does indeed, on account of the concept of possibility developed above, imply that the statement is false or, speaking temporally, imply that it was false when it was made. This, however, seems to violate normal use of the idea of possibility. The ‘paradox’ may be resolved as follows. As normally used, possibility is what may be called relative possibility which is possibility relative to what is known while the concept of possibility used in the developments here is absolute possibility

Further applications of the theory. The foundational nature is discussed immediately above. Does the Theory of Being reveal The Character of The Noumenon i.e. of the thing-in-itself? It might seem so. This concern is taken up in the section, ‘Theory of Objects’ below. Elimination of (essential need) for substance: basic character of objecthood and form, that mind and matter as proximately conceived are not fundamental… substance has practical use… in virtue of universality of interaction, there is one universe i.e. even the fundamental character of power is not essential – alternative to power as common ground of being and existing and whether this alternative ground is tenable. Fundamental problem of metaphysics. A variety of problems – the problem of being i.e. why there is being, the problem of the one and the many have been called the fundamental problem; it seems that the problem of being is prior to others. Analysis of a variety of basic conclusions regarding derived though basic concepts e.g. modal concepts (see ‘Theory of Objects,’ below.) Include topics from the comment below, and list of basic propositions which includes concepts (that a concept is fundamental or significant is a proposition)

Relation to older metaphysics, science, common sense. When a new view –a metaphysics– is presented as a replacement for or an extension of an older functional (useful, having a range of application) view, the new should show the truth and limits of the old, place it in context of the new, reinterpret its concepts e.g. limit, impossibility, science. The concept of the normal (defined here without necessary reference to any of the variety of existing connotations) is pivotal in understanding the relation of older views to the present theory of being. The idea of limit is replaced by ‘infeasibility;’ impossibility by improbability; the laws of nature though practically necessary in this (our) cosmological system are shown to be highly contingent. Causation, determinacy of objecthood, space and time are seen to be local and even in their local forms incomplete; there is no ‘universal causation’ even when focus is restricted to this cosmological system. ‘The laws’ of physics are local

These developments may be surprising to those who love agnosis – regardless of their reasons (critical attitude, open vistas of discovery, humility – real or feigned)

Derivations from the Theory of Being

Before derivation came constitution e.g. ‘Being includes not only entities but also Patterns, Forms, Laws and Logoi. Entities are Forms.’ The derivations or inferences are of a number of kinds. First among the derivations are the general logical derivations such as ‘The system of consistent descriptions is realized,’ ‘There is no distinction between possibility and actuality’ and so on. Then there are logical characterizations of particular concepts e.g. Power, Form and number (below.) There are normal or probabilistic considerations e.g. the formations of domains by ‘normal mechanisms’ and with ‘normal behavior;’ it is not necessary that all domains be normal and be formed by normal mechanisms (incremental change and durability of relatively stable forms) but the normal domains dominate the population of being and their formation is dominated by normal mechanisms; it is necessary, however, that some normal domains be formed by normal mechanisms. Then there is interaction e.g. in the discussions of ‘Human Being’ and ‘Faith’ in which the particular topic is illuminated and enhanced by and provides elaboration of the Theory of Being. The ‘logical’ character of these developments may limited by the precision and certainty of the particular topic. When the development is an enhancement of the foundation of the special topic, the previous limits of that topic are no longer applicable and certain conclusions may be necessary. Examples of necessary special developments include that evolution must involve both indeterminism and selection for (adapted or relatively stable) form; that there are necessities of the extension of the concept of mind (below) to the root of being; that there must be both bound and free symbols; that there be symbols (and images) that have degrees of binding to action (emotion;) that constructive thought cannot be entirely deterministic. Other developments are not necessary; some developments are reasonable e.g. when what is normal and therefore extremely probable –an example being mechanisms of origins– is taken as obtaining in a specific and apparently normal domain; other developments may be more speculative e.g. in assuming that something that is necessary in some domain applies in a given normal domain (speculation is included when it seems useful.) There is no intent to exclude significant content. Rather, an objective is to make clear the degree of confidence (from certain to merely speculative) and significance of content

Alternative developments of the theory

Alternative approaches the foundation of the theory are in the sections ‘Logic and the Theory of Being,’ ‘Laws and Logic,’ and ‘Variety, origin and manifold of being’

Some properties of the void

Note. There are numerous other properties (and definition) of the void above. Definition: the void is the absence of being – which should be ‘a void.’ Properties. The void contains no property or law; existence of the void implies that anything that is possible is actual; and that anything that can be described without contradiction is possible; this implies infinite recurrence and the chain of being; it also implies normal cosmological systems; and that the void may annihilate any entity at any time… Here are some new properties. 1. Therefore, for any entity A, A&V = A; this follows from the definition of the void. 2. Existence (Consider entities A and B where A exists and B does not, i.e. there is no entity corresponding to the concept of B. Then A&B does not exist. Now consider an entity E that exists. Assume that the void V does not exist. Then A&V = A does not exist. I.e. the assumption that V does not exist leads to a contradiction. Therefore the void exists. 3. There is at least one void. This follows from the previous item. 4. There are infinitely many voids. For every entity A, A-A = V(A), a void that is associated with A. I.e., the number of voids is equal to the number of entities. If the void is considered to be an entity, then it follows that the number of voids is greater than any given quantity, finite or infinite. 5. There is effectively one void for V(A) & V(B) = V (A&B) and so on. 6. The existence of the void shows the necessity of both normal interactions and action-at-a-distance. 7. The void is everywhere and every-when; proofs of this are manifold (if there are coordinations that are neither spatial nor temporal, then the void is at every ‘location’ corresponding to those coordinations or phases.) 8. The void is ‘supremely simple.’ Regarded as a substance, it is simpler than any other substance (it need not be regarded as substance.) Consider however, that the void is equivalent to every manifest entity (and more unless entity includes form, pattern, law.) Is this a contradiction of ‘simplicity?’ If uniform grey (for example) were sub-stance to the world, then it too would have to have the same equivalence (that is the concept of substance and those who insist on substance without equivalence are indulging in empty or free-wheeling concept games.) The crucial point, however, is that the void is conceptually simple; whatever complexity there may be and regardless whether it is of or comes from the void, that complexity comes from the simplicity – the uncommitted character of the void (as absence of being which is uncommitted in conceptual character.) In the same vein, the metaphysics that results from taking the concept of being seriously, i.e. asking what the character of being must be, what it must contain is an elaborate metaphysics – more elaborate than any speculative system but not speculative, more elaborate than any dogmatic system but not dogmatic, and showing the containment of (identity with) a metaphysic of experience but not being limited to common notions e.g. empiricism of what that must be

A commentary on substance

Substance is not important in this essay except as a proving ground for the fundamental ontology based in the void and as a practical foundation of a phase of being e.g. a normal cosmological system. A motivation for form and substance is to provide a unitary and simple foundation for the variety of the world. Plato’s elegant theory of form was subject to the criticism that it postulated ‘another world.’ The ontology developed here shows the adequacy of the void and displays form as arrangement that is sufficient for relative but not absolute symmetry (since the latter does not normally come into or out of being; it is also shown how to regard form as an object although this is not the only interpretation; it is further shown that the world is invariant with regard to this kind of interpretation.) Substance. A substance must be simple and therefore has no internal features. Substance theories can be divided into those for which there are a few substances and those in which there are many substances, perhaps infinitely many. Aristotle’s theory was a many substance theory: for each kind e.g. horse, man, there was a substance. This is already a violation of the idea behind substance for horses are not simple but let us reflect on the idea a little. If ‘horse’ or ‘horse-ness’ is a substance then it must be simple and unchangeable and therefore there must be as many horse-substance as there are (rather as there could be) horses. In Aristotle’s theory, there are as many substances as there are entities (runaway infinity.) The theory explains nothing, does nothing and is the kind of ‘theory’ that gives theory a tainted reputation. The alternative to the many substance theories appears to be the collection of ‘few substance theories.’ First consider monism, the idea that there is one substance. Since the essence of substance is uniformity, there can be no variety. Monism cannot explain the variety of the world. An alternative explanation is that the substance, though fixed, invariable, and uniform in composition, manifests in the variety of the world; this, too, is no explanation for, although, the origin of complexity in simplicity has the potential to be understood, the substance is not merely simple but uniform and unchanging. Still another explanation is that it is the appearances that are various. This, again, is not an explanation for the senses and sense organs must also be constituted of the substance. A theory in which there are a few substances (the word dualism may serve) has all the difficulties of monism and the additional difficulty of explaining how the distinct substances interact. Atomism which may be seen as a form of dualism runs into the same difficulties unless the atoms are not indivisible (not atoms) and that every atom is divisible without end; this might be an acceptable theory but it essentially postulates an infinite number of sub entities and if these are to be substances then the problem of interaction arises again. It may be thought that a continuum overcomes the problems of atomism and, for some aspects of simplicity, it does so – the infinite variability is already built in; however, again, there is no substance-like solution to the origin of variety for variety is built in at the outset. There is essentially no difference between philosophical or metaphysical atomism, a continuum substance-theory, monism, dualism, or the postulation of an infinite number of substances as far as explanation, manifestation, or the appearance of complexity and variety in terms of an underlying simplicity is concerned. The atomism of science is different; what ‘scientific atomism’ says is that the ‘atoms’ of science (molecules, or atoms, or electrons or quarks or forces, or, what amounts to the same thing, the theories of science) are the most fundamental known entities; science makes no claims as to the ultimate character of its currently most fundamental objects (although scientists and others often convince themselves that such claims are or can be justified.) The void. There is one alternative to the many substance theory that has not been considered in this discussion and that is the possibility of no substances at all. It was shown above that the void is the basis of a satisfactory ontology; an ontology without substance (the void could of course be considered formally to be a substance but also to be absence of substance; it is consistent to regard it as entailing no substance but the point is not essential.) However, why is this ontology not subject to the same objections that lead to the rejection of substance? The idea behind substance theory was simplicity of sub-stance or simplicity of explanation; thus substances are uniform (and ideally should be without properties although one property is allowed per substance.) A tacit assumption that fills out the picture of their simple character is that substances be deterministic; it is this that makes the explanation of variety impossible. The void, on the other hand is indeterministic. However, the void is, in this regard supremely simple for it is the absence of being without assumption as to determinism or indeterminism. It is the fundamental character of the void (absence) that implies indeterminism, i.e. indeterminism is not assumed. Again, since the void essentially leads to infinitely many entities (or substances) it may be seen as infinitely complex; however the appearance is mistaken for the infinite variety is not of the constitution or definition of the void but follows from the definition or constitution. Alternatively, for the void, constitution and manifestation are equivalent. Substance and commitment. It has been observed that the power of the void-ontology depends on the uncommitted character of being. It is also possible to take an uncommitted approach to substance; the idea to consider (infinitely) many substances, few, one or zero substances is uncommitted. Non-commitment can go further – any explanatory system may be considered to be substance. It would at least be substantial to explanation and to knowledge (object) but not necessarily to being. Form may be considered as substance. For an atomist, atoms are substances; for an empiricist, sensations and for an idealist, ideas are substances – substances are ontologically basic (even though what is basic in some systems may be epistemic in character.) A more particular use of substance, the one I have been using, has substance as a kind of entity or ‘stuff’ that is basic. In this meaning, sensations are not substances but ideas are… but here is a place where philosophical vagueness allows opposite interpretations: on materialism, which some empiricists encourage, ideas are not substantial but neither are sensations; on idealism which many modern empiricists eschew (but which it is not necessary for an empiricist to eschew and many earlier empiricists were also idealists) ideas are substantial but so are sensations. Just about anything may appear to be a substance to the facile mind e.g. being the paradigm of subjects of predication and the bearers of properties; God or gods – especially God, the creator as substance. From, my reflections on ‘principles of thought’ I might be encouraged, with justification, to take (fundamental) questions or the principle of placing question on equal basis with answer as substance. Question is indeed important but its importance lies in its lack of commitment. Typically, the idea that this or that thing could be substance is motivated by dissatisfaction with other ‘substances’ and perhaps a thought (necessarily incomplete) that this or that thing has ontic or explanatory potential. However, to take this-that thing as substance will then (except in the case of good luck) be a priori commitment. For the same reason, ‘question’ is a thought but I do not register it as a serious thought. It is important to recall and hold in thought, the motive to substance theory. It is certainly not a search for an explanation of complexity and variety in sophistication – although sophistication could turn out to be necessary and therefore cannot be a priori eliminated or required. The motive to substance theory is understanding (and explanation.) What is understanding? It is analysis (vertical analysis is reduction but horizontal analysis is not) in terms some ‘thing’ that is simpler than what is to be understood. We have learnt that simplicity could in the reference or in the concept; and the simplest concept is the one that is sufficient to being but no more – and that is being itself and no more. Perhaps, then, the simplest candidate for substance to the variety of being is being itself: what is there! It could turn out to be otherwise but that is a good starting point. Here analysis begins. Ask: what has being? To begin with, entities have being. What of patterns and laws? They are manifest in being, not outside it; whether they have being or not can be decided later; they cannot reside in a separate (Platonic) universe (even though we may consistently think of them as so residing.) Now experiment with the idea of being. The atomists conceived of dividing being (matter) until, in their view, they reached a finite limit. What if no finite limit is attained? Is that infinitesimal being or absence of being? Regardless, the idea of the absence of being –the void– occurs and the rest follows (in Logic) from investigation (in imagination) of the properties of the void that start with ‘in the void there is no pattern, no form, no law…’

(There is a story that someone in ‘Israel’ over two thousand years ago had an idea that ‘The earth was without form and void’ that was almost at the beginning of a famous scripture)

A motivation to ‘substance theory’ was the motive to deep and simple explanation: uniformity behind the variety, constancy behind change. Instead of substance, Logic finds absence (the void) to lie behind (manifest) being. The void could be considered substance but the point is inessential. Substance, then, e.g. matter or mind, may be considered to be intermediate – between the void and manifest variety

World. Introduction to space, time, phase; substance, process and relationship

Metaphysics of mind

Mind – the general nature of mind, logically abstracted from mind-as-known. The main ideas in this discussion are to be (1) consistent and productive extension of ‘mind’ to the root i.e. mind as relation, (2) that this is not what is commonly called panpsychism, (3) that the key in the extension appears to be the idea that a mental content has essentially to do with (experience of) other –actually or, e.g. in the case of pure expression, potentially– where ‘other’ is not only a distinct (external) other but includes the (represented) content itself, (4) that were it not for the Theory of Being, this provides an interpretation of mind as fundamental but that in this interpretation there is no distinction between mind and matter (similarly extended) and it may equally have been said that ‘being is mind’ and ‘being is matter’ but that the Theory of Being goes deeper and that ‘being is matter’ or ‘being is mind’ may be ‘local substance ontologies’ that fall within the no substance ontology of the Theory of Being

On seeking

Metaphysics of morals

2.1.2        Theory of Objects

Introduction: primary concerns

The two main concerns this section are: dual address of the nature of being and knowing, and clarification of what exists i.e. –as far as possible or at least as far as I may– completing and the variety of objects i.e. defining the classes of existing thing with an emphasis on kinds of thing that are of central concern to sentient beings and, more particularly, to human beings. Here the second concern will be addressed in outline; the sections ‘Cosmology,’ and ‘Human Being’ and the Chapter ‘Journey in Being’ elaborate on the classes of general and of human, social and individual interest

The Role of Clarity and Precision. In addressing these issues, clarity and precision are necessary. It is always good to speak or write as clearly as is truly known. However logical precision is not and should not be the sole concern – as it seems to be in much of analytic philosophy. The Role of Imagination. Freedom of imagination is essential. A general proposition, i.e. one that is intended to be about the world or a large portion of it, that achieves apparent precision by a narrowing of focus is, after all, imprecise. Regarding precision, it is important –at least sometimes useful– to have an estimate or idea of the degree of precision of all thought; estimation makes imprecise thought precise. Less precise but more imaginative thought may achieve validity and preserve depth of significance by allowing play in the images and the meanings of the concepts. The less precise reflections provide possibilities and directions for adventures in being and in logic

Theory of Objects: dual address of the nature of being and knowing

Comment. The following may be sub-headings. Following is a summary of the two sub §§ Dual address of the nature of being and knowing and Being, knowing and their relationship. Combine the §§ according to the outline – note that the sections may have internal summaries and reworking; summarize again; and as appropriate, separate out and or re-combine the special topics such as Form, Dynamic Form, and theory of variety and the special forms taken up; Indeterminism, Individual, Identity and Doubt; Knower and known as object; Being, knowing; Short outline; Summary of Ideas; Long outline; Theory; Theory and fact; Theory, field of concepts, laws and principles; On radical criticism; Metaphysics as universal theory; its possibility; Uses of metaphysics; That any object that is known to exist can be known; Knower and known as object; Being and knowing; Narrative; Uses of ‘theory’ including the colloquial; The sense of ‘theory’ used here; Theory as fact; Everyday reality is theoretical; An example of the theoretical nature of ‘common’ reality; Conceptual objections to theory as fact; Analysis of the idea that external object cannot be known; logical impossibility as preliminary to possible revision; Radical criticism; Radical criticism; Conceptual character of theory; Freedom in concept formation and meaning; Stability of meaning; There is no (guaranteed or algorithmic) method to developing theory; this is necessary to their development; Metaphysics as universal theory; On the possibility of metaphysics; Metaphysics is useful; The ‘uses’ of metaphysics; Metaphysics and specialization; Metaphysics and significance; Metaphysics and experiments in being; The nature of faith and its place and future in the modern world; Metaphysics and morals; Does metaphysics reveal knowledge of the thing-in-itself; Conditions for revelation; Knowledge or concept can be equivalent to the external object when that object exists; Preliminary and necessary dual discussion of ‘existence’ and ‘object; Circumstances in which the external object exists as known; The concept-object

Topic summary (taken from the Introduction.) Theory of Objects; Dual Address of the nature and relationship of Being and Knowing and its importance; make sure theory of identity – general and personal and the individual are included in an appropriate place. Summary of main ideas. Introduction. Whatever exists is or has being; the object is whatever is known – as it is known. The idea of actual and conceptual divides between being and object has been a source of advance in thought –in science and in philosophy– but has also been a source of problem and confusion for the nature, magnitude and existence of the divide are neither clear nor given. A purpose of the dual address is to estimate the relationships between being and object. To be is to have effect; except insofar as having effect is being known, it is not necessary to be known in order to be. For an individual what exists is, effectively what can be known. (This will be shown and its meaning clarified.) Meanings. Object: the object as taken here is not the external object; existence; existence of the object; validity of use of the ‘object’ in its present sense as the concept-object. Knowledge: as knowledge of is a picture or model; the constitution and relationship –if it is relationship– may emerge from discussion. The instruments of knowledge. The psyche is the instrument of knowing; it is a whole – cognition-emotion as a unit; cognition is a whole – perception-conception as a unit. On knowing: faithfulness and identity; these two concepts of veracity are often conflated but are distinct; and the conflation results in the confusion. A confusion is as follows. While, in the typical picture of the nature of knowledge, identity is logically impossible, while faithfulness is at most contingently impossible; however, as a result of the conflation, faithfulness may also be taken to be logically impossible. Conditions for faithfulness may be always satisfied either (a) in a rough sense in which the only lack of faithfulness is what is constitutive of the filter-construct-projection of the psyche whose limits appear to be contingent and allow the possibility of perfection and (b) perfect faithfulness e.g. reason founded on self-evident facts e.g. that there is being; in this case the faithfulness depends on e.g. the level of abstraction. Conditions for Identity. Identity is not logically (constitutively) possible when knowledge is taken in its usual sense as knowledge of the object. Identity appears to be possible when the object is re-interpreted as knower, known and the relationship; in this case the meaning of knowledge or knowing is changed but the change is appropriate and useful at the depth where knowing and action are not separated and inseparable; it is also useful in placing in context the other meaning of knowing in which knowledge is (more) precise but less extensive – and, therefore, which is in some (clear) ways more useful and in other ways less

Topic. Dual address of the nature of being and knowing i.e. of the associated problems – ‘What exists?’ or ‘What has being?’ and ‘How are existing entities known?’ enhanced, perhaps, by the question ‘How or to what degree can we be certain that we know what we seem to know?’ The concept-object as object provides an approach to the dual solution; it replaces the external object by the concept object and one of the goals of the development is to see what degrees of justification there are to this replacement; it should be found that there is a realm of pure or general metaphysical knowledge where the replacement is absolutely justified. (The pre-enlightenment focus on being –naïve metaphysics– and, especially, the post-enlightenment focus on knowledge –on epistemology as central and as the status of metaphysics– are both impoverished. Epistemology as primary is especially impoverishing and limiting on the ‘human journey’ and realizations – despite the immense ‘material’ power that results from this view.) The problem of being is ‘What has being?’ which appears to entail the question ‘How is this known?’ Since the enlightenment, the second question has been considered to fundamental and primary to the first. The Inspiration is Plato; Kant, adaptation of his ideas – the concept-object; and Wittgenstein. The argument here is that the Noumenon or thing-in-itself is known via the concept-object. However, concept-object is not ‘thing-in-itself.’ This, in turn, asks of the nature of the thing – is not knowing more deserving of thinghood than thing-in-itself i.e. is not knowing the thing which is the thing-in-itself. But then I (perhaps) do not know knowing (the logical gap between subject and object raises its curly head.) In the extreme abstraction, the theory of being shows the equivalence even though not necessarily the identity of object and concept-object. The theory of symbols (e.g. quantum theory) suggests the equivalence in the detailed case in this universe – what is the conceptual relevance of this point? There may be an approach to this question in the bound – free character of (human) being and knowing; given as we are in the immediate there is possibility (and potential) for realizing the ultimate (a result of the theory of being though I do not want to forget the claims of the mystics… it is not being said that the this is immediate, easy, or possible by an act of intelligence or will though the question ‘What is intelligence?’ arises; and note how concepts stand or fall together which requires simultaneous analysis which in practical terms means patience – no headlong rush into either imagination or criticism or any assumption that the meanings and natures of imagination or criticism are immediately known. The forgoing thought may be corrected; the headlong rush may be useful provided it does not stop there.) Meinongian extension: extension of the concept-object. Meinong’s theory of objects included because it extends the concept of being to make it analytically or algebraically complete and because it improves the understanding of abstract objects such as forms, universals, propositions (facts,) and other illocutions (and…) as objects – here or in the earlier section ‘Being.’ The Variety of Objects. Form. While the theory of being provides foundation of being in the void there remains a need to found the variety of being and the kinds of being. One solution is the theory of substance but the theory of being has shown this to be an inadequate; substance will be seen to be inferior to form. What is form? The concept of form: the origin of the idea of form is in that of near symmetric, relatively stable becoming or, alternatively, in the idea of mutual adaptation. Form is adequate to a theory of variety; form is adequate, substance is not. Kinds of form. There are absolutely stable forms but normal forms are relatively stable and dynamic. Forms do not reside in a separate universe or world. Form and object. Forms are objects or partial objects. Multiple objects partake of a single form. Dynamic form; examples of dynamic form. Real objects are or partake of dynamic form; causation or quasi-causation, objecthood or quasi-objecthood, space-time are dynamic forms. Indeterminism and formlessness; indeterminism may be metaphorically called formless form that contains –in its varieties– all forms. A variety of forms. Recurrence is a form. Identity, individual and world are forms; a journey is a transformation of individual-world. Merging of identities in a higher identity constitutes a form; Brahman is form (and formlessness which, algebraically, is a form.) Are annihilation, the void, being, universe forms? Should logos be conceived as the collection of all forms? Are the laws of nature –of this cosmological system– forms? Are individual-world, journey forms? Doubt, modes of knowing. The question of ‘mode of knowledge’ is pertinent to the question of being and knowing; and, does appending doubt to a proposition make the proposition true (yes, of course but what is not trivial is that doubtful propositions may be useful and even more so than undoubted ones.) The Nature of Knowledge: What is an Object? Further elaboration of the object, both practical and necessary, is made possible by reflection on the concept of knowledge. It may be asked, ‘What is knowing?’ Immediately the question arises ‘How do I know that some specification of knowledge is correct?’ After all there is no head examiner with answer in hand. This is a potential problem for all concepts and conceptual systems; and one approach to answering it –the knowledge based approach– is to examine the consistency and success of the conceptual system. Another approach is to question the function of what purports to be knowledge; to ask what uses there may be for what appear to be knowledge claims. One asks the question ‘Is the function of knowing to know?’ The seeming paradox is resolved by rewriting the question ‘When I feel that I know some object, is it the function of that ‘knowing’ to satisfy some concept of what it is to know?’ Or may the function be group bonding, enabling of action. Such concerns are taken up in further detail in the section ‘Faith.’ Note that the distinctions in question do not have to do with the distinction ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that;’ in this discussion the focus is ‘knowing that.’ There is a level, e.g. at which the feeling of knowing remains ever in degrees of contact with action and has no further foundation; by restriction is a level of knowledge as truth; and there are intermediate levels; a higher truth is arrived at by seeing all levels as they are. These concerns are taken up later in ‘Faith’ and below under ‘Action,’ next. Action. The nature of action – motion is not action unless conditioned by pre or co-meditation. Metaphysics of action; action as an object. Metaphysics and action; extended concept of metaphysics as being engaged with creation and application of choice and doing

Topic; to be combined with ‘Dual address…’ above. Being, knowing and their relationship. 4 Short outline and Summary of Ideas. See the ‘Introduction.’ 4 Long outline. Theory1 and sense of theory used here. Theory and fact – no sharp distinction; facts are patterns whose patterning is suppressed in or by perception, a theory is a patterns perceived as such; theory in the sense used here includes ‘mere fact;’ theory enables prediction and understanding, has wide application and is essential to flexibility and growth in knowledge; common, scientific and philosophical examples. Theory, field of concepts, laws and principles, freedom and necessity (stability) in meaning of concepts, growth of theory, possibility of error and possibility for actual knowledge have the same origin (analogy or identity with origin of good and evil.) On radical criticism: radical criticism is useful even though absurd. Metaphysics as universal theory; its possibility. Uses of metaphysicspractical, moral and conceptual– and its necessity to growth of being and understanding, faith, metaphysics and morals, nature of knowledge of things – of the world. That any object that is known to exist can be known; necessary dual discussion of existence and object; meaning of the claim that knowability and existence are identical; conditions for knowability or existence; tautological aspect; that the significance of the assertion is brought out in examples; for what kinds of object can it be said that they are as known; practical and ‘perfect’ examples – perfect cognition (the real is the good,) practical correspondence between idea and object; gifts of perfect knowledge and morals; the Theory of Being: concepts based in self-evident truth (there is being;) the concept-object or idea as object; knower and known as object; relations among the two ideas of knowing; institution of knowledge vs. truth. The concept-object. Knower and known as object. 4 Being and knowing or what there is, what may be known of it and of the relationship between knowledge and being. Narrative. Uses of ‘theory’ including the colloquial. The word ‘theory’ has a number of uses; in some uses its sense is close to that of ad hoc explanation or hypothesis and it is when it is used in this way that the phrases it’s only a theory or it’s a mere theory arise. The sense of ‘theory’ used here: theory as fact; an example. In other senses a theory may be established beyond any reasonable doubt. An example is the scientific theory called Newtonian Mechanics. It is true of course that as a theory of the ultimate nature of matter, Newtonian Mechanics has been replaced by the quantum theory of matter and forces and by relativistic mechanics. However, for many purposes –for objects that are not too small and so on– Newtonian Mechanics is extremely accurate and therefore continues to be useful. It may be said that there is a ‘range of phenomena or being’ for which Newtonian Mechanics is established as a fact; or that the theory captures the essence of a range of being. (It is not a concern that even in this range the theory is only an excellent approximation; a concept of knowledge that invariably required exactness would be useless because it would entail that we know very little of what is effectively known. It is also easy –in principle– to render the theory exact over an appropriate range of phenomena by specifying that the theory shall be the satisfaction of the laws of the theory to within certain limits.) In this essay this will (usually) be the sense in which ‘theory’ is used. Everyday reality is theoretical; an example. It may be pointed out that what we call day to day reality and regard (when not being reflective) as bedrock fact contains much that is actually of a theoretical nature. An example of the theoretical nature of ‘common’ reality: The solidity of material objects; although the reasoning that follows is apparent, the idea illustrated –that theory is not non-factual and is, further, superior to mere fact in terms of understanding variety of behavior– is general. (In this example, the ‘theory’ will be qualitative; quantitative theory permits understanding and prediction of behavior.) ‘Solid’ objects are known from atomic theory to be mostly empty space. A more sophisticated view is that if the forces of interaction among atoms are admitted into consideration then what we call a solid may truly be regarded as solid –it is the forces that account for the behavior as a solid and these forces fill the entire space of the solid; however it remains true that solids do behave as empty for some purposes: this accounts for the transparency of glass. Yet there is a range of phenomena for which a seeming solid is a solid. For this range of behavior the solidity is both fact –throw a stone in a glass house– and theory and while fact and theory have identity within the range, it is theory that is extensible beyond the range; atomism enables us to understand at a simple level how ‘quanta of light’ might pass through some otherwise solid objects. ‘Theory’ may be seen as the apprehension of pattern; and facts are patterns that are not analyzed… Conceptual objections to theory as fact. At this point in the discussion of ‘theory,’ conceptual objections may arise; these objections are distinct from the issue of exactness discussed earlier. Consider the initially reasonable claim the assertion that the external object cannot be known. Analysis of the idea that external object cannot be known; logical impossibility as preliminary to possible revision. Although, as discussed so far, the claim is marked by apparent necessity it will be revised below in a more careful dual consideration of the nature of knowledge and object. One objection is, simply, that a theory is a system of ideas and that the subject of the theory is not truly known-in-itself – and would not be truly known even if the theory were perfectly precise over all ranges of phenomena. However, what would the nature of such knowledge be? It would be to require the knowledge, concept or idea be the external object (‘external’ does not mean physically outside the knower but refers to the distinction between knowledge and the object of knowledge.) I.e. to know the external object-in-itself would be to be the external object; however, it is not clear that this is (or should be) knowledge at all. In any case the requirement would mean that, in general, there could be no knowledge at all. The most that can be hoped for is that the concept or idea be identical or equivalent –in some sense– to the external object. This is the central idea that may be the initial point for further analysis and may relieve thought of the burden of radical criticism. I will take up this thread of thought below and, with greater care and detail in the section ‘Theory of Objects’ of the next chapter… On radical criticism. A radical criticism is one that asserts that knowledge is impossible. I refer to radical criticism here to show the importance of the concept of knowledge. Do we have knowledge? The common sense view takes knowledge for granted even though knowledge is sometimes mistaken (the point that a cognitive apparatus capable of perfect knowledge would likely be too rigid to encounter new knowledge is made a number of times here.) Perhaps then the thought that knowledge is impossible is based on a concept of knowledge that is unrealistic or based on idealistic but unreflective expectation. It is therefore essential to analyze the concept of knowledge with careful attention to its actual –and potential– application and use; such an analysis is undertaken in what follows. Criticism, even or especially radical criticism, remains useful; there is the challenge to refine our thought; and in the assertion that no knowledge is possible according to certain exacting standards of the concept of knowledge and rigor in thought there is identified the consideration of such knowledge and standards of thought; and even though it may be concluded by the critic or in a critical age that no knowledge is possible –or that the limits of knowledge are severe– the critic places before us that assertion for contemplation. The response to the challenge in what follows is twofold; it is first practical and this response will identify a practical notion of knowledge in which knowledge is possible and a criterion is identified; there is also a response according to the exacting standards of criticism in which regions of indubitable knowledge are identified; finally the practical and the ideal responses are combined into a common criterion. Conceptual character of theory. A theory is a system of articulated and interacting concepts used to explain and predict behavior within a range of phenomena. The interactions among the concepts include mutual definition and these may be seen as defining the context or kind of system or objects under study; additionally there relations such as laws and principles that are contingent upon observation that specify the behavior or possible structures of the underlying objects; the distinction between the two kinds of relation is not absolute. Freedom in concept formation and meaning. The theory is not identical to its formulation; field of concepts. Because it is the theory itself –not the concepts– that is the vehicle of comprehension and prediction there may be alternate systems of concepts that result in what is, effectively, the same theory; when such systems are truly equivalent it may be questioned whether the concepts are truly different. Even when the systems are equivalent they may be different in intuitive clarity, ease of use; and one system may be a better basis for the ‘growth’ of theory in adapting to new information (experiment) that contradicts the old theory. The growth of theories. Theories grow –often what is considered to be a revolution or a replacement of an old theory may also be seen as an outgrowth of the older one– to subsume more inclusive ranges of phenomena; therefore the senses of the concepts –and the objects to which they refer– may change; new concepts may be introduced (there is a sense in which introducing new concepts and changing the meanings of concepts is not distinct: a new concept may be seen as a change in the null concept that may be regarded as being part of any theory without changing it.) The issue of whether theories grow as a result of an extension of concepts –of which introduction of new concepts may be seen as a special case– or whether they are replaced by new and different theories in ‘revolutions’ is significant in the understanding of the nature of theory. In light of what has just been said, ‘continuity’ and ‘revolution’ are not contradictory; we may say that the particle centered Newtonian Mechanics grew by incorporation with wave phenomena into quantum theory while the revolutionary character lies in the radical change in understanding the nature of matter and the reinterpretation of the concepts. These have been two kinds of freedom in the development and use of concepts; another freedom occurs in relation to incomplete knowledge. Incomplete knowledge. In everyday affairs or in groping toward a new theory –e.g. when an older one is found to be inadequate with regard to new experimental phenomena– there is a further freedom in the specification of concepts that arises because there need not be a tight fit between theory and phenomena; this freedom is necessary –in principle because we are groping toward truth– and practically because, the freedom allows adjustment of the concepts to match the range of phenomena including the new experiments. Stability of meaning. The assertion, ‘you can define x anyway you want to,’ where x is some term, occurs occasionally in conversation. A response might be ‘yes you can but not if you want to think coherently or be understood.’ Although there is some freedom in the meaning of the terms that we use there are restraints on the freedom. If it is assumed that a current system of ideas has some validity then it is reasonable to expect that a new or more comprehensive system will have points of contact with the old. The second restraint is practical – communication requires continuity of meaning. These restraints are not necessary even though they sometimes seem to be so; there may be points in theory or in history when we want to make a break with the past; or a break may be forced upon us. There is no (guaranteed or algorithmic) method to developing theory; this is necessary to their development. Although the process of establishing theories seems arbitrary or ad hoc, given that we do not know or understand the entire range of phenomena –especially the new experimental results– there could no linear or algorithmic way of developing a theory. What seems arbitrary from one point of view –the view in which we may expect theories to be rigorously and linearly established– is a blessing from another vantage point: it is the ‘arbitrary’ element of play and inventiveness in growth of concepts that allows and is –or seems to be– necessary for the growth of theories in pushing forward the boundary of knowledge… Metaphysics as universal theory. A metaphysics1 is a kind of theory whose intent is to comprehend the entire universe. On the possibility of metaphysics. What has just been said about scientific theories seems to suggest that a metaphysics is not possible because the growth of knowledge may be without end. This suggestion is not valid because the fact that it has not come to an entail does not entail a theory that that there is no end in ‘absolute’ knowledge. However, the removal of this objection does not show that metaphysics is possible. How may it be possible to know the universe? The key is that metaphysics does not provide detailed information about the entire universe but is a theory of some general characteristics of it by way of abstraction. In ‘Foundation’ it will be shown that a metaphysics is possible, not only by arguing that it is, but also by developing one. Metaphysics is useful. A question arises – if metaphysics is as general and abstract as to encompass everything, how can it be useful? The ‘uses’ of metaphysics are practical, conceptual and moral. Here are ways in which metaphysics is useful. Metaphysics and specialization. The first is practical and conceptual: in interacting with more detailed knowledge –facts and theories– both the detailed knowledge and implications and understanding of the metaphysics are enhanced; a complete range of problems of philosophy, various scientific and other disciplines and practical problems are so treated in this essay. Metaphysics and significance. A second use of metaphysics concerns the meaning –in the sense of significance– of our lives or being: in understanding the universe as a whole it may be possible to discover and enhance our place in it; this is one of the goals of the next two chapters. Metaphysics and experiments in being. An example of this kind of use is in the deployment of concepts of growth to experimentally explore the possibilities of being. The nature of faith and its place and future in the modern world. Another example of this kind of use is found in the section ‘Faith’ where an appraisal of the nature of faith finds the case to be neither the dogmatic nor the rational-scientific based destruction of faith; further, in pursuing this appraisal in the light of the metaphysics some aspects of the nature and possibilities of faith are established. (The practical issue of enduring faith despite its expected demise, including fundamentalism, is also addressed as not only a concern of religion but also a practical one of modern politics.) Metaphysics and morals. (My debt here to Iris Murdoch and to Plato should be clear.) Another moral use is that the metaphysics developed here shows a path to ethical understanding and theory in the identification of the real and the good; this idea is developed primarily in the section ‘Human Being’ of ‘Foundation.’ Does metaphysics reveal knowledge of the thing-in-itself – of things as they are? A final and theoretical question regarding metaphysics is the objection raised earlier that even if the behavior of the universe is known or predicted that does not mean that the universe is known. This is an important concern because it questions the possibility of metaphysics and therefore any of its uses. Therefore, an objective of this essay must be to address this issue –in what sense things are or may be said to be known– and the detailed consideration of others that have been raised. Conditions for revelation of the external object i.e. of the thing-in-itself. The discussion to this point suggests, and it will be argued that knowledge or concept can be equivalent to the external object when that object exists. To bring out the meaning of this assertion (to give it clear meaning) it is necessary to say something about the meaning of the word exists and to discuss meanings of the related idea of object. A brief discussion will be adequate here with greater precision and detail taken up in ‘The Theory of Objects.’ Preliminary and necessary dual discussion of ‘existence’ and ‘object.’ I see a mountain and say ‘the mountain exists.’ In this discussion I will assume that I am not dreaming or hallucinating, that there is no illusion, and that the sky is not an immense cinema screen upon which is projected the image of a mountain… However, I know that even when I am seeing without aberration (other than what may be intrinsic to human or animal instruments of perception) what I see is not what is there. Therefore, when I say ‘the mountain exists’ I mean that there is something there in the distance that has some rough correspondence to my idea of it; of course even though the correspondence may be theoretically rough and ready it may be practically useful and, when I am careful as in science, very precise. Thus the mountain does not exist as I see it but rather as something roughly equivalent to what I see. [In common use, the ‘thing’ and the ‘thought’ are not distinguished. It would distract from normal perception to do so. However, when reflecting on being and knowing –knowledge of being– it is necessary to do so; conflation of thing and thought are natural to the normal working of the psyche. However, making the distinction alerts us to the ‘gap’ between idea and thing and so to the possibility –or lack of possibility– of closing the gap. Strictly, the more careful meaning of ‘exist’ is necessary; since the real does not conform to my idea of it, to say that something exists without an idea of it has no content; practically the more careful meaning permits a more careful understanding of being and knowledge of being. (The assumption that assertions without content, e.g. do not refer to anything even though they may seem to so refer, do have content is one source of the paradoxes of logic that arose in both classical and modern philosophy. Lack of careful use of the meaning of ‘exist’ has led, quite recently, to unnecessary confusion and even paradox in analytic philosophy. If the use of ‘exist’ is thought to inhere entirely in the object, it does not mean anything to say, for example, that ‘unicorns do not exist.’ Given the more careful use of ‘exist’ the meaning of ‘unicorns do not exist’ is clear: it means that there is nothing in the universe that corresponds to my idea or mental picture of a unicorn.) There is practical content to the day to day use because the experience of the mountain for different individuals –or for the same individual at different times– is similar; therefore the more careful meaning does not eliminate the normal usefulness and practical necessity of the common meaning. Typically, it is when we approach the limits of common knowledge and understanding that, as we are in the process of seeing, common uses may lead to confusion whose resolution requires us to reflect on and question common meanings. A final reflection on the use of the word ‘exist’ introduced here is that it seems to negate external realism i.e. it seems to make the existence of the world depend on the thinker. This is not the case. The world exists; this use of ‘exist’ simply makes knowledge of the world dependent, in part, on the knower. ] It may seem that it has been said that ‘any object that is known to exist can be known as it is known’ (an apparent tautology) even though the claim is ‘any object that is known to exist can be known as it is’ – a claim with content. The apparent tautology has positive content because of the attunement of cognition to the world; the apparent tautological character of the assertion follows from its necessity – we have become, under the critical paradigm so used to the useful emphasis on the remoteness of knower and known that we have tended to forget their necessary adaptation and, as shall be seen in certain cases, their dovetail; similarly, that an object can be known ‘as it is’ is not to require precision because the what is encountered is defined by cognition; precision is not logically absurd; a priori, the attunement or the knowing is rough and ready; the perfection of any actual cognition, must be demonstrated a posteriori. Discussion now turns to both rough and ready cases (which may be regarded as perfect by recognizing that it is in roughness that there is the opportunity for perfection) and to perfect cases (whose perfection will be demonstrated a posteriori.) Circumstances in which the external object exists as known. (1) The instruments of cognition are perfectly attuned to the world. In the history of ideas there are times when this has seemed to be the case. One such time was the mid eighteenth century when as a result of the immense successes of the sciences (Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics were thought to perfectly describe space, time and the evolution of the universe; and perfection in thought was taken to have been achieved in logic) the forms of cognition (intuition in the case of perception and logic in the case of thought) were seen to be the forms of the world. It was then natural to think that, perhaps, human perception and thought may capture the essence of the universe. Similar claims were made in a number of realms but as is well known these thoughts of perfection were negated by the subsequent developments in logic, in mathematics, in the sciences, and by human behavior itself. One attitude to the loss of confidence in human knowledge and human moral character has been nihilism. However, it may be said that humankind –especially in Europe– had built up a vain and inaccurate picture of itself and the fall can be seen as a return to promise (perfection.) If I do not know perfectly, I may have the ability know better. Because of my ignorance, the real is an improvement upon my conception of the good; i.e. ‘the real is the good.’ (2) The requirement of exact correspondence or equivalence is given up. Equivalently, instead of thinking of concepts and theories being specified with ‘mathematical precision’ think of them as specified to within limits. This is more or less the manner in which the world is known; and how we navigate and live in the world. In this sense, I can say that the mountain exists and that it is as I know it. I.e. by admitting imprecision or doubt there is a return to objectivity. If the concept is perfectly equivalent to the external object then knowledge may be said to be perfect. In general this is not and cannot be the case; and this is a good thing for such perfect knowledge would be the product of artificial circumstances; the instruments by which such knowledge came about would not be adaptable instruments capable of discovery. That is by admitting experiment –narrowing the gap between idea and world by reflection and acting on reflection– into the instruments of cognition, they may be seen as having perfect attunement. In the moral case perfection would be in the admission of ‘sin’ or simple guilt and true intent and action toward overcoming (moral self-flagellation i.e. consuming guilt is not necessary even though it may be present and difficult to avoid.) (3) There may be apparent gifts of perfect and natural knowledge; and the corresponding moral case. (4) When, as in the ‘Theory of Being,’ a consistent system of concepts is based in certain truth e.g. there is being. (If there were not being, these words would not be written or read. It might be said that that it is a mere illusion that the words are being read; however, in the absence of being there would not even be mere illusion or illusion of illusion…) Thus the core of the metaphysics developed here is founded on one initial fact: there is being. It might seem that such a metaphysics might yield nothing but it turns out to be possible from the one fact and some simple concepts to make some very general conclusions (The Theory of Being) about the universe (all being.) Further manifold and extensive implications (uses) of the metaphysics follow as outlined earlier and follow, in outline, the contents of the following chapters. It is important to remember that the detailed applications are not consequences of the Theory of Being itself but of its combination with specific regions of knowledge or activity; the consequences are not limited to ‘practical application’ but also include improved greater breadth and depth of the regions or disciplines; although such applications are not uniform among the regions I have attempted to treat a sample that is representative of the spectrum. Regarding application revelation continues and for this reason and from inspection it seems that the potential for application and refinement of the regions and of the core theory is remote from exhaustion. A tentative quantum theory of perfect knowledge of being. Another potential example lies in the work of Roland Omnès and others that suggests that if quantum theory is a complete theory of the universe then it may be used as the basis of perfect natural knowledge. However it appears from the ‘Theory of Being’ that quantum theory as currently understood cannot be a complete theory of the universe; further, the quantum theory may be seen as fitting into the framework of the ‘Theory of Being’ and this may show a direction in which a more detailed system of natural and perfect knowledge may be developed… I now look at another but equivalent way of regarding the object. The concept-object. In the discussion so far I have been concerned with the equivalence between the concept and the external object. Because of the difficulty in achieving equivalence between concept and external object, some thinkers have replaced the idea of external object by the concept as object or concept-object. In that case we can say that there is justification in thinking of the concept-object as object as when the instruments of cognition are in perfect attunement to the world or when the idea of perfect equivalence is replaced for sufficient equivalence; and that this is in many areas an improvement over perfection… Now consider a broadening of the idea of concept-object. While the concept-object shifts the focus it does not alter the essence of the idea of knowledge and that knowledge is applicable – even if not always applied or intended for application. I now consider an alternative way of looking at knowledge. Knower and known as object. Another way of thinking of the external object as object is to think of an item of knowledge as the object that encompasses knower, known and their relationship; this is quite different in intent from the previous ideas in which the purpose was to focus on the question of objectivity; in this approach the question of objectivity is avoided. This is in some ways the most fundamental conception of knowledge because at the depth of being there is no getting outside of knowing to know that knowing is valid. I.e. , the question of objectivity is avoided when it is impossible and therefore undesirable (the location and character –sharp or diffuse– of any boundary between objectivity and its impossibility are not definitely known so existence of a boundary does not substitute for analysis of objectivity.) In this approach or, rather, in this mode ‘knowing’ and ‘acting’ remain in interaction; knowing has not become an independent activity justified by reason and experiment. The two ideas of knowledge are not distinct. Knowledge as an independent institution remains –at least potentially– in relation with the world and lies within and with basis in a broader region where knowing and acting are not and –at the far reaches– cannot be separated. I.e. it may be inevitable that institutionalized knowledge –experts, universities and so on– and established ways of life should come about and be regarded as if necessary in content and independent of the base. However, such particular states cannot be final and not for ideal but for practical reasons; and any path that starts in what is established will benefit from ideal or real and practical truth

The theory of being is clearly revelatory and revolutionary for the understanding of the entire range of being


Object and symbol (sign…) Ideal and external object (these have been considered.) The concept (note concept4 below.) Knowledge and the Gettier problem; knowledge and belief; note that knowledge, belief and the Gettier problem are now discussed below

The rise and fall of epistemology

Weave this into ‘Theory of Objects’

Identity and the principle of indiscernibles

There is no reason in logic that for two distinct objects, there must be at least one ‘property’ that is different. This can be true only in a normal case

Metaphysics as an object

The possibility of metaphysics2. Review the argument for possibility and (therefore) actuality. Does it make sense to talk of ‘metaphysics as an object?’ If so, this is a perspective on the possibility of metaphysics is no reason in logic that for two distinct objects, there must be at least one ‘property’ that is different. This can be true only in a normal case

Further objects – process, relationship, property, universal, morals…

Further possible objects: process – as a case of action rather than vice-versa, relationship, property, universal; morals. Properties as universals – an argument against is based in (1) the idea of mind as ephemeral – an idea that plagues and distorts much thought on mind and (2) the idea that properties inhere only in the external object. To argue against this and for properties as universals consider redness and mass; these two examples will sufficiently illustrate the points to be made. Redness, depending on the point of view has the meanings (a) characteristic of an external object to reflect ‘red’ light when illuminated with white light, (b) characteristic of light of a certain wavelength, or (c) neither of these since the experience of redness does not inhere in them but in the experience and therefore redness is the characteristic of certain visual experience – but experience seems immaterial and ephemeral. However it is not so. There is a definite change in the individual having the experience; further the ability of an individual to experience red is a definite object (part) within the individual. ‘Redness’ may then be thought of as an actual (I avoid the term ‘material’) relationship between an actual object and an actual individual (kind of object.) I.e. redness is itself a particular that satisfies a universal form… Mass, however, is surely a property pure and simple as inherent in the actual (in this case physical) object! Is it? How is mass manifest or determined; it is manifest in the response to a force which (in classical physics) is a relationship with other actual objects (in post Newtonian physics, force has its own existence and a very simple example of this is that (physical) objects thought of as mere collections of atoms are mostly empty but when the binding forces are taken into account are solid.) Mass then can be seen as a relation between an actual object and all other actual objects (here ‘can be seen as’ means that the idea of mass as relation can be built into a framework that is superior to the mass as mere property point of view. These examples show the being of properties as objects that are instances of forms (universals.) The form of redness of perception will not have a precise match to the form of redness of the external object. A precise match (whatever the sense of that might be) would require a rigidity of ‘subject’ that would allow no evolution – in the case of conception, it would allow no creative adaptation of the organism to new situations and environments; and, further, such precision would have no function

Attributes and properties

Are there attributes? Infinitely many attributes theory of Spinoza (discussion in Journey in Being - 2005.html)


Truth – factual, theoretical and higher… and the good; beauty; love – the idea here and perhaps later together the real and the good under ethics; certainty, theory1, science1, concept4slack as flexibility in meaning i.e. sense and reference whose ultimate source is ‘incompleteness’ of being and whose immediate source is that meaning is not only discovered but also created and this therefore includes some freedom of interplay in a conceptual system

Topics. Truth: the concept of truth – a general notion of truth is based in the idea that a mental content is about something in the world (which includes the mental content itself.) Truth as correspondence. If the content (1) regards an idea of some particular state of affairs and (2) carries with it an idea that the state obtains, then (1) the net content is a ‘proposition’ and (2) the proposition is true if the state of affairs does indeed obtain. Thus a general notion of truth is that it has to do with correspondence as just described. ‘Theories’ of truth. There are well known problems with the idea of truth as correspondence. (One of the problems with such problems is that they are often stated and left to stand without completion or resolution of the analysis while the analyst proceeds to search for solutions. This is a general problem of some analytical studies and this idea is elaborated in the discussion of ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ in the next chapter. This said, I will note some problems with correspondence. The essential problem with ‘correspondence’ is that, an assertion that some state carries with it no guarantee that the state obtains. An amusing example concerns the idea of ‘negative’ facts. Does the truth of ‘the President is not bald’ depend on correspondence to a negative fact or lack of correspondence to any positive facts? It may appear that to take this kind of example seriously is to regard linguistic constructions as a priori and literally defining states instead of approaching such constructions on a case by case basis. Nonetheless the general concern with truth in the case that truth is believed to hold remains valid. At the same time to abandon the idea of truth as correspondence would be to accept a major absurdity to accommodate a minor one. It is at this point that a concern with alternate ‘theories’ of truth may begin.) There are frequently said to be five major theories of truth. They are the correspondence theory and the coherence, pragmatic, redundancy and semantic theories. The initial position adopted here is that the correspondence ‘theory’ defines the meaning of truth while the other ‘theories’ provide (aspects of) accounts of justification or elaboration of the nature of truth. The role of the ‘alternate’ theories. This topic is to be developed, perhaps along the lines of earlier versions of this essay. It is significant to observe that a search for alternates is not the only motive for the alternative theories; thus a pragmatist notion of truth may be an element of a comprehensive pragmatist approach to understanding. Truth and ethics or truth and value. The notion established above is that there is a major absurdity, at least on the face of things, to abandoning the idea of truth as correspondence i.e. of knowledge of the world being about the world. However, having argued the point it is precisely this that I wish to question here. The idea to be discussed is taken up in greater detail in what follows in the discussions of ‘Faith.’ Suppose that there is a belief that there are no apparent reasons to hold as false and that there may be some partial reasons to hold as true; further suppose that holding the belief as true is of some intrinsic value or may result in some significant outcome. May the belief in question be regarded as true? A first response may be to say that it may be proper to act as though the belief is true but not to hold it as true. However, what if holding it as true is, as a result of conviction, required for the value or outcome? What if the conviction is not necessary but significantly increases likelihood of the outcome? The response may be ‘yes hold it as true, even represent it as true but it remains true that it is not known to be true.’ Now, however, it is valid to raise the question of the nature of truth (and consequently of knowledge.) We may have learnt in our development that truth is truth i.e. that truth is correspondence to the world; this may have been ingrained into psyche and even neural networks. Does this make it the case that truth is in fact truth by correspondence? What fact – or may it be a choice? There is a general though not universal background notion that the production of knowledge and its recording for future use is the best general strategy for a healthy future. This however is not at all clearly true; should we then cling it as a belief? If so why? To do so would be to say that  It must be that it is a (revisable) value; and that the alternative value of faith also has value. At rock bottom there is no getting outside the system to evaluate and therefore the choices in question are, if taken as ultimate, no more than choices. Therefore, the idea that something may be held as true when there are only good reasons to think of it as true is not a pragmatism but a realism in that, although there are realms where truth appears to be accompanied by necessary reasons, in general necessary reasons or even good reasons may be unavailable but yet action may be necessary or action may be productive of much greater value than inaction. This shows that the nature of truth may be determined by value. I therefore call this the ethical conception of truth which is not alien to but includes the correspondence conception

Is there a place for Philosophy of Love

…might it not just complicate what is a basic human emotion? It may (1) actually simplify it since ‘ordinary’ use may suffer from confusion and ‘over-connotation,’ (2) and, especially with psychology, clarify it and remove unnecessary mystification

Attitude, knowledge, belief, faith, and doubt. Metaphysics and faith

The uses of these terms so varied over history and culture and within this culture that a complete discussion of their meanings would be extensive; however an elaboration is not necessary to the present purposes. The goal with regard to meaning is to specify a system of meanings that covers the objectives of universality and that straddles the uses of ‘knowledge.’ These uses include the possibility of complete knowledge at least in certain aspects; and needs and imperatives (or desire) to live or act in absence of complete and certain knowledge. The latter may require consideration of areas of being and knowing that are cordoned off because they are suspect within a prevailing world view. Regarding selection of meanings, the discussion of ordinary language analysis in ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ in the next chapter may be useful. The meanings and uses of the words, especially belief and faith, overlap. However, it is important here to have clarity of meaning and so I will separate out the families of meaning and make appropriate assignments of meaning. In any such assignment the following considerations are significant. First, meaning should have continuity with the tradition; this is necessary for discussion to be possible; however, this is not an absolute principle and abrupt changes of meanings of particular words may occur within continuity of a language as a whole. Second, meaning may change or new meanings and words introduced in the use of meaning as an instrument (though not the sole instrument) of discovery. Attitude. An attitude is a state of mind in which content is about something in the world (which includes things, attitudes, contents…) Examples of attitudes are assertorial content (propositional attitudes,) beliefs and desires. It is often thought that matter is incapable of ‘attitude’ and this is one basis of various positions in the 20th / 21st century philosophy of mind that would otherwise be regarded as absurd e.g. eliminativism, the idea that there is no such thing as mind or mental content; epiphenomenalism, the idea that mind is like the ‘foam on a wave that is carried along for the ride’ but has no causal influence in the world. In discussing mind in ‘Theory of Being’ it was shown that the idea that matter is incapable of attitude is based on an insufficient analysis of matter (appeal to quantum theory was not necessary.) Knowledge. The concept of knowledge has been introduced above. The concept itself does not include conditions of validity or (if verification is not possible) conditions of acceptance. The idea of conditions is suggested by doubt and some need for validity, perhaps, certainty. Any requirement of certainty requires that all knowledge may be doubted which questions the existence of knowledge at all. These concerns were addressed where two mutually consistent points of view were elaborated (1) faithful correspondence to the world is possible under certain conditions and (2) rough correspondence, especially when taken to be in-process, is universally possible; it was also noted that correspondence is a special case that arises out of being as being; the meaning of this latter assertion has been elaborated. A clear logical consequence of the foregoing is that, except in the case of systematic doubt as an approach to understanding, potential knowledge is associated with degrees of uncertainty or doubt include zero doubt (no doubt) as a special case. It is therefore reasonable to distinguish the state of knowledge with knowledge. One aspect of the state of knowledge may be called ‘belief.’ Belief. Belief is an attitude toward a possible state of affairs that is held when there are reasons, perhaps less than certain, indicating that the state of affairs obtains but no reasons or weak reasons that indicate that it does not. Belief may or may not imply firm conviction or certitude. Belief becomes knowledge only when the truth of what is held becomes evident to the believer. Belief in something is different from belief that a proposition is true. Knowledge again. It is then possible to say that knowledge is belief in the presence of sufficient verification or lack of counter-verification (despite all attempts thus far; verification is often thought to be impossible for a being with finite powers of observation in an infinite universe but it is not given that all aspects of the universe are infinite.) A time honored concept of knowledge is the famous idea from Plato that knowledge is ‘justified true belief.’ There is an entire literature (the Gettier problem) that purports to show that there are cases of justified true belief that are not knowledge. Gettier problem. The following discussion may be elaborated. The Gettier problem may be regarded as a false lead for the following reasons. All the purported examples of ‘justified true belief’ reveal a notion of justification in which it is possible for something to be justified but still not true. Thus the examples concern provisional and not absolute justification. It may be argued against this that all justification is provisional. Even if this is true, there still remain degrees of justification some more provisional than others. In all Gettier cases the belief has provisional justification that could be improved upon and, therefore, even by relative standards is not true justification. In the case of scientific theories we have learnt to regard them, when taken as theories about the entire universe, to be provisional and therefore justified to some degree but not finally justified (except if or when final justification may be shown to obtain.) In other words, knowledge as ‘justified true belief’ is a pragmatic or relative approach to the question of criteria (it is not a conception of knowledge at all) and only becomes absolute if justification is regarded as provisional and ongoing or when the object of study is susceptible of finite descriptions. Knowledge once again. The idea of knowledge as justified true belief is an approach to criteria in the case that knowledge is correspondence. In general, it provides only a provisional approach. Is it possible, except in cases that the universe is finite in some aspect (e.g. by looking only at very general characteristics,) to give an absolute approach? One could say that knowledge is belief that is known to be true. This is, of course, an implicit specification and means by which belief is ‘known to be true’ would emerge in the analysis of specific (e.g. paradigmatic) cases and, unless the universe is special (finite) in nature or concern regards finite aspects of the universe (this case is not at all empty,) the means must always be provisional. The Gettier analyses do not teach us this but they do reinforce it. Perhaps ‘justified true belief’ may be rescued e.g. by tinkering with the ideas of justification, truth, belief and knowledge but except tradition there do not appear to be any clear reasons for this and the argument here has given reasons against it. Superposition of belief. It is not in the nature of knowledge to know that ‘it is raining’ and ‘it is not raining.’ (It is assumed that the reference is to the same time and place and that there is no problem of distinguishing rain from its absence.) However, suppose you have just come in from the rain and have entered a building where you are cut off from the elements. Immediately on entry you still know that it is raining (if the rain was extremely heavy it should take some time to stop.) As time goes on your certainty goes down. You may express your lack of certainty by saying ‘it was raining heavily ten minutes ago so it is likely that it is still raining.’ One way of saying this is that your belief state is a combination of ‘it is raining’ and ‘it is not raining.’ This idea of ‘superposition of belief’ is currently experimental, one that I wish to investigate (except if explicitly stated, conclusions in this essay are not dependent on the idea.)  Faith. Faith has one connotation as an attitude towards states of affairs. What kind of attitude or attitudes? Faith is similar to belief; however the following differences characterize faith. When the reasons or evidence are less than certain, belief is usually less than firm but faith may be held as certain. Whereas weak reasons for doubt will usually result in belief being less than certain, faith may be firm even in the presence of weak reasons for disbelief. However, faith cannot be held in the presence of strong reasons for disbelief i.e. logical impossibility. The absurdity that may surround faith results from contradiction of ‘common knowledge.’ Thus to rise from the dead is not (logically) impossible but contradicts common experience regarding the processes of life and death and the emotional experience of the finality of death. Although not all faith regards what may be commonly regarded to be absurd, religious faith often appears to contradict reason. Why should this be so? Since such faith lies on the boundary of common knowledge, there would not be much point to faith in common sense items of knowledge or belief. The power (and potential failure) of faith is a result of its being about boundary or transcendent realms. ‘Rising from the dead’ may be taken literally or as pointing to common ignorance about the nature of death; and even the literal case may point to this common ignorance. For practical reasons, certain kinds of ‘authority’ are accorded trust and much of what is believed or taken to be knowledge is based in such authority. In the modern world, however, authority is not regarded as a primary reason for belief. Authority may be a primary reason for some faith. Common and special faith. It will be useful to distinguish two species of faith – common and extraordinary or special faith. There is doubt about common knowledge. However to live in perpetual doubt of the stability of being, of night and day is neurotic. It is an aspect of common faith that an individual does not perpetually harbor such doubt. A good reason for doubt regarding common knowledge is that it generally concerns normal behavior of a finite (‘known’) world within an infinite universe. The infinite variety of the universe may intrude on the (relatively) finite variety of this world. However, we live in this world and common faith is adaptation to this world. Common faith includes but goes beyond the (Kantian) intuition of the senses to the normal cognitive constructions that elaborate upon experience within the intuition. Common faith is faith in reasonable things; special faith is faith that the universe is greater than it appears in common knowledge or common faith. Faith and action. There is an alternative approach to understanding faith in which the fact that it is an attitude is not central. There are domains of action where certain knowledge is lacking but where action is thought to be necessary or significant or valuable – materially or otherwise. In such cases the individual may have faith. Why, however, should the individual not simply make a hypothesis and act accordingly? Perhaps because conviction produces more effective action. It may be the case then that faith provides an advantage in survival. It is then possible to see why individuals have a propensity toward faith (the strength of any such propensity relative to all propensities would vary among individuals.) Another, related, natural human propensity may be to base faith (and belief) on the accounts of others (whose extreme form is appeal to mere authority.) In combination (perhaps the two can be seen as aspects of a unity) these two propensities have the possibility of ‘abuse’ – the subjugation of attitudes by e.g. dogma. The boundary between ‘function’ and ‘abuse’ is not clear and there may be overlap; however some cases of ‘abuse’ may be clear. Instead of the survival function of faith being the source of the propensity, the relation between the charismatic individual and others may lead to coherent group function and so to survival (an explanation of origins is not of itself the actual origin.) In the ‘abusive’ case, it is the very absurdity that is, again, a source of persuasive power. I can hardly have any power of you in virtue of having ‘persuaded’ you to ‘believe’ in something that you know to be true. Summary regarding faith. The proper domain of faith begins at the boundary of common knowledge. Faith in the ‘absurd’ may be abusive, a form of slave thinking. However, it may also point to limits of common knowledge; even in the literal case, faith may point to these limits – perhaps subconsciously. Faith, more than hypothesis alone, may lead to effective action. This is not a justification of any item of faith as knowledge (as truth in the sense of correspondence.) A justification might lie in use of an alternate conception e.g. knowledge as truth in a pragmatic sense. An alternate justification might lie in the use of faith (in the absence of certain knowledge) toward potential outcomes of value – without reference to knowledge. There may be some risk involved (time spent even if there is no physical risk) but this may be acceptable. The purist may wish to attach a hypothetical value to items of faith but the following dilemma arises. It is clear that treating an assumption as knowledge may, in particular cases, lead to a better outcome. However, the counter argument might be that in general this cannot be the case – and further that treating only knowledge as knowledge is a better state of being (truth.) Is this truly the case? Or does it reflect a value? That it is truly the case is not certain and this is an example of how ‘morals’ might affect what is considered to be knowledge. It may be the case that everyone holds the same moral but that does not change the relationship between fact and value. I suggest that the actual case is more complex than the polarities suggested, that persons operate at multiple levels (superposition of belief,) and that what is most often the common good may be regarded as the absolute and only good. The discussion here has concerned what may be called common faith, e.g. everyday belief in ‘everyday reality’ or everyday confidence in science, but not particularly in special faith e.g. as in articles of religious faith where there may be (even strong) contingent but not necessary reasons for doubt. Special faith is considered in the separate section, ‘Faith,’ below. Faith and doubt. Faith may be seen as complementary to doubt. Radical doubt may have an effect of securing foundations –which may be to its apparent intent– that of securing or improving foundations if only indirectly by first undermining existing foundations. Faith improves the quality of action and being in relation to given or transforming foundations. Dual faith and doubt encourage an approach to the world of both comfort in the world as it is (appears) and openness (to what lies outside given experience.) I define the following distinction. Trust is common faith whose existence does not require explicit awareness of it. Using faith to refer to special faith, the following function within psyche may be identified. Faith and doubt function in integration in discovery i.e. in recognizing that the universe is greater than it is held to be in common knowledge or faith

2.2         Logic


Fundamental nature of Logic (of Logic as distinct from logic) as used here – as the theory of possibility, of depth. Relation to traditional concept – argument; deduction; reasonable argument; induction –the only logical induction is logic– see science below… Logic, logos and metaphysics; review of relationships so far (is this topic necessary, appropriate here?) Alternative foundation of the Theory of Being: Whatever is allowed by Logic is actualand, therefore the possible and the actual are identical; and – this could be a definition of Logic! The first foundation above is in the properties of being and the absence of being i.e. the void; the present foundation is starts from a derived idea – that Logic is the one law of the universe… not any particular logic, not even the propositional calculus although that calculus is close to Logic; it appears that the alternative is not a true alternative – is this so? Logic (and related ideas) and the void; relationships; combine with logic, logos and metaphysics above. Science and logic; science and induction – see science in the following paragraphs. Universality: is there a universal logic e.g. propositional andor predicate calculi (Frege, Russell) or is logic necessarily contextual (Wittgenstein?) Logic as analysis of constitution – of necessary form. Logic and logics; logics and contexts – a logic as the analysis of necessary or constitutive form – a logic is the analysis of a constitutive form… if the form is also necessary then the logic is a pure logic thus, e.g. , theoretical mechanics may be seen as a logic though not a pure one while the propositional calculus is a pure (purer) logic… if there is no restriction of context, except perhaps the exclusion of nonbeing which admits contradiction, the logic is universal… perhaps, though, even though a logic of nonbeing might be inconsistent there is a consistent or meaningful (meta) theory that straddles both being and nonbeing and out of which a (standard…) universal logic falls; status of logic in its traditional conception; standard logics; modal and other logics


The object of Logic, if there is one, is Logos

If the necessary form of all being is being then, at its apex, Logos is pure being. I.e. the realm of Logos is being but not of any particular kind or attribute

The forms of the objects of law and science fall under Logos as details

The possibility of a Universal logic

Is context necessary? What is a (near) universal context

Laws of logic

Deduction and Induction

Can scientific inference (induction) be recast as deduction? The point to discussing it above is that (apparently) it cannot and so contrasts with deduction. However, given a scientific law or theory, deduction may be possible. Looking deeper. There may be deductive aspects to inductive (scientific) inference. If, from among all forms of Law, there is a small fraction (subset) whose population (in the universe) must dominate all others and if the fraction can be defined in terms of (e.g. a small number of) parameters, then it is possible that a finite number of observations can imply a system of laws to a high degree of probability. (It may be necessary to require that systems of laws that are observationally indistinguishable shall be considered to be identical laws.) It would be essential, for the near or essential identity of induction and deduction that ‘high’ should mean infinitesimally close to 1. This leads to the next Topic. Logic as pre-cosmology. Looking even deeper. The process of formulating (productive…) deductive systems is inductive

On Logic and logics

Topic. Logic, argument, deductive logic. Logics and their contexts. Propositional calculus as the structure of implication; toy example from Journey 05. Nature, significance of predicate calculi – of existence, attributes and universality. New treatment of modal logic, of indexicals and demonstratives from the analysis of possibility from Theory of Being. Variant logics e.g. multi-valued logics; special contexts e.g. temporal logics. Probability calculus as a logic; quantum logics

Paradox and reference

Complete reference is necessary for an object (objective in Meinong’s sense) or sentence to be a proposition i.e. to have a truth value

Logic and the Theory of Being

There is an equivalence between the Theory of Being (every Logical description is realized and so on) and the following statement regarding logical but not causal relations (causal relations being regarded as contingent and usually or at least often true in this part of the universe) perhaps first stated by Hume, and refined by Wittgenstein. On logical or necessary relations. ‘From the truth of one proposition, the truth of another does not follow.’ Wittgenstein’s refinement was to substitute ‘elementary proposition’ for ‘proposition’ in Hume’s statement. Here, I am thinking that truth is either null (a statement that does not have a truth value because e.g. it has no reference even though it might appear to have reference and, interestingly, the assumption that statements without reference have reference is a source, if not the source, of logical paradoxes) or bi-valued (statements with truth values are either true or false i.e. truth and falsity are taken to be the only possible truth values.) Here is a development of the idea. There are no necessary propositions with content. An instance of the statement regarding logical relations occurs when the first proposition in it is null in which case the statement is ‘no proposition has necessary truth.’ There is of course an exception – the tautological proposition but as follows immediately we will see that a tautological proposition is empty in that it does not say something about the world. (The existence of tautological propositions says something interesting about language.) Tautology and absurdity. A tautology is a statement whose truth follows from its meaning e.g. a red apple is red. A (logical) absurdity is one whose falsity follows from its meaning e.g. that existing red apple is not red. That an absurdity is false is a tautology; that a tautology is true is a tautology. That an absurdity is true is an absurdity; that a tautology is false is an absurdity. Thus there are necessary propositions but in a sense these have no content. Contingent propositions. Propositions with content are not necessary. A contingent proposition must have a domain of truth and a domain of falsity. However, the only way a proposition can not be necessary is that in the universe in its entirety (i.e. in the supraphasic sense e.g. over all space and time) the proposition must have domains where it is true and domains where it is false. Laws of physics. Thus e.g. the laws of physics are true in a phase of being e.g. this cosmological system (it is inherent in the term domain or phase of being that one is not looking so finely or precisely that the local imperfections of the laws are manifest) but there are countless infinities of domains where they are not true. There are also countless infinities where the local laws of physics are true but it appears likely that the number of domains where they are not is of an immensely higher order of infinity; perhaps even of an order regarding which there is no higher. Science. The foregoing observations tie into comments in the discussion of science below. Mathematics as tautology. In the axiomatic formulation of a branch of mathematics e.g. number theory or Euclidean geometry axioms are stated in terms of elementary terms and from the axioms, theorems follow necessarily by proof (methods of proof are more or less self-evident and tautologous in nature.) It then follows that the entire theory is a tautology. The tautological character of mathematics does not render it trivial. However, the tautological character is not self-evident and the content of system lies in part in tying together propositions that have no evident connection – and whose connection is significant and even surprising. Thus tautological truth is not trivial truth. It may be thought that the development of mathematics consists only in the laying out and development of axiomatic systems. However, there are a number of reasons why this is not true. Non-trivial character of mathematics. In the first place, it is often the case that the development of the significant propositions i.e. those of consequence for application or the further developments of mathematics requires intuition of the highest order (among humans.) The consistency of mathematical systems is not given. Second, there is the question whether a given system is truly tautological. The tautological character is equivalent to consistency. However, there is no guarantee that any given system of axioms are self-consistent i.e. there is no a priori guarantee that they do not harbor a hidden or difficult to see absurdity just as it may harbor difficult to see theorems. Thus the development of an axiom system of significance may require much creative play before being arrived at; the development of Euclid’s Axioms is the end of a line of development rather than a beginning. However, it is not a true end. There remains the intricate development of theorems that may peak but is never at an end. Then there is the question of the consistency of the system. Is it consistent? Here is where the famous issue regarding the postulate of parallels enters; its truth is not self-evident and so generations of mathematicians sought to demonstrate its truth from the other (four) axioms; and the outcome of the search was that the fifth axiom is independent of the other four i.e. a variety of geometries were possible – Euclidean geometry in which the axiom of parallels is true and Non Euclidean geometries in which the axiom is false. Thus, the development of mathematics may be regarded as experimental where the object of study is not the world of material things but the world of propositions. In general, a mathematical system may not be known to be consistent. It may then be hoped that development remains in a consistent sub-space or that if inconsistency is discovered, its resolution may be possible or lead to further advance. Here, comments regarding perfection in knowing from the earlier discussion of ‘Being and Knowing’ are pertinent. Mathematics, form and logic. A final concern about the tautological character of mathematics arises as follows. A mathematical system is a study of some kind of form or structure. The relations between the propositions mirror the structure. Does the structure exist independently of its study? That (as shown in 1931 by Kurt Gödel) there are true propositions that are not provable suggests that ‘mathematical structures’ do exist. This however is not clear. The proofs may be regarded as providing structural links. However the significance of the fact that the proofs do not provide all the links is not clear. Either (a) there is an independently existing mathematical form that proof captures only partially or (b) the methods of proof are limited in one or more ways and more powerful methods of proof may reveal a greater part of the structure (or both.) What is clear is that even if tautologous, mathematics is not trivial; but it is not clear that mathematics is tautologous revelation of a priori form. Mathematical form. Perhaps we may say that mathematical form is a priori in the following sense: just as the possibilities of form are legion, so too are the possibilities for the cognition of form

On Apparent Contradictions in the development of the Theory of Being

Restrictions on possibility entailed by consistent application of the principle that all descriptions that are not contradictory (counter to Logic) and that do not entail contradiction correspond to actual states. When all self-consistent descriptions are taken into mutual consideration, there are resulting contradictions that result in limitation of possibility. Sources: hand manuscript; mutual consideration of all possibilities considered; making this systematic; search documents for possibilities and alternate statements of the principle involved

Examples of apparent contradictions and resolutions

(1) It is possible that the ‘universe’ would be eternally void. Resolution – the situation described would be a law in the void which has no laws

(2) Obvious absurdities that require no resolution. The case is interesting for a square circle may be regarded as existing in the void. This example is a peculiarity in the present context for it involves a contradiction that has being (in a non-being sense.) The example is not altogether serious but it may make the theory of objects prettier

(3) The universe maintains a constant state forever. An example would be the present actual state. This description does not appear to contain a contradiction. Therefore it must obtain. Resolution – also a law of the void in that it requires that the void not annihilate it

(4) It is possible that the world could be different. Therefore it must be different than what it is. Resolution – it is not possible that the world could be different from itself in the present and –from the Theory of Being– necessary meaning of possibility

(5) Alternate futures are possible. This is true. Therefore this world will have multiple futures. Resolution – the description is a statement of indeterminism but not a statement that multiple futures are mutually possible. However, this world has recurrences. Not every instance has the same trajectory in time

On Quine’s reflections on analyticity and cross-implications with the Theory of Being

It is peculiar that Quine is credited with breaking down the analytic-synthetic distinction i.e. the distinction between those statements that are true in virtue of their meaning alone and those that are not. All black cats are black is analytic. There are black cats is not; it is synthetic; its truth does not following from its meaning alone but also because it is a fact about the world. Quine says that there is no distinction between the two kinds of statement. We know that there are black cats because of ‘universally known collateral information’ and that there is no distinction to be drawn between universally known collateral information and analytic (or conceptual or logical) truths. What is peculiar about the case is not the credit but the extent to which Quine is supposed to have shown that ‘there is no distinction between sentences that are true purely by virtue of their meaning and those that are not’ or that (almost everybody thinks that there are good reasons to endorse) ‘that there are not any expressions that are true or false solely in virtue of what they mean.’ Preliminary comment. There is a need to study Quine and salient aspects of the literature e.g. Fodor’s work. Analysis. (1) Quine distinguishes two kinds of analytic statement. They are of the kinds ‘No unmarried man is married’ and ‘No bachelor is married.’ The first kind is logically true. Quine’s contention regards the second kind whose truth is identical to the truth of the first kind if the synonym ‘unmarried man’ is substituted for ‘bachelor.’ Quine questions the substitution. He questions any definition of ‘bachelor’ as ‘unmarried man.’ His argument is essentially an argument against what might be called the ‘dictionary theory of meaning’ which is roughly the idea that there is a perfect dictionary that specifies all meanings (or characterizes all use.) Against this Quine argues that the Lexicographer’s task is that of an empirical scientist; he or she does not know where every word originated and cannot always know every use. His suggestion, therefore, is that ‘bachelor’ may have uses other than that of ‘unmarried man.’ I might use ‘bachelor’ to describe someone who is married but behaves as though he is unmarried. Or, in attempting to use gender free language, a modern dictionary may suggest ‘unmarried person’ as a meaning of ‘bachelor.’ Quine’s example includes ‘bachelor of arts.’ Perhaps the example appears far fetched but there are examples where it would not be; consider, e.g., the manifold uses of the words ‘world’ and ‘universe.’ Quine’s argument is not long but need not be reproduced. It is clear that he is arguing against putatively analytic statements such as ‘Everything green is extended’ which is of the same type as ‘No bachelor is married.’ Such cases have historical importance as analytic statements. However, the type of analytic statement that is a logical truth is also important and Quine’s argument does not touch this regardless of the meaning of ‘analyticity.’ In this essay and vast areas of thought this is the meaning or use of ‘analytic’ and these are therefore not touched by Quine’s argument. I believe that the kind of analyticity that Quine argues against has been thought to be important (especially in forced arguments and especially but not only in scholastic and medieval philosophy) but is not of great importance. Especially in this essay, the metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth and implicitly ultimate with regard to variety does not depend on the questionable version of analyticity. This is an interesting point for one might be tempted to apply Quine’s argument to ‘The Universe is all being.’ Reference to the arguments based on this statement will show that they would go through without using ‘universe’ and by talking only of all being. It would be shown that every element of being may interact with every other element and so, thinking of the universe as that which excludes no element, ‘universe’ may be substituted for ‘all being.’ What Quine’s argument shows that then we would have to be careful about use of the word ‘universe’ but this is known already. In fact, such care is an occasion for the development of cosmology… Items 2, 3 and 4 are ‘asides.’ (2) There is a suggestion that even analytic statements may depend on collateral meaning for their truth. What could the collateral information for ‘black is black?’ Is it that there is blackness or that there is identity or that the universe is such that blackness (more generally property) or identity are possible? What is the collateral information ‘the black cat is black?’ Is it that ‘there are cats’ or that ‘there is blackness’ or that ‘some cats have blackness?’ (Are these what Quine calls ontological commitments?) Without cats, blackness and so on, the statement ‘the black cat is black’ has no content and therefore cannot be true (or false.) Therefore ‘the black cat is black’ cannot be true in virtue of its meaning alone. It requires the collateral information that there are cats and so on. (3) However, what is it to say that ‘the black cat is black’ or ‘there are black cats’ have meaning? Can they have meaning without there being cats or blackness? In a sense they cannot. However, even if there are no real cats, there is the possibility of the idea of a cat (it is a little more questionable that there could be an idea of blackness without blackness.) Consider, therefore, ‘the four legged cat has four legs’ and ‘there are four legged cats.’ Even if there are no cats and if all legs are temporarily removed from the universe the idea of cats is possible and ‘four legged cats would have four legs’ is true and would be true regardless of the existential status of cats and legs. In contrast, ‘there are four legged cats’ requires such things to exist. We may say that in banishing intension (and Kantian ideas) Quine propagated a confusion. (4) In this point take the world to be as it is. We all know that there are cats and that most cats have four legs. If I have a partial loss of memory but still the ability to form ideas I may be unable to assert ‘there are cats’ or ‘there are four legged cats’ while I can still reasonably assert ‘all four legged cats have four legs.’ (5) One aspect of what is surprising about the capitulation to Quine is this. Quine’s reflections on meaning and reference led him to question the analytic-synthetic division. However, his reasoning was not impeccable even though it contained substance. Therefore, it should be clear that his line of reasoning is capable of further analysis and possible refutation. (6) Quine also approached the analytic-synthetic division from a consideration of ‘possible worlds.’ The space of possible worlds is, indeed, as Quine argued, problematic. However, from the Theory of Being we have seen that there is but one world (universe) and actuality and possibility are identical. (There may be a distinction between what I know to be possible and what I know to be identical.) Further every globally consistent description is realized as actual. Therefore, ‘there are black cats’ and ‘black cats are black.’ It seems that I am agreeing with Quine regarding the analytic-synthetic division even though my reasoning is rather different than his. However, the agreement is not complete. In the entire one universe, ‘black cats are black’ and ‘there are black cats.’ In this world, meaning this cosmological system, ‘black cats are black’ is true and could not be untrue but ‘there are black cats’ is contingently true and could be untrue. More to the point, it is true that if realized in this world unicorns would each have one horn but it is not true that unicorns must be realized in this world. I.e. in this world ‘unicorns have horns’ but it is not true that ‘there are unicorns.’ Here we see the breakdown between the analytic and the synthetic but the breakdown is not as Quine imagined. Analytic statements are still true by meaning; general synthetic statements are true because they contain no logical contradiction; however, analytically consistent statements are always true (although they may be empty,) while a synthetic statement whose analytic component if any is consistent regarding e.g. our local universe may or may not be true. In fact, my argument to a similar conclusion is a polar opposite to Quine’s argument; this is possible because my meaning of possibility contains opposites to Quine’s meaning (which is more or less the traditional meaning that I have shown to be confused.) (7) So why is Quine taken to have been correct? Is it the kind of group thinking in which many are blinded into acceding to putative opinion and even those who are not so blinded are silent or so few as to be effectively silent? Are we so wedded to the idea of progress and vanity that we exult in the rejection of the great Kant? Is it a case of the weakness of piece-meal analysis?

On Quine’s reflections on analyticity: conclusions

In Quine’s use, which derives from Logical Positivism and is related to Kant’s use, a sentence is analytic if its truth or falsity follows from its meaning

Quine identifies two classes of analytic sentence. In the use that he finds suspect, analyticity follows from synonymy. His criticism of analyticity is based on the criticism that exact synonymy can never be established. To do this he makes a sharp distinction between lexicographer and language user. Use is true blue and the lexicographer is merely an empiricist who studies use. The precise support for this claim is not given but it follows from the (then) prevailing attitudes within analytic philosophy toward language and meaning. Meaning is determined by ordinary day to day use. Meaning is use. This sets the philosopher (and lexicographer) apart from and simultaneously above and below the user. Exactly, however, why the philosopher thinks that his or her quest for meaning (use) is not common is not clear. In fact there is no reason to suppose that original use and original creation are distinct or that they are distinct functions. Anthropologists have recorded the case in studies of small communities. Logically, there can be no absolute separation (even in modern society.) In modern society the functions have become putatively and formally separate. The philosopher may be simultaneously humble and arrogant. In any case, the empirical character of lexicography has not at all been established (of course the study of use and its history is important.) Practically, ‘bachelor’ is many words (symbols) (in the case of family resemblance a continuum of words) and all that is necessary is to identify the different words. Even if lexicography is empirical, Quine’s argument does not go through. True, philosophy (and common use) have made confusions but these are not essential unless one is dedicated to conflation of meaning and to false example to establish preconceived beliefs (as a source of richness and suggestion conflation is not altogether undesirable)

The other class of analytic sentence is the logical truth e.g. ‘No unmarried man is married.’ Quine’s argument, if it were valid, would go through for the logical truth as well for who’s to say, in Quine’s mode of thinking, that by ‘unmarried’ the user invariable means ‘un-married’ and even if he or she does that the first instance of ‘married’ is the same symbol as the second? If Quine’s criticism of analyticity through synonymy were valid, it would apply to ‘logical truth’ as well which would be a special case of the former. The rebuttal of the problem with the more general case of analyticity applies to the potential problem with logical truth

It follows that the only kind of analytic sentence (from among the potential kinds considered) is the one whose truth value is a question of ‘logic.’ The other ‘analytic’ kinds from the history of metaphysics are actually synthetic propositions masquerading as analytic

The only possible meaning of analytic truth is logical truth; this meaning, as has been seen, is powerful enough. This is the meaning used here

A criticism of ‘piece-meal’ analysis2

In so far as everyone analyses a very small piece of reality everyone assumes that what everyone else has claimed to have demonstrated to be error is error but those demonstrations depend on everyone else’s claims. Therefore no one gets off the ground even though they are as if floating in space. I.e. analytic philosophy is a house of cards. Or perhaps I could say that analytic philosophy is a building of titanium shells without cement or net form… These statements are of course an extreme caricature. Yet what is caricatured is a tendency whose result is the production of huge amounts of analysis that add up to far less than the volume produced. A case of the whole being (far) less than the sum of its parts. All of which is exaggerated by the modern academic system of premature and frequent publication that has motivation not only in the force of ideas but significantly in publication by large numbers of academics for extraneous reasons such as vanity, survival and promotion


What is science? We have seen that the meaning of a term such as science lies in its sense –the concept– and its reference – what activities it denotes; an adequate discussion is therefore likely to be encountered as incomplete even at the time it is written. Is science unending? However, I might make one distinction that is relevant to this essay: the view of science as unending and the view that science has or may have an end. Both views have practical and romantic appeal; and both have ‘political’ implications i.e. implications for attitudes toward science. The view here is that ‘science’ may be unending in certain directions (variety) but complete or complete-able in the direction of depth; this is borne out by the division of the developments of Theory of Being (metaphysics) into Logic (the theory of possibility and its identity to actuality, of depth) and Cosmology (the theory of variety.) Nature of science. Two polarities: hypothetical and progressive versus science as true knowledge as a result of the (capability of) perfect attunement of (human) cognition. (A) Views that see science as unending or in eternal process emphasize discovery of limits to older theories, revolution and replacement by new theories. Such views naturally emphasize the hypothetical (almost flimsy) nature of all scientific theory; they naturally emphasize limits to (human) cognition and the fortuitousness of knowledge and the possibility of scientific theories. In twentieth-century philosophy the view that a theory should, in order to be scientific, be ‘falsifiable’ was put forward by Karl Popper. This view is a natural product of reading the history of science; it could further be identified with a view of unending progress. Popper later replaced ‘falsifiable’ with testable. Testability i.e. applicability does not encourage a progressive view as much as does falsiability; this is reasonable for the fact that science (anything) has not ended does not mean it is without end. Additionally, testability permits the incorporation of necessity into science; the Logical aspect of the Theory of Being is testable but not falsiable. A discussion of science is important in this essay for the following reasons. (1) Claims in the literature of the tradition regarding the importance of science as a mode of human knowledge. The following kind of claim regarding science is common ‘Collectively the natural sciences constitute the most extensive, reliable, systematic knowledge that we have.’ It seems to me that regarding ‘reliable’ and ‘systematic’ that both mathematics and the Theory of Being have an advantage over natural science; and that in the extension of depth, Logic and Theory of Being have an advantage. The claim regarding science may also suggest importance. Obviously, natural science is extensive, reliable, systematic and important. However, knowledge of self and of ultimate things (even if not as reliable as science) may be more ‘important.’ The Theory of Being is both reliable and knowledge of ultimate things. In evaluation, there is a tendency to extremes. Science is certainly important; but there is a tendency to regard it with religious fervor; and an equal tendency to demonize it. Surely, science can provide insight into ‘nature’ and have practical importance without being supreme knowledge. (2) I have used the ideas and theories of science as suggestive in developing the Theory of Being even though the Theory of Being is not logically dependent on the theories of science. Some suggestive ideas from science have been: that modern physics reveals the universe as indeterministic but that quasi-determinism and quasi-causation may arise within the larger context; the similarities between the void and the quantum-vacuum – the void goes further than the quantum vacuum in that it is not only absence of things but also absence of laws and patterns; the idea of formation by variation, selection and retention of form; the similarity of recurrence with the ergodic theorems of mechanics; that creation of matter from nothingness does not violate the principle of conservation of energy since the energy of the gravitational field may be negative; the mutual dependence of space, time and matter in the relativistic theory of gravitation; while careful thought and experiment are necessary, imagery is crucial –think of Faraday and the thought experiments of Einstein– and provides the material that is subject to care. (3) It may seem that the Theory of Being contradicts science; it does not. It may seem that my intent is to contest the significance of science – even its possibility and results; I do not – among my intentions are first, to find a (true) Theory of Being and second, to place science and other endeavors within this broadest ‘context.’ The theory does show that the universe as revealed by science i.e. this (our) cosmological system, even though immense in comparison to earth, is infinitesimal in comparison to the universe. (4) Significance of the Theory of Being for science. There are reflections in connection with the Theory of Being, discussed in the section ‘Theory of Objects’ that have significance for the nature of scientific theories. I have briefly referred to the thought of Popper and of Kant; their views represent two extremes. (B) The view of science, mathematics and logic as objects i.e. as inhering in nature i.e. of human cognition as perfectly attuned to nature. Kant held that human cognition was equipped to decode nature by virtue of its innate ability –intuition and reason– and to encode understanding as science; in his written philosophy Popper and others of his took science to be defined by its –non-algorithmic– method but the content to be ever incomplete. The extremes can be seen as natural though not necessary responses to certain facts of the intellectual climates of the times; as noted, the history of science lends to the idea of progress but a contingent lack of ends does not imply a necessary unending character; and, the (amazing) possibility of science may be explained by attunement of cognition (Kantian intuition) but this does not entail perfect intuition. The two extremes can be combined as in the discussion in the ‘Theory of Objects.’ A scientific theory may be regarded as a tentative account of the entire universe (cosmos) or as a real account of a phase of the universe – of being. (C) In this dual and combined perspective, it is (locally adapted) intuition that enables scientific theories while it is adaptability (also a form of intuition) that enables growth. (5) The Theory of Being has implications for science ‘versus’ faith; and particularly for the question of evolution versus creation. I will examine and attempt to disentangle the conceptual and ‘political’ dimensions of the issue; I will try to be scrupulous in seeing what content even the most apparently absurd ideas may have. The dimensions of the analysis will include logical concerns (regarding the possibility and actuality of evolution and of creation; and of the meaning of ‘creation;’ it will also include psychological concerns in attempting to understand how it is the individuals come to assume their systems of understanding and belief; and I will report my finding that while logic and psychology are separable in the normal context they are not altogether separable in the universal or in any context in which action is required or desirable but there is no rational analysis – due either to limitations in ability or in time. Theory2. The question of ‘theory’ is related to the question of empiricism; if the element of data is the ‘point’ then theory is, in some sense a house of cards; if the element is pattern (since being is the measure of being) theory is real although it captures only a phase; i.e. –in repetition of item 4 above– there are two views of theory as fact: one as fact to some degree of approximation and another as true for a phase of being (see discussion of ‘law of nature’ immediately below.) Induction (n). In empiricism, the only logical conclusion from a set of data is the data; therefore the only logical or necessary induction from a set of data to the universe is logic as a universal ‘law;’ and this follows because, in classical empiricism, the only knowable object is the data point. However, in the theories of being and of objects, it is seen that, in the normal sense, patterns, laws, and relationships are knowable objects. Therefore a law of nature is an object; but it is not (of) the entire universe; i.e. a law of nature has a certain ‘local’ domain of application that does not extend infinitely or infinitesimally with regard to any mode of extension (time, space…) A properly articulated and tested (experimentally and conceptually) theory is a fact even though it (necessarily) does not have universal application. This shows that a properly articulated theory is not in any sense mere theory (mere-ness is appropriate to some colloquial and to some inarticulate and premature uses of the term.) In either case, Logic is the one universal law; this, not the classical definition of logic, is Logic as I use the term here; in this sense Logic is a science whose subject is ‘valid description’ i.e. Logic is a venture in discovery; that Logic is the universal law may be taken as an implicit definition of Logic whose content is partially known (appropriate parts of logic) and otherwise unknown but available for discovery. A proper (e.g. mature) theory is an object but the ‘magnitude’ of the object has limits in extension; even a premature theory is an ‘object’ of an extremely limited extension

Science and logic

In ‘Deduction and Induction,’ above, it was seen that the sharp logical divide between induction and deduction may be blurred in practice

The questions of what may be deductively and what may be inductively inferred from a set of data remain. What may be deduced from a set of data? Except for the data itself it seems that, in general, nothing at all may be deduced

Regarding induction, the question is not posed properly. This is because induction is not purely logical or mathematical (without further assumption.) The induction of scientific theories is a complex process. First, it is stepwise. The theories of today did not arise full blown. They are built upon earlier theories in various ways – by discarding some elements and adding others that may be suggested by the data but require imagination, by amalgamating theories that were previously separate but whose connection is suggested by evidence. The process of confirmation is not a single step either, ongoing application and testing add to confidence but, generally, as has been learned in the history of discovery, absolute confidence in universal applicability is not guaranteed

Consider, however, the fact that, in general, inference from data is not necessary – an interpolation is possible but not necessary since alternative interpolations are possible (even if the chosen interpolation appears to be the most natural, simple, elegant and so on.) Ask the following question. Does Logic or do the laws of logic (whatever they may be) follow from the data? It seems absurd to suggest the possibility. Consider, however, the concept of implication

(P implies Q) is equivalent to (Q is true whenever P is true.)

Let P = the data set and Q = Logic. Then Q is always true. If I were to use any formed logic regarding which there might be doubt then the assertion ‘Q is always true’ might be in doubt; however, Logic is always true since the laws of Logic are (to be) determined by the requirement. In this sense of implication, Logic is an inference on any data set and, particularly, the null data set (no data.) Further, since Q must be true, the inference may be regarded as necessary

Law and Logic

Therefore, Logic may be seen as universal law; the laws and theories of science may be seen as falling under Logic by restriction to specific manifolds or contexts

The void is complete absence or ‘no manifold;’ that there is presence presumes absence and therefore the void exists

In the void there are no necessities. Therefore the void is equivalent to all actualities; and to all descriptions of states of affairs, even fiction, that satisfy Logic

All consistent descriptions are descriptions of actual states

Principles of Thought2

Introduction. Science, theory (relationship of science to theory of being, of objects and logic; nature of ‘theory;’ could be placed in ‘Metaphysics’ or perhaps in ‘Cosmology.’) Concepts. Definition, function, the concept (this is likely a good place to discuss concepts, fields and axiomatic systems.) Topic. Logic is a principle of thought. While not all the principles here are formal, logic is formal. However, formal logic becomes an intuitive principle and enhances other ‘principles’ in mutual interaction. Further, it is logic rather than Logic that is given; the concept of Logic may be specified and therefore Logic is given (a priori) only implicitly. I have endeavored to show how and in what ways (i.e. some of the ways) logic approaches Logic; therefore, in an ultimate sense logic remains informal or, rather, the distinction between the formal and the informal appears to be possible only in limited contexts. Topic. I suggest that there is a logic of pictures. This is not merely ‘heuristic’ or intuition (in the non-Kantian sense.) It is not easily formalized as linear logic i.e. logic expressed in linear symbolism and therefore easily displayed for public examination. Since it is not easily formalized it is not easily used as an instrument of public logic. It cannot always be easily put in words or linear symbols. Hence of course a function of art and poetry. However, what I suggest is that it is a true logic that is a gift and that explains the almost fantastic ability of some mathematicians (and perhaps the related gifts of writers, poets, musicians and artists.) Again the concern is not either-or; in combination, linear literal language and the not linear logic of pictures are mutually enhancing of thought and communication (the receiver also sees pictures that are not contained in the mere-words. (Are words mere?)) A question: even if picture-thought can be put into linear form is there even the time to do this? Another question: so are we to limit possibility to what is available for scrutiny on a piece of paper? Topic. On reflexivity. This is the idea that a point of view should stand up to its own criteria. The principle can be circumvented by saying that it applies only to propositions of a certain class; this however weakens the point of view. Reflexivity may be broadened to cross-criticism or to dual critical and constructive interaction between points of view, disciplines, paradigms… Topic. Radical criticism. Radical criticism is pushing reasonable doubt or criticism to ‘unreasonable’ length. By ‘unreasonable’ I mean that the criticism is to be total and unexceptional but not irrational. What might the motives for radical criticism be? They may include a covert desire for omnipotence; anger; forms of aggression; a simple desire for care; and the knowledge that radical criticism has lead in the past to insight and advance in both criticism and construction. I do not intend to imply that the motives to criticism has any relation to its validity or usefulness. No doubt the utility depends more on insight and honesty regardless of motive than on motive itself. Examples of advance. Everyone who wishes to make an advance in thought will gain advantage from being his or her own radical critic. Reflex applied to radical criticism. Asks not merely whether criticism stands up to criticism (it does) or whether absolute radical criticism stands up to radical criticism (it should not) but also what are the functions and goals of radical criticism. The goal of all criticism should perhaps be to evaluate ‘degree of certainty’ of propositions (which include laws and theories.) This goal is subservient to the use of knowledge whether ideal e.g. knowing the truth or practical e.g. in application. However the latter goals are an aspect of what is perhaps the ultimate goal of knowing and becoming. It clearly follows then that certain knowledge is not a complete and absolute end-in-itself and that risks in action may be occasioned upon a concept of knowledge other than any concept implied by absolute radical criticism. Particularly the classic academic attitude as self-conceived and self proclaimed bearer of truth is not primary to human being. Possibility of absolute knowledge. The possibility has been constructively demonstrated in ‘Theory of Being’ and further interpreted in ‘Theory of Objects,’ earlier. Note that there is no implication that e.g. the laws of this cosmological system are known absolutely (even though some physicists have suggested this possibility) or that every fact of the universe should be known. Theory of Being involves a high level of abstraction (Logic which is defined implicitly rather than logic defined explicitly) perhaps in combination with a single fact implicitly assumed – ‘There is being.’ Thus the possibility of absolute knowledge involves perception (insight) rather than intelligence as brute conceptual or computational power. Any absolute knowledge may be seen as an envelope to all actual knowledge (of detail of whatever degree.) A principle. It is a reasonable claim that any discussion rests on some foundation i.e. that something is taken as given at the outset of dialogue.

Principles of Thought content source: Level 5 outline (On Thinking) and rough J05 notes. Are there ‘absolute’ principles of thought? Discovery of principles is (begins as) and informal process that is not distinct from thought. However, in light of Logic and Logos there may be some formalization and perhaps some absolute principles. What would an ‘absolute’ principle be? A principle. Framework and analysis interact. Examples. In reflection on organization, function, origins of e.g. language, the question ‘What is language?’ is not only pertinent but part of the ongoing outcomes; discussion may start with preliminary hypotheses regarding the elements of discussion but understanding of these may be affected analysis. There are various examples: the example of language; discovery of principles of thought and process of thought are not independent; discovery of ultimate substance entails questions ‘What is (the nature of) substance?’ and ‘Is there a fundamental substance?’ and ‘If there is one what is it?’ and, then, ‘What is the true nature of that substance?;’ the principle of reflexivity and so on… The examples go to show that the interactive analysis entails all levels of discussion from the meanings of detailed aspects, to the nature of the central ideas, to the way in which analysis is conducted. Thus simultaneous analysis is not only among elements at one level but also among levels and modes and even the question ‘What are the levels and modes?’ In particular contexts such generality may be unnecessary (a context is relatively if temporally stable, openness may become neurotic indecision) but an openness to it will often be productive; awareness of the context or framework is conducive to openness so that if analysis becomes problematic reflection may question the appropriateness of the assumed framework. A principle (in rough notes in some form.) It is essential that imagination and criticism interact. Regardless whether the negative judgment (criticism) is the peak of intellect, criticism (logical and empirical) are essential in interaction (for productive thought e.g. for thought that is productive of knowledge.) Criticism and imagination interact and it may seem that the processes are separate; however, they are never altogether separate: in one, the other may be implicit.

Some principles. Return to objectivity by allowing the question, allowing process, allowing doubt

On Definition. The following ties in to the ideas of ‘concept’ and ‘field of concepts’ introduced earlier. The discussion could be placed earlier with discussion of concepts in Chapter 1, or later with the discussion of language under ‘Human Being’ but the placement under logic just under ‘Principles of Thought’ appears to be appropriate…. Consider a conceptx.’ How may the question ‘What is x?’ be answered? We cannot begin to assess or discuss x without some answer to this question. However, discussion affects our understanding of the answer. The answering is crucial to understanding in general and recursively to this question. Many discussions of concepts, e.g. of ‘function,’ stop at a straw-man meaning and build or criticize upon that meaning making for a pretty or exhilarating academic exercise and demonstration of virtuosity but without real understanding. What is real understanding? Is there any such thing – as in final understanding? A priori, no! However, the least that can be done is to sustain the question long enough to avoid building upon a house of straw; long enough to have a house (system) and one that is not mere straw (system, integrity.) Therefore meaning and use or application remain in a loop and doubly so because meaning-use do not occur in isolation (field.) And it might seem –especially under the progressive notion of understanding– this is the best that we can do. However just as understanding does not come a priori, so its eternal progressive nature is not a priori. We might discover, in some directions, an end to progress – not as a limit but because the ultimate depth has been plumbed. This might well be a posteriori but having made the a posteriori discovery, we may discover it to be a priori. This is what has happened with the Theory of Being

Function. Consideration of placement of this discussion is similar to that of ‘On Definition’ above. What is function? The answering is twice crucial to understanding… first to the understanding of function and second because the concept of function is pivotal to understanding itself. ‘Function’ has two meanings that are superficially quite distinct. In the first, ‘function’ describes behavior, mechanism or cause in terms of what is important to the speaker; in this sense an automobile is for travel. In the second, function is behavior, mechanism or cause; in this sense, an automobile is not an artifact but a part of nature just as a stone is a part of nature. If what is important to the speaker is understanding nature, then the distinct meanings are equivalent. To distinguish the meanings of function the first meaning could be called ‘designated function.’ In the second meaning, ‘the function of’ would be identical to ‘the nature of;’ in this meaning the ‘function’ would have equivalence to ‘all possible designated functions.’ In addressing the question ‘What is function?’ note that the designated function is not the (only) function and its kind is not even the only kind of function, that a function may be quite distinct from expectation of function or kind, that paradigms and even morals lead us astray – and even be contradictory, and that function is not necessarily conscious or visible; that I may even define the function of some institution that I (imagine that I) introduce but even my authorship does not limit the function (or meaning in the case of a concept.) The question of the range of ‘evolution’ (in a normal cosmological system or context) is an example. (1) The question of intermediate forms. Eyes are to see. Behind that trivially obvious statement lies a possibly unexamined and un-illuminated assumption that eyes are and always have been always will be to see as we see; that an eye could never have a function other than seeing just as a flipper might never become a leg or an arm. However there are all kinds of seeing that allow for gradation of complexity. Further, a x function may merge in and out with y, z… functions. Note of course that there are gradations of function contrary to the claims of some. That not all functions have demonstrated function calls into question the nature of ‘theory.’ Is the only function of theory to know or is it also to serve? Both! And the dual-function may overlap. (2) The question of cultural ‘evolution.’ Clearly the selection of subject-verb-object versus subject-object-verb or other form could not provide advantage in selection therefore we must seek elsewhere for explanation. Is the conclusion obvious? A splinter group may develop identity (or identity may define a splinter group) by using an alternate form; thus the ‘advantage’ is not one of being more fit but of being defined. It is simply the difference of the forms, even though ‘arbitrary’ that is the focal point of emergence and not their superiority. Need for care in use of ‘function’ in this example is manifold

2.3         Cosmology

2.3.1        General cosmology

General cosmology: Theory of Variety

Cosmology (general cosmology) as the theory of variety (of being.) A cosmology. Necessity of indeterminism; possibility and necessity of the emergence of (quasi- andor as-if may prefix each term) form, objecthood, causation, law, coherence from the void; the elements of the universe are logically connected (contra-Hume who, given his focus on logic, may –perhaps should– have known since the elements of the theory were already there) even though causation is not and cannot be universal

Variety, origin, manifold of being

Space, time and matter; manifold or phase. Equivalence of being with the void – from Theory of Being. Necessity of becoming – also from the Theory of Being. Becoming or process is necessary for difference or extension which marks being. Derivation of ideas of space, time and matter and there interactivity from these considerations. Implications for absolute and relative theories of space and time in general cosmology

A variety. Indeterminism and determinism; necessity of universal indeterminism – approach to Theory of Being; universal indeterminism consistent with local determinism- or causal-like behavior which necessarily follow from the universal; manifold or phase; coherent domain; causation or quasi-causation, objecthood or quasi-objecthood, space-time; recurrence karma1; creation; identity; individual; higher identity; universe of actuality; the normal; articles of faith1 and their assessment, karma …; Brahman; being that is the span of all being; limits – universal and normal; miracles and magic; annihilation; universe; logos; laws of nature; physical cosmology – in section ‘Normal cosmology,’ below; Being that is the Span of All Being; chain of being (god to element of being.) God; the objects of faith and religion; heaven and hell; spirit, ghost, ghost world (existence of requires at least weak interaction)

Concrete and abstract objects

In ‘General cosmology’ the kind of being considered is that of a general model of the local universe-as-known

Here I take up ‘kinds of existing thing.’ The significance of the discussion is (1) elucidation of the status of a variety of concepts, (2) further revelation of the power of the theory

As noted earlier in ‘The Concept of Being,’ confusion regarding the possibility of the being of abstract objects arises only on assumption of, e.g., materialism (the assumption may be implicit, a frame of mind.) Without this assumption, that an abstract object populates the concrete gives being to the abstract

Examples of abstract objects

Form, pattern, law and universal, manifestation and manifold (e.g. matter, space and time have) already been considered. Further concepts for consideration are idea, concept, property (considered under universal,) number… Meinongian objects…

Do abstract objects lack concreteness

I.e. (e.g.) do abstract objects lack causal power

The response requires two considerations. First, the careful consideration of how the abstract object is conceptualized – in some conceptualizations they are as mere ideas but in others concreteness is brought out. Second, since the universe as a whole is not causal in the normal interpretation even if probabilistic, the argument will be restricted to causal domains or causation shall be replaced by an appropriate concept that allows the discussion greater generality

2.3.2        Normal and physical cosmology

Normal cosmology  – ‘general cosmology’ of a formed phase of the universe or cosmos (define as e.g. adequate stability for emergence of form, order over mere ‘chaos,’ then meaning… vs. physical cosmology – below;) causal-like, normal connections although present are very thinly distributed and where they occur are tenuous

Normal versus general cosmology. Behavior within a normal system is ‘normal.’ This may suggest that there is no ‘normal’ behavior outside a normal system; this does not follow – it is one possibility; in another possibility a normal system may be embedded within another in which normal beings are of a different order

Normality and necessity

Topics. Formation and characteristics of a normal cosmological system. Normal mechanism of formation. Population of the universe. Phases within a normal system of apparent or ‘quasi-classical’ behavior: quasi-determinism, -causation, -determinateness, -objects. However, being remains ‘non-classical;’ is this the origin of quantum behavior? Annihilation locally highly improbable but globally necessary; relation to quantum behavior. Causal annihilation locally doubly improbable but globally necessary

Physical cosmology

Physical cosmology is normal cosmology but I am not sure whether every ‘normal’ system is sufficiently similar to this (our) system to merit being called physical

Physical or local cosmology – ‘general cosmology’ of this phase of the universe or cosmos; theoretical physics – the relativistic and quantum theories of space, time and matter… that these are consistent with the theory of being but, because other perhaps similar accounts could also be consistent with the theory, they do not follow from the theory… note specifically that in the theory that there is no global or universal space-time and there is no quantum vacuum although there is something similar… families of laws… origin of space-time, dynamics, ‘reasons’ for second order dynamics of matter, origins of and quantum theory or behavior

Two divides

Two divides cosmos and symbol: in the evolution of being: the formed cosmos and the free symbol. Evolution of cosmos and life – contingent rather than necessary, mechanism and explanation; necessity of the occurrence of the contingent; probability. Divides, form as logical (relational, adapted) vs. genetic; possible equivalence of logic and genesis. Dynamics, dynamics and form. Life, form and microform: life as form based in micro-form; necessity or otherwise of micro-form; the possibilities of form based in micro-form – it is probably unnecessary to give a logical answer to the question of micro-form and sufficient to note the ‘infinite’ variety of its possibilities. Mind – universal or particular; dependence on the meaning of mind; that the word is not necessary; that the lack of necessity could arise from the difficulties and localization of the particular meaning or from the ubiquity of mind in the general meaning; that the consistent, infinitely more powerful and comprehensive view or theory results from the universal meaning; that on this account the emergence and evolution of mind (in the limited meaning) is an emergence of form from primitive mind; would it be consistent to say that mind and universe –even in manifestation as the void– are coeval; identity of mind and matter in there universal or ultimate meanings and identity of this meaning with that of being – it is the limited meanings that are the source of limited understanding and the various problems of mind and of matter

Origins of a Coherent Cosmological System

Origin of the Free Symbolic Capability

Evolution as a Mechanism; necessary (indeterminism, form as pattern) and contingent (incremental, form as adapted i.e. selected due to near symmetry and, so, relative stability) aspects of mechanism. It appears that process or variation are inherent in indeterminism

Some topics to incorporate. Mechanism and meaning of mechanism, cause and quasi-causation, object and quasi-determinate object

Foundations of modern science

Comment. The following topics are projects and details may be placed in Chapter ‘Fundamental Problems’

Topics. Foundations of modern physics especially the origin of matter, space, time, and fields; what it means to talk of an ‘origin’ of time; quantum theories of matter and fields; large scale theory of space-time-matter-gravitation. Absolute and relative theories of space and time in general cosmology

Topic. Foundation of quantum theory. A conjecture by analogy with the vague idea of the void as the minimization of law. The quantum theory of a system e.g. Newtonian theory of a system of point particles is a minimization of lawlike behavior consistent with preservation of macroscopic behavior

Topic. Similarities among the void and the vacuum: although the void is ‘absence of all being including forms, patterns and laws,’ the Logic of the void makes it essentially ‘alive’ so as to seemingly minimize law or logos. That is, an eternal zero of being does not minimize law. Factors in the minimization of law. Recurrence shall not be regular. For every actual state realized, the population of similar states shall be (much) greater than the population of identical states. Query. Is it possible to develop any formalization of this idea in the general case or is it possible only in e.g. a framework for a normal cosmological system? Is it possible to develop a proto-framework in the general case and specialize that framework in particular cases?

Topic. Evolutionary biology: gather information reviewed elsewhere

Systematic universal vs. local treatment

The significance of this section is to view concepts against the background of the general theory of being, i.e. their universal nature, and to review implications for a local system

Systematic universal vs. local treatment of a comprehensive collection of issues: space, time, matter, fields; mind; determinism and causation; ethics; origins and creation review the argument in the introduction regarding the logical impossibility of creation, by a creator of the entire universe… and, although there may be a pertinent effect on initial conditions, the extreme improbability of one part of the universe creating the forms including life – and the necessity of the emergence of life by variation and selection; life; universality of evolution – issue of; limits; God… Theory of comprehensive treatment i.e. what makes a collection comprehensive – especially in the present case

2.3.3        Sources for cosmology

Sources include imagination (iconic and symbolic) and action; the traditions and disciplines and the history of thought and action. Details include science and physical cosmology; faith, myth and religion; symbolic, iconic and dramatic expression: pure imagination, dreams and dreaming, language, art including drama and literature, philosophy, logic and logics, and mathematics

2.4         Human Being

Alternative titles. Anthropology or philosophical anthropology; Human Being and Society; Action (Agency)

The topics

Human being: body and mind or soma-psyche – organism and origins; function, achievement and disorder. Language and culture. Society, social –and political– philosophy and sciences; the place of theory; morals and art – the highest value (defined), the good, faith; objectivity of morals. Civilization

2.4.1        Mind


Mind. Characterizing mind: experience; extension to the root; feeling, awareness, consciousness; central character of experience emerges in extension to the root; importance of psyche as agency of feeling and combining cognition-feeling (including emotion and, if necessary, motivation;) determinism, indeterminism and creativity. Mind and action against a background of shade and light; the ego and the real and the good; focal awareness (the misleading nature of focal awareness despite the inner light and outer advantage that it confers) and the unconscious; and ‘order and chaos.’ Aspects of mind: attitude – perceptive, receptive though not passive; null or reflective though not passive; active though not unperceptive or unreflective or action. Analysis: the elements of mind. Synthesis: Function; the Categories – structure and process. Growth. ‘Models’ of growth – see also below. Learning and development. Personality: models and theories; purpose; commitments, accomplishments and meaning; love. Transformation: accounts of mind, symbol and value as providing a proximate or initial account of being and becoming

Concept of mind

Experience as the essential characteristic of mind. Mind populates the elements of being. Some characteristics of experience are intensity, variety and direction. What is thought of as the ‘null’ direction is (metaphorically) an ‘idle’ whose direction is not absent but not connected (perhaps only in the sense that it is internal to the complex mind.) Hypothesis requiring further reflection: the null is the seat of the free element and the ‘spark’ (of indeterminism) is (an aspect of) the occasion of the new idea (attitudinal or active?) i.e. of creation in what is commonly recognized as the sphere of the mental (e.g. human and animal.) Human (animal) mind is the (modular, layered and partially integrated) organization of varieties, intensities and directionalities of elementary experience

Discussion. Especially in the case of mind, the distinction between what we think mind is or is doing and what it may be or may be doing is crucial. It is crucial since mind is not quite as value laden as ‘faith’ and so there will be a tendency to not notice the distinction which, in any case, must be subtle… indeed (because of associated difficulties) some consider that there is no function, i.e. that there is no such thing as mind

Detail. Experience: Feeling, Awareness, and Consciousness

The idea of element and function

Organizational concepts (elements, function…) in the study and form of mind

Detail. Aspects of Mind: perceptive / receptive or Attitude, reflective or Null, and active or Action…

Detail. Thinking of experience as distinct from action-attitude (re-)introduces the ‘Cartesian split’

Organizational concepts in the study and form of mind – human and animal. Layered Organization of Mind. Unity in the Extended concept of Feeling. Dimensions or Modalities* of Feeling i.e. of subjective feeling: Part-Whole. Variety – corresponding to physical and body dimensions. Intensity: from bright to dim to unnoticed even when noticeable; the character of feeling that never enters the center; it is only noticed or second order awareness that is on/off. Quality – Attraction / Repulsion e.g. Pleasure / Pain. Mood or Tenor: Uni-Directional or Fluctuating. Directionality: Afferent-Efferent. State-Disposition; Memory. Focus-Background*. Center-Periphery. Integration-Independence: Layering, Modularity-Integration (Holism.) Axes for the Mental Phenomena: It has been seen that, in extension to the root, experience is fundamental. Therefore, experience is not an ‘axis.’ The two ‘axes’ are, then, attitude and action both of which are characterized by experience in its extended sense

* Some of these are due to John Searle

Topics. Organizational concepts in the study and form of mind – continued. Two important distinctions: Bound-Free and Internal-External

Topic. Perception, Concepts and Meaning. Wittgenstein’s contribution including the Analysis of Solipsism


The interest in solipsism is that it is, at least initially, puzzling; that attempts to understand precisely what is wrong with it have been sources of insight into mind and language. A question that arises is whether solipsism is logically impossible. It has been argued that since the solipsist is unable to locate the objects in his phenomenal bubble, he or she is unable to locate his or her self whose locus is in the objects – body versus environment. A counter argument would be that objects are not required but only an impression of objects. It might therefore seem that solipsism is not logically impossible. A model of the solipsist’s world is suggested Descartes in Meditations on First Philosophy in which he reflected that he might not be able to trust his experience because a demon might, conceivably, be creating his experiences. In solipsism, then, the solipsist is creating his or her own experiences. A modern version of Descartes’ demon is the ‘brain-in-a-vat’ scenario which takes a variety of forms. In one form, my brain has been removed and computer generated electrical impulses stimulate my brain to create the impression I am still living normally. In another version, computers and brains (but nothing else) have simultaneously come into existence such that the computer impulses create impressions in a brain that correspond to the ‘reality’ of an individual; the skeptic challenge from this version is to prove that it is not true that all experience is illusion. The main argument against this comes from semantic externalism that, it appears, without making contingent hypotheses about the brain-in-a-vat world does not logically follow. Specifically, it is assumed that the causal structure of the world as we view it in our non-skeptic mode is logically necessary and not just contingently prior to the structure of our experience. If it is true that there is no logical argument against it, an argument against solipsism would have to be contingent; for example, one might argue that the solipsist knows the computational complexity of his or her own brain and would find that it is inadequate to create the sum of the impressions (and thoughts, feelings…) that constitute the solipsist’s universe. It is interesting that our situation is just like that. We do appear to have come about somewhat randomly and the universe (interpreted to include the body) is ‘providing’ impulses to our brains (interpreted to include sense organs) and there is a sense in which the ‘image of a tree’ is not the image of a tree but is a construct from the impulses that is a join of knower and known

The Categories

Topic. The Categories: structure and process. ‘Theory of Being’ deals with identities among the categories of intuition and categories of being. The Categories and Elements of Intuition: Existential: Being, (Becoming, Being-in, …) Humor… Physical: Space, Time, Causation, Indeterminism (Humor…) Biological: Life Forms and their History. Of the Psyche: psychological or psychosocial: Image-Concept, Icon-Symbol, Emotion, Humor, Communication, Value, Identity…

Two concepts of the normal. Introduction to exceptional achievement and disorder

Topics. Introduction to analysis of psyche (‘psychology’) – the normal elements of mind. Review the meaning of ‘normal’ here – it has no explicit connection with sense in ‘abnormal psychology.’ Further,  ‘abnormal psychology’ –as the psychology of disorder– is unnecessary terminology regardless of whether it is conceptually or politically proper; disorder is easily defined for practical concerns without reference to ‘norm’ or ‘deviation.’ Also note, that the perception of judgment is enhanced by the exclusive use of ‘abnormal’ to refer to disorder and not to high function and exceptional achievement

Exceptional achievement and disorder

Introduction to growth and personality

Growth. That growth is determinate or deterministic is an error; there are normal patterns and necessities. Growth. Learning and Development. Personality; Purpose, Commitments, Accomplishment and Meaning. Love(n)on any discussion of love that may be included: it is important to note the intensive and extensive aspects. The question regarding utility of a ‘philosophy’ of love is equivalent to a statement that the depth of the extension is little enhanced by understanding its intension; refer back to discussion of love under ‘Theory of Objects,’ ‘Truth.’ That psychology (mind) and growth are either normal or abnormal (in the sense of disordered or delayed;) that growth, in the normal (used here in the sense of the Theory of Being) sense comes to a stop but not to an end or completion; that the normal-abnormal spectrum is a base that is or may be used as a springboard – for what? (1) Generally, the entire spectrum specified in the Theory of Being by the means from the section ‘Foundation’ from the next chapter and (2) Examples: recognition and participation in the real and the good; balance (there is no given or a priori balance) of related ‘realism’ and action; recognition of the other. What is recognition of the other? Almost everyone knows that there are others (almost because in severe autism recognition of the other may be absent;) however recognition of the other involves first recognition of the infinite realm of difference within the framework of determinate (human) being and, second, tolerance in the sense of encountering which has nothing to do with ‘excuse’ or allowing evil. Tolerance of the other involves deep realization that the development of an individual, no matter how far it has gone, does not include a priori comprehension of the other; and in the end tolerance for the other stems from acceptance of (the individual’s) indeterminate being. This interpretation of ‘tolerance’ is not a higher expression of tolerance but an articulation of what the tolerant individual is even without reflection

Personality and identity

Topics. Personality and identity. The individual as a whole – psychology of the whole person. Rational study of personality in terms of (personality) factors; developing a system (systems) of factors

Topics. Ontological psychology: personality and meaning. Mind, symbol and value as providing a proximate or initial account of being and becoming (experience and transformation.) On charisma

Topics. The contributions of Freudian thought – including that of Anna Freud, Jacques Lacan, Freud on religion, relationships to Jung and Adler

2.4.2        Language and Culture

There is no suggestion in the establishment of three separate sections that mind, language and society are independent

Topics include. Function vs. designated functions vs. corruption from decay vs. abuse1


Concepts. Language, sign, symbol… this is probably the best place for a discussion of language (it may be questionable to place a discussion of language after the discussion of Logic; however, the discussion of Logic was universal, that of language pertains to human language; human language, in its generalized form discussed below, may be thought of as containing the realization in human being of Logic)

The momentous or pivotal human creation is, perhaps, the ‘word.’ I assume that words and language are the creation of no one individual but that all individuals partake of this creation. A necessary prior creation to the word, one of even greater moment, is that of the idea. The idea is not a human creation. However, it appears that the word results in a significant enhancement of the idea – in its definition, in its singularity and in its elaboration (being another species includes other enhancements of ideas – perhaps other kinds of definition and so on)

Language. Summary of the discussion. In the following I address first, ‘What is language?’ and second ‘What are the limits of language?’ and I relate the two questions. My general answer to the question of limits uses a generalized concept of language (I criticize necessary restriction to the particular –linear non-iconic– conception and justify the generalization.) However, this is not a means of evading the question even of the limits of linear language; and even regarding linear language I question the idea of limits as the limits of a closed system. Thus there are multiple issues addressed below, and some disentanglement is desirable. What the discussion will say after disentanglement. 1. The putative concept of language based on the languages of humankind (even if expanded to include mathematics and so on to include all linear symbolic processing) is self-evident to a ‘linguistic animal’ but this –and any isolation of language areas in the brain, formal differences between linear and iconic processing, bright and dim consciousness– does not make the ‘self-evident concept’ more than arbitrary or ad hoc; language ‘creates its own universe.’ 2. Such restriction is the basis of most formal study; the results of formal thought mirror ‘linear linguistic self-containment’ that produces a wealth of culture but is nonetheless isolating and limiting. It is the linear structure of putative language that makes it formalizable, the basis of algorithmic thought, and make it available through speech and writing available for public display which in turn make it valuable as an instrument of logic and of culture. 3. The (implicit) program of linear linguistic self-containment is impoverishing even as it is also enriching in formalism and in culture; the program is implicitly self-defining and self-propagating; I don’t know whether it is reversible but it is likely that that might require a reversal of human cultural history. I am not suggesting a reversal but, instead, an expansion; the paradigm is not ‘either or’ but ‘and.’ Such expansion might be counter to the ‘delusions of culture’ within which we perform various atrocities (intellectual and physical) for which linear language, as a major instrument of culture, provides implicit justification not only because there may be force behind words but because words have life. 4. ‘Language’ has two functions: thought and communication; these functions overlap but are not identical; one may say that there are two forms of linear languagec-language for communication and t-language for thought; and that these are not identical but have areas of correspondence or partial congruence. Although the concepts are important I have no intent here to produce a work on linguistics and I will therefore not give these concepts separate names; their use is presently local to this portion of the essay. It is apparently thought, see definitions in most texts, that communication is primary but reflection on what structure the organs of language (brain-body) must have in order to be a successful c-language suggest that it must simultaneously develop as t-language. 5. I propose the following extensions: t-language to include all thought especially the nonlinear thought of visual imagery and perhaps other sensory forms of ‘imaging;’ thus t-language would not be limited to linear (auditory…) ‘imaging;’ music which might be considered to be nonlinear auditory imaging might be included. The idea is not that thought is language but that language may be enlarged in concept to extend to all thought. C-language would not be limited to spoken language but would include art, drama, and musical performance. Drama, for example, is not restricted to ‘formal theatre’ but includes day-to-day dramatization of thought. 6. I argue that such conceptions are natural extensions of linear language and enriching of the ‘human experience.’ In view of the extensions that I propose, let me not attempt to de-emphasize neither the gifts of linear language nor the impoverishments that it enables. Let me also say that the extensions are suggested as true extensions (in the understanding of language) and not as substitute. Therefore, there is the possibility of balancing the impoverishments and of adding to the gifts – perhaps immensely. 7. Criticisms of language as an instrument. Thus far I have not addressed such criticisms. The criticisms are those of language as an instrument of thought and those of language as an instrument of communication. Criticisms are diverse and come from both analytic and continental philosophy. (Wittgenstein, Moore, Russell, Austin. . . of the analytic persuasion and Foucault, Derrida… from the continent.) 8. Language as an instrument of thought – more generally of psyche as cognition-feeling (-motivation; and emotion.) In the following I have addressed this concern; the limits of language as I conceive it are the limits of thought and therefore this issue is referred back to the discussions of ‘Being and Knowing’ under the ‘Theory of Objects’ above. 9. Language as an instrument of communication. Linear language has clear limits as an instrument of communication. This is naturally true also for language in any sense. ‘Perfect communication is neither possible nor desirable; except routine literal communication, the function of communication is necessarily that of what is novel to the audience and therefore must essentially be that of pointing. I make a discovery, I experience the sight of a peak shrouded in clouds, I go to the theatre; it is (normally) logically or constitutively impossible for me to communicate these experiences in a way that someone else should be as if they had had the same (or even similar) experience. Some literal things are easily communicated – ‘It is 10:00 AM.’ (One could elaborate the meaning of ’10:00 AM’ so that there is indeed some difficulty in its communication; but the possibility of precise and ‘literal’ communication overlooks such nuances and for good reasons.) Ordinary linear communication depends on mutual context; a word, a sentence, a gesture that associate with some experience of the speaker may elicit a similar experience or recollection of experience in for the reader. In the previous sentence I could have used the phrase ‘picture in the mind of’ instead of ‘experience.’ However, discovery, creation, inspiration, the depth of experience are not communicated. Is this a limit? What would be the value to such communication? Such ‘communication’ would be like the science-fiction infusion of memories into the brain in such a way that the individual becomes as if he or she had had the experience. Even if the science-fiction case were possible it would not be valuable in general for reasons to be discussed (the reader is likely to have reservations about the value and I intend to make my reservations explicit;) I suppose that memory infusion could be valuable if one wanted to memorize the Encyclopedia Britannica or if an American wanted to acquire the experience of being an Iranian so as to become a spy (if the individual were a typical English speaking American of Western European descent he or she might need to have a makeup artist in his or her hotel room in Teheran.) Normally, in this world, re-creation rather than communication is necessary to new experience – to being ‘alive.’ But what is lacking in the general idea? It is that to be alive is not merely to absorb the understanding of the past so as to make advance; it is to recreate the experience of life; every individual, every generation re-creates to be real and lacking this is stagnation; this is a counter-point to ‘advance’ which is ‘re-advance.) (This point is in logical coherence with the theory of being; and with Plato) Thus the limits of communication are, from the point of view of the real – of being real, not true limits but are constitutive of functional communication. What is logically impossible (even in the normal case) is not a true limit. Communication, then, is communication in language but in a sense nothing is ‘communicated,’ there is no infusion of experience, but there is pointing. Of course, some individuals – the artist, the poet, the teacher – are better at communication. (It is interesting that the most creative individuals are not always the best teachers; the best teachers have been said to be those who are sufficiently talented to appreciate what has been created, its context, but not possessed of the supreme gift of creation.) Thus language does not communicate; but this is not a ‘limit;’ it is good. Regarding the statement ‘language does not communicate’ it could also be said that ‘language communicates’ is metaphorical. 10. Varieties of linguistic form. Illocutionary point. (Term?) In this discussion I have not taken up the varieties of linguistic form –the illocutionary point e.g. the proposition, the command and so on– as developed by Austin and Searle and I should take this up and further reflect upon the completeness of those researches regarding the literal uses of language. Metaphor. I should further take up metaphor and so on. I may note that I have addressed these topics in various discursive narratives but the variety of linear and figurative forms may require and the present discussion may benefit from integration into the present discussion. Regarding metaphor, the following are preliminary observations. Regarding the metaphorical uses of words and phrases, perhaps the distinction between literal and metaphorical use may be replaced by ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ meaning; note that I have not referred to earliest or ‘original’ meaning. Are all descriptions metaphorical? This brings up a much deeper concern – what could it mean to say that ‘everything is metaphor?’ It must have something to do with the nature of language and knowledge and not so much to do with accuracy. Clearly ‘all is metaphor’ must bring in to question, not the possibility of literal meaning, but the question ‘What is the nature of meaning?’ The case is analogous to the response to any radical criticism that questions the possibility of knowledge at all. To be rational, such criticisms must proceed from a concept of knowledge to its impossibility. However the conclusion must be that it is the critic’s concept of knowledge that is in question. If the criticism is coherent it may serve understanding by requiring an improved understanding of knowledge. These issues regarding the concepts, nature and possibility of knowledge have been addressed in the section ‘Theory of Objects.’ What, then, could ‘all is metaphor’ mean? That all is metaphor has the interpretation: explicit meaning is based in or refers to implicit meaning at animal andor unconscious levels. It must mean something like the following. Consider the concept of existence considered at length in the section ‘Theory of Being.’ I see a mountain and say that it exists. Keep in mind that I am not analyzing ‘existence’ here (some analysis of the meaning must be implicit and may add to what has already been said) but metaphor. Why is it metaphorical to say that the mountain exists? Imagine a non-reflective animal in the mountains. It does not say or think that the mountain exists but may simply be aware of being in relation to it by virtue of its effects – on the visual field, as a source of shade and light and so on. This is perhaps the first and implicit meaning of ‘mountain’ even for a reflective being. Then, when I say that the mountain does indeed exist, my objective meaning is metaphorical in that it refers implicitly to the first meaning. Thus by identifying the ‘objective’ statement as metaphorical in this way, understanding has been enhanced. Objective statements become flush with life. Principle of effability. Meaning of the principle. However, as seen in the sections ‘Theory of Being’ and ‘Theory of Objects’ there is no implication that that knowledge is merely metaphorical, that there is no truth. Although the power of metaphor lies partially in the unconscious, there is no suggestion of ineffability. All mental processes are possessed of being as much as anything else even though they may seem ineffable (e.g. unconscious, perceptually remote) or be about i.e. refer to ‘ineffable things.’ Apparent ineffability and actual effability are compatible. Consequences of the principle. What are the consequences of this principle? If materialism hold, then all things and thoughts, even language and metaphor, must have a material basis. However it has been seen that materialism does not and cannot hold unless the concept of matter is so interpreted as to have no content. From the Theory of Being, it follows that materialism may be a normal paradigm within this (our) cosmological system. In that case we may say that metaphor and language are normally effable in this cosmos. More generally, all things must be effable in terms of the Theory of Being e.g. that all objects are subject to the principles of Logic (e.g. no contradiction,) must be equivalent to the void, must be capable of interaction with all other objects and so on. It follows from this that there can be no absolutely hidden truth. Source of the principle. As noted, it follows from the Theory of Being. Relation to ‘Principle of Sufficient Reason.’ According to Leibniz, reasoning is founded on this principle (as the source or ground of all contingent or factual truths) and the ‘Principle of Contradiction’ (as the source of all necessary truth.) Make entry into the section, ‘Logic,’ above. 11. Morals and concepts. It has become clear that moral concerns and not just formal and scientific issues are pertinent to the concept of language; this is necessary and good; such concerns are also implicit in much definition; this brings up the question of the objectivity and applicability of moral concerns which is taken up below. Main discussion. What is language? The answering is three times crucial to understanding… first to the understanding of language and second because the concept of language is pivotal to understanding itself and finally to escape the ‘delusions of language.’ What are the ‘delusions of language?’ The first delusion. We are by our condition exquisitely sensitive to our language; this may ‘bewitch’ us into thinking that our linguistic machinations are of the real – a lament of the late language philosophy and later of the analytic school. (Why is it a ‘school’ when surely all philosophy should be informed by analysis? I call the analytic practice a school that which insists on analysis above all, which tends to focus on piece-meal analysis, and which values precision of thought over reality and depth and which if its general values were accepted would make the world quite flat.) (We are similarly exquisitely sensitive to our modes of perception – the concept of objectivity may well have origin in the apparent acuity of perception – and this may also lead to ‘delusion’ – the lament of empiricism. Also, similar comments may be made about cognition and the lament of critical philosophy.) Language is recursively delusional. But there are also linguistic delusions of the critical paradigm: that while the constructive machinations are suspect, the critical ones are above suspicion and the related delusion that our experience of language defines language. The possibility of delusion in the latter case becomes manifest in remembering that one of the bewitchments is that it is language itself as we use it that is the medium of knowledge… Language functions. Language functions include thought and communication whose character and imperatives are related and overlap. Paradigms of language. When we think of ‘language’ we may think of examples of languages – English, Sanskrit… and we think – ‘of course, these examples in their main contours are paradigmatic.’ We may think of dictionary or expert definitions (which for language emphasize communication over thought, sign over image; and in so doing abstract from our experience which is at least partially conditioned by the ‘delusion’ and by the history of definition.) But is the process of definition merely one of reading experience? I.e. is it merely one of finding or discovering what already exists? Open ended character of definition. Open ended character of language? Or is it also one of finding what definition or concept is the most empowering (while remaining real.) Thus the usual view is that while the formal and structural characteristics may not define all language (which may include e.g. mathematics, logic, pidgin…) then perhaps the linear, generally non-iconic, literalistic emphasis (which gives poetry an impetus) are characteristic of language. Why we think ‘language’ is Language – again. It is not just the examples but the very fact that humans are so developed in the realm of this paradigm of language that makes it self-evident that this is language; but it is not clear that the source of the self-evidence is the real or that ‘what is language’ is a matter only of seeing and not also of creating the concept as part of an ongoing process. I now rail against analytic philosophy even though I become tired of doing this. I do so because analysis is one of the places to which I turn for inspiration. Note that the very arguments that are used to show the various limits of language –especially the contextual– return to cast a shadow that conception of language –a conception within the cradle of the conception i.e. flush with self-referentiality or circularity of definition– and therefore on the very limits! Thus the putative limits are those of a paradigm or concept of language; and it may be remembered that even within analytic philosophy those limits have been criticized as the limits of a fixed system of language which, even in the conventional conception, is open. A theory of limits, and such theories abound, just as a theory of possibility is generally one of a fixed system. Is it possible to have a fixed theory of a truly open system? Also note how characteristic this is of the analytic school! A first impression is taken as the basis of the paradigm; then analytic power is brought to bear on the idea; piecemeal analysis –and an imperative to get into print– militate against revision of the first impression; and then this premature analysis is taken as the starting point of other analysts working on other problems that make contact with problem at hand. I see and show this over and over. I do it because I value analysis; not because I am or could be critical of analysis as an element of thought. However, the analytic school has largely produced a house of cards. Still… every once in a while, comes an analyst whose brilliance shines; whose critical thought is productive; who does not altogether fit into the paradigm but is assumed to have done so and who is cited in its favor.) ‘Limits’ of language and so of thought. Now we begin to build up theories of language; and philosophies and we talk of the ‘limits of language.’ And the intimations from thoughts on the possibilities limits of language (themselves subject to doubt) are taken as the limits and possibilities of thought. Well of course they are comes the response to my implied criticism. Are they? The strengths of ‘linear language.’ What is the strength of linear language? It is definite in form, it can be formalized, its form can be examined, scrutinized and therefore linear language lends to logic, and via its exactness of form. But now we drop the adjective ‘linear’ and think: this is language; and all thought is in language. And of course we are happy with this conclusion for is this not the foundation of analysis, of higher thought, of the great institutions of science, logic and mathematics? Language and culture. Well… linear language has an origin; it creates a context within which we live and have success; there is perhaps selection for sensitivity of language; under the paradigm of linear language there is sensitivity to its nuances and acuity in production – these come about and are magnified in the human psyche as they also become an instrument of culture. The self-selecting character, once it has come about, of linear language suppresses other communication-thought, suppresses our awareness of it and its possible importance. Such suppression is of course formal more than actual. Is the world thus created – the linear language world a better world? What can ‘better’ mean? We are perhaps thereby more productive; we do thereby acquire exquisite sensitivity to it. Are we happier e.g. than a wolf howl in moonlight? Without the culture of our language we would be mere animal. Here the superior human smiles ‘A wolf knows not higher things; it knows at most an occasional thrill; and, in comparison with comfortable if not sublime existence, is a cold and wet creature trapped in the limitations of its lack of higher sensibility.’ But do we experience more than occasional satisfaction? And, do we then realize infinity? Here smugness shrugs. I say that the cult-cultivation of (nothing but) formal logic-like linear language militates for crawling avoidance of infinity while we so use its power to economic and esoteric ends that it bewitches us into sublimating it as ultimate. (I am caricaturing an attitude.) There is an alternative. Embracing an alternate modality is not rejection of what has been definitive of human being and culture. Is language linear language? Is it this or that? No! It can be this and that: linear, non-iconic, non-imagistic, formalistic, logic-like, contained and therefore without foundation… and not these things – and their complement. If I admit icon, image, and drama –in communication, drama and art are (among) the analogs of icon and image in thought– into language what happens to its putative limits that create generations of thinkers within the realm of linearity? Of course there are limits still. Of course we are no longer in the comfortable realm of logic (contrast Logic.) But is this gimlet eyed comfort that masquerades as angry rigor Logic? Or is it the self-defining, self-perpetuating charade described earlier? We are in a realm that is the house of this life but with a window on the infinite; and of course, no ultimate foundation if by foundation I mean an algorithm for infinity… but at least, in combination with action –pure and designed– a window that looks out on paths leading away and toward. I have cast doubt on the common conceptions of language; I have cast doubt on the putative limits of language. Where, however, have I shown that this possible enlargement of the idea of language can overcome limits? In the first place new conceptions are not merely about overcoming limits –that may be one function– but are also about emerging from narrow perspectives. Is there an impoverishment involved in the dual focus on language as linear and language as the paradigmatic medium of understanding? In view of these reflections the dual focus is clearly isolating. However the dual focus has its empowering aspect too. The enlarged vision of language is inclusive; it includes the empowerment, isolates the isolation. It is not necessary for the enlarged vision to overcome limits; the Theory of Being shows the overcoming of limits for even the ‘linear’ paradigm. The enlarged view is not only about overcoming limits; it trivializes limits. But, when language is understood as thought the non-linear iconic view of language also overcomes those limits that are the limits of flatness and linearity. About limits. And, in connection with depth, this language need know no contingent limit. The enlarged vision encourages the connection of the theoretical view, the one expressed in words, with being and may be worked out in a Journey… Two kinds of doubt have been cast on the ‘Theory of the Limits of Language’ and ‘Limits of Thought.’ First, in the ‘Theory of Being’ there is conclusive demonstration of a direction in which formal thought has absolute depth; this is a refutation more than a doubt. However, the demonstration of the theory is dry; it is not entangled with living. The second doubt, not demonstrative, is about limits regarding knowledge of the variety of being. In this second doubt, enmeshment is freedom; the experience of limit is essential to overcoming limit – to freedom; for if infinity were given what would be its value? We have seen, with appropriate interpretation, the possibility of perfection even here in the discussion of the relationship of being and knowing in ‘Theory of Objects.’ That perfection is not a ‘dry’ perfection; instead it questions the significance of ‘dry precision.’ It interprets ‘perfection’ as a possibility within enmeshment in life but even more it joins that in-process perfection that embraces doubt and question as real to the dry perfection of the Theory of Being. Thus as suggested here, even in enmeshment, even while remaining in-context there is an overcoming of limits that perhaps remains in-process with discovery of new limits – perhaps illuminated perhaps directed to the ultimate by the clarity of the Identity of all being… enmeshment is an ‘improvement’ over the dry perfection of the Theory of Being. Identity with the ultimate is being the ultimate; but would not that being, that or any transcendent ultimate, tire and seek particularity. (It is interesting that this is a Vedantic and a Biblical theme.) The temporal ultimate would seek the particular or, logically, from the nature of the void and its existence, it would necessarily become the particular. A thought – would not that Identity stir, grow restless in perfection – the real and the good being identical, seek again the intimate particular… (Moments of perception are among my favorite times of day)

Topic. Introduce considerations from ‘Origins of Grammar’

Topic. Indexicals and demonstratives

Topic. Mass terms and other linguistics concepts

Topic. Language and metaphysics. What metaphysics is encapsulated in our language? Does metaphysics imply any structure of language?

Topic. Essential constructs of language. Subject and predicate; singular terms name entities, a general term is true of an entity, of some or each of many, or of none

Topic. Explore relations between the form of language (linear, flat but invoking context) and power: in politics, religion (shared belief or faith,) science, art

Topic. The bewitchments of language? If not included in the discussion of the bewitchments of language above, note the following. Errors encouraged by language: bewitchment of intelligence, bewitchment of critical thought

Topic. Are there other uses or functions of language? Function and designated function – again. Comment. Review metaphor. Topic. Other non-literal uses

Language and Culture

Topic. On culture and its relationship to or dependency on language. Elements of culture; secular and religious institutions; art, literature, music…

2.4.3        Society: The Human World

Topics. The elements and processes of society


Topic. Human world. Society and its elements – society and culture; modern and early society; society and psychology; economics, politics, law. Topics in the study of society (social science, sociology.) 1. Organization and change and their elements (institutions; the individual, family and small groups, economic, political, cultural (knowledge and its transmission, religion, art…) and legal functions. 2. The contributions of de Saussure, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Florian Znaniecki. Wilhelm Dilthey…  Determinism and indeterminism (order and chaos). 3. Relation between charisma and patriarchalism in the dynamics of culture and social institutions. Topic. Value, politics and feasibility – group decisions and action; contribution of Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum and others

Topics. Morals, feasibility, the highest ideal; ethics; axiology; economics is implicit in ethics and political philosophy

Morals, Aesthetics and Realism

Topic. Gather together and elaborate discussions of ‘Morals, aesthetics and realism’

Topic. Is the ‘highest ideal’ practical? A solution to the problem that idealism conflicts with practical realism is not to reject idealism but add to it that the search for the ideal is itself an ideal. It is among the highest ideals – it may be regarded as such

Objectivity of Morals. What does it mean to say a moral is objective? An example. Consider some of the Ten Commandments ‘I am the Lord your God,’ ‘You shall have no other gods before me,’ ‘You shall not kill,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ and ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…’ The last of these seems to be practical advice. Whether stealing is moral may depend on the meaning of ‘steal’ and the circumstances. To not kill appears to be imperative but there may be a time to kill. I pass judgment for the sake of illustration but if I were to be intentionally judgmental I might say that I appealed to common sense. In so passing judgment I reveal that I do not hold the morals in question as absolute i.e. as objective. However, there is a point of view in which the morals are intended to be objective. In some views it is the first two commandments that provide the objectivity: the Lord is God; there is no other god; God is your Lord. There are more sophisticated Christian arguments for the objectivity of morals but that is the essence of it: You have a Lord; he commands you to recognize the fact, and to not kill, steal or covet. If there is no god, the system falls; we seem to be back to common sense; killing is mostly wrong but there may be exceptions; stealing is occasionally moral; and coveting is either Puritanical or practical psychological advice. However, there are no absolutes – neither morality nor the specific morals are absolute. Is there a way to make morals objective? This has been a problem of moralists from Plato till today. The debate continues but does not appear to rage; objectivity in morals is thought to be a lost cause in modern Western Philosophy whether analytic or continental. Is there a way out? In the Theory of Being, being or existence was given an objective character by turning the fact into a question; the power of the concept of being stems from its lack of a priori ontological commitments. We similarly ask, ‘What is the value of a moral imperative?’ i.e. from where does a moral derive its force; ‘What are the morals?’ ‘Is killing immoral?’ The answers: morals have to do with good; but while we have an idea of the good, discovery of the good is an open process. There may be ‘good’ but we may not know precisely what it is or whether precision makes the good better. Instead of ‘You shall not kill’ say ‘You shall not murder.’ The command is turned into a question, a discovery – ‘What is Murder?’ Obviously there are cases where an act is obviously murder. (May I ignore the pathology that suggests that there is no such thing at all as murder? May I suggest that the case is pathological?) However, there are boundary cases where it is not clear whether the label of murder should apply; and there may be cases when killing is imperative – as recognized in law. Morality and the Good become Objective by Allowing Flexibility, Doubt, Question, or Process in Ideas (learning.) The degree of doubt may include dependence on the breadth of original context (quality) of the imperative and the contemplated breadth of context. Along these lines it may be possible to talk of The Good, of Ideals and of The Highest Ideal; morality is a question, i.e. a discovery, i.e. an adventure. Development of the idea of morals as discovery. 1. The immediate case. Reflect on morality and morals in this world. The origin in freedom; the nature of this freedom – it is an occasional difficult freedom not a freewheeling infinite freedom (at least not in the beginning.) This freedom and its practical limit is based in the balance between free and bound thought and behavior. Plato’s idea: The Good is The Real (or identical to it;) e.g. if I really (really) know you (as I know myself) I will treat you as I treat my self; in a reversal of one use of ‘object’ moral behavior requires seeing the other as a full object (rather than as a partial or degraded object.) 2. The ultimate case. The ultimate case may be expressed as two questions. Root indeterminism and human choice. What is the relation between the indeterminism at the root of being –and the emergence of form– and the exercise of human choice? The fate of morals in a changing context – actual or contemplated. What is the fate of the morals as the context changes – the minor morals, the practical laws, change easily from context to context; the higher morals change less; what, if any, morals emerge as universal? (We may be required to be open to the idea of new morals but it appears likely that the old may suffice at least in metaphorical interpretation.) We may not know the answer but thought may be turned to the relation between Brahman and Morals; it is the not knowing but looking, with suggestion from what we are that allows objectivity to emerge; that the ‘Puritanical System’ –still possessed of a pervasive if covert presence in the modern world– cannot be objective precisely because it is rigid. As noted objectivity may be introduced by allowing flexibility of ideas or concepts (doubt.) It should be clear that the objective character of morals thus revealed occurs by allowing flexibility, allowing adventure, allowing Ideals in combination to practical morality to which is appended the mark of a question; and it should be clear that practical morals and their extension are not overturned but understood as fact and process but not exclusively as either. Ontological or metaphysical moral: it is not possible think about questions of the objectivity of an object without reflection on the nature of the object – which entails reflection on objectivity; objectivity may be obtained by introducing the question, or openness or process in relation to meaning; with intelligence and care this yields growing insight; and, except when the tradition is pathological, it places and reaffirms rather than overturns the tradition; it should be clear why the analytic-empirical approach will fail; it is a feature of (some) human psychology, even a practically necessary feature, to object to giving the tradition a context

An account of morals. Has discussion of ‘ethics.’ Need for a sufficiently rich account. In the essay, The Sublime and the Good, Iris Murdoch says ‘…if a moral philosophy does not give a satisfactory or sufficiently rich account of what we unphilosophically know to be goodness, then away with it.’ Is Plato’s idea (previous paragraph) a key to richness? Kinds of difficulty in moral behavior. One kind is the problem of fear – and of the courage required to overcome it e.g. in a concentration camp. Another is the problem of moral awareness in the absence of occasion material occasions for fear or anxiety. Not everyone has the necessary moral sense to experience the suffering of others –always present somewhere– as a concern; it is few who have the sense or imperative sufficiently to address the concern in a real way. There is a sense of good and evil in balance with compassion. Moral awareness has another aspect. In the absence of suffering, there is still occasion for perfection. Some regard the idea as obsolete. I use ‘perfection’ to refer to the awareness of and ambition for the good – a higher, even highest good or ideal. The problem of this, often derided, aspect of moral awareness is having a sense of it and developing or being able to develop the sense into an idea of the good and in attempting to live out the idea. The perfect is not given a priori and so the idea and life (may) remain in interaction. There is a way or sense in which this second kind of moral behavior appears to be more difficult than the first – the first requires courage while the second requires awareness or, perhaps, attention and even perseverance. Relation between the kinds. It seems to me that the ‘two kinds’ are related, that they fall under one thing that is moral awareness and behavior. In some times and places religion provides moral awareness. In other times and places such as much of the modern world, the individual may appeal to his or her own moral sense or to stories and texts. It seems that suffering and evil (e.g. harmful action or intent) is an occasion for the good (perfection) and perfection is an occasion and motive to address suffering. It has been said that when there is suffering there is no place for the indulgence of perfection. I say in return that the practice of perfection enhances the space, the sense, from which there is reason and resource to address evil (suffering is a form of evil when it could be addressed but is not.) Practical and ideal relations. Thus the two kinds are practically related. They are also ideally related though not necessarily in the old causal way in which evil necessarily enters in the absence of good. That the drive to or ability for the practical and the ideal appear to reside in the same ‘inner’ place. Instead, they are related in an indeterministic way characteristic of the emergence of form in the theory of being, a way in which the moral sense is a rough and ready but not strict continuum; a way in moral awareness though not necessarily ‘one’ does benefit from oneness. That is, there is no stern proclamation to be made that e.g. idleness leads to evil; rather, it may be said that the cultivation of good, of perfection, may lead to satisfaction, to ‘inner light’ and, perhaps, to occasionally better conditions of life. On perfection. I have been talking of metaphysical and ethical ‘problems.’ Clearly e.g. in terms of the good and the real, the two kinds of problem are related. I do not want to imply that being is essentially problematic especially in the pragmatic sense of life in its aspect of 10,000 things or problems. The essence of the human condition is… I avoid the temptation to complete the sentence; many incomplete completions of it have been written. However there is what I think of as a crux of ‘problematicity’ that is this: human beings are among those beings that know that they are more than merely existing. Humans have a sense of being more than mere but less than absolute or all being; and part of that awareness, since awareness does not stand alone in a pure state, is that it is directed toward completion (occasional approximation to the pure state as in meditation or contemplation enhances it.) That directedness may be called the drive of perfection. Not all human beings feel perfection as a drive; two alternates are perfection-in-the-moment and innocence or ignorance; and the balance of the kinds is good. And of those who feel the directedness of perfection, not all care nor should all care, and of those who care not all do with equal sensitivity or intensity; and of those who care with intensity only some translate thought-feeling into action; and of these some efforts are seen as resulting in ‘great works’ – but may it also be said that the perfection of work lies in the quality of the direction and not the perceived magnitude of the result? A theory of morals. Ethical theory, often of great depth, abounds without much fruit (I omit in this remark reference to the elegance of the theories, to practical consideration of the intersection of ethics and economics or feasibility, and to applied ethics.) Perhaps the function of theory is to satisfy the vanity of the theorist; yet the ethical theorist has little option given the institutional structure within which he or she works; and further, productivity in ethical thought may yield a real ethics in the future. The real and the good. Therefore I refrain at present from theorizing –I may later find a use for it– except to propose one ethical theory, an old one, that equates the real with the good. Application. This ‘theory’ has an immediate application already noted that considering others to be real must both practically and theoretically result in moral behavior toward others; if my behavior is ‘immoral’ that must be equivalent to not seeing or understanding self or other as real. Understanding good and evil. A second ‘application’ is in the understanding of good and evil. It is real that good and evil stem from the same source, the indeterminism that simultaneously makes creation and destruction possible. Without the possibility to be evil, the individual would not have the possibility to do good; without the possibility for the antisocial personality there would not be the possibility of saint. This understanding may allow the individual to accept the world as it is – but not to condone evil; and from understanding and acceptance that one can move and attempt to motivate others toward the good. It is in the working out of examples that the identity of the real and the good is seen. Finally the identity of the real and the good implies that if the real is only partially known the knowledge of the good is also incomplete; incomplete knowledge implies tolerance for self and other – and that ‘redemption’ (from guilt) may start here and now; that one will stumble; that enjoyment is important; that we may hold as true many goods but we do not know a priori whether these are absolute; that, perhaps the direction of perfection is more important than perfection – ideals combined with a search for ideals, even the highest ideal which, in some sense, is identical to search for truth; that if the motive to change is undesirable (as it is to some) then to hold this in absolute terms is contradictory for it is given that there is a motive to change; that there is therefore a meeting point for opposites – for conservative and liberal; that, in truly knowing the other, there is a meeting place for antagonists but we have no absolute knowledge that antagonism is undesirable or desirable; that the good is always, except in absolute knowledge, intertwined with personal knowledge of the good and it that any motive to the good and any frustration of such motives is given as are acquiescence and perseverance

Concepts. Virtues. Sincerity as a virtue (to be criticized as the highest virtue)

Politics, economics and ideals

Topic. Need discussion of economics.

Topic. Politics and ideals; and the world. (Is ‘and the world’ good here; is it diluting?) The first purpose of this discussion is to consider issues, needs and (approaches to) action; concepts, theories and classifications –and a consideration of whether classification is important– will be taken up as useful and systematic consideration may be a later project. First concerns are understanding, ideals, possibilities, limits, realities, ends and action. The possibility of politics. Politics is possible only on the assumption that there are alternative possible futures and that action (without thought or design there is no action but only mere motion) affects outcome; but in the absence of ideals (and imperatives) there is no reason to have concern with politics. The problem or question of ideals. The problem is that at any time the state of the world is or appears to be less than ideal (the problems of suffering and realization) and the question is what should (and can) be done and in pursuit of what ideals. The modern world. The following is a stab; consult any applied ethics text for further ideas. The gulf between government and the people; the problems of suffering – of self and other; the question of isolationism – should America address suffering elsewhere or is that proposition doomed at the outset… and if so, then why should California care about and address the problems of New York and why should mother care for and act on behalf of son (common discussions of this question are rife with over-generalization;) rich and poor or have and have-not, fundamentalism, war and aggression (terrorism slots in here;) desirability and feasibility or ideals, politics and economics… What is the problem; and the nature of the problem? Is the word ‘problem’ useful here; what alternatives should I consider?  The importance of clarity and realism. I am thinking that A proper statement i.e. conception of the problem will go far toward solution (which should include, in addition to practical concerns, realism regarding the way the world is but without resigned acceptance; ‘lifeboat ethics’ is an over-generalized response to a real issue.) Application: preliminary examples. Complete this to make set that is illustrative of principles and representative of the range of application.  Issue of war, terrorism and peace. Consider the extreme stances e.g. of the current administration (United States Government Executive Branch; 2007) and Noam Chomsky in e.g. Failed Sates, 2006. Clearly the administration stance is extreme and, moral concerns apart, and productive of extreme risk with potential for self-destruction. However Chomsky’s position is also extreme in its implicit suggestion that a more even path would eliminate aggression against others and against the United States. What may be true is that the current administration approach (I shall not call it a policy) is (1) adding fuel to the situation, (2) providing others with excuses. There was a lesson to be learnt from the attitude of Neville Chamberlain towards Germany prior to World War II. It still remains true that the administration approach is (1) characterized by double standard (Chomsky calls it a single standard,) (2) highly aggressive, (3) diversionary – resources that could be used for good are not, (4) misleading – the information and idealistic fog screen, (5) extremely short sighted and risky. It may be said that the administration is continuing a trend originating as early as Eisenhower and pursued by every administration – even the Carter administration. Question: what is the source of the disconnect between people and government? State-capital-manufacturing has or may have no interest in real connection. Question. How may rational government approach the problem of aggression? (1) With its present stance there is not even the chance to evaluate the truth of what are or what might be others’ intentions; the world is intensely polarized. (2) It seems altogether possible to reduce the aggressive stance to a more reasonable one in which communication is possible which also accounts for risks to the United States. In fact the risks may be reduced when others’ are not threatened. There is a simple optimization that can be done. As defense energies are increased others become less threatened but, simultaneously other (or the same) others become more opportunistic. There is a middle ground that minimizes risk. (4) I am purposely setting moral, humanitarian reasons aside to show that even selfish self-interest does not dictate the current approach (what then are its motivations?) (The question of whose view of whose interest does of course arise.) There are various factors that affect the influence of morals and values in communal decisions (politics i.e. what politics may be.) First it may be noted that the idealist view may never obtain or have obtained and that lamenting loss or absence of perfect idealism may be unrealistic. Realism is essential and the expectation that every assumed moral is real or that every real moral shall be realized and that practical e.g. economic concerns have no significance with regard to morals is neither realistic nor moral. Regardless, morals if not ideals are essential to an animal that conceives of and makes choices. What are the reasons for the almost complete corruption of morals – of morals in speech but not in action? It may be in part that the political process selects for a lack of morals in politics. It may be also the loss of faith in an era of ‘scientific rationalism’ when only irrational –literalist– faith may take hold. Perhaps then real understanding of being is essential – the equation of the real and the good. The ‘Theory of Being’ provides an outline for such understanding but leaves its development in the area of the good – practical and ideal – open. This is taken up in the discussion of morals above and in ‘Faith’ below. (5) A more reasonable approach would enable communication, de-escalation and a more rational evaluation of risk. (6) A true moral stance may perhaps enhance item 5. Factors include openness over posturing, multilateral action, understanding over condemnation (the West is among the sources of discontent; this cannot be a justification of aggression or counter-aggression,) uniform standards over any double standard. (7) Risk cannot be eliminated. We can only try to move in the direction of reducing it –in the direction of the good– and simultaneously reducing the factors that enhance it: United States build up of weapons include space first strike, disrespect and disregard of others, pre-emptive attitudes… Energy policy. The following comment is pertinent and relates to the foregoing. Whoever controls energy (and has the power to control) gains immense military and economic advantage. It is therefore the United States’ interest and the interest of the Oil Companies to (1) control access to supplies and production, (2) to minimize both pure and applied research that might lead to alternative energy; it is in Europe’s interest to oppose this interest. On democracy. I am not analyzing the ideal; let us assume it to be contained in the word ‘democracy’ whose meaning is then not open to etymological analysis but to morals and politics. It appears then that democracy will require profound change in the affairs of the world; and it is not at all given that such will or may come to pass. What can be done is right action under the light of right ideals – all subject to constructive criticism. (1) The individual, (2) Forming and interacting with groups, (3) Evaluation of influence (state-capital) and application to these centers. Thus the problem of aggression is not merely one of ‘rational government’

Topic. Politics and realism. Issues. What is the case? What desirable and possible? The ‘problem’ of ignorance e.g. regarding ‘the case’ and the ‘desirable and the possible.’ The problem of ignorance has a number of sides. First, ignorance casts doubt on all designs – especially on designs for global and utopian change which would be balanced (at least) by incremental-experimental change. Second, doubt is recursive and must apply also to any critical attitude regarding design. Thus ‘ignorance’ is both limiting and freeing. Examples. Environmental degradation and disaster. Arguments for protection vs. arguments for (unlimited) resource development appeal to data (science) and both ‘sides’ may criticize the other regarding insufficient scientific evidence. Ignore the thought that reason and science are often used as a screen for both hysteria and delay. The principle of ignorance should emphasize that precise knowledge may never be without doubt; therefore only imprecise knowledge can ever be a clear base for action; therefore, action is imperative even in the absence of precision. Ideals. Modern rationalism, ignorance regarding ideals and their replacement by material realism, and replacement of hunger for the ideal by comfort combine to result in an ideal free world (especially in secular and economically advantaged areas.) There is little reason except ‘selfish’ concern to act. However, ignorance calls into question the hypnosis of secular rationalism and suggests its balance by a return to ideals; it suggests a balance of equanimity by a return to passion. The world demands ideals and passion. Use of force. Politics is invariably conducted under the pale of force. To think otherwise would be impractical even if the assertion regarding force is untrue in an ideal sense. A practical ideal might be to nearly always look for alternatives, to value non-violent means, and to be subtle with regard to the language of force. Language and politics. Is there an issue of the nature of language and its use in politics; if so is there a redress; if so, is the redress in language itself or in something that includes language?

Topic. The utopian ideal. The problems of the utopian ideal are not exclusively a problem of ideals but of any large scale change. Social stability is maintained by a network of interactions. Therefore, any sweeping change has a potential to bring about chaos i.e. destabilization. Although attention to practical concerns will not prevent chaos, a lack of such attention is obviously a factor in its precipitation. A solution to this concern is attention to the ideal and the practical in incremental change. What I have been suggesting, of course, and in this my thinking has precedent, is movement toward a conceptualization in which the ideal and the practical are not distinct. What of large scale change? Large scale change will be naturally precipitant when the network of interactions that include human concerns becomes sufficiently off center. This will be the normal situation for abrupt change and it may be fortunate when this opportunity is seized by reason and avoidance of excess. It may be especially fortunate when the seeds of change are seen and the opportunity seized in advance of the precipitation. Naturally, when this occurs there will be no certainty that chaos had been averted since there was no certainty but only an estimate that it might have ensued. These thoughts are a caution regarding incremental change in stable times and not an argument against it or against stability

Law and legal theory

2.4.4        Civilization and History

See Journey in Being (essential version)

2.5         Faith

This section continues the preliminary discussion of faith in ‘Attitude, knowledge, belief, faith, and doubt’ from the earlier section, ‘Human Being.’ Although I have long had an interest in faith, I did not originally plan to write on the topic in this essay. However, a central concern has been being and its nature (metaphysics) and a derivative concern has been the nature and status of knowledge (epistemology.) In reflection I found that regarding both concerns, my thought and considerations of faith have overlap and interaction and that the product of the interaction may enrich my thought and my journey. It became natural to include reflection on faith

Those who write and reflect on faith often come from a faith based perspective. Some become discouraged by the inconsistencies in systems of belief. Others such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas take a philosophical perspective on their faith. It is not inaccurate to describe the writing of such persons, regardless of final verdict, as ‘magnificent edifices of thought.’ However, the transition from metaphysics to any particular catechism or system of religious faith still requires a leap and cannot be regarded as grounded in reason. What is true of reason is also true of attempts to found faith in psychology: that there is a need for faith or that a particular belief is universal is not an a priori foundation. There is on the other hand the criticism of ‘foundationalism.’ Obviously, foundation (it seems) must end somewhere and so, it seems, some beliefs must be basic. There are a number of alternatives to this too: (1) The ground of intuition as beyond belief. This criticizes the idea that knowledge is self-defining. (2) Pragmatic approaches to knowledge. It is possible that 1 and 2 will reveal some ‘beliefs’ as basic. There is an alternative. (3) That foundation does not always involve infinite regress. The exemplary case is the Theory of Being. (That regress is non-terminating or that science is without end are part of experience but are not necessary. That they are necessary is, without proof, an illicit if natural assumption)

However, It is not my objective to found any given system. The metaphysics of this essay shows every actual system, apart deviations from Logic, to have some realization. However, such realizations are, likely, so remote that their significance must be (likely) figurative rather than literal. Yet, it is perhaps true, that concrete narrative (story) is most meaningful to most persons. Some steps with origin in the metaphysics and in the direction of the concrete are taken in ‘A Religion.’ These steps are illuminated by the observation that while the realizations are remote, their form is not necessarily so and may be a basis for or initial point of development


In order to understand ‘Faith,’ the logic of faith and its psychic value, I first look at faith from a point of view that is not dependent on the Theory of Being. I.e. I ask ‘What is the status of faith from a point of view of common experience e.g. common knowledge including science and the tradition of philosophy? What is the relation of faith to our lives and to action?’ I then look at the implications of the Theory of Being


 (1) What is faith? (2) The logic of faith. (3) Faith, religion and function. (4) A Religion. (5) Recent history of faith. (6) Faith and the secular world. (7) Need and prospect for faith. (8) Significance

Objectives and function of the section

Concept of faith and uses as such. Not a complete treatment or (philosophical) analysis of faith or religion. Problem and place of religion today and tomorrow. Problems and concerns regarding faith in the modern world. Is there a possibility for faith in this world and the future? Is it desirable? What would it be like? Actual faiths? Synthesis of elements of actual faiths? New? What? Integrations of the following? Elements of the faiths? Understanding of the universe and nature – science, metaphysics and Theory of Being? Understanding of human being, and society and morals – Darwin, Freud, Heidegger (here stands for the beginning of post-structuralism) and their successors for human being; de Saussure, Durkheim, Max Weber, Amartya Sen and others for society… and Theory of Being and its implications. How? Look at the various faiths and faith ‘substitutes’ e.g. art, literature… secular humanism… humanistic religions…


On the interest in faith. One source of my interest in faith (individual rather than traditional) arises out of limits to reason – generally and in relation to my ambitions. I have, however, felt more comfortable with doubt than faith. This is the source of a personal motive to examine the nature of faith and to see what part faith plays –may or must play– in human life, achievement and possibility – in the journey. Also, the particular faiths (religions,) whatever their shortcomings and abuses, whatever the absurdities of their literal and singular interpretations, speak to the individual regarding his or her place in being in ways and at depths that science and reason do not and that ‘secular’ art and literature only touch. My interest is in the possibilities and place of faith; what the particular faiths may reveal and contribute; there is no a priori intent to establish or refute any particular faith. A conclusion. My conclusion shall be that in the process of living there is a healthy and productive interaction among faith (especially as understood in what follows,) belief and doubt. Traditional faiths. A consideration of the traditional faiths is important because of their influence (many consider it excessive) in the modern world. A personal interest in faith arose out of my natural and original skepticism regarding what appear to many modern minds to be absurdities of faith. I felt that even if I did not agree the believers, I should –out of respect and from the possibility that I might learn and experience something of value; and also in line with the principle of doubt– to have some doubt my natural skepticism. (My skepticism here as in the theory of knowledge is a two way skepticism. The first skepticism concerns what is traditionally accepted. Even though ‘first skepticism’ is natural a second skepticism arises regarding the first. Although first skepticism is healthy and productive of improved understanding, if pushed to an extreme it results in nihilist conclusions e.g. ‘faith has no content,’ ‘there is no knowledge,’ and if pushed even further, ‘there is no being.’ Second skepticism is not merely doubt regarding doubts of factual content but also asks ‘What is the meaning and nature of faith, of knowledge or of being?’ This is important because first skepticism often regards the nature and meaning of the concepts as given; however, as has been seen in the cases of knowledge and being, to question their possibility has no meaning unless there is a clear meaning of the concepts; further, the meanings that made first skepticism possible are often empty, corrupt or ill conceived (even if natural enough.) Conclusions regarding traditional faith. Traditional faiths may suffer corruption and abuse. There is also much of value in the faiths.  There are many examples in the twentieth century and earlier of people of simple but traditional faith standing up to oppression where secularism, intellectualism and church failed. However, it is not clear that generalization is possible. Still the actual widespread conflicts among faiths and between faith and secularism point to an importance of tolerance (of faith if not of action,) respect, and openness to communication even in the presence of physical conflict and debasement of values

2.5.1        What is faith?

Faith, the concept and nature

Meaning of an article of faith: literal and figurative

Literal meaning and figurative meaning e.g. metaphorical, pointing in which meaning is not a function of word meaning. Is specification of meaning necessary or useful and to what objective?

That figurative meaning has significance is clear

Importance of literal meaning

1. To show the limits of common knowledge regarding the depth and variety of being

2. That the truth of the literal assertion is not logically absurd is necessary for figurative meaning. Literal meaning may be regarded as ‘outer truth’ while figurative meaning is related to ‘inner truth;’ thus inner truth can exist without outer truth but such inner truth is tenuous and problematic even if possessed of success and power. Inner truth cannot be taken as ‘justifying’ outer truth but it may provide a basis for outer function other than the truth function e.g. trust in being, group bonding; and while such considerations are not truth-justifications they may be seen as explaining the existence of paradox in faith or, perhaps, as practical even if questionable justification (such considerations permit some understanding even when they are not regarded as justification.) It remains to be said (even though it is obvious) that without outer truth there can be no inner significance; it is simultaneously true, however, that significant truth in the domain of faith will typically possess an aura of paradox when it attempts to point to distant realms of being

The continuum of faith – common to extraordinary

Common faith is faith in reasonable though not necessary things. Special faith is faith that goes beyond appearance, especially to the idea that the universe is greater than it appears in common knowledge or common faith

What factor or factors define that continuum? From reasons to believe to lack of reasons to not; from security to risk; from the finite to the infinite…

States of faith

2.5.2        The logic of faith

‘Logic of faith’ implies no intent to establish any particular system under either literal or figurative meaning

The objective of this section is to see what foundation faith may have – and whether the ‘foundation’ is to be sought in literal establishment of beliefs, in figurative meaning or in function. That the values of faith form a complex system explains (may explain) why actual faith persists and may have value even in the presence of practical imperfection (it may be argued that all actual institutions will fall short of some ideal but a practical imperfection is an obvious shortcoming and one that, were it to exist in isolation, would be easy to excise)

Why faith? The logic of faith

Nature of exceptional faith and its ‘epistemic’ status. Exceptional faith says, ‘The world is more than you know it to be…’ and ‘The world is not the slave of the thought of a man – especially the thought of a reasonable man.’ Faith is necessary on account of the limits of pure reason; and is contrary to the (tacit) secular assumption that is a combination of the following: reason has no bounds, in the absence of reason ignorance and avoidance (of action) is better than belief or faith and faith based action. It is important to distinguish reason and plausibility. The content of a faith may (or may not) be plausible. However, a decision to hold that faith (if it is a decision that is involved) may satisfy the criteria of reason regardless of the plausibility of content. Chaos or indeterminism and faith

Proof and religion – the content of faith

Status of previous proofs of the articles of faith. Function of the proofs. Alvin Plantinga

Is faith necessary in science?

One common view of scientific truth discussed earlier is that it is its theories are hypothetical; they may be discredited but not verified. One source of this view is the idea that a theory is a generalization that fills in gaps which could be filled in otherwise and there is an element of faith involved in accepting the standard theory. In this view, interpolation is common faith while extrapolation is special faith

2.5.3        Faith, religion and function

Faith, religion and ‘function’ were in separate sections. The ideas are connected because intension (what something is,) function (what it does or may do,) and its actual form (religions) are not separate

Faith and function

‘Function’ has been considered earlier in the section ‘Logic.’ Confusion of function and designated function leads to idealized conceptions of artifacts especially of faith and religion. A secular concept of religion is ‘Human beings' relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual or divine.’ In practice this definition places an un-bridged gulf between the secular world and the world of faith; there are various reasons for the conceptual separation of the ‘two’ worlds; however a separation of concepts does not imply a separation of fact. If religion does refer to an actual world then that world must interact with the secular world. It has been seen in ‘Metaphysics’ that the secular world as commonly understood – whose boundaries are roughly defined by practical and scientific knowledge – is not merely incomplete but infinitely incomplete; and the ‘excluded’ world may have limited normal interaction but must have unlimited actual interaction with this world. In fact, though not usually in practice, the secular world may be regarded to be sacred; in that case there is no conceptual distinction between the ‘two worlds.’ The notion of ‘designated function as function’ leads for many institutions to a variety of actual functions being regarded as improper or inappropriate; this tendency is exaggerated in the modern world by specialization. That an actual function is not a designated function is not an intrinsic reason to regard the function as improper; the actual function may be necessary and there may be no institution that addresses it. An actual function may in fact be ‘superior’ (in terms of values, even designated values) to a designated function. Over time, function may ‘evolve,’ decay may set in, corruption and abuse may enter. For an institution that has valued functions or is tradition based, resolution of questions of decay, corruption and abuse and issues of energies and approaches to be devoted to resolutions are difficult, (understanding of) relations between cause (attempts at change) and effect are tenuous

Other religious functions

Sacred texts, rituals and places. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions are generally also constituent elements of the religious life as practiced by believers and worshipers and as commanded by religious sages and scriptures. Universal message. Given that the designated function is not the only function or even the function (‘the function’ has no clear intrinsic significance,) it follows that the traditional ‘universal messages’ (universal brother or sisterhood, the golden rule of conduct, unity of being, truth of human nature revealed by insight – ancient or modern) are readings (in the examples the first two are moral, the third is metaphysical.) This does not imply that they are mere readings without significance; however, universality is itself an issue that requires consideration

The concept of religion

Introduction. Here are some thoughts in progression. Religion is relationship. Religion is the relationship of a being to all being. Religion is negotiation of the entire universe (all being and modes of being) by the whole being (e.g. all faculties of knowing and transformation of the individual and society.) As such religion stands in inclusive contrast to a system of culture, e.g. secularism, that encapsulates the contingent necessities of a society. What are ‘contingent necessities?’ The arrangements of a particular society has elements that are contingent in that they are not necessary to society as such but are necessary to that society; the contingent necessities include these as well as their sustaining institutions and cultural artifacts (e.g. beliefs.)  Let’s think of this system as ‘contingent culture.’ The idea of religion as just presented, perhaps ideal, stands against but not in exclusion of contingent culture. In this sense, religion includes both metaphysics, morals, and culture; however, these are expressed not only in philosophical or literal terms but may be expressed in non-literal words through legend, myth and parable or in dramatic ritual or invocation of a mood and predisposition to action and perception through poetic words, icon and art, architecture and place. The inclusive opposition is roughly captured by Weber’s thoughts on charisma and patriarchalism in ‘Sociology of Culture.’ Weber thinks that the routine functions of a society are invested in patriarchalism of which a case is bureaucracy; and that those needs that transcend the everyday and routine functions have been satisfied in a heterogeneous manner on a charismatic basis. The patriarch is the natural leader in matters of everyday life. The natural leaders in moments of distress, says Weber though opportunity might also be appropriate, whether psychic, physical, economic, ethical, religious, or political, were neither appointed officeholders nor professionals in the present day sense of basis in training or special expertise, but rather the bearers of specific gifts (charisma in Greek) of body and mind that were considered supernatural in the sense that not everybody could have access to them. Charisma (and accident) are among the sources of a patriarchal system. Religion may be seen as a universalizing motion in opposition to an established patriarchy. Any such conception is an idealization in that it is a designation. Religion itself enters into culture and becomes part of or partakes of the patriarchy. This sets up (or adds to) variety of function; openness to fracture; decay and abuse (note that abuse itself partakes of designation.)  A natural explanation regarding patriarchalism and charisma might include as factors of psyche and social arrangement: ability and place of both patriarchal and charismatic influence (leaders) and psychic responsivity to both kinds of influence; this provides a natural explanation of organization, origination and conflict. (The significance of natural includes that it is natural enough but neither necessary nor full.) Religion and faith. Does all religion involve (at least implicit) faith? Faith and religion have overlap but are not identical (not all faith is religious, not all religions involve faith; examine this claim.) Religions have a function as institutions of faith

Concept of religion. Religion as negotiation of the universe (all being and modes of being) by the whole being (e.g. all faculties of knowing and transformation of the individual and society. As such religion stands in inclusive contrast to a system of culture, e.g. secularism, that encapsulates its contingent necessities. Thus, in the present conception, Religion is not only about the ‘divine’ and so on but is also about this world. Does all religion involve (at least implicit) faith? Faith and religion have overlap but are not identical (not all faith is religious, not all religions involve faith; examine this claim.) Religions have a function as institutions of faith. The religions versus Religion. That claims of the religions as truths about the world may not obtain does not mean that there can be no religion. In ‘Cosmology’ I discussed the actuality of god and what properties god or gods may have – that there is a possibility of higher beings but that the universe as all being cannot have a creator. In the earlier sections I have shown that it is possible to talk truthfully about such things and that the arguments against the possibility of knowing in this region do not hold. Is there a local god or is there a God who directs our affairs in this cosmological system? I am unable to answer this question except to assert that in certain but not all pantheistic conceptions of ‘god’ do correspond to an actuality but that actuality does not have the characteristics of the ‘Gods’ of many of the religions. Thus the idea of Religion cannot be opposed on logical grounds. Can it be opposed on grounds of relevance? The answer to this question is somewhat subjective. However even if there were no religious truth there is Religious truth (in the present concept of Religion it includes the secular world and we have seen that the world must be infinitely greater than the secular world.) I hold the following: Truth is always important. First, truth illuminates our immediate world; and second, the truths revealed by the ‘Theory of Being’ and in ‘Cosmology’ have very real implications for the nature of universe, of our identities and the infinite future of these entities

Classifications and types of religion

In addition to any intrinsic interest, a present purpose to classification may reveal the range of elements that may be part of Religion and the kinds of individual whose needs and commitments may be addressed by Religion

While religion does not always involve explicit faith and not all faith is religious faith there is overlap between religion and faith

Religious practice

Practice and faith. Articles of faith. Spirituality vs. religion; private vs. communal religion (or spirituality)

Functions of faith and religion

The secular view. The secular view as the only view: from separation to exclusion. Meaning based function – literal vs. non-literal, ontological (about reality,) moral (is there a difference?) and practical functions. Faith and the dimensionality of language. Faith and morals. The moral function may be essential in view of human nature; the good as an object of contemplation and so of moral behavior; comparison to ethics as instruction in the good. Functions not based in meaning. Individual based functions e.g. pointing or focal functions; overlap. Group functions e.g. resulting from adherence and (shared) use – including bonding, shared commitments, and exclusion; while sharing is significant to bonding it is also significant though not essential to faith itself; and achievement of function directly through art, poetry, place and enactment and secondarily through meaning

Art and faith; place, ritual and word; beyond ritual to action, beyond place to world

Faith and psyche

Importance of the whole psyche i.e. cognition-feeling-motivation; faith and the real; charisma and creation of faith vs. the follower

Faith, indeterminism, chaos, and suffering

Cosmology and faith

Topics from cosmology for the basis of various articles of faith in cosmology

2.5.4        A Religion

Alternative title: Possibilities for Religion

What might an outline of Religion be? It would contain a description of the universe and of the individual and identity; it would have a description of relationships between the individual and the universe, the individual and the immediate world, and other individuals. It is clear that such a description must include morals. A framework. The description of the universe would begin with ‘the universe is all being.’ Next might come a description of manifest and non-manifest or void phases; this sounds rather like ‘Brahman’ except however that Brahman carries, here, no connotation of any external creating or sustaining or destroying. Then, perhaps, various properties such as infinite recurrence as described in ‘Cosmology.’ This would be followed by a general discussion of the individual and identity and (ultimate) relationships among individuals and between individual and universe (including identities.) This very general framework is foundation for building ‘Religion’ which might include some ideas from science and the sciences –physical, life, mind and social sciences– and history. Individual path. ‘Journey in Being’ and the values of my life –ideas, nature, people, art– have sustained my life but I do not assume that my commitments would have meaning for or sustain others. Traditional and tribal religions show a variety of ‘ways’ that might be adapted in light of modern ideas from psychoanalysis, sociology and anthropology. Ethics from the section ‘Human Being’ may provide some basis for morals (including the significance and identity of the real and the good) and human relationships. Doubts about the framework. This remains a framework and I am not sure that the term ‘Religion’ should apply even if the framework is filled out. How may this framework be filled out? In addition to the traditional forms, the following modern forms are possibilities: literal, literary and poetic narrative, art and music. I do not think that this would be sufficient for all kinds of person. However, meeting the needs of all kinds is not essential. In Hinduism, there is a range of heterogeneous materials that address a variety of kinds. What kind of myth, legend, parable, ritual,  art, music, architecture and place might be sufficient to extend appeal to a range of kinds? Creation and (or) selection from what already exists? Further doubt. Does the possibility have value; should it be called ‘Religion?’ Would it have appeal? Is it either probable or desirable that there should be one system? Is it possible or is it necessary for Religion to be derived from a modern world view; or should it necessarily arise within a pre-scientific or pre-secular tradition? Given the psychosocial aspects of faith is it reasonable to expect various systems to engage in change in response to ‘reasons.’ Existence of a need and opportunity; clarification of the nature of the doubt. That some ‘need,’ gap or opportunity exists is clear: the modern systems –the secular systems and traditional faith– have been shown (Theory of Being) to describe an infinitesimal fraction of all being. My doubt concerns whether the need may be adequately addressed by ‘Religion.’ On naming. In considering the issue, it will be useful to note that existing names have power and pitfall as a result of positive and negative or tangential associations. Role of an individual. I do not want to be seen as thinking, ‘I will or may satisfy this need,’ but would rather think ‘There appears to be a need’ or ‘We have a need regarding whose address I have some potentially useful thoughts.’ This is my style of self-regard in my self-skeptical mode

2.5.5        Recent history of faith

Faith yesterday – integrated

Faith today – fractured rather than ‘dead’ i.e. retreats to secularism and fundamentalism; the fracture is in response to the ‘death;’ why death. Why is faith dead or fractured? Reason questions faith; reason is the advance of secular human being; but is figurative meaning not possible – yes and these are among the reasons for the continuation of faith but this is not faith as faith. Reason claims to provide all possible answers and to define all possible questions and to determine choice and action. There is an aspect of faith that is a response to possibility and adventure. However, reason claims to provide all possible answers and to define what is possible (though not all answers that may be or may have been desired or claimed in faith.) Reason and modernism allow no real sense of the tragic. There is an aspect of faith that is a response to tragedy (some thinkers assert that that is all that faith, religion is.) However, modernism and its rationality allows no sense of true tragedy. Psychoanalysis, which might be the best modern hope for a tragic sense would explain it as neurotic or merely of the psyche; and the existentialist answers grant already the premises of reason and alienation. Reason is the basis of common knowledge. There is an aspect of faith that addresses common concerns, life’s ambitions, human relationships – in the ideas and in the social arrangements of the faith community (e.g. church.) The common knowledge of modernism is dominated by science and reason over tradition and faith. In the history of the dominant world powers today, faith lost to reason by the end of the nineteenth century. This is why the ‘faith’ movements in the dominant regions resort to ‘rationalistic fundamentalism’ i.e. to proving the truth of the scripture; and why faith elsewhere is organic – whether in individual life or as a political instrument. Reason allows no wonder beyond its boundaries. Religion and faith have concern with wonder and actuality of what is beyond the immediate e.g. that death is a beginning and not an end. However, reason and science allow only that wonder that concerns the domain defined by their limits

2.5.6        Faith and the secular world

Religions of the world

Status  and place of religion in the modern world: religion and the secular life; religion, action, possibility, being and becoming. Spectra of faiths and religions

Faith and the secular world

The concept of the secular. The secular world is the world apart from religion and the existence of a secular ‘world’ does not imply that there are no religious truths when taken as truths about the world (there should be no doubt that taken as metaphors or as illuminating human psychology there is truth to e.g. claims about the existence and nature of God.) However secularism (e.g. secular humanism) as the idea that the secular world is the only world may contradict the religious truths as truths about the world. For some individuals the secular world is flat while for others it is not; some individuals find religion flat on account of its untruth. I do not find the secular world flat; I find it quite wonderful. However, my position regarding religion and religious truth must wait until an elaboration of the concept of religion below. Does the secular involve faith? Faith in science and reason is real. Separation of religion and the secular? Faith and reason. In this section, the relation and overlap of faith and reason have been considered. Here I take up ‘alienation’ that may result under the influence of world views based in science and reason. (I am not discussing alienation that may result from social organization and specialization that have some origin in the development of science and technology.) A typical form of this alienation is the view that ‘humankind is a lonely and marginal accident.’ It has been shown earlier that the universe as revealed by physical cosmologies (big-bang etc.) is infinitesimal in relation to the universe; and that human identity as revealed in the common human self-concept is infinitesimal in relation to the actual identity. The Theory of Being has revealed the universe to be infinite in magnitude, depth and variety when compared to the standard and traditional views. However, in order to understand ‘alienation’ I shall temporarily grant the standard views of universe and identity. In standard physical cosmologies, there is no difference between one location and another; it is therefore invalid to think of human being peripheral. However, it is true in the standard pictures, that the human world is a small world in spatial terms (disregarding imagination.) However, nowhere in the standard picture is anything said about significance. Any derivation of significance from the standard picture is not an inference but an emotional reaction. This reaction is taken to be the basis of an alien picture of human being. The individual may now think (perhaps under the influence of existentialism) ‘I may be insignificant but I face the world with courage.’ This courage is unnecessary since there is nothing new in our understanding that makes fear more appropriate than it ever has been (except in the standard view for the delusions of faith.) What is happening may be analyzed as follows. The ‘courage’ has not eliminated the ‘fear’ but coexists with fear as a counter to it; and ‘frozen’ imagination in the face of fear prevents seeing beyond the standard view while psychosocial investment in the standard view with ego-investment in ‘courage’ removes any occasion or motive to see beyond. Thus while alienation is not required by the standard views it is one typical response to those views and their relation to earlier traditional and perhaps faith based views. Returning to the vista developed in the previous sections, it is seen that alienation (as fact) is logically inconsistent with the nature of being in the universe. Simultaneously, it may be noted that the Theory of Being provides no absolute comfort, no absolute protection from fear and suffering. However the theory together with what has been revealed regarding identity does imply that there is a distinction between rational fear in an uncertain environment and projection of such fear to the universe as such; and that it is within the scope of identity to experience all extremes and magnitudes of being and feeling

‘Secular’ has a variety of connotations; here I will consider it in relation to its effect: the secular view of being is what is taken to be the dominant view in secular (separated from faith and church) society; thus viewed, ‘secularism’ is a limiting attitude. What is the modern, secular, way of life? There is no one way but an illusion of a one way – there is the way of the dominant powers centered in technology and mere economics over human value, variations from this theme (e.g. militant fundamentalism,) and separate ‘indigenous’ ways… I will call (the illusion of) the way of the dominant powers the modern way. There is a modern way of living – style, values, ambitions… all very this worldly. There is a modern way of thought – dominated by this world, this society, by science and nature over all else (Stephen Hawking: if it is not known in science, it does not exist.) There a modern way of faith – there is no need for faith because there is nothing beyond (Steven Weinberg: we are a lonely accident) – and when there is faith it is polarized into fundamentalism e.g. as defense, and it is not continuously integrated into life – this is of course the ‘dominant’ position with local variations especially in those who are not dominant and react, perhaps because threatened, by the dominant. There is an interlocking system of reasons that produces a situation of ‘no faith’ because of some combination of the three pillars of modern belief: no reason for faith, no need for faith, and no reasonable possibility of faith beyond secularism. The reasonable individual, especially the individual who would be or would be seen as reasonable, today invests primarily in the secular view, he or she feels comfort there, sees there immediate salvation in the comfort of peer acceptance, feels discomfort in deviation from the secular – this the individuals enculturation and world. Certainly there are other ways of seeing but there is a variety of forces whose confluence has powerful influence on the way the individual sees the world and professes to see the world (what I think, what I think I think, and what I say I think are distinct and the distinction does not necessarily involve explicit deception or intent to deceive)

Religion in the secular world

Religion confined by secular authority as the domain of the ‘divine’

Faith and secularism (should they be separate – separation has political reasons and assumes a separate world but is this the case? And if not does not the world lose by the separation? And if the status of religion and science favors separation should can this extend to reason? That is should extend requires that it may)

Faith and persecution. Why persecution? 1. Political moment, 2. Vanity, 3. Ultimate character. But persecution proves the point!? Comfortable secularism sees infinite depth and variety as finite – its strength and weakness

2.5.7        Need and prospect for faith

Significance of faith for civilization

Ideal – common faith, science knows not all it would seem, but it is possible to know as in Theory of Being

But every individual and every generation and every society recreates its world and so doubt and faith remain in equilibrium occasionally touching but mostly in the pale of knowledge; the alternative to re-creation is flat existence

Practically – faith even if fractured and in the form of rigid fundamentalism (though not invariably) appears to be here to stay and to powerfully influence the entire secular and private world and so occasions response or address


What kind of faith? Is faith necessary? Is it possible to know and, if so, what and in what way? Are there gaps to fill? And how to present – literal narrative, myth… ?


As for politics: charisma, individual, group…

Communication and ‘bridging’ (word)

Future of religion

Religion, reason, conflict, tolerance, the real and the good. Conflicts among faiths; between faith and sense; faith and secularism

2.5.8        Faith and Journey

This discussion of ‘Faith’ began in a point of view that did not adopt a foundation in the Theory of Being. The purpose of that omission was to focus on the nature and psychology of faith and to see what ‘reasons’ faith may have. It is likely that in their origins faith and reason were intertwined. In order to understand the necessity of faith imagine that we live in a world where everyone is reasonable in that they accept the dominant secular paradigms in which science and rational thought dominate our understanding of the world and in which emotion and passion though important in their effect on quality and motive are separate from reason. If reason had no limits this description might be ideal. However, reason has limits and this is shown by reason itself. Science is a generalization of experience and thus its theories apply to a phase of being and are not known to apply to all being. Reason has provided a world view with science and inference at its center and which provide a model for all being. This world view is both result and justification for reason and any rational establishment of the world view is thus circular. Enculturation into that world view makes anything outside it effectively invisible in the psyche. The history of science and reason has a dual aspect of which we tend to focus on the restrictive aspect in which there has been a transition in the view of humankind as central to one in which we are not (and those who grew up in a faith that portrayed humankind as central may view the development of the scientific view with despair.) However, the development of science since the time of Newton (e.g. in the introduction of indeterminism and the rejection given character of space and time) shows that this (our) cosmological system (and therefore the universe) is much more varied than is typically imagined in traditional reason. Thus science and reason which were originally limiting of the view of being have taken a reverse course and begun to open the view of variety and possibility. While the articles of faith from particular religions (taken literally) may be suspect, reason itself has begun to show a greater freedom in being than may have been imagined in the strictest hour of reason. Is there a place for faith in this situation? The argument of the section on ‘Faith’ is that there is a place – that faith may be instrumental in transformation where belief may be insufficient and that the ‘prize’ may be so great as to outweigh any risk or knowing abandonment of reason (further, such faith does not require an abandonment of reason in its useful realms that include everyday life.) The foregoing arguments show that, without reference to the Theory of Being, there is a place for faith and reason that polarization in either direction is unreasonable and that there is a reasonable middle ground but that there is a tendency of the psyche to fracture itself into the oppositions of purity in faith or reason. Originally, in the age of reason (the enlightenment) the transcendence of faith appeared to be a freedom; subsequently, reason showed its own limitations. There was however, in the spirit of the age, no possibility of return to faith (the faiths.) A more careful analysis of the situation may, however, have shown a role for faith if not traditional faith (taken in entirety.) The Theory of Being sheds new light on the impasse. It shows how, in the direction of the depth of being, it is possible to go beyond faith and limits to reason

2.6         Foundation: Significance and Prospect

This section focuses on significance of ‘Foundation’ and in relation to reason and faith. Significance is considered in general terms and for continuation of ‘Journey in Being’ into a realm of experiment and transformation of being and identity

2.6.1        Criticism

Criticism is necessary for there to be significance

Status and criticism of Theory of Being… metaphysics, logic, cosmology

Faith, reason and the Theory of Being. Regarding the traditional faiths, the Theory of Being (except logical absurdity) places them on firmer ground and simultaneously undermines them. The firmer ground shows arises in showing the actuality of the beliefs; the undermining occurs because it shows only possibility and implies high degrees of improbability; and the Theory does not show the necessity in this (our) cosmological system. Further, in showing the logical actuality of the articles of faith there may be some undermining of their psychological impact and ‘necessity.’ What does the Theory of Being imply for the possibility and place of faith? The theory itself is dry. There is a place for imagination regarding the variety and there is then (perhaps) a place for faith in further adventures of being; the sources for this ‘faith’ may be in science, logic, art, and literature in the form of poetry and story – including the stories from tradition. The traditional faiths. Because of the oppositions of purity and continuity of tradition, it is unlikely that, as may have been imagined in light of an era of reason, the traditional faiths will die soon; and from the requirements of continuity and of every generation to ‘recreate itself’ it is not clear that this would be possible or desirable. Regardless of one’s view of the value of the faiths, they have a significant contribution to the modern world and it seems that by breaking communication among faiths and between secularism and faith the result will be destructive

2.6.2        The Foundation

Metaphysics and subsequent sections provide a general framework within which to understand the universe and the individual and their relationship. We learned that the universe in infinite in relation to the ‘common understanding’ which includes science and the particular faiths in their usual interpretations. The infinity is not essentially one of size or duration but of actuality: the requirements of logic are the only limits on actuality e.g. any system of descriptions that is and entails no contradiction is realized. Within this infinity, those systems that attain duration that transcends ephemerality by virtue of relative symmetry and stability are termed ‘normal.’ Within a normal system, there may be phases of causal-like and deterministic-like behavior; and while an appearance of causality and determinism may be attained for some ranges of phenomena, they are interlaced with the indeterministic background of the entire universe. What is normally called impossible is, except for logical impossibility, improbable. Within normal systems, individuals may emerge e.g. as a result of evolution which is a normal mechanism for such emergence. There are various normal limits on individuals such as death and being ‘subject to natural (normal) law.’ However, the Theory of Identity shows that the psyche of the individual is (when normal behavior is transcended as it must be on account of the Theory of Being) universal psyche. An understanding of human growth provides an approach to connecting the normal realm with the universal

Conclusions on the nature of being

On ultimate things

Doubt and faith. Doubt and faith may be seen as extensions of intuition. Although Kant did not refer to the intuition (here used in its technical sense) as including faith (it was not so in his system) that is effectively the case (since his system is approximate) and, since he saw his system as absolute, he did not require doubt. Doubt and faith are complementary and provide stability and transition. It is possible to go beyond doubt and faith and know: the world is not infinite in all its aspects; this is seen in the Theory of Being. Doubt and Faith remain necessary: in relation to infinite aspects of the world – the Theory of Being does not alter the aspect of infinitude; because true learning is discovery or re-creation; because every generation and individual recreates the world (and must do so)

2.6.3        The path to the Theory of Being

The Theory of Being stands in logical form. However its development was not ‘logical.’ Before the development of the logic I had various intuitions of it. The sources of the intuitions were not merely imaginative but also based in modern science (later, basis in science became unnecessary) and having had the first glimmer of the intuitions I became aware of their potential for power; thus they became a part of my intellectual landscape. My attitude toward the intuition cannot be described as belief for I had no more than ‘soft’ reasons to regard them as valid. I did not think of my attitude as one of faith but in looking back faith seems to be descriptive. That time is now becoming remote but it seems that my attitude was a dual of faith and doubt. Without the component of faith, I might not have had the motivation to continue on; without doubt I might not have succeeded in the transition from intuition to logic

2.6.4        Prospect

General. Implications and uses of the foundation. Infinite nature of the universe. Understanding the depth and variety of being. Infinite nature and variety of identity. Special applications e.g. the topics of ‘Foundation,’ ‘Journey in Being,’ and ‘Fundamental Problems’

Further continuation of the Journey in Being. The foundation provides a framework for the further continuation of the ‘Journey in Being’ into the realms of transformation, synthesis and action. The cold logic of the metaphysics might suggest the possibility of a rational approach (even though the considerations of psyche make this undesirable and unlikely if not impossible.) The metaphysics, however, provides no explicit grasp of the infinitude of being. It appears, therefore, that, in addition to reason and imagination, I will maintain an acquaintance with doubt and faith will in the ongoing journey into being

3           Journey in Being

This chapter is not as formal as ‘Foundation.’ Here, experiment and action, and human expression are crucial



Meanings of (concept) ‘journey.’ Journey versus process. Individual; transformation is essential; universal; merging. Being (becoming) as a Journey. Journey º Becoming º Being º Universe (all being)

Why journey?

Necessity in life, discovery and realization of possibility and the good. Journey as essential in discovery and experience (becoming) of being.  Journey, becoming, as purpose, significance in itself; even if Brahman were achieved or the book of life writ these would not be the end of ends; there is always dissolution –necessary and good for the way is made for ‘re’ creation– and all creation is re-creation; and the being of being is in integration – e.g. thought and feeling – and integration requires process (a mere happening is not a moral integration even if it is a logical integration; read on.) And… Journey is logically necessary to ends; practically the likelihood of ends without Journey though not zero is infinitesimal; morally the Journey-End in relation is good and therefore the Journey is morally necessary to being or living in the good – in the arc of perfection, in the light of the perfect against the dark of evil. You may wonder why I write ‘evil;’ I have justified the being of evil and therefore the use of ‘evil’ but this is not the force; my force is the passion of the vision that good and evil permit; and this expression of passion is justified… in the justification just mentioned; in the necessary integration of feeling-cognition which is a fact and therefore above justification; and in the absence of process without integration of the bound –binding to the world as received– and the free – being in the process of the world, even at the helm (if only in some small degree.) When someone claims ‘I feel so insignificant’ I might respond ‘You are small and therefore your normal effect is naturally small; but you are not insignificant unless you abandon your normally small effect; and… in not abandoning your normal effect your effect (and you) are significant which may become large’

An individual journey is continuous with all being. Acquaintance with the essential content cumulative history of understanding and transformation is necessary for a contribution to that history; and it is significant though not essential to understanding and transformation as such. Background. See the sections ‘A System of Human Knowledge’ and ‘A Historical Account of Transformation’ below

Applied purposes (to be continuous with the previous paragraph.) Review of the Traditions in light of ‘Foundation,’ and, from this chapter, below, ‘Journey in Knowledge’ and ‘Journey in Being’

Ambitions and accomplishments

Ambitions, goals. Understanding and experience (becoming) of all being. Illustration of being (becoming) as Journey. Redistribute the material in Chapter 1. Introduce the real and the good as equivalent to that material. Projects. Knowledge; being and transformation; design and construction of being (mind, life, application; practical concerns – integration of nature and design;) social change (the section ‘Society, Transformation and the Good;’ practical concerns – direction of change, feasibility, the question of theory)

Accomplishments so far: a map. The main phases are ‘understanding’ (knowledge) and transformation (experience.) From ‘Foundation,’ the phase of understanding is essentially complete i.e. it is complete with regard to depth and approach and implicitly complete for variety. The foundation provides a basis for transformation which is in process; details of process and accomplishments are in the section ‘Journey in Being’ below

3.1         An Individual Journey

The personal and the impersonal voice in literature

That the personal may have two problems: it distorts the impersonal or it drowns it out (the volume of impersonal work in the modern world – published for whatever reason– does that anyway.) Therefore, when the personal has value the voice has positive value – e.g. as discussed in the introduction to this chapter. provided it does not succumb to the problems and their temptations. There are perhaps two kinds of value to the personal voice – when it is of interest in itself and when it enhances the impersonal voice

Purpose to inclusion of this material

It is not purely biographical or purely personal; that there are venues that properly avoid the personal is recognized. The purposes are (1) to illustrate an aspect of the journey, (2) to show what makes for a journey, (3) to illuminate discovery and –I hope– the nature of discovery (true discovery is or contains creation,) and (4) as a possible example or model. I have attempted to avoid confusion of the logic of the general or impersonal arguments with the personal narrative. I have attempted to avoid confusion between the logic of the impersonal argument and the personal narrative. Note. Except brief comments elsewhere, especially the introduction, and the section ‘After…,’ below, this is the only section that contains a description of –relevant– aspects of my life

3.2         Knowledge: Journey in Understanding

Introduction: The journey of discovery


Foundational issues, general and particular, have been discussed in ‘Foundation.’ Two objectives of this section: (1) review what is relevant from ‘Foundation’ and (2) develop or recapitulate what is necessary for the topics of this section. The general – nature of being in ‘Theory of Being,’ modes and variety of being and dual solution of the problems of being and knowing in ‘Theory of Objects.’ The particular – knowledge in this world have been discussed in ‘Logic,’ particularly in the discussion of science, in ‘Cosmology,’ in ‘Human Being’ which includes consideration of psyche, values, art and society and in ‘Faith’

Principles of Thought3

Introduced in ‘Logic’ (this may change) where general principles were discussed. Here (1) develop details and (2) do this in narrative style; which is necessary because the principles are not separate (cannot be separated) from thought itself. The principles – some principles: the following list needs to be completed from J05 rough notes and the main documents – principles and thought not separate: logic is a principle but informal thought and the question ‘what is logic?’ also important; generalized reflexivity; doubt, question, elimination of a priori commitments allow objectivity; the good and the real –thought in modernism to be distinct– are not so and this is allowed by return to objectivity as just mentioned and gives reality and meaning to both… a move away from crawling piecemealism; concepts4 and the full nature of concepts (percept, bound, free, symbol, icon, system-field; that concept has a number of denotations including ‘content’ but we use the denotation of ‘ideational form’ here and connotations.) A principle is that the principles are not separate from the ‘principles of action’ therefore whatever is written here has relevance for and draws relevance from the chapter ‘Foundation’

A principle: the scope of imagination. We should not speak only in crawling terms. The infinite and precise detail, the rigorous deduction of the logical metaphysician should be balance by painting on a broad canvas in which definition and meaning are broad and by suggestion and argument by intuition. For what is the goal – is it precision or depth? Choice is not necessary both have value. Precision is one path to depth but not the only one. Action under suffuse light may and sometimes will lead to a greater outcome; in some situations suffuse light may be the only light. Meaning by suggestion and argument by intuition are capable of formalization in terms of the implicitly defined concept and the case is also capable of rigor in terms of the slack concept. Perfect precision and rigor as the only and ultimate value in knowledge is a dream brought about when the sole province of thought is the academy

3.2.1        Philosophy and Metaphysics

Characterizing metaphysics and philosophy

The of this section is to characterize metaphysics and philosophy with considerations from the Theory of Being. Metaphysics (in its exclusive sense) as a discipline whose subject is the outer limits of being. Philosophy as a discipline whose subject is the range of being. In its outer limits, philosophy coincides with the exclusive use of metaphysics. In the inclusive sense, metaphysics and philosophy are identical. In the present conception, philosophy contains its main divisions (logic, metaphysics, theory of knowledge, and ethics which are distinct only in emphasis) and various special studies. Philosophy and the disciplines. The sciences and other disciplines have historical roots in philosophy. I.e. various special studies within philosophy acquired specialized methodologies, reliability, applicability and, in so doing, became regarded as independent of philosophy. In so doing, ‘philosophy’ came to be recognized as distinct from the specialized disciplines and relatively focused on ideas and concepts rather than on the world itself. It is not that (especially in West) philosophy did not examine the world but it came to do so by examining ideas and concepts; that is, philosophical thought (in this sense) focused on aspects of the world whose nature is unclear and therefore requires analysis and formulation of the concepts. This does not imply that the concepts of science are perfectly clear or transparent but that they do become practically firm even though open to later revision; this is one reason for the existence of a philosophy of science, philosophy of physics and so on. It is true, however, that the separation of philosophy and the disciplines has an ad hoc though practical character. Two aspects of the practical character are division of labor and separation of method (it is often thought that excessive focus on ideas is not productive of progress in science.) Another aspect of the distinction between philosophy (as often practiced) is that philosophy seeks clarity of ideas and concepts including those concepts that in other disciplines, especially science, may be taken as primitive. Thus philosophy of physics may analyze the notions of force, mass, energy, space and time. Physicists (when practicing physics) may also be concerned with the nature of these concepts but primarily as they relate to physical theory (theoretical physics.) In contrast, the philosopher attempts to analyze the same concepts at a greater depth and therefore thinks at a level that, even while it may be productive of insight and clarity, does not attain the definiteness of scientific thought. Still, the division is blurred. Additionally, there are concrete implications for science from the Theory of Being and the philosophical study of mind; a number of such implications have been brought out earlier. Thus, even as practiced, the connection between philosophy and the disciplines is tighter than is sometimes thought to be the case. Consider also whether Philosophy has an Empirical Content. It is clear that it does for, even when there is no active experimentation, it rests upon or integrates common experience of knowledge (which it subjects to criticism and modification.) In its inclusive sense Metaphysics contains the disciplines. This is the case even though there are distinctions of subject matter and method. Philosophy and Metaphysics in light of the Theory of Being


Characterizing metaphysics

The possibility of metaphysics

A functional metaphysics

Topics in metaphysics

Catalog of problems of metaphysics. The primary purpose is as test for claims of completeness earlier; a secondary purpose is to enhance claims or, if they are negated, to enhance understanding. Classical: being, substance, space, time, nature of metaphysics, forms, categories, atomism, change and constancy. Scholastic: universals and particulars, free will, existence of and nature of God, soul and body. Modern: nature of the real; mind and matter; identity, substance, ontology; identity over time, personal identity; modality and counterfactuals; causation and laws; causation, regularity and counterfactuals; probabilistic causation; laws of nature; matter, space and time; objects as substances vs. mere bundles of properties; conception of spirit; nature and existence of the external world, what is real – reality of material things, organizing principles of nature. Recent: identity and necessity, Kripke – identity statements are necessary but knowable only a posteriori. Being as journey or becoming; becoming as being. Indian metaphysics: there are points of contact between Indian thought and the Theory of Being. as a whole, Indian Philosophy recognizes the greatness of being (Brahman, the real) and identity of the self (Atman, soul) with it; it stresses the immediate in karma (work) and moksa (salvation;) these ideas focus on what may be important to the individual and to transformation; in ‘A History of Transformation’ below there is consideration of some schools of Indian thought that focus on these concerns

Types of metaphysical theory: Platonism relationship between the ideal and the immediate; Aristotelianism – metaphysics is immanent; Thomism – reflection on everyday things and the everyday world reveals it as pointing beyond itself to God as its sustaining cause. Cartesianism – the main problem of Descartes was the divide between the determinate world of matter then being revealed by science and the world of mind that was free of material constraint… that were brought together by Design as the sign of God; Idealism; Materialism – two modern responses to the problem of Cartesianism

Argument in metaphysics: metaphysics as an a priori science… and as an empirical science; metaphysical arguments – logical form of metaphysical arguments; transcendental arguments, form and example, q = knowledge is possible only if p = the world is according to the forms of intuition and q therefore p

Criticisms of metaphysics – the possibility of a supersensible knowledge; Hume, Kant, Logical Positivism, Moore and Wittgenstein, the modern religious philosophers

What is philosophy?

The question ‘What is philosophy?’ is a philosophical question; unlike the sciences (for example) philosophy is recursive in the sense that reflection on the nature and uses of philosophy is an issue in philosophy. How may this question be answered?  What are (seen as) the functions of philosophy? How may this question be answered? What is studied in philosophy – i.e. what are the fields or special topics within philosophy?

Philosophy and analysis

Analysis of analytic philosophy: piece-meal analysis. See discussions in ‘Theory of Being’ under ‘Basic results of the theory’ and ‘A criticism of piece-meal analysis’ under ‘Logic.’ Also see discussions in other versions of the essay where I have taken up further considerations from the History of Philosophy including the loss of nerve in modern philosophy, the influence of the technical and formal developments in e.g. logic, the domination by the sciences, reaction to excesses of the past, subscription to democratization of the disciplines, and the cultural role of the philosopher. Further criticisms of piece-meal analysis. As noted earlier, piece-meal analysis permits, even encourages, avoidance of mutual analysis; and as noted, this results in certain errors ever coming to the surface. The problem is magnified by the cumulative aspect modern academic research where, effectively, piece-meal has become not just chopping up of coherent systems of ideas in ‘idea space’ but also chopping up the treatment of a single idea in time so a problem, whether real or artifactual, once identified tends to become reified and thus thought becomes burdened and decelerated by a welter of pseudo-problems. Piece-meal in idea-space and idea-chopping in time interact multiplicatively (or more.) Suppression of natural theory. When concepts are analyzed together certain natural combinations and interactions may emerge. In the beginning, it may simply be that an interaction is noticed; cultivation of such interactions may lead to a dead end or to fruition in a coherent system of ideas that constitute ‘natural theory.’ An example is the Theory of Being in which being, universe, logos (or Logic,) void and the normal constitute a system that reveals great power. Examples from science are many: Newton’s system encompassing universal gravitation, mass, force and acceleration; Maxwell’s field equations that reveal symmetries among electric and magnetic fields. Fixation on primitive conceptualizations. In the development of the ideas of this essay there have been a number of concepts whose meaning as it emerged is different than the meaning with which I may have started. Again, being, existence, universe, logos and Logic are examples. The study of mind in general and of human mind provides another example. Language, object, and morals provide further examples; morals are found to have identity with the good and the more specific non-objective moral finds play within the general idea. In science, Newton’s theory gives new meaning to mass and force; Maxwell’s theory gives new meaning to electricity and magnetism. All such examples come about as a result mutual analysis and allowing evolution (analogy with Darwinism is neither implied nor denied) of ideas. A deep example concerns the ideas of mind and matter. Idealism is a metaphysics in which mind is held to be the stuff of all being. If mind is held to be mind-as-we-know-it the idea is found by some to be attractive (since the alternative is materialism) and by others to be repugnant (surely matter is not mental in nature.) However, if appropriate modifications and expansions (‘to the root’) of the concepts of mind and matter are allowed then, as I have shown, the distinctions between mind and matter break down. In pursuing such analysis it would be important to not conceive mind in general as being constituted of e.g. ‘little animal minds.’ The result of the analysis is to set aside the significance of the distinction of mind and matter and to suggest a neutral monism. This is of course undercut by the Theory of Being which shows that no substance is fundamental and a substance ontology of all being is not possible; the Theory of Being is an ontology or metaphysics of all being whose foundation lies in the void i.e. in no substance at all; it is possible and perhaps useful to build up an approximate ‘local substance ontology or metaphysics’ of the local cosmological system. A natural tendency of piece-meal analysis however is to remain with the primitive versions of ideas even while introducing analytic sophistication and breadth. This is encouraged by the natural human tendency to take our concepts in their primitive forms (the forms as received in day-to-day life of which science and philosophy are not apart even though they may be so considered by some and for certain purposes) as real. While the developments that follow may be useful and rigorous they may lack rigor in that the concepts lack foundation in the real; and, further, knowledge and experience of the real in its essential dimensions (the universal and, for us, the animal, the natural and the human) are impeded

On analytic philosophy (II.) The virtues and functions of analytic philosophy. Is philosophy analytic philosophy? I think that there have been times when some analytic philosophers might have asserted this even though there are few who would openly make the assertion today in 2007. However, if one looks at the practice of the practicing academic philosophers today in the English speaking and Scandinavian countries it might appear that there is at least a tacit assumption by many that philosophy is indeed analytic philosophy! It therefore of general significance to address this concern! It is also important because there are other views of philosophy. My view is that, in addition to the intrinsic interest, philosophy serves functions and without identifying a set of functions there can be no systematic conceptualization of philosophy. We may arrive at a conceptualization of philosophy by ferreting out the historical factors and subjecting them to imaginative and logical analysis. I have done this here, especially in the discussion ‘What is philosophy?’ A priori, no delimited conception of a philosophy is philosophy. Explicit, historical, tacit and psychological reasons for the spread of analytic philosophy in the English speaking and Scandinavian countries (the historical includes but is not limited to ‘accidents.’) Some factors – distrust of system building, idealism, and any form of reasoning that does not meet the exacting standards laid down by the early analysts; the growth of science, logic and mathematics provide both model and material. Negative factors (above, other essays.) Natural but a-logical reasons under which there is a tendency for the practitioners of any school will assume its own validity; these are enhanced by positive content and by negative content (actual or imagined) of other schools. None of these thoughts disproves the ‘case.’ What would be a proof? Here is a response. It should be remembered that I am not arguing against the validity or utility of analytic philosophy but only against any preemption, on either rational or utilitarian grounds, of philosophy as analysis. On philosophy. In the following I argue that while analysis is significant, there is a Need for and possibility of a philosophy whose concerns are both human and universal. The possibility is demonstrated in principle and by the production of the Theory of Being (and its elaborations.) (1) What is philosophy? Any preemption is either de facto or principled. For some disciplines de facto definition is all that there is. Since there is an older tradition of philosophy and since there is an absence of a central activity that focuses not only on academic concerns but also on universal and human concerns I hold that de facto preemption by the schools (analytic or other) are no more than de facto. This absence is not merely philosophical or academic. There is no modern cultural activity that addresses such concerns. Religion has become marginalized despite the rise of fundamentalism; and other institutions such as art and literature have become ‘secularized’ under the burden of science and reason. It is the rational burden of science and reason that is one of the forces behind the preemption of philosophy by analysis. I now take up principled preemption. (2) Criticisms of the criticisms made of other schools. In general, the failures, actual or imagined, of idealism and system building show only that the particular systems of the past are deficient. However, the criticisms of the systems of the past go beyond their failures to demonstrations that certain kinds of subjects are beyond the pale of thought. In response I have argued that these arguments have their own limitations – Kant’s arguments were based on a certain idealized notion of knowledge and Wittgenstein’s criticisms apply only in the case of a fixed language. (3) I have made a number of arguments that support the possibility of metaphysics but the main demonstration lies in the production, ongoing attempts at criticism and elaboration of an actual metaphysics in the Theory of Being. The theory stands as a logical system that I have tried to criticize. I recognize that it may fall or that others may think it to fall. However I have also argued for the moral necessity of a Theory of Being. These are not arguments for my system but for a general direction of thought exemplified by the Theory and its elaborations. If I were to feel that my system had failed in some logical sense what would my attitude toward it be? Before its logical development I had tentatively held a number of its main ideas on various grounds – moral necessity, passion, that they were intuitively likely, analogy with theoretical physics or evolutionary biology, that even though full logical basis was absent, the main ideas fit together with some coherence and supported the direction of my thought, commitments (to being and its understanding and which include both conceptual commitments and commitments of passion.) If the actual system should fail on ‘logical’ grounds I would likely revert to the pre-logical thought as one tentative commitment. Of course it would be changed since the logical development has allowed and encouraged so much depth and variety; and it would not be the only commitment for I continue to seek other ways of being mentioned in the sections ‘The Journey Continues’ and ‘After the Journey’ below. Philosophy in the absence of foundation. What ‘should philosophy do’ in the face of a need to address the human and universal when faced with uncertain foundation? Analysis is always important and, for reasons argued here, can ideally only help address the human and the universal. ‘Pure action’ or, since that is not possible, a focus on action, perhaps on ‘noble’ action is always possible but this is not a necessary response to the question of foundation. Regarding foundation it may be remembered that there is a sense in which our being has no foundation e.g. certainty of nature or future and that this is good; recognizing this makes us real – is a door to becoming (I might say ‘the door.’) However philosophy may be joined to action. What kind of philosophy? It would be one in which reason, imagination, coherence, morals as movement toward the real, stand in interaction; it might be one in which no single thread of process is singled out as the process

On Analytic Philosophy (III.) Origins of the prevailing spirit. What is included: method and content. What is excluded: history of philosophy, other disciplines – science, art… Education of the analytic philosopher; systematic distortion of the way the world is seen especially in the case of mind (Guttenplan, Searle.)

Ordinary language analysis. Ordinary language analysis is a movement within analytic philosophy due largely to the influence Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore in the early twentieth century. The movement is no longer as influential as it had been but its effect on analytic philosophy e.g. an emphasis precise piece-meal analysis continues. ‘Ordinary language analysis’ has a number of connotations. Perhaps the most significant is that analysis of how language is used is a key to meaning (the language philosophers may have replaced the phrase ‘a key’ with ‘the key.’) Another connotation, often emphasized by critics within analytic philosophy, is that ordinary language analysis is analysis of how common English speakers use the elements language as the source of meaning. Criticisms. It is not my intent to consider the movement in depth but some comment will be useful due to its continuing influence. There is no doubt, of course, that analysis of use is important to meaning. In making the following criticisms I should note that it has never been the case that all language philosophers have subscribed to the practice that is criticized; however, it is the case that the practices have been influential and continue to have influence. (1) That there is an absolute distinction between use and formulation, between the academic or philosopher and the common individual. (2) That use alone provides meaning. Here I am distinguishing between transactional use and affective use. Transactional use (sometimes called ‘molar’ use in analogy with chemistry) concerns the use of language toward practical ends. Affective use (or, more generally, ‘molecular’ use) concerns accompanying posture, gesture, affective expression all of which may be volitional or involuntary and regarding which every noticeable detail that may convey content is included. A second distinction is that talk about language is altogether distinct from language use. The latter may be referred to as ‘pure use’ or ‘use alone.’ In criticizing the idea that use alone provides meaning, I am actually criticizing the idea that pure molar use alone provides meaning. Although almost everyone would deny holding this position consciously it is one that, even when not consciously held, does influence analysis. (3) That every use of a word has significance for its meaning. In actuality a given combination of letters may designate a single meaning (or use,) a family of meanings, and distinct meanings with no family pattern. I.e. what is thought of as a single word may in fact be a single word (single meaning,) a number of words (distinct meanings) or a continuum (family of meaning.) Although this is not a significant criticism, confusion of meanings do arise on account of neglect of the idea

The status of philosophy today. This is a possible topic that may include comments on modern Continental, Indian, Chinese, African and Latin American thought

The actual current limits of philosophy. That even in analytic philosophy, the subject is so open and underdetermined that no one (perhaps very few people) know what the actual or even potential limits are. Does this apply to science?

3.2.2        A System of Human Knowledge

This section is of intrinsic interest as an application of the Theory of Being and as a base for the developments and applications of the theory

A History of Human Knowledge and Exploration

System of Human Knowledge and Exploration

The intension or sense of the concept of knowledge is elucidated in ‘Foundation.’ Here, focus is on the extension or range; approach: the ultimate based in the theory of being in interaction with traditions of human knowledge. Variety of traditions. Classical formulations, Plato through Britannica, and the traditions universalized by the theory of being (as in An outline of Journey in Being which universalizes an adaptation of Britannica; also see History of thought and action.) Evaluation of Completeness: in principle by the approach; in fact, using the references above, by enumeration of the disciplines; academics; evaluation of the system; relation to action and history

Basis in fundamentals and encyclopedic systems. The question of the tradition: disparate values of continuity versus regeneration, re-experience and the burden of tradition. The systems

A modified Britannica system

The modified Britannica system has been placed in Journey in being (simple version)

Topic. A paragraph showing what has been covered in this essay – in detail and in principle; and what may or be covered by appending material. Topic. Nature, conceptual and practical utility of encyclopedic systems and compilations

Outline of Britannica (for comparison.) 1. Matter and energy. 2. The earth. 3. Life. 4. Human life: evolution, the organism, the psyche and its development. 5. Society and culture: sociology, social studies, and social science, social organization and change; culture and its components; wealth and economics; politics and government; the law; education; subsistence and leisure. 6. Art: literature, theater and cinema, music, dance, architecture and design of population centers or urban design; sculpture; drawing, painting, printmaking and photography; and decorative and functional arts. 7. Technology. 8. Religion. 9. History: Prehistoric peoples and cultures; Ancient Southwest Asia, North Africa and Europe; Medieval Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia; Peoples and Traditional Civilizations of East, Central, South, and Southeast Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa to 1885; Pre-Columbian America; The Modern World to 1920; The World Since 1920. 10. Knowledge; logic; mathematics; science; history and the humanities; and philosophy.

Learning from the ‘disciplines’

3.3         Transformation: Journey in Being and Identity


What is a transformation? Virtual – knowledge, awareness; those realized in virtue of knowledge of identity or equivalence. Actual or essential transformations in which body and identity change (the Theory of Identity shows how identity may change while having preservation) – experience, becoming, transformation of the organism or identity whether recognized or not; the distinction between virtual and actual transformations is related to the psyche – soma distinction; therefore a virtual transformation is in fact actual. History of transformation and approaches to transformation. Theory or foundation. The concept of the journey. Methods and approaches to transformation. Transformations so far

3.3.1        An Historical Account of Transformation

The account has been placed in Journey in being (simple version)


Paths and ways of transformation

3.3.2        Foundation

The concept of the journey

(Individual-World)1 ® (Individual-World)2. Journey in Being: (Individual-World) ® Universe

Methods and Approaches to Transformation

The Dynamics of Being – or Dynamics of Transformation; Factors of Transformation – see ‘A Historical Account of Transformation’ above… other factors; Theories and Models of Growth extrapolated by the dynamics

A system of ‘experiments:’ bases

Theory and Dynamics of Being as approach or method

Cosmology as approach to variety or possibility

Psyche and Growth, and Exceptional Performance; Language and Culture; The Human World (society;) Civilization and History as bases of an approach to a progression based in human being; (considerations of value suggest that it is worthwhile spending some effort on what may be very valuable but whose feasibility is low;)

Intuition and faith. I invoke faith even though the Theories of Being and of Identity imply the necessity of the outcome individual-world®universe. This is partly because of my residual doubt regarding the theories that results from conclusions of such magnitude being based in logic (the premise is that experience is given.) The primary reason or need for faith is that a present identity (mine) may experience the outcome either in ‘this life’ or another (the quotes signify that ‘this life’ has a normal but not absolute significance.) I have hesitated to use the word ‘faith’ but it seems appropriate because it when, in certain states of mind, it exists it does so even in the presence of doubt. Perhaps this kind of faith is often present in processes of discovery. There is some similarity to the faith of religion; a distinction is that in (literal) religious faith there is usually suspension of reason; in my use, faith, is a supplement to my reason and insight

These bases in interaction with ‘An History of Transformation

Some possibilities

3.3.3        A System of Experiments


1. Complete by interpolation. 2. Minimal


An initial system

3.3.4        Transformation so Far

Topics. Realization: being versus becoming. Projects (the phases and their aspects) versus ‘After’

Topics. Description of experiments; learning

Topics. Summary, evaluation, prospect

Topics. ‘Design,’ ‘Society, Transformation and the Good’ below

3.4         Design and Construction of Being

Construction of being

Theory, computation and construction


Intelligence, mind, and life


Design and evolution. Conceptual and embodied experiment and implementation (conceptual – symbolic, computational or software; embodied – hardware, analog.) Agents and tools (agents are independent, tools augment or are synthetic with human performance and ability; both can be conceptual andor embodied, software andor hardware.) Logic and imagination; algorithm and ‘heuristic’ principles

3.5         Society, Transformation and the Good

Topic. The concept of the good translates, here, into desired directions (it is not assumed that precise change follows from choice, design, and plans of action) of transformation (in contrast to self-driven transformation)

Topics. Ideals, action… Purpose. Foundation, values, designed and experimental action in the world based in ideals and values especially the good and the real –which include and imply caring and love– and practical concerns e.g. feasibility – economic and organizational (institutions)

Topics. Theory: society, structure, and change. The context: history, the modern world, values and needs. Special concerns: laissez faire vs. design vs. creative destiny; economics and institutions; the assumptions and limits of feasibility theory; morals and the management society; faith and the secular society; special problems of the world today; humanity, local and global relations. Design: institutions and programs. Action: implementation

Topic. The modern world (continued from ‘Politics’ under ‘Human Being,’ of ‘Foundation.’) Its definition, needs and opportunities

3.6         The Future

Note. The previous title was ‘Prospect’

General. As for ‘Significance’ in the chapter ‘Foundation’

Personal. My life, is there a resolution of my personal ambition, issues of self, and of intellect

3.6.1        The Journey Continues

The progression of paradigms

I have noted a progression of paradigms from scientific physicalism, to an evolutionary paradigm to a preoccupation with the paradigm-less paradigm – that of being, of what there is, without a priori specification of its nature. This last shift is, in a sense, a shift from explicit answer motivated by question to implicit answer as question… The objectives in this discussion are (1) To characterize the progression since what I have done so far is to state but not define it. (An example of characterization may be in terms of the shift from explicit to implicit formulation and the power of the latter as it permits answers that were previously off bounds and that requires no shift such as the one from matter to mind since it the implicit formulation goes beyond and undercuts the issues of materialism versus idealism.) (2) To complete the list. (3) To note that the paradigms mentioned so far are intellectual

Action and being

To explicitly recognize and cultivate the next paradigm as one of action and being-in over intellect or thought alone. The shift is one of emphasis made imperative by the ‘end’ of the intellectual search but is not one that I have not recognized and not one that I have not cultivated at all

3.6.2        After the Journey

The end of the journey

The end of the ‘journey’ does not signify the end of my life but e.g. a transition of attitude e.g. from one of becoming to one of being, from cognizing to cognition, from perceiving to perception, from passion to feeling

Beginnings and endings

Supplementary chapters

4           Fundamental Problems

4.1         Problems of Being and Knowledge

Purpose. To define a system of fundamental problems considered; degrees of resolution


Being and Transformation

4.2         Program of Study, Research and Experiment


Some Topics for Study and Investigation

Some topics have been treated in the essay but may benefit from further study; others are suggested by probable connection and or relevance to the essay. The Nature of the Object. Mind: nature and extension; function and integration; growth, personality and commitments. The Problem of Identity. Language and Thought; extension of language; language, thought and the world – word and grammar; origins and study of language. Non-Propositional Functions of Language – over and above the literal and the figurative; kind of base sentence (proposition and its form e.g. subject-predicate) and its illocutionary forms (assertive, commissive and so on;) basis in metaphysics. Logic. The Concept and Demarcation of the Unspeakable or Unthinkable. Truth. The Problems of Atomism (the discussion is essentially complete; any addition would be further investigation or elaboration.) The Concept of Value and the Ideal. Quantum Theory. Time and Space. Experiments in transformation: a complete system

Aspects of Being

The Concept and Structure of the Journey in Being and its Foundation

Foundations of Modern Physics

Quantum Theory and Theory of Gravitation. To be placed here while the actual development is primitive. Comments. Start from ‘fundamentals’ i.e. try to develop not only a theory of known things but a theory of possible things i.e. develop foundations and articulate a theory of being and not just foundations of modern physics… Foundation of Quantum Theory.  A quantum theory may be thought of as its classical counterpart in which the classical variables are replaced by probability distributions (that combine in unusual ways that manifest as e.g. wave-like behavior.) A recipe for formulation of a quantum description is to write it in terms of the Hamiltonian (H) formulation of the classical theory in which the classical variables are replaced by operators. Is it possible to start from the Theory of Being (void) and a classical formulation to derive the quantum formulation or are further hypotheses necessary and if so what hypotheses? This suggests looking at Logic (theory of the void) as a proto-physics (or, equivalently, asking the question ‘What parts of proto-physics may be seen as Logic?’ In other words the conceptual formulation of the ideas of proto-physics and of Logic may have overlap and mutual development.) List possible bases –mutual and exclusive– for developments e.g. minimization of law, mechanisms of origins, modern formalisms.


Methods and possibilities

Future of Journey

Status of the essay; of the journey


5           Lexicon

6           Sources and Influences

7           Bibliography

Comment. May combine with ‘Sources and Influences’

8           Index

Comment. Combine Index and Lexicon?

9           The Author

Comment. May leave as is