• Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    It also occurs to me that I could be under a mistaken impression that Kant, Peirce, etc, even have general principles with myriad specific applications in the way I mean. I've studied them both some, probably not as extensively as you @apokrisis, and I didn't come away with an idea of what they were, so maybe they don't have them. I'm only under the impression that they did, and I somehow missed it, because people here have called my approach "architectonic", a word I wasn't previously very familiar with, and I have since read that Kant and Peirce at least are also described by that word, which I took to mean that they had approaches similar in structure (not necessarily content) to mine. But I might just be wrong about that; please let me know if so.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    The rest of what you've described of Peirce's sounds like an epistemology.Pfhorrest

    How is an OP on the architectonic structure of theories not an epistemological question?

    The surprise might be that there is a single general answer here rather than a bunch of unrelated methods, each perhaps applicable only to their own domain. But there you go.

    people here have called my approach "architectonic", a word I wasn't previously very familiar with,Pfhorrest

    Your approach is more a classification scheme - an Aristotelian exercise in categorisation.

    Architectonic is about a general functional structure to the act of inquiry, not describing the way the flow of human inquiry then breaks up into reasonably distinct domains.

    Though the two are of course connected as the various constraints might be loosened or tightened to cause the uniting flow to fragment.

    For example, some can say subjective feelings are a reasonable form of inductive evidence. If I believe it simply feels morally right to be vegan, then that is what goes. Others demand objective evidence.

    The larger view then says all evidence is subjective - the nature of measurement is a choice we make in constructing out theories, But then inquiry can aspire to objective evidence in that it meets the constraint of being the most generally shareable. It is a little hard to calibrate my sense of right against yours. But we can both read the same numbers off an instrument dial.

    So the unitary structure can produce local variety. Do you want to talk about the general principles of inquiry - which are as deep as nature itself - or the cultural variation that organises itself into academic domains?

    It would still be an interesting exercise to capture that variety with the fewest number of categorical distinctions. Science - being well organised - does have its familiar reductionist hierarchy. Philosophy instead tends to organise itself by its human applications and its dialectical oppositions, as you note.
  • Kenosha Kid
    559
    That was excellent!
  • SophistiCat
    1.3k
    One of the amazing things about ideas though, especially philosophical systems, is that they are perspectival; every well thought out idea is a perspective on the world and generates a view on other ideas connected to it.fdrake

    I don't believe that a philosophy can ever transcend that variation in connectivity; we'd just end up with the same problem but applied to metaphilosophical theses, and a regress occurs. For that reason, being truthful, honest, precocious, exploratory and recognising limitation and fallibility is much more important than doctrine; care how you generate your perspective and the rest will take care of itself.fdrake

    Yes. The more I learn about different philosophical perspectives, the more I lean towards pluralism. They don't even have to be radically different perspectives; they can be for instance different analytical philosophers' take on causality. That doesn't mean anything goes, of course, and a genuine disagreement is possible. But oftentimes well thought out ideas can illuminate and prioritize different aspects of the same world, even when they appear to conflict.

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    One's generative core lies closer to the heart than the mind; more ethics and temperament than a set of analytical principles.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    How is an OP on the architectonic structure of theories not an epistemological question?apokrisis

    It is possible I misunderstood the word “architectonic”.

    In any case, epistemology is but one subfield of philosophy. I suppose one could approach all of philosophy through epistemology, placing it as their “first philosophy”, but that seems to me like merely one perspective one could take on the interrelationships of different subtopics, as @fdrake describes.
  • Mww
    1.6k
    Or if your favorite philosopher does likewise......Pfhorrest

    .....likewise taken to mean “have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions.”

    “...Of all the a priori sciences of reason, therefore, mathematics alone can be learned. Philosophy—unless it be in an historical manner—cannot be learned; we can at most learn to philosophize....”

    “...We can only learn to philosophize; in other words, we can only exercise our powers of reasoning in accordance with general principles, retaining at the same time, the right of investigating the sources of these principles, of testing, and even of rejecting them....”

    “...Philosophy is the system of all philosophical cognition (and) is the idea of a possible science ...”

    These are the core principles, or, the essential characteristics of a system, by which learning to philosophize becomes meaningful with respect to the human condition. The system itself, based upon these or some other principles, determines the possibility of uniting all the philosophical sub-questions under one legislative idea.

    “....By the term architectonic I mean the art of constructing a system. Without systematic unity, our knowledge cannot become science; it will be an aggregate, and not a system. Thus architectonic is the doctrine of the scientific in cognition, and therefore necessarily forms part of (a necessary) methodology.

    Problem being, of course, the event of human reason doesn’t use the very principles employed in the understanding of its use. The operation of reason is not the same as talking about the operation of reason. Talking about it requires the architectonic, the functioning itself, does not. If this were not the case, philosophy in general, and epistemological metaphysics in particular, would not be speculative, which is to say, how we think, and therefore how we philosophize, would be demonstrable with apodeictic certainty by means of the parameters of physical science, which, of course, is very far from being the case, to date.

    If we knew all this stuff for sure, we’d have that much less interesting stuff to talk about.
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    Problem being, of course, the event of human reason doesn’t use the very principles employed in the understanding of its use. The operation of reason is not the same as talking about the operation of reason. Talking about it requires the architectonic, the functioning itself, does not. If this were not the case, philosophy in general, and epistemological metaphysics in particular, would not be speculative, which is to say, how we think, and therefore how we philosophize, would demonstrable with apodeictic certainty by means of the parameters of physical science, which, of course, is very far from being the case, to date.Mww
    Yeah - the functioning, operation, usage is shown, not said, as Witty might say; and the "architectonic" - talking, this is, discursively reasoning, "about reasoning" is (TLP-like) nonsense? The distinction is, however, pertinent.
  • Mww
    1.6k
    discursively reasoning, "about reasoning" is (TLP-like) nonsense?180 Proof

    It is nonsense in a way. Understanding, which is what discursive reasoning actually entails, only becomes relevant when we want to know the how of a thing, the what of it already given to us a posteriori.

    “...In Wittgenstein’s theoretical logical language, names are only given to simples. We do not give two names to one thing, or one name to two things...”
    (Russell, Introduction to TLP, 1922)

    Right/wrong; right/left. No matter how differentiated, “right” is still the same name. The only way out is to call names the schema of the concept under which it is subsumed, but if one is oblivious to the concept, even if exposed to the experience from which the concept arises, he only has the contradiction to the principle. And any principle so easily falsified cannot be necessary.

    Or......how to open oneself up to the ridicule of the modern analytic types. (Grin)
  • aletheist
    1.4k
    Architectonic is about a general functional structure to the act of inquiry, not describing the way the flow of human inquiry then breaks up into reasonably distinct domains.apokrisis
    In my experience, when people refer to Peirce's philosophy as "architectonic," they mean it in roughly the latter sense. IEP has a pretty good summary article on "Charles Sanders Peirce: Architectonic Philosophy" here.

    I suppose one could approach all of philosophy through epistemology, placing it as their “first philosophy”, but that seems to me like merely one perspective one could take on the interrelationships of different subtopicsPfhorrest
    Peirce's overall system of thought is non-foundationalist, so he does not really have a "first philosophy" in the sense of a set of premisses from which all his other positions follow. Rather than organized bodies of knowledge, he classifies the various sciences as communities of inquiry, arranging them such that each one depends on those preceding it for its principles and on those following it for its data. Perhaps most notably, "Metaphysics consists in the acceptance of logical principles not merely as regulatively valid, but as truths of being."

    As the linked article explains, Peirce begins with mathematics as the science that draws necessary conclusions about hypothetical states of things. Philosophy is then the first positive science and has three branches--phenomenology (or phaneroscopy), which studies whatever is or could be present to the mind; normative science, which studies the relations between phenomena and ends; and metaphysics, which studies the reality of phenomena. Normative science also has three branches--esthetics, ethics, and logic as semeiotic. The special sciences, both physical and psychical, come after metaphysics.
  • Valentinus
    791
    I guess I must not have understood the end of your first post. Rereading it now I’m still not following. You’re saying you’re uninterested in architectonics? But more interested in... what, and why?Pfhorrest

    I am of two minds on that matter.

    Any system replaces not trying to have one. That spirit is alive in the language of all sorts of diverse philosophies. Something like: I could have kept my thoughts to myself but you all have pissed me off to the point that I will talk until I die. There is a animus to collect thoughts that isn't necessarily about a last word upon arguments.Consider how Wittgenstein distanced certain observations about ethics from his own philosophy. People pursue ends that others perceive as contradictory.

    I am more interested in why those thinkers did not have the same problem with those contradictions other people did.

    And I brought up Aristotle as an example because he "inherited" ideas but preserved a process of conversation where we don't get to decide what is true or not.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    Reading of both the IEP article and the Architecture of Theories paper I referenced show that Peirce's game was trying to impose a uniting classificatory scheme on knowledge creation that might reveal his pragmatism/semiotic to be the natural source of such unity.

    So the distinctive thing about the Peircean system of thought is its hierarchical triadicity - the semiotic of firstness, secondness and thirdness. And generally speaking, it is an organic conception as it is developmental - the hierarchical accumulation of constraints on uncertainty.

    It is this organicism - as opposed to the nominalism or mechanicalism of the usual approaches to hierarchical organisation - that could be the uniting glue, the functional pulse bringing knowledge creation to life as a living pragmatic exercise.

    So in the Architecture of Theories, Peirce says that too much of the history of philosophy seems like a haphazard bunch of cottage industries. They are not architecturally designed, starting from an understanding of epistemic basics - ie: pragmatism. His survey of the sciences then shows that - despite science supposedly being the application of a mechanical turn of mind - actually his own organic and developmental conception of existence is the deeper view being revealed. And so this is the architectural lesson that philosophy should be learning too if it wants to become properly systematic in its endeavours.

    The IEP article then talks about Peirce's efforts to impose just such an organic hierarchy on philosophy and science. The exercise goes awry partly because of a deep confusion between the two general kinds of hierarchical organisation - the compositional and the subsumptive. That was a confusion in Peirce's own work in my view. Stan Salthe has done the best clarification for my money.

    IEP notes this difficulty....

    The first thing to clarify is that the sub-ordinacy of philosophy to mathematics, or metaphysics to phenomenology, is not sub-ordinacy in the sense of embeddedness, i.e., philosophy is not a sub-branch of mathematics. Of course, embedded sub-ordinacy does occur in Peirce’s classification where, for instance, aesthetics is a sub-branch of Normative Science, just as ethics and logic are. However, ethics and logic are not sub-branches of aesthetics, even though they are sub-ordinate to it. So, what is the nature of the non-embedded sub-ordinacy of, say, philosophy to mathematics?

    Things get screwy because the relation could be that of the general to the particular, or the vague to the constrained.

    But a sense can be made of the hierarchy IEP describes where maths is the most general discipline in terms of being the most abstract level of rationalisation and philosophy is a concrete expression of that rationalising habit. We are in the realm of Platonic forms, but moving towards engagement with the world. Then science is the habit of rationalisation properly engaged with the world as empirical knowledge creation.

    Then philosophy itself would be divided into a bunch of threes. Philosophy is composed of the triad of phenomenology, normative science and metaphysics. Normative science then subdivides into the triad of aesthetics, ethics and logic. And logic divides into the triad of philosophical grammar, critical logic and methodeutic.

    Philosophy is divided into three orders: phenomenology, or the science of how things appear to us; the normative sciences, which study how we ought to act; and metaphysics, the study of what is real.

    So sure a familiar template is being hinted at - firstness, secondness and thirdness. The universal growth of reasonableness as the basis of all existence.

    But does the abstract reasonableness of maths really emerge before the concrete reasonableness of philosophy? Mmmm.

    And does the concrete reasonableness of philosophy start in its most general form with phenomenology - reasoning about the brute firstness of appearances - then develop via reasoning about the secondness of mediating interactions, and thirdness of rational habits as they must be expressed in nature itself?

    It can sort of work. But it is not especially convincing as it tends to mix up the two views of hierarchical order - the compositional and the subsumptive.

    However the point is that Peirce was looking for an architectonic unity in thought through the lens of a triadic organicism. That is the classificatory hierarchy he wanted to apply.

    The unity lies in that the fact that reasonableness has just a single functional form. Within that, there are the three natural divisions of firstness, secondness and thirdness. But which is then the ground - the firstness of raw possibility or the thirdness of established regulative habit?

    If maths is ground to philosophy, or phenomenology ground to metaphysics, in which of these senses exactly?

    And is aesthetics ground to logic, or philosophical grammar ground to methodeutic, in either sense really?

    That is why I say his architectonic works best for showing there is a unity of method that spans all reasonable human inquiry. And thus for diagnosing problems like scientific nominalism or philosophical monism where the full triadicity of a systematic approach is not being applied, leaving the discourse - the community of inquiry - stunted.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    But a sense can be made of the hierarchy IEP describes where maths is the most general discipline in terms of being the most abstract level of rationalisation and philosophy is a concrete expression of that rationalising habit. We are in the realm of Platonic forms, but moving towards engagement with the world. Then science is the habit of rationalisation properly engaged with the world as empirical knowledge creation.apokrisis

    I remember this from the cursory study of Peirce that I have done, and I remember remarking on how it’s almost perfectly half of my own structure of philosophy as discussed in my thread on that topic (linked in the OP). I have language in general at the very top (from one perspective), then mathematics below it to one side. Centered directly below language and further down than mathematics is philosophy overall, with philosophy of language and philosophy of math bordering the respective fields, and relating to each other and math and language generally relate. At the intersection of all three is logic. Philosophy of math segues into ontology, epistemology, and other subfields of philosophy relating to knowledge and reality. Then below and off to that same side come the physical sciences: physics and astronomy, chemistry and geology, biology and ecology, psychology and sociology...

    But on the other side, there is an independent and parallel chain. The arts are below and to the other side of language, opposite math, and at the intersection of language, art, and the philosophies thereof, lies rhetoric. Philosophy of art / aesthetics segues into ethics and other subfields of philosophy to do with justice and morality, opposite ontology, epistemology, and other philosophy of knowledge and reality. Then below that, I propose a whole chain of underdeveloped ethical sciences, incorporating elements of some existing fields like economics and political science.

    Just as the physical sciences then segue into engineering and technology, about the tools we use to do all our jobs, so too those ethical sciences segue into entrepreneurship and business, about the jobs we use al those tools to do. At the bottom, most concretely, opposite the most abstract field of language, are the various trades using those various tools to do those various jobs.

    fields.png
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Oh and additionally, on the relationship between the sciences (physical and ethical), philosophy, and both math and art, I wrote elsewhere something else that Peirce reminds me of:

    Philosophy uses the tools of mathematics and the arts, logic and rhetoric, to do the job of creating the tools of the physical and ethical sciences. It is the bridge between the more abstract disciplines and the more practical ones: an inquiry stops being science and starts being philosophy when instead of using some methods that appeal to specific contingent experiences, it begins questioning and justifying the use of such methods in a more abstract way; and that activity in turn ceases to be philosophy and becomes art or math instead when that abstraction ceases to be concerned with figuring out how to practically answer questions about what is real or what is moral, but turns instead to the structure or presentation of the ideas themselves.

    Mathematics explores the abstract relations of ideas to each other without concern for the applicability of any of those ideas to any more practical matters (although applications for them are nevertheless frequently found), but philosophy is directly concerned with the practical application of the abstractions it deals with. It is not enough to merely define axiomatically some concept of "existence", "knowledge", "mind", etc, and validly expound upon the implications of that concept; it also matters if that is the correct, practically applicable concept of "existence", "knowledge", "mind", etc, that is useful for the purposes to which we want to employ that concept.

    And it is not enough that a philosophical theory be beautiful or intriguing; a philosopher aims for their theories to be right.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    Hah. That is a pretty neat diagram. I hadn't seen it. And it makes a lot of sense to me in that it can be read from a modern systems-thinking perspective.

    The systems view is a triadic logic in which you have a dichotomy or symmetry-breaking, and then the hierarchy or triadic state of organisation that fixes a stable relation between those two complementary poles of being.

    So very simplistically, a rabble of warriors make a fighting mob. Then the organised thing of an army can develop as the mob starts to divide into leaders and followers. You get the emergence of the dichotomy of infantry and general. Each complements the other in that the infantry acts in the immediacy of the now - the best choices in the heat of battle. The general then acts with the long term view.

    This local~global hierarchical division brings stability and coherence. We can speak of the army as an organism, and even an organ system as it develops specialised branches like a reconnaissance force, logistics, artillery.

    You even get a thermodynamic divide. The soldiers are the entropy - the grunt energy. The general is the information - the abstract information.

    So check your diagram. Language stands opposed to trades as these kinds of complementary partners. To the one side is an exploration of the concrete particularity of the informational machinery that organises the human system. To the other is the entropy harnessing side of human life, the trades that sustain our physical growth and action.

    Then in the middle - between the particularity of human language and particularity of human trades - you have the rising abstraction which would be a "philosophical" account of semiotics and dissipative structure in general.

    That is, the edges bleed out into local concrete particulars. The middle swells towards a generality of view where language vs trades can be seen as a metaphysically abstract distinction.

    Arts vs physical sciences is another natural divide. The difference there seems to be about control over nature vs control over our social selves. Which again is an entropy vs information distinction. Nature is the energetic resource. Culture is the ideational resource.

    But mathematics rather than art is how we actually gain semiotic power over nature. That is the language employed. While art is the language for regulating cultural organisation - at least art in the broad sense of the communication of values.

    That would be why you have maths next to physical science as its language kin, and art next to ethical science as its language kin.

    Of course, that raises the whole issue of whether the humanities have got it right in focusing on value-driven thinking. It seems subjective and lacking mathematical rigour.

    But on the other hand, if part of the whole job of being an organism is to construct a purposeful identity, then the ability to regulate subjectivity - the informational dimension to being a human sociocultural organism - is as crucial as being able to regulate our supporting material conditions. The entropy dissipation.

    So again, the arts and ethical sciences would exist as domains giving concrete and particular expression to the construction of subjectivity (as opposed to the mathematical/physical science focus on the construction of objectivity). And then moving back towards philosophy in the centre, it would supply the generalisation of those modes of production. What does it mean for anything to be an organism or have a subjectivity, a point of view, a purpose to be?

    So your hexagon has two axis. There is the north/south of informational constraint at the top and entropic dissipation at the bottom - to use the general systems way of describing a reality organised by semiosis.

    And then east/west is the flip between the objective and the subjective - the world and the mind. In the systems view, these are two mutually emergent parts of the whole. Mind arises as the informational model - the set of habits - shaping material reality into being. (That is "mind" in the non-mystical sense of an organismic nature evolving a regulating general purpose.)

    The hexagon has maths and physical science both sitting on the right side of this axis - the objective. Or as I emphasise, the construction of the objective. Which is why you need two boxes as this construction has both an informational and an entropic element. It needs a language and it needs a physics. With those, humans no longer just live in nature, we can refashion nature as a matter of choice.

    And arts and ethical sciences sit on the side of subjectivity. Or as I emphasise the construction of subjectivity. And this again reflects the need for a language and a social machinery that can refashion the "mind" as a matter of choice.

    I've got to admit that this last step breaks down to the degree that art has become entertainment rather than group instruction. And to the degree that social organisation might be achieved through the communication of feelings rather than reasons.

    This side of the hexagon suffers soft development compared to how far humans have moved in gaining semiotic control over nature. But on the other hand, we are good as a practical fact at manufacturing human minds via socialisation.

    So maybe "art" is about the language-like technology we have for deeply engaging in that production of subjectivity. And that is matched by the language-like technology - maths - that we have been perfecting for deeply engaging in the production of objectivity, the ability to fashion physical reality to our desires.

    You do squeeze in logic and rhetoric as the two hinge points. So maybe "arts" could be relabelled "propaganda"? :wink:

    Anyway, your diagram immediately makes more sense to me than anything else so far.

    It splits into metaphysically general halves - the general dichotomy of global informational constraints and local entropic degrees of freedom (the Peircean division of firstness and thirdness). And also into the metaphysically specific halves of how humans can harness this technology of semiotics to fashion the world vs fashioning the mind.

    And the connections between the four quadrants is achieved by the maths~physical sciences and arts~ethical sciences linkages. While in the centre, all paths cross through philosophy so that the concreteness of specific detail achieved at the periphery of this cognitive empire is matched by the further axis that is the contrast of a uniting metaphysical generality of mechanism.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Thank you for that great analysis! Overall I mostly agree with your reading, but there's some finicky little details where I think differently about the east-west divide:

    And then east/west is the flip between the objective and the subjective - the world and the mindapokrisis

    I think of both sides as having both objective and subjective aspects to them, which often blur and blend together in spectra instead of sharp dichotomies. The organizing principle distinguishing the physical and ethical parts is direction-of-fit though, so you're close to seeing my thinking there. It's not world on the left, mind on the right, but mind-to-world on the left and world-to-mind on the right.

    At least for those bottom parts. I see both logic and rhetoric as having roles in both the mind-to-world and world-to-mind sides of things (there is a logic of reality and a logic of morality, and a rhetoric to teach what is real and a rhetoric to teach what is moral). The division between those two I instead describe as:

    ... whereas logic is more mathematical, concerning itself with the form and structure of the argument and appealing more impersonally to dispassionate thought, rhetoric as I would characterize it is more artistic, concerning itself with the style and presentation of the argument and appealing more personally to passions and feelings ... when I speak of rhetoric, I am speaking of the packaging and delivery of speech-acts, as differentiated from the contents and structure thereof [which I cover under logic]

    [...]

    logic and rhetoric as complimentary to each other, not in competition. I like to use an analogy of prescribing someone medicine: the actual medicinal content is most important of course, but you stand a much better chance of getting someone to actually swallow that content if it's packaged in a small, smooth, sweet-tasting pill than if it's packaged in a big, jagged, bitter pill. In this analogy, the medicinal content of the pill is the logical, rational content of a speech-act, while the size, texture, and flavor of the pill is the rhetorical packaging and delivery of the speech-act. It is of course important that the "medicine" (logic) be right, but it's just as important that the "pill" (rhetoric) be such that people will actually swallow it.

    That content vs packaging dichotomy doesn't seem to line up perfectly with the direction-of-fit dichotomy. But nevertheless, as logic segues into mathematics and that into philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics then segues into ontology and so still connects more to that mind-to-world side of things. And as rhetoric segues into the arts (inasmuch as they are all about style, package and delivery) and that into aesthetics, aesthetics then segues into ethics and so still connects more to that world-to-mind side of things.

    I feel like there is still some missing piece in my understanding of why exactly it seems to work out that way, when it superficially seems like math-art should be a different axis entirely than physics-ethics.
  • fdrake
    3.9k
    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
    SophistiCat

    Yes!

    To stress the qualities of the philosophical mindapokrisis

    A synthetic perspective is a very courageous thing to generate if done with sufficient care; ultimately the only thing that distinguishes a master discourse and a theory of everything is the truth. Even then radically different conceptualisations of things can be formed from the same evidential basis and predict the same outcomes. Despite all the flux and flexibility of theory, the flux of conceptualisation is dwarfed in magnitude by the flux of the conceptualised. The intellectual boxes of explanation we have are filled with recalcitrant and vibrant exceptions, necessarily limited in scope to sufficiently master the targeted dynamics, and leave their exteriors (conceptually) influenced but (dynamically) underdetermined. If the music of the spheres has a hint of jazz so too will the concepts that ossify through evidence into theory.

    Nature unfolds with commonalities and distinctions between its myriad driving principles and lawless irregularities, which requires a necessary variation in principle and methodology to grasp. Therefore the diversity of generating principles engenders a correspondent diversity of theorising practices.

    Attempting synthesis on the level of that correspondence (epistemology=ontology) is worthwhile, but totalizing syntheses tend to be very premature and unaware of or indifferent to their limitations and applicability. They leave holes and call it noise, or subordinate every exception to the rule it proves.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    It's not world on the left, mind on the right, but mind-to-world on the left and world-to-mind on the right.Pfhorrest

    My approach to dichotomies treats them as the mutual limits on possibility so you are always talking about relative states of affairs. So "world" and "mind" are just complementary bounds on being. As humans, we have to develop a habit of reality modelling where our consciousness feels sharply divided into "a world" that then has an "us" in it - the "experiencing ego".

    So the world becomes defined as that part of being which has the least of that us-ness. And the us is the part which has the least degree of the world. The fact of that construction is shown by something as simple as finding your arm is dead after you slept on it.

    My reading of your diagram followed this pragmatic logic. We have to construct "the world" to construct our "selves". And vice versa. It is a two way psychic street. This contrast with Cartesian dualism where both world and mind are granted substantive reality. It is instead the basis of what Peirce called his objective idealism. Or Kant, his transcendentalism. (If you ignore the lingering religious leanings of both of those two.)

    So I see your whole map as a map of the pragmatic effort to construct the reality of being. It is not about the Cartesian project of a mind-soul that knows the world in a passive but directly perceiving way. It is a pragmatic Peircean consciousness where we are refining the intellectual tools to work on both sides of this act of co-construction. One side of the knowledge map is focused on technical control over the appearance of the world. The other is focused on the technology for the making of a complex modern selfhood.

    It may or may not be what you had in mind explicitly. But it is what jumps out for me. And I've rarely seen something that makes as much sense. Is this diagram something you have published or planned to?

    I could quibble over details.

    For example, one of the striking things about geometry and algebra is they are themselves an exact seeming dichotomy. Every description in one language maps to a complementary description in the other. Michael Atiyah writes nicely about that. Algebra models relations as points in time and geometry as connections in space - https://people.math.umass.edu/~hacking/461F19/handouts/atiyah.pdf

    So maybe those two segments should be same sized - mirror images.

    And maybe you are saying that dynamics/calculus are geometry plus time, while harmonics/trigonometry are algebra plus space? So rather than four quadrants, you have two halves with their subset extensions.

    And does arts chop up the same way?

    On logic vs rhetoric, what I think the diagram gets right is that language is conventionally divided up into the three things of syntax, semantics and pragmatics. So it is neat that logic is syntax/semantics - the technology of argumentation with the least possible constraint in terms of pragmatic embeddedness, while rhetoric can be defined in contrary fashion as the technology of argumentation with the least possible constraint in terms of syntactical correctness.

    Was that a lucky accident or your conscious intention there?

    Another random point is that Maslow's psychological hierarchy of needs could be a useful way to structure the human side of the equation - the hierarchy that goes from basic survival needs to self-actualisation. Securing the physics of life - energy and integrity - and then continuing towards the sociology of free individual action.

    That might reorder the trades hexagon, for example. Or the ethical sciences. It seems to match the sciences hierarchy already.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    My approach to dichotomies treats them as the mutual limits on possibility so you are always talking about relative states of affairs. So "world" and "mind" are just complementary bounds on being. As humans, we have to develop a habit of reality modelling where our consciousness feels sharply divided into "a world" that then has an "us" in it - the "experiencing ego".

    So the world becomes defined as that part of being which has the least of that us-ness. And the us is the part which has the least degree of the world. The fact of that construction is shown by something as simple as finding your arm is dead after you slept on it.

    My reading of your diagram followed this pragmatic logic. We have to construct "the world" to construct our "selves". And vice versa. It is a two way psychic street. This contrast with Cartesian dualism where both world and mind are granted substantive reality. It is instead the basis of what Peirce called his objective idealism. Or Kant, his transcendentalism. (If you ignore the lingering religious leanings of both of those two.)

    So I see your whole map as a map of the pragmatic effort to construct the reality of being. It is not about the Cartesian project of a mind-soul that knows the world in a passive but directly perceiving way. It is a pragmatic Peircean consciousness where we are refining the intellectual tools to work on both sides of this act of co-construction. One side of the knowledge map is focused on technical control over the appearance of the world. The other is focused on the technology for the making of a complex modern selfhood.

    It may or may not be what you had in mind explicitly. But it is what jumps out for me.
    apokrisis

    Yeah, I figured that was what you meant, and that is the kind of “blended” objectivity-subjectivity that I see incorporated on both sides, neither emphasizing one more than the other. Rather, they differ in something called “direction of fit”:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direction_of_fit

    And I've rarely seen something that makes as much sense. Is this diagram something you have published or planned to?apokrisis

    Thanks so much! This diagram is a central part of a book / series of essays I recently finished. It’s currently only self-published on my website (link in user profile), and I don’t have any plans for professional publication, mostly because I lack confidence that it’s good enough for that.

    So maybe those two segments should be same sized - mirror images.

    And maybe you are saying that dynamics/calculus are geometry plus time, while harmonics/trigonometry are algebra plus space? So rather than four quadrants, you have two halves with their subset extensions.

    And does arts chop up the same way?
    apokrisis

    The sizes in those two hexagons aren’t meant to be indicative of anything, it’s just hard to divide up a hexagon into four nicely.

    The four parts of mathematics are meant to be more or less the quadrivium of classical education:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrivium

    which are sometimes rendered as “number in itself” (“arithmetic”), “number in space” (“geometry”), “number in time” (“music”), and “number in space and time” (“astronomy”).

    The arts divisions are meant to be a mirror of that as well, yes.

    On logic vs rhetoric, what I think the diagram gets right is that language is conventionally divided up into the three things of syntax, semantics and pragmatics. So it is neat that logic is syntax/semantics - the technology of argumentation with the least possible constraint in terms of pragmatic embeddedness, while rhetoric can be defined in contrary fashion as the technology of argumentation with the least possible constraint in terms of syntactical correctness.

    Was that a lucky accident or your conscious intention there?
    apokrisis

    That was on purpose yes, glad you caught that. :)

    I would really love to hear you take on my whole book that this chart / the principles of the thread this thread forked off of are from. You have a great eye for little structural details like this that nobody else seems to notice or care about, and those are to me the most novel and important parts.

    Another random point is that Maslow's psychological hierarchy of needs could be a useful way to structure the human side of the equation - the hierarchy that goes from basic survival needs to self-actualisation. Securing the physics of life - energy and integrity - and then continuing towards the sociology of free individual action.

    That might reorder the trades hexagon, for example. Or the ethical sciences. It seems to match the sciences hierarchy already.
    apokrisis

    That is an interesting idea that I’ll mull over a bit. Thanks again!
  • Gnomon
    719
    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.Pfhorrest
    In the process of developing my Enformationism worldview, I realized that it entailed a principle that many people would find absurd or incommensurable, because it denies that humans have access to absolute Truth on any topic. I call it the BothAnd Principle.

    It's an inclusive philosophical perspective that values both Subjective & Objective information; both Feelings & Facts; both Mysteries & Matters-of-fact. Lacking supernatural revelations, all of our rational philosophical "positions" are merely approximations of ultimate Truth. It's an acknowledgement that in human affairs, we are most likely to find useful truths within the arc of Aristotle's Golden Mean. In Architectonics this principle is represented as an arrow of Force following the path of least resistance; which is how Nature operates. Yet in human affairs, it's often disparaged as weakness or acquiescence to fate. But the alternative is perpetual war & conflict. BothAnd is not Fatalism, but Pragmatism. :nerd:

    BothAnd Principle : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    Ambigamy : Like the BothAnd Principle, Ambigamy embraces ambiguity as a natural fact of life to be dealt with rationally and pragmatically.

    "Ambigamists embrace the tension between opposites, faith and doubt, romance and skepticism, being partial and impartial, loving and tough, yin and yang. They don't try to reconcile opposites with some middle ground universal solution."
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ambigamy

    diag2.gif
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    I would really love to hear you take on my whole bookPfhorrest

    ...that there are not so much different kinds of properties, much less different kinds of stuff, as there are what could crudely be called mental and material ways of looking at the same properties and the same objects, that are essentially both mind-like and matter-like in different ways, that distinction no longer really properly applying when we really get down to the details.

    http://www.geekofalltrades.org/codex/ontology.php

    I looked through to see what our sharpest point of divergence might be. I generally agree with what you say you stand against, but I don’t think you have arrived at the same thing that I would say I stand for.

    Not that that matters. But you might be interested.

    The way you express yourself In that cite feels a little confused as it accepts an object oriented ontology where the mental and material would be two ways of a subject interacting with some thing and its properties.

    That may not be what you were thinking, but it is what you wrote.

    The systems theory approach I take stands against object metaphysics. As Peirce in particular made clear, reality is not a collection of objects but a process of manifestation. It boils down to an interaction where global constraints (or information/memory/sign/context/law/habit) reduce fundamental uncertainty (or entropy/vagueness/degrees of freedom).

    The outcome of this process of constraint on uncertainty is an emergent world that is full of object-like structure with property-like interactions. So you recover an object oriented reality as the emergent fact. Concrete stuff exists as abstracta suppress variety and leave behind a state of relatively definite facts.

    But at a deeper level, there is only a “materiality” in the sense of an Apeiron - a formless ocean of fluctuation or possibility. And there is then the “mind” that arises by imposing an order or regularity on this shapeless energetic potential.

    This was the ontology proposed by the first mathematically minded metaphysician, Anaximander. Peirce nailed it as a general logic of being. Quantum theory confirms it as scientific fact. And so does the more recent convergence of statistical thermodynamics and information theory.

    But as an organising idea, it remains pretty much completely outside the tradition of philosophy. I think that is why you might have a problem if your own project is to formulate an over-arching view by responding to the vast range of object oriented confusions baked into traditional philosophy. Even Whitehead is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Where we connect seems to be in our structuralism - structure being process crystallised or stabilised into a functional and self-reconstructing flow. Structure is where things develop to a point that a system does have an explicit divide between its constraints - its channels, switches, barriers and other informational order - and the surging uncertainty or plastic growth it directs into extending its own realm of stabilised order.

    I come from the science side of things - hierarchy theory, complexity theory, thermodynamics, etc - where this kind of organic structuralism is exactly what is being modelled. But most of this is new science made concrete only in the past 50 years. And even within science, this systems thinking is counter to a long standing object oriented metaphysical tradition. That’s why it’s not much heard about as a new deeper ontology.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I'm glad you chimed in here! I was hoping you would elaborate. On your system as an example here. Can you give a few examples of views on different subjects that your BothAnd principle entails, e.g. the kinds of subjects I gave examples of in the other thread (ontology, epistemology, philosophy of mind, will, ethics, politics, etc).

    At that part you quoted, I am writing for an audience assumed to be mired in an object-oriented ontology, describing the differences of my view in the terms of their view.

    I am curious if you read through the end of that essay, where things get much less traditional, and also through the previous essay on logic and mathematics, which dovetails into this one (as does the following essay on the mind).

    The ultimate ontology I have is one of a network of interactions which are simultaneously phenomenal experiences of and also physical behaviors of objects that are also all subjects (as covered more in the essay On the Mind) that only exist as nodes in that network, defined entirely by the interactions/experiences/behaviors they take part in.

    The interactions/experiences/behaviors are the most concrete things in existence, and the objects/subjects they are of are abstract constructions whose existence is like that of numbers and other abstract entities (as covered more in the essay On Logic and Mathematics).

    What you describe below sounds quite a lot like that overall picture, so I'm wondering if you got the overall picture or just clicked straight to Ontology and stopped where you saw something objectionable.

    Even Whitehead is part of the problem, not part of the solutionapokrisis

    Can you elaborate on this? Because on my understanding of Whitehead, his view is quite similar both to mine and to what I gather is yours.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    The ultimate ontology I have is one of a network of interactions which are simultaneously phenomenal experiences of and also physical behaviors of objects that are also all subjects (as covered more in the essay On the Mind) that only exist as nodes in that network, defined entirely by the interactions/experiences/behaviors they take part in.Pfhorrest

    I did jump around a bit to try to get some sense of where you arrived. Again - as with your panpsychic discussion in the mind section - my criticism would be that you are trying to talk around the obvious problems of conventional folk metaphysics rather than simply recasting everything from the unifying perspective that is offered by a true systems metaphysics.

    So - as is often the case - you may be leaning towards an organicist metaphysics. But you are using the language and concepts that were constructed so as to oppose that very tendency.

    Nodes in a network is both a useful mathematical conception - one that lends itself to systems modelling - and yet also further entrenches that fundamentally atomistic notion of objects and properties. It portrays a concrete realm of located entities, the nodes, and their linearised connections in "a space" - an a-causal void.

    Nothing is said in that metaphysics about why the stable locales could just exist, or how a space of uncertainties is being constrained to such a stark nothingness. And as I say, quantum theory should sensitise anyone to the cartoon nature of such thinking.

    My own approach to "mind" is based on modelling relations theory - another way of talking about Peircean pragmatics or enactive psychology.

    In some general sense, a system of constraints can be understood as a "pansemiotic" model of the reality it is shaping into being. The constraints are the mould that give shape to the raw material plasticity of the apeiron. So this would be the level at which a form of panpsychism or objective idealism (or even Whiteheadian process theology) has some bite.

    Mind = constraints. And it works in the sense that the systems view is about permitting rather psychological terms into the discussion. It is fine to talk about memory, information, finality, etc.

    But at the level of ultimate simplicity - the realm of particle physics and fundamental forces - there is no actual semiosis in the sense of a subject-forming, located, point of view. That only begins to happen with the development of organisms that actually have the memory mechanisms to own their own "models of the world" - a model that has them in it as the purpose-representing point of view.

    So sentience in any sense is a property only of life itself. It is a useful corrective to a "mindless" physics - a non-systems physics - to introduce psychological terminology as powerful metaphor. But it is then bad to get carried away by the success of such a move.

    Panpsychism stays stuck in Cartesian dualism because it accepts mind and matter as categories of substantial being ... with no actual necessary connection, just a pair of modes.

    The systems approach demands that any pair of things stand in the strict logical relation of a dichotomy. And so this is what is made explicit by replacing the categories of mind and matter with the systems's alternative of global constraints and local uncertainty. You can see how constraints on uncertainty must produce a stabilised persistence. They are two opposites that must act on each other so as to produce the third thing of an emergent actuality.

    So a network of nodes is a pre-existing reality, a brute existence, that can then be a basis for emergent complexity - in that the necessary dichotomy of "parts in relation" already itself has formed into being.

    But the systems thinker has to drill down into that "better description" of base reality to tell the story of how a network of connections could itself have evolved. Which is where you have to switch over to a Peircean tale of constraints on uncertainty as the larger picture - the quantum reality that precedes the classical reality, so to speak.

    The interactions/experiences/behaviors are the most concrete things in existence, and the objects/subjects they are of are abstract constructions whose existence is like that of numbers and other abstract entities (as covered more in the essay on Logic and Mathematics).Pfhorrest

    But isn't this conflating experience and interaction - the world that is its own model, and the self that is a model produced by an organism? And also treating localised objects rather than globalised or contextual constraints as the "abstract" and some pattern of connectivity, those very constraints, as the "concrete".

    This is still essentially trying to make dualism work.

    The systems view is triadic. You have a dichotomous separation that forms the complementary limits of being, and then the middle ground that emerges inbetween.

    The limits - being exactly the place where actual reality can never reach - become the abstract. Constraints and uncertainty - as global and local extremes - are by nature abstract. That is why we place natural laws, as constraints, beyond the world itself. And likewise, why chance or uncertainty is also placed outside the concrete determinism of reality.

    And then, sandwiched between these "abstract" bounds - absolute law (or Peircean synechism) to one side, absolute (quantum?) chance (or Peircean tychism) to the other - we find the third thing which is the "somethingness" that is the emergently actual, or emergently concrete.

    Can you elaborate on this? Because on my understanding of Whitehead, his view is quite similar both to mine and to what I gather is yours.Pfhorrest

    Whitehead is like Kant for me. I can't be arsed sifting the wheat from the chaff. They both have promising moments then go off track as they don't question the kind of object-oriented metaphysics I describe. They don't make a clean break with dualism to embrace a triadic systems logic.
  • Wayfarer
    9.8k
    Another random point is that Maslow's psychological hierarchy of needs could be a useful way to structure the human side of the equation - the hierarchy that goes from basic survival needs to self-actualisation.apokrisis

    :up:

    Panpsychism stays stuck in Cartesian dualism because it accepts mind and matter as categories of substantial being ... with no actual necessary connection, just a pair of modes.apokrisis

    I think hylomorphic dualism - dualism of matter and form - would be more satisfactory from your viewpoint, would it not? Because it can be transposed to a dualism of symbol and meaning, which ties in with biosemiosis.

    (Also - and aside - last year I discovered an interesting paper by Marcello Barbieri, stating why he had resigned as Editor of the Biosemiosis - because he couldn't agree with the 'Piercian' orientation of biosemiotics. ...'most scholars and researchers identify biosemiotics with Peircean biosemiotics, a paradigm that is extending a cultural model of semiosis to the whole of Nature rather than discovering from Nature what biological semiosis actually is. It also became painfully clear that a scientific approach to the semiosis of Nature could not prosper within that framework, and that its future was seriously at risk.' Instead he's struck out with a movement he calls 'code biology' which he insists is more strictly scientific. Been meaning to ask your opinion about it.)
  • Gnomon
    719
    Can you give a few examples of views on different subjects that your BothAnd principle entails, e.g. the kinds of subjects I gave examples of in the other thread (ontology, epistemology, philosophy of mind, will, ethics, politics, etc).Pfhorrest
    My BothAnd Blog presents many applications of the BA Principle. Yet I doubt you want to read all 107 essays. Those posts cover most of the categories you mentioned, and especially Religion. But here are a couple that discuss the BA approach to polarized Politics :

    BothAnd vs Postmodernism : Perhaps the BothAnd successor to Postmodernism will be called the “Re-Enlightenment”, as old verities are re-discovered.
    http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page14.html

    Both Equality and Freedom : "Cultures are always trying to reconcile these contradictions, and this process fuels change." ___Yuval Hariri
    http://bothandblog.enformationism.info/page3.html
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    My BothAnd Blog presents many applications of the BA Principle. Yet I doubt you want to read all 107 essays.Gnomon

    Yeah I just meant a short list if examples like I gave for myself.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    I think hylomorphic dualism - dualism of matter and form - would be more satisfactory from your viewpoint,Wayfarer

    Yes, the systems view is always going to be rooted in Aristoteleanism. That was the first deep cut.

    - last year I discovered an interesting paper by Marcello Barbieri, stating why he had resigned as Editor of the Biosemiosis - because he couldn't agree with the 'Piercian' orientation of biosemiotics.Wayfarer

    The group that Barbieri was part of were Peirce-lite. His beef - correctly - was they had a mentalistic approach to “interpretance” and hence meaning. And it needed to be understood in a physicalist sense.

    But Barbieri just signed up to the wrong group. Theoretical biologists like Rosen, Pattee, Salthe, had already arrived at a well worked out physicalist version of biosemiosis. And as Peirce’s forgottten writings emerged in the 1990s, the fact that what they were doing was “biosemiotic” became apparent.

    Barbieri was always very concerned to establish his own priority as the guy who gets it right. He wants to set his “code Biosemiotics” as the ultimate path to follow. So once he discovered Pattee existed, he had to tear down him too - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12304-009-9042-8

    I don’t find much deep about Barbieri myself. Whereas Pattee, along with Salthe, have minds like razors.
  • Wayfarer
    9.8k
    Thanks. Very useful primer, that.
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