The Nine Muses The Philosophy of the GOOD



The Ontology and Epistemology of the Good

(A formal statement of the Philosophy of the Good)

(Please read the Formal Introduction before reading this essay)

[Please Note: This essay is the first part of a series of essays (in Section I) where I introduce my philosophy as an entire connected system of thought. So this series of essays is much more rigorous than the other essays in this book. I originally considered these essays as not really for the general reader, but more for the student or specialist in philosophy; but I now think that even casual readers can glean much from them if they read them conscientiously and consult the glossary below for new terms or usages. Still for the casual readers I suggest that they begin by reading the other sections first then come back to this section as a summary.]

In this essay we will describe an Ontology and Epistemology for the theories concerning the incorporation of the agency we have called the Good into philosophical theory. This theory that we will develop below is not so much a creation, but rather a synthesis of numerous ideas discovered by various investigators in different fields of knowledge: physics, biology, philosophy, psychology and religion. So you will find here much that is outside the realm of strict philosophy. This is legitimate, since man and woman must use all the means available to them to elucidate their true natures. Also ethics is shown here to be an integral part of human nature, in fact, a structural necessity within the human. Again, the ultimate source of this is up to the individual to decide, 1 and this actually describes the very essence of this philosophy of the Good.

Ontology is a philosophical study of the way in which the human being perceives reality. The man or woman in the street usually accepts the reality he or she experiences as being the actual world of many different objects, with no further question as to how this representation comes about, or that it is merely a representation at all. But since ancient times, people called philosophers (literally, lovers of wisdom) have questioned the obvious things which most take for granted, and dissected out theories according to which they could come to general conclusions about humanity and human civilization. People like Socrates and Plato in the West, and Confucius and King Wen in the East, have built systems according to the results of such investigations. So we will now construct an Ontology upon which the Good orders the social and individual life of the human.

Instead of analyzing the various ideas through which philosophers have approached Ontology in the past, we will create our own explanations and terminology as we go. Most terms not specifically defined, will be assumed to be understood in the everyday interpretation that the common English language usage gives to them. [Note: the reader may also find many of the terms used, defined in the Terminology and Definitions Section, which directly follows this essay.]

A human lives entirely within the mental world created within its mind. The “world” and even the bodily image of the perceiver are framed within a system, constructed in the mind. Descartes said, “I think therefore I am”, 2 this I would change to: “I perceive 3 therefore I am”. When a baby enters this world through the process of birth, he cannot yet think, but he is capable of perceiving even before he enters the world outside of his mother’s womb. This “perceiving” contains both the philosophical disciplines I have stated above, irretrievably intertwined within each other.

We have already mentioned the Ontological part above, which is the way he perceives his reality. The second part is the actual “stuff” of perception, that part which below we will call the “continuum”; the study of the way of obtaining knowledge of this continuum, philosophers have called Epistemology. Perception contains both, since the form of perception is the type of reality perceived, and the process of perception is the way it is carried out. The place, this all happens, is what we call the mind.

In the past, it seems that many philosophers put the cart before the horse in presupposing the agencies of thought and symbolization to be so basic in the creation of their ontologies and epistemologies. For instance, Russell and Wittgenstein both emphasized the importance of a thing called the “proposition”, which is a logical construct that they assumed to be something basically inherent in obtaining knowledge. In fact they mistook a much higher function of the mind, symbolization, as something basic to the actual data or knowledge itself. What comes before all else is the basic perceptual process itself. If anything the symbolization process is the last part of knowledge and its interpretation. Language, which is still an even higher construct or layer, is further built on top of the propositions of thought. In fact if we forget the adult organism, for the time being, and consider only the newborn, we see that the most important part of its reality is something called the will. It is this will that allows it to make the distinction between itself and everything else.

Having said all of this as a sort of overview, lets first describe our basic assumptions, and the basic laws of nature of the mortal world (the actual world we live in). These are what we first distinguish through the agency of the will.

We assume that there is an actual world (which we call the mortal world) that we live in, which exists outside of the perceiver (us). We assume this since there is an unknown entity, called fate, which inhabits this world, and, which we cannot control through the agencies of our wills. The direct perception of this world is the usual way in which the man in the street perceives the world or reality.

Philosophers have showed us that this view is rather naïve, and that we actually create within us (in our minds, as we have already mentioned) a mental world 4 that we actually directly perceive; we believe that there is another world 5 (the real world, the mortal world) that lies behind this, and from which the mental world is derived. This real “world in itself” is essentially unknowable except through the mental world we create to represent it. How close this match is we can never know. This said, we can now move on to the laws of nature for the mortal world.

The first law of Nature is the law of uniqueness: The mortal world is a world of total uniqueness (we will speak of this uniqueness further below). What do we mean by this? There are only individual entities in the mortal world, and every individual entity is unique. Study this preceding sentence until you absolutely understand it.

Note: I do not at this level say what an “individual entity” is; for now, we will say that it is any existent in the mortal world. An existent is something distinguishable from something else.

The second basic law of nature is the law of separation: All existents tend to separate, or change 6 into more existents.

The corollary to this is that: all existents exhibit unpredictable change, or end. This corollary introduces the element of chance and therefore fate into the mortal world. It does not explain it, but merely describes its existence. We might call fate an outcome of the laws of Nature (the ones we have outlined above, which really determine the laws of Nature that science has discovered in Physics).

What I have said above is the key to what mortality is, and where the concept of fate originates. Take the above sentences as the basic assumptions of the mortal world, or the basic laws of nature. These are arrived at through an examination of the mortal world by our will. At first there are only two entities, the perceiver and everything else. The will, which examines the world, finds that part it controls (the “I” or will) and everything else. Gradually the “everything else” exhibits a part, which the perceiver finds is also under his control, this is his “bodily image”. The further evolution of this schema we will map out below in a more detailed way.

Lets now enquire as to how the mortal world is perceived:

  1. For each perceiving organism there are only two entities: There is a perceiver (the me or “I”, which perceives everything else) and everything else.

  2. The perceiver recreates the mortal world 7 within itself, which it perceives as the mortal world (the “everything else” we mentioned above), and this perceived world also contains a representation of the perceiver itself (the bodily image). This perceptual world we may term the mental world of the perceiver. The actual perception of the mortal world in this mental world by the perceiver is called “consciousness”.

  3. The will is the prime determiner of the lowest and most basic “order” within the mortal world.

  4. Objects, per se, do not exist in the mortal world, only existents, and the true nature of which we can never know anything about. An existent is a mortal world or “world in itself” correlative of the mental world (perceptual world; see above) object (notice correlative and not cause is used since causation is a modality of the mental world’s representational system). All existents are members of the continuum (see below) and the continuum is the set of all existents and relations between existents (it’s the “everything else”).

  5. The agency, which we may call the “mind”, inside the perceiver, which creates this mental world, adds to it something we may call “order” (an indefinable term, that allows the raw data of the mortal world to become capable of being represented). This order is imposed on the data of the mortal world (what we may term the “continuum”), by the will, with the help of the perceptual modalities of time, space and causality, and with the aid of rationality. 8 The data of the unknowable mortal world can now be represented as objects with the attributes, which the above modalities confer on them. 9 The importance of the will in the creation of distinct mental entities or objects must not be minimized. It is the will, which actually creates the distinctions of the “space” 10 of the perceptual framework into relevant objects of the mental world. The will itself is a type of control that the perceiver exerts on the mental world, it allows distinctions to be created in the mental world which break it into mental objects, the spontaneous change, which the mental world undergoes leads the will to formulate the actions of other unknown wills in the mental world. These actions (produced by change) produce the “fate” we have spoken of, which seems to be the “will” of the laws of nature acting in the mental world. Also the actions of change produced by other wills similar to the perceiver’s will shows the perceiver the wills of other perceivers in his mental world.

  6. Time, space and causality work directly on the raw data of the continuum to produce the lowest level of “order” within the system; a type of space used by the will. Rationality or reason acts as a sort of meta-language, which brings in an order between the continuum itself and the representational system. The will can produce mental constructs, which are outside of both the continuum and the representational system to symbolize both, thus creating the calculus that the mind uses to manipulate the objects distinguished in the mental world by the will.

  7. This meta-language allows the perceiver to create the ideas of “true” and “false”, which are applied to both the continuum and the representational system. These ideas are connected to the ideas of “always” and “never” respectively or “in some cases” in reproducible circumstances in the continuum, representational system or both. The logical systems use these concepts sometimes relatively and sometimes absolutely. 11

  8. The existence of the meta-language allows the description of the continuum, the representational system or both to be symbolized and communicated to other perceiving organisms. The higher-level order of the meta-language is built on top of the order of other modalities and extends this order to the meta-language symbolic representations themselves. This allows communication of the entire continuum in terms of the representational system to other human perceivers. As we will see below even internal states (motives, emotions and feelings) of the perceiver can be communicated. 12

  9. The action of the will allows the perceiving individual to alter the mental world; also the action of the mental world on itself and the perceiving organism allow the perceiver to detect the presence of wills distinct from its own (these wills may be tied to objects in the continuum; see below).

  10. Objects are abstractions (limited representations) of parts of the continuum, representational system or both. They allow the reason to order the mental world, and to be able to manipulate the “real” world or “world in itself”. 13

  11. The concept of objects leads to the idea of unity and ultimately perfection (remember the “Forms” of Plato).

  12. Objects are a type of “organization”, which creates unity out of the diversity of existents in the continuum. By uniting groups of existents, the mental world becomes more manageable. Also the will can use this hierarchical system to create plans, or designs, which it can carry out on the mortal world through the behavior of the body. This would be impossible in a world where uniqueness was supreme, such as the mortal world. The imposition of the order of the mental world on the continuum, allows the manipulation of the mortal world through the design of the will, through the effecter, which is the behaviors of the human body.

  13. Organization is the functional or structural unity of existents into a single object. The change that occurs, in the law of separation, that brings about the separation of the existents of a single object is the actual mortality of the mortal world (Physics knows this as entropy; the constant decrease in spontaneous change in the universe). In animate creatures this is the death of the organism (its mortal nature).

  14. The absolute uniqueness, which is the basic law of the physical universe or “world in itself”, and the law of separation, together give rise to the concept of imperfection, which includes mortality. Imperfection is the impossibility to produce equality in the continuum (this is the uniqueness mentioned, no two or more existents can ever be the same).

  15. True equality 14 can only be a mental relation not applicable to the continuum. Mental objects, e.g.: ideas or concepts or “propositions”(objects not a part of the continuum) can in fact be equal.

  16. Only approximation to equality can be obtained among existents in the continuum. 15

  17. As we have shown above, the order created by the will through the modalities enforces the relation of equality on the mortal world in a practical way by the formation of the hierarchical class system, thereby uniting the world of total uniqueness and allowing the will to form designs which it can carry out on the mortal world.

  18. The will we have spoken of is the determiner of the effect, which the perceiver has on the mortal world of which he is a part.

  19. The will is guided by the effects of the mortal world on its mental world (we will call this experience), and certain forces or needs which the mental world perceives in the perceiver itself that allow the perceiver to continue in the mortal world (i.e.: not die). These needs or motivations we will call instincts. If we group these various instincts together, we call them the survival instinct.

  20. Various internal needs make up this collective instinct: hunger, thirst, sexual need, satiety and pleasure. These present themselves to the representational system as a background mood, which acts on the will to produce beneficial behavior in the mortal world to reduce the needs engendered.

  21. The mortal world produces the continuum, which includes other perceivers like the perceiving organism. These other perceivers exert their wills on the perceiver through their behaviors.

  22. The helplessness of the newborn human organism makes it dependent on these other perceivers to get through its early years of life. This early life of the perceiver is dependent on interaction with these other perceivers. The organism creates a separate system within the representational system to deal with this interaction. This special interface of sorts, is the way the perceiver represents itself to other perceivers, we will call this the personality. The special subset of the continuum that this interface deals with we will call the societal continuum.

  23. Through the behaviors created by the wills of perceivers and their ability to communicate their innermost perceptions to others through the symbolic representations of the meta-language and the language ability, an artificial unity of perceivers which embody their ways is created, first within the family, then through extension to other families which results in a society and culture.

  24. In this way of viewing the evolution of culture, we see that it not only consists of the actual knowledge, and behaviors of the groups of families (society) it represents, but also all the connotes 16 associated with their particular way of interpreting and communicating reality within their group. This also includes all the feeling symbols created within the group that are an expression of their aesthetic values.

  25. The emergence of the societal continuum within the continuum, gives rise to a special interface within the representational system known as the personality. This personality is both an interface to other perceivers and an internal needs handling representational system. It is therefore in the consciousness of the perceiver, but also exhibits an “always on” character, which entails an unconscious component as well. It deals specifically with the will of the perceiver, and the societal continuum. As such it is the determiner of all behaviors directed to the mortal world, and initiated by the will. It fulfills the needs of the organism, through satisfying the survival instinct, but also allows for compensations, which must be made to satisfy the parental instinct and the societal survival instinct.

  26. The parental instinct works with the sexual instinct to create the needs within the individual perceiving organisms, which fulfill the perpetuation of the perceiving organisms. It forms the basis of the family. In lower forms of life it is pure mechanism, undirected by the will. It creates a unity, which allows an environment for new organisms to grow. There is no real attraction, but only a temporary attraction for the nurturing period. Even the communal or societal instincts found in the lower life forms is a mechanism imposed by the life force on the organism, There is no free choice allowed.

  27. Up till now what I have described is purely mechanistic. We may not be able to explain all the details, but all is consistent with an advanced mechanism or artificial intelligence, virtual reality system. The introduction of freely directed purpose or free will introduces a new, and unknown quantity into the system (actually it's the nature of the "I" itself; see following note) 17 .

  28. The creation of the societal continuum, within the continuum, is brought about through the ability of the perceivers to communicate through the symbolization process; more pertinently, through the symbolization of the deeper “feelings” felt in the perceiver. These feelings represent internal states resulting from the interaction with the societal continuum. They arise through the frustration or satisfaction of the will as compared to the standards of the conscience. Usually the will is directed to the satisfaction of needs provided by the survival instinct (remember this is a whole group of instincts that all benefit the organism’s survival). The conscience develops as an overriding standard, which further reconciles the satisfaction of needs with the authoritarian standard of the societal survival instinct. The perceiver who exists in a society must conform also to the standards that the society presents to it; the failure to do this can also result in death. The conscience serves this function, but its creation contains elements, which go beyond these, again, merely mechanistic aims. 18 There is an agency called love, which develops out of the selfish parental instinct, which is purely mechanistic. The further development of this love into a form of perfect innocence, containing no selfish component brings about the need to postulate another agency, which is not mechanistic, or in any way derived from the representational system of the perceiver. In fact the development of such a powerful force, as this unselfish or totally innocent love within the perceiver is a indication that there is a will outside of the perceiver and even the mortal world itself directing, or better yet, influencing the perceiver’s will (this is the religious tendency of man; note it has nothing to do with fate). This same agency also influences the will, so that it now experiences choice outside of the programming of directed need fulfillment it follows in the lower creatures of the earth. Further the development of the conscience is also influenced by this agency. This agency is what we will call the Good.

  29. The Good is in fact something, which is totally at odds with the first law of nature we have stated above, that of absolute uniqueness. It is an agency, which takes the view of total unity, or perfection, 19 as opposed to that of total uniqueness or separation. It balances the conscience of the perceiver with the needs of all other perceivers; in fact, it gives the perceiver the ability to emulate the other perceivers, and experience their perceptions as its own, therefore offsetting the selfishness of the survival instinct.

  30. It uses the feelings, such as shame and righteous indignation etc. to allow the perceiver to know when he has crossed the bounds of human behavior. It augments the conscience, with a code, which goes beyond society and represents the code of all humanity. Thus it represents the absolute standard of all humanity and the absolute unity of humanity.

  31. In its ability to moderate or balance the growth of the conscience, the agency of the Good acts as an absolute standard against which individual human needs are balanced by the needs of the collective (all humans). As such it is the instigator of a basic societal need, which draws the individual into a cooperative union with other perceivers.

  32. The personality, in its interaction with the other perceivers in the societal-continuum, creates different functional parts, which we will refer to in the same way as Freud did in his dynamic description of the personality. The main interface with the societal-continuum we will call the Ego. It is a creation of the personality through the interaction of the drives and instincts within the original “I”, or will of the perceiver, which we will now say resides in the “Id”. The love we mentioned above, which evolves through the agency of the Good, develops a part of the personality, which resides along side the Ego, and fosters its development, this we call the Super Ego or conscience. This agency is totally outside of consciousness, and resides in the unconscious along with the Id. The perceiver is only indirectly aware of the actions of these agencies, through feelings and emotions. We use the dynamic model of these agencies, developed by the Psychoanalytic school of Psychology to describe the personality, since these best fit the real world behavior, and the pathology studied.

  33. In the dynamic model, the mind uses the will to suppress certain drives and instincts that are deemed harmful by the Super Ego. Although Freud considered the Super Ego as the arbiter of disputes between the perceiver’s personal drives and instincts, and its society, the Super Ego is also influenced by the Good and its tendencies toward unity with all other perceivers; so that the benefit of humanity itself is now represented in the Super Ego or conscience. Thus the conscience becomes a source of the societal urge in humanity.

  34. We see here that the human conscience has both a mortal part, and a “mystical” part, to use Wittgenstein’s terminology. It is mystical in that it allows the free will to choose to obey an absolute or “transcendental” standard, which has no origin in the drives that are in the survival instinct. The two, the mortal standard that reconciles the individual with his group, society, and the “mystical” standard that further reconciles this with the whole of humanity are the result of the Good. Both are ultimately arrived at through the love that has grown through the influence of the Good.

  35. The Good is an agency, which we hypothesize arises from an “unknown” source, which most people call God. The intuitions of the Good call the individual together with all other humans, and form a feeling of all encompassing unity, or perfection. This is the origin of the religious instinct in humans. It is a sense, which allows the perceiver to leave the confines of the solitary existence, mortality has condemned him to, and experience the same things other perceivers perceive. This expansion of viewpoint, which the Good confers on the human causes the human to form a trust with other humans, and therefore creates faith in his own kind, and faith in a power which allows him to perceive the all encompassing unity of perfection, God. This leap to faith is not automatic, but must be individually accepted by each perceiver within the will or “I” which resides in the Id. The Good provides the intuition to guide the perceiver, but free will is the final arbiter in the matter. One cannot rationalize the “feeling” or the “intuition”, through which the Good works. It must be accepted on faith. Also the Good is the “final” standard according to which moral action is judged. Moral actions are first sent through the filter of the conscience, which is the moral standard, which the individual has built up through the interactions of the perceiver with the perceivers of his society (this is government, teachers and any authority figures in the perceiver’s life) and family (also clan or cultural mores). Finally the moral action is judged by the Good. The moral law of the Good is simple, it is the law stated above: “do unto others as you would do to self”. These “filters” act to form the final decision of the “will”. 20 But the Good also affects the decision of the “will” in another way, by becoming the barometer, by which the trust of society and its morality is gauged. This ability of the Good to gauge trust is the very thing that determines if the Good will become the agency it was meant to be, or be shut down to the special functions it should serve to promote.

  36. The growth of this agency in the individual is not a given. It is always up to the “will” to accept its counsel or not.

  37. The Good is an agency in the “unconscious” part of the Id. We may think of it as a valve that allows the all-encompassing unity of perfection to act on the personality, and give it the further viewpoint described above. This view also allows the perceiver to build the trust he feels in others, or experience no trust in others. The valve is not full “ON” of “OFF”, but like a valve, can exist in any intermediate state, at any time, in the life of the perceiver. So the state of the Good is in continual flux throughout the perceiver’s life.

  38. What is critical about the Good, is that it should evolve properly during the growth, and molding of the perceiver’s personality. If the love, before mentioned, which allows the good to grow in the individual, is not available to create a functioning Good, the Good can be fully shut down to the expanded view, which it should afford to the individual. Fear is the feeling or emotion, which can cause this to happen. Growing up in an environment where fear is constantly engendered causes the trust needed by the Good to never appear, and thus an individual is born who is totally bound to the material, or mortal part of existence. The Good is supposed to give the individual a feeling for the spirituality of existence, through the oneness, or unity of life. If the Good is shut down in the young perceiver, this spirituality never shows itself, and therefore the perceiver trusts only in his survival instinct to guide his will. This brings about a reliance in the material, and the satiety, which spirituality engenders is not learned. Unlimited license or greed and self-reliance drive the perceiver, without any thought of society or others of his kind. This total reliance in the material is what we may call evil.

  39. As we showed above, the Good is constantly working throughout the life of a perceiver. The effects of the survival instinct are always there as an opposition to the force of selflessness the Good engenders. This seesawing of the will between the influences of these two forces creates the “occasion to sin” that religions emphasize.

  40. The best that a perceiver can do to live in accordance with the Good is to determine to make this the basis of his morality. The “Code of the warrior” is a code, which allows the perceiver to follow the morality of the Good as a code similar to which the soldier follows in battle. Society makes any code sometimes hard to follow, so at times we will fail. But then we should follow the eastern ideas of the Tao, to bolster us on. Let the Good be our guide along the way, our loadstar; we may fall off the way from time to time, but if we constantly follow by getting back on after failure, then that is all we can do, for we are mortal. Success is not the point, perseverance and attitude are.

  41. Finally, we must also aim to make the Good a part of our societies. If society has so much to say in how we act morally then we must also try to bring its tenants in line with the Good. It is the Good that essentially brings society together, so we should strive to make society act in line with the Good. The continual existence of poverty in all societies that exist today, as a result of greed, show us that societies must still go a long way in order to reach this goal.

  42. Also notice that this view of the Good is compatible with all Religions, in that it leaves the individual perceiver to find his own way to a supreme being through the love and respect of the interests of all other perceivers; and also to feel the influence of a purpose outside of the mortal world, which relieves the profound loneliness of all perceivers. Further, we see that fate is not connected to a supreme being, but is a necessary characteristic of the imperfect nature of the mortal world.

This formal outline of the philosophy of the Good, as stated above is presented to gather together the ideas I have stated elsewhere in essays on the web-site, for the novel, which originally began my thinking on this subject. Here I use somewhat more formality in its presentation, and separate it from any particular religious ideation. It is important for all to see the Good as a part of all humanity without any partisanship, which is so prevalent in the splintered world we now live in. Also to foster the ideas that poverty and inequity are not inevitable, but merely the result of a greedy and unsatisfactory distribution system, which can be either fixed or replaced. It is my hope that my writing will stir up our youth, who in many ways show themselves to be much wiser than there progenitors, to start to find the answers needed, which the preceding generations have so blatantly ignored to their utter detriment. We must at all cost begin to once again foster trust and cooperation between the peoples of the world; the Good is the place to start, since it is the source of these things.





To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left

1 The origin of the agency that forms the Good will be left as an unknown entity.

2 Thinking is a process where the mind creates facts or “propositions”. Propositions live in a “logical” space created by the logic of Reason. A Logic is an ordering system which allows the description of the present-perception (see below for definition) in terms of “objects”, classes and relations between them. Further, a Logic has certain truth sets or tautologies, which define the logical space itself. “The world in itself “ or mortal world cannot be shown directly to the perceiver since it is a world of total uniqueness (see below), but it can be translated into the present-perception, and this, in turn, further translated by the will into a form, which consists of objects that live in a logical space (thought). The final process is the translation of this into the symbols of natural language, which allows communication of the data of the present-perception (the continuum, see below), in terms of the modalities of representation, Time and Space.

[The logic I speak about here is not a formal logic, as the mathematician creates, but an ordering system that ends in bringing order to the present perception, from the creation of concepts and their objects which can be stated as the objective facts of thought. Often thought takes forms that mimic perception in that it is reproduced as an imaginary type of gestalt that has no basis in sensations, but only in the will itself, although it uses a form of the modalities to produce it.]

Although we speak here as if these processes occurred in “time” and followed a “definite sequence”, we actually mean that they “happen”. We can’t really use any of the concepts of time to say “how” they happen, just that they happen. Sequence and order in time are part of the representational system, and can’t strictly be used to speak of what creates them. But we can use the terminology analogically, to heighten our awareness. If below I make the same “errors” please remember this note. [As a further elucidation these processes may occur in a type of parallel processing in the neural nets; almost as a part of a structure instead of sequence of processes. We might almost think of all the logical processes I spoke of as not processes, but a structural configuration that data from the sensations changes or reforms continually (again the words “changes” or “structure” and “continually” etc. are used analogically)].

Time and Space allow a primary ordering of the present perception, or a representation that allows the “will” a way to allow its manipulation of the primary perception; and, further, it also allows a way for the will to incorporate itself into the perception as the “bodily image” (in essence it creates a viewpoint for the will; this is a framework for ordering reality so that there is only the will as an absolute reference point, but the Good expands this to a reference point that is fixed on the totality of perceivers, a moral reference point). Thus the will can further order the perception through creating distinctions (and therefore isolating existents), which are finally translated into classes and their individual objects and the relations pertaining to these.

3 Perception is the process of “ordering” (an undefined term) the raw knowledge of the mortal world, received through the sensory apparatus of the body, into a coordinated and synchronized whole, which the modalities of Time, Space, Causality and Reason rework into the overall “intelligible whole”, which the “I” of the will can control through the behaviors of the body (we will define more of this terminology, i.e.: existents, mortal world, etc., presented here below). As we see here, perception holds all the knowledge of the mortal world that is possible to a particular perceiver at a particular time (that time is the present; the present is the only time frame of the perception, thus below I use “present-perception” to indicate this). There is no distinctions made in the overall present-perception, that is, no existents are separated out in the present-perception itself. The distinction of existents (which the thought processes convert to separate objects) is produced through the action of the will and the processes of change over time in the present-perception.

4 This mental world is represented to us as a present-perception of the mortal world presented to the “I” of the “will”, which is within the mortal body, at the level of the brain. This present-perception is from the vantage of the body, and views the rest of the world, including the body itself (the bodily image). The will only controls the body, and notices this through the change it causes in the present-perception. At birth the present-perception is only one great, fuzzy, four-dimensional whole, which is indistinguishable, and seems to change periodically through the time dimension. The “I” exerts its control and notices change; thus control over the view, and control-induced change is noticed. Manipulation of control-induced change is learned gradually. Also interaction with parts of the whole shows the perceiver that individual parts are functional, and can be used to cause change in the overall present-perception. Thus existents are determined, which are later aggregated through the abstraction of the reasoning into objects. The earliest objects are the parents, who create and relieve internal states in the perceiver, such as pleasure and pain. But it is the “will” that is the “I” or the “deus ex machina”. Thus the fuzzy overall present-perception gradually becomes the world of existents, presented in space and time, and separated from the body, which is the domain of the will.

5 Kantian Idealism assumes the existence of a third world or the “world of sensation”. We see no need for this, as the world of sensation is also the “world in itself” or Kant’s “perfect world”. God can indeed still inhabit this “imperfect world” or mortal world, but in the part of it, which is unknowable to us. It is a matter of semantics, as to whether we divide the mortal world into parts or not, based on knowledge we are capable of obtaining through the senses.

6 The will acts through change. The will makes the distinction between existents in the perceptual representation, through change. Change is the result of will, or what is thought to be will (other animate creatures, or other human perceivers), or through the laws of nature (we have described). Change also acts through the continuum of time, and makes time distinguishable. Causality works through deterministic change. Human language, as the highest language in the system, can represent all these aspects of the system. If change did not occur then the will could not make any distinctions. The changes in the bodily image, or the internal environment (emotions, feelings, ideas, thoughts) make the will perceptive in the absence of change in the external present-perception.

[Added: February 1, 2008] We derive the Laws of Nature stated here (as axioms of the theoretical system we propose) from the existence of mortality in the mortal world. Death claims all of us, and also Nature itself shows cycles of dissolution and regeneration. But Nature, if left to itself, tends to a final dissolution or “equilibrium state”, which science shows to be the continual increase in entropy, or decrease in spontaneous change (Clausius’s: “Die Energie die Welt ist Konstant; die Entropie der Welt strebt einem Maximum zu.”). The total absence of change, being the death of the universe itself, for without change there can be no perception or even the will, which makes itself known only through perception; thus “I perceive, therefore I am”.

By hypothesizing total uniqueness in the mortal world, and the eventual separation or end of existents, we show how mortality and “fate” are derived. Causality is a way for the mind to deal with the arbitrariness of fate. It imposes an “order” on the laws of Nature, and therefore on fate itself. But it cannot overrule fate. It is an “order” or abstraction to make fate more manageable.

We might also note here that the laws of Nature we propose here that of total uniqueness and separation also explains the flawed concept of infinity, which must be corrected by introducing the concept of limit. Separation of existents must be limited at some point. Again we see that even the concepts of our representational system are limited by the nature of the mortal world. The whole of our representational systems are merely limited ways of abstracting the mortal world continuum for the intelligible use of the will of the perceiver. It is a limited way of dealing with the total uniqueness of reality. So Einstein’s words have relevance here: “…As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Albert Einstein, “Geometry and Experience” (see reference in the web-site essay "Absolutism vs. Relativism").

The Laws of Nature, or Fate, are actually the way the mortal world is. They embody its “imperfection” or what I call its mortality. If we see it in this way, we see that God can’t change this without recreating the mortal world itself. One can’t change something’s nature or essence without recreating it, and therefore it is not what it was. This explains the story of Job in the Bible. We can’t blame God for what fate does to us, because reality and fate are one and the same. For God to change fate he would have to recreate all reality, or the whole Universe. Accepting fate is what the Good is all about. It makes us look to something “above” reality to find the strength to endure, or perform the conduct which is in line with this: the warrior’s code. Again, acceptance is the personal choice of the individual.

7 We intuitively accept this “mortal world” as existing as the basis for the mental world. Why? Just as Euclid had to accept certain intuitive postulates from his knowledge of reality (induction from experience), so we find that this must be the case; especially since we find further proof for this from science, which shows us that the human body has organs of sense reception, which if destroyed affect our mental world. So we accept the postulate that “something”, which we call the “mortal world” actually does form the basis of our mental world. Or we might say that there is a dependent relationship between the mental world and this essentially unknowable “mortal world”. We must be careful how we phrase this relationship since we cannot really phrase it in the language of the modalities of perception; this would be introducing a circular relation of causality, the old chicken and the egg problem. The best method is to take the “mortal world” as an irrefutable postulate or axiom (as Euclid did) on which we must base all else. This is how we will attack the problem. Of course, the corollary to this axiom is that the “mortal world” is entirely unknowable, except through the mental world’s perceptual apparatus, which exposes it to us (again how much is exposed as knowledge, is itself unknowable).

8 Again, we must accept the modalities as intuitive postulates; we again find corroborative evidence for them in science, which shows things as possessing these attributes as apart from the sensory data itself. For instance a blind man still understands depth and height in an object, and existence in the time continuum. These modalities bring an “order” (an undefined intuitive concept) to the continuum, which actually makes the continuum representable or understandable to us. They are also definable as meta-concepts of the representational system itself. Therefore they can be used to treat the representational system as an object apart from the continuum. This allows the system and the continuum to be used by the modality of reason, and communicated through language.

9 The sequence is: Sensations are produced by the sense organs, and ordered by the mind using Time, space and causality to form the present-perception. The “will” in turn, using control-induced change, and change induced through “fate” (read here the laws of Nature) sorts out the existents in the present-perception. These existents are given a further order by the Reason, which creates classes of objects, of which the existents are particular objects. Further use of reason creates thoughts and judgments, which are the facts and propositions, which Wittgenstein mentions in the Tractatus ("Tractatus Logico-Philosopicus", by Ludwig Wittgenstein; Routledge & Kegan Paul LTD, London, 1922). Finally, these are molded by the symbolizations of language into the interpretation of the present-perception, by the perceiver. Mature reasoning also allows the experience of the perceiver, in the form of memory, to also refine this process, with each present-perception.

10 This “space” is a multidimensional space of the modalities themselves and forms a type of virtual reality, which is the perceptual apparatus through which the perceiver “views” (for lack of a better word) the mental world.

11 The truth sets, which create the logical systems for the representational system and the continuum, are separate and distinct for each. There is a separate logical space for each that defines it. The truth sets of the representational system are defined for the species of Homo sapiens; the truth sets for the perceiver are individually defined for it and relative to it. The truths and meanings created for the continuum are built on top of the truths and meanings derived from the species-specific representational system. Natural language is further defined on top of these as a way of total representation of both to other perceivers. It incorporates both the lower levels of space and facts in logical space, and also the representations of the will (through language predication and number) and time (through language tense). Many connotations of meaning are expressed through the use of idiomatic expressions of natural language.

[Added: February 2, 2008] By separating the truth sets and tautologies of the representational system itself, from those of the continuum (or perceiver’s sensational data stream) we can see how pathologies of the perceiver might arise: delusional, paranoid and even hallucinogenic states associated with the psychotic thought disorders, might be tied to representational system malfunctions; on the other hand, neuroses might be thought to arise from malfunctions of the logical system concerned with the continuum, at the higher levels of thought (the only thing that can be said of the levels involved in thought, is that there is a finite number of logical levels).

12 Here we see a hierarchy of languages constructed on top of each other, at the very top the language of the human being used through the language abilities of the organism. Russell and Wittgenstein and the language philosophers made the mistake of looking at the “fact” or proposition as the lowest level upon which meaning and truth relied. Also there isn’t an infinite series of languages in this hierarchy, since human language (any human language e.g.: English, German etc.) is at the highest level, since this is the only language, which is able to represent the whole representational system, including time.

Here we must see the present-perception as more or less the same in every perceiver. We make this assumption since science shows us that all human perceivers have the same sensational apparatus and that communication of visual and tactile perceptions are the same in all (see preceding footnote, which gives the sequence of interpretation). But the way in which the perception is symbolized is unique to the particular perceiver. From a certain perception a perceiver builds a symbolic description of the perception in logical space in the form of propositions, or facts. This description of the perception is then communicated through language (at the highest level). For instance, two perceivers are asked to describe a pastel picture of Caesar. The description of each is made up of a unique collection of “facts” for each perceiver. One may say that Caesar looks scared or frightened; while the other may say he looks mad or angry (note that here we say that there is a single existent, Caesar’s picture that creates two perceptions in two different perceivers; we may assume, as we do, that the two perceptions are identical, since both use the same sensory apparatus). What are the facts? The facts are certainly true for each perceiver, but they are different facts according to that perceiver’s own emphasis, or his own use of language. The point is that thinking is built on primary perceptions, which can be interpreted or symbolized by a different set of facts or propositions for each perceiver. Thought is individually created from an “interpretation” of the perception. Propositions and facts have a reality only in the logical space of the individual perceiver, and therefore may not be consistent with the facts or propositions of other perceivers, although the perceptions calling them forth may indeed be identical. Further, the facts assembled to symbolize a perception are basically derived from that particular perceiver’s own past history and the particular circumstances attending the perceptual framework of that perceiver at the time of perception. So we see that thought and facts themselves are a construct of the individual perceiver at a particular time and place in his life. These are the connotes of definition that is unique to that particular perceiver, and forms the ultimate truth sets by which his own factual reality, or overall truth set is determined. Also, this same type of phenomenon may color the grouping of perceptions into objects. The creation of language and symbolization is uniquely determined by the experiential history of the individual perceiver to a very great extent. Later we will see that there is an overall absolute truth for all individual perceivers, and that truth comes about through the agency of the Good (see below).

There are indeed, many ways of symbolization, and many methods of communication. We can duplicate perceptions (for instance the picture of Caesar above can be duplicated, say by drawing or sculpture, and communicated) thus there are ways of communicating outside of the “logical space” of facts. Art communicates emotions and feelings, and therefore talks to a part of us, which is not at the logical level at all. The whole area of esthetics is a way in which the ideal of beauty is symbolized through various non-logical or indirectly logical, or behavioral, emotional or analogical methods. In this same way, music is a way of communicating the emotions and the “highs and lows” of life to others. We might also think of taste and smell as means of communicating the culinary beauties of life, since like the emotions and feelings they can be symbolized and communicated, as some of the advertisements of food stores and restaurants show. This also shows that beauty may also be represented in this way as culinary feeling symbols.

One can also communicate through injunction (through commands, directions or recipes) [see: “The Laws of Form” by G. Spencer-Brown, E.P.Dutton, 1979]. It would seem that this method is probably used at the lower levels of the language hierarchy mentioned above.

13 Again, we must accept this “operation of the mental world on the mortal world” as an accepted axiom, since we find corroborative evidence through science, which shows us the persistence of will-caused change in the continuum.

14 Equality or identity is indeed an achievable state merely in abstraction, that is, by limiting the actual existent (actually the object, which the mental world creates to represent the existent) to a specific number of properties or attributes, which the logical system can handle. This is one of the reasons that consistent interpretation is so difficult, or probably impossible to achieve. Fortunately strict identity between existents, or their objects, is not really important for most transactions in the mortal world. Language handles objects or classes, which are defined approximately, which is good enough for most situations. When specific objects are used they are named members of a class.

15 The existents in the mortal world are all different, and no two are equal; this is their imperfect nature. The mental world can approximate perfection by the use of objects, which are at least capable of unity through idealized equality. Here we see that imperfection is actually, not only an attribute, but the most important attribute of the mortal world. Experience shows us that this quality or attribute of the mortal world, uniqueness, is true. Every object we meet in our world is different from every other in some way. No two existents can ever be the same in the mortal world, although we can create mental objects (or concepts) that we make non-unique or equivalent. This in itself is an ordering ability of the representational system, to enable the manipulation and utilization of existents within the representational framework. Although this seems at first glance to be a construct of reason through logic, it actually is brought out through the agency of the will, which finds similarities in objects through their control.

16 Denotation is the hard and fast of definition; the dictionary meaning so to speak. The connotation is the vague or fussy associations, which reside alongside of the denote. These often are formed individually, and culturally along with the idiomatic expressions of language. They also represent associative networks of facts tied to the particular objects or concepts that call them forth.

17 Actually it is not the purpose that is new or unknown; this also can be understood in rational terms. It is the “I” or will itself that we really have been talking about all along that is capable of making the distinctions, that we have not explained, and cannot explain rationally. This “I “, I will discuss in an essay on Will

18 This “love”, which develops is perfect innocence in that it has no specific focus; it is therefore out of the bounds, or even contrary to the survival instinct. There is no altruism such as this achievable through mechanism, or instinct; it must be freely chosen, and is therefore outside the bounds of the “knowable” mortal world.

19 The concept of perfection is indeed reached through this idea of a will outside of the mortal world directing the will of the “I”. The unity of the perceivers, or all the “I”s, is a unity with this supreme “I”. Thus perfection is the concept of total unity, and at odds with the uniqueness of mortality, or imperfection. Of course this is the will to faith in a Supreme Being, or God, which is the religious “instinct” (it is more in the nature of an intuition than an instinct; as instinct is presented without question or choice in humans, while intuition is more left to the judgments of a human, and to free choice) in humanity.

20 This action of the conscience shows that although the perceiver is the final arbiter on morality, through his free will, it is also influenced by the society or societal continuum which forms his environment, and finally by comparing the action to the moral standard of the Good, as stated above. In the final analysis it is the “will”, which determines the outcome. This final outcome will be influenced by just how strong the influence of the Good is (see below on the “valve-like” functioning of the Good).

Originally Published:

January 25, 2008


June 26, 2014