Topics and concepts for the way

Anil Mitra, Copyright June 20, 2020—June 29, 2020

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Outline of Contents

Planning

Plan

Elements

Notation

Useage

Content

Public

Aim

A puzzle

More on the secular and religious answers to the puzzle

Motivation

The approach of the way for the general public

Making the intuition visceral

Speech

Outline

Aim

Fundamental principle

Meaning and consequences

The way

General

Prologue

Aim

Method

Origins

Understanding text

Motivation

The question of method

The issues

What to do next

Experience

What experience is

An effective world

Pure experience

Intention and action

The range of experience

Why experience?

The effective place of the world

Approach to the real—the world and the real world

The place of concept meaning, knowing, and acting

Interpretations of experience

The phenomenal world

What is an interpretation and what is their significance

The interpretations

Being

Beings, being, and existence

Power

The universe and the void

Possibility

The concept of possibility

Real possibility

Logical possibility

Necessity

The concept of necessity

Necessary being

Unconditional being

Identity of necessary and unconditional being

Metaphysics

What metaphysics is

The fundamental principle

The real metaphysics

Identity, the universe, and the individual

The universe and the individual

Identity, space, time, matter, and cause

Ethics

Universal

Local

The aim of being

The metaphysics of experience

Dimensions of being

Ideal or pure

Pragmatic

The nature of being

In history and this work

Human being

Kinds of being

The abstract and the concrete

Reason

The block universe

Topics in metaphysics

Applications emerging from the real metaphysics

The fundamental question of metaphysics

A principle of sufficient reason

A metaphysics of questions

Problems of eastern metaphysics

Problems of western metaphysics

Pre-modern

Early modern

Modern and current

Cosmology

General cosmology and its method

Cosmology of form and formation

Cosmology of formation

Cosmology of form

Physical cosmology

The block universe

A system of the world

The way

The aim of being

The means

Ways and catalysts

Metaphysics and reason

The templates

Principles

Everyday template

Universal template

Resources

Epilogue

The way as connecting past, present, and future as one

A continuous stream of text

A guide for my life and immersion in the world

Axiomatic version

 

Topics and concepts for the way

Planning

Plan

Think through the essential topics and concepts. Reduce. Review main concepts, integrate general > public > axiomatic > poetic and their concepts and sources.

Elements

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

Informal work for the general public

Motivation

Notation

Useage

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.

Content

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5

Concepts

Concepts 2

Concepts 3

Concepts 4

Concepts 5

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.

Public

Comment 2.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Name.

Comment 3.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         May place this in the prologue of the general version.

Aim

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.

A puzzle

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.

More on the secular and religious answers to the puzzle

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.

Motivation

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.’

The approach of the way for the general public

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.

Making the intuition visceral

Comment 6.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Word ‘visceral’.

1.    The approach from reason.

2.    Sangha.

3.    Ritual, dedication, affirmation.

Speech

To be developed.

Outline

Aim

Fundamental principle

One line demonstration

Meaning and consequences

Heuristics, main implications, and illustrations (identity, the universe and the individual, path, imperative), doubt and response

The way

General

Prologue

Comment 7.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘Prologue’ vs ‘Introduction’

Aim

Aim, motive

Method

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)

Origins

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.

history

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.

Understanding text

Comment 10.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Functions as suggestions for readers.

Meanings, system of meaning, intuition, blocks

Motivation

Comment 11.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Word ‘motivation’. Make this a level 3 heading? See motivation under “Public version”

The question of method

Comment 12.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Alternate title—About method

Comment 13.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Is ‘method’ the right or best word to use here?

The issues

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.

What to do next

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.

Experience

What experience is

experience, abstraction

There is experience and reflexivity—i.e., experience of experience

Experience of experience is a significant part of what makes intentionality possible.

An effective world

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.

Pure experience

Comment 14.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     All experience is pure experience +

experience not linked to the world

Intention and action

Are experience +

Experience is relation, even pure experience

The range of experience

Comment 15.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Title?

bound – free… or referential – null (null includes the case of potential reference)

attitudinal – agentive

internal – external

iconic – symbolic

objective – qualitative

imperative – neutral

Examples

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)

Why experience?

The effective place of the world

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

Approach to the real—the world and the real world

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

The place of concept meaning, knowing, and acting

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)

Interpretations of experience

The phenomenal world

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

What is an interpretation and what is their significance

doubt, interpretation

The interpretations

Being

Beings, being, and existence

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

Power

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.

The universe and the void

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

possibility (the concept; unity and disunity among science and logic, real possibility (science, physical, living, sentient), logical possibility, logic

The concept of possibility

Real possibility

Logical possibility

Necessity

The concept of necessity

Necessary being

necessary being

Unconditional being

unconditional being

Identity of necessary and unconditional being

Unconditional being and necessary being are identical

Metaphysics

What metaphysics is

metaphysics,

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).

The fundamental principle

The real metaphysics

Identity, the universe, and the individual

The universe and the individual

Identity, change

Method of seeing possibilities for beings—merging, levels – from elements to Brahman and their vision and interaction

Identity, space, time, matter, and cause

Ethics

Comment 4.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Words ‘imperative’, ‘value’

Imperative, value, enjoyment

Universal

Local

The aim of being

The metaphysics of experience

Comment 1.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Resolving the interpretations

Dimensions of being

Comment 2.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘Categories’?

See the essential way of being.html and a journey in being-outline.html, where these are called categories.

Ideal or pure

Pragmatic

The nature of being

In history and this work

Human being

Kinds of being

The abstract and the concrete

Reason

reason, method, doubt, skepticism, understanding, widest relevant context (is the logical universe)

The block universe

Topics in metaphysics

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.

Applications emerging from the real metaphysics

For a comprehensive set of topics, see a journey in being-outline.html

The fundamental question of metaphysics
A principle of sufficient reason
A metaphysics of questions

Problems of eastern metaphysics

Problems of western metaphysics

Pre-modern

The nature of Being

Categories of Being and universals

The problem of substance

Early modern

Materialism and empiricism

Idealism

Kant

Modern and current

Identity, space, and time

Causation, determinism, and freedom

Consciousness, mind, and matter

Modality

Cosmology

Comment 3.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Make cosmology a topic under metaphysics?

Cosmology is (a part) of metaphysics.

General cosmology and its method

The method is the real metaphysics, imagination, and criticism

Cosmology of form and formation

Cosmology of formation

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

Cosmology of form

The paradigms are mechanism, effective causation, and determinism with residual indeterminism

Physical cosmology
The block universe

Treated earlier

A system of the world

See a journey in being-outline.html and system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html

The way

The aim of being

The means

Ways and catalysts

Metaphysics and reason

The templates

Principles

Everyday template

Universal template

Resources

Comment 4.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Word ‘resources’

Epilogue

The way as connecting past, present, and future as one

A continuous stream of text

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.

A guide for my life and immersion in the world

Axiomatic version

This may become a section under metaphysics

In process material is currently here.