Re: MD Value of thinking

From: Scott R (
Date: Tue Aug 12 2003 - 21:43:38 BST

  • Next message: Scott R: "Re: MD myths and symbols"


    > Scott:
    > As in, in the MOQ, Quality is the source of everything. This is an
    > immaterial source of such material things as brains. In my view, one
    > could redo the MOQ giving Intelligence (or, as Coleridge does, Reason, or,
    > John the Evangelist does, the Logos) as the source of everything. Not
    > are two conflicting sources, but at that rarified level, Quality is
    > Intelligence is Love is Wisdom, etc.
    > Paul:
    > So your definition of the intellectual level is necessarily distinct
    > from "intelligence" which is the groundstuff of reality? A Metaphysics
    > of Intelligence?

    Insofar as one considers the intellectual level as static patterns, it is
    different from intelligence, which in some way works on static patterns (to
    learn them, to create new ones). As mentioned, I think the MOQ could be
    rewritten as an MOI.

    > Scott:
    > So my statement is merely to say that the material comes from the
    > immaterial, and the immaterial is "of the same nature" as our mind.
    > Paul:
    > This seems to lead to the philosophy of idealism. In the MOQ, and in the
    > Mahayanistic Buddhism of Nagarjuna, both the "material" and the
    > "immaterial" are further reduced to something fundamental to both and
    > without conceptual distinction. As I recall Barfield, he doesn't make
    > the step into metaphysics (he isn't concerned with the fundamental
    > nature of reality) but is content with an explanation of consciousness
    > and perception. Have you extended Barfield's thought into a metaphysics?

    Barfield's metaphysics appears to be the same as Coleridge's, which he
    outlines sympathetically in "What Coleridge Thought" (and with which I am
    also sympathetic). In any case, there is ontology and epistemology implied
    and scattered throughout "Saving the Appearances", even if it is not
    systematized as such. Also, he doesn't explain consciousness so much as
    chart its evolution. One can call it idealism if one wants to distinguish it
    from materialism or dualism, but a better word would be monism, in much the
    same way as is the MOQ. To put clothes on this would take quite a while.
    Perhaps it can be hinted at by saying that on analysis, the material is seen
    to be ideal, and the ideal is seen as material. In the end, one gets to
    Buddhism: nirvana is samsara, form is not other than emptiness, and
    emptiness is not other than form.

    > Scott:
    > To be physical beings we need a brain to coordinate all the subatomic (and
    > other immaterial) goings-on into a nice 4-dimensional spacetime picture
    > we call "physical reality". So Intelligence put one together.
    > Paul:
    > I would say that the intellectual level put one together based on a
    > pre-intellectual aesthetic evaluation of alternatives.

    Where did the pre-intellectual aesthetic evaluation of alternatives come
    from? I think my capital-I Intelligence is just another name for that.

    > Scott:
    > As always, consider this kind of talk mythical. For some philosophical
    > justification, consider that everything that we sense is produced by our
    minds (not
    > that there isn't anything independent of our selves, but that its form,
    > color, etc. are so produced. We don't see photons or hear air vibrations,
    > etc.). The "material" is usually taken to be "sense-perceptible", and the
    > "sense-perceptible" is a mental creation, so what I am saying is just
    > drawing out the consequences.
    > Paul:
    > Yes, inorganic nature is actually postulated and confirmed by a
    > correspondence to the deduced consequences of a hypothesis, but I would
    > say that sensation is empirical and immediately apprehended, but of an
    > aesthetic nature, that is, value differentiates the experience, not
    > "things-in-themselves".

    I would phrase it more as the value and inherent conceptual structure of
    what we perceive through our senses is what makes it that we see the same
    things. However, that value and conceptual structure includes more than what
    we see. Or rather, what we see is that value and conceptual structure
    projected into spacetime. Quantum mechanics makes this pretty clear.
    Particles and waves are two different projections into spacetime of
    something that can't be confined to spacetime measures.

    > Scott:
    > I erred in saying "SOM viewpoint", and should have said "S/O viewpoint".
    > Paul:
    > Not aimed at your or anyone in particular but I think the use of "S/O"
    > is ambiguous and used too freely. It can mean at least three things:
    > 1. Metaphysical "subject-object" distinction
    > 2. Epistemological "subjective vs objective" distinction
    > 3. I/Other distinction

    True, and opposed to Squonk, I think we need all these meanings if we are
    going to have a metaphysics that includes our current reality. We can
    recognize that the metaphysical S/O distinction is not fundamental, but at
    the same time we have to acknowledge that experience comes to us in S/O form
    (#3). On this subject, I object to Pirsig's attempt to hide these
    distinctions with his "in the MOQ, subjective is just social and
    intellectual SQ". That covers #2, but does not allow us to see the I/Other
    distinction as a variation of the DQ/SQ split.

    > You said: " I think the basic value of thinking is the conceptual
    > organisation and explanation of experience." You are setting something
    > "experience" against its "conceptual organization and explanation".
    > Paul:
    > The something labelled "experience" is Dynamic Quality, the conceptual
    > organization and explanation becomes static quality. Part of that
    > explanation is the postulated "object" (inorganic-biological) and
    > postulated "self" (social-intellectual).

    I disagree. Experience is the polaric interaction of DQ and SQ.
    Conceptualizing is another polaric interaction of DQ and SQ. By "polaric" I
    am referring to Coleridge's Law of Polarity, as I remarked in a recent post
    to Platt. Roughly, Coleridge's central metaphysical concept is that of "two
    forces of one power", which forces he calls "free life" and "confining
    form". Without SQ, DQ would instantly expand infinitely, producing only
    chaos, which is not experience. Because we experience in S/O form we are
    able to distinguish one from the other, but they cannot "in reality" be
    divided. SOM is taking that distinguishing as division. (And this is furhter
    complicated in that the S/O form is also that distinguishing.)

    > Scott:
    > That
    > language/reality distinction is what I was referring to as being an S/O
    > viewpoint. I would also say it is unavoidable unless and until we evolve
    > further.
    > Paul:
    > That's 4 things "S/O" can mean!

    Correct, though one can see it as a derivative of the others.

    > Scott:
    > Yes. It is also in an S/O form. I don't disagree with the idea that
    > there are explanations, nor that an explanation cannot be a creation. Only
    > with the notion that explanations can escape S/O thinking.
    > Paul:
    > But not a S/O metaphysical form? I think that the value of thinking
    > may be " / ", that is "the value of differentiation".

    Doesn't a cell differentiate between food and non-food? I see the value of
    thinking as the ability to hold on to differentiation, and so question it,
    and build explanations for it.

    > Paul previously:
    > > With no conceptual organisation of experience there are no
    > > explanations, with no explanations there is no prediction, with no
    prediction there
    > > s no science, with no science there is no technology, with no technology
    > > there is no internet, with no internet there is no on-line discussion
    > > group to discuss the MOQ, with no on-line discussion group we wouldn't
    > > be having this discussion about what the value of the intellectual
    > > level is.
    > >
    > > My experience right now is explained very well by saying that we are
    > > having this discussion. I guess the question is - are "concepts" and
    > > "ideas" a side effect of "creativity for its own sake"? Is this all an
    > > illusory consequence of creativity?
    > Scott:
    > All true. But also all S/O.
    > Paul:
    > Again, please clarify the use of S/O.

    Both #2 and #3, with the derivative of the language/reality distinction. The
    I/Object distinction allows us to do alpha-thinking (thanking about
    something) on our experience, which is necessary if we are going to explain
    it. Since we think of our language as "my" product, we call it subjective
    (sense #2), and so we say "my sentences are my creations about the
    experience". The Coleridgean corrective to this would be that the concepts
    in my sentences are a (somewhat distorted) reflection of concepts that are
    actually part of the experience. However, as long as we are stuck in our S/O
    form we can't perceive those concepts *in* the experience, but only
    subsequently experience them as thought. But (see below), without those
    inherent concepts, there would have been no experience in the first place.
    And, in some way, those undistorted concepts are the value -- where Quality
    meets Intelligence.

    And I'm out of energy, so I'll stop here, except:

    > Paul:
    > The MOQ says that aesthetic experience creates ideas which create
    > explanations of experience, which includes things like "objects".

    Except that one perceives an object as an object -- something isolated --
    before one has an explanation.

    > Regarding Barfield, I think "figuration" corresponds with the basic
    > function of the intellectual level. How do you see it?

    Barfield calls figuration a kind of thinking, but one that is (in us at this
    stage of our evolution) subconscious. It is what makes objects as objects.
    It seems to me to be prior to the intellectual level, which in Barfield's
    terminology I would call alpha-thinking.

    - Scott

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