Topics and concepts for the way
Anil Mitra, Copyright June 20, 2020—June 29, 2020
Outline of Contents
Topics and concepts for the way
Think through the essential topics and concepts. Reduce. Review main concepts, integrate general > public > axiomatic > poetic and their concepts and sources.
Axiomatic – nature of postulates here + this (not math like); axioms; some concepts > experience, abstraction, being, beings, universe…
General – incorporates all > keep it brief
Dictionary of philosophy – word study see words.html
The term ‘or’ is vexing because it commonly means either one or the other but not both, however, it sometimes means one or the other or both. The uses are the exclusive and the inclusive, respectively. The inclusive is often convenient, but the intended use is not always obvious from context. Therefore, the italicized form, or, shall denote the inclusive use.
Normal style. This document will have only essential content and where it occurs it will be in Normal style.
Comment 1. Comments are observations and things to do.
Comment 2. Name.
Comment 3. May place this in the prologue of the general version.
The aim of the way of being is
1. living well in this life.
2. Discovering the nature of the universe; of whether our bodies, birth, and death, are our limits—or whether there an extension beyond; of our relation to the universe and, if there is an extension beyond this life, to discovery and realization of our ultimate being.
3. While ‘this life’ and ‘our ultimate being’ are not distinct, we distinguish them so as to recognize that they are not identical and to know them, at least in synthesis, as the same.
4. Therefore, in synthesis at least, to live well in this life as platform to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate, and to see and realize the ultimate as best we can as illumination of this life.
Comment 4. Title?
Comment 5. This section is about the weirdness of thrownness in our lives
There are accounts of our source and origins. The earliest time we ‘see’ with any certainty is the big bang 13.8 b years ago. We can trace our origins back about 4.5 b years and give some account of abiogenesis, a good account of evolution from the earliest organisms, tell a decent story of the origins and evolution of homo sapiens, and we have some insight into our minds and consciousness.
However, we do not know what the nature of our consciousness is on a physical account, or why it arose in evolution (certainly we have understanding of the behavioral side but not of the phenomenal side). And, even if we reject physicalism, we have little idea of why there is consciousness in the universe (except to invert explanation and say that if there were no consciousness, we would know neither the universe nor consciousness itself in phenomenal terms, which, though it is a useful approach for some purposes, is, fundamentally, a circular explanation. Furthermore, the physical approach and the approach from consciousness as given are both ultimately unfounded, depending, as they do, on assuming the given.
And further what is the foundation of this cosmos that some of us call ‘the universe’—i.e., how and why is it here?
Finally, for religious explanations, e.g. God, a necessary being, is the creator, the explanation, even if it is true, simply takes effective cause back to God, but does not tell us why there must be any necessary cause, let alone why such cause is God.
In other words, that we find ourselves ‘thrown into a world, not of our making’ and yet we find significant meaning a driving force (at least some of us do), is a deep puzzle for which the standard secular and religious explanations fall short, and the ‘nihilist’ explanation—that it is unanswerable or that it is a non question or meaningless question—is just another posit.
Science is empirical—it is based on experience of the world via observation and theories which are generalizations from observation. Therefore, even though there is some extrapolation, to project from theory to the entire universe is without foundation and may be false. For, the empirical universe may be embedded in a far greater real universe without violation of reason—i.e. experience, science, or logic (this is of course not proof of the embedding, but proof is given later).
Some thinkers hold that in science, we have seen the essence of the world, even if not all the detail. The basis of that view is that over the last 400 years or so, i.e. since Isaac Newton, we have seen into every niche of nature and there is no more to see. But as seen just above we do not know that at all. That we may think that we have seen it all is because our theories explain what we have seen and may therefore give us the impression that what we have seen is essentially all. Consequently, the view that we have seen all becomes an emergent reality
How may we fill in that possible infinity beyond the cosmos (remembering that the beyond is not just remote in distance in time but remote in size or energy of interaction below what is currently visible)? Shall we say that because we have not observed it, we ought not even to speak of it? Some people think so. Some people think not. I say that without thinking about it and exploration we shall never know. I also say that no one has a moral right to say, “of this, thou ought not speak” (we are not thinking of perversions).
Here something secularism gets wrong. A function of religion is to attempt to look beyond. The means are speculation, rationality, and criticism of our paradigmatic views (especially the view that in experience or science we have seen the essence of the world). Now while speculative myth and dogma, are universally rejected as fact (except by those who follow the particular dogma), even they have meaning as pointing beyond experience and science, to encouragement to search for truth (which is how many of ‘the faithful’ take their myths), as symbolic for the likely fact that there is being beyond human being, and as existential approach to living.
The puzzle above.
Wanting to be and know more.
Search for truth, and the real.
For religious persons with doubt about religion—an answer to some doubts.
‘This precious life.’
1. The core of the way—it is demonstrable that the universe is the greatest possible; the limitless universe; the individual inherits this power; there is a path to the ultimate; there is a felt imperative to be on a path; the way provides a path.
2. Some individuals will be interest in the metaphysical development—they may read the general and axiomatic accounts; some will be interested in realization; they may read this section, the description of the limitless universe, the way, motivation, and making the metaphysics visceral.
Comment 6. Word ‘visceral’.
1. The approach from reason.
3. Ritual, dedication, affirmation.
To be developed.
One line demonstration
Heuristics, main implications, and illustrations (identity, the universe and the individual, path, imperative), doubt and response
Comment 7. ‘Prologue’ vs ‘Introduction’
Comment 8. Combine with later section “The question of method”
Comment 9. Alternative terms to ‘method’. Systematic general method (where). Special topical methods, e.g. general cosmology (what methods and their mention here).
Method, content (method and content are one)
Every person has one story—that of their universe and their place in it. The Way of Being began, for me, as my search for significance or meaning. Along the way, I found understanding of ‘my universe and my place in it’, which I have attempted to do so in universal terms that, as far as possible, is the same everywhere, everywhen, and for everyone.
The origin in the way lies (i) in the extension and duration of the universe, (ii) human traditions of the same, which include how to understand and reason, and which are necessarily in process (iii) my immersion in the foregoing, and my further understanding as a result of reflection, analysis and synthesis of ideas, and action on the same.
Comment 10. Functions as suggestions for readers.
Meanings, system of meaning, intuition, blocks
Comment 11. Word ‘motivation’. Make this a level 3 heading? See motivation under “Public version”
Comment 12. Alternate title—About method
Comment 13. Is ‘method’ the right or best word to use here?
Method is ‘how to’ and is usually thought of imagination (discovery) and criticism (justification). Criticism, logic, are frequently thought of as more important. I disagree with this—since, this part of method, is frequently seen as reduction to a prescribable approach, and since without it imagination might run ‘amok’, it is therefore seen as more important and perhaps far more essential. However, without imagination there is nothing to criticize and, indeed, imagination is essential to the emergence of the systematic side.
Now method, particularly logic, is often thought of as a priori (to experience), while content, e.g. of science, is empirical and thought of as synthetic or a-posteriori. However, note that both content and method are in the world, and therefore the distinction is not absolute—i.e., method is content. This suggests that while method / logic seems a priori, it in fact emerges from experience—i.e., if content is emergent, so is method. For how could it be otherwise? That is given that logic is not received as if from god, but it emerges, not because it is absolutely true but because it is found. In this sense, also since it is corrected, it is empirical. It is empirical over the relation between thought and the object of thought, where science is empirical over the object—i.e. the world. Logic may seem a priori because we do not typically derive it (and if we do, there is the question of the foundation of the derivation), but it was no doubt arrived at and its inexorability (seeming) was arrived at by trial and error.
What is more, from the theory of meaning as concept-object, logic and science are sides of one coin, both empirical, and the correct thing to compare is not arriving at science vs using logic but (i) arriving at science and arriving at logic and (ii) using science and using logic. Of course, as Quine observed, logic changes slower than science because it is more general and is context free (the latter per Quine and of course it is also the modern perception). However, it is not context free—its context is the relation between ideas and the world; and in a sense, so is the context of science, but since the sciences concern much more detailed and particular contexts and, further, they presume logic.
I thought to cast this work into axiomatic form but that appears impossible at present and perhaps forever because ideas continue to emerge and because the development of the ideas is emergent from experience to the way. However, we can trace the emergence of method in two ways, presuming elements our perceptual - conceptual - linguistic inheritance. The first way is the general emergence through experience > abstraction > being and beings > possibility, science, logic, and necessity > the fundamental principle of metaphysics > use of imagination and criticism in the application of the fundamental principle in the ideal case > synthesis of the ideal with the pragmatic to form the real metaphysics > use of the real metaphysics in developing metaphysics, cosmology, and developing and living the way. So, there is, then, method of a sort.
However, having developed the metaphysics we can do more. We can carve out a limited part of the development, one that is quite capable of axiomatization, and show that a description of the universe emerges from the axiomatic metaphysics. In forming the axiomatic system, we have to identify content (axioms, per Euclid) and method / principles (postulates, per Euclid) and both of these are suggested by the emergent method described earlier in the paragraph.
1. Edit the above, provide a summary.
2. We see content and method emerging throughout.
3. I shall go through the text, identifying places where content-method emerges, particularly method in general, e.g. ‘imagination’, ‘logic’, ‘reason’, ‘reflexivity’, ‘argument’, ‘paradigms’, and method for particular situations, e.g. the destiny of individual and universal identity, and cosmology
4. Once the emergence is completed and seen, all content and method, including the received, may be subject to criticism and analysis, and so (i) there is, in the end, no a priori and (ii) content-method can be improved. To what extent is improvement possible? In some directions, absolutely—as described next.
5. The aim now is to write down the primitives, axioms, and postulates from the emergent method.
There is experience and reflexivity—i.e., experience of experience
Experience of experience is a significant part of what makes intentionality possible.
Why experience? Here is a preliminary answer—
There is a sense in which we do not get outside experience—for, beginning with the phenomenal, the real or objective is further experience.
Comment 14. All experience is pure experience +
experience not linked to the world
Are experience +
Experience is relation, even pure experience
Comment 15. Title?
bound – free… or referential – null (null includes the case of potential reference)
internal – external
iconic – symbolic
objective – qualitative
imperative – neutral
1. Perception is bound, external, iconic, close to neutral
2. Feeling is bound, qualitative, on the imperative – neutral spectrum, internal (but the distinction between perception and feeling is not always made)
3. Thought is free, symbolic with possible iconic content, relatively neutral (imperative arises in association with feeling)
4. Emotion is less bound than feeling, qualitative, and complex (interacts with and may subsume elements of the previous items)
Comment 16. Make the following essential and combine
The place of individual being, becoming, relation, and significant meaning
The place of will, choice, foresight, designs and plans, action, and change
sameness, difference, identity (existent, person or individual), extension, duration
the world, the individual (self, other), the environment, real world as object of and including experience
Comment 1. Concept meaning includes linguistic meaning
referential concept (experience of, symbolic-iconic), referent (experienced)
in use, an ‘object’ is just the referent, supposed to have existence in isolation from the concept; in fact, this mistakes the nature of referents, which is better conceived of as the concept-referent, for which, the concept part is often dropped, unproblematically
intention arises from this notion of referent as concept-referent and the reflexivity of concepts
meaning (concept and possible referents), knowledge (meaning realized)
Comment 2. Or The experiential world
Comment 3. Word: individual / individual being / person / sapient being / thrown being (which requires a sense of thrownness) / human being / Dasein
experience (itself), real world (‘external’), experience (itself), individual (person), self, other, environment
Here being and existence are not distinguished
verb to be, a being (concept-referent or existent), being (property of beings, existence), nonexistent (the referent is null)
whole, part, null
cause (the concept), create (to cause to exist), power (effective cause, interaction, measure of being)
The hypothetical being that has no power, self or other, does not exist.
universe (all being or beings), void (the being that has no parts)
All creation and effective causation are internal to the universe, which has no creator or creation, other or self (the former because there is no other being, the latter is because the created has no existence prior to its existence)
possibility (the concept; unity and disunity among science and logic, real possibility (science, physical, living, sentient), logical possibility, logic
Unconditional being and necessary being are identical
Metaphysics has already begun. In that it is derived from direct experience it is trivial. What follows is nontrivial in that it goes beyond what is conventionally thought of experience (but only in that the common is not carefully critiqued or thought out).
Method of seeing possibilities for beings—merging, levels – from elements to Brahman and their vision and interaction
Comment 4. Words ‘imperative’, ‘value’
Imperative, value, enjoyment
Comment 1. Resolving the interpretations
Comment 2. ‘Categories’?
reason, method, doubt, skepticism, understanding, widest relevant context (is the logical universe)
The topics in this section are significant applications or development of the real metaphysics that are not essential to the way. The topics are chosen so that together with the rest of the chapter, there is, in a broad perspective, a reasonably complete treatment of extant and emergent metaphysics.
For a comprehensive set of topics, see a journey in being-outline.html
The nature of Being
Categories of Being and universals
The problem of substance
Materialism and empiricism
Causation, determinism, and freedom
Consciousness, mind, and matter
Comment 3. Make cosmology a topic under metaphysics?
Cosmology is (a part) of metaphysics.
The method is the real metaphysics, imagination, and criticism
The method of the cosmology of formation is (i) on the ideal side the method of general cosmology (ii) on the pragmatic side the adaptive systems paradigm as generalized from the Darwinian paradigm of evolution.
In metaphysical terms the outcome of the Darwinian paradigm, is that formed systems shall be near stable and near symmetric and, where observed, possessed of that symmetry that encourages high level experiential beings
The paradigms are mechanism, effective causation, and determinism with residual indeterminism
Comment 4. Word ‘resources’
Every generation ought to its way as grounded in and summarizing the received ways.
This may inherit the virtue but not the burden of the past.
This may become a section under metaphysics
In process material is currently here.