COPYRIGHT JUNE 2003-June 2013
The Axiomatic Edition writes the development as a system of givens, definitions, assertions, and demonstrations and provides a commentary.
Journey in Being is an endeavor of discovery, revelation, and realization of the universe in its greatest form—i.e. of ‘greatest being’. The journey website is http://www.horizons-2000.org.
The significance of the word ‘discovery’ is, first, there is no reason to think that our human cultures grasp of the full extent of the universe and, second, that knowing the universe will require active discovery. ‘Revelation’ signifies that there is partial but not full control in discovery and therefore discovery requires give and take—judgment and perception—projection and introjection, seeing and receiving (from the world). It seems entirely possible and the developments of this text show that the full form of knowledge is not merely in what we call mind: that mind is necessary but fullness such as may be attained requires change in the form of (human) being—this shows something of the significance of reference to ‘realization’. The developments will show that Being—in the sense that will be used here—is an excellent term to provide foundation for discovery, revelation, and realization, i.e. for knowledge, world (universe), and transformation. My process of discovery and realization has been an extended process with multiple interacting threads and a mix of goal and non-goal behavior as well as learning that required abandonment of earlier goals and in process discovery and revelation of new goals and means. This process suggested the idea of a journey. The developments of the text show that for limited forms discovery and realization must be endless process. These thoughts are the source of the title ‘Journey in Being’.
While the title has remained constant over about ten years the content has undergone much change and advance. The core idea to focus on Being, the Void, the Universe, and Logic has come into clearer and clearer focus. The sense of the terms, especially Logic, was dimly perceived in the beginning. Today these terms and many others are crisp and potent in meaning and in many cases constitute an advance on what I perceive to be their common and academic use. The topics have expanded to include meaning, metaphysics, science, Logic, abstract objects, cosmology, mind and matter, human civilization and its place in the universe, and realization and its possibilities for ‘method’ and ‘mechanics’. Of particular importance is the metaphysics—a universal metaphysics whose central and demonstrated result ‘the universe has no limits’ implies that the universe is the object of Logic. A central result is that the extent, duration, and variety of the universe is endless—our cosmos is a speck, an infinitesimal part of this vastness. A significant part of the development is working out implications, squaring with received knowledge including science and reason, and the mutual enhancements of the metaphysic and received knowledge. There is material sufficient to a number of texts—‘Metaphysics’, ‘Cosmology’, ‘The Human Endeavor’ and so on. I retain all these under the umbrella ‘Journey in Being’.
In this document the structure of the endeavor is put into axiomatic form. Purposes are to (1) Increase effectiveness of the development as an instrument of realization (2) Improve logic (reasoning) and transparency (3) Complement narrative versions at the site linked above.
A common way to present axiomatic systems is to begin with axioms, primitive undefined terms, and methods of proof. This is more than a bookkeeping device—it encourages analysis of the system itself which includes questions of completeness, consistency, and relations to other axiomatizations.
As shown in the narrative, the present approach concerns fundamental givens and therefore consistency is guaranteed. Completeness such as it may obtain is then inferred from the development itself. Explicit discussion is given in the section Consistency and Power of the Metaphysics.
Here, the axioms are allowed to emerge with development. This enables rooting of the axioms in the world. It makes the development natural in that what is more basic comes earlier. Methods of proof emerge as well. The latter point may seem unnatural but is based on analysis of the origin of proof methods as coeval with content.
Some fundamental concepts in order of development are Being, Law, Universe, Domain, the Void, and Logic. These terms retain the same meaning throughout the development. The meaning of the term ‘experience’ is broadened as the narrative progresses. The bookkeeping required to avoid conflation of the meanings of experience is minor.
There have been other benefits to axiomatic development. One significant benefit accrued from the terseness of axiomatic form concerns ‘Logic’. In this writing it became clear that the terms of the Logic could be defined before the full development of metaphysics. This enables clarification of the meaning of Logic and of the relation between metaphysics and Logic. The mechanics of realization has come into clearer relief. Numerous clarifications and elaborations, some significant and others no more than bookkeeping, have flowed from this writing and the axiomatic form has contributed to this. The minor clarifications may be basis for later significant development and, further, the net contribution is more than minor.
‘Assertion’ is used rather than ‘Theorem’ because the term ‘theorem’ seems out of place. In this context ‘assertion’ means ‘demonstrated assertion’. When marked with an asterisk (‘Assertion*’) the assertion is one for which proof is obvious from earlier definitions and assertions and therefore proof is be omitted. Some remarks with significant in content are not in the main sequence of definition-assertion-proof; their treatment is therefore informal and demonstrations, if warranted, may be sketches.
A worldview or metaphysics is a symbolic depiction of the universe. For present purposes the view should explicitly depict the human place in and relations to the universe. Realization and its process shall be part of the view. The narratives at http://www.horizons-2000.org develop such a view. In this document, the metaphysics is in axiomatic form.
It is generally held that metaphysics must be based in either substance or infinite regress. Neither foundational alternative is complete in itself.
Can there be final foundation? The question can be decomposed (1) Can experience andor reason found a system of fundamental objects? (2) Is there such a system that founds a metaphysics?
I have found aspects of ‘being’ that are capable of depiction as metaphysics. The extent of the ‘aspects’ is vast—it includes experience, being, and the universe as a whole (but not all detail except in an implicit form). Metaphysical depiction is established by showing the founding concepts to be unquestionable givens.
Since knowledge is part of the universe ‘method’ method may well be implicit in the metaphysics. The extent to which method is explicit is surprising.
The result is a significant part of knowledge as metaphysics—i.e. knowledge of the universe with final foundation.
The metaphysics is incomplete in (1) Showing only implicitly, a limitless variety of being, (2) Requiring action for its most complete expression , and (3) For limited forms this expression is never finally complete. Consequently, realization for limited form is endless process.
My personal history of endeavor has been essential to this narrative. Realization will always be the realization of individuals (with support from civilization).
It is essential that realization shall be a journey on individual and universal levels.
I have found individual and universal aspects to be a wonderful adventure.
Some terms in this text are common but used with an uncommon variation upon the common meaning or meanings. To distinguish the present use I have capitalized a number of such terms. Since sentences in written English begin with a capital a device is needed to distinguish the present from the common use. When (C) appears after a term at the beginning of a sentence it signifies that the meaning is the meaning as used in this text. Similarly (LC) after a term at the beginning of a sentence indicates the common meaning.
Small capitals indicate that a term is being defined.
(C) and (LC) may also be used to emphasize that a term is used in its capitalized or lower case form.
This preliminary section is peripheral to the main development.
Definition. A category is a founding given for a development.
Remark. In this document the metaphysics and ultimate realization constitute the envelope of the development.
Assertion. Experience is the single essential category of the development.
Proof. The development of the text.
Assertion. A system of categories for the development is experience, real world, meaning, Being, Logic, Fact, Law, Universe, Void, Realism, identity, and realization.
Proof. The development of the text.
Remark. An extended system of significant concepts is—experience, existence, real world, concept, object, meaning, limited form, individual, Being, Logic, limit, Fact, Law, science, Universe, the Void, Realism (instrumental form of the universal metaphysics), identity, extension, duration, possibility, variety, Matter, power, Mind, consciousness, realization, journey, modes of realization (ideas and action), vehicles of realization (individual and civilization), disciplines, transience, method of realization (analysis and synthesis of Being), nature, death, mechanics of realization, durability.
Remark. When the foundational categories are taken up again together with considerations on the nature of axiomatic systems there will be much ground level work to be done that may be useful. Though such development is important my present priority is realization.
Definition. Experience is subjective awareness.
Remark. Experience may be referential (‘attitude’), pure, and active. These combine as ideas (pure and creative) and action.
Remark. The definition above and the following assertion may seem to be circular when taken together for is not ‘experience is subjective awareness’ and ‘there is experience’ circular? It is not for in saying experience is subjective awareness it is not being said that there is experience. This concern regarding the use of ‘is’ in definitions and assertions is further addressed in the discussion of existence below.
Remark. Experience may be referential, pure, and active (attitude, experience, action). These combine as ideas (pure and creative) and action. Note that when an experience seems to be referential—to be an experience of something—it does not follow that there is an object of reference. Further, the fact that some experiences seem to be referential does not imply that there are objects or that there is reference.
Some people argue that the fact that there is seeming experience does not imply that there is experience. However, the argument does not stand because ‘seeming’ is experience. To now maintain the argument against conclusion from seeming to experience would be mere obstinacy. However, the argument was not naïve in the first place for the function is to correct naivety in the positions that we may hold uncritically. Generally the criticism of a naïvely held position leads to showing the position false, showing it to be true, or showing that our considerations are insufficient to establish truth or falsity. In this example, criticism of the conclusion of experience from seeming experience led to the conclusion that there is experience. The argument ‘against’ experience can be made sophisticated—as can the argument for it. See narratives at http://www.horizons-2000.org.
What is experience? What is its relation to consciousness? Is it essential to begin a foundation of understanding with experience? The development below provides some insight into these issues. Other narratives linked from the website linked above flesh out the nature of experience and consciousness. There is of course an entire literature devoted to these topics—see, especially, David Chalmers’ site. It is not essential to begin a foundation with experience but (1) such foundation is highly effective and (2) a foundation of understanding of the world in experience ties ‘our being into Being’. A foundation in materialism faces two problems—the problem of the nature of experience and the problem of connection to the foundation. These are not insurmountable but if the materialism is ‘strict’ then experience must be introduced from outside the foundation—i.e., strict materialism (one that excludes experience on principle) is incomplete. The first two questions of this paragraph are ‘outside’ axiomatic development per se. The axiomatic development does shed light on what is necessary for a foundation from experience to be complete—and what ‘completeness’ might mean in this context. It clarifies, for example, how Logic arises from and within experience. This of course requires seeing the varieties within experience and further seeing what ‘contours’ of the varieties are given. Regarding the third question above, foundation in experience is one possibility. Given this foundation, axiomatic development is a good ground from which to compare and perhaps to join alternate foundations. The present work does show how materialism might fit into an experiential framework.
Assertion. There is experience.
Proof. (Demonstration.) Experience is (given)—it is (the medium of our) presence.
Remark. (Explanation.) Illusion, delusion, hallucination and so on are experience. If ‘all is illusion’ there is (still) experience.
Remark. ‘Demonstration’ and ‘proof’ are somewhat interchangeable but I use demonstration above to emphasize that it does not depend either on previous proof or on unproven assertions. Generally proofs terminate in unproven axioms; it seems reasonable that the claim should be universal. However the fact of experience denies universality. From experience and other givens the metaphysics subsequently developed is founded without reference to another substance or axioms and terms. How is this different from the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant that has foundation in ‘categories of intuition’? We know now that though Kant’s insight is immense, his system of categories is unfounded. This, however, is not critical. The crux is that the categories of this document are given, Kant’s categories are at a level outside the given. It remains however that the methods proof seem to lie outside the given. This issue is addressed below.
Assertion. Experience is the place of encounter and therefore of whatever world there may be and of our relations to it.
Proof. This says no more—in different terms—than what is said above. ‘Place of encounter’ and ‘medium of presence’ are the same. Further ‘there is experience’ and ‘if all is illusion… there is experience’ shows that there is a world (experience itself) which, if ‘all is illusion’ is the world.
Assertion. The categories of the present development are in the realm of the given.
Proof. As explained in the remark comparing the present metaphysics with Kant’s system above and further developed and demonstrated in this document.
Remark. It remains of course to establish other givens to round out the metaphysics. Among these givens, Logic is especially important for while the other givens are ‘of the world’ Logic is of ‘method’. It will be seen, however, that Logic is not outside the world but is a special category in the world. Specifically Logic is a kind of relationship; its specific kind will emerge in its treatment later.
Definition. Existence is that which is.
Remark. The definition is a short form of ‘Existence is that which is there.’ or ‘Existence is (the property of) that which is there.’
Definition. (Alternate.) Existence marks—is the property of—that which is there.
Remark. The definition above and the following assertion, taken together, may seem to be circular when taken together for is not ‘existence is that which is there’ and ‘there is existing things circular? There is no circularity for the ‘is’ of the definition and the ‘is’ of the assertion are distinct. The former use is as in ‘is defined to be’ while the latter is as in ‘there is water on the surface of Earth’ or ‘there is tree on Mars’; the former use of ‘is’ is defining while the latter is asserting and the definition-assertion pair is therefore not circular. Now, from the definition, it is trivial that there is existence if we allow that existence may be vacuous. Therefore what is to be proved is that there are existing ‘things’ or, strictly, at least one existing thing.
Assertion. There is existence.
Remark. The assertion abbreviates ‘There are things that exist.’
Proof. From the fact that there is experience.
Remark. I.e. ‘existence’ is not vacuous. However it would be rather trivial if the only existing thing were experience and if the only experienced thing were experience itself; in what follows it is seen that the ranges of experience and of what is experienced are rich.
Definition. The real world is what exists independently of being experienced.
Remark. The real world is sometimes called the external world. This suggests that the real world is distinct from experience. However experience itself is in the real world and therefore the term ‘real world’ is preferred in this development.
Assertion. There is a real world.
Proof. If there is only experience it is the world.
Assertion. There is experience of experience.
Proof. This is inherent in knowledge of experience.
Remark. In this experience is different from (most) other objects, especially what we think of as ‘material’ objects.
Assertion. There is existence of more than experience.
Proof. This is shown in stronger form in the section ‘Robustness and Discrimination’ below.
Assertion*. Experience and its complement constitute the real world.
Remark. ‘Meaning’ has a broad range of connotations. In this section ‘meaning’ is used formally (as defined below) to denote the sense conveyed by linguistic meaning. This one of two important senses of ‘meaning’ in this document. The other sense of meaning in this document is that of significance which is used occasionally and informally.
Definition. An object is what is experienced. The concept is the experience.
Definition. The object is the realization of the concept.
Remark. The meaning of concept above includes the ‘higher’ meaning of concept as unit of meaning. It includes percepts.
Remark. It has been established that the real world and experience are objects. Generally an experience suggests that something is ‘out there’. Even pure experience, it will turn out, must be a function of an internal relation—i.e., within the organism. However, this does not generally amount to a definite and perfect correspondence of an experience to an object. Some phenomenologists therefore call the experience—the phenomenon—the object. This is of course hopeful but problematic. What is found here is that some experiences, e.g. the world and experience and others below, do define objects in themselves. The metaphysics shows that there is an unlimited system of concepts that constitute knowledge that there are objects that are precisely given in the concepts. Can this be extended to knowledge of objects—i.e., knowledge in (direct) experience—when the shape of the experience remains interwoven with the ‘thing out there’? A rich range of such objects is shown in other narratives at http://www.horizons-2000.org.
Definition. A concept-object pair constitutes meaning.
Remark. The object may be ‘empty’. A concept is icon and symbol (e.g. word, sentence) in association. Iconic content is necessary in order to identify objects. Symbols make for efficiency in memory (‘storage’), thought, and communication.
Remark. It may seem presumptuous to define the multifaceted notion of meaning thus. It is worth noting that the definition above is fairly standard and stems from the thought of Frege. This of course does not remove presumption. A good approach to this issue is to move concern away from the ‘meaning of meaning’ (specifically the ‘linguistic type meaning of ‘linguistic type meaning’) and to focus on what is being done with the idea-complex associated with meaning. Perhaps the most important observations in this regard are the following from the remark immediately above and the previous definition (a) The essence of the use of meaning is the association of / relation between a concept or idea with an object, (b) In order for an object to be identified at all by a concept the concept must have some iconic content so that, for example, the object may be identified when perceived by similarity between the percept and the iconic content, and (c) While human language is not essential to meaning it makes for efficiency memory, thought, and communication.
Remark. This notion of meaning is of immense significance. What is truly significant is how the notion functions in elucidating the nature of specific concepts such as Being and meaning (itself) and in resolving a range of paradoxes that arise from confusions in meaning. The elucidations include the range of categories (earlier). It follows—and this is transparent in the development—that analysis and synthesis of meaning is at the root of all method for knowledge. Examples of elucidation include space, time, Matter, Mind, and abstract (and concrete) objects. Examples of paradox resolution include the paradox of the non-existent object and a range of semantic and logical paradoxes. I have not demonstrated that all such paradoxes have resolution but developments so far suggest that any resolutions will fall under analysis and synthesis of meaning. Such resolution and extension to set theory and its paradoxes and so to a robust formulation of logics and set theory constitute a future project. An important insight from the universal metaphysics is that all true objects of grammar, logic, metaphysics, and mathematics must lie in the (one) Universe. This thought lends realism to the otherwise abstract developments.
Assertion. Experience is an object. Concepts are objects.
Proof. We have experience of experience. However even non-reflexive experience is experience and therefore an object. Concepts (in the sense used here) are experiential.
Remark. All concepts have a creative element (concepts are generated or regenerated by the organism and not merely the result or imprint of the world) that gives them an element of hypothesis which in some cases may be negligible but in other cases is significant. If negligible the concept is ‘bound’ (to the object); if freedom is significant the concept is free (has creative freedom). The free character is a source of both error and creation (of powerful and realistic conceptual systems).
Remark. Concepts are not limited to the cognitive. ‘Emotion’ is conceptual. What is the object of emotion? Where can it be other than in the body? Since the body responds to the world, the world may be an indirect object of emotion. Cognitive concepts are direct! Is that true—they seem to have some degree of indirectness. ‘Direct’ and ‘indirect’ are matters of degree (perhaps).
Remark. The apparent gap between concept and object raises the question ‘What is the object?’ The question has epistemological and existential aspects. Some thinkers, e.g. some phenomenologists, have attempted to resolve this issue by identifying object with concept via careful arguments that purport to show, e.g., that at root ‘appearance is reality’. The present motive in referring to conflations of concept and object is (a) to note that the assertion that ‘concepts are objects’ is not a conflation of concept and object but a simple assertion and, simultaneously, an implicit rejection of the notion of objects in some special ‘mental space’ and (b) to note that in this text the gap between concept and object approached by other and more discriminating means. Here we have begun to show that there are certain objects, e.g. experience (and Being and Universe below) that, though they are not their concepts, are known perfectly in the concept. The range of such objects is impressive in two ways—in the immense variety revealed and in that even Logic and method in important aspects are shown to fall under such perfect object-hood. Discrimination arises in that the range, though impressive, does not exceed the bound of what is shown to obtain. The question of concepts and objects lying outside this bound is treated in other narratives at http://www.horizons-2000.org where the ‘objectivity’ of concept-object relations is treated in terms that aspire to be pragmatically sound criteria. These criteria are further argued to be existentially significant in that where we cannot do better there is satisfaction and reward in knowing this and existential reward in moving forward with incomplete ‘foundation’.
Robustness and Discrimination
Remark. (Introduction.) We would like to think of our world as being dependable in actually existing but not just in existing; we would like to think that the support and comfort of the world have some degree of security. If the world exists ‘merely in illusion’ or if its existence is but chance then the illusion or chance may be removed perhaps at any time. We know the world via our experience but we would like to know that is more—that its existence is more secure than its being experienced and more secure than chance. However, we would like to know more. Some part of our experience is, certainly, imagination and illusion and so on.
Definition. An object is robust when its existence is more than that of being experienced and more than that of accident.
Definition. A concept is discriminating when it refers to what is real and only what is real. A concept is informally said to be robust when it refers to and only to a robust object.
Robustness and Discrimination of Experience
Definition. When (and if) in coherent experience it is found that the real world is greater than the content of the coherent system, that system constitutes individual experience.
Assertion. The real world is far more than (individual) experience. (Remark. This is true even though or if there is significant illusion.)
Proof. The world as known in individual experience is far greater than what is in the direct experience of the individual; the former is in fact greater than the individual’s experiential knowledge of his or her own capacity for knowledge. Therefore the idea that the world is only experience is either (a) an alternate labeling of the world or (b) an extension of the notion of experience (e.g. the world including experience is the experience of the universe as a whole) or (c) some combination of a and b. Now (b) may be true (or not) but this does not affect the assertion. We can regard (a) to be true but it is far more effective to regard the assertion as true.
Remark. This situation is similar to many examples from the history of thought. An example is the ‘Copernican revolution’. There is more than one valid system of description of the motion of the solar system—e.g., (1) motion around the sun and (2) motion around the earth. The Copernican revolution recognizes that (1) is immensely simplifying (over the Ptolemaic system). In the later development of Newtonian mechanics both (1) and (2) are possible but (1) is far simpler and seen to be natural in that, to good approximation for calculating motion of and in the solar system, the sun provides an inertial frame.
Remark. The position that there is only experience is a brand of what is called ‘solipsism’. The above proof dismisses this kind of solipsism. The earlier assertion that experience of experience is inherent to (talk of, our kind of) experience is already a dismissal of solipsism. It is not obvious how this might be extended to the experience (such as it is) of, say, a snail to which we might be willing to attribute experience but not experience of its experience. The extension would require proof that all experience includes experience of experience. The later assertion that every atom is a cosmos may entail that experience is intrinsically reflexive and this consideration deserves attention.
Assertion. Experience and its range contradict the solipsism that asserts that the world is nothing but experience.
Proof. The previous proof.
Remark. This section continues to establish robustness and discrimination of experience.
Definition. A limited form is one that is not the world and that does not have the entire world as its experience.
Assertion*. Individual experience is the experience of a limited form.
Definition. An individual is a (limited) form with individual experience.
Assertion. There is an individual.
Proof. My experience has apparent coherence but apparent coherence of experience is coherence of experience. Further my experience is not experience of the entire world. Therefore ‘I’ am a limited form with individual experience—i.e. ‘I’ satisfy the definition of and therefore am an individual.
Assertion. The world is populated by many individuals.
Proof. Untruth of the assertion is equivalent to the solipsism already shown false.
Definition. Being (C) is that which exists.
Remark. As for ‘existence’ this definition may be cast in predicate form, e.g. ‘Being is the characteristic of what exists.’ There is no particular gain from such nicety; the point is to remember that that the sense of ‘Being’ emphasizes absence or reference to particular existing things or classes of existing thing. Further, it is implicit in the definition (as is often tacit in definitions) that Being does not refer to that which does not exist and it is therefore unnecessary to say ‘Being is that which exists and only that which exists.’
Assertion. There is Being. The concept of Being is robust and discriminating.
Proof. From considerations above.
Remark. The power (informal use) of the concept of Being is its neutrality to kinds such as space, time, matter, mind, spirit, soul, and the varieties of word-as-world. Use of Being does not strap development down with commitment to unproven ontology but allows any ontology to emerge from analysis. If an ontology, e.g. materialism, should emerge it will do so in a position that is stronger than the argument from science which, as long as physical science is not known to be complete, cannot be more than one of the stronger plausibility arguments.
Remark. (Issue.) Is Being itself robust? What do I mean by this question? If we originate in material evolution or from the Void and if we are not the creation of an omniscient and omnipotent God then it might seem that our being is insecure in its permanence, in its significance and value, and in its power. This suggests the sense in which Being may seem to lack robustness and it is perhaps one reason that human being tends to turn to belief in God. I hold however that Being is most robust precisely because it does not have or need a foundation in something else—in something outside itself. Now in the following sections we will find that Being is not only all powerful but that its power and potency could not be greater and, therefore we partake of this power for the contrary would contradict its ultimate potency. What is being said here, however, is that the robustness of Being is not dependent on this potency. A Universe that depended on God would not be robust for its power would come not from within—it would not be the prime mover or even some prime mover—it would come from without.
Remark. When the concept of ‘Universe’ is formally introduced, it will be seen that there is and can be no God the creator of the Universe in the sense of a power outside the Universe.
Assertion. The power of the concept of Being is its neutrality to kinds or categories.
Proof. As suggested in the proof above and confirmed by the later development that finds there to be no ultimate kinds (and is yet able to found metaphysics.)
Definition. Logic (C) is constraint on (creative) freedom of concepts that is necessary for possibility of reference.
Remark. In the definition above ‘constraint’ may be replaced by ‘system of constraints’.
Remark. In the present use ‘Logic’ is the concept and the classical and traditional ‘logics’ are examples. Can we not use ‘logic’ instead of ‘Logic’? We could. I do not do so because ‘Logic’ will have a special meaning in what follows.
Remark. ‘Logic’ is not of Being as Being but of Being in relation to Being (e.g. understanding).
Assertion. The hypothetical concept that does not satisfy Logic has no object. ‘The hypothetical but Illogical object (i.e. the concept of which violates Logic) does not exist.’
Proof. From the definition of Logic.
Remark. In informal terms ‘The concept that does not satisfy Logic does not exist’; this informal rendering may be confusing for the concept does exist but has no object. The colloquial informal ‘What does not satisfy Logic does not exist’ does not may strict sense but may be less confusing in that it does not suggest the issue at hand while the first informal rendering suggests the issue but confuses it
Definition. A limit on Being is a concept that satisfies Logic but (still) has no object.
Assertion. Logic (C) is a constraint on concepts but not a limit on Being (when Universe is introduced ‘Universe’ may be substituted for ‘Being’ in this assertion).
Proof. Because Logic does not disallow any possible object.
Definition. A fact (LC) is a non-compound concept or percept.
Definition. A Fact (C) is the immanent fact (LC).
Remark. Where there is a Fact we may look again and ‘find’ a compound. If the second look is real, the Fact may be said to be compound Fact.
Definition. A compound Fact is one that has an equivalent description as a collection of Facts.
Remark. This does not violate the definition of Fact for it is the fact that is non-compound. Thus compound Facts are certainly possible. Investigation of examples shows that there are compound Facts. The consideration of Law, below, verifies this. Later, in development of metaphysics, it will be seen that all Facts are compound Facts.
Definition. A law (LC) is a concept (a reading) of a pattern. The Law (C) is the pattern or object—i.e. the immanent Law.
Remark. Here ‘law’ and ‘Law’ refer to laws as exemplified by scientific law and not as in ‘the laws of the land’.
Remark. Laws (C) are limits on Being (except vacuous cases such as ‘It is what it is’).
Remark. So far ‘law’ refers to natural law. The realism of natural law above may be extended. Morality, Civil law, and judgment of value have immanent forms we may name Ethics, Justice, and Value. The Universe contains all Ethics, Justice, and Value.
Fact and Law
Assertion. Facts and Laws are not distinct. A Fact subsumes a pattern; a Law (in any of its known or unknown domains of validity) is a Fact. Laws as Facts are given as are Facts as Facts.
Proof. A Law is a pattern or compound Fact. A Fact is ‘simplex’ pattern or Law.
Remark. The givenness of Laws as Facts is not an assertion that Laws are factual but that the form of Law is that of the form of Fact. What is the status of Laws as factual? This is discussed below in the section, Science.
Assertion. Facts (C) and Laws have Being.
Proof. Even facts and laws have Being. This is because they are concepts, i.e. ‘are there’ (recall that concepts are objects). However, Facts and Laws have Being is, simply, because they are there.
Remark. This illustrates the power of the concept of Being. If we insisted that existence was material existence (or mind-stuff existence or symbolic existence or existence of any specific kind) the existence of any thing that is not obviously of the kind would be in question. For example the answer to the question ‘is a fact or pattern material’ may seem to be ‘yes’ but it is certainly not ‘obviously yes’.
Remark. The distinction between Facts and Laws is arbitrary. (This remark will be strengthened later.)
Remark. (Introduction.) In common twentieth and (so far) twenty-first century understanding, science is conceptual projection on data points and concepts. In this understanding, a scientific theory or law may be seen as a universal hypothesis over existing data. Further data that is in sufficient disagreement invalidates a theory (but does not necessarily make it useless) and agreement corroborates but does not ‘prove’ universality. Although there is progress in the direction of universalization it does not follow that universality will be achieved. However, some generalization—i.e. some movement in the direction of universality—is likely and therefore a valuable endeavor. If a theory is interpreted as pertaining only to a domain of validity, it may be regarded as fact.
Definition. Science (LC) is conceptual projection on data points and concepts.
Assertion. This definition of science—conceptual projection on data and concepts—is sufficiently broad to permit interpretations of scientific theories as (a) facts on domains of validity and (b) as hypotheses with a valid domain of application that is a candidate for extension.
Proof. The previous remark.
Remark. A concept of Science (C) that is an idealization of science is introduced in narratives linked from http://www.horizons-2000.org. This concept will not play an explicit role in the early development of this axiomatic development
Remark. It is clear that science is conceptual projection. What is important about the definition is that it does not entail elevation a scientific theory to fact. From the previous remark elevation to fact follows only on either (a) the factual interpretation or (b) explicit demonstration of possibility of universalization.
Assertion. Elevation of a scientific theory to fact is valid only on either (a) factual interpretation or (b) demonstration that universalization is possible (construction of a universalization would be a demonstration that universalization of the original theory is possible).
Proof. The previous remark.
Remark. The meaning of ‘possible’ in the assertion is that there is a universalization but not that it may be found.
Assertion. Science may be regarded as universal hypothesis or (valid) fact over a limited domain. An intermediate case is that of fact that is valid over a limited domain with prospect for extension via extension of the domain andor revision of hypothesis (theory). The factual interpretation is true; the intermediate case is reasonable; the case of universal hypothesis cannot be evaluated without knowledge of the extent and variety of the Universe.
Proof. The notions of science and the assertions regarding truth of the factual interpretation and reasonability of the intermediate case follow the definition of science and foregoing remarks in this section. It remains to assess the case of science as universal (that theory that is successful so far can be a universal hypothesis is trivial).
Remark. Successful theories are generally more than fact. They should go beyond their original domain. What does this mean? How can we know that they go beyond their domain? We cannot know this so ‘going beyond their original domain’ requires interpretation. In the beginning a new theory typically explains data not explained by the older theory and agrees with the older in its domain. This together with conceptual power (consistency is most important, subsumption of a broader range of concept than the older theory is important, clarification of concepts of the older theory is important, elegance is a further intuitive consideration—pending formal definition of ‘elegance’) will earn recognition but it is important for success as a theory that broader ranges of fact and domains of phenomena be subsumed for it is this that gives confidence that the theory is extendable to still further phenomena. These are of course pragmatic considerations and do not dismiss the ‘logical’ strength of the interpretation as fact and the ‘logical’ meaning possibility of ‘universalization’.
Remark. The strength and appeal of a theory of science as universal hypothesis is well known. The strength of the factual interpretation is that it not capable of invalidation (on the assumption that the data are valid). A meeting point of the two views of science is the hypothesis over a domain that extends beyond the domain of validity but the limit of the extended domain is not known or hypothetical.
Remark. The extent, duration, and variety of the Universe will be found to be without limit. A consequence of this finding will be that the universal case (detailed empirical scientific theories as universal) is not tenable.
Science and Logic
Remark. Science (as fact) and the logics (approximately) may be regarded as part of Logic.
Assertion. Science and logic thus understood have dual and common origin. In both, discovery is experimental.
Proof. The concept of science and Logic thus understood are derived from experience of factual and conceptual agreement described above. Therefore, while not absolutely a priori, the concepts are grounded in given experience. On the other hand the content of science and Logic (the sciences and the logics) cannot be other than experimental in their discovery (even if built into language and the language capability the experimental aspect is one of evolution).
Remark. The remark above concerning the logics is eminently sensible. The remark regarding Fact requires only a trivial alteration in the meaning of ‘Logic’.
Remark. The assertion that logic is experimental stands against thoughts that logic has a priori elements and that it speaks of (i.e. its content pertains to) some ideal (Platonic) realm. Modern developments in logics question these thoughts. Still the idea that logic may be empirical is at least disturbing. It is important that the experimental aspect of logic is not empirical in the way science is; the empiricism of science concerns the material world; the experimental aspect of logic concerns concepts of (particularly assertions regarding) the world. That discovery is experimental does not imply that what is discovered is not a priori; this concern is addressed in other remark.
The Extent of the World According to Science
Dialog. Do science and common experience define the extent of the world? Here I provide the essentials of an answer. The reader interested in informal explanation is referred to narratives at http://www.horizons-2000.org.
We have seen that science is projection on data. Therefore there is no necessity to the thought that science has revealed the duration, extent, and variety of the world.
As far as the ‘science of science’ is concerned what lies outside today’s science is in a range from nothing to limitless duration, extent and variety.
It is reasonable to expect that there is something lying beyond the boundary of what is known and that the immediate beyond will bear some similarity to what lies immediately inside.
There is a kind of ‘positivism’ that asserts that there is nothing beyond the boundary and a weaker version that asserts that we should not talk of what may lie beyond. The first version is simply wrong. The second has pragmatic value but if it were adhered to universally there would have been no history of scientific advance (no Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, or Heisenberg).
There is a default secular view that science and common experience have revealed most of what is to be revealed. This view is not logically correct but seems to be reasonable. It is however reasonable only if we think we already have the essentials—i.e. it is reasonable if it is reasonable. When we think that the world beyond science is like what is already revealed the basis of the thought always comes back to an assumption, usually tacit, of the conclusion.
The reasonability of the default above seems buttressed when we consider the common trans-secular alternatives—e.g., the cosmologies of myth and religion. Such views are so lacking in common basis (their bases invariably turn out to be claims or methods that are refractory to examination and therefore no more than common acceptance) that it is as if they were designed to support the secular alternative. However, while such views may be evidence of spectacular literary powers, they exhibit extreme poverty of cosmological imagination and therefore, in their stretch of credulity, they provide no critical or plausible support to the secular default.
As far as the generally accepted bases of science and common experience are concerned the only logical and reasonable attitude to the secular default is that of neutrality. It is not just common agnosticism but it is agnosticism toward what is there as well as means of knowing what is there.
The metaphysics of this text takes this as one point of entry.
Definition. Logos (C) is the maximal or greatest world allowed by Logic.
Remark. The Logos is the object of Logic. Later when it is shown that the Universe is the object of Logic, the identity of Logos and Universe will follow.
Assertion. Science and critical common experience are consistent with world as Logos.
Proof. (Parts of) Foregoing remarks.
Remark. ‘Any sub-world of Logos that includes the empirical world’ may be substituted for ‘Logos’ in the previous assertion.
Assertion. World as Logos is so interesting that it is worth investigating.
Proof. As seen in the remainder of this document starting with the treatment of Metaphysics.
Remark. It will be shown that the world (Universe) is Logos. The interest however would remain even in absence of this demonstration—it will be seen that even if we do not know that the world is Logos, ‘World as Logos’ is a hypothesis that is (a) consistent with Logic which includes science and deductive reason (b) plausible (c) rich in material and existential possibility.
Remark. That the world (Universe) is Logos will be demonstrated and will form a foundation for the metaphysics to be developed.
Remark. In the introduction I noted that there would be foundation not just of a view of the universe but also of the method leading to that view. I was careful, of course, to note that the foundation would not be entire (entire foundation might be rather depressing and occasion for regret). The foundation, so far as it will be developed, is not yet complete but some groundwork has been laid out above.
Remark. This brief section might therefore be titled ‘foundation of the foundation’. In an ultimate sense however there is no foundation does not include foundation of the foundation. The well known paradoxical nature of the idea of ‘foundation of the foundation’ is addressed above to the extent that the foundation has been developed.
Assertion*. From the definition of Logic it subsumes scientific theory and the logics. This does not require essential revision of received notions of scientific theory and the logics.
Remark. Definition of ‘metaphysics’ is deferred to a point in the development where it is clear that metaphysics is significantly meaningful—i.e. where there is a significant domain of (true) metaphysical knowledge. However, development of metaphysics has already begun and continues.
Definition. The Universe is all Being.
Remark. The concept of limits regarding Being apply to the Universe.
Assertion*. (1) There is one and only one Universe. (2) There is nothing outside the Universe—i.e., the Universe has no ‘outside’. (3) Laws (C) and Facts are in the Universe. (4) The hypothetical Being that violates Logic does not exist and is not in the Universe. (5) All Laws and Facts are in the Universe. (6) All Objects are in the Universe. (7) All concepts are in the Universe. Even Illogical concepts exist / are objects (but do not have existing objects). (8) The Universe has and can have no (external) creator.
Proof. Obvious from the definitions of Being, Law, Fact, and Universe.
Remark. One part of the Universe may be implicated in the creation of another without violation of the definitions of Being through Universe. Creation of the Universe by another being is a violation of the definition of Universe.
Remark. While concepts are in the Universe they should not be thought of as mental objects. Concepts are objects no less and no more than any other kind of object. These remarks are strengthened later.
Definition. The Void is the absence of Being.
Assertion. There is a Void.
Proof. As complement to the Universe the Void exists.
Proof. (Alternate.) The existence and non-existence of the Void are identical.
‘Proof’. (Plausibility.) Ockham’s Razor applied to what is not in the Universe.
Assertion. The Void contains no Being (and therefore no experience, concept, object, or Law).
Proof. From the definition of the Void.
Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics
Definition. The fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP) is the assertion that ‘The Universe has no limits’.
Remark. Thus far FP is a name and ‘metaphysics’ is part of the name without significance. The concept of metaphysics is defined later. That will allow ‘metaphysics’ in ‘the fundamental principle of metaphysics’ to be more than a name—i.e., to have descriptive value.
Assertion. The Universe has no limits.
Assertion. (Alternate.) The fundamental principle of metaphysics is true.
Proof. The Void exists and has no Laws. Every state emerges from the Void for the contrary would be a limit on the Void. This power (informal use) is conferred on every element of Being including the Universe for the contrary would be a limit on the Void. This demonstrates that the Universe has no limits.
Assertion. From the limitlessness of the Void follows not only limitlessness of the Universe but also of every object or element of Being.
Proof. The above proof.
Remark. Regarding parts of the Universe, limitlessness has one restriction—i.e., conditions of coexistence. In that every particle may individually realize (become) the Universe this is an occasional but not eternal restriction.
Assertion. The Universe has no universal Laws.
Proof. A universal Law would be a limit.
Remark. Laws are temporary limits and part of the constitution of the forms of Being (later, limits and Laws are seen to normally be inherent in origins).
Remark. Except that there is at least one, the number of Voids is irrelevant. (Two voids have precisely the limitlessness of one.)
Remark. A Void may be regarded to be associated with every element of Being.
Remark. The Void and the Universe are equivalent. Every element of Being is equivalent to every other. (That something must come from nothing is a trivial corollary.)
Assertion. There are no substances as original, constant, and exclusive sources of All Being. At the deepest and most general level the question of foundation is forever closed (by the fundamental principle of metaphysics).
Proof. Since every element of Being is limitless it may function as the source of All Being. No particle, therefore, is original and exclusive; constancy would be a violation of its limitlessness. Thus there are no substances in the sense in the assertion.
Instrumental form of the Fundamental Principle
Assertion. The Universe is the object of Logic.
Proof. Anything less would be a violation of limitlessness. Anything more is impossible.
Assertion. If there is a system of concepts that constitute Logic, its object is the Universe.
Assertion. (Informal version of the previous assertion.) Subject to Logic (valid logical form) all concepts have objects.
Proof. As above, with interpretation.
Assertion*. The impossible objects are not realized. They may, however, be said to be realized in the Void without entailing violation of Logic (or Realism—see below).
Proof. Previous proof.
Remark. This is inherent in the notion of impossibility; it is not a ‘material’ result.
Realism and Logic
Definition. Realism (C) is (negatively) the constraint that concepts satisfy Logic to have objects. Positively, it is the assertion that all Logical concepts have objects.
Assertion. Realism (C) is Logic. Therefore, as for Logic, Realism is not a limit on the Universe but a constraint on concepts.
Proof. From above considerations.
Remark. The term ‘Logos’ is related to this use of Logic.
Remark. The forms of logic are approximations to parts of Realism (Logic). While the logics may be thought of as strict and limiting this Realism (Logic) is the most liberal of realisms.
Remark. When the logics are thought of as limiting there are two possibilities. (1) Application where logic is not relevant. (2) When a logic is imperfect.
Definition. Metaphysics is the study of Being as it is.
Remark. This is an original meaning of metaphysics.
Assertion. There is metaphysics.
Proof. From above considerations.
Remark. The point is of immense importance for it stands against a strong modern tradition of anti-metaphysical thought (there is in fact more than one such tradition and the errors of the traditions are shown in references linked from http://www.horizons-2000.org). Why does metaphysics succeed here where it fails elsewhere? This question has already been answered earlier in the discussion of the categories of the metaphysics of this development versus the categories of Kant’s system.
Remark. From the failure of classical metaphysics the very definition of metaphysics is generally in question today and there are a number of activities that have been suggested as the content of metaphysics.
Assertion. Metaphysics may be restituted to its original meaning (as study of Being as it is).
Proof. From above considerations.
Remark. It would be accurate to regard the above as one original meaning. However, most of the original meanings are roughly in the same family of meaning. This stands in contrast to some modern meanings of metaphysics—e.g., as metaphysics of experience (but not of the real world) and study of abstract objects. Regarding these modern meanings it is significant that the present development dissolves any absolute divide between the original meanings stemming from the philosophy of Classical Greece, especially the thought of Plato and Aristotle, and the modern through recent meanings.
Remark. There is value to restituting metaphysics to its original meaning for that meaning is a powerful one and as shown here the power is not vacuous but rich. Further, the restitution will not invalidate other activities that are today called metaphysics. Nor need the restitution strip these activities of the appellation ‘metaphysics’ provided that the different activities that fall under the appellation are not conflated or confused.
Remark. Conflation is a common argumentative ploy. It is useful as a ploy but invalid as argument. The ploy comes in more than one form e.g. (1) If two objects have the same name and one is shown to exist it is then asserted that the other exist and (2) If two objects have many properties in common and one object with all the common properties is shown to exist it is then asserted that the other exists. Although the error in the two examples is clear, the ploy is often used with success when there is an investment in believing in the existence of an object.
A Unique, Perfect, and Ultimate Universal Metaphysics
Remark. The metaphysics of FP is the knowledge (begun) above—i.e. the metaphysics that shows the existence of experience and the real world and Laws and Facts, the fact of Being, and that reveals the limitlessness of the Universe, and shows the identity of Realism and Logic and so on. The development of the metaphysics now continues.
Definition. The Universal Metaphysics is the metaphysics of (stemming from) the fundamental principle (FP).
Remark. The adjective ‘Universal’ above applies. Proof. Obvious.
Remark. For its domain the Universal Metaphysics is unique to within detail. It is therefore also called ‘the metaphysics’.
Assertion. The metaphysics is unique, perfect, ultimate, and universal.
Proof. Uniqueness and universality are shown above. Its perfection lies in that it captures All Being precisely (the breadth captured explicitly is immense and the remainder of Being is captured at least implicitly). It is ultimate in capturing All Being (the degree of perfect explicit capture cannot be greater for, e.g., while it does not capture local science, local science is imperfect).
Remark. It is further figuratively ultimate in showing the Universe as ultimate.
Remark. (Introduction.) Consistency, power, and completeness are important characteristics of systems of thought.
Definition. A consistent system of thought is one that has no explicit or implied contradictions.
Remark. Consistency is important because an inconsistent system is unreliable. Under common laws of inference, any contradiction implies the truth of all assertions. However, contradictions may be ‘quarantined’ and therefore inconsistent systems are not useless (this is important when undetected inconsistencies may be present which is especially likely in informal thought).
Remark. One purpose to formalizing a system of thought is to have a precise accounting of the terms of the system—especially any primitive or undefined notions, presumptions or postulates, and methods. Since most axiomatic systems pertain to ‘abstract’ contexts it is generally difficult to establish consistency by studying the objects. Consistency may be studied, then, by casting the axiomatic form in terms of another system whose consistency is known (relative consistency) or by studying the axiomatic system as an object in itself (allowing demonstration of absolute consistency in a few cases).
This narrative employs another approach. In reflecting on the use of the term ‘consistent’ we find that we do not say of some thing, e.g. a collection of building blocks that they are consistent or inconsistent. I.e., consistency does not seem to be a property of things. What then is consistency a property of? It arises, as noted in consideration of Logic above, when a concept purports to be about something. The consistency of the metaphysics of this narrative is guaranteed because all its fundamental elements are named givens (i.e. they are in the Universe and therefore do not belong to the category of things that can be consistent or inconsistent).
Assertion. The universal metaphysics is consistent.
Proof. The foregoing remarks.
Remark. In that the consistency of the metaphysics is built in it is implicit. In the development of the metaphysics, this consistency must be emergent (and therefore consistency is not guaranteed). The power of the implicit consistency is that, in so far as the metaphysics may be developed, there is an objective test for it; consistency will not have to be artificially imposed (but artifactual consistency will remain an option when implicit consistency is too difficult to develop).
Remark. It could be objected that all consistency is emergent and therefore the metaphysics is no different than any other system of thought in this regard. However, in general systems have neither implicit consistency nor objective test.
Definition. The power of a system of thought is defined by the range and significance of its objects.
Remark. The definition of power of a system of thought may be subjective in as much as significance is subjective.
Definition. A system of thought is complete if every assertion expressible in its terms is either true or false within the system.
Assertion. The universal metaphysics is implicitly complete as found above. The universal metaphysics is ultimately powerful in capturing the entire Universe in its range (a significant part of the capture is direct and explicit; from FP the remainder may be captured in process and may be regarded as implicit).
Remark. The universal metaphysics captures the entire Universe. Therefore the idea of the power of a system of thought is not subjective when the system is the universal metaphysics.
Meaning of the Metaphysics
Remark. It is crucial to understand the meaning of the metaphysics—i.e. of FP.
Remark. The term ‘meaning’ in ‘meaning of the metaphysics’ is figurative. In such terms it is intuitively reasonable to assert the following.
Definition. (This is a pseudo-definition in that it already incorporates what is required to prove the assertion about it below.) The explicit meaning of the metaphysics is given by its concept—i.e. by Realism. The implicit meaning is in its objects—i.e. its implications.
Remark. The intuitive assertion above makes sense in terms of the earlier definition of meaning if we identify the concept (sense) with explicit meaning and object (reference) with implicit meaning. Once this identification is made the sense of the intuitive assertion is evident. The concept is Realism (every Logical concept has an object) and the object is the Universe (the collection of objects or implications).
Assertion. The above intuitive meaning can be proved formally in terms of the earlier definition of meaning.
Proof. The foregoing remark.
Remark. The minimal Realism associated with Logic constitutes an explicit meaning of the metaphysics: given Realism, concepts have objects.
Remark. Logic is ultimate in that its object is the Universe. However, the capture of the object has been seen to be implicit. Though Logic is ultimate, its forms continue to emerge. Except In dreams of certainty, security, and control, there can be no foundation of Logic outside context. This is true also for Ethics and value. I.e., there is no foundation for Logic, Ethics or Value outside context and while these objects exist, they reside in the one Universe and in this the present metaphysics contrasts with Platonic Realism which posits that such ‘ideas’ reside in an ‘ideal’ universe. However, in the present metaphysics the objects in question are real; the metaphysics is therefore neither nominalism nor reductionist materialism.
Remark. For limited form logic, ethics, and value remain in process.
Assertion*. Many momentous implications of the metaphysics (FP) have trivial proof. Other implications, especially any concerning the realm of possibility—the extreme pole from the trivial may be difficult or impossible for human being (FP implies that there will be some limitless implications of this kind). An intermediate range of difficulty concerns implications at the intersection of the metaphysics and ‘local’ knowledge, e.g. of our cosmos.
Proof. From FP. Illustration in the following remarks and subsequent development.
Remark. (Significant Implications of the Metaphysics with Trivial Proof) Many momentous results flow from the metaphysics; proofs need not be given—the text will simply record that the proof from limitlessness is trivial; it will be implicit that Logic may not be violated but this is not problematic because Logic is itself defined in implicit terms. This should not suppress that there are numerous non-trivial implications.
Remark. Remarks may contain demonstrated assertions and proofs are sometimes given but otherwise left to the reader.
Remark. (Deep Implications—Proofs Difficult or Inaccessible) It is implicit that the difficulty-impossibility is for a given form, e.g. human being.
Remark. At the extreme pole from the trivial is the full understanding of the ‘womb of all reality’ in the Universe. In the section ‘Cosmology’ below we will find the following conclusion with trivial proof—‘The variety of systems of physical type laws is without limit. Corresponding to each system there is an unlimited number of cosmological systems.’ It is clear that there are some Logical constraints to what may be expressed along these lines in concepts—e.g., when some endless repetition is interpreted as a cosmological system. These are not limits but the constraint is not easily given explicit formulation. Along these lines there are likely to be subtle constraints still to be developed that form part of Logic.
Remark. (Implications at the Intersection with Human Knowledge—Challenging Difficulty) In between the extreme poles of difficulty are implications for abstract objects (they are in the universe), identity, science (stemming, e.g. from interaction of the properties of the void and stability / indeterministic transition of quantum systems and from implications of identity and universe as all being for space-time-matter), logic and set theory (sets must be in the universe), and the range of disciplines and endeavors.
Unification of Abstract and Concrete Objects
Assertion. The distinction between abstract and concrete objects is not fundamental. All objects are in the one Universe.
Proof. (With elaboration of the meaning of the assertion.) The following remark.
Remark. Since all objects are in the Universe an abstract object is in the one Universe—or it does not exist. What then is the difference between abstract and concrete objects? If the mode of acquaintance is experiential—from the world—the object is concrete. If we project the projection may be to an actual object or not. In projection there is some object provided that the concept projected is ‘Logical’. What we normally call abstract is in this case. However, the projection to an actual and known object is also abstract in this sense.
All objects have an abstract and a concrete side. What side we emphasize determines what the distinction between the abstract and the concrete is so far (in use). However we now see that there is no fundamental distinction between the abstract and the concrete.
What of the putative distinctions of the recent literature? If the abstract seem to be a-causal and non-temporal it is because the concept is one for which causality or temporality is absent from what is abstracted. Of course, if we restrict attention to this (or some particular) cosmos there is a practical distinction between the concrete and the abstract. Even here however the distinction is not as rock solid as has been thought. Today we regard number as abstract. Our earliest acquaintance with number was empirical. Because of the apparent perfection of the abstract definition of number—especially since the nineteenth century—we prefer the abstract notion and because of the apparent reality of the notion of number we may therefore tend to think it ‘resides’ in an ideal universe populated by other ideal forms not restricted to the mathematical.
We now see that the abstract and the concrete are not fundamentally different and that both reside in the one and only Universe. In both cases a concept refers to the object. In both cases thinking of the object as the concept (e.g. a mental object) is misguided. For a concrete object that resides in the Universe it may or may not reside in our cosmos (in that the cosmos is normally distinct from the rest of the Universe). Those abstract objects that have space, time, and causality left behind in the abstraction may be thought of residing in every part of the ‘material’ universe and in no part. However the case is that they have but one location of residence—a compound location and the fact that they (may) seem to reside everywhere is a consequence of them not being tied to some particular place (similar considerations arise for time). Their seeming unreal and intangible character arises especially when causation is left behind in the abstraction: the compound that is abstracted seems intangible because the abstract of each part that is part of the abstract whole is non causal.
Vastness of Logic
Assertion. The object of Logic is limitless.
Proof. The object of Logic is the Universe.
Remark. The vastness (limitlessness) and forms of Logic await discovery (the known logics are but forms of and within Logic). While the forms may be rough and constraining Logic itself is the true and most liberal realism.
Remark. The following are some preliminary remarks on ‘Applied Metaphysics’. The object of Logic has been seen to be the Logos—the Universe in all its detail. However, our perfect and explicit knowledge so far is only of some contours of the Universe. Our ‘practical’ knowledge, e.g. common though reflective experience and science, is more detailed but its scope is far less than that of the perfect (we may think of the perfect as part of science). Where and how does the practical fit into the scheme of the perfect? This is the question of ‘Applied Metaphysics’. Trivially, science is a part of Applied Metaphysics. However there are two further questions. (1) Is there a place of intersection of science and the metaphysics where the join allows conclusions that are not allowed by science or the metaphysics taken separately and (2) What is the nature of modes of knowledge and experience that are not perfect? These concerns are addressed in the next two paragraphs. The first concern is taken up in the next paragraph.
In ‘Cosmology’ we will take up the nature of space and time. Whatever their nature, they cannot be outside the Universe. If they have Being they are in the Universe, if they are outside the Universe they do not have Being. There is no sense in which they are outside Being. Therefore they are in and of Being. I.e., while they may be (as-if) absolute for some phases of Being they cannot be absolute for all Being. I.e., space and time are relative in the sense of being immanent in Being rather than absolute in the sense of forming a grid or framework in which the rest of Being finds itself (the idea of space and time as absolute is the idea that they are a substance which as we have seen is untenable). The example is simple but the conclusion is significant; it is an example of Applied Metaphysics. The complete edition of the narrative at http://www.horizons-2000.org has further examples.
What is the nature of modes of experience and knowledge that are not perfect? The Platonic ideal was ‘representational’—i.e. ideal knowledge is a perfect replica of the object (but actual knowledge may fall short of this ideal). More recently there have been proponents of non-representational ideals. Some, e.g. pragmatism, are a response to the fact that much experience falls short of the Platonic ideal. Other ideas stem from the thought that the Platonic ideal is not really what experience and knowledge are about—at least not in all spheres of knowledge and experience. When we look at an individual in the world, each affects the other but there is no necessary way in which this effect results in perfect replicas. Thus the very meaning of representation of the object comes under question (we have of course seen that there is perfect representation of immense breadth but that while the contour is explicit a vast realm of detail is not). Thus, in Heidegger’s terms, knowing is an aspect of our Being in the world. Although different in concept, the pragmatic and Heideggerian overlap in application. Further both fall within Applied Metaphysics.
The Concept of Cosmology
Definition. Cosmology is (study of) varieties and forms of Being.
Remark. The study of Universe, identity, duration and extension (and time and space), Matter (C) and Mind (C), variety, peaks, dissolutions, Aeternitas, realization for limited forms, ideas and action, individual and civilization (lower case and Capitalized), transience and structure, are topics in cosmology. Therefore cosmology is part of the implicit meaning of the metaphysics.
Remark. Cosmology is part of metaphysics.
Assertion. Natural science has domains of validity but the Universe—the object of the metaphysics—is greater without limit than those domains. The Universe is limitlessly greater than our cosmos.
Proof. Implicit in the foregoing development.
Remark. The development has been formulated so that valid natural science and logic fit seamlessly into the metaphysics as cases of Fact and form within Logic.
Definition. Identity is (sense of) sameness.
Remark. Personal and object identity fall under this general concept of identity. From intuition the form of objects sometimes seems to be independent of perception of form. However there is arbitrariness to boundaries. Further, almost all objects are transitional. Thus identity seems tied in to sense of sameness or, more generally, to adaptations in a context. How may this be squared with the ideal notion of an objects? Are all objects (except the few perfect objects such as Being itself and Universe) objects-in-relation? There is resolution in the unification of the concrete and the abstract.
Assertion*. The Universe has Identity and manifestation in acute, diffuse and absent (non-manifest) phases. This phasing is without limit.
Remark. The non-manifest phases are Void phases. The manifest universe may be seen as originating in the Void—or, equivalently, in any state.
Duration and Extension (Time and Space)
Definition. Duration marks difference associated change of same identity; extension marks different identities.
Assertion. In general, extension and duration will be interwoven; there are however cases in which they are distinct.
Proof. The concept of identity—(sense of) sameness—allows that there be cases in which (sense) difference as same versus different identity have cases of (a) perfect and (b) imperfect distinction (including no distinction); i.e. it allows that (sense or measure) of extension and duration have cases of interwoven-ness and distinctness. Therefore, from FP there are cases of interwoven-ness and distinctness.
Remark. It seems reasonable to assert that cases of partial interwoven-ness will predominate in domains observed (therefore observable) by inhabitants with constitution that is that of the inhabited domain.
Definition. Time and space are coordinate measures of duration-extension (‘when’ and ‘where’ such measures exist).
Assertion. Duration-extension, where it exists, is immanent in Being.
Proof. From the present concepts, duration-extension is of Being. Any other concept would be outside Being, i.e. outside the Universe.
Assertion. Duration-extension is relative (from Universe º All Being, i.e. from the fact that the Universe has no outside). There are phases of as-if absolute duration and extension.
Proof. As immanent in Being it is logically possible that there are cases of extension-duration being relative (for part or whole Universe). Therefore there are actual cases (from FP). Now since the relative includes the absolute case but not vice versa, duration-extension is generally relative. That there are as-if absolute phases follows from FP. The argument that such absoluteness would be outside the Universe does not go through since when absoluteness concerns a domain that is not the entire Universe.
Remark. The previous two assertions apply to space-time.
Remark. The universe is marked by a patchwork of duration-extension-manifestation.
Remark. In English ‘exists’ is associated with present tense. This limitation is not present in principle above (in developments prior to this section). Therefore we may say that ‘exists’ is some combination of ‘existed’, ‘exists’ and ‘will exist’ and is more general according as duration and extension are but two marks changing and different identity respectively. Similar remarks (obviously) apply to the uses of the word ‘is’ generally and particularly above.
Assertion*. The Universe has no beginning or end or limit in extension. The Universe is.
Remark. Review of the notion of possibility shows that possibility is generally relative to some context. A state or process is physically possible if its occurrence does not violate the laws of physics. It is logically possible if its occurrence does not violate logic.
Definition. Something—e.g., a state or process—is possible relative to a context if it may obtain without changing the constitution or definition of the context.
Assertion. If something is possible relative to a context it obtains in an actual or conceived variant of the context (without change in constitution or definition of the context).
Example. If something does not obtain on earth we would still say with confidence that it is possible if we are confident that it would be producible in a laboratory.
Dialogue. What might it mean to talk of possibility without reference to a context? We sometimes think of logical possibility as context free possibility. However, foregoing developments suggest that the logics are not context free. Consider the earlier definition of the Universe as All Being. Obviously something that does obtain is possible. What is the status of something that does not obtain (over all extension and duration)? If it were possible it would obtain in another context. For the Universe there is no other context and while there may be another conceivable context obtaining in that context would have no significance. Therefore context free possibility, i.e. possibility relative to the Universe, is effectively what obtains.
Assertion. For the Universe, possibility and actuality are the same.
Proof. The foregoing assertions.
Remark. The above considerations could have been placed immediately after the definition of ‘the Universe’. However, they are better appreciated after introduction of the concepts of extension and duration.
Definition. Logical (C) possibility is whatever obtains under Logic.
Assertion*. It is a consequence of FP that (context free) possibility and Logical possibility are identical.
Remark. The above assertion is not a direct consequence of the definition of ‘the Universe’.
Some Cosmological Implications of the Metaphysics
Assertion*. The variety of systems of physical type laws is without limit. Corresponding to each system of laws there is an unlimited number of cosmological systems. Every cosmological system is repeated without limit. Cosmological systems may and do emerge spontaneously and spontaneously ‘self-annihilate’. There are ghost cosmological systems passing through ours right now (their presence is barely a whisper andor already integrated into ours); we are ghost to other systems. There is no system with interaction with others that is permanently barred except on the constitution (definition) of the systems. Every fiction is realized (this may be expressed ‘the only fictions are Logical fictions).
Remark. Where it says that cosmological systems may and do emerge spontaneously it may be added that incremental self-adaptive origin is more likely. However, the greater likelihood, while it seems that it may well be immensely greater, is based on plausible rather than necessary reasoning.
Remark. In talking of systems repeated without limit there must obviously be some Logical constraints. Are there constraints on possible form? I.e. is there any cross-over between Logic and ‘material’ considerations? How do limitlessness of cosmological systems and their repetitions and extension and duration mesh with one another and with the ‘undefined’ background. These seem to be difficult issues that are pertinent to the discussion of the section Implications—Levels of Difficulty of Proof.
Definition. Temporal determinism obtains when the state of a system at one particular time determines the system’s state at all times. A system that is not temporally deterministic will be called temporally indeterministic.
Remark. The phrase ‘all times’ may be replaced by ‘a range of times’ and then the temporal determinism will pertain to that range of times.
Assertion. In as much as the entire Universe is temporal it is not deterministic in the temporal sense.
Proof. Origin in the Void is a violation of temporal determinism.
Remark. Origin in the Void is but an example of violation of temporal determinism.
Definition. Determinism obtains when a part of the system determines the whole. A system that is not deterministic will be called indeterministic.
Remark. William James stated this concept of determinism (I am not aware of any earlier source for it).
Remark. The phrase ‘the whole’ may be replaced by ‘a greater part’ and then the determinism obtains for the greater part (and the original part if it is not contained in the greater part).
Assertion*. Temporal determinism is a case of determinism.
Assertion*. The Universe is indeterministic.
Assertion. From any state, any other state may emerge. Given a part of the Universe, the remainder of the Universe is not determined.
Proof. Immediately from FP.
Definition. Absolute temporal indeterminism obtains when, given one state in time for a temporal system, there is no state that it necessarily occupies at any other time. Absolute indeterminism obtains when, given a part of the Universe there is no necessity to the state of the remainder.
Remark. Absolute temporal indeterminism is a case of absolute indeterminism.
Assertion. The Universe is absolutely indeterministic in the general sense and, in so far as it is temporal, the temporal sense.
Proof. From FP, given the state at one time or, more generally, given the state of a part of the Universe, determination of the remainder would be a limit.
Remark. The Universe is absolutely deterministic in the sense that given the state of one part, every state that is consistent with the state and Logic obtains.
Analogy with Quantum Theory
Remark. The Void has analogies to the quantum vacuum. The equivalence of states and the indeterminism of the universal metaphysics have similarities to quantum theory. From these analogies there may be much potential for mutual interaction and foundation of the metaphysics and quantum theory. However, the universal metaphysics would also appear to be the more fundamental and less restrictive theory.
Issue. An assessment of the relationship between the universal metaphysics and quantum theory will be useful.
Assertion. The universal metaphysics is broader than and may therefore be part of a foundation for quantum theory. Quantum theory is insufficiently broad to found the universal metaphysics.
Proof. Part I—the first part of the assertion. That the universal metaphysics is broader than quantum theory is obvious; therefore the universal metaphysics together with appropriate sets of axioms founds the various quantum mechanics provided the latter are consistent. Part II. Bound states in quantum theory have ‘zero point energy’ and may transition among one another. An unbound state may have no zero point energy and (it seems) has no transitions to bound states. The latter would be allowed in the universal metaphysics. Therefore quantum theory is too narrow to found the metaphysics.
Remark. The universal metaphysics is not merely broader but broader without limit than quantum theory.
Remark. This section must remain speculative pending further assessment.
Definition. First order being is Being as Being.
Definition. Matter (C) is first order Being.
Remark. These definitions require no justification. What will require justification is the dual introduction of the foregoing concept of Matter together with the later concept of Mind.
Remark. Matter (C) is not to be understood as º matter in our cosmos. Further, only some aspects of matter in our cosmos fall under Matter
Remark. The universe is (marked by) a patchwork of duration-extension-Matter.
Assertion*. The variety, extension, duration, and summits of Being in the Universe are without limit.
Assertion*. All beings—especially individuals—inherit these powers of the Universe.
Remark. Particularly, any part of the Universe inherits the power of the Universe. This might seem to be paradoxical—limitless of one part would limit limitlessness of another. Therefore the inheritance of powers is subject to conditions of coexistence. However these conditions vanish when an individual merging of individuals become the single Identity of the Universe (it is not that conditions of coexistence cease but that there are no coexistent individuals in single Identity).
Remark. In the assertion and remark above ‘power’ is used informally.
Definition. Power is degree of limitlessness.
Assertion. The Universe is ultimate power.
Proof. From FP and the definition of power.
Assertion*. The individual inherits the power of the Universe.
Remark. Apparent limits (cosmos versus Universe, individual experience versus individual as revealed in assertions above) are removed in light of the metaphysics and recognition that apparent limits are temporary.
Remark. There is a raft of standard and non-standard problems for the concepts introduced and assertions demonstrated. For statement and resolution see narratives linked from the site http://www.horizons-2000.org.
Remark. (Important.) The main doubt of the development concerns demonstration of FP. The essence of the doubt concerns existence of the Void. Alternate proofs and plausibility arguments assuage but do not remove doubt—visit http://www.horizons-2000.org for further details. The crucial doubt remains existence of the Void. While the doubt has its formal side the enormity of the implications adds weight to the doubt that is difficult to separate from the not inconsiderable formal side.
How may this residual doubt be addressed? The first address of course is the varied proofs of which some are true proofs in form (and for which doubt concerns some aspect of the proof) while others are plausibility arguments designed to address the psychological side of the doubt. I have not been able to remove all doubt.
Perhaps the most effective approach to the doubt is to (1) Note that FP has no inconsistencies or true absurdities whatsoever (which includes the formal and psychological sides as well as what may be called the practical side, e.g. apparent contradiction with experience and science, which are already included in the formal but which may and are also addressed independently) and (2) Admit doubt.
For—there is already practical doubt regarding realization—when and in what form shall this occur… will my engagement be sufficiently powerful in ‘this’ form? The formal doubt adds to this doubt and enhances it as an existential challenge. Thus the half full / half empty perspective sees a diminishment of material certainty but an enhancement of existential challenge.
There is a formal side to the existential. From the text we can see that the human and academic implications of the metaphysics (FP) are immense. We know from twentieth century developments in logic and mathematics that these most certain of human endeavors do not have the certainty that was once thought and which is driven home from FP. This however makes research in logic and mathematics even more interesting, challenging, and real than the research would be under certainty. Examples of such uncertainty include the axiom of choice in analysis and the openness of mathematical systems to hidden inconsistency. FP may be added to these challenges that add to our adventure in life, death, pain, and joy…
Remark. The doubts regarding existence of the Void do not extend to the lower level concepts of experience, existence, real world, meaning, Logic as developed before introduction of FP, Being, Law, and Universe.
Assertion. The metaphysics poses existential challenge even if perfectly founded. Doubt removes absolute guarantee but sharpens our existential status in relation to realization.
Proof. The foregoing remarks.
This continues and completes the previous section titled ‘On Foundations’.
Remark. The extent to which the metaphysics and its method may be founded is now clear. The depth foundation of the metaphysics is complete; it is foundation in the Void (or any element of Being). The Void is not substance but may be regarded as such; however, since the Void is not a deterministic generator of the world it is not in the classic mold of substance; we might, if we wished to refer to substance at all call it ‘pseudo-substance’. This foundation shows that while substance-proper is not possible it is not at all necessary or even useful. (In coherent domains there may be as-if substance for certain purposes. It is not necessary to use the phrase ‘for certain purposes’ because the purposes are implicit in the coherence of the domain. The phrase may be used as a reminder provided it is not taken as having content over and above the coherence.) An immense metaphysical and cosmological development flows from this foundation. However, the metaphysics-cosmology is not complete. For limited form, knowledge is ever incomplete and its greatest completion lies in action; however, while action is a process of realization, realization, too, is ever in process (for limited form). This shows the aspect of completeness and the aspect of incompleteness (which is occasion for celebration and adventure). It was seen in discussion of doubt that the ‘complete’ and ‘open’ parts of the foundation are open to doubt (though not to claims of factual or Logical consistency or to sure claims of psychological absurdity) and that this is not negative (existentially) but adds to the adventure. It was further noted that, in terms of rigor, this has par with the most certain of the potent elements of modern secular thought and simultaneously goes far beyond that thought in some crucial directions.
Remark. As for the previous section titled ‘Foundation’ this section might also be titled ‘Foundation of the Foundation’.
Assertion. Except doubts of the previous section the metaphysics (with method) is founded.
Proof. Explicit in the development.
Assertion*. (Repeated.) The metaphysics poses existential challenge even if perfectly founded. Doubt removes absolute guarantee but sharpens our existential status in relation to realization.
Remark. It is essential to note that the foundation is explicit with regard to depth. However working out the implications of the foundation (details of Logic, therefore variety of Being) can only be an in process endeavor for limited being.
Assertion. Experience is relation between elements of Being.
Proof. Experience is ‘experience of’.
Remark. The assertion above does not imply the converse. This point is elaborated in discussing consciousness below where it is found that in the ‘normal’ case the converse holds. The point to stating assertions with exceptions—beyond the fact that the exceptions obtain—is (a) the exceptions are typically exceptions to normal and fairly pervasive conditions (b) statement of exceptions may be preliminary to refinement.
Remark. Pure experience is the name of experience that has or seems to have no object. Although such experience seems pure—i.e., may seem be unrelated to actual objects—it must be the result of internal relations; this follows from the fact that a point can have no experience. The purity of pure experience is no more than seeming purity. An objection is that if the fundamental particles are point particles then the argument implies that there can be no experience at all. The objection does not prove that there is no experience or that the argument was wrong but sets up a tension. Now if a point can truly have no experience then the interaction of two points is not experiential. Then if these two points interact with another there is no source of experience from the points; experience must then be imposed. But the imposing entity is subject to the same restriction. Then, given experience there can be no points. In other words ‘every atom must be a cosmos’. The origin of force faces similar issues—points do not interact. I.e. experience is interaction is internal change in relation is force. Similarly all force involves internal change—the sign of the other. All experience is (an aspect of) force; all force is, like experience, associated with change in the interacting entities.
Remark. (Continuation of previous remark.) Is all force associated with experience? It must be associated with as-if experience. So the question is all as-if experience true experience? Can it not be? In other words can there be a cosmos with organisms that is just as complex as ours but in which no organisms have experience? This seems difficult to answer. However, it is perhaps not so difficult. The cases (a) all such cosmological systems have experience and (b) no such cosmological systems have experience constitute a limit on the Universe. Therefore, from FP some but not all such cosmological systems have experience. Further some of the cosmological systems that do not have experience must, again from consideration of limits and FP, transition to experiential—either spontaneously or by infusion of experience from another cosmos.
Remark. The Leibnizian Monads are points. However, every atom is a cosmos. Therefore there are no Leibnizian Monads. If there were such monads could they found experience? Can a Leibnizian Monad have experience? Since experience is (requires) internal change it is logically impossible for a pure point—i.e., a Leibnizian Monad—to have experience. Could a compound of such points have experience? Such experience, since experience requires internal change, would lie in a change in configuration of the points. Since the Monads have no experience, the experience would lie in interaction. However, since the Monads have no interaction the Leibnizian Monads cannot found experience. Could non Leibnizian pure points found experience—i.e. could pure points with interaction found experience? I cannot think of a clear reason that they could not. However, it is impossible for a pure point to have interaction. Interaction—force—requires internal change. I.e., the conditions for force are the same as those for experience. Therefore pure points cannot found force or experience.
Remark. Mind (C) or experience is thus identified as ‘second order Being’.
Definition. Mind (C) is second order Being—i.e. the experiential relation between elements of Being.
Assertion*. Every atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom.
Assertion. The distinction between Mind and Matter is empty.
Proof. From the assertion about atoms and cosmoses, mind is matter is mind… and so on to the root of Being.
Remark. There are limitless modes of Mind and Matter (each associate with some domain of Being with coherent properties); this follows from FP. However, if we regard Matter and Mind as the first two terms of a sequence, there are no further terms—third order Being is a term without fundamental significance beyond second order Being. Thus Spinoza’s metaphysics of a being with an infinite number of attributes is untenable. Already, however, the modes of (matter and) mind with regard to power and variety are without limit.
Remark. Manifestation of a domain (cosmos) and individuals of animal level intelligence or higher would seem to normally be the result of incremental origin from a more primitive situation and once some structure is achieved it would be incremental transition to another structured situation (laterally in terms of kind or ‘vertically’ in terms of, e.g., complexity). However, spontaneous origins and transitions occur without limit. That origins and transitions normally require incremental adjustment (adaptation / near symmetry / relative stability) correlates, perhaps, to frequency of ‘normal’ origins being a higher order of limitlessness than frequency of spontaneous origin.
Remark. Note the use of the term limitless rather than infinite. An infinity may be limited and the limitless may be finite. Generally, where number is in question, limitlessness may exceed all except the highest order of infinity.
Assertion. The definitions of Mind and Matter are rational and justified.
Proof. They fit one another; they are generalizations of our notions of mind and matter; they are consistent; without them there would be no experience; they cover and exhaust Being.
Remark. (Introduction.) This section is significant to consciousness, experience, awareness, and their relations; and to the recent literature on consciousness (roughly since the 1970's).
Remark. Mind (LC) as we experience it is an order of Mind as above. Consciousness is experience. The difference between animal consciousness and the lowest material level of experience is not one of kind but one of degree of intensity, focus, concentration, variety, self-reference (includes ability to identify consciousness—i.e. experience of experience), and degrees of freedom (concept creation); if we distinguish consciousness from experience we may then say ‘consciousness is higher experience’ and ‘the notion of consciousness may be extended to include all experience’. The point is that it is the degree of intensity, focus and so on that constitute the significant distinctions rather than the distinction of consciousness and experience.
The degrees of freedom are the source of creativity and error and higher logic (i.e. ‘logic not hardwired’ into the organism); language further accentuates consciousness of consciousness by providing a cultural place for the idea of consciousness and by being an instrument of attention to and focus on consciousness: with language, consciousness becomes a cultural phenomenon with explicit public reference rather than a phenomenon with public domain only in tacit empathy.
As an aside to contemplate what ‘hardwired logic’ might mean. The simplest organism is, perhaps hypothetically, one with a single kind of stimulus strongly bound to a single response; therefore response is determined by stimulus. For more complex organisms there are multiple kinds of stimuli and more than one response. For each stimulus there is a response. Some responses may be logically exclusive. We can conceive the different responses are logically exclusive and yet happen anyway; the conception is of course a violation of logic. We can conceive, for example, of an animal with front legs propelling it in one direction and rear legs propelling in another. In fact of course one direction will ‘win out’ (the situation would be inefficient and amusing to a human observer). An example of hardwired logic will be the case in which the nervous system of the organism is so structured that the four or more legs will invariably work together to propel the animal in the same direction—i.e. the system is so structured so as to not attempt logically contradictory alternatives. The example is contrived to make a point. A non contrived example would be the presence of dual stimuli-hunger and the response ‘stay and eat’ and fear and the response ‘run’.
Apparent cases of awareness without consciousness are in fact cases in which the self-referential aspect of higher consciousness is absent or minimal and in which experience is not recognized even though it is present. The interpretation of such cases as ‘awareness without consciousness’ has a source in the difference between awareness with and without awareness or awareness.
The putative on-off character of consciousness is on-off of awareness of awareness. This need not be truly on-off but simple redirection of different centers or levels of awareness with one devoted to the world and another (one possibility—think control) capable of direction at both awareness and world; the apparent on-off would then be redirection this latter (control) awareness.
Is there a level of growth beyond consciousness? Apparently not for while Matter is Being-as-Being and Mind is Being-in-relation (to Being), there seems to be no further level—Being in relation to Being-as-Being is no more than Being in relation to Being. There can of course be many modes of Matter (the possibilities of manifestation) and therefore, correspondingly, of Mind and consciousness; and there may be many levels of power and intelligence of Mind but they lie within the realm of Mind, experience, and consciousness. These comments repeat aspects of the earlier remarks on Spinoza’s ‘theory of attributes’.
As experience, consciousness is not evolutionarily adaptive and cannot be because primitive consciousness (i.e. primitive experience) is universally present; what is adaptive is the range of forms and degrees that consciousness assumes—for consciousness as primitive experience is given to being but its forms arise in origins and evolution as adaptations. Origins may of course of course be spontaneous and not incrementally adaptive but this is likely so rare in occurrence and so typically lacking in stability as to make it numerically insignificant.
Any argument for behavior that is as-if conscious but not conscious that is based on awareness without consciousness is disproved by the foregoing remarks. The concept of a-consciousness (due originally to the philosopher Ned Block) that has appeared in the literature of consciousness has been founded and justified in precisely such basis as awareness without consciousness. The concept of a-consciousness therefore lacks foundation and proof of existence; it serves no function that ordinary or ‘phenomenal’ consciousness does not serve; and, while there may of course be mechanical intelligence without significant consciousness, there is no intelligence without any consciousness (experience). Further, in argument against mere mechanical awareness, the evolutionary argument (argument from adaptation) shows that except by (rare) fluke of becoming, consciousness must be aware of consciousness in degree that is sufficient to its autonomy.
Definition. (Preliminary. A number of uses of ‘consciousness’ are explicit above. At root consciousness, awareness, will be found to be identical. In this text ‘experience’ is the term reserved for the broadest sense.) Consciousness may be used as equivalent to experience but more commonly, consciousness is reserved for higher animal and human experience (‘higher’ has two pertinent senses—i.e., of adaptive consciousness and of consciousness of which the organism is or may be aware). Awareness suggests but does not connote consciousness or experience. Awareness is identical to perception or conception of something with or without experience.
Assertion. All consciousness and awareness are experience. All awareness has some degree of consciousness (for awareness is relation). Awareness of awareness is on-off but awareness is not. Thus while experience and consciousness may have different connotations (experience pertains to all relations, consciousness is the form of experience for ‘advanced’ organisms) they are, at root, the same kind of ‘thing’. There is no mode of Being with being ‘higher than consciousness’ but there is being with higher consciousness. It is not consciousness in its most general sense but its forms and degrees that are adaptive. Grounded and autonomous consciousness must be self-aware in measure sufficient to its autonomy (a proviso is that the being under consideration is not the result, extremely unlikely, of spontaneous origin).
Proof. The foregoing remarks.
Remark. That there is being with higher consciousness is not intended to include or exclude ‘divine consciousness’. This neutrality to the ‘divine’ is intended to prevent thinking that would derive arbitrary divinity from this development.
Remark. Awareness of robots seems merely mechanical. How is this apparent contradiction between this and the foregoing assertions regarding universality of experience to be reconciled and explained? Robot behavior, even if complex as in—say—chess playing programs is immensely simple from the point of view of autonomy in a complex environment. Therefore the implementation of a chess playing program in an actual machine must have some degree of experience over and above primitive (atomic) experience this degree is small—in all likelihood far too small to come anywhere close to animal consciousness. It is not truly mechanical but is as-if mechanical.
Remark. Note the exception (the first remark and its continuation of the section Mind and Matter) to the above. This exception remains to be carefully integrated to the remark above. Resolution will be along the following lines: (a) to the extent that the microscopic levels of our cosmos are causal in the normal sense the conclusions of the previous remark will obtain, and (b) where normal causality does not obtain experience may or may not reach to the non-normal microscopic levels but there is no level that is closed to being experiential.
Definition. An unlimited form is one that realizes All Identity as a state of being.
Assertion*. There is unlimited form.
Definition. Aeternitas is realization of acute and peak universal Identity in or as-if in a point-instant.
Assertion*. There is Aeternitas.
Remark. Aeternitas is unlimited form.
Remark. Admission of ordinary (diffuse, sub peak) universal Identity as Aeternitas is not unreasonable. Whether it is effective to do so depends on how the concepts shall be instrumental in further development.
Assertion*. A limited form does not realize or experience Aeternitas (as long as the form is sustained—i.e. as long as it does not transition to unlimited form).
Assertion*. A limited form has transitions to and from limitlessness.
Remark. How is this explained? The sense of the question includes that absence of explanation casts doubt on the assertion. A simple answer is that from FP there is no need for explanation. A more refined answer it to ask what is explanation? We tend to think that an explanation should show causal relations. This is for example the way of much if not all scientific explanation. However what FP shows is that cause in our common understandings of it is not universal. Therefore no causal explanation is necessary: i.e. such explanation does not obtain universally (perhaps there are cases where causal explanation may be found, e.g. from adaptation via variation and selection or from quantum theory—Newtonian determinism seems clearly inadequate). It is significant that this discussion raises again the meaning of explanation. For explanation exclusively as causal explanation makes sense if causation is the order of the Universe. However, from FP causation is not universal and it is reasonable to think that causation at one level is the result of correlation or form that is the result of origin. From FP ‘it just happens of necessity’ becomes ‘FP—explanation’. What happens now to explanation? It becomes essential to allow more than one kind of explanation: FP-explanation, causal explanation (a case of the former), and perhaps correlative explanation in which we use because there is no deeper level or because we do not need or know a deeper level. If we wish to retain cause as explanation one move would be to expand the meaning of ‘cause’ to include FP-transience and so on.
Definition. Ultimate realization is realization of the ultimate revealed in the metaphysics. Ultimate realization will also be used to describe the situation when the individual becomes the object of the metaphysics (for in this form continuity with individual identity is given).
Remark. In the following, ‘realization’ is, primarily, ‘ultimate realization’.
Assertion*. From the metaphysics continuity of ultimate Identity with individual identity is given.
Assertion*. While in limited form realization (of the ultimate), though given, is endless process.
Assertion*. This endless process is limitless in extension, duration, variety, summit and dissolution of Being.
Remark. Realization of the ultimate does not require engagement. However, it seems inevitable that enjoyment and efficiency of realization requires engagement (of individual) and commitment (past and future goal oriented behavior which of course includes abandoning goals and goal behavior at times).
Journey in Being
Assertion. While in limited form realization is endless process or Journey in Being.
Proof. From the definition of limited form and FP.
Ideas and Action are the Modes of Realization
Remark. Since Mind and Matter are ultimately distinct there is no (ultimate) difference between action as Mental (ideation) and action as Material. However, in limited form the distinction is practical.
Assertion. Ideas and action are the modes of realization.
Proof. From considerations of Mind and Matter.
Proof. (Detail.) Agency is the essential means of realization for it includes (a) Action based on knowledge of Being (of which a particular case is the next step—which includes blind experiment) and (b) Material process. The elements of (a) and (b) (if we admit material process as a—very—special case of action) are ideas and action.
Future of Science and Logic
Assertion. For limited form science and logic are ever experimental and empirical endeavors.
Proof. From the limitlessness of the Universe and the concept of limited form.
Remark. For limited form any approach to ultimate science and logic require participation and immersion in Being.
Individual and Group
Remark. While the individual seems a concrete identity, all (limited and unlimited) identity is transient and transitional. What constitutes individual and group is relative (every atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom). However the distinction between individual and group is not relative.
Assertion. The transience of individuals marks and is a place of their relation to the Universe. Without transience there is no realization. Transience is the ground on which to build realization.
Proof. Non-transience and realization are possibly consistent only for unlimited form. Without building on transience there is no building.
Remark. Absolute permanence would violate FP. Transience is on the way to relative permanence.
Remark. Spontaneous transition to the ultimate is given. However, building is a place of engagement, commitment, and enjoyment.
Definition. Nature is the ground or source of individual and group.
Assertion. There is no absolute or final ground.
Proof. Every atom is a cosmos.
Remark. There are places of primitive development that may be called ‘nature’.
Definition. Significant phases on the way from primitive form to ultimate realization are called ‘Stages of development’.
Assertion. The normal stages of development are natural, social, psychic, and universal.
Proof. Realization begins with the primitive, i.e. the natural. This is followed by group or social behavior. When social behavior and cultural learning are sufficiently absorbed the individual is ready for independence of psyche which is in turn foundation for the ultimate or universal.
Remark. The stages are not static and distinct but overlap and especially dynamic in the phases of overlap. In the primitive stage the structure for psyche is set up. Early development of psyche must be significantly social. Learning culture is dually (a) absorbing elements of universalization and (b) training in universalizing. The way to independence of psyche begins in taking initial steps beyond culture as absorbed, then reflecting on the steps while taking further steps at the gate to the ultimate.
Remark. The presence of the first three stages is essential to balance among nature, society, and psyche (individual). The degree of emphasis varies according to situation and capabilities of the individual.
Definition. Human civilization is the web of human cultures across time and continents.
Individuals and Civilization are the Vehicles of Realization
Assertion. Vehicles of realization are individual and civilization and the places of realization are nature and civilization.
Proof. The players in agency are (individual-group) & (primitive source). The collection of groups and their cultures is civilization. The primitive source is nature. Therefore the vehicles of realization are individual and civilization and the places of realization are nature and civilization.
Remark. Individual and civilization are the vehicles of realization. Individuals foster civilization, civilization nourishes the individual with nature as background. Civilization and nature are the place of community.
Definition. Civilization (C) is the matrix of civilizations across the Universe.
Assertion. Individual and civilization are vehicles of realization.
Proof. The individual is the place (locus) of experience. Civilization (C) is the matrix of individuals and civilizations. Individuals are place of realization; Civilization is place or means of population of the Universe and place of nurture
Remark. In the ultimate, in Aeternitas, Civilization and Individual merge as the one and only Universe (especially in acute phases of manifestation and identity).
Definition. A discipline is an established way of performing an activity that is an end in itself andor is instrumental on the way to ends.
Remark. That is, a discipline is useful either in itself or in its results.
Remark. The phrases ‘is useful’ and ‘has useful’ above mean ‘is or may be’ and ‘has or may have’, respectively.
Remark. The disciplines may be labeled ‘academic’ and ‘endeavor’. The academic disciplines are of course endeavors that are academic. The endeavors include a diverse variety such as religion, exploration, drama, art, games, agriculture, manufacturing, and so on. Many non-academic endeavors have academic counterparts, e.g. philosophy of religion.
Definition. A way or method is a way of performing an activity.
Remark. The disciplines are ways—they provide established ways. There are ways of development of disciplines.
Remark. The terms ‘way’ and ‘method’ have multiple connotations. In their most general senses they are not distinct and neither guarantees an outcome (e.g. usefulness of an activity or achievement of an end). Method is commonly used in academics and may guarantee an outcome. Way is more general than method and often refers to human quests and achievement.
Remark. A definitive way occurs within a context. At high enough levels ways may are blind, e.g. ‘take the next step’; the way out of blindness can, in general, is for a way to call its own nature into question which must, in general, have some tacit blindness.
Remark. Civilization (lower case and Capitalized) provides ways of ideation and action—disciplines of thought, discovery, and transformation. As noted there are ways of development of disciplines, e.g. scientific method which is an important and interesting case. This method has been differentiated from that of logic for logic guarantees the validity of any outcome but scientific theories have a tentative character (but see earlier discussion for an alternative interpretation of scientific theory). Early in the modern development of science, thinkers sought a method of science (induction) that would match the systematic procedure of logic from premise to outcome and the guarantee of validity of any outcome. This equation of scientific method and logic are misconceived for scientific method is similar in science to procedures for formulation of and establishment of logical systems; there is an experimental character to both (but the subject of experiment is different: in science the subject is in the world—natural, social and so on—while in logic it is concepts or assertions). Similarly the application of logic should be compared to deduction of results from given conditions via scientific laws or theories.
Incompleteness of the Disciplines
Assertion. Civilization provides disciplines that are marked by incompleteness and error.
Proof. (And explanation.) Culture, an aspect of civilization, embodies cumulative experiential learning (oral tradition, written, literal, meta-literal, informal, and formal)—i.e. civilization embodies cumulative understanding of means. However civilization is limited form in process and incompleteness and error are part of the constitution of limited form (in incomplete realization).
Remark. Civilization (LC) and its disciplines are ground on which to build for they are beginnings of process.
Assertion. Civilization (LC) with standard disciplines—secular and trans-secular—marked by incompleteness and error provides a core on which to build toward realization.
Transience and Realization
Assertion. The transient disciplines are a ground on which to build toward realization.
Proof. Obvious since the assertion refers to ‘a ground’ and not the ground.
Remark. Our apparent limits are Laws or expressions of Law which also constitute initial ground on which to transcend limits on the way to universal realization.
Remark. The transitions involve break down—splitting—and building of Being, appropriately called analysis and synthesis of Being (and includes analysis and synthesis of ideas).
Remark. Analysis and synthesis include risk of splitting—experimental via catalyst and pure experiment—and build up. Build up may be conceived but must also include true risk. The combination is optimal.
Remark. The disciplines suggest catalysts of transient change—of ‘mind’ and ‘body’ (e.g. shamanic and yogic). Incremental change in being and disciplines (ways) is secured in experience, reason, and recollection (memory). At high enough level there is no external ground and therefore any prescription of a way is part of the way—i.e., ways are inevitably open at high enough level. To take the next step is always open; it is the only way when ways are otherwise absent.
Remark. (And partial recapitulation.) The dimensions of realization are Transformation for Being and Civilization. Modes of transformation of Being are Ideas and Action. Intrinsic Transformation of Being is transformation of form with preservation and expansion of identity on the way to Identity. Transformation of Civilization is habitation of the Universe—via intrinsic transformation of Being and by instrument or technology.
Assertion*. Analysis and synthesis of Being encompass the ways—particularly ways of realization.
Assertion. Action and thought on a path of realization are either discrete or continuous. The discrete are finite ‘jumps’ that have no inherent permanence. The continuous provide permanence of form and recognition.
Proof. The contrary can obtain only in a deterministic universe.
Remark. In general there is no continuity of form and continuity of recognition of form. However, this absolute continuity is an aspect of Aeternitas.
Remark. Finite transitions (‘jumps’) may be induced externally—e.g. by drugs—but it is internal induction by catalytic experiment and involved commitment that would seem to be most effective. It does not follow from this thought that use of drugs has no benefit.
Remark. The outcomes (‘possibilities’) of a deterministic world exhibit extreme poverty of range and creative involvement—intrinsically for there can be no creativity in such a universe and explicitly in comparison to range and creative possibility in an indeterministic universe. Particularly, the poverty of a deterministic universe in relation to the absolute indeterminism of the Universe is that of some order (perhaps of infinity) in relation to the limitless. The path to the outcomes in a deterministic universe is given and guaranteed (since there is neither creativity nor choice nor true action the path in a determinist universe can hardly be called a ‘way’.) Those who prefer the guarantees of a deterministic universe may do so because they prefer guarantee over risk. However, determinism would assure a guarantee a universe of extreme poverty and has a risk that what is guaranteed is worthless or negative in worth. It is the indeterministic universe that offers richness of being; it is guaranteed that there will be phases of positive but also of negative worth. An absolutely indeterministic universe guarantees extreme richness but requires that realization involve risk, acceptance of challenge, and commitment.
Sharing a journey of realization—the idea of the Teacher
Assertion. At the front there is individual trial and sharing. There may be teachers but there are no ultimate masters.
Proof. Individuals and civilization are roughly in step; while on the way they embody progress and therefore the teacher; absence of ultimate or perfect master-hood is part of the constitution of incomplete realization.
Remark. In complete and ultimate realization, master-hood has no significance.
Remark. Proclamations of master-hood may be temporarily expedient.
Life, Death, Pain, Joy, and Challenge
Remark. Death and pain are given. They are not absolute. They are gate and motive to the ultimate.
Assertion. Life, death, pain, and joy are given; they are not absolute; they are gates and motive to ultimate.
Proof. The only part of the assertion that does not follow directly from FP is the one about motivation. However, life and death is all there is; therefore if there is motivation at all it comes from life etc. The experience of motivation is motivation; we do have experiences of motivation; therefore there is motivation. Consequently life, death etc. are motive to the ultimate.
Remark. What might be a reason to provide such minutiae of proof? In the end the motive must be that the whole development stands together as a system. Why, however, the minutiae when there are larger doubts? The response is the same: get rid of all doubt of which we can get rid. Is there an intrinsic value to proof of minutiae in and of itself? Yes, it is (1) An exercise in proof that may be useful in developing other proof (proof assertions of greater consequence can often be broken down into a sequence of proofs that are each trivial in themselves) and (2) Enjoyable—not merely in itself but because it is development of a skill that may be useful.
Remark. The givenness of realization does not negate the value and challenge of endeavor or the facts of pain and death but gives meaning to life and death, pain and joy, and challenge.
Remark. While in limited form realization is endless process—and ever fresh in variety—a Journey in Being. While in limited form, the forms of knowledge and Being are ever open—an eternal challenge. While foundations are closed, variety is ever open.
Remark. The following assertion now follows as a summary of some significant aspects of the conclusions on realization so far.
The next division will take up a mechanics of realization.
Issue. What would constitute a complete mechanics of realization? From the metaphysics, e.g. absolute indeterminism, there is no algorithm or recipe of the form ‘follow such and such explicit steps’ or ‘follow this prescribed path’. There is always uncertainty and dissolution along the way; the metaphysics guarantees arrival but not any algorithm for arrival—and, further, the section on Doubt; thus ‘existential’ challenge. Still we might like a rough prescription—perhaps an outline or system of pointers—that would crystallize what has been learnt, minimize uncertainty that may result from ignoring what has been learnt. The selection of elements of a prescription would include the essential method of analysis and synthesis of Being—this would give the prescription implicit completeness. Selection of further elements will balance minimalism with explicitness.
Remark. (Preliminary to statement of mechanics.) Some elements of a complete though not entirely minimal mechanics are as follows. Begin in the present. Deploy method (analysis and synthesis of Being). Use the disciplines in light and in interaction with the metaphysics. Be cognizant of ‘jump’ and relatively permanent transitions. Deploy the modes of transformation—ideas and action (implicit in analysis and synthesis of Being). Employ the vehicles—individual and civilization (individual fosters civilization, civilization nurtures individuals in the process of population of the Universe) as well as the primitive ground (nature).
Assertion. The essentials of realization are the analysis and synthesis—experiment, splitting, and rebuilding—of Being which include the received disciplines and ways of Civilization. The following elaboration of this mechanics of realization has explicit and implicit elements.
Proof. From the previous issue and remark.
Remark. The explicit elements include the disciplines. The meaning of ‘implicit’ here includes (a) elements that are defined in concept, e.g. experiment, but not in range—e.g. what experiments, and (b) elements that may arise in process which are dimly perceived or not yet known.
Detail. (The foregoing assertion written in detail.) Realization begins in the present, perhaps with the disciplines but requires risk—experiment, splitting, and rebuilding of Being and Civilization; the experiments are undertaken by Being (beings)—ideas and individuals whose modes of becoming (doing) are and deploy ideas and action. Specified ways—disciplines—are part of the way; to take the next step is always an option and from FP there will be occasions when it is the only option. The increment of splitting and rebuilding may be transient and impermanent but durability may be secured in experience, reason, and recollection (for Being) and in habitat (for Civilization). The places of realization, nature and civilization (society, community, and culture), are both ground (foundation) and inspiration. Dissolution is an essential element of the path to the ultimate. For individual and civilization this requires understanding of death and decay. It requires appropriate death oriented behavior. This is not dismal—appropriate death oriented behavior is life affirming. Death is the greatest sign of the limits of our form and that all form is form-in-transition. Death oriented-life affirming behavior abandons sees the urge to completeness as true death and finds and lives some best estimate (given resources) of the ultimate in this life (this may include a focus on the ultimate and paving the way for other individuals who are ultimately not other than ourselves). Further detail follows.
Detail 1. The disciplines provide knowledge and ways. Human knowledge includes a map of the universe and the place of human being in the universe. The ways include ways of living and thinking. They include catalysts, i.e. activities that dispose the individual to vision and transformation that transcend design based in knowledge. As noted received knowledge and ways are have error and incompleteness; particularly, considerations on consolidating the outcome of catalytic activity are minimal.
Remark. The immediate ways, vehicles, modes, and ground may be called ‘mediate’. The mediate is on the way to the ultimate.
Detail 2. The way beyond tradition is provided by the universal metaphysics and associated approach—analysis and synthesis of Being (which includes ideas and action); analysis includes conceived and experimental splitting and synthesis includes conceived and experimental build up. There is no option but to begin in the present and when analysis is not forthcoming, the minimal ‘analysis’ is to take the next step. Durable increment of splitting and rebuilding is secured in experience, reason, and recollection (for Being) and in habitat (for Civilization).