Journey in Being

Anil Mitra © 2009, LATEST REVISION 2012
 REFORMATTED 2014

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INTRODUCTION

Preliminary

Introduction to the Universal metaphysics

Journey in being

The narrative

For the reader

I. IDEAS

Intuition

Metaphysics

Objects

Cosmology

Worlds

II. TRANSFORMATION

Journey

Being

III. METHOD

Introduction

Knowledge and its nature

Elements of method

Themes

Implications for the tradition

IV. GUIDE AND REFERENCE

Contribution

Reference

 

INTRODUCTION

Preliminary

The journey of the title of this narrative is an exploration in ideas and transformation of being. Regarding ideas as a kind of being, the journey is an exploration of the range of being. It is grounded in the immediate. It began as the adventure of an individual but via the emergence of a powerful system of ideas, it became clear that the journey of an individual may become—merge with the—universal. Journey in being undertaken in light of this insight. Its ambition is the greatest realization that it may fall to the author to achieve and is, therefore, an individual and a universal journey

The Introduction tells readers what to expect of Journey in being.

It discusses the meaning and nature of the journey, the ambitions, the essential ideas and their interrelations, sources for the developments, and it provides an overview of the work. Demonstrations and proofs are not given but the introduction presents something of what is demonstrated and the means of demonstration. This introductory overview is especially important for this essay since it may be unusual in a number of ways—in the particular contents and in their juxtaposition and interactions. Here are some ways in which the narrative is unusual:

First, while there is a personal or individual side that is pertinent to the narrative thread, there is also the development of a formal metaphysics that is claimed to go significantly beyond prior metaphysics in the conception of metaphysics, and the depth and scope of the metaphysics. Second, I believe there is more than personal significance to and therefore I provide a brief account of the exploration in ideas that resulted in the metaphysics. Third, the exploration does not stop at ideas but continues as a journey in being—which undertakes, first, to estimate from the ideas what may be realized and, second, to undertake the realization. Finally, and though this activity is not unusual its conclusions are significant, I elaborate and found the metaphysics, and work out its implications the human endeavor and attempt to evaluate the contribution. The areas of endeavor include realization—what are the limits and necessities of human and animal being; revaluation of religion, spirit, and the possible and necessary trajectories of human being; application to and evaluation of the nature of science and the sciences; and critical development of concepts and contents of metaphysics and general or philosophical cosmology, epistemology—the theory and nature of knowledge, logic and mathematics, and the theory of transformation of being

The development has a fair amount of detail. Purposes of the detail include (1) use in or as a part of the journey—these include details of content as well as details of rigorous or careful development which adds confidence where possible or shows limits where necessary (necessary limits should not be regarded as limiting since they are really the boundaries of being,) (2) showing the power of the ideas and means of transformation, and (3) their significance to the human endeavor and history of ideas

I write to express and communicate my thought and experience. The entire narrative is for the author and the reader. However, the essay is unusual in a number of respects. Therefore, in addition to the general introduction, a final section, For the reader, addresses two special concerns. The first of these concerns is the audience to whom the essay may appeal. This is addressed in the subsection The audience that also suggests preparation that may guide the reader through the work. The second subsection is titled On meaning. Linguistic meaning is particularly important to the understanding of this narrative and is taken up in the chapter Intuition. On meaning is an informal discussion of some aspects of meaning that may greatly assist the reader in understanding the developments of the narrative

The main narrative is developed in a roughly linear manner. In the introduction, however, nonlinear development—including use of words before or without definition—will enhance clarity and brevity and may assist the reader in understanding. The chapter Metaphysics develops a world view based in what is called the Universal metaphysics. This metaphysics is a late development of my ideas. However, it shows what is possible and necessary in the way of a journey in being and so justifies certain hopes and ambitions regarding the journey as, at least, not unrealistic. The metaphysics anchors and holds together the system of ideas and transformations of the narrative. Should the reader want to know the basis of numerous arguments and claims, the metaphysics provides the foundation. Therefore, in beginning the introduction with a discussion of the Universal metaphysics, the reader is provided with an orientation to its character, magnitude, and dimensions

Some conventions

English has a number of Capitalization rules. In this narrative Capitalization is also used to designate a particular meaning of a term. Thus Logic refers to a distinct conception of the common term logic. It is not the case that the particular use, Logic, is specialized. Though, distinct from logic because it is a specific redefinition, the redefinition allows Logic to be broader (and more precise.) When combined, Italicization with capitalization generally refers to titles of parts, chapters, and sections of the narrative

Introduction to the Universal metaphysics

This section has the following aims. (1) Since the metaphysics is likely to be unanticipated by most readers to provide them with some preparation for it, and (2) Especially to inform the reader that the depth and breadth of the picture of the Universe provided by the metaphysics is absolute. Here, ‘depth’ refers to foundation. The reader will naturally have reservations regarding the claim of depth but will appreciate that if the claim is true it should be enormous in magnitude and consequence. The reader who is aware of the history of relativism versus non-relativism in foundations in metaphysics will especially appreciate the revolutionary character of the claim: if there is a finite foundation, what is the basis of its first step and if the foundation is not finite there is no first step (this may be called the paradox of foundation.) Naturally, if my assertions are to have any claims to validity they should have basis in reason and I assert that I have indeed provided demonstration of the claims. What is the resolution of the apparent paradox of foundation? It is to find foundation in objects so simple that the ‘first step’ shall be evident while the objects be sufficiently universal that the developments shall not be trivial; for the actual development I refer the reader to the text and ask that judgment be reserved until it may be applied to the arguments. In the foregoing, ‘breadth’ refers to the magnitudes, of the extension, duration, and variety of being revealed. That the breadth revealed is absolute means there is no limit to these magnitudes. Roughly, what allows the demonstration to go through is that existence of the magnitudes is demonstrated even though complete direct knowledge is absent. I.e., the metaphysics allows us to know, roughly, what is there even if we do not directly know all of that which is there. What does this mean; how is it precisely specified; how is it shown; what are its consequences; what are its implications for philosophy, Logic, metaphysics, cosmology, human destiny or lack of destiny; for these and many other concerns the reader is referred to the developments. Readers who are familiar with the history of philosophy will know that ‘systematic philosophy’ peaked in the nineteenth century with the speculative systems of philosophers of that era (of which the most speculative and perhaps the greatest was that of Hegel;) that those philosophies were mostly idealistic and typically based in some particular intuition raised to a universal level; and that philosophical thought has since that time become concerned with topics that are of relatively local concern and or sufficiently transparent that there development is based in evidence and reason rather than speculation. This reader may think that my claims concern a speculative, systematic, and Universal metaphysics and the terms of this thought may be those of doubt or instinctual rejection (which may be practical from the modern perspective but cannot be reasoned until the arguments have been read and followed.) To such doubts I will respond as follows. Regarding speculation I should say that imagination, feeling, experience, and analogical reasoning have revealed to me where I should look and what I may find. However, once I have an idea of what it is that I may be looking for, that ‘picture’ is subject to evidence and reason and accepted or rejected. This has not been a single step process but, instead, a the metaphysics has been built up incrementally in steps of imagination and reason, sometimes held together with intuition and doubt and incompleteness have been tolerated until a final picture was arrived at that was satisfactory with regard to evidence and reason. Regarding objections to ‘systematic’ metaphysics I respond, first, that it is the merely speculative side of such metaphysics that is the occasion for doubt but as just noted the present metaphysics has been subject to the criteria of evidence and reason; and, second, I have sought Universal understanding over mere system and it has been rather surprising even though delightfully surprising that some system has emerged. Of course the claim that I did not seek system is not tendered as proof but since the proof was by evidence and reason it does not need to be proof; the suggestion is that, first, if system is to be sought, this is one good way to seek it and, second, that it may after all be valid to seek system. The reader should have the doubt that surely the entire system of phenomena of being with its great and magnificent structures and its decay and probable chaos and indeterminism cannot be subject to system. The objection would indeed be good if I did indeed make the implied claim. The actual claim however is that a framework of understanding for the Universe has been found and that within this framework there may be structure and indeterminism. What has been shown is in fact more: within the framework there must be structure and indeterminism (I shall not say randomness for the term is vague) and that, contrary to the expectation of certain strands of thought, structure and indeterminism are not only consistent but the indeterminism of the picture is absolute indeterminism and that this extreme indeterminism implies structure for if access to any state is ruled the indeterminism cannot be absolute

‘Depth’ refers to foundation—in reason and with absolute yet finite depth (the reader who understands the distinction between

The main narrative is developed in a roughly linear manner. In this Introduction, however, nonlinear development will enhance clarity and brevity and may assist the reader in understanding

It is effective to begin the Introduction to the narrative with the Universal metaphysics which is one of the main developments of the narrative. In what follows in this Introduction, precise statement, development, detail, and all demonstration (roughly, proof) will be deferred to the narrative

Thus the discussion in the Introduction will not bring out the full power and broad range of consequences of the metaphysics. However, the brief discussion of the Introduction will show readers (1) that the Universe is of immensely greater magnitude and variety than it is commonly conceived to be, (2) that the individual has access via ideas and being to the magnitude and variety of the Universe but not that actual access is without effort, (3) something of the magnitude and nature of the journey narrated, and (4) that these and related claims are demonstrated—not mere guesses—and that, contrary to what might be thought, there is no violation of the tradition of knowledge including science and reason they do not

The metaphysics

Metaphysics is, roughly, knowledge of objects (being) as they are. In the main narrative, a metaphysics is developed from ground up, the issue of the possibility of metaphysics addressed, consequences are drawn. This metaphysics is called the Universal metaphysics; its detailed development, elaboration, and demonstration is deferred. General cosmology or, simply, cosmology is the study of the variety of being and has been conflated with physical cosmology in modern times but we shall see that cosmology is immensely broader than physical cosmology. Cosmology may be regarded as a topic in metaphysics. In thinking of metaphysics we may also think of the cosmology that it entails. Then, (the Universal) metaphysics is knowledge of the Universe as it is

Preliminary comments on metaphysics

Metaphysics is, roughly, knowledge of being as it is

In modern thought the very possibility of metaphysics has been criticized and so one objective of this essay must be to demonstrate that metaphysics is indeed possible and that the Universal metaphysics is indeed what is claimed

What is the meaning of ‘possibility’ in an assertion that metaphysics is or is not possible? First, metaphysics must be defined a little more explicitly: metaphysics is, roughly, knowledge of objects (being) as they are, expressed in symbolic terms (e.g. language.) That metaphysics is possible means that there is some being that is capable of developing metaphysics. It does not mean that human being is capable of developing metaphysics or, if capable, will develop metaphysics. There are two kinds of demonstration of possibility. The first is abstract and consists in showing that some being is capable of developing metaphysics. In the second, consists in producing a symbolic system and showing that it is metaphysics; this kind of demonstration is ‘concrete’ and is more satisfactory. The first kind of demonstration is valuable when a concrete demonstration has not been accomplished for it shows that the search is not useless. The demonstration in this narrative is given in chapters Intuition and Metaphysics and consolidated in Objects… and is of the concrete kind. Intuition shows the possibility of metaphysics by demonstrating our knowledge of certain universal Objects. In Metaphysics this knowledge is developed as a metaphysical system—i.e., the Universal metaphysics. In Objects the nature of the Object is clarified and all Objects are found to be of a single fundamental kind and in doing this the variety of Objects accessible to (human) being is broadened

It is seen in the development that far from being suspect, metaphysics is the most precise and in some sense most real of all knowledge. The foundation is provided in Intuition and developed in Metaphysics. In Metaphysics it is shown that the Universal metaphysics has the certainty of Logic. Here, Logic is capitalized to distinguish it from logic. The Logic is the ideal version of the logics wherein it is realized that Logic does not have some remote and absolute status but is itself empirical at core. What can be said is that Logic is the discipline that has the highest certainty and precision and that this is therefore also true of the Universal metaphysics

Two other criticisms have been leveled at the metaphysical systems of the past. Here, we entertain these criticisms to enquire whether they apply to the Universal metaphysics. The first criticism concerns the imposition of some grand system as the structure of the Universe. The pinnacle of these is perhaps the Hegelian-Marxist system. Detailed discussion of these criticisms is taken up later but two points may be mentioned here. First, such systems are widely regarded as having failed—Hegel’s thought for its imposition of a grand idealism (absolute spirit) upon what science reveals as material and Marx’s thought for its failure as a description of political economy. These failures have led to widespread abandonment of system—the small local narratives of Continental thought and the piece-meal approach of analytic philosophy (most current Western philosophy falls under the labels Continental and analytic.) However, nowhere has system been demonstrated impossible. What has emerged is that imposed system, especially of the grand style, is immensely improbable. In contrast, the Universal metaphysics is not imposed but emerges from investigation and even though some of its conclusions may be seen as ‘grand’ the inputs to the metaphysics are elementary. A second criticism of the systems of Western philosophy is that they are idealistic in nature—mind is imposed upon the Universe as its fundamental kind. Such thought may have seemed more reasonable in the nineteenth century and earlier. However, in the twentieth century a view of the world as essentially material emerged and idealism generally appeared irrelevant and absurd. The Universal metaphysics imposes no such kinds and cannot therefore be subject to a criticism of being idealist or materialist. It does not postulate any substance but is not against substance. It emerges from analysis that the Universe can have no fundamental substance but it allows that matter as we know it may be regarded for some practical concerns to be treated as a local substance. Later, the metaphysics will be one of the instruments that we use to develop a deeper understanding of matter and mind, not from prejudgment as substance, but by beginning with reflection on the function of the terms ‘matter’ and ‘mind’ in our vocabulary and on the functional relation between the referents of the terms

The Universal metaphysics

The following statements of, regarding, or related to the Universal metaphysics are demonstrated in subsequent chapters

There is one and only one metaphysics. The metaphysics may be developed in more than one form and in varying lesser degree of detail

There is no limit to variety of being and the population of beings in the Universe. Without violation of Logic, a greater universe cannot be conceived. These are in fact forms of what will be called the fundamental principle of metaphysics that is one of the main founding propositions of the metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics is ultimate with regard to breadth. This means, simply, that it is shown in the metaphysics that there is no limit to the variety of being in the Universe. However, it is reasonably certain that the variety of being can be explicitly specified (written down) in symbolic or iconic terms. I.e., the metaphysics is implicitly ultimate with regard to breadth. This is a definite achievement for it has been speculated but not demonstrated in prior thought that there is no limit to variety. The implicit character of the breadth may be thought to be a limit of the metaphysics but it is reasonable to think that truth cannot be a real limit but only a limit relative to what might have otherwise been expected. Once discovered, truth that seems limiting may be empowering. In this case it is. A journey into unforeseeable variety is a greater adventure than travel through a predefined itinerary

The reader may be familiar with the idea that axiomatic systems must contain unfounded axioms. A simple form of the reply to this concern regarding the metaphysics is to consider the definition The Universe is all being and the proposition The Universe exists. The natural objection is that the experience is an illusion. That is not a good objection for, if it is true, then being includes illusions and therefore there is a Universe. This proof is may be unsatisfying in that it suggests that the Universe may be nothing but a collection of psychoses. However, the argument of the narrative is more direct—it does not depend on illusion as being—and it will entertain and counter numerous objections

It should be useful to enquire how the Universal metaphysics is different from, say, geometry. The axioms of Euclidean geometry require undefined terms and unproved postulates. Why is the metaphysics not subject to the same requirement? The answer, repeated below, is that the proposition The Universe exists is too general or course grained to be capable of being incorrect. The real question is What is in the Universe? Is it merely a collection of illusions (of illusions…)? This is taken up in chapters Intuition through Worlds. Thus even though the claim must be strengthened, it is simultaneously empirical and necessary. Perhaps that is reasonable enough but then there is the immediate response—since this is so trivially true, how can anything of significance follow from it? The answer is deferred to the main narrative which develops the ‘how’ and shows the significance to be immense. What the present discussion points to, and what will be shown, is that there is a foundation of metaphysics and cosmology—knowledge of all being—in experience (in contrast, experience suggests but does not found geometry.) Because most axiomatic systems have undefined terms, prior metaphysics is ‘founded’ either in infinite regress or undefined substance. The present foundation is finite, will be seen to neither require nor allow substance, and regards all being and is therefore a foundation that is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth. It is dependent on the fact that the meaning of ‘being’ has not been specified. In this lies power—foundation and variety—and openness or unending non-specifiable variety

Individual identity does and must merge with the identity of all being or Universal identity. The narrative elaborates the meaning of this merging. However, the merging is not the discovery of a final place of nirvanic or other rest of some disembodied form of my spirit in harmony with all being. I do not conceive the particular of the merging but regardless of its form it must dissolve again into discrete beings with strivings. Endless adventure awaits the explorer in being

The metaphysics, in interaction with traditional disciplines, suggests but provides no sure approaches to realization. These approaches begin in the present. The suggestions include that some degree of search will improve appreciation and directness of the process. The process is not one of linear progression through higher and more inclusive stages of being but an unending adventure with Universal peaks and dissolutions. The individual can perhaps choose to not engage in the adventure but cannot, even in death, choose to not be in it

It may seem as though some of the assertions about the Universal metaphysics violate science, reason, and common sense. However the sum of the human traditions—including science and reason as well as reasoned common sense—does not define the Universe. Instead, the traditions entail or suggest only that the actual Universe must lie in a certain range. The inner boundary of the range is the view of the Universe that is positively revealed by the tradition—I call this Cosmos. The current scientific picture of Cosmos, which I mention as illustration rather than definite fact, is that of collection of fundamental entities or particles and fields, knowledge of which extends about fourteen billion years into the past, whose behavior is described by some combination of quantum theory and a relativistic theory of gravitation. While the picture is not held steadfastly, it is reasonable. To explain the improbable aspects of some features of the picture, some physical cosmologists hypothesize an infinity of bubble cosmological systems, beyond the edge of our cosmos that do not have causal interaction with one another. It seems to be common, especially among academics, to think that the Universe is Cosmos. The outer boundary is the view of the Universe that is allowed by the tradition—and since Logic is the only further restriction on this view, I call it Logos. Logos is the view defined by the Universal metaphysics and demonstrated in its development and therefore the Universal metaphysics and its consequences do not contradict science or common sense

Doubt and faith

The doubt regarding contradiction of the tradition of thought is one of two main doubts and though the resolution is stated above, the process and argument of the resolution are left for the narrative. The doubt is insidious and arises in many ways that require address; the recurrence of doubt and address serves to bring the Universal metaphysics from the realm of the esoteric toward the realm of the exoteric. The second main doubt—the doubt from reason—concerns the validity of the demonstration and the address of this doubt is, likewise, left for the narrative. This doubt does not disable the metaphysics but it lingers; it is enhanced by the immense magnitude of the conclusions of the metaphysics. An approach in the face of lingering doubt is an appeal to faith as the attitude that results in the best (good) action in the presence of doubt (and is not faith in absurd propositions or mere claims.) Our knowledge of the details of our world is never certain and neurotic doubt might be crippling; therefore faith is important—faith is action as though a reasonable proposition is true. A rather different approach is perhaps one that is ‘Logically’ more satisfying. It is the recognition, whose explanation and demonstration is deferred, that all knowledge and therefore even Logic is empirical in nature but Logic is perhaps the closest to certain truth (clarification of meaning and demonstration awaits the main narrative)

Development of the metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics is developed later. Here, I point to some the essential elements of the development

In my early thought, I looked to the details of the world; later, I saw that I should step back from detail and examine an abstract of the world. If sufficiently abstract, what is conceived is too general to be capable of distortion (how this enables knowledge of significance is shown in the development.) The essential concepts were Universe seen as a whole, Void or absence of being, Domain or part of the Universe, and Logos or the Universe in all its detail but without specification of the detail

It was essential that the Universe was not seen as the empirical or the physical universe but as all that there is—or was or will be (concerns about time and its universality versus non-universality are addressed in the development.) Clearly there is more to the Universe than is known to us; therefore we object to any thought that the Universe is the empirically known universe. Is the Universe physical? Perhaps, but not assuming it to be physical may strengthen the argument for its physical nature. It will turn out that the Universe is not entirely physical unless we loosen the meaning of the word so that ‘is physical’ and ‘exists’ have the same meaning

What kinds of thing does the Universe have in it? Since our knowledge is not the object in itself there arises a question of what an Object is and an extreme case of this question is whether there are Objects; this issue is deferred. Therefore, we may say that the Universe contains common objects such as bricks and solar systems. Are the laws of nature in the Universe—since we conceive them, perhaps the laws are not truly in the Universe. Trivially, laws are in the Universe because our minds or what we take as our minds are in the Universe. But there is a better approach to the question regarding laws and it is one with far reaching consequences. A law is read by human beings; but in the world there is some real pattern or behavior to which the law refers (perhaps approximately.) The actual pattern is the Law. The Law itself must be in the Universe because it even if it is not a ‘thing’ it is a property of things and not something that is merely perceived and the Universe is all that there is. Later we will see that Laws and things are kinds of Object. The Universe contains no Objects

The Void is defined as complete absence. I.e., the Void contains no Objects and therefore no Laws. In the chapter Metaphysics, a demonstration of the existence of the Void is given and then the fact that it contains no Law leads to the Universal metaphysics

Thus two essential elements of the development are abstraction of a certain kind, and careful definition of fundamental concepts such as Universe and Void

Some simple but powerful consequences of the conception of the Universe can be given. A first consequence is that if a creator is other than what is created, the Universe can have no creator because there is nothing other than it (if the Universe were all physical things, it might have a non-physical creator; and, even though the Universe has no creator, one domain may be creative with respect to another.) As a second consequence consider the notion of possibility. If something does in fact obtain it is obviously possible. What does it mean that something is possible when it does not obtain? It typically means that it could obtain. How do we know it could obtain? If circumstances were different it would obtain! Suppose something never obtains in the Universe—past, present, or future. Is it possible? It is possible under other circumstances. But, in the Universe, there are no other circumstances—what does not obtain in the Universe is not possible. For the Universe only what actually obtains is possible. This is a powerful conclusion. The argument, however, has some deficiencies of which one is that the conception of possibility is not clear. These deficiencies will be remedied in the chapter Metaphysics where it will be seen that there is a family of conceptions of the possible

A third essential element of the development is the concept of being which will be considered in the next section

Journey in being

Journey

Discussion of the Universal metaphysics gives universal significance to the meaning and use of ‘journey’ which will be further brought out in the narrative. This section describes a personal or individual meaning of ‘journey’

I have always had the ambition to do great work where greatness emphasizes contribution and adventure over recognition. Early, the ambition was implicit

The experience and thought behind the narrative has traversed much terrain; a love of nature, and people and ideas has led to much travel in the worlds of geography, and culture and learning. Although I have not done one million and one things I have had a number of career paths, enjoyed all, been fully satisfied by none. These paths include research and teaching and consulting in engineering, running all phases of a restaurant, psychiatric and other healthcare, and, informally, though perhaps most extensively and with the greatest depth, engagement with ideas. As a student from undergraduate through graduate (PhD) phases I experienced much of the required curriculum as stifling and hardly attended to it except frantic last minute late night efforts. Instead, I found myself talking with friends over midnight coffee, avoiding lectures to drink morning coffee with my mother, sports, reading and thinking in a wide range of disciplines—mathematics, natural science—especially theoretical physics and evolutionary biology, philosophy, religion: university libraries were my church. As a graduate student in engineering, interest led me to take took many doctoral courses in mathematics and most doctoral level courses in physics. As a university teacher in engineering I taught and wanted to teach essentially all the basic courses in my discipline as well as courses from the advanced undergraduate level to seminars for faculty. I did not care too much for the ‘publish or perish’ attitude in academia but, still, my research had gained international recognition when I left the University to seek other experience. This academic experience has had great influence in terms of breadth of exposure and developing deep skills in reasoning and understanding what it means to approach ideas with rigor and imagination (without imagination thought suffers poverty, without care it suffers irrelevance.) The variety of paradigms that I absorbed have been metaphor and more than metaphor for many of the developments in the narrative—the main as well as special developments. The emphasis on reasoning and rigor makes it imperative to prove claims when I can (and note the absence of sure demonstration when all I have is plausible but useful explanation… and to recognize the distinction between the plausible and the necessary.) The insistence on proof and detail makes my work difficult to perform and difficult to read. The simultaneous insistence on imagination makes my work harder for it means that my task is to prove great if not the greatest results; interestingly the greatest results have not been difficult to demonstrate—the difficulty has been in the slow transformation from vague to precise ideas, in seeing what systems of ideas to use, and in seeing how to prove, and in seeing the interrelations among systems of ideas and proofs. But, the simultaneous insistence on reason and imagination has had immense benefits. From reason and experience, we can of course have confidence in results but, even more, the attention to reason has led to powerful tools of demonstration. And I have found that the interaction between imagination and reason is far more powerful than imagination alone; demonstration itself suggests what to imagine, which occasions demonstration or disproof and a cycle continues and spirals on

That I left the academic environment has also been instrumental. The world of work has provided a realism. Criticism—as well as support and real criticism is a form of support—from intelligent non-academic persons has been immensely useful. I know directly the concerns of ‘everyman’ and ‘everywoman.’ I experience these concerns myself, in some ways more intensely than most; I am different and unique but not other. It means that in my everyday life I have been engaged in a journey, engaged with the world rather than academic nicety. Although I have a natural inclination to want to be concerned with the ‘greatest thing,’ overcoming various adversities has strengthened resolve and given it meaning. I have emphasized the importance of reason and proof. In my academic career I recognized that there is often an over concern with rigor and precision. The extra-academic experience has emphasized this point. In the fast paced environment of acute psychiatric care there is occasion for reason and occasion to enter the state of ‘no mind.’ This is true in so much of life; for me it became emphatic in the face of threat and care. The most effective action seems to come from some appropriate combination of mind and no mind. In the journey, I face the following question. When I have pushed ideas to my limit, and perhaps their limit at least in certain directions, and the ideas show outcomes of action but not precisely how to act—what then? I turn to ‘no mind’ for which another term is faith used in the sense of the attitude that is most conducive to the greatest outcome (and not belief in absurd claims.) The greatest insistence on reason requires that we reflect upon the place of reason… and we find, not so much that reason has limits—of course it does and it is important from the truth perspective to not claim reason where it is absent—but that our attitudes to reason—neurotic clinging which sometimes parades as machismo logic—are limiting. The reader will find this theme weaving through the narrative

I have traveled in India, the United States, Canada and Mexico—spending time in cities, primitive areas—across the United States and in Mexico—sleeping under the stars for weeks and months at a time, and rural places. This experience is contributory: through contact with people I feel a far ranging connection with humankind. The hiking and living in wild places is especially significant (1) for here have I felt great contact with being and inspiration to experience the magnitude of being, and (2) solitude, beauty, and the rhythm of hiking have been the ground of inspiration for some of my best ideas

Here and in what follows, I am reminded of the immense interaction of ranges of experience, ranges of ideas, and ranges of imagination-criticism. Done well, this interaction may result in immense creativity. In noticing myself engaged in this process, I came to think that this is an immense source of creation; this point is elaborated, later, in the chapter on Method as a generalized notion of reflexivity

Much thought has led up to the present form of my ideas—many previous paradigms assumed with a goal of a metaphysical understanding of the Universe. Why assume a paradigm? Practically, although a materialist or other paradigm may be criticized, getting somewhere for a developing thinker requires or at least may require some foundation or ground. One can be a practical idealist or materialist without subscribing to materialism or idealism. If materialism holds, the approach may lead to deep foundation of materialism. If not, the result may be deep rather criticism rather than shallow rejection. In either case, general understanding deepens in preparation for constructive understanding. I believe that the work with paradigm prepared me for deep understanding of ‘no paradigm’ and we have seen how the approach from being is not a paradigm. Of course work and development and imagination and discovery do not end with a realization of the significance of the approach from being. First, the approach dawns; dawn comes before daybreak which comes before the sun at its zenith. I believe, also, that the earlier experience has greatly promoted tying my thought into and providing some foundation for prior thought

The various paradigms include an evolutionary and material framework, an idealist framework, a framework that integrated world and mind, and a framework that attempted to see the Universe as a single or absolute consciousness (but rather different in nature from Hegel’s approach.) The frameworks were written as extensive essays, roughly seven essays altogether, and discarded—I learned much in the process. The essential dissatisfaction was the thought that mind, matter, and similar terms are too particular. They are particular in nature, they are tied in to our forms of understanding, they assume a spatiotemporal framework, and since, e.g., substance is simultaneously taken as given and fundamental, it may well be impossible to find a foundation for it. I later realized that if mind or matter are interpreted liberally, the particular connotations may be technically eliminated but the terms continue to suggest their particular connotations. The present development began when I abandoned the approach from substance (e.g. mind or matter) in favor of an approach from being. This abandonment was gradual but near forced by my attempts at universal understanding in terms of particular paradigms. In 2002, I had a fundamental insight, described later, that enabled an (the) approach from being. The approach was first written in 2002-2003, and has now gone through over ten versions. What has changed in these versions is not the foundation of the approach but its maturation, its expression in a number of alternate terms, its subsumption of more and more concepts and areas of metaphysical thought and of practical thought (modern academic disciplines and essential cultural practices.) Thought and experience have contributed to the outcome, to the present place of the ideas and of my being. Unlike purists who prefer that their discipline has no application, I have always been interested in application. Later, under the influence of my developing ideas, I realized that the entire system of knowing merges with and is incomplete without action and therefore application (the ‘purest’ areas of knowledge, as will be seen, are complete without action but still have application.) My engagement with the world, and being in it, combined with the foregoing insights led to search for the ‘the greatest realization.’ The journey has an individual side that merges via its own process with the Universal (side)

Being

‘Being’ arises in the Universal metaphysics as the fundamental kind of thing in the Universe. Roughly, ‘being’ is what is there. Thus the fundamental kind is, after all, no particular kind. This rather qualitative statement is made more precise in the narrative. Unlike the notions of matter and mind, being is characterized by extreme generality (no particular kind.) Since everything has being, we may wonder how it might be instrumental in the development of an ultimate and Universal metaphysics. The response is that the generality, the absence of commitment (e.g., as in mind, matter, or relation, or fact and so on) is at outset of investigation. Commitment may enter in the process of discovery; at outset we have no commitment to commitment or its absence (we may want commitment but hold back; we may want to remain ever open but we begin to see that ever openness may shut down in some directions, remain so in others.) Perhaps matter will emerge as fundamental and if it does so our understanding will be more powerful than it would have been by assuming matter as fundamental in the beginning. What does emerge is that there is and can be no fundamental substance, that this is part of a powerful Universal metaphysics that shows the existence of an immense variety of kinds of being populated by beings (the kinds may be thought of as local substances but this is naturally not particularly illuminating)

The approach from being encourages focus on things as they are rather than what we have thought them to be. At outset we do not think of things as matter or mind; this leads to powerful understanding of the nature of things—except that they are, there is no nature to things. Instead, it will emerge that there are varieties without end but there may be local and practical kinds. If all being is regarded as thing and other, and if matter is identified as thing and mind as interaction with other, it would seem that there is no third or more kind beyond matter and mind (Spinoza, in thinking of mind and matter as substances thought that there is no reason to not suppose an infinite number of such kinds.) Even if this argument is valid it still allows a great variety within mind and within matter and it also suggests the source of the affinity of mind and matter. The argument was encouraged by the focus on things as they are rather than our preconceptions—e.g., matter as a kind of stuff, mind as another kind of stuff. Again, the approach from being—no preconception—encouraged the experiment with the concepts of Universe, Void and so on until conceptions were found that enable the emergence of the power that was potential but not realized. Is not no preconception a preconception? Sometimes we must move forward and an occasional preconception may be empowering. Thus, even though science may lack final foundation, it may have power. On a personal level we ask ‘what is important to me?’ It is in being open with regard to this that great possibilities emerge (and the balance is that some people are committed early in life and this too may lead to great accomplishment)

But Universe, Void and so on are abstract and removed! There is no foundation to a claim of knowledge—it might seem. The problem here is the conception of the abstract. We are generally conditioned to think of the abstract as remote. That is a preconceived notion of abstraction. If we think of our perceptions, and think also of a subset of all the sensa that constitute a perception that is so bare that it cannot suffer distortion—that defines knowing that is abstract and immediate. But this knowledge is trivial comes an objection. The objection suffers from the preconception—the trivial is impotent and it will be seen in what follows that the trivial and the profound are occasionally, though obviously not invariably, bound together

Throughout the narrative, examples of the approach from being—as such and by analogy—will proliferate

A final thought regarding the significance of being for a journey. Being signifies that exploration is not mere travel: there is transformation and it is not limited to individual growth or technological or social or other limited kinds of change. It may be essential (without implication of final essence.) However, only a—minute—fraction is known of what kinds of change are possible and what may be desirable—especially at the outset. Being suggests that change may reach depths and kinds that are not anticipated

A journey in being

Individual and Universal

The journey is individual and Universal

It is based in an ultimate Universal metaphysics… that demonstrates identity of the individual and the Universe and, together with traditional disciplines, suggests realization that may be efficient and enjoyed or appreciated

It is in ideas and transformation

I use the term ideas to refer to all kinds of mental content that provides us with a vector map of the terrain—i.e., the Universe. The term vector as used here refers simply to direction—e.g., a sense of direction that may be taken and which may range from possible to compulsive in intensity. Especially included under ideas are (1) individual experience, learning, research, ambitions… and (2) the human traditions of knowledge of world, spirit, and transformation. A transformation refers to the transformation of an Object or individual

We sometimes think of ideas as ephemeral. However, an idea invariably has a trace in the body. Thus having or developing an idea is a transformation. In the normal conception, ideas constitute a fraction of the transformations available to the individual. Still, ideas are essential in that they are the place of recognition and appreciation of being and transformation. And, ideas are instrumental in mapping and navigating the Universe

From the Universal metaphysics there are no limits to transformation (of an Object or individual.) I.e., the individual may—and will—experience universal identity (a typical formulation invokes union with universal identity.) In conceiving transformations and road maps, Logic is to be respected. However, there is no intrinsic limit. In any given experience of identity, there is always dissolution and higher forms of such identity. It is an endless adventure of pleasure, knowledge, and pain. The process is important; the loveliness of our world is essential for it is not a lesser world even though it may be ‘smaller;’ and it is the ground for our journey at this time. What of conventional limits? The Universal metaphysics shows that physical and common certainties must be reinterpreted as very probable. And it is significant that what is probable depends not only on the state of the world but also on the state of our knowledge (witness the transformations made available by science.)

Ideas may suggest approaches but do not and cannot show the way or anticipate the variety of experience that may occur. The way or path is therefore an adventure. Exploration is essential to know and arrive at any ultimates

To undertake the exploration is to undertake a journey in being—a journey in ideas and identity

Other phases

The ideas and the transformations are the main phases of the journey. The journey of the spirit that is intertwined with the journey through the world, especially the world of nature as sacred, invokes interweaving of idea and general transformation

Two further specialized phases of interest to the author are (1) Society, ideas, and action; and (2) Theory, design, simulation, construction of a variety of being—physical, psychological, social, and technological

Sources for the journey

Sources in my life—ambition, experience, and thought

An outline of some sources in my ambition, thought and experience is provided in the sections Journey and Being. Further detail is implicit in the narrative

Sources in the history of ideas

Because of the breadth of the topics of the essay and because much of my reading has been without specific aim, I cannot provide a comprehensive listing of sources that may have influenced my thought. I kept a record of my reading till 1992—see Bibliographies for Evolution and Design—but have not done so since then. This makes it impossible to be comprehensive with regard to the most recent and perhaps important sources. However, it might be more useful to provide a general account of the sources for the most important concepts—this is done below but I remind the reader that my work is original and not a synthesis. The reader may also find the information on sources in Part IV of the essay Guide and Reference

The primary sources concern the concepts of being, the Void, of Logic, of identities of individual and Universe, and of the principle of variety

Being, the Void and Logic. I am indebted to Aristotle and Heidegger for their emphasis on being but not so indebted regarding their treatments of being. Plato’s thoughts on the concept of being were influential in the development of my sense of that concept. Heidegger calls the question ‘Why is there being at all—i.e. why is there being rather than absence of being?’ the fundamental problem of metaphysics. This ‘problem,’ commonly regarded as unsolved today and speculatively unsolvable, is proved in the narrative (as a consequence of the fundamental principle of metaphysics.) The main recent sources regarding the Void and Logic, even though necessarily indirect since their speculations stopped far short of my demonstrated conclusions, are found in the ideas of Leibniz, Hume, Frege, Wittgenstein and Heidegger. I am indebted to Leibniz and Wittgenstein for their insights into the identity of metaphysics and logic and am fortunate to have been able to provide an immense advance over their reflections—including proof of the identity, and use of the identity to develop a metaphysics of ultimate depth and breadth while simultaneously showing the empirical character of Logic. Wittgenstein, Hume and Leibniz implicitly skirt the idea of the Void in their suggestions that the only impossibilities are logical impossibilities—for which they provide neither clear meaning nor proof (in this essay, clear meanings are giving to the concept of possibility and it is proved that that all Logical possibilities are actual.) There are species of ‘voidism’ in Judaic, Islamic, Buddhist and Indian thought but I am not indebted to these sources for the philosophy of the Void. Later, I may use such reflections as a source in the transformations of chapter Journey. Provided it is clear that by the word ‘spiritual’ I do not imply another realm but a place, entirely in the one realm of being, between the unknown and what is invested in the known, the religious sources may encourage and inspire a spiritual journey; art, architecture, music, ritual, and the secular literature may also provide inspiration regarding spirit. I may identify Ian Baker’s The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, 2004, as one paradigm—though far from being the paradigm—of the kind of guide that may be useful in the transformations. The metaphysics, which has been brought to an ultimate level, has been also been glimpsed in the history of thought e.g. by Leibniz, Hume and Wittgenstein who saw some aspect of it but provided neither demonstration nor systematic development of a whole system nor development of a system of implications

Identities of individual and Universe. The identity of individual and Universe—Atman and Brahman—has been imagined in Indian Philosophy, especially in Vedanta. However, the Vedanta provides no proof and it therefore lacks a vision of the dynamic character of the identity and the probable lack of a greatest being

The principle of variety. The principle of variety and other forms of the fundamental principle of metaphysics and their proofs were discovered in the development of the ideas of this essay. It was later that I looked in detail at the idea that no possibilities that remain eternally possible will go unrealized which has been called the principle of plenitude by the philosopher Arthur O. Lovejoy, 1873-1962. The principle has been referred to and deployed in the thought of Augustine, St Anselm—in ontological arguments for the existence of God, Thomas Aquinas, and Giordano Bruno. Kant believed in the principle but not in possibility of its empirical verification. However since prior conceptions of possibility are quite deficient, the very statement of the principle of plenitude is unclear and deficient; and while the principle is clearly plausible, no earlier author has provided proof

The narrative

Main divisions of the essay and their interactions

There are three main parts—Ideas, Transformation, and Method; and an auxiliary part

Ideas and Transformation

The journey has been described as an exploration in ideas and transformation of being. In using the term ‘idea’ I refer to such notions as science, humanities including philosophy, imagination, poetry, reason and experience, and the development and use of ideas. The development of an idea is a form of transformation. However, the most complete form of transformation is transformation of being. The aim of the journey is adventure in thought and transformation whose trajectory will attempt to traverse higher forms without limit

Although ideas are incomplete they are instrumental in transformation (however blind experiment has its place.) Ideas are essential as the place of appreciation of being and its change. There is a wider notion of idea in which idea and identity are interwoven in process

The main phases of the journey are ideas and transformation

The first two parts of the narrative correspond to the main phases, Ideas and Transformations, of the journey. As we have seen these phases have interaction: the ideas are developed in the context of action which is a special case of transformation and, in turn, the ideas illuminate and guide transformation. The interaction of thought and action, and the notion that thought should have application is not new (not all thinkers subscribe to this notion.) What is perhaps an illumination are the necessity of the interaction even when not intended and the necessary incompleteness of ideas without transformation. As noted earlier some ideas are complete without transformation; one of the characteristics of the present development is its fine grained character—there is no universalization of the kinds all ideas are incomplete. In contrast to an academic purity of ideas, the present development suggests that engagement in the world, even with its suffering and dirt and apparent corruption of the pure, is no less pure than the crystal purity of any academic thought

The range of the paradigm of ideas and transformation in action

The theme of Ideas and Transformation or Action as interacting is common. Science remains in interaction with social change, philosophy in interaction with living… In everyday life ideas are instrumental in action; and it is in ideas that we appreciate our lives and the world. It is essential to recognize that the ideas drive but do not determine change; nor are they the only driver. There is also ambition and practice

Method

In developing the ideas, and in considering the transformations, it became clear that novel content was an occasion for novel method. In all development, even when method is not a formal issue, there is some informal concern with method—How am I doing this, how may I best do this? I came to see that method and content are bound together, that method arises informally as we develop ideas and knowledge, that method and content are not distinct (not only because content concerns what is in the world and method concerns how we investigate but investigation is also in the world.) The formal expression of the interaction of content and method is realized in the identity of Universe and Logos, of metaphysics and Logic. The developments in method, their articulation and elaboration, are collected together in the part on Method. It is to be expected that, on account of the inseparability of content and method, novel content should occasion novel method and ultimate content may occasion ultimate method. It is not surprising, therefore, that the developments in method should subsume, illuminate and have implications for the classical ‘methods’ of science and deduction and the part on method develops these thoughts

First part: The Ideas

The nature and role of the ideas

Ideas are a form of transformation but, an incomplete form. Ideas are instrumental in transformation—transformation in interaction is more effective than blind experiment (still there is a place for blind experiment.) Ideas are essential as the place of appreciation of transformation

In providing a map of the Universe, ideas are useful. My earliest sense of adventure was in nature and then in ideas. Upon achieving depth, the ideas suggested certain possibilities of being that go beyond what is commonly regarded as reasonable. Because received ideas from the traditions are found to be limited in either reasoning or scope, the exploration of ideas emerged as essential

Aspects of the ideas are developed in all chapters. Chapters devoted primarily to ideas are Intuition through Worlds and Method

Outline of the ideas

The goal of the ideas is to develop, demonstrate and apply a metaphysical-cosmology—i.e., a metaphysics and its associated general cosmology. The system developed is ultimate and Universal in a number of ways stated and elaborated and demonstrated in the main narrative

Of these chapters Metaphysics is fundamental in developing a fundamental picture of being and a global picture of the Universe; Worlds develops local pictures that are not strict metaphysics but may be considered ‘applied metaphysics’ in which specialization, approximation and distortion are allowed (it is shown that framing the local disciplines that constitute the applied metaphysics allows approach to the intrinsic limit of the disciplines that is achieved in some important cases.) Intuition provides foundation for the Universal metaphysics in our intimate knowledge of being. Objects and Cosmology complete the metaphysics with regard to depth and variety, respectively

Except chapter Method, which is deferred to a later section, these chapters are now outlined

Intuition

The main objective of Intuition is to show that the individual has perfectly faithful knowledge of the basic necessary Objects of the Universal metaphysics in intuition. It is important that intuition is understood as intimate and direct knowledge that we (may) know that we have even though it may be difficult to describe how we have such knowledge—e.g., in neurophysiological terms. There is another use of intuition that refers to extraordinary knowledge of remote events. The present use refers to a mode of common—though remarkable—knowledge of objects for which the distinction of immediate versus remote is not of particular importance

Intuition begins with a discussion of knowledge. This is because (1) intuition is a kind of knowledge, (2) a significant part of the ideas concerns the development of a system or systems of knowledge, (3) knowledge is immensely important to human culture and, therefore, (4) understanding and critiquing knowledge is important in the present narrative and in the modern world. This understanding and critique begins in the section Knowledge but its completion as far as the narrative is concerned must be deferred until the developments in Metaphysics and is deferred to Objects. The section on Knowledge provides some preliminaries for the whole development as well as specifically for the discussion of intuition. This section also takes up the idea of linguistic meaning which is crucial to the development

The next section, Intuition, is primarily devoted to the main objective of the chapter as described above. The section points out the close relation of the present meaning of intuition to Kant’s use. Kant’s development of our understanding of the Universe is critiqued as preliminary to the present development. In the present development intuition is used in a related but broader sense than that of Kant; and it is applied at a deeper level of knowing; these factors enable the use of Kant’s insights while avoiding his errors. Kant assumed the science and geometry to be necessary and faithful descriptions of the world. The present development uses a kind of abstraction to show that knowledge of certain but certainly not all Objects is empirical and necessarily faithful. These are called necessary Objects and the final section introduces a set of Objects that are necessary and the basis of the Universal metaphysics. The system of necessary Objects did not emerge from the study of intuition. Rather, the metaphysics was developed before the foundation in intuition and it was the abstract foundation of the metaphysics that occasioned the search for a more grounded foundation

The final section is a preview of the Universal metaphysics which develops the metaphysics from the necessary and Universal Objects. Although some demonstration is given, rigor, completeness, and level of generality are less than for the full development. I think that a preview may help understanding of the full development. However, this section is not essential to the continuity of the narrative

Metaphysics

The main goal of the chapter is to develop and demonstrate a metaphysics. The metaphysics developed shows that there are no limits to the variety of being in the Universe and provides a symbolic approach to generating this variety. However, no list of the variety is able to capture the entire unlimited variety. Thus the metaphysics is implicitly ultimate with regard to variety or breadth. It is this variety that is foundation for the journey as an adventure without end. The conclusion regarding breadth is immense in its significance (although glimpsed there is no prior proof) and implication (again, although glimpsed there is no prior proof and even though the metaphysics implicitly generates the entire variety, there is no prior anticipation of what may be explicitly shown)

The metaphysics has foundation without merely posited elements and is thus explicitly ultimate with regard to depth. The metaphysics is called the Universal metaphysics. This conclusion is immense in not being anticipated and (therefore) also in not having prior proof. Its essential methods include what may be labeled Imagination and Logic; and analysis of meaning (and, since experience is built in to Logic and meaning, the metaphysics has basis in experience.) It is also shown that there is one metaphysics which may be developed in variant formulations (the existence of the Void, the principle of variety, the principle of reference and so on) and to greater or lesser degree (extension and detail.) Universal metaphysics is ultimate with regard to extension (Universe) but not detail

Because there is but one metaphysics the terms ‘Universal’ and ‘ultimate’ are redundant except for the ultimacy with regard to extension. And except for this aspect of the ultimate character, the ‘price’ for the ultimate character with regard to breadth and depth is that the discovery of Method (Logic) and Content (in the unlimited region beyond the explicit) must be empirical. To this extent there is no absolute certainty in any realm. Thus Logic is brought down from the realm of the a priori but Content is brought up from the merely empirical. It may be said, however, that Logic is (perhaps) the highest of our certainties

I now elaborate on the foregoing summary of the metaphysics

The main goal of this chapter is to develop and demonstrate the Universal metaphysics. The metaphysics is capable of abstract foundation which in turn may be expressed in terms of intuition. The foundation of this chapter goes deeper than the foundation from intuition by beginning with an analysis of experience. The sense of experience used here is that of immediate experience as in the experience of red in the color of a rose. Experience is used to further develop grounding of the metaphysics in what is given beyond question. The foundation also develops the concept of being which provides the first essential concept of the metaphysics from which the concepts of Universe, Domain, and Void are developed. The fundamental principle of metaphysics, described earlier and shortly, is developed from the properties of the Void

It is remarkable that the individual already knows the Universe, Domain, and Void in intuition. The fundamental principle of metaphysics, below, which is key to the entire development, is developed from these concept via simple logic. Then, criticism, of the development is used to turn the argument around and define the concept of Logic as a concept rather than as a practice; and this concept is shown to be far from empty even though it starts as a definition. Perhaps we do not have logic as a primitive intuition. However, the ideas of logic and especially of Logic, it may be tentatively argued, are or become intuitive. If we accept the argument, the entire Universal metaphysics is intuitive; otherwise its foundation in Universe, Domain and Void is intuitive and the remaining development is Logical. I have always had some sense that I have some intuition, even if not entirely conscious, of the extent of being. Overemphasis of intuition in the other sense of esoteric insight insists the truth of the insight; overemphasis on reason and empiricism before we have gotten out of the crawling stage of insight aborts discovery; holding intuition and reason in balance has permitted immense discovery. What is called mystic knowledge is perhaps insight coupled with a sense of knowing without proof (which does not imply that there is or can be no proof of mystic knowledge.) It is emphasized that the remarks in this paragraph are peripheral to the demonstration of the Universal metaphysics though pertinent to its significance

The demonstrated claims of the metaphysics, some stated earlier, include the following

The Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Object. The concept of Object is developed later but it includes not only what may be roughly described as ‘thing’ but also pattern and natural Law (and Platonic form as immanent in being rather than as in another world… and much else)

There is no limit to the variety of being and the population of being in the Universe. There is no Universal Law; the only Universal law is Logic (recall that Law is the immanent pattern, law is our expression of Law.) Subject to Logic every concept has reference. The Logos is the Universe in all its detail which, though we apparently do not know, we know of; Logic is the concept of the Logos. These are four of the six forms—thus far developed—of the fundamental principle of metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics is ultimate with regard to depth and breadth (the meanings of depth and breadth are explained earlier and further developed in the narrative)

There is one metaphysics that may have alternate formulations and be developed in greater or lesser degree. One dimension of degree of development is extent. The Universal metaphysics encompasses Universe and Void and cannot be exceeded in extent. Any particular development of detail can necessarily be exceeded in detail by another development

Since there is one metaphysics, in the phases ‘the Universal metaphysics’ or ‘the metaphysics’ the descriptive words ‘the’ and ‘Universal’ are redundant. Since there is one metaphysics, the description that it is ‘ultimate with regard to depth and breadth’ is redundant. What is ultimate just is; it appears ultimate to prior abortive attempts in which the abortion is perhaps due to giving up as a result of loss of nerve or being too impressed by lesser achievement. When I use the descriptor immense it is perhaps a relative term and I could call the metaphysics ordinary and prior metaphysics not metaphysics at all. I am all too aware of these points and of the serendipitous aspect of the development of the metaphysics. Therefore, the simple term metaphysics may be used instead of the Universal metaphysics; however, the descriptors bring out what would otherwise be implicit

The reader may formulate an idea of the immense variety and magnitude of the consequences of the development by perusing the contents of the narrative. Here I mention a few of those consequences

From the development of the metaphysics—metaphysics is possible

The Universal metaphysics is instrumental in the resolution of an entire catalog of problems of classical through recent metaphysics. These include the problems of mind and body, the nature of general and personal identity, the problem of substance—there can be no fundamental substance, the fundamental problem of metaphysics (so called by Heidegger) of why there is something rather than nothing

In the narrative there are developed powerful enhancements to the concept of method in metaphysics and science. In metaphysics, the foundation in intuition and abstraction and the necessity of the conclusions. In science and other local disciplines, the metaphysics and disciplinary review encourage approach to the intrinsic limits of the disciplines. In science, two complementary views of the nature of its laws and theories—as hypothetical with regard to the Universe or as factual to some limited domain (the factual aspect shows that the theoretical or hypothetical aspect is not empty of fact and dismisses the notion of the great theories are ‘mere theories’)

There are consequences for the relation between metaphysics and science. As seen earlier, science and the Universal metaphysics are not incompatible. Perhaps the primary distinction between the practices of science and metaphysics is that metaphysics proper avoids the detail that makes science tentative, approximate, and of immediate practical use; and that in avoiding this detail metaphysics is perfectly faithful (depth) and, in turn, demonstrative of unending variety of which local science is an approximate illustration. Allowing approximation, local science—the science of our cosmos—may be seen as a chapter or atom of metaphysics

The reader may refer forward to discussions of variety to see the immense variety of being revealed by the metaphysics. Here is a sample of variety. Every individual will experience Universal Identity; there is no ultimate Universal Identity but instead an unending variety of such Identity; and thus being is engaged in an unending adventure

Metaphysics and Logic are identical. In the literature, this has been remarked before; but nowhere has it been seen as clearly; and nowhere has it been shown that the variety of facts allowed under Logic is without limit; or that herein lies a definition of Logic so that facts and logics are in dual discovery. The consequences for the concept of Logic and the nature of the logics are immense. The logics are empirical though, perhaps, distinguished by having a high order of certainty

The consequences for religion and the concept of religion are immense. At outset of this brief discussion of the consequences it is allowed that the stories of religion and myth which may seem absurd when taken literally may still have powerful meaning for the human psyche, i.e. the internal dimensions of spirit. And it is of course allowed that traditional religion has social bonding and ethical dimensions. But the principle of variety shows that subject to the minimal requirements of Logic, the stories are realized somewhere. This does not imply they are realized here; and it may be argued that the absurdity of those stories that are absurd as literal implies that they are immensely improbable anywhere. The real consequences for religion are as follows. There is no distinction between world and spirit. The only distinction is perhaps between what is seen and unseen; what is actual and what is to be realized; between a limited concept of matter and a final concept of matter in which it is not other than being; between a distinction of the immediate as practical and the ultimate as pertaining only to (spiritual) psyche and the lack of such distinction… And religion and spiritual search are in their perhaps ultimate form an unending adventure through variety with peaks and dissolutions through pain without seeking pain and through peak or nirvanic experience without final nirvana and without exclusive emphasis on moments or phases of inclusiveness. The essential disservice of much dogma is the abortion of this endless experiment. True religion may include an understanding of this situation coupled with ongoing experiment perhaps illustrated and illuminates by great imagination in story, art, and ritual and guided by the metaphysics

Perhaps the greatest implication of the metaphysics is demonstration of what we know. This appears to upset established attitudes to metaphysics—that metaphysics is impossible because what we know can only be in experience (to be true the claim should perhaps allow ‘experience’ to include evolution.) We have not actually upset this attitude but, rather, shown the true breadth of experience via intuition, abstraction and the analysis of experience

The outlines of the remaining sections add to these consequences

Objects

Enabled by the metaphysics the chapter first completes the concept of the Object that was begun in Intuition. The general Object is a dual construct, primarily due to the knower, at the intersection of knower and known. Thus the notion of Object is somewhat removed from the common notion of thing. There is, in general, a limit beyond which Objecthood cannot further approach what we think of as objectivity—i.e. being of the thing. However, if this is in principle not possible it cannot be reasonably desirable. In the practical case, knowledge may be sufficiently precise; and there are cases, especially in physical science, where precision and accuracy are good beyond expectation. There is, however, a class of necessary Objects for which knowledge is perfectly faithful—there is a thing and the knowledge is of the thing. The necessary Objects form the foundation of metaphysics. When the set of necessary Objects is ‘universal’ the result is the Universal metaphysics

The second accomplishment of the chapter is to shed light on the kinds of Object. Perhaps the main division is particular versus abstract. It is shown that while this distinction is practical it is not essential. The distinction is according to mode of study—symbolic versus empirical. The same Object may be empirical at one phase of study, symbolic at another, and mixed at a third. The principle of reference developed in Metaphysics which is one form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics is instrumental in bridging the divide between abstract and particular. Under the particular Objects, there is found to be practical but no essential distinction among concrete things such as bricks, perhaps less than concrete things such as processes and interactions, and seemingly non-concrete things such as ideas and instances of redness. The principle of reference enables an extremely satisfactory treatment of mathematical and logical Objects, values, and universals such as the property of redness

The unified conception of Objects just discussed shows and reaffirms that there is one Universe or World. We may conceive multiple worlds such as a world of material Objects, a world of mental Objects and a world of ideal Forms. However, all Objects lie in the Universe and there is no need for another world of Forms. There are Forms; they are not seen to be particularly important; and they are in the same World / Universe as bricks as are numbers and so on

A result of the unification of Objects adds immensely to the variety of essentially real Objects shown in Metaphysics and further developed in Cosmology

As a secondary topic in Cosmology we will look at the idea of an individual inhabiting what are thought of as abstract Objects. The idea is interesting but a clear notion of what it would be like and whether it would be ‘useful’ has not been developed. The development may be conceptual and experimental

Cosmology

The topic of this chapter is general cosmology or, simply, cosmology provided that cosmology is not conflated with physical cosmology. The cosmological topics studied in Cosmology are those that are metaphysical—i.e. those that may be suggested by our direct knowledge of the Universe but studied at a level at which there is perfect faithfulness

The first section of Cosmology, The concept and principles of cosmology, introduces cosmology as the study of the variety of being. Direct study of the Universe and imagination are sources of ideas regarding variety. The main principles are the already established principles of variety and of reference which are forms of the fundamental principle of metaphysics. From Objects we have seen that this includes interaction and process

The next two sections, Variety and its origins and Process are general in nature. In Variety, the topics A variety, Exploring Objects via the categories of intuition, Inhabiting abstract Objects, and Origins of variety and structure have novelty. Process first shows the necessity of process—a Universe without process is impossible (without extension there can be no being of any significance.) Special topics are Mechanism and indeterminism, Evolution, Causation, and Dynamics. It is necessary that the special kinds of process should obtain in phases of the Universe but they cannot be Universal

Cosmology then looks at the relatively specialized topics of Mind; Identity and death; and Space, time and being. Mind looks at mind in general; human / animal mind is taken up later in Worlds. Deployment of the Universal metaphysics permits and encourages a general treatment of these topics at a root level and that is not limited by the scientific treatment of the topics. Details are left for the development; following are some points of interest. It is remarkable that the following assertions are demonstrated. A unified study of mind is possible in terms of a single primitive kind (experience) and its elaboration; this enables a satisfactory treatment of the question of the dimensions of mind, of mind and consciousness and of free will; resolutions of well known problems in these areas are given. A current view of mind is that it has experience, attitude, and action as its ‘dimensions;’ here it is shown that experience is primary while attitude and action are derivative. If being is what is there, mind is seen as relation between ‘what is here’ and ‘what is there;’ thus even if mind or matter are fundamental, Spinoza’s claim that there could be other such attributes is shown false (there may of course be kinds of matter and kinds of mind.) Although neither mind nor matter as we know them is fundamental, mind can go to the root of being. The study of identity explores the relation between individual and universal identity; the individual will experience universal identities of higher and higher forms without limit; all forms dissolve; birth and death are among the gateways to identity and Identity. Analysis of origin and dissolution of cosmological systems suggests some preservation of identity across singularities

Some notes on mind. The discussion of mind is important (1) as our window on being—it is where the knowing world coalesces as unity, and (2) because it is taken to a fundamental level at which we are able to arrive at clarification of the nature of mind and resolve a number of the fundamental problems of mind. The discussion of mind in Cosmology is general; details of the aspects and organization of human and animal mind is taken up in chapter Worlds. In order to not let the length of discussion out of hand I will avoid analysis but simply say that the development in Cosmology uses analysis of explanation and meaning in light of the Universal metaphysics to discover and invent the nature of mind which then enables determination of what phenomena are mental, and definitive discussion of important topics, especially of consciousness and free will where it becomes possible to resolve the classic issues associated with these topics—especially those of nature of mind, mind-body, mental causation, identity, and free will

Some notes on space, time and being. This section develops the nature of space and time in the context of the Universe. Space and time are founded in the necessary concepts of extension and duration which are interwoven. Space and time are found to be non universal and relative (immanent in being rather than a framework for being.) It is shown however that space and time may be locally as-if absolute (form a local framework for being.) In our cosmos there appears a well defined space-time manifold (which perhaps breaks down at very small lengths.) In the Universal case there is much more freedom including multiple times, there is no universal space and time, no single universal signal or ‘light’ speed. A cosmos may effectively have a global space-time continuum, a dominant time, a single fundamental signal speed; but that is not the universal case

The considerations on extension and duration are applied to discuss ‘island cosmoses’ as islands of strong interaction with weak interactions with other cosmological systems; to the conveyance of information across birth and death of cosmoses; to the emergence of dominant times and signal speeds; to the incomplete loss of information for individuals across ‘death’ of person and cosmos

Worlds

The final chapter for the ideas is Worlds. The subject is the study of our local world (cosmos) for its intrinsic interest and as a set of examples of the study of a local world. Worlds provides a platform for the journey

The approach, outlined earlier, is an intersection of the Universal metaphysics with its method and the local (e.g. academic) disciplines and their methods. The approach is capable of enhancing knowledge to the intrinsic limit of the discipline and is not a true limit in so far as what is approached is the degree of definiteness of the Objects. On the side of the disciplines, the method includes search for elements and kinds that, via conceptual experiment and comparison with experience and actual experiment, approach the intrinsic limit. This is not new except perhaps in the freedom that is recognized in the selection of the elements. On a model of being that includes extension, duration, and relation or interaction, the element kinds may include unit entities, unit processes, unit interactions, relationships among these; search for mode of explanation and description. Naturally, there must be some continuity with the elements of previous thought, first since those elements provide some validity and, second, because they are sources of imagination. The topics are local (physical) cosmology which is treated briefly; life and organism which is brief; an extensive study of human being which emphasizes human mind and whose interest is intrinsic as well as that of platform for the transformations; society which focuses on the institution and a variety of institutions—economic and so on… and on the foundation of such study; civilization as such and as a repeated networked structure over the Universe which is of course necessary inference rather than manifest fact; and the human endeavor and its normal limits. The latter section is an elaboration and demonstration of the earlier observation that the cumulative tradition does not specify a shape and size and variety for the Universe but instead specifies a range from Cosmos to Logos

Second part: The Transformations

The transformations are the heart of the journey. Development of Ideas is a necessary but incomplete mode of transformation. Completeness requires transformation of the whole being. This essential phase of the journey is a search for ultimate realization founded in the interacting elements—experience, tradition, and ideas, especially the Universal metaphysics and the study of the local world

Although I aim at a high level of realization I do not know what I will achieve (in ‘this form.’) Note that there is no highest but only higher realizations

The transformations are discussed in the chapters Journey and Being.

Journey has five sections

The section A journey in being elaborates the dimensions and clarifies the nature of the journey

Method whose title should perhaps be Approach, focuses on approaches to realization; its bases are my experience and the traditions—e.g. psychoanalysis, meditation, shamanism, and Yoga, which are developed in light of the Universal metaphysics, imagination, and experiment

The transformations, describes a minimal set of transformations toward realization of ultimate Identity; the way is incremental and rooted in the immediate world; it encourages adventure and enjoyment of process

This is the essential phase of realization as a process

The transformations are not as mature as the ideas. In comparison to the potential, the transformations are not well developed. However, the development is not insignificant even when ideas as transformation are omitted from consideration. Some areas of interest that in which I have had some success are in Identity, personality, and charisma; Dynamics of the mental functions; and Body, healing and medicine

Additionally and significantly, my travels in nature have been a form of spiritual journey in which I learn from special places and which form inspiration for my life and ideas

It may be useful give the reader a preview of what I mean by ‘spiritual journey.’ Interpretations of the spiritual include (1) a literal but remote and in some sense higher dimension and (2) an indirect map and guide for the realms of the psyche. From the Universal metaphysics, there is but one realm; experience is connection of individual with the world which includes the individual; the literal—but not the absurd, and the exploration of world and psyche may coalesce in a journey. In that meaning is provided in psyche, a journey may be called spiritual

If—in this form and life—I am limited to one mode of transformation it will be a dual journey through experience and world and in meaning in the sense of significance

Investigation…, describes four areas of investigation that are auxiliary to the journey and may also be of general interest

In the final section, The future, I describe hopes for my future as a finite being

The next chapter, Being, complements Journey. Journey is about realization as a process; Being describes a phase of realization in the present—one that will complement my experiments in process. The two sections of Being, History and Pure being, correspond to two approaches to realization in the present. The first section employs history as a tool to appreciate the present; the second section, Pure being, is a mode of living in the present as realization

Third part: Method

The foci of the narrative are knowledge and transformation and ‘method’ translates roughly as the ‘how’ of these endeavors. Methods for transformation depend significantly on the discussion of method for knowledge. Therefore the primary concern is method in relation to knowledge

In a school setting a teacher may instruct a pupil on how to do a problem in algebra. However, at the forefront of ideas, in negotiating the unknown, there is no universal teacher, and there can be no algorithm for discovery. That would be rather like ‘how to do what we do not know how to do.’ Still, the unknown has been encountered before and some general thoughts on discovery and justification may be received from the tradition and enhanced by reflection on experience

Further, the critical position of this narrative is non-essentialist with regard to knowledge and method. In general the concept is not perfectly faithful to an Object; in general Objects are indistinctly identified; in general establishing the nature of the Object and the connection to it of the subject is tenuous. Non-essentialism in this context allows that some Objects shall be perfectly defined and be known perfectly by appropriate concepts and that there shall be a definite method for establishing the connection of concept to Object; the Universal metaphysics provides an important example. Science and everyday practical knowledge do not generally provide examples even when immensely precise in their domains of validity

Consequently, the development of the narrative has strong implications for method in relation to metaphysics. The narrative also develops secondary (and other) implications for method in relation to a variety of disciplines. Articulation of these developments is the primary aim of the part on method. An Introduction elaborates these purposes and discusses relations among the present development and method in the history of thought. This Introduction also points out that development of knowledge is both creative and critical and therefore canonically involves two phases: discovery and justification (later discussion takes up interactions of the phases and whether, when, and to what degree they may be separable.) The following paragraphs outline the remaining chapters of this part

Knowledge and its nature is preliminary to discussion of method. If we properly identify the sources of knowledge then a discussion of method may be conducted in terms of these sources. This chapter identifies kinds of knowledge, the kinds of interest here, and the sources of such knowledge. The kind of knowledge is, roughly, conceptual (in the sense of mental content) and the sources are observation and inference. It is remarkable that these sources are not posited ad hoc but had been earlier established being in and completing the nature of knowing

Elements of method takes up discovery and justification in relation to both observation (and experience and experiment) and inference (induction and deduction.) There are of course going to be differences of criteria of and approach to justification and relative emphasis of experiment, induction, and deduction among disciplines. However, the prior analysis of knowledge and its sources sets up a connected approach to development of knowledge in a variety of fields. This chapter shows develops the general theme of mutual implications among method / approach for the Universal metaphysics and other disciplines, emphasizing those disciplines in which knowledge of the Objects is not perfectly faithful. Reflexivity is a ‘practice’ that, on looking back, I found to have been immensely useful in the development of my ideas (and in the journey.) A final section on Faith, hypothesis and action is concerned with attitudes that are conducive to effective action and living in presence of illuminating ideas that, though not paradoxical, are neither complete nor certain

A section, Themes, collects some thoughts on aspects of method that may benefit from synthesis, elaboration, or illustration

In Implications for the tradition develops consequences of the method of the metaphysics for a variety of disciplines and human endeavors. These developments are significantly enhanced by reflection on the disciplines themselves. For example, implications for science and philosophy are prefaced by reflection on science and philosophy where I find agreement and dissent in relation to received notions of the nature of these disciplines and their activity. I have not limited discussion to activities that strictly fall under knowledge. Art is one such activity and I should add that I do not consider myself to be knowledgeable in the field of art criticism. I have undertaken reflection on art more to learn about the notion of method (and perhaps a little regarding art) than to suggest that there is a method for art or to make a contribution to criticism

An auxiliary part: Meta-tools or Guide and Reference

The two chapters of the Guide are Contribution, and Reference. This Introduction may be considered to be part of the Guide

It may be of interest for readers to know to what extent common as well as academic views are affected—to what extent the views are broadened. Contribution paints a broad picture of what is accomplished and what is potential, shows the reader what is new, and the relation to the tradition; this chapter invites the reader to enter into adventure

Contribution is an attempt to assess and state the contributions of the essay—its topics are (1) Criteria for significance; (2) Major contributions in epistemology, metaphysics, theory of Objects, cosmology, the destiny of humankind, and method; (3) Significance for the history of ideas with focus on philosophy and metaphysics which necessarily includes revaluation of the nature of philosophy and metaphysics in the light of the Universal metaphysics and what that entails for an assessment of the state of modern and current philosophy, the problems of metaphysics, method, and systematic classification of human knowledge; and (4) Significance for the academic disciplines; and Potential contributions

Contribution is not a mere list of topics that I believe may be contributions to thought. It briefly looks at criteria for significance which recognizes limits to evaluation—especially to evaluation of one’s own work. It provides reasons for thinking that the listed topics are contributions and it evaluates the significance of the contributions (assessments of the contribution are also found in the main narrative.) In discussing contributions to philosophy and metaphysics, the narrative assesses the nature of philosophy and metaphysics with reference to the history of the disciplines and the Universal metaphysics. The Universal metaphysics entails modifications to any systematic classification of knowledge and such modifications are incorporated into an explicit outline

Reference has the following parts (1) A list of writers (thinkers) whose ideas I recognize as having influenced my thought (2) An index of concepts and names, and (3) Experience—a section on creating a net of experience similar to the experience behind the narrative

For the reader

The audience

The journey is undertaken in light of a view of the world developed primarily in the chapter Metaphysics. This development occurred quite after the ‘beginning’ but is pivotal in understanding the journey as it is and as it is conceived today and, perhaps, in what is close to its final conception. This view, the Universal metaphysics, demonstrated in Metaphysics, reveals the Universe as immensely greater than commonly revealed in the traditions of knowledge—and assertions of knowledge—including science, reason, and religion. The reader cannot be expected to accept these claims regarding the Universal metaphysics at present—demonstration is provided later in Metaphysics. However, the reader should know that these claims are made and are claimed to have been demonstrated and that the world view that emerges illuminates and guides the journey. Having this awareness is the primary prerequisite for the general reader. It is expected that some general readers will have an interest in the journey. The narrative does have some rather technical developments but these are functional: they provide confidence as well as tools for the journey. The only real requisite in following the technical parts is time and determination. The view of the world that is developed here includes what is valid in the common traditional views—including religious and scientific world views—but is vastly more inclusive than them. The Introduction provides a preview so that the reader does not suffer the confusion of expecting a variation of common approaches and so that he or she is able to maintain orientation while reading detail and demonstration. But it is not expected that every interested reader shall or thought that such readers should be interested in demonstration and detail. The narrative provides a thread of general thematic comments that may assist readers to understand what is essential to the development without have to read proofs

There is much of interest to specialist readers—especially in metaphysics, cosmology, epistemology, and logic. The development addresses fundamental issues of these disciplines as well as special problems. The treatment of metaphysics is especially broad and deep—it is shown that the Universal metaphysics is ultimate in depth and breadth (the meaning of the phrase ‘ultimate in depth and breadth’ is clarified in the narrative.) An entire catalog of classical through recent problems of metaphysics is resolved. There is also material of interest to researchers in the natural and social sciences and to makers of policy. Regarding prerequisite, what holds for the general reader is true for the specialist

On meaning

The great importance of being clear about linguistic meaning was emphasized in the section Development of the metaphysics. The chosen meaning of the terms was essential to the development. Many concepts that are important to the development in this essay are designated by common words whose general use is not fixed. The same term has different meaning in different contexts (the statement that a term has the same meaning in different contexts requires that the contexts should have sufficient similarity.) Context varies over time and within a society within a common natural language over a variety of localized and specialist cultures. These uses are insufficient to fix the meanings of the terms of the metaphysics. Therefore, it will be helpful to the reader to pay careful attention to the use of the concept-terms in this essay. Because the metaphysics is new, its terms and structure embody a new language; because the metaphysics is ultimate, the language is ultimate in certain directions. Naturally, since the metaphysics has basis in experience and since it intersects the world of experience, its language intersects common language and is also naturally dependent on the inspiration of common language within which the metaphysics lies dormant and implicit but whose bringing to surface requires seeing as much as invention

The Universal metaphysics is an articulated and coherent system. It is not a collection of terms thrown together (the articulation and coherence as well as meaning arose through experiment.) Therefore, meaning lies not only in the individual terms but in their interrelations; meaning lies in the metaphysics as a whole system. The absorption of this meaning will not occur at once but by degree; the path to building the whole (the Gestalt) is likely to be incremental. Therefore readers will benefit by allowing themselves patience. The case is not different from that of any significant development—the art student does not be become a mature artist in a moment, the student of calculus requires time and experience to absorb and understand the concepts of calculus and their application

Specialists face a further challenge in that (a) they may need to reeducate themselves in a new system that is broader than extant systems without contradicting what is valid in those systems, (b) old terms, technical and common, are used with new meaning and which are often significantly different from the old; and hesitation to accept the new meanings will impede understanding. New words could have been coined, but that is often sterile. There is no logical conflict with altered meaning for, formally, all meaning may be regarded as relative to a context. Alternatively, a given sign with multiple meanings may be regarded as multiple symbols. Many meanings of the narrative refer to the Universe and therefore have a certain universality which is not given, however, to extend to the details of particular contexts. As far as possible the new meanings are reasonable extensions of older meanings; the narrative argues that the new meanings have sense and mutual coherence, and that the new system or view of being and the variety of being subsumes what is valid in prior thought. Finally, I repeat an earlier caution in emphatic form: since many meanings are immensely altered in sense and expanded in reference, the reader who does not pay attention to this fact may read through the entire narrative without seeing the greater Universe that is discovered herein

I. IDEAS

Intuition

Knowledge

Significance

1.            Knowledge. Knowledge is an instrument of negotiation and transformation of the world; knowledge enables appreciation of the Universe. The nature of knowledge and some of its kinds are discussed in what follows. It is not inherent in the idea of knowledge that it is a perfect instrument; or that it lacks any perfection at all. An individual may have and a culture may share knowledge of the world. The knowledge possessed by the individual may be in intuition in a sense discussed in the next section, Intuition. Knowledge in intuition is not essentially symbolic or linguistic but may be so expressed. Additionally, there is a cultural store of knowledge, expressed primarily in language and related symbolic forms, and this store may become available to individuals, to the culture and to other cultures

2.            The extent of knowledge. The traditions of mankind include stores of knowledge of various kinds. Science is a significant repository of knowledge for our civilization; and all of technology, art, music, religion, myth, and literature may be seen as embodying certain kinds of knowing. Although it is a less than primary objective, this narrative includes a discussion of the range of human knowledge via the development of ideas; and there is a very brief wide angle view of the scope of human knowledge in chapter Contribution, section A system of human knowledge.

3.            A worldview from the sum of human knowledge. The sum of human knowledge, i.e. from the histories of all traditions, does not define a coherent picture. However, a little reasoning applied to the traditions enables the extraction of such a picture. The questions of interest here are What is the view of the Universe as a whole provided by such an extraction? Is there a single picture? The common view within most cultures is, even if we do not know the details, the cultural view provides a single picture. However, this is not true. We might look at the picture of our cosmos from modern science—here we see a single cosmos that began in a singularity (big-bang) and perhaps a collection of such systems that are causally isolated. There is good though not perfect evidence for the singularity; but there is little to no direct evidence for the causally isolated systems. These systems are hypothesized because our cosmos has very special properties that may be seen as reasonable if very many such systems are postulated; then our cosmos just happens to be the one that has the ‘special’ properties. A little imagination applied to our cosmos shows that the view is far from necessary from the evidence: far from home the space-time continuum may well billow out into an infinity; science has not ruled out other cosmological systems floating through ours with infinitesimal interaction with ours; and at these edges the speed of light need not be unitary—there can be more than one—or fixed by our light speed. These imagined examples are not hypothesized; it is merely claimed that they are not inconsistent with science. Further, they are not necessary but simple aids to imagination. For, the Scottish philosopher, David Hume, already showed in his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, of 1748, that while the inductions—i.e. generalizations from data sets via hypotheses to theories—of science may be the best knowledge available, there is no necessity to them. If we call the scientific world view Cosmos and we call Logos the maximal view of the Universe that is consistent with Cosmos then what science implies is that the Universe lies somewhere between Cosmos and Logos… and, in so far as a coherent system can be extracted from the human tradition of knowledge, the same conclusion holds. Now, even if the reader agrees with this conclusion, he or she may be wondering—Of what use is it? Surely, the reader may think, it is knowledge of the ‘world’ that we know exists and its structure that is useful rather than ‘knowledge’ of worlds that may exist. The importance of the conclusion is that it may open up our minds so that if it is at some later time shown that the Universe is much larger than Cosmos, we will not fall back on the argument that what has been demonstrated is inconsistent with the science of today… with the sum of the human traditions of knowledge. That conclusion is still rather on the speculative side and therefore I should reassure the reader that the present exercise in the stretching of imagination and perhaps even of credulity shall not be in vain for it will be shown in Metaphysics that the Universe is Logos as defined above

Nature of knowledge: replica or correspondence view

Knowing that

Replica or correspondence view

4.            Replica or correspondence view. Here, a correspondence view of knowledge is adopted and will be placed in a context that is adequate to general understanding of knowledge and to its use in the narrative. The naïve correspondence view is that the individual has an idea that is a replica of the known Object. It is not inherent in the view that the ‘replica’ is precise or that if, for example, the Object should be geometrical the replica will be geometrical. The correspondence may be rough and there is no inherence in the view that any part of the range from no correspondence to perfect correspondence is ruled out. Initially, therefore, ‘replica’ may be regarded as suggestive or metaphorical; this should not be problematic; a vocabulary is being set up; the vocabulary will enable a literal metaphysics of immense power; and the metaphysics may clarify and literalize the vocabulary… This naïve view will be criticized and improved; the critiques will be drawn from the history of thought and enhanced by further reflection. The result will be a realm of perfect correspondence, another realm of sufficient correspondence or faithfulness, a realm where correspondence may perhaps be found, and a realm where correspondence may be without possibility or significance and which is a realm of action that may be undertaken for the quality rather than certainty of outcome. The replica may receive the formal label CONCEPT as explained below; the CONCEPT will refer to the replica as an object as well as to the subject side or experience

Concepts

5.            Concepts. ‘Concept’ has two meanings that are used in this narrative. In the first a concept is, roughly, a unit of meaning. This is perhaps the original meaning of concept and received treatment by Aristotle in defining a species by its genus—what it falls under—and differentia or what distinguishes it. Under this family of meaning there are a variety views and therefore no consensus on the concept of concepts—i.e., unit of meaning—and constitution of concepts—e.g., mental representation versus abstract Object. Further, there can be no definitive resolution of the nature of the concept until such notions as ‘mental representation’ and ‘abstract Object’ are clarified; and it is endemic to any piece-meal approach, e.g. that of analytic and of post-modern philosophy, that such clarification will not be forthcoming. The Universal metaphysics developed and demonstrated in Metaphysics enables both clarification and diffusion of the unnecessary distinction of mental representation versus abstract Object; the clarification and unification of this first family of meanings of the concept is completed in Objects. The second and more recent use of ‘concept’ is that of mental content; thus cognitions, dreams, emotions, experiences without immediate Objects, and intentions and mental states that are part of the constitution of action states are all conceptual in this second meaning. It is clear that in this use not every concept has an Object; later, conditions for having an Object will be developed. This second meaning is used formally in this narrative and therefore the sign CONCEPT will be used here for mental content; the first meaning is used less formally and is designated in the usual way—i.e., concept. Every concept may be a CONCEPT; however, the form CONCEPT will be used for a unit of meaning only when it is desired emphasize that it is also mental content

The elements of the correspondence view: Word, CONCEPT and Object

Importance of separation

6.            Word, CONCEPT, and Object. Some CONCEPTS correspond to Objects. Words evoke CONCEPTS and when the CONCEPT refers to an Object, the word may evoke both CONCEPT and Object. A word may have multiple meanings or uses: this is sometimes formally expressed by saying that though there is one word there are multiple symbols. Therefore it is sometimes important to distinguish word, CONCEPT, and Object. Such distinction will be immensely important in this narrative

Conflation and magic

7.            Conflation and magic. In everyday use it is typically efficient to conflate words, CONCEPTS and Objects. This efficient use is natural: a word evokes an image, an idea, an action; the philosophical distinction would be practically burdensome. The conflation is also a source of the magical: a word evokes a world of wonder; an orator may move a crowd or a nation to action. The conflation is a part of the natural psychology of language, and the occasional confusions arising out of it are perhaps balanced by its magic and efficiency. The exquisite human sensitivity to context minimizes such confusion

Mind and symbol

8.            Mind and symbol. The written word appears to be neat in comparison to mental content and there can be no doubt regarding the power of, e.g. Euclid’s Geometry. Does the proper nature of knowledge and reason lie in the analysis of mental content or in symbolic representations? The development of symbolic representation is of immense importance in the twin development of knowledge and its and inter and cross generational communication. However, it will be seen in Objects that there is no essential distinction between mental content and symbolic representation: putative distinctions are based in confusions regarding the nature of mental content; and some such distinctions are due to the unduly special—different rather than superior—status we instinctively assign to experience. It may be said that mental content has been understood in confused terms due to vagueness in its symbolic representation

Nature of the Object

9.            Nature of the Object. For knowledge to be useful we would expect faithfulness to its Object. The CONCEPT is not the Object and therefore faithfulness of the CONCEPT cannot be a priori to analysis. The Object as cognized—and there is no ultimate going beyond cognition—is a joint product of knower and known and there is therefore nothing inherent in the Object that guarantees faithfulness, perfect or otherwise, or even that faithfulness should have a meaning, explicit or implicit. For example, one sees a block in the shape of a cube and thinks that is a cube; but is the cubical shape inherent in the block? Common sense may suggest of course the block is cubical. However, even if we did not know of limits to inherent forms of space and time, we would still know that since shape is not entirely of the thing-itself, there may be some error or distortion in the perception. That kind of lack of faithfulness concerns the framework of cognition; there are versions of it in the thought of Plato and Kant. There is another lack of faithfulness that concerns the character of the ‘thing:’ Even when we see a surface as smooth we know that the apparent smoothness is a result of the fact that visual resolution is coarser than the particulate graininess; later we will see that there is always a cosmos within every element of being. Perhaps, though, any distortion in shape is small and any unperceived graininess is not relevant to at least some practical purposes. It may then be asked why there should be an interest in perfect faithfulness! The response may be as follows. Practically, for example, the small error in a precise law science can be enormously magnified in application to complex systems or long term prediction. Aesthetically—in terms of our being in the Universe—we might like to know the real nature of the world; and such insight may be ‘spiritually’ as well as practically empowering (and this will turn out to be the case… the practical and the aesthetic are not entirely distinct even if we desire to distinguish them.) However, it remains open that while remaining within cognition, there may be some means of showing the meaning and fact of perfect faithfulness—at least for some Objects: familiarity with error, distortion, illusion, and the incompleteness of science reminds us that there is no faithfulness in general. In summary, that the CONCEPT is not the Object allows that claims to knowledge may range from absence of faithfulness to perfect faithfulness

10.        A preliminary critique of knowledge of the Object. In this narrative a critique will be a criticism and a response. There is a naïve tendency to all or nothing responses. However we find, as has been found in the history of thought, that the response will come in grades, i.e. that certain ‘Objects’ may allow no CONCEPT and that the disallowance may be contingent or necessary, that other Objects may have a sufficiently good concept, that yet others may have a very precise concept without achieving perfect faithfulness, and that perhaps some Objects will be known perfectly; examples follow. We negotiate the world with some success—there is adaptation between knower and known—and therefore there must be some at least implicit and likely imperfect faithfulness that is sufficient for some purposes: a faithfulness even of perhaps surprisingly good precision as in the visual perception of some things. And there is often an amazingly high precision and or astonishing conceptual understanding in some areas of science. Of course, there could be some super-being pulling strings behind the scene so that we are deceived into thinking that we know but not only is this explanation more fantastic than the direct one, this kind of explanation will later be logically discounted. From the discussion so far—on account of the gap between knower and known and especially on account of the imperfect faithfulness of the most precise science—it is sometimes rapidly concluded that there is no perfect knowledge even allowing for high precision in some domains. The conclusion is not valid and the most that can be concluded is that so far there has been no demonstration of perfect faithfulness. While examples of sufficient and good faithfulness have been seen, further search and analysis will be required to establish perfect faithfulness for any Objects

11.        Possibility versus Impossibility of perfect knowledge. What has been said so far in the previous paragraph amounts to some criticism of the possibility and meaning of faithfulness. It is important to be clear regarding critical thought. An analysis of one approach to faithfulness is closed. In general the CONCEPT as ‘objective’ was found wanting. However, this does not imply that there can be no approach to the meaning of the Objective as objective at least for some Objects; and it does not mean that no Objects can be known faithfully. Therefore the criticism amounts to a doubt about the possibility of any perfect knowledge and not to an assertion that there can be no perfect knowledge or that there can be no demonstration of such knowledge. The point is crucial in two ways. First, in this chapter such perfect knowledge will be demonstrated for a class of important Objects; this will found Metaphysics through Cosmology and will provide partial foundation for Worlds. Second, critical theorists often assert the impossibility of certain kinds of knowing when what has been done is to either show that certain approaches are either unviable or doubtful (and of course the practical conclusion should not then be that the knowing in question cannot be used at all but should not be regarded as certain or used if certainty is necessary until a satisfactory approach to demonstration of certainty has been found.) It has been seen that the attempt to go outside cognition to some absolute foundation is doomed to failure (unless some God were to inform us otherwise and we can count this out because we would then want to understand how the God could have this perfect knowledge and if we could understand that we would not need the actual God)

12.        Reflections from quantum theory. Quantum mechanics is commonly thought via the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to demonstrate the impossibility precise measurement of conjugate variables—e.g., position and momentum of a particle. In this chapter and in Metaphysics we will see that the domain of all physical science must be extremely limited (the arguments will be of a different character than the arguments made in science by some scientists and philosophers that the lack of coherence to the conceptual character of quantum theory imply that it cannot be final.) However, even allowing quantum mechanics, the greatest negative conclusion that the uncertainty principle allows is the impossibility of complete perfect knowledge in the realm that quantum theory is applicable: still perfect knowledge of position or momentum is allowed. But even this conclusion is open to question because it is not clear whether there is an uncertainty that pertains to the position and momentum of a point particle or there is a lack of definiteness because the ‘particle’ is not localized. In the latter the uncertainty is not the result of a principle but is in the nature of an inherently non-localized object

13.        CONCEPT as Object. Some philosophies of meaning use the difficulty of separation of CONCEPT and Object to conflate the two. However, it has just been seen that there is a class of Objects for which there is perfect faithfulness; and there are the practical Objects of science and common-everyday-knowing which are known with sufficient faithfulness. Therefore the conflation of CONCEPT and Object is not necessary: it would perhaps be reasonable and useful if disentanglement were absolutely impossible

Framework for knowing: fact and deduction

So far some elements of knowing and knowledge have been considered. Discussion now takes up a framework for knowledge. It is emphasized that the elements and framework are preliminary in that they set up a vocabulary that will the starting point for rigorous development and demonstration of perfect faithfulness for a system of Objects that lie at the foundation of the Universal metaphysics. Since the history of thought has seen a number of knowledge frameworks—in the form of attempted foundation—it is pertinent to ask a particular framework has been chosen and why a certain foundation has been arrived at. For example why not focus on a decomposition of facts into subjects and predicates and the latter into sensations. A part answer is that frameworks have been adopted and rejected or abandoned and it was only when a foundation was found that the search reached some stasis (still however, I continue to have critical doubt and think that perhaps there may be flaws in the demonstration of finality.) It is important to emphasize that the final foundation starts but does not end with ideas from the prior history of thought

Fact or state of affairs

Pattern. Induction and science. Deduction

Pattern as fact. Significance for science: fact and logic

14.        Framework for knowing: fact and deduction. That some state of affairs obtains is a fact. There is no special significance to the decomposition or lack of decomposition of facts: later, subjects, predicates, and facts will be seen to be kinds of Objects. Facts are often perceived or, more generally, cognized as arranged in patterns which may also be seen as facts. Scientific theories may be seen as kinds of patterns that are generalized from data, i.e. facts or collections of facts (in practice the generalization is often indirect, data may suggest laws, which suggest various concepts, which may be articulated in tentative theories that may be disconfirmed or found to have such predictive power that they are generally accepted as describing a domain of phenomena even though later disconfirmation for a larger domain remains possible.) If a scientific theory would claim generality or universality it is then subject to various doubts and criticisms especially of the type that while the theory might be the most obvious or simplest generalization, generalizations are not unique. It has thus come about that one of the most prevalent philosophies of science is that of Karl Popper according to which the criterion for a theory to be scientific is it be testable—Popper’s original term was falsifiable—i.e., that there should be experiments that could falsify a theory even if no finite number of experiments can verify it. However, anyone who has worked with scientific theories knows that there is something factual about the best theories even though any given theory might not project into the future and may be even unlikely to project over expanding experimental or phenomenal domains. In this sense scientific theories are patterns that can be seen as facts—e.g., there is no doubt that Newton’s mechanics has immense precision over many known phenomena even though its phenomenal and temporal domains may be limited. The generalization from data to patterns has been called ‘induction’ and there was a phase in the history of thought that sought a science or method of induction; we now know—it is perhaps safer to say that we now think—that is no method to induction, i.e. that induction involves acts of creation. On the other hand it is often possible to make deductions from a scientific theory, e.g. given Newton’s laws of momentum and of action and reaction the momentum and angular momentum of an isolated system remains constant and the energy of a conservative system, e.g. some systems without friction, remains constant. Deduction is thought to be logical in that conclusions necessarily follow from premises. The narrative will have frequent and significant occasion make critical reference to the ideas of fact (that some state of affairs obtains) and logic—that from some facts, e.g. a fact and a theory seen as a fact, other facts necessarily follow. In this framework the formal role of induction or creativity is suppressed even though it is practically significant and often regarded as having much value. Later, in Metaphysics and as formalized in Method, Logic (the capitalization signifies that a—novel—conception of logic will be introduced) will be seen as a necessary fact and this will reduce all knowing to fact. This surprising conclusion is at odds with common thought, e.g. Wittgenstein regarded logic as having no Object but here Logic will be seen as having the Logos or the Universe in all its detail as its Object, and requires and will be given demonstration and clarification. Until that demonstration, these claims regarding knowing, Logic and Logos will have no definite meaning

Faithfulness

Note that concerns regarding the meaning and possibility of faithfulness have already been addressed

Faithfulness and the Object: categorial divide

Referral to something else—the substance approach to foundation—is not viable

Adaptation and the practical Objects: common knowledge; science and precision

Critique

Recall that in this narrative a critique is a criticism and a response. If a criticism has no response, the object of criticism requires to be dispensed with and given no further consideration. Therefore any criticism that enters the tradition of thought should be part of a critique; at least that should be the case if we were not subject to the folly of repeating errors revealed as egregious

The narrative is now ready to begin formal criticism of the framework for knowing that leads to the Universal metaphysics. It is perhaps necessary to acknowledge and briefly respond to the Humean and the Humanistic critiques. The critiques that are constituted by empiricism and rationalism are significant in that we recognize their concerns and are able to address their concerns by going somewhat around them—by defusing them as does Kant in his transcendental approach. And pragmatism is significant in suggesting a realm in which the significance of concept and Object dissolve in action and transformation

Kant’s critique will be shown—some of the arguments and positions are well known—to fall short of its claims; however there remains a core of insight that has provided some inspiration for the present development. It has taken insight and analysis to see that core; and as a result of the criticisms of Kant’s thought it has been possible to avoid his errors (which are not egregious since identification of the errors depends in part on developments in science that occurred beginning about one hundred and thirty five years after the publication of his Critique of Pure Reason in 1781.) However, it will take further development of the basic ideas and formulation and demonstration of a system before claim can be made, first, to metaphysics at all, and, second, to the Universal metaphysics its constituent claims which will include uniqueness, universality, finality, and ultimate depth and breadth

15.        The criticism of Hume—science versus necessity. Hume’s argument has already been encountered. It’s significance is that in his time, the immense success of science had led to a belief that Newton’s Mechanics and the Geometry of Euclid were necessarily true descriptions of space, time, and cause. Hume did not criticize the usefulness, the precision, or the practical application of these sciences. His argument was that those sciences and their entailments such as the nature of causation were not logical conclusions from data because as generalizations they could not be logical conclusions. Hume’s arguments were of immense significance because of the belief in the necessity of the science of causation and because the now well known limits of that science had not yet been encountered. It is significant that Hume’s argument does not disconfirm science but only claims that it has not been shown to be necessary. It is interesting that the logic of Hume’s argument is agnostic toward miracles defined as phenomena that are exceptions to scientific theory or law or commonly observed behavior; the happening and the non-happening of miracles are consistent with the argument. Hume also makes an argument that since science is the best summation of our experience we should not believe in miracles and that we should at least doubt reports of miracles. It is further interesting that the revelations of a later science would appear miraculous in the stated sense as well as in the sense of wonder. However, the idea of the miracle is imbued with a certain sense of paradox: if a ‘miracle’ is a common event then it is no longer a miracle. The Universal metaphysics will enable address of the question of the miraculous. Response—the necessity of the Universal metaphysics (of any knowledge) will have to not depend on inductive generalization from empirical data. Criticism of Hume’s argument. There is a variety of levels or degrees of detail with which the Universe can be described. Hume’s argument need not apply when the level of detail is within grasp of the powers of mind. Further, it is not inconceivable that a rational argument should show that only a Universe with certain properties could result in the world as we experience it, even Hume’s empirical world; therefore the argument that the conclusions such as the one regarding causation is not logical does not imply that there can be no such logical conclusion

16.        A humanistic critique—the barrenness and alienation of metaphysics and science. Response—the humanistic critique does not apply to the thought of this narrative. Hume’s argument applies to modern science as much as it did to the science of his time: all science so far has practical validity in its domain but lacks demonstration of necessity altogether and lacks demonstration of its application to the entire Universe. Still, the positivist strain of thought that what is not described in science does not exist has a strong influence and it is this positivist interpretation that appears barren. In the absence of another paradigm it is natural to interpret the Universe in terms of the science of the day and from there it is a short if unconscious step to the thought that that interpretation defines the scope of the Universe. However, in an earlier time the same attitude led to a view of the Universe as described by Euclid and Newton; today that view is replaced by one from the thought of Darwin, Einstein, and quantum theory and the thought that today’s physics may be far in kind and not just in fact from any final physics appears to have little influence on prevailing paradigms: the familiar absence of knowledge being taken as knowledge of absence is at play. Now consider metaphysics—from the positivist paradigm, modern thought often eschews metaphysics and when metaphysics is allowed it tends to be bare and skeletal. However, it will be seen that the Universal metaphysics is infinitely rich in variety

17.        Other critiques—there are implicit critiques in empiricism—without experience there is no knowledge; in rationalism—without the ability to have knowledge there is no knowledge; in intuitionism—e.g., without intuition there can be no ability to have knowledge and so the process of knowing is essentially hidden from view; revelation as foundation—human being is incapable of knowledge; constructivism—there is no justification of knowledge for justification and knowing have no intersection; pragmatism—there is no intrinsic truth or justification. The suggestive power of some of the critiques is occasionally deployed in the narrative. However, these critiques neither block nor contribute directly to the developments and there is therefore no logical need for response

The Kantian critiques will be taken up below

Response—approach

No a priori commitment to or against faithfulness

18.        Foundation in the immanent—referral to something else typically something simpler than the Object, e.g. substance is the dominant mode of foundation from the history of thought. Through experimentation with ideas a role for foundation in immanent rather than remote Objects has come to light and been developed. Immanent Objects will found the metaphysics which will therefore not need further foundation in something else—a pertinent question for referential foundation may concern the foundation of the Object to which reference is made, e.g. substance in older metaphysics and a divine Object in religion… and the immanence of intuition and experience will ground the metaphysics in (our) being and (our) being in the Universe

Critique and demonstration in the present narrative

Perhaps the most significant of the critiques above is the essential gap between CONCEPT and Object. As a result of the gap the CONCEPT is not intrinsically known to be faithful to the Object; faithfulness must therefore be referred to another means which however does not escape being tinged by the idea of the concept; there is therefore no perfect faithfulness inherent in the nature of the CONCEPT

Here the argument will be that (1) the fact of an essential gap does not imply absence of faithfulness, (2) the lack of intrinsic knowledge of faithfulness is a broad and plausible statement rather than necessary—for there is no generic statement or exhaustive examination of cases, (3) therefore the critique may suggest but does not show universal or logical absence of faithfulness

19.        An approach to metaphysics. The present approach to metaphysics is worked out below: find Objects so simple that they are known faithfully and sufficiently universal that they are capable of supporting a non-trivial metaphysics. It is remarkable that such a system is found and is capable of supporting the Universal metaphysics of ultimate breadth and depth (the italicized phrase will be given precise meaning and demonstrated.) The approach to the simple Objects will be an abstraction of detail. It is remarkable that abstraction applied to intuition will be part of a method that is empirical and that has rationalist consequences in the metaphysics and pragmatic-empirical elements regarding the traditional disciplines that apply to our world

20.        Framing of the traditional disciplines. It is further remarkable that this metaphysics will frame the traditional knowledge disciplines regarding the local cosmological system and our world in such a way as to enhance elimination of their ad hoc elements and to approach their intrinsic limits of faithfulness

The remaining critiques find a place and suggestive sense within the present approach but do not shake the foundations

Meaning

Meaning, sense, and reference

21.        Meaning, sense, and reference. The relations among word, CONCEPT, and Object provide a neat analysis of meaning. The same word can refer to different ideas. Sometimes the difference is so great that it might be better to use different words and use of the same word may be the result of accident or divergence; at other times the word refers to similar ideas. An example of the latter is the word ‘concept.’ Therefore we cannot invariably talk of the meaning of a word. Even when meanings are similar they may be exclusive or have degrees of exclusivity. Therefore, while the gathering of different meanings may be suggestive, there can be no general distillation to a single meaning. In fact as an isolated sign, a word does not have meaning. It is only in evoking an idea that a word has—becomes associated with—meaning. A CONCEPT has meaning. The CONCEPT is in the mind: that is its sense; and it refers to ‘an’ Object: that is its reference. It was perhaps thus that Frege conceived of meaning in terms of sense and reference. Of course, possession of a CONCEPT does not guarantee that there is or should be a corresponding Object. Therefore clarification may be necessary. But sense and therefore CONCEPTS change according to context; as do Objects. Generally there is vagueness to contexts—they are not altogether clear, they are changing, perhaps growing—and therefore to sense and CONCEPTS. In a precise context, e.g. a mathematical system, there may be some definiteness of sense and therefore of CONCEPTS. The Universal metaphysics will provide at least some definiteness of meaning in the most general of contexts that is the Universe and therefore rather non-contextual. Generally, because of multiple uses, word meanings may be gathered; then a decision as to which meaning or family is pertinent to the situation must be made—all meanings are potentially suggestive but not all are necessarily relevant. At that point clarification of meaning may begin: either by analysis in terms of a formal context or the common context; however it would be in error to derive something from every usage. At some point in analysis it may be possible to say that the meaning of word ‘w’ is that it refers via concept ‘c’ to Object ‘O.’ That may be relatively easy in a formal context but perhaps not so easy in the general context; in vague contexts it may be especially difficult even when there is significance to it

The word pair sense-reference is similar to concept-object, connotation-denotation, and intension-extension

Stability of meaning. Use

22.        Stability of meaning and use. It is probably therefore that Wittgenstein argued that there is—generally—no final arbitration of meaning outside use (and that use is practice in a context which may of course be specific or general.) That should not spell the death of lexicography; rather it implies that lexicography is discovery and communication as much as it is definition; that lexicography aids rather than instructs. These thoughts also have significance for formal contexts for formal contexts may evolve; and even in a given formal context meanings are not determined by fiat but must have gone through a process of adjustment as articulation and coherence emerged. This is especially true of the concepts of the Universal metaphysics

23.        More on the triad of word, concept and Object. The word or sign which may be abstract and the concept may be regarded as constituting the complete concept. In some cases the complete concept may reduce to a concept and in other cases to the bare word, but in all cases there must be some resemblance—implicit if not explicit, implied if not immediate—for recognition. The complete concept must resemble the Object in some sense. Of course there are problems with the idea of the concept resembling the Object (which are not entirely refractory to resolution.) What is meant here, however, may be taken to be that the complete concept (which is an experience) has resemblance to the Object for without some resemblance there can be no recognition (a concept-stem may have no immediate resemblance but it may evoke a concept at a subconscious level that enables recognition thus giving the impression that there is no resemblance.) As an example, you are meeting some friends in the woods see an arrow on the trail and a mile further down see another arrow; both arrows point to a mountain and you conclude that you are to meet at the mountain. This seems to stand against ‘resemblance’ for did either arrow in any way resemble the mountain? Regarding the two arrows as a composite sign, they determine a location—that of the mountain. Thus, if there is resemblance it is not of the topography of the mountain but of its location; but location is an aspect of the mountain and therefore the ‘resemblance’ is partial. But is it resemblance at all? Well, at least the two arrows taken together contain information that enables determination of location. In that information regarding the mountain is contained in the composite sign, it is not too far a stretch to think that there is re-semblance. This point aside however, it remains that absolute abstraction tells nothing; there must always be some relation between complete concept and Object for re-cognition (which does not seem to need to be a physical relation or an intention but should perhaps be sufficient to create or re-create an intention.) In figurative meaning, the association is tenuous. No that is not quite correct; we are ‘wired’ for figurative meaning, we make large connections out of something partial and subtle; it is the analysis of figurative meaning that makes it seem tenuous, not the figurative association itself (the strong connection may require enculturation and so on  but it is true that we have the capacity for such enculturation whereas a cat probably has at most little of the human kind of enculturation and a stone has not any)

In some cases there may be no present or immediate Object. In this case there is the sign and the concept—or, simply, the (complete) concept—or pure experience. Such concepts may have potential Objects—i.e., Objects that exist but are not yet discovered or Objects that may come into existence; the already existing Objects may be regarded as Objects of the concept in the sense that there is ‘resemblance’ but not in the sense of connection or intention

24.        Associations are not fixed—no substance theory for Objects. Objects are not ‘things;’ but include states, processes, interactions; and ‘abstract’ Objects. Many Objects change over time. The ‘reference’ of a concept is doubly flexible and may change in ways not driven by Object change per se and these are context changes (which include culture, time, specialty group and individual)

25.        System meaning. There are various forms of system meaning—a theory, a sentence. System meaning does not follow from the meanings of the parts—because system meaning lies in a formula, e.g. grammar, that is not part of the meanings of the parts (therefore in this case at least, it is logically impossible for system meaning to follow from the meanings of the parts.) Also, a system may begin to acquire characteristics of a composite sign. System meaning contributes to individual meaning. This follows, in one way, from individual meanings standing in relation (the meaning of a term in a theory depends on the theory which provides interpretation that is simply not present in the bare individual Object.) Therefore the problem of the specialist or piece-meal philosopher who is sophisticated in his or her domain of expertise but uses old, inadequate, corrupt meanings for neighboring domains with which the domain is interactive... I.e., the specialist’s meanings will be corrupt and so on unless the problem is overcome by luck, intuition, or attention to meaning

In some places in his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein seems to be arguing that the resemblance theory breaks down. Enough has been said to show that, taken flexibly, the resemblance theory is necessary and adequate. It might be counter-argued that this requires a very non-specific interpretation of resemblance. Subject to further analysis, that may be the case but it is perhaps importantly the case for while it may be necessary to be concrete for a formal language, in the case of actual thought we rarely get to the rock bed of the literal even if it is in fact there (I have argued elsewhere that all meaning could be literal but there is a variety of reasons that we do not typically get there and there are other reasons that make it often undesirable or inefficient to get there.) The argument against ‘resemblance’ depends on concretization of resemblance, i.e. in too strictly requiring that resemblance should resemble

The inclusive realm of action and faith

The original context of knowing

26.        The original context of knowing. It becomes clear that a theory of meaning is a theory of knowing. Meaning and knowing and doing evolve together. Meaning, knowledge, and action separate out; meaning informs knowing and knowing informs action. However, at root they remain in interaction stabilized by adaptation. There was perhaps a time and there is a realm that is prior to the separation

The realm of action and faith

27.        The realm of action and faith. In this prior realm proto-meaning, proto-knowing, and proto-action remain bound. But why proto-action? It is because pure ‘physical’ process is not action; action is action as the physical-in-binding-with-the-experiential that includes knowing and willing (and choosing.) In this realm there is perhaps no final knowing; even as we have confidence in our common knowing, in our sciences, in our tradition, in our institutions we also doubt them. And the doubts are neither merely academic nor merely neurotic; they are born of at least occasional failure. This is and will be seen to be true even of the heart of reason: logic. And it will be seen that even though the Universal metaphysics has been designed to be above empirical and logical error that there remains doubt which is in the nature of being. It is therefore that the narrative introduces and the journey has some appeal to the idea of natural faith as the set of attitudes that are—most—conducive to be-ing (the idea will be made more specific later)

Intuition

The idea of intuition

28.        The idea of intuition. A family of meanings of ‘intuition’ is that of knowing without fully explicit or conscious processing or reasoning. The knowing or knowledge itself may or may not itself be fully conscious but the cases of interest include those in which the knowing may be conscious and may be recognized as such. Intuition can be common or unusual with regard to the process of knowing and esoteric or immediate with regard to what is known. If someone claims to have intuition of a supernatural God, that would be unusual with regard to process (most people do not have that intuition) and esoteric with regard to what is known (a supernatural God is remote from the familiar world.) Scientific intuition is somewhat unusual in that it may be highly developed in certain (creative) individuals but its subject is not esoteric—i.e. even if unfamiliar and remote the subject is of this world. The kind of intuition that is of interest in this narrative is common and its subject is immediate

Kant’s use of intuition, mathematics, science, metaphysics and logic

29.        The constructive Kantian critique. Kant accepts Hume’s criticism and responds as follows

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. It is his Critique of Pure Reason, 1781, that is of interest in this part of the narrative. Kant had read and wanted to respond to Hume’s criticism that science was mere empirical description that lacked necessity. Instead of attempting to found knowledge or to criticize its foundations from empiricism as Hume and others had done or to approach knowledge from the rationalist point of view of continental philosophers such as Descartes and Leibniz, Kant started from the reasonable point of view that we clearly have some knowledge. In fact it was commonly felt that we have much more than ‘some’ knowledge: in Kant’s time the sciences of space, time and cause—Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics which, for brevity, are referred to as ‘geometry and mechanics’ in the following paragraphs—appeared to be imbued with necessity in the manner of what was regarded as the necessity of the ‘science’ of deduction, i.e. the Aristotelian logic that had stood for two thousand years

Kant did not regard these apparent necessities as actual necessities or justification; the success of geometry and mechanics was motivation for belief in their necessity but was not to be justification of that belief. In order to provide justification he enquired into the nature of this knowledge and how it is possible. He wanted to argue that, contrary to Hume, the geometry, the mechanics of his time are necessary—the logic was of course regarded as necessary and had been untouched by Hume or others. He first considers analytic knowledge, roughly knowledge that is true solely on account of the meanings of the propositions. An example is the syllogism: all men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is immortal. The conclusion follows from the premises; it is not necessary to go out into the world and wait for men to die; perhaps it is not true that all men are mortal but that is not the point: the point is that if the premises are true then the conclusion is true and that this follows from the meanings of the terms of the premises and not from experiment or observation. This is the model of necessary knowledge: the necessity is prior to or independent of observation and is therefore a priori knowledge, i.e. it is a priori to experience or observation. In summation, Kant’s ideal is analytic a priori knowledge. Logic appears to be analytic and a priori. He wants to model geometry and mechanics after this knowledge; that knowledge, however, is not true from meaning alone and, in contrast to the analytic it is synthetic. It seems that synthetic knowledge must be empirical but Kant now wonders whether there is synthetic a priori knowledge, i.e. knowledge that lies within and refers to but is not dependent on experience. Kant will argue that there is such knowledge and that sciences of geometry and mechanics, i.e. of space, time, and causation, are examples of it

The argument begins with an analyses perception of which he observed that while we do experience the world in terms of space, time and cause, we do not see or justify the underlying process—i.e., perception in terms of space, time and cause occur in intuition. Given, he argues, that geometry and mechanics have revealed the true categories of nature, it follows that those categories are built into perceptual intuition. I.e. although within experience, geometry and mechanics are not dependent on experience: they are examples of synthetic a priori knowledge. Kant then looks at the process of elaboration of knowledge: the systematic elaboration of the consequences of the sciences via deductive logic which is the natural category of reason. That is, the entire development of geometry and mechanics has the necessity that the empiricists with Hume as their champion argued against (and for which the rationalists argued but without clear necessity.) What Kant has done is to find a justification in their synthetic a priori character for the necessity of propositions of the natural science of his time, i.e. of geometry and mechanics

In addition to the synthetic a priori propositions of science, Kant also enquired into the possibility of synthetic a priori propositions in mathematics and metaphysics. In this essay the propositions of mathematics are not important to the main development; they do however receive a brief treatment, at least superficially different from Kant’s, in Objects. Regarding the synthetic a priori propositions of metaphysics, Kant argues that since the metaphysical Objects do not lie within experience there are no synthetic a priori metaphysical propositions. This does not imply, as Kant says, that there are no true metaphysical propositions but simply that we do not know—the necessity of—their truth. Regarding metaphysics the argument of this essay will diverge from that of Kant. As did Kant, the narrative will distinguish general metaphysics from special metaphysics. The general metaphysics will concern concepts such as experience, being, the Universe or all being and the Void or absence of being. For these topics experience and reality will be shown to be identical (equivalent.) Perhaps the most amazing conclusion from the general metaphysics will be the truth of the propositions of special metaphysics even though the latter may lie outside experience (it is shown that not only are they not excluded from all experience but that they must ‘at some time’ enter experience.) The special metaphysics concerns topics such as the existence of infinitely many cosmological systems of which some may have laws that diverge widely from the laws of our cosmos and even more specialized topics such as those from myth, religion, and fictional literature. The theory finds that subject to Logic, all ‘fiction’ is realized. That does not imply that they are realized in my immediate experience. The conclusion is remarkably similar to that of Kant’s in that while here their realization motivates a journey Kant finds that (special) metaphysics is inherently dialectical; he also finds general metaphysics to be dialectical but that is because he did not analyze the general Objects—e.g. Being, Universe, Void, and Logos—as analyzed here (below.) This narrative diverges from Kant and almost all Western philosophical and secular thought in showing the immense variety of being—the variety is subject only to Logic—and the necessity of its entering experience via, e.g., the transformation of the identity of the individual. And there is divergence from much myth and religion in showing their limits in a normal sense but also their poverty in a universal sense (the notions of ‘normal’ and ‘universal’ will become clear later)

Criticism of Kant

In this narrative which is not a history of ideas, the goal of criticism is primarily point out the negative so that movement can proceed without unnecessary hindrance and to accept what is positive for possible incorporation to movement. We learn from error and success and the space devoted to Kant is a measure of the quality and quantity of what the narrative has learned from his thought

30.        Criticism from Kant’s vantage point. It may be said that Kant gave plausible but not necessary arguments against Hume’s argument which therefore still stands—except for criticism of Hume above

31.        Criticism from a modern perspective. Three pillars of Kantian thought Euclidean Geometry, Newtonian mechanics, and deduction are now known to not define necessities of the nature of the Universe and of—deductive or logical—thought. The story regarding geometry and mechanics and therefore of space, time and cause is well known from the twentieth century developments in physics. The story regarding logic is perhaps not so well known but in outline which will be elaborated later it is this: the necessity of every axiom of logic stands questioned and it appears that even logic has a empirical character not only in its constitution but also in its justification

Kant’s contribution. The transcendental approach, i.e. analysis rather than foundation, the thought to start with the fact of knowledge, and the use of intuition are insights of a high order. An argument can be made that necessity should not be the only criterion of good philosophy. The argument becomes especially good in a critical era in which all necessities are doubted for if there are no necessities then our actions, the paths we choose for our lives and societies cannot depend on necessity. A role of philosophy would then be to illuminate regions that lack the aura of necessity. Kant’s approach continues to provide and remains an immensely promising avenue for the development of illumination

This highly selective and abbreviated interpretation of Kant’s Critique may be used as a starting point for the present use and analysis of intuition (the actual starting point was in fact quite different: it was motivated by the discovery of the general Objects mentioned above and the subsequent realization and then analysis that they did not lie outside experience)

Intuition in this narrative

32.        In this narrative all CONCEPTS lie within intuition

The discussion so far entails the following conclusion: there is so far no knowing or process of knowledge that is transparent and necessary or rational in its entirety. In perception the percept may present in awareness but the process of the presentation lies largely outside cognition. The application of science may be transparent but neither its truth is neither transparent nor necessary. Deduction—logic—alone has some appearance of necessity. However, as we have seen even logic lacks full necessity. And while the process of deduction is classically transparent the source of the rules of deduction is not; and that lack of transparency is significant for there are doubts regarding every logical axiom despite their apparent necessity (tautological character.) Even the classical transparency of the process of deduction has been lost now that computer aided proofs are admitted and proofs are so complex that human verification of those proofs is difficult. Therefore all cognition is tinged with the non-transparent arational character of intuition

Later we will see that emotion has an Object and that that process also lacks transparency and rationality (we normally think that emotion cannot have these qualities but if we show that emotion has an Object it then becomes meaningful to say that the process of Object formation is non-transparent and has arational elements)

It will be shown that all mental content, i.e. the entire range of the CONCEPT, is defined by emotion and cognition (cognition corresponds primarily to cognition of the world outside the body and emotion to an aspect of mental content regarding the body.) Therefore all CONCEPTS are characterized by intuition

All CONCEPTS are reigned in under intuition. The purpose of doing so is strategic. In not arguing any a priori character to any objectivity of concepts, it is allowed that the faithfulness of some concepts may be perfectly faithful to their Object and that this may emerge from investigation. Therefore there is no error in reigning in all concepts under intuition even if it should be in the constitution of some CONCEPTS to transcend intuition

33.        That all concepts lie within intuition does not imply that there are no concepts that are perfectly faithful to Objects (perfect faithfulness is precisely a case in which the Object can be regarded as the object-in-itself)

Intuition, abstraction, and the empirical

Now that it has been allowed that all CONCEPTION is intuitive, it may be asked whether there are any perfectly faithful CONCEPTS

Since all concepts and therefore all knowing lies within intuition, no concept can be referred to another to determine its faithfulness; this point has been argued earlier. I.e., it is in the nature of the presenting situation that the standard approach to foundation is ruled out. Some other way of ‘foundationalism’ will be required in order to provide foundation

In Newtonian mechanics the real—whatever it may be—is represented as a collection of point particles and forces. However, there is every reason to believe that the real is not a collection of point particles and forces. There is a positivistic tendency to regard current science as defining the ultimate real; one reason for that is the immersion of the scientist in the ideas of science; another is the lack of another realm to which to refer. However since success is not a reason to believe that a science defines the real, there is no reason to think that today’s combination of quantum theory and theories of forces of various kinds (the four fundamental forces) define the real and there are historical reasons as well as hints from within science itself that the real has not been captured. Later, the Universal metaphysics will reveal that no science of detail can capture all of reality. The sciences proceed by abstraction that may be called token abstraction: the Object is approximated by a token Object whose CONCEPT is simple

Looking beyond the CONCEPTION, beyond knowing is incapable of providing foundation. Perhaps then, looking within is a way

It was observed in connection with Hume’s thought that his criticism of necessity of science rests on the fact that generalization—induction, free or creative concept formation—is not necessarily true when there the empirical facts do not constitute all the facts

Therefore, perhaps, objectivity of the concept will result for simple Objects. Since the goal is a Universal metaphysics, the Objects should also be universal

This suggestive paving of the way for the present development has been fabricated for the convenience of an audience. The original way was more haphazard, more intuitive, based on insights that followed extended search, far more exciting. The actual development was experienced as an adventure

34.        Abstraction. By eliminating sufficient detail from the CONCEPT it may be possible to have perfect empirical knowledge. For example we might not know the precise difference between two states of affairs but we can know with perfect faithfulness that there are differences. In contrast to scientific abstraction where the ‘Object’ corresponding to the abstract concept is other than the real, the Object of the present kind of abstraction is immanent in the real. This process of abstraction could be called abstraction to the immanent. This a source of Metaphysics of immanence as an alternate name to Universal metaphysics

Necessary Objects

35.        Necessary Objects. Any Object that is known perfectly will be called a necessary Object; in calling an Object necessary, it is implicit that the knowledge is known to be faithful. For the necessary Objects, concept and Object may be conflated. Some Objects are perfectly known as a result of abstraction.

Already, in analyzing the idea of the universe, it has been seen that not only is there correspondence between knower and known but there is also a hint of a power to abstraction. This suggestion will be made manifest below

Universal Objects

If we think of an experience as concept and Object, we might think of it as trivially necessary however it would not constitute knowledge for there is no real Object

Some Platonists think that the number ‘one’ is an Object. More precisely, the thought is that the concept ‘one’ is the—perhaps incomplete or imprecise—of a real number One that, however, does not lie in this mundane or physical world but lies in an Ideal or Platonic universe. Since the number One lies in an Ideal universe it may be thought of as lying everywhere in this world. Given the Platonism, One may be thought of as constituting a universal Object. In Objects we will see that One is indeed an Object but that it lies in this world, i.e. in the Universe, and that it is simultaneously necessary and of the world

The notion of Universal Object introduced here is somewhat different. The Universal Objects are those necessary Objects that are capable of forming the basis of the Universal metaphysics that will be developed in Metaphysics and is previewed below. Some of the Universal Objects that lie at the foundation of the metaphysics and Logic of Metaphysics, and the general cosmology of Cosmology are Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos. Extension and duration are also Universal in this sense provided that we do not think of them as defined in terms of a metric or any detail of quality or quantity that might make them subject to distortion in the concept

A preview of the Universal metaphysics

The following preview is not intended to be complete with respect to content or method

The Universe

Consider the idea of the Universe which is here taken to be all that exists or, as we will see later, all being (existence and being are important concepts and their meaning should be analyzed; the analysis should be adequate to the present purpose and should also acknowledge their known difficulties; the analysis is deferred to Metaphysics.) More precisely the Universe will be thought of as all that existed, all that exists, or all that will exist; this defines an atemporal sense of ‘exist,’ of the verb to be ‘is,’ and of ‘being;’ the common use of ‘is’ as in ‘is at the present time’ is a temporal sense; problems regarding the idea that time spans the Universe are left for later clarification. It is important to note that in this narrative ‘Universe’ is distinct from (a) ‘cosmos’ for, as conceived, the Universe may contain infinitely many cosmological systems, (b) the physical Universe for this allows that there are non-physical Objects in the Universe and this is important because it allows analysis to determine whether there are such Objects and if there are not then the case for physicalism is proved and if there are—in whatever sense—then we will not have ruled out truth by prejudice, (c) the ‘empirically known universe,’ for conflation of the empirically known universe with the Universe is often tacit even though it is explicit primarily in positivistic thinking

Consider the following CONCEPT: my experience of a cube of metal. The CONCEPT may be reasonably faithful to some ‘thing’ but the faithfulness is certainly not perfect. If I do not perfectly know a simple Object such as a cube, surely I cannot claim perfect knowledge of the Universe. However, if all detail is abstracted out of the Universe which is then regarded in its oneness, it is perfectly known as such. Since it is perfectly known it is not problematic to not distinguish the Universe and its CONCEPT

If we recognize the Universe as having detail without precise specification, e.g. in saying there are concepts that have rough correspondence to things, perfect faithfulness is not destroyed. We can say: there are patterns and laws without destroying perfect faithfulness

Whether a general idea such as Universe is necessary depends not only on the idea but the specific way in which it is used. One way to make ‘universe’ necessary is to abstract out all detail. Another way is to regard detail abstractly as in the fact of detail (or pattern or law.) In Metaphysics the ideas of domain, duration, and extension will be introduced. Provided that it is not required to precisely specify or quantify domains, durations, or extensions under consideration, ideas may allow definition necessary Objects

It may be useful to recall the earlier discussion of law as fact versus law as hypothesis (tentative.) A generalization (law) may have significant application but is still tentative if thought of as extending beyond its domain of application; restricted to its phenomenal domain (space, time, and other parameters such as scale and tolerance) the law or pattern is a fact. We can think of the Universe as divided into domains; then, over a limited domain a law is a fact. Later, when the Universal metaphysics has been developed, we will see that there are infinitely many cosmological systems that provide cases of domains with local laws as facts (there will also be an infinite variety of laws)

Consider the nature of a law. It is our reading of a pattern, i.e. a law is a CONCEPT (and may also be conceptual andor involve concepts.) There is some the pattern or law that we read corresponds to some actual pattern or immanent version of the law; this immanent version of the law is labeled Law. Therefore

The Universe is all being and contains all Law

Consider the concept of a creator of the Universe. If a creator is external to what is created the Universe can have no creator. This is because there is nothing ‘outside’ the Universe. And this, in turn, is not because there is, e.g., an empty space and time outside the Universe but because as all being the Universe cannot and does not have an outside. Similarly, the Universe has neither beginning nor end. However, a manifest phase of the Universe may have a beginning and an end

The Universe has no creator

If the Universe had been conceived as the physical universe there would be the possibility of its having a non-physical creator

Foregoing discussion immediately suggests that space and time are—whatever their domain may be—immanent in the Universe and do not constitute absolute frameworks as a stage for the play of being. Space andor time are called absolute if there existence is independent of the being of the Universe and its parts. On the other hand if space and time are part and parcel of being and owe their being to being, they are relative. Space and time must then be part of the play of being. This is the point of view that from for the entire Universe space and time are relative (the contrary viewpoint would be that space and time are absolute in that they constitute a scaffolding for the play of being.) This point of view allows that there may be domains in which space and time are as if absolute. It does not imply that a Universal or global space and time framework exists or that where local frameworks exist they are continuous or infinitely divisible

In Metaphysics and in Cosmology improved analysis of space and time will be preceded by analysis of extension and duration

For the Universe, space and time are immanent in being—and are not externally imposed

The power of abstraction from intuition begins to become evident; however the power revealed so far is a minute fraction of what is to come

Introduction to logos and logic

If we define the logos as the universe of logically possible states then the logos includes the Universe

It does not appear that satisfaction of the principles of logic implies existence. With an indefinite notion of the universe some state whose concept satisfied logic might or might not exist. However, the Universe is all being. What is the significance of a state whose concept is logical but does not exist? That state lies out all actuality; in a not unreasonable sense it could not exist. But this appears to contradict the fact that the state satisfies the principles of logic. Perhaps, then, satisfaction of the principles of logic does imply existence. If that is true every state in the logos is in the Universe and therefore the logos and the Universe in all its details are identical. In considering the Void, this will be seen to be true but will require introduction of an alternative conception of logic

The Void

The Void is the absence of any existing things, i.e. it is the absence of being. In Metaphysics the existence of the Void is demonstrated. In this preview its existence is taken as given. Therefore since all Law is in the Universe:

The Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Law

This is the fundamental result of Metaphysics and it is the logical anchor of the Universal metaphysics that may act as framework and sieve for imaginative or constructive endeavor. It should therefore be the subject of intense doubt and criticism which is taken up in Metaphysics

Now consider the CONCEPT or description of a state of affairs. If the state does not emerge from the Void, that would be a Law of the Void. Therefore every state of affairs must emerge from the Void. Since the Void exists, every state of affairs must obtain or exist (somewhere and when)

There is an obvious exception. Consider the state of affairs ‘An apple that is fully green and fully not green at the same time rests on a table.’ Such a state violates the logical principle called the principle of non-contradiction and it is reasonably obvious that state of affairs described cannot obtain. Therefore the assertion of the previous paragraph must be modified: every concept of a state that does not violate any principle of logic, the state must exist

The only states that do not exist are those that cannot exist in principle, i.e. those that violate the principles of logic. I.e., the Universe has the greatest logically possible variety of being

It was noted earlier that every axiom or principle of logic has been questioned. The thinking is therefore inverted and Logic (capitalized) is defined as the principle of being. A state of affairs exists if and only if it is ‘Logical:’ if it is Logical it must exist, if it exists it must be Logical

The principle of reference now follows:

Subject to Logic every concept has an Object

Or

Subject to Logic every concept has reference

The principle of reference is the basis of the unified theory of Objects developed in Objects

Even though Logic is introduced as a definition the conclusion is far from empty because the known logical principles are at least approximations to Logic

The fundamental principle of metaphysics now follows:

The Universe has the greatest Logically possible variety of being

And

The only Universal law is Logic

There is no Universal Law

It now becomes clear why the Universe defined as all being is an efficient idea

The immense power of abstraction from intuition now becomes evident. Subject only to Logic the following are true it follows that our system of physical laws is one among infinitely many; for each physical law there are infinitely many cosmological systems of immense variety; and for each cosmological system there are infinitely many identical as well as infinitely many similar systems… Further variety is taken up in Metaphysics, Objects, and Cosmology

The Logos

Now define the Logos as the Object of Logic: as the collection of Logically possible states. Earlier it was seen that the logos must contain the Universe. It is now seen that:

The Logos is the Object of Logic; it is the Universe in all its variety

There is no universal Law. All Law is immanent in the Logos

The power of abstraction is evident once more. There is no need for some vague notion of a Logos. The Logos is the Universe; that the Logos is the Universe is reference to the absolutely unlimited variety of being; there are Logical limits to the concepts or description of the variety but no limits to the variety itself

Development of the metaphysics

Although the development above is foundational, it does not go to (what will be seen to be) the root. This ‘return’ will be undertaken in the preliminary discussion in Metaphysics, section The Universal metaphysics, topics The concept of metaphysics, The Universal metaphysics, Existence, Experience, External world, Being

The variety in the foregoing hints at the factual power revealed. The invocation of Logic hints at the conceptual power. However, much in the way of foundation is so far absent—what is existence, what is being and what are there necessary foundation? How shall we articulate a system of necessary Objects that enable a full Universal metaphysics? What is metaphysics? How may we address the paradox apparently immanent in the allowances of an imagination that sees the infinite variety described above? And what of relevance? And how shall we address the critics austere and generous—we may begin by formulating and addressing doubt—regarding credulity and formal doubt that may arise, for example, in the proof of the existence of the Void—ad hoc at first, then systematically?

The systematic elaboration of foundation and articulation of concepts and ideas, and of the factual and conceptual powers begins in Metaphysics; Objects focuses on the conceptual power; and Cosmology focuses on the factual power (which includes Pattern and Law.) We would like to know more about the immense variety of being that has been revealed: how can that be done? That last question is of intense interest but not overtly foundational. It is however foundational to observe that while we can now say that we know that the elements of the variety exist we do not know them (except the local elements.) The question arises, how can we come to know them—i.e., how may we ground the knowledge? The problem is anticipated in the earlier distinction of general and special metaphysics. Although we know from the foregoing that the Objects of the metaphysics exist, it is only the general Objects that we know. As observed, the situation as it stands is an immense advance for the analysis has shown the existence of entire ‘universes’ of Objects that in their reach exceed what had been earlier imagined. It remains to ground or know the Objects of special metaphysics—how might this be done? A response is twofold: from the side of the knower, grounding is via intuition as explained above and experience as in Metaphysics; and from the side of the known it is open—via discovery and the journey. It could be argued that the knowledge in question is useless but that is not true for it illuminates the Universe and provides practical motivation for search and knowledge of the necessity of realization (it is probable that search makes outcome more likely and better appreciated)

Elaboration and address of these concerns are among the topics of Metaphysics and subsequent chapters

Metaphysics

Introduction

What is metaphysics?

Although it seems naïve from a modern perspective, Thales’ idea that the world is made of water is a metaphysics. Perhaps the earlier Greek mythology in which the Gods are forces in this world could be called metaphysics. However, the significance of Thales’ idea includes (1) the basis of explanation—water—is simpler than what is explained—the world—and (2) the basis or foundation is of the world. There is little in Thales work that deserves to be called ‘explanation.’ However, there is little in the prior history of metaphysics outside science that deserves to be called explanation if it is required that explanation springs from the same soil as the explained. And Thales’ idea does not appear to be significantly self-conscious

An interesting side-note to the present discussion is the way in which ideas develop. Supernaturalism gives way to a groping naturalism and then to a self-conscious naturalism that paves the way for science and the sweeping away of metaphysics. Then, however, metaphysics makes a return but restricted in its outlook but sophisticated in its vision. Now, in the present narrative, first by a groping, then via self-conscious development, and finally by relinquishing substance in favor of the inherent force of ideas a final, dynamic and mature metaphysics emerges

A self-conscious notion of metaphysics stems from Aristotle—it is the study of being-as-being or, colloquially though not as precisely, the study of things-as-they-are. The use and significance of ‘being-as-being’ is clarified below in section Universal metaphysics

Clearly any metaphysics that shall be instrumental toward the goals and intents of this essay shall lie in the family defined by this meaning

There is a familiar story regarding the origin of the name ‘metaphysics’ that runs rather as follows (from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Metaphysics.) ‘Metaphysics’ was not Aristotle’s term; it stems from later Greek authors who use the term ‘Ta meta ta phusika’ meaning approximately ‘the ones after the physicals’ and referring to the books that are now thought of as containing Aristotle’s metaphysics. Thus metaphysics was not Aristotle’s term was not intended to mean ‘the subject beyond the subject of physics’ but may have been intended to suggest that the books on metaphysics should be read after the ones on physics. And, even though ‘beyond the subject of physics’ may be suggestive it is not accurate for as will be seen in relation to physics, metaphysics is neither after nor before. It is before ‘science’ in being more fundamental and ‘after’ science in reaching to the edge of cosmology. The subject matter of metaphysics encompasses but is not limited to that of physics or science; but ‘encompassing’ may be misleading for the actual study is different in method and uses distinct even if related concepts

The original motive may have been that there are various special sciences which study ‘divisions’ of the world, e.g. matter and life and so on. Metaphysics, however, is reserved for the study of the world without regard to any special nature. Perhaps there is nothing to study beyond the special sciences; if that is true then metaphysics may allow confirmation rather than mere assumption of its truth; and if it is not true then metaphysics may allow emergence of its truth. The use of ‘being’ i.e. what is there is not especially illuminating at outset for it says essentially nothing. However, that turns out to be a power of its meaning—it allows the investigation to emerge rather than have it be stamped at outset: and since we are seeking illumination allowing a stamp at outset may be to allow the stamp of darkness and absence of knowledge

The study of being-as-being now appears quite clear in intent and, allowing for the necessary lack of specification, in meaning. However, this crystal clarity gives way to clouding when we look deeper

There is a popular use of metaphysics as the study or science of the occult or hidden. Which use is the true metaphysics? The question is not meaningful for the two ‘metaphysics’ correspond to distinct meanings and it would perhaps be more efficient to use different words. The question is closely analogous to asking Of biology and physics, which one is Science? The present use of metaphysics, then, is the study of being-as-being and it is significantly distinct from the study of the occult because it does not distinguish the (apparently) occult from the manifest, the remote from the immediate, or the opaque from the transparent

A second source of equivocation regarding the meaning of metaphysics is more serious. It is the question Since what is known is known in experience, how can we know things-as-they-are? Or, Since all knowledge is CONCEPTUAL, how can we know Objects as ‘pure’ Objects? This is the source of the modern use of metaphysics as metaphysics-of-experience; it is the source of the Kantian tradition of the criticism of pure metaphysics. This concern has already received address. Pure metaphysics is broken down into general and special metaphysics. The Objects of general metaphysics are known faithfully even though they are known in experience; although the CONCEPT of general metaphysics not the Object it is known empirically or experientially and faithfully. Then: from the general metaphysics we know that the Objects of Special metaphysics (the cosmological variety and so on) exist even though we do not know them (experientially.) We know some of those special Objects: they are the Objects of our world: cosmos, Earth, life, human society and culture… However, though we know them with degrees of faithfulness—sometimes just well enough to have illumination, sometimes sufficiently well as in visual perception, and sometimes with immense precision as in certain branches of physics; still, that knowledge is not perfect (in general.) Pure metaphysics may be used to illuminate these Objects. If the Objects are studied at a sufficiently general or abstract level, they may be known with perfect faithfulness; such Objects will fall under general Cosmology

Applied metaphysics studies those Objects that we do not know faithfully and that perhaps cannot be known faithfully. However, the term Applied metaphysics is used because metaphysics can be used to enhance the study of these Objects. The principles of the approach are taken up in the section Applied metaphysics below and summarized in chapter Method. The principles are applied to the study of normal worlds, i.e. worlds such as ours in chapter Worlds. which covers physical cosmology and human being. The study in Worlds is not metaphysics at all even though we allow it under Applied metaphysics. The motive to that allowance is that the pure metaphysics enables the approach to the intrinsic limit of the special disciplines

These reflections confirm the earlier suggestion that understanding the nature of metaphysics may remain unclear until metaphysics itself reaches some sufficient degree of completion. Early metaphysics proceeded naïvely without reflection on the nature and possibility of knowledge. Perhaps even Plato’s metaphor of the cave did not get to the core of the divide between knower and known. In the modern era, the ascent of reason brought the gap into clear view and Kant thought he had shown it to be eternal. This stage of metaphysics must remain without clarity regarding the nature of metaphysics and the kind and possibility of metaphysical knowledge. Abstraction from intuition shows a way out; and this way is executed here; which simultaneously provides a map of knowledge that includes metaphysics and understanding of an ultimate nature of metaphysics

Another concern regarding the nature of metaphysics is the various characterizations of it from the tradition of metaphysics in the overarching sense of the study of being-as-being. In the searching of the tradition many characterizations of metaphysics arise: here are some: an inquiry into what exists, the science of ultimate reality, the science of the world as a whole, and the science of first principles. How do these relate to the study of being-as-being? In the present narrative it is seen that the first three are perhaps different aspects of what falls under metaphysics as being-as-being (supplemented by the treatments in Objects and Cosmology which of course are metaphysics) while from the developments in Intuition we see that there are no first principles that come before all investigation and we have begun to see—and this will be confirmed and elaborated in Method—that knowledge of content and knowledge of principles emerge together and are not distinct categories even though there are practical differences. The incompleteness of thought suggested by the various notions of metaphysics and method from the tradition stems from the incompleteness of metaphysics as science developed via demonstration and its reliance on imagination. Imagination (and perception) as we have seen and will continue to see is essential because it seeks to know and because it provides the material that can be the subject of criticism and demonstration. In the present narrative interaction of construction (imagination) and criticism has permitted a maturity that results in metaphysics and understanding of the nature of metaphysics

The simplest conception of metaphysics

Although there is a history of criticism and doubt regarding metaphysics as the direct study of being—i.e., being-as-being—it is seen that in this conception metaphysics is possible and most powerful

While we learn and owe some debt to the tradition and perhaps even to etymology, truth is not bound by tradition and even less by etymology

The significance of present development of metaphysics

In common knowledge including science the aim must include the practical

In metaphysics however, the first aim is truth. In the modern tradition however metaphysics as conceived here has been regarded as futile because of the supposed impossibility of perfect faithfulness

Here, however, metaphysics is shown possible and a metaphysics whose Object is the Universe is developed and demonstrated

An immense significance for thought and its application to practical concerns and to meaning-in-the-sense-of-significance is developed in this essay. The developments include approach and systematic laying out of possibilities for further work

There is at most one metaphysics

Metaphysics is the study of being-as-being. Implications include (1) being is not studied with regard to special kind and (2) the CONCEPT is perfectly faithful to the Object

Therefore except for variant formulations, degree of detail of the development, and range of being there can be at most one metaphysics

Pure and applied metaphysics

If the divisions of metaphysics into pure and applied metaphysics and so on seem unnecessarily fine in their distinctions, the following may be regarded as response. First, the entire Universe has been mapped. All knowledge, received and potential lie within; and, in this narrative, what is outside the received is seen as immensely larger in magnitude than the received (while remaining somewhat neutral to any question of ‘importance.’) Second, the number of divisions is not unduly large: the following lie under the broad topic Universe / Knowledge

Pure metaphysics

General metaphysics

Special metaphysics. Includes general cosmology

Applied metaphysics—application to special disciplines as in Worlds. General cosmology could be placed under applied metaphysics but this is not done here

Systematic approach from Intuition

The following formal aspects are crucial. Care in selecting the fundamental Objects—the basic concepts—for faithfulness, articulation, and universality. Inclusion of Logos—the fundamental Object that straddles the rational and the empirical: this amounts to bringing deduction or logic from the a priori and perhaps tinged with mystery to the clear plane of Object or content; which is natural since the Object of deduction, i.e. relationship between facts, is in the world

Finally, sequence of development has flexibility but is significant for efficiency and understanding. The preliminary ideas are foundation, existence, experience, external world, being, and metaphysics. The sequence of the main necessary Objects is Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos. Universe is placed before Domain because the former frames the development of the latter; and it is natural for Law, Extension and Duration to follow Universe. There are doubts regarding the nature of the Void so it is placed where the doubts will not cloud development of Universe and Domain. The Logos is placed last because its development is dependent on the existence and properties of the Void—and on the fundamental principle of metaphysics. The remaining topics are important but do not anchor the development. The sequence of development may be as follows

Foundation in the necessary Objects — Existence —Experience — External world — Being — The concept of metaphysics — The Universal metaphysics — Universe — The ideas of law and Law — Possibility and actuality — Introduction to logic and logos — Domain and Complement. Cause, creation and duration — Extension and Duration — The Void — The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Logic — Logos — Form — The equivalent forms of the metaphysics —Proof and interpretation: token proof — Space, time and space-time-being — Doubt. Formal doubts: doubts regarding the deduction; doubts from science and common sense — Doubt. Subjective doubts: the metaphysics as artifice; the metaphysics yields so much from so little — Humanistic doubt from the austerity of Logic: the metaphysics is dehumanizing — Doubt: residual doubt. Doubt and faith. Metaphysics and animal faith — Properties of the Void — Being and existing — The possibility of metaphysics — A metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth. The problem of substance. Determinism and indeterminism. The habit of substance thinking — A metaphysics that is implicitly ultimate in breadth. Cosmological consequences. Adventure. Absolute indeterminism and structure — Problems of metaphysics — Preliminary comments on method — Metaphysics and action

The Universal metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics entails Objects and Cosmology. These constitute the first core of the system of ideas

The foundation of the Universal metaphysics lies in the necessary Objects

The development of the Universal metaphysics begins with a discussion of the nature of existence, experience, external world, and being. It will be significant that they are necessary Objects

This is the point at which it will be efficient to review the concept of metaphysics and define the Universal metaphysics in terms of the necessary and Universal Objects

The main such Objects are Universe, Law, Extension and Duration, Domain and Complement, The Void, and the Logos. The development of the Universe begins with the development of the nature and properties of these Objects and fundamental implications that show the Universal metaphysics as an articulated system that has ultimate depth or foundation and breadth or variety

The remaining topics are elaborations of the metaphysics, application to some important problems of metaphysics, and anticipation of doubts and criticisms to which responses are given

Being

Existence — Experience — External world — Being

Existence

Consider the statement ‘There is an apple whose color is green’ in which the italicization of ‘is’ indicates that it is emphasized. The phrase ‘There is an apple’ is equivalent to ‘An apple exists’

Here, ‘is’ is used as a form of the verb to be. Something exists or has the property of existence if it may be said to be—if it has being

Reasons for deferring the introduction of ‘being’ will become clear below

In the history of thought existence has been contrasted with essence. Roughly, essence is identity—if something lost identity it would not be that thing; existence has been called the mode of being which consists in interaction with other things—e.g. sentient or knowing individuals. That distinction is analogous to essence as reality and existence as appearance

What has been seen so far in Intuition and the present chapter clouds the distinction. It has been seen that the Object is neither thing nor mere appearance; that there is a class of things, the necessary Objects, for which the distinction breaks down; and that there is another class of things whose ‘being’ is so interwoven with the concept that there is no thing-in-itself. The latter class of things includes the practical Objects—the Objects of adaptation for which the concept is ‘sufficiently’ faithful and which, it makes sense to say, may be taken to behave as given in the concept for certain practical purposes but not all purposes. Although ‘There is an apple…’ must clearly refer, first of all, to a thing-as-cognized, we start at that point with full awareness that neither pure not applied aspects of the metaphysics are affected by the choice since in the pure case the cognized versus in-itself distinction is without consequence and in the practical case we tolerate the distinction

Does anything exist? Practically speaking, of course—if nothing existed these words would not be written! However, such questions may be asked in order to clarify or illuminate some issue such as the meaning of terms the meaning of terms. Perhaps ‘the words of this narrative’ are an illusion but if so the illusion exists

Further clarification may depend on elucidation of ‘existence.’ However, some terms must be fundamental or primitive; this does not mean that they have no meaning or that their meaning is unfounded. The fundamental character of ‘existence’ is part of our being! But do we have being? Even if we have no being as we think we do there is at least an illusion

The fundamental concern regarding existence is not whether anything exists at all but rather, What exists? It is practically obvious from our sense of being in the world that there must be experience—this is taken up below where the meaning of experience is clarified and it is shown that there is experience. Then in the sub-section External world it is established that there is an external world, i.e. not all experience is illusion and some experience has an Object

Because ‘everything exists’ existence has been argued to be trivial or not a concept. That it is trivial does not imply that it is not a concept. The phrase ‘red or not red’ is trivially true of everything but is conceptual. However, ‘red or not red’ is not a useful property. Perhaps, then, ‘exists’ is superfluous when applied to something. The claim is valid: existence is a trivial property and superfluous when used to describe something. However, it is precisely the triviality in the case of existence that will be a source of the power of the metaphysics. Clarification of the nature of existence will lead to deep answers to the question ‘What things and kinds of thing exist?’

The problem of the non-existent Object. What is the meaning of ‘Unicorns do not exist’? The problem is that if there are no unicorns, what is it that is being said to not exist? There is at least a confusion. However, the confusion arises because a principle of meaning already discussed has been ignored. Before appealing to that principle consider first the meaning of the phrase on medieval maps ‘Here be dragons.’ What could that mean if intended literally but if there were no dragons or if no one had seen one? Many people might have seen drawings or paintings or have heard stories of dragons as large, dangerous, reptilian, flying, fire-exhaling creatures. The literal meaning, then, of ‘Here be dragons’ would be that ‘Here there are in fact creatures that are like the drawings or paintings or as described in the legends.’ Next consider, ‘Horses exist!’ What would that convey if there are no horses present and the listener had never seen a horse or even a picture of one? The speaker could perhaps produce a picture of a horse and show it to the listener and explain ‘That’s a picture of a horse. In my country there are creatures just like that.’ Even when something exists a concept is necessary to be able to talk about it. Although there are no unicorns, I have an idea or a CONCEPT of a Unicorn. The meaning, then, of ‘Unicorns do not exist’ is that there are no creatures that correspond to my concept or that look like the images of unicorns from books

Experience

‘Experience’ has a number of meanings. The meaning here is so primal that it is not conveyed in terms of something else but by pointing out by way of example and generalization The example of the following paragraph specifies the meaning of ‘experience’ that is being used here

Bricks have a color that by convention is named ‘red.’ If another person says ‘that brick is red’ I know what to expect; I look at the brick and see that it is indeed red. Thus there are two ways knowing the world: the intensely personal way when, for example, I experience the brick as red and a second way which may be labeled ‘description,’ ‘convention,’ ‘public’ or ‘objective’

Experience need not be simple; corresponding to every complex intuition—in the sense used here—there is a (complex) experience

How is it known that there is experience? It is the primal and immediate character of experience. Experience is a name for the most immediate aspect of our being and as such requires no proof

In a higher animal such as human being, in addition to ‘pure’ experience there is experience of experience. Experience is the phenomenon for which CONCEPT and Object are the same kind of ‘thing.’ This does not prove that there is experience but enables to recognize and point out the ‘proof’

Experience is a necessary Object: there is experience

Experience: detail

Experience and intuition ground knowledge in the individual. Experience is the ‘substance’ and intuition the ‘form’ of the grounding. ‘Substance’ and ‘form’ are not entirely distinct for there is experience of experience, i.e. experience is a necessary element or Object of intuition: experience is the substance of intuition

Because experience is private, it may be the case that my experience of red is the same as your experience of green; this is the problem of the inverted color spectrum. If an individual’s physical (brain) state corresponds to red we do not expect that the same state for the same individual could also correspond to green. However it has been argued that the same brain state may correspond to both red and green without violating logic. Since the correspondence between the physical state of the brain and the experience does not appear to be logical, this certainly appears to be true. Then from the lack of logical connection between physical / brain state and experience, the argument continues, it follows that (a) that experience exists and is not physical and, alternately, (b) since experience is not physical it does not exist. Option (a) is a dualist option in which there is both mind (experience) and matter (the physical) which do not interact (if they do interact mind and matter do not constitute true duals.) This option is fraught with difficulty: how do mind and matter interact? Option (b) is the physicalist or materialist option—a monism in which the single substance is matter which is the subject matter of physical science. This option is fraught with absurdity: experience does not exist. ‘Too bad for your belief in experience,’ the proponents of the view say as if making a moral admonishment ‘but all experience is illusion.’ The motive to the claim appears to be the problem of experience in a material world. The problem is as follows: material description—e.g. the sensation of water flowing over the skin or the description of water according to physical science—excludes the mental. Therefore, given that the world is physical, experience cannot exist

What is the connection between physical state and experience? The possibilities are (1) There is no connection: matter and mind are distinct and have no interaction. The absurdity of this is pointed out above and is manifest. A modification that mind-matter interaction is weaker than matter-matter or mind-mind violates the thought that mind and matter are distinct. The Cartesian explanation that the interaction is mediated by God also violates the distinction in addition to the introduction of an enormous complexity (which may have seemed natural in a time dominated by religious belief.) (2) Matter causes mind. What is the nature of the cause? It must be that mind somehow arises in the cumulative behavior of matter in process via collective process, elaboration, interaction, and layering. The difficulty of this resolution is that it explains the complex function of mind (in principle) but not the simple fact of mind, i.e. of experience. In the recent literature the explanation of the fact of mind from matter has been called ‘the hard problem’ of mind (in the literature on consciousness it is the hard problem of consciousness while explanation of the complex function has been called the scientific problem of consciousness.) The assumption behind the hardness of the hard problem is that matter excludes mind. On this assumption, the harness is not merely hard but impossible. Therefore we consider a third option that might have been suggested in the first place if we were not burdened with the history of thought on the issue which is burdened with the paradigmatic assumptions of its eras. (3) Matter and mind—particles and feelings—are sides of the same entity. The first difficulty is that material distinction excludes mind / experience. The response is that material description does not explicitly include the mental but it does explicitly exclude it either. The Newtonian picture of the world as inert particles in motion under their mutual influences seems very devoid of mind. However, in the quantum view neither the particles themselves nor their (non-local, probabilistic, disorder to structure) interactions seem inert. Although mind is not explicit, the quantum view seems much more hospitable to mind (and the quantum view is even on its own merits likely incomplete.) What is matter? The very fact that we see a block of wood as devoid of life and mind suggests its inertness and exclusion of mind. However, the material view itself destroys this view. If matter is all there is then mind must be material and therefore the inertness of the block of wood is at most apparent. The view under consideration is close to what has been called the identity theory: mind and matter are the same. This view faces the difficulty that a dead organism loses its mental side but not the material side. The error of the objection is as follows. That mind and matter are sides of the same entity is introduced because we are forced to that conclusion from failure of the alternatives. Therefore, at the level of matter as matter, e.g. atoms and molecules, elements of mind must be present. When organized in the brain processes of a living being, the result is mind-as-we-know-it from two directions: the external and the internal. The external is, e.g., how we experience the intelligence of another individual; this is the result of the complex organization and layering. The internal is my own experience which is the primitive feeling that, in addition to the complexity, is also amplified via collective process. The view is forced by the initial view that matter is all there is regardless of theory of matter (classical or modern) but subject only to the thought that mind is not explicit in matter

Let us approach the mind-matter issue from a slightly different perspective. One apparently reasonable solution to the problem of experience in a material world is to say that it is the organization and processes of matter in brains that results in experience. However, perhaps this explanation is not all that reasonable after all. For the organization of matter would seem to explain the organization of experience into intuition and cognition and emotion but not experience itself

Another explanation suggested by Thomas Nagel in addition to experience and physicality, there is some third element that shall be implicated in the explanation

That third element could be something we know in modern physics (but are not able to compute—or have not yet computed or seen how to compute) or something that is missing from physics so far. In this case of course there is not truly a third element

The following explanation is entirely possible. Primal physical behavior, e.g. at the level of elementary particles, can be described ‘objectively’ e.g. the motion of two particles under their mutual interaction. However, ask What is the interaction? How is it felt by one of the particles? Answer as follows: the interaction at an elementary level is elementary experience. Complex organization described ‘objectively’ is physical; complex organization of elementary interaction results in feeling at the animal-human level. In this explanation experience and physical or objective description are two sides of the same phenomenon. There is no problem of the origin of experience in the physical. It could be said that the physical causes the mental or is correlated with it but those are very weak versions of what is happening: one phenomenon, two sides. Objection. This is pan-psychism: little atomic minds. In fact it is not; it is not said that there are ‘little’ minds but simply that the mark of relationship in the elementary particle is primitive to what manifests via complex organization as human level experience. Objection. It is anti-materialist and anti-physicalist. In fact it is not; all it says is that (perhaps) elementary feeling already is an aspect of ‘matter’

Now the foregoing is an explanation and not a proof. However the alternative is that matter excludes the mental and therefore (1) there is no such thing as experience or (2) some third element is involved

The argument that there is no such thing as experience is absurd. Experience is primal and needs no explanation. Therefore the alternatives are that the mental and the material are two sides of one phenomenon or, two, a third unknown element is involved. It is unnecessary to invoke a third element. Tentatively then the mental and the material are two aspects of the same phenomenon and there is experience; this argument will be improved in Cosmology. For now however, we conclude from the primal character of experience and the fact that there is no necessary or reasonable argument against experience that there is experience

Stated simply a somewhat modified argument is: we have experience of experience just as we have experience of Objects; doubting an Object is an experience therefore doubt confirms experience; the materialist arguments against experience are not valid but lead to two alternatives of which simplicity tentatively suggests that experience and material description are two sides of the same phenomenon and that the two sides go to the root level of the phenomenon; final resolution—regarding the alternatives—is given in Cosmology. The final resolution will confirm that:

There is experience

Experience and intuition ground knowledge in the individual. Experience is the ‘substance’ and intuition the ‘form’ of the grounding. ‘Substance’ and ‘form’ are not entirely distinct for there is experience of experience, i.e. experience is a necessary element or Object of intuition: experience is the substance of intuition

External world

The idea of the external world is that it exists independently of being experienced; it is not literally external to anything.

We experience Objects but there may be error in the experience—illusion, hallucination, distortion, selection and so on. The possibility arises that all experience is in absolute error—that there is nothing that experience corresponds to. Surely some experience has an Object but we entertain the thought that all experience is in error so that we can assess the objectivity especially of perception but also of cognition generally. We would like to know, first of all that experience has some Objects even if the faithfulness is not perfect. That is, we would like to know that there is a world that exists independently of experience. This world is labeled the ‘external world.’ We know that there is experience, therefore experience is part of the external world: however it is experience as Object that is part of the external world. The body, if it exists, is also part of the external world. The external world is not literally external to anything

Our interest in showing that there is an external world stems from the philosophical desire to have a secure foundation. Since significant claims are going to be made in developing a metaphysics, it is important that the foundation should be secure. After establishing that there is an external world we may then investigate its structure

Solipsism is the position that there is nothing but experience—that experience has no Object (except perhaps experience itself and this admission must be made because the solipsism admits that there is experience.) Solipsism, then, is the position that experience is the entire world. If we can disprove solipsism, it will follow that there is an external world. The extreme skeptical position regarding existence would be that there is no world at all. Therefore solipsism is already somewhat compromised as a skeptical position

There is a common sense argument against solipsism: it is that the Universe is far too varied and complex to be merely the content of the mind of a single individual. Let us say the individual knows some mathematics but also knows that there is much more mathematics than he or she knows. All that unknown knowledge—and infinitely more—must be latent in the individual’s experience; and this is in contrast to the normal position in which the individual does not have full knowledge of the Universe but comes to know parts of it by coming into contact with them

The common sense argument does not work because solipsism simply says that experience is all there is; it does not assert that that experience is someone’s experience. However, the common sense argument suggests a logical argument

The system of solipsist experience is either limited or it is not

If it is limited the solipsist stance fails

If it is not the system is a renaming of the phenomenal world and is not a true solipsist stance

Being

Being—what is there, what exists

In the history of thought being has sometimes been used in the sense of being-in-itself while existence has been used to signify being-in-relation. Since knowledge is a relation, what is known is existence. Consider, on the other hand a concept and an Object. The Object is the dual product of knower and known and therefore has some relation to being as being-in-itself. Therefore there is some relation between being-in-itself and being-in-relation. It has been seen that there is no essential distinction for the necessary Objects. In this chapter, however, the plan is to develop the properties of the necessary Objects and their consequences. It will be seen that the class of necessary Objects is immense. In the later section Being and existing of this chapter, it will be seen that the lack of distinction between being and existing extends to practical Objects. Therefore there will be no need to distinguish being and existing

In the phrase what is there, the verb to be ‘is’ is employed in the atemporal sense

In the previous sections various concerns have arisen regarding existence—that it is fundamental therefore not referred to another more basic concept, that it is trivial, the distinction from essence, the problem or paradox of the non-existent Object… These concerns need not be addressed again

There are two ‘sides’ to existence: experience and the external world that are not distinct. These therefore have unity within being; and they show being to be robust. Of course the fundamental question ‘What has existence?’ is imported as ‘What has being?’ and developing the kinds and Objects that have being is a central concern of Metaphysics through Worlds

A concern regarding use—shall being refer to ‘things’ or to the common quality of all things that exist… or shall being refer to ‘process’ or ‘relationship’ or the common qualities of all processes or all relationships. We typically think of being as rather thing-like or noun-like. However, this is not given; as a common quality being is adjective or adverb-like. These are interesting concerns but not as important as might be supposed. Final resolution appears in Objects. It is significant that resolution should emerge rather than be taken as given

One reason for the choice of ‘being’ is the neutrality just described. Also it is fundamental to language via its root form ‘to be’ and is therefore more immediate than ‘existence;’ and this immediacy brings puts on display the fundamental character. There is interest in being because of the tradition behind the word: provided we do not import confusions and provided that we are clear about the meaning used here, the tradition is a source of suggestions

From the variety of uses in the tradition it might appear that the concept of being is vague or indefinite. Reading the tradition supports this view. And until metaphysics is definite the understanding of being must remain indefinite. It is this that renders the concepts of being indefinite. In the present narrative a final and ultimate metaphysics is developed: this is manifest in the form of the metaphysics—readers may question the demonstration of the metaphysics but the metaphysics is manifestly ultimate. Therefore it has been possible to remove indefiniteness, to show that when alternative interpretations arise there is either a clear choice or the distinctions are merely apparent

The idea of being is trivial; this is a part of the power of the idea. It permits the nature or the aspects of the nature of being to emerge rather than be assumed at outset. An analogy may be made between the use of ‘being’ in conceptual thought and the use of unknowns in algebra. In conceptual thought, however, the unknown elements regarding being include not only measure or quantity but also kind—e.g. it is not supposed at outset that being is mental or material or that there is any substance or set of substances that ‘constitute’ being

The nature of being and its power. Thus being is what is there. In conceptual thought this empowers a metaphysics. In life, in a journey it empowers realization by a dual openness, first to the powers of the individual and second to the metaphysical dimensions and magnitudes of transformation that may be available

Although the details of being may be imperfectly known, that there is being is without question: there is being—i.e., being is a necessary Object

At this early stage of development of metaphysics, being may be regarded as a marker that is open to discovery

Introduction to the metaphysics

The concept of metaphysics — The Universal metaphysics — Plan of development

The concept of metaphysics

36.        Metaphysics is the study of being

The Universal metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics is the metaphysics that emerges from the study of the universal necessary Objects. It is the system of consequences entailed by those necessary Objects and their properties

The foundation of the metaphysics is in the necessary Objects

Except for variant formulations and degree of detail of the development there is one Universal metaphysics

Plan of development

The Universal metaphysics will be developed from the necessary and Universal Objects and their properties

Universe

The Universe and its characteristics: the Universe is defined to be all being — The atemporal sense of ‘being’ — There is exactly one Universe — The Universe has neither cause nor creator — The ideas of law and Law — Possibility and actuality — Introduction to logic and logos

The Universe and its characteristics: the Universe is defined to be all being

The Universe is all being

As all being with all detail abstracted out so that what is left cannot be simpler, the Universe is a necessary Object

The atemporal sense of ‘being’

In the definition of ‘Universe’ being is used atemporally—i.e. the Universe is all that existed, exists, or will exist. The atemporal or global sense of existence and being is extended and clarified in the section Extension and duration below

The essential points regarding the definition is that it refers to being and not just physical being, it refers to all being and not just our cosmological system or to the known universe. The openness allowed at outset allows that the restricted cases will be confirmed or a greater truth revealed. The justification of the definition, then, is that it is one of an articulated system of concepts that makes the Universal metaphysics ultimate, i.e. the choice is conceptually efficient. This approach required that the entire system of concepts shall be the subject of conceptual experiment—whose variables included choice and nature of the concepts—in the search for an effective scheme. It is worth pointing out that the Universal metaphysics and the recognition of its ultimate and necessary character was not anticipated but emerged from numerous trials

There is exactly one Universe

37.        Since the Universe is all being there is exactly one Universe

The Universe has neither cause nor creator

If a creator is external to what is created the Universe can have no creator. This is because there is nothing ‘outside’ the Universe. And this, in turn, is not because there is, e.g., an empty space and time outside the Universe but because as all being the Universe cannot and does not have an outside. Similarly, the Universe has neither beginning nor end. However, a manifest phase of the Universe may have a beginning and an end

If a cause must be at least partially external to the effect the Universe is not caused. A creator is an example of a cause

38.        The Universe has neither cause nor creator. There is and can be no God who is the creator of the Universe

If the Universe had been conceived in the mold of a category, e.g. the physical universe, there would be the possibility of another category, e.g. a non-physical category, as cause or creator. If the Universe is conceived of as our cosmos or as the known universe, there is the possibility that it would have been caused or created by something else, e.g. another cosmos

39.        The Universe contains all its creative powers—i.e., there are no creative powers outside the Universe

The ideas of law and Law

If we recognize the Universe as having detail without precise specification, e.g. in saying there are concepts that have rough correspondence to things, perfect faithfulness is not destroyed (‘New York is 2800 miles from Los Angeles’ may be practically true; that New York is about 2800 miles from Los Angeles is perfectly true.) We can say that there are patterns and laws without destroying perfect faithfulness

It may be useful to recall the earlier discussion of law as fact versus law as hypothesis (tentative.) A generalization (law) may have significant application but is still tentative if thought of as extending beyond its domain of application; restricted to its phenomenal domain (space, time, and other parameters such as scale and tolerance) the law or pattern is a fact. We can think of the Universe as divided into domains; then, over a limited domain a law is a fact. Later, when the Universal metaphysics has been developed, we will see that there are infinitely many cosmological systems that provide cases of domains with local laws as facts (there will also be an infinite variety of laws)

Consider the nature of a law. It is our reading of a pattern, i.e. a law is a CONCEPT (and may also be conceptual andor involve concepts.) There is some the pattern or law that we read corresponds to some actual pattern or immanent version of the law; this immanent version of the law is labeled Law. Therefore

40.        The Universe is all being and contains all Law

This is a primitive form of what will be introduced as the fundamental principle of metaphysics

The foregoing suggests that a Law is Object-like; later we will see that Laws are Objects. We will also see that the Universe contains all Objects. Put another way, all Objects lie within the Universe. From the definition of ‘Universe’ above it may seem obvious that the Universe should contain all Objects. However, if we accept that there are abstract Objects such as numbers we may ask where in the Universe is a number and how does the notion of number decompose into CONCEPT and Object? The view that such things such as number are real is called realism or, after Plato, Platonic realism—or, sometimes, Platonic idealism (not other than realism since in that idealism an idea is real in fact more real than the mundane stuff of the material world.) A contrary view is that of nominalism which holds that an abstract idea may have a name but does not correspond to a real thing. Nominalism is perhaps less problematic but it leaves unanswered the question of the real nature of abstract ideas and names—are they ethereal, are they fictions or figments, and do they have location? These issues are addressed in Objects, where a powerful analysis of the idea of Object will lead to a unification of all kinds of Objects—there are differences but they are not essential or categorial—which is both surprising and against mainstream

41.        (In the chapter Objects it will be seen that) The Universe contains all Objects, specifically all Law and Form

I.e. the Universe contains all things and kinds: things, abstract kinds, all mental content—in addition to having mental content we have experience of it, and all concepts—although the CONCEPT is usually seen as lying on the ‘subject’ side, it may also be seen as lying on the object side

Possibility and actuality

Consider the concept of the possible. If a state of affairs obtains, i.e. if it is actual, it is possible (if were not possible it could not obtain.) A preliminary thought is that something that does not obtain is possible if it could obtain. That thought is indefinite because, (1) even if we are certain that something does not obtain, the meaning of ‘could obtain’ is not clear, and (2) if something does in fact obtain but is not known to obtain, the meaning of ‘could obtain’ is irrelevant. Therefore possibility may be defined as follows:

42.        Relative to a defined context, a state of affairs is possible if it could obtain

It is trivial that an actual state of affairs could obtain. Except for that case, the meaning of ‘could’ obtain remains indefinite. Accordingly different kinds of possibility may be introduced

In thinking of some context, e.g. a nation or a family, a state of affairs is practically possible—feasible—if it can be brought about without excessive difficulty or burden on the resources of the context (e.g. nation)

A state of affairs is physically possible if in obtaining the laws of physics are not violated

A more restrictive definition of physical possibility results if it is required that the state of affairs should, in addition to satisfying the laws of physics, be realizable in our cosmos

A state of affairs is logically possible if in obtaining no logical principle is violated

There is an intrinsic context regarding logical possibility: the laws of logic itself. Given that we do not know the laws of logic perfectly, we cannot not perfectly know what is logically possible. And, only if there is perfect logic can there be perfect knowledge of logical possibility (the condition is necessary; the problem of computation of the logically possible states would remain.) Significant clarification of these issues will be given in discussing the Void below

Now consider possibility when the context is the Universe. What does it mean that it is possible for a state of affairs to obtain in the Universe—i.e. what is possible when the context of possibility is the Universe? Since the Universe is all being, there are no ‘other circumstances.’ For the Universe, then, the only possible states are the actual states (where ‘are’ is used in the atemporal sense.) It is obvious that the actual is possible. Therefore: With the Universe as context the possible and the actual are identical—or:

43.        For the Universe the possible and the actual are identical

We may think of possibility when the Universe is the context as absolute possibility and then: the absolutely possible and the actual are identical

Relative to the Universe, whatever does not obtain is trivially not actual but also not possible

Remembering that every context occurs within the Universe—in Objects it will be seen that this is true even of imagined contexts—it can be said that: if a state of affairs is possible in a given context it must be actual in some context

It is interesting to ask What can it mean for a state of affairs to be logically possible but not obtain in the Universe. This suggests a connection between logic and possibility relative to the Universe; this is taken up in the section Void, below, where a more complete treatment is possible

Introduction to logic and logos

Now it is reasonable to assert that if a state exists it must satisfy the principles of logic. What this really means is that the concept or description of the state must satisfy the principles of logic (it is implicit of course that the principles are all ‘the’ relevant correct principles.) Therefore:

If we define the logos as the universe of logically possible states then the logos includes the Universe

It does not appear that satisfaction of the principles of logic implies existence. With an indefinite notion of the universe some state whose concept satisfied logic might or might not exist. However, the Universe is all being. What is the significance of a state whose concept is logical but does not exist? That state lies out all actuality; in a not unreasonable sense it could not exist. But this appears to contradict the fact that the state satisfies the principles of logic. Perhaps, then, satisfaction of the principles of logic does imply existence. If that is true every state in the logos is in the Universe and therefore the logos and the Universe in all its details are identical. In considering the Void, this will be seen to be true but will require introduction of an alternative conception of logic

Domains

Domains and complements — Cause, creation and infusion. Limited gods — Extension and duration — Space, time, and being

Domains and complements

A Domain is a part of the Universe. That the Universe is more than a single point implies that there are parts. Therefore Domains are necessary Objects. The Complement of a Domain, also a domain, and the Domain together make up the Universe

If a Domain exists, it has a Complement. Complements are necessary Objects

Cause, creation and infusion. Limited gods

One domain may effect change in another: that is logically possible. The effect may be called causal but the actual assignment of cause will depend on factors that include the meaning of cause. The origin of mind or matter will be taken up later; however, if one domain has mind it may infuse mind into another

While there can be no creator of the Universe, it is logically possible for one Domain to create another. Limited gods are logically possible

Extension and duration

The existence of domains is a sign of Extension; Extension is a necessary Object

The experience or CONCEPT of Duration is a sign of Duration; Duration is a necessary Object

Extension and Duration are immanent in the Universe

Space and time can be set up as measures of extension and duration

From the immanence of Extension and Duration, universality of space and time does not follow—in the large or in the small. Measures of extension and duration may be foamy in the small (as in quantum gravitation) and patchy—e.g., from one cosmos to another

The dimensionality of space does not appear to be a logical feature

In the Universe, space and time are immanent and therefore relative

The effective space and time for a limited Domain may be set up by another domain; therefore local space and time may be as if absolute

From the manner of the introduction of space and time it appears that there are no further measures of difference. However, this is not a logical conclusion; it may reflect lack of perception or imagination

Although Extension is Universal (Duration will be seen to be Universal) it does not follow that there is a Universal space and time. For the Universe, therefore, there may be at most a space and time patchwork

Local description is in terms of the space and time patchwork. The history of a spatial Object may be seen as a ‘historical Object.’ The view of the Universe as an historical Object is the global view

Space, time, and being. It is efficient to discuss this topic after the sections on the Void. However, it is possible to say already that for the Universe as a whole, space and time are immanent in being and therefore relative

The effect of one domain may be such as to erect an as-if absolute space and time in another domain. After deriving implications from the existence of the Void it will be easy to show that there are and must be domains that erect as-if absolute spaces and times for other domains

The Void

The Void and its characteristics — The first form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics: The Void exists and contains no Law — The concepts of logic and Logic — The fundamental principle of metaphysics expressed in terms of Logic — Necessity — Some properties of the Void — Being and existing — The cosmological form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics — A preliminary development of the variety of being — The fundamental principle of metaphysics in terms of Law — The Object of the concept of all being is the greatest possible Universe

The Void and its characteristics

The Void is conceived as the absence of being

The first form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics: The Void exists and contains no Law

Proof of existence. The Void is the complement of the Universe (relative to itself.) Since complements exist, the Void exists

The Existence of the Void is the pivotal result from which the essence of the Universal metaphysics flows. It is crucial to subject it to doubt and criticism. This most important concern as well as other doubts and criticisms are taken up in six sections on doubt below

Since the Universe contains all Laws the Void contains no Law. The conclusions regarding the Void may be summarized in the first and original form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics:

44.        The Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Law

This is the fundamental result and logical anchor of the Universal metaphysics that may act as framework and sieve for imaginative or constructive endeavor. It is therefore the subject of intense doubt and criticism taken up below

45.        (In the chapter Objects it will be seen that) The void contains no Object

Now consider the CONCEPT or description of a state of affairs. If the state does not emerge from the Void, that would be a Law of the Void. Therefore every state of affairs must emerge from the Void. Since the Void exists, every state of affairs must obtain or exist (somewhere and when)

There is an obvious objection. Consider the state of affairs ‘An apple that is fully green and fully not green at the same time rests on a table.’ Such a state violates the logical principle called the principle of non-contradiction and it is reasonably obvious that state of affairs described cannot obtain. Therefore the assertion of the previous paragraph must be modified: every concept of a state that does not violate any principle of logic, the state must exist

The only states that do not exist are those that cannot exist in principle, i.e. those that violate the principles of logic. I.e., the Universe has the greatest logically possible variety of being

The concepts of logic and Logic

It was noted earlier that every axiom or principle of logic has been subject to reasonable doubt regarding its universality. The thinking is therefore inverted and Logic (capitalized) is defined as the principle of being. The concept of Logic is that it is the set of sufficient and necessary conditions that the conception of a state of affairs must satisfy for that state to exist. A state of affairs exists if and only if it is ‘Logical:’ if it is Logical it must exist, if it exists it must be Logical

The fundamental principle of metaphysics expressed in terms of Logic

The second form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics or principle of reference now follows:

46.        Subject to Logic every concept has reference

The principle of reference is the basis of the unified theory of Objects developed in Objects

An obvious system of objections arises. What is the reference of a system of ‘laws of physics’ that are consistent but quite different from the laws of our cosmological system? It will be seen later that corresponding to every consistent set of laws there must be a cosmological system. Next consider that the principle suggests that the laws of physics of our cosmological system do not have necessary or eternal purchase: this should not be an objection for it is consistent with what we know for our laws to be contingent and of finite duration. However, since our laws are ‘a concept’ it is necessary from the system that they should have some purchase as for example in our cosmological system so far and so far as is known. Thus although the principle hints at contradiction, it is not contradictory and although it hints at chaos over law it actually supports law. Thus the Normal behavior of our cosmological system and others is supported by the principle. The concept of the Normal as used here will be developed below; it may be emphasized that it will not receive meaning such as a statistical or functional or normative meaning

That every concept should have reference appears to not make grammatical sense, e.g. what is the Object of the concept of ‘redness.’ The resolution of this concern is addressed in Objects. In anticipation of the later development:

47.        Subject to Logic every concept has an Object

Even though Logic is introduced as a definition the conclusion is far from empty because the known logical principles are at least approximations to Logic

Necessity

In the literature, logical possibility is called a logical modality in that possibility is a judgment and logical possibility is the logical mode of possibility. Another logical modality is that of logical necessity. A proposition is logically necessary if it is not logically possible for it to be false. It is common to regard logical necessity as necessity

The development so far has clear implications for the concept of logical necessity

Every Logical concept of a state obtains. If such a concept obtains it must be Logical. If ‘Logical concept’ and ‘necessary concept’ are equated, then a state is necessary if and only if it obtains. Therefore with Universe as context the actual, the possible, and the necessary are identical

Relative to the Universe, the classical distinction between necessity and possibility dissolves. However, regarding a local world such as this cosmos as context the distinction remains

Consider a state of affairs that satisfies all applicable laws belonging to Logic and to the physics of this cosmos (in this paragraph it is assumed that the laws of physics of this cosmos are known precisely.) What distinguishes Logic? The general laws of Logic are those that obtain in every context. Special divisions of Logic may be specified by specializing focus to classes of context

Some properties of the Void

There is at least one Void. The number of Voids is without further relevance. This follows from the fact that multiple Voids must be equivalent to a single Void

Every particle of being may be regarded as having a Void attached to it—for such multiple Voids are equivalent to a single Void. A particle may therefore self-annihilate at any time

An infinity of Voids may be taken to exist and occupy every ‘corner’ of being. Spontaneous creation of particles and Universes is possible and necessary

The Void is equivalent to every state of affairs, to every Domain, to the Universe—it is under the reign of the Normal that there comes to be a divide that disallows the emergence of some states from a given state. This disallowance, however, is not necessary but may be thought of as highly probable (the concept of the Normal is further developed in the discussions of doubts and objections below

Being and existing

In the history of thought a contrast has been drawn between being and existing. Earlier in the section Existence, essence was seen to have been equated with identity or being-in-itself or being-as-such; this is the idea that has been equated to being. In contrast existence has been equated to being-in-relation of which an example is being-as-known or appearance

In Intuition the necessary Objects were seen to be those for which the concept is perfectly faithful to the Object. For these ‘things’ the distinction between being and existing breaks down

Since the introduction of the idea of the distinction between being and existing was introduced an immense class of necessary Objects has emerged: the Logos which is the Universe in all its details. Thus for the entire Universe there is this sense in which being and existing are not distinguished

We know that these Objects exist even though a small number of them are known

In the practical case the Object is not the thing in itself but is a joint product of knower and known or world. In this case the Object behaves as thing for practical purposes—i.e. with sufficient faithfulness over a limited range of states of affairs. It is only in a desire to regard practical Objects as perfectly known that a divide between being and existing occurs. However, once it is established that there are Objects that are essentially practical there is no reason to regard them as perfectly known. Practically the distinction between being and existing breaks down

The cosmological form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics

The third and cosmological form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics makes the power of the metaphysics manifest. This form follows:

48.        The variety of being in the Universe is the greatest that is Logically possible

Or, since the Logically possible is the greatest Logically possible

49.        The variety of being in the Universe is the Logically possible

A preliminary development of the variety of being

The fundamental principle implies at once that the variety of being in the Universe and the extent of the Universe are without limit. As an example, it every concept has an Object (in this and the following examples the phrase ‘subject to Logic’ is implicit.) This implies that all literature has an Object. As a second example every actual state recurs infinitely

This variety is elaborated in section A variety of Cosmology (a full variety is deferred primarily because subsequent developments will make the cataloging of variety more systematic and more full and secondarily to avoid repetition)

Systematic understanding and cataloging of variety is taken up in the section Applied metaphysics of this chapter and chapters Objects, Cosmology and Worlds below

The fundamental principle of metaphysics in terms of Law

The fourth form of the fundamental principle follows from the third or cosmological form

50.        Law. There is no Universal Law. The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic

It now becomes clearer why the Universe defined as all being is an efficient idea

The Object of the concept of all being is the greatest possible Universe

Johannes Scotus Eriugena conceived of the Universe as all that exists and all that does not (in the atemporal senses of ‘exists’ and ‘does.’) There are a number of possible motivations to this conception even though it does not appear to define an actual Universe. A conceptual motive may be its abstract ‘neatness.’ A practical motive is that though the concept is different from the standard ones, it may be instrumental in understanding the actual one; another practical motive is the quantum mechanical effect of non-existent states on actual ones. What has been revealed here is that the only ‘states’ that do not exist are the Logically impossible ones. Therefore, unless these are considered to be states, Eriugena’s concept is equivalent to the concept of the Universe present narrative; further, even if the Logically impossible states are allowed in concept, the Objects corresponding to the different concepts are identical. Also since the only ‘states’ omitted from the present conception are the ones that violate Logic, the quantum mechanical effect of ‘non-existent’ states appears to be void. The present conception appears to be most efficient, most transparent and most comprehensive

Logos

Logos — Form

Logos

Now define the Logos as the Object of Logic: as the collection of Logically possible states. Earlier it was seen that the logos must contain the Universe. What follows now is a fifth and computational form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics:

51.        The Logos is the Object of Logic; it is the Universe in all its variety and detail

52.        There is no universal Law. All Law is immanent in the Logos

The power of abstraction is evident once more. There is no need for some vague notion of a Logos. The Logos is the Universe; that the Logos is the Universe is reference to the absolutely unlimited variety of being; there are Logical limits to the concepts or description of the variety but no limits to the variety itself

There is a variety of interesting questions opened up regarding Logic that center around two main concerns—What are the implications for the logics? and What are the implications for the actual, i.e. for the Universe? Is and can there be a Logic that has examples such as the logics and the physics that can frame or generate understanding of all being? From the history of logic there must be immense doubt about the possibility of such an endeavor and the sources of doubt are conceptual (completeness) and practical or computational

Form

In classical thought Logos and Form are linked. In the present metaphysics Logos is a fundamental concept while Form will be seen without especial significance. The inclusion of Form in the discussion is due in part to its classical importance. A second reason for inclusion, clarified below in this section, is to compare the two classical concepts—Form and substance—that vied for the role of ‘essence’ of things. In the present Universal metaphysics, there are no ultimate essences even though proximate or practical essence may be allowed and this is the reason that neither Form nor substance is important. However, Form will be found viable as a concept while substance will be found untenable. Roughly, that is because in the present Universal metaphysics all ‘things’ are immanent in being and while Form has immanence, substance ‘stands below.’ The meaning of these assertions will be clarified and their truth established in Objects

The idea of form is similar to that of pattern. Some examples are: a shape has the form of a triangle, a pattern of clouds is a form, all the patterns of behavior that satisfy a law or a theory are a form

If a form is what is read—i.e., the concept—then there must by the principle of reference be a corresponding Object that is called the Form and from the properties of Universe the Form must lie in the Universe

Clearly, a Form is not a thing, i.e. it is not an Object in any naïve sense. However, a thing can be regarded as its own form / Form and therefore some Forms are Objects in a naïve sense. Later, in Objects, we will see what kind of an Object a Form is

Whatever a Form is, it lies in the Universe. Unlike Plato’s ‘Forms,’ in the present use of Form, Forms lie in the one Universe, are immanent in being even though they have the role here that Plato’s ‘Forms’ have in Plato’s theory of Ideas. The kind of thing that a Form is will be clarified in Objects as will be the meaning of the fact—it is a fact in the context of the present metaphysics but on account of the universality of the metaphysics that fact is not relative to any particular context—that there is one Universe

What is a form in the present sense and where does it lie? Clearly forms are concepts and must also lie in the Universe. What is a concept? That has already been specified as, e.g. mental content but as ‘thing’ what is mental content… and in what sense is it thing-like? Clarifications are needed and these too will be given in Objects

The idea of Form is not particularly significant in this narrative. However, it is interesting because it is one of two candidates that classical thought held as the essence of a thing as an Object: the idea of Form and the idea of substance. In this narrative, Form will be seen to be trivial and substance untenable. In this narrative, therefore Form is preferred as essence but it is not particularly important because (1) it will be subsumed in another broader class—the abstract objects and (2) the present metaphysics does without essences altogether—i.e. it allows essences but sees them as special and trivial

The equivalent forms of the—fundamental principle of—metaphysics

Introduction — Forms of the fundamental principle — Characterizations of the metaphysics

The basic forms

B1         The Universe which is all Being has no limits

It is crucial to understand the meaning of the terms. In earlier narratives the term ‘limit’ was not defined with sufficient clarity

B2         The Logos which is the object of Logic is the Universe in all its detail

An earlier set of forms

When the following list was abstracted the development had not reached its current state of maturity

 .              PRIMITIVE FORM—based in the concept of Being. Being is that which is there (over some domain of extension and duration). The power of the concept of Being is its neutrality of commitment to thing or kind. Laws and Patterns have Being (later it will be seen that all Objects, specifically all abstract and particular entities have Being)

I.              FIRST AND ORIGINAL FORM and original anchor of the metaphysics—based in the concepts of the Universe and the Void. Version II-a. The Universe is all Being and contains all Laws and Patterns (and Objects). Version II-b. The Void which is the absence of Being exists and contains no Law (or Object)

If there is a state which cannot be generated from the Void that would be a Law of the Void (and in the Void) but that cannot be for the Void has no Law. I.e. the Void is a universal generator of Being; this knowledge cannot be used to show the variety and therefore the Universal metaphysics is implicitly ultimate with regard to variety of Being. However, the Void is not a substance and therefore provides explicit foundation for all Being. It does so without substance or axiomatic system and therefore its foundation is absolute or non-relative; i.e. the Universal metaphysics is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth

II.           SECOND FORM—based in the concept of Logic. The principle of reference: Subject to Logic every concept has reference—i.e., an Object

This defines Logic which, in its approximate forms as the classical and modern logics, is far from empty. The definition of Logic is equivalently the theory of the possible and the actual. It is unlikely that all Logic may be formulated explicitly; it harbors immense realms of variety

III.         THIRD AND COSMOLOGICAL FORM—basis in the concept of variety. The variety of being in the Universe is the (greatest Logically) possible

The possible is the greatest Logically possible

The variety of the Universe is at least as much as that of any conceivable universe. Suggestively, the Universe is one of maximum freedom or variety; Being fills every niche; this has been called the principle of plenitude

IV.        FOURTH form—based in the concept of Law. There is no Universal Law. The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic

V.           FIFTH AND COMPUTATIONAL FORM—based in the concept of the Logos. The Logos is the Object of Logicit is the Universe in all its variety and detail. All Law is immanent in the Logos

This form of the fundamental principle makes clear that the principle may be a computational tool via the approximation to Logic by the logics

An objective version of this form—The Universe has no limits. In this form it is necessary to specify the meaning of ‘no limits’ with care

VI.        SIXTH FORM—based in the idea of determinism. The Universe is absolutely indeterministic

This form is developed later in the section A metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth. However its truth can be seen from the fact that of the Logically possible states none is unrealized; every state is accessible—accessed—from every other state. Similarly, since all possible states are realized the Universe is absolutely deterministic (this determinism is distinct from the usual temporal notion of determinism)

Further characterizations of the metaphysics

VII.      UNIQUENESS of the Universal metaphysics. There is exactly one Universal metaphysics that is the metaphysics (this metaphysics may however have more than one formulation and be developed in different degrees of detail)

VIII.   THE UNIVERSALIZATION OF METAPHYSICS. The variety of cosmological systems is without limit and there is no typical cosmological system. The Universe does not have the form of any finite or normal or given cosmos. The Universe is absolutely non-cosmomorphic—it has no universal form

This conclusion is the endpoint of a sequence of universalizations of viewpoint in which special vantage points are relinquished and is discussed in detail later in this chapter. The shedding of special vantage points or paradigms such as ethnocentrism, anthrocentrism and anthropomorphism may be seen as continuing on through the shedding of a view of the Universe in the image of any given cosmos. This is the source of the term ‘non-cosmomorphism.’ However, the essence of the universalization is that the Universe has no universal form; this is equivalent to the statement that there is no Universal Law

The one metaphysics

The following words from the Introduction now acquire meaning and evidence

The metaphysics developed shows that there are no limits to the variety of being in the Universe and provides a symbolic approach to generating this variety. However, no list of the variety is able to capture the entire unlimited variety. Thus the metaphysics is implicitly ultimate with regard to variety or breadth. The conclusions regarding breadth is immense in its significance (although glimpsed there is no prior proof) and implication (again, although glimpsed there is no prior proof and even though the metaphysics implicitly generates the entire variety, there is no prior anticipation of what may be explicitly shown.) The metaphysics has foundation without merely posited elements and is thus explicitly ultimate with regard to depth. The metaphysics is called the Universal metaphysics. This conclusion is immense in not being anticipated and (therefore) also in not having proof. Its essential methods include what may be labeled Imagination and Logic

…there is one metaphysics which may be developed in variant formulations (the existence of the Void, the principle of variety, the principle of reference and so on) and to greater or lesser degree (extension and detail.) The Universal metaphysics is ultimate with regard to extension (Universe) but not detail. Because there is but one metaphysics the terms ‘Universal’ and ‘ultimate’ are redundant except for the ultimacy with regard to extension. And except for this aspect of the ultimate character, the ‘price’ for the ultimate character with regard to breadth and depth is that the discovery of Method (Logic) and Content (in the unlimited region beyond the explicit) must be empirical. To this extent there is no absolute certainty in any realm. Thus Logic is brought down from the realm of the a priori but Content is brought up from the merely empirical. It may be said, however, that Logic is (perhaps) the highest of our certainties

Proof and interpretation

The proofs of many results are similar and simple in nature

The proofs of the forms of the fundamental principle are trivial—it is already noted that it is the founding and development of the Universal metaphysics that is non-trivial

The proofs of further results generally require simple application of a form of the fundamental principle to the case in question. However, there is a non-trivial aspect to the results. It lies in the meaning and clarification of the results; it is in the appreciation of their consequences and significance for this world; and it is in the clearing up of apparent contradictions and paradoxes; and it lies in the interpretation of lesser paradigms of understanding in terms of the new and ultimate paradigm

The arguments of chapter Worlds are often non-trivial but even here there is no particular complexity of demonstration. Rather, what is required from the special topic in question is clarification of the nature of the concepts in question and, especially, lifting of a variety of inherited prejudices and, sometimes, further analysis in light of the Universal metaphysics

Space, time, and being

The metaphysics so far has significant implications for the nature of space and time. These include the ubiquity of duration and time; a meaning and necessity to multiple times in some cosmological systems; the interwoven nature of space, time and being; possible sources of the apparent universality of time within our cosmological system and others

The development of such implications will be more effective and complete if taken up after Objects. This is because the treatment of Objects introduces (a) a sophistication of thought regarding abstractions from intuition and (b) clarity of thought regarding the ‘concrete’ Objects that reside in space and time… and a description of a variety of concrete and concrete-like Objects—the particular Objects, and (c) a great variety of ‘non-concrete’ Objects that also have some residence in space and time. The additional Objects of item (c) are the abstract Objects that are generally regarded as being unchanging, acausal and not existing in space. However, in Objects it is shown that the abstract Objects are not constitutionally non-spatial but are Objects for which spatiality is more or less significant (meaning and demonstration is in Objects.) Thus while some abstract Objects effectively lack spatiality, others may have some degree of effective spatiality

Treatment of space, time, and being is therefore deferred to the final section of Cosmology

Doubts, objections and responses

Formal doubt regarding the deduction of the fundamental principle — Formal doubt regarding consistency — Formal doubt from science and reflective common sense. The concept of the Normal — Subjective doubt that sees the metaphysics as artifice—the metaphysics is as if a deus ex machina — Subjective doubt that so much appears to have been derived from so little — Humanistic doubt regarding the austerity of Logic. The objection that the Universal metaphysics is ‘dehumanizing’ — Alfred P. Sloan’s objection — Residual doubt

Formal doubt regarding the deduction of the fundamental principle

Insofar as truth is important—it is a matter of principle to doubt and to criticize a new theory, a metaphysics. For it is by doubt and criticism that error is uncovered and it is by resolving doubt and by passing criticism that confidence in the truth grows

What must be the essential doubt regarding the fundamental principle? Since a demonstration has been given, the doubt is not the doubt regarding a scientific theory which invariably (perhaps) contains an element of the hypothetical. The essential doubt regarding the fundamental principle must concern the validity of its demonstration

There is a further motive to doubt. The fundamental principle of metaphysics is fulcrum of the metaphysics. It is the pivot point that provides the leverage for the immense power of the Ultimate metaphysics. It is this immense power that is a significant motive to doubt the fundamental principle. In the standard paradigm a scientific theory gains in confidence by the slow incremental expansion of its domain of application (more than incremental expansion may be allowed as, e.g. in ‘big-bang’ cosmology, but such extrapolation is associated with more than usual doubt.) However, the Universal metaphysics arrives without announcement but is immediately heralded via proof to be of Universal application. This motive intensifies the significance of doubt regarding the proof of the fundamental principle

An early doubt regarding the fundamental principle was that its demonstration was (apparently) purely logical; nothing is derived by logic alone—a premise is required. However, the appearance that the proof is purely logical stemmed from an incompletely thought out foundation of what later became called the necessary Objects—i.e., those for which the concept is perfectly faithful. This early doubt spurred the development of a foundation in intuition—essentially the entire formal content of chapter Intuition (an intuitive version of some aspects of it had been developed earlier.) Thus the early doubt was resolved and in doing so resulted in a theory of intuition that is an essential advance over what is received from the history of thought and enables the ultimate metaphysics

What is the weakest point of the proof of the fundamental principle? There is no significant doubt regarding the existence of the Universe as all being and the thought that the Universe contains all Laws (there may be lingering doubt due need for formal clarification of ‘Law’ but such clarification is given in Objects.) Then, the Void is defined as the absence of being; therefore, if the Void exists it contains no Law. It is the proof of existence of the Void regarding which there is doubt: every domain has a complement; the complement of the Universe is the Void; therefore the Void exists. Encountered by itself, the statement ‘for every domain, there is a complement’ generates no doubt. However, when we consider that when the domain is the Universe, the complement is the Void doubt arises. In analogy consider a crescent; generally there is no question regarding the existence of the crescent; but when the thickness of the crescent becomes zero, does the crescent exist? We may of course give reasonable arguments that the crescent does exist but the fact that we feel obliged to argue the case indicates reasonable doubt. The existence of this doubt does not mean that it cannot be removed; however it does imply that until removed, the doubt will remain

The task, therefore, is to remove the doubt regarding the existence of the Void. A first proof of existence that addresses the doubt regarding the existence of ‘absence of being’ also clarifies the nature of the doubt. Think of a domain defined by a boundary. The boundary expands so that more of the Universe is within it and the boundary at all previous stages lies within it. Now think of the domain expanding so to occupy the Universe. As long as the domain is not the Universe, there is no doubt that the complement exists; it is only when the domain is the Universe that there is doubt regarding the existence of the complement. The argument is as follows: the limit of the expanding sequence of domains is the Universe and exists, therefore the limit of the contracting sequence of domains exists and is the Void. However, doubt remains because each complement prior to the limit of the Void is ‘substantial’ whereas the Void is insubstantial. The argument may improve our confidence in the existence of the Void but on account of the transition to insubstantiality at the limit doubt is not entirely removed. In mathematical set theory the empty set is thought to exist just as much as non-empty sets do; however, sets are abstract. The concept of the Universe exists, and the concept of the Void exists; but the existence of the Void cannot be concluded from the existence of the concept of the Void (in the case of the Universe it was argued that the Universe exists and from simplicity the concept of the Universe exists; in the case of the Void the existence argument would flow from concept to Object.) And it should be obvious that it cannot be argued that from the concept of the Void there must be a corresponding Object because the principle assumed follows from the existence of the Void

The strategy, therefore, shall be to provide alternative proofs. The following are alternative proofs

The Void is the absence of being. If there is being there is absence of being; therefore the Void exists

There is no logical or material distinction between the following (1) the Void exists and (2) the Void does not exist. Therefore, the proposition that the Void exists has no Logical or material consequence and may validly be considered to exist

Another approach is. to examine the nature of existence and to further examine whether it is inherent in existence that the Void exists (rather than to prove the existence of the Void from the existence of the Universe.) If there is a time of no manifest being, the Void exists. If there is a time of manifest being, the Void exists alongside or even within it in extensions and durations that amount to zero. In either case the Void exists. Additionally, and interestingly if not altogether satisfactorily, this provides basis of an alternative proof that there is an infinite number of Voids (even though there is no particular consequence to fact.) Second, the properties of the Void are shown to imply that there is no manifest Universe at some time, i.e. if at that time only the Void exists, then a manifest Universe must have merged into and will emerge from the Void. So there are two possibilities (a) there is never a time when only the Void exists and (b) there is such a time. If there is such a time then a manifest Universe must emerge. In either case, there will be times when there is something and this resolves the problem of why there shall be being that Heidegger called the fundamental problem of metaphysics… And so we see an important reason to doubt—beyond not making untrue claims and the occasion for adventure and faith: entertaining doubt, as famously noted by Descartes, leads to discovery of truth

The strategy, therefore, shall be to provide plausibility arguments so as to defuse doubt. The following are plausibility arguments

The original proof and its ‘improvement’ via a boundary that approaches the boundary of the Universe

That any quantum state may have a non-zero probability of transition to any other quantum state

That any eternally possible state shall be realized (a form of the principle of plenitude of which a perhaps stronger form omits the word ‘eternally’)

‘What’ is not in the Universe? Apply a minimalist argument to the question: only those concepts disallowed by logic are not in the Universe. The principle of variety which is an alternate form of the fundamental principle follows. The minimalist argument is a form of Ockham’s principle applied to what does not exist rather than to what does exist

The working through a number of alternate forms of the fundamental principle. The forms are (1) Subject to Logic every concept has reference. (2) The variety of being in the Universe is the (greatest Logically) possible. (3) There is no Universal Law. The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic. (4) The Universe is absolutely indeterministic. (5) The Logos is the Object of Logic—it is the Universe in all its variety and detail. All Law is immanent in the Logos. Each of these forms has an intuitive appeal and therefore adds plausibility

Plausibility arguments may increase familiarity and confidence but are not proofs (they may suggest proofs)

The strategy, therefore, may now to appeal to faith as the attitude that is conducive to the greatest outcome

The idea of faith and its role has been discussed in chapters Introduction and Intuition and is formalized in the section Metaphysics and action below. Here therefore comment is limited to significance: (1) Faith is the attitude—cognitive as well as emotive—that is conducive to the greatest outcome. This suggests that on account of limits to rationality and computational power of mind andor machine, action under uncertainty is essential and multivalent. I.e., resources should be devoted to the immediate and the practical and the remote but immensely valuable. (2) The fact of doubt has suggested and required working out a notion of faith and its consequences for action

Still there are doubts regarding the fundamental principle on other accounts as noted and addressed in what follows. These doubts include inconsistency associated with the idea of all being and absurdity associated with the idea of anything is possible (even if restricted by Logic.) However, these doubts are satisfactorily addressed. It may be therefore observed that the fundamental principle is of such power and interest—already established and to be greatly amplified—that given that it entails no essential paradox or absurdity it would be of immense value to pursue its conceptual and action implications even if it lacked proof altogether

Perhaps it is the appearance of inconsistency and absurdity in some of the traditional religions that helps engage the faith of the believer—perversely as in the ability to faith even in the absurd or reasonably as in the service of a higher truth

Formal doubt regarding consistency

Concepts such as ‘all being’ are notoriously associated with indefiniteness and potential for inconsistency

The response is that the Object—the Universe—is already given and not specified via a concept. It may be specified via a concept, the Universe free of detail or the Logos in which detail is implicit which therefore entail no inconsistency

Formal doubt from science and reflective common sense. The concept of the Normal

It is clear that the Universal metaphysics appears to violate science and common sense. It implies that within the constraints of Logic, there is an infinity of cosmological systems with an infinite and unlimited variety of physical laws. There are winds of ‘ghost’ cosmological systems blowing ‘through’ ours at this moment but without a whisper. However, there is no violation. In the first place it may be reflexive to think of physics extending to the entire Universe; however that is not entailed by the methods of science: science is known to hold in its empirical domain and it is likely that it extends beyond that domain but unlikely, by its own principles, that the extension is without limit; and extension without limit is without necessity. Second, from the point of view of the Universal metaphysics what is actual is necessary: therefore the Universal metaphysics requires the actual, i.e., our cosmological system

Amid the immense variety entailed by the metaphysics, the immensely limited variety that is our cosmological system is necessary. Cosmological systems such as ours with defined structure and patterned behavior are examples of what is termed Normal

The Normal and the probable are related but not at all identical

The Normal is a function of the world but also of our knowledge. Energy from atoms, curvature of space and time are now known to be Normal; two hundred years ago these features of today’s science would have been regarded as fantastic

The edge of the Normal is not definite

The Normal includes the Logical. Except Logical limits, Normal limits are contingent: they are so but not necessarily so and not eternally given to be so. Logical limits are necessary

The Universal metaphysics as a scientific theory. The metaphysics is not a scientific theory in that it does not unify a mass of detail and laws into a coherent framework. Instead it starts with simple, empirical, universal, and necessary Objects. The Objects are so simple that Hume’s objection to the necessity of generalization does not apply. Therefore the metaphysics is necessary. It may, then, be seen as a theory of the Universe based on the necessary Objects. Further, it includes all scientific theories in their realms of validity but goes beyond those realms. This progression is analogous, for example, to the progression from the Newtonian framework to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The Universal metaphysics is—perhaps—not immediately testable in the sense of critical experiment but the progression of scientific theories suggest its verification; and it is testable in the sense of chapter Journey. The progression is analogous to the progression of scientific theories in that special vantage points are relinquished in favor of universal vantage points:

53.        The Universe is absolutely non-cosmomorphic

In detail:

The Universalization of metaphysics. The variety of cosmological systems is without limit; there is and can be no typical cosmological system (an atom is a cosmos) and the Universe does not have the form of any finite or normal or given cosmos. The Universe is absolutely non-cosmomorphic—it has no universal form

The shedding of special vantage points or paradigms such as ethnocentrism, anthrocentrism and anthropomorphism may be seen as continuing on through the shedding of a view of the Universe in the image of any given cosmos. This is the source of the term ‘non-cosmomorphism.’ However, the essence of the universalization is that the Universe has no universal form; this is equivalent to the statement that there is no Universal Law (a Law may be seen as a Form and a Form as a Law)

Subjective doubt that sees the metaphysics as artifice—the metaphysics is as if a deus ex machina

A deus ex machina is a device ‘pulled out of the blue’ to overcome the seemingly insolvable. It may appear as though aspects of the Universal metaphysics are such a device. This concern is now addressed

The cosmological form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics: The variety of being in the Universe is the greatest Logically possible

This view is atemporal: it may include duration but is not of or about duration. It has an absolute character: subject to Logic every concept has reference; the Universe is absolutely indeterministic

My early views were temporal, material and non-absolute: I sought understanding in terms of an evolutionary paradigm; the world was taken as it is without attempt to encompass all being. I may add that while I worked with this view I did not think it complete

After the temporal view was worked out I sought a more complete and timeless view. Along the way I came to think that equivalence of the world to absence of being might generate the new still unformed view that I sought. In 2002 it occurred to look at the Void and its properties rather than at the world-as-I-knew it. That was the transformational insight

Thus while it may appear that the Universal metaphysics is a deus ex machina—a contrivance—it may be said that it is well motivated. And further, it has emerged via demonstration as robust in that it is consistent, coherent, founded, and consistent with what is valid in what came before

Subjective doubt that so much appears to have been derived from so little

The doubt is that the sources and argument that found and generate the Universal metaphysics are ‘so little’ but the consequences so immense that we are forced to wonder how the immense result may be possible. This doubt is now addressed

First, although the results are immense in the foundation and immense variety revealed, they are not unreasonable, they contradict no truth, and they are founded. Further, various plausibility arguments make the demonstrated but austere metaphysics reasonable

Second, in that what is revealed is not immediately in experience and in that an immense journey of transformation is required for realizations the results are not ‘so much’ after all

Finally, review the inputs to the developments—intuition and its analysis, insight into and definition and selection of the necessary Objects so that proof becomes trivial, articulation of the system of universal and necessary Objects so that the system achieves universality… These inputs are not ‘so little’ after all

Humanistic doubt regarding the austerity of Logic. The objection that the Universal metaphysics is ‘dehumanizing’

Response. Since the only disallowed states are those that violate Logic, the metaphysics is the richest possible—even perhaps to the point of embarrassment: the remaining states are not merely allowed but are necessary

Alfred P. Sloan’s objection

This section is partially in humor

If an auto-manufacturer is too good, it runs the risk of putting itself out of business. That is not entirely true but if product life were the only consumer criterion it might be. This thought may be seen at the basis of planned obsolescence that Alfred P. Sloan introduced as president and chairman to General Motors; it resulted in General Motors’ ascendancy over competitors—especially the Ford Motor Company… and it is likely that Sloan’s lie among the root causes of the failures of General Motors

Similarly, too good a metaphysics would resolve all the classical problems of metaphysics. Even more it would put an end to the endless debates regarding piece-meal concepts considered in isolation and perhaps even necessarily considered in isolation because there is no framework of coherence or interconnectivity. Too good a metaphysics would put an entire industry of thinkers—e.g., academics—out of work and would dash the aspirations—the trials, promise, and comforts of an academic life—of an entire cadre of apprentices—e.g., students

Residual doubt

Although demonstration has been given, doubt has remained. Although doubts regarding the demonstration have been addressed with heuristic argument, doubt remains

Recall the following forms fundamental principle of metaphysics—The variety of being in the Universe is the greatest that is Logically possible and Being is limited only by Logic. Immediately from the first form, there is an infinity of physical laws and for each there is an infinity of cosmological systems; among these is ours and infinitely many similar to ours in which what is possible in ours is realized; and such formed systems do not exhaust the actual. Immediately from the second form the individual will experience Ultimate Identity via his or her own identity

Even if there were no demonstration and no plausibility argument, the lack of disproof would make pursuit of the implications of worth. Doubt would not dispel this worth

It could be argued that resources should be devoted to more immediate and practical ends. However, the application of some resources to the ultimate need not detract from the immediate. If values were attached to the immediate and to the ultimate and expected outcome maximized then for some numbers devotion of some resources to the ultimate would be indicated. The purpose of the instrumental approach to choice is not to determine choice but to argue against any necessity to application of all resources to practical ends. The actual choice will ever have some personal element. These arguments have not taken into account the thought that the ultimate is not essentially impractical, that it may have practical implications, and that it may give value—though not all value—to the immediate

This indicates, even in the absence of demonstration and heuristics, an appeal to faith as the attitude that is most conducive to action in the presence of possibility and doubt

That there is demonstration and plausibility strengthens the argument for faith

Although the Universal metaphysics requires ultimate realization and may suggest approaches it does not show a path—which is good if unending adventure is good. While traditional practical and disciplinary knowledge including the sciences may help in search for and construction of ways but do not determine them. Even if the demonstration of the metaphysics is perfect, experiment and faith remain essential

The possibility and magnitude of the Universal metaphysics

The possibility of metaphysics — A metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth — A metaphysics that is implicitly ultimate in breadth — Implications for the problems of metaphysics

The possibility of metaphysics

The possibility of metaphysics has been an important philosophical concern at least since Hume and Kant. Consequently one modern approach to metaphysics has been to focus on what has been called a metaphysic of experience

The general metaphysics of the present narrative first concerns the simple Objects Universe, Domain and Void. For these Objects experience is perfectly faithful and therefore metaphysics of experience is metaphysics. The analysis extends metaphysics to Logos ‘the Universe in all its variety which is shown to be the greatest Logically possible variety.’ We know of the variety, we know of immensely many of the Objects even though we do not know all of them.

That metaphysics is possible is understatement. The Universal metaphysics has been demonstrated; it has an empirical scaffolding that supports an infinite and true conceptual core; it is ultimate in variety and depth. Metaphysics is not merely possible for the Universal metaphysics is necessary, empirical in its framework, ultimate, and actual

A metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth

Substance and determinism. In seeing the world as water, Thales introduces water as substance. The world manifests with variety or non-uniformity and change or non-constancy. One form of understanding is to see the complex in terms of the simple. The ultimate in simplicity might be a substance that is uniform and unchanging. How might the world be seen in such terms? The world will emerge from substance. How will this emergence occur? If the emergence is completely random or indeterministic there is no explanation (a process is deterministic when the outcome or trajectory is already determined in initial states.) The greatest in simplicity of emergence or process is deterministic process. Therefore the ultimate in substance explanation would appear to occur when the world can be seen as emerging deterministically from a single uniform unchanging substance. Substance and determinism are ‘twins.’ Heidegger’s argument against substance did not explicitly extend to determinism

Monism is the term applied to a metaphysics in which a single substance is sufficient. Monism appears to be the simplest understanding of the world

It is characteristic of understanding in terms of substance that the understanding of all Objects is referred to a simple Object. Thus a problem of substance metaphysics is the nature of the substance itself

If it is possible to understand the world in terms of substance, a foundation may be said to have been given. Foundation need not be in terms of substances as understood in science but in terms of other kinds such as process or, in linguistic or mental modes of thinking, in terms of sentences or concepts. These kinds could be thought of as generalized substance. In all cases of substance metaphysics it appears that the world is founded in the unfounded

If a metaphysics is to be non-relativist, i.e. to require no further explanation, it appears that it must be founded in substance. In the alternative, i.e. relativist metaphysics, it appears that understanding does not terminate: any attempt at foundation will require infinite regress

If substance is determinist, uniform and unchanging there can be no emergence of change or variety. The idea that such a substance can yield complexity involves implicit appeal to some other element and violates the thought that understanding is substance understanding. Substance explanation must yield on some point of the simplicity requirements and therefore there can be no true substance understanding. While absolute simplicity cannot yield complexity there is no paradox the thought that relative simplicity may yield complexity. When some point or points of non-simplicity are allowed but the ‘substance’ is still relatively simple, a ‘substance’ understanding may be possible but would not be true substance understanding. Such ‘substances’ may be called practical substances and these include apparent monism, dualism, process, language, and science

Universal metaphysics and substance. In this metaphysics, the Universe may be seen as being generated by the Void (or by any state.) In fact, from the fundamental principle the Universe must pass through the Void state (and every state.) Perhaps then the Void may be seen as substance. However, the emergence of manifest states from the Void cannot be deterministic—see subsequent discussion—and therefore the Void cannot be regarded as substance in the traditional sense. The Void cannot even be regarded as causing the manifest states in the usual meanings of causation even though the Universe emerges from the Void

However, though the Void is not the classically simple substance par excellence, it is supremely simple in another sense. Substance contains determinism which is a form of Law. The Void is the absence of being and contains no Law. The Void does not even contain Law—viewed this way the Void is simpler than classical or traditional substance. In positing substance as simple some hypotheses are made about it (determinism.) No hypothesis is made about constraint or non-constraint regarding the Void. From this point of view, then, the Void is the ultimate in simplicity

Since the Void may be seen as generating the manifest phases of the Universe, it may be seen as foundation. Since it need not refer to anything else here, then, is a non-relativist foundation without substance. This is an observation of immense significance, first, in itself, and second in that it stands against the standard thought that there is no non-relativist metaphysics without substance. However, any state of being may substitute for the Void as ‘pseudo-substance’

The understanding of the Universal metaphysics—the foundation—is ultimately shallow: every state may be understood in terms of itself (as well as in terms of any other including the Void.) Though ultimate in depth as non-relativist without substance, that depth is ultimately shallow. Being is its own foundation—without substance or unending regress—or, in another sense, the Universal metaphysics is a move away from foundationalism

In a sense to be seen, the ‘depth’ of the Universal metaphysics lies in variety rather than depth of understanding

Determinism versus indeterminism. It is seen that every state emerges from the Void. Therefore the annihilator state of any state must also emerge from the Void. It follows that every state is accessed from any state. The sixth form of the fundamental principle follows:

54.        The Universe is absolutely indeterministic

I.e. of the Logically possible states, none is unrealized; every state is accessible—accessed—from every other state

Similarly, since all possible states are realized the Universe is absolutely deterministic (this determinism is distinct from the usual notion of determinism as temporal determinism)

The Sortal. In the use of substance so far, a substance is the fundamental ‘thing’ of the Universe. Another meaning, one used by Aristotle, is that of the kind of the various species of thing—including but not at all limited to biological species. A sortal is roughly such a kind seen as essence. The sortal horse is the mold for all horses. The fundamental principle of metaphysics clearly denies any ultimate foundational need for sortal. However, the sortal may be practically tenable—for example as gene material

The habit of substance thinking. The motive to substance may be seen as search for simplicity regarding the world manifested in enduring Objects. This approach to understanding manifests in other areas of thought and may be called the habit of substance thinking. As a practical approach the ‘habit’ has a natural and useful side. Taking the practical as the ultimate leads to error, aborts development

In the examples that follow the assertions are instances of the habit of substance thinking. These assertions are intended to point to the absurd consequences that follow from the habit

Epistemology. CONCEPT-Object: uniformity across all Objects, e.g. perfect knowledge of all Objects or no knowledge. Uniformity over elements of cognition: no empirical data can be necessary; only tautology can be necessary—and tautology must be necessary; emotion has no Object. The received as tacit a priori. Critical doubt as theory. Positivism: absence of proof as proof of absence. Word-Object: current limits of demonstrated understanding as limits of the world; my limits of understanding as the limits of understanding

Ethics. Separability of context; universalization of ethical meanings; universalization of principles of justification

Aesthetics. What is essential in art can be captured by a formula. But if the essential cannot be captured that does not mean that there can be no objectivity

Civilization. What is essential in a civilization can be captured by a formula

Meaning. Meaning as fixed; dictionary theory

Traditional metaphysics. The options are monism or dualism; ‘zero’ substance either as thing or terminal point of explanation is not an option. Monism versus dualism: idealism and materialism as essentially different—ideas and things as different; if matter is Object, idea must be subject. Experience is experienced as ‘different;’ therefore experience is essentially different and cannot be conceived otherwise

A metaphysics that is implicitly ultimate in breadth

The fourth form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics is The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic—that is, there is no Law on the limit to the variety of being

A preliminary variety has been given earlier. A more full variety is developed in Cosmology. The limitation of Logic implies that the actual variety is uncountable; therefore a catalog of the variety cannot be given. It follows that experience of the variety of being is the ultimate variety; as noted earlier the true depth of being lies in variety and not in foundation

Clarification. It might appear from the variety that there is a contradiction: Jesus Christ exists and does not exist. There is in fact no contradiction. There is an infinity of cosmological systems. On some there is a figure whose life and biology is identical to the Biblical story of Jesus; on others there is identity. In some of these the name of that figure is ‘Jesus Christ;’ on others it is something else (an immense variety of names.) Then there are other cosmological systems on which there is no Christ-like figure

A possible paradox regarding structure. The fundamental indeterminism inherent in the fundamental principle of metaphysics suggests a paradox: from indeterminism there can be no structure. That thought is clearly erroneous. The indeterminism in question has been seen to be absolute indeterminism: from any given state there is no unaccessed state. Therefore given absence of structure, structure must emerge. The principle does not show how structure will emerge. Mechanisms of emergence are discussed in Cosmology

Implications for the classical and modern problems of metaphysics

If the Universal metaphysics is ultimate there should be implications for the traditional and modern problems of metaphysics. It should not be unreasonable to expect that (a) Metaphysics shall be understood in new ways, (b) The question of the possibility of metaphysics shall receive resolution, (c) The traditional and modern problems of metaphysics shall receive illumination which will include resolutions and dissolution

In chapter Contribution these issues will be addressed with immense but not unexpected success. A concern of that chapter will be to systematically define and catalog the problems of metaphysics

This section provides a taste of the problems and resolutions

The problem of absolute versus relative space and time. The problem has been addressed in the earlier section Space, time and being

The problem of substance. The problem has been addressed in the section A metaphysics that is explicitly ultimate in depth

The fundamental problem of metaphysics. Heidegger called the problem of why there is being—why there is something rather than nothing—the fundamental problem of metaphysics. Recall the fourth form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics: The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic. Therefore (1) the Universe must enter into the Void state in which there is no manifest being and (2) ‘when’ the Universe is in the Void state, manifest states of being will and must emerge. What has been called the fundamental problem of being is trivially resolved. A true fundamental problem of being is the twin problem What is being? and What has being? The first part is addressed earlier. The second part of the problem has been partially addressed earlier and a more full treatment is given in Cosmology where it is shown that there is and can be no complete treatment in the sense of a cataloging of all Objects

A many worlds metaphysics

The metaphysics that has been developed is the metaphysics of the one Universe which has no limit. The notion of ‘limit’ is not qualified—e.g. as limit on spatial or temporal extent or variety and so on. The Universe can be conceived in principle but not in practice—i.e. the breadth is implicitly known. However understanding of the absence of limit without qualification can be expressed in the by now familiar term ‘subject only to Logic…’

A number of doubts and objections—belonging to a variety of kinds of doubt / objection—have been entertained and addressed. The discussion of critical doubt ended with an assertion—However there is residual doubt

The residual doubt has a significant psychological (rather than formal) content

Therefore, although I prefer to regard the Universal metaphysics as real, I will give it a many worlds interpretation

This interpretation may appeal to others who retain phases of psychological andor formal doubt (the term ‘phases’ refers to the fact that the doubt may not obtain at all times and for all purposes)

The many worlds metaphysics

Consider the concept whose only limits are those of logic. This defines a conceptual universe or conceptual metaphysics. For this section alone define this conceptual metaphysics to be the universe

Regard the World as the known World of modern science; and let the world be its concept. Of course that world is not perfectly defined because, first, there are alternate projections from current science and, second, because (with near certainty) more remains to be revealed. This incompleteness of definition is not relevant to the present purpose because the concern is with a limited world whose character is rather like that revealed by conceptual-empirical science

Then the world lies within the universe. However, there are many other (conceptual) worlds that lie within the universe but do not have an object world

A significant part of the foregoing and subsequent developments have interpretation in terms of this conceptual metaphysics

Preliminary comments on method

It may be useful to recapitulate the method or approach taken so far. The thoughts that follow will be the basis for a more complete and formal treatment in chapter Method. Although the history of ideas suggests that even in very special disciplines there are typically no general algorithms we shall avoid a priori claims regarding the possibility of algorithm in relation to metaphysics—the study itself rather than pre-judgment shall determine this issue. In this section, however, method is approach. The approach to the Universal metaphysics has been as follows

At the outset some uncertainty is admitted with regard to all aspects of knowing. (although it has not been emphasized this uncertainty extends to the nature and possibility of knowledge itself.) However there is no commitment to faithfulness or its lack. Judgment may emerge from the process of investigation

At outset some uncertainty of lack of faithfulness is admitted for all aspects of knowing and coming to know. However, there is no commitment to faithfulness or its absence. All that shall be said at outset is that there are general schemes of analysis according to which perfect faithfulness is universally questioned and often absent but is not universally disconfirmed. From this lack of confirmed faithfulness according to a scheme of analysis, some critics conclude that all knowledge is suspect and others go further to conclude that no knowledge is possible at all. However the conclusion from the general analysis ranges from the negative to the neutral and this leaves open the possibility that more particular schemes that may confirm perfect faithfulness in some cases

Model or framework for knowing. It is true that the model of knowing selected was one in which faithfulness has meaning. Had this model turned out to be inadequate, it would have had to be abandoned

Realm of acting-knowing; faith. As it turns out there is a realm in which knowing-according-to-this-model is without significance and therefore the model is outside its realm of applicability. In this realm of inapplicability mental content (which may be experienced as knowing) and acting are bound together. In this realm, faith is an attitude that is conducive to maximal outcome. In the absence of outcomes, faith is implicit though not blind trust in the present (we are aware of the possibility danger but not unduly influenced by it)

Intuition—tentative reigning in of all knowing under intuition. Intuitive knowledge is knowledge that is the result of biological or cultural conformity of knower to known. The process by which intuitive knowing presents is opaque to the knower. Therefore intuitive knowledge does not come with any explicit mark of its degree of faithfulness. Perfect faithfulness is neither natural to nor generally desirable for intuition. At outset all knowing—perceiving and conceiving which includes deduction—is reigned in under intuition

How may metaphysics be possible from intuition? For metaphysics to be possible via intuition there must be some Objects for which intuition is perfect. These Objects are called necessary. For metaphysics to be potent, the necessary Objects should include Universal Objects

Origin of metaphysics and Logic in analysis of intuition. Analysis of perception shows the following to be necessary: Universe as all-being-in-its-unity, the fact of detail though even though knowledge of detail is not necessary, Law as mode of being, Domain, and Void as absence of being and therefore of Law. Conceptual analysis of the Void reveals the Logos as the Universe-in-all-its-detail to the Object of Logic as an abstract ideal of the logics. Universe, Domain, Void are empirical because they lie in perception. Logos is empirical because it is defined implicitly to correspond to the world. The actual working out of logos via logic is a program that is driven by with experience with conceptual understanding and its linguistic formulation. That logic appears to be a priori is a result of its origin being remote and therefore obscured from view

The Universal metaphysics and its fundamental principle result from the foregoing

The ultimate variety or breadth and the ultimate foundation or depth now result

This leads to General metaphysics—the known necessary Objects, and special metaphysics—the inferred Objects

A summary of the observations on method—so far. The method of deriving the Universal metaphysics starts by reigning in all knowing under intuition. One source of the success of this approach is that it relinquishes a priori commitments regarding the nature—empirical, rational and so on—and justification of claims to knowledge. The Objects of perception are not precisely known in general. However, abstraction results in certain simple Objects that are necessary, i.e. necessarily known with perfect faithfulness. Analysis of these Objects results in the Universal metaphysics as well as the concept of Logic. The laws of Logic are, however, empirical in their origin. Intuition is analyzed as concept and Object. Here, then, in intuition—at the intersection of concept and Object, at the intersection of knower and known—lies the dual and coeval origin of content and method. These comments on method do not exhaust the extent of its development in this narrative; method is further extended in Applied metaphysics, Objects, Worlds and, finally, in chapter Method

Concerning psychologism. What has been done may sound as if it is a psychologism. Psychologism is the identification of psychological with non-psychological entities. For example, it is a psychologism to identify logical laws with psychological laws or a subset of psychological laws. Many thinkers, especially logicians, think that it is a mistake to think that logic can be founded in psychology. Frege argued that whereas logic and mathematics are precise, psychology is imprecise and vague—Psychologism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) It could be said—logical systems are precise, brains are messy. The label ‘psychologism’ is commonly a term of rebuke. However, the argument here is not that logic is founded in human psychology as such

The source of Logic in the present development. Precisely what is the relation of the Universal metaphysics and Logic to intuition? We can think of the intuition—brains—as messy. However, there is a precise net within the ‘mess’ that corresponds to the Universal metaphysics / Logic. Think of the precision of formal logic as the precision of symbolic definition relations between symbols so defined—this is a precise net within the set of all iconic / symbolic conceptions. Think of unending random scribbling on an unending piece of paper. Somewhere in the scribbling this essay will be reproduced; and somewhere it will be possible to see this essay by removing parts of the scribbles—this is a form of the ‘infinite monkey theorem’ that if a monkey hits keys on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time the probability of typing any given novel approaches certainty as time approaches infinity. Similarly, any precise logic will fall out of the messy scribbles. Thus the present approach is not a psychologism in the sense of foundation in terms of fuzzy laws or concepts any more than logic is nothing but random typing or scribbling. It is true that in Platonism the mathematical symbolic systems are thought to capture real mathematical Objects in some ideal space or world. The Objects of the Universal metaphysics could be thought of as residing in an ideal world but we have seen that they lie intensely in the one Universe. In Objects it will be seen that mathematical Objects and Logic are Objects but though ideal in some sense of perfection they, too, lie in this Universe—i.e. they are not ideal in the sense of being mental Objects or in the sense of lying in an ideal world

Cosmology—i.e., general cosmology—lies at the intersection of the metaphysics and those special objects that permit perfect faithfulness

Identity. These developments show the identity of the individual and Universal Identity. They suggest but do not show how this identity is realized

Applied metaphysics lies at the intersection of the metaphysics and disciplines for those special Objects that have not so far or will never allow perfect faithfulness. This includes the sciences including physics and physical cosmology and anthropology

Applied metaphysics further illuminates realization but only incompletely

Faith and method. The journey and other application require experiment and trial and their maximal enhancements require faith

Metaphysics and action

To count as action, process must be bound to experience as conceiving-selecting (here ‘conceiving’ includes cognition and emotion.) However, action is not limited to body-as-body process or the effect of the body of the individual on the environment. It may also be thought provided that the thinking is itself at least partially driven by conceiving-selecting

Inaction is action that has no body-environment-process

The process of action is not invariably unique. Lack of uniqueness may be the result of doubt regarding knowledge or its cognitive consequences or lack of unique determination. It is not necessary for the process that is selected to be unique; more than one path of action may be undertaken simultaneously. Whether single or multiple paths are chosen, action occurs under doubt, uncertainty, or indefiniteness. Faith is the attitude that is conducive of sufficiently confident or productive action; at minimum faith is the attitude that permits action in the presence of alternatives and doubt

Such faith may be seen as imposed on or appended to metaphysics. Alternatively there is a larger metaphysics that encompasses action and faith

Faith and the Universal metaphysics

The main doubts regarding the Universal metaphysics are the doubts regarding absurdity which have been adequately resolved and the doubt regarding the proof. The doubt regarding the proof is not a disproof of the proof—i.e., it is not one regarding a logical error in the proof but one regarding a premise. Although arguments for the premise and alternative proofs without the premise have been given, doubt remains

As an alternative to regarding the Universal metaphysics as true I therefore consider the following ‘action’ approach: regard that there is plausible argument in favor of the Universal metaphysics but no definite proof; but since there is also no disproof, the Universal metaphysics may be regarded as a hypothesis to be explored

The exploration would be a conceptual and, especially, an experimental (journey, transformation) exploration into the entire reach of being (see The equivalent forms of the—fundamental principle of—metaphysics for a variety of useful expressions of the metaphysics)

A question that arises, perhaps the principle question, is whether such exploration may be of value. Some arguments regarding the case may be, pro: there is value to search into the reaches of being—especially given the magnitude of what may be discovered; and con: the vast problems of the world today are far more important and pressing, let us not waste precious resources and, besides, our great scientific and technological endeavor is all that we need in the way of exploration. The pro and con approach is typical of ‘either or’ or ‘black and white’ or, as seen later, ‘substance’ thinking. In the present case it is possible to use an ‘and’ approach: we can continue on with science and we can also undertake the exploration of the reach being. First, however, consider the objection that science is that exploration. The counter-argument is that science is, perhaps, an exploration of being but it restricts itself to the relatively immediate—i.e., the empirical as revealed in direct and instrumental observation (on which is overlaid conceptual-theoretical interpretation with the caveat that though concept and theory are hypothetical, they have survived empirical and rational test.) There are, as revealed later, ways of investigation into the reaches of being. Both endeavors are of value; science—and other practical endeavors including the economic, the political and the humanitarian—into the immediate and the methods of ‘journey’ into the far reaches. Since it is immediate, the ‘practical’ endeavors will of course receive most of our resources; since it illuminates our life and has great potential, exploration of the reaches will receive some resources. There is perhaps another argument against the use of resources in the full exploration of being—it is that this exploration is already the function of the institution labeled ‘religion.’ In so far as the argument has meaning its force is diminished by the fact that ‘experimental and conceptual exploration of all being’ and ‘religion’ have overlap and, further, as I have argued, the traditional religions (especially in becoming institutionalized and in presenting premature but fixed views) have essentially abandoned exploration of being (in liberal and humanistic interpretations the pertinent department of religion—history and metaphysics according to religion—functions as symbolic of the human psyche.) What kind of resources shall we apply to the exploration of all being? Shall we apply for grants from governmental agencies or private foundations? Perhaps, but it may be in the nature of the case the search shall most effectively be undertaken by a few individuals—privately, as experimental activities under the umbrella of traditional religions and practices, and occasionally as students of being (researchers) in schools and universities…

One of the concerns of a modern view of philosophy—or aspect to philosophy—in a therapeutic role is the idea of the end of philosophy—that we see here in the idea of faith, simple animal faith as much as the attitude that is conducive to good action, and in action itself

Applied metaphysics

The first core of the system of ideas is the Universal metaphysics and its further clarification and elaboration in Objects and Cosmology. Partial foundation for the metaphysics is in Intuition

The Applied metaphysics and its detailed development in Worlds constitute the second core of the system of ideas. The Applied metaphysics lies at the intersection of the Universal metaphysics and disciplines for those special Objects that have not so far or will never allow perfect faithfulness. This includes the sciences including physics and physical cosmology and anthropology

What follows is a brief discussion and foundation for Applied metaphysics. The foundation is further elaborated in Worlds and in Method

What is applied metaphysics?

Applied metaphysics is the working out of consequences, not necessarily precise, of the intersection of the general metaphysics and the disciplines

The methods of applied metaphysics

Pure metaphysics—knowledge of the universal Objects—frames practical knowledge and may enhance it (1) Because there are analogs of the practical Objects in the metaphysics—i.e. the metaphysics frames practical knowledge, (2) By enabling analysis of the fundamental elements of the practical knowledge as or in terms of absolutely fundamental Objects, and (3) By encouraging revision of the conceptual elements of the practical systems in light of the metaphysics

When the limit of faithfulness is obtained, further faithfulness cannot be desirable. That is not merely the practical viewpoint

Applied metaphysics and the normal

The fundamental principle of metaphysics immediately suggests paradox—the only fictions are Logical, i.e., every work of fiction is realized subject to Logic

A first question—how shall we bring all thought, all literature all formal and technical treatises… into coherence? This concern motivates the definition of Logic

Secondly, what is the significance for our—and other—worlds… worlds of apparently definite behavior and patterns and laws that are not merely Logical?

The resolution of this second concern is in the concept of the Normal. This concern combined with the fact of our world suggests the concept of the Normal. However, the concept of the Normal is not merely an intuited idea

The fundamental principle requires Normal worlds—e.g. ours—of patterned, regular-like, law-like, stable-like, symmetry-like behavior. Mechanism is not required for the existence of such worlds even though the vast majority of such worlds may be the result of mechanism making mechanism immensely probable

It is implicit here that there is a precise side even—subject to Logic every concept has an Object—to applied metaphysics that is a consequence of the fundamental principle and is brought out further in Objects and Cosmology

Discussion of Normal worlds is continued in the chapter Worlds

Science

There is the fact of science—the practice, the scientists, the academies-publications-universities-theories-and-so-on—and the concept of science. Science is sufficiently indefinite—its complexity, its transformations—that it is unlikely to be captured by a fixed concept. Perhaps every specific philosophy of science captures at most an aspect of science

What is science? Here, the focus is on the nature of the theories of science. The production of scientific theories—intuition, hypothesis, law, concept formation, theory—is deemphasized. We have seen two viewpoints regarding theories. In the first, a theory is seen to aim at the universal. From this point of view every theory has a tentative or hypothetical aspect: new data may overturn the theory (limits to this viewpoint have been mentioned but those limits are not relevant in this section.) There is something remarkable about scientific theories that is not brought out by this viewpoint: the major scientific theories are applicable to immense precision over vast domains (the domains are vast in relation to the immediate.) That is, there are domains over which such theories may be regarded as facts. This is the second viewpoint: that scientific theories are facts; the limitation to certain domains does not separate scientific theories from simple facts such as the fact of the existence of an electron—an electron is not a universal Object

Metaphysics and science

The Universal metaphysics reveals a Universe that is infinitely larger than the world of traditional science. However, within the Universal metaphysics the scientific theories are facts: they are very special facts. The fundamental principle of metaphysics requires these facts

Miracles

If miracles are exceptions to Normal knowing—e.g., reflective common sense, science—miracles are obviously necessary

In the Normal ‘realm’ it is not reasonable to depend on miracles

The two previous statements are in agreement with Hume’s view. The following is neutral with regard to Hume’s view on miracles:

Outside the Normal realm, miracles are common and necessary. However, they lose their sense as miraculous. Still, though there is no loss of adventure or wonder

Developments in Applied metaphysics

The main developments in applied metaphysics are among the contents of chapter Worlds. Cosmology may also be regarded as applied metaphysics—the chapter Cosmology takes up those aspects of a variety of being suggested by experience but still amenable to faithfulness

Objects

In the development so far, the first and naïve prototype of the Object is the ‘concrete thing’

In contrast to particular things Plato introduced the idea of Form that does not reside in the world of sensible things. Plato regarded the Forms as more real than the things of the sensible world

While there is no precise knowing of the practical Objects of the world, the ‘Objects’ of mathematics are defined with precision and ‘live’ and appear, within mathematical systems and intuition, to have independent existence that is in some ways more real than the existence of practical Objects

The Platonic Forms and the ‘Objects’ of mathematics are among the sources of the idea that there are such things as abstract Objects. In contrast to the abstract Objects, the Objects of the previous chapters are labeled concrete; the concrete will be generalized as the particular

The first contribution of this chapter is as follows. Here, a broader view of Objects is developed by showing that the abstract Objects are indeed Objects. I.e., the basis of their being Objects is not mere intuition and it is not the force of any thought that abstract Objects appear to have a higher reality. Instead the existence of the abstract Objects is demonstrated

A second contribution is that the traditional divide between the abstract and the particular Objects is dissolved. A uniform theory of Objects is developed. This unified view is most powerful in that the existential status of the variety of Objects is resolved. The view is also most surprising in that it is perhaps counter intuitive and in that it stands against the mainstream view that the abstract and the particular are essentially different. The development further solidifies the idea that there is one Universe: the thought that there is a variety of worlds—a physical world, a world of mental things, a world of ideal Forms and so on—is shown to have no hold on the real

The Universal metaphysics lays foundation for a theory of variety that is developed in Cosmology. A further contribution of Objects is an immense broadening of our knowledge of variety

Objects—a review

Concept and Object

Let us begin with a selective review what has so far been learned about concepts and Objects

When a knower has a concept of an Object the Object is a product of knower and known

The concept is not the Object but there are cases in which the concept is perfectly faithful to the Object; in this case we know the Object; and there are cases in which the concept is perfectly faithful to some Object; in this case we know of the Object. In both cases the Object is called necessary and for instrumental purposes we may conflate concept and Object

In practical cases the concept is sufficiently faithful for some instrumental purposes. Here, we may conflate concept and Object for practical purposes (care is necessary because—for example—a chain of practical reasoning does not necessarily yield a practical result)

The foregoing ‘unifies’ the necessary and the practical

The principle of reference

From Metaphysics, Forms of the fundamental principle: Subject to Logic every concept has reference—i.e., an Object. This is the principle of reference. Not all those Objects lie in this cosmological system. It is via this principle that we know of the Objects of special metaphysics—e.g., gods—which includes the variety in Cosmology

We know the Objects of general metaphysics—these include the Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos; these are empirical Objects. We know of the Objects of special metaphysics—e.g., gods; knowledge of these Objects is generally a consequence of the principle of reference—i.e. deductive consequence from the empirical (in special cases the knowledge may be directly empirical)

Particular Objects

General

The naïve prototype of the Object is the ‘thing.’ A brick is a ‘thing’ and therefore the first view of Objects is that Objects are ‘concrete.’ While bricks are practical Objects, consider the concept of a brick. According to the principle of reference, this concept has real necessary Objects—perhaps in other cosmological systems—that approximate our real bricks. The collection of references could be called ‘universal’ and an actual brick that is known empirically may be regarded as local

Similarly, the concepts of a specific process and a specific relation have necessary references that approximate real processes and relations of interaction or, simply, relations

Thus while we may prefer to not think of processes and relations as things—we do not usually experience them as concrete—they are aspects of things. We can conceive of processes and relations and they are aspects of things. When a number of atoms make a body the causality of the body may naïvely be the sum of the atomic causes. Similarly process and relation may be regarded as formally causal and spatial and therefore physical and, further, since they fit the concept-reference mold, they are Objects. A reason to not suppose them to be Objects is that they do not seem to be complete. The same charge, however, may be leveled against the concrete Object. It is the particular place of the concrete Object in our psychology that makes process and relation less immediate; however, there is no formal reason to not consider them to be Objects

Some states of affairs are composites of thing-relation-process or, more precisely, of {concrete Object}-{relation Object}-{process Object.} These, too, may be considered to be Objects. A solar system—a system of planets orbiting a sun under their mutual influences; a fluid system—an atmosphere moving under the dynamic system of internal fluid-fluid and external forces are typical example of such state-relation-process Objects

In this section the examples of Objects so far lie ‘solidly’ in the physical world. Objects need not be physical. A university, for example, has a physical aspect but is not a physical entity—at least not entirely: a university has buildings and perhaps lawns but the university is more about the people, the knowledge, the education, and the research: an appropriately structured online community could be a university

Similarly, a person may perhaps be considered to be an Object. There are special concerns regarding persons: persons will be taken up under Personal identity below

All such Objects, though not altogether thing-like, are (composite) singulars and their nature is naïvely rooted in their physicality and thus labeled particular Objects. From the examples given it appears that a particular Object has location and may undergo change

The first notion of particular Object or, simply, particular is defined by (1) A particular is singular—the concept is regarded as corresponding to a single Object (even though may via the principle of reference be seen as corresponding to many Objects) and (2) A particular is rooted in the physical, it has location (in space) and may change and be implicated in cause and effect

Concrete Objects are prototypically causal. While other particulars are do not satisfy all aspects of paradigms of causality they are implicated in causality

A pattern may be seen as a particular Object: it is the particular Object that has the pattern minus certain details. Similarly, forms and Laws may also be seen as particular Objects. However, as will be seen, this is not the only way to regard patterns, forms, and Laws (it might be more precise to capitalize ‘pattern’ and ‘form;’ and from a practical point of view it might be seen as unnecessary to capitalize ‘Law’)

Identity

The primary sense of identity in philosophy is that the identity of an Object is what it is. This is suggestive even though circular. Clearly though and talking roughly, different Objects must have different identities and the same Object cannot have two identities. The idea of sameness and difference are used below to show a way out of the circularity. Because there is a one-one correspondence between Objects and identities, identity may be regarded as a particular Object. Identity is an important concept in philosophical thought

The study of identity will have the following secondary but significant outcomes: its analysis will result in a clarification of the nature of the Object and of meaning; analysis of identity will be an occasion to reflect on holism and reflexive versus piece meal approaches to thought… and consequently to reflect on the idea, possibility, and actualities of systematic philosophy; and, finally, personal identity is important in Cosmology

The sense of the term identity in philosophy centers on the question What makes an Object the Object that it is? If there were essences (sortals) then identity would be closely related to the idea of essence (sortal.) One way to approach the idea of identity is via difference. Suppose that there is a box with a number of Objects in it. Each of two observers selects an Object and calls out its properties—shape, size, position, color, mass and so on. If a single property is different then, we think, they Objects selected are different. Suppose all the Objects have the same finite number of properties. If every property is the same then the observers have selected the same Object. If the number of properties is infinite then the list does not end but if property after property turns out to be the same, we begin to suspect that the Objects are the same. Although there is a practical difficulty of verifying that each of an infinite number of properties is the same we may perhaps generalize: the Objects are the same if all their properties are the same. This view, originally formulated by Leibniz, suggests: identity is sameness. In addition to the problem of an infinite number of properties there is also the problem that the principle equates an Object with its set of properties

Some problems facing this view of identity follow. If a wall in a house is removed is it the same house? If all the cells as well as the matter in the cells in a living organism are replaced after a number of cell divisions is it the same organism? Or, generally, when an Object changes over time how do we judge that it is the same Object or that its identity does not change? In particular how do we judge that an individual is the same person from childhood to adulthood?

The issues are addressed here by first asking What is the Object? That is, if a house material composition in a certain definite arrangement or if it is a definite collection of walls, doors, windows and so on in a definite arrangement then certainly removing a wall makes it a different house. We resist that conclusion but the reason that we resist it is that we do not think of a house as a definite arrangement but rather as a dwelling. Of course houses need not be dwellings and location and design are not irrelevant. A key issue now comes into perspective. The idea of ‘house’ may be held rather intuitively but the intuition is not fixed across cultures, individuals, times or other contexts. A house is a human artifact and its designs and uses are malleable and therefore the concept of ‘house’ is also malleable the boundary between ‘house’ and ‘not-house’ sufficiently indefinite that no pre-script for ‘house’ can be given. Thinking of a house as a home—as an example—removing the wall does not necessarily make the house different. We probably cannot specify in advance what changes will make a house a different house and what changes will not and that is because we do not have—and do not need to have—a definite concept of house or of any particular house. And the judgment may depend on culture, person and other contextual variables and this need not be occasion for puzzlement or debate even though it may be occasion for illumination of the ideas of Object and identity. There is something special about ‘Objects’ such as houses and hammers: it is part of their conception that they are not—merely—natural Object but they are artifacts and have functions: and the function is one additional parameter that is at least implicit in their conception. The concept for a natural Object such as an electron does not have the same kinds of freedoms and malleabilities as do the concepts for artifacts. However, even for natural Objects there may be freedoms in conceptualization. If there are competing theories regarding the nature of matter at a sub-atomic level then there may be different but equally acceptable conceptions of the electron: the electron is typically thought of as a point particle but some physicists believe that this conception is the result of an incompleteness in fundamental physics. In technology, a cube may be a cubical block of wood; in mathematics a cube is an idealized form of the block of wood. Thus an Object may be regarded as its physical structure, its function as artifact, of its form. In all of these kinds there may be play (whether physical structure includes the idea of physical constituent, whether form is taken geometrically or topologically.) And the identity will vary accordingly and contextually; and so it is not mark against the concept of identity that judgments of identity will vary; but such variance will not be altogether fluid or arbitrary: regarding the question of whether changes to a house change its identity there will be a core set of changes that will not normally be regarded as change, an extreme set of changes that will normally be thought of as change, and an in-between continuum of mixed judgment; and there is or should be nothing puzzling or remarkable about that

On the other hand, the concepts of some Objects are fixed. The Universe is all being. Someone may differ and say ‘No, the Universe is the known physical universe.’ Earlier analysis revealed that the apparent disagreement does not point to vagueness in identity; rather the same word ‘Universe’ is used in two different meanings... and while a similar analysis could perhaps be given for artifacts the judgment here is that each of the two different analyses is most efficient for its domain of Object

Fixed Objects are identical in being the same in all aspects; incompletely defined Objects are identical in having the relevant aspects the same

The notion of substance thinking arises again: the problem of identity that we have been contemplating arises from thinking that there are essences to things that do not have essences or, perhaps more precisely, from thinking that things have a greater degree or greater fixity of essence than is inherent in them

Personal identity

We are interested in personal identity of its immense importance in this narrative; the topic will be taken up again in Identity and death in Cosmology. Personal identity is also a significant concern in philosophy

Personal identity concerns an individual’s sense of who he or she is: what makes me ‘me’ or I ‘I.’ We begin discussion of personal identity with a brief discussion of how we judge that another person is the same person over his or life span. This discussion will lead into analysis of personal identity

In the present discussion concern is primarily with judgments of identity from the point of view of the individual and from the point of view of other persons. What constitutes personal identity is touched upon in Worlds but is not of direct interest here

We judge that another person is the same person over his or her life span from a diverse and diffuse set of data. The judgment over the whole span from newborn to death probably requires some approximation to continuous acquaintance: this is because appearance and patterns of behavior change so much from, say, newborn to even childhood and again, sometimes, in infirmity and death. Over the span of childhood to old age, however, there are recognizable features of appearance and behavior (personality) that remain fixed even during change; it is not necessary that we should be able to specify what these features are in order to recognize them or in order to trust them: it is true that error is possible but the essential concern here must be with the normal and usual case

What are the constituents of the sense of identity of the person from his or her own viewpoint? A first set of constituents concern memory: the individual recollects his or her life as a progression or stream through time—a stream that is constantly being added to but for which regions prior to the present contain a recognizable, familiar even if strange, and unchanging core. A second set of constituents concerns extension. What do I consider to be myself? The normal core of ‘me’ and ‘I’ would include the body and a set of personal experiences and attitudes (this is perhaps a normal modern western core)

The Object ‘I’ or ‘me’, in so far as it may be definite, is constituted of a sufficiently abstract and roughly defined set of experiences that I can validly think of my personal identity as fixed even through great change

What happens to personal identity in severe brain damage or end stage dementia? It may be reasonably surmised that there is a loss of identity in the Normal sense (this judgment does not determine ethical judgment.) However, while the judgment may be reasonable it is hard to know whether the absence of communication or whether absence of brain activity implies complete loss of mind including the ability to feel pain

Perhaps I see myself as a lonely isolated accident. If I do that would probably be the result of adoption of some materialist world view. There is no theoretical reason to think that way; even if materialism holds in some sense the question ‘What is matter?’ should have no fixed response that excludes ‘mind.’ (See, especially, the discussion of Mind in Cosmology.) We have and will see that the modern cosmological picture is immensely limited with regard to extension, duration, variety, and nature (what is the nature of the atom…) Even on the view of modern cosmology: the atoms in my body were forged in an ancient fire called the original singularity or big-bang and sequelae; although I have typically experienced my ‘being’ as limited temporally and spatially, these limits are not at all required by the non-local aspects of quantum theory. Those who respond to modern science—including prominent scientists and thinkers—with a sense that their identity is alien, accidental, and insignificant are responding to positivistic cultural interpretations of science and not to its necessities. Sometimes when I respond to self-negating experiences in life my sense of self becomes very limited. Other times, when in an expansive mood I have a sense of a larger self: one that includes the potential as well as the actual. And that potential is not merely what is culturally defined. The present narrative has shown the immense limits of the—western—cultural definition. I wonder at the limits of my personal extent even though I know that when I command the world to move it is only my own limbs that are under direct neural control. I wonder what comes after death. I know that there was a ‘before birth’ that resulted in an ‘I.’ If it happened once, there is no necessity to its not happening again and there is no necessity to its happening again in the same form. And occasionally I sense infinity—especially in nature. And I know from the principle of variety that these relatively subjective thoughts and feelings are an infinitesimal fraction of what is necessary and will be taken up in Identity and death in Cosmology

In preparation for the discussion of Identity in Cosmology it is possible to say that since my sense of identity remains fixed through great change it not unreasonable to think that some of that sense of identity may continue if my identity were to merge with another’s or with some Universal Identity. Should the loss of identity in death constitute a problem for this possibility? Perhaps some non-local quantum explanation may be possible. However, from its necessity from the principle of variety we conclude that there is a problem in the Normal sphere but not in the ultimate and that it is not necessary to find or know a mechanism of explanation (the variety of ‘physical’ law infinitely exceeds the physics of our cosmological system)

Some general reflections

In introducing identity it was noted that ‘its analysis will result in a clarification of the nature of the Object and of meaning; analysis of identity will be an occasion to reflect on holism and reflexive versus piece meal approaches to thought… and consequently to reflect on the idea, possibility, and actualities of systematic philosophy’

The analysis of identity reemphasizes the importance of the dual analysis of concept and Object and the clear specification of the concept. Adherence to these principles of meaning have permitted the realization that clarification of the identity of an Object is already present in the understanding of the Object and therefore that a theory of identity lies within the theory of Objects

It has been seen that this conclusion required the simultaneous reflection on Object and Identity within the framework of the Universal metaphysics that has been seen to be the metaphysics

The simultaneous analysis of ideas is thus seen as immensely important. A holistic approach to philosophy and thought in general is therefore revealed as immensely important. This is of course not the synergistic holism of the world according to which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (nor is it alien to this synergism.) Rather it concerns the reflexivity of ideas that is taken up as an aspect of method in chapter Method

What are the implications for systematic philosophy? That depends on what is understood by systematic philosophy—the term has numerous connotations. Aristotle’s thought may be regarded as systematic in that he considered topics that ranged over the entire world as he knew it and that the topics were bound together in reason and implication. In another meaning systematic philosophy has been used to refer to the grand and speculative schemes of thinkers such as Hegel and Schopenhauer. These themes are grand in that they seek synoptic vision of all being; they are speculative in that they seek a unified vision according to a central and prescribed metaphysical insight or category. The philosopher Nietzsche derided system as weakness; the failures of system on intellectual and political fronts has led to the abandonment of system in modern analytic philosophy and its widespread rejection in continental thought

Reflection—rather than reaction—suggests that the failures of specific speculative systematic schemes of metaphysics and political philosophy do not constitute a failure of system as such

The position in the present narrative has been that whatever system there may be shall be the result of rather than imposed upon investigation. There will have to be guesses for without creation there is no thought. But these hypothetical elements will be subject to the critical edge of reason and experience and therefore, any final position will agree with both experience and reason (or there will be no final position at all.) Even the crystallization of this position, whose elements are not my invention but seem to have been ignored amid the polemic regarding system, is the result of experience for I have viewed system with a combination of interest and a critical attitude and the crystallization occurs now only after the Universal metaphysics as developed in Intuition through Method has emerged as a comprehensive, articulated and demonstrated account of being and Universe

A foundation is provided in Intuition and developed systematically in Intuition through Worlds. In what manner is the resulting metaphysics and cosmology systematic? It is not systematic in imposing one single grand theme on the Universe. However, subject only to Logic every theme will be found somewhere and somewhen—and will suffer dissolution for to not suffer dissolution is shown to violate Logic. It is not a system that places any particular being at the pinnacle of being; but it requires that every being will participate in all being (only to recede from the height to local smallness that will occasionally be squalid and occasionally exquisite.) It is not an idealism—mind as substance is not imposed on the Universe; nor is matter as substance… as understood in some materialism or in science. It does not cast being as a kind. However, if we regard matter as the simple what is there, and mind as a relation—a signature of one simple in another—then matter lies at the root (since matter is now another word for being this does not say anything) and mind can and must extend to the root (this is significant.) Thinking mind and matter to be substances, Spinoza argued that there may be an infinity of substances and that mind and matter are but the two that we know. However, regarding matter as simple and mind as signature, there is no sequence (of course there may be an infinite variety of kinds of matter and kinds of mind.) In this view, the origin of mind is in elementary matter (this is very similar to Leibniz thought on the issue.) A very common position in analytic philosophy is that mind has its origin in the elaborate organization and processing of matter (e.g. in a brain.) In the present view the elaborate organization is the source of the elaborate structures and processes of animal mind but not the source of mind itself. In the Universal metaphysics there is implicit system that is greater than any Hegelian system except that such system is not a pinnacle and is not eternal. There is always chaos waiting upon system; and system upon chaos. What there is—system and chaos—emerges from the Universal metaphysics and is not imposed upon it

Summary of the main ideas

For necessary Objects identity is understood perfectly. In the case of practical Objects, identity is not purely ‘objective.’ However, it is in the nature of the practical Object that perfect objectivity should not Obtain (in addition to the fact that it does not and perhaps cannot obtain.) Therefore, since the Object is a dual construct of knower and world, identity is inherent in the Object

55.        The first notion of particular Object or, simply, particular is defined by (1) A particular is singular—the concept is regarded as corresponding to a single Object (even though may via the principle of reference be seen as corresponding to many Objects) and (2) A particular is rooted in the physical, it has location (in space) and may change and be implicated in cause and effect

56.        Identity is inherent in the Object

57.        A limited being can know the identities of Objects to the extent that such identities obtain

An abstraction

In generalizing from concrete to particular Objects there is some abstraction but the abstraction has not been sufficient to consider the particular Objects to be essentially non-concrete

Abstract Objects

The kinds of Objects considered in the previous section have what may be roughly described as tangible or palpable reality. In this section we study Objects that do not have or do not seem to have that kind of reality. The sequence of development will be to (1) introduce the idea of abstract Objects, (2) to introduce a variety of examples, (3) to define the concept of the abstract Object and to characterize the abstract Objects

In appealing to example, I do not arrive at theory by generalization. Instead, examples are useful as suggestive and as occasions to test theory

In the next section we develop a unified theory of particular and abstract Objects and in doing so, we show that abstract Objects lie in this world (this is surprising and contrary to received opinion.) This leads, in a subsequent section, to a strengthening of the meaning of the assertion that there is precisely one Universe

The outcome will be that the theory of Objects developed here is consistent and the most powerful and universal that is possible (the sense ‘powerful’ and ‘universal’ will be explicit)

Introduction

Consider the idea of number. The number five is distinct from five oranges. The five oranges are tangible, concrete. However, five seems to be intangible, abstract. Is there but one five or many? In the mathematics of number, five has a clear definition so that we may perhaps suppose that there is only one five. And, recalling the conceptual abyss between the concept and the Object regarding five oranges, the character of number in number theory appears in fact to be more certain and more precise than the five oranges. Therefore thinkers have felt and suggested that numbers are real. Still, we think, if the number five is real it is a different kind of reality than the reality of five oranges. Perhaps, it has often been thought, there is another world—a world of pure ideas and laid out in precision—and that ‘things’ such as numbers reside in that world. But we have seen that there is one Universe that is all being. Perhaps we are faced with some contradiction—perhaps there is another world. But while this thought of other worlds arises we do not wish to ascribe it any finality without further analysis (it will be found that one world is sufficient and, of course, necessary)

Now consider the idea of Platonic Form. Faced with the difficulty of the nature of the reality of the common Objects of the tangible world, Plato introduced the idea of an ideal world of Forms. According to Plato, the forms that we see mimic Forms just as shadows mimic Objects. An example of a Platonic Form would be the number Five and five oranges mimic Five in having Five-ness. According to Plato the Forms have the highest and most fundamental reality

Regardless of the truth of the ideas just discussed and of our agreement with them, there is a clear motive to think that there are Objects that are not concrete (particular) and that are not of the sensible world. Such Objects, whose reality status so far in the history of thought and so far in this narrative remains open, shall, in keeping with their apparent nature, be labeled abstract

Alternatives the idea that there are abstract Objects are the thoughts that what is involved are mere ideas—perhaps a kind of idealism—or mere names or nominalism with regard to abstraction

There is no final resolution of these alternative positions in the history of thought up to the present time. Although abstract Objects are in the present era widely regarded as existing, there is no agreement as to their nature. And of course resolutions and agreements are unlikely and perhaps even impossible in the absence of a coherent view of being and Universe

Since, in this narrative, the resolution of such concerns will be novel and very different to the standard accounts there is no need to carefully lay out the various positions and histories of debate. Instead, the Universal metaphysics provides a (the) coherent view that skirts the debates on the way to a clear view of the varieties of Object and their natures

In what follows it will be found that the widely held divide between concrete (particular) and abstracts is not an essential divide and that there is but one fundamental kind—the Object. The differences that are thought to be fundamental in the literature are revealed as practical rather than essential distinctions

It will be helpful to first look at some further examples of abstract Objects

Examples of abstract Objects

Concepts as abstract Objects. An apple has spatiality but where is the concept of an apple? As seen in Intuition, a concept-as-unit-of-meaning has been regarded as a mental representation and, alternatively, as an abstract Object. A mental representation resides in the brain or mind and is an example of concept-as-mental-content; in this view concept-as-unit-of-meaning is a case of concept-as-mental-content. There are problems with that view but we have seen a tentative resolution in Intuition and that resolution will be confirmed in Cosmology. Those problems have been one motivation for the view of concepts as abstract Objects; we sacrifice the messy view of concepts as residing in the brain for a rational or rationalistic view of concepts as un-messy abstract Objects: the mess of the brain and its mix of mental elements—including emotion—is replaced by the clean logic in a ‘space’ whose nature is unspecified but untouched by blood and organs

Propositions and facts as abstract Objects. Propositions and facts are examples of concepts and therefore their analysis falls under that of the foregoing so far unresolved analysis. Since propositions and facts are not elementary concepts but have structure in terms of elementary concepts that may be designated as symbols. A formal analysis of this structure is possible and this give further credence to the view of concepts as abstract Objects. However, the question regarding the nature of the abstract space of concepts is not removed

Universals as abstract Objects. Here is a concrete Object: a red apple. Red is an instance of redness. But what is redness? In metaphysics a universal is, roughly and to begin with, something that particular Objects have in common. Thus redness is a universal. But that does not tell us what redness is; rather it places the onus of the question on the idea of the universal. The standard views are (a) Realism of universals often abbreviated as ‘realism’: universals are real but abstract Objects and (b) Nominalism: universals are mere names that do not actually name some thing. It is clear that a universal is a concept and that (i) as such the analysis of concepts above applies and (ii) nominalism applies roughly as much to concepts in general as it applies to universals. There a further analysis of universals. Redness is a property and properties are one kind of universal. A red apple has redness. What is the redness of a particular red apple? Perhaps, the thought occurs, there is no such thing—or perhaps there is no such abstract thing. Let us analyze the redness of the apple in terms of concept and Object. Both concept and Object have the same name ‘the redness of the apple.’ The concept can be decomposed into ‘redness’ and other elements. The ‘redness’ is a concept, the mental content that is redness whose Object is not universal-redness but the particular apple’s redness. In this way, redness is a particular. Other major kinds of universal are types or kinds and relations. These kinds of universal and perhaps universals in general are capable of analysis similar to that of the property

Note that in asking such questions such as ‘What is redness?’ we are implicating a further question What does it mean to ask the question? Particularly we wonder whether we are finding or constructing the notion of, e.g. redness, or doing both—i.e. finding by constructing which may be open ended or occasionally closed and which may be closed by being initially open. This meta-reflection or meta-question is a theme that threads through this essay and is or may be efficiently present in all thought even if not recognized and is taken up formally in Method

Abstract Objects from particular Objects. Consider a cat. A cat is a mammal. A particular cat exemplifies the universal mammal—there is no concrete thing that is a mammal and not something further. Consider a specific cat. From the principle of reference there is an infinity of identical cats. This infinity has a concept whose Object is the infinity but could also be seen as a single abstract Object; this kind of concept is similar to the universal

Tropes as abstract Objects. In metaphysics, the idea of the trope is that it is an instance of a universal, e.g. the redness of the last apple on that tree. The idea of the trope is not new but its deployment to develop metaphysics free of abstract Objects and universals appears to be a recent source of interest (see TropesStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) Tropes are particular much in the same way that a process or a relation is particular; and supporters of ‘trope metaphysics’ argue that the resulting metaphysics is built on the most immediate and evident of ‘things.’ However, an abstract Object can be built from a trope. From the foregoing article “Tropes have been variously called ‘property (and relation) instances’, ‘abstract particulars’, ‘concrete properties’, ‘unit properties (and relations)’, ‘quality (and relation) bits’, ‘individual accidents’, and (in German) ‘Momente’.” It is becoming evident that the distinction between the abstract and the particular is not as strict as it seems and though practical distinctions will remain the standard categorial distinctions such as spatiality versus non-spatiality will be cataloged and dissolved in what follows

Clearly the foregoing discussions have included concern with examples of tropes and their relations to abstract Objects and universals and in fact to the abstract-universal versus particular nature of tropes. From the foregoing article “Tropes have been variously called ‘property (and relation) instances’, ‘abstract particulars’, ‘concrete properties’, ‘unit properties (and relations)’, ‘quality (and relation) bits’, ‘individual accidents’, and (in German) ‘Momente’.” It is becoming evident that the distinction between the abstract and the particular is not as strict as it seems and though practical distinctions will remain the standard categorial distinctions such as spatiality versus non-spatiality will be cataloged and dissolved in what follows

The house of abstract Objects is not in order—so far in this narrative and so far in the history of thought external to the narrative. What are the abstract Objects? Should metaphysics, a standard question goes, be built upon concrete particulars… relations… processes… tropes… ? And then what is the place of the abstract Objects? But order has not been the objective of the discussion of abstract Objects so far: so far the purpose of discussion has been to motivate the abstract Object and to provide a variety of possibly abstract Objects. So far, from the fundamental principle of metaphysics it is clear that since any state of being is equivalent to every state of being, the selection of concrete, versus process, versus relation, versus trope is without metaphysical relevance. The Void or any other state may be taken as fundamental; it is not necessary to take any state as fundamental—substance theory is not only untenable but has been rendered irrelevant. In the following the metaphysical relevance of the distinction between the abstract and the particular will be dissolved

What are the abstract Objects? This question has not been answered so far in the present development and indeed there is no standard answer in the literature: in the history of the tradition of thought there is no clear concept of the abstract Object and therefore the entire tradition of thought regarding abstract Objects must remain incomplete… and as will become apparent no clear concept of the abstract Object is likely to emerge in the absence of any complete and articulated Universal metaphysics (which suggests as will be seen that that metaphysics shall be the occasion to develop a clear concept of the abstract Object.) The examples considered above suggest that non-spatiality, non-causality, and eternality may be characteristics of abstract Objects. These are in fact among the standard ways of conceiving the abstract Object. They are not without problem for while some abstract Objects e.g. number are non-spatial others are only partially non-spatial. What is more, these characterizations are derived by example and are not given to be either necessary or sufficient: the concept of the abstract Object has not yet been grasped although it has been intuited in the history of thought and so far in this narrative. In what follows the Universal metaphysics is deployed to cut the Gordian Knot of nature of the abstract Object. Therefore, we now leave the presentation of example and conclusion from example even though there is scope for elaboration (there is further discussion, much of it implicit in what has been discussed so far, in Abstract ObjectsStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Numbers as abstract Objects: further analysis

In order to see a way into the nature of abstract Objects let us consider a specific example. This may perhaps shed more—initial—light than reflection on abstract Objects in general. Let us consider the abstraction involved in number

It may be impossible to reconstruct an entire history of number, especially the very early theory. Let us therefore hypothesize that acquaintance with numbers did not begin with pure number but with collections of things, e.g. the ideas of things, some things—some oranges, a few oranges, more oranges… and then perhaps one orange, two oranges… and finally perhaps no oranges. Perhaps then come the operations—addition: two oranges and three oranges make five oranges, subtraction, multiplication and so on. Although abstraction probably comes very late there may be some early halting abstraction and perhaps abstraction to number comes before the study of the operations. The precise history probably cannot be reconstructed even though there may be some archaeology and some reconstruction may be possible from studies of developmental phases in children. But precise reconstruction is not needed here. What is significant is that in the early phase the use of number is not of number in isolation or abstraction but the empirical study of collections. It is later that abstraction occurs and this abstraction is abstraction from the empirical. It is not necessary to abstract everything. Initially the study of number as abstract may be experimental but very late along the way Giuseppe Peano formulates the standard axiomatization of the natural numbers is named in his honor from which flows all of arithmetic (save of course for the Gödelian incompleteness)

In summary the study of number starts with an empirical phase that deals with number as particular and empirical since number-as-such does not appear by itself but is always attached to a collection of things, from which emerges number itself as an abstract Object of (a) perhaps intuition and (b) an axiomatic system. The axiomatization shows a process of abstraction. However, it still does not show what the numbers-as-abstract are or where they are. Regarding what they are, models can be built but these are not determinative but push the question of being back a step. Axiomatization does suggest that numbers may be symbolic Objects that reside in symbolic space; there will be occasion to refer back to this thought but it will not be used in the theory of abstract Objects developed below

The theory of abstract Objects

The theory of abstract Objects is remarkably simple. It uses the principle of reference. In every case of abstraction that tentatively defines an abstract Object the point of definition invokes a concept. Whether the concept is a ‘pure creation’ or derives from experience as in the case of number is significant but not relevant to the definition of the abstract Object to be given

The principle of reference states that Subject to Logic, every concept has reference. In the case of the particular Object it is not necessary to show that the reference lies in the Universe because it was a ‘thing’ in the Universe that was the occasion for the concept. However, in the case of abstraction the concept derives from things either indirectly or not at all. But the principle of reference implies that the concept by abstraction must, subject to Logic, have reference in the Universe

What is the reference in the case of numbers? Given the axiomatization of numbers we presume that it entails no violations of Logic. It may be possible to derive symbolic models but the principle of reference says that the axiomatization must have reference in the Universe itself. The precise nature of the reference is not of immediate interest. It is probable that the number five is some appropriately abstracted aspect of all collections of five things

From this it can be concluded that (1) the concept ‘five’ has an Object ‘five’ that is in the Universe (likewise the entire axiomatization,) (2) the Object ‘five’ is not some simple thing but on the other hand it—most definitely—does not lie or need to be conceived as lying in some ideal or abstract space other than the spaces of the Universe, (3) however, ‘five’ does not lie entirely in our cosmological or any restricted domain, (4) ‘five’ is not inherently non-spatial or timeless but has spatiality and temporality ‘abstracted out’ of it, (5) and therefore ‘five’ is a necessary Object whose necessity is derived in a manner similar to that of the necessity of Universe, Domain, Void, Logos and so on

The analysis of other abstract Objects follows the same template: subject to Logic the abstraction or abstract concept defines an actual though perhaps non-simple Object that lies in the Universe

Consider ‘this red apple.’ It is a concept that derives empirically from this red apple. However, the concept also defines the object this-red-apple-as-an-abstract-Object. The example shows that (1) abstract Objects are not inherently non-spatial or atemporal, (2) abstract Objects can lie in restricted domains, (3) in so far as they are necessary, the necessity of abstract Objects may be local though it seems on reflection that the necessity of the abstract-Objects-of-interest-as-abstract will be more than merely singular or local

The theory of abstract Objects. Generally then, an abstract Object is the Object that corresponds to a concept that entails no violation of Logic

We may perhaps even allow non-Logical concepts but then the Object would be the ‘zero’ Object, or the ‘non-existent’ Object: these Objects may be Logically pleasing to entertain and may perhaps add symmetry to the theory of abstract Objects but I will not use further use the notion until I find some efficient use for it

Characteristics of abstract Objects and their theory. Abstract Objects, then, have the following characteristics (a) they exist—i.e., they reside in the one Universe, i.e. the Universe in which the particular Objects reside or exist, (b) they need not be seen as distinct from the particular Objects—just as the concrete Objects may be regarded as abstract and the further particular Objects may be seen as having some degree of abstraction and some lesser degree of ‘thing-hood,’ so, abstract Objects generally involve some degree of abstraction and greater or lesser remove from thing-hood, (c) they are not inherently non-spatial or atemporal but have spatiality andor temporality abstracted out to a degree that lies somewhere in the range from no abstraction to full abstraction, (d) they are not inherently acausal but a degree of causality abstracted out that may range from no abstraction to full abstraction

The theory of abstract Objects turns out to be trivial but as will be seen it is simultaneously momentous in that (f) it enables the contributions noted in the introduction to this chapter (which may include some of the following,) (g) it provides a definitive theory of the abstract Object, (g) there is no fundamental distinction among the abstract and the particular or concrete—there is no essential distinction in their reality status: instead of a clear cut divide, many Objects may be seen as consistently straddling a particular-abstract continuum

This suggests a unified theory of Objects in which the distinctions are perhaps practical and psychological-adaptive but not universal. It also suggests an immense clarification and simplification in that there is and need be no proliferation of kinds and worlds: all Objects lie in this world (in which this world is the Universe that is all being)

A unified theory of Objects

The unified theory

Every Object lies in the Universe. Subject to Logic, every concept defines an Object

The abstract-particular distinction is not one of kind but one of mode of study. In the particular it is the Object side that is the approach to study; in the abstract side the concept side is the approach

In the case of number, study presumably originated in the empirical and the particular. With the ability to abstract came the idea of number as such: the study of number entered a symbolic-conceptual phase that reached a peak with axiomatization and with growing understanding of the nature of logic and formal systems. With computation, however, the study of number reenters an empirical or particular phase. Since computation is used as adjunct to conceptual study number may perhaps be thought of as dual particular-abstract

Distinctions

There are of course practical or psychological distinctions. Consider a cube. It is ‘made’ of a number of ‘elements:’ six faces and twelve edges. However, we typically experience a cube as a cube and perhaps also as a number of edges and faces but atypically as a mere collection of elements. How does the perceptual system accomplish this? This is the problem of object binding. Consider the cube in translating and rotating motion. As it moves toward us its size would change if the perceptual system did not adjust; in fact the size does not typically seem to change; a non adjusting system might experience the cube as a different Object as it moved but we typically experience it as the same cube; and as it rotates the projected shape changes but it is typically perceived as having an unchanging shape. How does the perceptual system accomplish this? This is the problem of object constancy. The neural mechanisms must be intricate. However, a general explanation is simple: (1) adaptation has provided the organism with—possession of andor an ability to develop—the necessary complexity and integration, and (b) in evolution as in development cubes and other shapes present as shapes-in-motion and not as mere collections or as mere shapes-in-a-specific-location and therefore it is the whole rather than the mere collection or the specific aspect that is the Object of recognition. Clearly the general Object does not possess these features but we may learn to similarly accommodate some Objects that are not present in evolution and this generalized capacity is also part of animal and human adaptivity. It is perhaps a stretch to think that we can similarly adapt to the everywhere and every-time located Object ‘five’ or a seven-dimensional space (we may be able to develop some perceptual aids and significant symbolic familiarity.) The foregoing is, however, not an argument against the unified theory of Objects. Generally, progress may be achieved by transcending the distinctions to which we are adapted and by seeing unity where our adaptation sees difference (or nothing at all)

Some thinkers have objected to the ‘dangers’ of such thought claiming for example the suppression of distinctions that may be essential for survival or humanity. I suppose that the ‘danger’ is not altogether avoided but there is no logical requirement that unification should suppress the simultaneous perception of difference. And there is perhaps another danger in stasis—in refusal to use our faculty to alternative ways of ‘seeing’

The surprising character of the theory

The theory is surprising in the unification of the abstract and the particular and in that it stands against the history of thought on the kinds

And it is surprising for reasons already mentioned in the previous sections, especially the paragraphs Characteristics of abstract Objects and their theory in section The theory of abstract Objects, above

The non-exclusive character of the theory

It is important that the establishment of the theory of abstract Objects does not exclude other theories or interpretations. The theory may exclude some other theories, it may show some other theories as having lower stature

In addition to validity, efficacy and scope are also measures of a theory

It is significant that there is no competing theory that shows the nature and the location of the abstract Objects unequivocally and there is no competing theory that includes all Objects in its scope and excludes all non-Objects… and there is no competing theory that shows the immense variety of being or that founds the understanding of being without substance or infinite regress

The Object as the fundamental concept of the Universal metaphysics

The Object straddles all things and conceptions

Other kinds of Objects

The distinctions of practical versus necessary have been considered under particular Objects

In previous editions the distinctions local versus universal, partial versus entire, and definite versus indefinite or vague had been briefly introduced as having potential significance. What is significant in these distinctions has been absorbed into the development above

One Universe—one world

Origins of the idea of different worlds

Sensible Objects, we think, are in ‘this’ world—this generalizes to the particular Objects

Regarding abstract Objects, some questions and concerns that have arisen in the history of thought are

What are the abstract Objects?

And, Where are the abstract Objects? If they are not in our three-dimensional space may they be in some ideal or abstract space?

Perhaps the abstract Objects lie in an abstract world

But, then, what is the nature of this world?

Perhaps it is an ideal world, e.g. a world of Platonic Forms

But is that perhaps pushing our symbolism andor our intuition regarding the real too far?

Perhaps the ideal worlds are in fact mental worlds and the inhabitants of these worlds are ‘mental Objects’

What could these mental Objects be?

A likely candidate is the concept-as-mental-content

Most of the questions and possibilities—the perhaps's—have been dealt with earlier and the conclusion is by now definite and familiar

Before recapitulating that conclusion let us consider the issue of mental Objects. There is a cloudiness that envelopes the question of the nature and therefore the existence of such Objects. One source of this cloudiness is the vague thoughts and feelings that we may tend to have regarding our thoughts and feelings. They have reality—we have experience of experience—but it is not the reality, it seems, that we ascribe to the Objects of the world. There is a natural psychological tendency to think of our thoughts and feelings in themselves as less than real and a consequent doubt regarding their reality. And they are not orderly and order is necessary though not sufficient to logic and reason. What is more, they are born of blood and organs and blood and organs are messy if not fearful. But, stepping out of our natural reaction to blood and organ, and recalling the tentative and to be established identity—and not mere unity—of body and mind, the doubt regarding blood and organs is equivalent to the doubt regarding vagueness of the reality of thoughts and feelings. What is the status of this doubt? The mental content is the concept. True there is feeling and chaos in there (later we will argue that feeling as binding to the world is essential.) But, what is in the body is actual and real. Therefore, mental content and concept is real. The question, then, reduces to the reliability of mental content / concept. The reliability appears to be an inferior one in comparison to the neatness of logic and reason in symbols in a possibly abstract space. However, logic and symbols are abstractions and even though mind-body (brain) is an apparent mess, there is an abstract net in mind (a) that is equivalent to the symbolic system (marks on paper or silicon and other cultural repositories are extensions) and, therefore, (b) the Universal metaphysics. This is a momentous conclusion for it shows that we are already in possession of the Universal metaphysics and it bypasses and trivializes immense portions of debate regarding the reliability of intuition and of psychologism

The conclusion regarding the nature of abstract Objects is the earlier conclusion—abstract Objects are Objects whose study is conceptual andor symbolic but not empirical

The conclusion regarding the location of abstract Objects is also the earlier conclusion but now reinforced by elimination of superfluous worlds which, even if they can be ascribed some reality, are revealed as diversionary. That conclusion is:

There is one world or Universe

The idea of one Universe as not merely a valid concept but also as an (immensely) efficient concept

In this essay ‘Universe’ is reserved for the idea of all being. When talking of contexts, the word ‘world’ may be used

This is characteristic in the logic of many paradigm changes: the new paradigm is more inclusive and more effective

In the next section values are studied as Objects: values will be seen as Objects that lie in the (one and only) Universe. That values are perhaps most effectively seen as Objects implies neither objectivity nor non-objectivity for values. However the kind of Object that a value is may have consequences for objectivity

Values

The goal of the section is a general though brief study of fields for which value is central. The theory of Objects will frame the study

The study will be continued in Worlds but will remain in process

We study value because it is pertinent to Journey in being and because of its intrinsic interest. The study is placed in a separate section because of the importance of the topic

In some views values are not of this world—they lie in another world or perhaps in no world at all. In this section it will be determined that values are Objects (and therefore must lie in this world or Universe.) It is consistent with the approach taken in this narrative to observe that Whether values are Objects depends not only on the validity of the resulting theory but also on its efficiency and universality

Introduction

In order to introduce ‘value’ I use a somewhat randomly chosen definition of value that indicates a general sense of the term

“In ethics, value is a property of objects, including physical objects as well as abstract objects (e.g. actions), representing their degree of importance.” Value (ethics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (this definition is among the first links that showed up under an Internet search for the term ‘values’ on September 7, 2009)

The choice is significant in that its sense stands against the sense to be used in this essay. It will be used to argue what is (seems to be) wrong about a purely objective approach to value and to thereby suggest an improved one; the aim will be to find an ultimate framework for value

What will emerge does not reject objectivity but finds—the idea is not new—that objectivity in values lies on a continuum with perhaps some universal values that are of the Object. In the general case, as for knowledge, value may be a dual construct from agent and world. In the practical case values will be a dual construct from agent and world; in the objective—or necessary or universal—case the dual construct is independent of the agency. In analogy to the case of knowledge, it will be explored whether practical values may be regarded as objective in view of the dual nature of the object

The study of value will now take up a range of possibilities regarding the nature of value so as to see whether it is possible to arrive simultaneously at possibilities (objectivity, universality…) and criteria for a theory of value and a (the) theory of value

Preliminary analysis

What are values?

The idea of value pertains to situations involving choice. Value is at least partially determinative of choice

The world or Universe has already been shown to be an indeterministic one in which structure flows and must flow from indeterminism but is conditioned by existing structure (if any.) Clearly, proponents of universal-temporal determinism are in error. Therefore there is no occasion for debate regarding alternative outcomes. Can agents make choices? It certainly seems to me that I make choices. However an agent-determinist would argue that we do not truly make choices; the feeling that I make choice is in error. An argument against determinism is that true novelty is what is not deterministically contained in what came before and that there is true novelty in the world (structure from the Void.) Therefore the agent-determinist effectively argues that all novelty is external to agency—i.e. novelty arises in the environment and perhaps the body but not in agency (mind.) Certainly there is novelty in the ‘environment:’ the origin of the species. It would be perhaps a little surprising if the brain that is often said to be the most complex object in the Universe would be incapable of novelty while true novelty arises at the molecular—gene—level. Is there agent-novelty? If an agent can have a new idea then there must be agent-novelty. Do we have new ideas? Some hold that all ideas are already determined by our form—i.e. by ideas that we already have even if we do not hold the ‘new’ ideas in consciousness. Consider then that earth and rocks and air and molten lava and the inorganic oceans contain no ideas yet beings with ideas arose from this organic background. Therefore, there are new ideas. In Worlds we will identify the locus of the new idea in the agent

What fields does value cover?

The general theory of value is sometimes called axiology. Fields that are axiological include aesthetics, ethics, economics, and politics

What is chosen in a value related choice?

The choice is of some combination of feeling (andor state andor assertion) of value, action, or outcome (an ‘end’ or state of affairs.) Deontological ethics emphasizes right actions, consequentialist or teleological ethics emphasizes outcomes in determining the morality of an action, and virtue ethics emphasizes the virtue of the agent. It is not necessary either practically or theoretically to emphasize any one aspect. Theoretically it may be possible to demand that action, outcome and virtue requirements be satisfied. The practical situation is complex and must involve principled as well as practical concerns that may be essential but ignored in moral discussion (and the practical concerns may involve non value concerns as well as conflicting value concerns.) The practical situation is sufficiently complex that even if a method of value determination is available an actual determination may be infeasible and actual choice may depend on rough judgment, intuition, and politicking. Also the practical situation is an arena to test the meaningfulness and soundness of any theoretical constructions

Is it possible to choose an emotional response?

It is reasonable to assert that a function of emotion is to affect behavior—e.g., to seek what is beneficial, to avoid danger. If emotional response was entirely volitional, it would not have this function

However, to perform this function it is not necessary that there should be no volition in emotional response. Although I cannot choose to feel happy when I am sad, my emotional response can be conditioned over time. One way in which it is conditioned is by my reaction to the emotion. Attempting to avoid emotional pain may intensify it; acceptance may attenuate it; and I may learn this at an emotive level over time. Another way to condition emotion is through cognition. Many emotional responses are due to cognitive interpretation. A change in interpretation may change emotional response. Of course there is an ‘inner compass’ that resists this: truth is not entirely malleable. However, it is at least partially malleable: if some interpretations are necessary others are relative. This too is learned over time

Similarly, although I do not have full control over my aesthetic responses those responses may change in response to growth, experience, and conscious cultivation

The fact that emotion does not seem to be under control has lead to a common belief that it is not under control at all. However, as the argument above shows the common belief is an exaggeration of difficulty in many cases into impossibility in all cases

How is the choice made?

A choice may be made on the basis of intuition or feeling (emotion) alone. Alternatively, choice may be principled—values are determined outside intuition and value influences or determines judgment and action. How are values determined? An example of a principled determination in ethics is the utilitarian form of consequentialism. Even in cases of a single value a decision ‘algorithm’ may be necessary. Complexity of contexts and theory as well as competing judgment invariably requires intuition and practical judgment in actual situations as complements to theory. In the actual situation it is the practical that may rule and the general relevance of ethics-considered-in-isolation is not determined. As in the case of knowledge, the entire world of value may be brought under intuition and ‘objectivity’ may be allowed to emerge where it is possible and proper. There is something ad hoc to separation of ethics from action, something ad hoc about a choice between deontology and teleology and virtue in values, something ad hoc about their varieties, something ad hoc about quantities attached to value. The very nature of value is not prescribed in advance and practice is both arbiter and teacher. The notion of value to be introduced cuts the implied Gordian Knot by subsumption of the divisions and specifying the place of value… and allowing questions and answers regarding value to emerge

Are values objective?

This depends, first, on what is considered to be the Object. If the entire context is the Object, objectivity of values lacks significance. Therefore, consider the Object to be the specific focus of choice. For values to be objective, value should depend only on the focus. It should be clear that only some values should be objective. The pure form of a drive to objectivity is, e.g. the aesthetic or moral sense. However, many morals are practical rather than intrinsically ethical. There is neither need nor sense to a demand for objectivity of all values. Regarding some values—e.g., do not kill—we prefer to let the resolution of objectivity or universality emerge even though ethical sense wants to make a proclamation as soon as killing is contemplated. The argument is familiar. Avoiding a priori prescription and allowing emergence, encourages the emergence of Truth or objectivity; and if some particular value is True or objective then knowledge of this Truth or objectivity is strengthened

Are values Objects?

Are values of the world (Objects) or not of the world? Some thinkers hold that value is of another world—that values are ideals; others hold that values are not of any world. But we have seen that subject to Logic every concept has an Object; therefore we expect that we may be able to conceive values as lying in the one Universe. However, we want a robust conception of value. We have also seen that while we may build theories that have certain classes of concept define Objects that belong to another world that includes the case of the zero world or no world (a) it is ultimately effective, clear, and free of error, and factual that there is one World, and (b) what is valid in such theories may be incorporated into the one World picture which must exclude what is invalid in them

What kinds of Objects are values?

Possibilities are (1) Values are properties of a special class of Objects—the value Objects that include actions as well as states of affairs (and thus include the ethical cases of the right and the good.) Since properties are Objects, values are Objects in this conception and may be called Objects of value or value-objects. If a value is a property of an object it is objective and therefore universal and this is problematic. A rejection of this point of view is not a rejection of objectivity or universality for it allows some objectivity, some universality. Must it not be the case that even if some values are universal there will be local values that are not? This is clearly true. Therefore we seek a more general alternative that allows a greater range. The alternative that is now introduced is neutral to the issue of objectivity. It will be regarded unhappily by those who seek objectivity at outset. The situation is similar to that of knowledge—in fact it will be seen to lie under that case. The similarity is that truth is allowed to emerge rather than imposed—i.e., the habit of substance thinking is avoided; and if values ‘are’ truly objective that truth will be allowed to emerge thus strengthening its case. The alternate that is used is designed to be neutral to other issues laid out below and therefore allows emergence of a valid and universal theory of value (it is the theory and not the values that shall be seen to be universal)

An alternative to value as a property of external Objects is (2) Values are tendencies (which may be regarded as properties) in the presence of alternatives and therefore of choice, of agents-in-contexts to feeling, action, end-seeking behaviors… and therefore also Objects. Such agents-in-contexts may be called value contexts

The term ‘tendency’ is general and lies on a continuum from strictly to very loosely determinative of action

Therefore, value does not determine action or desirable outcome. There is an uncertainty regarding desirable action that cannot always be eliminated. Consistent with this the notion of value as tendency may reduce but does not invariably remove uncertainty in action. Specifically, this conception does not offer resolution in competition for resources except that the ‘competition’ may be subsumed under a single value

Are values knowledge?

I.e., is there an essential distinction between fact and value? In option (a) of the previous paragraph an assertion that there is no distinction requires demonstration and that is at least improbable from earlier arguments. In option (b) there is no distinction

Is the knowledge intuitive or symbolic?

Since we reign in the symbolic under intuition the real distinction concerns which part of intuition is the source of value. It seems that natural and symbolic parts are both necessary to values as we know them

The concept of value

The idea of values as (properties of) Objects has been reviewed and rejected as a universal notion of value. Instead, we introduce value in such a way (a) as to be neutral to problematic issues in the concept and deployment of value, (b) to allow under its range both theory and practice of value, and (c) to allow emergence of a continuum of objectivity (or universality) including any cases of objectivity

This suggests the notion (2) of subsection ‘What kinds of Objects are values?’. This choice is justified in the next subsection

A value imperative in a given context is tendency based in feeling or judgment that affects choices regarding actions andor ends (states)

The ‘value imperative’ will be abbreviated to ‘value’ (the term ‘imperative’ does not imply that value determines choice: there may be conflicting or competing imperatives)

The concept of value shall be neutral with regard to (a) distinctions between action and end and (b) field such as ethics, economics and aesthetics

An imperative is a value regardless whether the source is biological or cultural adaptation, an ethical justification, random or personal idiosyncrasy

As an aspect of the state of an agent, a value is an Object

In the following it is understood values, actions, ends, and contexts may be individual, group, or institutional. It will be implicit in the term ‘tendency’ that its source will not be restricted to any one aspect of constitution, e.g. to biology, culture, or value judgment

The concept of value introduced above may be abbreviated:

A value is a tendency regarding choice. A value is an Object

Possession of value reduces but does not remove uncertainty in right action or desirable outcome. If there is competition for resources, a value approach may offer partial resolution by regarding the competing system as a single value context

That uncertainty cannot always be removed is an inherent aspect of value

A particular value in a person is a particular Object. That value regarded as an imperative external to an individual may be seen as abstract. The distinction is not of great importance

Justification of the chosen concept of value

The questions of the subsection Preliminary analysis were chosen to encourage and determine a conception of value that identifies the (any) crucial component of value—choice from among alternatives—and that corresponds to the reality and actual use of value; to the range of fields and uses; to values as lying in the Universe; to the kinds of ‘thing’ that values may be validly, most comprehensively, and most effectively conceived as being; and to validly and effectively seen value as knowledge rather than to perpetuate any schism between fact and value; and to validly see what kind of knowledge is knowledge of value

Finally the preliminary analysis does not insist on objectivity or non-objectivity of values—i.e., it is allowed that some values may be entirely objective while others, perhaps most, will have at most partial objectivity or perhaps objectivity in a context

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the choice is that it corresponds to the way in which value determines action in the complex arena of society and its institutions: it does not isolate problems, contexts, modalities such as aesthetics and ethics. The choice does not isolate value—regarding which there may be choice—from fact (the way the world is.) Finally, it makes no assumption about degree of choice and the degree of influence over action

An objection may arise that these distinctions are crucial. Well perhaps they are not crucial. The distinctions may however be significant. The impact of religious or philosophical or academic ethics in practice typically occurs over time and not necessarily in pure form; there is perhaps an education of sensibilities, a creation of a new ‘consciousness.’ The response to the objection is that while the present theory does not make the distinction in question it permits them. Practical and theoretical value lie within the range of the theory

It remains to determine whether there are any entirely objective values and perhaps to identify some such values. It will emerge that entire objectivity will be rare and it will not be surprising if we find but one or perhaps a very few truly objective values. If that turns out to be the case, the very singularity of the truly objective would suggest its importance. Still it may be useful find a source to this importance

Universal value

In contemplating the variety of ethical theories, it may be pondered whether there is any objective determination of a particular value. Surely there is some connection between some ethical values and making the world a better place, between some ethical values and making an individual a better person… and between some ethical values and survival. Questions that may arise are (a) Is survival of an individual or a race or species ultimately important? (b) Is survival more important that having a better world? (c) What is a better person or a better world? Why or how does observance of a value make an individual or the world better? Is there some circularity in these notions of value and ‘better’?

Contemplate the value of the joining of individual identity with Universal Identity. This idea is common to a number of traditions. In Vedanta there is the idea that the identity is already given. Perhaps though meditative transformation achieves awareness of the embedding and therefore some at least some lower reaches of the universal identity. Perhaps ‘physical’ transformation is required for full realization

Can this realization be a universal andor objective value? Certainly some may seek it but others want nothing of it. But not every individual even has an ethical sense. Therefore universality and objectivity cannot be determined as universal preference

If equality has value then perhaps elimination of difference between persons, races, species… worlds has value. It may be a value that betters all being. Therefore it is reasonable to suggest identity of all being as the Universe or universal identity as a value

The thought arises that such universal identity may be a homogeneity without color or meaning. But color can be retained by thinking of the meditative identity in which the self is not dissolved but instead the self enters a state dominated by awareness of the connection; andor the self is dynamic and goes meditatively into and out of the ‘oceanic feeling’ of identity

A more inclusive approach to meaning, color and adventure is the adventure into the infinite variety guaranteed as necessary by the cosmological form of the fundamental principle: The universe has the greatest possible variety of being. This includes the here-now (it is a somewhat but not entirely metaphysical question whether the Universe is occasionally experienced as a here-now.) It includes infinitely varied adventures through now alien now familiar landscapes, sky-scapes, and experience-scapes (‘mindscapes.’) It is a walk through a wilderness in spring; it is a transcending of the Normal into an alien form in an alien world; it is a coming of a messiah; it is the experience of infinite and inescapable pain; it is bliss; it is mind without emotion; it is mind without cognition; it is fullness—and emptiness

Universal knowledge as sought and found in this narrative is a co-value with that of universal identity

There is no rejection of the local; in one of its forms the Universe is a sum of physical-like and experience-like localities

In a value context, the context itself may be seen as the basic source of value. Its elements have value relative to the context

In a sense therefore the Universe has the ultimate value and similarly there is a sense in which its realization is ultimate to a limited being

Objectivity of human value systems

The actuality of objectivity or otherwise may perhaps be most effectively argued by considering the most universal of morals

Contemplate You will not kill. The distinction between ‘killing’ and ‘murder’ is already anticipated in the translations of the bible

But what is murder? Is it a legal andor moral notion? What are we doing when we define murder? Is it merely an empirical activity in which we try to subsume every moral intuition and every legal theory? Are we trying to give a precise formulation that would be morally persuasive? Are we having a conversation between an idea (a concept) and an Object (or practice?) The main difficulty reduces to the following. (1) Intuitive. Perhaps we have clear intuition as to whether an act is murder. But there are immense differences in intuition—some feel that war is or may be murder but others do not. (2) Definition. It is probably the case that no definition can be given that is universally satisfactory (not all intentional killing even if not in defense of self or another is universally regarded as murder)

This is not an argument against the notion of murder or of corresponding punishment. However, if murder cannot be universally identified can it be associated with an objective value? This is at least an instrumental problem

On the other hand it appears to be universal across cultures that murder is wrong. This suggests objectivity

Although we feel powerfully and passionately that murder is wrong—that does not make murder objectively wrong. If it is manifest that murder is objectively wrong then there should need to be no discussion. Therefore if murder is objectively wrong the basis of this objectivity must lie in subtlety of definition andor argument. Analysis of the spectrum of views and feelings suggests that we feel that we must assert objectivity even when there is demonstrably no full objectivity. I.e., we confuse near objectivity with full objectivity

If I say I do not know precisely what murder is but whatever it is I do know that it is objectively wrong I am effectively admitting borderline cases that are fuzzy as to whether they are murder. We do not take the following quantification seriously but it still makes the point. At what point on a scale of 0 to 1 does murder become wrong? If that point is not determined , murder cannot be fully objective

But since the assignment of objectivity has practical implications and moral appeal, we can understand why some persons would desire to think that the near objective is objective. Others may want to contemplate terms such as ‘near objective,’ or ‘objective with the option to allow exemptions’

The variety of being

Recapitulation

The cosmological form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics is that The variety of being in the Universe is the (greatest that is Logically) possible

Every fiction, every story, every myth, every scripture, every legend, every novel, every science, every mathematical axiomatization, every imagination, every truth implicit in an affect or in a work of art, architecture or music is real. Regarding affect, art and so on as conceptual every affect, every work of art or architecture or music is real. All this and more lies within the Logos. It is probable that the human literary and artistic categories (fiction… architecture…) are them selves immensely limited

The Object of emotion is identified in Worlds

It has been seen, then, that the range of particular Objects is without contingent limit. The range of Normal Objects in our cosmological system is relatively infinitesimal and gives no hint of the immense general or Normal variety in the Universe. For a hint of this variety see A preliminary development of the variety of being in chapter Metaphysics. The variety is systematically developed in Cosmology

A system of Objects

As explained earlier, there is no full explicit showing of the variety of Objects. However, partial showing can be developed to greater and lesser degree

The abstract Objects introduced in this chapter furthers the explicit character of the variety of Objects

Subject to Logic, every abstract and particular Object is real

This means that subject to Logic every system of concepts has an Object (system of Objects) regardless of whether the concepts are perceptual and bound to the world or freely created and iconic or freely and symbolic

Significance of abstract Objects for Variety

The abstract Objects add immensely to the variety of being via what is at least in part symbolically known though real. However, do they add to an inhabitable variety? The meaning of this question and a response is found in chapter Cosmology, section Variety and its origins, subsection Inhabiting abstract Objects

Logic, grammar and meaning

The purpose of this section is to see (from the principle of reference and the developed theory of Objects) grammar as concept on par with Logic and so to further clarify the nature of linguistic meaning

Logic defines the form of concepts or descriptions that is necessary for them to be capable of valid reference

Given that the Universe is all actual being and that there is no distinction between the actual and possible:

Logic defines the form of concepts or descriptions that have reference

In talking of a limited context as though it were the Universe, it would be necessary reintroduce the first italicized form above

Thus the thought due to Wittgenstein that logic is grammar

Meaning involves concept and Object or sense and reference; this was perhaps first pointed out by Frege and taken up by Wittgenstein. Therefore, Logic or Grammar are aspects of meaning; and, further, a full Meaning determines Metaphysics… and a full and final Metaphysics determines Meaning

Since Logic has reference, Logic has meaning

Cosmology

The concept and principles of Cosmology

The concept of Cosmology

General cosmology is the study of the variety of being—i.e., the variety of Objects in the Universe

Physical cosmology is the conceptual and empirical study of the large scale physical structures of the known physical universe. A natural place to study physical cosmology is Worlds

The principle of variety—The variety of being in the Universe is the greatest Logically possible implies that physical cosmology and other local cosmologies are infinitesimal part of general cosmology

In this essay the word ‘cosmology’ used without qualification refers to general cosmology

Because of the emergence and power of  a physicalist paradigm in the modern era, cosmology is often conflated with physical cosmology. In recent times physical cosmology has come to play a central role in general cosmology. Here it is acknowledged that cosmology must draw significant suggestive power from physical cosmology: in its development the present study of cosmology drew much inspiration from modern physical cosmology

However, the Universal metaphysics has enabled the present study of cosmology to outgrow its roots in the physical

Even though the known physical universe is currently thought to be 13 billion years old and perhaps 80 to 160 billion years across—that the extent is greater than the distance light could have traveled since the big-bang is due to the expansion of space—it is very limited in relation to the Universe

Therefore, in terms of extent and variety, the actual role of physical cosmology in the study of general cosmology must be very limited

Principles of Cosmology

Principles available from Metaphysics include

The fundamental principle of metaphysics, especially in the following forms: (1) The first form—The Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Objects. The following consequence of the first form is significant: the Void state is equivalent to every manifest state and therefore any manifest state is equivalent to every manifest state. (2) The second form or principle of reference—Subject to Logic every concept has reference. (3) The third or cosmological form or principle of variety—The variety of the Universe is the greatest that is Logically possible. (4) The sixth form—The Universe is absolutely indeterministic

The enhancements from Objects include

Clarification of the nature of the Object. Establishment of kinds of particular Object: concrete, process, relation, interaction, property, value, universal. Establishment of the nature of abstract Objects—they lie in the one Universe. The unified theory of particular and abstract Objects—the practical distinction is in the approach to study. A study of some kinds of abstract Objects—the Objects of mathematics, the Forms, and the particular Objects as or as generating abstract Objects

In Worlds the variety will be further clarified in terms of the categories of intuition

What may be labeled the ‘principle of fiction’

Every fiction, every story, every myth, every scripture, every legend, every novel, every science, every mathematical axiomatization, every imagination, every truth implicit in an affect or in a work of art, architecture or music is real. Regarding affect, art and so on as conceptual every affect, every work of art or architecture or music is real. All this and more lies within the Logos. It is probable that the human literary and artistic categories (fiction… architecture…) are them selves immensely limited

The role of imagination should be emphasized because it is often suppressed

The role of imagination is broadened and developed in Method via the idea of reflexivity

Metaphysics and cosmology

Shrunk to its essential core, metaphysics might consist of the single statement: there is being. A cosmology derived from this statement alone would be bare and skeletal but not empty because there is being implies that the Universe that is all being exists. The rich pictures of Metaphysics and Objects follow from necessary Objects beyond being-as-such. It is inherent in their necessity that knowledge of them is not distorted. The contents of this chapter: Variety and its origins; Process; Identity and death; Mind; and Space, time and being do not flow from being-as-being but from our forms of experience of the world. In Cosmology the discussion is at a level—e.g., of abstraction or generality—that does not introduce essential distortion. Significant studies that do not or cannot escape distortion are taken up in Worlds. The approximate studies may derive enhancement when seen in the context of pure cosmology and therefore strict separation will not be maintained. In this chapter confusion will be prevented by pointing those treatments that are approximate

Therefore while there are distinctions, the border between metaphysics and cosmology need have no actual significance

The principles of the study of variety are established in Metaphysics and elaborated as noted in the previous subsection Principles of General cosmology

In Cosmology the study of variety is pursued systematically

Significance of Cosmology

In illuminating the variety in the Universe, Cosmology provides a large scale map for any physical cosmology and any journey in being. The discussion of Identity and death shows personal or experiential ways in which to enter the exploration; and it also shows that Universal identity is and must be realized even though the path is not fully shown (the path is further illuminated in Worlds but is still not given: realization requires that actual exploration and experiment in being and identity be undertaken)

Variety and its origins

Origination is process; the placement of origins with variety is due to their enmeshment

The principles of the approach to study are laid out in the section on The concept and principles of Cosmology

The development in Metaphysics and Objects is in fact a part of a development of cosmology. A systematic approach retraces the development in Metaphysics and Objects in terms of the fundamental Objects. In the following sections the development is recounted with emphasis on variety

Universe

Because the Universe is all being it contains all Objects including ‘things’ as well as Laws, Patterns and Forms

Because the Universe is all being it can have no cause or creator—the meaning and significance of this assertion will become clear below

Domain

One part of the Universe may have a causal effect on another. The sense of ‘may have’ is that of logical possibility. It is not logically possible for the Universe to have cause or creator. The logical possibility of cause-effect will be strengthened to ‘necessity’ in the section Void below

Extension and duration are features of being; space and time (or space-time) are immanent in the Universe. That is: space and time are relative rather than absolute (it is not implied that there is a Universal space-time coordination)

However, one domain may set up a space-time for another. The space-time for a domain may be effectively or as if absolute

Void

The Void which is the absence of being contains no Object, i.e. no ‘thing’ or Law. The Void exists. From this it has been shown that

What is actual is necessary. Our cosmological system is necessary. Every individual is necessary; and their identities are necessary

States of manifest being are necessary. I.e., given the Void state a manifest state will emerge

The variety of being in the Universe is the Logically possible: subject to Logic, every concept has an Object

There is no universal substance. The Void may be regarded as a quasi-substance but it is not a true substance in the sense of being the deterministic source of change and variety

Although manifest states emerge ‘from’ the Void, the Void is not the cause of the manifest states in any common or reasonably strong sense of ‘cause’ or ‘creation.’ In a loose sense, however, the emergence of manifest states from the Void may be seen as creation

Given a manifest state, the Universe will enter the Void state. This is not destruction in any strong sense but may be regarded loosely as destruction. The Universe is thus created and destroyed without end. At any ‘time’ a manifest state of the Universe or part of it may ‘self-annihilate’

Since passing through Void and manifest states is necessary, the fundamental problem of metaphysics is not ‘Why is there being?’ but ‘What exists?’ I.e. Cosmology is the response to the true fundamental problem

The Universe is absolutely indeterministic. Although it is commonly thought that such a strong indeterminism could not result in structure, the opposite is in fact the case. Absolute indeterminism requires the emergence of structure. The absolute indeterminism of the Universe is a form of the fundamental principle. Absolute indeterminism—i.e., no states are unaccessed from any state—is also a non-temporal kind of absolute determinism: every state is accessed from any state. In the general case there is no preferred mechanism of emergence. In the Normal case it seems that incremental emergence by variation and selection will be most likely

It is necessarily the case that some domains will be implicated in the creation of other domains; will be causal upon other domains; will set up an as-if relative space-time for other domains

It was seen in Metaphysics, that there can be no external creator of the Universe; there is no God, the creator of the Universe. We now see that limited gods are necessary (subject to any interpretation of ‘god’ that does not violate Logic.) Some domains will destroy or annihilate others. Perhaps the most common creative principles, internal to a domain or to the Universe as a whole or external to a domain but not to the Universe have ‘natural’ interpretations as do the creative principles of our local cosmos according to modern science. Still, limited gods that are external to a domain, but conscious and of great power, and possessed of some kind of morality and dominion, are possible and therefore necessary. Probably, such cases are infrequent and too infrequent, it might be thought but does not therefore follow, to be of significance. An animal may be seen as a limited god

Perhaps the most important concern in relation to the issue of ‘gods’ is discovery of their nature and form and here it is far from sufficient to lay out a system of speculative concepts along the dimensions of identity (focused-discrete versus diffuse and distribute, e.g. pantheism and panentheism,) potency (power over the world versus powers of the world,) science (omniscient to limited,) creative power (absolute or near absolute versus limited,) creative mode (creating versus sustaining,) singularity (i.e. whether the concept of god should have all the characteristics of a particular notion or whether, as here, we identify the dimensions that might make a being god-like,) moral mode (author and executor of morals versus observer,) location (remote versus present,) transparency (degree of knowability,) dominion (we have our opinions of god’s relation to us—we often think of god as ruler but this is our opinion… but it seems that, especially to the reverent, god’s own feeling should be at least if not more important… and it is only in the case of absolute power does the possibility of the fact of supreme dominion arise… in the case of great but limited power any actual dominion apart from what is imprinted on the minds of men and women would be just as in our world, the function of transaction or struggle,) degree of naturalism (god as supernatural versus god as supreme or not so supreme expression of natural law; little scientific work on these possibilities have been done and this is perhaps due to the thought that modern science excludes god, significance of god and the thought that science has already revealed the kinds of creative principle and found them to be purely natural… note though that the Universal metaphysics shows that our modern scientific view of the natural is valid in its domain, that domain is immensely limited.) The dimensions just mentioned are among those derived from traditional thought in religion and philosophy. An animal has a creative principle, even if taken for granted and limited. Earth has creative powers (life, mind have arisen from Earth) and the animal powers are manifestations of the Earth’s. What greater power might we be capable of? Surely, reality exceeds the present limits of imagination (some of which may be intrinsic to our being, others perhaps the result of our knowledge so far.) But the Universal metaphysics has shown that there is infinitely more in us and that we are perhaps at the beginning of an exploration (and this is the result of our imagination since that metaphysics was, at least apparently, not received from an extra-human agency.) And even if our race is destined to extinction, our identity is not (theory of identity.) An infinite adventure in being and power is necessary and necessarily at our immediate disposal even if our awareness of it is remote. How do we begin? We begin with ourselves—my being, my civilization, its powers (science, technology, imagination, art, study of the depths and dimensions of psyche…) This search is an end goal of Journey

The history of reflection regarding ‘god’ has probably immensely distorted the idea. The greatest search is our search for the greatest knowledge and being. The powers of one cosmos may be vastly different than that of another. What we discover or become in one may be vastly different than in another. And, the adventure and the experience is, I venture, far greater than our stories so far

To develop a variety the following has been established: subject to Logic, every fiction, every story, every myth, every scripture, every legend, every novel, every science, every mathematical axiomatization, every imagination, every truth implicit in an affect or in a work of art, architecture or music is real. Regarding affect, art and so on as conceptual every affect, every work of art or architecture or music is real. All this and more lies within the Logos. It is probable that the human literary and artistic categories (fiction… architecture…) are them selves immensely limited

It will become clear that the following section barely touches the surface of the variety of being

A variety

The fundamental principle implies at once that the variety of being in the Universe is without limit. Subject only to Logic the following are true

A cosmological variety. Corresponding to our physical laws there is an infinite variety of cosmological systems of identical, of similar, and of vastly different configurations. It at once follows that there is no limit to the variety of ‘physical law;’ that there is an infinite variety of ‘physical laws’ some similar to and others vastly different from those of our cosmos; and that for each system of physical laws there must be an infinite variety of identical, similar, and vastly different cosmological systems; some of these systems are remote, some are passing through ours without a ripple or a whisper. And there is no universal physical law in any meaning of ‘physical law’ except physical law as identical to Logic

A definition of the ‘Universe’ as the physical universe is therefore vague and incomplete

In our cosmological system the reason that the speed of light is not classically exceeded appears to be that it is the speed of propagation of the fundamental forces. There are cosmological systems with other values of ‘light’ speed; and there are systems with fundamental forces that propagate at different speeds—i.e. a cosmological system may possess multiple ‘light speeds.’ Refer to the sections Space, time and being in chapter Metaphysics for further thoughts on these and related issues

Every cosmological system will be an element of a larger one; every element of being will be a cosmos; and every letter in this or any other narrative contains, in a rather Mandelbrot way, an infinity of cosmological systems that mirror ours and all cosmological systems—here the clause ‘subject only to Logic’ in the second sentence of this paragraph is likely relevant

The extent of the Universe is without limit

Every state recurs without limit

Objection. It should be equally true that there is a limit to recurrence. Counterargument. The presence of a limit is a law; the absence of this limit is not—in the absence of the limit there may be times of finiteness and of infiniteness

A whimsical variety. There is an infinity of planets identical to and a greater infinity of planets similar to Earth on which there is an author writing these words… a reader—he is occasionally an Anil Mitra… the reader may substitute her or his name, she is occasionally a Lina Artim, and occasionally but still infinitely often there is on his or her knee a three inch imp dressed in green medieval garments and armed with an ever so tiny silver bow and a silver arrow tipped with potions that vary from one manifestation to another: they are sometimes poisons, some times dream agents, some times agents of love and bliss

A religious variety. There is an infinity of Earth-identical and Earth-like planets on which there is a Buddha or a near-Buddha and a Christ or near-Christ living according to the Buddha / Christ stories including the miraculous/ The however the necessity of these truths gives little credence to the corresponding contingent truth for our Earth and for evaluation of that credence it appears to be at least practically necessary to turn to local evidence. Subject to Logic every reasonable and every unreasonable and absurd idea and dogma has realization; regarding our cosmos the truth of the ideas and dogmas must be evaluated in terms of local evidence. A karma-like variety. For any individual on any planet orbiting any sun there is an infinity of identical individuals on identical planets orbiting identical suns; and the assertion remains true if ‘identical’ is replaced by ‘similar’ or ‘weakly similar.’ The section Identity and death below has further discussion of karma

Other varieties. Recall the earlier assertion ‘Subject to Logic, every fiction, every story, every myth, every scripture, every legend, every novel, every science, every mathematical axiomatization, every imagination, every truth implicit in an affect or in a work of art, architecture or music is real. Regarding affect, art and so on as conceptual every affect, every work of art or architecture or music is real. All this and more lies within the Logos. It is probable that the human literary and artistic categories (fiction… architecture…) are them selves immensely limited.’ The explicit development of the varieties that are contained in the foregoing is an immense adventure of intellect. In continuing the journey narrated here, such developments will be taken up occasionally for pure interest but otherwise as they offer a path to realization

Logos

Cosmology begins in Logic—there are no fictions except Logical fictions

The idea of the Logos is that it is the Object of Logic. It represents the idea that the actual Universe has no limits on its variety. The idea of ‘limits’ arises in the contemplation of a concept of the Universe. The only limits on the concept are the limits of Logic

A project for the future, perhaps one that others may take up, is to develop Logic, mathematics and science with a view to describing variety: to reducing sections of it to algorithm (undoubtedly the entire variety has no algorithm.)

It may be found that in this search, poetry is more powerful than Logic. Perhaps poetry is Logic. That remains to be seen

Particular Objects

In this section and the later one Abstract Objects, the goal is to show the contribution of these kinds of Object to variety. For full treatment of the varieties refer to the chapter Objects

Particular Objects—their nature and some kinds of particular Object—have been discussed in Objects. We have seen that the following are or may be considered to be particular Objects

Concrete things

Processes, relations and interactions, states of affairs, and tropes

Identity

Personal identity (taken up in detail in the section Identity and death below)

Values—a detailed treatment was given in Objects. Value will be taken up again in Worlds

Particular Objects from abstract Objects—e.g. particulars as instances of types and Universals. An example of a particular is the trope

Exploring Objects via the categories of intuition

The categories of intuition form a convenient categorization for systematic exploration

The following categories of intuition listed below are elaborated in chapter Worlds and include dimensions to be explored as well as instruments of exploration (there is further elaboration in the subsection A system of human knowledge of chapter Contribution)

Existential. Being, experience, self, concept and Object, and humor (the intuition of indeterminism and chaos)

Physical. Space, Time, Physical Object, Causation, Indeterminism

Biological. Life Form and Ecosystem, Species, Heredity

Of the psyche. Concept and intuition. Concept is used in the sense of mental content and includes percept-affect, and higher concept and emotion expressed as free icon and free symbol and systems of the same

Social. The institution

The ‘lower’ categories—the physical and the biological—reflect adaptation of the organism to the immediate world; they are primarily binding but contain elements of ‘freedom.’ The psychic elements exhibit binding as well as freedom in exploration. Here, freedom is especially the ability to transcend the organic form of the individual and occurs primarily via iconic and symbolic imagination and reason; however there are also more or less limited freedoms associated with perception and affect

Abstract Objects

It may be useful to recall that it was shown in Objects that the distinction between the particular and the abstract Objects is not fundamental. Instead, the distinction is practical and has some basis in animal / human psychology

Abstract Objects—their nature and some kinds of abstract Object—have been discussed in Objects. We have seen that the following are or may be considered to be abstract Objects

Forms, mathematical ‘objects’ such as number and geometrical figure

Concepts, propositions, facts

Universals, tropes as abstract Objects

Abstract Objects from particular Objects—e.g. via the idea of type or as a recurrent Object (as explained in the next paragraph)

The examples have shown that the distinction between the abstract and the particular is not as definite as might be supposed. Universals and tropes may be regarded as either abstract or particular. And given a particular Object an abstract Object may be formed by defining a type. If a proper name names an individual—e.g., John James—then the individual may be regarded as defining a type of the same name even if the particular individual is the only instance of the type (the fundamental theorem of metaphysics guarantees that there must be an infinity of instances.) Further, the theory of Objects developed from the Universal metaphysics dissolves the distinction: particular Objects are primarily empirical-perceptual and abstract Objects are not—they are primarily rational-conceptual. Abstract Objects are not non-spatial but have some degree of spatiality abstracted out and when spatiality is entirely abstracted out it is immaterial rather than absent. Most particular Objects are known via some degree of abstraction. And in the historical development of a concept / Object pair, there may be phases of empirical study, phases of symbolic study, and phases where the approach is a dual approach

Inhabiting abstract Objects

We wonder about the being of abstract Objects. They add to variety—or do they? Numerically or conceptually, yes they do—the enhancement of variety is immense. We have seen that abstract Objects do not reside in an abstract world: they are in the one Universe. They do not reside outside space but their specific location may be abstracted out to greater or lesser degree. I inhabit a body; can I inhabit an abstract body (in any sense other than the trivial one in which ‘Anil Mitra’ repeated over may be seen as abstract?) In the Journey, in the adventure into variety and realization what is the promise of the abstract Object?

Consider the concept of number. There is an immense variety to be explored but can an individual realize number in his or her being? We can explore number but can we become number?

This is a source of a (seemingly) absurd question Are numbers conscious? The common sense response is no of course not. However, the fundamental principle says that whatever entails no violation of Logic has being. There is no obvious violation of Logic in numbers being conscious even though consciousness is not built into—or excluded from—the intuition or postulates of the natural numbers e.g. the Peano postulates. However, it is still unclear what a conscious number might be. So even though the fundamental principle is on the side of consciousness to numbers there is so far no apparent sense to the idea

But there may be a way to find sense to the idea. Suppose we regard the number one as a property that is common to all collections of one particular Object. What if, instead, we regard ‘conscious-one’ as what is common to all collections of one conscious particular Object. Then we can define ‘conscious-two,’ ‘conscious-three,’ and so on similarly. Continuing, we can establish postulates regarding all such conscious numbers and build up Peano postulates of conscious-numbers and the resulting number theory would be the same as the usual number theory

Conscious number is not as absurd as it seems but the concept does not seem to have much significance. Still, though, it is a thought for exploration

Similarly there can be Sahara numbers: Sahara-one is what is common to all single Objects in the Sahara desert. What is the formal relation between Sahara numbers and numbers? It is the formal relation of number defined over a finite ‘world’ versus number as an abstract Object defined in relation to the Universe

The natural number system can be extended in another way. Append to the Peano axioms the axioms of Euclidean Geometry and regard the composite as a system. If there are no essential cross implications the consistency of the system reduces to the consistency of the individual systems. This result is a trivial example of a Gödel incompleteness system

The Gödel inconsistency theorems concerns arithmetic truths that are unprovable in any given axiomatization that includes number theory. However, if provability shows truth but not all truth then precisely what truths are arithmetic and what are not?

It is not invariably absurd to reflect on absurd questions

Origins of variety and structure

The fundamental principle of metaphysics provides the essential metaphysical explanation of variety and structure. No mechanism is necessary for origination or in order to understand variety

However there may be Normal mechanisms of origination that provide explanations such that an effect—variety and structure—may be seen a causal process. That is, variety and structure will be seen as depending on the nature of the process

Novel structure is structure that is not determined by what preceded it. Therefore, novelty in structure requires indeterminacy of process. It is often argued that indeterminacy cannot give rise to structure but as has been seen absolute indeterminacy must give rise to structure. It is a reasonable argument that a single step process from the Void is unlikely to give rise to the variety of structures in a cosmos. We therefore imagine that the process is incremental. At each stage a relatively small indeterministic change gives rise to a near symmetric, relatively stable state (a perfectly symmetric, perfectly stable state would be ‘frozen’ and would constitute a law of the Void and therefore violate the fundamental principle.) It is a reasonable argument that such an incremental process is a more likely source of variety

Process

Process has been considered earlier in the previous section Variety and its origins and earlier in Metaphysics.

This section begins with consideration of The nature and necessity of process which repeats parts of the earlier discussion

The focus then shifts to some significant kinds of process and their relation to being and its variety. The topics are Process in general, Mechanism and indeterminism, Evolution, Causation, and Dynamics

The nature and necessity of process

Nature of process. Earlier, the necessity of limitless variety of being has been demonstrated (the variety is subject only to Logic.) A ‘universe’ of a single point has no extension; for there to be extension the ‘universe’ must have at least two points. Extension is necessary for variety or, rather, extension is the co-ordinate of variety. Duration is the co-ordinate of change—i.e., duration and change lie in the same family of meaning. It may be said that duration is necessary for change but this necessity should not be regarded as causal: duration is not antecedent to change. We have seen that duration is necessary for emergence of novel variety and structure (e.g. from the Void state.) However to understand the nature of process and its relation to being and variety consider we consider some suggestive or plausible reasons for necessity of process. I emphasize that the following considerations suggest but do not demonstrate the necessity of process

It can be reasonably argued that process is necessary for meaning—for significance or the sense of significance that we attach to our lives and world—and for the form of our cosmological system

Process underlies many apparently static material states—e.g., matter is atoms in motion

Without process there can be no creativity, no choice

Without process there is no being as we know it—it is hardly probable that there would be this ‘I’ or this world of structure

Still, I can imagine a static world… therefore ask whether process is necessary for being

Necessity of process. We have seen that the Universe must enter Void states and that there must be manifest states. Therefore there is a necessity of becoming from the Void. Alternately, a static Universe would constitute a universal Law: all states of being and therefore of transition are equally necessary. The conclusion, however, is not that process is necessary for being but rather that process is an integral and necessary component of being

Process in general

Every state is accessible from every other state. Therefore there is no general means or mechanism of process

In our world there do appear to be preferred means or mechanisms. The following sections examine some of these Normal kinds of process. When regarded as laws or paradigms the processes allow certain paths and exclude others; from the point of view of the law the exclusions may be necessary or highly probable; such necessities or probabilities are Normal

Mechanism and indeterminism

What is the origin of the structure in the world? The Universal metaphysics shows that that structure may originate from the Void state in a single step. However, what has been learnt from the physical and biological sciences suggests that the actual processes have included incremental process

If the outcome is to be essentially new, i.e. not contained in the ‘increments’ must include indeterministic elements. The argument that indeterminism cannot yield structure has been seen to be false for that argument has been inverted and it has been shown that only if there is indeterminism can there be—novel—structure. A one step origin from the Void or a background state to a new non-neighboring structured state would be an indeterministic jump to a near symmetric relatively stable state (near symmetry and relative stability being the correlates of structure.) The actual origin and end are not perfectly symmetric or absolutely stable for perfect symmetry is frozen (and therefore a law of the Void or violation of the fundamental principle of metaphysics.) Actual change appears to include increments of law-like change as well as small or ‘gradual’ indeterministic increments or ‘variations.’ (The meaning of ‘small’ or ‘gradual’ is that the incremental change in structure is small in relation to the existing and new structures.) The law-like changes, both determinist and probabilistic, are the expression of already existing structure and may be regarded as an aspect of the Normal. The indeterministic variations have no preference for structure and are therefore relatively permanent or ‘selected’ only when the outcome or end state is near symmetric and therefore relatively stable. Incremental variation and selection may be regarded as the Normal ‘mechanism’ for the emergence of essential novelty (that which is not deterministically contained in what came before)

Evolution

Evolution may be regarded as a Normal way or ‘mechanism’ of novelty. However, it is not argued that all of evolution or emergence is incremental. ‘Saltations’ or relatively large change may be interspersed with gradual increments. It is not outside the realm of the Normal that some saltation should be present. It is reasonable that once structure or a kind of structure is established saltation is Normally the exception. However, in the origin of structure or of a new kind of structure, saltation may Normally be the rule

The foregoing strikes a middle ground between the argument of (and for) gradualism and the probable truth that gradualism is not universal even though gradualism may be Normally dominant

Examples of evolutionary systems

Critical points at which there may be some saltation include the origin of a cosmos, the origin of a new molecular structure, and the origin of life. Such origins may themselves be composites of saltation and increment

Evolutionary systems

Evolutionary systems theory is a conceptual approach to the study of evolution in natural and artificial systems. Natural systems include physical and living systems. Artificial systems include economic and other social systems, game theory (strategy,) and artificial intelligence. In the conceptual approach which may be mathematical and computational, an initially selected set of candidate solutions ‘evolves’ via an algorithm toward an exact or approximate optimal solution

Causation

In the general case, the Universal metaphysics shows that from an initial state any state may be the outcome. In other words there is no total or partial or probable connection between states

When structure has emerged, it is Normal that from a given state outcomes are totally or partially or probabilistically determined. Given a kind of structure and a class of states that is consistent with it, given initial states are (Normally) followed by given next states while different initial states are (Normally) followed by different next states. It is thus natural to interpret processes in some structured cosmological systems as causal or at least partially causal

Dynamics

Roughly, a dynamics is a description of a class of causal processes. The class of causal processes may be the Normal processes of a cosmological system. If the dynamics is deterministic, paths or sequences of states are determined. If the dynamics is probable paths are not determined and a number of alternate paths is possible: the dynamics determines these paths and their probabilities; the paths may be a continuum or a discrete set and a single or small set of paths may be much more probable than all the others

The Normal, near symmetric, relatively stable states of evolved structures as described in the section Mechanism and determinism include process states. Dynamics is a description of process as a prescription. In our cosmos, the simplest prescription is the causal and determinist Newtonian dynamics that relates motion and interaction. In Newtonian dynamics the static case is a special case. At a deeper level, the quantum level to which the Newtonian is an approximation, the description is causal but not deterministic though not entirely random—a large number of ‘paths’ may be possible but high probabilities are concentrated in a small region of possible paths; in some cases the Newtonian path emerges in the ‘high frequency’ or ‘small wavelength’ limit

Mind

In the narrative so far—especially in discussing intuition, concepts, Objects, experience, and knowledge—the notion of mind is immanent even though the word ‘mind’ has not been prominent

Problems associated with the word ‘mind’ suggest considering its avoidance. However, use of the term facilitates an expansion of the meaning and range of reference of the idea of mind and an address of problem issues

The discussions of intuition, concepts and Objects, experience, and knowledge provides a general vocabulary for development of the concept of mind and analysis of experience and the Universal metaphysics provides foundation. The context of the metaphysics will enable a degree of ultimacy in the meaning and range of reference of the word mind. The metaphysics also enables resolution or dissolution of basic metaphysical issues of mind

Approach to the analysis of mind

Sequence of development

The sequence of development is divided into the five divisions below. These divisions of focus are not exclusive; even though the presentation is linear the development has been iterative and interactive. The first item, a review of ‘explanation’ as theory formation, is a useful preliminary. Establishing the nature of mind comes next—the considerations are preliminary to in that the nature of a fundamental kind such as mind is established only when a successful and articulated theory has been developed with at least relative completeness. These first two steps are appropriate to the general discussion under cosmology. The third step is to establish the phenomena to be explained—they are outlined in the present chapter and detailed in Worlds. It remains to Explain the phenomena and to Choose the elementary terms of explanation. These final and detailed aspects are taken up in Worlds

Review and establish the nature of explanation and its use in understanding particular concepts. It is important that possession of a ‘concept’ does not guarantee a corresponding definite object in our cosmological system. It is therefore expected that in the case of a fundamental kind, e.g. mind, the best explanations may be in process—and remain in progress unless investigation itself should signal its own completeness. The question of the terms of explanation is also important. Will the explanation of mind—for example—be in neurobiological terms or in terms of elementary mental concepts such as feeling and sensation? And will the explanation be causal, correlative or constitutive? E.g., if the explanation is to be in neurobiological terms, does the neurobiology cause or constitute mind or is mind a dual correlate of the neurobiology? It is of course not necessary to insist that the explanation should be exclusively material or mental and a combination may be most practical. However, the question of whether the foundation of explanation should be mental andor material—or other—is not resolved by practical considerations. Although this step is preliminary what emerges from the subsequent steps—from any explanation—may have implications for the nature of explanation

Review and establish the nature of the concept of mind—and the terms of explanation. It will be significant to establish that while material—neurobiological—foundation may be considered and neurobiological explanations are useful and important, it is also essential to explain mind in its own terms. What is mind? An immediate answer is not forthcoming but there are obvious suggestions that must be developed into systems of understanding to be critiqued for selection from and development of alternatives. The elementary terms of explanation may be the one—or more—used in establishing the nature of mind. Once mind is understood in its own terms it may then be efficient and useful to found or see the basis the mental mode of explanation in the biological or to correlate the two modes of explanation. Since it has been established in the metaphysics and since, as will be further shown, mind goes to the root of being—i.e., the elements of mind and of being may be regarded as coeval and coincident, it follows that explanation of mind in its own terms is fundamental. The elements will be seen, from fundamental considerations, to be primitive experience or feeling and its elaborations or modes. However, it will also be seen that as laid out in science our understanding of matter is incomplete and that a final understanding of mind and matter may show them to be identical. It is often thought that ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ are definite concepts with definite Objects and that the only uncertainty concerns our approximate knowledge of the concepts. However, as has been noted earlier and will be argued again, the concept-Object pairs are cannot be definite in the absence of a comprehensive theory in the context of a completed metaphysics. The search for understanding is a search in a dual concept-Object space. Given the freedom in the sense-reference of mind and matter that the search necessitates, under an appropriate and of course successful conceptualization, mind and matter in their ultimate senses will be seen identical if perhaps different sides of being. This step will be executed in parallel with the next three

Review and establish a set of phenomena to be explained—and elaborate the elements consistently with the phenomena to provide adequate explanations for the phenomena. Here it is crucial that the phenomena should not be a fixed set; they will be open to two kinds of review, (1) observation and experiment that may reveal further phenomena and (2) conceptual analysis that may establish that certain putative phenomena of mind are or are not actual phenomena or that certain putative explanations deployed in the understanding of mind are or are not valid explanations

Choose the elementary terms of explanation. As noted it is not necessary to make a choice; multiple modes of elementary terms—neurobiological, mental—may of course be used. If the world or Universe is truly material then we would of course like a material-neurobiological explanation; even in this case, however, the mental explanation would be illuminative and useful—first as a predictive and explanatory mode of explanation and second as a way to connect the material and the mental for the explanation in material terms would be required only to cover the primitive mental terms. The mental mode would likely also be practically necessary on account of the difficulty of explanation in terms of the material underpinning. However, it has been shown that there is no true and ultimate substance; that mind may be regarded as going to the root of being and therefore explanation of mind in its own terms is fundamental while neurobiological explanation remains of course immensely interesting and useful… and although the modern consensus scientific and philosophical position may be material in nature even if this were universally held—it is not and there is a coherent ongoing debate—this would not prove the material case even in absence of the metaphysics of this narrative

Explain the phenomena. The process is laterally dual in that it reviews both elements and phenomena; and it is vertically dual in its simultaneous attention to actual explanation and method or mode of explanation. Since systems and understanding of elements and phenomena may have both inherent and cultural overlay, the analysis of mind will merge (in Worlds) with that of the social world which is a natural and conventional next step

Plan for the discussion of mind

Explicit treatment of mind is divided between this section and the section Mind at the level of human being in Worlds

In this chapter the discussion is general and begins with a consideration of the nature of explanation and then focuses on the concept and nature of mind and on some general issues such as the place of mind in being which includes the so-called mind-matter problem. This is followed by an outline of phenomena to be explained—details will be given in Worlds. The remainder of the section focuses on general phenomena and some defining characteristics of mind: consciousness and awareness, free will and the nature and source of novel mental constructs, a psychological account of Objects, and the question of normal versus abnormal psychic powers. The question of which characteristic or characteristics may be considered to be defining is addressed in Worlds

The inclination in this section is philosophical while the discussion in Worlds inclines toward science. I hesitate to use the terms ‘philosophy’ and ‘science’ because they may suggest unintended connotations and because in this work the two approaches mesh

The discussion of mind is continued in Worlds—in section, Mind at the level of human being. The later discussion focuses on mind-as-we-know-it-in-our-world and includes an interest in animal mind in general. The focal interest is human mind and the general reasons for this are not any assumed ‘superiority’ but self-interest and the fact that human mind is the most accessible mind available to a human being. The interest in animal mind in general is not entirely unselfish for we are animal in kind and the general understanding may enhance understanding of human mind

Topics for the discussion of human mind are (a) Further clarification of the nature of mind and an analysis of the dimension or dimensions such as experience, attitude and action—i.e., the defining characteristic(s) of mind; (b) The elements of mind and their elaboration—e.g., as affective versus cognitive—and organization; (c) Perception and judgment; and (d) The origin of the higher elements or functions. These topics are followed by brief discussions of Mechanisms of integration, Personality and identity, and Health and disorder. Some further thoughts on the nature of explanation bring the discussion of Human mind in Worlds to a close

Meta-theory: the nature of explanation and its use in understanding mind

The nature of explanation—concept and object

Although there may be a primitive intuition of an Object that intuition does not define the Universal form of the Object

The question arises ‘What is, what defines that Universal form?’

We often think that given the intuition of a some particular Object or kind of object, e.g. a tree, that the intuition specifies the Object for all contexts and times and that the objective of definition is to ‘get it right.’ This is problematic even for simple Objects; in biological classification there are many plant forms that are definitely trees but there are borderline cases that are not clearly trees or not trees. We may think—surely with a little more diligence the problem should be resolved. The implicit assumption may be that, yes all plants fall under the classes defined by ‘is a tree’ or ‘is not a tree.’ The borderline cases reveal that while ‘tree-hood’ is a definite concept-object for practical purposes—the common plants—its definiteness is not universal. As more and more plants are studied in biology, definition becomes more subtle and known plants may receive classification but there may always be undiscovered or imaginable cases that will challenge the latest definition

Therefore, Object is not something that is in fact given even if not yet not precisely known and remains only to be discovered; rather it is an Object whose metaphysical—not merely epistemic—nature is one of creative-critical thought and discovery

We encounter trees in this world; whether there is some Universal concept of ‘tree’ that will emerge for the entire Universe is not clear. Even if there should be no Universal meaning of ‘tree’ it does not follow that there are no concepts capable of Universal meaning. We have seen a number of Universal concepts, e.g. being, all being, absence of being and so on. Already, since it predicates all actual things, the intuitive notion of being would seem to be Universal; this is confirmed by ‘analysis’ that is an exercise in how to see more than it is an exercise in sophisticated thought

The Objects of more specialized disciplines are less likely to be found Universal; and it is also natural that there would be less interest in such finding (even if a logical case for Universality could be made)

What degree of universality may we find for an intuitive notion of mind that begins with mind-as-we-know-it?

Explanation of mind

Thus far use of the word ‘mind’ has been casual and has not at all focused on the question ‘What is mind?’

However, the idea of mind has been explicit. The idea of mind begins with experience which is the subject side of the concept

The discussion of mind now follows

The concept and nature of mind

Introduction to the idea of mind. The idea of mind shall begin as the name for the subject or experience side of intuition, i.e. the primitive concept. How is it possible that this should be adequate? It is possible and true on the following account. First, it is not a precise claim; rather it points in the direction of interest. Mind is not manifest in many forms of matter: a flowing river, a block of wood and similar objects that we think of as more or less inert. In other organisms we see ‘read’ mind by signs of intelligence and by empathy. However, mind is not necessary for intelligence (even if it seems to be necessary for certain kinds of intelligence.) It is experience that is the first source of the idea of mind—the subjective experience that marks the individuals presence to the world and that the individual reads in others by empathy. Of course, human and animal mind is organized and elaborate so that experience is not mere experience. However, it is organized and elaborate experience. Perhaps there are other dimensions to mind; these may emerge. And perhaps in emphasizing experience I am emphasizing what seems to be most characteristic to me. Other ‘dimensions’ may be emphasized. However (a) recall that the Object of the concept ‘mind’ is not a given entity but while there is constraint from reality the concept / Object is also under creation, (b) therefore the final criteria are not whether we have found the true Object but first whether a sufficiently complete and adequate theory has been found and second whether a sufficiently broad range of phenomena has been included, and (c) what is being presented here is a theory that has already been worked through according to the foregoing criteria and in light of the Universal metaphysics and experience has been found empirically necessary and theoretically sufficient. Initially, therefore, experience is taken to be the marker of mind. We shall see what may emerge. It will be important to distinguish between the fire and the smoke—mind and the signs / characteristics of mind. The question of ‘dimensions’ of mind other than experience will be concluded in discussion Mind at the level of human being in Worlds

Approach. Discussion begins by a consideration of mind as we know it in our cosmological system. We begin by assuming that everything in the cosmos is matter. In critiquing this assumption a clearer picture of mind as we know it will emerge. What we learn will then be used to characterize / define mind in general. It is important to remember (as noted in the previous paragraph) that the ‘search for the nature of mind’ is not merely a search for a given ‘Object’ but also a process of conceptual construction

Analysis of mind in our cosmological system. Let us assume for the sake of argument that ‘all is matter.’ This is not a definite position because it does not address the question ‘what is matter?’ What is salient for the present argument is that experience (mind) is not explicit in matter. Some recent materialist thinkers have argued that experience (mind) is explicitly absent from matter and therefore, since all is matter, mind / experience do not exist. And the case has been argued with force and sophistication. However, the denial of what is fundamental by science and sophistication is absurd. A second position is that it is the organization of matter that causes mind. This position explains intelligence and so on but not the fundamental fact of experience. On the assumption that all is matter, mind must already be present in matter for there to be experience; coherence, organization and layering of strata and process is responsible for complex functioning and animal / human experience is primitive experience that is amplified in the coherent, organized, and layered processing

We may argue that our cosmological system is effectively physical provided that we do not think (a) of the physical to be limited by present knowledge of physics or (b) that the physical excludes the mental even if the mental is not manifest in physical description. This suggestion may be unappealing to some readers in that it suggests materialism. However, on account of its freedoms it is not materialist: rather it approaches the issue of mind from the physical side without restricting it understanding to any limited version of the nature of the physical. We then say: the psychic and the physical are two sides of the description of our being (in this cosmological system.) Both sides are already present in the primitive elements (particles and forces which are however non-local.) The structures that give rise to what we normally call physical forms are ‘gross.’ The structures that give rise to higher mind / experience are intricate in that they organize and amplify primitive mind

General analysis of mind. How is this picture modified when a conceptual transition is made from our cosmos to the Universe?

There is experience—our experience. From the fundamental principle of metaphysics the variety of experience and kinds of being with experience is without limit

Primitive experience is experience in a primitive element of being. It is the inner side of the accommodation of the primitive element to some part of the Universe (which may be another element or the Universe.) A truly atomic element cannot have experience but by the fundamental principle of metaphysics there cannot be truly atomic elements—i.e., every ‘element’ is non-atomic: there are no Leibnizian monads

Higher experience and mind lies in the coherence, elaboration and organization, and layering of structure and process of primitive elements. The resulting articulated complexity is the variety of ‘higher’ mental process. The amplification of primitive experience is higher experience (that naturally has an articulated complexity)

On account of absolute indeterminism, neither primitive elements nor higher experience of a given being need go to the root of being. On account of the same indeterminism the elements and the higher experience may reach to the root. Of necessity, from the fundamental principle of metaphysics, the root must be reached in some instances. The variety of being whose experience goes to the root is without limit. Since an atom is a cosmos, the root is infinitely remote. Therefore it is perhaps the case that going to the root is an in-process affair. Elements of being, since they are non-atomic, may be capable of inner experience or ‘pure’ experience—i.e., experience that is not the experience of another being. The variety of inner experience and beings capable of inner experience is without limit. Since an atom is a cosmos, there are elements within elements and so on. There is no point in this endless sequence at which external / inner experience is no longer actual in an infinite variety of cases. This is of course ‘infinitely far’ from the Normal case

There is an origin of mind as there is of matter (there are infinitely many origins and ends)

In some cases material and mental structures may be infused from one domain to another. Generally, there must be some origins from the root of being. Even in instances where origins are not in the root, some of those instances go back to the root. The primitive forms of experience may be referred to as ‘feeling’ even though the most primitive experiences that we label experience from subject side are compound and complex

In general, i.e. relative to the Universe, there is no substance and mind goes or may go to the root of being

Experience is an essential characteristic—even the naming characteristic—of mind

Remaining issues. A variety of issues remain. What is the source of novelty. What kinds of elements are there? Is experience the only characteristic or dimension? What are consciousness and awareness? What are the functions of human mind? Can we demonstrate completeness of a set of functions such as cognition and emotion? Are cognition and emotion truly distinct? These issues are taken up in the remainder of this section and in section Mind at the level of human being in Worlds

Outline of phenomena to be explained

The phenomena

Mind and its nature—the previous section that founds the discussion of the place of mind, relation to body and external world that is continued in subsequent sections

The elements of mind—element, state, modality and quality, Object, experience and consciousness

Modes of organization—elaboration, integration

The categories—the following categories will be justified and elaborated: natural, the psychosocial, and the existential

Timelines and origin of the higher elements of mind

Mode of explanation

The present version of the narrative emphasizes explanation of mind in elementary mental terms for reasons given earlier. The precise terms to use is a matter of exploration; at present ‘elementary feeling’ as described later is seen to be metaphysically sound as well as explanatorily effective. There may be occasional reference to neurobiology; however any systematic treatment of this mode of explanation is left to future versions. The explanation of mind in its own terms is efficient and provides insight and understanding. Since, as will be seen, mind may be regarded as fundamental this mode of explanation of mind is fundamental. Finally, the explanation of mind in its own terms permits neurobiological explanation to focus on essentials rather than details

Consciousness and awareness

Introduction. Although consciousness has assumed a central place in the late 20th and early 21st century philosophical literature its role in this narrative is limited and therefore treatment is brief. However, consciousness is of interest as central to our being and as an illustrative study that sharpens understanding of the metaphysics of experience and of the nature of human and animal being. Consciousness is not unimportant but its importance is subsumed under that of experience. Since the concepts of consciousness and experience are similar, discussion begins with a review of experience

Recapitulation of the discussion of experience. Experience was formally introduced in chapter Metaphysics, subsection Experience. The first meaning of experience was specified as the subjective aspect of mental content as in the experience of a red brick as red. When I have the experience of redness I am having experience (in this meaning.) Of course, not all experience is qualitative as in ‘redness.’ Explicit awareness of shape, e.g. the shape of the brick, is also experience. Experience does not require an Object. When I reflect or dream I have experience. In memory or recollection of an earlier impression there is experience without an immediate Object. These thoughts specify the first meaning of experience

It was later seen that the meaning of experience may be extended to primitive elements of being. The extension may be called ‘experience’ or, if we wish to emphasize the distinction, ‘primitive feeling’

Introducing consciousness. The first meaning of consciousness is the first meaning of experience. When I experience redness, I am having a conscious awareness of redness. The meaning of consciousness may also be extended to the primitive case. However, it is convenient to reserve consciousness to the case of explicit subjective awareness

Brief history of consciousness and studies of consciousness. Some thinkers hold that consciousness is a recent human phenomenon. In The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1974), Julian Jaynes argued that consciousness arose sometime after the Homeric era. However, it is much more likely that consciousness is an animal phenomenon and that what may be new for human being is consciousness as a phenomenon, i.e. consciousness of consciousness. This does not mean that consciousness is consciousness of consciousness or awareness of awareness but that there must be consciousness of consciousness before talk of consciousness occurs. Human reflection on consciousness likely has a long history. It is especially pronounced in the modern era: from the mid-17th through the late 19th century, consciousness was regarded as definitive of the mental. Around this time, especially with Freud, attention turned to the idea of unconscious mental processes. The relation of consciousness to the body (brain) presented as mystery especially on account of scientific materialism: nowhere in physics is there reference to mind, so how then can consciousness occur in brains? In the 20th century, scientists became critical of the possibility of scientific study of consciousness because of its subjective, private, allegedly non-objective, non-empirical nature—there is a mistake here and it is that although the content of consciousness and mind in general may lack objectivity it does not follow that the existence of consciousness itself is not objective. Nonetheless, beginning roughly in the 1920s it became ‘unscientific’ to study mental content in general and consciousness in particular; this marks the beginning of an era of scientific behaviorism. In the 1960s, the hold of behaviorism weakened and then, in the 1980s there began a resurgence of scientific and philosophical research into the nature and basis of consciousness that continues to the present—2014. A source for the information in this paragraph is the article Consciousness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The problems of consciousness. The resurgence of consciousness research that began in the 1980s resulted in an explosion of literature focusing on consciousness. The problems that this literature addressed have been divided into the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness and the easy problems. The hard problem is the question How is it that consciousness arises out of inert elements? This is a special case of the mind-matter problem and has been addressed earlier. Perhaps instead of calling it the ‘hard’ problem it should be called the conceptual problem. The hard problem is hard because the explanations involved cross categories. In contrast, the ‘easy’ problems are those of explaining the phenomena of consciousness in elementary mental or neurobiological terms. These are not cross-categorial and therefore not conceptually hard even though they may be technically difficult (the categorial jump between the neurological and the mental is made via empirical correlation while its conceptual aspect is relegated to conceptual or philosophical study.) The easy problems are scientific and range from detailed technical to general concerns. The general concerns include the ‘on-off’ nature of consciousness, the experimental demonstration of cases of awareness without consciousness. The on-off character of consciousness is that we seem to be either conscious of something or not: there does not seem to be a continuum of intensity from zero and up (there is a continuum in intensity once there is consciousness of something.) Awareness without consciousness may occur when something has been occupying attention but only a little later do we become acutely aware of the fact (there are experiments on brain damaged individuals that demonstrate awareness without consciousness.) This phenomenon is of intrinsic interest but has also been used to argue that phenomenal consciousness is not instrumental whereas there is another kind or realm of consciousness called a-consciousness or access consciousness that is instrumental (we have access to it regardless whether it lies in experience in its first meaning)

Plan for the treatment of consciousness. This section addresses the nature of consciousness and some of its problems. The hard problem has already addressed in essence as the mind-body problem and therefore treatment is brief. The on-off and awareness without consciousness phenomena are briefly treated. Some aspects of the nature of consciousness are developed. It is useful to remember that while the recent literature on consciousness is extensive, consciousness is perhaps best viewed within the wider contexts, first of mind and then of being (metaphysics.) That the problems of consciousness mirror the more general problems of mind and that the interest in the special topics of metaphysics is not prominent in this narrative result in a treatment of consciousness that is necessarily brief

What is consciousness? Discussion of the on-off character of consciousness. Consciousness is feeling—in the immediate meaning of feeling as our subject side of the concept. This notion of consciousness has been described in subsection Experience of chapter Metaphysics. Our experience of consciousness is feeling of feeling that enables reference to feeling and consciousness and the naming of feeling and consciousness; that manifest consciousness is not primitive feeling but that feeling about which there is feeling also explains its apparent on-off character—even if feeling were a spectrum from zero to ‘on,’ the feeling of feeling would occur only as feeling entered awareness and this would depend not only on a threshold but also on mode, quality and occasion

There is no fundamental distinction between consciousness and feeling; consciousness lies on the feeling spectrum; a primitive feeling state that is below some threshold and is therefore not associated with feeling of the feeling is not fundamentally distinct from a conscious state—therefore we could extend the meaning of consciousness to include such states; in fact one may extend the meaning of consciousness so for conceptual purposes but retain the human or animal centered meaning for practical purposes

Awareness without consciousness? This explains the experimental cases of awareness of objects that are not present in (bright) consciousness; it also explains the unnecessary introduction by some recent philosophers of mind of the term ‘a-consciousness’ which is essentially but simply, feeling or the extended conceptual meaning of consciousness and therefore includes awareness without awareness of awareness and ‘p-consciousness’ or phenomenal consciousness which is consciousness in its present practical meaning. Insofar as the intent behind ‘a-consciousness’ is to suggest that there are states of consciousness, i.e. there is a meaning of consciousness, that do not involve feeling, the use is altogether invalid. It may be noted that there is likely a range of degrees of awareness in which a lower realm remains in or very rarely leaves the state of mere feeling without awareness of feeling, a mid range where there is easy alternation between mere feeling and awareness of feeling, and the high range of feeling with awareness of feeling that is the first present meaning of consciousness

Some characteristics of consciousness. Animal consciousness is characterized by center-periphery-background, a dim-bright continuum, ability to focus consciousness—i.e. a volitional element of consciousness, and, depending on the case, awareness of awareness or feeling of feeling and the resultant developed / adapted ability to train or control free iconic and symbolic thought (it is implicit that there are cases of awareness without consciousness but that these are not non-feeling)

Human consciousness. Human consciousness has the characteristics of animal consciousness; it definitely has awareness of awareness or feeling of feeling and the resultant developed / adapted ability to train or control free iconic and symbolic thought. Human consciousness is further enhanced by language and culture that cultivate consciousness as an institution

Free will and the source and nature of novel mental constructs

What is freedom of the will? Free will is having influence on one’s choices and actions. It is not necessary to have total control over choice and action but it is necessary for free will to have some influence. In the most general case the individual faces his or her life—or groups of individuals face their lives—in the Universe and asks What am I (are we) to do? The question assumes that there are alternative outcomes and perceptions of alternative outcomes; that outcomes are not invariably end states but include courses of action; that when the distinction is made between end and action there is some (perceivable) connection between them. It is therefore implicit in the idea of choice that there is influence—a degree of control—over action and therefore indirectly over outcome. A choice in a particular context is a particular case of the most general. In the most general case, alternative courses of action arise from suggestions from others including the literature and the creative conception of alternatives. Before their dawn humanity had no conception of alternatives even if they were present. Therefore there is some creative conception of alternatives, choices, and paths of action. Choice may then be made—decision is the process of making a choice and it is implicit in the notion of choice that it is not entirely blind—randomly, intuitively, or rationally according to some criterion (or by some combination of the three.) A similar account may be given of the origin of the criteria. Since there is no final rational judge of criteria, selection by success must also be involved—we cannot have full control over choice or the parameters of choice even if we have some control

The ‘definition’ of the idea of free will has been a little more elaborate than the standard two or three lines. The reason for this begins with the observation that it makes clear what is involved in free will—that choice necessarily involves alternatives in action and a degree of control over action; that choice is implicit in action; that there need be phases of choice that involve the creative conception of alternatives and the creation of alternatives. In making clear the necessary detail the path to the introduction of ill conceived arguments for and against free will is defused at outset. The terms of the definition do predispose to an argument that there is freedom of the will but it is important that it also shows what is involved in such freedom

A standard argument against free will is that the Universe is either deterministic or indeterministic. If it is deterministic there can be no freedom of will (perhaps there can be the experience but not the fact of free will but it is not clear that there can even be the experience if the Universe is deterministic.) If the Universe is indeterministic, the argument goes, actions are random and again any perception of influence or control over actions is an illusion. In the present narrative, however, it has been seen that (1) the Universe is absolutely indeterministic and that (2) absolute indeterminism requires phases of determinism and therefore allows occasions of influence over action. This defuses the standard argument

There are and have been many motives to argue against freedom of will—the sway of determination by God, the sway of centuries of determinist science (before quantum theory,) the appeal of the clockwork universe, the unconscious elements of the controlling and the insecure personalities, and the excesses of the advocates of free will who write as though the individual is the sole and fluent author of his or her own life which they construct as they please and without regard to constraints on and difficulties of creation, choice, and action

The psychoanalyst Freud argued against freedom of will; however, his arguments seem to be based on the common difficulty of exercise of freedom and ignore, perhaps because these are not generally the cases that present to a therapist, the cases in which the difficulty is overcome—perhaps differentially among individuals, and incrementally and partially even in success

The physicist Albert Einstein argued against freedom of will. His arguments were based on his supreme trust, based in his own intuition and discoveries regarding the universe, that the universe is deterministic. This was the origin of his distrust of quantum mechanics as a final and fundamental theory (contrary to popular belief however he understood quantum theory well and contributed to its early development and, further, his arguments against the fundamental character of quantum theory spurred the development of quantum mechanics, its interpretation, and its implications) Scientific arguments for and against freedom of will can be made. It is important that the arguments made here do not appeal to science—the present arguments proceed by logic from what is clear

Regarding the arguments for and against freedom of the will, there appears to be a tendency to a kind of ‘purism’—there is no freedom at all or freedom is absolute; the actual case, as has been seen, is one of a balance between determinism and freedom and, more, it is one in which ‘partial determinism’—the present structure or context—provides some guide to andor constraint for freedom. All this is ultimately the result of absolute indeterminism which must result in cases of relatively stable or partially deterministic structures whose evolution is a combination of determinism and indeterminism (typically according to mechanisms elaborated in the earlier section Process but occasionally without mechanism)

Objection to free will—the problem of Free Will. However, the logical arguments against freedom of will in thought and action are (1) the universe is deterministic and, in any case, structure cannot come from indeterminism and (2) even if the universe is or were to be indeterministic, our actions are bound and, obviously, we cannot choose to do whatever we want to do or be whatever we want to be

Argument for free will and counterargument to the objections to free will. We have already seen that (1) is false—we have shown that the universe is indeterministic and, further, since every state must be visited under it, absolute indeterminism requires structure, i.e. the falsity is logical. In fact, indeterminism provides a better explanation of structure than does determinism. Under determinism novel structure cannot arise; structure cannot arise out of absence of structure—only given structure can exist but determinism cannot explain its given-ness. However, as we have seen, indeterminism explains—logically necessitates—novel structure and origin of structure where there is no structure at all. This is exemplified in quantum theory where the structure of atoms—and the stability of the world—arise out of elements that are probabilistic in nature even when such stability would not obtain under classical laws. (2) As we have seen, our actions and choices are not bound else there would be no novelty of thought or choice or action—a simple example serves to prove novelty of thought and therefore disprove determinism of human choice and action: a thought that has never been had before… if there were no such thoughts there would be no thoughts at all since, five billion years ago there were no thoughts at all on earth. While it is true that ‘we cannot choose to do whatever we want to do or be whatever we want to be,’ the error of the implied argument is that the claim regarding freedom of will does not assert that we can choose to do whatever we want to do or be whatever we want to be. There are thinkers, especially some of the humanist persuasion, that seem to hold that exercise of choice regarding actions and life’s options is a simple matter of easy exercise of choice; this is not at all the present claim regarding freedom. Here it is simply claimed that there is some freedom (the Normal case.) It is allowed that there may be two difficulties regarding exercise of freedom—first in the recognition and second in the execution of new choices; and the recognition and exercise are not, generally, single step exercises but may be incremental and interactive over a lifetime; they may require insight, perseverance and the overcoming of difficulty… and the outcome may be small; yet even a small amount of exercise of freedom is freedom. It may be argued that even though significant exercise of freedom is rare and perhaps the prerogative of exceptional individuals it exists and, when manifest, is significant and transformational

Creativity is essential to freedom of will. Without an element of indeterminism, there can be no essential novelty—for essential novelty is that which is not contained in what came before. Therefore, insofar as there are new ideas and new actions, there must be freedom of will; and note, that choice between two alternatives may also involve freedom of choice and clearly does so when the choice could go either way from the same state. Although the possibilities facing an individual may be given alternatives, the fact of the origin of human being implies that there is at least from time to time the creative conception of alternatives and the creation of actual alternatives. If it is perhaps the case that extraordinary individuals conceive and create the great alternatives then it is also the case that the ordinary individual may have creative influence is a local context

What is the source of creativity? There is of course ‘creativity’ in evolution and this is how novel abilities arise but what is the source of creativity such as the creativity required to come up with a novel solution to a problem? It must be that there are indeterministic or free elements in individual mind or else there would be no novel thought or solution. These free elements operate in a background of bound elements of mind and a material (i.e. a phase devoid of higher mind) but constraining environment and body. The free elements may be organized and layered but at root must be free variations that are selected by the organized including the bound forms. The discussion of free and bound elements of mind is further elaborated in Mind at the level of human beingWorlds

A preliminary psychological account of Objects

Detailed discussion of Objects and their elements—the elements of mind—is deferred to the section Human world of chapter Worlds

However, it is pertinent here to provide some account of the nature and the possibility of—the cognition of—Objects

In fact such an account has already been provided. There may be difficulty in providing a neurobiological account of how the various brain processes result in the concept or even the image of a tree. A functional explanation of how the different visual elements combine to provide a visual whole, of how the different sensory elements—sight, sound, and so on—and conceptual elements—e.g. from biology—provide a concept of ‘tree’ as a whole. However, it remains true that we evolved in an environment that has trees—and many other things that generally present as whole rather than fragments—in it. The explanation from adaptation, given earlier, is that cognition is adapted to things that present in the environment and not the elements of our analysis as such. That is the explanation from adaptation and no further explanation is necessary at that level

Of course other explanations such as the functional and the neurobiological are useful and may be pursued. However this does not negate validity of the explanation from adaptation even though the explanation is rather trivial once it is appreciated. What is true is that we might like to pursue all modes of explanation and that perhaps these explanations may be complementary in building up understanding

We therefore conclude that perception of objects: phenomena as object binding—how and why the shape, color and so on of an entity are perceived as one, object constancy—how an entity appears to be the same entity from different angles and distances and under some different lighting, and the more general unity of consciousness are explanatory problems from the point of view of neurobiology and the idea that the perceptual object is the sum of the perceptual parts. However, entities come first in a sense and the entities or objects of our world are those in terms of which we adapt. Therefore, unity of consciousness and so on require no explanation; such ‘phenomena’ have an intuitively primary character

At the same time analysis is also natural. The ‘natural’ Objects do present also as fragments—both in fact and in adapted perception; and in imagination which may be partial source of the useful analytical ability. The ability to analyze rooted in the intuition of natural Objects makes possible the general theory of Objects

The question of psychic powers

There are psychic powers such as the mathematical intuition of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who, self-educated, was able to conceive remarkable results in mathematics even though his proofs were sometimes inadequate as a result of having no formal training. Ramanujan is generally regarded as one of the great mathematicians—a mathematician at the level of Leonhard Euler, Carl Friedrich Gauss, and Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, for his natural mathematical genius. There are many people with some mathematical ability. The powers of the great mathematicians are abnormal in their degree but not in kind

Other psychic powers such as extrasensory perception and telekinesis are abnormal in the sense that they are abnormal in kind: they are said not possessed in any measure by normal individuals. Supporters of such powers claim that they transcend known modes of perception, known physical law and so on. There seems to be some relish in the fact of transcending known means and science. It is remarkable that psychic powers remain with marginal application and that science and its application are in many ways far more remarkable. Supporters of psychic powers would argue that, e.g., the unwillingness of people to believe makes it impossible for them to see. I believe, however, that it is openness in ideas and means characterizes the most powerful of human agencies; of course there is native intuition such as Ramanujan’s insight into numbers and their relations but for acceptance the insights must be supported by explicit proof; and in the case of modern mathematical proof that is partially computer generated and so complex or long that examination is difficult it is precisely that difficulty that is a source of doubt but precisely the willingness to provide proof for open examination which then results in a verdict of ‘probably correct’ that is a source of confidence

It is not the intent here to catalog or prove / disprove the possibility or actuality of such powers as presented by telekinetics and so on. The questions are: Given that all human beings have some mental power, what is the nature and degree of psychic powers? How can this question be brought into the realm of understanding rather than remaining outside it? Can this understanding lead to a realistic cataloging of psychic powers and explicit ways of developing andor invoking such powers

I suggest the following keys to answering these questions. First: openness in ideas and means. It seems that the abnormal and secretive powers are diversionary. Second: it has been seen that mind is not other than the body: that mental description whether direct or from the outside and bodily description are modes of description of the same phenomena; therefore what is ‘of the psyche’ is not ephemeral and therefore the idea of psychic power should be neither surprising nor separated from the idea of physical or body power. Third: as seen, both ‘mind’ and ‘body’ go to the root of being and therefore while discovery is a journey it is also rediscovery. Finally: common living is a balance and perahps tension between the ordinary and the extraordinary

These aspects of approach will be taken up in the transformations; the possibility is interesting; there is no pre-judgment of what will emerge; it is estimated that this open approach, combined with a study of open powers but also openness to all claims has the greatest potential for significant outcome

Identity and death

As a result of the scientific world view and the advent of secular humanism one dominant modern Normal view of death is that it is absolute: individual consciousness begins with birth and ends with death

The Metaphysics shows, however, the merging of individual identities in Identity. Thus the Normal view of death is a relative one

In life, this world is, roughly, finite; in life, the Universe may be experienced as infinite

In death, therefore, it is as if the infinity of the Universes collapses to the individual; alternatively, in death the ‘finite’ individual becomes the infinity of the Universe

...which from the theory developed for Identity—ultimately from the fundamental principle—has literal truth

A goal of the journey is to attempt to realize this truth regarding death in this life

The normal view of identity and death versus the view from Metaphysics

Experience and identity. My experience seems to be my experience. I look out on to the world and what I see is mine; someone else may see the same world and have an experience that is close to that of mind but no matter close it is not my experience. That is the Normal view

My experience of myself is mine; yours is yours; and the two are different and separate. That is the modern Normal view

Death. I do not recollect anything from a time that I was less than minus nine months old. My experience will cease never to be resumed when I die. Such assertions are (common) common sense conclusions from observation and reflection on some facts of life. They are encouraged by the materialist view that I am the organization and processes of the matter in my body which did not exist before I was minus nine months old and will cease to exist at my death. This is the modern Normal view

These Normal views are encouraged by the modern empirical-critical attitude: if I do not experience something I cannot assume it to be real. It is also encouraged by science—even if experience is possible it must be connected to a material substrate and different brains are separate and therefore the different experiences must be distinct. It is also encouraged by a rational cosmology—what is true must be understood and what is understood must be understood in terms of the default cosmology which, in modern times, is a ‘secular cosmology’

The Universal metaphysics endorses these common modern secular views as Normal or standard. However, when regarded as absolute the Universal metaphysics also disproves them beyond doubt. In the Introduction and Intuition we have seen limits to the standard view; these limits investigated further in Worlds

However, even without those criticisms we have the following doubts about the Normal view. While my experience appears to be absolutely distinct from that of another person, that appearance or experience lies within the bright or focal region of my experience. It is primarily reflexive experience—experience that I experience (experience is and has been seen to be capable of being an Object.) Materially, my brain or body and its processes is rather but not absolutely distinct from all the other matter-process in the world and that matter-process includes the bodies and especially the brains and neurons and perceptual organs of other individuals. It is entirely possible that there is cross-individual experience in the non-reflexive region of experience. In the secular paradigm that possibility may seem absurd. However, the section Mind has paved the way for a removal of the absurdity. In the following sections this possibility—and significantly more—will be demonstrated

The theory of identity

Simply, as already seen, from the Universal metaphysics—subject to Logic every concept has its Object—the following are true (a) There are individual identities. (b) There is Universal Identity. (c) The individual identities have degrees of isolation defined by the body and birth and death but the isolation is not absolute. (d) The experienced degrees of isolation are not fixed but range from zero or near zero to one or near one. (f) Even if the following do not lie within Normal experience they must lie in the range of reality based experience: there will be degrees from near one to near zero of merging of individual identities and of individual and Universal Identity

Models of merging are developed in the later section Space, time and being

Merging of identity with Identity

Some kinds and facts of merging are established in the previous section

Karma

Karma is a special case of merging as described in The theory of identity

Realization in this life

Introduction

The mystics and the yogis describe an experience of ‘union’ through physical and mental exercise

Freud describes an ‘oceanic feeling’

Individuals describe ‘peak experiences’ that include such states of feeling

What is sought here

In Journey in being it is sought to explore the limits, varieties, and significance of these kinds of experience. The first goal is the inner experience of a realization of being as ‘Being.’ Other goals include explorations of ways to achieve this inner experience and explorations of its significance; these secondary goals promote method and sharing. However, it is not obvious that method and realization are compatible. Still, some degree and kind of trying is likely better than doing nothing and following some rigid prescription

It is further sought to have realizations grossly in the flesh. That is for an individual to become a blue whale, for an individual to become the Universe. In modern secular thought such goals are typically seen on  a continuum of absurd to impossible to irrelevant (to what is relevant.) In the language of the Universal metaphysics they are Normally impossible but universally necessary. In plain language: they are possible but immensely difficult… and of questionable value though of ultimate Value

These realizations, approaches to them, an account of what has been accomplished so far are among the topics of chapter Journey. It will be seen that I am (we are) at the outset of a journey

Adventure in being

The processes described in this section Identity and death constitute part of the larger adventure already described as the experience—through pleasure and pain, through exultation and calm process and ennui—of the infinite variety of being

Space, time and being

Extension and duration: their necessity and interaction

Necessity of extension. Absence of being is conceivable. It is conceivable that being may shrink to a point without any extension. However, extension over which there is non-uniformity is necessary for variety. Consider: (a) There is variety—this is given in the variety of the world or if the world is illusion then it is given in the variety in illusion. (b) From the fundamental principle of metaphysics there must be variety. Then from either (a) or (b) there are phases of the Universe characterized by extension. Further, (b) implies that there must be such phases of the Universe

Necessity of duration. Since the Universe occurs in Void as well as manifest phases there must be duration. Duration is characterized by change. We have seen that change occurs over duration but that there is no general mechanism of change. It is reasonable to expect that the most probable origin of relatively stable variety and structure—e.g., of Normal worlds—is incremental and involves indeterministic variations of which only those that arrive at neighboring stable states have permanence

Non-existence of Universal space and Universal time. Space and time are measures of extension and duration. It is not expected that Universal measures may be set up. At most we expect patchworks that are foamy in the small

Non-independence of space and time measures. Because any instrumental measure of being involves elements of being, we cannot expect that in different coordinations new space measures shall depend only on the old space measures or that the new time measures shall depend only on the old time. It is therefore necessary by the fundamental principle of metaphysics in its form as the principle of reference that there must be cosmological systems in which ‘space and time are not independent’

Relative or non-absolute character of space and time. Because any instrumental measure of being involves elements of being, space and time for the Universe must be relative rather than imposed or existing independently of being

Local and Global description. A description over all extension and duration is called Global. Descriptions in terms of measures of extension and duration are Local

Space, time and being

Introduction. The goals of this section are to develop some implications of the Universal metaphysics and to suggest avenues for further development. Even though this section is imaginative, the fundamental principle of metaphysics implies the necessity of the ‘universal’ implications and that particular scenarios imagined will obtain occasionally but still infinitely often

Duration is necessary—this assertion, made earlier, will now be demonstrated in another way. For any domain, its annihilator must emerge from the Void. Therefore there are no eternally static domains—every atom of being has immanent duration

Dimensionality of space. There may be ‘practical’ reasons that the apparent dimensionality of space in our cosmological system is three. Topological considerations show that dimensionality two or lower would lack the complexity necessary to our life and material forms and suggest that they lack the complexity of any life or sentient form. Dimensionality greater than three would allow greater complexity. However, gravitation might not follow an inverse square law in space of more than three dimensions and this might result in ‘solar systems’ being unstable. Still, there may be unimagined configurations and laws of physics that result in stable forms in higher dimensional spaces. Arguments that space ‘should’ have any particular dimensionality tend to be heuristic or suggestive. The Universal metaphysics does not appear to imply a logical limit to the dimensionality of space

Multiple times. A meaning can be assigned to multiple times by imagining multiple cosmological systems for which the intra-actions are strong and of some local category while the inter-actions are weak and perhaps of another category. Therefore via the principle of reference, there must be cosmologies with multiple times. There is no reason to think that our cosmos does not have multiple times but if it does then it appears that there is only one dominant time. Multiplicity of times does not seem to be similar in kind to multi-dimensionality of space

Space-time and being. Thus far space and time have been discussed as though independent of each other. Their immanence in the Universe has shown that they are not measures that lie ‘outside’ being. Ask ‘What is time?’ rather than ‘What is the measure of time?’ Does a point particle experience time? It appears that while a point particle may ‘lie’ in time it cannot experience or be generative of time for that would seem to require inner process and therefore structure. A structured particle may however have an inherent time that reflects inner process, e.g. a standing wave (vibration.) Since this fundamental time has its origin in the interaction of duration and extension, here is a source of the interwoven character of space and time… and being. What has been said of a ‘point’ particle with inner structure-process may, by the same mechanism, obtain for larger domains. Our cosmological system appears to be an immensely integrated continuum in the universality of its time: except for slowing in a gravitational field due to increased mass and decreased frequency, all elements of being or particle-clocks exhibit the same time

Source of a dominant time. What is the source of such synchronicity—for the coherence of time in a cosmological system—e.g., our cosmos? Perhaps a coming together of already existing elements that interact and mutually condition one another. Perhaps it is more likely that common origins, e.g. in a singular event, should be the forge of the synchronous behavior. If not entirely singular where densities would be infinite perhaps near singular where densities are high enough that particle identities would not hold

The single dominant time of our cosmos. In our cosmos it is known that a clock or a fundamental particle ‘ticks’ at a slower rate in a higher gravitational field—this consequence of Einstein’s theory of gravitation (the general theory of relativity) has been confirmed experimentally. Thus intrinsic time does not appear to be uniform across the cosmos: it is affected by location relative to the distribution of matter in the cosmos. However, it is possible in the general theory to introduce a ‘proper time’ that is uniform. This indicates that although there is no precise synchronicity, there is a temporal coherence across the cosmos

Local and global time in a cosmos. In emerging from the Void, the following phenomena may be exhibited: a process-extension associated with emergence; a process-extension with the being of each structured particle; the two are related for the first is the source of coherence of the second. It is in principle possible for there to be a cosmological ‘system’ in which the times of particles are independent or weakly coherent in relation to the strong internal times of the particles

A model cosmos. Imagine a cosmos to be of one space dimension; it starts and ends in a singularity; chart it on a flat surface with time as ‘vertical’ and space as ‘horizontal’ axis. It is a closed curve with a ‘pinch’ at the bottom that is the initial singularity and a pinch at top for the final singularity. An initial pinch may provide coherence as a result of intense interaction. The diagram would not be right even if the axes were not shown for it is embedded in a pre-existing two-dimensional space. But the initial singularity is the beginning of space and time for the cosmos. Since the diagram is for a cosmos and not the Universe, the pre-existing space could be that of the Universe or another larger cosmos. The ‘picture’ of the Universe is an accumulation of such diagrams, not restricted in dimension, and not depicted in pre-existing space. The description is of course very rough

Island cosmos. The foregoing suggests an isolated cosmos. The idea of island cosmological systems is interesting. Each has or is defined by coherence as described earlier and is characterized by strong causal interaction. In the typical modern view the islands are causally isolated

Interacting cosmological systems. But the analogy with geographical islands is more than interesting. The life on geographical islands is rather but not (invariably) perfectly isolated from that on other islands. Thus there is strong intra-action but weak inter-action. Interaction could be the result, simply, of Universal interaction while intra-action could be the local focusing of the Universal interaction as described in the earlier section Process. And temporal interactions could occur across a ‘neck’ of which a ‘pinch’ is an approximation. Island cosmological systems may have weak interaction because of (1) non-locality as in quantum theory and or (2) the laws of ‘physics’ of any one system are not universal (and therefore there is no single universal speed at which interactions propagate.) Looking far back in geological time, islands have strong interactions and this too may be suggestive for the cosmological case

The case of an individual. Thinking roughly of an individual as a cosmological system, the foregoing suggests connections across death. From the fundamental principle of metaphysics such connections are necessary even though they may not exist in the Normal case. Just as absolute isolation across cosmological boundaries and origins is an approximation so is isolation of individuals across death and body boundaries. This approximation is the Normal case that is taken as the entire truth in secular thought. Just as an island cosmos is an approximation to its being, so is the absolute isolation of individual experience (mind) across death and body boundaries

The island cosmos and other paradoxes. The island cosmos violates the Universal interaction consequence of the fundamental principle. Therefore there are no true island cosmological systems. The island cosmos is an approximation. But, then, does the case of the Universe entering into phases of non-being constitute a paradox? There are issues of Logic and computability that are suggested here. The issues require resolution of conflict between the free floating variety that seems to follow from the cosmological version of the fundamental principle, the fact that this free floating variety suggests self-limits including the limit of ‘no island cosmos,’ and the Logic. This suggests deep questions and issues whose surface I have so far grazed

Modeling our cosmos. For our cosmological system there are mathematical theories of physics that enable some computational modeling of the foregoing ideas. The modeling would not be complete as a result of (a) breakdown at singularities and necks and (b) incompleteness of particle description. Still, a mathematical theory is useful because the intuition and the mathematics supplement one another

Absolute versus relative character of the space and time of our cosmos. According to Mach’s principle the inertia of momentum of an object is the cumulative result of all the objects of the cosmos. There may of course be other local properties that are the result of the entire cosmos. The status of Mach’s principle is not altogether certain. However, in an interpretation of the relativistic theory of space, time and gravitation due to Einstein, the local warped space-time is an integral part of local objects. The foregoing interpretation and the following suggestion are entirely consistent: the local warped space-time is an as-if absolute space-time that is relative at the level of the cosmos as a whole

Is that all there is?

We have seen that extension and process are necessary aspects of the Universe

The qualities of being may vary over extension and change over duration: space and time are measures over which being has variance

Analysis has suggested that there are no further measures of variance: variety or non-uniformity of being requires extension, and change and novelty require duration. What other ‘dimension’ of variance could there be? Imagination suggests no immediate answer. It is plausible that there are no dimensions of variance except the spatial and the temporal. This however does not imply that there are no such measures

Are there further non-intuitive measures or parameters of variance in the qualities of being? Or can it be shown—e.g. by tightening the suggestive argument—that the intuitive measures of space and time can be the only such measures?

Non existence of further non-intuitive measures does not imply there are limits to the dimensionality of space or the multiplicity of times

Worlds

Worlds studies the Normal worlds of sentient beings; the main vehicle for discussion is our cosmos—the physical and the living worlds and the worlds of human being and human endeavor

Worlds has two primary purposes. First is the general study of our World—i.e. of our cosmological system and life in our cosmos as we know it. Human life is emphasized but animal life in general is not excluded. ‘Life’ emphasizes mind and society

‘Spirit’ is not excluded but the variety of accounts of spirit—including the religions—is so varied that a neutral observer would not be likely to regard any of the spiritual metaphysics as real. Of course, metaphysics is but one aspect of spiritual systems—others are concerned with ethics, moral comfort, and establishing and maintaining community and society; and although modern secularism emphasizes separation of politics and spiritual belief, religion has been and remains significantly political. The developments here provide illumination of the literal and the non-literal, of the metaphysical and the non-metaphysical. Although no spiritual or religious system is presented in a textual (scriptural) form, whatever spirit or higher or divine form there may be—and whatever their natures may be—must be immanent in the Universal metaphysics. I.e., issues of spirit and religious content are already present in the Universal metaphysics even if only casually developed in topics such as Void as foundation, Universe as all being as unlimited in variety, recurrence, karma, impossibility of god the creator of the Universe, necessity of local gods, necessity subject to Logic of every textual story. The Universal metaphysics shows that if any religious or mythic text or story does not embody that metaphysics, the text or story is at most a partial and limited metaphor. This follows since the metaphysics is not posited but emerges via analysis from necessary empirical-rational constructs

The approach to study is to mesh the local with the Universal. The local is our world as known in experience, reflection, and the traditional disciplines—the symbolic disciplines (language, logic, mathematics,) the sciences and the humanities, and tradition and traditional studies including religion. The studies in this narrative of Intuition, Metaphysics and general Cosmology provide the Universal framework. The mesh is more than mere juxtaposition. As we have seen the local studies provide metaphor for the Universal; and as has been seen it has been possible to go beyond the metaphorical, first in arriving at an empirical-rational account which does not suppress feeling and second developing the empirical-rational account as a Universal account. In this chapter we will see how the Universal account will enable an approach of the local disciplines to their intrinsic limit. The method has an implicit beginning in Intuition; its formalization begins in Metaphysics; it is applied and refined in this chapter; and it is reviewed and consolidated in Method

Aspects of our world, our cosmos are studied from the points of view of experience, reflection and the traditional disciplines against the Universal metaphysics as background—the Universal metaphysics and general Cosmology frame the particular studies of this chapter and encourage their approach to the intrinsic limit and this has, in the narrative, a degree of realization for human mind, society, and potential for contribution to modern theoretical physics, physical cosmology, and the study of life and its evolution

The method has two components. One component begins as experimentation with ad hoc elements of the local studies where it is found that study must begin with the ad hoc but often remains there, not because the ad hoc cannot be transcended at all, but because studies are aborted or because of loss of nerve or because of misinterpretation in light of some passing critical paradigm. Development of the Universal and local studies of this narrative has provided occasion for reflection on novel and perhaps unique elements of approach. In the study of Logic, for example, it was seen that ‘method’ and ‘content’ are significantly coeval in their origins; in fact, since ‘study’ lies in the world, it constitutes content and the present narrative capitalizes on this identity. An aspect of this and of numerous realizations in the narrative is commonly called ‘cross-fertilization’ among ideas and disciplines which is here generalized and formalized in Method as reflexivity. Reflexivity is the formalization of the component that begins with experiment with ad hoc elements and brings them out of the realm of the merely ad hoc and is exemplified in the study of the necessary Objects—the Universal metaphysics—and the practical Objects that are emphasized in Worlds. Reflection is important because it encourages openness in face of the ad hoc and conservative elements of the traditions

The second component of the method is the framing of the local studies by the Universal metaphysics and general cosmology. This framework occurs in the dimensions of depth and breadth and therefore encourages foundation of the elements of study and range of application. The Universal metaphysics and the cosmology provide the material to pass beyond the ad hoc and the conservative; the individual disciplines are nudged toward their intrinsic limit. The method is outlined in Intuition and Metaphysics, some details are reviewed in section Approach below, and the reflections on method are reviewed, formalized and given further articulation in Method. Worlds continues Cosmology into areas where the distortion between concept and Object may be essential and faithfulness is assessed for each area of study. The primary Object of study in Worlds is human being—human psyche including mind and questions of the spirit, human society and the human endeavor. In Worlds, human being is primary in that it is the most extensively studied and in that it provides a local ground for the journey. Physical cosmology, physical science, and study of life and evolution are also taken up but in principle rather than detail. These topics also constitute ground for the journey but what is shown here is their potential for development within the framework of the Universal metaphysics. It is empowering when we know that some element of our ignorance is merely apparent ignorance—apparently incomplete knowledge is reflects indefiniteness of being rather than a limit of knowing. Such indefiniteness of being implies an intrinsic ‘limit’ and not a subjective limit to knowing. The extent which an intrinsic limit is realized is evaluated for each Object or discipline

The second goal of Worlds is to provide ground for Journey—an initial guide and local foundation of the bridge from this world to and mesh with the infinite or ultimate

The study of Human being emphasizes mind for mind is instrumental in our being in the world and this is the topic that is most extensively developed. The discussion of human mind including cognition, emotion, and identity are instrumental in exploration of self and being. As experience and with appropriate extension, mind extends to the root of being as much as does matter; the two, if they extend to the root, are complementary modes of experience of being. Also of importance are local physical cosmology, understanding of life and its genesis and evolution, society and civilization

Human endeavor and its normal limits emphasizes the inherent boundaries of traditional views of the world. These boundaries are places where those views break down—often by the criteria of the views themselves; it follows that the views themselves are agnostic with regard to what lies outside their boundaries; still positivistic thinking asserts that there is no ‘beyond’ the boundaries but in so doing perpetually confuses itself in the face of outward moving boundaries

Positivism is the position that a view of the world continues forever; and a weaker form of positivism is the attitude that we shall not talk of what does not lie inside a world view such as physical science or physical cosmology. As a formal philosophy, positivism declined after its peak in the first half of the twentieth century; however, it continues informally and perhaps unselfconsciously affects much thinking regarding science and what constitute proper topics of thought

One continuing source of the attitude of positivism is the attitude of those scientists, especially those in the natural sciences, who think that their science is the final word on reality and who stand sentinel at the border as ideological police. There is no suggestion that all scientists are positivists but positivism continues to have sway. And it is admitted that there is perhaps a role to positivism in keeping science from degenerating into mere speculation. The attitude of the ideological guard has its roots in personality rather than science for science itself is neutral to its boundaries. The metaphysics of this narrative shows that those boundaries of current empirical science are not true boundaries at all

A purpose of the section Human endeavor and its normal limits, is to show that the traditional views do not proscribe developments outside their boundaries and that there is no contradiction between those views and the developments of this essay. The goal is to put on display and defuse the positivistic sway that continues in attitudes even if not as formal philosophy

The understanding developed here, especially the study of mind, is presented as a contribution to thought. A second contribution is the method or approach outlined above. It is thought that the discussion of society illustrates and suggests correction approaches regarding some characteristic errors in the ways in which we think about institutions. Development of the thoughts on theoretical physics, physical cosmology, and the evolution of life constitute a potential contribution

A dual approach

Principle—framing of the local by the Universal: the Universal is an envelope of the local. The mesh of content and method provides potential for the local to be raised to its intrinsic limit. See, especially, discussions of method in Metaphysics, sections The Universal metaphysics and Applied metaphysics

Method—the components of the method are the phenomena or what is to be explained, the elements or terms of explanation, and the theory or local conceptual framework of explanation which includes (a) perception and establishment of fact and (b) induction including pattern recognition, and deduction (thus the methods of science are an explanatory framework as are the symbolic studies such as logic and grammar)

Elements, phenomena, and theory iterate within and in interaction with the Universal. Then, the elements may root to the universal; the phenomenology and behavior begin to fit into the universal ‘model.’ Understanding expands from its ad hoc and academic forms to the universal

An explanatory triad

An explanatory triad—the phenomena, the elements, and the explanatory framework

Explanation includes scientific and predictive theory as a case

In one conception of philosophy—that of Wittgenstein—the phenomena and the elements are the same… in that conception or mode of philosophical thought, understanding is essentially superficial—not because of any shallowness in an ability to understand but because there is nothing under the surface. This is a conception of an approach to understanding rather than an essential concept or definition of philosophy

It is typical that there is indeterminacy in the triad; acknowledgment of it is a factor in improvement and, perhaps, movement toward greater determinacy, precision, and range of application. Although we approach new knowing, new understanding, new explaining from the point of view of what is received, we also make the approach from multiple modes of ignorance—otherwise the knowing etc would not be new

We therefore do not insist on any essentialism or substance with regard item or kind in the triad

Regarding mind for example, the elements could be mental or material… or neither… or both. A system of understanding of mind could explain high level mental phenomena in terms of mental elements—e.g. feeling, afference, efference—which could be explained neurobiologically… or the neurobiological could parallel the mental elements

The phenomena are not invariably given; discovery reveals new phenomena and kinds; theory and experiment often show distinct phenomena to be related and, via new elements and frameworks of explanation, to integrate within a new unified understanding. Standard explanatory models may be pursued—direct and transcendental, inductive and deductive, from experiment to law and law to experiment

Contribution of the Universal metaphysics

The indeterminacy is emphasized and encouraged. Simultaneously it is given determinacy by providing framing and showing the root to which the elements may approach. Even if there is an infinity of layers, there is a level—the Void—below which there is no depth. The metaphysics provides without substance but allows local substance in the physical and explanatory sense

The theory of the Void shows that there is no final substance but also suggests that substance may be pursued on the way to explanation. We are not committed to essentialism but not invariably committed to avoiding it—this is itself an avoidance of the habits of substance thinking

The openness allows that the intrinsic limits of the disciplines may be attained. It encourages the combining of disciplines in this endeavor. It suggests foundations to the current disciplinary foundations as best recognized in the academic world

The sections of this chapter provide examples. However these are not mere examples but span what we know as our world

The metaphysics itself is an example of reaching the intrinsic and in this case ultimate limit of explanation

Contribution of the tradition

The approach is the framing of the local by the Universal. The source of the Universal is the Universal metaphysics

Sources for the local include imagination, experience, and the traditions of human knowledge and experience which includes oral and written traditions including drama and art and literature. These include the modern sciences and humanities. These inputs from the tradition to the study of the local are essential and immense

The tradition is a source of the aspects of the explanatory triad

Local cosmology

Introduction

An alternate title to this section might be Normal cosmology. The physical cosmology of this—our—cosmos and biosocial evolution are examples of local cosmologies

There are clear mutual implications among the Universal metaphysics and the study of the physics of the local cosmological system including the study of the fundamental forces, force—gravitation-matter-space-time, and the quantum vacuum and quantum theory

Such studies have not yet been taken up but may be an aspect of the ‘experiments’

The present development has considered implications for the extent of the Universe, the origin of the laws of this cosmos and their non-universal character, the non-origination and non-ending of the Universe, recurrence, annihilation, the relative character of any space-time for the entire Universe, the necessity of both relative and absolute space-times for local systems, the possibility but general improbability of entirely saltational origins of local cosmological systems, an incomplete loss of information in transitions through the Void state, universal interaction, the origins—and possibility and meaning of origins—of Laws and of space-time, and the non-universal character of the speed of propagation of the fundamental forces

When light is regarded as an isolated phenomenon the fundamental character of its speed in this cosmos may seem puzzling. However the ‘speed of light’ is the speed of propagation of all fundamental forces of this cosmos and is therefore bound into the very constitution of the elements of this cosmos

The explanatory triad

Phenomena—mechanical and electromagnetic phenomena on earth and solar system, small and large scale behavior, fundamental forces and theories, cosmological phenomena

Elements—theoretical physics—space-time-matter and the fundamental theories

Explanatory framework or Theory—the mesh with Cosmology provides potential foundation. Interpretation within the Universal framework provides enhanced interpretation and application of modern cosmology and shows that it is a speck in the Universe

Evolution and evolutionary theory. Origin of cause: dynamics

These topics have been discussed in the chapter Cosmology. Specific application for our cosmological system is a possible topic for later development

Physics and physical cosmology

The goal of this section is to briefly show relations between the Universal physics and physics and physical cosmology. The two subsections below briefly take up the major fundamental divisions of modern theoretical physics

The chapter Cosmology has a general discussion of origins, Process, and Space, time and being

There are brief discussions of the nature of science at a number of locations of the narrative

Large scale theory of the physical universe

The Universal metaphysics supports the necessity of modern physical theory as having application somewhere

As seen in chapter Cosmology, the metaphysics also supports the interwoven character of extension, duration, and matter-energy as an instance of looking behind substance, i.e. not seeing space, time and so on as given—as substance

Physics at small scales: quantum theory

As noted earlier the metaphysics supports quantum theory

The evident analogies between quantum theory, especially the quantum vacuum, and the nature of the Void as a support for being suggests that the Universal metaphysics may provide some foundation for quantum theory… and perhaps, from the previous section, for some joint—unified—theory of the very small and the very large, i.e. of the quantum and of physical cosmology

These developments are left for possible future research

Life and organism

There is brief discussion of biology in Human world below; evolution has been discussed in chapter Cosmology

The explanatory triad

Phenomena—life, function, variety

Elements—cells, biochemistry

Theory—variety and micro-coding; adaptation and coding of the environment-organism in the organism; variation and selection, micro and macro evolution, coding of structure and genetics, adaptability and intelligence as adaptation

Human being

Introduction

The first goal of this section is to provide understanding of human being. The choice of material and terms of explanation have been given general motivation in section Mind in chapter Cosmology. This choice is also motivated by the goals of Journey

Understanding is enhanced by awareness of similarity and difference. Therefore from the point of view of understanding, human being is seen as animal being but without suppression of distinctions

We can gain in adventure when we have kinship with animal being but are not limited by the feeling

The explanatory triad

Phenomenology—mind, experience-consciousness; mental function starting with cognition and emotion; personality and identity; human freedom and its dimensions; health and disorder

Elements—determinism and indeterministic elements; feeling, elaboration, integration and layering

Explanatory framework or Theory—explanations of the elements from fundamentals—adaptation, the local world and the Universal metaphysics; the higher elements from the lower; and of the phenomenology

The human organism

When two systems are—exist—in interaction their forms may be mutually influenced. They may co-form and be co-formed or adapted; they may have con-formation—but it is not implied that such conformation is intrinsic or goes to the root of the being of the systems. Common origins and extensive interaction are two sources of adaptation that goes to or approaches that root. The occurrence of adaptation is necessary; that it should be of a particular kind or degree is, in the particular case, a priori contingent. When a kind of degree of adaptation is consistently conceived or observed, that it should occur—and occur with infinite repetition—is necessary. While the occurrence of consistent or observed adaptation is necessary, a mechanism of occurrence such as incremental variation and selection is, in any instance, a priori at most probable. That—consistent—incremental variation and selection should occur in some instance is necessary. That incremental variation and selection should always be a priori probable is impossible even if it is most often so; it is perhaps more accurate to say that there are probabilities only relative to an ‘initial’ state that already has form. There must be cases of deep co-adaptation—including adaptation of organism to environment—whose genesis was not one of incremental variation and selection. It is not necessary that such cases have occurred on this earth

When the process of adaptation becomes ‘coded’ into the organism, ‘evolution’ may be said to be internalized. Examples of internalization are the genetic code and—creative—intelligence. The relation between the size of the code and the size of its elements e.g. the primitive molecules that is required for complexity of even the simplest organisms poses an interesting question. The relation between the size of the simplest organisms and the size required for complexity of form and function—and creative intelligence—also poses an interesting question (note that function is dynamic form)

Mind at the level of human being

The earlier section Mind in the chapter Cosmology was devoted to general and conceptual questions. This section looks at human and animal mind in light of the earlier discussion

The discussion begins with what is to be explained in the section Elements of mind: the phenomena to be cataloged andor explained. The explanations follow in the sections Elements and concept of mind: explanations of the phenomena and Timelines and origin of the higher elements

Elements of mind: the phenomena to be cataloged andor explained

Mind and its nature

The place of mind, relation to body and external world

While mind and its nature have been considered in the earlier section, this section continues the earlier discussion, elaborating it particularly with regard to detailed phenomena and the place of mind, relation to body and external world

The elements of mind

Element—primitive state, process, relation; afferent-neutral-efferent

State—bound, free; intensity, modality, quality; memory, transient, stable; compound, object or gestalt

Modality and quality—primitive feeling, five senses and their qualities; external feeling—the world, internal feeling—the body (including kinesthetic feeling, internal pain, affective feeling, and the feeling of feeling)

Object—origin of gestalt, binding, constancy

Function—intuition, conception—mental content or cognition-affect—i.e., inner-outer or body-world feeling; perception, higher-conception, icon, symbol, language; cognition, emotion; external world—i.e., inner-outer mental content

Experience and consciousness—primitive feeling—i.e., all experience, pure experience, attitude-experience, action-experience, awareness, consciousness, consciousness—degrees, awareness without consciousness, on-off character of consciousness, focal and volitional aspects of consciousness, consciousness of consciousness

Modes of organization

The following modes are implicit in the subsequent section Elements and concept of mind: explanations of the phenomena

Elaboration—modality, quality; layering

Integration—adaptation via exposure to the Object—the origin of binding in adaptation; degrees of integration—independence, interaction and holism… holism of emotion and cognition… and its essential character—degrees of binding, variation, and self and interactive volition

Integration of cognition… and affect—thought and its experimental integration in synthesis and fragmentation in analysis, affect-thought and its constructive and experimental integration in higher emotion… non-volitional modulation of emotional response over time and cultivation of volition in emotion

The categories—a system of intuitive or adapted Objects

The following categories are to be justified, explained and elaborated: the Natural, the Psychosocial, and the Existential

Elements and concept of mind: explanations of the phenomena

Explanations of the phenomena follow. The explanations are those that are not at least tacit so far or that benefit from elaboration

The following aspects of the concept of mind were considered in section Mind of chapter Objects: The concept of mind, Consciousness and awareness, Free will, and A preliminary psychological account of Objects. The following more detailed topics are taken up below: The elements, Introducing states that include elements of volition regarding mental content, Object as element

The elements

The primitive elements of mind—state-inner relation-process—are the inner side of the elements of interaction

These elements are coextensive with outward effect or efference, equilibrium or ‘pure’ feeling, and incoming effect or afference. Therefore, efference-action, stasis-pure experience, and afference-attitude are not distinct ‘dimensions’ of mind

These elements are adapted to the environment. In a Normal sense, one with a different extension than the earlier use, there is a level at which such elements have no freedom in the individual to adapt. Adaptation is supra-individual. However, for anything but the most primitive sentience, it is far more efficient to have developmental adaptation overlaid on the supra-individual or genetic adaptation than it is to have adaptation to be entirely genetic

The elements elaborate as intensity, modality and quality. Modality includes the ‘five senses’ associated with perception of the world outside the body—vision whose primitive quality includes color, hearing whose primitive quality includes pitch, taste, olfaction, and touch that includes tactile feeling, heat and pain… and feeling that includes kinesthetic senses of location, orientation, muscular tension, and general organic feeling; the latter is what is often referred to feeling in the sense of primitive emotion. This feeling includes the recursion of the primitive and all inclusive feeling, i.e. the awareness of mind (later the consciousness of consciousness)

The foregoing includes the distinction of inner and outer sense i.e. of what are commonly called feeling of the affective kind and perception; this distinction does not correspond, however, to the idea of an external world which is, simply, the idea that mental content has an Object

Comments—these are asides in that the logical place for these comments is later— ‘internal feeling’—internal feeling refers to the knowing, not limited to internal ‘perception’ i.e. perception of ‘body’ states but also to the free or higher-conceptual side, therefore refers generally to ‘cognition’ of body states and includes primitive ‘feeling’ as well as emotion; this includes also the reflexive perception of mental states, i.e. to knowing that one is knowing, seeing, feeling, emoting, thinking…

There is a convention that these inner states are logically inaccessible to others. We do read inner states by facial expression and other external manifestations; however this is not a contradiction of the logical inaccessibility for the connection between the inner and the external manifestation is not logically necessary and, though there is physiological causation this causation can be disrupted by non-volitional factors and suspended, at least to some extent, by volition. However, we have identified inner awareness with physiological states—although there is a problem of 1:1 identification, to think otherwise is to posit an unknown substance and is therefore disallowed. Reading minds. It follows, then, that there are various ways in which another agent could connect to and know these states; the term ‘logically inaccessible’ must, therefore be changed to ‘actually accessible but with difficulties of connection and clarity.’ This is an enhancement to what has been called theory of mind in the recent cognitive science literature: theory of mind refers to how an individual knows that other individuals have minds and how they surmise what the mental content of the other may be—theory of mind is not a formal theory but an intuitive function

Introducing states that include elements of volition regarding mental content

There are degrees of binding between this affective feeling and sense perception; this is essential for connection of organism and environment; without any binding there results the ‘free-wheeling’ of autistic-like isolation or disconnection

In a relatively quiescent state, while affective feeling and perception have a degree of binding, the intensity of perception depends largely on the intensity of the stimulus, while the intensity of the affect depends on the nature of the stimulus—some combination of development and genetics results in archetypes that generate intense feelings of fear, love and so on that are absent in the absence of the ‘affection-al archetypes;’ the binding of affect or internal feeling and outer feeling—normally called perception—is the binding of body to world as adaptation; we will soon see that the freeing of the connection is the adaptation of creative adaptability; of course, the ‘free’ does not eliminate the ‘bound’ and the two are present together

Volition regarding mental content is an element of freedom of choice

Object as element

The concept of an Object results from elaboration and integration in adaptive evolution with the world; adaptive evolution results in the capacity for Object recognition; the actual ability arises in development

The general Object is the joint product of organism—mind—and world

Object binding and object constancy require no explanation at the level of adaptation; there may however be genetic, developmental and functional explanations that include binding of the complex of elements in a perceptual archetype in some combination with laying down of the Object in memory—since the Object is what presents—rather than the mere laying down in memory of the elements of the Object of course, developmental adaptability requires that the Objects not be rigidly fixed and the elements can also be Objects (and thus arises the ‘problem’ of Object integration)

Object binding and object constancy are aspects of the Object; they are not other than the Object and do not require explanation over and above that of the Object. Thus the Object is a gestalt that includes binding and constancy and whose basic explanation lies in adaptation; this is not to argue against structural or functional explanations but is to argue that lack of such explanation does not constitute lack of understanding

Development bifurcates as simple development and conditioning. Conditioning in regard to perception emerges as memory which is the origin of the ‘free’ state. Simple transient recall is enhanced by adaptation as the control of recall; stable recall is of what is imprinted and includes elements and Objects; of course, as we know, elements are elementary Objects; the introduction of random elements in memory is the source of creative iconic imagination—these are likely the earlier developed transients; once icon imagination becomes generally adaptive—adaptability of mental process as an adaptation—it bifurcates into iconic and symbolic imagination; again the subject side of the symbol is the concept of an Object

The icon and the symbol enable the knowledge of Objects beyond the Objects known in bound perception; these may take us beyond the world of immediate adaptation to the Universal; however, it is then possible, as we have seen, to return to the intuition and see the Universal in it

The cognitive Object remains in degrees of binding with feeling-emotion; the general object is cognitive-affective; it is essential for connectedness to have strong binding; it is essential for creative imagination, symbolic and iconic, to have freedom; however, some low level binding of varying degree to affect is essential to avoid autistic disconnection and poverty of imagination

The categories

In this Normal world, the modes of Object are the Natural and the Psychosocial. These may be further divided as Physical and Biological—the Natural; and the Psychic, i.e. the psychological and the Social—the Psychosocial

Regarding the unknown of the larger Universe and its unpredictability, which may include the unpredictable aspects of this world, one further category may suffice—the Existential

A short list of the categories might be Natural and Psychosocial; the natural includes the physical and the biological and the psychosocial includes the existential. Following is an expanded list of the categories

Existential

Being (Becoming, Being-in, …), Experience and Content—precursor to self and concept, Object, Humor (the intuition of indeterminism and chaos)

The contrived joke is to humor as pornography is to love-sex

The world has in it much immanent joke-humor, still not pure humor, that is of a higher grade than the mere produced joke even though the latter displays wit; and a little cultivation of an art of perception of immanent joke-humor offers immanent comic relief

Physical

Space, Time, Physical Object, Causation, Indeterminism

Biological

Life Form and Ecosystem, Species, Heredity

Of the psyche

Concept and intuition. ‘Concept’ is used in the generalized sense of mental content and includes percept-affect, and higher concept and emotion: free icon and free symbol and systems of the same

The free icon and symbol require the abilities to recollect and dissociate and to originate

Social

The institution

Of perception and judgment

Perception and judgment are the basis of knowing. Perception provides data. The data are not originally raw or Objective; they conform to the categories of perception that are the joint product of mind—observer—and world. Reason—the categories of judgment—have been traditionally divided according to deduction or necessity and induction or likely. The likely is not however merely and simply likely but may conform to categories causal which may range from deterministic to likely

In this essay it was found immensely productive to bring both perception and judgment at least initially into the fold of intuition and therefore lacking in necessity. This would allow necessity and other grades of precision of perception and judgment to fall out of investigation. The result was that we found certain necessary Objects of perception—experience, being, all and part and absence of being and so on—and certain necessary categories of judgment defined implicitly as Logic. These defined a Universal metaphysics where metaphysics is knowledge of the world as it is. The claim is not that all knowledge is knowledge of the world as it is but that within the Universal metaphysics are identified the ways or at least some ways of knowing the world which do not avoid the ‘stamp’ of mind but reduce the effect of the stamp to zero

In the twentieth century analytic philosophers who abandoned metaphysics per se under the banner of the impossibility of metaphysics spoke of a metaphysic of experience. The motive to abandoning pure metaphysics was multifold—it included Kant’s insistence that while a realm of pure being, called by him the noumenon, did in fact exist it could be thought but not known since its elusion of knowing was logical in nature; it included the rejection by British Philosophers—especially Russell who along with Frege was influential in the analytic turn—of the largely speculative idealist metaphysics typified by the thought of Hegel… which rejection we now see as premature because, first, we have seen that some modes of perception and judgment are Objective and, second, the rejection of all metaphysics was of the form ‘since some schools and trends in metaphysics are merely speculative therefore all metaphysic must be cast from the same die.’ What is crucial here is that pure general metaphysics is the place where metaphysics per se and metaphysics of experience coincide

The degrees of binding of cognition and affect in the moment to moment and in the motivation of directed versus ‘laissez faire’ becoming are crucial in keeping connection with and freedom from the world—nature and society—in appropriate if implicit ranges of balance

Mechanisms of integration

The actual integration of objects is clearly a function of ability to integrate—which is a function of kind of organism and exposure (growth.) This would appear to be most efficient; the alternative that integration is entirely built in or innate would place a burden on heredity and would mean that all adaptations would be pre-adaptations. The individual is regarded as having the ability to integrate. The integral forms are laid down in memory (neural) which is modified (grows) in exposure

Personality and Identity

Personality is innate and learned, rather enduring but adaptive with degrees of plasticity, patterns of thought, behavior, feeling, affective expression, drive—direction and force—and their integration and interaction in relation to self, commitment, others, and world

Personality is an integral form as is Identity. Personality will not be analyzed further here except to observe that the integral form is not fixed, requires adequate development, sustenance or maintenance and may be subject to disintegration. The theory of identity has been considered earlier

Health and disorder

Health. Functional factors—cognitive and affective response, tone and regulation; interaction between factors of physical and psychical health; personality

Disorder. Single, multiple and interactive breakdown of function

Timelines and origin of the higher elements

Stimulus-response, i.e. afference-efference; generalized ‘touch;’ the intensity parameter

Conditioning—a form of learning and memory

Emergence of dim consciousness that is perhaps unrecognized as such

Complexity—modality and the quality spectra; (1) The afferent modalities—‘five’ senses, kinesthetic senses, affective feeling, feeling of feeling…, and (2) The efferent modalities—attention, movement…

Compounding—the Object; degrees binding of the external modalities—cognition; degrees of binding of cognition and affect—the general grounded Object

Reflexivity—memory as stimulus

Emergence of animal consciousness

Control of reflex—volitional and constructive thought; cultural learning; icon, symbol, language—spoken and written, communicative and expressive

Emergence of the perhaps special aspects of consciousness that may be labeled ‘human’

Analysis—the ‘element’ as Object

Meta-theory: further reflection on the nature of the explanations

The explanations start with primitive elements of mind—feeling; a picture of human mind is built up—the variety of elements, e.g. the sensations and the elementary affects, the bound and memory and the free, perception-thought-affect, the categories of perception-thought-affect, development, personality…

Is it claimed that the higher aspects are reduced to the primitive elements? That is not what is done here

Let us reflect via analogy. The physical sciences include physics and chemistry; chemistry is thought to involve no principles outside physics but on account of complexity of explanation, explanation in chemistry requires concepts that do not belong to the fundamental theories of physics. Similarly, biology is not thought to involve principles outside physics—and chemistry—but because of the difficulty with explanatory reduction, biological explanation cannot do without biological concepts. Whether biology and chemistry involve extra-physical principles—i.e. whether the difficulty in the higher level explanation is not merely computational but constitutive or logical—can be debated but the standard view today is that they do not require extra-physical principles and not much attention is given to the question inside the mainstream—philosophers, of course, have devoted efforts to articulating this standard view. The present point is that for explanation in biology and chemistry to proceed, concepts and theories beyond those of physics are required—and, especially for biology, immensely illuminating—even though the concepts and laws of chemistry may be labeled both physical and chemical; biological concepts, however, are generally not considered to be physical even though a constitutive reduction is generally thought to be possible in principle

Similarly, there is no attempt here to reduce the phenomena of mind to the elements. What is done? The foregoing discussions have provided an outline sketch of the various levels and some general features of explanation to the extent that shows the features at various levels with varying degrees of necessity. The necessity of primitive feeling as the essence of mind follows from metaphysical feelings. The variety of senses is contingent upon adaptation to physical environments. The emergence of memory is not necessary but is necessary to learning and to the emergence of free feeling and then to iconic and symbolic thought. The presence of random elements amid structure is essential to true novelty; and the balance of structure and freedom in iconic and symbolic forms is necessary to take advantage of random elements in the ‘generation’ of novel thought. The system of categories is contingent in its emergence but necessary to appreciation and negotiation of the boundary of our world and the Universe…

Society

Introduction

The social world provides a context for development of meaning—as significance—and commitment to values held or deemed worthwhile. Commitment is instrumental toward outcome and meaning is the place that outcome and effort may be appreciated. In addition to the provision of context, institutions make possible works that are beyond the power of an isolated individual

In Social world, the ideas of society, culture and institution are developed from the ideas of group and group interaction in light of the nature of Human being and the Metaphysics. The significance for the journey is that in the elaboration of its nature the group—the Social world—is an object of interest. Groups undertake journeys and for the individual society is both ground and support

The explanatory triad

Phenomena—groups and activities; kinds—natural, social, psychic and universal; variety; change, stability and instability

Elements—person; knowing and foresight; language, expression, and communication

The boundary between constitution and theory is somewhat arbitrary. Note, also that use of structure is not structuralism

Theory—institution, person, blood and other kinship groups; culture—discovery, coding and recording, reflection, and transmission; social function—economic, political or group decision, cultural

Method in Social Intervention

There are, as always, two goals to the study—(1) for the journey, and (2) general understanding and contribution. In the Western Tradition one approach to the study of society has taken scientific form and though not without success, quantitative analysis has nowhere near the success that it has in the physical sciences and conceptual analysis has not the success that it has in the natural sciences. This is not a criticism but is perhaps inherent in the nature of the case. This should not be taken as implying a rejection of science, concepts, and quantitative analysis. However, it suggests that other approaches may be useful—perhaps in combination with the scientific and objective and therefore neutral

The approaches to sociology include (1) Positivism, Structural Functionalism due to Auguste Comte and Émile Durkheim, (2) Historical Materialism, Conflict Theory that derive from Karl Marx, (3) American Sociology which stands rather outside the European Tradition and has emphasized Scientific Methodology and Pragmatism, and (4) Sociological Antipositivism and Verstehen Analysis due to Max Weber and George Simmel

An aspect that stands out regarding studies of society is the dual fact of participation and complexity (of system, of modeling and of intervention… and compounding of intervention.) First consider complexity. It is perhaps the case that the phenomena of interest are so dependent on micro-variables as to have some inherent but practical rather than theoretical degree of non-computability and therefore non-predictability. This non-computability is also related to the fact of the student (analyst) being part of the system studied and of having an essential and unremovable interest. While this may compound difficulty (I am not of the Freudian type persuasion that this kind of subjectivity is inescapable) it also points to an alternative approach that meshes with our special interest—although impartial science is good, why should we not acknowledge and use our special interest as has been done with much success for small indigenous communities?

I do not have the kind of emotional investment in an electron that I have in another person or in culture; therefore the impartial approach is appropriate to the electron while a participatory approach may be also appropriate to society (this is not the last word obviously for, even with the success of natural science, the approach to its true understanding and most effective application may involve more than beautiful pristine science: this is a motivation to the narrative form of Journey in being…and if the world view defined by ‘Logos’ obtains, i.e. if my demonstration of it should stand, then it may be that ‘participation’ and ‘journey’ shall be effective, first, in experimental discovery of ‘being by being’ but also in the application and deployment of received science.) In other words, one approach to being in society may be, instead of contributing by withdrawal, remoteness and impartiality, to contribute by participating. Here, it is being said and emphasized that, in addition to perhaps being a source of reciprocal-participation-contribution, participant-observation—even though the term hints at remoteness—is itself a value, a model of the way in which we might like to live and participate-reciprocally-contribute. Witness here the endless hesitation to act on crucial issues because a problem is simply stated, often by a special interest, regarding ‘inadequate research or methodology,’ and while careful study is important it is also crucial that various critical issues cannot wait for perfect knowledge

What is true of sociology may also be true of other studies regarding aspects of society such as economics. It is difficult to assess the success of quantitative economics, especially macroeconomics. While graduate education in economics, especially in the US, has become theoretical and mathematical, it has been argued that the inherent complexity of economies and the trust in formal quantitative models—in analogy to the models of theoretical physics—has been one factor in failures in economic policy. It has also been argued that in practice, especially in microeconomics, informal models are used in actual applications while formal models are often cited after the fact. It is also difficult to separate uncertainties in political decision making from uncertainties in economic modeling. I have not yet formed an opinion on what approaches might be robust and useful (apart from expecting the unexpected.) As far as quantitative models are concerned, of course mathematics shall be necessary; here, however, there is a significant degree of freedom in the kinds of models—classical, versus complexity-evolutionary, versus stochastic (models do not have to be exclusive in kind or universally applied.) Then there is the issue of politics, politicians, the electorate or populace, and the immense power-immunity-anonymity of corporations, especially multinational and transnational corporations. What role may small-local economies play? Is the trend of globalization inevitable? Although depressions are depressing, they point to flaws and mere patching up may lead to deeper depressions (perhaps.) What is the significance of the populace (not labor) in the future of the political-economy—is there a parallel to the participatory approach of sociology? Yes there is but is it limited to intervention in small-local-indigenous communities? What should be the parameters of this discussion (including thought about unit entity, unit process, unit interaction…)

Therefore there may be occasion to focus on a more participatory approach. While participation has virtues, its realm of success appears to be in small / indigenous societies. At least that is the outcome of work by academics. Perhaps our politicians (and people) are participant-analysts (I leave that thought without presently exploring it further)

Here are some thoughts regarding large scale social intervention

Problem. Given the possibility and fact of positive social interventions in indigenous communities as well as learning from them, how might this translate to our own large scale global, internationals social structure? Perhaps only loosely but the following thoughts occur:

Slogan: Analysis and Participation—or, Concepts, Numbers, Large scale experiments

1.      One time solutions cannot be expected to have automatic success (of course this is not a reason to not try)

2.      One approach, therefore, is historical study to see what might have worked more than once in the past. Conceptual frameworks may reveal reasons for success and perhaps success + understanding is better than (surely) just understanding and (probably) mere empirical success. Conceptual frameworks may be quantitative (numbers) or qualitative (including yes or no; a or be or c; up or down; and so on)

3.      Large scale experiment. It is the nature of the case that large scale experiment without deep andor widespread problems will be unlikely to be initiated and followed through with sufficient endurance to completion. Depth of solution will be, in the nature of the case, be in rough proportion to depth the problem (for motivation and for measurability of success)

4.      Generalized participant-observation or Participant-analysis. But is this not what we do anyway? Probably, but this is one beginning of a formalization. Perhaps ‘participatory-analysis’ or ‘participant-analysis’ is another way of talking of the mutual intervention of our actions in our own lives and the lives of others. But it is more. There has always been truth to the idea of ‘search’ and ‘seeking.’ The explorer may hope for riches by seeking raw materials for commerce—precious and commercially viable minerals, plant chemicals for medicinal use (the history of digitalis, quinine;) the spiritual quest in nature for ‘meaning’ (and revelation even if questionable in particular instances;) the scientist in the realm of concepts and also in laboratories… Thus although ‘participant-analysis’ sounds a little awkward in application in the modern world—its accepted realm of application in the social sciences appears to be in the interaction with indigenous peoples—it may be quite appropriate. There is analysis—e.g., modern economic theory; but the theory, perhaps, cannot inform economic action but must interact with it…

5.      General applicability. This approach may apply to all disciplines within social science and studies; and as seen there is a role for its exploration in the natural sciences and their application

6.      Locus of action. There is nothing above that should suggest that there is any one person or institution shall be responsible for address of concerns. The locus of action is not predetermined

7.      Search and faith. In the modern world we tend to expect that problems can be resolved; we might be better served by appending to that attitude the fact that there are no guarantees. But what of faith? If faith is the attitude that is most productive of a good outcome then faith cannot entirely exclude doubt or anxiety. Search shall include this faith

Culture

In sociology, culture is often used to refer to the sum of learned and transmitted human knowledge, belief and behavior

Knowledge and therefore culture may differentiate according to fact and value. The distinction is at least conventional—we may think of fact which hear includes conception as knowledge of definite things as they are… of course to some degree of approximation. On the other hand we may think of values as, e.g. some mix of feeling and norms that do not correspond to any facts but are perhaps guides to behavior in the areas regarding which we have choice

Alternately, value may be thought of as having the following components. First, they are guides to ‘successful’ behavior. Because the future is open they are not altogether definite guides but have some play; still there are definite prescriptions and proscriptions. Thus ‘value’ is a form of knowing that contains an openness on account of indefiniteness… new value systems supplant old ones. Knowledge of fact we think is not like that. However, in an open domain knowledge of fact becomes like that—there are elements of definiteness and elements of openness and new knowledge may expand upon old knowledge while supplanting it. Also in a fixed context value may become fixed except of course for cultural play and creation. Thus value lies in a dual space (of knowing the world as it is and creating the world of culture.) Knowledge of fact is the same as that in the knowing side but not in the creating. Open up now into the Universal realm revealed by the Universal realm—there, knowing and creating may merge. Thus ‘fact’ and ‘value’ are felt to be different but in a—more—Universal perspective the distinction breaks down. It is characteristic of growing insight and knowing that the distinction between apparently disparate realms dissolves in newer perspectives while, of course, the older perspectives do not go away and do not invariably lose all purchase on the world

Freedom

A central idea is that human freedom is a contributing factor in the makeup of the human social world. It is not suggested that there is any set of determining factors for it is unlikely that such a set could be found; and it is not thought that individual freedom is necessary for all societies—human and non-human. However, it is part of the central idea that human freedom is essential for some aspects of human society—and the thought is that that freedom is essential to the self-determining aspects of human society (again, it is not suggested that there is complete determination by any set of factors.) Human freedoms of thought—linguistic and other—and action contribute to human culture and it is human culture that defines and binds the various aspects of human society that acquire their structure in the form of institutions

The concept of the institution

There is a variety of functions and arrangements within society that constitute the whole. A post-structuralist might not agree that this provides a faithful description but would agree that society is not uniform—laterally or vertically

Designated functions may be called Institutions and the arrangements may be called interaction; alternatively the institutions may be seen as already in dynamic interaction. An institution—lower case—is the particular manifestation of an Institution in a given society

Institutional form and the idea of institutional purity

A dynamic scene may be described in terms of state, process and genesis. Therefore:

The institutional forms are defined by action—and choice—and organization or structure; and the founding or genetic institution—culture that includes, reflexively, the institution of the institution

For future study and research consider that future forms of knowledge of social institutions including knowledge, politics, and economics will require study at abstract and detailed levels. Abstraction must be a component of a science of social forms—allowing a precise and faithful level to interact with the detailed and imperfect; enhancing both. Consider also new modes and means of political-economic organization

The idea of institutional purity is that the only function of the institution is that of the corresponding Institution. It is the idea, for example, that the church should engage only in Religion. Reasons for institutional purity include reification of the Institution, ‘abuse,’ and efficiency. There are of course multi-functional institutions such as government whose functions include not only political concerns but, for example, economic, military and educational concerns as well. In the United States, separation of church and state has some constitutional basis

In fact absolute purity of the institution may be near impossible to maintain for practical reasons and not for reasons of ‘corruption’ alone. The definition of a pure Institutional function alone is not reason for purity of the institution; however, efficiency may require some separation of function and promote further separation—but efficiency may require and promote some accumulation of function as well; Normative arguments are generally difficult to defend on any absolute terms and generally refer back to both practical concerns and Normative principles (ethics)

In general, arguments for and against institutional purity be on a case by case basis and may include (a) Historical factors—Is the cost of dismantling a received institution worth the benefit? (b) Positive factors—efficiency of arrangement, historical factors…—and Normative factors

The discussion of Ethics takes up the distinction and separation of the Normative and the Positive—of fact and value

The institutions

People—persons—and groups

Here are some institutions

Individual, role, infant, child, adult, man, woman, warrior, worker, professional, priest, shaman

Pair, love, family, sibling, kin, friends

Community

Actual, virtual

Institutional groups

Culture

Simply—this is elaborated and critiqued below—culture is the sum of knowledge and habit of a society. It includes: language; art, literature; technology; knowledge—contextual and universal, myth, religion—its personal and group and formal varieties; science; ethics, morals, norms, value; paradigm—lateral and vertical, disciplines, belief, learning, transmission; culture of the institution

Culture is significantly but not entirely institutionalized; roughly, in the sense of Max Weber, 1864-1920, the non-institutionalized is, ‘charismatic’ and the institutionalized is ‘patriarchal.’ Society needs the institutional and the non-institutional, the patriarchal and the charismatic—approximately, the stability and transformational, conserving and liberal

The conserving and the liberal become institutions in themselves as does the culture of the institution

The institutions are for the most part present in the general discussion. The ‘culture of the institution’ is an exception; this and other institutions of importance to the narrative will receive special attention below

Language

Language falls under culture but because of its importance is not a sub topic

Introduction

The first goal of this discussion is to investigate the overlap of metaphysics and language. Why? Language is used in the expression of metaphysics. However, language does not cover the entire expression of metaphysics. A part of metaphysics is an abstraction of perception or intuition. Language points to but does not express that part; however, language may encapsulate this part. A second part of metaphysics, symbolic reason, may be expressed by language. The distinction of a part expressed by language and a second part not expressed by language depends of course on a conventional interpretation of what language is

A derivative goal is the study of language; the study of language—in light of the metaphysics—may be taken up later

At least some linguistic forms have meaning. However, since ‘language’ is a concept, the meaning of language is also an issue. In the study of language, as for any concept, it is possible to proceed by defining language at outset. We have seen, however, that investigation may reveal that the idea-thing being sought is given only roughly by an initial conception of it

What is language?

A definition is a place to start even if not the place; here is a definition from Wikipedia—A language is a dynamic set of sensory symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon

What might this definition have to recommend itself? It is suggestive. However, it does not distinguish language from animal communication. I am not arguing that animal communication is not language; however Wikipedia immediately adds ‘Although other animals make use of quite sophisticated communicative systems, sometimes casually referred to as animal language, none of these is known to make use of all of the properties that linguists use to define language…’ That is, having ‘defined’ language, Wikipedia is saying—implying—that its definition is incomplete

We might ask What is the meaing of ‘What is language?’? We would be asking, in other words, how concepts are elucidated by search in a dual space of concept and object. Clearly, such search is not guaranteed to have any reasonable outcome unless it has ‘mountains’ corresponding to concept-objects. A concept or definition will be crisp if the projection of a concept-object onto concept space is a spire. This will not be the case for all concept-objects. What is the relation of metaphysics to this concept-object space? The necessary objects will have spire-like concepts. Other objects may have spire-like concepts for restricted contexts but mountain-like concepts outside those contexts. Even if we define a ‘table’ as something with legs, a flat top and that is stable we will find objects that do not satisfy this definition but that we might want to call tables. If we replace the property definition by a functional one we will run into the same problem. If we consider that the properties of this cosmos are not necessary, the same lack of definiteness will obtain of some ‘natural’ objects such as electrons. The natural languages—e.g. English—and artificial languages—Esperanto, programming languages and so on—do not necessarily come near exhausting the kinds of possibility for language. In Process and Reality, 1927, Alfred North Whitehead said that A precise language must await a completed metaphysical knowledge. In a ‘creative universe’ the precise language may exist only for those objects—the necessary objects—for which there is a completed metaphysical knowledge

Approaching language

Instead of starting with something discrete such as ‘A language is a dynamic set of sensory symbols…’ let us ask a dual question. The dual question will supplement property definition ‘A language is…’ by a functional one ‘What a language does is…’ which will be supplemented by experimental and analytic approaches. In an analytic approach we will ask about the parts of language and how they fit together: the analytic approach will include structural study—however, there need be no debate about ‘structuralism’ because the inclusion of structure is not a claim that understanding and definition are wholly structural

What are we doing when we use language? Perhaps the first notion that comes to mind to a scientist or analytic thinker is that language describes the world… is a ‘picture’ of the world. As in science, this may be powerful when patterns are described for patterns permit prediction. As we have seen that picture has precise as well as indefinite parts and the indefiniteness does not arise solely on account of indefiniteness of language but also on account of the indefiniteness of objects. Also, signs and symbols refer to acts of intuition and therefore in many cases where we might seek precision of sign and symbol, that search is misguided andor unnecessary though sometimes useful for, first, the understanding of what is intuitive and, second, for the analytic extension or re-foundation (including understanding) of intuition

However, description of the world is not at all the entire story. In ‘doing’ language,  it ‘flows’ from a person or persons, it is an expression of mental content in the broadest sense, and it may be received by a person or persons. Receivers and senders are not necessarily distinct. A sender and receiver may be the same person; this may enhance reflection

Therefore a more complete conception of language requires a complete elaboration of kinds of mental content—conception in the general sense, i.e. cognition-affect. Cognition-affect is complete in the sense that affect refers to body-states while cognition refers to world-states (which may include body states.) In most inclusive sense conception prescribes linguistic form

While we tend to associate language with sign and symbol, its main functions are expression, representation and communication

A standard form of description is the subject-predicate form. This corresponds to the idea that the world is a collection of states of affairs (that include relations and processes.) Correspondingly, the modes of communication are assertion, direction, commission, expression, declaration (assertion includes the sub-forms of fact, exclamation, and question…)

Pre-language

Perhaps the first function is spontaneous expression that becomes selected for its communication function. Later, expressions become words but it might be that the transition from the spontaneous expression is to words-and-sentences

The spontaneous expression is not explicitly a description. Therefore even if the subject-predicate is the standard form of description it is not universal. The terms of mathematics and the sciences are not always in standard-predicate form but can often be so re-written as can much spontaneous expression of feeling. It is therefore a project to determine the true level of universality of the subject predicate form

Meaning

Therefore, meaning is not essentially atomic and originates and remains in use. Which is not to say that fixed atomic—lexical—meaning is without use even if it does not tell the whole story

Speech

The thought that speech and music occur in different brain areas—with or without overlap—does not imply a conceptual divide between music and speech (there is of course a conceptual distinction)

Speech is likely the first medium of language. It is not necessarily the first; perhaps there were other signs; perhaps non-spoken and spoken signs converged

Sounds, words, sentences are not entirely atomic. ‘Speaking’ atomically, there are compound words that are built up from simple words that have origin in mere expression but meaning is not originally explicitly-universally ostensive but may be functional, i.e., use based. Simple words may be derivative of expression but words, complex words, and word arrangements originate together

Speech is manifestly—temporally—linear when spoken by one person. However even though it is often actually linear it is not necessarily linear since speech may refer to speech

Language—the symbol—may now be expression and now (mental) content

Before written language, culture is maintained in practice and language memory

Context

Speech occurs in a context that may or may not set the confines of what is spoken

Para-verbal communication

 ‘Speech’ occurs in expressive combination with various qualities of speech—rhythm, pace, volume, pitch, cadence, emphasis…—as well as gesture, drama, ‘acting’ that include facial expression

Conventionally, para-verbal language is not language. Even though drama in its various meanings and music may occur in different brain centers from conventional language and even though the concepts have distinction it does not follow that the varieties cannot fall under an interactive umbrella that we may think of as communication or Language

Therefore, a theory of language that focuses on symbolic expression may be easy to write because of the definiteness of its object. However, if regarded as complete, such theories may be misleading

Writing

Writing may have originally been little more than pictures; pictures may have come to signify words; the introduction of alphabet may have been selected for because of its efficiency regardless of its origin

Writing makes possible storage and communication much larger amounts of information over greater distances and times. Writing encourages self-reference—the symbolic analysis of symbolic structure and so grammar, reasoning, logic, mathematics, literature, drama, science, and philosophy

Grammar is of course not absent from original spoken language but writing encourages its formalization

Conventional grammar is perhaps dominated by representation—states of affairs including process and relation

As is seen in chapter Method, self-reference may be a source of paradox but is also a source of powerful construction—new ideas, reasoning and criticism

Written language is dissociated from context. This is strength and weakness. And,  context may be introduced or created

Writing is not inherently linear. Writing may be essentially non-linear in reasoning and mathematics forms… and, at least originally, contingently non-linear in relation to expression including art. Writing may be enhanced by art and sound

Is the distinction between writing and such para-linguistic form essential?

Recording and speaking may be combined

Symbol and icon

Icons—visual, auditory, other—are sources of iconic and non-iconic elements of languages. Languages originate in icon and icon-less signs as symbols… or in other languages

A balance between language and imagery provides balance and integration

Too much formal language ability at an expense of imagery may pass for appearance of intelligence but may hinder thought

Summary, conclusions, further development

The boundary of language is not definite even if particular brain centers are devoted to natural language. If we take the boundary of language to be defined by natural languages, synthesis with general imagination and intuition is required for the most complete and realistic thought

These comments are not against specialist developments, e.g. algebraic language; such formal developments are powerful extensions of language; however, for their greatest power they require integration with language in its broad sense—the sense that is not limited by the indefinite boundaries

The broad sense of language corresponds to the integration of pure and applied metaphysics, of intuition and formal representation

Future versions of the narrative may further investigate the concept of language and its relation to or place in understanding at center and edge

Organization and transaction

Economic, work, political, legal, discovery, knowledge, ethics, value, transmission, learning, education, university, school, archival, play, tradition, church, performance

Some definitions and explanations

This list of definitions of the Institutions—even when supplemented by definitions scattered throughout the narrative—is not intended to be exhaustive

People and groups

Individual—While the Individual and the self are definite biological and psychological entities, the ‘Individual’ has a social component that varies in fact and concept from one culture to another. This leads some to believe that the ‘self’ is a mere ‘social construct’

Role—Among cultures roles vary along two continuums or continua: the degree of universality versus particularity to specific cultures and the degree of flexibility versus rigidity. Although infant, child, adult, man, and women have a degree of universality some features that define, e.g. ‘man’ or ‘woman’ or ‘child’ are culture-specific

Actual group—a definite group of people, e.g. a family; of course the members of a family change over time

Virtual group—defined primarily by place and function

‘Actual’ groups may have virtual aspects as in the occasional incorporation of persons not included under the normal idea of family; and ‘virtual’ groups may have an actual component—a market that meets on particular days and has no fixed buyers or sellers may have, e.g. a designated organizer

Culture

In defining a widely used and important concept such as culture we face a number of difficulties. The first is that the word will have a number of distinct uses that may be somewhat related and therefore confused. This confusion may be a source of difficulty but is an inessential difficulty that could be resolved by using different terms

It is not as though the laws of physics or even psychology associates any fixed meaning of the word and all that remains is to elucidate the meaning

Rather the problem is to identify an intended meaning and then focus on what is perhaps the best expression of that meaning. That task is of course not independent of the nature of—human—society. Therefore, if culture is to be an element of society the clarification of its nature will proceed in parallel with the understanding of the nature of society and any other concepts with which those understandings may overlap

To keep matters simple—open for future learning and analysis—we use ‘culture’ in the important sense of Edward Burnett Tylor, 1832-1917, ‘Culture, or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” This may be simplified to regarding culture as the sum total of knowledge and habit of a society—where belief, art, morals and so on are regarded as modes andor grades of knowledge

We leave the concept at this stage with the recognition of course that this relatively specific form remains open—intrinsically and to more recent thought

The culture of the institution

The meaning of ‘culture of the institution’ arises when a society is sufficiently flexible in its arrangements—manifest e.g., by flux—andor to the extent that there may be reflection on social arrangement, a culture of the institution may arise. This may be labeled the philosophy andor science of the Institution and may be also the subject of empirical and mathematical-scientific analysis

Religion

In this section the emphasis is on the institution of religion. The idea, concept and prospect for Religion is discussed in chapter Method (there will of course be repetition among the two discussions)

Religion as an institution

The ideas of religion and science are important in this narrative. Science is considered elsewhere. Religion will be considered briefly here; religion is related but of course not identical to myth; therefore ‘myth’ will be part of the discussion

It is important to distinguish the practice and institution of religion from the concept… and also from the ideal of religion

The institution of religion has come under criticism and attack for various ideological and other reasons. The ideological include the belief in what has no support in reality or the empirical; practical criticisms include its opiate effect (Marx) and the abuses of various kinds. Therefore there are today many who distinguish spirituality from religion; they may have affinity for some motives to religion—the true nature of the Universe, meaning and so on—but would distance themselves from the institution

That there is abuse does not negate the value of the practice. That there may be impurity is not an intrinsic criticism; all institutions spread their function and this is not impurity; perhaps all institutions have impurity and even though this is a criticism, perhaps the real question is that of net benefit

If the traditional religions falter it is not the fault of Religion as truth but of institutions (the idea of Religion itself is taken up in chapter: Method)

The ‘great religions’ fall into two groups; those originating in the harsh desert of the Middle East—the relatively harsh Abrahamic religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and the religions of the tropics—Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and so on that are perhaps more tolerant, more open to plurality, less the occasion for militancy but still of course not without abuse. It is not thought that the two groups are exhaustive

The religions are generally not unitary structures even though there different elements—metaphysical, historical, moral, practical, and the mystical that is directed at inner-outer union—are bound by common themes and myths

Hunter-gatherer religions are rather different from the religions of the ‘agriculturalists’ (the ‘great religions.’) A characteristic difference is that the religion of the hunter-gatherer, regardless of its literal character, tends to tie the individual and the group to the environment. The images and the norms of the hunter-gatherer mythologies include a language for the elements of their environment and prescriptions that, even if not altogether effective, have an element of efficiency

While the ‘great religions’ have efficiency or adaptedness in their moral side—no claim is made regarding the degree or nature of the effectiveness or the significance of such—the unmooring of the agriculturist from the environment appears to have led to metaphysical systems in these religions that are detached from the immediate environment and that may therefore assume Universal form which in turn opens up the possibility of Universal sense as well as Universal absurdity

Absurdity and militancy are two criticisms of the modern religions today—especially of Christianity and Islam

However, religion—especially fundamentalism—has been rising and is therefore impractical to ignore. If we do not ignore religion we may resist the impulse to institutional purism and, first, open dialog and, second, be open to the positive meanings even in the absurd (it is of course not being said that even the fundamentalist canon is empty of value)

There is a variety of reasons, including the political, that religion and other institutions of culture, e.g. science and philosophy including metaphysics are relatively insular

An aspect of the practical politics of this narrative is conciliation: even when there is sharp practical and ideological disagreement, conciliation meaning understanding, the overture of conciliation, and patience are a first and instrumental value. I believe that conciliation is instrumental in that it is more effective, especially as a first approach, than force. The ideological value of conciliation speaks for itself. Some ideologues regard ideology as absolute. That approach hides the fact that we are supremely ignorant of what value shall ever determine sentiment and behavior (the option does not lie in the meaning of value.) Therefore there are spoken and unspoken limits to ideology, particularly to conciliation. The spoken limit includes perhaps the threat of violence and certainly actual violence. The unspoken limit lies in the behavior of the ideologue when confronted with the threat of what is most precious

Recall though the argument of the present narrative that metaphor is on the way to being literal; this is not an argument against the poetic uses of language but simply an argument that the representational uses will be the ultimate form of metaphor (we are not blind to the thought that the literal / metaphorical distinction is not absolute)

Now consider the following concern. If science and philosophy and religion are all about truth, can they be altogether insular? Now consider the follow concept

Ideal Religion is the relating of individuals and groups to the entire Universe, their means of knowing and being and negotiating, and involves all modes of knowing and being…

These thoughts are continue in the next two sections The limits of institutional religion and The future of the idea of spirit…

The limits of institutional religion

An obvious limit of religion concerns the archaic cosmologies

However, the functions include the meaning and the non-meaning. Meaning includes the non-literal as in ‘rising from the dead’ pointing to our limited understanding of death. The non-meaning include social bonding which may be enhanced by literal meaning

The liberal religions continue to struggle with meaning and inherited limits even of metaphorical and symbolic limitation

As an institution whose function is symbolic andor instrumental, traditional religions have clear limitation (limitation of religion as religion does not imply a limitation of political or economic power of the institution)

The future of the idea of spirit or the ideational form

A subtitle for the section might be—The role of reason, politics and economics in the acceptance of ideational form

An ideational form is a system of ideas that represent the world or part of it; or they assist perhaps even metaphorically in negotiating the world

The general role of faith is discussed in chapter Method

The mesh of modern economics and ideational forms, e.g. secular humanism, is such that a return to a religious paradigm of the past is difficult to imagine. This difficulty—but not impossibility—is compounded in view of the immense improvement of the political and economic status of the common individual

The future of the ‘ideational form’ may be difficult to anticipate but Universal metaphysics emphasizes the practical necessity of its future evolution… of course the Universal metaphysics requires further realizations of ideational form that may be remote from contemporary thought but whose best expression may be realized in perception

This evolution will be likely though flexibly tied to the evolution of political-economics; truth requires reason but its spread is interwoven with political-economics—the understandings of immediate and ultimate truth may impinge upon one another

The world is not divided into two ‘spheres,’ the sacred and the ideal or ideational and the mundane that includes the political and the economic

A past form is religion. A major present form may be called secular humanism which is some amalgam of science, especially, scientific method and approach, an emphasis on modern economic values that is balanced by an emphasis on human values; elements of religion—taken metaphorically rather than literally; and perhaps some elements of ‘spirituality’

Although the future form may be labeled ‘Religion’ or ‘Ideal form,’ it is not clear or known what the extension of these ideas will be or what the future names will be. It is not clear to what extent the ideas will be pure and to what extent in interaction with action and transformation

This form which has no necessary limits may be called ‘Religion,’ ‘Science,’ ‘secular humanism,’ … or may be so far unnamed

It is commonly thought that the primary source of the ‘demise’ of religion is the ascent of science and reason. Of course, science and reason are not absolute and as we now know in the early years of the twenty first century, religion is not at all dead. Yet there is a fundamental change in attitudes toward religion and in the place of religion in day-to-day life. In Western Europe, the place of religion is at its lowest ebb. On the other hand, there is a new fundamentalism in many places in the world and in a significant portion of these it is a militant fundamentalism. However, even the ascent of the new fundamentalism, religion is not so much woven into daily life as it is an instrument—a refuge, a political instrument…

The reason for the demise of religion as interwoven into daily life is not only or perhaps even primarily the ascent of reason. It lies, instead in economics and politics. In the new economics and politics, i.e. roughly since the middle ages, the freedom of information and reason has become instrumental. Older economies and politics were bound by tradition and authority. In the newer, the instruments of economics and politics are significantly free and distributed; of course such change is never absolute but even the politically and economically powerful gain by the new arrangements. The new arrangements make traditional belief far less relevant to daily life and this is perhaps the immediate cause of the demise of tradition that includes religion. Of course, the new arrangements require reason and information to be immanent in society and are significantly dependent on reason for the transformation. However, it is not the case, as is commonly thought, that the demise of traditional belief is primarily the result of the explicit assault of reason on tradition

Religion and spirituality

The concept of institutional purity is, as discussed earlier, a modern illusion—the function of an institution is defined as ‘x;’ therefore it is wrong for the institutional activity to be anything other than ‘x.’ One of the motives to institutional purity is prevention of abuse and this of course remains a priority. There are, however, potentially severe problems with this concept and these include (1) The specification ‘x’ may be based in limited andor unrealistic understanding—in particular our notions of separation of institution of function may be based in poor understanding, (2) The range of institutions may not meet or anticipate all social needs—general and contingent—so needs not met by the range of ‘x’ fall to some institution

Traditional religions may serve or have served a number of functions. These include what may be called the spiritual function, a moral function, and the function of social bonding. Accordingly, a religion may have a metaphysics, an ethics, and a common scripture-place of gathering, e.g. for worship and ritual. Although we do not think of religion as essentially political, a number of religions have stood against social and metaphysical repression (metaphysical repression is the forcing of some standard belief or metaphysical picture.) While we may think of the literal content of some claims as absurd, there may have been a point in history when the fact of the claims may have reasonably pointed to the fact of a higher or spiritual truth

The intent of this discussion is to address the spiritual and metaphysical element. This is often taken to be the ‘pure’ function of religion. The presentation is often that of an entire metaphysics that includes ‘spiritual’ elements. These metaphysics, taken literally, may appear absurd today. Even though they may appear more absurd today in light of modern knowledge it is not clear that the absurdity should not have been originally apparent (at least to persons with an education or to reflective individuals.) However, the original systems of belief (it is not clear that a distinction of belief versus knowledge always held as clearly as it does today) may have been adopted literally because of the extra-spiritual functions of religion and as a symbolic—allegorical, metaphorical, suggestive, archetypal and so on—map of a spiritual universe (recall that the literal interpretation is a spiritual pointer even if it stretches the imagination)

The interpretations of the religious spiritual-worldly metaphysics, i.e. in the aspect of going beyond the immediate, are (1) Literal truth, (2) Symbolic truth in pointing to mystic insight of a more complete—higher—world than is immediately apparent (and it is manifestly clear, even or especially from science, that we have not arrived at the end of knowledge,) and (3) Symbolic truth that provides a map of the range of psyche—i.e. of inner spirit, meaning, and significance. In so far as there is literal truth—and in terms of pointing beyond the immediate there is literal truth even in the apparently absurd, there is a mesh of the second and third items. And the elements that lack clear empirical truth may have significance under the third interpretation

What is the significance of the Universal metaphysics and cosmology for the systems of religious metaphysics and for spirit? Subject to Logic, all local metaphysics are true in some cosmological system. This however, does not minimize absurdity where absurdity obtains for it merely replaces impossibility with immense improbability. However, it does show that there is a truth in which the three interpretations of the previous paragraph coalesce. We may not be in possession of the truth but there is this truth and, as we have seen, it is unending in its variety

The Journey in being, the journey without end in the realization of the Universe, is simultaneously a journey of place and of spirit in interaction—spirit and world are not distinct spheres

There is one world, one Universe (we may of course use the terms ‘world’ and ‘Universe’ with other connotations but, in the sense of Universe as all being there is precisely one Universe)

It cannot be the case that there is a world of spirit that is the realm of religion and another world of the tangible that is the realm of secular science. We may cut off these ‘worlds’ for political reasons. We have seen that contrary to that secular view in which modern science defines the Universe, what it truly implies is that the Universe lies in the range from Cosmos to Logos. Therefore, as a result of our institutional definitions or perhaps as a result of certain contingent limitations, we may find different modes of study appropriate to different ‘realms.’ However, the Universal metaphysics reveals that there is a root level of knowing in which there are no finally distinct realms that are divided according to kind even though there are most emphatically infinitely many ‘worlds’ awaiting realization and discovery

The Journey is guided by our knowledge which includes the Universal metaphysics and the local disciplines but it is also actual and experimental

Those religions that insist on a limited view of being, abort the journey. Those that eschew metaphysics are limited by their suggestion that metaphysics is impossible andor irrelevant even to immediate purposes (even though the suggestion that excessive emphasis on speculation distracts us away from what is immediate and immediately important)

What is religion? What is the meaning of the question? Shall we take ‘religion’ to be what we may abstract from the traditional practices? If the traditional practices (defined positively by the religions and negatively by other institutions, e.g. science, that it is commonly presumed may be antitheses of religion) are limited then the resulting conception of religion may also be limited. The foregoing thoughts point to the following conception of religion that is perhaps the only conception so far—other conceptions being empirical generalizations: Religion is the use of all dimensions of being in engaging with Being (‘Religion’ is capitalized to indicate that it is a concept and the capitalized form ‘Being’ simply abbreviates ‘all being.) In this form there is no particular need to explicitly assert the side of religion that addresses spirit even though a practical separation of sacred and mundane may obtain. Stated simply

Religion is the engagement of being with the Universe

Religion is the engagement of being with all being

Religion is the engagement of being with its complete self

These assertions are further justified in chapter Method

Organization and transaction

…in which the symbol enters the unconscious and the body

Economic—Arises on account of scarcity and the institutionalization or pure economics over and above traditional arrangements—the science and art of feasibility or the positive; and the desirable or the Normative

Political—The arrangement of group decision and action

Legal—Coding and implementation whether by value, incentive or—attempt at—enforcement of desirable and efficient institutions and actions including the coding and negative enforcement of the undesirable; where possible we prefer explanations to rules, incentive to enforcement—this is both a value and an estimate of what efficient even though it is admitted that the value colors the present meaning of efficiency… practical persons do what they do but the scholar who praises enforcement is here thought of as the ultimate perverted sycophant to the power broker and his hired bullies. May distinguish ‘civil’ and ‘criminal’

Learning—e.g. the University—Discovery, Transmission regarding Knowledge and other cultural roles, Preservation of learning and culture; play, performance and action are lesser functions

Discovery—New knowledge of existing worlds and knowledge of ‘new’ worlds

Performance—Ritual modeling of culture and world, reality play—learning and creating and preparing, ritual in which the symbol enters the unconscious and the body

The network of institutions

The purpose of this section is to show the logical completeness of a system of institutions. This begins by asking ‘what are societies needs?’ Of course, an estimation of needs may be ad hoc. How can we rise above the mere ad hoc—it is permissible to begin with it—into the realm of necessity? We distinguish survival and continuation needs from meaning; survival and continuation relate to equilibrium and process in interaction with the local context; meaning concerns the approach to the universal (the two realms are not entirely distinct and while the first supports the latter sustains.) That is a logical cover of all being. And the two are sustained by ‘culture;’ culture is the common system, implicit and explicit, of knowing and communication

It is necessary only to see that the system cover all the stated elements—culture itself, and the institutions concerning context and the universal. This is manifest in the division according to people and groups, culture, organization and transaction

Ethics, value

It is clear that whatever ethics is, it concerns choices in cases that options are available. The existence and necessity of degrees of freedom of choice has been demonstrated and explained in the section Freedom. The consistency of the idea of structure and change in an indeterministic Universe and the fact of the indeterministic Universe have been demonstrated in the metaphysics. While reconciling choice and determinism, which requires something like explaining choice away, may be an interesting exercise it—apart from its ideological-political motives—is nothing more than an exercise (except of course that the presence of such arguments is tolerated due to freedom and that those arguments are a spur to refining the argument regarding choice and indeterminism in balance with structure)

In Western thought there is a context of human behavior that is labeled ‘moral’ and, more generally, ‘value.’ The latter includes aesthetics

When this context is separated from the whole of human activity questions such as the concern with deontology versus teleology in ethics—the ethics of right versus the ethics of ends or consequentialism. Essentialism tends to reign and it is either deontology or consequentialism. Of course among the professionals the original question of the isolation of a moral context tends to be left untouched. In the absence of metaphysical clarity the nature of ethics and its contact with other contexts must ever languish in degrees of vague and vaguer clarity

We have seen that ethics and other contexts of human mind—and being—are not separated even though there are proximate distinctions. In thinking of value we explicitly relinquish the habit of substance thinking; morals will not be regarded as a separate institution; there will be an ontology of morals and values but it will not be an ontology that is distinct from Universal ontology—i.e. meta-ethics is not a distinct study even though it may be a study; we will think of ethical concerns in a Universal context; we may be guided by prior ethics but not by its essentialism; we will not be committed to the either or of deontology or consequentialism or to the separation of ethics from e.g. economics; the problems of choice will require balance between ‘warm hearts and cool minds’ but in a context that lies within contours of Universality

Civilization

On civilization

The Identity and continuity of—all—societies and cultures; a Universal matrix; the analogy of Islands rising above an Ocean that are connected below

History and design

Note that history and its significance are discussed in chapter Being

Choice

E.g. policy

The state of civilization—an ongoing concern

Modes—impurity, i.e. overlap and ‘interaction’ of institutions

Assessment—the world today—opportunities and problems (and the nature and problem of opportunity and problem and such thinking)

Solutions

(See Journey in being-politics)

The Human endeavor and its normal limits

In this section we review the mass paradigms of behavior and thought that have some governance over mass and daily human behavior. One goal is the justification of such paradigms on a limited and practical basis. A second goal is to review their mutual basis with economics—and therefore, via adaptation, their hold and, importantly, the hold that paradigmatic thought has on individuals generally. This hold is of course not Universal and therefore the balance of the ‘liberal’ and the ‘conservative;’ the good of change—since change is good at times and may be necessary for survival at others—in balance with the good of conserving an already adapted system—even if only partially adapted systems

The mass paradigms are examples of Normal human behavior and reveal Normal limits

Another purpose of this section is to show the intrinsic limitations of the mass paradigms. We have seen from the Universal metaphysics that the paradigms must be limited and, of course, common sense suggests probable limits even while it suggests some adherence to a limited system (if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.) However, even in terms of their internal logic the mass paradigms have limits. By showing these limits I intend to nudge individuals from their unconscious acceptance of paradigm into a conscious awareness of paradigm and so into receptivity to the picture of this narrative which is not altogether different from the paradigms but harbors them as degrees of approximation over limited domains. Thinking this way provides a bridge from paradigm to the Universal metaphysics without the necessity to destroy what is useful in the paradigm

These observations permit a comment on the ‘truth’ of systems of faith. We know that religion is subject to abuse and that part of the abuse is dependent on the sway of the absurd; we know that religion may be an opiate but not that it is the opiate. We are also facing the inertia of the institution. However, literal truth is not the only truth and, further, the world presents us with paradox. Eliminating the faith systems does not eliminate paradox. It is probably true that individuals come in different grades of requiring literal accounts as guide and to this fact is appended the further fact that not everyone has the luxury of intelligence-time for analysis which, in the end, is a life-preoccupation. Therefore while I may feel conflict about the character of faith systems I also feel some degree of irresolution regarding their final value

Common and experimental endeavor

An issue—tension between adaptedness and adapting

The categories

The categories—Object and Humor; the Objects—natural, social, psychological; and Humor—regarding potential objects and existential concerns have been discussed earlier and are mentioned here for their relevance

Modes of being and knowing and normal their limits

The animal

The animal ‘is’ its contingent or Normal possibilities and limits

Primal holism—early religion-myth, and science

Insofar as these are flowing, limits are tacit

Religion / religion

The limits are discussed earlier in the section The limits of institutional religion

Science / science

Current science has limits

Physics and physical cosmology defines their own limits—at the boundaries of the very small, the simple—and the complex, the distant, and the remote in time. The Universal metaphysics shows that these limits are indeed infinitely limiting; it also shows the limitations of biology in relation to other necessary life forms and their science. Modern psychology is clearly limited with regard to the necessary transformations of Identity

Essential limits of science

Recognizing that our understanding of the nature of science and its processes may change, it follows that any essential limits of science may well be essential limits of human being. There are, however, no necessary limits of human being—even though there are Normal limits

Secular humanism

There are two kinds of limits. The first is general—secular humanism comes nowhere near satisfying all Religious function including the spiritual (which in isolation is rather odd and limited.) Since secular humanism draws from science, a second kind of limit derives from the limits of science

More on the common human endeavor and its limits

A priori, ultimate limits of the human endeavor are not given. There is today a common though not universal picture within which all mythic and rational schemes are evaluated. What is this picture? It has been emerging at least since the dawn of the enlightenment and, at first, in philosophical thought it concerned how we think of the world—of reality and then, under the growing influence of science it concerned what we think of the world—it’s extent in time and space and its constituents. The combined picture of the how and the what is some incomplete marriage of rational thought and science

Rationalism. ‘Rationalism’ has more than one sense. In a limited but widely used sense, rationalism is the position that the criterion of truth is intellectual and deductive but not sensory or, perhaps less restrictively, that the main criterion of truth is intellectual. In a less limited and diffuse sense, rationalism is any view that appeals to reason as a source of knowledge or justification. Here, rationalism is used in the latter—enlightenment—sense. We may label the common view arising out of standard philosophical thought—admittedly a vague term—and science common rationalism and will hereafter in the immediate discussion call this rationalism. The limits of rationalism on the philosophical, reflective, or intellectual side are the limits of such thought as it is practiced in the dominant paradigms of today. Here we refer to the analytic and Continental traditions. These are analyzed later in discussing Philosophy and metaphysics in the chapter Contribution. The main conclusion of the criticism in that section is that modern western thought is prematurely critical; western thought has rejected real metaphysics for inadequate reasons, i.e. the failure of prior metaphysical systems and the ascent of science. From the failure of prior metaphysics we cannot conclude the failure of all real metaphysics. The present narrative has developed a Universal metaphysics and it is shown that it is both ultimate and empirical; the modern critical attitude is a premature generalization combined with a hasty but inadequate analysis of what it is to be empirical and Logical… Discussion now turns to the question of the ascent of science

Nature of the physical world. Under the influence of Newton the world came to be viewed as mechanistic and this is retained through the twentieth century revolutions in physics although under quantum theory there is some relief from strict mechanism. It remains however, that under a quantum paradigm there is no exception to it and it is not at all clear that the quantum and relativistic paradigms are sufficient to explain all that we see in the world—cosmos, life, and mind. In physical cosmology—from ‘big-bang’ theory—the universe is seen to be roughly 13 billion years old and an equal or greater amount of light years in extent (greater because of the expansion of space itself.) Speculations on bubble universes suggest perhaps much more but still more of the same. There is a lower dimension on sizes or distances and times defined by the limits of experiment and of theory that we can see or currently know on grounds of physical science. However, the fact that the current laws of physical science recognize these intrinsic limits to the laws has no implication that these are limits of being—of the universe. This is one limit of the common paradigm; yet the picture of the physical universe built up from science is taken as an essential part of the common paradigmatic view

Nature of the living world including mind and behavior. Factual knowledge of life is restricted to this world. Theoretical knowledge is primarily that of evolutionary biology and secondarily from functional biology. It seems that these modes provide the best explanation of the origins and nature of the living world including human being and any material foundation of mind. It is clear that the explanations are an immense improvement over what comes from myth and religion. That is not to say that there is no ultimate or metaphorical truth to myth and religion but that myth and religion are not proximate explanations at all. Under myth and religion, complexity—life, thought and behavior—are replaced by or reduced to something of unknown complexity: God. Under science, life thought and behavior are reduced to simple matter and law. Are the explanations complete with regard to life on Earth? They are our best explanations and may be taken as tentatively and practically final but it is clear that not all elements of life are explained, especially mind and behavior; rather it may be paradigmatic that that explanation may be regarded as having been accomplished. Are the explanations complete with regard to life in the entire universe? Because scientific explanation has made inroads into all realms—physical, living, and mental—it finally became commonly accepted in the twentieth century that science provided the boundaries of a common and dominant but not universal picture. Additionally, there are arguments that if we are far from unique, that any intelligent life elsewhere would have already communicated with us. These arguments of course rest on the common picture of the physical universe with regard to extent, nature and kind. Even under these assumptions other civilizations may have had reasons to not communicate with us. Further, even under the paradigmatic physical picture, it is not given that our knowledge of life is definitive. However, it is consistent with physical science that the universe may be infinitely larger than is revealed in physical science. Therefore, only under the tendency to see only what science sees—i.e. under the common paradigm, is it possible to conclude that the common picture defined in its limits by current science has practically reasonable elements but cannot be regarded as rationally necessary. It is important to point out that while the Universal metaphysics shows positively the immensely limited nature of the common paradigm the thrust here has been to show the intrinsic limits of the common paradigm and so to loosen its psychological though not rational sway as psychological preparation for alternate pictures

Human being. What is the picture of human being under science? It is not completely defined. Pictures of the nature of human freedom and the nature of meaning-as-significance that emerge from psychology and philosophy of mind are conditioned by the pictures of the universe and of life from the physical and biological sciences. From the physical sciences, some though not all scientists see the human world as a lonely accident in a material universe and although the thought is not universal it conditions the paradigmatic picture that has been emerging. Biological science tends to confirm a mechanistic view of human being. Mainstream twentieth academic psychology has not focused on a full picture of human being; the focus has been conditioned by a view of science that demands that only observables be admitted into discussion. Psychoanalysis has addressed the nature of human being—here, however, there is no full picture of human being and human limits. Especially under Freud, human freedom is seen as quite limited. However, while Freud’s insights may be profound in their sphere of application, human being is not a simple machine and therefore it is entirely consistent that immense freedom and immense limits should stand side by side

Secular humanism. While science enables a common practical but by no means rationally demonstrated boundary to the extent of the universe in age, size, and variety, the picture is generally regarded by those who accept it—except the most hard headed of positivists—as incomplete with regard to human meaning and the richness of human culture. Secular humanism is a label for the multi-faceted building up of a rich picture on the bare scaffolding of the common bare bones paradigm under science. The picture under secular humanism has explicit components but is and cannot be entirely explicit and is interwoven with our world of cultural, political, economic and other values. Although secular humanism is not the only possible paradigm that lives within the outer bounds of modern science it is perhaps the most common and broadest one in the Western World. Despite its immense appeal it is limited within its own sphere of influence by the limits of its envelope—the scientific side of the paradigm—and its own version of rationalism that accepts the scientific picture even though that picture is at most a practical picture within its domain of application which may itself be immensely limited. It might be argued, however, that the picture from science is the best picture that we have. (Universal metaphysics shows its immense limits but we are here not rationally appealing to that realm of pure necessity)

Myth and religion. Although displaced by the common paradigm under science, myth and religion continue to have immense influence. Of course the metaphorical and other non-literal and non-lexical-meaning functions of religion and myth and other literature are manifest and immense and secular humanism may use such meanings in building up its picture. The common paradigm shows the limits of the common mythic and religious pictures within the realm of the scientific cosmos. That there are adherents to the major religions is testament to the combined force of tradition including social bonding, and, for those who have not thought out the limits of the science based paradigms, some combination of suspicion and desire for something beyond the limits of humanism. If there is something beyond secular humanism—and it is consistent with its rational side even without recourse to pure necessity i.e. Universal metaphysics that there is—then we can see myth and religion as an attempt to see that beyond. Therefore the main criticism of modern religion must be that it builds up, as far as the literal / metaphysical side is concerned, a picture based on a story account that and then defines that picture to be the truth. Therefore, there is a disservice in that we replace the immense possibility of truth with an immensely limited but reassuring picture. We should no longer be defining God by the pictures of Islam or Christianity, by the speculative pantheism of the Vedanta or of the nihilism of Buddhism; instead we should, again setting pure necessity aside, approach the possibility of infinite openness and infinite being without a priori conception

Science and belief. The question arises why, if it they are not rationally-scientifically-empirically necessary, the science based paradigm is taken as truth within whose boundaries all objects of thought must lie. First, of course, science does provide best explanation within the ‘material’ realm (but that realm is the realm defined by science itself.) Certainly, the common rational-scientific picture-paradigm is immensely practical; but here it is not the merely practical that is of concern. The scientific positivists—current science defines reality—therefore hold to a strict scientific paradigm. Second, if we forget the immense limits revealed by reflection and science itself, it is quite possible to think that because it is our most useful practical paradigm, current positive science extends into all reaches of being even though it does not provide a full account of being. Therefore, there is an element of belief among those who hold it for this reason. However, it is not an entirely conscious element of belief. In an earlier era when science had not yet displaced religious metaphysics that may have had sway for want of something universal and better (and also for political-economic reasons,) common belief may have adhered to the religious picture because it was immanent in the culture of the time. Although the underpinnings of the beliefs are different, they have in common that they are held because they are immanent in a culture and because their lack of rational necessity is either suppressed or shielded from common view

Future of the ideational form

… Discussed under Society, earlier, and just after religion above

II. TRANSFORMATION

Journey

Introduction to a journey in being

The aims of this narrative—discovery and realization of the ultimate in being, the emerging meanings of the term ‘ultimate,’ and the ground in the immediate—have been stated earlier

The first part of the narrative focused on ideas. Although essential to realization and appreciation, Ideas are incomplete

Being and becoming complete the kinds of realization. In this part of the narrative, focus is on transformation

The term ‘journey’ is used to refer, first, to the author’s process of discovery and realization; here, the term journey is chosen because of the nonlinear, branching though sometimes reconnecting, and unforeseen and emerging character of the process, goals, and ambitions. ‘Journey’ also refers to the unending realization of ultimates in ideas and identity

Outline and aims of the chapter

Aims of the chapter Journey. This chapter explains the idea of a journey and its character. It shows the essential role of the journey in the process of the narrative and suggests a similar role in the human endeavor. It develops methods (with foundation in the Ideas) and aims for the journey. It develops and describes a system of experiments in realization that cover the range of being and designed as minimal with regard to this goal. It describes and assesses the process so far and develops plans for the future

Segue. In the Ideas it was shown that being and therefore human being have no ultimate limits. It was shown that transformation is essential to realization—there is a sense in which this is obvious: we are Being and not ideas in their limited sense; however, it was also seen that Being is essential to ideas. There are normal limits that lie in the nature of our immediate lives and world that are a platform for transformation

Focus. The focus in this chapter is transformation of being. The transformations are ever open to further variety. Human systems of value are our estimates of the highest value or mode of being but the meaning and nature of the peak is ever-in-process. That the Universal metaphysics is ultimate but finite in depth while ultimate but unending in variety suggests that there are constants as well as endless variety in value

Structure of this very much in-process part of the narrative is defined by work so far. Transformation and background work so far defines the program of transformation… and the structure of this chapter. The transformations so far and their background work include (1) A study of traditional and modern approaches to transformation—and related conceptual systems, (2) Development of a transformational system, the dynamics of being, based in Intuition through Cosmology (primarily the Universal metaphysics) and whose ground includes the material of Worlds, (3) A study of and experiment with enhanced and potentially transforming states and related catalytic activities—with the understanding that these studies are preliminary, (4) A set of preliminary transformational activities undertaken over a number of years, (5) A design of a minimal system of experiments that may cover the range of being, (6) An assessment of accomplishment so far and plans for the future, and (7) A background program of development

Following are the sections of this chapter, shown with their content

Transformations in being and identity—method: items 1 through 3 above

Illustrations of the dynamic: item 4

Design—a minimal system: items 5 and 6

A program of development with sources: item 7

The future: this section sets up the next chapter

Origin of the idea of a journey

The following words indicate some origin of my thought that I have undertaken and am in a journey. Subsequent discussion fills out the notion of journey and its necessities

A sense of mission

One of the features of my life is that I have a sense of adventure and mission

I believe that I am quite normal in feeling pressures of conformity to social norms. However, I am perhaps somewhat outside the norm in yielding to the pressure to a lesser degree than is typical. This independence developed early. It is not carte blanche independence; I am not against authority; and it is not the intent to violate the norms. Rather, the intent is critical; the independence is selective and concerns such issues as life style and career path, acceptance of common views regarding the nature of the world, acceptance of the tradition of ideas as received and given. With regard to ethical norms we may say that there are deep norms—ones that are relatively universal and superficial norms. I believe that all norms should be questioned: the deep ones at least so we understand them better and follow them with understanding and feeling and that we understand the exceptions that civilization makes regarding even these deep norms; and the superficial norms should be questioned so that we do not waste too much effort in following what is superficial (it is also possible to waste effort in criticizing the superficial.) What is the source of this independence? Perhaps there is a biological component. Perhaps I compensate for feeling that originates in my development. My father said that he knew what he wanted to do when he was ten; he expected the same of his children; he had very concrete and specific views on life style and career path and he was intolerant even of contemplating alternatives

In history we see that it is improbable that where civilization is today could have been predicted even two hundred years ago. There are some kinds of contribution that may take a significant part of a life to conceive, understand, and put into action

My ambition has involved adventure and ideas but its definition has taken time and numerous experiments in ideas and action. Many of these trials with ideas have been left behind but they have left a mark: sometimes a discarded idea remains suggestive, and the numerous trials add confidence to my thought and action. This is perhaps the personal origin of the idea of a journey

Openness of the way and ambition

The previous paragraph suggests that even if there are constants to my ambition—that I want to make fundamental developments and contributions but above that I want to know and enjoy being in the fullest degree—the definition of the way and the ambition has taken time to come into focus and the specifics are necessarily dependent on my development in self and ideas. This too suggests a journey… and, as the Universal metaphysics shows, realization is an ever unfolding process

One may assume a philosophy of being-in-the-present; but it may also be an essential characteristic of being to ever desire becoming; and it may be the intuitive case that without becoming there is stagnation; and the Universal metaphysics shows that there is no being-in-the-present without becoming except, of course, that becoming may be attached to an at least metaphorical being-in-the-present or sense thereof

The epic journey in literature

The journey or epic is a literary genre—no doubt because some persons are spurred to action and others are inspired by dramatic renderings of the journey. The hero takes a journey into the risk laden unknown and brings back material and psychic gifts. The idea of a journey is an established theme in many cultures; the significance of the journey depends somewhat on culture and period—western culture today tends to emphasize spatial or geographic and material aspects, Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes the relation between the inner and the outer. A significant source may have been the Bernardo Bertolucci cinema adaptation of Paul Bowles 1949 novel Sheltering Sky there is a conversation—a conversation “We're not tourists. We're travelers.” “Oh. What's the difference?” “A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive.” “Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.” In the 2004 The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, Ian Baker writes of an inner-outer connection of psyche and place: in the introduction the Dalai Lama writes “Whether this mysterious hidden sanctuary hidden among Pemako’s mist-shrouded mountains can ever be located geographically is of secondary importance to the journey itself. In Buddhist tradition, the goal of pilgrimage is not so much to reach a particular destination as to awaken within oneself the qualities and energies of the site, which ultimately lie within our own minds.” If psyche refers to the impression in being of being, then it is in psyche that the individual is and becomes the Universe. Still, my journey is not at all entirely about psyche but also of inner-outer connection… in an equivalent interpretation, psyche expands into all being. In the journey, I hope to change; I might bring gifts; I might not return…

The journey in literature is not always about bringing back actual gifts. In Tragedy, the protagonist may have a sense of mission but the sense may remain unsatisfied; the life of the hero may be one of epic trial but satisfaction and knowledge of great ambition may remain ephemeral and thwarted, and the individual may experience occasional joy but the main theme even of personal life may remain tragic. Perhaps the message of tragedy is overcoming in acceptance. That might of course be too easy; there is no guarantee of overcoming; and even overcoming that the Universal metaphysics guarantees will not always guarantee the sense of overcoming in the finite side of life

Being as a framework for the journey

Why is Being selected as the place and destination of the journey? Alternatives to Journey in Being are Journey into the Unknown… the UniversePsycheSpace and time… or the World… I could perhaps have titled the work A Metaphysical Journey or omitted the word Journey and titled the work Metaphysics… Perhaps I could have chosen one of the special emphases of the work and titled it Experiments in the transformation of beingA journey in the world of ideasAction, Charisma, and History… or Researches in the construction of being

Most of these alternative titles are too specific; some may be appropriate to later development in some specific direction. The Unknown, for example, is specific because the process concerns the known and the unknown—their relationship and boundary. The Universe is too specific in another sense: it suggests too much: Being may connote the whole as well as a part. Metaphysical journey suggests something too esoteric. Although the work is metaphysical, it is metaphysical in a grounded sense

The positive reason for the selection of being has already been developed. We have seen that Being-simply-as-what-is-there is a neutral container term. The journey begins in the known and aims at adventure, perhaps into the unknown… All elements are contained in Being… and Being is not prejudicial to outcome. It is true that Being has special connotations—as in higher being or deity or the essence of being or as in Heidegger’s Dasein (it may turn out that the essence of being is being-that-can-ask-and-address-the-question-of-the-nature-of-being or, simply, sentient being but the present meaning of being allows this to emerge from reflection and investigation.) However, the root of the term is the so very familiar verb to be. In this work, the basic meaning of Being is this root meaning (we entertain other connotations: to explore them—for further investigation, for their suggestive nature, to reject them or to show that they are included in the present meaning)

Being as framework

Being constitutes a framework for the journey as follows

The aim of the journey includes the highest realization of which human being is capable and of which being as such is capable. At outset we do not know what these capabilities may be; we do not know the limits of human being and of being as such; we do not know the relationships between these capabilities and limits. Being-as-that-which-is-there constitutes a framework for discovery and therefore for the journey and its aims

A conceptual framework for discoveries in Ideas and transformations in realization is already developed in the Ideas via the idea of Being and related concepts; this framework is further developed in this chapter. The Ideas, especially the fundamental principle of metaphysics are instrumental in showing that the envelope of being and of human being are identical, in showing that human being transcends physical death and realizes universal identity, and in developing an approach to the journey: entry into the fluidity of being (so far called the dynamics of being)

Expansion of scope of a journey made possible by a system of ideas centered on Being

From Ideas to Being

Being is necessary for fullness of realization; but even in the limited mode, ideas are necessary to negotiation and appreciation; properly understood, being includes ideas and psyche

From the Indefinite to Definite

As far as depth and envelope are concerned… Variety, extension, duration remain ever open

From the Individual and local to the Universal

Personal to group to civilization

An individual journey whose envelope is identity with all being. The essential journey of an individual or society is not a following but a recreation; and all creation is recreation. Universe as process

… Necessarily grounded in this world: the immediate and the ultimate are the abutments of a bridge; the dynamics of being (living in the light of being) is a bridge

From the Immediate to the Ultimate

The immediate is part of the ultimate; one meaning of the ultimate is a journey of unending variety in an ever changing immediate

The ultimate is grounded in this world via Intuition and Worlds and generally via the Ideas

From Normal to Ultimate limits

I.e. no limits to Being, minimal (Logical) limits to concepts regarding being

Journey

Character and aim

Journey as Being

Journey is being in that experience and realization of the ultimate never occurs except as a series within a journey

Aim

The highest in Ideas and Being

Includes search for the meaning (sense and reference) of ‘high’ or value

Not separate from the ground

Range and process

The range

The Universal metaphysics defines the range—There are no limits to Being (the only limits to concepts of the range are Logical.) In greater detail:

Being has no ultimate limits (therefore human being has no ultimate limits: we are the Universe in process)

But human being ‘must’ understand and respect Normal limits. Normal limits are part of our proximate constitution. Understanding our proximate constitution is—integral to—the beginning and the way

Exploration of the range—Intuition, Metaphysics—necessary and practical objects, Objects, Cosmology, Worlds, §§ of this chapter and of Being, Method

Process

Ultimate—Universal metaphysics…, dynamics of being

Proximate and bridgingWorlds, imagination and concepts, experiments, review (criticism)

Modes and means

Ideas and Being—discovery / justification and transformation (dynamics of being)

Dimensions

‘MNSPU!’ This is an acronym for a useful and practical rendering of the dimensions of being whose purpose includes that systematic enumeration is helpful in the study of variety

M—material

N—nature or natural. The idea of nature is that it is untouched by man or the designs of man. The concept is vague—shall we include beaver dams and anthills in nature; if another domain of the Universe influences our cosmos shall we regard that influence as natural? It is also somewhat artificial—if man is of nature, why not man’s designs? In the age of science the natural is regarded as including the material. There are issues relating to the interpretation of matter as described in science or as commonly experienced but nothing more. Perhaps nature should be regarded as a pragmatic rather than an ontological category. This, however, may be true of all the possible categories of this section; these categories are practically useful when thinking of dimensional possibilities for action… for a journey in being

S—social

P—of psyche or mind (includes spirit in so far as there is spirit; which depends on the meaning of spirit in use)

U—Universal; includes what is unknown (conventionally to human being under certain paradigmatic modes of thought)

Significance

Illumination of the present—our lives and being: reflection of the ultimate in the present

Knowledge of the ultimate in the present—we have not arrived but are engaged in a necessary and unending process which, though necessary, is infinitely more efficient and made real in experience by intelligent engagement: reflection of the present in the ultimate

The human endeavor—a new estimation of the magnitude of the process as ultimate; a new estimation and proof of the magnitude (variety…) of human being as the magnitude of being; a new estimation and proof of the magnitude, variety, extension and duration of being as limitless; a new meaning for and resurrection of the idea of religion

The endeavor of all being—see the human endeavor above; the endeavor of any being is the endeavor of all being. The meaning—in the sense of significance—of being is in the experience of the unending endeavor in limitless being. What is the distribution of sentience in being… in the Universe? In the history of human thought the low point of the estimation of the range of this distribution is that sentience is restricted to a few special human beings; this occurs not necessarily at the ‘beginning’ but at a height of, say, hubris. In sequence, it may be allowed that sentience occurs in all human beings and then in certain higher animals; here the notion of higher is not concrete but is defined to be the divide between sentience and non sentience; and it is vague in that it is difficult to estimate because, first, what counts as sentience is not clear and, second, because it is not clear how it may be recognized in another animal, especially those animals that are distant from human being in kind. It has been seen that the paradox of awareness or consciousness in a (putatively) material world is resolved by observing that elementary awareness is the effect or power of one element of being in another. Then: in generalized terms matter may be regarded as being-as-such; generalized mind may be regarded as the power of another element in the element with mind; the terms mind and matter are here used in a general sense and not in the sense of our understanding of their local manifestation; provided that we do not think that experience-as-we-experience-it is present in the elements of being, there is no absurdity of pan-psychism; the absurdity arises when we think that an element has the manifestation of mind as in, say, human being; similarly an absurdity would arise if we regarded materialism, which should perhaps be called pan-materialism, as the thesis that there the elements of being are little Empire State Buildings or Eiffel Towers. There is no ontological distinction between the case in which we regard mind as going to the never ending root—every atom is a cosmos. Where lies the pragmatic distinction, if there is or should be one? Where lies the pragmatic distinction for an infinitely higher entity—every cosmos is an atom? In attempting to answer this, first dispense with the issue of infusion of mind from one coherent domain to another: by regarding the two domains as one, the issue becomes conceptually moot even though practically interesting. We know the following: it is not absurd to regard mind as going to the root: no absurdity or paradox arises; to avoid the paradox of mind from matter—which is sometimes (perhaps a little parochially) referred to in the recent literature as the hard problem of consciousness—it is necessary to go some distance in the direction of the root and essentially what this involves is a recognition that our descriptions of matter are incomplete as well as a recognition that any explanation of mind-per-se as arising out of organization is constitutes an ontological assumption that necessarily or logically results in contradiction. The pragmatic question is ‘How far can or may we go?’ The answer is that we can go as far as we want without contradiction but it is not clear, and it is perhaps open to discovery, how far we can go in either direction (atom/cosmos) and recognize mind their (the recognition would not be restricted to simple perception or empathy)

An individual journey

The subtitles are for convenience while writing and may be eliminated

Aims of this subsection

The aims of this subsection include narration of some elements of a story that constitute development of this narrative and that illustrate the ideas of journey and method. One motive is that awareness of the essential elements may contribute to the process. It may therefore be true that it is in the best interest to be faithful. Perhaps, however, the most I can do is to create a mythic account. That is not my intent but such an account may also contribute to the process via dramatization which may enhance the process I have undertaken

Characteristics that contribute to the journey

Characteristics that contribute to the journey. The work has taken immense perseverance. Although I have hoped for great things, the outcome is greater than I had conceived to lie within the realms of sentience and intelligence. The primary reason for this is not related to ability. Although the development may have required ability, the ideas do not seem difficult in retrospect. The difficulty is that if the principle of the metaphysics were presented to a reasonable person without the intuition, reason, and demonstration (proof) that led to it and without defusing the various senses of paradox, there would be reasons to regard it as false and no reason to see it as true (it is important to remember that the fundamental principle is not logically absurd.) The work has brought more out than I thought there is to be had in the Universe. And though it has taken perseverance, it has taken much more. I will first address what I think may be personal characteristics that led to the outcome

Although I have persevered I do not think perseverance is one of my traits. I wonder whether perseverance is a trait at all; if there is such a trait, it may be the ability to endure difficulty in achieving value. Perhaps the fundamental driver has been a romance with the world. The world has always seemed to be intensely beautiful. Although there is a perspective in which beauty is subjective there is another perspective in which the sentience is part of the world and the world experiencing itself as beautiful through sentience is an objective fact (and there are objective reasons for there being the experience of beauty and its opposite.) If the world that I know is beautiful, perhaps the larger world which includes what is still unknown is even more beautiful. This has been one of my motives, first to discovery and then to transformation

In an account of family history, my mother wrote that I experienced when very young an enthrallment to nature. This remains with me. Nature—being in the forests and mountains—has always been inspiring: a connection with the real. Nature is inspiration enough but it has also been the place of inspiration for many of my most fundamental ideas. In reflection this seems to have been a constant of my life

My mother also wrote that I made people happy by being happy (she describes this as my unconscious secret.) There is truth to this even though there has been conflict between this part of my self and the part that would understand, know, and become. I do not think that I write to make others happy—that is not precisely one of direct reasons to write (metaphysics, for example.) However, I do wish via my ideas and actions to contribute to the lives of others, to civilization, and to the world

I recall the emphasis on rote that was the greatest part of my early education as a kind of personal death. I cannot say that my memory for sheer fact is excellent. In school the inferior teachers were assigned to the lower grades (in the India of my childhood the term for ‘grade’ was ‘standard’.) My general performance was not bad but early academics were a joyless experience. Occasionally a teacher would excite my interest: I performed very well and thoroughly enjoyed history in the eighth standard. Mostly, however, I did not listen to the instructors—it was near impossible to listen to a teacher read a line from a poem, spend monotonous minutes five minutes explaining it and the various literary allusions, and then proceed to the next line. I was frighteningly bored and survived lectures by daydreaming or counting sheep or by reading other material surreptitiously; I survived exams by reading the night before. In grade 9 we had a good science teacher. I did well (still, it was a rather dull science.) In grade 10 there were two excellent teachers—in physics and mathematics: the focus included drill but fundamentals were emphasized. The teacher of literature knew how to make poetry exciting. I excelled. Chemistry lectures were monotonous. I ignored them and read the text and other references while the lecturer, a Mr. Varma, droned on. My chemistry grade was the highest ever at that school (exams were set in Cambridge, England and administered annually in schools throughout India.) I had begun personal a tradition in which when I studied a topic myself and ignored lectures, my performance would be excellent

What are the factors of this excellence? The material should be conceptual in nature—I seem to have a gift for concepts—and I should feel passion for it

Love of the world—nature and people, ability with concepts, and passion have contributed to the developments of this narrative. Are there any other contributory personal characteristics?

I may list the following. Independence from the expectation of others and what is thought, for example, to be necessary for a career. An interest that has always wanted to know and do more: thus I have broad non-academic experience and extremely broad academic and intellectual experience. This breadth, I believe, includes a breadth of appreciation and is matched by imagination, clarity of vision, depth and reason. A combination of the perceptive-judgmental dimension of the Jungian personality type that permits the contemplation of tentative understanding for decades when full justification is lacking but also a commitment and further development when justification is found—but also includes ongoing criticism and search for flaws in the justification as well as search for alternative or complementary notions of justification

The independence has made it rather easy for me to attempt to develop ideas in areas that are generally held to be impossible. Perhaps the prime example is systematic metaphysics. Metaphysics as knowledge of being-as-it-is has been held to be impossible since Kant’s analysis of knowledge as originating in experience: the experience is not the object. The advance of empirical science has further alienated metaphysics and made it appear unnecessary and irrelevant in the modern world. Systematic metaphysics is widely regarded as a failed enterprise in modern thought. In analytic philosophy sources of this attitude are, first, the abandonment of idealism that began with the Bertrand Russell’s generation of philosophers and, second, the empiricist, analytic and piece-meal inclinations that mode of philosophy. In continental thought metaphysics is regarded as failed because of the political and historical failures of the grand speculative schemes of the past. I believe that the professionalization of philosophy and specialization in academia in general as well as within philosophy contributes to uncritical adherence to certain putatively critical paradigms of thought

The breadth of academic interest results in a wealth of ideas that serve as analogy or as part of a system in the process of discovery of a system of ideas for analysis and justification. I went through a sequence of metaphysical paradigms but finally rejected each of the preliminary systems because of lack of adequate justification, incompleteness, or some lack of clarity or definition. As an example of lack of definiteness, materialism is indefinite until we specify the nature and behavior of matter; but if we specify that matter is as in modern science, then we are likely to be incomplete and wrong. Today, we generally think that the world cannot be made of mind but that conclusion depends on what it is that is meant by mind. This suggests, first, that philosophies of idealism and materialism are not definite and that there might come a stage of understanding in which they become definite and can be seen as identical. The early phase of my development may be described as the tacit assumption of the scientific world view. For me this tacit view was not positivistic in that I did not hold, as do some thinkers, that the only things that exist are those described in science (there is no reason to hold the positivist position if it is relinquished, we then have no purchase at all on the magnitude and nature of the Universe outside the known and it may lie in the range of more of the same to unlimited in extension, duration, and variety.) I experimented with an explicitly evolutionary paradigm for understanding the world, knowledge, and our place in the world. I became dissatisfied with that phase as incomplete; an evolutionary paradigm is typically set within materialism or perhaps idealism but does not itself contribute to understanding the substance of the world or its temporality (or lack of substance and temporality as fundamental.) It was only after significant experiment that I arrived at the idea for the present metaphysics and it then required a few years to conceive of an approach to demonstration and proof and further time for articulation, elaboration, maturation, and application. The experience in this process has been invaluable in the final development—as regards maturity and further elements of a toolkit. The non-academic experience adds in a number of ways. One way is that the experiences are examples of pathways in realization of the ideas. A more practical way is that some kinds of employment permit outside commitment more than others. My early career was as an academic but the time requirements of academia would not allow the commitment that I have been able to devote since leaving the university environment. Later, spending four years living on savings allowed a ‘quantum leap’ in my exploration of the world of ideas beyond my scientific, mathematical, and engineering background. Then work in a psychiatric hospital contributed in a number of ways: I learned much about life and mind, the work was enjoyable and therefore provided a certain happiness, I felt I was contributing and this added to my general well being, I was able to think about my ideas while at work and was not required to take work home which meant more time for thought and writing; and, significantly, I had six weeks of vacation a year available for nature and nature inspiration, and the work provided an income

Against the backdrop of sufficient time, the perceptive attitude permitted analysis of the modern criticisms of metaphysics and found them wanting (that a concept has not been empirical does not mean that an empiric cannot be found; that systematic metaphysics of the past have failed does not mean that systematic metaphysics is impossible: it means that merely speculative systems are improbable.) There is the fundamental criticism of metaphysics that the concept is not the object. This has led to an erroneous conclusion that no perfectly faithful knowledge of the thing-in-itself is possible. The correct conclusion, however, is that faithfulness is not inherent in the nature of the concept; it does not follow that perfect faithfulness cannot ever be show. This attitude led to the focus on Being which permitted emergence of a system that required imagination to construct but whose construction included proof as an abstract system. Subsequently, grounding in intuition was found: via abstraction we have perfect knowledge of the Universe-as-all-being (i.e. the concept in which the detail of the Universe is abstracted out.) It may or may not be fortuitous that the abstract concepts lead to specific knowledge—i.e. to special metaphysics in which we know that certain things (an unlimited variety of them) exist but are not yet (all) located in experience

Development of the Journey

Development of the Journey. The development of the system of ideas with its dual, interacting, and mutually enhancing foci of the Universal metaphysics of chapter Metaphysics and the local disciplines of Worlds, constitutes a major divide

Before the divide, I experimented with a variety of systems of understanding that were invariably lacking with regard to proof or completeness or clarity. If I regard matter as defined in modern physics then I am likely to lack precision in claiming that the Universe is material in nature. If I define matter as that which is there then I am being purposely imprecise but use of the term ‘matter’ may suggest precision and therefore I may be advised to use the term ‘Being.’ Similar comments may be made about idealism. In today’s world of ideas panpsychism is typically regarded as lying in the range from suspect to absurd; however the actual case depends on the meaning of ‘mind;’ it is possible to define both mind and matter with sufficient generality while not giving up on essential character so that it makes no objective difference whether we subscribe to idealism or materialism

The divide marks the emergence of a definite and demonstrated metaphysics or world view: the Universal metaphysics that is ultimate with regard to depth and breadth, that is a founded metaphysics without substance and that shows the Universe to be without limit in extension, duration, and variety. It follows that human identity transcends death, realizes unending peaks and dissolutions of identity in what is an ever unfolding adventure

I had experimented with transformation of being before the Universal metaphysics. However, after the divide, the nature and possibility of transformation became clear. We are already in transformation but an intelligent approach to realization does and must remain open

The approach to the system of ideas with the dual foci had been a journey. The system showed and opened up a greater Journey—one without limit. It was during the development of the system of ideas and transformation that the idea of a journey came into focus

Discovery and demonstration of the Universal metaphysics

Discovery and demonstration of the Universal metaphysics. It seems to me that story of discovery and demonstration includes elements of chance and determinate fact. The determinate include ability, passion, and a sense of wonder. I have long felt a sense of mission. That sense includes a special feeling but also restraint: if I am to make a contribution, it must be genuine and not forced; if it is to be accepted and valuable that must flow from the merit of the contribution rather than a campaign for a system without merit (merit may be insufficient in a world that emphasizes appearance and therefore campaigning may be a desirable accompaniment to demonstration.) However, there have also been elements of chance. It seems to be an example of chance that I should have been hired to the faculty at the University of Texas (Austin) that, at that time (1978-1982) had an excellent privatized retirement program that enabled four years (1985-1989) of living on savings and the initiation of fundamental investigations in ideas and transformation. It was perhaps chance that I joined a group (Sunflower, of the Unitarian Church in Austin, Texas) that was devoted to ideas at the edge of psychology, healing, religion, and metaphysics. It was perhaps chance that I embarked on a career in engineering and science rather than literature. Perhaps, though, there was some unconscious selection; perhaps there is a drive that has transcended the merely random. Perhaps. I should remember, also, that as far as I know I have had no role in my being born into a reasonably affluent off family in India rather than being born into slavery in another era or being born as a wildebeest that might come to an end in crocodile teeth. And, again, I might also remember the Universal metaphysics that reveals that regardless of the chance-like manifestations of my being, I participate in universal being—a level of at which necessity rules over chance

The elements of the first phase of the journey include: love of nature and nature inspiration, passion and wonder driven perseverance and patience, an attitude of perception that did not allow the assumption of some putative but unjustified paradigm: but that simultaneously allowed experiment with many paradigms, disinterest in career path as such but associated with self-doubt and external disapproval (the bourgeois phenomenon,) independence—perhaps innate, perhaps cultivated, perhaps both—from superficial custom, development of an exceptionally broad academic background while retaining an emphasis on depth and imagination and rigor, development of a broad non-academic background

As a result of my independence of thought, my early experiments in ideas were immature. However, the habit of independence and self-criticism allowed maturity of the ideas to emerge. A building with an extensive foundation may take longer to build but may reach to greater heights. Unlike buildings, however, it has been found to be the case that there is no limit to certain aspects of the ideas. Ideas are limited by Logic rather than gravity

There is an important sense in which my thought has been grounded. Thus, while I have had a passion for ideas from early in life, and while I have enjoyed reading and thinking, I have not sought the construction of a metaphysics for love of metaphysics—or of ideas. By metaphysics I understand, not only an understanding of being-as-being but also the use of this understanding to build up a cosmology and world view. In 1983-1985 I was teaching courses in energy and the use of energy. The intelligent use of energy demanded more than a few thoughts about resources, environmental concerns and economics; it required that I think fundamentally about values and the nature of the world. (This reveals a personal attribute: questions lead to questions and soon a simple and practical question may lead to metaphysics. This could be seen as counterproductive. However, I do not regard that as the essential case. One of the sources of the idea that it is counterproductive is the tacit assumption that our main preoccupation in the world is ‘practical’ and that too much reflection distracts. However, while a practical question may lead to metaphysics, a second practical question may lead to refinement and we may come to posses a mature metaphysics that is reasoned, empirical, demonstrated, and that illuminates life and practical affairs.) This preoccupation was one of the sources that required questioning the nature of being and was, therefore, an indirect inspiration to metaphysics. However, if we look at the history of metaphysics we see two emphases—constructive metaphysics which tends to be the positing of plausible but not demonstrated systems or perhaps metaphysics of experience or critical metaphysics. I have never had a significant interest in metaphysics that was both pure and merely speculative even though such metaphysics have various uses; my metaphysical reflection has invariably been practice driven or, if pure, then the requirement of the needs of experience and demonstration should be met. This patience has been instrumental in the development of the Universal metaphysics

A wide range of reading has also been instrumental. Thus the thought of Leibniz, Hume, and Wittgenstein are suggestive with regard to the relation of logic and metaphysics. Hume, of course, did not construct a system but his thought if followed to its conclusion shows that science and metaphysics do not stand in contradiction; and the systems of Leibniz and Wittgenstein, though profound, do not transcend the positing of system; and in consequence these systems are not able to develop under intrinsic power. After I developed the metaphysics, the thought of Kant regarding the importance of experience and intuition has been useful. Although immensely insightful, Kant’s foundation in intuition is untenable on two grounds: the sciences that he regarded as a priori and as showing the necessity of human intuition are now known to be contingent; twentieth century science and philosophy of science have suggested and the Universal metaphysics has revealed the contingency of all local science. I sought a level of perfect intuitive knowledge and found it at a level significantly below that of Kant’s intuitive categories; and also found this level to be simultaneously of being and of experience. I said I sought a level of perfect intuition: it would be more precise to say that I realized that the necessary objects of the metaphysics were also known in intuition

The fundamental principle of the Universal metaphysics has a number of formulations. In its basic form it has two versions. First, and perhaps most fundamental, is the formulation in terms of Being: there are no limits to being (or any particular being; this form has affinities with the principle of plenitude.) Except perhaps to marvel at this form there is not much that can be done with it. The formulation in terms of concepts: every concept has reference puts in our hands a tool of immense even though perhaps eternally incomplete power

What are the sources of development of the Universal metaphysics? I noted that an early paradigm in the development of my thought was perhaps that centered around a common knowledge or scientific world view with an emphasis that it was not positivist (I maintained an agnosticism about objects not described in science; of course, absurd beliefs were doubted and logically impossible beliefs rejected except later the issue of the nature of logic itself.) The source of this early and tacitly held paradigm was my academic background as well as the fact that it is a standard paradigm in the modern world among individuals who have no particular religious persuasion. When in high school I read an introductory book on the modern versions of Darwin’s theories of evolution and found that this opened up a whole world of understanding that was otherwise unavailable to me: neither high school biology nor the general culture of my youth seemed to have any concern with origins. I have maintained a rather passionate interest in evolutionary theory since that time as well as in interest in philosophies that understood the world in evolutionary terms. It was natural, then, that the tacit ‘scientific’ paradigm should be followed by an evolutionary paradigm that I found immensely powerful in explaining our world (especially the living and social worlds—the idea of evolutionary explanation is of course not new but I may have put it to some novel uses; the application of evolutionary thought in physical science remains primitive though promising.) I abandoned the evolutionary approach as worldview because of its temporal, rather material and limited character. The idea of an absolute view became more satisfying than a temporal view; and the material emphasis seemed incomplete. I toyed with the phrases ‘absolute idea’ and ‘absolute being’ but without much progress. I entertained a monistic idealism but realized that there was no fundamental distinction between materialism and idealism; further, idealism is not inherently atemporal. I thought that the equivalence between the Void (absence of being) and the Universe (all being,) if true, would be a foundation of an atemporal metaphysics. That equivalence, however, seemed absurd and I had no idea how I might prove it. In classical physics, a distribution of matter may come into being without violating energy conservation since the energy of the gravitational field may be negative and balance the positive energy of matter (an isolated particle has no gravitational interaction and therefore may be regarded as having zero gravitational energy; therefore when a distribution of particles are at an infinite distance from one another may regarded as the zero gravitational energy state; and then, when the particles are at finite distances from one another, their mutual gravitational energy is negative.) Thus the equivalence between everything and nothing was not totally absurd. I searched for a proof that the universe was equivalent to nothingness but did not find one. I decided to avoid the word nothingness because this was an ontological nothingness rather than an existential one; this was the source of my use of the word ‘Void.’ One warm afternoon in the September of 1999, hiking in the Trinity Alps of Northwest California I had an experience that may be described as mystic: I experienced a unity of myself and the world and a feeling that it made no difference whether we were something or nothing. Mystic experience is not proof. I know that some mystics might object that perhaps it is proof or perhaps that proof is irrelevant but I insist on positive validation and proof and demonstration count as positive validation whereas, for me as well as the rational tradition, mystic experience does not. I do think, though, that the mystic experience is valuable as motivation and it is good as experience in itself. I continued to seek proof that the Universe is equivalent to the Void. I explored quantum theoretical scenarios and saw that there may be some quantum connection between a Void state and a manifest state but was troubled by ‘zero point energy’ and, somehow, also by the reference to a science that can hardly be described as complete. In 2002, ‘in the shadow of the Trinity Mountains, I had another insight that was part of a mystic-like experience: instead of focus on the Universe and its descriptions, I should focus on the Void and its properties

This was the ‘watershed.’ In a number of ways. First, it made demonstration possible. Second, it set a paradigm for how to define the basic concepts that would become part of an articulated metaphysics. Finally, the proof gave confidence to the metaphysics and so spurred the immense development since its original proof; second the proof has provided immensely powerful tools of analysis (meaning) and demonstration and thus confirms the value of my insistence on demonstration (without invalidating the significance of intuition and vision)

After the establishment of the Universal metaphysics

After the establishment of the Universal metaphysics. It became immediately apparent that the Universe has no limits. However, the clear expression; the careful definition of the concepts of Universe, Void and others; the development of the metaphysics to understand substance (there is none) and form (there is form but it is immanent in being;) the theory of objects; the cosmology; the interaction with the disciplines; the working out of a method for the journey in transformation (the dynamics of being;) the realization of the incompleteness of mere ideas; all this required much working and much time

All these developments were significantly enabled by my exposure to philosophy and the sciences. In metaphysics there were the theories of substance and form; in Objects the Greek, Scholastic, and modern reflections; in Cosmology the theory of variety was enhanced by knowledge of myth, religion, and metaphysical system—process theory by knowledge of dynamics and evolution—theory of mind by familiarity with the mind-body issues and recent studies of consciousness—theory of identity by the corresponding theories in metaphysics—treatment of space, time, and being by the corresponding physical and metaphysical theories; the development of the disciplines drew on past and ongoing reading and reflection. The Internet has been a convenient resource of information even though one has, in general, to compensate for the lack of critical thought

Logic

Logic. One of the most interesting secondary developments has been that of the idea of Logic as the requirement that concepts and descriptions should have reference. Familiarity with the development of classical and modern logics has been useful in this regard. Reflection has also been significant and some examples regarding the importance of reference have been developed

Method—Justification

MethodJustification. In the development of the Ideas was the occasion for a number of formal innovations of method and concept. Although these innovations and their initial recognition occurred during and with the process, their full recognition lagged the development of content and their formulation continues. Two facts clearly emerged: first, method was seen to emerge with content and is therefore, at least in the present case, not a priori to content; and, second, method is a kind of content. It also emerged that the formal recognition of method enhanced further development of content. The elements of method that emerged on the side of justification are: a new conception of Logic, the method of abstraction, the inclusion of all knowing under intuition, a use of intuition without reference to the a priori (reference was, instead, to the Universal abstracted objects,) careful distinction between general metaphysics (concerning the abstracted Universal objects that are known directly) and special metaphysics (concerning the unending variety of being that we know of but whose direct knowledge is occasion for unending process and realization,) careful introduction and iterative definition of an articulated system of concepts, and class by class or case by case analysis of a number of problems and disciplines (e.g. of an entire range of classical and modern problems of metaphysics, of the traditional and modern disciplines in light of the Universal metaphysics, of a suggestion that the ‘objects’ of the disciplines may be known to the inherent limit of the context, and the realization in certain cases that this limit is perfect knowledge.)

Method—Discovery, dialectic, reflexive process

Discovery. What are the elements of the process that made the emergence and justifications of both content and method possible? Some of these elements have already been laid out. One of the elements is passion. It is not an empty passion but a passion of connection to the world. There are practical men who think that all feeling should have immediate connection. However, it is characteristic of human being that we are capable of a ‘detached’ reflection that is a source of concept creation. The relevant side of the perceptive-judgmental continuum that is pertinent here is the perceptive. Some may think that being perceptive means being ever open. I, too, felt that and I characterized myself as at the perceptive end of the continuum. Jung reflects that the personality polarities show tendencies but that maturation includes balancing of early tendencies. I now understand that being perceptive in the present family of meaning may and perhaps should mean remaining open as long as certainty or demonstration or at least optimal certainty (perhaps intuitively judged) does not obtain. Thus when balance obtains in the perceptive-judgmental continuum, one is able to alter ones location on the continuum according to context and the needs of the context. We may think of passion as a driver and reward of cognitive process. It is. However, the realm of feeling is not entirely separate from cognition. In the moment to moment of living, and that includes the moment to moment of cognitive process including discovery (it is not the case that the discoverer is engaging in extraordinary life) there is a binding of feeling and cognition that guides the discoverer and without which he or she would be adrift as might be the case in pathologies such as the a- or anti-social personality disorder or in autism. The integration versus separation of criticism and creation is related to the foregoing integration-separations: perception-judgment, feeling-emotion-cognition, and content-method. Criticism and creation are bound; the binding includes the following levels. First, a base level at which, without creation there is nothing to criticize or justify; and without criticism, creation is random and at best immensely inefficient but, more likely, it is without use (it is allowed of course that there is a necessary phase in which creation may run free.) Second, there is a more subtle level. Here, where method and content emerge together and method also requires creation it is seen that the emergence of criticism and the recognition of the need for criticism are creative activities: generally, and for specific contexts (and the critical-logical elements of specific contexts interact with the general case.) If creation is implicated in criticism, is the reverse true? Writers in creativity have talked of ‘brainstorming’ in which the critical faculty must be laid aside; I am not going to reject that idea but to suggest that even in ‘free creation’ there is something more subtle occurring than mere freedom. It seems that creation suffers from too much constraint or too little (mere randomness.) Too much involvement with worries about correctness in the creative or hypothesis formation phase may be stultifying. Too much randomness (expecting a monkey at a typewriter to produce Shakespeare’s Hamlet) will produce nothing in any reasonable period of time (the age of the known Universe would be relatively infinitesimal.) Even in brainstorming the definition of the problem, if available, serves as some rough and flexible constraint. While strict criticism might be limiting, there is an innate ‘criticism’ of perhaps all thought (the spatiotemporal character of iconic thought, the grammar of thought in language and more) that provides a guide that allows freedom but not too much freedom so that the location on the freedom-constraint continuum is somewhere in the range of optimum (the intuition is also built up from experience and based on a foundation of ability.) Other elements of discovery have been mentioned: openness to experience, the accumulation of a range of ideas that may serve as analogs for or elements of an emerging system. These various elements of discovery include the interaction of ideas, criticism, creation, and adjustment. I have labeled the process as (a generalized) reflexivity or dialectic of ideas and experience

Evaluation—criticism and creation

Evaluation. It may be pertinent to ask which is more important: creation or criticism. The first observations that may be made are that both are essential and that there are phases that emphasize creation (discovery) and others that emphasize criticism (discovery.) There is a ‘model’ in which the phases or ‘contexts’ of discovery and justification are separable and separate (the terms ‘context of discovery’ and ‘context of justification’ are due to Hans Reichenbach.) It appears that in the general case, there is no complete separation but that there may and perhaps should be shifting emphasis that is a dynamic and intelligent response to the state of the context

The remainder of the chapter emphasizes the developments in transformation

Transformation of being and identity—method

Dynamics of being

The Dynamics of being is an approach to effective transformation. It is the result of immersion in the transformation process, learning—incremental and other—in light of the Universal metaphysics and disciplinary studies (Worlds)

The dynamics

Dynamics of being is an approach to transformation in which, with bases in the foregoing—especially the actualities revealed by the fundamental principle. The following are iterated (1) experiments are conceived and acted upon, (2) outcomes are interpreted and enhanced experiments in transformation are conceived. The Normal is not fixed and Normal possibilities and feasibilities stand relative to our knowledge and are therefore subject to transformation in the iterative process described

The intent includes but is not limited to incremental negotiation of normal limits. The dynamics parallels in being the processes of discovery and justification in knowledge

A consideration—undertaken in the spirit of process, investigation, and journey and in interaction with others and world, the dynamics may parallel a dialectic

Basis in the Universal metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics reveals that there are no limits to individual realization. This implies that except what is Logically impossible, what may be normally considered to be impossible is at least highly improbable—i.e., our traditional systems of knowledge provide no explicit way to transcend the normally impossible (that is inherent in the notion of the normally impossible.) Further, the metaphysics itself does not show a way to transcendence

Essential aspects of the dynamics of being

Negotiating the feasible, i.e. knowledge and experiment are instrumental in determining what is feasible

Exploring what is desirable… even if there is an objective ethics, its realization may depend on kind and state of being and, further, knowledge and interpretation of it may change

Incremental andor large scale—saltational—change

Exploring the means of change—physical, psychological, social, technological

On the nature of the Object

Pure metaphysics concerns perfectly faithful but typically indirect knowledge: in general there may be partial implicit faithfulness

The general Object is a dual construct of mind and world. However there is arbitrariness to the divide between knower and known

It is a thought that this dual may be transcended in the Enhanced states of awareness and modes of transformation described below

Deployment of the dynamics

The dynamics provides a framework and the following sections provide elements for realization

The enhanced states are states of heightened receptivity to and action in the light of inner and external data (including the less than conscious and active creation of idea and its further body extension as transformation)

The history of transformation is a brief review of ideas and ways of transformation or that may be instrumental in transformation. Traditions of East and West to the present day are included. These traditions may be deployed as they are; they may also provide enhancement and elaboration of the dynamics and further data on enhanced states and catalytic activities

The dynamics provides a framework for the experimental use and development of catalytic states in which

Enhanced states of awareness and modes of transformation

The original title was ‘Catalytic states…’

These are states of physiological and psychic sensitivity, receptivity, readiness, and enhanced psychic ability; and, in combination with psychic ability, states of enhanced physiological and motor ability such as artistic performance, reaction time, and motor ability… and are not restricted to any compartment of mind or physiology. Interest is in heightened and psychotic states rather than obtunded states

Types of state

Types of state include dream (and hypnagogic: wake-to-sleep, hypnopompic: sleep-to-wake;) hypnotic or waking states of focused attention, heightened suggestibility, and diminished peripheral awareness; heightened perception to self, unconscious, and world; enhance motor states; heightened emotive, empathic, and cognitive states—the later include enhanced imagery and thought; and psychotic-like and manic-like states. Catalysis of these states includes focusing dreams and so on and integration in awareness; cultivation over time; developing sensitivity to and cultivation of opportunity and idiosyncrasy

Brain activity. It is primitive to list only the frequency of brain electrochemical activity; this is prefatory to further study; it may be useful. Known rhythms are: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. In that sequence, the rhythms go from high to low frequency, low to high amplitude, and are associated with states of arousal from highest to lowest. Beta waves are characteristic of a strongly aroused mind. Alpha waves are typical of non-arousal in reflection or meditation. Theta waves are characteristic of daydreaming; and, for example, of monotonous freeway driving (whereas, in unfamiliar places or in unsafe driving conditions, a driver would be in beta.) In Theta activity, e.g. in daydreaming, in the mental relaxation of running, or in transition between sleep and wake, there is often a flow of ideas—sometimes creative.

In the Delta state, 1.5—4 cps, the individual is usually asleep. The lowest frequencies, typically 2 to 3 cps, correspond to deep dreamless sleep. In active dreaming, which is experiential dreaming, frequencies rise to theta; this corresponds to rapid eye movement

Approaches

A collection—isolation of the psyche (‘and’ body,) as in suspension of judgment e.g. in cognitive flow, sensory deprivation, isolation tank, shamanic circle, meditation and contemplation; exposure to and intuitive integration of archetypes through dream-symbol-Art-myth-Faith… as in kinds of therapy, religious and mystic process; and induction of states; self-induction as in the isolations above; induction by other as in therapy, hypnosis, and shamanic and equivalent induction; group induction as in shared vision, group trance in ritual; lucid dreaming level 1: awareness of dreaming and level 2: control of dreaming including wake-initiated dreaming

Grounding in the real—sacrifice and commitment to a higher end

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: general

In the following there is some repetition of Approaches above

Enhancing or inducing factors—purposive and volitional, imposed, or accidental—physical and psychic isolations and deprivations; physiological alterations from exposure, shock or trauma, pain, presence, fear, crisis and crisis sense, anxiety, exertion and exhaustion, marching and dance and other physical rhythm and repetition, vocal and psychic repetition and withdrawal as in meditation including meditative and other yogas and Sufism, cognitive absorption as in Gnâna yoga; fever, oxygen deprivation, nitrogen narcosis, and temporal lobe epilepsy; inaction including mystic negation of self and immediate world; fasting, diet, neurotechnology, and drug use; and extremes in environment

Neurotechnology—examples: psychoacoustics, binaural beats, light and sound stimulation, cranial electrotherapy stimulation, magnetic pulse stimulation of the left front temporal lobe of the brain… these methods may induce specific brainwave patterns, and particular altered states of consciousness

 

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: drug use

Plants

Drug use—one possibility for experiments in transformation, is the use of hallucinogenic plant and related synthetic chemicals. I have not decided to engage in such experiment; I think it may be a useful step but also believe that the best experiment will proceed with out it; however, I do not rule its importance and I have not ruled out the possibility of such experiment. For completeness, a study of hallucinogenic and other drug use should be included; a general interest in plants includes medicinal and, of course, food, drink, and general material culture: building, transportation…

Drug use summary—hallucinogens: as cannabis—a weak and generally non-visual hallucinogen; hallucinogens affecting vision / motor sensation psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca, datura, Banisteriopsis caapi (DMT,) and salvia; and synthetic hallucinogens including LSD

A classification of psychoactive chemicals—“Basing his classification of psychoactive drugs on the older arrangement of Louis Lewin of 1924, Hoffman divides them into analgesics and euphorics (Opium, Coca,) sedatives and tranquilizers (Reserpine,) hypnotics (Kava-kava,) and hallucinogens or psychomimetics (Peyote, Marihuana etc.) (Schultes and Hoffman)

Fourteen major hallucinogenic plants, in précis form, from Schultes and Hoffman, with supplements from Wikipedia

Amanita mascara. Plant—mushroom ‘Fly Agaric.’ Chemical—the alkaloid muscimole. Ethnography—shamans in North America and Siberia, thought to be the Soma of the Vedas. Use—effect of muscimole is said to be comparable to lucid dreaming rather than intense hallucination. Psychoactive dose 10-15mg ‘for the normal person,’ similar to zolpidem (Ambien) and other GABAERGIC drugs in their hallucinatory ‘side’ effects. Death due to amanita mascara is a danger even though rare; other members of the Amanita genus are among the most toxic mushrooms

The nightshade family. Plant—Henbane, Hyoscyamus niger; Belladonna, Atropa belladonna; and Mandrake, Mandragora officinarum… Chemical—contain tropane alkaloids, including scopolamine and hysosciamine (atropine is derived from belladonna.) Ethnography—associated with European Witchcraft. Use—medicinal uses, causes hallucinations, delirium, and death in higher doses

Cannabis. Plant—genus that includes three species, C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis, indigenous to Central and South Asia; source of cannabinoids. Chemical—different cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol is the main ingredient. Ethnography—“It is perhaps in the Himalayas of India and the Tibetan Plateau that Cannabis preparations assumed their greatest hallucinogenic importance in religious contexts. Usedepends on proportion of different cannabinoids with sativa producing a ‘high’ and indica a ‘stoned’ feeling. Appetite stimulant, sensory enhancement, relaxant, reflective, meta-cognitive effects; effects may include anxiety, paranoia, and catatonia

Claviceps. Plant—Ergot is a group of fungi of genus Claviceps. Chemical—alkaloids including ergotamine, that cause ergotism—long term poisoning—in humans and other mammals. Ethnography—“Long a medicine in medieval Europe, Ergot frequently caused mass poisonings with attendant hallucinatory attacks—an inadvertent effect of fungal growth on cereals, especially rye; ancient Greece. Use—“The purposeful hallucinogenic use of the fungus seems to have been restricted to ancient Greece, where it may have been associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries

Datura. Plant—Solanaceae. Chemical—the same major alkaloids as the solanaceous plants of the nightshade family as well as secondary alkaloids. Ethnography—Indigenous to Central and North America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Use—A along history of medicinal and sacred hallucinatory use in the Old World, enjoyed ceremonial significance in the New word, especially in Mexico and the American Southwest. “Their undoubted danger as potent narcotics has never been challenged even from the earliest times

Tabernanthe iboga. Plant—“Iboga, a perennial rainforest shrub and hallucinogen, native to western Central Africa.” Chemical—ibogaine, the active alkaloid. The active alkaloid is also found in voacanga africana. Ethnography and use—iboga stimulates the central nervous system in small doses and induces visions in larger doses. In parts of Africa where the plant grows the bark of the root is chewed for various pharmacological or ritualistic purposes. Ibogaine is also used to treat substance abuse disorders.

Anadenanthera. Plant and ethnography—“A genus of South American trees in the Legume family, Fabaceae. The genus contains two to four species, including A. colubrina and A. peregrina. Chemical—bufotenine. Use—these trees respectively are known to the western world primarily as sources of the hallucinogenic snuffs Vilca / Cebil and Yopo / Cohoba

Banisteriopsis caapi. Plant—“Also known as Ayahuasca, Caapi or Yage, is a South American jungle vine of the family Malpighiaceae.” Chemical—contains the beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine. The MAOIs in B. caapi allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT (which is introduced from the other primary ingredient in Ayahausca, the Psychotria viridis plant), to be orally active. The stems contain 0.11-0.83% beta-carbolines, with harmine and tetrahydroharmine as the major components. Ethnography and use—to prepare Ayahuasca, a decoction that has a long history of entheogenic uses as a medicine and “plant teacher” among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Rainforest.

Brugmansia. Plants and ethnography—“A genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil. They are known as Angel’s Trumpets, sharing that name with the closely related genus Datura. Brugmansia are long-lived, woody trees or bushes, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit. Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit. “Brugmansia arborea. Andes—Ecuador to northern Chile. “Brugmansia aurea. Andes—Colombia to Ecuador. “Brugmansia insignis. Lower mountain zone of Eastern Peru. “Brugmansia sanguinea. Andes—Colombia to Peru and Bolivia. “Brugmansia suaveolens. Southeast Brazil west to Bolivia and Peru. “Brugmansia versicolor. Ecuador. “Brugmansia vulcanicola. Andes—Colombia to Ecuador. “These species are divided into two natural, genetically isolated groups.Brugmansia section Brugmansia includes the species aurea, insignis, sauveolens, and versicolor; and is causually referred to as the warm-growing group. B. section Sphaerocarpium includes the species arborea, sanguinea, and vulcanicola; and is casually referred to as the cold-growing group. Use, toxixity, and further ethnography—“All parts of Brugmansia plants contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans or animals, including livestock and pets. Contact with the eyes can cause pupil diliation (mydriasis) or unequal pupil size (anisocoria). Some municipalities prohibit the purchase, sale, or cultivation of Brugmansia plants. Uses. “As with Datura, all parts of Brugmansia are highly toxic. The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal. “Ritualized Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of the shamanic complexes noted among many Indigenous peoples of western Amazonia, such as the Jivaroan speaking peoples. Likewise, it is a central component in the cosmology and shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru

Lophophora williamsii. Plant and ethnography—“Lophophora williamsii, commonly Peyote, (from the Nahuatl word peyotl), is a small, spineless cactus. It is native to southwestern Texas and through central Mexico. It is found primarily in the Chihuahuan desert and in the states of Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi among scrub, especially where there is limestone. Chemical—psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. Ethnography—world wide as an entheogen, and supplement to various transcendence practices, including meditation, psychonautics, and psychedelic psychotherapy. Peyote has a long history of ritual religious and medicinal use by indigenous Americans. It flowers from March through May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers (like Opuntia.) Use—“The effective dose for mescaline is 200–500mg, equivalent to about 5g of dried peyote. The effects last about 10 to 12 hours. When combined with appropriate set and setting, peyote is reported to trigger states of deep introspection and insight that have been described as being of a metaphysical or spiritual nature. At times, these can be accompanied by rich visual or auditory effects (see synesthesia)

Three plants—Psilocybe, Panaeolus, Conocybe. (1) Psilocybe. Plant—a genus of small mushrooms growing worldwide. Chemical—Psilocin and psilocybin. Ethnography—Known as Teonanacatl to the Aztecs, widely known as “magic mushrooms.” Use—hallucinogen. (2) Panaeolus. Plant—“A genus of small, black-spored, saprotrophic agarics. (3) Conocybe. Plant—“A genus of mushrooms consisting of Conocybe tenera and at least 243 other species, with at least 50 species in North America. Chemical—“Four species of Conocybe that are known to contain psilocin and psilocybin are Conocybe kuehneriana, Conocybe siligineoides, Conocybe cyanopus, and Conocybe smithii. UseConocybe siligineoides was used for shamanic purposes by the Mazatecs of Oaxaca.

Echinopsis lageniformis—“Cactus of the four winds.” Plant and ethnography—“(Syn. Trichocereus bridgesii) is a fast-growing columnar cactus from the high deserts of Bolivia. Among the indigenous populations of Bolivia, it is sometimes called achuma or wachuma, although these names are also applied to related species such as Echinopsis pachanoi which are also used for their psychedelic effects. “The report of a Trichocereus cactus called “The Cactus of the Four Winds”, a cactus with four ribs, which is purportedly extremely entheogenically potent; this has been called into question… Chemical—“Chemistry. The plant contains a number of psychoactive alkaloids, in particular the well-studied chemical mescaline, which it may contain at levels higher than those of the San Pedro cactus. Use—“As with related species, it seems to have long shamanic tradition of use throughout its native habitat. Chemical analysis of some variants of this species have shown it may include some of the most potent of the psychedelic Trichocereus species, although this is not conclusive nor does it apply to all strains of the species. Outside of its native habitat, it is one of the least known and used of the Trichocereus cacti for either its psychoactive or ornamental uses. This is not true in areas where it is the dominant species, for example, the La Paz area of Bolivia

Two plants—Ipomoea and Turbina. (1) Ipomoea. Plant—“The genus Ipomean (from the Greek ips ~ ipos, wormweed or bindweed, and homoeos, resembling, referring to the twining habit) is the largest in the family Convolvulaceae, with over 500 species. Most of these are called morning glories, but this can refer to related genera also. Those formerly separated in Calonyction (Greek καλός, kalos, good and νύκτα, nycta, night) are called moonflowers. The genus occurs throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants, lianas, shrubs and small trees; most of the species are twining climbing plants. Chemical—alkaloid. Ethnography and use—“…humans use Ipomoea is due to these plants’ content of medically and psychoactive compounds, mainly alkaloids. Some species are renowned for their properties in folk medicine and herbalism; for example Vera Cruz Jalap (I. jalapa) and Tampico Jalap (I. simulans) are used to produce jalap, a cathartic preparation accelerating the passage of stool. Kiribadu Ala (Giant Potato, I. mauritiana) is one of the many ingredients of chyawanprash, the ancient Ayurvedic tonic called “the elixir of life” for its wide-ranging properties. Pyschoactive use. “Other species were and still are used as a potent entheogen (‘creates god within.’) Seeds of Mexican Morning Glory (tlitliltzin, I. tricolor) were thus used by Aztecs and Zapotecs in shamanistic and priestly divination rituals, and at least by the former also as a poison, to give the victim a “horror trip” (see also Aztec entheogenic complex). Beach Moonflower (I. violacea) was also used thus, and the cultivars called Heavenly Blue Morning Glory, touted today for their psychoactive properties, seem to represent an indeterminable assembly of hybrids of these two species. “As with the sacred mushrooms, the use of hallucinogenic Morning Glories, so significant in the life of pre-Hispanic Mesico, hid in the hinterlands until the present century.” (2) Turbina—also known as Ololiúqui. Plant and ethnography—“Turbina corymbosa (Rivea corymbosa), Christmas vine, is a species of morning glory, native throughout Latin America from Mexico in the North to Peru in the South and widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a perennial climbing vine with white flowers, often planted as an ornamental plant. This plant also occurs in Cuba, where it usually blooms from early December to February. Its flowers secrete copious amount of nectar, and the honey the bees make from it is very clear and aromatic. It is considered one of the main honey plants from the island. Chemical— The seeds contain ergine (LSA), an ergoline alkaloid similar in structure to LSD. Ethnography and use—“ recent report indicates that ‘…Today in almost villages in Oaxaca one finds the seeds still serving the natives as an ever present help in time of trouble.’” “Known to natives of Mexico as Ololiúqui (also spelled ololiuhqui or ololiuqui), its seeds, while little known outside of Mexico, were perhaps the most common hallucinogenic drug used by the natives. “The seeds are also used by Native shamans in order to gain knowledge in curing practices and ritual, as well as the causes for the illness

Virola. Plant and ethnography—“Virola, also known as Epená, is a genus of medium-sized trees native to the South American rainforest and closely related to other Myristicaceae, such as nutmeg. It has glossy, dark green leaves with clusters of tiny yellow flowers and emits a pungent odor. Chemical—“The dark-red resin of the tree bark contains several hallucinogenic alkaloids, most notably 5-MeO-DMT (Virola calophylla), 5-OH-DMT (bufotenine), and also N,N-DMT, perhaps the most powerful members of the dimethyltryptamine family; it also contains beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, MAOIs that greatly potentiate the effects of DMT. Use—The bark resin is prepared and dried by a variety of methods, often including the addition of ash or lime, presumably as basifying agents, and a powder made from the leaves of the small Justicia bush. Ingestion is similar to that of Yopo, consisting of assisted insufflation, with the snuff being blown through a long tube into the nostrils by an assistant. According to Schultes, the use of Virola in magico-religious rituals is restricted to tribes in the Western Amazon Basin and parts of the Orinoco Basin

Psychoactive chemicals from animals

Animals have far fewer available psychoactive chemicals and, correspondingly, use is far less

Toad venom. Family: Bufonidae, genus: Bufo, Species: alvarius. Chemical—bufotenin. Several species of toads produce venom that contains psychoactive chemicals, but only Bufo alvarius venom contains 5-MeO-DMT, and in high enough quantities to smoke directly for effect. The venom of some Bufo species, including B. alvarius, contains trace amounts of bufotenin and some may also contain toxic chemicals. Bufo toad venom is poisonous if eaten. Use—psychedelic. Source: http://www.erowid.org/animals/toads/toads.shtml

Tetrodotoxine. A highly toxic chemical found on the skin and internal organs of, Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish, the puffer fish. Puffer fish are generally believed to be the second–most poisonous vertebrate in the world, after the Golden Poison Frog. Tetrodotoxin is 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide. Puffer's (tetrodotoxin) poisoning deadens the tongue and lips, and induces dizziness and vomiting, followed by numbness and prickling over the body, rapid heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and muscle paralysis. The toxin paralyzes diaphragm muscles and stops the person who has ingested it from breathing. It is not always entirely; at near-lethal doses, it can leave a person in a state of near-death for several days, while the person continues to be conscious: tetrodotoxin has been alleged to be an ingredient in Haitian voodooism and the closest actual manifestation to zombieism in the physical world. People who live longer than 24 hours typically survive, although possibly after a coma lasting several days. Has been used in the treatment of pain, originally in Japan in the 1930’s, and has potential use in some cardiac arrythmias. Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraodontidae and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrodotoxin

Batrachotoxins—source: the Golden Poison Frog. The golden poison frog, said to be the most poisonous animal (except perhaps certain insects that the frog consumes as source of the poison. I do not know of medical or drug use; but I include this animal out of interest since there may be such a use. Golden Poison Frog's skin is drenched in alkaloid poison, one of a number of poisons common to dart frogs (batrachotoxins) which prevents nerves from transmitting impulses, leaving the muscles in an inactive state of contraction. This can lead to heart failure or fibrillation. Alkaloid batrachotoxins can be stored by frogs for years after the frog is deprived of a food-based source, and such toxins do not readily deteriorate, even when transferred to another surface. Chicken and dogs have died from contact with a paper towel on which a frog had walked. The average dose carried will vary between locations, and consequent local diet, but the average wild P. terribilis is generally estimated to contain about one milligram of poison, enough to kill about 10,000 mice. This estimate will vary in turn, but most agree that this dose is enough to kill between 10 and 20 humans, which correlates to up to two African bull elephants. This is roughly 15,000 humans per gram. This extraordinarily lethal poison is very rare. Batrachotoxin is only found in three poisonous frogs of Colombia (genus Phyllobates) and three poisonous birds of Papua New Guinea: Pitohui dichrous, Pitohui kirhocephalus and Ifrita kowaldi. Other related toxins are Histrionicotoxin and Pumiliotoxin, which are found in frog species from the genus Dendrobates. The high toxicity of P. terribilis appears to be due to the consumption of a small insect or other arthropod, which may truly be the most poisonous creature on Earth. P. terribilis is a very important frog to the local indigenous cultures, such as the Choco Emberá people in Colombia's rainforest. The frog is the main source of the poison in the darts used by the natives to hunt their food. The Emberá people carefully expose the frog to the heat of a fire, and the frog exudes small amounts of poisonous fluid. The tips of arrows and darts are soaked in the fluid, and keep their deadly effect for over two years. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Poison_Frog

Now some anecdotal information from: Information About Animals Used As Drugs (http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/var004.htm)

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: sacred places, ritual, texts

Sacred places

If the religious is focus on truth and being without restriction; the sacred is that which conduces to the religious

Sacred places have a transformational nature in being conducive to states of receptivity and engagement with the world. Immersion in such places may be transformational. There is no single kind of sacred place; however, a sacred place is not of another world but of this world—a place that, along with practices of this world, show this world in a new light. Sacred places include churches, temples and monasteries. The world of nature may function as sacred; and immersion may be meditative in function

Ritual

A ritual that is complementary to the inner-outer transformation of nature and its transformational character is the embrace of the place where I live—its ugliness (which is no doubt a partial function of perception) and its beauty. Chöd—my idea is seeing eros in death and death in eros; liberation by acceptance: for fear, death, revulsion…

Sacred texts

Sacred texts show—though not by literal content alone—ways that others have found and may be suggestive

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: sensitivity

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

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: charismatic transformation

Charisma is a quality of leadership, a quality of a person that moves others to think and act and give allegiance (primarily to the person and secondarily to a goal or cause.) It seems that charisma is characteristic of certain personalities. The question of charismatic transformation is How may a given individual enhance / maximize charisma? Some thoughts: (1) Taking a risk—i.e. putting oneself and one’s ideas and goals in front of others; doing this regardless of external (environmental, economic, social) and internal (cognitive and emotional quality and acuity.) (2) Doing this repeatedly—which results in improvement, reaching a greater audience, and also appeals to the simple fact that people tend to believe what is repeated (five repetitions is said to be sufficient) even if by the same person. (3) Practicing what to say… and saying it for practice. (4) Insight into individual motivation and reward; insight into the real purpose of men and women; and, perhaps, seeing from their perspective. (5) Psychic energy

Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic factors: savant states

Savant ability is a markedly pronounced proficiency, generally in a narrow area of ability and typically though not invariably associated with autistic or developmentally delayed individuals. Abilities have been seen in eidetic and prodigious recall, arithmetic, prime number recognition and generation, art and sculpture, music, literature, carpentry, empathy with animals…

A prodigious savant has a skill level would qualify him or her as a prodigy, or exceptional talent, even in the absence of a cognitive disability

The mechanism is not generally understood but hypotheses that have been entertained include (1) compensation for deficiency and (2) liberation of common potential—e.g. due to lack of psychic restraints or restraints of enculturation. These mechanisms are not the only possibilities, a third is that when savant-like talent is simply an example of an uncommon ability that occurs, randomly distributed, in the general population without regard to impairment. That the abilities are generally very narrow stands against but does not disprove this explanation. Alternate explanations are compensation-liberation and randomness;

Savant-like skills have been temporarily stimulated in neurotypical individuals by directing low-frequency magnetic pulses at the left front temporal lobe of the brain (perhaps activating a region that allows direct processing, e.g. rapid counting.) This suggests that the second explanation above is one explanation though not necessarily the explanation. perhaps the general savant case represents all modes of explanation—in some combination

Experiments suggest the thought that all persons have un-liberated and savant-like abilities locked in by normal development—e.g., needs for survival—biological and cultural (Explaining and inducing savant skills, Allan Snyder, Trans Royal Society, B, © Royal Society, 2009.)—but may be liberated in exceptional circumstance by the same needs. There is suggestive evidence that ‘normal’ individuals are capable of savant development. Much of this evidence concerns accidents such as stroke which debilitates a part of the brain and may so free another part

History of transformation—appendix to Enhanced states…

This section is a brief review of some classic modes that have transformation as a goal or may be used toward that goal. These may provide enhancement and elaboration of the dynamics and further data on catalytic states

Aims of a study of history of transformation

1.      To review traditional ideas for use in transformation

2.      To provide foundation for a synthesis of the variety of approaches. This goal is further taken up in Basis and theory of transformation

Shamanism and 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. Black Elk, Mircae Eliade, Weston La Barre, Richard K. Nelson—Make Prayers to the Raven—1983, Hugh Brody—The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World—2000, Joseph Campbell—Primitive Mythology: The Masks of God—1959, Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hoffman—Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers—1992, …

Indian systems

Veda and Upanishad; Bhagavad-Gita and its four yogic systems—Raja, Gñana, Karma, Bhakti yoga; Samkhya, Yoga; Vedanta; Buddhism—reflection on the noble truths and experiments with the eight fold way

Western systems

Greek ideal; mystics and saints; the spiritual traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Freudian and other conceptualizations of growth—deterministic and indeterministic

Deployment of the dynamic

The structure of the dynamic may be inferred from the indeterministic-selective character of the process. The process includes many other ‘methods’

Common elements emerge from examples as follows:

Desire for andor awareness of immersion in change with or without an informed goal

Experiment and evaluation of outcome—modification andor enhancement of knowledge of limits, means and goals

The process and context are now experienced as dynamic and changing

The dynamics itself becomes or is seen as dynamic (meta-dynamics) and is integrated into intuition—what is latent becomes actual, reflexivity enters awareness as an explicit tool—and is applied to being itself which includes individual, identity, and world

Illustrations Of The Dynamic

The following illustrations of the dynamic from my experience are chosen as examples rather than for intrinsic significance. In some cases I cultivated an activity and later recognized it as an illustration and perhaps capable of further refinement in interaction with the dynamic. In other cases, I specifically sought application of the dynamics—perhaps as a result of the suggestive power of the Universal metaphysics

Ideas

1.            The dynamic of ideas, derived from (a) The Universal metaphysics and (b) experience—discussed in Part III Method > Elements of method

Identity or being-as-being

Identity and Personality

2.            Dynamics of identity. This is a program rather than an outcome and it derives from the forms of the fundamental principle and some recent thoughts on the preservation of identity. Vedanta may have some useful ideas

3.            The elements of an individual life and relation to the universal—and their integration. Being: nature, society, mind and the universal; process: action, dynamics, evolution; relationship: caring, meaning, persuasion (charisma,) and force. The phases and issues of a life. Experience, learning and substance at various levels

4.            Personality dynamics. The crux—a fixity and freedom in patterns of feeling and behavior in relation to self, world and others. Perception and attachment-detachment; risk; the catalysts and traditions may be important

Relationship and charisma

5.            Interpersonal dynamics and its reflexive evolution. Charisma and: self–observation and awareness; transformation of interpersonal situations via intention and relinquishing intention while being in the present (mind and no-mind; planning or visualizing specific and generic situations; practice and no-planning-openness.) Experiences in conflict situations, e.g. those arising in a psychiatric ward. Every situation as charismatic—nature, social, psychic and universal; including interpersonal relations—formal, friends, family, and love. Deep in interaction with others—for exploration; shared projects; boundary and permeability

6.            Appearance and influence

7.            Dynamics of relationships. Love, society, influence…continuation of the previous item

8.            Dynamics and evolution of shared projects

Dynamics of mind and (self) awareness

9.            Perceptual dynamics in relation to the real and their development form an example. E.g. for Brahman, eternity is an instant

10.        Dynamics of experience, attitude and action

11.        Integration of reality and perception dynamics in relation to yoga, shamanism, the ideas of Freud and Jung. Faith as an element of dual trust in intuition and being

12.        Dynamics of cognition, action, evolution and growth. Dynamics of time

13.        Reality and perception dynamics as dynamic elements. Dynamics of limits and laws

14.        Immersion in new environments, worlds, cultures, nature

15.        Integration of the mental functions—and dynamics of the individual functions and their perception

As an example consider anger. Anger may be confused with heat—where heat may be dysfunctional, anger may be functional. By introspection, the at first unperceived moment of heat may be seen; and by waiting, the instant may, via stretching of psychological time, become dynamic. Then, choice is created: rage, heat, and sustained anger; the latter may be productive; flexibility emerges from rigidity: an interaction of mind and no-mind

16.        Dynamics of real choice and real action. E.g. dynamics of anger, dynamics of loss and death. …relation to self–observation

17.        The unconscious–conscious and universe–self processes. Dynamics of the entity; what is the entity the individual calls ‘myself?’ Identity!

18.        The dynamics in relation to threat, physical and interpersonal interaction in extreme circumstances: response to momentum and pace, mind and no–mind, scanning…

19.        Dynamics of creative acts and activity: concept and idea and understanding, art… other creative endeavors. (1) Journey and its aspects, (2) Music and art. Two theories of the ‘savant’ phenomenon: compensation via enhanced development of potential versus selection of already present ability that is perhaps suppressed by some mechanism (e.g. enculturation)

Body, healing and medicine

20.        Development of body kinetics. This development starts at or before birth; it is natural; and may be cultivated dynamically

21.        Body awareness and healing. Developing self-awareness in states of illness and response to experiment with treatment; seeking common treatment—diet, rest, sleep, warmth and others; seeing connections even if correlative rather than causal; repetition to assist in distinguishing the causal from the merely correlative; role of self-and other hypnosis (bedside manner.) Cultivation of modalities offered by modern medicine and EMDR, heart coherence, light therapy, exercise, Qi, emotional / heart communication, effect of love-family-person-community, importance of meaning or significance, variety and unity or identity and Identity

22.        Nutrition and health. The five foods of healthy tradition (grains, pulses, cooked vegetables, raw vegetables and fruit, and the ‘B12 group’ in small amounts flesh / wine / yogurt / fermented products. Creativity, inspiration, and practice of taste

Discovery and development of the dynamics

23.        Discovery and development of the dynamics—implicit in the examples and in the notion of the dynamics

Design—a minimal system of experiments or transformations

A minimal system is a minimal set of experiments that aim at the ultimate. A generic approach lies in the phases of ideas and transformation below; a more specific way is that of the section Assessment: the way ahead

Ideas

Review Part I: Ideas for suggestions and problems for study; see Investigation in the modes and means of transformation (sub-section Ideas). Review the literature on significant ideas from the narrative—especially concerning intuition, metaphysics, objects, cosmology, the disciplines and religion…

Goals for the development of the ideas are (1) strengthening the core argument, (2) application to disciplines and endeavors, (3) supporting the transformations

Transformation of being

A minimal system—transformation of being and identity

Review ideas for transformation—Metaphysics, Dynamics of being, Catalytic states and modes of transformation, History of transformation, Illustrations of the dynamic, Assessment: the way ahead. Social transformation is significant as enhancing means

Design specific experiments emphasizing what can be done immediately—meditation, transformation through practice of thought, concentration, physical activity, mind, and savant states… combine with tradition. Refer to Being-as-being below for ideas for specific experiments; emphasize wilderness living and travel, use of Catalytic states and modes of transformation

Assessment: the way ahead

Ideas—success so far is conceptual; emphasize perception; application to and learning from the disciplines, e.g. the physical sciences

Personality and charisma. Success in use of energy to development of ideas and overcoming fear and ‘defense’—continue perception and trial in this area. Social influence is weak… seek this for ideas; in all social settings—self-analysis and needs, plans, and risk; general action: moral design for influence; cultivation of charisma; sharing; risk—action for influence—and dynamics; shared formal commitment perhaps in a group or institutional setting, existing or separately established toward developing and acting on the designs and plans

Mental function and healing. Use awareness of ‘defense’ to deploy psychic energy toward ideals and goals

From the present to the universal. Foundations lie in the foregoing points, especially understanding of the present and the ultimate. These doors to the ultimate have been recognized: being-in-the-ultimate, being-in-knowledge-of-the-ultimate, death, and construction—the arching-journey. The way ahead: be-in-the-present, see and explore unseen paths, undertake the arching-journey

Pure being

Refer sections History, and Pure being, of chapter Being

Secondary phases

Society and Machine—assess what’s done so far

Society and culture

Social transformation is a phase of transformation of being. ‘Society and charisma’ refers to using the agency of (my) person to influence attitudes, choices, programs of action and development, and social change (transformation of institutions)

Organic and material being

Concepts, theory, design, for transformation matter-organism manifest to living and psychic forms. Implementation

Narratives and narrative form

Experiments in presentational form

A program of development with sources

The primary purpose in this section is to lay out a program of development of background and foundational material for the Ideas and Transformations. This goal supplements the design of the previous section

A second purpose lies in an extension of the program to include other developments, general and specific, that are not part of the designed system but are consequences of or suggested by developments of the narrative. Since peripheral developments may become or suggest primary ones, this purpose is not distinct from the primary objective of the section

A third goal, again not entirely distinct from the main purpose, is to list and cultivate sources and kinds of source materials. These will include sources that I identify as having influenced my thought as well as those that I estimate may provide influence and inspiration in the future. For all topics, I list either sources or kinds of sources

The program of development for a topic will usually include (a) plans for development—study, investigation, experiment in transformation… and may include (b) further development of sources and kinds of sources

General

Thought as a source

I mean using thought to develop ideas (perception and experience are implied.) Thought is meant generally; it includes symbol and icon; it includes reason and concept identification and formation; and it is included under reason, specific mention must be made of imagination; it includes feeling and emotion whose function include guide and binding to (human) interest; no particular element of thought is regarded as determining

Discussion and sources…proposition—symbolic-linguistic-analytic—includes logic and mathematics, imagination and criticism

For development—as suggested in Chapter Method, especially under the topics justification, creation, creation of conceptual systems, and reflexivity. Seek and learn from sources on method in general

Human knowledge

Discussion and sources—the traditions—I have read and reflected on these extensively and here and there may have made some informal advance or contribution (as distinct from the ideas formalized in this narrative and other publications.) Most importantly these traditions have contributed by suggestion, analogy, metaphor, their rigor as an example. My thought is so interwoven with specific sources and background culture that I cannot always separate the two. However, in many significant cases I can say with certainty: this is due to a certain author or that is my original idea; and the same is true for the inspiration for ideas

For development I—since I have developed a synoptic vision of the western tradition and since the narrative content is in its final stage, search will be eclectic—according to perceived need and intuition; I will maintain a watch for useful works, ideas, other sources and be directed according to topic, problem, discovery and justification

For development II—I may later return to a program of general reading and absorption. Sources include Possibilities for reading and study and the literature—paper and electronic. In addition to the general watch for sources there are two further interactive lines of development (a) Sources in the general areas of philosophy, the human endeavor, metaphysics, the place-possibilities-and pathways of human being in the Universe, synoptic vision of human knowledge and endeavor… and (b) Further (my) thought in these areas, and the questions of what should or may the important areas be, and the question of how to think (reason,) and act, and enter into the stream of being

Doubt and imagination

Discussion and sources—the tradition—I mention both because each is rather empty without the other. Doubt is essential because it is the mirror of rigor and precision and results in method. Doubt has been practically important because I went for years with the openness that may result from doubt… but not only from doubt: from wanting to know: if I want to know I must know that I know and therefore must doubt. Reflexive doubt is also important: doubting doubt—i.e. (1) not swallowing skepticism but asking what is its significance, (2) not accepting but rather listening to the standard critical theories of why metaphysics etc. are impossible and therefore seeing that the impossibility is only so on certain grounds or in a certain way and therefore may be possible on other grounds or in other ways, (3) therefore, while doubting, also being open to certainty where it shows up, (4) and in not distrusting imagination as a tool but only in requiring that what is suggested in imagination must be shown (this is obvious but there is so much said about what we cannot or should not think that is or turns out to be mere fashion)

For development—reflection, seek out the tradition (e.g. Descartes on doubt, A.N. Whitehead and C.D. Broad on the role and method of imagination) to enhance reflection

Patience

Discussion and sources—waiting for ideas and demonstrations to emerge rather than impatiently asserting or discarding them (this is implicit in the discussion of doubt and imagination.) Includes trying to uncover ideas tacitly asserted or assumed or discarded, e.g. because it is common to do so or because to do so is a part of intuition or because the ideas seem to be obvious or obviously false. Bertrand Russell’s essay In Praise of Idleness (1932) and Henri Poincaré’s reflections on creativity in science and mathematics from The Foundations of Science (1908) are paradigmatic

For development—re-review these and other sources and the general literature on creativity. Cultivate my own practices—continuing to read even though thought may be pressing, continue to think and reflect even when finishing a narrative is pressing… and cultivate the sub or unconscious function, perhaps by interlacing periods of (1) directed thought (2) discussion with others (3) withdrawal including change of environment (4) reflection just before and after sleep (5) placing pertinent materials near where I sleep, in my back-sack (6) have a routine and a place of work… I do not do these activities ritually; I vary place and routine from time to time—this is probably personal; if ideas and writing are going well I may simply remain in the mode of that phase without reflection; when facing some need, I may reflect on what I need to do, think of something that has worked before, something new

The ideas of the narrative

Discussion and sources—in order to understand the sources of the developments it is necessary to see not only external sources the ideas of this narrative are sources, first, in that once demonstrated they provide confidence and, second, in that the core ideas are pivotal in further development, often resolving deep unanswered or paradoxical issues. This discussion is continued in the next item

General development—(1) The entire system is subject to reflexive analysis; every topic is capable of refinement (2) Universal knowledge including the special case of the identity self and Universe, through analysis, perception, and experiments in realization

Method

Discussion and sources—in developing ideas, one frequently confronts questions such as What am I doing? How am, may, or should I do this? The ‘what’ questions are questions of content, the ‘how’ are questions of method. Since ‘how’ concerns the activity of discovery and justification, it is the ‘what’ of that activity: method is a kind of content. Although we often think of method as received, this formal consideration suggests interactive development. There are also practical reasons for method to not be invariably be regarded as received and to expect interaction; reflect that in the beginning of human and animal thought there was neither content nor method. There are more immediate reasons. One may deploy formal and already developed methods but it is often the case that ‘imported’ methods are not adequate. One then enters into informal consideration of ‘how’ and in doing so further methodological considerations arise which may be resolved and also formalized. It is seen that method and content arise together, that new content ever has the potential to be further consideration for method: to rethink method, to develop new aspects. The process has an informal side as well as a formal one in which the informal becomes relatively well established and may be formulated. However, the informal give and take between method and content on the boundary of the known and the unknown does not end until an end is established in some direction. I discovered this in my thought but then noticed that this is precisely what other thinkers have done (it is especially marked, not at the beginning but after the beginning of philosophy: the thought of Thales, who is at least by convention the first Greek philosopher, is not markedly self-conscious in concern with method—but, of course, in breaking with mythological explanation and seeking explanation in this world (water: with the virtues of being common and life giving and perhaps of simplicity) Thales is implicitly concerned in method. Soon, the early Greek philosophers are consciously concerned with ‘how;’ and method reaches a zenith with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Thus while established method and content are sources, the dialectic of method, content, world, and dialectician continues at formal and informal levels; a variety of methodical considerations are established in this work that are at first and intuitive and informal but then, in part, relying on the Universal metaphysics become more formal and more secure; we may say that the emergence is that of a dialectic helix with positive self reinforcement (feedback.) We may say therefore that the core formal ideas of the narrative are the system of considerations of method in interaction with the core of the metaphysics, i.e. the core constitutes a dialectic which has not ended in the direction of breadth and perhaps cannot end in that direction even though some finality of depth has been achieved (I emphasize that these are the formal core ideas because the persons—myself and others, motivations, aims, and transformations also enter into the give and take.) How does method become established? How can necessity be shown regarding method? When possible it is achieved by going to another level and showing necessity as in the case of the necessary objects which establishes necessity with regard to depth but openness in breadth or variety. Since this brings into question the next level, it is commonly held that there can be no final foundation. At least, however, there can be some foundation that there is a world requires no foundation but it is not mere tautology that is true in virtue of its meaning. One aspect of the method of the Universal metaphysics is the search for—Universal rather than trivial—givens which are found in the necessary Objects and are empirical in being the necessary objects of both world and experience. When method and content become established they may be written in discursive mode; until that time there is a dialectic which, in the present development is reflected by innumerable revisions of content, articulation, and method as well as numerous side excursions

For development—sources on method: kinds, origins, authors, approaches… Criticism, development and articulation of my thought so far

History

Discussion and sources—primary interest is in a history of human experience. The literature in philosophy has been useful to this narrative—some of the specific ideas but also the nature of the enterprise. An appreciation of the history of philosophy provides a number of perspectives. First, since there is in general no absolute foundation to ideas, the dialectic of ideas is useful as informative and as an approach. Second, while a particular system may be seen to have lacks, it may have a place in a sequence of development whose outcome is immensely useful. Although Thales idea that water is the stuff of the world is not particularly useful the thought to seek an explanation in the world rather than in the supernatural is a leap which may be seen as a precursor to science. Still, though, the prior mythic thought is also significant in humanistic ways but also as an early attempt at explanation. So, interest is in a history of thought and not merely of philosophy or other discipline. Again, emotion and thought are mutually conditioning and not altogether separate in nature. Interest expands to all experience which shows, among other things, the great foci of the human endeavor and their interaction. Socrates, for example, was relatively uninterested in metaphysical concerns; for him human being was the measure of our essential interest. But where does person stop and Universe begin? From science and common sense we may think we know but the Universal metaphysics has shown that the putative boundaries of the person are far from the actual. Therefore, Kant’s great and interrelated questions—What may I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope? The first is dually epistemological and metaphysical; the second is practical and ethical—the practical, including the scientific, may show or direct toward what is immediately possible and the ethical concerns choice; and the final concerns human nature, the nature of the Universe and their relation

For development—the issue at hand is the general framework of conduct; the agenda is development of sources and of the framework

Intuition

Knowledge

Discussion and sources—replica view: concept as map, skepticism, adaptation, the nature of the map and the concept of faithfulness, skepticism does not imply absence of faithfulness only that we cannot assume perfect faithfulness in absence of demonstration. The ideas of Plato (justified true belief) and Gettier have been suggestive even though I accept neither the justified true belief notion nor Gettier’s ‘demonstration’ of its inadequacy

Meaning

Discussion and sources—Wittgenstein and use; word, concept and object; liar paradox written as “this sentence has a truth value and the truth value is ‘true’” and the 10th planet paradox as sources of the necessity of reference and no non-reference for meaning

Concept

Discussion and sources—analytic philosophy

Intuition

Discussion and sources—Kant, Schopenhauer; deploying the Kant-Schopenhauer idea of intuition as a framework: extension to all knowledge—against essentialism in knowledge

Object

Discussion and sources—the concept is not the object; search for the given—necessary and practical; finding the given via abstraction; by foregoing a priori essentialism we find it where it is

Intuition and knowledge for development

The following reviews a line of development of the narrative. The goal for development is to refine it

Especially important is the place and use of anti-essentialism. Reflexively, essentialism is allowed on two counts (1) When it encourages development; and here it may be finally rejected (2) When the essential emerges—and then it is necessary to show in what direction, to demonstrate it, and to show whether it is absolute or relative. It is important that the elimination of essentialism should be symmetric in the following sense. Given that the concept is not the object, we cannot conclude from this fact that there is any meaning to or fact of faithfulness. However—this is the symmetry—we cannot and should not conclude from this fact that there is not or cannot be any meaning or fact to faithfulness—and this is because there may be ways to give meaning and show the fact of faithfulness (and this will probably be on a case by case or class basis.) From adaptation we can conclude some net implicit faithfulness; but we will not know what that faithfulness is from the fact of adaptation. Can we ever conclude a meaning to faithfulness and, correspondingly, perfect faithfulness? A first meaning of faithfulness is that the concept is a perfect or imperfect replica of the object. Obviously, we have no basis for that claim without analysis. How is it that the concept might, in principle, replicate the object? The concept is some complex of brain state and process; but this may have no direct geometrical or process congruence or similarity to the object. What, then, is the source of the idea of the replica notion? It is perhaps in the similarity between concepts: e.g. a percept of the mountain Annapurna today to the percept tomorrow, or the percept on some day to a photograph or a recall. If, then, there is replication, the concept will probably not be a simple geometrical replica but will involve, perhaps, some complex transformation. If this puts ‘replication’ beyond reasonable hope then consider the process of abstraction. Consider, for example, the Universe as all-being-without-reference-to-detail: this we know perfectly without having to know the details of replication (direct or via transformation.) We then come to complex concepts—e.g., facts: Rain is falling… The apple is green… The abstraction of words permits a limited but perfect faithfulness. Grammar encapsulates certain structures; grammars tend to be over-determined with regard to fact; in some languages the article ‘the’ is not present and the word order for the example concerning the apple is ‘Apple green is.’ These distinctions may be arbitrary but may determine or be determined by ways of seeing and by what is considered important (doing versus being…) The notion of logic is not innate to being-as-being but arises when we use pictorial or symbolic-linguistic imagination to depict the world. Such depictions may be wrong (1) Factually—they are not depictions of actual states of affairs, (2) Behaviorally—they cannot be depictions of states of affairs in this world because they violate its patterns of behavior (physical and so on) and (3) Logically—it is inherent in the suggested depiction that it cannot depict any state of affairs in any world. Note that we are not stuck with the subject-predicate form which some mathematics and some linguistic forms avoid or transcend. However, even with regard to grammar and logic we do not know that we have perfect universal depiction even though in some (simple) cases it may appear that we do. What can we say of the Universal case? The process is familiar to those who have read so far: we retract into intuition; we use abstraction; we see where this will get us; there is no approximation in the process for we do not say nothing but intuition; all we ask is Where will or may this get us? It turns out that we are right to not make claims at outset or even after the clarification of practical faithfulness, and the perfect faithfulness of certain abstracted objects of intuition. Waiting until the developments of Metaphysics and Objects (and to a lesser degree of Cosmology and Worlds) provides a rich reward…

Metaphysics

History of metaphysics

Discussion and sources—Plato, Aristotle, Hegel and Idealism, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, Analytic and Continental Philosophy… Emphasize what is learned from the history, especially the concept of metaphysics, the analytic and historical criticisms of the possibility of metaphysics whose significance for this narrative is clear. The variety of metaphysical theories is also significant as possible elements within the Universal metaphysics

For development—further development of source material; its use in improving the argument of the narrative; its use writing the histories and estimating the values of human experience, ideas, philosophy, metaphysics…

Metaphysics

Discussion and sources—Aristotle: the idea; Aristotle and Heidegger on Being. It should be noted that the present metaphysics goes so far beyond anything that has come before that the inspiration is for all topics essentially at most suggestive

For development—metaphysics, Logic and certainty; Logic and the metaphysical variety and possible contributions from Mereology and special topics such as Calabi-Yau surfaces

Substance

Discussion and sources—Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger. What they give: Plato: Form; Aristotle: the idea; Heidegger: inadequacy of the idea. What they lack: Plato: that another world is unnecessary; Aristotle: the inadequacy of substance; Heidegger: the inadequacy of determinism; 2500 years of substance theory which, even when marked by excess is also marked by bold experiment, of which some trends are sources of modern science and politics and which, especially when speculative, constitute a foil for the importance of being and the present metaphysics. Detail: there is a detailed history of metaphysical speculation regarding substance as sub-stance and not merely stuff (stuff, interaction, process, word, proposition, atom, trope…) from Thales to the present time (sortals as types, fact, logical atomism, process-philosophy, scientific objects as ultimate real; again a foil for the importance of being and the present metaphysics

For development—sources, history of substance, evaluation of the developments of the narrative

Being

Discussion and sources—Aristotle, Heidegger

For development—sources, narrative, evaluation of the narrative

Articulation of concepts and working out of conclusions

Discussion and sources—‘Euclid’ and axiomatization, Whitehead in Process and Reality

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

Mereology

Discussion and sources—“(from the Greek μερος, ‘part’) is the theory of parthood relations: of the relations of part to whole and the relations of part to part within a whole”—Mereology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). I have not used mereology but it may be useful in a variety of ways, especially in the exploration of Logic

For development—possible study and use of mereology

Universe

Discussion and sources—physical science has been suggestive, Eriugena’s concept ‘the Universe is everything that exists and everything that does not’ (the atemporal ‘is’) was useful because in being formulated it was an example of the maximal Universe that conflated, via my metaphysics, to ‘everything that exists’

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

The Void

Discussion and sources—physical science has been suggestive regarding the identity of Void and Universe; perhaps the most useful consideration from the history of science was, simply, focus on the Void / nothingness which probably drew my attention to it (there are species of ‘voidism’ in Judaic, Christian (e.g., Aquinas,) Islamic, Buddhist and Indian thought; for some recent reflections on the Void see NothingnessStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) However, I labored for many years under a temporal perspective and partly in the implicit view that our physical science is necessary (not logically but metaphysically) but also entertaining different modes of substance theory. I owe to the history of philosophy the idea of search for an absolute / atemporal foundation. I owe to my imagination the thought that such a foundation might lie in identity of Void and Universe (should the identity in fact be true and which would be known to be true by demonstration.) I owe perhaps to the Trinity Alps, first the mystic vision of the identity of Void and Universe and second the intuition of how to prove the identity

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

Domain and complement

Discussion and sources—familiarity with set theory…

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

Transcendental method

Discussion and sources—the direct method of knowledge proceeds from data to concepts and theories (regardless whether the concepts and theories are necessary consequences or hypothetical systems created to explain the data.) In a transcendental approach the given or data is certain features of experience, or thought, or perception, or feeling; and from these, conclusions are drawn about the nature of reality. Parmenides (~495 BC) argued that certain features of our thinking make it necessary to hold that reality is unchanging. Kant argued that experience is possible only on the assumption that the formal features formed in experience are a priori conditions of existence. Wittgenstein argued in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that for the world to be knowable it must be constituted of atomic facts. Is the argument for the Universal metaphysics transcendental? It starts with the observation that since the concept is not the object, we know nothing a priori about the faithfulness of our concepts, of putative knowledge (i.e. we do not a priori know from the concept object gap whether concepts are faithful, approximate, or off mark; or even whether faithfulness has meaning.) Therefore, all knowledge is placed under intuition. Now, it is argued that we can abstract out distorting detail for certain objects, in particular the Universe as all being without regard to distorting detail; and the Void as absence of being. Therefore the method is direct

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

Logic and mathematics

Discussion and sources—logic as deduction versus the more inclusive idea of logic as the condition for the possibility of reference… i.e., the relation / identity between metaphysics and Logic; Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein rough thoughts on the relation / identity. The ideas of Russell and Frege and Haskell Curry regarding logic have been provocative; and their ideas as well as those of Hilbert, Plato, Gödel, and LEJ Brouwer have been suggestive regarding the nature of mathematics

For development—Logic and logics. Logic as the theory of concepts that have andor are capable of reference; as the theory of the actual; equivalently, of theory of the possible and the necessary. Logic as the law on the concept side; as the absence of Law on the Object side; Logic as immanent, therefore as Logos. Reference as crucial to logic. Development of logics

Experiments with ‘toy’ logical systems suggest that a requirement of reference of every ‘atom’ of logical statements should have reference in order to avoid paradox. Is the requirement of proper reference necessary to validity in Logic and Grammar? Since various semantic paradoxes (Russell…) and set-theoretic paradoxes (Zermelo-Fraenkel-Skolem and von Neumann-Bernays-Gödel) have been resolved by non-referential artifacts, the requirement of proper reference may be unnecessary. It remains true that the requirement of reference may have deep consequences; and these consequences may reveal the artifactual approach to consistency to have an ad-hoc character

Logic, reference and the problem of the infinite

The concept of ‘the class’ of consistent concepts. Note that this class, which presents various problems, now has a resolution in the notion of Logic as immanent in being

The Logic, the grammatical forms; emotion and will

Language, grammar, Logic, and mathematics

Logos

Discussion and sources—there is a remarkable similarity (and difference) between the Logos of the Universal metaphysics and the Logos of Heraclitus (533-475BC, ‘all things flow, nothing abides. Into the same river one cannot step twice.’ The only permanent feature of things is the law of change. Heraclitus used the term Logos for this law: the rational principle of being and thought.) The Universal metaphysics is demonstrated and, therefore, the metaphysics and its constituent concepts are not speculative in their nature

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative

Scientific method

Discussion and sources—a standard notion of scientific method is hypothesis and test; or, in greater detail, the cycle data-hypothesis-analysis/prediction-test. Earlier philosophy of science emphasized theories as necessary consequences of data—and therefore as secure as if deduced (Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton.) Twentieth century philosophy of science emphasized the tentative character of all science (Popper, Kuhn.) I concluded that (1) Scientific theories describe patterns that obtains in particular domains of world and phenomena; in this they are factual (if approximate with regard to the theory and domain) (2) When regarded as universal they may be subject to rejection as a result of disagreement with new data. In Popper’s ideal, a confirmed disagreement requires rejection of the theory. In fact, scientific theories are practical instruments and, when useful, may be retained until a better theory is discovered. The prevailing view is that scientific theories are never universal; however this, too, is not known from philosophy of history of science. The Universal metaphysics, however, confirms #1 above and modifies #2: a local theory can never be Universal (there are no Universal Laws / the only Universal law is Logic.) Whereas the traditional picture of scientific progress is that of unending expansion of the domain of knowledge, the picture from the Universal metaphysics complements expansion: there are phases of expansion and then jumps to other islands of local patterns and knowledge thereof. This is the unending journey; and it is in this connection that the metaphysics suggests a more inclusive view of science: science as participation in being (which converges with the view of religion suggested and entailed as true if not unique by the metaphysics)

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative. Further thoughts on scientific method

Traditional and modern religions

Discussion and sources—traditional religion for staking a claim for truth and for aborting that claim: note abortion has the connotation of stopping short of potential which as shown in the metaphysics is far short… however, the possible connotation of corrupt abortion is not implied to be either present or absent; liberal religion for taking up the search but so often for diluting and secularizing it; the concept of the artifact as human creation and therefore the idea, along with meaning as contextual, that the artifact is may be ever in creation—and then definition and characterization is ever tentative; and the Universal metaphysics for showing the dimension of definiteness—search for truth in ideas and the more complete realization through transformation of being—but the ever openness of this journey in unending variety; traditional religions present distortions of the ideas of salvation, god, cosmos—the metaphysics corrects them as in its treatment of death, identity and cosmology; traditional religions have beauty in their myth and ethics, their deficiencies may be corrected by Logic and metaphysics

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative. Development of an approach to religion and perhaps an actual development

Art, literature, music, dance, drama

Discussion and sources—the idea of art as open for the endeavors as open; metaphysical breadth and essential openness: the only fiction is the logical fiction; but also as showing one essential function and depth as confirming the function (and perhaps showing that mere entertainment is abortion)

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative. Improving my understanding of art; possible place in the narrative and the journey

Objects

Critical thought

Discussion and sources—from Gorgias (b. 480BC) who argued gaps between objects and mind and mind’s knowledge and language; to Kant who argued the impossibility of special metaphysics while allowing general metaphysics; to Wittgenstein. Note critical thought is not skepticism even though it may begin in skepticism; rather critical thought aims to find what we know by founding it, to find what we do not know—i.e. what may be claimed but cannot be founded, and what lies in between—what may be claimed but has not yet been founded but not shown to not be capable of foundation. It is here that the metaphysics enters as shown above and demonstrates necessary (and Universal) objects (Law, Universe, Void and others) that are perfectly known and the basis of the metaphysics. Experience shows, as above, that there are certain practical Objects regarding which knowledge is factual but holds only in some domain (and may be approximate or, alternately, specified exactly but to less than perfect precision.) The Universal metaphysics (in the form of the theory of reference) is deployed to show entity, interaction, process, trope have the same object status

For development—sources, suggestions for and articulation of the narrative; how the discussion of objects completes the analysis of objects and knowledge begun in Intuition (the completion is in the next section that considers abstract objects)

The modern theory of objects

Discussion and sources—this theory distinguishes particular or concrete from abstract objects. The particular objects are entity, interaction, process and trope… On the other hand we can have concepts that correspond to no particular or concrete object but that the lack of correspondence appears to be the abstract character of the concepts rather than non-existence of a concrete object. Examples given are the concept of number and other mathematical concepts, property as Universal, values, and, to take a clear singular but still abstract notion the oft quoted ‘Dante’s Inferno’ (the library copy of Dante’s Inferno would be particular.) A first issue that arises is whether these concepts refer to objects—i.e. Do the non-concrete or non-particular objects exist? If they do, they will be called abstract (objects.) A second issue is What kind of existence do they have and where do they exist? A modern consensus is that abstract objects do exist in some sense. One sense is that they exist as concepts or, perhaps, as mental objects; but existence as a concept begs an obvious question to which there is an idealist but questionable answer; and the idea of ‘mental object’ is either that it is as real as any object (concrete) or that it is a rather ugly notion (metaphysically or ontologically speaking.) Another sense is that abstract objects exist but not in a concrete way; rather they are not spatial and perhaps not temporal; and they lack causal efficacy. Then Where do they exist? The question remains unanswered in the modern literature but the possibilities include that they live in concept or mental space (already rejected) or, perhaps, in some Ideal or Platonic space or world. It is natural that the question should remain unanswered for the whole modern tenor of thought is anti-Platonic even though there are famous Platonists (e.g. Gödel) and, it must be noted, that despite the elegance of Platonism, it has issues. If not in ‘this’ world, where is the Platonic World? If Forms are not immanent in things, they have the additional difficulties of substance (and essence.) Perhaps abstract objects are metaphorical but that either says nothing or conjures up ‘metaphorical space.’ The Universal metaphysics comes to the rescue via the theory of reference. Every Logical concept has reference in the Universe: i.e., the abstract objects are real objects of this world. A Form is immanent in a set of entities. Number, too, is immanent. However, its place of immanence is not here or there but potentially everywhere: it is not non-spatial but, rather, spatiality is not relevant to number: spatiality and causality have been abstracted out. This is the case for abstract objects generally: their concreteness is abstracted out to lesser, greater, or entire degree (intuitively I think that not all concreteness can be abstracted out, e.g. being is not abstracted out even in the Void: the Void is the absence of being and therefore abstraction is not necessary: alternatively, the Void could perhaps be seen as the Universe from which being is abstracted.) Now the distinction becomes non-absolute: the distinction is according to mode of concept: empirical from world to concept (percept,) or symbolic-iconic from concept to world. Number begins empirically, becomes symbolic-axiomatic, and, then, with the advent of computer analysis, becomes mixed

For development—critique and improvement of the argument regarding the unified theory of objects

Cosmology

The Universal metaphysics

Discussion and sources—this is the first source of the cosmology: there is no limit to the variety of being; subject to Logic every concept has an object; there are no fictions except the Logical fictions

For development—clarification of the concept and foundation of general cosmology

The logics and modern logic

Discussion and sources—inspiration and for development of Logic as explained earlier

Mereology

Discussion and sources—potential as explained earlier

The history of metaphysics and cosmology

Discussion and sources—has been and may continue to be suggestive, e.g., Vedanta

The principle of plenitude

Discussion and sources—I came across this principle after developing the General Cosmology. The Universal metaphysics / General Cosmology refine and eliminate gaps in the principle and its reasons

Modern science

Discussion and sources—cosmology, theory of space-time-matter (as well as the philosophy of the same,) classical and modern theoretical physics—statistical, quantum, and relativistic—and evolutionary biology have been immensely suggestive

Myth and literature

Discussion and sources—there is no fiction but Logical; therefore suggestive and illustrative; the scriptures of the religions…

Analytic philosophy

Discussion and sources—in its concern with numerous issues, especially object and personal identity; and in its concern with careful definition and thought

Process philosophy

Discussion and sources—may be suggestive regarding process

Philosophy of mind

Discussion and sources—especially the general western tradition, in analytic philosophy, and Vedanta—have been immensely suggestive in identifying ways of thinking (for reflection and improvement) and problems (mind-body including the problem of consciousness in a material world—so called ‘hard’ problem, problem of causal-efficacy, characteristics of consciousness, awareness without consciousness) for sharpening my approach and resolution

Topics

For development—identification of issues and possibilities in theory of identity, matter and mind, space-time-being. Clear articulation of an atemporal foundation for cosmology and metaphysics

Worlds

The subject of Worlds is the nature of local worlds or cosmological systems such as ours. The approach is the intersection of the traditions of knowledge an the Universal metaphysics

The entire system of human knowledge

Discussion and sources—as content and example: cosmos, life, human being, society and civilization; analysis reveals models of knowledge

The Universal metaphysics

Discussion and sources—places the system of human knowledge in context, shows that the disciplines may reveal knowledge of contexts that may be refined to the limit of the context, performs the refinement in the cases of mind and space-time-being

Value

Discussion and sources—the history of ethics and aesthetics interpreted generally from Plato and earlier are instrumental and inspiration. The Universal metaphysics allows foundation and expansion

Particular topics—disciplines and endeavors

Discussion and sources—for the following, see Metaphysics above: Logic and mathematics, Logos, scientific method, religion, art-literature-music-dance-drama

Discussion and sources—the sciences; aesthetics, politics, history, and religion—continue development; the arts; the humanities

For developmentlogic of the disciplines and endeavors, e.g. scientific method and its future including participation in natural sciences, science of mind, sociology; religion and its essential aim and process. Development of topics selected for interaction with the metaphysics—foundations and mutual implications: physics and biology

For development—top-down and cross study of the metaphysics etc and the disciplines and endeavors for topics in foundations and analogies

For development—philosophy and metaphysics

For development—science. Investigate the new mode of science… and note that it does not exclude the present (polarity-exclusivity vs. continuum-inclusivity. Strengthening the relation between Theory of being and science

It is pertinent to repeat the observation that there is no contradiction between science and Theory of being; indeed without our detailed knowledge of the world, Theory of being is practically empty… The point has been made that while proof of the Theory of being is logically independent of immediate knowledge, science makes a number of suggestive contributions to its development and elaboration. First, certain theories suggest the form of Theory of being and its application. E.g., that the emergence of a cosmos may be energy conserving suggests that something may come from nothing. Second, the mechanisms of evolution suggest one class of mechanisms of becoming; they further suggest the necessity of indeterminism as does quantum mechanics. Further, both evolution and quantum theory show how structure and indeterminism may be consistent

There are similarities and differences between the void as defined here and the quantum vacuum. This raises the question whether the void or the quantum vacuum is fundamental. Theory of being shows the void to be fundamental. This raises the further questions, first, whether the void may—since it lies below the vacuum—found quantum theory; and whether, at root, the quantum theory is only seemingly less general than Theory of being, e.g., if the form and constants of physical theory are sufficiently relaxed but not so relaxed that the result can no longer be labeled ‘physics,’ might Theory of being emerge? These thoughts suggest some directions in which the relations between science and Theory of being may be strengthened. Foundations is another area since the fundamental principle suggests, first, that the theories of science may be seen as kinds of logic and, second, the laws of science must have reference

For development—foundation of modern physics and biology

Space, Time, and Manifest Being. Relativistic theory of matter and fields, quantum theory and Theory of Being

The analytic investigation of the extension of being, e.g. extension and duration or spatial and temporal extension, and coordinate possibilities

Relation between metaphysics of immanence and evolution and its theory. The mechanisms of evolution are normal mechanisms. That metaphysics of immanence talks of form does not stand it against the population thinking of the evolutionary synthesis. Significance of general cosmology for life: whereas it is reasonable to conclude from the perspective of this cosmological system that life elsewhere in it is very unlikely, it follows from the general cosmology that there must be instances and varieties of life without end in the universe-at-large; that this does not entail contradiction; that it does not invalidate the perspective of this cosmological system applied to itself. That metaphysics of immanence talks of form does not stamp essentialism on populations—for the present theory of form allows gradations of abstraction from the particular to the general. Use of modern evolutionary theory in suggesting general and normal mechanisms of evolution in the universe for organic and inorganic being; that though the suggestive power of evolution may be necessary or near-necessary as inspiration it is not logically necessary

For development—extending modern physics

Search for field and particle equations not subject to the well known ‘universal’ constants. In analogy to not being categorially committed to the nature of being at outset, this approach may verify known laws as universal if they are and disverify them if not. The approach is consistent with Dirac’s dictum to follow the consequences of the mathematics. There is a sometimes—not very—subtle maneuver in the application of the dictum: a physics is built into the mathematics and the dictum then prevents the consideration of alternatives. In effect, Dirac—the theoretician—says ‘my theory is the correct one.’ The point to the observation is not to criticize or diminish but to open up to possibility and therefore to the real… The concern is the elevation of a heuristic—it's in the mathematics—to a point of logic. A counter-argument could invoke Ockham's principle (razor.) Again, this principle is a useful but relative heuristic and not an absolute or a point of logical necessity. The assumption of absolute universal constants may—sometimes—be the universalization of what are actually local constants. There is, therefore, occasion to relinquish the reign of constants

For development— A quantum or genetic and dynamic theory of laws

One characterization of the development of physics is the introduction of dynamics. The theory of mechanics before Galileo and Newton was essentially a theory of static systems. Newtonian mechanics was dynamic but did not, e.g., include a truly internal dynamic of particles or any dynamic of their mutability, i.e., their creation and destruction in interaction with energy—some aspects of these dynamics are included in the relativistic quantum theories of fields. Newton’s mechanics did not include a dynamic of space and time—the general theory of relativity introduces space and time into the dynamic. In modern physics, the laws themselves are largely regarded as static—progress is progress toward discovery of eternal static laws of dynamic systems. However, it has been seen that laws and patterns are and must be immanent in being—and that the laws read of this cosmological system cannot be universal in extension or duration. It therefore follows that the laws that are read as static must themselves be part of ‘the’ dynamic. The metaphysics of immanence lends itself to a dynamic that includes both local objects and laws or behavior and there is a possibility that such a dynamic will represent progress beyond modern physical science toward a final theory. It certainly appears that exclusion of the laws from dynamics will be a necessary block to progress or development of physical theory

For development—An ensemble of laws

An ensemble of laws in a ‘multiverse’ may explain the hierarchy of energy scales—vacuum through gravitational—of this cosmological system

The ensemble might be treated statistically; each law might be treated as a particle; the following questions may need address (1) how do the laws interact and (2) what is the relation of the system to the Universal metaphysics

For development— Is a quantum theoretic proof of the fundamental principle of the metaphysics of immanence possible? If so it might be in the states allowed but probably not in the sequence (as quantum theory stands)

This is an important research topic because it would appear that the possibility is good and a quantum theoretic proof would further allay doubt about this principle of paramount importance

The following line of approach shows why the possibility may appear good. The quantum theory of a system is always a theory of a system that has certain defining characteristics. Thus the quantum theory of a classical particle is one in which the particle remains a particle. In the quantum theory, the behavior of the particle shows certain freedoms and certain structures not seen in the classical case. An example of a freedom is that there is a likelihood that a particle with kinetic energy K will ‘tunnel’ through a barrier of potential energy P even if K is less than P; such tunneling does and cannot occur in the classical case. An example of a structure is the stability of atoms in certain discrete energy states

To see creation and annihilation of particles it is necessary to go to a quantum field theory

What would be the possibilities of a quantum theory of being as described in the equivalence of all being to the void or as described in the earlier discussions of General cosmology? Development of such a theory would have difficulties for it would be neither classical nor relativistic. How would the open ended character of the system be built in without implicitly importing the desired solution—the fundamental principle? The analysis might start by analogy with invariant formulations of known systems. Another major difficulty is as follows. What would serve as variables, what would serve as coordinates? However, since detailed solutions are not sought, the difficulty might not be as great as imagined

For development—Human World

Elaboration. Co-development of Theories of being and of human being; relation to Heidegger’s approach. Faith and religion—concepts and prospects. A principled approach to personality

For development— Language, grammatical forms, emotion and will

The question of the universality of the standard subject-predicate form. Can it be proved that there are, for example, relations that cannot be reduced to subject-predicate form? Is there a fixed set of grammatical forms? The possibility of primal forms e.g. a process form that is prior to the subject-predicate form in the sense that subject-predicate form may be one among a number of crystallizations within the primal form. Do emotion and will have objects?

For development—Social World

Study and development of dynamics of or in society and social systems

For development—application to other areas of experiment

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

Journey

The concept of a journey

Discussion and sources—the Idea of a journey. I do not recall precisely when it occurred to me to use the word ‘journey’ or what the external sources may have been. The journey or epic is a literary genre—no doubt because some persons are spurred to action and others are inspired by dramatic renderings of the journey. The hero takes a journey into the risk laden unknown and brings back material and psychic gifts. The idea of a journey is an established theme in many cultures; the significance of the journey depends somewhat on culture and period—western culture today tends to emphasize spatial or geographic and material aspects, Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes the relation between the inner and the outer. A significant source may have been the Bernardo Bertolucci cinema adaptation of Paul Bowles 1949 novel Sheltering Sky there is a conversation—a conversation “We're not tourists. We're travelers.” “Oh. What's the difference?” “A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive.” “Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.” History of exploration, adventure, and travel, e.g. Ian Baker’s 2004 The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise—from the by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s introduction to 2004: “Whether this mysterious hidden sanctuary hidden among Pemako’s mist-shrouded mountains can ever be located geographically is of secondary importance to the journey itself. In Buddhist tradition, the goal of pilgrimage is not so much to reach a particular destination as to awaken within oneself the qualities and energies of the site, which ultimately lie within our own minds.” If psyche refers to the impression in being of being, then it is in psyche that the individual is and becomes the Universe. Still, my journey is not at all entirely about psyche but also of inner-outer connection… in an equivalent interpretation, psyche expands into all being. In the journey, I hope to change; I might bring gifts; I might not return…

Discussion and sources—the Concept of a journey in being. In my person, my ambition; in the circuitous or dialectical route to the developments; in the incompleteness of ideas; made necessary for full realization by the breadth aspect of being revealed in the Universal metaphysics—there are no limits to the extension, duration, and variety of being

For development—further literature on travel, adventure, exploration; one emphasis—the physical journey with intended or unintended effect on body and psyche and their transformation; another emphasis—directly psychic approaches; experiment with these approaches; integration with my efforts; analysis of sufficiency (e.g. astral travel—is it a form of experience of another world or merely an out-of-body experience, and is it truly transformative or restricted to the realm of common idea)

The transformations in being

External sources are the work of other thinkers; internal sources are my writing and thought

Discussion and external sources—The various traditions, Shamanic, Eastern—e.g. yoga and Tibetan Buddhism, Western—e.g. mysticism, and Modern—e.g. depth psychology, various experimental approaches to enhanced states. In these systems, some of the following elements occur: a metaphysical framework, a framework regarding the nature of human being, a system of physical and psychic practice and conditioning, and specific techniques that are catalytic in the production of ‘enhanced states’

For development—reading, reflection, electronic search, discussion with others regarding theory, approaches to, and examples of transformation

Discussion and internal sourcesIdeas: The Universal metaphysics including Cosmology; Worlds—physical cosmology, biological process and organism, human being emphasizing psyche, social world and civilization; theory and concepts for transformation e.g. working out the idea and concept of the journey, the dynamics of being, the framework for the external sources above and the details of the earlier system, and the concept and the design of a minimal system of experiments that will cover the range of being. Experiments: the ideas as experiment, the examples from the section Illustrations of the dynamics, examples of mystic or meditative vision from nature and their interaction with demonstration. Also see the 2010 folder and sub-folders for details

For development—the primary transformations of Being and identity; Ideas are an aspect of such transformations—as such, as the place of appreciation and as instruments of negotiation

For developmentAreas of study will include foundation for and principles of transformation; history and methods; study of narrative accounts. There is a research project to synthesize the variety of traditional and recent approaches as well as the experimental approaches of this narrative; the approach will be experimental and theoretical; the sources of theory will be the various studies of mind and personality including those of this narrative and the framework of the Theory of being

For development—Definition of the range of experiment: The range of experiment will include consideration of a variety of bases, ways and paths of transformation of Being and Identity

For development—Extension of the range of experiment: (1) Experiments in ideas and transformation; experience—cultures, institutions, places, roles; society, charisma and influence; experiment and conceptual design for, life, mind and intelligence; nature and dynamics of identity—identity of self i.e. Atman, other and ultimate being or Brahman: seeing or recognizing and being or realizing—bridge from present to the ultimate; variety of experiments, ways and paradigms (2) Undertake the experiments with intensity—seek time but do the work everywhere; arching and extreme practices; mesh with secondary phases: social action and construction of being (3) Continue to refine the Foundation and System of experiments toward the ultimate goal of ‘understanding and experience of all being’ (4) Transformation of being; alterations of the body and influence on the whole being: Mind, body, potential (5) Arching from the present to the ultimate (6) Emphasize the dynamics; may use all and any tools… within reason, feasibility and moral concern (7) Illustrations of the dynamic

For developmentplant and animal sources: (1) Use of plant and animal chemicals in transformation; included for completeness and perhaps as catalytic; however the complexity of psyche probably requires use of the whole psyche. Use in vision, inspiration, nutrition and healing (2) Animal ways: Animal ways as paradigms of being and transformation: Location, recognition, understanding, and habit

Secondary transformations

The secondary areas of transformation are specialized experiments. These are, first, Social and psychological experiments in charisma and influence and, second, Experiments in forms and degrees of physical being—of life, mind, and intelligence

Transformations in society and culture

Discussion and external sources—the first of two secondary approaches to (aspects of) transformation. Sources are in sociology—concepts and modes of sociology, the social sciences; aesthetics (with ethics,) politics and the nature and function of the state including society and culture; charisma and Patriarchalism (Max Weber,) planning and dimensions of action, stability and change. Some main concerns—action in the universe; needs of the modern world; degrees of knowing; how to implement—charisma, planning, partial knowledge and experiment. In addition to intrinsic worth, e.g. community and communion, the social world has the following significance. Society is the place where individuals of different orientations pool abilities and work for individual and communal realization of values. For the individual, society provides ‘standard’ ways of realizing individual worth and is able to provide fulcrum and leverage for individual effort and ambition

Internal sourcesAction, Charisma and History may have some material not in the present narrative

For developmentSources on understanding society, politics, economics, ethics and education… reading, reflection, development, implementation

For developmentTransformation within groups and society—design versus (and) immersion

For developmentCharisma and influence—Native and learned leadership: influencing, building society at all levels including the being of nations—charismatic and patriarchal action and influence, group action

For developmentCharisma and influence—Native and learned leadership: influencing, building society at all levels including the being of nations—charismatic and patriarchal action and influence, group action

For developmentJourney—shared journey; multi-cultural experiments; variety of institutions

Transformations in organic and material being

Discussion and external sources—design and implementation in artifact rather than the being of the individual per se. Biology, study of mind, artificial / artifactual intelligence, robotics, computation and networking; artificial / artifactual life and intelligence; and study of design, implementation, modeled and simulated evolution based on these disciplines

Internal sourcesExperiments in the Variety of Being and Computers, Beings and Minds may have some material not in the present narrative

For development—Source material, reading, reflection, development, experiment, and implementation. Soft-hard-wet approaches, research; building versus modeling. Hard and wet approaches; auto-evolution and tinkering in hard and wet; simulating being; artifact and artifactual enhancement. Simulation of being and variety. Note: The concept transformation of organic being has affinity with the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and artificial life. Even if and when methods are different those fields may be useful and suggestive. The transformation of material being has affinity with technology. The divide between material and organic being and their transformations is not absolute. Organic being connotes animal, plant and other modes of life. The emphasis on human and animal being and their normal behavior and characteristics. Since there is no absolute divide between the general and the normal there is also concern with the ‘edge of the normal.’ Thus these transformations, which emphasize this cosmological system, mesh with the general transformations of ideas and being

Pure being

Discussion and sources—see The transformations—external sources and internal sources above

History

Discussion and sources—In this section the interest in history is its consequence for ‘pure being.’ Let us agree that History is a study of the human past and that A History is a narrative based on historical study. Questions that arise are (a) fact, (b) interpretation e.g. selection of fact, causation, patterns of history, (c) interaction of items a and b, (d) method, (e) adequacy of the concept, (f) utility of history. Suppose we are interested only in the state of mind of the individual. It does not follow, however, that objectivity and interpretation are irrelevant. For if history is distorted, why should it be trusted? And even if the individual is ignorant of the distortion, the distorted form may not ring true. And since we cannot separate state of mind and action, the lack of truth may lead to inadvisable action and so less than happy states of mind. Philosophy of history, therefore, is important even as narrative may be also significant

Development of sources—two kinds of sources are needed: (a) narrative (internal and external) and (b) interpretive (philosophical)

Method

The significance of method

There are a number of discussions of method above—in the General discussion, and in the discussions in Metaphysics of Transcendental method, Logic and mathematics, and Scientific method. There is also much implicit discussion of method

These discussions laid out the general significance of method and pointed out the origin of the explicit concern with method in this narrative. It was pointed out that method and content necessarily arise in interaction even though method may seem to be received; that in the present development, the standard methodologies proved inadequate; that therefore I became explicitly concerned with method; that the methods developed were complete in the direction of depth but method must necessarily remain open with regard to investigation and experience of the breadth or extension, duration and variety of being

External sources

When we think ‘method’ the names of Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Descartes from the early period of modern philosophy come to mind; these thinkers were concerned with knowledge in general as well as with science. In the nineteenth century, the reflections of Charles Sanders Pierce and John Stuart Mill may stand out. In the recent period—the twentieth century—we may think of Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend. These are of course some of the main names and emphasize my interest; there are of course many others. Every deep thinker, especially in the shadow between known and unknown, must be concerned with method—Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein are paradigmatic. And, as we saw, the Greek philosophers are acutely concerned with method: it is more or less essential that method and content are dual concerns in the beginning of philosophy (they remain so later but when method comes to be seen as prior to content, the fact of the dual concern may become suppressed)

Essentialism and substance

The suppression of method-in-process—as though it is received for all time—is an epistemological essentialism that parallels substance in metaphysics. The recognition of the dual interactive concern is present in the sources noted

Internal sources

See the earlier discussion referred to in the first paragraph of this section

For development—articulation of the aspects of method; illumination of the nature of the aspects or kinds; degrees of certainty

Narrative

Discussion and sources—A number of narrative modes are available. Choice of mode may depend on the author’s disposition and orientation of audience. Different modes are appropriate to different disposition, audience, and—especially—content. Modes include (a) Dialectic and dialog; drama and novel may be special cases; dramatization and cinema (b) Discursive—lecture, monograph, reference, text (c) Secondary or supplementary modes—the dialectic may supplement the lecture; lecture may supplement dialog; art, music, drama, cinema may supplement lecture and dialog; these ‘secondary’ modes may be treated as primary

For development—review literature on modes; an example is Suzanne Langer’s notion of the presentational form. The idea of the narrative. Reflect on appropriateness of modes. Dialect is appropriate to open ended content, content that has not reached a final state of definition (we have seen the possibility of absolute definition in some directions—and impossibility in other directions; except where demonstrated, all finality is relative.) Dialog as dialectic of ideas. The discursive presentation (modern scientific monograph, modern scientific journal, perhaps the most common form of journalism) is appropriate to information and to established material. The discursive is dry, the dialectic is dramatic… In the dialectic the relation between writer and audience is more symmetric (in the discursive there is a suggestion—sometimes only perceived—of hierarchy)

For development—review goals—Publication, introducing the ideas, exposing the power of the system, overcoming resistance to and unfamiliarity with the ideas, transition to experimental phase

For development—review versions and kinds—Narratives for technical—academic, those familiar with the vocabulary and history of the ideas, specialist, emphasis on demonstration and completeness—and human—real and maximal living, the spirit of being—interest. Example of human interest: journey in the human and universal spirit. Rethink and rewrite a classic, e.g. the Gita. Employ learning from Journey. Consider the following specialist versionsemphasis: technical, academic, philosophy, general, spirit… topic: metaphysics, what is science…

For development—review forms—Linear—narrative and discursive; personal versus formal or impersonal; essential; axiomatic; literary—novel or myth, biographical, poetic, dialog, artistic and dramatic forms; mixed. In a literary form a cast may be introduced; roles—a main character who is ideal in spirit though real in action, a co-adventurer and love, a critic, a reactionary, a rugged friend; a set of scenes—university, work, wilderness, foreign land, hardship and luxury—or phases of the story and their local characters. Narrative versus essay versus book versus text versus piece…Refinements to the ideas in: logic, flow, elegance, charisma, and appeal

For development—the story—The story may include an account of my life insofar as it is essential to the unfolding… Though the truth is adventure enough, elements of fiction may further dramatize it… Struggles, failures and shame and attempts to overcome and use them… The essential connection between the idea and the real… The fundamental character of the metaphysics and the logic… The metaphysics is logically prior to all previous metaphysics—and its ultimate character… Although there are limits to even a god, the individual is infinitely more powerful than normally thought; the true meaning to god must be one that allows god to be realized in the individual… That all these assertions are shown in cold logic… The sub-stories the journey to the metaphysics, the logic implications for human belief and possibility and the potential for science… The experimental phase of the exploration of possibility… Connection with religion—if it is about truth it must intersect life and the empirical; otherwise there is no religion or need for one… Acceptance of the ideas

For development—a novel—A future civilization discovers earth and its primitive archaeology. They find remnants of a proof of the universal metaphysics and ultimate truth—it will be effective to have the italicized terms revealed but not said, immanent but not explicit. In the end it may be revealed that the novel was written by a man from the primitive archaeology who is also the protagonist from the future. He is seen writing. He is exhausted. He pores over his writing and an ancient fragment. In his sleep deprived unawareness he sees that what he writes is already written and this puzzles him. He then realizes that he was and is the author…

For development—automation—consider use of a relational database for outlines, concepts, and text. Use queries for transformations of concepts and emphases and to extract special versions such as emphasis on a special topic, technical and non-technical versions

The future

Being and becoming—perception and transformation

Being

The aim of Being is realization in the present—in contrast to Journey where the focus was realization of the ultimate via process. There is, therefore, a focus on the meaning of being—in the sense of significance in being

It may be the case that realization in the present has limits. However, these limits are not given and are an aspect of realization

Human being experiences a sense that there is significance even when the particular individual does not achieve it. The sense of not achieving significance is due to the presence of the sense of significance. However, this sense does not imply that significance is anything more than, e.g., some motive to achieve translated into terms of meaning. However, the sense in question is a connection to the ultimate; and the meaning of significance in terms of evolution and biology, interpreted parochially, is no necessary limit on significance. Broadly interpreted, biology—adaptation—is connection. Significance lies not in relationship or identity alone but in their interaction; significance cannot lie outside the Universe; therefore significance lies in identity, community, and world…

A finite—limited—being may find significance in what is beyond the immediate and in the immediate. What is beyond the immediate is labeled History. Being-in-the-immediate is labeled Pure being

There are, then, perhaps two approaches to realization in the present. In the first, significance in the present is found in the record of the past—i.e. in history: in invoking history, however, there is no insistence on objectivity for the goal is transformation and for that purpose myth and legend are also good. There is of course no insistence of any superiority of either fact versus myth; each is likely to have its own realm of instrumental power and myth and fact may bind together in synergy

That is, a meaning—significance—of history is its suggestive power, the way in which it influences views of ourselves and others: individually and collectively, i.e. as persons, cultures, nations, civilizations… The traditions of history influence the way in which we view our potency in the world

In a second approach significance and realization are sought in being-in-the-immediate. The approach is that of Pure being

An instrumental thought regarding ‘entry into pure being’ is the acceptance of opposites including what is attractive and what is repulsive. How is this instrumental? In not avoiding either—and there is avoidance of the positive—life, i.e. our lives and the world, energy is not lost in avoidance and this opens up to experience of the real; naturally there are practical limits to acceptance of destructive things

I continue to seek transcendence of process

The approach of Being may be seen as preliminary to that of Journey. Perhaps Being will enhance realization without eliminating significance

Perhaps being-as-significant-being and being-without-qualification are not distinct at root

History

History represents the search for meaning outside the immediate. History may be thought of as—a sense of—connection in relation, i.e. across or through space and time

Therefore any substance or essentialist view of history is avoided. An essentialist view is a limited notion in combination with a commitment to that notion and a commitment against any complementary or contrary notions. Therefore, the avoidance of essentialism allows the notion as well as others, i.e. it allows the occasional appearance of essentialism

As noted earlier there is no ultimate meaning to history outside all history—just as there is no meaning to or of being in any ultimate outside

Therefore we find in history what significance we may; in some sense—in that history can never be complete—there is no objectivity to history; but in this sense there is no ultimate significance to objectivity in history and any goal of objectivity is founded in significance

Therefore history represents our common stories and myths with objectivity as one story

What is History?

The twin problems of History are those of writing and of using it—of its nature and function; and realism dictates that it cannot have just any nature or any function or that nature and function can be entirely independent. At once this suggests that any traditional or dominant notion that ignores this dictate of realism may be limited. It may require that any single specific assignment of nature and function shall be found inadequate

A flexible assignment, however, may be more adequate—that is, function may lie on a continuum and, accordingly, there may be a variety of proper approaches to writing history

‘History’ has generally been dominated by the requirement that it be factual. However, it is known that establishment of facts, selection of focus, and interpretations of facts have the potential for error and distortion. We take it that some error is unavoidable; that some selection of focus is unavoidable; and that some coloration of interpretation due to temperament and political persuasion is near unavoidable

Therefore any strict requirement of factual character is impossible and must be relinquished. One use of fact, in combination with theory, is to predict the outcome of action and so to make effective choices. This is not an altogether impossible aim. Even though the ‘best’ political and economic histories might have difficulties of fact and interpretation—and theory—we are undoubtedly in a better position to make economic and political decisions with such a history than without it

The unintended coloration of history is unavoidable. ‘Revisionism’ is regarded as an ugly word because it typically implies the whitewash or suppression of acts and values of barbarism and brutality. However, the disempowered ‘revise’ and ‘reinterpret’ as much as the powerful. And the question arises how long we should live in the shadow of the past. Therefore, revision is not inherently ugly even if it is not factual. Importantly, even if there was no historical wrong we are not thereby absolved from addressing today’s inequities

There is therefore a Gordian knot concerning fact and fiction in history waiting to be cut. Let us cut through this knot by allowing history to concern both fact and fiction—realism and myth—that shall lie on a continuum. Let us not assume that we shall be saved by logic and rigor (or that logic and rigor are inessential.) Rather, ‘cool heads must be balanced by warm hearts.’ Indeed, the term ‘balance’ is not quite adequate but may be replaced by ‘enhanced’

To the critic who says ‘history is merely myth’ we may respond that we have acknowledged and gone beyond the truth of that position. And we respond that fact is allowed where possible to anyone who asserts that the factual character and predictive function has been entirely surrendered

This discussion provides a framework within which it is found most effective to not have a preconception of the nature of history—to avoid the habit of substance thinking—but to allow multiple objectives and corresponding criteria to develop without anyone laying a priori claim to the exclusive title of ‘History;’ which, after all, is may be disguised a play at political exclusivity

Vision

What may History contribute to our vision of being, of the Universe, of the place and future of human being—of any being or individual—in the Universe?

The Normal view is one of limited freedom and restraint

The Universal view is one of infinite freedom; however this ‘freedom’ lies on a continuum of light and dark; the light contains what is infinitely positive. What is the nature of that positive? Is the dark a mere emptiness or is it infinitely negative; that negative over which we have no control may be a source of fear but has perhaps no further significance. Perhaps the form of the negative over which there is control results from freedom—freedom is burden and opportunity

Transformation

In a Normal view we may learn incrementally from the local world and its history

An Open view may and perhaps must at least occasionally include the Normal but also opens up and—if the ultimate is a value it may be effective to seek this opening—into infinite possibility. What balance may there between the incremental and limited freedom-restraint versus the open and the infinite?

History in light of being

In the Normal perspective, History has force that provides ‘positive and negative momentum’

In the Universal, History is an element within Vision; this element has no weight or inertia or force. In the light of being, History itself is weightless

Pure being

An individual may derive some significance from the world outside his or her own being; however, significance cannot be derived from outside being itself

The idea

A world and therefore meaning unmediated by substance

If we cannot avoid slant and substance, we will not insist on our known slants and substances even when and if we live with them. However, that also means that we cannot insist that slant is always—inevitably—present and always and inevitably unavoidable

As in the case of faith—what do we do if we eradicate all doubt—there is the problem: what shall we do in the presence of pure being?

A problem

No crystal purity or avoidance of proximate death. If there is no ultimate death, it need not be avoided—it is impossible to avoid what does not exist

However, we may pause a moment. If we have not experienced crystal purity can we know what it is like? We cannot avoid the world—we can only try and fail and consequently perhaps live a lesser this life; and every acceptance of a lesser this life is the perpetuation of a lesser recurrence… or is that so? And regardless of whether we can avoid death, realism is no easy out… for no one without recourse to necessary knowledge knows… common sense and science suggest that death is final and there, there is an out—or two outs. The first out is the suicidal out but the suicidal does not know that it is final. Then there is the existential out, the great liberation of facing death truly which is a struggle of meaning and fact… but after the existentially oriented individual has faced and conquered death or met it in some alien field there is still the necessary contingent nag that what has been conquered is a chimera

Attraction and repulsion

Attraction and repulsion, the lovely and the horrible are ever present. Wonder without crystal purity; or the way to ‘purity’ lies through not avoiding all things ‘impure’

Psychoanalytic writers, existentialists, novelists and other writers write of eros and death, of the relation and mutual illumination. Some particularize to sex and excrement and their proximity

What is the problem? Is it not animal to have some revulsion to excrement and attraction to genitalia? Well we’re human and therefore there’s the potential for all kinds of mix ups

We don’t want to get too mixed up in the theoretical so that we can’t see the practical; eros and excrement are perhaps symbols for attraction and repulsion even if they are also the most important cases. We can therefore forgive anyone who mistakes the symbol for the mere case—the case is important but the symbol is more so because it is more inclusive. At the same time, it’s important to not ignore the important particulars as we are encouraged to do by prudery that parades as morality. It’s not that simple and it’s obvious that some fine line exists—no one except the insane runs around nude or having sex in public. If the line is crossed in one direction we’re licentious; in the other direction we’re repressing healthy behavior. The difficulty arises because we’re complex and each of us is complex in different ways

The scholar sometimes makes things difficult when erudition is used in either excess but the scholar is still human and not exempt from the problems of being human; additionally the scholar may be attempting to address personal issues while being scholarly. We’ve seen such confusions in rather different areas, for example scientists who parade their atheism and their facing of the apparent but not at all necessary emptiness—in the sense of objectivity of significance—of the universe

Perhaps the main mix up is this. In fetish or neurotic avoidance we avoid by hanging on to what is negative—by being-retentive of the negative andor by being-avoidant of the positive. In fetish or neurotic attraction we hang on to what is positive—by being-retentive of the positive or by being-expulsive of the negative. In either case, we do not see the rest of the world—at all or for what it is… and we do not see the thing for what it is either in good or evil (it is perhaps a case of too much of a good thing or too little of a bad one)

In either case our being is diminished. And it’s vaguely parallel to hanging on to life and hanging on to death. Freud invokes the death drive—not an instinct, for Freud an instinct is necessary for life—to explain why people do not always follow the ‘pleasure principle.’ Well surely, human affairs are complex enough that regardless of the happiness the way there is unhappy or at least not obviously happy… or having chosen a neutral way, we find unforeseen unhappiness on the way: when I seem to not follow pleasure, I may be following it in some non-obvious way. That doesn’t prove of course that there isn’t a death drive—which Freud invokes to explain post trauma stress and reliving, child’s repetitive play, and the at least putative destructive tendency of (Western) Civilization—but only that it isn’t necessary to explain the exceptions to the pleasure principle. But the death drive may be the superfluous hypothesis and it requires proof before it should require disproof

Pure being

Is therefore in the union of these opposites. It is not crystalline. It does not lie in writing of it but in living and sharing and being in the world

III. METHOD

Introduction

A brief historical account of method

Although the idea of method may arise in a number of activities, in this narrative concern is with ideas (knowledge) and transformation. The developments regarding transformation are significantly dependent on knowledge and so the main concern is with method or methods for knowledge

In the early seventeenth century Francis Bacon and René Descartes produced works[1] that are regarded as visionary with regard to science and method[2]. The works were written before what is perhaps the first modern systematic scientific theory—the mechanics of Isaac Newton[3] and it is this together with their insight into a future for science rather than completeness or finality that makes them visionary

In the present time, writers on scientific method tend to be more pragmatic and less visionary. It is reasonable to think that reasons for this include codification of insights from the four hundred years of science since the early visionaries and the modern institutionalization of science and scientific practice

In this essay, the first interest is the study of and being the world—knowledge and essential transformation of being—and their varieties. Therefore, the method of primary concern is the method or methods of these activities. Since transformation is significantly dependent on knowledge and its kinds the primary interest in method shall be method in relation to knowing; special concerns regarding transformation will receive brief treatment

Even if restricted to what can be expressed in language—ordinary, scientific, mathematical and related symbolic endeavors—the terms knowledge and development of knowledge refer to a broad range of disciplines and activities. The metaphysics permits truth to be a framework for practice: at the core of this essay the considerations emphasize the metaphysical (philosophical) first and practical including scientific considerations second; science is important as an element of practical and local knowledge that include an anchor and data point for the metaphysical; the concerns of the essay do include science and its use—e.g. in transformation of mind and body. Because of the close connection between Logic and metaphysics, we are also concerned with the nature and method of Logic. Since logic encapsulates the deductive method, what does or may it mean to talk of a method for logic? One concern of such a method is connected with the origin of logics: may we associate some kind of method for the development of logics? We will see that there are approaches to such development even though we do not, of course, expect strict general and guaranteed procedures. Although mathematics does not presently have a significant role in the development of the method there is interest in mathematics because it defines abstract Objects. It is therefore unsurprising that the present reflections on metaphysics and method may shed light on the nature of mathematics

Therefore the interest in method in this narrative refers to philosophy (especially metaphysics) and science. I derive conclusions for metaphysics and science that are different from the modern view. The difference for modern scientific method is modest; there are a few ‘tinkering’ modifications of the standard hypothetico-deductive method; and I find a complementary but not contradictory approach in which science is seen as factual rather than hypothetical. The differences for metaphysics are immense and this should be expected from the developments laid out in Intuition through Journey. Differences for the future of science may also be immense

Although philosophy and science are distinct, the narrative below will derive benefit in understanding the nature of science and philosophy and their approaches (‘methods’) from comparing and contrasting the activities

In the past the growth of philosophical thought and the development of the sciences have been intertwined; in modern times, the sciences have emerged as disciplines that are investigated separately from the discipline of philosophy. There is a recent line of thought[4] that holds that while science is naïvely—i.e. even where there is insistence on precision there is no requirement of conceptual faithfulness—about the world, philosophy is not about the world; rather the main concern of philosophy is with the instruments of knowledge, particularly language. Put roughly, this view holds that philosophy analyzes conditions that perception, thought, and language should satisfy so as to be about the world. Although the philosopher’s toolkit may be useful in thinking about knowledge, some philosophers hold that philosophy has no content in the way that science does. I will argue later that there is still room within the family of activities labeled philosophy, even if restricted to the analytic school, to work with content—i.e. to be about the world

The core intellectual component of this essay is significantly about a metaphysics whose approach includes careful examination of common human experience. This results in an empirical content and some overlap with science. It differs from science in that the core of the metaphysics allows only those concepts that are perfectly faithful to their Objects and therefore cannot deal explicitly with the detail that is the concern of science[5]. This may make the depth and breadth of the core of the metaphysics surprising—that the depth and breadth come as if from nothing. Therefore, I have devoted some effort to show—over and above their demonstration—the reasonable nature of the conclusions, in which reference to detail is implicit, and the substantial character of their foundation

The actual demonstration of a metaphysical system, a contrast to the ‘derivation’ of many speculative or partially speculative systems of the past[6], raises the question of the nature of the method and raises again the possibility of visionary thought regarding method. That is one of the themes of this chapter

The discussion this chapter will however go beyond visionary thought and, paralleling the definite and ultimate developments of metaphysics, will show the ultimate character of the method of the metaphysics[7]

Whereas essays on method are often written as if method instructs practice, the actual relation is one of interaction. For science, this may be seen from its history. It is possible to talk of method or methods for philosophy but, generally, method is a topic that has philosophical content and, in particular, how to conduct philosophy is the concern of philosophy (how to conduct science is not a formal aspect of science; it is of course the concern of scientists and scientific institutions and is also a field within philosophy.) From the history of philosophy it is seen that the how and the content of philosophy arise in interaction. In this essay the interaction of content and method and the theme of that interaction, as well as the contra-theme of the separability of method and content for the metaphysics and related topics, are manifest

Implications for a number of other endeavors including science will also be developed[8]

It will be useful to begin with discussion of the idea of method without restriction to any particular activity

The idea and significance of method

The idea of method

The general sense of method in this narrative is roughly that of how to do something

Method is possible when tasks are similar and arises in the doing and in reflection upon doing: what is common to the doing and how we may know that the commonalities guarantee outcomes and to what extent such guarantees may be certain and to what extent doing and outcome remain in interaction—the development of content and of method is intertwined

If sufficiently similar and simple a method may guarantee success. For challenging work, success is not guaranteed; it is then desirable to have a guide to validation of results. In a given field of endeavor, validation improves confidence in satisfaction of criteria pertinent to the field but, in general, does not guarantee satisfaction. In many fields, criteria may be vague or implicit in the process. In art for example there is some process whereby a piece or field of art achieves recognition or even a sense of immortality; however, even though there is criticism, the actual ‘validation’ is the result of a social and historical process of which criticism may be an element but not the determining factor

In some cases, the similarity is simply the fact of being faced with a task one does not immediately know to proceed; challenging work may pose this problem even while providing a guide to procedure

Creation and validation are two essential phases of method. The nature of creation and validation and their relations will receive significant attention in what follows. Themes to be addressed include the following. (1) Separability of creation and validation—one viewpoint with merit is that they are separable but we will find that separation is not universally possible. (2) Value of separation—when possible it is of clear value wherever confidence and degrees of certainty are valuable. We will see that the boundary between separability and non separability is not fully clear. (3) Elements of creativity. (4) The nature of validation—where is strict validation or possible and where is validation always tentative?

Generally a method is a guide and does not guarantee an acceptable or valid outcome

Significance

The significance of method derives, first, from the significance of content, i.e. of knowledge—method enhances knowledge and understanding and appreciation of knowledge. Method is also a form of content whose importance may seem merely derivative but has independent significance in providing revelation into mental process including action

The possibility of method arises in similar and therefore in repeated and shared or cultural endeavor. If the endeavor is significant, what has been learned of method is useful in future development. This is the case when method is formulated explicitly as well as when it is implicit in communal and institutional practice. Method provides confidence in the elements of culture

Method is also significant in revealing the nature of the endeavor, e.g. science. It is not claimed that method defines practice but that there is ongoing interaction between understanding of a practice and understanding of method

‘Against method’

There are various sentiments that run against method. One stems from the idea that method is regimentation and stands against creation and uniqueness and truth. Such sentiments are expressed in the writings and art of William Blake who wrote against the mechanistic Newtonian view of the Universe[9]

Another is criticism according to which there can be no method—e.g., the view of Paul Feyerabend[10], that science is essentially anarchistic and the only principle that does not inhibit progress is ‘anything goes

Perhaps the crucial concern is What is method? Is method something that stands outside and polices all other activity? Is method a set of rules of process and form that cannot be violated? In this treatment, the answer to these queries is the negative one

Method arises because similar activities are similar in form and process—to greater or lesser degree according to degree of similarity: all endeavor has the similarity that creation and validation (Feyerabend would have added ‘trickery’) may be required. However, even though some people, e.g. old style school teachers—mine—may so insist, there is no rule of method. So I say, but immediately I see a fundamental exception in the necessary Objects and the identity of metaphysics and Logic

We hesitate to say method rules but should also hesitate to say that there is no rule. We prefer, then, to allow truth to emerge; to avoid the manner of the proud intellectual who may make advance proclamation—negative or positive

Method and content

Think of the study of the world as ‘content’ and the concern of how to conduct study as ‘method.’ Then (1) In the study of a particular emerging context such as science in the early modern era it may seem rather amazing that science should work at all. The idea of how it works arises; visionaries would find a ‘formula’ for the how. In retrospect the formula or method may have an obviousness but initially it is not so and the few visionaries who write on method may appeal to other contexts and guess in addition to any rational elements that may be imagined or available. The early but now largely abandoned idea of an inductive method that would show scientific theories as necessary consequences of observation and data arose via hope and appeal to the deductive method of logic. (2) In the beginning it may seem that method follows content. Since thought on method is in some sense a higher level activity and the purview of a few it may result that method comes to be regarded as a priori; this regard may be emphasized by education: especially by mass education in which the teachers themselves are ignorant of the nature and history of both content and method. Over time, however, we may look back over history and see that method and content arise together even though not at the same pace. Over time we also see relationships between methods or approaches of the various contexts as well as the one context / non-context that we call the Universe. (3) In this narrative we have seen a similar story. In the beginning I introduce some new approaches without full recognition of what I was doing. Later I realized that I had been responding to the absence of established methods for my subject(s). Still later I was able to formulate and improve my developments in method and to see that method and content arise together. This may also be seen in the writings of other thinkers, e.g. Descartes. (4) We recognize that of course method is a kind of content: the how of investigation is an element of the world and therefore its study is content. There are multiple factors that result in method being seen as standing outside content: remoteness or the appearance of method as a priori; the special status that we assign to our thoughts as though they were immaterial or, perhaps, more accurately or more appropriately non-being; our systems of education

If we think of method as standing outside content and method as somehow special then these thoughts are against method. However when some par between method and content is restored then there is no need to think in such terms. Method loses its special status and may also lose the absolute security that we sometimes assign to aspects of method. These thoughts reflect the epistemic analog of the metaphysical truth: nothing is outside the Universe

Preliminary comments on knowledge and method

As noted above, the primary concern is with method in relation to knowledge. We will analyze knowledge in greater depth shortly but is useful to observe and important to the developments that the key elements of explicit knowledge of the world are observation and inference. The basis of this assertion is first in common understanding of the elements of cognition—perception or observation and thought which, in the case of knowledge, is significantly inferential. More formally, we saw earlier that the possibilities for cognition are those that are bound to the world or perception; and those that are free or conception which includes the ‘free’ creation of concepts for representation—or roughly, inductive inference—and relations among concepts—or, roughly, deductive inference (the nature and kinds of inference will receive further attention—including analysis—in subsequent discussion)

A conclusion that now follows is that the key elements of method for knowledge are the elements of creativity and validation for observation and for inference. We would like knowledge to be true—for aesthetic as well as practical reasons; the practical reason is that since we depend on knowledge, we would like to have confidence in it. And even if a purist might prefer to separate the aesthetic from the practical, the fact that we have the aesthetic sense may be an adaptation that enhances satisfaction of the practical need. There are, in general, immense difficulties—some of which we have seen; some others will be seen or re-emphasized in what follows—in knowing what is true. In the case of knowledge, the term ‘justification’ is used to describe developing confidence in the truth of knowledge; knowledge is regarded as justified when we have (good) reason to have confidence in it. In exploring a new field or at the boundaries of a given field for new knowledge, it is obviously characteristic that we are not in possession of the knowledge sought. Therefore, potential knowledge must first be created; it may then be justified. Thus, the development of new knowledge has been described as having two phases corresponding to creation and validation: the context of discovery and the context of justification. In limited contexts, justification is often regarded as final; and sometimes analysis gives us confidence in such finality. In the general case, because of the difficulties of knowing as well as because knowledge is of a finite domain in a Universe that is larger (verification may be possible) and that may be infinite (verification may be beyond human reach,) justification may give us confidence but is not guaranteed to give us truth. And the demonstration from the Universal metaphysics that the Universe is infinite in extent and kind demonstrates that, for finite human being at least, a science of all being must be beyond reach (except, as appears from the Universal metaphysics, as a process; and this does not contradict the existence of the Universal metaphysics because in this paragraph I am using ‘science’ in the sense of the natural theories that describe the details of our cosmos.) The judgment that an item of knowledge is justified allows, in general, that it may not be (full) truth[11]. It is the fact that there are or appear to be some local patterns that allows the development of the notion of judgment as a stand in for truth; it is the fact that the local patterns generally have exceptions within and without that implies that judgment does not generally equate to truth. Later, we discuss essentialism in relation to epistemology. One aspect of essentialism in epistemology is that such general conclusions ‘judgment does not generally guarantee truth’ are universalized to ‘since judgment does not generally guarantee truth, we can never know truth.’ Exceptions may arise because of the particulars of a context. As we have seen the Universal metaphysics is an exception; this may appear paradoxical because the Object of the metaphysics is no ‘mere’ context but the Universe. However, the concept of the Universe in use in the metaphysics allows that there is detail but does not represent it in all precision

The discussion also reveals identities among the following pairs: observation and inference, percept and higher or free concept, fact and pattern, data and theory

That a fact may be a perception of a pattern as unitary and that a conception or theory may be seen representation of a pattern and therefore also of a fact suggests an identity among fact and pattern. The Universal metaphysics reveals an infinite hierarchy within which our ‘facts’ and our ‘patterns’ are but two levels of organization. This narrative develops the theme that all knowing is factual in nature—which is not to assert that all seeming facts are facts or that there are no degrees of compounding that are distinguished, in our knowing, as simple fact and compound fact or pattern. That we perceive elementary facts as facts even though patterns are present may be roughly and dually explained by the relative constancy of some patterns in the environment and therefore an adaptation of our cognition in which they are seen as unitary; similarly, the cognitive adaptation of free thought and conception may be argued to be an adaptation to variation and novelty in the environment

Naturally, the received tradition regarding method is of interest in this essay, first, to the process of development and, second, as a topic. Interest as a topic and to the development of the material of this narrative. However, it may already be clear to readers that the nature, development, and deployment of method is a core concern of the essay

Origin of the present special interest and developments in method[12], [13]

Origin

The special focus on method in this essay arose, first, when I found that received thought on method to be inadequate to what I was attempting to do. In the development and foundation of the metaphysics, classical thoughts on what is possible in metaphysics and philosophy were found inadequate. New (enhanced) approaches were required

Method has received specific attention in the history of thought. However, it is not atypical in practice for development in many fields to be an informal blend of or ‘conversation’ between method and content. When difficulty arises, method and proof occasion and require specific attention. Sometimes the early phases of a new enterprise occasions reflection on method—e.g., the visionary reflections of Francis Bacon and René Descartes already mentioned

In the present development, received method proved inadequate and it became essential to reflect on method

Already, the interaction between method and content and their more or less coeval origin may be observed

The origin of the present concern with method neatly illustrates a separation of discovery and justification—and of their interaction. My early thought, as in Evolution and Design, was matter/process oriented. I came to feel, as detailed elsewhere, that an atemporal approach would provide an improved and perhaps absolute foundation. Such an approach was not intended to suggest that time is unreal but that a foundation for time could be found without invoking time. After experimenting with idealism and the idea of the absolute (Being, mind and the absolute) and other avenues that I found inadequate, I had the intuition that equivalence of Universe to the Void would provide the framework for a timeless formulation of metaphysics. Although intuitive, the equivalence was not without basis—e.g., the fact that in a distribution of matter the mass and gravitational energy may balance to zero, and the question Are the laws of physics universal / necessary or local / contingent… and if the latter is it possible that the Universe as a whole is far more permissive to variety of being than we might imagine from our being immersed in the local system? Of course, intuition and analogy do not constitute proof (I conceived already however that if proof were not forthcoming there would be value and expectation of value to regarding the equivalence as a hypothesis.) It then took about two years before I had the thought that I should focus on the Void and its properties. This began the phase of justification. However, justification began an intense phase also of creative development (the subject matter of chapters Intuition to the present chapter whose development was significantly enhanced and perhaps even made possible by many years of preparatory work.) Thus the thought to focus on the Void initiated the watershed of a dual development: the transition from intuition and heuristics to demonstration, detailed development of a metaphysics, elaboration and manifold application

Development

Additionally, once developed, the metaphysics itself implied significant methodological revision and enhancement. As a result, a second special focus on method arose as significant enhancements to canonical thought on method emerged. These included the demonstration of a greater conception of what can be known and that included demonstration of novel and ultimate elements to metaphysics (which has consequences of significance for the local and special disciplines and their approaches)

The following pertinent consequences of the metaphysics have been shown

Metaphysics is possible—and actual. This is not because I can know something that is beyond all experience but the result of having found a canonical system of experience that founds the Universal metaphysics

Logic is metaphysics. The development makes possible a concept of Logic. I.e., Logic is more than all logics put together; the logics are practices; Logic is the concept that defines the practices

The method of the disciplines and the further development of the metaphysics include a mutual adjustment andor refinement of the special concepts of the disciplines and the general concepts of the metaphysics

Here, it is seen that method and content develop in interaction. In fact, since, the activity of studying in the world is in the world, method is a form of study or content. One of the themes of this chapter, taken up later, is to strengthen this connection between method and content, to see method as a thoroughly empirical activity—e.g. as the study of valid symbolic inference, and to see, at least in the confluence of Logic and metaphysics, disciplines at the highest level of generality, an area in which method and content are identical

Here is a very short description of the interactive development of method and content which presents some formal steps but not all elements of proof, criticism and response to criticism. The Void is the absence of being which means also the absence of Law; therefore the Void is equivalent to every conceivable state of the being. This required a proper conception of the Universe as all being over all duration and extension (and excluded alternate conceptions such as Universe as empirical or material universe which even if appropriate to certain fields must be excluded as fundamental in the present context.) The question arises regarding a contradictory conception of a state—is there a corresponding state of being? Suppressing subtleties, the answer must be ‘No!’ Ask ‘Why?’ Proceed by example: perhaps there can be an apple that is both red and green but surely there cannot be an apple that is entirely green and entirely not green. I.e. the ‘conceived states’ must satisfy the logical principle of non-contradiction. Generally, then, conceived states should satisfy the principles of logic. However, every logical principle, even the principle of non-contradiction which is perhaps the least assailable of the principles of logic has been questioned. Therefore, re-conceive logic as Logic[14]: Logic is the law that concepts must satisfy so as to correspond to being. In other words, Logic is the one law of the Universe; or, regarding a Law as the Object of the corresponding law, the Universe has no Law(s)

Necessary and contingent aspects of the development

Necessary aspects—the Universal metaphysics—(i) Establishment of a system of necessary Objects that yield the metaphysics, specifically the principle of variety and the identity of Logic and Metaphysics or Logos and Universe, and (ii) The foundation / grounding of the necessary Objects in intuition via abstraction

Philosophy and metaphysics—the necessary aspects of the development. Although analysis of meaning of concepts is recognized as important in philosophy (some thinkers hold that it defines philosophy) we have gained two insights. The first concerns how to analyze—we have been able to get out of dependence on naïve intuition and the assumption that our intuition of a concept should define it and have done so via abstraction (this is the apparently preferred method in teaching and doing analytic philosophy.) The second insight is that the approach may yield true knowledge and so philosophy as conceptual analysis is not mere analysis of meaning. As shown above, philosophy has content beyond analysis of meaning and certainly beyond mere clarification of meaning. The method of conceptual analysis is also a method of incorporation of experience and therefore philosophy may resume talking about the world and to continue doing so

Contingent aspects—the method of Worlds that recognizes and minimizes ad hoc elements of the disciplines and enhances approach to limits to knowledge that are inherent to the field of endeavor

The local disciplines of chapter Worlds—the contingent aspects of the development. Perfect faithfulness is universal in the study of the local disciplines. However, the method of Worlds that recognizes and minimizes ad hoc elements of the disciplines and enhances approach to limits to knowledge that are inherent to the field of endeavor. There may be perfect faithfulness when the method of abstraction is appropriate to the degree of discrimination or detail required

Purposes of Part III: Method

To collect, articulate, found, formalize, and elaborate the developments on method. A sub-purpose is to present the development as a system; another is that formalization suggests further development and enhances application

To integrate with and further develop the received tradition regarding method and inference—in general and for a variety of disciplines and endeavors. The disciplines include science, logic, mathematics, philosophy and metaphysics. Although I do not regard my thought on art is not mature or contributory, I reflect on art because such reflection may have clarification for the concept of method (and of course because I enjoy the reflection and may even learn something about art from the occasion to reflect.) The ‘endeavors’ include transformation of being, design—in general, technology, politics, and religion. Ad hoc elements of the disciplines and method may be eliminated by replacement or founding; the intrinsic limit of disciplines may be recognized and approached

Relation to the history of thought

What is derived from the tradition

That the narrative has derived from the tradition is obvious; these derivations include the conceptions of metaphysics, cosmology, logic, disciplines, especially science, their methods and the classical and modern traditions of criticism

Implications for the traditions

Method for the necessary Objects—results in the development of a Universal metaphysics that is a metaphysics proper, i.e. not merely a formal development or a metaphysic merely of experience. Such a metaphysics has been thought to be impossible since Kant. Kant, however, did not think metaphysics to be impossible; he regarded general metaphysics, knowledge of being and of the existence of the noumenon, to be possible; he thought special metaphysics—details of the noumenon, knowledge of God and so on to be impossible (without direct experience of God.) Here, the possibility and fact of both general and special metaphysics has been constructively demonstrated in the production and demonstration of the Universal metaphysics. This is accomplished, first, by showing, via abstraction, that the necessary Objects are simultaneously of the world and of experience. Second, by showing Logic to be a necessary concept / Object in which the Object is the Universe the existence of the Objects of special metaphysics is also shown although known by inference rather than directly (it is not implied that they cannot be known directly)

The Universal metaphysics is the one and only metaphysics whose foundation without substance is finitary; it reveals the Universe to have the greatest possible variety. It provides a final conception of Logic. It implies the identity of individual and Universal identity but does not provide an approach to this identity which therefore entails an unending adventure—the metaphysics and the traditional Objects (disciplines) suggest approaches

Method for Objects in general—permits faithfulness to the intrinsic limit and the elimination of the ad hoc to the limit intrinsic to the special disciplines such as the sciences

Outline of Part III: Method

The introduction is followed by four sections. The first section, Knowledge and its nature, is a natural preliminary to discussion of method. Method is developed in Elements of method; readers may refer to the outline of that section for detail. Section Themes explores issues that clarify and further develop the nature of method and a final section Implications for the tradition applies the present development to a range of disciplines and endeavors

Prerequisites

The present developments of method are crucially dependent on and interwoven with the content of chapters Intuition and Metaphysics. On account of the originality of those chapters, the reader who has not absorbed their content may experience difficulty in following the discussion in Method

Worlds is similarly necessary to understand the methods for special disciplines

Objects and Cosmology and acquaintance with the history of thought and method may be useful

The final section of this chapter, Implications for the tradition, develops conclusions for method or approach for a variety of disciplines. It may be useful to look through these sections so as to have examples in mind for the more general discussion that follows immediately

Some familiarity with the history of thought will be useful. It will be useful to be familiar with a variety of disciplines and their history; as far as method is concerned the disciplines will constitute examples against which thought on method may be evaluated. It will also be useful to be familiar with the thought of a number of seminal thinkers whose work transcended any artificial boundary between method and investigation. Some of these thinkers are Thales, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Hobbes, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Einstein, Gödel, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend (the list is selective and includes some whose thought was suggestive rather than explicitly about method)

Knowledge and its nature

Knowledge is an element of culture. Its value or function include negotiating and appreciating the World. Since negotiation requires some faithfulness or precision and appreciation some truth, what are its criteria of justification; and since knowledge is not given to but developed in culture, how is it created? First, we should ask ‘What is knowledge?’ and ‘What are the kinds of knowledge?’. It is logical to list the questions in the order given but addressing the second of the questions first will permit a more precise answer to the second

Kinds of knowledge

Fixed adaptation

We think of morphological development, gross as well as fine—including neurological development. There is probably no absolutely fixed development but more or less fixed ranges called norm of reaction…

Probably all development is the result of genetics and environment—uterine, physical, the proper sensory and social stimulus at the appropriate stage of development

Digestion is an adaptation but do digestive structures and process constitute knowledge? I do not think the point particularly worthy of debate even in the case of digestive adaptations during life that do not become inherited. Certainly, the development organs systems in evolution have some analogical relation to ‘knowledge proper.’ If we regarded these as knowledge, it would be sufficient to identify them as a kind of knowledge and to not confuse them with other kinds

The point to mentioning adaptation is that it provides some foundation and precursor to what we might all agree to call knowledge

Adaptability

The following are arranged from gross to fine. (1) Gross morphological adaptability—e.g., general anatomical variation due to different environments and patterns of behavior; (2) Fine morphological adaptability to the point that the metaphor ‘programmable’ becomes significant—e.g., learning as fine modification of neural network; (3) Know how—knowing how to do something as a result of nurture and experience in interaction with norm of reaction—animal and human—and possessed of a component that is non-conceptual or, at least, non-consciously conceptual… e.g., knowing how to walk, or how to repair a car requires some conscious attention and effort but for which textbook knowledge is insufficient to the development of skill at a less than conscious level and including attunement of coordination as well as absorption of information, or knowing how to learn or to ‘know that’—the next item; (4) The concept of an Object[15] in the general sense of mental content or to know that or, simply, knowing: conceiving in general terms including perceiving and memory or, simply, knowing something—e.g. I know that the earth has one moon or I know how (intersection of knowing how and conceptual knowledge or knowing that) to prove the theorem of Pythagoras. If I did not know how to prove a theorem by rote, some intuitive know how of theorem proving might be necessary; knowing that and knowing how merge at their boundaries

Icon and symbol; knowing and communicating

This section constitutes and intentionally brief reference to (1) Distinctions between imagination or thought in iconic versus symbolic terms, (2) Distinctions between simple and occasional use of symbols versus language and the capacity for language, and (3) Language as a medium of thought versus communication and the immediate and adaptive interaction, perhaps synergistic, between these two uses of language

Knowing how versus knowing that

Knowing how—there are levels of knowing how to do something. We are not taught to walk. Learning how to talk is largely a process of experience and absorption by an organism that comes with the ability to learn how to talk without explicit instruction; but there may be explicit instruction in talking well. We may be taught a trade but that is possible because we are human; another animal or a rock cannot learn human trades and we cannot learn to hunt as a lion does. Absorption of the trade and expertise in it, however, are not entirely explicit

A distinction has been made within knowing that: direct knowledge and indirect or inferred knowledge (such inference may be further divided into the necessary and the probable)

Summary

Although we are concerned with ‘knowing that’ or knowledge that is conceptual in the generalized sense, all of the modalities mentioned involve adaptation of organism to environment. We may say that there is at least some gross sense in which the environment (plus organism) is mapped or mirrored by the organism. The idea of mirroring has come under criticism from many directions. However, it is here used in two senses: actual and analogical. (1) In the actual sense there is no mirror whatsoever. Instead, the idea of a mirror arises because, e.g. the percept-concepts of two triangles have similarities, the percept-concepts of a mountain and a pyramid have rough similarities and so on. Although there is no precise replication there is at least rough replication of ‘Objects’ which suggests implicit faithfulness that is sufficient for adaptation rather than perfect (that it is sufficient includes imprecision of form and incompleteness of detail.) (2) The analogical sense arises as follows. The concept in the case of perception is an experience as is the concept in the case of memory (the actual sense would apply.) Although the alteration of brain state that corresponds to such perception cannot be claimed to have geometrical similarity to the ‘Object’ there is some kind of correspondence or coding of ‘Object.’ (Those who are familiar with the topic may think ‘transformation’ as in Fourier transformation.) In this case ‘replication’ is at most metaphorical. Remarks on the imprecision of replication-by-transformation would be similar to those for the previous case of similarity among Objects. In both cases the idea of replication is rendered as perfect when the concept-Object is necessary (which renders the meaning of concept / Object literal-in-some-sense in that case)

Implicit faithfulness

(4) the fact that we have some success and some failure in negotiating the environment on the basis of conceptual knowledge indicates that there is at least some gross and implicit faithfulness even though there need be no resemblance between brain configuration and world (what is roughly coded in perception is similarly decoded in action)

The foregoing still fails to illuminate conceptual knowing even though it is a rough explanation of a function / an operation of knowing

Knowledge and its nature

What is sought in this section is the constitution of knowledge rather than criteria for knowledge. Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, one widespread notion of knowledge has been ‘justified true belief.’ This is a rather vague notion and Paul Gettier has given examples of justified true belief that do not constitute knowledge. Gettier’s arguments are problematic in that they allow that a belief may be justified but not true whereas justification may be seen as an open process and, further, the question of a benchmark against which the notion may be tested is left open. What approach may there be to such a benchmark over and above the intuition that some beliefs do and others do not constitute knowledge? Constitution is one approach. Once one has taken such an approach (i.e. what constitutes knowledge rather than what counts as knowledge) we will be able to see that ‘justified true belief’ is a statement that is not merely factual in nature but is also of value. One place of knowledge is day to day activity; here we do not invariably need knowledge to be certain or precise or finally true but sometimes, simply, to be somewhat on the mark. There are times when it is useful to have truth; and truth is also an ideal; however, the ‘justified true belief’ notion may be seen to include a statement of value (and even if a high value it is not universal.) It results from the idealism of a Plato. In the present narrative, especially in Objects, we have seen the rational integration of the essence of such idealism with knowledge of this world via the demonstrated principle of reference that requires that every concept has reference (subject to minimal requirements of Logic)

Conceptual knowing may be bound or free, i.e. perceptual or conceptual in the ‘higher’ sense; and it may be iconic or symbolic. It has been seen that the bound/free or percept/concept distinction corresponds to the distinction between observation and inference

When I perceive Mt. Everest or a picture of it or when I recall the perception as in iconic conception I have an experience that I may naïvely think is a replica of the mountain. Of course, there is a gap, some might think abyss, between the organism (me) and the mountain. ‘Replica,’ therefore, is at most metaphorical and gross and therefore I am not entitled to really think ‘replica’ (even though we all behave as that were the case and although some cognitively impaired persons may be excluded, skeptics are not characteristically excluded as a result of skepticism.) That is the skeptical position. However, the critical position ought to be that the position on the relation between experience / brain on the one hand and thing on the other hand should be the result rather than presumption of investigation (and should be informed by skepticism as well as typical behavior including the idea of implicit faithfulness)

Although the metaphor of the replica with its origin in memory in the iconic case is stretched even more in the symbolic case, it is applicable for similar reasons, and of course subject to a similar critical attitude

What is the source of the replica idea / metaphor? My experience of two mountains of years ago, my recollection of the mountains, my experience of the mountains today, pictures of the mountains, and geometrical pyramidal solids and renderings of them on paper, have similarities that invoke the word ‘structure.’ And that metaphor continues deep into science (Euclidean geometry) where immense precision is possible. We think that the replica metaphor is more than metaphor provided we do not extend it beyond its boundaries (vaguely known of course)

Non-essentialism of critique. We do not expect the outcome of criticism / analysis to be uniform across the field of knowing; this would be the error of essentialism. We expect, as we have seen earlier, that there may be cases of perfect faithfulness, cases of excellent faithfulness (if local: some scientific theories,) and day-to-day cases of rough / sufficient faithfulness

Knowledge and the larger context of action

In the case of the necessary Objects there is a distinction between concept and Object but, except gross confusion and extending the faithfulness beyond its domain of the necessary Object, there is no need to be careful about the distinction

Knowledge of the necessary Objects forms a boundary to the practical Objects. Concepts, in the case of practical Objects, are bound together with Object, the border imprecise even if meaningful, and there is no final full precision of faithfulness. The origin of this situation lies perhaps in a stage of development where concept and action remain in interaction and there is no complete separation from that ongoing interaction of a sense of concept of Object in isolation. In this realm there is no adaptive need for concept precision without precision of related concepts and precision of action. Therefore, (1) faithfulness may be sufficient and implicit, and (2) concept and action remain in interaction. In the practical case, concept-action has incomplete separation and while implicit-faithfulness is default there may also be a degree of explicit-faithfulness that allows a degree of partial separation of concept and action. Complete separation of concept and action occurs for necessary Objects

Elements of method

Introduction

The main elements of method

The main elements of method are creation and validation. For knowledge, we may call these elements discovery and justification. Justification has been placed after discovery because of the conventional and reasonable thought that proof follows heuristics. This is the paradigm in relation to certainty; it is not clear that this ideal is always attainable especially in areas of importance; this issue is elaborated below. It certainly seems to be the case that justification is not ‘absolute’ in all important cases or for all time; that novelty and creativity are required in developing approaches to justification as need arises; and that certain justification is not always available. Further, creativity is immensely enhanced when infused with a certain adaptive and adapting critical sense. In the development of knowledge, creation may be discovery of new facts but also refers to concept and hypothesis creation—these have been placed together in naming a context of discovery; validation has been named the context of justification. It has been seen that justification may range from tentative or awaiting disconfirmation to demonstration; which depends of the field and on the specific problem and need for solution

The processes of knowing are observation and inference. Observation is the ascertaining of fact. Observation may be active, instrumental as in experiment, or relatively passive as in analysis of experience and, as seen earlier and below, as in analysis of meaning. Inference refers to the process of validly arriving at of knowledge from given knowledge. The given knowledge constitutes the premise or premises; the knowledge arrived at is the conclusion (or conclusions.) The nature of inference does not require the truth of premises; an inference asserts that if the premises are true, then the conclusions are true (to some specified degree of confidence.) Thus the establishment of data (via observation, experiment and so on) and the derivation of consequences are distinct tasks. When the conclusions are not implicit in the premises, the process of inference necessarily involves insertion or addition of something new which is typically not apparent and is therefore creative; this kind of inference has been labeled induction[16]. The possibility of induction arises from the fact that there are patterns in the world and that we can recognize patterns (the ‘recognition’ may be trivial or difficult and require creativity and computation.) The word ‘pattern’ is understood in a general sense and is not restricted to a spatial pattern or number sequence with recognizable regularity and includes law, conceptual description and theory. The conclusion of an inductive inference always contains something that is not in the premise and is therefore always open to doubt (even if the conclusion appears to be natural there are alternatives;) however, with repeated confirmation confidence grows that the conclusion applies at least locally (and confidence may be enhanced when a theory has internal consistency and symmetry of form.) Because of the doubt that remains regarding an inductive inference and because it is creative and not necessary, the idea of a logic of induction has fallen out of favor and, instead, we talk of hypothesis formation, creativity, discovery, and scientific method. When the conclusions are implicit in the premises but any difficulty in inference is in seeing that the conclusions are already present, inference is called deduction. In deduction, if the premises are true then the conclusion is true. The establishment of basic fact and deduction is separated. (It is reasonable to ask whether this separation universally possible. It is possible to imagine an organism who could perceive as wholes, Objects of which we could perceive only ‘parts’ and build up the whole by inference; in this case the separation of observation and inference is possible but not necessary. What is the source of rules of deduction? If they regarded as given there is separation; if not then separation may be incomplete.)Thus deduction is commonly thought to be necessary. However, there is a distinction to be made in the thought that a system of inference is strictly deductive and its being strictly deductive. The propositional calculus and the Aristotelian syllogism are thought to be deductive because the range of proof schemas is finite. In more complex calculi, the range is infinite and though we accept non-finitary analyses of the range of proof schemas, there must remain some doubt regarding the certainty of deduction in such cases. An important use of deduction is when a scientific theory has been arrived at by creative hypothesis formation. If the theory is expressed in mathematical terms predictions are made by writing down the equations for specific configurations and then deducing consequences. Since the consequences are simultaneously application and prediction, deduction is part of the application and justification of scientific theory

The elements of justification are reason—inference—to make predictions; and experience—which includes observation and experiment—to test predictions

The elements of creation, drawn out below, are imagination and reflexivity; and the situational, personal and the idiosyncratic

Outline of Elements of method

Subsections Justification through Creation of conceptual systems—analysis of meaning constitute a general discussion of method (not restricted to received thought.) The subsequent subsections concern method as it arises in this narrative, its enhancements relative to received method, and mutual implications of the considerations, received and present

The necessary Objects discusses the method of the Universal metaphysics of Metaphysics and its clarification in Objects and elaboration in Cosmology. Here, Method establishes via intuition and, especially, abstraction necessary Objects that constitute the metaphysics. These Objects were, in part, suggested by the considerations described in subsections below with Creation of conceptual systems in their title. The actual approach was an interaction between intuition, abstraction, and creation of conceptual systems but finally it was abstraction that was essential to demonstration. The essential necessary Objects are Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos; Logos is an Object that embodies Logic and it is this that results in the necessary Objects constituting the entire metaphysics. Earlier, I pointed out intimations of these ideas in previous thought. Here, however, is found the ideas as a demonstrated, mature core system that is developed (Metaphysics and Objects) elaborated (Cosmology,) and applied (Worlds)

The practical Objects develops (recounts) Method for the special disciplines as in Worlds. Here, the methods of the disciplines are enhanced by placing the disciplines in the context of the Universal metaphysics. This encourages experimental re-valuation of the elements of the disciplines and, consequently, encourages elimination of the ad-hoc classical elements and approach to the intrinsic limits of faithfulness possible for the disciplines

In Reflexivity, I have discussed some aspects of creativity that I found, on looking back, have characterized my thought. This section, defines, formalizes, and develops the idea of reflexivity as lateral interaction at the level of content (interaction and analogy among different disciplines) and of method (e.g. interaction between discovery and justification which is found to be essential) as well as vertical interaction (between content and method)

Faith and hypothesis develops an approach appropriate to the presence of doubt. This approach is essential to the journey of realization regardless of whether there is doubt regarding the demonstration of the Universal metaphysics

Justification

Justification—the concept—degrees of certainty, faithfulness, confidence, pragmatism with regard to use

Justification—alternate terms that bring out issues in the meaning and nature of justification—verification versus justification versus acceptance and use of the most acceptable or confirmed versus acceptance and use of the least unacceptable or minimally unconfirmed versus selection of the most fit for application (applicability as relation to environment, falsifiability or testability)

The interactivity of creation and justification. Creation is important in elucidating and applying modes of justification. Creation does not stop with justification and is in interaction with it. When confidence is desired, we may wish to end with justification; this is not always possible and when not possible it cannot be desirable except of course that our knowledge of when it is impossible is not precise; when it is possible to give final justification, and confidence is desired, it then becomes paramount to end with justification. This is the source of the notion of the separation of the context of discovery and the context of justification which famously applicable to given problems in mathematics and the classical theories of science as capturing a coherent domain of phenomena (which is possible since, as it appears, there are such domains; and while extrapolation is not a logical operation, use of the best science is the only option if we wish to predict.) As seen it is not clear that as science continues to progress, we will have the luxury of justification prior to use and, given the potential complexity of mathematics and the logics and the difficulty (which may increase) of verification of computer proofs, the same is true for those fields

In general, justification is the phase that emphasizes validation over creation and application

Final justification is a value but this value may not always be achieved or achievable. Final justification appears to be possible and available in limited though large and important contexts

The question of final justification versus creation and justification in interaction is distinct from the question of the relative importance of imagination and criticism. It has been said that that the negative judgment is the peak of human intellect[17]. The discussion that follows suggests that the critical sense is necessary even in creation; however, creation is essential even in criticism. Once discipline is acquired, formal discipline may be shed in the conduct of study; however, it is necessary to emphasize formal discipline in education so as to educate the sense of discipline or criticism; perhaps, this is a source of what would otherwise be an over-emphasis on criticism; and perhaps this is the source of the idea that the negative judgment is the peak of human intellect

Creation

Creation—the concept—in understanding a new context, new concepts (meaning) or old words with new meaning (concepts) are required to characterize the elements or entities of the context and new or variation of old relations (laws, theories, conceptual relations) among concepts are required to represent the patterns of the context

The distinction between entity or fundamental concept and pattern or articulated system of concepts is arbitrary

The distinction between law, theory, and conceptual relation is blurred; law is typically expressed mathematically as an equation among conceptual values, conceptual relation is expressed verbally but not un-mathematically, a theory is a complex of fundamental entities, fundamental relations, laws and conceptual relations

Theories and so on are not typically created in a single step of simultaneous insight and precision. They are the result of creative guesswork and various kinds of trial and error including prediction, comparison with reality, and revision; this process is sometimes summarized: …HP®T®HP®T… where H, P, and T are hypothesis, prediction, and test (H and P are placed together even though they have separation because there may be an inner loop of consistency checking)

Creation—alternative and related terms—heuristics, discovery, imagination, speculation, free creation of concepts

The interactivity of creation and justification. Note that discovery or creation is not mere play with ideas. There is critical thought in interaction with play; in discovery this critical aspect may be explicit, intuitive, or, simply, built into the symbolic-iconic concepts. Play (discovery, creation) is essential—it is the source of new ideas and without it there can be no new knowing or understanding. However, discovery requires channeling and that channeling is the explicit as well as the intuitive (common meaning) use of varying degrees of critical thought and structure which includes received notions. Creation is the phase that emphasizes pure creation over justification; the phase of creation and justification are not entirely separate

These considerations, however, do not imply that final justification does not occur. Whether this occurs may especially be questioned in science. In mathematics, final justification appears to occur except, however, in the case of revision of mathematical systems

Observation

Kinds

Experience

Observation

Experiment

Aspects of the analysis of meaning

Creation—what to observe

Systematic—suggested by prior theory, hypothesis

Serendipitous—openness, readiness, focus

Justification

Repetition and independent observation. Ongoing corroboration—after acceptance. Variety—multiple phenomena

Theory of measurement—measurement in general, the particular context

Interaction between theory and data. Revaluation of data and theory in light of conflict

Over-determination of facts: using further facts to critique facts (deductively or inductively)

Inference

Kinds

Induction—generalization, pattern, symmetry, concept formation

Deduction

Creation

Aesthetics

Ockham’s minimalism

Analogy—enhanced by variety of experience, understanding of disciplines across the field of human knowledge

Intuition, incubation

Imagination—dual play with concepts and context, see analogy

Analysis of meaning, play with concepts, reconceptualization or play, and articulated systems of concepts

Abstraction, example

Critical imagination—imagination informed by optimal degrees and kinds of criticism, intuitive and formal

Problem solving approaches—break problem up into parts etc.

Justification

Conceptual, logical, and / or mathematical analysis… understanding, explanation, and prediction

Experience, experiment, observation

Critique of justification

Modes and degrees of separation and separability from context; deploying immersion when separability is incomplete

Justification and creation—human and institutional factors

These apply across the field and are therefore kept separate

Human

Persistence and passion: passion for truth over mere belief, passion for the world, passion for the subject of study. Discipline versus play, focus versus fullness

Place—choice of institutional setting / resources / communication and networking, alternative settings, travel and the forest and mountains as inspiration (as in India and Tibetan Buddhism)… support versus independence

Cultivation of formal and informal factors and personal energies; ‘meta-cognition’ is a recognized term meaning, roughly, cognition about cognition in which the individual recognizes needs of cognition in various ways and at various levels and cognizes satisfaction of those needs… or recognizes deficiencies of his or her own cognitive processes and cognizes and implements correction, compensation, and enhancement

Immersion and interface, as appropriate, when complete separation from the Object is impractical or impossible

Institutional

Provision of motivation, support, and an environment of communication, complementary endeavor (and competition)

Understanding, organization, administration, and leadership of varieties of economic, disciplinary, co-operative, and facilities needs of research—from investigation best done by individuals and individuals working separately to large teams

Recognition, selection, training, and cultivation of talent and ability

Organizing and administrating interface in all cases and immersion when indicated. Meta-cognition is also the business of managing and administrating the knowledge-process (research…)

The range of disciplines

The foregoing appears to be adequate to the range of scientific disciplines and metaphysics; and perhaps logic, mathematics and ethics (the case of ethics probably requires interpretation of the ‘Object’ so that ethics can have one)

Analysis is required for disciplines whose symbols are not linguistic, that are not prima facie propositional and empirical

Creation of conceptual systems—analysis of knowledge

Analysis of knowledge reveals the nature of knowledge and criteria acceptance (degrees of confidence.) The nature of knowledge is the relation of a concept or mental content to an Object or entity (particular or abstract; thing, process, relation…)

The distinction between the abstract and the particular is found to lack fundamental character and abstract Objects and particular Objects are both empirical, both located in space and time, both located in the One Universe (there is no other Platonic World or Mental World;) the distinction between the abstract and the particular is the characteristic way in which they are most typically and / or conveniently viewed—the particular empirically and the abstract symbolically; there are things that we can call mental Objects, e.g. ideas and concepts that are just as real as the concrete as are the abstract but there is no need to think of abstract Objects as ‘mental’

The empirical is not a-conceptual

The meaning and nature of this relation is analyzed for it is not given that there is any relation at all. It is also revealed that concepts and Objects may be compound so that systems of concepts relate to systems of Objects—and that when the system of Objects is a patterned structure the pattern is represented by the articulation of the concepts. The compound concept is also a concept; compound Object is also an Object

Meaning is the articulation of a concept and its relation to an Object. Since concepts and Objects come as articulated, meaning does not occur in isolation. In the general case, meaning includes the empirical and analysis of meaning includes the performance of empirical activity. In a scientific theory, the entities are more or less given and the focus of attention is the articulation of the concepts (laws, theories, descriptions) and their relations to Objects (prediction, test.) In metaphysics attention to meanings of the concepts is paramount but this does not exclude reference for, first, meaning always implicates reference and, second, the concepts are also names for our experience. Thus while science often suppresses meaning and metaphysics is often thought to avoid experience this is only because meaning is often implicit in science while experience is often primarily explicit in metaphysics. For there to be a real metaphysics, experience must be incorporated and, here, in the Universal metaphysics, experience has been made explicit. Similarly, science may be thought to avoid meaning but it is only the case that, in the service of the scientific functions of explanation and prediction, linguistic meaning in science is truncated and conventionalized and therefore rather stunted but not absent

Creation of conceptual systems—analysis of meaning

Attention to and analysis of meaning is pivotal in the development of the metaphysics. Since the metaphysics develops via experiment with concept (incorporating experience,) there is an exploration in meaning space

Meaning is relative to a context

The title may have been Some meaning is relative to a context. Even if the Universe is regarded as a context the possibilities of kinds of domain are, according to the fundamental principle, never exhausted

In the practical case there is a common context that permits talk of the meaning of a word-concept without explicit reference to context. In general, e.g. in going beyond the practical to the Universal which is under discovery, it is invalid to talk of the meaning of a word dissociated from context

Meaning integrates experience

The title should perhaps have made it clear that some experience is integrated into meaning. Further thought may however reveal considerations according to which all experience lies with some kind of meaning of symbol or icon

Therefore careful attention to meaning may result in saying something more about the world. I emphasize ‘more’ because via experience, concepts including words in grammatical combination already say something about the world