System of Human Knowledge and Action

For The Way of Being

Anil Mitra © JANUARY 2018—July 2018
Latest update
July 6, 2018 7:57:30 AM




The main division: system of human knowledge—an outline

Supplement I. Toward a knowledge database and modern encyclopedia

Supplement II. Topics for study and action




Outline of the document

Purpose of the document

Toward a database

Plan for the document

Its uses

Minimize and streamline


The real and given universe

1.     The Humanities, tradition, and religion

2.     General and abstract sciences and method

3.     Concrete sciences

4.     History

Artifact and the created universe

5.     Art

6.     Technology

7.     Transformation of Being


A knowledge database


Human Knowledge Project

The Database

A modern encyclopedia

Traditional problems

Information processing and networking solutions

Computer text




The main topics


Philosophy and narrative mode

Design and planning


Abstract sciences

Concrete Sciences


Ways and catalysts


Art and artifact

Places and experience

Networking, activism, sharing, and influence

Some specific topics of importance



For possible reading and study

Possible knowledge foci

Current topics—2008

Introduction: objectives and plan




Art, Myth and Religion



Other Elements of the Western Tradition

Other Traditions

Possible detail


Becoming or action

Transformation of being: yoga, meditation and related practice-in-action

Nature as ground and inspiration: beyul and quest for vision

Civilization: engagement in the world—ultimate and secular

Artifactual being

Pure being


System of Human Knowledge and Action

For The Way of Being


Outline of the document

The main part of the document is:

1.     System of human knowledge—an outline; this brief outline is the main part of the document.

There are two detailed supplements:

2.     Toward a knowledge database and modern encyclopedia, and

3.     Topics for study and action. This has written works that may be useful for the database.

Purpose of the document

1.     As a resource

2.     As guide for study and research

3.     As material for a database

Toward a database

main influences.doc, main influences.html

Plan for the document

Its uses

1.     The database (above)

2.     A study plan (have two versions—minimal and detail; currently this is all over the place)

Minimize and streamline

1.     Eliminate repetition and excess detail

2.     Streamline for use in The Way


The way has intrinsic and instrumental aspects. The former includes self-transformation, the latter emphasizes material transformation of the world; but these are not altogether distinct but penetrate one another. Thus, while politics may be seen as instrumental, there is an intrinsic-immersive side to politics.

For these applied as well as intrinsic reasons, I derived an outline of a system of knowledge from classical and modern sources and modified it with insight from the perfect metaphysics and other study.

It is convenient to summarize human knowledge as a map of resources. The system below emphasizes knowledge, reason, practice, and action.

For more detail see system of human knowledge.html (doc) and study topics.html (doc).

The real and given universe

1.     The Humanities, tradition, and religion

Preliminary—there is overlap among humanities and the other divisions of knowledge; however, where illuminating, redundancy is appropriate.

Humanities and humanism—what should we know to live, relate, and contribute to the human side of culture? Adequacy of this rough definition of humanism and the humanities. That it suggests but does not specify the disciplines. The methods are critical, or speculative, comparative, and have a significant historical element.  There is no central discipline, but the humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, geography, history, cultural anthropology, religion, art, and musicology. Some details follow.

Knowledge—the disciplines and their history; that method and content are not essentially distinct.

Philosophy—process of bridging with the unknown; disciplines—metaphysics, logic (and epistemology), and ethics; special branches—critique of disciplines and human endeavors.

Tradition—tradition is the valid content in knowledge, reason—and action—for all cultures; its modes: primal, religious or trans-secular, secular, and integrated.

Religion—religion as knowledge and negotiation of the entire universe by the entire individual and groups in all their faculties and modes of being; its nature as asserting the trans-secular; omni-functionality; psychology of religion and religious experience; the religions.

2.     General and abstract sciences and method

Introduction—the perfect metaphysics is a union of a perfect correspondence abstract side with a pragmatic side. Whe the pragmatic side is interpreted by pragmatism itself under the umbrella of the abstract, it too is perfect (it remains imperfect and useful in its traditional use whose value is changed but not eliminated in light of the perfect metaphysics). Thus the pragmatic side is abstract because the correspondence precision is irrelevant under the abstract umbrella. The perfect metaphysics is a general and abstract science. What of the other abstract sciences listed below? It will suffice to consider mathematics. Mathematics begins as empirical but becomes abstract with the axiomatic method. It is abstract as either (i) abstraction from the empirical or (2) study of symbolic structures in themselves and not as representation of the concrete. Is mathematics about the world? As abstraction, some fields of mathematics are. However, with the universal method, all mathematical systems have objects. Thus abstract vs. concrete can be seen as not about an ontological distinction but about degree of detail omitted. This characterization applies to the other

Metaphysics—study of Being and the given, experience, categories, knowledge, and principles of action; possibility of metaphysics; the abstract, the concrete, and the nature of perfect knowledge; the fundamental principle of metaphysics; all knowledge and action fall under the umbrella of metaphysics—including epistemology, reason, logic and ethics; the perfect metaphysics and recognized problems of metaphysics (being; substance, category, and cause; possible and necessary being; spacetime; identity; cause, determinism, freedom; mind and matter), cosmology, and agency.

Method—method is present above but a separate entry will be useful; note the overlap with other entries in this document; method and content are not essentially distinct, for method is an aspect of content when knowledge and values are the objects; methods are found in and as epistemology, argument, logic, establishment of fact, inductive and scientific method, comparative method, transcendental method in philosophy, artistic and engineering design, rhetoric and persuasion—general and political, the perfect metaphysics – way of being –  and ultimate realization exhibit numerous possibilities of method: perfect knowledge by abstraction, necessity from abstraction, complete absence of universal applicability of empirical knowledge and generalization there-from.

The real and the artifactual—the real and its nature; whether the real and the artifactual are essentially different and the consequent question of whether the division of knowledge into ‘universe’ and ‘universe of created Being’ is an essential distinction.

Abstract sciences and symbolic systems—signs; language and linguistics: word, concept, and object; logic; mathematics; computer science; and meta-disciplines

3.     Concrete sciences

Physical science—classical theories of particles and fields, special and general theories of relativity, quantum theories of particles and fields and their interpretations, standard theory of elementary particles and its problems, quantum theories of gravity—quantum loop gravity and string theory, theoretical and experimental cosmology, cosmological context and origins of the empirical cosmos, condensed matter physics, atomic – molecular – and optical physics, nuclear physics, chemistry and chemical origins of life, and turbulence.

Biology—nature, variety, structural levels from molecules to multi-cell organisms, origins and evolution of life on earth; co-evolutionary processes and mathematical evolutionary biology; exo- and speculative biology.

Psychology—study of psyche; primal, eastern and western approaches; psyche: nature, functions, memory, dynamics; and growth and integration, especially as personality; the unconscious; change and changeability of personality; an objective science of experience; biological psychology; behavioral and group or social psychology; psychoanalysis and existential-humanistic theories.

Social science and sciences—society and its nature; groups, institutions, dynamics, and change; culture, institutions of knowledge—schools, universities, academies and research establishments; anthropology; human civilization—problem and opportunity (journey in being)—and universal civilization; political-economics—science and philosophy, law.

Medicine, psychiatry, and applied social science—principles and practice, fields, professions.

Applied sciences I—physical science: technological sciences and engineering: drafting, engineering and its fields, industrial engineering and production management, and materials science.

Applied sciences II—biology and psychology: especially medicine and psychiatry, principles, fields, and professions; physical science for medicine and psychiatry.

Applied sciences III—social science: principles and practice, fields, professions.

4.     History

History—the nature of history; whether “the study of the past as it is described in written documents” is a good or adequate conception; methods; its instrumental or practical and intrinsic or ideal uses.

History of the world—the universe; the earth, life, origin of homo sapiens; pre-history and anthropology;

History of ideas—general ideas; history of culture, human endeavor, and disciplines.

Artifact and the created universe

5.     Art

Art—its nature; relation to metaphysics and to being-in-the world.

The arts—literature, drama, music, painting, drawing, sculpture, and architecture.

6.     Technology

Technology—what it is; its development; and its transformational and utilitarian uses.

Elements of technology—energy, conversion and use; tools and machines; measurement, observation, and control; extraction and conversion of raw materials; technology of industrial production processes.

Fields of technology—agriculture and food production; major industries—their technologies: manufacturing, transportation, chemical, extraction, mining; civil (buildings, highways, and other civil structures), mechanical, electrical, information processing (computation), communication and networking, knowledge and information technology; military technology; urban community; earth and space exploration.

Technology for language,  mind, and Being—speech, writing, and print; artificial intelligence, dual systems—mind computer interaction and interface, robotics, simulation, bio-machines, organism-machine transference of intelligence, (evolution of) civilization as human-machine-computer interaction.

7.     Transformation of Being

Theory of transformation of Being—the perfect metaphysics; with agency, intrinsic and instrumental. See templates for transformation.

Intrinsic modes of transformation—ideas (analytic and synthetic), yoga, mystic (mysticism), and other (e.g., religious) ways, existential approach (existentialism), modes of therapy, and transformation of body, psyche (consciousness studies, experience and nature, psychology), and person (personality), other catalysts of transformation—nature-Beyul and alteration of environment, animal empathy, physical modes, e.g. rhythm and deprivation; knowledge and immersive approaches to knowledge—metaphysics and science—and politics, and economics

Instrumental modes of transformation—culture and institutions of knowledge – research, communication, education; medicine, engineering, design, technology (see technology), social sciences—economics and politics, technological-ideational civilization of earth and the universe.

Dual modes—the foregoing are not perfectly distinct and there is cross-over.


A knowledge database


The Database


A traditional and ongoing use.

Conceptual representation

As preliminary to the next two goals… and to perhaps learn something about conceptual representation.

Automate formulation and reformulation

Database and other software are in some ways well suited to this. This should be enhanced by intelligent use of the software (reference my much earlier attempt of the late 1990s) and custom software.

Generate knowledge

This is ambitious and perhaps unrealistic. However, the goals are (a) the attempt is important for even if generation is not realized, something may be learned (b) to combine human and computer power (I don’t say software because a software can be written and executed by the human; it is the speed and memory and perhaps architecture of the computer that contributes—perhaps architecture is especially important) and (c) to see what may be realized.

Plans for the Access database

1.     Database design—general issues. (1) Use a standard reference (2) What are the main design issues? (3) Some issues are what tables to make; normalization; queries; forms; reports. One criteria for the tables is that it is will be inefficient to have one huge table for topics down to the lowest level of inclusiveness—e.g. simple facts. In fact the first version of the database will not have the lowest levels. However, the design of the database should allow for their entry and update.

2.     Special issues for knowledge databases and encyclopedias. Refer to the next section. Particularly (1) There should be design for all levels of knowledge and information. Design should allow for periodic and as needed updates; and for large scale reorganization. Obviously information will be updated more frequently than the general items which, because it is a knowledge database, will also constitute the organizing principles. Also (2) Since the general items are the organizing principles, automating reformulation—to the extent possible—will go toward automating reorganization.

Development of an encyclopedia

An encyclopedia is of course a database. However, modern database technology and customization may be particularly to automating production and maintenance of an encyclopedia. The technology will be used together with human intelligence.

Traditional problems

In the development of an Encyclopedia the following problems may arise:

1.     In depth and authoritative versus up-to-date development.

2.     Logical versus enumerative (e.g. alphabetic) versus associative organization.

3.     Question of relative nature of ‘logical’ schemes

With the capabilities of modern information systems these tradeoffs are not necessary.

1.     There can be both in depth articles with low frequency of revision and up-to-date articles or supplements with higher rate of revision

2.     The associative character of hyper linking has been touted as ‘the way we learn’. Yes, of course that is one way of learning but it is certainly not the only way of learning or knowledge representation—the case is typical of the way in which naïve experts overreach their area of competence.

In any case, no choice has to be made because the capabilities of modern networked information systems enable us to have and eat cake.

3.     Similarly, modern systems permit multiple logical schemes.

Computer text

There is software to set up text and browsing capabilities. Book emulation is also possible, click here for one beginning. This is an interesting project. The goal is to emulate the conveniences of other media—primarily text—while maintaining the advantages of computer text (which include all the above—reorganization, linking… and networked information sources).

Plans for an encyclopedia

1.     This is a project to be taken up later.

2.     Identify and decide parameters for the encyclopedia

3.     Identify and decide contributors (Wikipedia vs. Britannica)

4.     Implement considerations from items (1), (2), and previous sections.

Human Knowledge Project

…and related links: this project has the following enhancing factors: (1) New conceptions of knowledge and being and the range of knowledge defined by the essay Journey in Being—especially the divisions labeled ‘Theory of being,’ ‘Human world,’ and ‘A system of human knowledge.’ The newer essay Journey in being-detail has much detail. See Home for additional information. (2) A variety of studies of the range of human knowledge, for which also see Home, the Site map, and, e.g., Possibilities for study.

Related sites

It is critical that the knowledge project is about both ideas and action.

The listing begins with three sources selected for the notion that a comprehensive overview of human knowledge and action—and an execution of this idea (these sources may of course be subject to criticism with regard to the general notion of comprehensive overview and the execution; however inclusion is suggestive rather than dogmatic, of in process rather than final systems, and of multiple rather than single systems). The first is System of human knowledge, a representation of human knowledge. It is a modification, based in the universal metaphysics, of the system of the 15th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. The second is the representation of human knowledge in the Propædia (see Encyclopedias). The third source is the Great Ideas of Mortimer J. Adler.

System of human knowledge

Propædia (system of the Britannica)

Project Gutenberg

Oxford Text Archive

Internet Classics Archive

Res cogitans

Public Library of Science

Perseus Digital Library for the HumanitiesPerseus 4.0, a new Java-based version

Archelogos Projects—a research tool for specialists in classical philosophy

The Database

Being and universe


Being, Experience, Meaning, Symbols, and Language



The concept of metaphysics

Generality and precision go hand in hand

The epistemology of the pure metaphysics is immanent



Inseparability of Being and Experience—resolution of Being into levels of Experience


Signs (at the present level of organization, semiotics is not given a separate section)

Meaning and language

Percept as concept. Resolution of concept-object into levels of concept

Meaning as concept and object. Grammar, logic

Word, symbol, language, descriptive grammar, logic, science, symbol systems

Knowledge: pure and applied metaphysics

… or philosophy, logic, and science

Pure metaphysics (as philosophy), applied metaphysics (as logic, science including the religious-spiritual impulse to overcome positivism and materialism) are not fundamentally different

Identical in main objective, seeking conceptual cohesion, and experiential approach (no ultimate a priori)

Different in emphasis, degree of generality, and criteria of precision

As a result of the immanent epistemology of the pure metaphysics interpretations of the applied can be given in which epistemology is immanent

Universal metaphysics

Nature and limitlessness of Being and Identity

In the metaphysics so far and in what follows, system is neither sought nor avoided. Specifically it is not imposed. What system there is, is immanent in—stems from—its givens. The magnitude of the system was not expected a priori but may be understood a posteriori


Old logic as conceptual realism. Mesh of logic and science as Logic or Realism

New Realism as boundary for knowledge. New Realism (Logic) as experimental—open—with regard to variety. Old logic and science as approximation to Logic



Pure knowledge


Pure and practical knowledge

Metaphysics and science and their complementary nature is already addressed


Nature of science—local fact vs. universal projection

Process or method. Historical and practical concerns. Modification from universal metaphysics

Methods in particular sciences



I.e., general cosmology


Extensive and intensive variables

Pre-extensive realm of absent to limited identity

Identity and variable

Extensive and intensive variables

Intensive variables and quality

Quality not essentially non-quantitative

Extensive variables

Argument that space and time exhaust the extensive variables—but attitude of openness

Immanent quality of spatial and temporal extension

Non-standard space and time—differentiation and measure, dimensionality

Space-time and being

Descriptive cosmology

Cosmology of identity


Variety of experience

Physical cosmology



Study of form

The disciplines

Data representation, processing, and sharing

Computation and networking

Realism extended

Value—morals-ethics and aesthetics

Civil law

Knowing and being as process

Philosophy and the boundary of the known


Study and significance of history

Metaphysics, being, action, and faith


Nature, behavior of energy and varieties of force and material object including physics, physical cosmology, and chemistry

Physics, physical cosmology and astronomy



The following can be studied according to origins, composition, and dynamics

Geology and geophysics

The hydrosphere

The atmosphere


Life—its nature and variety and origins of life and variety; Medicine

The idea of life

Functional biology

Divisions of life

Evolutionary biology




Medicine and psychiatry have a separate entry


Nature of mind

Foundation in experience

Matter, life, and mind

Mind and consciousness


Its integration and its ‘functions;’ nature of mind


Medicine and psychiatry have a separate entry


Nature, institutions (groups) and change… and aspects including culture (institution of knowledge,) economics, political science and philosophy (and Law)


Cultures, institutions, language and communication, languages, political regions

Organization and change

Structure and dynamics, groups (collective behavior, family and kinship, populations (urban, rural)

Major institutions and dynamics

Economics; politics and international relations; law; generation, preservation, and transmission of culture and academic knowledge; religion and fulfillment



International relations


Knowledge and culture

Generation, preservation, and transmission—or, research, archival including library and information storage and retrieval, and education

Religion and fulfillment


This division is ‘descriptive’ (influenced, of course, by perspective and significance)

For method and significance, see Epistemology

History can be studied according to


Synoptic view

Universe, earth, life

Human race

Peoples, places, and periods

The following does not show divisions according to people and period

Origins and prehistory


Early history


Modern and recent


Signs and symbols are on the border between being-universe and artifact. In the end, however, the distinction between artifact and nature is artificial.


Nature and varieties (literature, music, painting, sculpture, architecture…;)

The idea of art

The concept of art

Art, religion, and technology

Functional and pure art

Appreciation and practice

The world of art


Folk art

Arts of various cultures

The arts






Architecture, landscape, and urban


Drawing and painting

Printmaking and photography

Decoration and functional design

Fundamentals and methods





Engineering sciences

There is a range of specialties pertaining to the divisions below

Engineering mathematics

Foundations and advanced mathematics used in engineering

Experiment, model building, and computer modeling

Design, systems, and operations research







These are usually associated with their sciences

General materials engineering





Civil, environmental, and resource










Water resources

Regional, urban and rural planning

Mechanical, energy and industrial


Industrial and management

Thermal and energy


Ocean and naval

Technology management and public policy

Electrical and information

Electrophysics and devices

Power and light



Data processing and networking

Military and peace
Nature and development

Scope and history

Organization of work


Exploration, extraction, and conversion: raw materials

Exploration, extraction, and conversion: energy

Tools and machines

Measurement, observation, and control

Industry and production


Agriculture, transportation, information, earth and space exploration…

Agriculture and food

Major industries



Information processing, communication and networking



Earth and space exploration

Religion and Faith

Literal and nature and varieties of non literal meaning and non meaning functions; religion, its nature and varieties: religions of the world—hunter gatherer and agriculture based societies, throughout pre-history and history. The concept of religion as knowledge and negotiation of the entire universe by the entire individual in all its faculties and modes of being. The relation of this concept to possible and potential realizations of as yet unnamed and un-thought ideational form

Concept of religion

Concepts of religion

Contribution of the universal metaphysics

Role of faith

Dialog—criticism and response—modern, local and universal perspective

Institutions and practices

Concept into practice


The religions



The major religions

A modern encyclopedia

The central motive to a modern encyclopedia is to take advantage of progress since the great age of encyclopedias without the naïve assumption that the newer modes are the peak of knowledge and that prior understanding has become outmoded (what is required of course is a preliminary analysis and mesh of the old and the new before beginning actual work on the new).

Given the motive as stated above, a modern encyclopedia will (a) address the conceptual problems of older encyclopedias—i.e. the assumption that one conceptual system of knowledge frames knowledge while not assuming, as is commonly done today, that there are no useful systems, (b) address the practical problems of publication and dissemination of older encyclopedias, (c) integrate advances in understanding with prior marginalized but immensely important understanding (d) take advantage of modern information processing and networking technology to address those aspects of the foregoing to which it is exceptionally well suited.

Traditional problems

In the development of an Encyclopedia the following problems may arise:


In depth and authoritative versus up-to-date development.


Logical versus enumerative (e.g. alphabetic) versus associative organization.


Question of relative nature of ‘logical’ schemes. An example is materialism vs. idealism as basis of organization (the analysis of this distinction and its validity was well established from Locke to Whitehead, forgotten, and begun again with the new consciousness studies beginning about the 1970’s)

Information processing and networking solutions

With the capabilities of modern information systems these tradeoffs are not necessary.


There can be both in depth articles with low frequency of revision and up-to-date articles or supplements with higher rate of revision


The associative character of hyper linking has been touted as ‘the way we learn’. It is one way but not the only way of learning or knowledge representation—typical of the way in which experts overreach their skill.

In any case, no choice has to be made because the capabilities of modern networked information systems enable us to have and eat cake.


Similarly, modern systems permit multiple logical schemes—which are capable via information processing of using a database to instantly present the system of knowledge according to any scheme, e.g. associative / logical / alpha…

Computer text

There is software to set up text and browsing capabilities. Book emulation is also possible, click here for one beginning.



This is a program of investigation, study, and research. Where the topic concerns ‘action’, the aim is to look into background and supporting ideas.

The emphases are general but fundamental ideas as background to, interpretation for, and interaction (mutual implication, analogy) with the way.

The aim is to improve the system and to study and research the ideas (a) as a program and (b) as occasioned in the way.

Plan. Systematic and as needed selection and study of topics.


Threads are common and interweaving themes.

The threads. Meaning. Topic overlap, e.g., mind threads through metaphysics and philosophy, the sciences, civilization, and artifact. Interests—the emphases above.

The main topics


General. Experience. Concepts and percepts. Referential meaning—conceptual and linguistic. Possibility of metaphysics as knowledge of the real. Being. First causes. Substance and change. Categories and universals. (Metaphysics—SEP).

Problems of modern metaphysics. Modern conception of metaphysics—why and what? Logic and modality (necessity vs. contingency, analytic vs. synthetic knowledge, a priori vs. a posteriori truth); possible worlds and possible worlds arguments. Space, time (psychological, external, and according to the laws of physics) and identity. Persistence and constitution. Causation, freedom and determinism. The mental and physical.

Issues of the universal metaphysics. New vs. older categories. Being, interaction, power, and experience. Science and natural law. The void and Logic (fundamental principle). Methods of metaphysics including analysis and synthesis of meaning and search for categories. Meaning of cause. Form and function. The abstract and the concrete; salvaging learning from the new metaphysics even if it should not hold.

Philosophy and narrative mode

Philosophy. What is philosophy? It is the broadest reflexive study of the world whose primary instrument and mode of expression is language. It includes but denies the exclusions of the recent emphases away from worldly focus.

Problems of philosophy (and the new metaphysics). (i) What are philosophy and the disciplines? (ii) Mutual implications: philosophy and the new metaphysics. (iii) Philosophy and method: analysis and synthesis of meaning (which includes analysis of experience). (iv) Philosophy as general reflexive-experiential approach to problematics. (v) Philosophy, action, and immersion. (vi) The problem of human being and civilization. (vii) The main sub-disciplines of metaphysics, epistemology, logic and ethics—and whether they must join in metaphysics. (viii) Special topics, e.g. philosophy of the reflexive and non-reflexive disciplines, especially the logic and science needed for the metaphysics.

Narrative mode. As philosophy entertains both ongoing questions and some definitive answers its dual narrative modes will be dialog and discursive.

Design and planning

Principles. The problem (aim) and the whole picture. Use of resources (a) constructive resources—e.g., time and imagination, (b) critical resources—e.g. rational choice and decision (from reason, value, and experience, (c) physical and economic resources and principles, (d) human and social resources—practice and open: sharing, motivating, implementing.


Science and the new metaphysics. The nature of science. Completeness—current and future. Method. Science and society. Abstract and concrete sciences.

Abstract sciences

See The Way of Being for the meaning of the term ‘abstract science’ and an explanation of why—in what sense—the following are abstract sciences.

Linguistics and language

Language—nature, use, and meaning (sign, grammar and content). Referential meaning, adequacy, clarity, sources and resolution of paradox. Linguistics and other fields, especially the abstract sciences.

Logic and logics

Logic as inferential vs. realistic. The metaphysics and Logic; and science. The logics—extant and potential; exploration. Mathematical logic: proof theory and methods and constructive mathematics, model theory, set theory—with ZFC and alternatives (see Set Theory—SEP), mereology, and recursion theory—relations to theories of computation and categories; Turing and Church (λ) calculi.


Nature of mathematics—traditional and modern conceptions; conception in terms of what mathematicians do and the fields of mathematics; implications of the universal metaphysics. Fields of mathematics—for background and for pertinence to the metaphysics.


Arithmetic: number theory, number systems, transfinite numbers, analysis; Algebra and algebraic structures; geometries—including non-Euclidean, convex, discrete, topology, homotopy—origins in numbers and structure of number systems, solutions of equations, and linear algebra; fields of algebra: order theory, algebraic systems, number theory, field theory and polynomials, commutative rings and algebras; Analysis—study of change in the small and in the large—sequences, limits, and metric spaces… real, complex, and functional analysis… calculus of variations, harmonic analysis, Clifford analysis, and non-standard analysis… differential equations, measure theory, and numerical analysis; Combinatorics: approaches are enumerative and analytic, topics include partition and graph theory, finite geometry… algebraic, geometric, arithmetic, and infinitary combinatorics; Geometry: convex, discrete, and combinatorial geometry… differential (including non-Euclidean) and algebraic geometry… topology, algebraic topology including homology and cohomology… manifolds including complex manifolds and Morse theory; Statistics and decision sciences; probability, Bayes theorem and Bayesian inference.

Computer and information science

Theoretical Computer Science as background—emphasis on the essential elements of computation—objects, actions, and combinations; algorithms and efficiency; and applications and technology, especially artificial intelligence and being. Significance for the way—metaphysical status of computation: universe as computer, mind as computer / computation and networks as mind, potential embodiment of being and civilization in computational and networked systems. Significance in the metaphysics and other disciplines—use of information processing and networking in and as support for knowledge processing, storage, and access; and in communication and sharing.

Concrete Sciences


The fundamental theories—quantum, relativistic, and statistical mechanics: the micro and the macro—form, main conclusions, interpretation, pertinence and analogy to the metaphysics. Topics—quantum vacuum; reality in quantum mechanics (uncertainty vs. non-classical reality, entanglement etc.) and relativity (space-time-matter on equal basis, so no classical ground); energy, entropy, gravity and other forces (and alternative sources of order and intelligence); ergodicity.


Descriptions and explanations—theories—of form and origins—essentials and fundamentals: indeterminism / novelty and determinism / form—nano-molecular through species, essentials and interpretations, other modes and mechanisms of origins and perpetuation of complexity and intelligence.


The functions including memory, perception, feeling, and thought; their interactions and characteristic development and compositions (personality); the fundamental nature of mind (all aspects) and intersection with physics, biology, and the abstract sciences.

Sociology and social sciences

Sociology, economics, political science and philosophy, and political economics.


Physical or biological, cultural, and social. Linguistic anthropology.

The nature of consciousness

First notion—subjective awareness or experience. Receptive, active, and pure awareness. Threshold—on-off nature. Is the on-off nature an illusion? Is consciousness the source of agency or is agency subliminal (issue of mental causation and experiments suggesting that consciousness is not causal). Problem of physics and psychology—or mind and matter. In a monist ontology matter and consciousness are two sides of substance whose foundation is incomplete. In a dualist ontology the relation of mind and consciousness is categorially problematic. The only complete explanation can be a non substance ontology. Possible explanations of the above issues in a anon substance ontology. The maximal ontology—the universal metaphysics—and its proof. Explanations from this metaphysics. There is no attribute beyond matter and consciousness. Consciousness as fundamental in the universe. The highest forms.


Essential ethics should be in interaction with practice and knowledge (especially philosophy and science). The aim: a system of values, issues, and practices for the world and its contexts.

The universal ethical question: given that ultimate and intelligent commitment enhances realization and enjoyment, What energies should we devote to the aim?

Ways and catalysts

Select focus on supra-secular (secular and trans-secular) ways and catalysts productive of ideas and states of awareness and being on the way to the ultimate.

Sources are experiment, reflection, and tradition. The latter include religions, especially Buddhism for its life way, Tibetan Buddhism and Kashmir Saivism for ritual invocation and Beyul, Hinduism for Vedanta and Gita, Abrahamic forms of religious logos and mystic practice.

Logos—metaphysical, inspired, and mystic sources; theory of meaning, Logic, universal metaphysics

Catalysts—physical, isolation (vision quest), death awareness, sacred places, and acting.


Concepts of civilization—in terms of theory of meaning and universal metaphysics. Universal and local civilization. Civilization as process and nurture.

Process. Immersion in natural, social and cultural, psychic and universal process. Ways and catalysts, above. Mechanics or dynamic of process, realization, problem, opportunity. Immersion culture—knowledge, sciences of matter, life, society, mind, politics and economics. Experience—travel, institutions, places, and contacts. Shared endeavor—see trans-community design.

Civilization, artifact, and technology—next.

Art and artifact

Art. Iconic and dramatic arts and engagement—seeing and being. Literature,, metaphysics, and realization.

Artifact. Aim—construction of being, aware or other, for support of, interaction with, and embedding of psyche. Methods—identifying kinds of being; scientific, analytic, and computational approaches including self design and reproduction; technological implementation; experimental and evolutionary approaches.

Places and experience

Places. Nature and culture. Engage.

Experience. Breadth and depth in the secular and the trans-secular: nature, civilization, psyche, art and artifact, the sacred and the universal.

Networking, activism, sharing, and influence

Networking and influence. (1) Contacts for sharing and support. (2) Program.

Publication. (1) Streamlining the website. (2) Improve the manual: formulation, presentation, and motivation. Improve the universal and everyday templates. (3) A list of fundamental ideas needed, incorporated, and resolved. (4) A final version. Incorporate what I learn in the years to come. Technical and non-technical parts and versions.

Some specific topics of importance

The following topics are for study and research.


§        Metaphysics—origins, logic, cosmology; also see abstract sciences below

§        General relativity and its mathematics

§        Quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and mathematics

§        Biology—form and function; evolution and its ‘mechanisms’; fitness landscapes

§        Psychology—what is essential psychology? Experience, consciousness, and matter.

§        Society and civilization

§        History—what is it to be ‘historical’: history vs. mechanism

§        Art, religion, and technology

§        Argument—fact and inference. Deduction and logic, induction, and abduction… and science. Nature and establishment of fact. Quantity and binary distinctions. Metaphysics and religion—the realm beyond science immediate experience—reason and feeling. Spirituality and inner and outer worlds. Philosophy and world discipline.

§        The abstract sciences—linguistics, logic, mathematics, and computer science.

§        Especially symbolic algorithms including lambda calculus, Markov and non Markov processes, and cellular automata, recursive functions, dynamic systems (and fractals and chaos)

§        The enterprise of knowledge and the study of the disciplines and the practices.


Review study topics above for possibilities.

§        Review needs for further topics.

§        The nature of logic as conceptual consistency and integrity. How simple logic, syllogism, propositional and predicate calculi fit into this concept. Do the higher logics go beyond this concept and posit a substrate of reality?

For possible reading and study

Possible knowledge foci

Study of the following ideas and individuals will be incorporated in History &or History of Western Philosophy &or Journey in Being

The listing is selective according to:

Fundamental significance

Significance to Journey in Being

Items have not received adequate treatment in one of the documents just noted

Research: see Object System and Functions, Sources

Also see: list of articles

Current topics—2008




Economics, politics

History and its values—and the meaning of destiny from the Universal metaphysics

Natural and political geography

Internet as a social phenomenon and political tool

Introduction: objectives and plan

Much of the following is done

Learn just enough to “close the map” by analogy then proof

Sources from History, History of Western Philosophy

Research topics – mine or reference to others work – that may be included:

Topics that I think are fundamental to being

Topics that support a need for Journey in Being


The philosophers selected are those important for future study; History of Western Philosophy has a more complete listing

Philosophy I. Metaphysics

Round out metaphysics – includes epistemology, logic, axiology, language, theory of being; complete my philosophical education

Metaphysics of Presence

Paradox, thinkability, and knowability; possibility and necessity

Topics for metaphysics for Journey in Being: general metaphysics, philosophy and theory of being; kinds of knowledge, knowledge and justification; evolution, design and the absolute

Philosophy II. The Great Western Philosophers

Philosophy, etymologically ‘love of wisdom’ comes to mean different things in different ages. Here, the tradition according to ‘History of Western Philosophy’ is emphasized. Also, I take philosophers to be those who express certain kinds of ideas in words, usually written, rather than in their lives

In following a natural tendency to emphasize recent philosophy, I might include the recent philosophers Nietzsche, Russell, Popper, Heidegger, Wittgenstein and Whitehead among the great. It has been said Russell, Popper, Heidegger and Wittgenstein are the four great philosophers of the 20th century and each has a following who would affirm him as the greatest in that century. I believe that Whitehead should be included among the handful of 20th century ‘greats:’ Whitehead’s thought rises to Platonic heights and, though his style of philosophy has never found much favor in recent times, his thought includes true philosophy in contrast to being the philosophy of something as is the case for much of the writing of Russell, Wittgenstein and Popper and, to a lesser degree, that of Heidegger. Nietzsche, Whitehead, Russell and Popper are included in the Recent Philosophers, below; Heidegger and Wittgenstein and their works are treated extensively in History of Western Philosophy. Of the philosophers mentioned in this paragraph, Nietzsche is the only one I include among the ‘great’ of all time

Listed temporally

Before Plato

The significance of the Greek period before Plato includes the origin of a written tradition of the reflective consciousness of ideas [starting with Thales,] the origin [the Eleatic School and the Sophists] and first maturation of critical thought [Socrates and his legend]


The “important” aspects [for now] of Plato are:

Knowledge: Parmenides [theory of forms]

Cosmology: Timaeus

Politics: Republic

A source for Plato:The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairnes eds., 1961

The traditional order of Plato’s works: Euthyphron [Euthyphro]; Apologia Sokratous [Apology]; Criton [Crito]; Phaedon [Phaedo]; Cratylos [Cratylus]; Theaetetos [Theaetetus]; Sophistes [Sophist]; Politikos [Statesman]; Parmenides; Philebos [Philebus]; Symposion [Symposium]; Phaedros [Phaedrus]; Alkibiades [Alcibiades]; Hipparchos [Hipparchus]; Erastai [Lovers]; Charmides; Laches; Lysis; Euthydemos [Euthydemus]; Protagoras; Gorgias; Menon [Meno]; Hippias Meizon [Hippias Major]; Hippias Elatton [Hippias Minor]; Ion; Menexenos [Menexenus]; Politeia [Republic]; Timaeos [Timeaus]; Critias; Nomoi [Laws]; and Epinomis


Aristotle’s works divide into [EB]

Logic [Organon;]

Natural Philosophy [physical - Physike, Peri ouranou – On the Heavens, Peri geneseos kai phthoras (On Generation and Corruption; On Coming to Be and Passing Away;) Meteorologika (Meteorology;) biological – Peri ta zoa historiai (History of Animals;) Peri zoon morion (Parts of Animals;) Peri zoon kineseos (Movement of Animals;) Peri poreias zoon (Progression of Animals;) Peri zoon geneseos (Generation of Animals)

Psychobiological – the collective Parva Naturalia on psychobiological topics – Peri aistheseos (On the Senses and Their Objects; On Sense and Sensible Objects;) Peri mnemes kai anamneseos (On Memory and Recollection;) Peri hypnou kai egregorseos (On Sleep and Waking;) Peri enypnion (On Dreams;) Peri tes kath hypnon mantikes (On Divination in Sleep; On Prophecy in Sleep;) Peri makrobiotetos kai brachybiotetos (On Length and Shortness of Life;) Peri neotetos kai geros (On Youth and Old Age;) Peri zoes kai thanatou (On Life and Death;) Peri anapnoes (On Respiration)]

Psychology [Peri psyches and the collective Parva Naturalia]

Metaphysics [Ta meta ta physika]

Ethics [Nichomachean and Eudemian Ethics] and Politics [Politics]

Aesthetics and Literature [Rhetoric and the incomplete Peri poietikes]

Descartes, René

Le Monde [the World,] completed 1633, published 1664

Regulae ad Directionem Ingenii [Rules for the Direction of the Mind; in which Descartes gave four rules for reasoning: 1. Accept nothing as true that is not self-evident, 2. Divide problems into their simplest parts, 3. Solve problems by proceeding from simple to complex, 4. Recheck the reasoning,] written by 1628 published 1701

Discours de la méthode [Discourse on Method], 1637

Meditationes de Prima Philosophia [Meditations on First Philosophy in Which Is Proved the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul; includes Decartes’ reflections on methodical doubt] 1641

Spinoza, Benedict de

Ethica [Ethics] written roughly over 1660-1675, published posthumously [Spinoza died in 1677 and the work was published after his death in that year]

Locke, John

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690

Two Treatises of Government, 1690

Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693

Hume, David

A Treatise of Human Nature, [in three books on the topics of understanding, emotion and morals,] 1739–40

An Abstract of… A Treatise of Human Nature, 1740

Essays, Moral and Political, 1741–42

Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding, 1748; a rewriting of the first book of the Treatise [which Hume repudiated as immature] with the additioin of the essay “On Miracles;” later editions entitled An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, 1751

Political Discourses, 1752

Four Dissertations, 1757

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, 1779

Kant, Immanuel

Critique of Pure Reason, trs. 1929, 1951, original German edition, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781, rev. ed. Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1787

Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics, trs. 1951, Prolegomena zur einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können, 1783

Critique of Practical Reason, trs. 1949, Critik der practischen Vernunft 1788

Critique of Judgment, vol. 1, Kant's Critique of Aesthetic Judgment and vol. 2, Critique of Teleological Judgment, 1911–28, republished 1952, Critik der Urteilskraft 1790, 2nd ed. 1793

Hegel, George Wilhelm Friedrich

The Phenomenology of Mind, 1807, trs. J. B. Baille, 1967

Science of Logic, 1812-1816 [Objective Logic, 1812 and Subjective Logic, 1816]

Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline, 1817 [Logic, Nature, Mind]

The Philosophy of Right, 1821, trs. J. B. Baille, 1952

Lecture Notes on Aesthetics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of History, and History of Philosophy, written about 1823-1827

Schopenhauer, Arthur

On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason: a Philosophical Essay, 1813

The World as Will and Representation, in two volumes, Volume I, trs. E. F. J. Payne, 1958, original German edition, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, 1819; Volume II, trs. E. F. J. Payne, 1958, the original German edition of Volume II appears with the second edition of the work in 1844 in which Volume I is essentially unchanged; a third German edition was published in 1859

Parerga and Paralimpomena [minor works and remnants,] 1851

Nietzsche, Friedrich

Nietzsche is treated in Recent Philosophers

Philosophy III. Mind: Nature and Map; Origins of Language

Essays on Evolutionary Epistemology, WW Bartley III, ed

Ernst Mayr for teleology, teleonomy

Searle / examples of speech acts and so on; propositions and propositional attitudes, questions, exclamations…

Web papers on consciousness – unavailable on the Internet. For an Internet resource go to Online Papers on Consciousness compiled by David Chalmers

Philosophy IV. Recent Philosophers

The following, listed alphabetically, are only those who may be fundamental to Journey in Being –and have not been treated sufficiently in History of Western Philosophy– or may make apoint that I have not yet used; Heidegger and Wittgenstein are not included since they have been extensively treated in History of Western Philosophy

Adorno, Theodore Wiesengrund

Formost member of the Frankfurt School

Social philosophy, critical theory, epistemology

Studies on Hegel, Heidegger, Husserl – in Against Epistemology, Kierkegaard


Kierkegaard: Construction of the Aesthetic, 1933, trs. and ed. Robert Hullot-Kentor, 1989

Against Epistemology: a Metacritique, 1956, trs. Willis Domigno, 1982

Bradley, Francis Herbert

Absolute idealism, ethics and logic


Principles of Logic, 1883

Appearance and Reality, 1893

Essays on Truth and Reality, 1914

Collected Essays, 1935

Carnap, Rudolf

Logic, semantics, epistemology and philosophy of science

Note Carnap’s second meaning of probability i.e. that of ‘theoretical coherence’


The Logical Syntax of Language, trs. 1937; original German, 1934

Empiricism, semantics and Ontology, in Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4, 1950

The Logical Foundations of Probability, 1950

Meaning and Necessity, 1956

‘The elimination of metaphysics through the logical analysis of language,’ in A. J. Ayer, ed. Logical Positivism, 1957

Davidson, Donald Herbert

Philosophy of mind and of language

It is Davidson’s philosophy of mind, especially his anomalous monism, that is of importance to my analysis of mind and the mind-body issue in Journey of Being


Mental Events, in Essays on Actions and Events, 1980

Frege, Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob

Logic, analytic philosophy, Platonist philosophy of mathematics


The Foundations of Arithmetic, trs. J. L. Austin, 1952; original German 1884

The Basic Laws of Arithmetic I, trs. and ed. Montgomery Furth, 1964; 1893

The Basic Laws of Arithmetic II, translations of extracts in Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege trs. and ed. P. Geach and M. Black, 1980; 1903

Gilson, Étienne Henri

Neo-scholastic with interests in the main divisions of philosophy and its history

My interest in Gilson is that he was the ‘most influential’ historian of mediaval philosophy in the 20th century

… and, therefore, I will undertake a study Gilson if I need to study or think about medieval philosophy or Christian scholasticism


The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, trs. from the original French text, Le Thomisme, of 1919

Gödel, Kurt

Gödel remains a seminal figure and, hence his inclusion here. As a result of the startling impact of his 1931 paper “Uber formal unendscheitbare Sätze der… etc.” Gödel will remain forever fascinating in the present period. However, the significance of his work may not quite be the shaking of the foundations that it has often thought to be… and this has, of course, been shown in the literature

I will undertake further study of Gödel as the occasion arises

Husserl, Edmund

Included in this list because of the importance, especially to phenomenology and not because of an imperative to be immersed in the works


Logical Investigations, trs. JN Findlay, 1970, from Logische Untersuchungeng, 1900–1

Kripke, Saul Aaron

Logic – especially modal logic i.e. the logical principles of ‘modal’ notions such as possibility, necessity, contingency and ‘strict’ implication; philosophy of language and, secondarily, of mind

Kripke’s interest is partly that he was a phenomenon – his first paper, a theorm in modal logic was published in 1959 when he was 19… but also because of: his clarification of the meaning and validity of modal logics, contributions to the theory of truth, analysis of the recalcitrant logical and semantical paradoxes, denial of the distinctions: necessary / a posteriori truths, naming / meaning, sense / reference… ‘Certainly, propositions can be necessary when actually so but a posteriori to a finite mind


Naming and Necessity, 1980

Lenin, Vladimir ll’ich

How can one not be interested in Lenin? Bertrand Russell once said that he regarded Lenin as the greatest man he had ever met because, quoting from Bryan Magee, who knew Russell, in Confessions of a Philosopher, 1997 “Lenin combined a brilliant mind with genius-level ability as a man of action, and this gave him extraordinary stature and effectiveness as a person. Also, he had changed the course of world history in a way few individuals ever do.”… note the modern pertinence of text, “Imperialism, the Highest etc… ,” below… because of his dynamism he is almost as interesting as Marx who I do not currently include here [if his name were to occur it would be upon a later writing]… and he is incredibly more interesting than Trotsky or Stalin, the latter whom I might include if I were writing a history of fortuitous thuggery and the former who I would include only in a sentimental moment… I will study Lenin, if at all, at a much later time

Texts of interest:

What is to be done? Burning Questions of our Movement, 1929 trs. from the 1902 Russian

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism: A Popular Outline, 1933, trs. from the 1916 Russian

Collected Works, 47 vols…

Nietzsche, Friedrich

Nietzsche’s interests were in ontology, epistemology, Greek and Christian thought, theory of values, nihilism, aesthetics and cultural theory


The Birth of Tragedy, trs. W. Kaufmann, 1954; original German, 1872

Daybreak, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1982; 1881

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1968; 1883-5

Beyond Good and Evil, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1966; 1886

The Twilight of the Idols, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1968; 1889

The Anti-Christ, R. J. Hollingdale, 1968; 1895

Nietzsche against Wagner, trs. W. Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. W. Kaufmann, 1954; 1895

Ecce Homo, trs. W. Kaufmann, 1968; 1908

Popper, Karl Raimund

Popper’s interests were in epistemology, philosophy of science, and political philosophy


The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959, trs. of revised and expanded version of Logik der Forschung, 1934

The Open Society and Its Enemies, 1945

Indeterminism in quantum physics and in classical physics, in British Journal for Philosophy of Science, 1950

The Poverty of Historicism, 1957

Conjectures and Refutations, 1963

[the next three titles are the three volumes of Postscript: After Twenty Years, in proof since 1957]

The Open Universe: An Argument for Indeterminism, 1982

Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics, 1982

Realism and the Aim of Science, 1983

Quine, Willard Van Orman

Logic, epistemology, philosophy of science and language


On What There Is, 1953

Word and Object, 1960

Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 1969

The Roots of Reference, 1974

Theories and Things, 1981

Pursuit of Truth, 1990

Russell, Bertrand Arthur William


A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, 1900

The Principles of Mathematics, 1903

On Denoting, in Mind, 1905

Philosophical Essays, 1910

Principia Mathematica, with A. N. Whitehead, 3 vols., 1910-13, 2 ed., 1927

The Problems of Philosophy, 1912

The Theory of Knowledge, 1913, pub. Posthumously in Colledted Papers, v. VII, 1984

Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1914

The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, in Monist, 1918-19

Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919

The Analysis of Mind, 1921

The Analysis of Matter, 1927

An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, 1940

Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, 1948

My Philosophical Development, 1959

Autobiography, 1967-9

Whitehead, Alfred North


The Concept of Nature, 1920

Science and the Modern World, 1925

Process and Reality, 1929, corrected ed. D. R. Griffin and D. W. Sherburne, 1967

Adventures of Ideas, 1933

Modes of Thought, 1938

Philosophy V. Important Works from the History of Political and Economic Philosophy

Politics and Political Philosophy: Individuals and Major Works

Plato, Republic

Aristotle, Politics

Cicero, The Republic

St Augustine, The City of God

Aquinas, Summa Theologica

Dante, On World Government

Machiavelli, The Prince

Hobbes, Leviathan

Locke, Two Treatises on Civil Government

Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws

Rousseau, Social Contract 1762

Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution

Paine, The Rights of Man

Hegel, The Philosophy of Rights

Saint-Simon, The Industrial System

Proudhon, What is Property?

Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto

JS Mill, On Liberty

Bakunin, God and the State

Economics and Economic Philosophy: Individuals and Major Works

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations 1776

Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principles of Population l798

David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy 1817

Karl Marx, Das Kapital 1867-95

Leon Walras, Elements d’économie politique pure 1874-77

Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics 1890

John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money 1936

Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy 1942

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society 1958

Milton Friedman, Inflation: Causes and Consequences 1953

Philosophy VI. Recent Writers in Political Philosophy and Related Contributing Disciplines

The following are only those who may be fundamental to Journey in Being or may make a point that I have not yet used; I have used Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit eds., A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, 1993 in this section

Articles mentioned above may be repeated below

Analytical Philosophy

Analytical and Continental Philosophy are the main strands contributing to Modern Western Political Philosophy

Note that the characteristics of analytical and continental philosophy are discussed in Essays on Being

Popper, K., The Open Society and Its Enemies, 1945

Popper, K., The Poverty of Historicism, 1957

Benn, S.I. and R.S. Peters, Social Principles and the Democratic State, 1959

Hart, H.L.A., The Concept of Law, 1961

Barry, B., Political Argument, 1965

Rawls, J., A Theory of Justice, 1971

Barry, B., The Liberal Theory of Justice: A Critical Examination of the Principal Doctrines in ‘A Theory of Justice’ by John Rawls, 1973

Nozick, R., Anarchy, State and Utopia, 1974

Dworkin, G., Taking Rights Seriously, 1977

Habermas, J., ‘Wahrheitstheorien’, in Wirklichkeit und Reflexion: Walter Schulz zum 60 Geburstag, 1973

Hayek, F.A. von, Law, Legislation and Liberty: A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economy, 3 vols, 1982

Sandel, M., Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 1982

Pateman, C., ‘Feminist critiques of the public-private dichotomy’, in S.I. Benn and G. F. Gaus, eds, Public and Private and Social Life, 1983

MacKinnon, C., Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law, 1987

Dworkin, G., The Theory and Practice of Autonomy, 1988

Buchanan, A.E., ‘Asserting the communitarian critique of liberalism’, Ethics, 99 (1989), 852-82

Kukathas, C., Hayek and Modern Liberalism, 1989

Barry, B., Theories of Justice, 1989

Barry, B., Political Argument: A Reissue, 1990

Nagel, T., Equality and Partiality, 1991

Okin, S.M., ‘Gender, the Public and the Private’, in D.Held, ed., Political Theory Today, 1991

Sen, A., Commodities and Capabilities, 1985

Continental Philosophy

Adorno, T.W., Minima Moralia, 1974

Adorno, T.W., et. al., The Authoritarian Personality, 1950

Adorno, T.W., et. al., The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology, 1976

Camus, A,, The Rebel, trs. A. Bower, 1954

Derrida, J., Speech and Phenomena, trs. D. B. Allison, 1973

Derrida, J., Of Grammatology, trs. G. C. Spivak, 1976

Derrida, J., Writing and Difference, trs. A. Bass, 1978

Foucault, M., Madness and Civilization, trs. T. Howard, 1971

Foucault, M., The Archaeology of Knowledge, trs. A. M. Sheridan, 1976

Foucault, M., Discipline and Punishmen, trs. A. M. Sheridan, 1977

Freud, S., The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, trs. A. A. Brill, 1938

Freud, S., The Interpretation of Dreams, trs. J. Strachey, 1976

Habermas, J., ‘Technology and science as “ideology” ’,Towards a Rational Society, trs. J. J. Shapiro, 1970

Habermas, J., Theory of Communicative Action, 2 vols., trs. T. McCarthy, 1984

Habermas, J., The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, 2 vols., trs. F. G. Lawrence, 1987

Hegel, G.W.F., The Phenomenology of Mind, 1807, trs. J. B. Baille, 1967

Hegel, G.W.F., The Philosophy of Right, 1821, trs. J. B. Baille, 1952

Heidegger, M., ‘The origin of the work of art’, 1936 and ‘Letter on humanism’, 1947, in Basic Writings, ed. D. F. Krell, ed., 1977

Heidegger, M., Being and Time, trs. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson, 1967 and trs. Joan Stambaugh, 1996

Horkheimer, M., and Adorno, T.W., The Dialectic of Enlightenment, trs. J. Cumming, 1972

Kierkegaard, S., ‘Fear and trembling’ in Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard, trs. L. M. Hollander, 1960

Kierkegaard, S., Either-Or, trs. H. V. Kong and E. H. Kong, 1987

Lévi-Strauss, C., Structural Anthropology, trs. C. Jacobson and B. G.. Schoepf, 1968

Lévi-Strauss, C., The Elementary Structures of Kinship, trs. J. H. Bell, J. R. von Sturmer and R. Needham, 1969

Lukács, G., ‘What is orthodox Marxism?’, in History and Class Consciousness, trs. R. Livingstone, 1971

Lyotard, J.-F., The Postmodern Condition, trs. G. Bennington and B. Massumi, 1984

Marcuse H., One-Dimensional Man, 1968(a)

Marcuse H., ‘Philosophy and critical theory’, in Negations, 1968 (b)

Marcuse H., ‘On revolution’, in Student Power, eds. A. Cockburn and R. Blackburn, 1969

Marcuse H., Soviet Marxism, 1971

Marx, K., ‘Economic and philosophical manuscripts’, in Early Writings, trs. R. Livingstone and G. Benton, 1975

Marx, K., ‘Theses on Feuerbach’, in Early Writings, trs. R. Livingstone and G. Benton, 1975

Marx, K., The German Ideology, trs. C. J. Arthur, 1977

Nietzsche, F., Beyond Good and Evil, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1973

Nietzsche, F., Untimely Meditations, trs. R. J. Hollingdale, 1983

Roussseau, J.-J., The Social Contract and Discourses, 1762, trs. G. D. H. Cole, 1973

Roussseau, J.-J., Emile, 1762, trs. B. Foxley, 1974

Saussure, F. de, Course in General Linguistics, 1916, ed. C. Bally and A. Sechehaye, trs. W. Baskin, 1959

Weber, M., The Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism, trs. T. Parsons, 1930


Use of past theory to understand modern issues

Arrow, K.J., Social Choice and Individual Values, 1951, 2 ed. 1963

Debreu, G., Theory of Value, 1959

Grote, J., An Examination of the Utilitarian Philosophy, 1870

Jevons, W.S., The Theory of Political Economy, 1871

Lange, O., ‘Foundations of welfare economics’, Econometrica, 10 (1942), 215-28

Laslett, P., Philosophy, Politics and Society, 1956

Pareto, V., Manual of Political Economy, 1909, trs. A. S. Schwier, 1972

Pocock, J. G. A., The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law, 1957

Pocock, J. G. A., ‘The history of political thought: a methodological enquiry’, Philosophy, Politics and Society, Series II, 1962

Sidgwick, H., Methods of Ethics, 1874

Skinner, Q. R. D., ‘Meaning and understanding in the history of ideas’, History and Theory, 8, 1969, 199-215: Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and his Critics, 1988, 29-67

Skinner, Q. R. D., ‘The republican ideal of political liberty’ Machiavelli and Republicanism, ed. G. Bock, Q. R. D. Skinner and M. Viroli, 293-309

Tuck, R.F., Natural Rights and Theories, 1979

Tully, J.H., A Discourse on Property, 1980

Walras, L., Elements of Pure Economics, 1874, trs. W. Jaffe, 1954

Winch, P., The Idea of a Social Science, 1958


Understanding of social institutions is important in political philosophy

Brennan, G. and Walsh, C., eds., Rationality, Individualism and Public Policy, 1990

Broome, J., ‘Irreducibly social goods – comment II’, in Rationality, Individualism and Public Policy, ed. G. Brennan and C. Walsh, 1990

Durkheim, E., The Division of Labor in Society, 1893

Giddens, A., Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, 1971

MacIntyre, A., After Virtue, 2 ed., 1984

Runciman, W. G., A Critique of Max Weber’s Philosophy of Social Science, 1972

Saint-Simon, H., Selected Writings, trs. and ed. Keith Taylor, 1975

Taylor, C., Philosophical Papers, 2 vols., 1985

Veblen, T., The Leisure Class, 1889

Weber, M., The Methodology of the Social Sciences, trs. E. A. Shills and H. A. Finch, 1949

Weber, M., Economy and Society, eds. G. Roth and C. Wittich, 3 vols., 1968


Economics is relevant to political possibility. In order to understand the contribution of economics, ‘political philosophy’ is taken to be normative social theory. The contributions of economics, then, may be understood in terms of a style of thinking – normative thinking is supplemented by and replaced when possible by ‘positive’ feasibility analysis where the use of analysis is concentrated. Feasibility affects desirability since what may have been desirable cannot be so if infeasible. Here, the contributions of Pareto, Arrow, Buchanan and Harsanyi are significant. The collapse of utilitarianism as a concept of feasibility leads to the ‘Economists Theory of State,’ which economists love because it appears to legitimize their grandiosity…

However, the lessons of economics should not be taken too seriously because ‘many things have been regarded impossible, including those theoretically demonstrated, until shown to be actually possible.’ While the contributions of modern economics are important, they are also an abstruse apology for the dominant paradigm and dominant regimes. Other reasons for doubt are distributed throughout the present document and the sources from the foundations

Arrow, K., Social Choice and Individual Values, 1951

Buchanan, J., ‘The relevance of Pareto optimality’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 6 (1962), 341-54

Buchanan, J., The Limits of Liberty, 1975

Buchanan, J., Freedom in Constitutional Contract, 1977

Buchanan, J., and Tullock, G., The Calculus of Consent, 1962

Hamlin, A., Ethics, Economics and the State, 1986

Hardin, R., Collective Action, 1982

Harsanyi, J., ‘Cardinal welfare, individualistic ethics, and inter-personal comparisons of utility’, Journal of Political Economy, 63 (1955), 309-21

Harsanyi, J., Essays in Ethics, 1976

Hotelling, H., ‘Stability in Competition’, Economic Journal, 39 (1929), 41-57

Lerner, A., The Economics of Control, 1944

Little, I. M. D., A Critique of Welfare Economics, 1957

Olson, M., The Logic of Collective Action, 1965

Robbins, L., The Nature and Significance of Economic Science, 1932

Samuelson, Paul A., ‘The pure theory of public expenditure’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 36 (1954), 387-9

Samuelson, Paul A., ‘Diagrammatic exposition of a theory of public expenditure’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 37 (1955), 350-6

Samuelson, Paul A., with William D. Nordhaus since 1985, Economics: an Introductory analysis, 1948, 18th ed., 2004

Scitovsky, T., ‘A note on welfare propositions in economics’, Review of Economic Studies, 9 (1941-2), 77-88

Sen, A., ‘Rational fools: a critique of the behavioral foundations of economic theory’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 6 (1977), 314-44

Political Science

Selection favors fundamentals and possibility rather than logical issues but only when solutions exist

Abercrombie, N., Hill, S. and Turner, B. S., The Dominant Ideology, 1980

Allison, G. T., The Essence of Decision, 1971

Binder, L., et. al. Crises and Sequences in Political Development, 1971

Cohen, G. A., Karl Marx’s Theory of History, 1978

Geertz, C. A., Old Societies and New States, 1963

Goodin, R. E., ‘The development-rights trade-off’, Universal Human Rights, 1 (1979), 31-42

Lane, R. E., ‘Waiting for lefty: the capitalist genesis of socialist man’, Theory & Society, 6 (1978), 1-28

Lasswell, H. D., Politics: Who Gets What, When, How?, 1950

Levine, H. D., ‘Some things to all men: the politics of cruise missile development’, Public Policy, 7 (1972), 117-68

Mann, M., ‘The social cohesion of liberal democracy’, American Sociological Review, 35 (1970), 423-29

March, J. G., ‘Model bias in social action’, Review of Educational Research, 42 (1972), 413-29

Olsen, J. P., ‘Public policy-making and theories of organizational choice’, Scandinavian Political Studies, 7 (1972), 45-62

Wittfogel, K. A., Oriental Despotism, 1957

Zolberg, A., ‘Moments of madness’, Politics & Society, 1 (1972), 183-208

Legal Studies

Legal studies in the ‘analytic tradition’ appear intellectual but are an apology for the law and the state. It is paradoxical that France, where there is no tradition of justification of law, is the greatest of police states

Braithwaite, J. and Pettit, P., Not Just Deserts, 1990

Dworkin, R., Law’s Empire, 1986

Fuller, L., The Morality of the Law, 1969

Gunningham, N., Safeguarding the Worker: the Role of the Law, 1984

Hart, H. L. A., The Concept of the Law, 1961

Hart, H. L. A., Punishment and Responsibility, 1968

Hart, H. L. A., Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, 1983

Hart, H. L. A. and Honoré, A., Causation and the Law, 1985

Kennedy, D., ‘Form and substance in private law adjudication’, Harvard Law Review, 89 (1976), 1685

Kennedy, D., ‘The Structure of Blackstone’s Commentaries’, Buffalo Law Review, 28 (1979), 209

Kennedy, D., ‘Legal Education as Training for Hierarchy’, in D. Kairys, ed., The Politics of Law: A Progression Technique, 1982

McBarnet, D., Conviction: Law, the State and the Construction of Justice, 1981

Meiklejohn, A., Political Freedom: the Constitutional Powers of the People, 1965

Posner, R., Economic Analysis of the Law, 1977

Rose-Ackerman, S., ‘Progressive Law and Economics’, Yale Law Journal, 98 (1988), 341

Sadurski, W., Giving Desert its Due, 1985

Sunstein, C. R., ‘Pornography and the first amendment’, Duke Law Journal (1986), 589

Tribe, L. H., American Constitutional Law, 2nd ed., 1988

Tribe, L. H., Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes, 1990

Tushnet, M., The American Law of Slavery, 1981

Waldron, J., The Law, 1990

Philosophy VII. Indian Philosophy

Veda-Upanisad-Gita for truth / force; Samkhya-Yoga and Yogis for the focus / objective; Vedanta for understanding / insight

See The Periods of Indian Philosophy for an outline; the classic Indian systems [sutras] with main doctrines and originators are: Purva-mimamsa: the interpretation of the Veda in the light of Dharma, Jamini; Vedanta: the philosophic interpretation of the Veda with focus on knowledge, Brahman and its identity with the self, Badarayana; Samkhya-karikas: the unmanifest is identical to the self, the three gunas or elements of sattva or light – rajas or activity – tamas or inertia, the three ways of pramana or knowing… of perception – of inference and of verbal testimony, Isvarakrsna; Yoga: Patanjali; Vaisesika: pluralistic metaphysics, Kanada; Nyaya: foundations of Buddhist Philosophy, Gautama / Aksapada; Mahayana Buddhist philosophy [beginnings]; Arthasastra: Kautilya; Ajivikas: Makkhali Gosala; and the Carvakas: Carvaka; Vaisnavism and Saivism develop later; Vaisnava is traced to the worship of Vishnu in the Rg Veda, the doctrine of prapatti, or complete self-surrender, is emphasized [Vaisnava-Sahajiya: a later 17th century development in Bengal that seeks religious experience through the world of the senses, specifically human sexual love… here parakiya-rati or the love of a man for a woman who legally belongs to another is considered to be above svakiya-rati or conjugal love as more intense, so parakiyarati was felt without consideration for the conventions of society or for personal gain and thus was more analogous to divine love, Radha is conceived as the ideal of the parakiya woman, because of the extreme privacy of the cult, little is known about its prevalence or its practices today;] Saiva is the worship of Shiva and Saivism is the school of thought that develops in this fold

In an unpublished manuscript [Jaison A. Manjaly, Exploring Alternative Possibilities for Metaphysics of Mind, 2003] it is pointed out that certain non-dualistic traditions from Indian philosophy may suggest resolutions for the classic problems in Western philosophy of mind that result from Cartesian dualism. The following is a paraphrase: Some Indian traditions deploy a ‘continuum metaphysics’ where body and mind are not Cartesian polarities; many consider mind as material in nature with a primarily internal monitoring role; the non-physical status is reserved only for the ‘self’ or Atman. In Nyaya-Vaisesika, mind, or antahkarana, is material, yet not at par with the purely physical; it is non-dualistic but maintains a division between gross matter, subtle matter, and the non-physical; and, the Nyaya ascribes cognition, consciousness etc. to atman or self rather than to antahkarana or mind as in the West. Samkhya also regards mind as part of the internal organ system (antahkarana) which has priority over external sense organs because the cognition of external objects is possible only through antahkarana. In Advaita, mind is still the essential internal tool, while the actual knower is the individual self, which is Brahman. Interestingly, according to Advaita School also antahkarana is material because it is composed of all five physical elements

Philosophy I.             Modern Indian philosophers

Pre-1947 Most of the following group were idealist metaphysicians i.e., they believed that reality is spiritual: Aurobindo Ghosh “Sri Aurobindo” 1872 – 1950 a modern Vedantic philosopher, K.C. Bhattacharya, Rabindranath Tagore, M.K. Gandhi, S. Radhakrishnan, B. Seal, H. Haldar, R.D. Ranade, D.M. Datta, N.V. Bannerjee, R. Das, A.C. Mukherji; N.V. Bannerjee, and R Das, in contrast, were influenced by Hegel and Sankara

Post 1947 The following two groups are influenced by analytic philosophy, modern logic, phenomenology and/or Navya-Nyâya –– the logical-epistemological school of Indian Philosophy: P.J. Chaudhury, K.D. Bhattacharya, A.S. Ayub; and a younger group: M. Chatterjee, N.K. Devaraja, Daya Krishna, Bimal Matilal, J.N. Mohanty, Rajendra Prasad, P.K. Sen

Non-Indians practicing modes of Indian Philosophy: Daniel Ingalls, Eric Fraunwallner, Eliot Deutsch, Karl Potter


The general purposes to any study include the following: 1. The specific interest of the study. ‘Interest’ includes both curiosity or enjoyment and ‘application;’ and 2. Truth is illuminating and transforming

There is a redundancy to the consideration of interest and application because each includes the other

Item [2] is a repetition of item [1] in general terms

Journey in Being is a journey in understanding and transformation; therefore history is significant to the journey as

History of understanding, and

History of transformation

The reference for these emphases is History of thought and action

Plan: combine History of thought and action and History of Western Philosophy


The Symbolic Disciplines: Signs, Language, Logic and Mathematics – Foundations and Relation to Being

What are they?

Functions: thought and communication

The human symbolic instrument is language; mathematics is the science of form; abstract relations show all systems that have a common form

LOGOS is system of the possibilities of being relative to nothingness; logic is the system of relationships among truths; real Logic is the science of the possible [relative to nothingness,] [note that the necessary is analyzable in terms of the possible]

Logic applies in mathematics; mathematics analyses logic

More on Brouwer; on Hilbert’s program; on logicism – concept and argument, Russell, Frege and Wittgenstein’s counterarguments; Platonism

Foundation and meaning of logic, geometry

The theory of the infinite; discrete mathematics, Stephen Wolfram Site

Languages: Sanskrit, Hindi, Other…

… for linguistic bases of thought and categories; data for linguistics; foundations of the disciplines

Art, Myth and Religion

Mythology and Religion, Literature and Music: Contribution to Meaning, Deep Symbols, Action, Understanding and Human Nature


Buddha, Lao-tse, Christ, Muhammad, Zarathustra…


Primitive and experiential myth and mythology

Ritual Death; primitive planters; symbol: life requires death

The Shaman; primitive hunters; symbol: vision and leadership born of example and charisma, the animal master

Indian Mythology is adequately represented in the section, below, on Indian Philosophy


Philosophy is literature, especially great philosophy. Here, focus is on literature – whether fiction or not – as it describes life or tells stories that illuminate ways and possibilities of life. The chief kinds of literature are: epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric, satire, history, biography, and prose narrative

‘Homer,’ The Iliad and The Odyssey

Virgil, Aenid

Augustine, The City of God

Icelandic sagas, Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, …the fullest and most detailed source for modern knowledge of Germanic mythology.

Beowulf, the heroic poem of Old English Literature

Song of Hildebrand, German

The Divine Comedy, Dante

Paradise Lost, 1667; Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, 1671, John Milton

Molière, Racine, Boileau, and La Fontaine of what has been called the greatest age of French literature

The 18th century. Britain: Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Samuel Johnson, Henry Fielding, Daniel Defoe, Tobias Smollett, Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne. France: Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles de Montesquieu, Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert. In Germany: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller

The 19th century – Romanticism. Fabre d'Olivet in France; Wordsworth, Coleridge, John Keats and Lord Byron in England; and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Aleksandr Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov in Russia; James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe; Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in America which, as Wordsworth's pronouncements had done, affirmed the power of “insight” to transcend ordinary logic and experience

The 19th century – Post-Romanticism. Heinrich Heine in Germany; Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Stéphane Mallarmé and Arthur Rimbaud in France; Jane Austen with Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility in England; especially Benjamin Constant, Stendhal Gustave Flaubert and Émile Zola, also in France; Eliot, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy in England and Nikolay Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Anton Chekhov in Russia; Henrik Ibsen in Norway; August Strindberg in Sweden; Gogol, Turgenev and Anton Chekov in Russia

The 20th century. Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, D.H. Lawrence, Marcel Proust, André Gide, James Joyce's, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Mann, André Breton, Rainer Maria Rilkem, T.S. Eliot


Presently, this list does not include or do justice to music as it is performed and moves people in their lives – in peace and in war

Indian classical music as rendered by Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan and others

Western Music before the 19th century. Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) and George Frideric Handel

19th century – The Romantic Period. Transition: Beethoven, Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Anton Bruckner; romantic: Berlioz, Liszt, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss; and Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky

19th century – Richard Wagner

20th century: Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Anton von Webern, Aaron Copeland

20th century “popular” music

Art, Symbol and Being

Art periods: prehistoric – the old and new stone ages Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian, Islamic, African, Oceanic, Indian, Japanese, Christian, Gothic, Baroque, European / Renaissance, Recent [1800 and later]

Great art and artists

The intent of the selection that follows is to evoke feeling, specifically my feeling, from the paintings, sculpture, buildings and other objects. I look not only for emotion but also and especially a sense of placement in and creation of time, space and the stream of being. The selection is not comprehensive relative to the history of art for that would dilute what it is that I intend. Source: H. W. Janson, History of Art, 1962, 5th ed, Anthony F. Janson, 1995

Cave paintings especially animals and the hunt and objects such as Horse a 2½" mammoth ivory carving from Bogelherd cave 28,000 BC the old stoneage [40,000 – 10,000 BC ending with the cessation of the most recent Ice Age]

In the new stonage [till historic times] from which the following are remarkable: architecture with houses and shrines including paintings of the animal hunt and monuments such as Stonehenge c. 2000 B.C

Egypt: the pyramids and the Great Sphinx at Giza and the statues of the pharaohs; the court of Ramesses II; the coffin of Tutankhamen

Sumer: Ziggurat of King Urnammu, Ur, Iraq c. 2100 B.C

Greece: The Parthenon; statues - Nike of Samothrace c. 200 BC and The Laocoön Group

Rome: The Pantheon, Rome, 118 – 25 A.D

Gothic: Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163 – c. 1250; Chartres Cathedral 1145 - 1220, and the stained glass Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière, c. 1170; Amiens Cathedral begun 1220; Salisbury Cathedral, England 1220 – 1770; Gloucester Cathedral, England, 1332 – 1357; Sta. Croce, Florence, begun c. 1295; Florence Cathedral, begun by Arnolfo di Cambio, 1296, dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, 1420 – 36; Milan Cathedral, begun 1386, considered by H. W. Janson to be overly elaborate as a result of detail applied in mechanical fashion over the centuries was completed in 1910

Early Renaissance in Italy: Donatello, statues, 1386 – 1466, Prophet, 1423 – 25, 6' 5"; David, c. 1425 – 1430, bronze, 62¼"; Mary Magdalene, c. 1455, wood, partially gilded. Early Renaissance in Italy: Boticelli, c. 1480, The Birth of Venus

High Renaissance in Italy – I cannot, now, do justice to the feeling evoked by Leonardo, Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian and therefore the selection here is very thin; I hope that this is balanced by the power of evocation of the works. Leonardo da Vinci: Adoration of the Magi, 1481 – 82; The Last Supper c. 1495 – 98. Michelangelo: Pieta, c. 1500; David, 1501 – 4, 13' 5"; The Sistine Ceiling, 1508 – 12 including The Creation of Adam; St. Peter’s, Rome, 1546 – 64, dome completed by Giacomo della Porta, 1590. Raphael: La Belle Jardinière, 1507; The Sacrifice at Lystra, 1514 – 15. Giorgione, The Tempest, c. 1505. Titian: Bacchanal, c. 1518; Man with the Glove, c. 1520; Christ Crowned with Thorns, c. 1570

From 1525 to 1600, in Italy, the period now referred to as Mannerism, the following paintings are audible as voices: Giorgio Vasari, Perseus and Andromedia, 1570 – 72; Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of the Artist’s Sister Minerva, c. 1559; Jacopo Tintoretto, The Last Super, 1592 – 94

Of the remaining period until modern times, and even though there is much that speaks, I will note only the art of Albrecht Dürer: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, woodcut, c. 1497 – 98; Self-Portrait, painting, 1500; Knight, Death and Devil, engraving, 1513

The Modern Period: here I am being very selective and choose only those works that seem to speak to me from universal and even distant sources. I have probably included some that I would not; omitted some that I would. Cammille Corot, Morning: Dance of the Nymphs, painting, 1850. William Turner, The Slave Ship, 1840; Rain, Steam and Speed, 1844. Caspar David Friedrich, The Polar Sea, 1824. Paul Klee, Twittering Machine, 1922. Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm: Number 30, 1950. Anselm Kiefer, To the Unknown Painter, 1983. Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House, Chicago, 1909. Foster Associates, Honkong Bank, 1979 – 86. Ansel Adams, Monrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941. Josef Sudek, View from Studio Window in Winter, 1954. Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, California, 1936. Mark Tansey, Derrida Queries de Man

Art – evocation and communication especially of “what is not said:” time, space, pattern [cause and law,] creation [pattern from nothingness and chaos,] nature, mood and will, feeling

Art divisions: literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theatre

Art – concept: see Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, details in the Great Western Philosophers, above

Art – history: H. W. Janson, History of Art


Healing, and Medicine

Individual as physical, bio-psycho-social and spiritual

Dynamics of Being and the concept of healing: Journey in Being | Metaphysics | and, especially, Experiments in the Transformation of Being

Psychiatry | Psychology | Research topics | Treatment Planning




The goal is to understand the essential science needed to inform my thought. My understanding of the nature of science and scientific theory—fact in a limited domain of validity, at most tentative as universal, neutral outside the domain—is adequate: my position is the result of thought and not mere import of ideas. However, I need details and principles to work out the mutual implications of, say, the cosmology and physical cosmology, the metaphysics and physics, and the principle of indeterminism and evolutionary biology

Sociology and Anthropology for Foundations of Being; Social Action; Charisma and Patriarchalism

Influence and Change

The nature of society, institutions, humankind; the concept of culture [EB Tylor…]

The foundations of being, the individual, knowledge and language

Today’s world: actual and potential

Science in Knowledge, Progress of Being… and as a Metaphor for Metaphysics, Epistemology

Science as knowledge; as a comprehensive worldview; as a method; a practice; as a social [political, economic…] instrument; as parochial vs. universal

Logic, Mathematics and Science

Archimedes, Galileo, Newton, Gauss, Darwin, Maxwell, Emile Durkheim, Freud, Max Weber, Einstein, Schrödinger, Dirac

Information, and Network Technology; Cognitive Sciences – Symbolic / Mechanical Being, Agents; Use and Application

Main disciplines: philosophy; psychology; neuroscience; computational intelligence; linguistics / language; and culture, cognition, evolution, and anthropology

Computer science and robotics; human-machine synergy

Some intelligent applications – various stages of development

See Variety of Being [section in this document] | The Variety of Being [essay]

Physics… and Reality, Classical / Formal… and Cosmology… and Metaphysics… and foundations for the sciences

String / M-theory: strings / m-branes as warps in a continuum, c = constant, fixed, the maximum = the speed of propagation of warps with zero mass… why? Calabi-Yau spaces at Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics | Calabi-YauSpace

Outline of Quantum Mechanics and Relativistic theory of Gravitation and Fields; forefront today; foundation in nothingness / vacuum; real examples of the origin, development and stability of structure; physics of the vacuum, nothingness; time and recurrence

Toolkit of ideas for reality testing: Bell's theorem, Aspect, causality and communication, determinism and indeterminism, Schrödinger's cat... significance for reality; wave-particle-field; epistemological vs. ontological interpretations of quantum mechanics. Time-space curvature... significance, recurrence - loop in time… every quantum of existence can interact with every other; thermodynamics, energy and the universe

Origins; origin of this universe; natural selection in the origin of physical nature and the universes… work of Lee Smolin, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose; cosmology and conditions for life, intelligence, and mind; history of the universe / solar system; physics and mind

Some information papers: Cosmology and Inflation | General Physics | The Standard Model of Particle Physics

Chemistry: Materials for Technology and Industrial Processes; Possibility of Molecules; Origin and Function of Life

Chemistry and technology: the construction of tools and living elements

Chemistry and the origins of life on earth; possibility of origins of life in space

Chemistry and functional biology: chemical nature of life; nervous system and neurotransmitters, endocrine system, immune system; chemistry and mind

Geology: Effect on Conditions for Life, Evolution, Speciation; Minerals, Fuels, their Origins

The history of earth; history of continents and oceans, drivers of continental drift; drivers of earth’s magnetic field; geoclimatology; cosmic radiation; effect of the foregoing evolution of life

Biology / life sciences: History of Life, Humans and Mind; Potential of Life; Biological Foundations of Mind, Consciousness, Knowledge, Symbol

Functional biology: development, epigenesis; genetics; biology and mind; ecology and complex systems

Plants: biology, chemistry, and ethnobotany

Chemicals and Biochemicals--alkaloids, steroids...

Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Cell biology

Physiology, Anatomy (Plan--use Life.doc)



Evolutionary biology: the story of evolution; evolution of mind and complexity – problem of complexity

Applied biology: forestry, domestication, agriculture

Non-technical writers on nature: Annie Dillard, R. D. Lawrence, Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez, David L. Mech, Farley Mowatt… the ethnobotanists

Psychology, Neurophysiology, Anthropology, Sociology: Variation / Malleability in Mental Process, Development and Personality

Biological foundations; origin and growth of mind and mental function; mind, brain, behavior

Other Elements of the Western Tradition

Other Elements of the Western Tradition: contribution and contrast to the old world, India, Native American and the animal

Mysticism - Buddha, Christ, Eckart, Descartes, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Freud, Jung

William James, The Variety of Religious Experience, 1902

Aldous Huxley

Other Traditions

Native American; other primal including Siberia

Vision quest; world view; shamanism [Neolithic origins; saman = ‘he who knows;’ two common functions = knowledge + healing]

The Animal World

Being as a field

Richard K. Nelson, Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, 1983

Richard K. Nelson, Shadow of the Hunter: Stories of Eskimo Life, 1983

Possible detail



Ideas—the metaphysics; ‘research’, i.e. study, concepts, and criticism for the phases of action and of pure being; and designing and planning the entire path.

Time: ongoing

Ongoing, in parallel with other phases.

As of 2014 the ideas are relatively complete and the following is to be in parallel with action.

The metaphysics

Study, concepts, and criticism: the whole system and general reading, specific problems (e.g. memory across death and the void), special topics (e.g. oral tradition, the logics, extreme physics).

For the phases of action and pure being

Study, concepts, and criticism.

Designing and planning the entire path

Main sources for study, reading, and plans are in this document.

Ideas: details


Introduction—general action.

Aims—knowledge of being (including Jnâna yoga) | understanding, knowledge of knowledge.

Phase (dimension)—ideas | universal-all.

Time—all (emphasis: a time in the future of return to ideas).

Sequence—co-requisite to all phases of being; each phase will have its own study program.


Vehicle—individual and shared | being—deploying the full nature and source of ideas.

Means—ideas: study| being—aspects of being supportive of truth and fullness in ideas.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—ideas and knowledge as practice (emphasis: the tradition of philosophy) | reflexive: the nature of ideas and their validity.


Note—the study will emphasize the metaphysics, psychology of realization including the yogas.

Place—nature, psyche, society; university and other institutions | universe-all-home.


Knowledge is inseparable from and completed in action (‘action without action’ is not action).


Some details regarding the aims—see another resource and other documents in the archive for details of a program—some specific topics are: foundations, logic studies, science of possibility, mereology, development and application of the pure and practical metaphysics.

Also note—Jnâna yoga, typical of a number of eastern traditions, is about knowledge and understanding but there are distinctions from the way these terms are understood and practiced in the modern west where what is emphasized is intellect (of course not divorced from experience). The main distinctions are (1) the aim and object of focus is not that of detached intellect and subject but of embodied knowledge of the ultimate and ways to the ultimate and (2) practices for the individual (not just ‘mind’) aimed at seeing truth and being-in-truth (e.g. samanyasa, sravana, manana, dhyana whose inclusion and elaboration is deferred till I have greater exposure and an opportunity to integrate the practices into my knowing). The ideas may be seen as contemplation which interacts with meditation—meditation provides the space to see—that relaxation that heightens awareness of internal and external worlds, in contemplation we come to see and this coming to see is not just intellectual but permeates our being.

Some important special topics include (i) study of logic, abstract systems, mathematics, and border and alternative physics… for the universal metaphysics and realization, (ii) alternative cognitive, emotive, mythic paradigms for understanding and immersion.

Ideas: program

Parallel to action—i.e., individual, civilization, and artifact. The main topics are the metaphysics and its development, sciences—empirical and symbolic (including mathematics), human knowledge—principles and system (toward a knowledge database), physical cosmology and its foundations, ethics and value and foundations, religious and spiritual thought—nature-principles-systems, design and planning, and narrative mode. It is critical to not think of these as watertight divisions.

The following arrangement is effective: this section focuses on metaphysics in the broad sense that includes practical knowledge. Each remaining ‘action’ section has at least one subsection on ideas pertinent to it.

The metaphysics, its foundation and development

Some topics:


Foundation—metaphysics, practical knowledge, completion in action, and method—this is complete but will benefit from review. Process—analysis and synthesis of being and meaning. Ways to characterize the metaphysics—consider: (a) limitlessness, (b) greatest universe—plenitude, (c) logic, (d) possibility, (e) realization of concepts (therefore no truly abstract objects), (f) boundary of all science and logic, (g) new: the identity of all elements of being (therefore the ultimate in unification); keep in mind that some of these are partial characterizations and that not all the differences in perspective are ‘total’. Proof—consolidate proofs and arguments for the metaphysics. Logic—carefully think through demonstration that the metaphysics and logical realism (Logic) are identical.


A metaphysical language—(a) forms of being, e.g. thing and / or process and / or relationship… mind and /or matter… concrete vs. abstract… and adequate grammars (b) vocabulary for the variety of the forms (c) expressing and / or suppressing distinctions…


Logic—(1) Studies in literature of logic to see if my conceptions stand up and to see if the extension to realism (Logic) as science-logic stands up (2) Understanding of and facility with first order logic which includes the simpler sentence logic, perhaps more, for use in development; consider what completeness and consistency proofs there are and whether they are absolute or relative (3) Modal logic and foundations of set theory (e.g. Russell’s theory of types, ZFC, NBG, and Quine’s ‘new foundations’) in relation to possibility (below). (4) Development of the new idea of logical realism and its latest conception and analysis-synthesis of the realms harbored in realism. (5) The notion of ‘realism’ suggests a search for formalization—for example, theory of abstract objects ( It is important that a central purpose to the study of the abstract—in contrast to the abstract in the page linked just above—its embedding in and so learning regarding the concrete (regarding which a paradigm case is the question of memory across death).

A science of possibility or possibility theory

Not essentially different from logic.

A science of possibility or possibility theory—(note that the modern literature refers to a ‘possibility theory’ in a sense quite different from sense that is defined in what follows) the fundamental principle leads immediately to conclusions of enormous magnitude which are trivial in their proof but not trivial in realization. Beyond this pale there would seem to be another enormous realm which in their conception and proof are not trivial. Consider the following concerns—they are but glimmerings. Given the immense variety of cosmologies against a void-transient background what structures are ruled out by ‘logic’—i.e. what ‘impossible objects’ might we allow to slip in via hidden paradox? What is the significance for possibility of the fact that what we know seems to be a subset of the given in a supra-temporal description of the universe? What is the range of the extensivity, variety, complexity and intricacy left over? From the void something emerges—is that emergence in time or of time or both? Is that emergence of object, time, and space; and must time and space be space-time? Are there regions where space and time are truly separate (would these be difficult in some sense—e.g. support rich structure and process—or impossible?) Is the reasoning of the narrative regarding mind and matter being the necessary and only forms of as if universal attributes open to criticism, to improvement; is the reasoning that extension and duration are the necessary and only forms of extensivity open to criticism, to improvement. How can we begin to specify the kinds of complexity possible? What complexities are there in spaces of different dimension? What can we say regarding spaces of high and very high and even infinite dimension? Is there meaning to dimension that is non-denumerable? What kind and degree of intelligence is possible? What is the status under the metaphysics of the other issues of this chapter on plans for ideas? These issues suggest a science of possibility which is one that unlike our other sciences would be ‘top-down’. Of course logic is already top-down except that we do not know that our logics are right at the top. If we make the transitions from logics to Logic as in the narrative then the science of possibility is Logic. However, ‘science of possibility’ is suggestive in a way that ‘logic’ is not.


Mereology—the study of parts and wholes and their relations—may also illuminate being, universe, domain, and void.


On the issues of complexity and the origin of logic above, it is essential to study the literature.

Adequacy of the dimensions and processes of being and realization

Adequacy of the dimensions and processes of being and realization.

Development of the metaphysics and application

Development of the metaphysics and application—see the universal metaphysics, journey: process; later, iterate through and reduce dimensions of human endeavor and knowledge.

Science and symbolic systems

The abstract and concrete sciences—as studies and studied (subject and object). As object this includes formal study, models, self-representation, and the methods of development of logics-grammars-mathematical systems and of the concrete sciences. Topics: from grammar and language, logic (note an overlap with metaphysics), computation and computability, set theory, mathematics—much done but also much not done in relation to the tradition of metaphysics; implications for realism; and the concrete sciences.

Knowledge database—principles and development

The database and sources—system of human knowledge.

Developing the database and system of human knowledge—(1) Refine (2) Study, obtain, and develop knowledge database software (3) Plan, implement.

Programming and applications for text (narrative), database, general computation—especially computational metaphysics emphasizing concept and symbol ‘calculus’ and multiple and dynamic organization.

Foundations of physical cosmology

Physical sciences, especially quantum theory for its relations to the metaphysics.

Alternative, extreme, and unusual cosmologies and systems of physical law. Reasons for study (1) understand laws of our cosmos and their origin (2) variety: pre and post adaptive (3) special things that can be done under specific laws or kinds of law (e.g. infinite operations not allowed under ours).

Science as defined by principles rather than content; adaptive systems

Consider that there are three levels of description (1) description of detail, (2) description of elements and, usually, laws or conceptual considerations that apply, and (3) adaptive systems—description of whole systems and origins, e.g. origins by ‘adaptation’ which is typified by evolution of life: incremental adaptation at which each stage of surviving organisms are adapted, i.e. stable with regard to world including self and which is a function of symmetry.

It is typical that #1 is the beginning of a science for it is in observation and description that we begin to see patterns (perhaps this is already part of ordinary experience). Physical law begins with the elementary level. Conceptual biology however begins significantly with #3. and later turns (in addition to biological description) to physics / chemistry for#2.

What is the origin of physical law? Perhaps we will find that our physical laws are logically necessary in that (a) they are the only possible and (b) that they are necessary. However, (b) seems unlikely. Then, explanation to be explanation requires beginnings in a simpler state. The simplest is the void which has no laws: in the void there are no laws to explain particular beginnings but no laws requires and explains all beginnings. Then to select populations we would appeal to stability-durability and probability of generation; and perhaps there is a connection between the two but if not the product of duration and probability dominates. Or perhaps the best explanation is that in eternity, degree of probability is not important.

I.e. the three levels of being are (a) random emergence from the void (and later from structure) (b) adaptation at a range of levels (self-adaptation, at least at high levels), and (c) law that emerges in adaptation.

Physical sciences, especially quantum theory

(1) For comparison to the universal metaphysics (2) To find whether quantum theory (QM) contains the universal metaphysics—if it does at all, I expect quantum theory and FP will be identical for possibilities but not for probabilities (3) To consider laws as objects—is there a hierarchy of laws, e.g. from QM to FP. (4) To consider the relevance of other physical theory (especially relativity) to such questions and the universal metaphysics; particularly to consider the interwoven character of space-time-being from derivation of space and time from identity. (5) For information on the elements, dynamics, and structure of our cosmos. (6) Conservation laws and symmetry (see, for example, conservation laws and symmetry); Noether’s theorem. (7) Standard, alternative, and extreme physics. (8) Relation to logic of the void.

Note—sciences of life (and mind) and social sciences are entered under Symbolic and experimental being and World studies, respectively.

Foundations of ethics and value

Examples morality, civil law and value and their immanent (local…) forms of Ethics, Justice, and Value.

Social concepts, politics, economics, and reason for and applied to world issues—practical and  ideal (‘for citizens and group decisions and action’).

Global politics and ethics

Murder is among the worst of crimes. Prosecution is vigorously pursued and punishment is severe.

However, there are mundane decisions at the levels of local through international business and government whose effects are widespread suffering and death. Parents make routine decisions that are immensely harmful to children. Sometimes of course this is unknowing but frequently there is awareness of results.

Killing one person is a crime. Killing a million, if it is a war, is not a crime except for the defeated.

What is the problem? Is there a solution? What?

Systems of religious and spiritual thought

The following are some systems from field notes (2014). They are to be expanded and studied as time permits. It may also be worthwhile to read the works of anthropologists focusing on culture, mythic-holism, ecology of belief… Some writers to consider are Mircea Eliade and Weston La Barre.

Modern West, Christian Mystic, Russian Orthodox. / India, Tibet, Japan, China, Middle East (Sufi). / Amazonia., North America., Siberia., Australia (Dream Time), New Zealand. / Personal.

Design and planning

Design and planning are considered in sections on design principles and planning (journey) and planning (path ® sustaining) in the document journey in being-detail.

This study will investigate the nature and methods of design and planning.

Is design and planning something other than what is in the study of knowing and being (which includes their method of analysis and synthesis of being and meaning)?

Are not design and planning part of formulation and review of the ‘big picture’—i.e., of metaphysics? That is, are they not part of that picture with special focus on the future of individual and universe? And, conversely, should not the formulation of metaphysics be an in process endeavor?

What are some principles of and disciplined approaches to design and planning and allocation of time, effort and other resources to design and planning?

Narrative mode and philosophy

The history and development of philosophy are different in nature than the history and development of science. The beginning of western philosophy (in Greece) is reasonably regarded as marked by the thought of Thales of Miletus (around 600 BCE): Thales was a multi-faceted thinker whose main accomplishment may have been to free explanation of the world from super-worldly (supernatural causes, i.e. superstition) and, instead, to engage in a process of finding explanation of the complex phenomena of nature in simple aspects of nature. From its beginning, philosophy has had concern with the border between definite and indefinite knowledge and definite and indefinite method. In the modern period when an area of philosophy has become a definite body of knowledge regarding a definite class of phenomena with clear application in the world it has often broken off from philosophy as a separate discipline or science. The new discipline is then treated as separate from philosophy. However, separation and distinct treatment do not imply essential distinction even though there is a variety of practical reasons for the distinction. Philosophy remains concerned with areas in which knowledge is not yet definite. So the usual approach in philosophy is different from the methods of science (a practical but not necessary reason for distinctions). As an approach to the world, since philosophy is concerned with indefinite regions of ‘being’ it must depend on more than the ‘scientific method’. There will be a history of thought about such regions; the history will be marked by reflection, hypothesis, and criticism: therefore the history of thought in such philosophy is more important than in science. However, in its beginning and until recently, while philosophy was and is not science, its questioning approach and its approach to answers do mark the a formal beginning of the scientific attitude and a scientific method (I use the word ‘formal’ as a reminder that we are thinking of a tradition and not suggesting that the idea of careful thought arose at one particular moment).. Today almost all study of the world has broken off from philosophy so that to a significant degree philosophy as practiced is no longer concerned with direct investigation of the world. The question ‘what is philosophy’ has taken on new meaning—and we can learn from the new directions of the answers. Still, however, I think it is a mistake to see philosophy as essentially different from science or any other knowledge. There is an over discipline, call it ‘x’, whose function is the study of the world which includes all ‘things’ which includes definite things, things indefinitely known, knowledge of things, and values. Now ‘thing’ typically refers to material entities. However, we have seen that this restriction—when we are thinking metaphysically or philosophically, i.e. analytically—is artificial. The material world and its material objects and processes and interactions and pasts and futures are things are ‘things’ (they have being). Knowledge, ideas, feelings, knowledge of knowledge, values, the value and nature of knowledge and ideas and thinking—these are all ‘things’, i.e. these all have being. Thus even on the conventional view of science pervading the material universe there is much left over for philosophy. But as we have seen in this narrative, the ‘pervasion’ of science so far is infinitesimal. So the recently mentioned ‘x’ includes all our sciences and philosophies as-such-and-as-practiced and more. What will we name x? I name it philosophy and there should no problem with that except that it should not be confused with other uses of the term ‘philosophy’. But is this labeling a potent use of the term? Given (a) its vast possibilities explored in this narrative and (b) the variety of ways in which the disciplines must interact in their forward motion (in disregard for our practical academic divisions) I think it fair to assert that the use is potent.

Now the relation of philosophy to its history is and must be different from the relation of science to its history. The history of science not necessary to practicing scientists even though it may be useful especially in developing new theories, in understanding how science should be practiced. However, as long as philosophy does not become a body of definite knowledge it must have an intimate relation to its history for it is only by understanding the problems of the past that we can move forward with the same and new issues and it is only by awareness the history of mistakes in philosophy that we can avoid them and proceed if only to make new mistakes on the way to new improvement. Of course this does not imply that a philosopher who ignores or is unaware of the history of philosophy cannot make excellent contributions but even such contributions (e.g. that of Wittgenstein) build upon some earlier developments.

I have often had the following thought about philosophical works. Every significant philosopher has a variety of styles—of thought, of insight, of writing, of evolving, of interacting and probably more. This makes it difficult for another individual to continue in the mode of an earlier philosopher. The difficulty is increased by much writing which is as if closure of thought has been attained (history shows that there is no closure of thought even though there may be closure of artificial systems). However, it seems that for thinkers who have written fruitfully but whose writing is not closed (with regard to imagination and or criticism) it would be valuable to continue on in that tradition. Of course we do this but my thought is that perhaps philosophy could also be written that way—as an explicitly open system. That is, if I had the ability and time, it would be valuable to rethink and rewrite Plato’s works as preliminary to continuing. There is an argument against this. It is that we have learned from Plato but we now continue on. In response to this counter I say that when I ‘rewrite’ Plato I may summarize. If there is value to my summary I may elaborate but otherwise not. In either case I will often enough be in a better position to continue development. Naturally the procedure would not be followed by all thinkers. That might be counter productive to process. It would be valuable however to have a mix of approaches.

I suggest a narrative mode that is open in just this sense and that is also open in the sense of being continuous with action.

My writing is explicitly open to continuation in action; the metaphysics requires this. The reworking of other writers may not—or may—be apparent in this narrative. However, I have learned and benefited much from occasional and significant informal rethinking and rewriting of the ideas of others (usually with some specific learning goal in mind).

Now in some areas where I hold my thoughts to be definitive I have not written so as to be open to continuation of the process; but the ideas of course remain open to improvement and evolution. In other areas, especially my approaches to and descriptions of action and programs of action, my writing is open. I believe that a narrative form that encourages continuity of writing is valuable.

I do not presume the value of my work but I would not write it if I did not think it valuable. It is in this spirit that my writing is offered as an invitation to others.

Ways and design

Ways and catalysts, mechanics, elements, and phases

Ways psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug), mechanics, elements, and phases are part of the way.

Primary source: dynamics, catalysts and catalytic states.


Introduction—general action.

Aims—revaluation of ways and catalysts, the mechanics of transformation, dimensions and elements of process.

Phase (dimension)—universal-all.


Sequence—parallel to all.


Vehicle—repetitive: individual, direct learning-teaching, shared | being.

Means—ideas-action as above.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—some suggestions: (a) the metaphysics, possibilities and imperatives for realization and action, (b) reflex process or ‘discipline of disciplines’, (c) tradition, study, experiment, eclectic selection and integration, (d) experience-immersion: for cases a, b—ideas, the literature, nature; for case c: practice with a teacher andor in a related community, and (e) reflection.


Place—nature, psyche, society | universe-all-home.



Path and phase design and selection

Path and phase selection and design. The criteria are comprehensiveness and incisiveness in supportive balance.


Introduction—general action.

Aims—conceive, reconceive, and select phases; select phase for primary current emphasis; define criteria for relative completeness and review accordingly for transition to another phase; review for parallel work on more than one phase (e.g. ideas under continual review and use); consider one main endeavor—perhaps a synthesis—for (my) life amid the ‘many worlds’ as one; review path.

Phase (dimension)— universal-all; elaborate.

Time—now | all.



Vehicle—self then civilization.

Means—ideas and experiment.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—meditate, reflect on goals and means | and on what is fundamental.

Mode—primarily intrinsic but perhaps also instrumental.



Practical aspects of implementation—place, travel…


Many worlds as one: my intent for this phrase is to live, as far as it is correct, in the immediate and the ultimate, self and other, inner outer…

Program: ways and design

Review as occasion arises, especially when reflecting on the realizations.

Becoming or action

There are currently five action concepts; actual action will select from these and others. The phases are (i) nature as ground, (ii) transformation of being, (iii) civilization: engagement in the world, (iv) right living and thought (in a previous section), and (v) artifactual being.

There are a number of phases under Becoming. For convenience they are separate sections.

Transformation of being: yoga, meditation and related practice-in-action

In The way of being all ideas have been moved to the ideas above.

Action: Transformation of being: yoga, meditation and related practice-in-action—tradition and experiment, psyche and physical organism (especially catalytic transformation by psychic and physical action).

Minimize priorities (inessentials), space (property)-time (‘entertainment’), dissipation (food, alcohol).

Link: journey in being-detail.


Introduction—specific action; also see beyul and quest for vision.

Aims—expansion of psychic space (and to see ‘vikalpa’ and maladaptive neuro-endocrine pathways as such); experience and process in the many worlds as one; Beyul—pilgrimage—as place of intrinsic realization: seeing-being through consciousness and body: my awareness-being as and in transaction with universal being

Phase (dimension)—universal.


Sequence—parallel to all specific phases.


The way of being-essential.html does this better.

Vehicle—individual | shared: find communities and teachers of practice | being.

Means—study of meditation and related ritual; study of Dzogchen, Tantra; reflection on death—limits to form and transience, death as real but not absolute—as lever to (a) fullness of thought and action in this life and (b) to experience of this life as continuous with the ultimate.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—regular meditation and mindfulness; meditation in action | reflection on meditation (some details are in the discussion below).




Meditation in relation to individuals and world.


On the disciplines—two kinds of meditation (one pointed versus open); their union; the principle…

On discipline—meditation in action requires bringing the outcome of meditation practice into daily life and so making that life the ground to the ultimate; and while we meditate on the ultimate and thus infuse daily life with it we also bring this attitude to all activities including and especially the ‘mundane activities of daily living’ (which means that we do not experience those activities as merely to get out of the way, as a waste of time). What are these activities? I shall not detail them here but simply state their principle: they are the activities that sustain mind-body: the essentials (e.g. of Maslow) of survival, security (which includes preparation for the ‘higher’ elements), belonging, esteem, self-actualization, and self-transcendence (Maslow added the sixth ‘need’ later). Two points are relevant: the ‘lower’ needs and imperfection in relation to being a well adjusted human being are important but should not be obsessed over—risk and forward motion are important; and the hierarchy is neat in the meshing of the immediate and the ultimate. I maintain a current sequence of my particular task and other ‘needs’.

Yoga, meditation and related practice-in-action: program

See everyday practice of right thought and action.

Detailed program and study plan for study of practice in action

General aspects

Givenness, beginning in the present. Learning, experiment, iteration are essential; tradition is a beginning.

Ways and catalysts


Catalysts act on the organism, e.g. via shock or resonance. Their aim is to unlock innate (e.g. savant-like) capacities. They act indirectly on the person.


Ways, e.g. the eightfold way and psychoanalysis, act on the person and indirectly on the organism.

Blurring of the distinction

The distinction is of course blurred as is the organism-person distinction. Ways may include catalysts; catalytic change is integrated via healing and personal-cultural interpretation.

Elements of the ways

Means (ideas, action)-vehicles (individual, civilization)-places (nature, culture)-modes (intrinsic—especially immersive: ways, catalysts, art and religion; instrumental—science, philosophy, technology)-disciplines (established interacting with experiment and selection / criticism).

Core mechanics of risk (experiment, splitting) and consolidation (rebuilding, increment in reason, recollection, and artifact)—i.e., analysis and synthesis of being and meaning.


Tradition and experiment.


To organism by iteration upon small change… To person and culture by synthesis-reason, record, transformation, iteration… To process (including evolution) by entry into to transience-permanence.

A study of psychology, cosmology, meaning, and deity

This is a good place to study the psychologies of a variety of cultures. The aim would be integration into a ‘psychology for realization’.

Examples for study and experiment

Examples for study and experiment

Introduction: it is important that the meanings of the systems, while presented as systems, are not at all fixed and should not be; there is experience but not expertise.


Religions of native peoples—Shamanism, Native American religion.


Shamanic systems—(1) Communally guided tradition of plant use (a. plant chemicals, b. preparation) (2) Communally guided and interpreted vision quest.


Mysticism—Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic; and mythic cosmology as map of world and psyche.


‘Indian’ (Veda, Upanishad, Vedanta and other ‘non orthodox’)—Yoga (transformation, connection), meditation (openness; meditation—not available on the Internet; instead see yoga), Tantra.


Buddhism: Mahayana (four truths, eight-fold way) and Tibetan (Tantra: Chöd, Beyul).

Buddhism: Mahayana (four truths, eight-fold way) and Tibetan

Tantra and death—its understanding as horizon and spur to closure to this life and gateway to universal life.

The way of the Buddha—an example. Four truths—there is suffering; it has a cause; there is a permanent end to suffering; there is a way to this end. Eightfold way—eight ‘rights’—Wisdom or prajna (1) View (2) Intention; Ethical conduct or sila (3) Speech (4) Action (5) Livelihood; Concentration or Samadhi—(6) Effort (7) Mindfulness (8) Concentration. The eightfold way has been analyzed as cognitive-emotional-behavioral. Shamanism includes a way of psychic transformation—ways of transformation neurology to receptive states, especially vision seeking without and with psychoactive substances.

Tibetan Buddhism offers the idea of Beyul. When I first encountered the idea I realized that I had given it a name but that it has been immensely inspirational in my path. Beyul refers to hidden lands but ‘the goal of pilgrimage is not so much to reach a particular destination so much as to awaken within oneself the qualities and energies of the sacred site, which ultimately lie within our own minds’ (from the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet’s introduction to Ian Baker’s The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise (2004). I paraphrase what I said earlier: nature is ground, inspiration, and portal (to ultimate self and universe).


Modern—hypnosis, EMDR, psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung, object relations, self psychology…), psycho-behavioral re-education (REBT), 12-step logic.


Integration—I seek fundamental insights that enable seeing the world systems on a range of continuum. I should not seek to show that there is no discreteness. Rather I seek to see and define what continuity and discreteness there are and to understand this as a distribution. That is, while there may be linear ranges, there may also be gaps in the range. What is the insight? It is perhaps the range from holism-intuition-myth to atomism (analyticity)-rationalism-science.


Approaches to transformation are evolutionary, systematic (ways, ideas) and catalytic.

Types of altered and enhanced state

Dream, hypnosis, meditative—focal and open space, unconscious access, object free but vivid perception and thought (‘hallucination, delusion’), enhanced vision, receptivity, feeling-emotion, ideation, kinetics and kinesthetics.

Dreams and vision

This could be placed elsewhere, e.g. under psychology. It is placed here because it is practical. This is a repeated point which is currently also placed in dreams and vision (long version).

What are dreams?

What are dreams? There are many theories of what dreams are and what are their functions and these are often taken to be the same though they are not even though they are related. We give a different status to the question ‘what are dreams’ than we do to ‘what are thoughts’ as though the latter is perspicuous while the former is not. However, though we question ‘the function’ of dreams (as though there must a function but don’t know what it is) while there is a certain if misleading obviousness to the function of thought. However, a clue to functions of dreams is provided by ‘what they are’ and a clue to the latter is to see all thought and imagery on a continuum whether waking or not and whether perception or imagination. There are of course differences and the most obvious ones seem to be that (a) dreams occur without external stimuli, (b) dreams occur while sleeping, (c) dreams seem real but are not, and (d) we do not directly act on dreams. These are tendencies rather than necessities for (a) some dreams are clearly stimulus driven, (b) visions and hallucinations have similarities to dreams and occur while awake, and (c) visions and hallucinations and vivid imagination may seem real when they are not, and (d) we may act directly on dreams and we do not always act on the outcome of a thought even when it indicates action.

A theory of dream constitution is a theory of what dreams are and may be expressed in physiological terms or in terms of dream content. Many theories of dream—or vision—constitution focus on differences between dreams and waking mental content. There are obvious content related and physiological differences but there are also obvious similarities. Particularly, even tautologically, they are all experiential and all physiological. Yes, this is obvious, but it is often clarifying to begin with what seems too obvious to state. There may also be commonality in origins which may be coeval or sequential and date to a time when waking thought had not evolved to a point where it some of it was under control as much as it is at the present stage of evolution. The simplest approach to understanding (to begin with call it a hypothesis) is that of common origin and that while there are obvious differences dream and waking content lies on a continuum. The latter (the continuum) is almost tautologous but making the distinctions on that continuum will not be. The approach starts with a necessary logic that is container for the real differences and therefore natures of dream and waking content.

What is the biology of dreaming? What are the biological ‘functions’?

Waking mental processes and other physiological activity is wearing; for example it requires attention to environment and to itself for focus—and thus adaptivity of awareness of awareness; and thus waking mental processes and perhaps all mental processes occasion rest. Sleep is rest; deep sleep is the deepest rest. In deep sleep the brain is so at rest that there may be insufficient activity to stimulate imagery (or its recording). Dreams (as is known) occur between wake and deep sleep. Dreams therefore, according to the hypothesis, are a transitional phenomena between waking mind and deep sleep mind. Naturally their topography is different with ‘functions’ being shut on or off or enhanced or attenuated at different stages and rates (and the shutting off of one ‘function’ may liberate another). Attention to reality is undoubtedly shut off early (thus a sometimes sense of freedom just after waking); and such shut-off is naturally parallel to the usual shut-off of motor control. However, it is not necessary to explain the differences. It is enough to understand that this explanation / hypothesis (in addition to being parsimonious) explains that and why there should be differences (and the origins of the different differences can be investigated experimentally and ‘theoretically’ in terms of the understood functions of the different parts of the brains). Of course there is some evolutionary origin. But is there a separate origin of dreams? Perhaps in the beginning some aspects of waking thought were dream-like. Then, later, control (e.g. to focus on the real) emerged so that there may have been no explicit origin to dreaming. In this scenario dreams are neither by product nor, nor of separate origin, nor vestige. Mind evolved. But the transition between wake and sleep is more like original mind than the evolved mind awake.

Thus dreams as dreams may have no particular origin or original or even essential function.

That there need be no particular origin or original function.

Given this understanding of dreams, there is no one thing that dreams are (repressed desires etc.) and no one function (lessons for action, sources of creativity, discharge of excess information). The ‘thing that they are and their function’ can be manifold and can even be chosen. Animals dream, humans dream. But if dreams do confer something to conscious life and if this confers some advantage which may then be selected for as an adaptation and further adaptively selected and which we may then recognize—or hypothesize—and describe as a significant function. And the selection may be physiologically based via adaptive changes; andor it may have been found to be a source of imaginative creation and realism in some cultures (which may perhaps be the base of cultural selection).

To what uses can dreams be put?

Thus dreams and visions (including the culture of the vision quest) and their use and power have multiple ‘functions’ and not all functions need or should be associated with ‘origins’. For the ‘rationally minded’ it may be recognized that since we have dreams we can always subject what they suggest or what we interpret to rational criteria just as in rational action imagination is necessary but may also be subjected to rational (and experimental) criteria.

How to cultivate dreams.



The culture of the vision quest.


Enhancing and inducing factors

Isolation-deprivation, inaction, exposure—extreme environments, shock, trauma, pain, exhaustion… Fear—presence, crisis and opportunistic sense, dissociation and reintegration via exposure to anxiety (Chöd)—volitional or not—and purpose… Repetition, rhythm, dance, point focus (e.g. breath), and engagement as sources of experiential space and concentration; ritual… Immersion in new perspectives—handedness, new languages, travel—cultures and emote environments (receptivity in Churches, Beyul), sacred texts and poetic expression, acting as stepping outside the bonds of self… Fast, diet, psychoactive substances… Charismatic transformation via purpose, preparation, risk-exposure to people and places, and insight into motives… Brain state technologies…


Experiment, increment, consolidation toward greater being.

Civilizing: immersion

Immersion in civilizing.

Building toward the aim

Build at every stage upon what has come so far so that the outcome is far removed from the beginning and what may have been conceived in the beginning.

Reflection on the means

Reflect on the means (experiment, immersion) and ends (build); to concretize (making notes will help)—so as to see progress, strength, weakness, need; and so to conceive and implement ideas for improvement.


For planning, see the goals above. Also, at some point—‘just do it’.

Transition requires openness to essential newness and therefore to ignorance, searching, and inspiration… and places of inspiration.

Preliminary trips and experiments.



Culture and civilization

Being. Immersion.


What is it to be another being? This is one approach to transformation.

From the inside

(1) I am the answer (2) The other is the answer.

A preliminary question ‘What is it like to be another person?’ This is of course difficult to answer. How can I experience the varieties and subtleties of another’s experience? Of course we can begin with empathy but can we go beyond that to identity? It seems not.

Instead consider the question ‘What is it like to be a human being?’ Of course, I have an answer for I am an answer.

The approach I want to consider here is one already established: analysis and synthesis of being and meaning.

Starting with self knowledge I can attempt to ‘get inside’ another person.

I can do the same for animals, matter, being, and universe and so on. This is a tentative but promising approach.

A second approach worth exploring is that the other is the answer. This is from the inside insofar as it is an approach from empathy and similarity.

From the outside

(1) Concepts (2) Assuming the life-way.


Get out of comfort zone. Do good work—civilization.

Transformation of being or identity is continuous with civilizing the universe.

Nature as ground and inspiration: beyul and quest for vision

Action: nature as ground and inspiration: Beyul and quest for vision. Extended immersion; importance of selection, access, and extended immersion in one ‘natural’ place; and example (‘primal’ cultures).

Links: journey in being-detail, template..

The term ‘Beyul’ from Tibetan Buddhism refers to a nature pilgrimage whose aim is to ‘awaken within oneself the qualities and energies of the sacred site, which ultimately lie within our own minds’—from the Introduction by the xiv Dalai Lama of Tibet to The Heart of the World, Ian Baker, 2004).


Introduction—specific action.

Aims—seeing and being the real, being on the incremental way | understanding the way of pilgrimage and vision.

Phase (dimension)—ideas, identity-civilization.


Sequence—before action in the world and artifact-technology.


Vehicle—shared and individual | being.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—pilgrimage: Beyul to open self to qualities of sacred places; and vision quest: to awaken vision.

Mode—intrinsic and. instrumental for being.

Means—study of the ways of immersion, Beyul, pilgrimage and vision.

Place—nature and psyche, society; consider the Trinity Alps, Barranca del Cobre, and other places.


These are ways of action; undertaking with understanding of the way is essential.


Nature as ground and inspiration: program

Ideas—see elements: means above: study of the ways of immersion, Beyul, pilgrimage and vision.

Places—select places for criteria, e.g., extended, repeated, and varied immersion (time, one place, variety); spirit; and access.

Examples—Trinity Alps: six months; Copper Canyon: living; Southern California desert: winter.

Activities—meditation and other psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug): extended hiking, fasting, vision quest.

Beyul—immersion—being—mind and place.

Civilization: engagement in the world—ultimate and secular

Action: civilization: engagement in the world—ultimate (universal-holist) and secular (culture, political-economic…).

Link: journey in being-detail.


Introduction—specific actions.

Aims—Human and universal: shared endeavor, action toward universal civilization. Shared being | understanding nature and path of shared realization (this aim has two parts, the one stated and an implicit one—i.e. secular engagement informed by and supportive of the shared being and realization).

Phase (dimension)—identity-civilization | universal-all.


Sequence—after or parallel to Beyul and quest for vision.


Vehicle—civilization | being.

Means—shared ideas and action | shared development of mechanics.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—sharing the aim of realization: political, economic, and universal (spiritual) dimensions | reflection on the needs and on effective communication.

Mode—intrinsic and. instrumental.

Place—psyche and society; consider a tour of spiritual groups, universities and other institutions; establishing / living in a dedicated—spiritual—community | universe.


Practice as action; leading into ‘real’ action.


Civilization: program

Develop theory of joint realization.

Shared endeavor: all phases, especially daily practice (and meditation and yoga), ideas, Beyul, and artifactual being.

Focused groups: an institute: see TranscommunityDesign and a first plan—TransCommunity.xls or TransCommunity.

The links are:

TranscommunityDesign— World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/TranscommunityDesign.html,

Transcommunity.xls— World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/Transcommunity.xls, and


Civilization: detailed program

Experiments and ideas toward knowing and realizing the ultimate emphasizing Civilization.

The primary mode of transformation is intrinsic: individual—identity, participation, and immersion—and civilization as such: individual-group synthesis.

Ideas—world studies

Topics for the section ‘world’ in journey in being-detail—values, laws (e.g. constitution), ecology, politics (immersion / grass roots), exchange values (international and local), and economics.

Ideas—civilization and realization

Analysis and role of civilization in realization—the idea—civilization is the web of human culture across time and continents. Greater civilization is the matrix ‘civilizations’ across the universe. Individuals foster civilization; civilization nurtures the individual. (2) Concepts—the universal metaphysics reveals a limitless universe open to individuals and civilizations.


Disciplines including the discipline of discipline are progressive.

Significant topics for study (from sections individual and identity, civilization, and artifact in journey in being-detail) are: Catalysts of transformation; Ways and means of transformation and realization; World studies; Civilization and realization.


Approach—integrate with individual transformation; participation and immersion; this world and the universe.

Shared endeavor

I would like to share the remainder of my endeavor who, regardless of their views, would contribute positively and significantly to the journey.

Perhaps the most important contribution would be mutual endeavor and this would probably be enhanced by some similarity of outlook.

The areas and disciplines in which I want sharing and assistance are defined generally by the content of the narrative and more specifically by this division on the path in journey in being-detail, especially the chapters and sections labeled ideas.

This world

This world—participation, immersion; problem and opportunity; politics, economics, technology, and the trans-secular.

Shared endeavor, community, communication (publication)… See TranscommunityDesign and a first plan—TransCommunity.xls (Excel) or TransCommunity.

Civilization of the universe

Civilization of the universe—shared endeavor; metaphysics and transformation; retreat and return; exploration, artifact, and technology.

Civilizing the universe merges with the issue of artifactual being.

Artifactual being

Action: artifactual being—construction of independent and adjunct technologies via cognitive approaches (science, cognitive science, art…), experiment, evolution for organism-artifact.

Link: journey in being-detail.

Time: when ‘civilization’ is under way.


Introduction—specific actions.

Aims—independent and adjunct being.

Phase (dimension)—artifact-technology.


Sequence—after engagement in the world.


Vehicle—organic level of being.

Means—emphasizes concepts to be modeled and on the nature of practical, experimental, and evolutionary implementation.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—direct experiment with organic, mechanical, and symbolic being: | related conceptual development (e.g. theory of artificial being). Information and networking science (a) for independent and cooperative being and (b) preservation and evolution of identity.


Place—society; universities and other research (and development) institutions.


Concepts and experiment in a shared and designed institutional context.


Artifactual being: program

Ideas—symbolic and experimental being in realization as outlined next.

Artifactual being—stand alone, symbiotic, and adjunct—including life and experiential being (including study of life and mind); concepts; computation and networking (and text and media: shared, interactive, and dynamic); modeling; design; experiment; evolution. Technology for Civilization. Theoretical (and experimental) study of transformations with organisms, individuals, selves, and dissolution of self—psycho-biology.

General—the primary mode of transformation is extrinsic or instrumental: science, technology, and artifact—artifactual aids and symbiosis and constructed being—including life, mind, and intelligence.

The approach is defined above in plans for symbolic and experimental being in realization.

See immediately above for shared endeavor: TransCommunity and related links.

Adjunct to civilizing the universe—technology (material—macroscopic and microscopic, biological, psychosocial, and information) as adjunct to civilization. The metaphysics, trans-secular systems, and modern science—quantum and relativistic, microscopic or at least sub elementary particle to macroscopic e.g. cosmological—are significant. The questions of how to populate and the limits to population of the universe are significant; this of course depends on further issues (a) the ways in which identity can manifest, (b) whether and how the essential nature of higher manifestation are quality or quantity or both, (c) pathways to such manifestation, and (d) the higher or highest manifestations supported by the universe (the answers to these questions are very different on our standard secular and trans-secular views versus the universal metaphysics). A very preliminary source is:

Journey in Being: World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/Journey in being-detail.html.

Pure being

Pure being: overview

Pure being—living in the immediate and ultimate as identical.

Link: journey in being-detail.


Introduction—general action.

Aims—my being as part of Being; consciousness as part of Consciousness | understanding.

Phase (dimension)—universal-all.

Time—‘now’—in parallel with becoming | all—after becoming: a phase that emphasizes be-ing over be-coming. The time will be defined by either or both of (a) satisfaction with some completeness of be-coming and (b) the reality of death makes be-ing significant over energy toward be-coming.

Sequence—when satisfied with the ‘action’ phases | in view of approaching death.


Vehicle—self and sharing experience-learning (civilization) | being.

Means—ideas co-illuminating practice-action | being—open search for direct transformation.

Mechanics, discipline, or practice—risk, ways and catalysts—meditative expansion of and freedom in conscious space | reflexive development.


Place—‘here’ | all.


Practice (and ritual) as action | action as practice.


Pure being: detail



Return to ideas; analysis again, integration, open attitude.

Pure being

Living in the present.

The now as eternal.

My desire to live can be expressed as a criterion. I should have at least the prospect of being useful or of enjoying my life. But I should say more. My enjoyment should not have a negative impact. And mere usefulness is empty for consider a situation where everyone is ‘useful’ but no one has any enjoyment.

Two approaches to the problem of mere usefulness are (1) How I live my life now, and (2) Mutual action toward a greater being—i.e., being on the way.

Death and its meaning

‘Date with death’

Death and its significance.

Pure being: program

Time: all times; emphasis: substantial progress in ideas and action; and, essentially, as closure in view of death.

Daily practice, meditation, yoga. Sharing.

Just being. Simplicity. No goals but presence. Emptiness.