FOUNDATION:     Ambition*.     The narrative.     Journey*.     Being*.     Metaphysics: Theory of Being*.     Objects.     Logic.     Mind*.     Cosmology*.     Human being*.     Morals and society*.     Ethics and objectivity.     Action and politics*.     Civilization and history.     The Highest Ideal*.     Faith

JOURNEY IN BEING:     Journey*.     Principles of thought*.     Understanding and Transformation*.     Philosophy and Metaphysics.     Problems in Metaphysics.     A System of Human Knowledge.     History of Transformation*.     Transformation. Bases and Theory*.    System of experiments*.     Transformation so far. Designs*.     Further investigation.     The Future*.     Index.     The Author


The Journey is an exploration of being, especially of its nature, depth, variety, and possibilities. The ways of exploration are in ideas and in realization – and in interaction among ideas and realization. Realization includes transformation of all modes of identity with emphasis on individual and physical identity. The journey is an exploration of individual (human) possibility, of the possibilities of all being and of relationships and identities among individual and all being

The foundation is a system of ideas but is not intended to be an independently standing foundation for the journey. Instead, it may be seen as whatever foundation has arisen so far – development of the foundation has been part of the journey. Still, it has been possible to develop a foundation in ideas and concepts far beyond original hopes and dreams. The foundation is –and will be shown to be– an ultimate realization in ideas. The possibility and necessity of an ultimate realization in being is secured by the foundation. The foundation also develops reasonable approaches to the realization of the ultimate; however, it has not so far certainly shown how that ultimate may be realized. The journey in realization remains in process and what has been realized of the ultimate ambition is described in the second division ‘Journey in Being.’ It remains to be seen whether some future version of this narrative will tell of an ultimate in realization in being and identity and whether some fundamental new idea or exercise is productive of or necessary to that end

The foundation is placed at the beginning even though its development has been intertwined with the Journey – with process; the character of the Journey is described early in ‘Foundation’ but its narrative is taken up in the second division ‘Journey in Being’

The sections within the foundation develop a description of the Universe, a Metaphysics whose character is ultimate in necessity, depth and variety. The heart or core of the metaphysics is developed in the section, ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being.’ This core is based in logic and in what is given i.e. that there is being. However, reason and fact alone are insufficient. Experience is required to ground the development; feeling provides force; and imagination is necessary for the vision that is shown by reason to be real. One form of experience is a study of human traditions of knowledge and action in varying degrees of depth and detail. The experience inspires the core metaphysics and, consequently, a rich picture (a cosmology) of the variety of being; a mutual illumination and inspiration of foundation and experience remains in process. Looking back, the development of the foundation may be given a logical form; however it would be extremely unlikely without experience of world and tradition. In the later sections, interactive implications of the metaphysics and a number of topics of core interest to (human) being are explored with regard to fundamental principles and detail. The meanings the systems of concepts are often revised and the disciplines acquire an enhanced foundation. These developments did not occur in a single step but occurred incrementally in a number of iterative passes through the entire system. The metaphysics and its ‘applications’ provide the contours of an entire system of (human) knowledge that is outlined in the second division ‘Journey in Being’

The Source

If claims made regarding the ideas are true and proofs given valid, the relationship between the ideas, especially the metaphysics and the cosmology, developed in this narrative and earlier ideas and metaphysical systems has similarities to relationships between mature systems of ideas and their primitive forms or earlier mature systems. There is, almost of necessity, both dependence and independence. Many words used in new systems are old but their meanings new or, at least, significantly extended in sense and range of application. Ideas that stood independently and with unclear or conflicting relations fall into coherent relation and receive clearer understanding. If there are earlier conceptually coherent systems, their limits of application may be clearly shown. Broader ranges of phenomena are revealed, understood and explained by the new system. As a result of a new way of seeing, the world may take on a new appearance that may be a source of wonder and reaction

A primary purpose to the acknowledgement of earlier ideas is to place a system of thought in context. It is not primarily giving recognition where it is due, for behind recorded thought lie the very phenomena of ideas and language whose original arts and artists, though unacknowledged, stand ever present in their effects. Nor is such acknowledgment an essential humility or honesty – it is also a human-centered hubris in an implied emphasis on the magnitude of human understanding and a focus on the individual over the understanding itself. For even further behind (or below) human language and thought lies the vault of being that is and makes all possibility and ambition

In the present narrative, the influence of earlier ideas is indicated by interspersing the text with brief discussions of the thought of those individuals whose contributions are seen as significant and whose names may be read from the section, Names, of the System of concepts. However, the primary purpose to inclusion of these discussions is as described in the previous paragraph

The ambition that provided force for the process was at first inspired by the traditions of discovery and based in diffuse ideas and feeling. The development of the metaphysics permitted and realized the ambition in explicit form


The Journey is an exploration whose ambition is knowledge and experience of All Being. The exploration is especially concerned with the possibilities and limits of being

If the ambition is realized, the story of the Individual will be that of all being. An outcome of this narrative is that there is one story that has infinite variety

The actual paths and achievements are channeled by interest, which includes the present, and subject to limits. In an extended journey interests and Understanding of limits may change as a result of experience and reflection. One goal of the ‘Foundation’ is to understand limitation and Possibility. The nature of limits and distinctions between theoretical limits (possibility, Necessity and actuality) and practical limits (feasibility) is a central concern that is introduced in the section ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being’

Even though moral concerns are fundamental, their explicit consideration and their relations to limits and interest are taken up later. This is because the concept of Ethics that is developed provides a more comprehensive foundation than the previous topics that include metaphysics, object (knowledge,) and cosmology

The central ideas of the narrative have names that may be familiar from the history of thought; however, many of the ideas –the concepts– are given new interpretation, their meaning deepened, their range of application broadened. The objective has been to achieve ultimate depth and breadth for the individual concepts and the system of thought

The vision, inspired by poetic imagination and established in logic, was as if that of a New World!

The resulting picture is shown to be explicitly ultimate in depth: it is shown that the picture is (logically) necessary and that further depth is neither possible nor required as foundation for understanding of all being

In breadth, the picture is implicitly ultimate: it provides an approach to describing and experiencing the Variety of being. However, that the picture is implicit for variety means that it is not possible to describe the variety of being in its entirety. This is true because the number of actual states of being is an order of infinity that is too large to be placed in even an infinite sequence of descriptions…

… A Variety of being is ever open to discovery and exploration!

The picture or metaphysics, its foundation and implications are developed in this division, ‘Foundation.’ It forms, in part, a foundation for the exploration and experiments in (all) being taken up in the second division ‘Journey in Being.’ ‘The narrative’ immediately below provides an introduction to these developments

The narrative

It will be useful to the reader know at the outset that the primary intent in publication of the present narrative is the presentation of new ideas and discoveries and their relations to and bases in the traditions of human endeavor including thought.  It is not a direct goal to present here an overview or synthesis of the traditions… Novelty is not a virtue in itself but, to have significance, also requires the qualities of validity and fruitfulness of consequences. The narrative endeavors to achieve and to make clear these qualities. They wrote because they felt that there was something of value to say. The new ideas are found at the most general level –the metaphysics and the logic– and at various levels of detail and pains have been taken to point out what is new. Further, the main system of ideas forms a view of the world or universe as an integral whole whose description begins in the section ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being.’ The fruitfulness of this view is implicit in the following fact that is demonstrated and whose meaning is elaborated in the narrative: it forms a foundation for understanding of the world without infinite regress and for which there can be no further or more comprehensive foundation (although logically unnecessary to this conclusion, further indications of its significance include, first, comparison with the tradition of philosophical metaphysics and, second, the subsequently developed applications to the traditions of thought.) While the logic of the metaphysics is laid out in the section ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being,’ the picture of the universe that emerges from the interactions of the metaphysics and prior understanding of the variety of being is developed in the remaining sections; the interactions are manifold and the picture emerges slowly. The transition from traditional pictures e.g. myth and science may occur stepwise and process may be necessary for the full picture to emerge in the mind of the reader. Therefore, the typical reader will not expect to absorb the ideas and their interrelations on a first or casual reading; and while acquaintance with a variety of world views may help the reader, rigid adherence to any one world view will be an impediment. Since, in order to maintain adequate continuity with the traditions, the new ideas are almost invariably marked by existing words, careful attention to the use in the narrative will reward the reader with a more complete understanding. The reader may wonder how it is that words that appear to have relatively fixed meanings can be as fluid in their meaning as is suggested here. This concern is addressed throughout the narrative and especially in the section ‘Being’

The brevity of the narrative relative to its breadth of content is a feature of its design. An attempt has been made to bring together in a dynamic and encapsulated unity, a set of features that serves the purpose of the exploration and briefly tells its story. The features include a picture painted in broad strokes of a system that builds upon the traditions of human thought, experience and action. In this aspect of its design the narrative stands in contrast and in complement and relation to the also valid, loosely interwoven, incrementally developing tradition of ideas. If the tradition is a net, the narrative is a spear. The details that have been included here serve the purposes of proof, instructive example, and (occasional) illustration

A purpose of the first division, ‘Foundation’ is to serve as conceptual base for the exploration through Understanding and transformations of Being and Identity (Theories of Being and of Identity are developed in the Foundation.) It is not in the nature of the foundation that it determines the exploration; instead the Foundation may be seen as ‘what conceptual foundation may have been found on the way.’ The arrangement of the topics in the foundation occurs in a natural order from general to particular that is further refined to suggest paths to the exploration

The exploration is narrated in the second division, ‘Journey in Being’ whose overlapping phases are understanding and transformation. The Foundation is part of understanding and understanding part of transformation; however transformation also includes physical change and transformation of identity. It is expected that the transformations will suggest revisions in the foundation. While foundation serves as conceptual base, it is expected that experience (in transformation) will independently suggest further possibilities for transformation. The second division contains practical material regarding foundation for and ‘methods’ of transformation

Section headings are indicated by bold print and, within the sections, topics are underlined; such topic headings occasionally mark the conclusion of a discussion. Sections marked with a star or asterisk (*) constitute the main or central narrative; these sections develop the main concepts and results. In the unmarked sections, certain topics may be marked as central

Being, Knowledge, and Value converge in the sections ‘Objects’ and ‘Ethics and objectivity;’ however, they are not marked as central. This is because the developments in these sections are somewhat unfinished and because the Ambitions do not require those developments (even though they introduce symmetry among being, knowledge and value.) The case of Knowledge is significant; focus on knowledge itself –its nature and conditions for validity– has been central and regarded as empowering to thought in the modern period. However, preoccupation with knowledge and conditions for knowledge is seen, here, as distracting to the pursuit of the ambition. This is not sufficient to relegate concern with the conditions knowledge to a secondary status; instead, it is shown that the depth of being may be understood without appeal to the niceties of the theory of knowledge (epistemology.) Further, the narrative endeavors to see –conceptualize– knowledge as integral to being and becoming rather than as driving the endeavor of being

The narrative is designed, as far as possible, to appeal to general and specialist readers; it may call to readers who have an interest in the journey itself –the understanding and realization of the identity of the individual story and that of all being– or in the many discoveries and excursions –often unplanned yet significant– on the way. Some of the areas of potential interest are in Metaphysics including the depth and variety of being and of Identity, knowledge and conditions that knowledge should satisfy, Logic, Cosmology, Mind, the nature of Human being, Ethics, society, politics, civilization and history, the highest ideal, faith and religion, principles of thought and the dynamics of being, the nature of philosophy and metaphysics, and experiments in the transformation of being and identity

There are discussions of the nature of meaning and concepts; of Form and universals; the ultimate in depth and variety of being (the theory of being developed implicitly includes all possible physical and natural law;) substance and its elimination; mechanisms of becoming and the necessity of indeterminism (systems or states that though possibly related, are not determined by one another; usually temporal in which a later state e.g. of the universe is not determined by earlier ones even if related to them) with first inspiration from evolutionary biology, its necessity derived from the concept of novelty –what is new is not and cannot be contained in or determined by what came before– and with application in the Theory of Being, science, cosmology and originality in thought; objects, the real; fact and theory, science and induction, mathematics, deduction and the nature of mathematics; originality and consciousness; atomism, life; psychology, human freedom versus determinism, growth and personality, language, exceptional achievement and disorder; war and peace, charisma, civilization and history

The place in the narrative of these and further topics may be seen in the table of contents and the System of concepts

Although the important concepts of the narrative are defined, the meanings of the ideas are revealed in developing them and not by definition alone. Therefore, ‘definitions’ are suggestive rather than authoritative. Definitions are not necessarily placed at the beginning of the narrative or the beginning of a section in which a concept is discussed

In the text, an entire paragraph placed in brackets marks elaboration or a peripheral issue that is not essential to but may help illuminate the main narrative

The text introduces a number of ‘theories.’ The reader may refer to the discussion of the concept of Theory in the section ‘Logic’ where in the present meaning, Fact and theory are not distinct and the factual character of theories (over appropriate domains) is made clear

When referring to such theories as are developed here, the narrative may employ capitalization e.g. the Theory of Being. Typically, when names Logic, Cosmology and so on are capitalized the reference is to the meaning as defined or specified here; when capitalization is not used, reference is to common meaning(s.) It is often advantageous to provide definition with a later rather than the first occurrence of a concept. When the name occurs frequently in one paragraph or the space of a few paragraphs, not every instance is capitalized. Capitalization has another use: to distinguish the use of a word as a concept from an incidental narrative use of the same word; in this case, the conceptual use may be capitalized. There are other incidental uses of capitalization


They searched for the Real, for what is true – for the ultimate and the meaning of ‘the ultimate’

They searched for the ultimate in the Real and the Good

A source of inspiration was the thought from a time when ideas and action were woven together in individual lives

Their ambition was the ultimate and its realization in the present

They felt that direct contact with the Real was of the essence and that immersion in the traditions was essential; that immersion in the immediate was (a way to the) real

Many paths were taken, many abandoned. Some paths were taken to their (known) end and then beyond the edge to the interior of new landscapes where footing was (initially) insecure

They had and followed ideas about the true and the great and thought they had arrived – again and again. Early, they thought they could arrive through perception and ideas – through knowledge and Understanding. Later, they saw that action and transformation of being –of Identity– were also essential

It was sought to translate the indefinite end of the ‘ultimate’ into more definite terms. Toward this end they found the traditions of learning and experience –even when limited– to be invaluable; these provided some foundation, some inspiration upon which to build. As understanding and experience grew, so did their recognition of what is possible. The goals of their endeavor changed as their understanding grew

The undertaking assumed the character of a journey

They wrote of their travel in Being. They wrote because they felt that there was something of value to say. They experienced attachment to their ideas and words. The attachments became a burden. They sought to retain only what was of essence and what suggested essence: so as to be clear, to be open to understanding and criticism, to bring closure to a phase. In shedding excess, what might have been an expedition became travel, what might have been only diffuse acquired also clarity

Yet, writing and reading are or may be ‘linear’ acts and bare in form while understanding is or aims at being whole and occurs within a universe of context. The expression of a whole in linear form is itself a creative labor – and so it is with reading: a single reading may be insufficient for comprehension as a whole or to build up a universe of context. The contextual world evoked for a reader may be quite different than that of a writer


From the traditions ‘Being’ is a central idea that has, as part of a system of ideas, been used in an attempt to express the essence of the Real in words. The idea of being is not esoteric. The root is the verb ‘to be’ whose forms include ‘is,’ ‘was,’ ‘will be,’ ‘am’ and so on. Whatever is – is or has being. The idea knows no discrimination of esoteric or mundane, of Matter or Mind, of state or process or relationship, of near or far, of higher or lower Form, or of form or Formlessness. Being is immediate and remote. These thoughts, they found, recommend being

It is precisely the fact that ‘being’ refers without commitment as to kind that makes the idea useful. In contrast, use of committed and therefore prejudicial, and so possibly limited, specialized concepts e.g. of ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ may be inadequate to capture what lies open to discovery, to capture, in a concept, the nature of the entire Universe. (It will be seen later that, in their usual meanings mind and matter are limited and that their application to the entire range of being entails paradox; see the discussion of ‘Extension’ under the topic, ‘Meaning in general. Concepts,’ below.) In other words, the power of the word ‘being’ derives, in part, from naming (all of) what is unknown (and known.) In this there is an analogy to the power of naming the unknown in the algebraic approach in mathematics

The use of the concept of being will enable an evaluation of ‘foundationalism,’ the thesis that knowledge (and action) is capable of ultimate foundation

Although they used ‘being’ to connect to tradition, this was not the primary reason for the choice. ‘Being,’ was the idea that they found capable of adaptation toward touching what is real, to channeling their understanding of the real, of what is good, of what is true and great – and ultimate

Meaning of ‘being.’ Existence

So far, the meaning of ‘being’ has not been specified even though there is a connection with ‘existence’

Here, ‘Being’ shall be that which exists or has existence

What does it mean to exist? What ‘things’ exist? Defer these questions until the understanding that permits reasonable answers has been developed. I.e., in identifying being with existence nothing (except generality) has yet been specified

The following acknowledges a familiar distinction. The verb to be indicates existence as in ‘I think therefore I am.’ However, some forms of the verb have other senses e.g. to show a property as in ‘grass is green’ rather than existence. The point also illustrates variant and family Meaning that are significant immediately below and subsequently. Variant meaning can also be understood by saying that the different symbols, corresponding to the variant meanings, have the same sign

Typically, ‘is’ means ‘exists at the present.’ They found it convenient to use an alternative and extended connotation in which ‘is’ stands for ‘was,’ ‘is,’ or ‘will be.’ In English, ‘is’ does not distinguish ‘is here’ or ‘is there.’ The use of ‘is’ and ‘exists’ may be used to cover such variant connotations. It is not clear that space and Time –extension and duration– are appropriate to coordination of all being. The terms phase or manifold may be used to refer to generalized coordination. Then, ‘exists’ may refer a point, a region, or to the entire manifold of being (universe.) These two uses of ‘is,’ ‘being,’ and ‘exist’ may be referred to as the temporal and the atemporal. However, more than time (and space) may be implicated in coordination of being; the uses of being shall therefore be referred to as coordinate (or local) and global (or supra-coordinate)

Meaning in general

It is in the nature of concepts that in deploying them in the Understanding (in the present case of all being,) their meaning shall continue to be revealed. Excepting final revelation of all things, meaning shall continue to shift and change

In actual situations, analysis of a concept does not occur in isolation – the comprehension of a context or domain of being typically requires a number of concepts. The entire meaning lies in a dynamic and mutually adjusting system or field of concepts whose understanding requires that all concepts be understood in relation to the context and to one another (since the aspects of the world are interwoven.) This is clearly seen in an axiomatic system even though it might not be so clear in common use because the sense of each common concept may seem to stand independently as a result of familiarity. Meaning is distributed non-uniquely among the system (which is distinct from incomplete determination of a system in relation to understanding the world.) It is commonly thought that such revelation must be unending. However, that is not necessarily the case. That growth in understanding has not ended does not imply that it is unending. A point may come when the understanding is recognizably complete

‘Meaning’ may be regarded as being specified by ‘Sense’ and ‘Reference.’ This was emphasized by the German mathematician and logician Gottlob Frege (b. 1848, Wismar, Germany.) The idea of sense (which is similar to connotation, intension) is conveyed by the intuitive grasp of its use and significance associated with a Concept; there are various ways in which the sense of a concept can be formalized but it is perhaps essential to have a fixed system of meaning. The idea of reference (similar to denotation, Extension) is conveyed by the collection of ‘things’ to which the concept refers. In a given system, e.g. an axiomatic system, reference is sufficient to specify meaning. However, in an open system (‘real life’) sense is required to supplement reference. There are a number of sources in the change or shift in the sense of a concept in use and over time, some of which have to do with interest and fashion; a primary and essential source of change in meaning is the growth of knowledge or ‘shifting knowledge contexts.’ As knowledge grows, the meaning of a concept may expand or shift even though the idea remains the same (similar.) The sense of a concept is required to effectively use it in varying contexts of reference. As will be seen in the section ‘Logic,’ an interpretation of mathematics is one of certain structures that axiomatic systems attempt to represent or capture. There is no guarantee that the structure that is needed will be captured even if the axiomatic system captures some structure with elegance. Here, too, the intuition (and Sense) of the concept is significant. There is a relation among intuition of Form, concept (Language,) and world. As noted later, the forms are as if Platonic but there is no separate Platonic world. In the developments that follow, it is seen that the depiction of being in general is identical to the mathematical case except that the conceptual system is not always as neat as it is in mathematics. I.e. depiction of the world involves relations among form, intuition of form and concepts

Above, the questions ‘What does it mean to exist?’ and ‘What things exist?’ were mentioned. These questions are equivalent to the question ‘What is the sense and reference of ‘to exist’ or ‘existence’?’

Relations between use and meaning are taken up later in the topic ‘Further analysis of being,’ below, and later in the section ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’

A Variety of being is ever open to discovery and realization

What they found is completion that is possible in some directions e.g. depth but perhaps not in other directions e.g. variety – i.e. completion is explicitly Possible with regard to depth but its possibility appears to be at most implicit with regard to variety


The idea of the concept itself has a variety of meanings. What is the significance of the concept? Start with an example. There are many wolves whose membership in the same class is recognized not because the individual has available a definition of the wolf but rather an intuitive concept of the wolf. In a world that contained just one wolf, would there be a concept of ‘wolf?’ There might not be a need for a distinct name but the concept would be possible as in ‘that animal is distinct from zebras, lions and so on and has characteristics that may be noted and recalled.’ Thus a ‘wolf’ could be a concept even if there was only one actual wolf (or even if there were no wolves but it would be improbable that in the absence of wolves the imagination would produce the wolf in all detail.) One idea of the concept is that it is a mental content – perhaps a definite and recognizable one; later it will be seen that the mental content may be referred to as the ‘concept-object.’ Generally, the named concepts are those that have significance. There are (at least) two kinds of significance in relation to concepts. A first is when the concept corresponds to many or common entities and a second is when there is only one entity (e.g. the universe) or few entities that have especial significance. Commonly when talking of concepts, concern is with the significant concept. The (significant) concept has the significance that it enables (is or encodes) recognition of patterns, repetition, significance, behavior and, so, makes organized perception and thought efficient. The significant concept is a common element of theories; however, recognition of facts also requires concepts and significance results in focus, attention and prominence. The mental content and the significant concept are not distinct in their fundamental kind

That (non human) animals recognize distinct entities shows first, that a percept is a concept and, second, that non human animals are capable of concepts

The system of concepts

The system of concepts unfolds with the narrative. The reader who wishes to see the concepts collected together in one place may refer to the System of concepts

On Definition

There is a classical theory of definition due to Aristotle that involves ‘genus’ and ‘difference’ and a variety of modern theories of definition that include definition as a part of the formalization of axiomatic systems

More illuminating to the present narrative is a concern with limits of clarity that may be achieved by definition

Human artifacts are generally difficult to define. Consider, ‘a table is an item of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs.’ Adopt (initially) an attitude that all objects and only those that satisfy the definition shall be tables. It follows then that a stool is a table, that a highway sign may be considered to be a table, and that a flat slab on a block is not a table. As an alternative approach an artifact may be defined in terms of its function e.g. a table is an elevated horizontal surface that is used to make objects more easily accessible. With this definition, a shelf is a table and if a ‘table’ is never used as a table it is not a table. This process of pinning down and finding exceptions could continue but it is soon recognized that artifacts have multiple and changing forms and uses, and that objects that are generally used for one function (or that have had no function) may be adapted to many others. In the realm of artifacts, then, it is clear that (variable) meaning lies in (variable) use and that definition has limited use or value. It seems that definition is contrary to the idea of artifact. Attention shall therefore shortly turn to ‘natural’ objects. Before taking up the natural object, consider a dramatization of the difficulty in defining artifacts – the story of a god creating a cosmos for her or his own pleasure. This god looks at an earlier creation, cosmos x, the one that human beings call home and has a number of thoughts. ‘Perhaps if I alter the values of some of the fundamental physical constants,’ thinks the god, ‘the place might last a little longer. Why stop at the constants… why not change the nature of the forces and particles to give the cosmos more color and variety? What shall I do about suffering? I think I’ll take language away from human beings so that they will lose malice and cunning; or perhaps I’ll just take feeling away so that beings may destroy one another but no one will feel hurt. Good!’ Aeons upon aeons later the god reflects ‘cosmos xi was disappointing. It brought me no real pleasure. Certainly it provided an improved physical display but human being xi was rather mechanical! I think I’ll revive cosmos x and experiment with it a little more…’ The god asks a philosophical acquaintance, ‘What’s a cosmos anyway? What is an electron if one cosmos has point electrons and another has ‘electrons’ with manifest structure? What should a human being be?’ The apprentice responds ‘You can’t really define the things you create when you know you can change the design and the uses to which you put your creations…’

The discussion now focuses on the difficulty in defining natural objects. It may be thought that the difficulty will be merely one of recognizing or conceptualizing given objects i.e. that the concept may change (shift and perhaps improve) while the object itself is definite. However, definitions of natural objects face difficulties that are similar to definitions of artifacts. First, as noted, the content of the definition regards the idea of the entity – the best knowledge that is had of the entity; this is in process which may be hoped to be ‘improvement.’ Second, as knowledge of the entire universe grows, i.e. as the boundary of the known changes, the context of understanding changes. Finally, it is usually thought that human being has no influence on the nature of the fundamental natural objects. One can affect an electron or a wolf, it is thought, but one cannot change the nature of the electron or a wolf. In fact, human being can affect the wolf and the outcome (not necessarily an improvement) is the dog. In anticipating what shall be called the normal view in the next section ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being,’ it is true that human being does not normally affect the nature of the electron. The implication that there is a supra-normal circumstance in which the nature of nature can be affected by the denizens of nature and the quality of the possible effect (improbability rather than impossibility) is taken up in the subsequent sections

It is a common observation that entities that are easy to recognize (except boundary cases) may be difficult to define satisfactorily – may lack any satisfactory definition altogether. Why is this?

The conceptual-perceptual apparatus of human and other animals is adapted (attuned) to their world. In consequence, the recognition of common natural and social objects is, typically, effortless – for familiar objects the recognition itself does not occur at a conscious level. This adaptation covers not only the entities but the frameworks of perception including space and Time. ‘Intuition’ (which has other shades of Meaning – the sense here is that of Immanuel Kant, b. 1724, Königsberg, Prussia) is one name for these more or less automatic and pre-linguistic elements of cognition (which may require familiarization during development of the organism.) Translating the multi-dimensional, multi-faceted intuition into a linear definition in symbols (Language) is expected to be difficult and incomplete. Here, then, is one source of the incompleteness of definition. It becomes clear, however, that in common use there is no compelling need to definition – except perhaps in boundary cases; but what boundary cases show is that tight distinctions do not always obtain and are therefore unnatural to maintain

The concept of intuition is developed in the later section ‘Objects’

The intuition of an object may be clear but if there are no similar or alternative terms available for comparison, definition may be difficult. An example is the concept of consciousness that is discussed in the later section ‘Mind.’ Consciousness is so central to human experience –it may be said to be experience of the world– that there is in moment-to-moment experience no question of its being and quality. It is difficult, perhaps because it appears to occupy (is) all experience, to explain what it is except to indicate its presence – it is not the world but it is (the quality of the) experience of the world. It is relatively easy to talk of the varieties of conscious experience – of pleasure and pain, of color, of taste and so on. However, consciousness itself, though central and familiar appears to be like nothing else. Hence it is possible to talk around it but difficult to address its nature directly. If, however, it were possible and reasonable to identify a primitive and elementary consciousness among e.g. the elements of matter, human or animal consciousness might then be defined as combinations of the primitive or elementary forms at a number of levels and degrees of focus. These thoughts will be developed further in the discussion of ‘Mind’

Another source of difficulty in definition is in the fact that relative to human experience, the world (universe) is an ‘open system.’ This is true of day-to-day experience and of science. In physics, for example, the concept of ‘force’ has been central. The concept has origins in animal and human experience and has been adapted to quantitative use in mechanics – the branch of physics concerned with motion and causes of motion of material objects. The history of the concept of force dates back (at least) to Greek times and received interpretation and reinterpretation in the modern era before Isaac Newton (b. 1643, Woolsthorpe, England,) by Newton himself, in the abstract formalizations of Newton’s system, in the field theories of electromagnetism, in the quantum theories and in the relativistic theories of space, time and gravitation. The precise character and significance of the concept of force varies according to the theoretical context or environment. The case is similar with other common, scientific (and theological and philosophical) concepts

The following brief historical information may provide context but its reading may be omitted as incidental to the progression of the narrative. The original relativistic theory of gravitation –the general theory of relativity of 1916– was the work of Albert Einstein, b. 1879, Ulm, Württemberg, Germany and, the German mathematician David Hilbert, b. 1862, Königsberg, Prussia. It is remarkable that Hilbert who was in communication with Einstein and other physicists was primarily a pure mathematician. There are disputed claims that Hilbert arrived at the field equations five days earlier than Einstein. The general or standard view gives Einstein priority for both general and special theories. There is also a dispute regarding the earlier (1905) special theory of relativity: the French mathematician Henri Poincaré, b. 1854, Nancy, France and the Dutch physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, b. 1853, Arnhem, Netherlands both published results formally similar to Einstein’s special theory. Einstein is generally given priority for the ‘relativity of different frames of reference’ that enabled an understanding of the relative nature of simultaneity at different locations, a new geometry of space-time, the significance of the constancy of the speed of light, a writing of the equations in ‘covariant form’ that empowered understanding, and, generally, the physical significance of the theory. These views may be called the ‘standard position;’ acrimonious debate continues among specialists and partisans. The history of science has a number of famous priority debates: Newton versus Leibniz regarding the discovery (creation) of the differential calculus and Darwin versus Alfred Russell Wallace, b. 1823, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales, regarding the Origin of the Species. Reasonable conclusions from such priority debates include: when dispute exists, priority is difficult to establish with precision; in addition to debate about content, disputes sometimes appear to concern the roles of ‘hero,’ ‘antihero’ and ‘destroyer of icons;’ there is sometimes a standard view that gives one individual priority which may be related to public image and to non-formal but important aspects of the work; in other cases, equal priority may be assigned as is the case regarding the discovery of calculus; that discovery is both communal and the work of ‘genius;’ and, perhaps most importantly, the often remarked thought there are times in the history of ideas where certain developments are natural… Quantum theory comes in a number of versions – the theories of particles and the theories of fields and in relativistic and non-relativistic versions. Although not associated with the discovery of quantum mechanics, the name of P. A. M. Dirac b. 1902, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, for his introduction of relativity into quantum mechanics, for work in the field theories, for his interpretations, and for the introduction of powerful techniques and solution of important problems in quantum theory, lies at the convergence of the various threads in quantum theory… It is further remarkable that the work of Hilbert on certain kinds of ‘linear space of infinite dimension’ (hence the name ‘Hilbert space’) was also significant to the mathematical foundations and interpretation of quantum theory

That an intuition may develop regarding formal (e.g. scientific) concepts and systems makes re-conceptualizing and re-definition difficult

Although closed theoretical systems may give concepts precise meaning, the world is open and as long as its Understanding is incomplete, the meanings of concepts remain in-process and definitions remain tentative. After a closed system has been developed, definitions may be placed at the beginning. In the open case, definition and investigation remain in interaction

Seeing a system (a text, a life) as closed may result in an impression of a (definite) beginning and end. ‘Beginnings’ and ‘endings’ are, perhaps, no more than stopping points…

This strand of thought is taken up again under ‘Mathematics’ in the section ‘Logic’

Further analysis of ‘being’ and of ‘existence

Although this topic could be omitted without loss to the main development, it reveals some aspects of the conceptual character of being (existence)

Analytically inclined thinkers have identified some problems with the idea of existence. Everything exists. But if everything exists then fictional characters such as unicorns exist. The source of the problem is that the same word may be used to refer to an entity –concrete or abstract– and the idea or concept of the entity… and, in English at least, the grammatical form in which there is talk of unicorns need not indicate that a unicorn is fictional. A consistent use could be obtained by regarding existence as a property of a Concept or an idea. Then ‘x exists’ would mean ‘there is an actual thing to which the idea x refers’ and ‘x does not exist’ would mean ‘there is no actual thing to which the idea x corresponds.’ However, such a usage is not necessary for the analytic contradiction is easy to avoid and the example suggests that over-formalization of incompletely determined concepts may be misleading as to depth of understanding

A unicorn may be thought of as a ‘non existent’ Object (on the assumption that there are no unicorns.) Since, in common use, an object is something that does exist, what could ‘non existent object’ mean? Is not the idea self-contradictory? Objects are seen – but what is it that is seen? What is seen is not the actual thing-as-it-is for the impression that an individual has, though of the thing is also of the Mind. It is not a copy but perhaps a reconstruction. Picture the world. Of all the combinations of its elements only some can be seen as objects (in vision the inside of the mountain is not seen even though it could be seen with special techniques and is known conceptually.) Of all the possible visible objects only some are seen as such (two birds may be seen as two objects or as one object e.g. when flying in unison but the feather of a bird and a blade of grass are not usually seen as an object.) Thus object-as-seen partakes of a perceptual-conceptual character. This is the meaning of ‘object’ used in this paragraph. Further, until it is established that the concept as object or concept-object corresponds faithfully to the external object it is the only significant meaning (if it were to be established that the correspondence were impossible, it would necessarily be the only meaning.) Here ‘non existent object’ means that there is no entity that corresponds to the idea or concept. There are, by usual definition and in typical geometries, no square circles. That is, a square circle is a self-contradictory concept. Can a square circle be considered to be a non existent object? In that the word-concept ‘square circle’ (an attempt to form a picture of a square circle would bend the imagination) refers to no object, it is not inconsistent to say that a square circle is a non existent object. Similarly a golden mountain is a non existent object. Whereas a square circle is necessarily non existent (everywhere except in unusual geometries,) a golden mountain is contingently non existent (e.g. non existent on earth but possibly existent.) The idea of non existent objects was introduced by the philosopher Alexius Meinong (b. 1853, Lemberg, Austrian Empire) in attempting to clarify the relation between ideas and things. It was Meinong who first suggested and formulated the idea of concept-object introduced earlier in this paragraph. It appears that the concept of the non existent object makes the concept of object more symmetric but not necessarily deeper. The purposes to inclusion of these thoughts here are (1) they encourage abstract or ‘algebraic’ thought regarding being, (2) for possible post-narrative use in clarifying the meaning of the ‘Void’ (the term is introduced later) e.g. the void may be thought of as containing all non existent objects

Note that unless reasonable care is taken it is likely that confusion among the various senses of object will occur. The common sense of object has not been shown to be tenable. These issues will receive further attention in the section, ‘Objects,’ where the object will be further analyzed and circumstances under which the concept-object and the common use of object coincide, at least as facsimiles, will be clarified

The discussion permits some comments on analytic philosophy which has been a source of clarification of the concepts of this narrative. The discussion of analytic philosophy is taken up below and continued in the later sections, ‘Principles of thought’ and ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’

On temptations of the analytic approach

An analytic approach to understanding the world is subject to a number of corrupting temptations. The first is to avoid the world itself, to assume or behave as though it is barred to talk of the world in any terms other than the formal and the critical. Thus the world of the analytic approach may be (and often is) impoverished and flat. The critical approach that bars talk of the world (of metaphysics) is itself based on models of knowledge (e.g. empiricism, i.e. reducibility to or construction –supervenience– upon experience) and values, e.g. certainty, in relation to knowledge. In a critical perspective, the burden of proof should be on the metaphysician but the critical-analytic approach tends to disallow talk to begin. If there were an absolute impossibility proof then metaphysical talk would be futile. However, as noted, proofs of impossibility (due, e.g., to Kant and Ludwig Wittgenstein, b. 1889, Vienna) are based on conceptions of knowledge (discussed e.g. in the later section ‘Objects’) and in order to address the possibility of metaphysics it may be desirable to develop a tentative metaphysics and to then subject it to criticism. The classic arguments against metaphysics appear reasonable but it will be seen that metaphysics by construction is Possible. The analyst turns the reasonable idea that thought cannot get outside itself into an absolute and must therefore focus ‘within’ e.g. on ‘use.’ This focus has tended, even while it enhances insight, to also allow under-conceptualizing to match a tendency to over-formalization. The resulting tendency to piecemeal analysis, even though not devoid of productivity, yields rings of concepts locked together in mutual error –each piece inherits and so absorbs and propagates errors of the other pieces– and shallowness but cloaked in sophistication i.e. presented in a language of formal sophistication

These corruptions are not necessary; however when they are yielded to or practiced naïvely, analytic philosophy falls short of its own potential. Not all analytic philosophers succumb to the corruptions and the analyses of such thinkers may yield significant insight into such topics as ‘mind’ and ‘language.’ It remains true that the thrust of analysis trades the whole world for explicitness and (relative) security. This is not an endeavor without value. Still, two concerns remain. First, when this mode of philosophy is regarded as philosophy, philosophical thought tends to be isolated cut off from human nature and possibility – and from human concerns. While analysis is important, it is not at all clear that it deserves the commitment of resources that it receives in modern academic philosophy…

These have been some initial thoughts on analysis and analytic philosophy is taken up again in greater detail in the later sections ‘Principles of thought’ and ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics.’ In this narrative there is no intent to suppress or abandon analysis but rather to see what a full and robust deployment, one without the standard paradigmatic limitations and distortions (identified in the narrative,) one that does not exclude (what analysts regard as ‘messy’) difficult topics such as the world itself, the whole world, the limits of the materialist or physicalist paradigm, emotion… As will be seen this approach allows a suggestion of paradise – a vision of the depth and variety of being as infinitely greater than that contained in the usual narratives of fact and fiction

Early, they turned to analytic philosophy for inspiration where they saw promise. Later, they found that the promise they had imagined was unrealized. They continued to value the principle of analysis but turned away from analysis as its own end; they became reflexively critical of the analytic criticism of other endeavors – the analysis of systems and of depth and the criticism of metaphysics based in restricted pictures and values of knowledge and in taking the self-indulgent metaphysical systems of the past as capturing the essence of any metaphysics of things – of the real (over experience)

Metaphysics: Theory of Being*

Metaphysics is concerned with understanding the world. In one meaning, metaphysics is a study of the most general aspects of things – the way they are in virtue of their existence. The entity studied may be an object, the universe, the real, or (in a less conventional interpretation) a method of demonstration. The Theory of Being as developed here is concerned not only with what there is in the local cosmological system but what there is in the entire universe: what is actual? The Theory of Being is concerned with depth (foundation, issues of substance) and variety or cosmology. It is found that what is possible is (in the global sense of ‘is’) realized in the universe i.e. the actual and the possible are identical. However what is possible in terms of the patterns of behavior of the local cosmological system has a far lesser variety than what is possible without qualification i.e. in the universe. What is locally possible is an example of the concept of the normal e.g. of normal behavior. The idea of the ‘normal’ is developed below

They were able to show a picture of the Universe that is demonstrably deeper than that of the tradition of ideas and of greater variety than that of science, Faith, myth and fiction. Their picture of depth (metaphysics and Logic) was explicitly ultimate. Their picture of variety (cosmology) was only implicitly ultimate but still explicitly greater by an infinite factor than that of science, faith, myth and fiction

In the present section, the metaphysics will be developed and an exploration of its significance will be begun and continued in subsequent sections. Further meanings and formalizations of metaphysics will be taken up in division ‘Journey in Being,’ sections ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ and ‘Problems in Metaphysics’

Five essential concepts

The essential concepts of their metaphysics were ‘being,’ ‘Universe,’ ‘Void,’ ‘Logos’ (or Logic,) and the ‘Normal’

These concepts arose as crucial to their attempt at understanding all being. In earlier endeavors they attempted to understand all being from science and experience i.e. from the local cosmological system i.e. the ‘empirical universe.’ Suggestions from modern science (that origin of the universe out of the void may conserve energy,) from philosophy and from intuition led to a concern with the relation of the empirical universe to the void; however, the early reflections lacked a logical character. What was later revealed as the decisive inspiration –seen in the shadow of mountains– was the thought to focus on the void itself and its characteristics rather than on the empirical universe and this, since consideration of the void entails consideration of all being, permitted the logical foundation (that follows) of metaphysics

They said that it is essential to understand the meanings that they attached to these terms and to exclude all other meanings in order to follow their development of the depth and variety of being (while remaining open to the suggestive power of variant meanings)

Immanence of law, pattern and Form

Being is that which exists or has existence. Being includes not just things but also laws, patterns, and forms (the concept of Form is clarified in the discussion ‘Form…’ below and in the next section ‘Objects.’) Typically, laws are thought to be read into being. However, the concept of the Universe is that of all being – the manifold of All Being. There is nothing outside the Universe; therefore, laws, patterns, and forms are not outside the universe: they are immanent in (all) being. (It will become clear that talk of distinct universes is without content.) Therefore, while laws, forms and patterns may be read, Laws, Forms, and Patterns are immanent in being. They did not need to further distinguish law from Law, form from Form… The Void is the absence of being and Logos is the form –or law– of all being

The fact of Being

Perhaps the most basic fact or given is that there is being. If there were no being, these words would be neither written nor read; nor would there be an impression, delusion, illusion or hallucination of their being written or read

Theory of Being. First proof of the ‘fundamental principle’ of the Theory of Being

Consideration of the natures of being, Universe and Void make possible the development of a metaphysics or Theory of Being. The general aspects of the theory are treated in the present section, ‘Metaphysics: The Theory of Being’ and a variety of special concerns are taken up in ‘Objects,’ ‘Logic,’ ‘Mind,’ and ‘Cosmology.’ The sections ‘Human Being’ through ‘Faith’ include implications of the theory for the specific topics

As the complement of any entity relative to itself, or the complement of the universe relative to itself, the void exists

The existence of the void is a fundamental fact that, as will be seen, has enabled development of the metaphysics, the logic, the cosmology and more immediate subjects that follow. Thus it is essential to question that existence. The universe exists – it is all being. The existence of a part of the universe may be questioned since ‘part’ is conceptual. However, ‘part’ is conceptual only when specified implicitly by a concept such as a property. However, if the existence of parts is merely the recognition of variety or difference then ‘part’ is not merely conceptual. The void is the part whose ‘magnitudes’ vanish. How can a ‘zero’ part be said to exist? This is where doubt regarding the existence of the void may be seen as lying. An additional doubt arises because the intended proof of existence –the single sentence italicized paragraph above– is terse and transparent. The following semi-arguments are intended not as proof –they may serve as ideas for alternative proofs– but to assist in allaying doubt. (1) The complement of a part exists. As the part approaches the whole, the complement exists at every stage of the approach and its limit is the void. (2) The existence of the void should be equivalent to its non-existence; therefore the void may be taken to exist. (3) Attaching the void to an entity makes no difference to the constitution of the entity; therefore the void may be taken to exist. (4) In physics the zero force may be said to exist; it is the force that does not change uniform motion; this of course is not a proof of the existence of the void but shows that existence may be assigned to a quantity of zero magnitude. (5) If the universe has a non-manifest phase, that phase will be the void; of course this final item does not at all prove existence of the void but provides one way to see how it may be real rather than merely a conceptual fiction; later it will be shown that while the void may be regarded as being ‘attached’ to any entity it must also be a phase through which the universe passes… Discussion now turns to development of the metaphysics

Since all pattern and law is immanent in its complement, the void can contain no pattern, no law. Consider a description that if realized would be the description of a state of affairs. If that state was never realized from the void, the non-realization would constitute a law. Therefore every consistent description –or conception or picture of a state of affairs– must be realized (there is no connection of the present use of ‘description’ to Russell’s theory of descriptions.) More accurately, the entire system of consistent descriptions must be realized. (‘The entire system of consistent …’ is a topic for further investigation. ‘An apple that is fully red and fully not red’ is not consistent. This inconsistency may be labeled ‘internal.’ External inconsistency must also be excluded. Known facts and necessities may not be contradicted. ‘It is raining everywhere –or nowhere– in the universe’ would constitute a law of the void and is an external contradiction. ‘It is raining here and now’ when it is not contradicts a fact… The statement regarding realization may be rendered, ‘Subject to mutual consistency, every system of consistent descriptions is realized.’) These necessities have the following immediate consequences. Every element of being (entity) must interact with every other element of being. There is one universe (there are no isolated ‘universes.’) The void is equivalent to the Universe and to every entity. It makes no difference whether there are many voids or one; the many are equivalent to one. The manifest universe may be seen as having repeated ‘origin’ in the void; equally, any state may be seen as having origin in (equivalence to) any state of the universe – there are no ‘special’ states of the universe. Any entity including the manifest universe may be annihilated at any ‘time’ and this annihilation may be spontaneous ‘self-annihilation’ or the outcome of the ‘effect’ of the void – or any other state. The void is an actual state i.e. the universe ‘occupies’ the state of ‘no manifest being’ repeatedly in its trajectory or ‘travel’ between states of manifest being. The void is not outside the universe; it is the universe in its non-manifest states. The relationships between the manifest and the non-manifest states are neither causal nor deterministic. The equivalence of the void and the universe is equivalent to complete indeterminism. Essential indeterminism necessarily results in structure. There is no universal determinism and whatever causation there may be is either not universal or vastly different (perhaps weaker and less regular but simultaneously longer in its reach) from the causation of common experience and science (classical or modern)

The fundamental principle of the Theory of Being, just shown to be true, is the assertion that the entire system of consistent descriptions is (must be) realized

I.e. the only universal fictions are the logical contradictions (fact is stranger than fiction)

That, in the Theory of Being developed here, the possible and the actual are identical shows that the theory is ultimate with regard to breadth or variety of being. This follows e.g. from the existence of the void and its equivalence –in the sense that it is generative of– to every state except the logically contradictory states. That this ultimate character is implicit has been shown earlier

There are thoughts in the writings of Leibniz (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, b. July 1, 1646, Leipzig,) of David Hume (b. May 7, 1711, Edinburgh, Scotland) and of Wittgenstein that have similarity to the theory developed here. Leibniz suggested that the only impossibilities were logical contradictions. However, it appears that Leibniz did not take this thought to its possible conclusion – the necessity of the realization of the entire system of consistent descriptions and the possibility of proof and actual proof of this necessity; Leibniz may, in fact have disagreed with the conclusions being made here – he wrote that ‘Nothing arises from nothing.’ In the subsequent topic ‘Second proof of the ‘fundamental principle’ of the Theory of Being,’ use is made of the idea of Hume and Wittgenstein that ‘from the truth of one atomic proposition the truth of another does not follow’ (the word ‘atomic’ does not occur in Hume’s version.) These writers, as well, did not take their thoughts to their possible conclusions; they were anti-metaphysical; and the statement ‘from the truth…’ may have had among its intents to show a lack of metaphysical (causal) connections in the world… It is interesting to note that the fundamental principle –proven above– may be used to demonstrate Wittgenstein’s idea

Objections and responses

A number of objections to the foregoing analysis may be raised. Some foci for the objections are (1) what may appear to be the use of mere concepts to demonstrate actual or real consequences and (2) that the laws of quantum theory imply the absence of actual things (the ‘ground state’ of the local cosmological system) will be the quantum vacuum which is a state that is far from being (the) void or absence of being but is a seat of enormous amounts of energy and a place of continuous creation and destruction of particle pairs, and (3) the violation of common sense in the idea of ‘something from nothing’ and, in physics, possible violations of the principle of conservation of energy. Responses to the objections follow

(1) All being and the absence of being –the void– are concepts but not mere concepts i.e. the fact of their reference is above question in a way that the reference to e.g. atoms and apples cannot be: whereas there is always some question about the existence of an atom or an apple (are they precisely captured in a concept) there is no question, not even a logical one about the concept of being or the void – the fact of being for a reader or a writer is given just as the absence of being consists in the absence of all givens, entities, patterns and laws. (2) The quantum vacuum is the seat of patterns of behavior that are laws. The void contains no law and is therefore ‘below’ the quantum vacuum in simplicity and fundamental character. The void ‘generates’ the quantum laws of this (our) cosmological system as well as the laws and entities of all cosmological systems. (3) Common sense and intuition –at least for some persons– is indeed violated; there is nothing, it may appear, in common day-to-day life that suggests the origin of a cosmos out of a void. However, common sense, experience, and intuition are situated in the everyday world. That they (may) show no origin of being from absence does not imply that such origin is impossible or that it does not occur. Self-aware empirical common sense is silent on such issues and, should it desire to know, will seek to follow the analysis. It appears to be a fact of human variety that some individuals are bound to their experience more than others. Such binding is important e.g. in survival; however, freedom from binding is also important in growth and, perhaps, in survival (such issues are discussed in detail in the subsequent section ‘Human being.’) It is interesting that the integration of intuition and analysis is similar to what occurs in mathematics, especially e.g. in the use of algebra (which emphasizes the symbol) in geometry (whose forms are initially known intuition.) The power of the algebraic approach reveals itself in the analysis of geometric forms and even concepts that are not amenable to the intuition… Attention now turns to the issue of violation of the principle of conservation of energy. It is an immediate consequence of the fundamental principle that, regarding the entire universe, conservation of energy does not (and cannot) obtain; (near) conservation laws are perhaps features of (relatively) stable worlds.  However, since, in terms of physical theory, energies can be positive as well as (e.g. gravitational field energy) negative, spontaneous creation of ‘a universe’ from nothing need not violate the physical principle of conservation of energy

The Void, substance and Elimination of substance

Since the void is equivalent to all being, there is no substance and no explanatory need for substance. Being may be regarded as having (Necessary) origin in the void. Explanation terminates in the void without need for explanatory regress. (These assertions and their meaning are further shown and elaborated in what follows)

An alternate statement is that the void may be considered to be the substance and it may play that role in view of the complete indeterminism of the void. The purposes of classical substance theory include the explanation of complexity from simplicity – of the Form and Variety of the world in substance which is uniform (formless) and unchanging. The difficulties of the classical forms of substance theory arise on account of a (tacit) association of determinism with substance. This tacit determinism is apparently consistent with the purpose to explain complexity from simplicity. However, given determinism it is not merely difficult but impossible to explain form, variety and change from uniform and unchanging substance. This is so because determinism and true novelty –not determined by e.g. a previous state– are exclusive. Regarding sub-stance, it is clear that determinism is the imposition or immanence of law but absence of any such imposition or immanence is equivalent to indeterminism; therefore indeterminism of substance is conceptually simpler than determinism

It would be interesting to review the history of substance theories, the meaning of substance, the way in which successive substance theories arose in response to the problems identified with earlier ones, the increasing sophistication of substance theories. However this temptation is avoided in this version of the present narrative, whose intents include brevity, since all substance theories remain problematic and since it is here demonstrated that the primary objective of substance theory can be achieved without substance. It will be useful, though, to carefully define the problems of substance theories. It is often thought that philosophical explanation requires substance because it is essential to making sense of the world. A non relativist philosophical system is one whose system of explanation terminates at some definite point with some kind of entity taken as fundamental; the motive to such systems is that in the alternative relativist systems there is (can be) no foundation or terminating explanation. It is thought that non relativist philosophical system must acknowledge substances in the most generic sense of that term, for that is only to acknowledge some fundamental entities in the system. A fundamental entity or a system of fundamental entities must be simpler than what is to be generated or explained for otherwise it or they would not be fundamental. This, combined with the tacit assumption of determinism (due either to this being the classic mode of explanation or to the thought that determinism is simpler than indeterminism and therefore inherent in substance) makes generation or explanation of novel Variety and complexity in terms of simplicity impossible. Apparently, therefore, there is a paradox of explanation: relativist systems do not provide (non-terminating) explanations and non relativist systems can not. The source of the paradox is the tacit assumption of determinism (and the tacit assumption that determinism is conceptually simpler than indeterminism.) If the requirement of determinism is lifted, non relativism is possible but does not require substance. Lifting of the requirement is necessary to non relativism and efficient in the production of the ultimates in depth and variety

If simplicity is taken to be the criterion of proper or good metaphysical explanation, metaphysics based in the void and therefore also in absolute indeterminism is necessary

Since classical substance theory and determinism are bound together –substance theory has significance only if determinism obtains– it is possible but not proper to consider the void to be a substance

The concept of the Void is ultimate in simplicity; it is this simplicity that allows for its actual generative power – the ‘simplicity’ of classical substance is an illusion for it contains the constraint of determinism that the void lacks. Therefore regarding the classical sense of substance, it is proper to not regard the ontology based in the void as substance ontology. The dogmas of substance and determinism have equivalence: without determinism, substance can have no significance; without substance there is no need for determinism

The system of explanation based in the void terminates in it. Further the existence and properties of the void are derived from the existence of the world. Thus this form of ontology provides explanation that terminates and posits no arbitrary fundamental substance or given – except the world (being) itself

In the present Theory of Being the void or absence of being has the following character that constitutes the explicit and ultimate depth of the theory. It is ultimate in simplicity. If the requirement of determinism is eliminated, the void may be regarded as the substance of all being. It provides an explanatory system for the necessity of all being without assumption and without explanatory regress

As an alternate to the void, in view of the essential indeterminism of being (since manifest being is equivalent to the void,) any state of the universe may be taken as fundamental and every state be seen as equivalent to it – the universe has no special states (these observations have been made earlier)

The following concern may have occurred to the reader. What has been said so far may be stated in the simple form (omitting logical niceties) ‘anything is possible.’ How is this consistent with the experience of the world of laws and limits? To answer this question it is required to show how form and structure must arise out of the void in indeterministic process (the origin of form and structure in indeterministic process may seem to be counterintuitive if not paradoxical.) It may also be useful to provide a plausible or probabilistic explanation or suggestion that the universe is dominated by formed systems – or at least that such systems will dominate observation. These issues are addressed in what follows

Ultimate versus conservative metaphysics

It has been seen that the fact of being is given. In a local perspective (the terms local and global have been defined earlier) the fact of being is given at some –perhaps most– times; in the global view the fact of being is, simply, given

In every metaphysics the fact of being is given

A metaphysics that preserves, as necessary, features of this world or local cosmological system beyond the fact of being is conservative

An (the) ultimate metaphysics is one that does not a priori preserve specific features of this world. In ultimate metaphysics, as has been seen, possibility and actuality are identical. The that the possible is actual provides one ‘definition’ of ultimate metaphysics – for what is impossible must lie outside metaphysics (alternatively but equivalently, in the view of Meinong the world of the impossible may be said to occupy a null manifold)

It is inherent in the concept of metaphysics that any implementation of it should be ultimate

Most traditional metaphysics contain conservative elements. This is perhaps a result of an (unconscious) intent or expectation to see the character of this world reflected in the ultimate. That in the present metaphysics what is possible is actual shows its ultimate character. Here the fact and therefore the possibility of ultimate metaphysics has been shown

Form. Mechanisms of emergence. Normal mechanisms

That form and structure are conceivable (describable) implies that they must arise (chaos and indeterminism are distinct –absolute chaos i.e. the ruling out of form and structure is a form of determinism– it may be seen to be deterministic with respect to appropriately chosen descriptive variables… chaos is not essential indeterminism.) No mechanism is universally necessary (unless essentially indeterministic processes are regarded as mechanisms.) However it would appear that adaptation (origin) of near symmetric forms by relative stability (and therefore durability) would dominate the population of the Universe. Such systems are ‘normal’ in that they have laws and limits, in that not all logical possibilities are allowed under normal or lawlike behavior. The emergence of normal systems is necessary. This emergence (as is the emergence of any system) is necessarily indeterministic; their durability is an expression of their ‘Form’ or ‘Forms’ which is another word for the net adaptation that arises out of their near symmetry and, therefore relative stability; this durability is a factor in the domination of the population of the universe by normal systems; perfect symmetry is ‘frozen’ and therefore does not arise but if it were to, would not, of itself, decay; their emergence in a single step is possible and therefore occasionally necessary but the likelihood of such emergence is infinitesimal; incremental emergence with net adaptation at each increment is much more likely and is therefore another factor in the population of the universe by normality; incremental emergence may therefore be called ‘normal’ emergence; since normal emergence is possible it necessarily occurs; normal emergence is the dominant but not universal form of emergence – but not all emergence is normal

While normal systems cannot be entirely deterministic or causal, deterministic-like and causal-like phases of behavior arise (as an expression of their form i.e. relative stability.) This (our local) cosmological system is normal. The laws of a normal system apply with near necessity to its inhabitants. The necessity of the emergence of normal systems explains the emergence of ‘law-like’ cosmological systems in a universe that is (constitutively) devoid of law. The apparent ‘impossibilities’ of a normal system (except Logical impossibilities) are improbabilities; its limits are difficult for its inhabitants to transcend. Such improbabilities and limits are relative to the state of being which includes states of knowledge. Therefore, the realization of every description may violate normal behavior from one perspective but not from all perspectives… There is no distinction between Possibility and actuality (whatever is actual is obviously possible, what is possible must be logically possible and therefore actual.) The practical but limited common use (even in modern logic) of the concept of possibility refers to a restricted domain and concerns what is actual in a similar (constitutively identical) domain. (It is for example possible that some individual A in this cosmological system will die at the age of ninety. It is therefore actual that the same (i.e. corresponding) individual in some (near) identical cosmos will die at age ninety. Possibility implies necessity but not local necessity.) Necessity concerns constitutive form. (The realization of every consistent system of descriptions is Necessary.) The Theory of Being is ultimate with regard to depth (every state of the universe is equivalent to the void)

They saw that there were identities among Metaphysics, Logic and Cosmology; that there was arbitrariness to the distinctions. They saw that in metaphysics, the focus was being itself; in Logic, Form; and in cosmology, Variety. The developments of Logic and cosmology, below, are continuations of the development of the metaphysics. A Logos is in the process of revelation

 Derivations’ from the Theory of Being

Before derivation came constitution e.g. ‘Being includes not only entities but also Patterns, Forms, Laws and Logos (universal law.) Entities are Forms.’ The derivations or inferences are of a number of kinds that follow. (1) General logical derivations such as ‘The entire system of consistent descriptions is realized,’ ‘There is no distinction between possibility and actuality’ and so on. (2) Logical characterizations of particular concepts e.g. Power, Form and Number (below.) (3) Normal or probabilistic considerations e.g. the formations of domains by ‘normal mechanisms’ and with ‘normal behavior;’ it is not necessary that all domains be normal and be formed by normal mechanisms (incremental change and durability of relatively stable forms) but the normal domains dominate the population of being and their formation is dominated by normal mechanisms; it is necessary, however, that some normal domains be formed by normal mechanisms. (4) Finally there is interaction between the Theory and special topics as included e.g. in the sections ‘Human being’ and ‘Faith’ in which the particular topic is illuminated and enhanced by and provides elaboration of the Theory of Being

The ‘logical’ character of these developments may be limited by the precision and certainty of the particular topic. When the development is an enhancement of the foundation of the special topic, the previous limits of that topic are no longer applicable and certain of the resulting conclusions may be necessary. Examples of necessary special developments include that evolution must involve both indeterminism and selection for (adapted or relatively stable) Form; that there are necessities of the Extension of the concept of Mind (below) to the root of being; that there must be both bound and free symbols; that there be symbols (and images) that have degrees of binding to action (emotion;) that constructive thought cannot be entirely deterministic. Other developments are not necessary; some developments are reasonable e.g. when what is normal and therefore extremely probable –an example being mechanisms of origins– is taken as obtaining in a specific and apparently normal domain; other developments may be more speculative e.g. in assuming that something that is necessary in some domain applies in a given normal domain (speculation is included when it seems useful.) There is no intent to exclude significant content. Rather, an objective is to make clear the degree of confidence (from certainty to mere speculation) and significance of content

Power and knowledge

They recalled Plato’s suggestion that power (having an effect) is ‘the’ measure of being (‘the measure of being is being.’) They may have started with this idea but, instead, they found it more convenient to development of the understanding of being to start from the concept of being (and therefore the Void) itself. Thus it follows from the theory that there is power between every two entities and power among any (every) collection of entities. ‘Being is the measure of being.’ This is similar to the idea that knowability is essential to being (this is not the idea that being known gives or is being.) However, the idea seems suspect. Why would something have to be known to a particular individual in order to have being? That is not the claim – a better form of the claim might be that it must be knowable to some being (the Theory of Being then implies that it is known – Possibility is actuality.) Still, it seems suspect to suggest that some organism must (know or) be capable of knowing an entity for that entity to exist. That, again, is not the claim. The ‘causal’ order is reversed: if an entity exists it is known. Again, a question arises: if knowing is a mark of Mind why, when mind is a special kind or aspect of being, should being known be (in effect) a mark of being? The answer will be taken up in the discussion of mind below. They distinguished mind-as-they-experienced-it-at-first-hand from Mind in general. They showed that the concept of mind may be consistently extended to the root of being and that this extension was Necessary; i.e. without the extension, the ‘paradoxes’ of Mind and Matter would continually arise. They forestalled the objection e.g. of the materialist who would say that mind-at-the-root (pan-psychism) is absurd. They did this by identifying the nature of the doubt: it is a doubt that thinks that the claim is that the mind at the root is like animal or human mind – possessed of a variety of functions and elaborations, capable of understanding and so on. Instead, mind-at-the-root is shown to be coeval and equi-primitive with primal manifest being. There is a remaining doubt. What is it at or about the primitive level that allows identification with mind and where does (the concept of) matter fit into this scheme? In discussing mind (below) they were able to address this doubt as well

Being known (knowable) e.g. by human beings does not confer existence although it does show existence. However, existence necessitates knowability. This implies that there are no entities that are unknowable. This may appear to be an excessive claim. Yet, any claim to knowledge or knowability must be based on some concept of knowledge. In the following, the claim that existence necessitates knowability is investigated in terms of a number of conceptions of knowledge that start with the naïve case in which knowledge is thought to be knowledge-of the entity and proceeds to consider alternative conceptions of knowledge, the nature of truth and of the real


Here, the object is what is known – as known

The word ‘object’ has been used informally in earlier sections; it now takes on the meaning just specified

The problems of the object are (1) to analyze the relationship between object and being – this may be called the ‘dual problem of being and object’ (or being and knowledge,) and (2) to identify the nature of the real and to see what objects are real

It is important to see the issues of being and object as dual rather than independent

Phenomenalism is or includes the view that ‘appearance is reality’ i.e. that there is no real world behind appearances (naturally, ‘appearance’ must receive appropriate interpretation.) Here, however, being and object are distinct concepts. Are objects and entities necessarily distinct in a view that regards the concepts as distinct? I.e. although the sense of ‘being’ is different from that of ‘object’ is the reference distinct? This is a central subject of this section

The part of this section that is directly relevant to the narrative is the development of various objects –particular and abstract e.g. Individual and identity, form and law and pattern– and Form and Law and Pattern, universe, and, of course, the Object itself… and the Real

The discussion of the nature and conditions of knowledge are not essential to achievement of the primary ambition. Although interesting the discussion could be omitted. However, the discussion does show support for the narrative in a traditional knowledge centered perspective

A tentative conclusion of the discussion shall be that having being and objecthood are identical

Knowledge as knowledge-of the entity

A first, naïve, concept of knowledge is knowledge as knowledge-of the entity

Here, ‘entity’ encompasses not only ‘things’ but also states of affairs (and will be later extended to patterns, laws, Forms and other ‘abstract’ objects)

Although it is at first going to be seen that, naïvely, there is no knowledge-of the entity it will be seen to what extent this negative claim may be revised

Identity and faithfulness

Here, identity has the sense of ‘sameness’ and is different from though related to the sense in the later topic ‘Identity’ that discusses the enduring identity and sense of identity of objects and the enduring sense of self-identity of individuals

Obviously, in the naïve sense, what is known is not identical to the thing-itself. Therefore, replace identity by faithfulness. However, even faithfulness falls short of what might be meant by knowledge. The image of a mountain is clearly not the mountain but in measuring what the mountain is, all that is available is the image (including visual, tactile and other components.) (Even the well known metaphor of the hologram is lacking because the concern is not with the relation between a brain state and the world but with the image and the world)

The nature of the object

The absence of naïve identity and faithfulness motivates a definition of the object as the concept-object. That is the object is the concept; which includes all aspects of cognition

In the case a concept occurs without the external object (e.g. a unicorn) the labels ‘fictional object’ or ‘non-existent object’ may apply. A unicorn is a contingently non-existent object (as far as is known, in the local cosmological system.) An apple that is (fully) red and not red is a necessarily non-existent object

A rock is a prototype for concrete objects. It is however, as prototype, neither complete nor, in the usual image of a rock, adequate. It is inadequate because it possesses ‘continuity and solidity.’ ‘Concrete’ objects are not inherently continuous or solid or capable of visualization. An object has causal efficacy – although ‘cause’ is not at all to be understood in its classical (or probabilistic) senses; causal efficacy is merely the ability to have an effect and, as has been seen, every element of being possesses power relative to every (other) element of being. These statements are tautologies and their tautologous character follows from the Theory of Being. What has causal efficacy (power) will be seen to be an object

The transcendental argument

However, even though naïve identity and faithfulness are lacking it is still true that (1) the different senses and may (or may not) corroborate one another and in cases where there is no disconfirmation either by cognition (perception and thought) or in (extended) action it may be said that there is sufficient faithfulness (2) in other words, adaptation of organism in the environment allows talk of sufficient faithfulness

If among all modes of cognition and action there is no disconfirmation, the object is real or existent or non-fictional. The label ‘real’ applies tentatively and will be analyzed further in what follows

Even though there is no mapping from the entity to the concept-object, there must be some at least rough correspondence (e.g. a net but without congruence or meaning to congruence.) Why?

Transcendental meaning of faithfulness

While an explanation may lie in evolution or adaptation, success (even if only partial) in negotiating the environment requires correspondence (if only rough and of not clearly known character.) The argument just employed is ‘transcendental’ in that it does not depend on knowing the inner details of the context but, instead, on knowing some general external features; the ‘external’ features are of a different kind than the ‘inner’ details. How is the (sufficient degree of) faithfulness that is now known to be guaranteed in principle known in fact? The question is significant when some estimate of degree of faithfulness is needed (or desired,) or when working with domains that lie outside normal experience (where there is no pre-adaptation.) One possibility is to appeal to a teacher – but to who do teachers and other ‘experts’ appeal? To whom would a transcendent being (God?) appeal? The idea of appeal is a good one; ultimately, however, there is no outside agency of appeal. The idea is this. If something –the height of the mountain– is known in one way e.g. by visual measurement, it may be found another way e.g. by physical measurement. When all perceptions, all conceptual formulations and all agents agree, there is corroboration or coherence – it is a practical coherence (the value and disvalue of full coherence have been discussed above)

The foregoing suggests a meaning for ‘god’ based in immanence rather than transcendence

In the section, ‘Morals and society,’ the adequacy of ‘adequate faithfulness’ as faithfulness will receive further and necessary validation

The number of fundamental concepts

The discussion here is tentative and illustrative of arbitrariness in what and how many ideas are central or fundamental. Five central concepts were identified in ‘Metaphysics: Theory of Being.’ The issue is whether there any significance to the number of such concepts. The void is the absence of being and the universe is all being and so the number may be reduced to three: being, logic or logos or form, and the normal. If form and the normal are regarded as inherent in the object then there are two i.e. being and object. The thrust of the present section has been the identity of being and object. I.e. object is inherent in being. However, being –that which is– is so basic that it may be regarded equally as concept or given. Perhaps there are no fundamental concepts


Truth is correspondence but is known (corroborated) by coherence

A Logos has been revealed. The Theory of Being (the Void) is a Logos. Perhaps the Form of manifest Being is that there is being. The Logos of a domain is its constitution; the Laws are contingent in that for a Logos, alternative laws are necessarily realized in other domains of the same constitution. A logic is the Understanding of a logos. The most general Logos concerns presence versus absence; Logic and Metaphysics are the same in a way that parallels object and being

Absolute objects*

An absolute object is here said to be one regarding which the concept-object is entirely faithful

The argument so far makes it seem as though there are no absolute objects. However this is not the case

The concepts of universe, being, void are clearly absolute i.e. knowledge of them (in-themselves though not in their details which are distinct ‘objects’) is altogether faithful. The faithfulness in this case arises from the simple nature of the entities. There is no mistaking the fact of being

Another kind of absolute object is the abstract object. Examples of abstract objects are Form, Law, Pattern, and Number. It may be questioned whether these are indeed objects and this question will be taken up shortly. Their absolute character follows from their abstract character which is also a kind of simplicity

The absolute character of abstract objects and certain simple objects*

Actual or concrete objects have being in virtue of their interactions (power) which is guaranteed by the theory. What of abstract objects such as form, Number and Identity of object and Individual? Are they truly abstract in the sense of lacking being altogether? On the interpretation that they are read (by Mind) from among the entities, they are abstract. Yet, form and number populate being and as such they are among the bearers (seats) of causal efficacy while the concrete objects (including force) are the agents of cause (it has been seen that classical and even quantum causation cannot be universal.) It has been seen that Form is manifestation of adaptation; Form is dynamic, of this world; Forms of perfect symmetry are static, ‘ideal,’ neither coming into being nor (if they did become) decaying; perfect Form is unrealized but approximated by dynamic Form. The distinction between abstract and actual (concrete) breaks down. The objection to form and Number as concrete is consciously or otherwise based in the idea that only the simple actual (e.g. Matter) is real. However, the Theory of Being has shown that matter is neither ultimate nor the seat or focus of all being; that it is not necessary to be a ‘simple actual’ in order to be causally efficacious; and modern science shows that the concept of matter in its form and extension are in transition and therefore its final form is not known; that final kind, though, may equal but cannot exceed or displace the Void in what is most fundamental

A more abstract and tentative approach to form as object is as follows. A form may be seen as being immanent in the objects that possess or conform to the form. A form may be immanent in many objects and a given object may have many forms that are immanent in it. An instance of a form has causal efficacy by virtue of its immanence in an object; the instance may itself be regarded as an object: it is better to regard the instance as (in the terminology of Meinong) a partial object: the various forms immanent in the object constitute the object. A form may be regarded as abstract or as the collection of its instances. Form is constitutive of causal efficacy and may be regarded as an object


The identity of an object or of an Individual is the sense of continuity in change (stated this way, the identity of an object in time and personal identity can be given a uniform treatment. In the meaning just introduced, ‘identity’ is related to but not earlier to its earlier use as sameness.) If an individual experiences sequential lives what could be the significance (in the sense of significance in being) of the multiple lives given the normal experience of the self as finite – as delimited by birth and death (and the conditioning to think of the self as finite?) The Theory of Being shows that individual identity must participate in ‘higher identity.’ Thus individual human being and other finite being participate in the depth of being and in the Variety of being or Cosmology. In the limit the ‘individual’ participates in Brahman. Normal limits concern this life. Death is a gate to infinity. In the case of knowledge as other than knowledge-of, the identity of knowledge and known does not become possible; rather it becomes irrelevant. Such cases include the root at which knower and known remain in interaction and (near) identity; this is the ‘ground’ in which knowledge, action and known are bound and from which knowledge separates itself from the known

One aspect of the Journey in Being is that its goals include Understanding and realization of this identity; and experience of ways to identity whose roots are in the immediate

Being (becoming) is a journey whether it concerns Individual being or all being. The ‘journeys’ merge in necessary and occasionally manifest identity. The infinite variety of actual being makes for the characteristics of a journey: wonder in the present; changing vistas of infinitesimal and infinite form; no final destination; goals and ambitions but no final goal – and yet moments of finality that are as if eternal; goal and perception in interaction; in the sense of significance in being, meaning is immanent in being though not always manifestly so

Sufficient faithfulness and full faithfulness

The transcendental argument shows that there are objects (in the sense of concept-object) that, under a criterion of sufficient faithfulness, may be regarded as faithful. Such objects are the common particular objects which include every day objects such as wolf, mountain, person and the objects of science

The object character of the abstract objects follows from their immanence in being (the argument follows in the later discussion of ‘The Real.’) However, it is not the abstract objects themselves that are immanent but approximations to them. According to the sufficient faithfulness interpretation, abstract objects are (given the argument in discussion of ‘The Real,’ above) real objects. The discussion may be refined in observing that even though it is an approximation to the abstract object that is immanent, there may be a more refined abstract (but difficult to calculate) that lies in precise relation to what obtains

The adequacy of sufficient faithfulness*

The purpose of the discussion is to show that in common situations (science, the day to day,) this is the ideal (best) case and full precision is undesirable

Examples of faithfulness of knowledge have been given. In the examples so far, faithfulness has derived from either generality or abstraction. Although ‘abstract,’ the examples have significance for they concern very general characteristics of Being – they constitute the foundation of a Metaphysics. Traditionally, since Kant (the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, b. 1770, Stuttgart, Württemberg, Germany, and other idealists notwithstanding) metaphysics (as knowledge of the world itself) has held to be impossible – according to the following form of argument. The world is known ‘directly’ through percepts and indirectly by conceptual systems built upon perception. Given any percept e.g. a mountain there is a hidden (e.g. interior) aspect that is not perceived; the percept is at most a ‘net’ over the thing-in-itself (congruence of the net to the thing does not have meaning.) Kant argued that the features of perception e.g. space, Time, cause were necessary to being even though they were not of being; these features were the forms or categories of intuition. He further argued that from an assumed certainty of the sciences of the time (Euclidean Geometry, Newtonian Mechanics which were conceptual systems built out of the forms of intuition) that the sciences, too, were necessary. (Later it was recognized that neither the forms of intuition nor the sciences were necessary.) Kant concluded that the system of percepts and concepts constituted an idealist metaphysics i.e. a metaphysic of (human) ideas but not a metaphysics of being-as-such. However, in the present case the metaphysics has been constructed i.e. its existence has been shown and not merely demonstrated to be possible – in precisely those cases in which the perceptual content is certain: there is being, entities have Form. That the metaphysics (Theory of Being) is not empty follows from the variety of ‘derivations’ from it. What of our percepts? Are these object-faithful? If precision and completeness are relinquished, they may be regarded as faithful. The natural criticism is that they are then not altogether reliable. Earlier, the idea of knowledge as knowledge-of was mentioned. It is not clear that this is the (only) function of knowledge. It is reasonable to think that early in the history of perception (life) reactions followed upon sensation without building up of (more or less) faithful percepts (or reflection upon them) and that later, with complexity and memory, it became possible to regard knowledge as knowledge-of with some realism; this made possible the idea of knowledge which was given, reliable and reliably acted upon

Limits to practical reason show that (fully) reliable knowledge (in general, especially in detailed knowledge) is not realized or realizable (unless the details of all being are law-like in nature and this is shown by the Theory of Being to be impossible except perhaps in occasional manifestations of being;) further, given a transitional nature of becoming, it is not even desirable. In those aspects in which the being is incomplete, recognition that the faithfulness of knowledge is partial is a virtue. In this sense i.e. since reliability is not a virtue i.e. even though reliability-in-process allows ‘failure’ it is what makes ‘success’ possible, the objects of perception may be regarded as faithful. Failure and success are duals. Is this all that can be said on the issue? The underlying ‘model’ is one of a conceptual system built upon a perceptual ground. In the ‘abstract’ case when the perceptual ground is minimal but certain, fully faithful knowledge (metaphysics) is possible. Some modern physicists have built a Theory of Being and knowledge founded upon quantum theory. This is similar to the construction of the Theory of Being; however, the quantum theory is at most a theory of this or of similar cosmological systems but not of less formed systems. To human form, faithfulness of percepts is incomplete; yet, in terms of realization of possibility this reflects a virtue

It is not and cannot be desirable (e.g. for human being) to know what cannot be known (to human form.) It may be desirable to know what is thought to be unknowable. If a another kind of being can know and communicate to humans what humans cannot know through human instruments alone then human being is capable of that knowledge. It is within normal human experience that some (groups) know what others have considered impossible. According to the Theory of Identity just developed there is no limit to human possibility even though this is not normally considered to be the case. In the previous sentences of this paragraph, ‘know’ may be replaced ‘transform to’

Both percept and concept are of the intuition in the sense of adaptation to the forms of the world. The percept captures (as partial and not altogether congruent net) structures of the world (non congruent is not altogether meaningful since its measure is its coherence even though adaptation implies correspondence.) The concept (thought) permits: formulation of the intuition, and therefore both reformulation and (with Language and symbol) communication. There is a free element to conceptualization that permits discovery and enhances indeterministic but adapted becoming in an indeterministic but adapted world; in this latter aspect, thought captures the indeterministic essence of the world and is therefore also of intuition. In the limit where (as has been seen in the Theory of Being) thought is free of perception (except the basic but unquestionable form of being versus absence) thought is free of intuition and its truth is unconditional. Another way of saying this is that there is an especially significant boundary case in which intuition is free of its contingent and only partially faithful character

Knowledge and action*

Consider an organism that is too primitive to have an image of the environment as a whole in the manner the visual images of animals with advanced vision. The primitive organism may move and feed by sense-response (often labeled stimulus-response but the word ‘stimulus’ suggests that the organism is passively stimulated which is likely not the case.) Although the organism does not have a picture of the world as a whole, the structure that enables the sense-response may be said to be knowledge of its immediate environment (and vision, too, sees the whole world only by its own measure.) However, as far as the moment to moment is concerned, the primitive organism proceeds in what is roughly sequential sense-response-sense-response

Human knowledge, too, is like that. In cases where knowledge has not separated out as being independently justified, knowledge and action lie in rough sequence knowledge-action-knowledge-action…

That this is or may be successful, is due to adaptation

It is only in special cases that knowledge has independent justification. In the case of the object that is not absolute, e.g. everyday particulars and science, independent justification may, on the view of a universe of infinite variety, ever remain incomplete

The Real*

It is possible, now, to make assertions regarding ‘the Real.’ It is not possible to say anything about the real with confidence unless the sense of the real is given an explicit and appropriate meaning. The question ‘What is real?’ is really two questions, ‘What does it mean to be real?’ and ‘What things are real?’ Very often, the first question is suppressed and the question ‘What is real?’ is taken to be the question ‘What things real?’ However, the first question cannot be eliminated and therefore, if suppressed or ignored, it must surface, perhaps without full awareness, as a common-sense or default or paradigmatic position. Commonly, concrete or material objects e.g. a rock are regarded as real whereas there may be debate whether abstract objects such as Form, Number and Law are real. The often tacit and unstated (because paradigmatic) background to this more or less standard position is materialism: material objects are real and objects whose material status is in question are, likewise, questionably real (i.e. in materialism, abstract objects are not real.) The developments in the present narrative show that Matter is itself an indefinite concept and that the foundation of the real is not to be sought in matter. One possibility is that to exist and to be real are identical. Before the development of the Theory of Being, this assertion does not make sense. That theory places Existing entities on a common plane. The confusions regarding what is real, what truly exists, regard questions of substance and lacking clear answers there would always be doubt regarding what is real. The Theory of Being places concrete objects (those that seem to deserve the label ‘material’) and abstract objects e.g. Form, Number, pattern and law on a similar basis. From the Theory of Being, i.e. from the properties of the void, both the concrete or particular and the abstract objects have power. Before the development of a common foundation to all (kinds of) object, all that it would be possible to say regarding existence is e.g. that a rock exists as matter, ‘2’ exists as number, the shape of the Milky Way exists as a spatial pattern and so on. I.e. the pre-foundational concept of existence must be existence-as. However, the Theory of Being places all cases of existence-as (that have power) on the same plane. Every object exists since it has power as object; every existent (even if not familiar) is an object in that it has the ability to be known as an object (under the full conception of knowledge or knowability.) These thoughts show a way out of default positions regarding the real: what is real is what has power, what can be known. A single obstacle remains regarding the identification of existence and the real and that is the thought, noted earlier, that there are non existent objects. It may be recalled that, regarding the world as such the status of non existent objects lacks consequence; the non existent object is, perhaps, conceptually elegant but has no implication for being. (In the terms introduced earlier the non existent object exists as concept but not as entity. It is clear that there are potential confusions regarding the application of ‘exist’ that need only awareness of the application or reference to prevent actual confusion.) Therefore, excluding the non existent object, to be real is to exist i.e. to be an Object

It has been seen that being has infinite variety. It is now seen that that variety concerns both entities and kinds


In scholastic philosophy, a distinction between individuals and universals was made. Individuals were particular objects (e.g. a wolf) while universals were types (e.g. the type or species wolf or wolf-hood) which included properties (e.g. redness) and relations. The discussion of the real suggests that (some) universals exist; this position has been called realism (in opposition to nominalism – the position that universals are names)

How can redness be (seen as) an object? A classical concept of ‘properties’ sees a primary property as inhering in the object which (the primary property) from the discussion of form can also be seen as an object. A secondary property, according to the classical account, is one that is not primary because its ‘value’ depends also on observation (and can therefore be seen as inhering in bodies, one of which is the observer, and their relationships.) While the subjective experience of redness is labeled ‘redness,’ the redness is inherent in the relation between the individual and the entity. What entity? Since lighting and other aspects of the environment also affect the perceived color, they too are part of the ‘entity’ even though the entity is thought to be more localized e.g. a solid red ball. Thus the entity is not the ‘solid red ball’ but the ball and its environment; the universe, however, is not the entity. Now, the condition of the individual –his or her emotional state, recent visual exposure and so on– also affects the color or shade of color that is perceived. This concern is resolved by noting that although the individual has the same identity, he or she, is not precisely the same and, therefore, for the present purpose may be regarded as a set of distinct individuals corresponding to e.g. distinct emotional states. Now, regarding the individual and the entity as the object, redness is a form of the object and, so, is possessed of objecthood

It may be noted that what has been called the problem of the possibility of the inversion of the color spectrum, the idea that what one individual experiences as ‘blue’ may, for example, be experienced by another individual as ‘red’ is a distinct issue from the one addressed here. This issue is interesting as well but, here, merits only few thoughts. It is useful to first note that the left and the right eyes of the same individual may experience the color of objects as slightly different even in absence of pathology. Therefore it is not expected that the experience of different individuals will be ‘identical.’ While a complete discussion of this issue may be intricate, it is useful to note that color perception is not isolated but occurs in the context of the emotional and physical and other aspects of the state of the individual and it is therefore unlikely that constitutively similar individuals will have ‘color inversion’ even though precise color identity is not expected

In the later section ‘Cosmology’ it will be seen that every consistent description of a state of affairs must be actual and that, subject to consistency, every actual state must recur infinitely. The present narrative, therefore, is written in countless cosmological systems. Thus, an individual, the present narrative in this case, may be seen as a universal. Jesus Christ is, in this way of thinking, a universal as is the name ‘Jesus Christ.’ Christ and the name are not always associated but the association must hold in countless cosmologies

Ethics and objectivity*

In the later section, ‘Ethics and objectivity’ it will be argued that there are cases where it is necessary to act as though absolute knowledge (knowledge as though of an absolute object) obtains even when (absolute) justification is lacking but when, perhaps, the justification is (as far as known) at most contingent


The Theory of Being has been shown to be a metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth and implicitly ultimate in breadth. (It was seen that it is impossible for any theory of being to be explicitly ultimate in breadth. It is therefore futile to seek explicitness in breadth or to seek a theory that permits it.) It is natural, therefore, to expect that the metaphysics will have significant implications for the meaning and development of fundamental concepts in the understanding of the universe, knowledge of the universe and the place of individual (e.g. human) being and society in the universe. Since the metaphysics is ultimate with regard to depth, the implied understanding for the fundamental concepts may also be ultimate. (They recognized that working out of the implications is a process.) These fundamental concepts include: being itself, objects (knowledge) – considered above; and logic, cosmology (the Theory of Variety,) mind (and matter,) individual (human) being and language and society, ethics and morals, faith, journey (becoming,) the nature and varieties of Understanding – especially philosophy and metaphysics (itself) and the systems of human understanding, identity and transformation of identity. The development continues here with Logic and in what follows with the remaining fundamental concepts

It will be useful to understanding to defer specifying the concept of Logic until some traditional aspects of logic (taken up for illustration and intrinsic interest) have been discussed

Preliminary discussion. Necessary and contingent modes of establishing truth

In its traditional meaning, logic is concerned with truth – especially with the establishment of truth

The ways to establishing truth may be regarded as two. First, and in one perspective most fundamental, is the establishment of truth about the world. These include facts and generalizations from facts or recognition of patterns and laws in systems of fact. Terms associated with the recognition of patterns in systems of fact are induction and science (i.e. the process of science.) The kind of logic involved in this first way of establishing truth has been labeled ‘induction.’ Induction may be described as ‘generalization,’ ‘interpolation,’ or ‘extrapolation,’ and, alternatively, as recognition of patterns… A second way to establish truth is to derive secondary truths (theorems, results) as necessary consequences of established (or, in axiomatic systems, postulated) truths. This ‘way’ is labeled ‘deduction’

Establishing simple facts is not usually considered to be a part of logic or of induction but logic may be implicated since (at least some) facts exist in relation to others which relation(s) may require demonstration of consistency and grounding. Induction is establishing (without certainty) laws and patterns from data. More generally, the processes of science include establishing both facts and patterns

Deduction appears to be firm because consequences necessarily follow; induction is not always regarded to be as firm in its definiteness because there could be alternate generalizations i.e. because alternate patterns could be ‘read.’ In teaching, logic is often called something like the ‘science of argument’ or the ‘analysis and criticism of thought.’ However in the recent (twentieth century on) literature ‘logic’ most often means deductive logic

Introduction to induction and science

There is a history of thought regarding induction. Induction has been regarded to be important because it is (has been thought to be) the ‘method’ by which e.g. scientific laws and theories are established. A foundation has been sought by some thinkers (especially in the past e.g. in the thought of Francis Bacon, b. 1561, London, England, of René Descartes, b. 1596, La Haye, Tourraine, France, and of Newton) in which induction would be as secure as deduction. Other approaches have sought, for example, to place induction on minimalist (Ockham’s razor, William of Ockham, born c. 1285, Surrey (?), England, ‘plurality should not be posited without necessity,’) or, especially later, probabilistic or aesthetic foundations

The intent here is to illuminate the nature of induction and its relation to deduction and to see what foundation there may be for induction without requiring it to have identities with deduction

There is a view in which there is no end to the development of scientific theory. In this view, the Universe is infinite and any theory captures only a part of it and is therefore capable of improvement (enlargement of the domain of application.) This view is encouraged by the recent (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) history of science which may be seen as a ‘revolutionary’ history. In (extreme) versions of this view, scientific theories are not really about the world but are working hypotheses subject to replacement when there is sufficient disconfirming evidence (and an adequate alternative theory that explains or predicts the new as well as the old data; see e.g. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1934, of Karl Popper, b. 1902, Vienna, Austria.) However, there is an alternate way of looking at scientific theories. That science has developed so far without end (in sight) does not imply that it is unending; i.e. the revolutionary character of science appears to be contingent rather than Necessary; i.e. it is itself a generalization – its necessary or inherent character is open to question. Scientific theories that have been replaced as fundamental theories of the world continue to be useful – Newtonian Mechanics is still used in much of engineering and astronomy. Newtonian Mechanics may be said to be about a domain of being (in which ‘domain’ does not refer only to spatial or temporal domains but also e.g. to a range of sizes of entity and energies of interaction)

There may be an end to the science of the local cosmological system; that the universe has been shown to have variety without end may imply that Science will retain its revolutionary character. However, after a sufficient number of revolutions, revolution may be expected and that science is revolutionary may come to be seen as normal (Thomas Kuhn, b. 1922, Cincinnati, U.S., introduces the terms ‘normal’ and ‘revolutionary’ science in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962)

Hypothetical versus factual interpretation of (scientific) theories

A (scientific) Theory may be viewed as hypothetical knowledge about the entire Universe and subject to replacement or, alternatively, as actual knowledge of a domain of the universe

An objection that the elementary scientific constructs are tinged with the intuition (i.e. that the constructs are not entirely objective) may be addressed by adjusting the domain to include observation. The objection has been addressed earlier in the section ‘Object’ in a somewhat different and perhaps more satisfactory manner

Even in science, ‘theory’ has a number of uses and the foregoing statement cannot be generalized to all uses of the word. The kinds of theory that it does refer to are those that provide a coherent and connected picture of an entire known domain of being – physical, biological and so on. They include the classical theories of physics e.g. mechanics and electromagnetism and the later quantum theories and relativistic theories of space, Time and gravitation; and the Darwinian theory of evolution

The theories of the present narrative e.g. the theories of Being, of Variety, of Identity, of Possibility are necessary rather than hypothetical and this necessary character follows roughly from their domain of reference being the entire Universe rather than a limited or normal domain. These theories are not scientific in the following sense: a scientific theory refers to an empirically known domain and may therefore be disconfirmed by empirical evidence (the kind of evidence that might ‘disconfirm’ the Theory of Being would be the non existence of the universe.) The truth of these necessary theories is possible on account of their extreme in abstraction or generality. Alone, their application is limited. Their power is actually the joint power of the necessary with the contingent forms of knowledge (including theories.) This is seen is some of the earlier discussions and especially in the sections starting with ‘Mind’

The subject of the Theory of Being is that of all forms of being. The subject of science is that of particular forms of being – those of the local cosmological system. In showing that the limits (implied by the laws) of the local cosmos are not absolute, the Theory of Being may seem to contradict the facts, theories, and spirit of science. However, this is not the case. The Theory of Being allows the theories of science but alters their interpretation (as noted earlier) so that, relative to this cosmos, any use of the word ‘impossible’ in relation to contingent (though not necessary) laws should be replaced by ‘improbable’ and what is merely possible relative to the contingent laws of any cosmological system is known as actual among all being

An example: the Theory of Evolution

Some readers may object to the inclusion of Darwinian Theory; a discussion of the theory is therefore included for intrinsic interest but especially to illuminate ‘Fact’ and ‘theory.’ It should be noted that many of the objections to Darwinian Theory are based in misunderstanding. (The label ‘Darwinian’ is not altogether accurate since, the original account, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 1859, Charles Darwin, b. 1809, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, was incomplete in a number of ways e.g. the seat of inheritance, detailed mechanisms of speciation. In its early form, the theory, though elegant and predictive, was widely criticized on account of its various limitations. It was only by work in responding to the criticisms and further development that resulted in the widely accepted ‘new evolutionary synthesis’ of the 1940’s. Subsequently, molecular biology, especially genetics further secured the foundation of the theory.) First, among the misunderstandings, there is a distinction between the fact and theory of evolution. The fact of evolution may be seen in the fossil record, in studies on certain species such as the fruit fly, and in the efforts of the animal and plant breeders. Some object to macro-evolution on the ground that the fossil record is incomplete; however the fossil record is expected to be incomplete since preservation even of vertebrates is not perfect. Proper questions to ask are, ‘Is the fossil record contradictory?’ and ‘Are there other sources of evidence?’ and the answers are ‘No!’ and ‘Yes!’ respectively. Recent treatments (e.g. textbooks) list a number of kinds of evidence for evolution that include the fossil record, structural similarities, embryonic development, biogeography, and molecular biology and show that these kinds are in agreement

The (Darwinian) theory of evolution is one of incremental evolution (including macro-evolution or speciation) by variation and selection. Origin of complexity may be explained by simultaneous evolution of Form and function (less complex eyes may not function as well but still function e.g. even a few heat or light sensitive cells provide for adaptive response; further, function is not always designated function and what now functions as a limb may have origin in a protective protuberance.) The question of chance versus design is addressed in terms of Necessity and probability. The origin of Form out of Formlessness necessarily requires indeterminism (deterministic explanation in terms of a designer pushes the problem back one step ‘Who designed the designer?’ I.e. Design is not an explanation of origins.) Regarding probability there are two issues. When there is evolution from an earlier state the later state is not determined; rather there are many possible formed outcomes; the probability of any specific one of those outcomes is much less than the likelihood that there will be some formed outcome (which must intuitively be high and on the Theory of Being is Necessary in some cosmological systems.) Secondly, while a single step outcome may not be impossible its likelihood is very low; however as has just been seen the likelihood of incremental change resulting in large formed change is not at all low. Inability to understand nature or lack in understanding of nature are not and do not indicate limitations of nature itself. Of course it is unreasonable to expect the theory to explain ‘everything’ including, for example, the (chemical) origins of life and cultural evolution (where, if there is explanation, alternative or supplement may be necessary.) A final point worth noting is that the facts of evolution and theory are not altogether independent in that the theory illuminates interpretation of the facts; however, this shows not limitation of the truth of the theory but limits, already noted, to its domain of application; alternate theories such as the Lamarckian or ‘Intelligent Design’ may be seen either as inconsistent with fact or application only to a very narrow, even infinitesimal, domain. Now, there will still be those who object to the Darwinian theory; however, most interested persons –at least in the West– will agree that the actual ‘theory’ of origins whether Darwinian or e.g. ‘Intelligent Design’ concerns not just mere theory but fact

Theory. In a most significant use of the word, theories –especially scientific theories– are factual*

Another way in which distinctions between Fact and theory break down arises in facts that are not necessary e.g. ‘an electron is a fundamental particle’ in that it has no known internal structure or size (c. 2006.) Now if this fact is universal it is also necessary. However the Theory of Being implies that it cannot be universal (there is no fundamental substance.) There must be interactions in which the electron will show up structure. The ‘fact’ is factual in virtue restriction to a particular domain of being. Relative to the local cosmology, the electron can be structureless and have interactions but relative to the universe (all being) the electron cannot be both. Interactions from the universe at large will show up the structure of the electron in the local cosmology; this, however, will not be revealed in all concepts or theories of the local system

Fact. Facts stand in relation to perspective or pattern. Facts partake of pattern. The distinction between fact and theory is relative to e.g. the scale of perception. Full perception requires all elements of the psyche

It was seen earlier that the perception of space and Time are intuitive (not analytic.) Space and time are fundamental to ‘being in the world’ and, especially, to physical geometry and other scientific theories. In such theories, space and time receive considerable formalization. Do these formalizations take science (specifically space and time) out of the realm of intuition? In other words can the Universe (or domain under consideration) be equivalent to the formalization (marks on paper?) The answer is not altogether clear and even if it were clearly ‘yes’ the significance of this answer would not be altogether clear. There is a human attitude that appreciates the expression of behavior of the universe in formal terms for it is in such terms that there appears to be clarity and objectivity and the psychology (perception-thought) of the individual, with all its ‘limitations’ is transcended; and it is to a significant degree that upon such transcendence the confidence in science and logic and their application, technology, are founded. It is a clean foundation that also results in material power. Despite this, it is pertinent to ask whether it places the individual in the universe. This is far from clear and the best answer appears to be that it may give hope but that such hope is not realized yet and it is the intuition (in integration with formal science and less formal myth, story and Art) that places the individual. These thoughts on fact and theory may be summarized:

The greatest awareness of contingent facts and patterns (theories) requires all elements of psyche (including the formal.) However…

In addition to the theories that are factual in regard to a specific domain there are the Necessary theories that refer to the universe (All Being)

The Theory of Being has been shown to be necessary. The necessity follows from its reference to being and absence of being rather than any particular kind of being

The apparent contradiction between the necessities of the theory and the facts of this cosmological system should be noted once again. ‘Somewhere’ in all being, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead; this alone does not imply its truth in this (normal) cosmological system. However, as has been seen, the Theory implies the Possibility on earth; and it implies that it is impossible to show that it is impossible. At most what may be read from the development of the theory is the improbability of any such (given) event in a given system

Necessary facts

Are there necessary facts? There is at least one – that there is being (if there were no being, this narrative would be neither written nor read)

The question about necessary facts is important because, then, ‘consequences’ may be deduced by logic alone (with the necessary fact or facts as premise; however since the premises are necessary so are the consequences)

Many necessary facts have been established earlier e.g. the fundamental principle that all consistent systems of descriptions are realized; the Theories of Being, Variety (cosmology,) and Identity. Relative to the entire Universe, these facts are necessary; relative to a normal cosmological system the ones that have meaning may (generally) be either true or false and are contingent; relative to a cosmos, its being is a necessary fact

Nature of induction

What is the logic of the ‘induction’ of a scientific Theory? Is there a logic of induction? If such a logic would be a necessary inference from the ‘data’ to the theory it does not appear that there is or can be one (at least in the normal case.) A scientific law is an induction from a set of data or observations to e.g. a formula (pattern.) In general, though, there is no unique law that corresponds to a set of data (this observation, thought to originate with Hume, is a commonplace in the mathematics of interpolation i.e. of fitting some curve to a set of data.) In practice, it often seems that there is a necessity to a law but that is due to the law being simple or elegant or suggestive of further development but it is not a logical necessity. In a number of cases there are alternate but equivalent (same predictions) theoretical formulations for a given range of phenomena. Some formulations are better suited to calculation, some to generalization to more comprehensive theories. Often, two or more theories are combined into a more comprehensive one. This may give an impression of necessity but the necessity is not a logical one. Although there may be the appearance of necessity to induction there is, in general, no necessity to it – there are various heuristic ‘principles’ that include simplicity and aesthetics but induction does not possess the necessity that deduction may appear to have. Since facts –it will be sufficient for the remainder of this paragraph to take a view of facts as given– are included in the external criteria, any set of internally and externally consistent descriptions and any set of facts must be logically consistent (i.e. an infinite number of ‘theories’ is consistent with any set of facts.) How, then, is it possible to have confidence in scientific theories? Confidence generally grows slowly as more and more phenomena are predicted or explained by a theory –resistance to new theories is not merely reactionary– until, of course, observation and experiment arrive at boundary of the domain of validity of the theory

Generally, arriving at a scientific law or theory is inductive while its application and testing is deductive (that these statements are general means that not every operation in arriving at a law is inductive, that not every operation in application deductive e.g. application may require a model to be built.) Once a law or theory is formulated its testing may be significantly deductive

Induction or discovery tends to be singular and private, testing or justification tends to be deductive and public. However, the divide between discovery and justification is not as sharp as has been thought by some philosophers e.g. Hans Reichenbach (b. 1891, Hamburg, Germany) who insisted that the ‘logic’ of science is the logic of justification. This clearly reflects a Value regarding the use of science. It also reflects a habit of thought that favors the determinate or deterministic pattern of thought over the indeterministic even though the indeterministic (discovery) is essential; this habit was seen earlier in the idea that the relation between substance and Variety of being had to be deterministic which idea led to over two thousand years of interesting but unnecessary substance theory (it was seen that substance ontology can and must be replaced by a non substance ontology which is not, however, a relativist ontology and is final regarding depth)

Introduction to deduction

Attention now turns to deduction. Since, given primitive terms, axioms and methods of proof, the theorems necessarily follow, deduction appears to be necessary i.e. deduction is thought to be proof. However, there are some ways in which this appearance is illusory


A primary application of deductive methods is in mathematics. Deductive logic is connected to mathematics in two ways. First, is the idea due to Russell and Whitehead (Bertrand Arthur William Russell b. 1872, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, England and Alfred North Whitehead b. 1861, Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England) that the theorems of mathematics may be reduced to logic; this reduction, sometimes called logicism, is not generally accepted and to expect the reduction is perhaps unreasonable in that mathematical systems have a structure that logic itself does not clearly possess (however, mathematics may be seen as filling in structure within the framework of Logic.) Second, and more significant, deduction is the method of derivation of theorems in mathematics. While the theorems follow of Necessity, the application of mathematics does not possess the certainty of the theorems. Consider the question, regarding some domain of phenomena, ‘Are the phenomena captured by a discipline of mathematics?’ What is required is search for a structure! The mathematical expression of the structure involves basic ideas (undefined terms, rules of combination, axioms, and methods of proof) and theorems. That the theorems are, in principle, already contained in the fundamental ideas of the mathematical system is expressed by saying that mathematics is tautology i.e. derivation is logically needless. Since the tautologies are not at all obvious and their proof may require great ingenuity, the fact of tautology does not make mathematical proof trivial. However, it may still be that the actual structure is not captured by the mathematics and this may require experiment with, modification of the basic ideas (the applicability of mathematics is often regarded as fortuitous.) This process, which is mathematical, is not at all deductive and is rather like induction. Thus the certainty of deductive systems (in capturing form) is illusory and this illusory character lies in the gap between the form (the structure the mathematics attempts to capture) and the structure generated by the mathematical (axiomatic) structure; and there is a similar gap between logical structure and logical system (even though in some cases there is no gap e.g. the propositional calculus captures ‘implication.’) Less important reasons for the uncertainty include the incompleteness and consistency concerns for mathematical systems

Picture an interweaving network of paths leading from different points at the base of a mountain to the summit. The structure of the network captures some aspects of the shape of the mountain. However the paths do not reach all points on the mountain: some places –hidden lakes, secondary peaks– may be inaccessible from the paths. This is a rough metaphor for the incompleteness of mathematical systems

The analogy has relevance for the earlier discussion of ‘Objects:’ the perception is not the mountain. It may be that the perception of the system of trails is in some sense the perception of the mountain. However, a metaphor in which the perception of the trails is the experience and the perception of the mountain is the entity is inadequate for reasons stated earlier: the (structure of the) experience and the (structure of the) entity are of different kinds

The discovery and application of mathematics have inductive and deductive phases even though discovery emphasizes induction and application (including theorem proving) emphasizes, perhaps, deduction

A note on definition. It becomes clear that even though, in formal work, definition may come at the beginning, the actual ‘Meaning’ of a Concept requires more than definition for its full specification. First, the various concepts must stand in mutual relation and in relation to basic facts or axioms and it is the entire system that captures or fails to capture the target structure, is consistent or inconsistent. Second, the ‘final’ form of system and therefore of concepts and definitions are arrived at by adjustment of the system to match the world or, in the case of mathematics, to form. It is seductive to think that an entire formal or intellectual content can be invested in a formal system and that from then on the system will ‘do the work’ while human being is taken for a ride. Although seductive, an ultimate in the formalization (of Variety of form) would represent –if the ride were the objective– an end to being

A distinction between structures (Forms) and their (mathematical or logical) expression has been made. The expression is the attempt to capture or represent. It is therefore clear that (at least in the normal case) there is no guarantee that mathematics represents form. I.e. even when there is clearly a mathematical form it may fall short of the Form itself. To use a famous metaphor, the mathematics (terms, formation, axiom, proof, theorem) is a scaffolding that is ‘thrown away’ when the building (Form) is realized. The scaffolding is not the building and the form of the scaffolding is a skeletal and at most approximately faithful representation. Therefore there is no surprise that the mathematics is (may be) incomplete; there is no surprise if a hidden paradox should be discovered; there should be no surprise if certain questions are not decidable within formalizations. This may be seen in terms of another analogy. Travelers set out toward an imagined destination. Suppose that they determine their routes at the outset (typically, routes would be corrected in travel but suppose that this is not the case; this is analogous to setting up an axiomatic system as though it will capture a Form.) Paradox is analogous to two travelers of a team labeling distinct destinations ‘The Destination;’ undecidability is roughly analogous to inability of route setting techniques to guarantee arrival at an imagined or glimpsed destination. Dwellers at the edge of the forest (Form) can, from their knowledge, project but not know the interior

A Platonic view of Being without a distinct Platonic world*

A Platonic view of being has been revealed without appeal to a (separate) Platonic world; the Platonic (the Logos) and the (normally) known are of the one world (Universe)

A very short digression on Platonism. The Greek philosopher Plato (b. 427/428 BC, Athens) explained the physical order in terms of a realm of forms accessible only to the Mind of which the beings in this world are imperfect copies. The highest Form is the Form of the Good; this idea is reflected in the development in the sections ‘Morals and society’ and ‘Ethics and objectivity’ and is implicit in the section ‘The Highest Ideal.’ Aristotle (b. 384, Stagira, Greece, attended the Athenian Academy of Plato,) dissatisfied with Platonic metaphysics, introduced a theory of substances in which every kind in the world e.g. wolf, is or has a substance. Aristotle’s theory implies a runaway infinity of substances (why is not each individual wolf a substance) and, as explaining Variety from simplicity, provides little satisfaction. As has been seen, the Metaphysics in this narrative requires no distinct Platonic realm and no substances and yet requires no infinite regress of foundation or explanation but is, in some of its aspects, similar to Platonic metaphysics and may be variously labeled ‘Theory of Being,’ ‘Metaphysics of Immanence,’ ‘Metaphysics of Absence or of the Void.’ (Species of voidism occur in Indian philosophy and Judaism.) Here, however, the forms are immanent in that they are self-adaptations whose explanation, given earlier, shows them to be near symmetric, relatively stable and dynamic

Ask, ‘Is the world normally calculable as in a mathematical realism or is it as a poetic realism – felt but incalculable? Is being infinitely deep or are they lulled by reason’s charms into eternal sleep?’

The nature of mathematics

The major views on the nature of mathematics are Platonism and logicism, discussed above, and intuitionism and formalism. Roughly, intuitionism is the view that the concepts of mathematics are mental constructs and formalism is the view that mathematics is captured in formal systems without regard to the meaning of the signs used in the systems

David Hilbert is strongly associated with the origin of formalism and the Dutch mathematician L. E. J. Brouwer (b. 1881, Overschie, Netherlands) is, similarly, strongly associated with intuitionism. The logicist Kurt Gödel (b. 1906, Brünn, Austria-Hungary) subscribed to a Platonic view of mathematics

Platonism and intuitionism have similarities and might be identical if the intuition were perfectly attuned to the form of being. The foregoing discussions may be seen as favoring a Platonic view of mathematics over the alternatives. It should be remembered, however, that the present view of Platonism is one that does not require or refer to a separate Platonic world

Induction and deduction

Is there a way in which induction can be reduced to deduction? The answer given so far is ‘No!’ Deduction occurs within a definite context. Induction (on the assumption of infinite context or Universe) occurs within an indefinite context. Therefore, in general induction cannot be reduced to deduction. However, it is possible that context can bring induction close to deduction. If, from among all forms of Law, there is a small fraction (subset) whose population (in the universe or context) must dominate all others and if the fraction can be defined in terms of (e.g. a small number of) parameters, then it is possible that a finite number of observations can imply a system of laws to a high degree of probability or even to necessity. Similarly, if the set of (ideal) structures were limited the formulation of mathematical systems to capture such structures could also be close to deduction

That the Theory of Being explicitly captures depth shows that structures that refer to all being and absence of being can be captured. However, since Variety cannot be captured explicitly i.e. in a single picture, it would seem that logic and mathematics are ever open fields – except that, in normal domains, they may be (normally) closed to local intelligence

The concept of Logic*

Recall that the Theory of Being developed the concept of Possibility. The fundamental assertions were first, whatever may be described (conceived, pictured) without contradiction is realized and, second, the Possible and the actual are identical. This suggests the following conceptions

Logic (Logic) is the Theory of Possibility (of the depth and variety of being) or, equally, from the identity of the possible and the actual, Logic is the Theory of the Actual; Logic is what may be said –what holds– in the absence of hypotheses (the derivation and significance of this form of the concept of Logic is clarified in the subsequent section Second proof of…;) Logic is the form of the facts of all being as they stand in mutual relation: logic is the system of necessary relations among facts or, if consistency is required, among hypotheses; logic is the theory of consistent systems of description; all else, including logic and science, that may pass under the names ‘Logic’ or ‘logic’ concern restriction to a context or domain of being

The principle of non contradiction is that an assertion cannot be both true and false must be essential to logic; without it ‘consistency’ would have no meaning or significance. Paradox is endemic to systems that allow contradiction, i.e., that violate the principle of non-contradiction

Logicians and mathematicians are willing to forego this law of logic in search of the possibilities of form – provided that the ‘virus’ of inconsistency may be isolated; however the purpose to the containment is to maintain the practical distinction of truth and falsity

A second principle of classical logic is the principle of the excluded middle that an assertion must be either true or false (i.e. the possibilities for truth values are ‘true’ and ‘false’ and no other such as ‘null’ or ‘in between.’) The following interesting application arises. Consider a solar system with nine planets; one planet ‘earth’ is blue. Consider A = ‘Planet ten is yellow.’ Since there is no planet ten, A is not false; therefore it is true. Similarly, A' = ‘Planet ten is red,’ is also true; however, A' contradicts A (a.) Now consider B = ‘Planet ten is yellow and earth is blue.’ Since there is no planet ten, B is not false; therefore it is true. Similarly, B' = ‘Planet ten is red and earth is blue,’ is also true; however, B' contradicts B (b.) Now, (a) suggests that Reference is necessary to avoid paradox while (b) suggests the improvement that complete reference is necessary. Now consider C = ‘This statement is true.’ Is C either true or false? It is true if true and false if false. Granting the principle of the excluded middle C is equivalent to ‘The truth value of this statement is ‘true’’ or ‘This statement has a truth value and that value is ‘true.’’ The referential character of C does not permit evaluation of a truth value: it makes reference to its truth value as though it is determinate but it is not so; there is no truth value. I.e. there is a paradox associated with C in a logic that accepts the principles of non contradiction and the excluded middle; the source of the paradox is the assumption that it has reference to something definite. In fact the reference is to its own truth value and C may be thought of as an equation on the truth value – for which every truth value (true and false) is a solution. The classic liar paradoxes ‘This statement is false,’ ‘I am lying’ can also be seen in this light. The assumption that the liar statement has a truth value already associates it with paradox. However there is the additional paradox that results from the equivalence of the liar statement to ‘This statement has a truth value and that value is ‘false.’’ (This ‘equation’ has no solution.) Think, also, of another famous paradox that arises in asking, ‘Who shaves the barber?’ of ‘There is a village whose barber shaves all except those who shave themselves.’ If such a village does not exist there is nothing further to say; but it is asserted to exist. If it does exist it then follows that the barber shaves himself if and only if he does not shave himself. The source of the paradox is the assumption that (arbitrary sentence constructions have Meaning and reference and, specifically, that) the village exists (can exist) i.e. that the statement can have reference; the paradox indicates that it can not. In formal logic some paradoxes due to ill founded reference may be avoided by introducing rules of formation of sentences

If paradox is of words but not the world, how can a precise or true description of the world contain paradox? What does this say about paradox? That it is an artifact of description e.g. of Language? What does that say of language? That it is not completely bound to its objects? That it is experimental?

Logic (Logic) is universal law*. Metaphysics and Logic are identical

What is the distinction between the laws of science and Logic? A scientific theory e.g. Newtonian Mechanics sets up a ‘picture of being:’ point particles located in absolute space and Time which may be regarded as the specification of a context (Universe.) The laws that pertain to the context may be regarded as logical. The scientific picture is that the particles interact (forces) and that this (via equations of motion) determines the motion of the particles. The particles are part of the ‘logic’ and the forces of the ‘science.’ The distinction was made because there is a contingent character to the forces (e.g. gravitation) and the laws (connecting force and motion.) Clearly, however, there is an arbitrary character to the distinction. Given a scientific theory (formulated mathematically or conceptually,) the derivation of results (e.g. motion) is logical. Thus the theories of science may be regarded as special logics. Scientific theories may be seen as special cases within Logic. Within Logic, special contexts may be specified that define ‘logics.’ There is a distinction between science and Logic but the boundary is not definite. Necessary law and contingent law are not altogether distinct

If Logos is the form of all being i.e. the collection of forms, Intuition is attunement to Logos, Metaphysics (Logic) may be regarded as the formal or symbolic study of Logos and Induction is the translation of perception (and Intuition) into Metaphysics. The sciences, art and poetry may be seen as ‘departments’ within Metaphysics (Logic)

In Logic as the Theory of Possibility, logic and contingent law merge. This suggests the following formulation: Logic is the constitutive form of Being*

Logic is the constitutive Form of being. A logic is the constitution of a context. A law of behavior e.g. a scientific law (within a context) is one of many possible laws (each contingent) that may be mutually inconsistent but each consistent with constitution

As noted, the distinction between constitutive ‘law’ and contingent law is not precise (in the present formulation)

Second proof of the ‘fundamental principle’ of the Theory of Being

The fundamental principle, demonstrated in the section ‘Theory of Being. First proof…’ is the entire system of consistent descriptions is (must be) realized i.e. where use of ‘is’ has the atemporal or global sense. The earlier proof deployed the concept of the void (whose existence was demonstrated) and properties of the void. Here, a more direct demonstration i.e. one that does not refer to the void is attempted. However, difficulties arise that are a result of seeking to base a proof in this world e.g. the local cosmological system rather than in the nature of all being (the universe.) The earlier proof is seen to have succeeded because the concept of all being is implicit in the void or absence of being. The present attempt results in revelation of a number of fundamental equivalents to the existence of the void

Preliminary: Necessary propositions are those that are true in every sub-manifold of the universe (i.e. true without reference i.e. true by tautology) while contingent or ‘material’ propositions are those that are realized only in some sub-manifolds (if a proposition is realized in no sub-manifolds its negation is Necessary so the truth of a contingent proposition in at least one sub-manifold is implicit in the definition.) Proof is simple. Here ‘Ù’ is ‘and’ and ‘~’ means ‘not.’ Let C be contingent i.e. sometimes true and sometimes false i.e. ~C must also be contingent. If ~C is always true then it is necessary; therefore ~C must be sometimes false i.e. C must be realized. I.e. every description (with reference) must be realized. Similarly, if A, B, C… are contingent and A Ù B Ù C Ù … is consistent, it is realized. Weakness of the proof: It is assumed that the Necessary propositions are not synthetic i.e. that they are true in virtue of not making material reference. It is conceivable that a synthetic proposition, e.g. the electron is indivisible, could be necessary (modern physics appears to indicate that the electron is indeed indivisible.) In this case, the negation does not appear to be a contradiction but would not be realized. The divisibility of the electron follows from the Theory of Being; however, the objective of a second proof is to not assume that theory. It appears that the fundamental principle cannot be deduced from logic or from the being and nature of the local world alone and that considerations of all being (and absence of being) may be necessary to proof (the importance of these concepts in the first proof and in the development of the metaphysics has been emphasized earlier.) Is there a concept of Logic that would permit a logical proof? Perhaps that Logic can contain no contingent facts e.g. the fact regarding the structure of the electron. Observation: The importance of reference is revealed again. Also note: The proof idea is inherent in the notion of contingency: if A and B are contingent, then when A is true, B must sometimes be false or else B would follow logically from A. If A = N (the null proposition i.e. nothing is asserted) and B = ~C then ~C must be sometimes false or else it would follow from N. Therefore, every contingent proposition C must be sometimes true… The proof is related to Hume’s statement regarding Necessity ‘From the truth of one proposition, the truth of another does not follow’ (and Wittgenstein’s modification in which ‘proposition’ is replaced by ‘atomic proposition.’) The emphasis on another proposition indicates that the other proposition is distinct i.e. not logically contained in the former; in the case of logical containment the second proposition does follow but it is not strictly an other proposition (the explanation is not required in the case of atomic propositions for the concept of an atomic proposition requires that it be logically independent of all other atomic propositions)

It is concluded that the concepts of being, absence of and all being or their equivalent are necessary to proof of the fundamental principle of being and therefore to the development of the metaphysics and the concept of Logic. It is interesting that an extreme application of Ockham’s razor may accomplish the same task. In science, Ockham’s principle amounts to making no unnecessary hypotheses; Ockham’s is a minimalist principle – only those ‘hypotheses’ are made that reflect the structure or form of the domain. Here, the extreme use is to make no hypotheses whatsoever and shall take the form No Contingent Proposition is Universally True. I.e. every contingent proposition must be true in some sub-domains of the universe and untrue in others and it is this that is the foundation of the second approach to proof of the fundamental principle

That no contingent proposition is universally true has meaning in regard to the existence (demonstrated earlier) of many actual worlds (sub-domains of the universe e.g. local cosmological systems. Every contingent proposition is true in some ‘worlds’ and not in others. A local meaning of ‘possible’ regards a contingent proposition that though perhaps not true in this world, is true in a similar (e.g. with the same laws of physics) world. However, as seen earlier, regarding the universe there is no distinction between possibility and actuality. That no contingent proposition is universally true may be seen as an absolute indeterminism


Detailed treatment of logics awaits a later writing. However the following assertions may be made

The concepts of truth, of falsity and implication are central to logic. Implication is important as the bearer of truth by deduction

The law of non contradiction is fundamental. The law of the excluded middle has been seen to be questionable at least in that if arbitrary forms of proposition are accepted it is no longer true. If it is true, a variety of paradoxical forms of proposition arise (e.g. in that propositions that do not have a truth value are assumed to have one.) Thus the law of the excluded middle is also fundamental in that it excludes certain paradoxical forms; however, from the discussion of the role of reference, it is not clear that it is necessary in order to exclude those forms or that it excludes all paradoxical forms

The Theory of Being has implications for Possibility, actuality and Necessity i.e. for ‘modal’ logic

From the ideas of Logic as constitutive Form, the suggestion follows that logics are constitutive forms of contexts

Some logics. The following are included as outlining some areas of later application. What is needed first is an approach to classifying logic – see e.g. Susan Haack’s Philosophy of Logics (1978.) Then, select some principle(s) of classification e.g. formal vs. informal (‘Theory of Rationality’ may be placed here;) meta-logic; then classical logic (2-valued sentence calculus, predicate calculi, identity theory for ‘=’, and immediate inference and the Aristotelian syllogistic on the categorical propositions) vs. ‘extended’ logics (modal, tense, deontic, epistemic, preference, imperative, and erotetic –interrogative– logics) vs. ‘deviant’ logics (many-valued, Intuitionist, quantum, and free logics) vs. ‘inductive’ logics; also consider ‘applied logics’


Since mind is implicit in some of the earlier discussions, it may have been appropriate to make an explicit introduction to the concept of mind earlier. However, it is helpful in terms of understanding to introduce mind here, before the discussions of ‘Cosmology’ and ‘Human being.’ General purposes to including a discussion of mind include self-understanding (for sentient beings) and developing a cosmology: the presence of mind in the universe is a fundamental fact. Understanding of mind is also fundamental to the ambition expressed earlier in the narrative

One possibility regarding mind would be to not mention it explicitly at all. There would of course be implicit mention at a variety of places e.g. when talking of experience of objects or when discussing the nature of human or animal being. The purpose to avoiding explicit mention of mind would be to avoid habitual errors associated with the concept. The primary error is to suppose that mind and Matter are distinct and although this distinction is not subtle it is encouraged by subtle assumptions regarding mind e.g. mind is distinct from its various aspects – that after the aspects have been discussed, it remains to discuss mind itself. The idea that mind and matter are separate leads to the thought that they are categorially distinct and once this thought is in place (is taken as axiomatic) it is logically impossible to understand the origin of mind in a material world or the presence of mind in material (human) bodies

It has been seen that given substance as simple and deterministic, substance theories are logically impossible. I.e. from the common senses of mind and matter, idealism (mind as the fundamental substance) and materialism are untenable. However the strength of the modern ontological commitment to matter is such that most modern western thinkers maintain at least an implicit materialism

One of the objectives to the present section is to attempt clarification of the metaphysical concerns regarding the issues of mind and matter

The concept of Matter does not exclude mind. Indefiniteness of the common concepts of mind and matter

A problem (perhaps the problem) with the idea of matter is the confusion of the idea with theories of matter. The idea of matter is the idea that the world contains material entities that can be felt and touched and so on. A theory of matter is much more precise than the idea of matter. In a Newtonian theory matter is made up of point particles that are devoid of internal structure; in the quantum theory there may be structure; the completion of a theory occurs when the behavior of common material systems is explained (derived) from the properties of the particles. The concepts of mind play no role in the theories or the explanations. This is the source of paradox – if it is given that human bodies are made up of matter how is mind possible? The resolution is so simple as to often avoid notice. The theories of matter make no reference to mind. It is quite reasonable to think that the Newtonian picture is devoid of mental characteristics. In the case of quantum theory it is not obvious that mind is not implicit; the actual relations between the possibilities of quantum theory and mental phenomena remain undetermined. On the other hand, there is nothing in the idea of matter that should rule out mind. ‘Inert matter’ appears to be devoid of mind but this is perhaps a mere appearance – perhaps matter is not inert (and certainly modern physics confirms this even though it is silent on whether the non inertness entails mind – which silence is often confused with the idea that mind is absent in matter; and there is no reason to think that the quantum theory –or modern physics in its totality– provides an ultimate picture of matter.) As will be seen, mind must be at least implicit in any final account of physics. Provided that the errors and their underlying assumptions are avoided, there need be no bar against talk of mind

The common concept of matter has been seen to be indefinite. It will be seen that there is a similar indefiniteness in common talk of mind

Mind. Mind versus manifestations and particular cases of mind

A crucial distinction regarding mind is mind-as-humans-and-other-animals-have-it versus mind in general. The central characteristic of high level (human and animal) mind is experience. ‘Experience’ has a variety of meanings. The meaning here is as follows. It is the feel of a cool breeze on a warm day, the color of the sunset, the sensing of the color and fragrance of a rose, the feeling of joy, and the awareness of a scene. When having the sense of the quality of color or of the pitch of a musical note, the individual is having experience. In a well known article, What It Is Like to Be a Bat, 1974, the philosopher Thomas Nagel (b. 1937, Belgrade, in what was then Yugoslavia) explained the present meaning of experience in terms of the phrase ‘What it is like’ i.e. it is like something to experience the fragrance of a rose; what it is like is the quality of the fragrance. Without experience (at all in the entire manifold of being) there would be no ‘significance in being.’ This would mean that even if there were beings who behaved as though they felt joy there would be no joy, even if they behaved as though they had thoughts there would be no (inner) experience of having thoughts. Notice that the ‘definition’ of experience was by example and by similar ideas (feeling, awareness) that are not more fundamental than the idea (experience) being explained. This is because (it seems) that there is nothing that is more fundamental. A problem already encountered now recurs. How is it that experience (e.g. feeling, awareness, consciousness) that does not occur in ‘mere’ actuality (matter) occurs in humans and animals? There are but two alternatives. First, Matter is devoid of mind altogether. On this alternative, explanation of mind is condemned to eternal logical paradox. Second, matter is not devoid of mind. This alternative may strain the imagination –surely the elementary particles of matter, e.g. electrons and quarks, do not have thoughts or emotions– but entails no logical paradox. There are two lines of offense against the second alternative. One is the position, already dismissed as logically absurd, that matter is altogether devoid of mind. The second is the common objection that it is absurd to suggest that atoms have thoughts and emotions (and so on.) However, this is not entailed by the idea that matter is not devoid of mind. A brick or a statue is made of matter; this does not imply that atoms are like little bricks or little statues. Similarly, that matter is not devoid of mind does not mean that at the level of atoms (and so on) there are thoughts and emotions. Rather it means that there are primitive elements of mind (they could be called primitive feeling –the effect of one element in another– but even ‘feeling’ might suggest something too removed from the primitive level) among the primitive elements of matter

Another objection to this extension of mind to the primal case has to do with the observation that (human) experience is often about something. An individual sees a sunset; her or his experience is about the sunset. This quality of aboutness, labeled ‘intentionality’ by the German philosopher Franz Brentano (b. 1838, Marienberg, Germany,) is clearly significant to mind for it is crucial that mental content be about the world. Intentionality is regarded today (c. 2006) as important in itself and as central in any explanation of mind in material terms. Since intentionality is not central to the present narrative it is not discussed extensively; there are, however, a few remarks on the topic in subsequent sections. The objection regarding intentionality is that if the elementary particles of matter and so on do not have intentionality, how can it be that the particles in aggregate (brains) have intentionality? (The concern is an aspect of the mind-matter problem.) A resolution to the problem of intentionality is discussed in the section ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ of the next division

From the extension of the concept of mind to the primal case, it is possible to explain (in principle) macro-level material form and behavior as well as macro-level mental Experience and its forms without categorial paradox and without any need to confront any of the other classical mind-matter paradoxes e.g. mental causation which is the ability of ‘mind’ to have effect in the ‘material world.’ The ‘problem’ of mental causation does not arise on the present account because it contains no split of the world into mind and matter but, instead, its only true distinction is verbal whereas its ‘material’ distinction is (like) one of thing (matter) and relation (e.g. effect e.g. force i.e. mind.) Without the extension to the primal root, paradox arises. With the extension (which has no inherent inconsistencies and which may be done so as to avoid the absurdities mentioned earlier) the various paradoxes of mind and matter no longer occur and a uniform theory of being, i.e. one in which the division into duals e.g. that of mind and matter, is obtained. There is of course a real problem and that is of explaining the varieties of mental experience and behavior from the primitive; this is of course more a possibility or challenge than a fundamental problem and it concerns, should it prove to be feasible, scientific explanation, and not the resolution of a logical divide

The explanation given in the previous paragraphs has it that the primitive or elementary forms of being may be regarded as having modes that may be described as or labeled ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ and that although the descriptions may be separated the thing being described knows no such separation. It is superficially open to the criticism that the concept of mind whose empirical origin is observation of the animal domain (some might add plants) is extended without warrant to the depth of being. However this is not the precisely case. Two distinct concepts have been identified – mind-as-manifest-in-the-animal-domain and mind (without restriction;) it is the unrestricted version that is applied to the depth. The explanation is necessary in that it is one of two possibilities and that the alternative explanation results in logical contradiction. The explanation eliminates rather than resolves the paradoxes of the presence of mind in material bodies (the mind-paradox) and the paradox of mental causation; it has no inherent contradiction; it undercuts the potential absurdity that there are thoughts, emotions and so on at the level of elementary particles. In principle the explanation of elaborations of mind in humans is via combinations and layering of the primitive mental elements. This is very much the way in which an in principle explanation in terms of material elements (also adequately extended) would be given. This is expected since the ‘material’ and ‘mental’ (and explanations based in them) are not distinct. The explanation has the advantage that it explicitly eliminates what is thought to be the gap between mind and matter. I.e. the explanation of higher (human and animal) mind does not face the logical paradox or divide associated with explaining how mind is manifest in (what is thought to be mindless) matter. A uniform explanation of sentient being has been given in which it is not necessary to explicitly refer to mind and matter (there would of course be reference under some name to mental and material objects)

How will this explanation affected by the picture of the universe in the next section, ‘Cosmology?’ It will be consistent to regard the ephemera from the void as capable of ‘mental’ and ‘material’ description. It may be likely that life and mind as-humans-and-other animals-have-it occur only in normal cosmological systems. It will be seen to be possible that a system that is devoid of recognizable mind (as-humans-other-animals-have-it) may acquire infusions of life and mind from other systems or, perhaps, the background universe


It is possible to make some general remarks on originality or innovation in ideas or thought. Think of originality as composed of new ideas and novel (re) arrangements of ideas. Some writers suggest that there are no new ideas – that all originality is rearrangement or (Plato) recollection. Regarding the entire manifold of being as a whole, there is, of course, nothing new. Further, if knowledge is discovery there is no creation of knowledge. However, the genesis and path of development of a normal domain (cosmological system) is not given at the outset or at any stage. Its further development starting at any time (including any initial or near initial state) may be conditioned but is not determined by its state at that time. In this sense the forms and structures of the domain are new. The words (and language) used by human beings are new in this sense; they were not (explicitly) there at the beginning. The generation of words cannot have been entirely genetic. Language can be seen as a property of the individual and the selection of genes occurred in part by success in generating useful novel forms (originality is real.) Now consider (re) arrangements of ideas that correspond to the world. Although the world may be relatively fixed over the origin of Language or the origin of descriptions of some of its features, the word combinations are novel. If the number of possible rearrangements of ideas exceeds computational ability, originality is required to see the viable ones

What is the source or location of the originality? It is essential that some ideas and arrangements occur spontaneously – perhaps what is spontaneous is an idea fragment. These fragments may occur at the intersection of the known and the unknown, of associations and possible associations, and it is reasonable to suggest that comprehension of a tradition of knowledge and exercise of imagination are conducive to productive originality

These thoughts show that the occurrence of new ideas relative to the history of a local cosmology is essential. It is also clear that relative to the universe (All Being) there is a sense in which there is ‘nothing new under the sun.’ Creation is recreation; this is another way of stating Plato’s idea that learning and discovery are recollection

The foregoing considerations apply to discovery in the world – including science. If a branch of mathematics is formulated axiomatically, its system of theorems forms a tautology. In any significant branch of mathematics the number of well formed statements far exceeds the number of theorems and so seeing significant theorems and generating proofs requires originality. Additionally, development and adjustment of axiomatic systems and the recognition of useful or productive domains of mathematics is not reducible to a system of tautology (is not an algorithmic process) and requires originality. While every life, every culture, every world are given in the manifold of being, their origin and continuation requires forms that are novel to their conditions and, in the case of human mind, thought that is original to its conditions. Regeneration is the sustenance of being

In the sections on ‘Human being’ and ‘Principles of thought,’ below, there are some further thoughts on originality


The discussion of Mind so far may be adapted to illuminate a variety of questions regarding consciousness – a topic that has seen resurgence in interest (starting c. 1975.) In the present meaning (perhaps the primary meaning in recent writing) consciousness is precisely Experience as used earlier. From the earlier discussion, in human-or-animal-experience and primal experience, ‘experience’ may be consistently replaced by ‘feeling,’ ‘awareness,’ or ‘consciousness’ even though the connotations of these words may make it problematic to do so. (The connotations of ‘feeling’ may make it undesirable to bring the phrase ‘primal feeling’ into common use.) The philosophical problem of consciousness, i.e. of explaining its presence in material bodies, is precisely the mind-matter problem of which a resolution (by elimination) was given in the previous paragraphs. Awareness is used in a meaning that is similar to that of consciousness and in another meaning in which the individual has access to the information without consciousness of it. This may appear to be paradoxical but the phenomenon of access without awareness has been observed in brain injured patients (who, in certain experiments, have behaved as if aware of an object in the visual field, without being able to report awareness of the object.) Some writers have said that for consciousness, awareness of awareness is necessary and others write that Language is necessary for consciousness. It seems however that awareness of awareness is one factor that may make for focusing of attention and that language makes it possible to describe consciousness and to talk about it and that to be able to report awareness, awareness of awareness would be necessary – simple awareness would not be enough (in this sentence, ‘awareness’ may be replaced by ‘consciousness.’) Therefore the fact that an individual is unable to report awareness does not mean that he or she was not conscious of the relevant information. This is consistent with the necessary conceptual extension of Mind to the root of being

That extension may similarly explain at least some aspects of the ‘unconscious’ as actually conscious but without (sufficient) awareness of the fact of consciousness so that e.g. after the experience was over it would not be registered in memory. (Other aspects of the unconscious may be of stored experience that are not currently recalled and that have varying degrees of remoteness which may be due to weakening of memory associations, perhaps to ‘defenses,’ and due to what is stored being the form of the information i.e. the intuition and its laying down should be in either direct experience or in evolution)

Some writers have described a concept that they label ‘access consciousness’ and refer to consciousness as used here as ‘phenomenal consciousness.’ They justify this move by arguing that it is precisely access to information without (phenomenal) consciousness that is what they call access consciousness. The arguments here, however, have shown that access consciousness – the ability to act on information without being able to report it does not imply lack of (phenomenal) consciousness. There is no argument here that the phenomena that are labeled access consciousness do not occur but that such labeling gains nothing and introduces confused terminology and reflects misinterpretation of the data regarding inability to report consciousness in cases of awareness (or, if not misinterpretation, then a manipulation of it.) Consciousness has been said to be on-off in that the individual appears to be either conscious of something or not but that consciousness does not ‘dim’ gradually into unawareness. An explanation that preserves the seeming on-off character without requiring it in fact may be that it is consciousness of consciousness that is on-off

A final concern regarding consciousness is to understand how or why it arose in evolution. Given that elements of experience have always been present the appropriate concern is how the elaborate, intense or focal forms of consciousness arose. The answer to this question is, in principle, very simple. It is that the elaborations correspond to the forms of the world, the intense forms correspond to what is important for adaptation (survival,) and (some of) the focal forms correspond to the ability of an organism attend to elements of novelty and originality while other focal forms are more directly related to day-to-day adaptation. Thus it is not the primitive elements of consciousness (feeling) that arise in the evolution of life but the elaborate, intense, varied and focal forms of it that arise as combinations of the elements, recording of experience (memory,) specialization of the combinations, layering and self-reference. It is not fully accurate to think that, as some have written, that ‘consciousness is evolution become aware of itself.’ Rather, acute animal consciousness is a concentration of primal consciousness or awareness (in the organism… It is appropriate to use the phrase ‘primal consciousness’ provided that the idea is not thought to refer to higher forms in miniature i.e. there is no logical problem in this use.) These brief remarks have been made as an illustration of the extension of the concept of mind but are not intended to illustrate the variety of recent thought on consciousness

The section, ‘Human being,’ below, continues the discussion of mind in terms that are more specific to human including animal mind and are, therefore, more concrete, detailed and structured


The idea that mind and matter are substances suggests that there may be many other substances or attributes of being. A suggestion of this kind was put forward by the Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinoza (b. 1632, Amsterdam , Netherlands.) Spinoza reflected that there may be an infinite number of attributes. Here however, mind and matter have been roughly identified as ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ aspects of being and this suggests that there is no list of attributes that continues the series mind, matter… This suggests that while there may be degrees and elaborations of consciousness unknown to human being there is no mode of being beyond consciousness (this does not imply that other degrees of consciousness will be recognized by human being.) On the other hand, since the sensory modalities correspond roughly to the modes of physical interaction it is easy to imagine the existence of e.g. cosmological systems where creatures have sensory modalities that are not possessed by any living form on earth

That the list mind, matter… may have no continuation does not imply that there is no other basis for a system of attributes

Morals and metaphysics

The previous section, Mind, may have been labeled ‘Mind and metaphysics.’ A similar section on morals or ethics could be placed here; however, Ethics will not be only about morals but will also be an occasion to integrate considerations of metaphysics, knowledge, and value. In this capacity, it will be more effective to defer discussion of Ethics till after the discussion of ‘Human being’


In its exclusive or ‘pure’ sense, metaphysics is, it has been seen, the Theory of (the Depth of) Being. Cosmology is the Theory of Variety. Metaphysics founds cosmology. In a broader (inclusive) sense, metaphysics includes cosmology; an appropriate broadening of both metaphysics and cosmology renders them identical. The local cosmological system is the domain or region of the observed universe when reliably extended by the laws of physics as currently accepted; since what is observed, what is reliable and what are accepted laws of physics achieves at most partial even if good consensus, and since all of these factors change over time, the ‘local cosmological system’ appears to be a definite idea but is not, even at a given time, precisely determined in its extension

The objectives of this section include (1) to see what the Theory of Being may imply for cosmology and to build up a picture of cosmological variety, (2) to interpret or reinterpret a range of objects (and phenomena) of the local cosmological system in terms of the general cosmological picture – this will include the nature of the local cosmology. The range of objects and phenomena include reiteration of the implicit Variety of the Theory of Being, mechanism and indeterminism, evolutionary biology, annihilation and its likelihood, recurrence, ‘fact is more varied than fiction,’ scripture and truth, the nature of death and of personal Identity, the nature and possibilities of Creation and God, universal interaction, ghosts and ghost universes, Time and space and manifold – their nature and the question of their absolute versus relative status, modern theoretical physics, mind, substance, atomism, and Divides in the origin of animal and Human being

General cosmology

General cosmology and cosmology are identical. I.e. in general cosmology there is no restriction of domain or kind of being. For purposes of the present discussion of ‘general cosmology’ it will be abbreviated to ‘cosmology’

The Void is an element of the cosmology

The principle that ‘generates’ the Variety of being is the ‘Fundamental Principle of the Theory of Being’ i.e. the principle that the entire system of consistent descriptions is (must be) realized

That is, not only are all possible entities realized but also realized are all arrangements of entities, all laws, all patterns, all mechanisms of generation of generation. The enhancement from ‘entities’ to ‘arrangements’ and so on may be understood also by seeing the arrangements etc. as complex or compound entities

Mechanism. Necessity of indeterminism. Probability of incremental change

The ‘original’ mechanism of generation is variations (required by indeterminism) from an initial state and selection i.e. relative duration of Existence i.e. relative stability of those variations that are self-adapted i.e. near symmetric. That is the mechanism is that of variations and selection of relatively stable states. Perfect symmetry is infinitely unlikely i.e. is not arrived at but if it were realized it would be ‘frozen’ i.e. would remain unchanged (except for the ‘intervention’ of indeterministic elements from without e.g. the Void – which is not truly without.) The initial state relative to which (further) generation is considered may, according to context, be the void, the ‘first’ state of manifest being, a normal cosmological system (defined earlier and explained further below,) earth just before the origin of life, life at any point in its history, living forms just before the advent of consciousness (as has been seen in the discussion ‘Mind,’ it is more accurate to say ‘just before the emergence of acute consciousness,’) life just before acute imagery, before free imagery, before the symbol and before the free symbol (defined later under ‘Human being,’) and cultural change

As described, the generic mechanism is identical in the foregoing cases. On account of the differing initial states, the manifest details of the mechanism vary. For example, in the case of life, genetic structure and replication are involved and in the case of sexual species, sexual reproduction is involved as well. More primitive cases do not involve reproduction although there may perhaps be mechanisms of replication that are more primitive than bio-genetic replication. I.e. although the idea for variation and selection may come from biology, the biological case is not taken as paradigmatic

The justification of the universality generic mechanism for the origin of novelty is as for the outline of the justification in the case of life that was given earlier in ‘Logic.’ The mechanism of indeterministic variation and selection is necessary when the ‘end’ result is too complex to originate deterministically from (contains elements not determined by) the initial state

Normal mechanism: incremental change

The argument for Necessity does not specify whether the ‘path’ from initial to end state occurs in a single step, in large steps or incremental. The argument was that incremental change is (perhaps in most circumstances) colossally more likely than single or large steps. Even though the normal mechanism is, in any instance, only more likely, there must be instances of its occurrence (this follows from the fundamental principle of the Theory of Being and, similarly, even though single step change to a more complex state is unlikely, that that shall occur is also necessary. While an incremental explanation of complexity was given, incremental change though far more likely, is not necessary and there must be instances of large single step change even if generally unlikely and even if absent from a given cosmological system)

The ‘normal mechanism’ is implicated in all the examples stated above e.g. from the Void to first manifest being, from early manifest being (which has at least some normal characteristics if relatively stable i.e. if more stable than the Necessary ephemera that emanate from the void) to normal cosmological systems and so on

Further results in general cosmology. Annihilation. Recurrence and Karma. Recurrence and Identity. Significance in being. Fact, fiction and the unending Variety of being. Scripture and truth. The nature of death. Creation. God. The idea of self-creation. Interaction of the elements of being. Ghosts and ghost cosmological systems. There are no distinct universes. The Limit of imagination

Some properties of the Universe as a whole follow from the natures (properties) of ‘being,’ ‘Void,’ ‘universe.’ Any entity including the manifest universe or a normal cosmological system is capable of annihilation at any time. In general, annihilation may be spontaneous even if unlikely. In the normal case the annihilator system evolves from the void and since it must match the nature of the system to be annihilated, annihilation is unlikely: it may be said that, roughly, the likelihood of annihilation ‘by’ an external and normal annihilator is that of a single step origin of the system (which is much less than the odds of incremental origin.) The more complex the system the more unlikely is annihilation

Every event, every normal system, every realization of a consistent description, recurs infinitely in Time and space i.e. and more accurately over the manifold of being (subject to the requirement that a description of the recurrence should also be consistent.) Such recurrence may in certain cases be interpreted as karma

Every individual recurs. As was seen in discussing Identity, such recurrence has significance in being only when the discrete consciousness (the consciousness of the discrete individual) merges in a more comprehensive consciousness. ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead’ occurs in countless cosmological systems (excepting evidence to the contrary this means that the possibility on this earth is Necessary but not that the occurrence was necessary, probable, or given)

The laws of science, the articles of religion, the depictions of Art and literature including fiction, the extreme fantasies of imagination are realized (except for logical contradiction.) Every possible (i.e. non contradictory description of a) state (of affairs) is realized i.e. the Universe is one of unending variety that infinitely exceeds any given description or imagination – any science or art or fiction; it includes the unimagined though not (perhaps) the unimaginable

The story of the Bible is realized in one domain, the Koran in another, and some combination in a third (what is realized in each instance is some consistent account of the scriptures.) Thus the contradictions of Bible versus Koran are actual only if literally applied to the same domain e.g. this world. While this gives support to literal interpretations it does not justify application to this world or cosmos. The ‘moral’ significance of the scriptures must include the non-literal – even though the literal interpretations are realized in some domain of the manifold of manifest being; the moral significance requires this possibility. Jesus Christ is risen and rising from the dead in countless sub-domains; this necessary fact lends no credence to rising from the dead on this earth except that it is not impossible i.e. its negation is not certain. The Theory of Being is implicitly ultimate with regard to breadth; however, even its explicit breadth is infinitely greater than is that of the traditional understanding of science, Faith, myth, art and fiction

The ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead’ is fundamental to Christian Faith. Some interpreters assign non-literal meanings to the articles of religion; one assigned significance has been that the rising from the dead points to human ignorance of the nature of death. From recurrence, every individual recurs infinitely in the manifold of being. From the Theory of Identity, meaning is given to the individual recurrences as they merge into an Identity that spans the otherwise isolated occurrences

If a creator is external to the Creation, the Universe (All Being) has no creator. The origin of manifest being from the void may be described as a process of creation but it is one without an original or external creator. One part of the manifest universe may ‘create’ another part. However, it is reasonably clear that creation of a formed cosmos by an external agent is much less likely than ‘intrinsic’ formation by mechanisms (variation and selection.) It is possible, however, that one part of the manifest universe may condition the creation and ongoing formation of another. It is perhaps empty to talk of ‘God’ since the word evokes specific images, meanings, and supernatural powers. Still, to insist on avoiding reference to all Power whatsoever because certain historical and religious thought may be in contingent error is, as is insistence on reifying such reference, to assign excessive weight to human preoccupation. Any ‘God’ is part of the universe and may be implicated in the creation of another part e.g. a cosmos but there is no god outside the universe and the entire universe was not created by any god. The entire universe may be found in different degrees of manifestation – including absence of manifestation; however, the universe is not created – can not be created by an external agency because nothing is external to the universe

The era of scholastic philosophy saw a variety of definitions or conceptions of ‘God’ e.g. the most ‘perfect’ being… and proofs of the existence of God. A proof can have no more ‘real’ significance than the real significance of the concept whose existence is demonstrated. Proof of the existence of one conception of God does not imply the existence of another conception. Perhaps, therefore, the question of the existence of God is essentially an experiential endeavor; within the realm of experience, however, it may be recognized that there may be a variety of conceptions each of which may have its own appeal

Here, reference to the ideas ‘God’ and ‘Power’ is made to connect to human sentiment. The foregoing thoughts would carry through also in terms of the neutral idea of power as effect (which is not to be equated to normal causation)

Creative power is immanent in being. If the universe is divided (in thought) into different regions, creative power is both local and non-local; these are immanent and superposed forms of creation. Regarding the universe as a whole, ‘creation’ is immanent

It is possible to think that the universe creates itself. However, if a creator is external to creation then, as already seen, the universe cannot create itself. However, once there is manifest being a given state of the universe may, until information regarding that state is ‘lost,’ condition subsequent states. While any entity may contribute to its future, full self-creation is logically impossible. It should not be thought that the ‘creation’ (from the void) occurs once; from ‘recurrence’ it is clear that the creation of manifest being and the dissolution of manifest being into the void occurs repetitively without beginning or end. Creation from the void is perhaps an inappropriate description of the emergence from the void. The void does not ‘cause’ manifestation; rather, it is inherent in the void that there is and can be no restriction on manifestation

It will be useful to carefully review the ideas of ‘creation’ and ‘creator.’ The ideas involve first that where there was nothing there is something new and second that the process of manifestation is causal in some sense. If a process results in no new outcome whatsoever, the appellation ‘creation’ does not apply; if something new comes about in the presence of an individual but the individual was not instrumental or causal in the process the individual cannot be said to have created what is new. Since absence cannot be causal, self-creation, as has been seen, is impossible. It has been seen that the concept ‘creator of the universe’ is logically self-contradictory; however, even if there were no contradiction, as substance or substantial, the concept has no explanatory power for the question ‘Who or what created the creator?’ remains unanswered. The void, however, does not create; rather, the world manifests and un-manifests from and to the void which is not outside the universe but is (among other things) the universe in its un-manifest phases. The substantial and explanatory powers of the void result from relinquishing determinism and causality. Creative power may be thought to be immanent in being; however such ‘creation’ must involve elements of indeterminism or a-causation

A creator of the universe is a special entity, hypothesized to satisfy a need for causal or deterministic explanation (and whose existence would entail a contradiction since the concept of ‘creator of the universe’ requires that it be outside the universe while the concept of the universe requires all entities.) The void is not a special entity – it is one of the many equivalent states of the universe; explanation and substantiality based in the void are and cannot be deterministic or causal

Every entity or element of being interacts with every other element; the strengths of interaction vary by colossal amounts so that (at least in some normal systems) there are, in effect, only a ‘few’ major interactions. If by ‘ghost’ is meant something that has no interactions, there can be no ghosts; however, if a ‘ghost’ is something that interacts with a given entity only weakly then there are and must be ghosts and ghost universes (i.e. ghost cosmological systems. Such systems may pass through one another with only a whispered interaction.) If there were non-interacting systems, they might be called distinct universes (even though one ‘universe’ could never know another.) However, because of universal interaction, there cannot be distinct i.e. non-interacting ‘universes.’ I.e. the earlier definition of the uni-verse as all being is good in that the universe is unitary i.e. fully self-interactive. If a map of the interactions is drawn, outside the map there is no being but the void – although the void is the absence of being it may be equivalently thought of as the null or zero being

Although human knowledge of possibility is normally limited by the contingent human powers of imagination, these do not constitute limits on possibility. A description of a being whose contingent limits is much greater than that of human being is consistent; such a being is necessary. (An objection to this kind of exploration of possibility is the assertion that a description in which such a being does not occur is also possible. The objection is invalid since such a being may occur in one cosmological system but not in another. That such a being should not occur in any part of the universe would constitute a law of the void and is therefore not a possibility)

Time and space

Time is involved in duration i.e. in all origination even from the Void; space is involved in distinction, extension or separation. A kind of space and Time occur in the origin of first manifest being from the void. It is clear that space and time may not be altogether independent; but developing a description is likely a matter of intricacy (see the section ‘Topics for investigation,’ below.) Relative to a more stable, durable cosmological system with quasi-determinism and quasi-causation (that must occur) it is possible to talk of the ‘origin of time and space’ for the ‘origin of time’ is an origin of a more coherent, coordinated, dominant time; and the origin of space is e.g. as conceived in singularity (big-bang) theories. It should be clear then, that it is not possible on account of the Theory of Being or general cosmology to decide whether the local space-time should be absolute or relative in character: both are possible and each occurs and must occur in some systems

The question of the absolute versus relative character of space and time in the local cosmos is, therefore, inescapably empirical. I.e. if deduced from a theory, that theory must be contingent

Dominant versus multiple times and relative strength of interaction

It is possible, therefore necessarily occurs, that two normal cosmological systems whose structures are maintained by their local dynamics, have interactions that are much weaker than the local forces. Thus, one cosmos could pass through another as a ‘whisper.’ Each cosmos would have its own Time but detection of the time of the other cosmos would be possible with sufficiently delicate instruments. The weak interactions between the two cosmoses could strengthen and the two could become one. It is further possible that the two times could come into coherence i.e. become one. All ‘coulds’ and ‘possibilities’ of the previous few sentences must be realized in the Universe

In the local cosmos, the individual particles may each be regarded as having its own time. The phenomenon of a single dominant time may have resulted from the particles being brought into coherence or from an initial or near-initial coherence that resulted from the conditions of formation. The phenomenon of a single time may be seen as the coincidence of the individual times (referred to a base state e.g. absence of motion and gravitational field.) ‘Light-speed’ would then appear to be a local constant and its constancy would appear, even locally, to be contingent; there can, however, be no universal speed of propagation of all interaction

The foregoing also indicates how the Theory of Mechanisms of formation may provide a foundation for modern quantum theories and Einstein’s relativistic theory of gravitation (the parallel between the properties of the void, discussed earlier, and the quantum vacuum is interesting and suggestive as is the dual character of extension and duration in the ‘origin’ of manifest being.) Obviously, these theories will not emerge of necessity from the Theory of Being (the Void) but some further facts of the local cosmology will be required. These thoughts provide material for the later section ‘Further investigation.’

Mind as a cosmological object

In the section, ‘Mind,’ above, it was seen that (with justified and necessary extension in meaning) mind is found among the primal elements of Being and that mind-as-manifest-in-higher-organisms (e.g. animals) is an elaboration and layering of primal mind (it is shown that this assertion is necessary to avoid classical and more recent paradoxes of mind, that it is sufficient to resolve those paradoxes, and that, provided the nature of ‘primal mind’ is appropriately understood, the paradoxes and absurdities that have been associated with ‘pan-psychism’ are avoided)

It may therefore be said, considering the entire Universe, that mind extends to the root i.e. to the primal elements of being

What is the case regarding the source or origin of mind in a cosmological system e.g. the local cosmological system? Since mind extends to the root, there is no actual origin in the cosmos. However, it appears that infusions of form, organization and layering are possible. In parallel with earlier reasoning it is concluded that occasions of infusion are much more likely than continual guidance of the local development of mind. What form would or might an instance of infusion take? Very early in the history of the cosmos there might be an alteration in the structure of the elementary particles that makes them capable of higher forms of organization. Later, there might be infusions of complex molecules. It is perhaps normally the case that such infusions are more likely than the import of well developed being. Such considerations are of interest in tracking the history of life, of mind in the cosmos but are not fundamental i.e. they would not be resolutions of questions regarding origins (of life) and questions of substance (what is mind?) (Resolutions are not needed since, in this narrative, the issues are already resolved by more fundamental approaches but the considerations are of interest since they have been proposed as resolutions by some writers. Such resolutions cannot be fundamental resolutions for the distinction between this or that cosmos or this or that part of one is a normal but not a fundamental distinction)

Status of substance as locally or practically fundamental

As has been seen there is neither substance nor need for explanation based in substance. However, relative to any cosmos, there may be kinds that play a local and practical role of substance. In the local cosmos these may, perhaps, be taken to be the elementary particles and forces (of modern physics.) For that assertion to be valid two requirements must be satisfied, (1) that the cosmos (aspects labeled Mind and aspects labeled Matter) has required no infusion for its formation and history and (2) the understanding that the elements (particles and forces) are equally (primal) matter and (primal) mind. It would then follow that life and animal-mind would be combinations, layers of combination and elaboration


In an original meaning atoms (Greek atoma: things that cannot be cut… Democritus, born c. 460 BC was a central figure in the development of an atomic theory of being) were indivisible fundamental particles. The idea provided an alternative to earlier substance theories whose purpose was to understand the Variety of the world in simple terms. To be ultimate in simplicity, an atom should have no internal structure. However, if there is no internal structure, there can be (no explanation) of interactions between atoms (e.g. a force field associated with an atom is either an unexplained substance or requires structure.) I.e. an atom that is deterministic and ultimately simple can have no (mechanism of) interaction. Atomic explanation has the deficiency that ‘stuff’ theories of substance (Thales’ water, or Mind or Matter or mind and matter…) also have: explanation terminates in the unexplained. Atomism can be seen as a kind of substance theory. If there were no alternative, substance theories would, perhaps, be the best possible explanation of manifest being even if not entirely satisfactory. However, in the Metaphysics developed earlier that establishes the existence and character of the Void there is an explanation that terminates and requires no even more fundamental unexplained substance or entity. Metaphysical atomism faces a further problem. It postulates novelty but is incapable of explaining further true novelty. The metaphysics of the present narrative does not face these problems: it does not overcome them; instead, as shown earlier, it shows them to be artifacts of a kind of explanation based in (invalid) assumptions regarding ‘simplicity’

The atoms, elementary particles and fundamental forces of modern physics are not intended to take on the role of metaphysical substance and (except when they are proposed as such) in their role as nothing more than the best available explanation need not address the issues of substance. Regarding material objects, the basic objects of modern physics may be seen as locally and practically fundamental; although there is speculation on their role in the locus of mind and consciousness in animal being their actual role remains an open question (c. 2006)

Two Divides in the evolution of the local cosmological system

Earlier in this section on cosmology a number of Divides were noted. These included the ‘first’ state of manifest being, the origin of a normal cosmological system and so on

Of these, two stand out as especially significant. (1) Origins of a cosmological system: a coherent sub-manifold of the Universe, and (2) Origin of the free symbolic capability

These Divides, the first that marks the local cosmological system (often called ‘the universe’ in common use) and the second that marks the origin of an especially human form of adaptability are significant in what follows

Human being*

An alternative title to this section might contain the word ‘anthropology.’ The section might then be seen as focusing on ‘psychological anthropology.’ The method of the section favors the conceptual or philosophical rather than the historical and empirical. It may be recalled that concern with meaning and concepts includes the empirical at least indirectly for (1) meaning encodes experience and (2) the cumulated experience of the thinker or writer may inform and constrain reflection

Interest to this narrative of the nature of human being

In continuing to build the Cosmology, there are a number of places to start: comprehensively (in the concept of universe,) microscopically (from the elements of being,) and from self-knowledge. Therefore, regardless of the ‘intrinsic’ importance, to a human being, knowledge of human being (self-knowledge) is important in building a picture of the cosmology. Self-knowledge is an approach available to any being to knowledge of all being. Further:

To organisms capable of it, self-knowledge has intrinsic interest

The patterns of growth of the individual and of society and civilization provide initial direction in an endeavor to know and experience all being

Organization of the section

Given the interest and the intent that this narrative be brief, there is no intent, here, to write comprehensively of human being. Instead the intent is to be comprehensive with regard to concepts that are and may be useful to the general purposes of the narrative – present and later

In the following, separation of ‘organism’ (mostly biology) and ‘nature’ or ‘character’ which emphasizes psyche is not intended to imply that organism and psyche are distinct

The Greek word ‘psyche’ referred to Mind, soul and self. The connotation of psyche here is that it is more particular than mind: it possesses structure and organization, it is subject to integration and disintegration, its integration includes what is (experienced as) the self. Since soul is a kind of substance, its introduction is unnecessary – an ad hoc introduction of ‘soul’ would be logically alien to the character of the narrative. The role played by soul is achieved by concepts introduced earlier, primarily those of Identity and Atman (the latter is clarified later.) Similarly the idea of ‘spiritual’ versus ‘mundane’ is approximated by the concepts of the Possible (the Actual) versus the Normal

The organism. Microscopic and macroscopic elements. Life and mind

The following topics are outlined in ‘telegraphic brevity’ because they may assist the understanding sought in the narrative but are not central to it

Life and evolution. Human being lies squarely in the process of evolution; recognition of this is good for it puts (at least some) possibility in human hands especially when it is recognized that limits due to the theory of evolution are normal limits. Human is not other than animal being; culture tends to suppress the animal – to what advantage and to what detriment? What recognitions and expressions of the (suppressed) animal in the human are there that may be liberating of the finite and infinite aspiration?

Relation between life and the microscopic elements of nature; significance of the separation in physical size; significance of the possibility of a large amount of genetic information stored in a small space – in (near) every cell. More generally, what does the manifest Variety in the world imply for the size and variety of micro elements? (Which, in the local cosmological system, appear to be the elementary particles and forces)

Degrees of autonomy and centralization. Organization of the brain – the ‘triune’ structure makes possible autonomous function; and, relative to organism and environment, binding and freedom, both described below. Modular and integrated function: the functions are both modular and distributed; this enhances specialization and compensation

Language appears to be rooted in specific areas of the brain. This strengthens the thought, encouraged by language itself, that Language is a ‘modular’ function and is, perhaps rooted in specific organs or areas of the brain. However, as will be seen, this conclusion is not necessary

Life and mind. It is not unexpected that the elaborate instances of mind that are possessed of bright consciousness and self-consciousness will be found in animal organisms (versus apparently inert matter e.g. as in a rock)

Human being – some characteristics of the organism. Extended infancy (neoteny) and childhood: the possibility of enculturation (language, social roles, degrees of freedom and originality in Creation of the elements of culture including knowledge and Art, importance of family and of Education and educational institutions) and therefore the possibility of extensive culture and determination by culture. Bipedalism, manual dexterity; size of brain, language, memory of instances – not just of generic situations, and culture which is enhanced by written language; adaptability as a form of adaptation; ‘hairless’ and, therefore, perhaps adaptable to varying climates; color vision

Disease and well being. Well being as norm; disease as exception; classes of disease – incomplete and improper formation, invasion e.g. trauma and microbes, degeneration. Healing, medicine, psychosomatic aspects of well being and healing

The nature of Human being

Human beings are capable of knowing that they are more than mere being and that they are not (manifestly) ultimate. The effect on human awareness of self and on human Commitments (higher motives and projects) is not deterministic (and not univalent) – it may result in feeling a lack of significance in being especially if the individual’s self-perception is that of an alien in the universe; alternatively it may result in centering or a sense of place – and a sense of possibility. The effect on commitments is manifold but what is significant is that there is a fundamental effect e.g. in the building of monuments (whether of ideas or of stone,) in religion and Faith, in the affirmation of the present, in searching for ultimates

Human freedom – there is a history of debate regarding ‘freedom of the will.’ It is probably efficient to attempt to understand what the freedom of the will is (including the question of how much freedom there is,) its possible sources, how it may manifest and how it may be cultivated (again on the assumption that there is freedom) in parallel with asking whether there is freedom of the will. Why? Misunderstanding of human freedoms may lead to a complete rejection of the idea or, alternatively, to unrealistic expectation. For example, in considering the Theory of Being it was shown that any consistent system of descriptions is realizable; this obviously implies that human being is unlimited (recall that transformation of Identity is required.) However, that is not part of normal human experience. The word ‘normal’ is critical. It was not implied that transcending normal limits is feasible – the improbability may be colossal. (One implication, though, was that contemplation of the infeasible including what has been thought impossible –except the logically impossible– is not only reasonable but desirable)

One of the objectives to this section on human being is to provide initial directions for ‘transcendence.’ Is human being necessarily free? Yes; in the Creation of new ideas, new ways of being in culture, new technology, in the ability to create and make choices. Why is the presence of this freedom necessarily true? As far as earth is concerned, five billion years ago there were no ideas and so on. Therefore, the ideas must have come from sources internal or external; it appears impossible (except on divine intervention) that they should have come entirely from an external source and it is therefore necessary that the source for Language and ideas must have some internal loci. In the life of a culture, there are new ideas (e.g. science.) Even if ideas are Platonic, the realization of an idea must have some original component (somewhere in human-cultural evolution.) Thus it is clear that human beings can create, recognize and exercise choice. It is nowhere in this narrative implied that such choice (especially significant choice) is easy in its recognition or execution. The negotiation even of normal limits should be constitutionally difficult

Psychoanalysis, determinism and the unconscious

Sigmund Freud (b. 1856, Freiberg, Moravia, Austrian Empire) thought of human development and personality as deterministic i.e. that the individual and his or her choices are largely determined by biology and development and that the individual is subject to unconscious influences that control but are not amenable to control. However, if there were no choice whatsoever there would be little point to research in psychology (except perhaps as entertainment) for it seems unreasonable that a psychology of a deterministic organism could have application by that organism (the case of natural science is different.) In the absence of (some) choice there would be no point to psychoanalysis or any psychotherapy. The foundation of any practice of psychoanalysis includes the precept that choice and its recognition are difficult

It is altogether expected –based in day-to-day knowledge of individuals and in the need for a degree of conformity– that the personality and boundaries of behavior of an individual should, normally, present as (relatively) unchanging. It is not clear that exceptions should follow any statistical pattern. Apparently, however, human personality is plastic under duress. It is reasonable to expect some balance, perhaps some rough adaptive optima, between freedom and necessity

A number of later psychoanalysts made a break with Freud because of their disagreements with him; Carl Gustav Jung (b. 1875, Kesswil, Switzerland,) in particular, had a greater notion of human possibility though not necessarily a more realistic one. What Freud may be thought to have shown is that choice may be extremely difficult first in recognizing and creating the occasion of choice (option) and then in executing some options (incrementally and in interaction with knowledge of options.) As will be seen, the existence of choice is what makes for a moral animal and, further ‘moral’ does not mean ‘morally Good’ but capable of moral choice and therefore capable of right and wrong

When issues are closer to the core of the individual, recognition and execution of options will be difficult, the likelihood of success may be less, the time required greater. This may be experienced as determinism. In pathological cases choice and change may be extremely difficult. Extreme remoteness of the core of self-knowledge and awareness of option may be a mark of (certain kinds of) pathology

The following (through the topic ‘Exceptional Achievement and Disorder’) continues the discussion of ‘the nature of Human being’

Function. Feeling. Integration of the ‘elements’ of Mind. Icon and symbol: free and bound

Although the characters of the various aspects of mental function are different, it is convenient to use ‘feeling’ to cover the variety of elements; in doing so, ‘feeling’ is used in sense that is distinct (though inclusive of) from its common meanings (inner feelings, feeling of touch and so on; the present case may include these)

The following discussions are relevant to the discipline of psychology. There is a hesitation in using the word ‘psychology’ that stems from a distinction –made with near paradigmatic character in twentieth century psychology, and by thinkers in philosophy and cognitive science– of a phenomenal concept of mind concerned with (subjective) experience or ‘feeling’ and a ‘psychological’ concept of mind concerned with behavior or what mind does. Further, while behavior is seen as objective, ‘feeling’ is regarded as subjective and is therefore held by many thinkers as a topic that is not fit or not amenable to scientific study. A contrary position –that has been gaining adherence for some time now as of 2006– argues that although feeling is subjective experience, its existence and nature is objective (if its existence were a subjective issue, the claim that its nature is subjective would be beyond objectivity.) The reader may deduce that the sympathy in this narrative lies with the latter view. The view, here, as has been seen, goes beyond the case for the objectivity of the existence and being of experience and finds that, with appropriate extension to the primal root, there is an identity between the ‘material’ and ‘ideal’ character of being

Primitives. Feeling, then, is the primitive element of mind. Feeling has a variety of distinctions. The following distinctions are included for their general or present significance: quality, valence (positive or negative,) intensity, internal-external or body-environment, direction i.e. afference-efference, focus-background, and free-bound. The distinctions among external sensory modalities are included in quality. Valence (like-dislike or attract-repel) may be included in quality. The ‘internal’ include pleasure, pain, basic drive, elementary emotion, and the kinesthetic. Perhaps focus-background may be reduced to degree of intensity. The nature of afference (input) and efference and relation to attitude (the aboutness quality of some Experience) and action is subtle (here their understanding is incomplete but this lack is not –yet– significant in the present endeavor.) The free-bound distinction is most important. ‘Bound’ means ‘bound to’ an object; for example, the sensation of color is strongly bound to the properties of the Object (which includes lighting.) Thus, perception is usually bound (hallucination is unbound perception.) Elementary emotions (which are kinds of elementary feeling) and basic drives are bound (usually) to the state of the organism (when unbound there may be dysfunction.) ‘Free’ means not bound or, perhaps, weakly bound. Free feeling arises in the stimulation of memory (perhaps by association.) Thoughts (here regarded as symbolic or linguistic and imagistic) are free; ‘higher’ emotions and drives have a free component. It is natural that bound sensations should be more intense (otherwise e.g. thought would dominate attention to environment; inversion of the spectrum of intensity however is not invariably dysfunctional e.g. in originality and in dreaming.) Bound thought, bound higher emotion and higher drive, inversion of the relative intensities of bound and free sensation may indicate dysfunction. (As will be elaborated, what sometimes appears as dysfunction may otherwise appear as functional)

Originality (introduced earlier in the section ‘Mind’) as understood in the generic sense may be seen as lying at the intersection of the ‘determined’ (e.g. so far) and the indeterministic component of (the brain or mind of) the organism. The specific physical locations(s) and process (‘occasion’ is perhaps a better term) of originality remain (they thought) undetermined. The occasion in ‘conceptual space’ may be hypothesized to include the situation where determinate thought does not quite mesh with experience and or other determinate thought and a novel but elementary idea permits adjustment. Such adjustments may occur frequently in day to day affairs and need not have great significance but are in fact true cases of originality. Significant originality occurs, for example, in the continued application of elementary cases in building systems of determinate thought; the application of the elementary case likely occurs in multiple levels and regions and not in simple linear sequence

Integration. Functions are not elementary but are integral forms of elementary feelings. Integrations include shape and size of objects. There are interesting problems of integration. If the perception of an Object is a bundle of feelings (sensations) how is it that objects are perceived as wholes (this is called the binding problem.) A detailed answer is complex but a simple answer lies in unconscious and intuitive (Kantian) action of the brain; in adaptation – objects come as objects, therefore perception is attuned to objects; in individual adaptability – objects do not come as absolute constants e.g. a ‘tree’ may be seen as a tree or alternatively as 10,000 leaves and so on and the object can, as a result of adaptation, be seen in both ways; or in evolution – a source of adaptation (culture is another locus of adaptation for what is perceived as an object in one culture is not in another.) Another problem of integration is ‘object constancy;’ imagine viewing an Object getting closer or rotating; its size and shape do not appear to change. Why? The response is similar to the case of binding. The ‘Unity of Consciousness’ is similarly explained though enhancement by focus and memory are likely necessary. Perception is integrated bound external sensation. Thought is integrated free sensation. There appear to be thresholds of intensity below which perception and thought lack valence. Higher emotion is (hypothetically) a mutually conditioned mix of elementary emotion and thought. Primitive or elementary emotion is bound, internal, valent sensation

Since binding is a function of memory, and since memory associations may fade or be strengthened – and altered, it is not theoretically correct to think that emotional responses are fixed. This is also observed in fact. Since emotional response does change (as a result of reconditioning, interpretation and reinterpretation, weakening of general response e.g. with stress, illness and age,) change may be cultivated. Joy cannot (may not) be willed in the instant but may be cultivated over a period of time (and misery may be cultivated e.g. for secondary gain)

Of especial interest is the integration of the psyche – of perception, thought and emotion. There is no full integration – nor, due to freedom, can or need there be: there is a necessary balance of integration and integration and integrability – and disintegrability. However, adequate integration is essential – at all levels. The principle is the appropriate integration of freedom and binding. At a basic level the binding of emotion and perception connects individual to environment and others; without such binding perception and, especially, emotion ‘freewheel’ and there is no connection (perhaps there is a relation of these somewhat hypothetical thoughts to autism and Asperger’s syndrome.) At a higher level emotion provides binding to others and to Commitments (possible explanation of the non contributory lives of individuals with antisocial personality; and possible explanation of the importance of integrity of the psyche in adjustment, commitment and contribution – in addition to, perhaps over and above, the importance of raw ability)

The categories of intuition, below, are integral forms

All of these integral functions as well as those of personality fall under Identity, treated earlier (that treatment considered personal identity and the of identity of objects as such and in time as similar)

The unconscious. Memory (relative strength of association) and focus-background are implicated in the unconscious. Additionally, lack of integration or splitting is also implicated (this concern is significant in ‘neuroses’ and disintegration or disorder of personality.) The unconscious enters also as the Form of intuition which conditions perception and conception but is not itself normally seen

‘Intentionality,’ the aboutness character of (some) experience is not currently discussed in detail because, despite its importance in understanding mind, it is not presently important to the narrative (intentionality was briefly discussed above under ‘Mind’ and the problem of intentionality on a materialist account is discussed in the section ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics’ of the next division, ‘Journey in Being’)

Experience, attitude and action?

In the recent (perhaps since about the mid-nineteenth century but with greater emphasis since the mid-twentieth century) literature ‘experience,’ ‘attitude,’ and ‘action’ have been said to be the marks of mind. The tri-polar continuum marked by experience, attitude and action is a practical classification of things mental but is it fundamental? Experience (feeling) has been extended to the primal root and must be the sole theoretical mark of the mental while attitude and action, which also involve experience but not necessarily the recognition of experience, are practical marks. However, to set experience on the same level as and yet apart from attitude and action is to introduce an implicit or tacit Cartesian divide. It is therefore necessary to reject attitude and action as independent markers of mind; given experience, however, they may be regarded as markers of a certain (advanced in comparison to the primal case) level of mind. Therefore, at the human or animal level, it may be reasonable (practical) to regard experience, attitude, and action as three poles in the continuum of mental phenomena

Intuition. The categories of intuition

An example of a category of intuition is perception in spatial terms. It is easy to imagine that without the special brain organization –partly genetic and partly developmental– that makes for perception of the world as spatial, such perception would be impossible. However, spatial perception, if primitive in human infants, is well if not fully developed by the time the individual begins to walk. Spatial perception is an example of (Kantian) intuition. The concept of intuition was discussed earlier; here will be listed some categories that are an enhancement over the traditional ones (and which vary according to author)

The following are categories of intuition in the Kantian sense that they are characteristic modes of perception, thought and emotion – of the psyche. However, the actual categories listed below deviate significantly from those of Kant and derive, in part, due to a suggestion of Arthur Schopenhauer (b. 1788, Danzig, Prussia.) The inclusion of humor as a category derives from the following thought. While, space, time and cause are intuitions of regular behavior, the world, as seen from the Theory of Being, is essentially indeterministic (which implies also that it is necessary that there be phases of near or quasi-determinism and quasi-causation.) Regarding the common meaning of humor to have source in the unexpected, they chose ‘humor’ as a label for the human intuition of the unexpected (the thought to use ‘humor’ came from an acquaintance who enjoyed making the pronouncement ‘humor is the highest form of wisdom.’) Originality and humor overlap. The classes of intuition are the existential, the physical and the biological, and the psychosocial

The categories of intuition. Existential: Being, (Becoming, Being-in, …) Humor (the intuition of indeterminism and chaos.) Physical: Space, Time, Causation, Indeterminism. Biological: Life Forms. Psychological or Psychosocial: Image-Concept, Icon-Symbol (and Artifactuality and Language,) Emotion, Humor, Communication, Value, Identity…

Growth, personality and Commitments

They recognized ‘impediments’ to realization. These included normal impediments e.g. constraints of intelligence, time, affection, resources… They recognized the lack of (at least initial) definition of goals – this, it was recognized, is essential to the endeavor. However, they also recognized characteristic styles of self-perception, relations to life – including others and environment and ambition, how they accommodated criticism and success and failure – how they conceived success and failure… These overlap ‘personality’

Classic approaches to personality (these perhaps straddle a number of cultures) include factors and dynamics. A preliminary organization of factors is according to freedom and constraint (in which biology is significant.) These include affective and cognitive style. Dynamics pertains to the interactions among these factors and to action and choice. Here, dynamics further pertains to fixity, flexibility of dynamics, recognition of the factors (including the unconscious,) cultivation, and reflexivity applied to change

What factors mark personality and what are its dimensions? It is reasonable to think that personality is a function of overall integration of psyche (the suggestion a near tautology.) It is also reasonable to think that the overall integration is a result of the interaction of experience and the functional system (including the categories of intuition.) Therefore, an effective approach to classification (to be synthesized with observation and experience) may include consideration of the varieties of integration – the differential development of the various functions and their interactions (e.g. and roughly, prominence of emotion would mark a different kind than would prominence of cognition. The ratios of binding and freedom and their intensities are also significant)

These issues remain an ongoing concern

They observed that, roughly, growth follows an (overlapping) sequence of development: natural, social, psychological, universal

Cultivation of self is important; compensation (in addition to change) but not overcompensation (which requires recognition) is also significant

Charisma may, perhaps, be cultivated

Atman. The end of growth

Is there an end of growth? In the normal theories of growth, death is an ultimate limit

The Theory of Being shows that death cannot be such a limit and, in discussing Identity it was shown that Individual Identity merges (must merge) in a higher (more comprehensive) identity

Brahman is taken to be the entire real in its actual and potential relative to the absence of being and Atman is regarded as the ultimate in Identity for any individual. It then follows that:

Atman is the Experience of Brahman in the Individual


First set up some characteristics of language proceeding intuitively and informally (‘definition’ will be taken up later)

Language is symbolic i.e. although its roots may be iconic, particular icons (sounds, images) come to have a significance that is over and above their iconic content; perhaps simultaneously there are simplifications to the icons. How language comes about in the spoken stage (it is assumed that, initially, language is spoken language) is not clear (some aspects of origins will be addressed below.) It seems that first written language is (mostly) iconic. The origin, in temporal sequence, with causes identified, of word (and Meaning) and syntax and of alphabet and word construction is not clear. However, it may be reasonably assumed that the end (and intermediate) results have adaptive characteristics but are not entirely adaptive for the idiosyncrasies of (and freedoms in) cultivation must be among factors that make it erroneous to expect that all characteristics of languages are determined by optimality (in any sense) and or adaptation

Syntax arises perhaps because facts have a standardized form – the ‘subject-predicate’ form. Thus, the valid forms of syntax have adaptation. There is also freedom as seen in the variations in syntactic form that correspond to the subject-predicate form (e.g. in some languages ‘They went home’ is rendered ‘They home went.’) However, it may be that adoption of subject-predicate form is a limitation on the kinds of Fact that may be expressed (perhaps one mark against rigid rules of syntax. It may be interesting to speculate whether ‘natural’ rules preceded syntax)

It is not being suggested that all uses of language concern factual or propositional expression –of states of affairs– and its variants: assertion or question, and the variations – direction, commission, expression and declaration regarding which there is a standard analysis that purports to show that these variations exhaust the variations on communication of states of affairs. It is not suggested that these exhaust language – or that language is exhaustible; however, further ‘uses’ will be taken up, perhaps in future editions of this narrative, as they become of interest to the endeavor

Whereas thought is iconic at root (and has the dimensionality of the associated sensory mode,) in the case of a linguistic animal, thought (in language) is highly symbolic and linear. Literal spoken language is necessarily linear; therefore, written language is (typically) linear since, perhaps, it might be inefficient or even burdensome for common spoken and written language to be distinct. Especially spoken language is not altogether linear since it is accompanied with what may be called ‘dramatic effect’ i.e. volume, pitch (and overtone,) rate, cadence and inflection, variability in form or syntax including poetry and ‘non language’ factors such as gesture, posture and affect. Still, both spoken language and written language are highly linear and symbolic whereas the environment of language is highly iconic and contextual. Thus in producing language there is a reduction in the ‘physical information content.’ Speech provides some context through drama; written language by elaboration and poetry. That the speaker and listener may be in the same room (not the case of media) or culture provides some context; writers and readers in the same language are likely to have some common context

However, it is also characteristic of language that it expresses and evokes context; and, although the expression and evocation must suffer attenuation of context, this characteristic is among the factors that make language an instrument of human communication i.e. that language may communicate, even if incompletely, degrees and modes of information that exceed the literal information content (perhaps made possible as a result of standardized –common, routine– contexts.) Perhaps it is standardization of context (e.g. human species, culture) that makes expression-evocation possible. Perhaps language is some roughly optimal mean adaptation to the multiple requirements of thought, communication, and (in story and written form) preservation

Written language enables communication, even when not intended, over space and time and across cultures (a greater loss of written context may contingently evoke a wider variety of interpretation)

As a result of linear form, language also provides the following ‘adaptation.’ It is well adaptable to the requirements of precise expression and processing (thought) – especially in precisely defined contexts (strictly syntactic, logics, mathematics, and science.) Language does not attain the precision of such contexts outside them; nor need it: precision in communication or reflection is not a universal Value over all (conscious) mental process

Although thought and language (thought in language) do not appear to be identical, there does not appear to be a (distinct or root) ‘language of thought’

Many persons act as though precision of being –know yourself– and of communication –being known to others– is the end of being. Note of course that these ends are not said to lack value; and that there are settings where some degree of precision must be inherent. There are also contexts where precision must be relaxed as the constitution of that context. Two such contexts are the intimate or personal relationship that stands between friends and the context of discovery. ‘Contexts of discovery’ are typically associated with science but are also pertinent to most reasoning including logic and mathematics. Additionally, if someone had an insight that there may be forms of language better adapted to processing, communication and preservation it would at first be necessary to relax the standard forms. This appears to occur routinely in poetry, a variety of prose forms, in mathematics and science. Although the scientific view has been criticized when it pretends to model being, it provides significant analogy and metaphor

It is first necessary to say what is meant by the ‘scientific view.’ The basis of their metaphorical approach from science has origins in the ‘great’ theories of physics and evolutionary biology. There is a view from physics in which the Universe is seen as an interconnected system moving in space, through time and in mutual interaction. Darwinian Theory supports such a view applied to life but also adds the mechanism of incremental variation and selection. These views entered their thought as metaphor; but not as exclusive metaphor; this metaphor and reflection on its necessities or otherwise and alternatives led to the Theory of Being of ultimate depth. They experienced to some degree what seemed as though it were a private language – perhaps a language with private elements whose translation into public form required a translation from intuition to language… Is there a language of metaphor – and is it more than a few new symbols or a few new forms e.g. poetry? The expression of multi-dimensional intuition in linear form –even if affect is excluded– appears to involve omission and distortion of information. Omission is compensated by context and distortion by adaptation. However such compensation is, in the normal case, incomplete and in-process. Language appears to have a metaphorical character at its root

It is now appropriate to ask ‘What is language?’ ‘Definition’ can be restrictive or expansive. Human being arrives at a stage – the present stage. ‘Language’ has been a particularly human instrument and in language, ‘language’ is recognized. ‘Language’ has variations – the ‘languages’ of the world with their syntactic forms and uses; formal ‘languages’ and so on. ‘Language’ then is distinct from iconic thought (that ‘iconic thought’ has a degree of remove from the ‘thing,’ provides an approach to seeing thought in language and thought in images as lying on a spectrum.) This appears to be a fact of human existence and thought; yet it also becomes a theory of human existence as soon as, beyond thought and expression, someone says, pointing, that is language, this is the correct usage of language (even if adaptation and cultivation play a role in what has come about.) The situation is complex since, in the modern world, it is the academic who tends to reflect on language, whose notions enter into school curricula; but the nature of ‘language’ is also determined in human transaction, law and politics. The line of argument here is informal; a way is being felt. Relaxation of the idea of language (e.g. by relaxing distinctions among the concepts of thought and communication, linear speech and drama, icon and symbol) might result in less precision but greater content (value – in intimate, formal and political contexts.) Persecution of linguistic groups might end or diminish (this is of course a dreamy speculation, ‘Language-as-it-is-known is constitutive of Human being,’ comes a possible response to the present line of thought. Yet, even the improbable –when seen even vaguely to have significance for being– deserves consideration.) Recall the earlier discussion in which an essential indefiniteness in the Definition of human artifacts was identified. It appears to be characteristic of the (human) psyche to ‘see’ definiteness where there is indefiniteness. Since language is (if only partially) an artifact, these thoughts apply also to language. In regarding language to be what is given in the (Kantian) intuition of language there may be gain in apparent precision but loss in realism

Exceptional achievement and disorder

Among the general topics considered in the earlier discussion of ‘Mind’ are attention, consciousness, awareness, aspects of the unconscious, and focus. The topics on mind in this section ‘Human being’ include an ‘existential’ component – the self-knowledge that human being is not ultimate but is more than mere being; human freedom; feeling as element of mind; elements of function – perception, thought, emotion and, briefly, drives (basic and higher;) psyche as integrated or integrable and disintegrable; the nature and significance of the integrations for Object-perception and object-thought; the significance of the integration of cognition and emotion; the categories of intuition (in its Kantian meaning – the characteristic modes of perception, thought and emotion of the psyche, also seen as modes of integration;) contexts of Necessity of and of freedom from the intuitions; growth, personality, Commitment, and charisma (effect on the other based in the person rather than in institutions;) and language. These topics may be supplemented by moral considerations; morals are taken up later. Some topics pertinent to ‘disorder’ such as learning, and a variety of concerns such as sex and sleep that have a ‘mental component’ have not been considered as lacking immediate interest to the narrative. (In saying that sex does not have immediate interest to the narrative the thought is of physical sex but not of the pervasive effect of sex in the psyche)

The foregoing list may be regarded as ‘aspects of mind’ and as such is relatively complete. It is natural to expect that the varieties of disorder of the psyche will correspond to the various modes of psyche (elementary or integrated.) Thus what are considered to be the (standard) major mental illnesses (in psychiatry, 2006) may be read off a simple list of functions: perception, thought, and emotion. The ‘major mental illnesses’ are dysfunctions of cognition (psychoses including schizophrenia,) and emotion (mood disorders – depressive and manic-depressive or bipolar, and anxiety disorders…) That the list from which these disorders has been read is very simple implies, of course, that ‘psychosis’ and ‘mood’ contain numerous variations, subtleties and interactions and, therefore, that the variety that is explicit, here, in the major mental illnesses is very incomplete. The intent here is not to achieve completeness but to see that, roughly, dysfunction correlates with function

It is remarkable that in the modern clinical concept of disorder it has been found useful to avoid reference to ‘normal’ psychology. Diagnostic criteria are set up so that recognition of a disorder is integral with practice rather than driven by definition. Referring to an earlier discussion of the nature and significance of definition it was seen that, even in highly formal fields, definition is practice driven to a significant degree. Therefore, while definitions have importance, they are evolving elements of disciplines and practices. The idea of definition as the driving element in concept development may be attributed to some practices of Education

Among the disorders of modern psychiatry are the ‘disorders of personality.’ There is no intent here to effect a classification or attempt a complete treatment…It is possible to see some aspects of personality disorder in dysregulation of affect (emotion) and others in disruptions and aberrations of cognition (the following examples are undoubtedly simplistic.) For example, dysregulation of affect in relation to self might, in cases of excess and instability, result in behavior that is highly chaotic and self-destructive; dysregulation of affect in relation to others might, in cases of deficit and lack of response to affect in others, result in uncaring, callous attitudes and cruelty

It has been suggested (Edward M. Hundert, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Neuroscience: A Synthetic Analysis of The Varieties of Human Experience, 1989) that the mental illnesses are breakdowns or disruptions of the categories of intuition. Since those categories were introduced as tentative integral forms of the elementary mental forms (feelings,) it may be better to suggest that the mental illnesses are breakdowns in the integral forms and, perhaps, also of the elementary forms. This, of course, suggests that the ‘illnesses’ are interactive or integral rather than compartmentalized; this interactive character extends to the distinction between the major and the personality disorders and to various factors that contribute to disorder

A significant question regards the relative roles of biology and development in the formation of personality disorders. In addition to the intrinsic interest, the question is significant for treatment and as illustration of the body-mind (and nature-nurture) issue. While, in any instance, the differential roles of biology versus environment may be difficult to discern, it is necessary that the extremes of human behavior will be a joint product of extremes of biology (e.g. affective instability) and of environment during development (the self may be considered to be part of the environment.) I.e. the population of individuals with a given personality disorder will include a range of contributing proportions from ‘innate’ and environmental factors. There is a temptation to assert that these conclusions are logically necessary; however, further factors may be identified. The first is the presence of other conditions (that makes generalization regarding a specific disorder difficult.) The second factor is that of individual choice which, in addition to the deterministic factors of biology and growth make also result from idiosyncrasies of choice. A third factor (that may be considered environmental) is the selective power of institutions – the tendency of the affectively unstable behavior to be selected, even cultivated by the modern psychiatric hospital; and the tendency individuals who exhibit affective disengagement from even the extreme distress of others to be selected by prison systems

If it is argued that only an ‘unhealthy’ individual –one whose actions are determined by lack of choice– would harm others and that a healthy individual would not, it is a valid question to ask whether there is true human evil. (That harmful behavior is not evil in intent does not mean that it should be tolerated or go without consequence. ‘Forgiveness’ and tolerance, they thought, should result from goodness rather than from absence of evil.) True evil is, perhaps, possible in a view of health that is not deterministic but rather a balance between moral intent and ‘forces of decadence.’ Examples of such forces are the idiosyncratic, social pressure e.g. to racism, and temptation e.g. to profit from the loss of others. If the moral intent is not sufficiently strong, immorality (evil) may grow insidiously

Disorders and culture – it is not altogether clear whether it is the disorders or their manifestations that are distinct among cultures. Different behaviors are differentially encouraged or discouraged, tolerated, interpreted and amplified. Perhaps there is a core set of disorders (with variant manifestations) on which are superposed cultural variations

The effect of the individual’s social network (including family, peer, work and hospital settings) and the response to unusual behavior on the emergence and course of a disorder is a question with practical and theoretical interest

Attention now turns to Exceptional achievement. There is an asymmetry between exceptional achievement and disorder. Although exceptional achievement is dependent on ability it is perhaps more dependent on circumstance and nurturing than is disorder. Whereas disorder is typically dependent on simple but severe disintegration, ability is typically dependent on more than simple integration and on crossing thresholds (of degree and integration.) Some thoughts on the cultivation of ability are found in ‘Principles of Thought’ below

The savant syndrome is perhaps atypical in that a specific talent is extraordinarily realized while most abilities are under-realized. It may not be altogether clear whether the talent of the savant is a compensation for a general lack of ability or whether the lack of most abilities frees the one special ability (or whether there is a fortuitous combination of one talent and a general deficiency.) Experiments suggest that ‘normal’ individuals may develop savant-like abilities under the proper circumstances. Thus, perhaps, one manifestation of the savant is due to release. More interestingly, all talent may be generally latent and require conditions of release (perhaps innately satisfied in ‘talented’ individuals)

There are relations among disorder, talent and achievement. Such relations are perhaps both ‘necessary’ and ‘contingent’ or causal and correlative. Given individuals of equal ‘innate’ mathematical talent a paranoid individual may realize the talent due to isolation (and obsession) whereas the ‘adjusted’ individual may lack these external motivations. In this example the relationship is correlative or (perhaps) indirectly causal (if talent is generally its own driving force, the example may also be atypical.) The contribution of mania to the achievement of a talented individual –or to talent itself– is directly causal. If ‘mania’ is abundant energy then it is not a disorder; however since abundant energy requires a spectrum, the outer range of the spectrum may be energy to excess or dysfunction. Abundant energy, the lesser relative of mania, is contributory to achievement (biographical and anecdotal evidence appears to show that achievement may involve struggle between productivity and uncontainable energy.) Similarly, compensation for depression may be a spur to originality. It is thus that threads of originality and affective problems (disorders) tend to run in parallel in certain families

Considerations of integration of the psyche clearly have implications for the ‘fractured psyche’ of schizophrenia, dislocations of mood, and of social and self relations i.e. dislocations of personality; and for relations between fracture and enhancement of psyche. One way in which the intuition may be enhanced is by (partial) disintegration and reintegration. The sensitive psyche may therefore lie in a divided continuum with potential for disintegration and reintegration on one side, massive and irreversible disintegration on the other and conditional outcome in between. Although these thoughts are simple and tentative they suggest that relations between disorder and originality may be both correlative and causal. Some relations may be compensatory. However, it should not be thought that originality, i.e. freedom of the psyche, is inevitably connected to disorder; rather, in the variety of ways in which the freedom may occur, some ways are connected to a disposition to disruptions of the psyche

In small (hunter-gatherer) societies, ‘shamans’ have been (it is said) the diviners of ‘truth’ and protectors of psychic and social integrity. The (‘true’) shaman appears to be a psychically sensitive and charismatic but perhaps physically robust individual who is initiated e.g. by crisis into and completes a journey of discovery into ‘other’ worlds (which may be interpreted as a journey into the self.) The initiation is disintegration and distrust and fear, the completion is reintegration into trust of being-as-it-is i.e. trust even amid the real chaos of the world (which is its natural condition.) It has been suggested that schizophrenics are shamans in the making whose journey is terminated by ‘treatment.’ It has also been suggested that the ‘psychotic’ experience of the shaman has alternative origins in exceptional sensitivity (under crisis or stress) and not in the (sometimes) degenerative effect (character) of schizophrenia and that the psychotic breakdown is preliminary to reconstruction in light of the Real

It is pertinent to ask whether the future ‘inspiration’ of the modern world lies only in institution, patriarchalism and normalcy or whether it may lie also in charisma (whose roots may lie in sensitivity and ability)

Discussion of Human being and society continues in the sections from ‘Morals and society’ through ‘Faith’

Morals and society*

The narrative thread now enters into consideration of the individual in the world and, particularly, in society. A (more inclusive than usual) conception of ethics, i.e. Ethics, weaves together the particular threads. The objective is to be inclusive of human-social concerns; however, the discussion is not uniform in its degrees of elaboration or definitiveness. One purpose is to see the various topics in a new light under the Theory of Being and the approach that avoids a priori Commitments – of allowing the ‘commitments,’ e.g. as to the nature of being and morals, to emerge in reflection. Another purpose aims at contribution. An overriding goal is to continue to build up a complete picture of the Metaphysics, and within it of the human-social world. This is, it is hoped, a contribution to the general foundation of Understanding. More particularly, in locating the individual within culture and society, in civilization and history (as well as nature,) it is hoped that there is initial grounding and direction for the discovery and realization (‘the journey’) of being (with both roots and goal in Being as revealed by the Theory of Being i.e. the metaphysics.) These are among the concerns that informed the selection of topics regarding human being and the present section

A concern with morals finds occasional expression in seriousness of attitude, preoccupation with moral concerns, adherence to given morals, preaching, preoccupation with an avoidance of dissipation and, occasionally an angry outlook on the world

They preferred lightheartedness of approach, enjoyment even to occasional dissipation, humor. What are the appropriate balances in attitude? This question, as well, can be taken with seriousness to excess. Intuition and flow are perhaps fundamental and require only occasional supplement. Silence and mental quiet (in what might be serious concerns) are a virtue

Sources of morals

Why do human societies have morals and moral codes? So much has been written on morals and ethics there is a valid question whether that literature is useful. Surely, in questioning value, it is valid to question the value of the academic interest in value. They saw that there is value to brevity in expression whose roots are in careful thought – generally and especially for morals

Are morals a human invention? Consider ‘Who invented the modern automobile?’ An automobile has various subsystems. The invention of a key subsystem, the four stroke internal combustion engine, is associated with N. A. Otto, a German engineer who constructed such an engine in 1876. However, the wheel dates back to antiquity. The integration of the various subsystems is ongoing. Adaptation to ‘needs’ is a factor in selection; some aspects of automobile design have little relation to designated function. No particular individual is ‘the’ inventor of the automobile nor may any group of individuals over time be said to have invented the automobile. Rather, the source of the ‘invention’ is the creative contribution of all those individuals in interaction with ‘necessity,’ drive and occasion

Undoubtedly there are some elements of moral intuition present in animals. Perhaps too little is understood about non human animals to know whether the individual animal is morally creative. It seems reasonable, however, to assume that moral systems emerged and developed over time, with creative input and with adaptation to changing contexts; and, perhaps, that there is some continuity of moral intuition between human and non human

Morals are made Possible and are ‘required’ by the same facet of human nature – the freedom in behavior and thought. It is assumed to be obvious that Human beings (except in pathology) have instincts that, even if the label ‘moral’ does not apply, are conducive to moral behavior. However, the freedom includes an attenuation of the degree of psychological necessity of the ‘instincts.’ Simultaneously, greater freedom in thought, especially thought in Language, makes a moral vocabulary and moral systems possible while the freedom of behavior makes morality (moral systems) adaptive. It is unlikely that what are today recognized as moral traditions sprung up at once. Rather, it is likely that morals experienced a variety of phases, each having an adaptation appropriate to its cultural context. The degree of incrementalism and the degree of contingency (versus adaptation) in the growth of human morals is not clear. Freedom (free will, originality) has been debated in theology and philosophy (and in more specific contexts such as crime and punishment;) the essence of the argument for freedom is in the earlier discussion of originality. Is originality in morals a relatively new invention or is it coeval with the form of human being and human groups? Negative evidence from study of small scale groups is necessarily inconclusive because they lack institutionalized systems of morality. However they do possess the ‘institution’ of language that is a medium of moral expression. Studies of small groups suggest that, for them, morals are more negotiable and less ends in themselves; their function appears to be the enhancement of personal relationships. In modern society, morals tend to be ends: they are less negotiable; personal relationships are less important – stability derives from institutionalization of various functions. This suggests the opposite of what might be expected from the existence of reflective moral traditions (east and west) associated first with the religious traditions and then with reflective or philosophical ethics. The expectation might be that modern individuals are more creative in morals. Instead, the generation and negotiation of morals is a day to day affair in smaller societies and groups (prior to the larger societies made possible e.g. by agriculture)

Freedom of will and originality follow from Necessity. They reflected that what is more interesting and valuable than debates on free will and so on might be an illumination of the nature of the freedom. There is no implication that freedom is the ‘highest of values’ even though it is what makes Value possible and necessary. There is no implication that the freedom means that the individual can do, even within reason, ‘whatever he or she wants to do.’ There is no implication that the individual is not subject to forces of the psyche and socialization that are difficult to surmount – even when it may be desirable to do so. The freedom involves two (interactive) parts. First, is the recognition of what may be of worth and second is an attempt to realize what has worth. The parts are interactive in that an attempt at realization provides, simultaneously, insight into feasibility and ‘failure’ may suggest, through reflection, alternatives and ‘success’ may suggest additional possibilities that build upon what is achieved. The process is reflective, constructive and cumulative. In parallel with the process described, the individual faces questions of ability, resources, value, and doubt – originating in criticism by self or others, human imperatives. In facing these concerns, initiative is at least as important as fortitude. Expression of freedom is not at all without personal cost, not at all one that is ever natural, not at all standing above all values. However, it is possible, has value, and may be nurtured and cultivated

Some kinds of Morals

Morals are prescriptive (and proscriptive) in the form of e.g. general codes, guiding principles or rules (prescriptions) for conduct or rules for special situations; morals cover virtue e.g. the desirable characteristics of a moral individual; and morals may be constructive. Constructive morality is Commitment to building contributions over a period of time e.g. a lifetime. ‘Building’ refers to the thought that the nature of the goals, the understanding of what Value is and what constitutes a valuable contribution and what may be feasible develop in parallel with the contribution itself (even while values at the most general level such as an intent to contribute or a search for what is of high value may remain unchanged)

What is ethics?

They found, as a principle of thought, that open specification of meanings at the outset of an investigation is productive of creative and realistic understanding. They observed that often in the history of thought discovery has been marred by premature Commitments to meaning – especially to ontological kind and category. (The sense of realism which includes the intuition is among factors that encourage premature commitment – especially as the intuition may effectively and implicitly define the real. Although often counterproductive of realism, early commitment may occasion original thought in attempts to compensate for it.) A primary explicit example of the principle occurred earlier in saying that ‘being is that which exists.’ Since the meaning of existence (what it is, what things exist, commitment to matter or Mind or substance at all as fundamental) was unspecified at outset it remained open to discovery (and originality.) Similarly, though not as explicitly, the idea of mind was not identified as mind-as-humans-and-animals-have-it (especially at first blush.) This too was productive of originality. They adopted this approach to the development of the idea of ethics. The approach appeared to be unconventional at first but was found to effectively connect to the traditions of ethics – and more: it was productive of binding or integration among the traditions and to binding among morals and the other elements of society (the institutions of social form, culture including knowledge and Art and religion, economics, and politics which they thought to include law

Ethics as elements of and relations among the elements of (human) freedom

Now, Ethics will be conceived the system of relations among the elements of (human) freedom; the primary elements of freedom are values, action and knowledge. It seems that values and action should complete a list of the elements of freedom. Why is knowledge included? First, although being is given, the Object (what is known) is not. Some objects appear constant but others are in a process of Creation (e.g. what is ethics?) Second, while knowledge (Metaphysics) should obviously have power in determining the nature and contents of ethics, Value (as has been seen) is implicated in considering what shall be knowledge. This seems to imply that ethics and knowledge are relative. If they are taken individually, this may be the case; if they are taken as a totality, there is no necessary relativism. ‘Knowledge’ includes metaphysics (the Theory of Being) and may be generalized to all elements of culture (whose meaning is discussed earlier) that constitute knowledge in some way

Here are some implications of these thoughts on ethics – this conceptualization of Ethics (it is not at all necessary for a ‘new’ conceptualization to be ‘consistent’ with the past; it is reasonable to expect there to be continuities in meaning – as there are; however, as far as the logic of a new system of ideas is concerned what is necessary is self-consistency and truth or correspondence to the world)

The system of (human) freedoms is Ethics; ethics is the study –perception and conception– of Ethics

As understood in ‘Western Ethics,’ ethics is often seen as including or overlapping aesthetics (since both concern value, this is natural.) The present conception of Ethics goes beyond this. What are the dimensions of (human) freedom? Knowledge may be extended to ‘culture’ (in the sense of Edward Burnett Tylor, b. 1832, London, in his Primitive Culture, 1871) and action whose arenas include the individual, society and civilization. The dimensions of Ethics, then, may be identified as values including Morals, traditional ethics and aesthetics; culture including knowledge and its traditions and institutions e.g. the academic institutions; information including media, publishing; art, literature, music, myth… and religion;) action and its arenas (ethics, aesthetics which are repeated and economics – especially feasibility, politics – here regarded as including law, and change –dynamics– and institutions of social form)

In its traditional meaning, ethics is moral philosophy (the study of morality) and morality – morals and systems of morals whether specified in ‘codes’ e.g. the code Hammurabi (moral codes may be expressed in law,) religious systems (Buddhism, Christianity…,) or philosophical systems (natural law, deontology, consequentialism…) Metaethics is the study of ethics – the nature of ethics, ethical argument, the objectivity and foundation of ethical judgment. In its present conception, Ethics includes metaethics

Ethics is Real; ethics, naturally, has elements of subjectivity (a goal in ethics is the elimination of avoidable, unnecessary or mere subjectivity)

Learning from the Theory of Being. Primal origins of being include (1) ‘Random’ elements in origins and selection for self-adaptation, (2) Conditioning of further change by current state or configuration, (3) Indeterminism which remains a source of form (formation) and decay

Ethical contexts. (1) The seat of morals in psycho-social integration (of which integration of the psyche is a special case discussed earlier;) which implies that the moral sense or nature (relatively unconscious) is unlikely to be effectively replaced by moral systems (the traditions and, then, reflective or philosophical ethics.) Mere replacement of the moral sense (which can only happen on paper) would undoubtedly lead to an unmooring of morals. A supplement to moral sense, however, has degrees of appropriateness and necessity; necessity arises on two accounts. First, that morals have social dimensions (this is obvious) that constitute the individual and the group interaction with moral systems. Second, in the ‘breakdown’ of any social system, there is occasion and some necessity for reflection and its expression in further system or changes in system (traditional and or reflective.) This process is a continuation of the transformation from non human to human animal. There remains some question about the utility of the traditional systems (e.g. Buddhist, Christian morals) and philosophical ethics. Certainly these do not result in a ‘perfect’ world or even perfect clarity regarding morals; perfection has no meaning except as an ideal. Change builds upon what is given. A state of perfection is neither possible nor desirable. The possibility of ‘error’ and of adaptation to circumstance (and possibility) have the same root and are essential to being (in becoming)

A second ethical context involves, (2) That supplement of the moral sense by moral system is incomplete. It is true that in transformation from a traditional world to new contexts made possible by new social freedoms and new technologies, the individual moral sense and even traditional systems may be not merely inadequate but may even say nothing regarding new moral occasions. Therefore, a more complete integration of psyche (the bound moral sense and the ‘free’ elements of system especially the expression of reason in reflective ethics) may provide improvement over mere ‘supplement’ of moral sense by reflection. Modern philosophical ethics appears to aim at a rational foundation for choice. However, a choice between its systems (e.g. deontology vs. consequentialism) cannot always be clearly made (debate continues) and is not clearly necessary, except perhaps if there is an unrealistic demand for moral determinism. In metaethics some reflexive clarification is possible but does not (has not) removed the issue of conflicting and incomplete determination. It is not clear, from the complexity and Variety of the world and of moral contexts that complete rational determination is possible. It is precisely here that integration of the psyche and its instruments appears to be essential. Real contexts are unique in the sense that no logic of morals established in other contexts (theoretical, invented example, or real) are guaranteed to be applicable. Moral determination in real (and new) contexts may be enhanced by ‘system’ but system is insufficient; binding to the moral sense is necessary. In simple terms, individual and integrity remain essential

Finally, (3) Ethical contexts display the dynamic characteristics of and arise out of primal being. Ethics is ‘Real’ but must adapt (change) to different situations and scales and incorporate considerations of feasibility (economics) and group concerns (politics.) Despite realism (what may be labeled ‘theoretical objectivity,’) the moral system remains in interactive change and therefore requires balances among the theoretical tendencies e.g. deontology (the ethics of right action) and consequentialism (value in ends) that may not be calculable and ‘must’ be supplemented by psycho-social integration and ‘experiment.’ There is a ‘realism in process.’ System is a phase of realism in process. From a practical perspective there is no absolute control or absolute moral knowledge – which in any case are undesirable given the nature of being since ‘absolutes’ would be frozen and though the actual world has danger (‘evil’) it also has great promise (the ‘Good;’ what is Real must be –or be part of– what is good)

Education. The Institutions of culture and enculturation

Since this topic is significant to transmission of the goals of the narrative its inclusion is necessary. Since it is peripheral to the present concerns of the narrative it must be essentially brief. A more complete discussion may be taken up in later editions or in a supplementary narrative

It is natural that education should concern ‘the elements of and relations among the elements of (human) freedom.’ These concerns include the established (stable) elements of society and culture

Therefore, the needs of education include both tradition (established knowledge, institutions and other cultural elements) and the cultivation of the ‘freedoms’ – originality in various endeavors mentioned above in ‘Ethics as elements of and relations among the elements of (human) freedom’


Political process is the process of group decision. Political institutions are the institutions of political process. Politics is constituted of the process and its institutions. Political theory is the empirical study of politics; and theoretical study of interrelations among aspects of politics by ‘law’ i.e. correlation, causal connection or other relation; and the use of theory in relating institutions to (political and other) ends. Political philosophy includes the study of and (original) reflection regarding (1) The nature of politics and political theory, (2) Kinds of institutions and their intrinsic values, (3) Relations among institutions and other considerations – Morals, economics, (4) The nature of political philosophy


Economics is the study of feasibility (especially in human affairs.) It is implicit in the conceptualization of Ethics (here) that Economics ‘impacts’ Ethics (and Politics; the aspects of the social world are interactive.) Feasibility, desirability (Value,) and metaphysics interact at the ‘highest’ of levels. Metaphysics shows what is Possible. Feasibility shows what is reasonably possible. Among what is possible there is a range of feasibilities. At the low end there are ‘feasibilities’ that are sufficiently remote that they might normally be regarded as unworthy of effort (and other resources.) However if they are sufficiently desirable, e.g. realization of All Being (and even lesser objectives,) the value of the outcome may make them worthy of attention (if a fraction of resources or an individual’s ‘personal’ time are deployed there is no detraction from more immediate needs – in fact, in some perspectives, there is a potential enhancement of immediate needs since the understanding of being and of possibility illuminates individual lives.) Practically, considerations of feasibility show various ‘ideal’ political and moral goals (that are otherwise commendable) to require (at least) reconsideration. In large societies with unprecedented access to resources it is easy to forget or not see that resources are finite; even among worthwhile goals (in any perspective) there is ‘competition’ for the finite resources. What is the ‘best’ distribution of resources among material, human and other ends? It is not clear that there is one but the question of resource distribution, which may otherwise be worked out without explicit attention to the various concerns, deserves attention

The idea of interaction among feasibility and ethics (that economics and ethics are not altogether separable) is not new and has recently been emphasized in the writings of Amartya Sen (b. 1933, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India) and others

Morals, economics and politics

Consider the following interactions among morals, economics and politics. Political arrangements have (or may be seen as having) intrinsic moral Value. It is a mistake to think that the moment an individual enters the political arena he or she is no longer an individual; and (the opposite extreme) to think that a political institution has no intrinsic worth. In small societies the institutions of politics are also the expressions of the individual. While it is true that in large societies there is a separation of the realms, that separation is not necessary; and even its practical manifestations are only necessary on certain political arrangements. Some arrangements have intrinsic moral value because they are (may be) a form of universal individual expression (possible in a small community; requiring, perhaps, careful arrangement in a large one.) Perhaps, the political arrangement that is a ‘high’ form of individual expression detracts from other moral values; this is, then, simply an example of the ‘competition’ of different moral values for ‘resources.’ It is therefore, an economic concern. Within medicine, more resources applied to technology result in fewer resources available for human concerns (technology and human concerns have only partial overlap.) At a higher level, more resources applied to tighter international borders may result in less resources available within the borders (but perhaps, since the population may be lower than with loose borders, greater resources for each individual; still since the incremental cost is ‘steeper’ with additional control there will, from a purely material resource perspective, come a point of optimum control. This formulation ignores human costs and the question of political stability.) (The variety of concerns is basic even when their labels –material, human, economic and so on– are specialized; the continued use of the vocabulary is justified in a number of ways. First, in that in the most basic meanings the specific concerns are interactive; and, second, even in their most specialized meanings there is interaction among compartmentalized concerns.) Specialization allows (even promotes) the development of intellectual machinery whose precision is made possible by the very specialization. In a simple vocabulary, individual, group, and resource concerns are interactive

A criticism of the line of argument of the previous paragraph is that there is no fundamental principle in terms of which competing alternatives may be evaluated. An example of such a principle may be that the individual is the final measure of all group (political) and economic arrangements. However, such principles are not free of their own difficulties. First, precisely what aspects of the individual are to be taken as ‘measures’ (since, as measure, ‘the individual’ is vague.) Second, what is an individual? Is an individual a hermetically sealed bundle of sentience? Or, alternatively, are the system of relations and ties that bind the individual to the world part of the individual? May a married couple be considered to be an individual (ontologically and not merely for political or economic purposes?) In some ways it might seem that, if there is a join of the sentient system of the two persons, then a couple may be an ontological individual (this seems to violate the discrete character of individuation but the this discrete aspect has already been seen to be ‘relative’ i.e. discrete-for-certain-purposes in earlier discussions of identity.) Then: what is true of partnership in marriage may also be true of larger groups. Another question regarding ‘ultimate value residing in the individual’ is whether the natural world has intrinsic value i.e. are values of oceans, continents, forests and non human animals independent of reference to human individuals? A practical system of values might suggest that the non human should be assigned value; however, the question here regards intrinsic value. The discussion of manifestly sentient forms may, as will be seen, be based on a consideration of the apparently non sentient forms the understanding of whose nature is modified to account for sentience

Therefore, the argument that follows will address only the (apparently) non sentient forms: deserts, lakes, rivers, trees, forests, continents… earth. These entities are not normally regarded as sentient and it has been argued that all Value resides in sentience. A non sentient Universe may contain no value; however, the universe contains sentience. From the Theory of Being, there is one universe and it must contain sentience (the Theory argues that even what is not normally regarded to be sentient has, in fact, primal sentience but the present argument will not refer to that fact and will depend only on sentience-as-recognized-by-human-being.) Given normal sentience, then, it appears that the assignment of value is made by normally sentient beings. However, this does not mean that only those capable of assigning values have value. If value is objective, perhaps assignment is recognition. It has been seen that values have an objective character. Subjective-value is assigned value; objective-value is value that promotes well being; adaptation implies that there must be some identity of the objective and subjective. Here, of course the question arises ‘What is well being?’ It may be noted that every attempt to reduce questions of value to something more fundamental will crumble for the mistake that is being made is to think that there is something fundamental outside of moral intuition that will make value definite and objective. However, this is not the case. It is not necessary for value to be definite. There may always be question and debate and this is part of the evolution and assignment of value and it is seen once again that value cannot be divorced from the intuition and that any ‘theory’ of value shall not stand independently of the intuition but shall stand in integration with it each enhancing and modifying the other. Allowing indefiniteness, allowing process is one approach to objectivity

In the argument just made there is a distinction between normal and primal sentience. The distinction is not absolute i.e. is not one of fundamental kind. Normal sentience refers to the focal, self-aware sentience. Primal sentience, as has been seen in the discussion of ‘Mind,’ earlier, is the necessary but non-focal un-self-aware sentience that lies within the constitution of all (at least manifest) elements of being. Value may be seen as objective in saying that both normal and primal sentience have intrinsic value. The idea that the value of the apparently non-sentient may be referred to the sentient of the value of the non-human may be determined only by reference to the human is a limited idea based in a false even if normal view that the sentient and the apparently non-sentient and the human and the non-human are other. This objective view may be recast in terms of ‘respect’ and ‘mutual dependence’

Individual versus group interest. The status of ‘Political Realism’

It is now possible to develop some objective assessment of the question of ‘political realism,’ the view that national interest comes before individual interest. Is it proper for nations to disregard individual interest in questions regarding national ‘interest’ e.g. survival and dominance? It is clear from the foregoing that both individual and nation (group) have Value. Therefore, both political and ‘individual realism’ are in error (if the individual is regarded narrowly.) Further, reflection will reveal that there is no ‘calculation’ of values that may replace moral intuition and debate among persons and groups even though calculation may enter into process

It follows that Morals at an individual and small group level do not arbitrarily generalize to e.g. a national or global level. Simultaneously, at the more inclusive level the values concerning the individual (in opposition to naïve political realism) remain important

It may be said that the argument opens the way for abuse. However, it is not clear that a ‘calculus’ of values based in the (human or animal) individual as the sole possessor of intrinsic value is a reasonable enterprise; the contrary has been argued above. (Investigation may show that the enterprise is logically or contingently impossible.) Again, moral (Ethical) intuition and dialog should not be circumvented in any reasonable approach to morals (Ethics;) to do so is to relinquish responsibility to a calculus – to say, at some time, that here dialog ends and that all subsequent action shall be based on what has been said before

Interaction of Knowledge and Value

Ethics has been identified earlier as the system of (human) freedoms – value, action and knowledge (culture.) A connection between knowledge and action was noted earlier. While, in domains where, due to local adaptation, specialization is reasonably possible, knowledge may be separated from its (immediate) ties to the world, the separation is not possible in the general case. That it may seem that this is generally possible is due to the fact that typical domains of action are (naturally) linked to domains of (specialized) knowledge. Generally, however, knowledge does not separate itself from objects or from action. Various ways in which objects are possible have been seen. Some of these are precise; others are approximate (which has been seen to be positive relative to the possibilities of knowledge.) An alternative (underlying) view is one in which knowing, action, and world remain in intimate contact; at this level there is no separation or need for separation of knowledge and action; at this level, knowledge is not knowledge-of but knowledge-in-interaction-with-action-or-outcome. The relevance of Ethics, here, is to note that knowledge-in-interaction is neither ‘superior’ nor ‘inferior’ to but includes and lies at the base of discrete and concrete knowledge

War and peace

An important modern ‘ethical concern’ is that of war and peace. The concern is broader than the stated one for war and peace are related to questions of aggression and of terrorism. Additionally, an adequate treatment of war and peace requires examination of the ‘causes’ of war and the probable prerequisites of peace which include the human psyche (aggression) and social behavior (especially politics,) population, and resources (especially, c. 2000, energy.) Thus, in considering war and peace a variety of ethical and other concerns are entailed and will be taken up. The discussion will attempt to illustrate ‘ethical principle,’ relations among the different aspects of Ethics and relations among individual and group Morals (in the question of translation of individual attitudes into action) and among realism (in the question of definition below) and circumstance

Access to resources is one (not always stated) root of war and increase of populations results in a greater need for resources. In the long term, avoiding war may be promoted by conservation and by addressing the population concern. Appropriate energy (and other resources, especially food) is also important. Energy research is probably vital – current expenditures on energy development and research, however, are a fraction of the cost of access to oil (‘access’ includes war and occupation)

There is a variety of lines that energy research may take. Renewable energy (solar, wind, small scale hydropower) is generally cleaner energy. A number of parts of the world have large coal reserves; research into making the use of coal clean is important (at least) because as oil becomes scarce, nations will face economic pressure to use coal. Research in using energy reserves (oil, coal, nuclear…) to produce clean fuels is important (free hydrogen is not naturally occurring and requires energy to produce it and the currently practical ways that might be used to produce hydrogen for large scale production release carbon dioxide which is the ‘greenhouse’ gas implicated in global warming.) Research in controlled nuclear fusion should receive greater emphasis. Research into use of the energy of the ‘quantum vacuum’ remains in a primitive and conceptual stage and lacks any definite estimate of the practicality of the potential; it is clear, however, that the magnitude of this possible source dwarfs all conventional, renewable and nuclear sources and it is this magnitude that is a source of the potential which includes the possibility of cataclysmic destruction e.g. of the known universe… Energy access indirectly affects population. While a large amount of attention is paid to oil rich nations, other nations that face a variety of severe problems including internal war (and genocide) are ignored and even apart from the obvious ethical issue, ongoing poverty may be destabilizing to politics and population. Resource and energy consumption have a variety of probable effects – desertification and deforestation, change in atmospheric composition and, consequently, probable and possibly catastrophic climatic change. As of 2006 many persons may object to reference to climatic change as probable. There may be two reasons to prefer reference to probability; the first is that even quantitative correlation does not imply a causal connection (and to think that the connection is necessary may ignore non-included factors that may make the situation ‘worse’ than is implied by necessity i.e. a causal connection.) A second reason is that an exclusive emphasis on necessity implies that action need not be undertaken when connections are merely probable… It is not clear that an adequate solution to any single issue or to each issue separately may provide an adequate response to the constellation of issues. If there is a single approach to the multi-dimensional concerns, it may lie in human awareness and will and their application; perhaps these should be regarded as equal or prior to the economic (conservation) and technological approaches

What is war? What is terrorism? What is genocide? These all come under the heading of wide spread aggression and it is not clear that definitions are necessary (and, in any case, definitions can be used to put ethical concerns aside e.g. torture has been justified by claiming that prisoners taken are not prisoners of war.) Regarding war, there is a point of view called ‘political realism’ according to which morals that apply to individuals do not apply to nations and that the responsibility of a government is to further national self-interest at all costs. What justifies a war of aggression – for whatever reason? Is there a valid point of view according to which even self-defense is unethical? Is a war to eliminate an abusive regime or a terrorist base in another nation justified? What is the moral authority of the ‘nation?’ (Why should the people of West Bengal, in eastern India be more responsible to the people of Maharashtra in the west than to the people of Bangladesh which is adjacent to West Bengal? What has been established naturally carries weight but should this be absolute and constitutional?) Does international sanction make war morally right – or merely more diplomatic? If a nation is suspected of harboring ‘terrorist groups’ or stockpiling instruments of war and destruction, must certainty of evidence be necessary for invasion? When does evidence justify invasion? It must be asked that since moral concerns seem to be routinely ignored, what the Value of moral considerations may be. A proper response includes that the presence of morals cannot be expected to be altogether effective but have some direct effect (on decisions) and indirect effect (on the intent to do Good;) in addition to enquiring of the efficacy of morals already in place, it is also significant to reflect on the possible outcomes of an absence of morals. In the absence of a moral sense (or in its exclusion by apathy, by disregarding the humanity of certain populations, or by routine denial of human rights concerns in government) formal considerations of morals are likely to have little effect

They would like to suggest that war is invariably wrong (not right.) There are, however, two hesitations. The first concerns self-defense – is self-defense wrong? Is self-defense war? The questions have practical and symbolic aspects in addition to the obviously moral aspect and it is perhaps more important to remain aware of the concerns than to give answers – perhaps such awareness will be more instrumental toward good than the provision of answers. The second concerns their awareness of the limits of their thought and their emotional being and their values; this admission, they hope, may encourage into negotiation those who feel that their positions are irrevocable

The following, then, are morally important. First, cultivating and sustaining moral intuition; and addressing institutions that may suppress or avoid it including education, philosophy, and rational or systematic ethics. Moral intuition should be cultivated so as to include questions of feasibility. Second, translating individual attitudes into (large scale) group attitudes and action. A necessary preliminary to action is the careful and open acquisition and examination of situation-specific information. Action itself should (generally) begin with diplomacy and the least harmful means. ‘Sanctions’ are not intrinsically clean and result in enormous but often invisible hardship and suffering. These are causally prior (to the specific moral concerns) and their cultivation is likely to encourage ethical Understanding and attention to the specific concerns

Related thoughts appear in the later section ‘Faith’

Ethics and objectivity

The meaning of objectivity: of the Object – not possession of the object. Often, ‘objectivity’ is used as if it meant possession of the object

Realism introduces objectivity but reason lays open its own inadequacies

Objectivity is reintroduced in special symbolic cases (Theory of Being;) or by relinquishing full faithfulness

But why should faithfulness not be full? It never is in contingent and detailed issues! And it would not be worth much if required universally (its utility otherwise is not questioned)

Realization, not faithfulness is the way of being (faithfulness is a means)

Objectivity is reintroduced by introducing Value (alternatively process)

But how can criteria of knowledge be determined by value? Either knowledge is not what it is normally considered to be (knowledge-of) or it does not have what is normally considered to be its worth

Under Ethics, knowledge attains objectivity

Value, process, discovery are not outside or imposed on being. In discovering a value or an instance of a value it is justified. If it is not justified, its discovery is not complete (what does this say about discovery and justification – perhaps that justification does not stand outside and is not imposed on being)

Consider the immense consequences of the Theory of Being, of Identity, of the Cosmologies developed… In reflection, they felt as though they had encountered a New World. And even though this vision was bound in necessity, they could not (altogether) escape doubt. There was further doubt regarding their ability to apply this vision to the ambition: the realization of the ultimate in (from) the present. Doubt, they reflected has many manifestations. Among these is ‘essential doubt.’ Essential doubt is integral to (sentient) being as part its being; its source is the essential indeterminism at the root of being. Pushed to an extreme in emotion it is neurotic doubt; to an extreme in an attempt to uncover unassailable principles it is rational, even radical doubt (which, too, may have a neurotic component if it becomes the attempt of a being to found itself in its discrete manifestation. If permanently disengaged from knowledge and its process, doubt becomes absurd.) Even essential doubt, however, is not static. It fluctuates and must fluctuate since realization is not constant; even apparent stasis is founded on equilibrium between non static elements. What is it then that can ‘justify’ Faith? Faith has some justification in Understanding but also in Morals. The individual believes (perhaps places hope) in some vision; that it has (possible) value is also a root ‘justification.’ This is no justification for any particular faith; the faith in question should have withstood criticism with regard to truth, feasibility and value before value is justification. However, as has been seen truth, feasibility and value are Ethical dimensions

Action and politics*

In this section, the following topic is covered: charisma, society and translation of individual attitudes to group attitudes and action. Other topics relevant to society are taken up in earlier considerations of economics; politics; ethics and society; and following topics through the discussion of faith

‘Change’ satisfies a diverse group of ‘constraints’ and ‘forces’ that may be labeled Ethical – or, more specifically, moral, economic and political. In the following paragraphs regarding action, concern is with the powers that are available to individuals and groups as agents of design

Those who regard themselves as effecting ends rather than affecting directions of change may experience diminished significance in being. Perhaps there is some (varying) balance between effect and affect


The resources available to an individual or group in affecting (and reviewing) ‘ends’ may be labeled ‘patriarchal’ and ‘charismatic.’ The former are the resources that are built into or available in society and whose precise nature depends on the form of society: they will vary according to e.g. political system. However, having a voice, being part of a group, attempting to persuade are (almost) always available. ‘Charismatic’ resources are (dynamic) qualities of an individual. They include the powers of vision (required when patriarchalism falters,) of persuasion, and of action. The powers of charisma have been said to be innate (to the individual.) The degree to which this is true is not altogether clear for circumstance and opportunity are likely often among the ‘causes’ that are assigned to charisma. Additionally, it is often the case that an individual will not know what powers he or she may have until power has been cultivated and brought into the open (requiring perhaps an appreciation of both power and limits)

These thoughts on Charisma owe a debt to the writings of Max Weber (b. 1864, Erfurt, Prussia (Germany))

Civilization and history

The value attached to being ‘civilized’ may have reached its apex in the nineteenth century; it was an idea in which humankind was seen as set apart from nature, higher and unique. However the idea of civilization used here is one in which the human world is inseparable from the stream of being

There is a classical view of humankind as special and great in which the greatness is given and derives from being apart from the mundane world – especially animal being; such kinds or conceptions of greatness are, naturally, fragile and, likely, more a defense against fear than a love of (one’s own) being. In such views the world is essentially alien and hostile. The views of the special character of Human being and the alien character of the world, ingrained in certain cultures, sustain one another…

The idea of civilization here is not defined by advanced culture or technology but is one of a connected view of the human world that is inseparable from and not apart from or above or below the stream of being. A view of human greatness, if ‘greatness’ is indeed the idea that is sought, is that it involves the use of human ability, unique or common, in the broadest experience of the stream… A society is ‘civilized’ when, even as it is unique, it is connected to –when it forms a braid with– the stream

That is, the meaning of ‘civilization’ consists in the development of individual, perhaps unique, features and yet not seeking ultimate escape from all being

Civilization may involve those elements of culture and technology that enhance connection; that make the idea of connection realistic. Although the idea of civilization is possessed of realism, its expression may be invested in religion, Art and myth… The present attitude commits to seeing the human world in the stream of being – not necessarily as entirely homogeneous with it but perhaps as an island or a chain of islands (or for those who abhor any suggestion of superiority a line of ocean trenches; for others who love or fear individuation a range of mountain peaks thrust above clouds.) The idea of civilization does not commit to an ideal of social uniformity or cultural homogeneity; and there is no intent to suppress horror and antagonism; yet it sees and finds realism in threads of continuity and common Morals among human being, and with roots in the animal world, among continents and nature – in all being

History is a (reconstructed) story in which civilization acquires life and a sense of realism. This does not imply that the best attempt at realism in history is unnecessary for realism is, regardless of virtue, a prime source of the sense of realism – but history is also a story and as story it is another source of a sense of realism

The Highest Ideal*

There is a tradition in ethics that concerns discussion and establishment of higher (human) values. The question arises, ‘What is the highest ideal or system of ideals?’ It is not clear that this question has meaning. Various possibilities have been suggested – the Real as the Good, the integration of the psyche, the integration of psyche and social systems. Some aspects of classical systems have been mentioned in the narrative but their values have not been prominent (or even mentioned.) Truth has been mentioned but its character as a value remains implicit. Values not mentioned (so far) include justice, equality, liberty (in the search for and expression of Value,) beauty, self-determination and sharing… These values are not held to be as important in the modern world as they may have been regarded in the past. The death and decay of ‘old’ moral systems makes it seem as though values are lost. What is the meaning of justice in a world where there is no ground of values and all individual values are thought to be in material comfort or achievement? The concept of human value independent of external measure may be reestablished by regarding the highest value as including a search for the highest Value

The highest value is a search for high value joined to tentative acceptance and valuation of the inherited values (the real and the good, truth, equality, liberty, justice, beauty, self-determination, caring, sharing… values thought to be invested in social, educational, and political arrangement and process)

Another name for the highest value may be Morals (though not morals)

What may be learned about the highest Value from the Theory of Being? First, that a search for the highest value is a search in the Universe i.e. a search in the Real. Second that the search does not reveal the ideal in a moment – it is a process that starts in the present and involves transformation in Identity. Therefore the elements of psyche (e.g. cognitive-affective) that yield information about ideals in this normal cosmological system and that moral information do not, of necessity, extrapolate to the high limit. In the limit morals and (perhaps a sub-domain of) the Real coincide; in this world there may be a gap between moral information and morals; therefore, there is an even greater gap between present moral information (the outcome of cognition-affect) and Morals. However, morals have reality and Morals are Real

Summary of the discussion of Ethics. A conception of Ethics shows the integration of ethics, action and Metaphysics (whose details are given above.) Ethics is contained within metaphysics but if metaphysics is considered merely as knowledge without significance in being then Ethics spills over the boundary walls of metaphysics and requires its redefinition (as discussed earlier regarding objects where it was seen that as far as Value is concerned incomplete faithfulness may be constitutive of an Object.) The conception of Ethics entails, for its complete understanding, the scope of (human) freedoms, action, metaphysics and society


The discussion of faith is brief. Its purpose is to understand the nature of faith, its possibilities, reasons for its endurance in the modern world despite the reasonable pronouncement of Nietzsche (over one hundred and twenty five years ago) that ‘God is dead’ i.e. despite the expectation that reason and science had made faith unnecessary and therefore would displace it. If faith is belief without complete reasons then one of its clear sources or bases is that, in much that is significant, complete reasons do not exist and or that reasons are incompletely known or knowable; and that there is no final ‘foundation’ for human affairs in complete reason. The practical limits of reason, in relation to certainty in knowledge and especially in relation to determining outcomes of actions, are well understood in modern thought e.g. in Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume I: Economic Analysis and Public Policy, 1982, Herbert A. Simon (b. 1916, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.) However, it remains perhaps the modern delusion that complete reason, if not immediately forthcoming, can and should be (and is) the ideal regarding knowledge, design and planning, and (course of) action in all details and affairs

Faith persists (perhaps) because, in addition to the inertia and despite abuses of institutions, it has significance (below) which may include appeal and, perhaps, adaptation or self-perpetuation. As far as belief is concerned a function of faith has always been to doubt the limitations of ‘common sense’ (which includes science) and to provide alternatives. This is true of common and special faith and of private and public faith (that a system of faith should suffer abuse is not a fault of faith itself.) The modern alternative to faith is secularism; both faith and secularism suffer abuses. What resolutions may there be?

Significance of faith. Faith and doubt

As a part of their development in understanding and, so, in transformation, they questioned the nature of faith and Religion and their place in the world. Even in the face of the spread of reason, faith has not withered to an extent that may have been expected. Faith remains a presence – perhaps unexpected given the spread of ‘reason.’ The factors are complex. Faith exists in the presence of limits to reason. Negotiation of the world (known and unknown) optimally requires doubt and faith. ‘Faith’ occasions strength of commitment, social bonding and mutual support – intensity of faith may be seen as a function that is distinct from content (intensity may derive from sincerity regarding content.) Faith has literal significance – as demonstrated by the Theory of Being. The literal aspect may appear to be but is not necessarily absurd – the absurdity may also be a source of appeal, of bonding of suggestion that the world according to reason is incomplete. Faith has non literal significance ‘rising from the dead’ speaks to a limit to the common understanding of the nature of death; but, even though the literal implication may be unlikely, without its possibility there would be no metaphorical significance. There are non-Meaning functions e.g. bonding; resistance to the tyrant (in the war of 1939-1945, in Germany, persons of simple faith harbored the persecuted.) Although there are criticisms of ‘faith,’ secularism too (despite its proclamations) perpetuates abuse; and ‘faith’ has vision where pure secularism has none (traditional faith stands in the shadow of being and is therefore incomplete as is secularism)

Faith and secularism

Few persons are altogether ‘agnostic’ with regard to working beliefs. One attitude of the ‘rational’ person is that if something is not contained in reason it does not exist (positivism) or, at least, should remain unspoken (implicit positivism.) Now, insistence on such silence lacks rationality for it is in speaking of, especially in error, that knowing may come about. It may, however, be natural though not necessary for a rational (rationalistic) individual to think that the essence of the Universe has been seen in reason or in science. Further, (implicit) positivism may be productive in science and reason and may be the rationalist’s defense against ‘absurdity.’ The rational person may go further and find loneliness and therefore heroism in her or his view. While it is possible for scientists and others to be agnostic toward the absolute character of science the typical responses, even of scientists, are a mix of doubt and faith. Thus even ‘rationalism’ is complex in its ways. An analysis of the psychology of a belief provides neither proof nor disproof of content – there may be ‘illicit’ reasons for believing what is true and for disbelieving what is not. One point to psychological analysis of belief is to show that, commonly, what is held as true is held reasonably i.e. it is assumed e.g. from the robust character of a society and its institutions that proof exists even though the individual has not seen proof or worked through the multifaceted details of foundation; and that what is held as untrue has a similar status

Meaning (literal and non-literal) and non-meaning functions of faith

In general, then, while belief is held to be a matter of rationality, much common belief is in fact subscription to common belief –to paradigm– but lacks proof. ‘Everyone’ believes in a proof that, it is thought, is demonstrated somewhere but, in fact, may be demonstrated nowhere (e.g. materialism in the world of the twentieth century and articles of religion in earlier times.) What is the hold of religious faith? Is its apparent hold magnified due to the vocal and militant character of ‘followers?’ What is the ‘meaning’ of faith? The literal meaning often strains the imagination – not ‘the sun rises in the East’ but ‘Christ is risen from the dead!’ A psychological significance is the suggestion that truth, the nature of the Universe, our nature exceeds what is seen in the common or secular view. It is the fact that the imagination is strained, that there is a suggestion of the absurd that gives the article of faith (some of) its significance. The figurative Meaning depends  –in part– on the burden that literal meaning places on belief. This is also a source of group bonding – ‘the sun rises in the East’ is hardly a source of cohesion or group identity but ‘Christ is risen from the dead!’ is. This discussion has been in the way of Understanding but not of proof – although theologians may seek proof and though proofs may be given, proof is not the essence of faith (perhaps even for the intellectually inclined, proof might clear doubt but it is doubtful that it would secure faith)

These reflections suggest an alternative or enhanced meaning to ‘faith’ as follows

The nature of Faith. Its place in the modern world

They found the following concerns regarding faith to be significant. (1) The suggestion that an approach to knowledge and transformation is not in construction alone or criticism alone but in their interaction. In discovery and becoming, there are combinations; there is ebb and flow of doubt and faith that is efficacious. (2) Regardless of doubts regarding religious faith, its roots appear, at least at present, to be established; and although the history of religious faith is one of ebb and flow, here, a rational foundation to the occurrence of faith has been given. Rationalizing faith away e.g. on the grounds that some faiths are absurd, is a typical form of ‘liberal’ magical thinking. Religion provides a positive force in various ways but is also seen as negative. Should there be a secular response and what might that response be? (Whether there ‘should’ be some response will depend on what responses might be imagined.) The secular response is easily polarized – ‘We are pure; they are evil!’ Some limits of ‘secularism’ – as a way of life and in government have been seen earlier. A first step is to accept both self and other; to embrace rather than divide – remembering, of course, that it is not given that any principle (even the golden rule and its philosophical variants) shall be universal. (3) Is there a place in the world for religion? What is that place?

What are the possibilities for the concept of Religion?

A thought – Religion, they thought, is the negotiation of all Being by the entire being of the individual (and community.) What directions might a ‘new religion’ take? A common form of religion is to provide a Metaphysics, an ethics, and a way of life – the paths; and its style may be a mix of story and prescription (and gathering and ritual.) A Religion might begin with the knowledge that ‘There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in a philosophy’ or ‘the world is the void.’ They found it natural to hesitate to suggest that there is value to the idea of a new religion; there are particular doubts – is not the common modern ‘secular pluralism’ (secularism and the present system of faiths) enough, what form might a religion take, is not the time of religion past; and general doubts – to suggest ‘religion’ may be to suggest a ‘solution’ from the past to concerns of the present, and doubts regarding the nature and desirability of change or attempted change that originates in an idea – but: is not the occasion of the idea an effect upon change? What might an individual journey contribute? They wondered whether there were aspects of a journey that might be useful

Limits to faith and secularism have sources in polarization

Some ‘limits’ have been seen – to faith and to secularism, to modern science and to modern philosophy. These limits are not exclusively inherent in the endeavors but also inhere in the attitudes of Human beings that then become invested in the endeavors. Faith is set against faith; secular society against secular society; and faith against secularism. One characterization of the attitudes is that they tend to become polarized without grounding into concern with the immediate-crawling and with the ultimate. The tendency to polarization may not be universal but it is sufficient to create a culture of impoverishment. A challenge becomes apparent – to depolarize the attitudes, to join them so that faith and secularism may coexist, so that the immediate grounds the ultimate, the ultimate lifts the immediate out of mere crawling

Bridging. Resolution of the tensions is not given

These thoughts are both general and ideal. The ‘world’ may perhaps be capable of improvement but it may be that problem and opportunity are essentially bound together

It is important while being guided by optimism to remember that the world has no necessary regard for even the best of designs. Realism, hope, design and action may remain in interaction; formula does not effectively replace engagement

Given these thoughts it seems that an approach is to join ideals with realism – to live well and to (begin to) build bridges while guided by ideals and understanding but not being ruled by practical limits


This division is less formal than ‘Foundation.’ Here, experiment, action, and adventure (and risk) are crucial; the realizations of ultimate ends are important, not only in themselves, but also because they are expressions of individual ambition

‘All being’ is ultimate but not the only ultimate; the present experienced as timeless is also a form of ultimate


‘Journey’ includes exploration and has these connotations – no fixed or given destination, destinations change as terrain is revealed; exploration is as important as destinations; adventure and commitment to discovery; care and abandon; enjoyment of small things and revelation of continents; side excursions, many unplanned, that, build a store of experience; stopping and living at places for periods out of interest, enjoyment, or necessity; irreversibility – what is seen and known cannot be un-seen; the explorer learns how to travel, to experience, to find; later experience and choice is conditioned by the earlier

Here, there is commitment to: exploration of possibility and actuality – all ideas, entities and kinds; to realization: virtual (as idea and Understanding) and actual (experience and as Transformation of body and Identity;) to ‘process’ – every individual (society, civilization) is (re) creation; (re) creation is necessary to (a sense of) being alive


Their learning and experience was in many areas – much out of and for pure enjoyment. Learning and experience for ‘its own sake,’ i.e. for enjoyment, stimulated and was stimulated by learning and experience directed by purposes and toward goals. They endeavored to experience a variety of traditions (of and within those of the West, of India, and in re-construction of pre-history) of ideas and transformation. Within the traditions they sought depth; and variety sufficient to acquire both ideas and perspectives. They sought not only acquisition but Understanding and further development of the ideas; they sought not only importation but also originality; not only further development of ideas but, as far as they would, development to the limit; not only the world of the esoteric and the (rather sheltered academic) world of learning but also broad experience of a variety of paths and levels in life; not only life in the ‘civilized world’ but also life in nature – under the sun and stars, in the shadows of hills and mountains. They experienced, especially in nature, inspiration and integration of ideas – and then disintegration and reintegration, over and over, again and again. In nature they experienced also a sense of Identity of and with Being. They sought (strove) also to maintain the edge of originality even amid the ‘cauldron’ of everyday life and work. An outcome was a store of ideas and approaches – but not merely a store; there was also intuition, familiarity, fluidity, integration, and perspective. I.e. the ideas and elements of being were not experienced as fixed and static disciplines but as fluid, dynamic and adaptable elements of understanding and being

When the ‘fluid mode’ had been experienced and recognized, it became possible to cultivate it

If in the static mode the manifestation of the forms of an idea is chain of islands, the fluid mode is one in which the islands become seen as connected under the ocean and evolving in geologic time

Attachment and burden

They experienced attachment to their thought and words – to their originality which then occasionally became a burden in their endeavor. They sometimes thought that each idea should have significance. Shedding of the burden was sought. They would experience life as light. They found that writing out a system of their thought and experience, especially amid ‘chaos’ instead of in an orderly and serene setting, enabled a shedding of what was inessential, enabled vision of the essence of their ‘system’ as a dynamic Form – as an entity

In parallel with their experience in ideas, the suggestion arose that the transformation of being and identity in the cauldron of everyday life and in nature –in isolation from civilization– may approach the Real – the possible, the necessary, the desirable and the feasible

Paradigm and perspective

Their search lead through first perception, then acquisition and finally development of a number of ‘paradigms of thought’ – the early ones were experienced as natural in their assumption; the later, made possible by earlier experience, were sought to fill a sense of incompleteness of the earlier. The first paradigm could be described as ‘modern,’ seeing the world in terms of an Education in modern science and humanities. The second was evolutionary – understanding in terms of origins and process and requiring a study of process in nature. Along the way they experienced incompleteness (through criticism and comparison of the scope of the paradigms with the intuition of the Real) in the modern and the evolutionary – especially in the perspectives and values of the modern world, in a tendency to conform, at least implicitly, to a material paradigm and to exclude talk of all else. In the third paradigm, they sought a complement to process and matter – especially to a concept of matter that constitutionally excluded mind, and to the particular; this first manifested as search for an idea to complement matter and process; the ideas of ‘absolute,’ ‘idealism’ (as ontology,) were developed and abandoned. Basis in nature and natural science was sought – which, though also abandoned, resulted in useful metaphor. Their attention turned to the ideas of ‘all’ (that exists) and to ‘Void’ (absence of being.) A two year period of (occasional) intuitive reflection on ‘All Being’ and its probable (on intuitive grounds with support from modern physics) equivalence to the void culminated in a formal proof that the void is equivalent to all being

Their metaphysics –and logic and cosmology– had, perhaps, outgrown paradigm and perspective

Perhaps this outgrowth into the universal stood in relation to the conditions of their (human and animal) being and permitted an approach to outgrowing limited individual and cultural perspectives the range of topics considered in the present narrative

The early approach was a focus on ‘all’ i.e. the Universe – and showing its equivalence to the void. The transition from intuition without proof to showing the truth (proof) of intuition occurred when they saw one morning in the shadow of Mountains that the ‘way’ was in focusing attention on the Void (and being instead of only on the available instances and paradigms of being)

They should expect, they thought, a similar Journey in paradigms for the Transformation of Being

The nature of Being became further revealed in clarifying and conceptualizing absence of being

The discovery (of the significance and depth of the Void) required reformulation of their entire system of thought (covering metaphysics, epistemology, logic, mind, cosmology, Human being, faith and religion, and other areas.) The discovery also stimulated and made possible development in those topics and consolidated focus on being – precisely because the idea knows no discrimination (see the introductory paragraphs to the division ‘Foundation’) and subsumes process (becoming) and absolute, and idea (Mind) and Matter… A final paradigm of Understanding had origin in their earlier study of evolution where knowledge (k) and action (a) were seen as duals with a monistic origin in being and, despite specialization, remained in interaction: … a ® k ® a ® … A distinction between this point of view and ‘pragmatism’ is that here what is sought is understanding rather than justification. A final extension of the concept of knowledge involved introduction of a moral dimension regarding the nature of Knowledge (discussed in the earlier sections ‘Morals and society’ and ‘Ethics and objectivity.’) At root knowledge and action remain bound; in the esoteric and the abstract, complete unbinding occurs e.g. in the symbolic account of the Theory of Being; and when it does, knowledge is revealed as identical to (or within) being

After, and in combination with understanding, came transformation (detail below.) The narration here occurs in the midst of a transition from the phase of understanding to a phase of emphasis on transformation. ‘Transformation,’ they thought, is a final way in their travel

In analogy with the understanding, the transformation of Being and Identity may focus on –seek– the absence of being or identity

Individual and All Being (may) merge in the journey

The logic of this statement is found in the Theory of Identity, outlined earlier

The personal and the impersonal voice

They reflected on the personal voice in literature. Suppression of the personal voice sacrifices individual interest, ego for the sake of the universal; this is a strength of the impersonal voice

The personal may reveal discovery, show insight into originality. The personal reveals life and in revealing the Individual also reveals the universal. In the personal, there may be expression of every life as a recreation. The personal is both sharing and invitation

They sought a degree and mode of personal voice that would be revelatory. They sought a means to avoid mere self-expression – expression without content. The Real was sought in an interaction –a union– of the personal and the impersonal and in the present and the infinite

In topics starting with Inspiration, above, some broad aspects of a journey in understanding and transformation were described. Interest and space limit the narration of growth of understanding to a description of the outcome of growth; this begins in the next section Principles of thought. The phase of transformation is in-process and is therefore narrated in greater detail beginning with the section, History of Transformation, below

Principles of thought*

In their travels in knowledge, they discovered certain principles that led to originality of thought (and thought of a comprehensive and critical character.) They were inspired no doubt by the tradition of logic and reason

It is not a purpose of the inclusion of principles to review their traditions. The purposes include demonstration (1) of some principles that have made possible the advances in the understanding of being, object, and Value; (2) that ‘principles’ arise in the activity (thought) and are not (altogether) separated or separable from it (nor should they be;) it is a necessary consequence that the narration of ‘principles’ should be in the spirit of sharing rather than instruction

The inclusion of principles here is intended to illustrate and point to the value of their explicit recognition; the discussion is not intended to be complete

Criticism and construction

Rationality and criticism are well recognized as principles that may be thought of as included in Logic – see the earlier section ‘Logic;’ however, the intent here is to illustrate constructive as well as merely critical principles. An appeal of formal logic is its at least apparently deterministic character: deduction is definite. However, the formation of realistic thought is not deterministic; in the formation of a new idea, the process of thought includes indeterministic elements. Critical principles are (indirectly) constructive; the (intuitive) habit of criticism encourages realistic construction. Without criticism, construction is empty; without construction, criticism is sterile

Some attitudes encourage criticism and others encourage construction. In isolation, these attitudes are empty. That the attitudes are productive results from their mutual correction. I.e. even the critically oriented cannot live without construction (and vice versa.) Some combination (not constant but in ebb and flow) of construction and criticism, whether in the individual or in society, tends to an optimum (such optima are required to be estimated in process and perhaps at most roughly; however, the concept behind the optima is definite)

Criticism and construction are both intuitive and each has formal enhancements. Perhaps the following is true: in criticism, formal enhancement is (more) important; in construction, intuitive enhancement is important

Understanding, charisma and patriarchalism

The academic process, i.e. the continual shift and change in understanding and in knowledge, is an evolution in the human intellectual grasp of the world. Here, evolution is, simply, change whose outcome has roots in an earlier state. Use of the word ‘evolution’ does not imply deterministic change, change toward a final goal, linear change, growth or progress. There may, of course, be times when the ‘boundary of the known’ moves in the direction of the unknown but there are also times when the boundary contracts; and there are blind ends and times of backtracking. There are times of dogma: times when what counts as knowledge follows upon the pronouncement of an authority. Since, in dogma, ‘revelation’ is not open to all individuals, ‘proof’ must lie, at least implicitly, in force. There are times of fantasy and times of myth, of story and of legend. There are times when understanding and knowledge are a communal endeavor – what counts as knowledge, i.e. revelation, is, though its source may be the inspiration of a few, open to all individuals; in this case, ‘proof’ does not lie in the authority of a single voice – or any voice and, since it may have some measure of adaptation, it may come to pass that proof lies in faithfulness to the world, i.e. in reason (relations among truths) and experiment (relation between idea and world.) These descriptions are not intended to be complete; they are idealizations; the times and ‘functions’ of dogma, of myth, and of reason are not identical but may have overlap

There is a natural tendency for the modern academic process, e.g. in universities and among scholars at the advent of the twenty first century, to be incremental. The academic process is a communal endeavor. There is no single source of authority – but there is some authority; it lies in those principles that have been found to be productive; these, however, are open to review. This is the ideal case and, in fact, especially since the principles are not completely explicit or formalized and, somewhat, because certain individuals and groups come to exercise authority –sometimes beyond what their intellectual powers and personal integrity might warrant– a degree of implicit dogma may emerge; and in this case the ‘force’ is, under benign conditions, the twin of reward and threat – of recognition by and of exclusion from the academic community. Perhaps there is no rational alternative to the strong tendency to ‘communal academic incrementalism’ – perhaps the only (arational) alternative is to be found in myth and magic, in Art; however, the following thoughts may arise. Steady, incrementalism itself is not rational (nor is it irrational; its source is practice at least as much as it is in reason. An absolute insistence on communal incrementalism may, however, be irrational, or, at least, arational)

What, it may be wondered, if the incremental academic process, adapted though it is to certain real ends, sets a limit; what if it limits or blocks the (greater) possibility and potential of being? It is not irrational to think that this might be the case and, further, it has been shown in the Theory of Being and subsequent narrative that it is the case that the possibility of (human) being far exceeds the normal view. More precisely, there is a much larger possibility and potential (and on the global or supra-coordinate view a necessary actuality) but whether it is greater is a question of value. It may be thought that to value the larger possibility (and actuality) is to disvalue the well established and institutionalized academic process. This is not (at all) the case for it is not implied that, in devoting some energies to realization of the ends revealed in the Theory of Being as open to human being, that the traditional communal process should be abandoned. In modern parlance (the language of ‘game theory’) the enterprise is not a ‘zero sum game.’ Some combination of the two ‘kinds’ of enterprise (they are not truly distinct,) especially in interaction, should ‘maximize the expected outcome’

They sought an alternative –not other than but based in academic thought, beginning in academic rationality– that would not be bound by the natural but also self-imposed and paradigmatic (implicit) limits of academic rationality and would, perhaps, be guided by the vision of art, poetry and myth. At the outset there was no guarantee of success and though success was in doubt, ‘failure’ as well (they thought) was not given. These thoughts were instrumental in the evolution of the principles outlined below and their inclusion in the narrative is encouraged by the perception that they approximate the actual instruments that resulted in the success narrated in the previous division, ‘Foundation’

It should be clear from earlier discussions (e.g. the topic ‘Charisma’) that the distinctions being made regarding incrementalism correspond roughly to the distinction between charisma and patriarchalism. However, it is not suggested that communal academia is entirely patriarchal or that charisma is foreign to it

Outline of the principles

They collected together their experience under the following topics (1) Principle of reflexivity, (2) Paying careful attention to concept Meaning (and use,) (3) Acknowledging and cultivating essential integration the psyche – of feeling, intuition and cognition, (4) Balancing thought (reason and imagination) and action (of which experiment is a special case,) and (5) the Dynamics of Being

Items 1 and 2 have direct application in thought; the cultivation of items 3 and 4 enhances (productive) thought. Item 5, the ‘Dynamics of Being,’ is not a principle of thought but is (includes) an application of principles and theories to the transformation of being and identity. The dynamics is listed here because it has parallels to the principles and may, as a ‘method,’ be seen as continuous with them. The development of the dynamics follows in the later section, ‘Transformation. Bases and Theory’


A primitive notion of reflexivity is the idea that a critical theory should satisfy its own criteria. This is not invariably necessary or relevant for a critical theory may apply to e.g. assertions of a certain kind but the assertions of the theory may be of another kind (this is a significant consideration for critical theories are often stated as if they should apply to all assertions.) However even the primitive idea of reflexivity is significant for, often, the critical thinker is not sufficiently reflexive; the reflexive critic will appreciate construction, the reflexive poet may appreciate criticism. There is a generalization of the principle that is extremely productive of useful (valid and comprehensive) thought: that in an entire system of criticism and construction all elements may have mutual application. A first application is the earlier observation that without criticism, construction is empty; without construction, criticism is sterile. Another application is the mutual correction of the attitudes of perception (being ever open to new information) and judgment (impatience in inference)

Perhaps more important then any particular application or kind of application of the idea of reflexivity (and other principles) is alertness to the idea; and to acquiring and developing a breadth of ideas and approaches (including principles) that provide a base for and suggest applications of the principles

Here are some further applications. (1) Thought and principles of thought grow in interaction, (2) The approach in which ‘definition’ follows analysis or stands in interaction with it: instead of defining ideas at outset, investigating first and then identifying (rather than defining) – by pointing and saying ‘That is philosophy,’ ‘that is being…’ This is the approach that has been so useful in establishing a metaphysics of depth, in systematically revealing ‘problems’ (of philosophy) as being artifacts of definition without trivializing the essential concerns e.g. the Possibility of Metaphysics, (3) Transcendental methods in which, instead of inferring ‘theory’ from data the necessary inference is from given ‘Theory’ to structure of data, (4) Criticism or doubt regarding what has been thought to be impossible (Impossibility of evolution, matter cannot give rise to attitude (intentionality,) the Void cannot give rise to being) leading to revaluation of ‘Possibility’ and ‘impossibility’ and to incisive resolution of such classic issues, (5) The fact that science may not have come to an end does not imply that it is unending, (6) Sharing, tradition, broad academic exposure and reflection, and broad experience are a source of the cultivation of reflexive thought, (7) Originality and realism in thought are not isolated and the factors that promote them include: patience, perseverance, idleness, analysis and synthesis i.e. atomism and holism, diversion, rest, exhaustion, reserve, boldness, dreaming, concrete and abstract thought, breaking routines and habits – even successful or productive ones, living out one’s dreams – or the dreams of a civilization… Abstraction is pivotal in transcending the removed quality of perception and in moving toward ‘objectivity’

The principles themselves have a variety of productive interactions. (1) It is possible to pay excessive attention to principles. Reflexivity applied to itself and to the other principles may help correct a tendency to such excess. (2) The application of reflexivity may become an automatic (intuitive) response as may attention to meaning and attention to the various aspects of the psyche

Attention to Meaning

The developments of the ideas of ‘Being,’ ‘Void,’ ‘Logos,’ and ‘Universe’ are examples that show that (A) Attention to meaning clears up ‘metaphysical confusions’ (this is well understood in analytic thought,) but (B) Elucidation of meaning is not devoid of content for meaning incorporates experience and may be further tested on the individual’s body of experience (with or without actual experiment) and, therefore, (C) That Metaphysics that is rich in content may originate in analysis of ‘mere’ meaning, and, finally, (D) That meaning resides in systems of concepts i.e. the meanings of the individual concepts is determined in relation to a system of concepts whose meanings are dependent on one another. Therefore a full analysis of any given concept typically requires attention to the system (that contains the given concept) of concepts in interrelation… There are two (at least) sources of ‘freedom’ in concept meaning. The first is in the adjustment of the system of concepts to the total form or structure that is being investigated and the second is in the mutual adjustment among the individual concepts that leaves the net meaning unchanged

It is important to recognize that analysis of meaning is not merely elucidation of a concept whose meaning is given in some perfect dictionary or known or knowable to some perfect being. Analysis of meaning is an original (creative) process in which ideas and world are brought into alignment. There is discovery in the ‘dual space of being and meaning.’ Although the importance of meaning is a part of the philosophical tradition (and explicitly important in analytic philosophy,) extended reflection on world and idea (metaphysics) almost forces the importance of meaning on the thinker. Whereas analysis of meaning has often been thought to be a critical tool it is seen, in the present narrative, to be a constructive instrument of immense power – capable even of revealing the depth of being. The importance of ‘use’ has been inherited by the analytic tradition. The tradition has not sufficiently emphasized that use refers not only to common use, to day-to-day use but also to use by the thinker. The divide between common and esoteric (and in process) use is an error whose source may be specialization – the separation of the world of action and events and the world of ideas and academics (and both grandiosity and self-negation of the academic.) Originally, ideas and action arose out of one…

When analysis of meaning is used as a critical instrument it may tend to analyze given use; when used as an instrument of discovery it becomes concerned with possible use, with extension of meaning as far as it may go – even ‘extension to the root’ (it may be necessary to show that, while the extension may be an expansion of meaning, that no contradiction with the ‘original’ meaning is introduced; and it is desirable to show that the extension is not merely formal but also has positive consequences e.g. a greater understanding of the world, improved explanatory power, resolution of paradox; the narrative has a number of examples of such extension including that of the concept of mind that provides a resolution of the mind-matter problem and the recognition that being must include not only things but also –all– laws and patterns that is instrumental in development of the Theory of Being and in addressing the problem ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’) Here, then, is an extension of the meaning of ‘analysis of meaning’ to include ‘experiment with meaning’

Concern with meaning may arise because meaning is ‘in process:’ there is some meaning but it is incomplete – or shifting. In a world with fixed meanings discussion of meaning would be diminished in significance. That meaning is incomplete and shifting does not require eternal timidity in the use of ideas. That ideas may be used with confidence and in action does not mean that criticism should be abandoned. There is power, it has been seen, in naming the unknown and (almost) every act of naming partakes of known and unknown. This power led to ultimate depth and (implicit) breadth in the understanding of being. There is power in dual exercise of faith and doubt, of construction and criticism

The interactions among meanings of individual concepts may be seen as reflexivity

This narrative has variety of discussions of ‘meaning’ and the deployment of meaning in the development of (systems of) ideas and concepts. These are especially concentrated in the section ‘Being’ but are also distributed throughout. These discussions further exemplify and illustrate the fundamental significance, power, and broad application of attention to meaning. The reader may review the narrative (see the System of concepts) to see that many (the greater majority) concepts have received clarification and have been empowered (extended, often maximally) by analysis

Integration of the psyche

The following considerations regarding integration of the psyche are significant to principles of thought because they are constitutive (in part) of integrity of thought and because they may be cultivated – to varying extents. The integration of feeling (emotion) and cognition and the nature of ‘intuition’ have been discussed under ‘Human being.’ Realistic thought is not merely thought that is bound to its objects; it consists in degrees of binding (from complete binding to freedom) that are appropriate to situation and kind of thought. The necessity of integration of emotion and cognition for realism was established. Intuition, in the sense used here, is constituted by the forms of psyche in their attunement to the forms of being (and which come together in the object.) Without this intuition, realistic perception (of the immediate forms of the world) and cognition (of pattern and possibility) are practically impossible. I.e. emotion-cognition and intuition make for realistic knowledge and Understanding. More precisely, the intuitive forms of emotion-cognition are constitutive of realistic perception. Realistic perception is not merely seeing a fixed world but, also, adaptation of perception to a world in flux; and stability in the adequate adaptation of flux to flux. Without feeling and intuition there may be experience of perception and cognition but these would be chaotic with no integration as a world, no connection of Identity to world. These factors of integration affect realistic thought but how may they be regarded as being among the principles of thought? Since they affect realistic thought, they may be regarded as being among principles if they can be cultivated and affected, taught and learned

The factors of integration may be cultivated by the individual and in society. The individual may cultivate integration by allowing feeling and intuition to guide their thought simultaneously with formal and critical thought i.e. by cultivating an integrated form of thought that excludes, within bounds, no elements of psyche. There is no suggestion that results that have not as yet received critical treatment should be confused with thought that has. However, the progress of thought and action should not always be blocked for want of full critical treatment. This attitude will be found to empower thought in general and critical thought in particular: in the present narrative the approach has empowered forms of criticism and (perhaps fortunately) knowledge which may in its development contained critically tentative elements but attained critical status in the end. The factors of integration may be cultivated in education in a number of ways that include appropriate balance between the formal and the intuitive in instruction i.e. by excluding neither; and by encouraging independent thought and discovery as early as possible (the student will realize, of course, the importance of education in the traditions of ideas and methods)

The processes of construction –hypothesis formation, imagination, the use of suggestive ‘heuristic’ rather than strictly critical principles– and criticism have often been regarded as formally separable. It is true, of course, that after a theory has been formulated, even after it has become generally accepted, it will continue to be subject to criticism and of various kinds. However, the integration of criticism and construction in intuition is perhaps most potent and powerful in discovery. The integration of doubt and faith is crucial to exploration, discovery and life

Thought and action

There is a classical ideal in which the aim of thought is precision in knowing, in which thought is realization of being. This ideal is limited. As has been seen, at least in the normal sense, thought is realization within the bounds of an Identity or body; becoming is Necessary for further realization. (Note, though, that distinction between thought and being is not absolute.) The variety of relations among thought and action has been considered earlier. What principle of thought is revealed? It lies in the recognition that thought of its own has limits whose constitution lies in the separation of thought from action and that resolution or defusion of the limits lies in integration of thought and action and in transformation of Individual and Identity. The ideal behind the integration of thought and action is one in which thought is secondary to realization; in this ideal, thought is not idealized as self-contained

Understanding and Transformation*

Early they thought without reflection that the realization of their ambition would be through knowledge and Understanding; in this mode they thought their identity would be unchanged. Later, they realized that transformation of (body and) Identity would also be essential; and that understanding is also a (limited) mode of transformation (of body and identity – as understood in the earlier analysis in ‘Identity.’) Understanding is contained within and continuous with transformation; transformation in identity may be complete, transformation through understanding is partial. Transformation builds on understanding but prior understanding is not always necessary; however, sentience is necessary to significance in being. In an older way of thinking, understanding and knowing may be referred to as ‘virtual’ transformation while transformation of identity is ‘Real’ or ‘actual’

The developments in Being, Metaphysics, Objects, Identity, Mind, Morals and other earlier sections are an apex of Understanding. The apical character was shown: the depth of being is known explicitly, and the Variety implicitly. An explicit showing of variety is not possible and its implicit character necessary (and to seek otherwise futile;) Time and meaning (significance in being) reside in the unending realization of variety within implicit unity

There was a path to the apex of understanding that lay in many fields and experiences. These included experience and study of traditions; in reflection and integration; in waiting – in holding questions to be equal in significance to answers; some details of the path were recounted earlier ‘Journey*’ and ‘Principles of Thought*.’ Some further elements of this path were seen earlier in ‘Significance of faith. Faith and doubt’ and will be seen in the discussions below, ‘Philosophy and Metaphysics,’ and ‘A System of Human Knowledge’

Understanding is continuous with and contained in transformation

In their travel, Understanding is complete (depth) while transformation is underway

The thread of transformation is taken up after ‘A System of Human Knowledge’

Philosophy and Metaphysics

The name ‘philosophy’ originated with Greek Civilization and is, therefore, a Western term; the original western philosophy is Greek philosophy. I.e. the meaning of ‘philosophy’ is bound together with the development of the discipline in the West. It is not suggested that philosophy is and has not been done in the East but there is an element of foreignness in applying the term to those endeavors of the East that are similar to western philosophy i.e. to the philosophy of the West. However, even in the West there is no single sense of ‘philosophy’ and there is no altogether universal agreement as to what subject matters and what methods may be called philosophical

In its origins, philosophy had perhaps two defining characteristics. With regard to subject matter it concerned the most general characteristics of the world. With regard to method, concern was not so much with methodology (such concerns came later) but with how and in what terms the world was understood. Very early, Thales of Miletus (born c. 600 BC) suggested that water was the essence of the world – Thales introduced a substance theory. (The idea of substance, that which lies under, as stuff came to dominate western metaphysics. Later it would be recognized that the prototype of substance need not be material but could be ideal, teleological, or any explanatory substratum e.g. fact or state of affairs. In the present narrative it has been shown that absence of being –the void– may be thought of as the ultimate and final substance although it is better to not regard the void as a substance because of the deterministic connotations of the concept of substance.) Here, in the beginning of (recorded) philosophical thought is one characteristic of philosophy (and science) – the explanation (reduction) of Variety in terms of (unchanging, undifferentiated) simplicity. It is also significant that the foundation (the basis of explanation,) water, is of the world. The religious philosophies that explain the world in terms of the ‘supernatural’ e.g. God, are also metaphysical systems and God may be regarded as substance. However, relative to the standard that Thales introduced those religious metaphysics are unsatisfactory since they ‘explain’ the world in terms of something more complex or something that is unexplained and perhaps unexplainable (which of course does not demonstrate that there is no God but only that some of God’s assigned roles are untenable)

The general character of philosophy includes that it is reflexive. The questions ‘What is philosophy?’ and ‘What is physics?’ are questions of philosophy. ‘What is physics?’ is not a question of physics. (If physics were complete –which should include that the universe is physical, and that physics is calculable, and capable of full interpretation– it would contain the questions of philosophy)

Later, Socrates (born c. 470 BC, Athens, Greece,) Plato and Aristotle concerned themselves with ‘method’ i.e. with criticism as a means of valid thought. Aristotle emphasized the importance of being as being i.e. not in terms of reduction to the definite sciences

In the modern era, philosophy gained momentum from developments in science. It was thought that, in analogy to science (it may be remembered that the great success of Newton’s system led it to be regarded as Necessary) philosophy could have basis in pure reason. However, reason turned inward and brought itself to scrutiny and was found wanting. The critique of reason had a culmination in Kant who (as noted earlier, based in a conception of the nature of knowledge and in an assumption the Necessity of Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian science) showed that the structure of experience (ideas, intuition) is of the structure of the world; it is this that makes knowledge possible and it is this that, according to Kant, made the thing-in-itself thinkable but not knowable

Later, it was realized that neither Euclidean Geometry nor Newtonian Mechanics captured the nature of the entire world with precision. However, Kant’s understanding of the intuition as mirroring the local (approximate) nature of the world (-in-experience) and his reasoning remain intense insights. Much later they recognized that Kant’s picture (perhaps the dominant paradigm) of knowledge was incomplete and were able to show knowledge of being

Kant’s thought marked perhaps the apex of a critical turning point in the relations between science and philosophy that had already begun with the rise of science. Earlier, science was (treated as part of) philosophy. Kant showed that the foundation of science does not lie in philosophy (reason;) meanwhile, the sciences began to acquire independent status as disciplines and in importance. Of course, the process did not begin with Kant but Kant was instrumental in the separation of science and metaphysics. Thus Kant founded the logic of the separation of science and philosophy. The consolidation of the separation required that the sciences develop their own methods of which experiment as testing (verification is partial) theory in which the fundamental entities are posited as concepts is essential. In speaking of the separation of science and philosophy it may be considered whether the separation is artifactual or necessary. It has been shown in above that the separation can be complete when science is limited to the domains in which it is factual. If science is regarded as a collection of theories of the entire universe it cannot be completely separated from metaphysics. (A similar case has been argued by Willard Van Orman Quine, b. 1908, Akron, Ohio, U.S. in Two Dogmas of Empiricism, 1951)

Later, perhaps with Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore (b. 1873, London, England,) it came to pass that if philosophy is not science and if it does not found science then it is (includes as a result of its primary concern with meaning) perhaps an analysis of the meaning of the (primitive and undefined) terms of science. This is, of course, too severe a restriction and the idea became established that the concern of philosophy is with meaning (and therefore with Language)

More recently it has been recognized that the concern with language is perhaps too narrow and that the focus of philosophy with regard to method is ‘analysis.’ The precise meaning of analysis in the literature is defined more by a set of approaches and tools that has arisen in practice rather than by a single principle (except analysis as careful thought.) One tool is the analysis of use as a key to meaning. An assumption that tends to go along with the emphasis of use is a separation of use and analysis. While some thinkers such as G. E. Moore made the assumption explicit, it has entered implicitly and in practice into much of (analytic) philosophy

Analytic Philosophy

At this point it should be clear that the discussion has come to concern not philosophy as a whole but analytic philosophy – the dominant mode of philosophy as practiced in the English speaking countries and Scandinavia. While the guiding principle of analytic philosophy may be said to be analysis or careful thought, its actual conduct is also defined by a set of norms that has arisen in practice. These norms include the following. (1) Philosophy is distinct from science in its subject matter and in its methods. (2) It does not seek depth (as in science) but ‘lateral analysis’ i.e. laying bare meaning – or systems of meaning. However, care is required in use of the word ‘system’ for there is no definite set of paradigmatic forms of meaning. (3) Meaning is not analyzed by reflection but by use. Use is distinct from reflection on and creation of meaning. (4) Philosophy speaks of meaning and not (directly) of the world. (5) Metaphysics as knowledge of Being is eschewed (a natural consequence of other norms.) As a result, analysis tends to be piecemeal and, further, analysis, it is often thought, cannot be more than piecemeal and lateral… Note, of course, that these norms are tendencies; they are neither universal nor (always) explicitly prescribed. They are not altogether independent and, in significant degree, stand together

This discussion has two objectives. The first objective is an evaluation of philosophy relative to the needs of the present narrative. Early, in their search they turned to analytic philosophy for inspiration. While much was found that would be useful, there was a general sense of disappointment in analysis i.e. as practiced by the majority of analytic philosophers. The disappointment is not merely that what had been sought was not found but that analytic philosophy (as has been shown in the narrative) fell far short of the potential of philosophy… short even of its own potential. Reflection on the first objective leads into the second – assessment of the nature of philosophy. The discussion first takes up some critiques of analytic philosophy (and, briefly, of continental philosophy)

Analytic philosophy inherits and stands in the tradition of critical philosophy that may be thought to have begun with Hume and peaked with Kant and Wittgenstein. This critical tradition may be labeled the ‘post-enlightenment critical attitude.’ If Metaphysics (i.e. not merely metaphysics of experience) and philosophy in it original meaning in the West are Possible, then a function of criticism must be to secure that possibility. Here, a metaphysics has been shown i.e. constructed. The critical view that metaphysics is not possible is based in a picture of the nature of knowledge; which picture has, here, been identified and shown to be limited

Analysis of use taken to the extreme has the following limitation. Use is separated from reflection on the possibilities of meaning (which has here been shown to be essential.) Therefore, contingent limits on use (including those stemming from current paradigms) are or tend to be taken as Necessary limits

One motive to piecemeal analysis is a general move away from the unitary, speculative systems (typified by Hegel’s thought) of the past. The criticisms of such systems are twofold. There is the contingent criticism that they are (in large degree) merely speculative. In contrast, the system of the present narrative is not speculative in the old sense but is based in Necessity and founded in the most basic of facts. The second criticism is necessary in that knowledge of being itself has been shown (e.g. by Kant) to be impossible. Here, however, such demonstrations have been shown to be based in views of knowledge that are not necessary and as complete views are unfounded and replaceable more realistic alternatives (founded in the nature of being.) Therefore any philosophy of piecemeal analysis is necessarily unfounded. Piecemeal analysis has a further contingent limit: in so far as each thinker analyses a small portion of the collection of concepts, all thinkers tend to assume the conceptual limits of all other investigations which include common paradigmatic assumptions such as materialism and impossibility of metaphysics (systematic or otherwise.) Therefore the paradigmatic assumptions continue to prevail while their own metaphysical character escapes scrutiny

The joint limitation to ‘use’ and ‘piecemeal’ analysis are crippling of thought: the former results (in practice though not of necessity) in severely limited concepts, the latter permits limits to escape scrutiny. Piecemeal analysis permits, even encourages, avoidance of mutual analysis; which avoidance is further encouraged by the modern academic emphasis on publication; and as noted in the previous paragraph, this results in certain errors never coming to the surface of thought

An example of these limitations that is well recognized by some writers occurs in the Education of the modern analytic philosopher in the philosophy of Mind. The case will provide not merely an example for ‘philosophy of mind’ has been regarded as central in analytic philosophy and, further, the case concerns education in a style of thought. A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, 1994, Samuel Guttenplan, editor and author, may be used as illustration. A central theme of Guttenplan’s introductory essay to the Companion is the difficulty of locating (understanding the phenomenon of) mind in a materialist perspective (which perspective is the ‘default’ and common position in the academic circles of analytic philosophy c. 2006.) Now there must be some subtlety to an accommodation of mind within materialism; however, Guttenplan deploys a number of (now) traditional artifices to raise the accommodation from needing care to the level of categorial chasm. Among these are the identification, by analysis, of difficulty without pushing the analysis far enough toward resolution of difficulty (perhaps a result of piecemeal analysis and the modern academic emphasis on publication.) This is done repeatedly so that the reader (student) is left with a ring of interlocking ‘problems’ that becomes part of his or her paradigmatic intellectual foundation. Since the student is the future teacher, the process is self-perpetuating. What is the ring of issues? There is the now common analytic map of mind as the tri-polar continuum: Experience, attitude, and action i.e. placement of experience as distinct from (an implicit or tacit Cartesian divide) yet on the same categorial level as attitude and action (an analysis of the status of these categories is given in the section ‘Human being.’). A second set of issues concerns the analysis of each of the three poles. In each case, traditional ‘difficulties’ are introduced and analyzed sufficiently to establish the issues but not analyzed further or analyzed in terms of standard ‘solutions’ that are themselves not pushed to limits and that do not fall within any (attempt at an) overarching framework of understanding. The ring is set up, perhaps unconsciously, without demonstrating necessity and without establishing the necessity of its presupposition of the three poles

Finally, Guttenplan addresses the question of the material base of mind. Here are two standard ‘problems’ from the account that traverses a number of problems and standard solution attempts. The first example is the over-determination that is thought to arise in thinking that actions are caused by attitude and by material or brain processes. Assuming a distinction between the mental and the material (rather than seeing them as aspects or, better, modes of description of the individual) leads to the thought that actions are over-determined. Having introduced a difficulty which it is assumed exists, Guttenplan is faced with the necessity of solving an artificial problem of which the traditional solutions include the identity, functionalist and eliminative ‘theories’ of mind. These are all bound to inadequacy or failure since they are trying to solve the artifactual problem of the introduction by definition of a divide or gulf that does not exist and whose solution approaches assume the problem. The second example is the problem of intentionality: how can mental states in which an individual has a thought about something (intentionality is precisely ‘aboutness’) be realized from Matter which is (assumed to be) constitutively devoid of aboutness. The doubt about the ability of matter, even in complex organization, to have intentionality makes sense, perhaps, in certain pictures such as the Newtonian picture but not, however, in the quantum (and even in the latter case a demonstration of a negative result would not be conclusive since it might be due to a limitation on the quantum theory.) The doubt regarding intentionality is often elevated to a principle of impossibility and, therefore, equates paucity in imagination or computation with a ‘property’ or the constitution of matter i.e. that it is incapable of intentionality. This style of thought is entirely analogous with the implicit fundamentalist (Creationist) argument regarding the theory of evolution which is equivalent to the assertion: ‘I cannot imagine how complexity can emerge from the variation and selection of material process, therefore (I know that) complexity cannot so arise’

The problems of the system are exaggerated by specialization of and within academic philosophy and by the modern academic emphasis on publication

A tacit obligation of professional (salaried) academics regardless of proclamations of independence is to justify the ways of their society. This not unreasonable obligation may become the end of the academic enterprise

They realized that anyone who would be heard may suffer a similar fate

Lateral analysis of Meaning, the impossibility of metaphysics and the divorce of philosophy from science stand together. Together they result in rejection of metaphysics, and provide an alternative. It is clear that (e.g. with Wittgenstein) the approach may result into much insight into ‘the world as found.’ It is unnecessary, here, to criticize the necessity of the approach since it has been shown to be founded in apparently reasonable but ultimately untenable critical assumptions. A metaphysics has been shown (not merely shown to be possible.) And the Necessity of that metaphysics has been shown. Lateral analysis as the necessary method of philosophy would make this development impossible

Some further confusions of analytic philosophy are exemplified in ‘ordinary language analysis,’ a movement within analytic philosophy that is no longer as influential as it had been and was largely due to the influence of Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore in the early twentieth century. (Even when a movement is thought to be abandoned, it may carry on in habits of thought and therefore exposition and criticism may remain pertinent.)  ‘Ordinary language analysis’ has a number of connotations. Perhaps the most significant is that analysis of how language is used is a key to meaning (the language philosophers may have replaced the phrase ‘a key’ with ‘the key.’) Criticisms of ordinary language analysis include (1) That there is an absolute distinction between use and formulation, between the academic or philosopher and the common individual… that use of language and talk of language are distinct. Analysis of use is important in insight and in one approach to showing that meaning cannot be (generally) fixed. However, talk of use is not distinct from use. It is therefore a particularly miserable conception of use that is often taken as defining meaning. (2) That every use of a word has significance for its meaning in every setting – including philosophical ones; although this is not a necessary criticism, confusion of meanings do arise on account of neglect of the idea

Clearly, philosophy and science are not identical. However valuable the ‘methods’ of philosophy may be, there is no necessity to exclusion of the subject matters and methods of science. (Where science employs experiment, philosophy employs experience – at least because experience is encoded in meaning but also in the action oriented philosopher’s search for action and experience)

The tendency to all exclusion of science may be exaggerated by disciplinary specialization. The disciplinary categories of academic (university) practice do not exhaust or define the varieties of knowledge

Analytic philosophy labors also in the shadow of science and an unrealistic attitude to knowledge – its valuation and nature

In the present narrative, science provides metaphor and analogy. However, the arguments are not in any way dependent on science

Their criticisms of and reactions to modern philosophy shows more than disappointment. It shows, in fact, a significant indebtedness – that which has no worth is not worth criticizing

Continental Philosophy

The following discussion is necessarily brief. They learned much from Continental Philosophy, especially from the thought of Martin Heidegger (b. 1889, Messkirch, Schwarzwald, Germany) in the English translations of Sein und Zeit, 1927. However, since it is not presently central to the development of this narrative, a longer discussion of continental philosophy would go further from center than is desirable in this version of the narrative. A criticism of continental philosophy is its focus on the ‘human predicament.’ (Even Heidegger, in parallel to the analytic emphasis on use, would exalt the particularly human as conceived by and as distinct from the philosopher in his re-introduction of Being to the center of philosophy.) In fact a criticism would be that it sees the state of Human being as that of a predicament (and that that predicament is a particularly European one – one that results in political, epistemic and ontological nihilism.) And another criticism: is Heidegger’s carpenter incapable of reflection; and would her or his reflections be necessarily distinct from daily practice; why is Heidegger capable of reflection while his carpenter remains unreflective? There is no objection to reflection and focus on human being. However, early continental philosophy tended to focus on human being as a problem and recent continental philosophy tends to be nihilistic with regard to values, politics and knowledge. Why? Perhaps these nihilisms occur in the shadow of past preoccupations with glory, unrealistic (glorious) conceptions of the nature of knowledge, excessive investment in political ideologies (and confusion of failure of political system with failure of ideology,) and a defense against resentful labor under the harsh glare of the policing of thought by science

It is peculiar to modern thought that it reflects a polarization between an ideal of human being and a low interpretation of actual human nature

Western Philosophy in the context of the Theory of Being

The narrative here, of necessity extremely terse, serves to show the scope of the Theory of Being and to illuminate Western Philosophy

Western philosophy begins with Greek Civilization and continues to the present (2006) with analytic philosophy and post-modernism. Plato is (often regarded as) the apex of the philosophy of Greece. Although Aristotle developed the formal side of thought further, there may be a sense of disappointment in moving from Plato to Aristotle. This disappointment may be identified with the thought that when logic and reason in their traditional interpretations are regarded as the sole source –over poetry and imagination– of understanding and of the good life, the human place in the universe is seen with near necessity as accidental

The central theme of scholastic philosophy which flourished in a time of ascendance of the church may be seen as a preoccupation with dogma; the flourishing of science encouraged the enlightenment focus on reason

The apparent limits of pure reason against the background of the nihilism of the twentieth century may be seen as a source of modernism (which should not be confused with modernity which is roughly the period dominated by enlightenment ideals.) Modernism, which begins shortly before the war of 1914, rejects the singularity of the enlightenment ideal and moves toward pluralism; in its intellectual side the plurality of modernism is a plurality that includes a movement away from the possibility and ideal of objectivity, a rejection of the ‘grand narratives’ that constitute our world views, an emphasis on fragmented forms even in philosophical thought, an emphasis on the process of production of a work over emphasis on the outcome alone. As a result of its historical context, modernism is tinged with and, in part, the result of nihilism

The ideals of post-modernism are similar to those of modernism except that, instead of a sense of nihilism, the ideals are said to be celebrated. Post-modernism is sometimes seen as the organ of the ‘oppressed’ i.e. anything that is non-male, non-white, non-heterosexual, non-rational, non-hygienic

While the intellectual side of post-modernism has been criticized elitist and as obscurantist – dressing up simple, even trivial ideas in pseudoscientific terminology it is also true that while the rationalistic ideal remains alive it has sometimes been criticized as often practiced as a form of exclusive self-defining elitism (‘cronyism’ according to some sources) without any anchor in the world

 ‘Theory of Being’ straddles Western Philosophy. It carries metaphysics further than Plato, Aristotle, and the metaphysics of the enlightenment through analytic thought. It rejects the ‘impossible’ of modernism and critical thought by the ‘infeasible;’ it replaces the hope of the enlightenment by logic; it shows that the actual and the possible have the same magnitude and that the necessities of modern science are patterns of a local cosmos that is a moment in being; and celebration and poetry are implicit in the integration of the psyche that follows from the theory. Finally, the theory shows that philosophy is continuous with –though not identical to– science and owes science no apology in the field of an understanding of being and the universe

The foregoing reflections on modern and especially recent philosophy lead to the following conclusion:

In modern philosophy – especially in recent academic philosophy, philosophy as it is possible and necessary to possibility and fullness has been abandoned

What is philosophy? In order to answer such questions it is necessary but not sufficient to reflect on what ‘philosophers do’ (which includes reflections on philosophy.) It is also necessary to return reflection (as far as possible) to its root i.e. to primitive or underlying principles. The limits as prescribed in analytic philosophy have a variety of sources that include the impossibility of an old ideal (knowledge of being,) separation of science from philosophy, and on use as arbiter of meaning. However, these limits have been shown in the present narrative to follow only upon certain pictures of knowledge; therefore, they are not necessary. Further, the Theory of Being and related topics of the narrative go beyond the ‘limits’ to ultimates (explicitly in depth, implicitly in breadth) in being and knowing (that the ultimate in breadth is implicit leaves a ‘universe’ open to discovery and realization.) As seen earlier, concepts are often taken as given in advance of investigation; this is not necessarily due to unawareness on the part of the investigator but may be due to accepting the burden of tradition or paradigm. As has been seen over and over, this condemns analysis to eternal paradox and limitation. An alternative approach is to Name whatever is fundamental and leave its Concept (or system of concepts) open to discovery – and, in this narrative, this approach has led to the ultimates just described and to resolution of classical paradoxes and problems of philosophy and, especially, metaphysics

This approach is not new for it is precisely what is done in developing axiomatic systems: a body of knowledge is formulated as an axiomatic system whose consequences (theorems) show up inadequacies whose resolution may involve redefining the concepts (and methods.) Aristotle placed Being at the outset of an investigation into what is most fundamental. What is perhaps new in the present analysis is the extent to which the fundamental concepts (while naturally inheriting some sense from previous thought) are regarded as being unknown at the outset of investigation. The approach may be described as the algebraic approach applied to conceptual systems (philosophy.) The same approach may be deployed to the concept of philosophy. Instead of saying ‘Philosophy is…’ at outset, review the system of ideas (knowledge) and at the end of review, say ‘That is philosophy…’ Guided by these thoughts and by the traditions (West, East and origins) it is possible to suggest

Philosophy is the discipline whose limits are the outer limits of being

Although the justification of this position has been conceptual, it may also be ‘justified’ on grounds that knowledge and action are inseparable and on ethical grounds (these modes of justification have been considered earlier)

Since being includes knowledge, it is not necessary to make reference to the ‘outer limits of Understanding.’ However, for explicitness, it may be practical to make that reference:

Philosophy is the discipline whose limits are the outer limits of Being and Understanding

The tradition of philosophy includes numerous inner disciplines that include metaphysics, logic and ethics. In the tradition, epistemology has been included among the foregoing but epistemology which has been seen since the enlightenment as the ‘queen of philosophy’ has here been seen as relegated to an aspect of metaphysics. It is perhaps a (peculiarly academic) aberration to think that ‘how one thinks’ is (eternally) above ‘what one thinks’ and ‘what is…’ Additionally recent philosophy has various special disciplines such as ‘philosophical psychology’ and cross-disciplines such as ‘philosophy of science’ (that have been considered in this narrative without mention of names)

Metaphysics is the discipline whose concern is the outer limits of Being*

As the Theory of Possibility and Theory of Depth of Being, Logic and Metaphysics are identical

In a more inclusive meaning, metaphysics has been regarded as the discipline whose concern is the entire range of being. In this sense, Metaphysics and Philosophy are identical. Although the concern of Ethics is ‘freedom’ in general, without freedom there is no being; Ethics is the entire significant aspect of Metaphysics; the Ethical is an origin of the Metaphysical

In another extension of meaning, recall the idea that knowledge (and therefore metaphysics) is continuous with action. That this action provides an extension of the concept of metaphysics has already been seen. This extension is contained within metaphysics (when properly understood and realized) as an academic discipline

Problems in Metaphysics

Issues and problems of metaphysics addressed and resolved in this narrative*

The Possibility of metaphysics. The ultimate character of the possibility: explicit with regard to depth and implicit for breadth. The realization of these possibilities in the Theory of Being. The (seamless and integral) nature of being and knowledge (objects.) The ‘fundamental problem’ of metaphysics, i.e. why absence of being must result in being (‘Why there is something rather than nothing!’) The nature and destiny of the Individual (in the Theory of Identity;) and the identity of the individual and all being. The Mind-Matter problem i.e. that there is (after fundamentals have been addressed) no mind-matter problem; and, more generally, the problem of substance i.e. that there are no ultimate substances. The problem of substance (detail) – there are no ultimate (deterministic) uniform and unchanging substances; there is, at root, only the (indeterministic) Void (absence of being) whose uniformity and constancy or otherwise are not defined into but derived from its constitution (concept.) Some problems of intentionality and mental causation. Identification and resolution of the conceptually illicit but practically useful distinction between experience on the one hand and attitude and action on the other. The void is the source of all being; the concept of the void founds explanation of all being that terminates without regress, eliminates substance, and permits non relativist philosophy without substance. The meaning and nature of the Real. The nature of consciousness. The nature of Ethics and its relation to Metaphysics. The necessity of Metaphysics on Ethical grounds (rejection of Metaphysics on Ethical grounds is also conceivable; however, the argument here is for necessity. Further, a rejection of metaphysics on purely ethical grounds would miss the essence of the argument as an inclusive rather than an exclusive one.) The Real nature of Ethical concerns i.e. that issues of freedom are not peripheral but central to being (whose constitution may be seen as freedom in interaction with necessity.) That the concepts of Knowledge and Ethics (Morals) are not distinct – that knowledge is other than usually conceived or that it is of lesser value than usually thought (though not devoid of value altogether – its value would retain its practical but not its fundamental aspect.) The nature of human being and society

What is metaphysics? Some possibilities

An identification of metaphysics as the discipline whose concern is the outer limits of being has been given reasonable foundation. Apparently origin of the term ‘metaphysics’ is etymologically unenlightening: it was used by early editors to refer to Aristotle’s treatise on First Philosophy that, in Aristotle’s program, came after what Aristotle labeled ‘physics.’ However, it may be useful and interesting to reflect on meanings of ‘metaphysics’ that reflect etymology and the variety of uses of the prefix ‘meta.’ One meaning of the prefix ‘meta’ (Greek) is ‘after.’ Thus metaphysics may be seen, etymologically, as that which transcends physics or, perhaps, that which transcends the –mere– empirical. Regardless of the origin of the term metaphysics, a consideration of the meanings of its parts ‘meta’ and ‘physics’ may be useful

The prefix ‘meta’ is not applied consistently to the different disciplines. Meta-mathematics includes the study of mathematics by studying the form of mathematical proofs i.e. in meta-mathematics, mathematics is the object of study. In their current meanings, physics may be seen as the study of the material (and energetic) aspects of the world and metaphysics may be seen as generalization of physics in which restriction to the material is not made – in which there is no restriction to kind or mode. However, regarding the restriction to matter as ad hoc (it has been shown that the modern use of the term ‘matter’ is not a definite one) the following reassignments could be made. What is currently called science would be re-labeled ‘empirical science;’ what currently called metaphysics could be relabeled physics or logic. It would then be possible to redefine metaphysics as the study of the form of logic i.e. as the form of what was previously labeled metaphysics. In the new meaning, would metaphysics have content? Perhaps the fundamental criticism of metaphysics (traditional meaning) is not that it has no subject matter but that, since it is not empirical, its content has no possibility of verification or negation. This criticism sees metaphysics as a scientific theory of the universe rather as physics is a scientific theory of matter and energy in the empirically known universe. Here, however, metaphysics (traditional) has been possible because it does have an empirical aspect – there is being, there is all being, there is absence of being, domains of being are characterized by their forms; further these empirical aspects are given

Thus meta-physics (new) would have content that would be about metaphysics (old.) The content would include that (1) Metaphysics (traditional) (e.g. as realized here) is possible and has an empirical content. (2) In combination with science (traditional,) metaphysics (traditional) are mutually enhancing (as realized here in numerous examples.) (3) It is possible to provide criteria of the breadth or variety of a metaphysics – roughly breadth is variety and one metaphysics is broader than another if the first includes but is not limited to all the objects of the second. Since the metaphysics developed in this essay is based in a careful analysis of the absence of being and its equivalence to all being, it may be labeled the metaphysics of absence or of the void or of all being. It has been seen that the metaphysics of the void is implicitly ultimate with regard to breadth its world contains all objects but analysis does not show the full variety of objects (analysis does, however, show an infinitely greater variety than often  hitherto thought to obtain.)  Finally, (4) It is possible to provide and implement criteria of depth (or fundamental or foundational) character of a metaphysics. One possibility is that, in absence of other criteria, breadth may be taken as a criterion of depth. This possibility does not address the issue of foundations. A second, one that addresses the issue of foundation, is that one substance metaphysics is deeper than a second if the substance of the first can be seen as generating the substance of the second. It has been seen that the void is not a substance in the classical sense because that sense regards substance (at least implicitly as deterministic in its behavior.) However, regardless of the substantial character of the void, it may be seen as generating all substances and all being. Therefore there can be no deeper metaphysics or ontology than the metaphysics of absence; the metaphysics of absence is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth. It has also been shown that while the breadth of the metaphysics of absence is infinite, its depth is finite in the sense that its explanation of the presence of (all) being does not require infinite regress – the metaphysics of absence is a non relativist philosophy without substance. In figurative speech, there is no fathoming of a depth beyond the metaphysics of absence

Problems in metaphysics – continued. A catalog of classical, scholastic, modern and recent issues. Indian metaphysics

The purpose to the following lists is to show that the problems from the history of metaphysics have received either trivialization or solution in this narrative (the reader may wish to review the relevant portions of the narrative; and some of the more specialized concerns may require, for completeness, in the present version of the narrative, that the reader work out the details.) Mention of types of metaphysical theory is included to display (so that the reader who has become acquainted can see) the ‘placement’ or ‘context’ of the types within the Theory of Being

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

Types of metaphysical theory: Platonism – relationship between the ideal and the immediate; Aristotelianism – metaphysics is immanent; Thomism – reflection on everyday things and the everyday world reveals it as pointing beyond itself to God as its sustaining cause. Cartesianism – the main problem of Descartes was the divide between the determinate world of matter then being revealed by science and the world of mind that was free of material constraint… that were brought together by Design as the sign of God; Idealism; Materialism – two modern responses to the problem of Cartesianism. Argument in Metaphysics: metaphysics as an a priori science… and as an empirical science; metaphysical arguments – logical Form of metaphysical arguments; transcendental arguments – typical form and an example: q = knowledge is possible only if p = the world is according to the forms of intuition and q therefore p

A System of Human Knowledge

The discoveries in Metaphysics of this essay make possible the following system (a significant enhancement and alteration of the system of the present –fifteenth as of 2006– edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica which is here chosen as an example with which to work with rather than as illustrative of authoritative character. The divisions of the Britannica system correspond roughly to the modern academic disciplines.) An intent to discuss all topics would be out of place in this narrative (they thought it valuable to the endeavor in understanding –all being– and transformation to acquire some acquaintance with most topics.) Rather, the intent is to reveal how the Theory of Being and related topics make the enhancements possible and to allow the reader to see how the system may fit rationally or systematically within the framework of the present narrative

(A) Symbols and Knowledge (This division occurs at the end of Britannica and its Britannica numbering –10– is retained. A number of the following elements are included to provide continuity between the Britannica and the present narrative; their study in this essay falls under a variety of topics.)10a. Symbols and signs; semiotics – the study of signs and sign behavior. Symbolic Systems including language, logic, and mathematics. 10b. The Humanities and Philosophy; Study of Science and History. (B) The Universe 1a. Metaphysics and general cosmology, nature and varieties of being, which includes Logic, Value or ethics and aesthetics, epistemology; nature and varieties of Knowledge, where, note, Belief is fundamental and the varieties of belief include Faith as (primarily) Belief-Action, Knowledge as Belief-Justification; 1b. Physical science, nature, behavior of energy and varieties of force and material object including physics, physical cosmology, and chemistry; 2. Geology; 3. Biology, life – its nature and variety and origins of life and variety; Medicine; 4. Mind as the study of psyche in its integration and its ‘functions;’ nature of mind; 5. Society, nature, institutions (groups) and change… and aspects including culture (institution of knowledge,) economics, political science and philosophy (and Law;) and 6. History. (C) Artifact 7. Art, nature and varieties of (literature, music, painting…;) 8. Technology (elements = energy, tools and machines… and fields = agriculture, transportation, information, earth and space exploration…; Engineering; and 9. Faith, literal and nature and varieties of non literal meaning and non meaning functions; religion, its nature and varieties: the religions of the world throughout history

History of Transformation*

Traditional systems

Western ideas including the Greek ideal, Freudian and other conceptualizations of growth; mystics and saints. Shamanism; other systems that date back to prehistory. The shamanic or journey-quest: its original and later variations as approaches to states of insight including hallucination and to transformation of personality. Indian systems – Samkhya, Yoga, Bhagavad-Gita and its four yogic systems (Raja, Gñana, Karma, Bhakti,) Vedanta; the voice of the Vedas and the Upanishads; Buddha…

States of psychic sensitivity (sometimes called altered states)

Nature and types of state and characteristics including dreams and hypnotic states, visions and other forms of psychic awareness whether arising directly from the psyche or indirectly from the world. Sources, methods and cultivation e.g. focusing dreams and their integration in awareness; cultivation of other states in the present and over time; cultivation, idiosyncrasy and opportunity. Kinds of method or approach including meditation and isolation of the psyche, suspension of judgment, exposure to archetypes through symbol-Art-myth-Faith – and consequent cognitive-emotive integration, contemplation and focusing of psyche, induction of states in groups and or by, variously, shaman, priest or pontifex and… Enhancing or inducing factors such as physical isolations and deprivations, physiological alterations of state from exposure, shock or trauma, pain, fear, crisis, anxiety – imposed or volitional and purposive, exertion and exhaustion, march, rhythm and dance, inaction, fasting and diet (Ayurvedic medicine does not distinguish food, drink, medicine, drug,) alteration of or extremes in environment. Uses of such states in awareness and discovery, transformation of self, personality and in e.g. healing of the person i.e. of psyche-soma (kinds and examples currently omitted) and, methodologically and opportunistically, through concepts of growth enhanced by the Theory of Being in transformation of being; cultivation of perception. Sensitive individuals, relation to disturbance – that relations are contingent rather than necessary; personality or disposition and state. Individual and group approaches to transformation of personality; splitting; social action and transformation (of self and society.) Savant, modes and theories, relation to developmental deficiency – that any such relations are not necessary; relation to states and dispositions to states of psychic sensitivity; experimental inductions of the savant syndrome in normal individuals; possibility of cultivation

Transformation. Bases and Theory*

Virtual and actual transformations

At outset it is significant to note that not all transformations, virtual or actual, appear to have foundation in knowledge. There is, however, no significance in being to changes that are not (ever) registered in experience. Therefore, the apparently baseless transformations must have bases in intuition or the unconscious. These forms exist, may be recognized and cultivated

A first source of transformations is the History of Transformation, above


Understanding of function and growth (biological – of the organism; of Mind – psychology and personality, of the unconscious, of human Possibility, and of language, morals, faith, society, civilization and history) provide grounding in the immediate world

These considerations may channel initial direction. The following may provide goals or destinations


The theories of being, object, identity, logic, cosmology, feasibility, morals, and Faith provide possibility, ambition, goals, and means (dynamics) for transformation

Dynamics of Being

‘Dynamics of being’ is an approach to transformation in which, with bases in the foregoing, the following steps are repeated or iterated (1) experiments are undertaken, (2) outcomes are interpreted and modified (enhanced) experiments are conceived. The intent of the dynamics includes but is not limited to an incremental negotiation of normal limits

System of experiments*

The intent is to specify a complete, minimal set. (A complete set is one that, by extrapolation, would ‘cover’ all being.) As far as realization is concerned their intent was to begin the process and to take it as far as they could


Universal knowledge including the special case Atman = Brahman, through both analysis and perception

Theoretical understanding, design and construction of machines with Mind, life, being. Technological and logical design, simulation, and enhancement of actual organisms including those known through experience and through theory


Transformation of being; alterations of the body and influence on the whole being: Mind, body, potential


Journey; multi-cultural experiments; variety of institutions

Society. Charisma and influence

Influencing, building society at all levels including the being of nations – charismatic and patriarchal action and influence, group action

Arching from the present to the ultimate

Emphasizes the dynamics; may use all and any tools… within reason, feasibility and moral concern

Transformation so far. Designs*

Universal knowledge

Includes the special case Atman = Brahman, through both analysis and perception. Analysis is complete as in the Theories of Being and of Identity. They had success in perception of Identity through extended exertion and rhythm in natural environments. Plans. In the next step, they would continue experiments in perception through the means described above

Personality and influence

They had some success in transformation of personality through cultivation of ends and Morals over time. Social influence was perhaps their weakest area. Plans. Possibilities include work and general action. In work: design for influence; risk and dynamics. In general action: moral design for influence; cultivation of charisma; sharing; risk (action for influence) and dynamics; shared formal Commitment perhaps in an institutional setting, existing or separately established toward developing and acting on the designs and plans

Arching from the immediate to the ultimate

Assessment: the foregoing includes an implicit assessment and plans; the goal is known, the territory is partially laid out in the ideas above. Plans: Three doors to the ultimate have been recognized: being-in-the-ultimate, being-in-knowledge-of-the-ultimate, and death. The task: undertake the arching-journey, discover, and open other doors

Further investigation

The following research topics are of interest in the application and development of the ideas of the essay


While the following conceptual concerns are basic, it is essential to the character of the journey and the ambition to now focus on the phase of Transformation and experiment

The entire system –including the ambitions and underlying values– is subject to criticism, objection, rejection and affirmation. It is important to review, improve and perhaps make systematic the existing objections and responses… and perhaps to weave these into the analysis

Every topic is capable of refinement, elaboration and improved relations – to the whole and to the other topics. The unitary character of Objects is improved on account the syntheses of abstract and particular object and of becoming-object (including ethics from the old section Ethics and objectivity) with the general (dynamic) object (all objects are dynamic) and should be scrutinized for further synthesis, implicit and latent. The system of fundamental topics may be capable of further coherence and, perhaps, depth. An axiomatic treatment in the manner of Spinoza’s Ethics (completed 1675, published posthumously, 1677) may suggest improvement, coherence and depth

Every concept and assertion may be subject to review, to criticism and objection, to rejection or affirmation

Critical and imaginative analysis and construction of the fundamental ideas and their relations. The concepts of being, void, universe; form, logos or logic; and the normal are perhaps central to the foundation. These ideas should be subject to especially critical attention. Sentience and identity are also crucial and are perhaps already woven into the idea of being; these concepts and their identity with or immanence in being should also be subject to attention. The assertion that The void exists and contains neither thing nor form is critical to the development and it and its place in the development should be subject to sustained and intense criticism and counter-criticism. It will also be valuable to search for (equivalent) alternatives to this fundamental principle

Specific topics


Logic and logics. Further analysis of the recent improvements, resolution and simplification of the concepts of Object and Logic. That simplification of sense to the point of triviality may be deepening of power and reference to an ultimate place. Continue the discussion of Logos as the actual and, equivalently, the possible and Logic as the Theory (proper description, depiction, and conceptualization) of Logos i.e. of the actual and the possible; that the triviality of this idea is no more than an apparent one; that as the theory of description (especially in language,) Grammar is identical to Logic. Introduce consistency in thought, terminology and case (i.e. lower versus Title) for ideas and their immanent forms especially in the case of Logic, Logos and logic

Reference as crucial to Logic (via the immanence of its object, the Logos.) Improper reference as a source of paradox. That proper reference appears to be sufficient to valid Logic (logic) – with a possible (important) exception in the infinite case that requires analysis (note that the infinite is analyzed in Objects.) That although proper reference may not be necessary but may be the most sound (are other sound ways to eliminate paradox finally grounded in reference?) A study of the Russell system for semantic paradoxes and the systems of Zermelo-Fraenkel-Skolem and von Neumann-Bernays-Gödel for the consistency of set theory may be undertaken. Achieving consistency through proper reference (grounding) may be rich in consequence. A general study of the nature of ‘logical objects’ and infinite objects may be undertaken to analyze necessary and sufficient conditions of validity including the important case of the necessity and sufficiency of proper reference. Similarity and difference of these ideas with those of Wittgenstein’s Tractacus Logico-Philosophicus on the same topics. Possibility of rewriting the relevant themes of the Tractacus with backward (deepening of) foundation and elimination of substance thinking from Wittgenstein’s logical atomism

That in the above sense of Logic, mathematics and science are chapters of Logic. That the kind of chapters that they are, however, seems to be different. Logic concerns the actual and its descriptions. Mathematics appears to concern those forms that are amenable to ‘formal’ treatment. Science, as it is typically practiced, concerns the forms –patterns, theories and laws– of this cosmological system. Whether, in the case of mathematics, the including of mathematics in Logic is the logicist thesis of Russell shall depend on where logic is thought to stop and where mathematics begins (it is not the case that what is classically taken to be logic, e.g. in the Frege-Russell Logicism is here shown to found or contain mathematics)

Development of logics along the lines established in the narratives and immediately above. Is there one logic of which any special ‘logics’ are part? Are there many independent logics? In view of the emerging view of Logic, these questions are perhaps narrow in scope

Logic and general cosmology. Analysis of meanings and realizations of the phrase, entire system of consistent descriptions, depictions, and conceptualizations; this topic may be amenable to axiomatic treatment and may have consequences for theoretical physics. The source of the idea to this project is the intuition that while an infinite variety is being revealed, that variety may have profound, interesting and intricate limitations

There is a project to investigate the meanings of cause according to which the void may be said to cause the manifest or a domain or in which one domain may be said to cause or create another domain

Modern physics and biology. Quantum theory, the relativistic theory of gravitation and the theory of evolution. The primary topic to investigate is the relation between Metaphysics, Cosmology and the basic concepts and principles of theoretical physics and evolutionary biology that have been suggestive for but not necessary to the development of the Theory of being. Pertinent ideas that arise in this narrative are those of being, of the void, of local and global description, of extension, duration and the completeness versus incompleteness of extension and duration in defining the manifold of being; of the intimate relations among logic, mathematics and science; of indeterminism in origins and process, of mechanism, of relative stability and near symmetry; of form, pattern, and law; of the nature of causation and its extension; of formed or normal cosmological systems and the relation between durability and population; and of sentience and its contribution in the known and knowable population. Concerns that arise include the nature of conservation laws – they are perhaps features of stable systems i.e. the relative stability of formed cosmological systems is perhaps the reign of dominance in interactions that are not a source of runaway in extension due to imbalance in transaction, i.e. that are balanced in transaction or conserving and whose character may require and result from symmetry of arrangement. The idea that a slight deviation from symmetry and conservation may be amplified and therefore and such deviation must be extremely small for stability. These concerns are perhaps related to the issues of second order dynamics and dimensionality of space that are of interest in themselves

Space, Time, and Manifest Being or ‘matter’ (and the nature of their interrelationships and interactions.) That (propagation of) interaction characterizes any immanent space-time manifold; origins of constancy of propagation (rate;) possible origin in stability, conservation and symmetry… Is second order dynamics universal and what is its origin? Stability may be critical in the origin of dynamics of order two and space of dimension three; and regardless of necessity, the relations among dimensionality, order, symmetry and stability are of interest. Stability is perhaps not the only determining or selective principle; another is perhaps topology but it is important to ask whether these and any other ‘alternates’ have equivalence

Relativistic theory of matter and fields. The thoughts of the preceding paragraph and those in Metaphysics and, especially, Cosmology on space, time and being suggest that Metaphysics of immanence may provide framework and perhaps (some) foundation for a relativistic theory of matter and fields

Quantum theory. Possible connections between quantum theory and Metaphysics of immanence and (partial) foundation of the former in the latter have been pointed out especially in Metaphysics and Cosmology. The void of the metaphysics is the state of the universe defined by absence of being that has the characteristic of absolute indeterminism—which is also an absolute determinism (any apparent paradox is treated earlier.) The analogy to the ideas of ‘ground state’ in quantum mechanics, to the quantum vacuum, and to the quantum but not classical (deterministic) relation between indeterminism and form is unmistakable. The consequence of the metaphysics that every element of being must interact with every other element may be related to quantum entanglement

A quantum or genetic theory of laws. The idea of a theory of laws is that a law may be regarded as an object just as a particle. Therefore, in analogy to quantum theories that describe particle creation and destruction, a quantum theory that describes the genesis of a cosmological system together with laws is conceivable. Would such a theory be at a higher level of abstraction than the quantum theories of particle creation? It might seem so but this is not clear. It is pertinent to ask whether equations that describe particle creation have particle structure (analogous to law) built in. If there can be a quantum theory of laws, the first place to turn might be the physicists because of their familiarity with quantum theory but, for the same reason, the physicists might confuse the way it seems to be in modern physics with the way it is. A quantum theory of laws may seem to be absurd but on account of the metaphysics of immanence it is not: Form and Law are immanent in being, i.e. they are elementary in the way that the ‘elementary particles’ are elementary, The metaphysics of immanence may be (the first step toward) a quantum theory of laws. Regardless whether a quantum theory of laws should prove possible and adequate, a more general genetic theory with roots in the metaphysics of immanence may prove possible and may be useful to develop alongside a quantum theory

Human being. Elaboration of the study of life; elaboration of the treatment of mental functions; treatment of personality and social theory; cultivation of personality and charisma; Faith – further depth, living faith, elaboration. Transformation – for investigation and action. Co-development of Theories of being and of human being; relations to Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. Continue to develop a coherent and grounded view of the Human world

A principled approach to personality. An approach to personality, dimensional or other, that is not ad hoc. Start with variables that define necessities and parameters of integration the development and adapted or co-formed character of the variables. A simple example: concept formation as the articulation of novel, free, formed, aspect of psyche that functions below the threshold of valence requires balance and integration with a bound, valent, internally ‘located’ named emotion. The integration and balance may be taken as one of the variables


Transformation of being and identity. Experiments in a variety of bases, ways and paths of transformation of Being and Identity. Social experiments in charisma, patriarchalism and transformation within groups and society. Design versus immersion; flow, opportunity, risk, and freshness of approach… as a way; place of unconscious processing. Continuing analysis and reference to a conceptual base in Description (theory) of being and human being as begun in the respective divisions

Conceptual design, technology and actual or ‘material’ implementation. Theoretical understanding, design and construction of machines with Mind, life, being. Technological and logical design, simulation, and enhancement of actual organisms including those known through experience and through theory (see System of experiments.) Significance and deployment of iterative design and selection from learning, designed and random features, and of actual selection

Narrative form

Review the present linear form

Explore alternative narrative forms that will preserve essential content but may enhance presentation. Objectives include (1) Transition to the experimental and action phases of the journey. (2) Minimizing inherent difficulty in presenting ideas that do not fit an existing mold and from the newness and ultimate depth and breadth of the core metaphysics and its implications. Consider the relevance of the idea of presentational form of Suzanne Langer (b. 1895, New York, New York, United States.) This idea contrasts the form of a system of ideas and the more or less linear form of its narrative and emphasizes the elements of narrative form that are effective in making the actual form of the ideas accessible. Presentational form is related to the idea of conceptual holism. These thoughts stand in contrast to the relative ease of restriction to piece-meal analysis and its impoverishment. (3) Publication for recognition and critical appreciation of the ideas. (4) Addressing resistance to the ideas, especially from experts and professionals, that may result from immersion in established molds of ideas. Readers may recall the famous quotation, due to the physicist Max Planck, b. April 23, 1858, Kiel, Schleswig, Germany, about the acceptance of unfamiliar ideas ‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ Here, the word ‘resistance’ is not entirely appropriate; since an individual’s vision may be conditioned by a world view, she or he may experience the objects of a new or alternate way, especially those of a more inclusive way, as invisible i.e. may not encounter them even when in the ‘line of sight’

Consider the following forms. (1) A shorter version that emphasizes what is essential – options include a version aimed at general readers that omits technical details and formal version that presents the technical aspects succinctly. (2) An example of formal presentation might be the form of ‘axiom or given, theorem and proof’ somewhat in the manner of Spinoza’s ethics. (3) Artistic and perhaps non-linear forms of novel, dialog, poem (with or without meter,) and drama (and film.) These versions might explore biographical and autobiographical elements, real and dramatized, that contrast success and failure and that show origin and developments of ideas and their translation into action. (4) Personal versus impersonal narrative. Mixed form and selection of form according to narrative phase

The Future*

They held two ambitions for the future

The first ambition is a continuation of the path so far

This will include criticism and improvements of the ideas and foundation – the Theory of Being and related developments. It would emphasize transformation, inviting others to share in the process, and ‘application’ (social; and, perhaps, a development of ideas or theory and practice in manifestation of life and intelligent beings)

Although they had thought, ‘transformation will be the final way,’ they felt something further, perhaps an admission of finitude (if only in this form,) perhaps an expression of the infinite in the finite

A second ambition and hope is for the experience of a time of Being over becoming, of perception over thought

Experience, perhaps, of the infinite in the finite, of this world

System of concepts

The index of the printed version is here replaced by the following System of concepts




concept;     connotation;     coordinate;     coordinate (or local);     definition;     denotation;     existence;     extension;     feasible;     global;     Good;     identity;     intension;     meaning;     Real;     supervenience


actual;     adaptation;     Atman;     being, theory of;     Brahman;     contingent;     depth;     descriptions, system of consistent;     dynamic form;     fiction;     form;     formlessness;     fundamental principle of the Theory of Being;     idealism;     impossibility;     Logos;     materialism;     metaphysics;     metaphysics of absence;     metaphysics of immanence;     modal;     necessary;     normal;     ontological commitment;     pattern;     possible;     power;     proof;     showing;     substance;     system of consistent description;     universe;     void;     voidism


absolute object;     abstract object;     actual object;     adaptation;     concept;     concept-object;     concrete object;     entity;     existence-as;     faithfulness;     formlessness;     identity (object, personal);     identity (sameness);     immanence;     individual;     number;     object;     pattern;     percept;     phenomenalism;     precision;     Real;     system of consistent description;     transcendental argument;     truth;     universals


consistency;     constitution;     context;     deduction;     designated function;     excluded middle, principle of;     fact;     fundamental principle of the Theory of Being, second proof;     hypothesis;     induction;     law, logic and;     Logic;     logics;     mathematics;     necessity;     non contradiction, principle of;     paradox;     Platonic view;     Platonism;     principle of non contradiction;     principle of the excluded middle;     reference and paradox;     science;     tautology;     theory;     truth;     universal law


adaptation;     annihilation;     atomism;     cause;     cosmological variety;     cosmology;     creation;     determinism;     divide;     dominant time;     fantasy;     form;     general cosmology;     god;     incremental change, probability of;     indeterminism, necessity of;     karma;     legend;     literature;     local cosmology;     mechanism;     multiple times;     myth;     normal mechanism;     origin of complexity;     quantum theories;     recurrence;     soul;     space;     spirit;     stability;     story;     substance;     symmetry;     time;     time, dominant;     time, multiple;     variety;     variety, cosmological


awareness;     consciousness;     consciousness, apparent on-off character of;     consciousness, awareness of awareness and;     consciousness, language and;     experience;     intentionality;     matter;     memory;     mental causation;     mind;     mind and matter, indefiniteness of the common concepts of;     mind, manifest;     mind, primal;     mind-as-manifest;     mind-matter problem;     originality;     phenomenal concept of mind;     primal mind;     psychological concept of mind;     sentience;     unconscious, the;     what it is like

Human being

achievement, exceptional;     action;     ambition;     Atman, human being as;     attitude;     binding problem, the;     bound icon and symbol;     bound symbol;     categories of intuition;     choice;     cognition;     drive;     emotion;     emotion, higher;     feeling as elements of function;     free feeling, memory and;     free icon and symbol;     freedom of will;     Freudian determinism, human being and;     function;     greater than mere being;     growth;     growth, extrapolation to the ultimate;     higher emotion;     history, sense of;     human being ;     human being, nature of;     icon;     integration;     intuition;     knowledge of self;     language;     less than ultimate;     life;     manifest mind and life;     mental function;     micro and macroscopic elements of life;     more than mere being;     neoteny;     object constancy;     personality;     psyche;     sense of history;     symbol;     unconscious, the;     unity of consciousness


aesthetics;     choice;     civilization;     constraint;     economics;     ethics;     evil;     feasibility;     freedom and constraint;     good, the;     highest ideal, the;     history;     human;     knowledge;     morals;     objectivity;     political realism;     politics;     Real, the;     the good;     the highest ideal;     value;     war and peace


bonding;     bridging;     doubt;     exclusion;     faith;     faith and doubt;     function;     group bonding;     group function;     literal;     meaning function;     non-literal;     polarization;     religion;     secularism;     sharing;     significance


action;     actual;     actual transformation;     adventure;     ambition;     charisma;     commitment;     complete, minimal set;     experiment;     formal commitment;     group project;     impersonal voice;     influence;     journey;     limit;     outer limit;     paradigm;     personal voice;     perspective;     philosophy;     reflexivity;     shared commitment;     sharing;     social commitment;     system of complete and minimal experiment;     thought, principles of;     transformation;     understanding;     virtual;     virtual transformation


Aristotle;     Brentano, Franz;     Brouwer, L. E. J.;     Darwin, Charles;     Democritus;     Descartes, René;     Dirac, P. A. M.;     Edward Burnett Tylor;     Einstein, Albert;     Frege, Gottlob;     Freud, Sigmund;     Gödel, Kurt;     Gottlob Frege;     Hegel, George Wilhelm Friedrich;     Heidegger, Martin;     Hilbert, David;     Hume, David;     Immanuel Kant;     Isaac Newton;     Jung, Carl Gustav;     Kant, Immanuel;     Kuhn, Thomas;     Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm;     Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon;     Ludwig Wittgenstein;     Meinong, Alexius;     Moore, G. E.;     Nagel, Thomas;     Newton, Isaac;     Ockham, William of;     Plato;     Poincaré, Henri;     Popper, Karl;     Quine, Willard Van Orman;     Reichenbach, Hans;     Russell, Bertrand Arthur William;     Schopenhauer, Arthur;     Sen, Amartya;     Socrates;     Spinoza, Benedict de;     Thales of Miletus;     Tylor, Edward Burnett;     Wallace, Alfred Russell;     Weber, Max;     Whitehead, Alfred North;     Wittgenstein, Ludwig

The Author

The author was born in India and lives in the United States. His home is on the Pacific Coast in Northern California. His daughter Carissa lives in Austin, Texas and his brother Robin and sister-in-law Susan live in London

His loves or passions are people – of course, ideas, nature and the places of the universe and especially of our world

The Journey

An individual journey in ideas whose original ambition was adventure in knowing evolved into a Journey in Being – with definite goals in the transformation, not just in ideas, but also of being

These goals, originally more hope than goal, were transformed into definite form by the fortuitous development of an ultimate metaphysics

The metaphysics and its ideational consequences are developed and elaborated in the first division of the narrative

The concept of ‘Journey in Being’ is distinguished from traditional metaphysics in a number of ways. (1) In its aspect of depth, metaphysics can no longer be regarded as tentative. (2) The goal of thought is not the result of thought in thought but in being and action. (3) Since the metaphysics is ultimate, an ultimate possibility in being is revealed. (4) The second division of the narrative also named ‘Journey in Being’ is concerned with realization of these ultimate possibilities and describes the realization which remains in process


Anil Mitra, December 2006

Arcata, California


Journey in Being

Anil Mitra, Copyright © 2006

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Permission is not required for brief extracts indicated by quotation marks and cited, ‘Journey in Being, Anil Mitra, 2006’

The original version of Journey in Being was published on the Internet at in 2003. An abbreviated and improved edition appeared in print 2004

In the narrative it is asserted and shown that the ideas herein reach an explicit ultimate in depth in understanding and an implicit ultimate in breadth or variety in being and kinds of being. The reference to other significant persons from the history of ideas is made to show continuity and discontinuity with the tradition. While deriving some inspiration from the traditions, the arguments seek and arrive at independent foundation. The central arguments have inspiration in intuition and imagination and foundation in logic or reason. Those specialized arguments or conclusions that are probable or intuitive are labeled as such. It is shown that in the goal of transformation –whether ultimate or in the present– there can be no precise and rigorously determined path. Instead the path is best determined by good argument and experiment. The site has links to reference material and to preliminary versions of and background to ‘Journey in Being’