Latest significant edit: September 8, 2016.
Here is a system of four dispositions to reactively form a definite opinion in such a way as to agree with some or none (besides oneself) and to disagree with some or none.
- one disposed to definitely opine in such a way as
to agree with no others and to disagree with some (who are all others).
- one disposed to definitely opine in such a way as
to agree with some others and to disagree with some (who are the rest).
- one disposed to definitely opine in such a way as
to agree with no others and to disagree with none.
- one disposed to definitely opine in such a way as
to agree with some others (who are all others) and to disagree with none.
By "insularist" I mean a neutralist capable of a definite opinion as long as it involves avoiding both agreement with others and disagreement with others. Maybe that is what "neutralist" ought to mean but it seems not to evoke that idea quite clearly.
A striking affinity
Said four dispositions are classified systematically by possible combinations of agreement and disagreement, but they also have in common a temporal element, insofar as they involve reactions to the already given opinions of other people. So it ought not to be too surprising (although it puzzled me in the past) that the dispositions have a one-to-one affinity with temporally, indeed somewhat lightcone-ishly, varied modes of the willful or cocksure: impetuous, pertinacious, smug, hidebound:
■ Conformist ≘ hidebound, vis-à-vis the settled, layered past, somebody hanging too far back, too slow (like too little ∆d or ∆d ⁄ ∆t).
Only in the case of the idea of smug insularism did a term (insularism) in the agreement-disagreement series influence my idea of the correlated term (smugness) in the temporally varied series. Instead of the smug, I had previously thought of the impulsive, over-reactive, etc. The correction was corroborated for me by its resulting in better correlations elsewhere, for example:
■ Impetuous ≘ too desirous (vis-à-vis the almost-now).
■ Pertinacious ≘ too hopeful (vis-à-vis the gradually addressable future).
■ Smug ≘ too pleased (vis-à-vis the just-now).
■ Hidebound ≘ too attached (vis-à-vis the settled past).
(Also see "Political dispositions".)* * *
The likeness to the light cone in the arrangement of the temporally varied terms arises from seeing time as encompassing not a mere chronological series (which tends to make us think simply in terms of past, present, future) but instead zones of possibility of communication and of cause and effect (and involving some sort of practical speed limits and practical looseness about the difference between high speed and top speed). In other words, in discussing temporal orientations of behavior, affectivity, etc., we need to distinguish not only among past, present, and future, but furthermore between the more-or-less present as it can affect one (the just-now) and the more-or-less present as one can affect it (the almost-now). In everyday situations, the spacetime 'wedge' between the just-now and the almost-now is phenomenologically small to vanishing; but there remains the stark and equally phenomenological difference between inbound and outbound causal, communicational directions. Now, I did not simply come up with the light cone's outlines by considering common experience; instead I had read about the light cone many years earlier, and later I looked for its like in common experience. Are its lineaments really less phenomenological than time seen as a chronological series divided simply into past, present, and future? I doubt it. Both views involve ideas about what ought to count as parts of time's form.
Digression about the light cone and the mathematics of alternatives from timelike perspectives
The light cone's divisions echo divisions of the mathematics of structures of alternatives, implications, and the like:
■ Optimal & feasible solutions: for, or as if for, the almost-now (mathematics of optimization, longer known as linear & nonlinear programming).
■ Probabilities: for, or as if for, the gradually addressable future (probability theory).
■ Information, news: from, or as if from, the just-now (information theory, including information algebra).
■ N-ary givens, data, facts, premises: from, or as if from, the settled past (mathematical logic).
So, a considerable portion of mathematics — 'applied' but highly general — is concerned with temporal or at least timelike perspectives. (Also see "Plausibility, verisimilitude, novelty, nontriviality, versus optima, probabilities, information, n-ary givens" at The Tetrast.) Part of my point here is to suggest that the light cone is not just some idiosyncrasy of the physical world, and that consideration of pure-mathematical underpinnings of the above mathematical applications may find the light cone's lineaments emerging already in the divisions of pure mathematics. Of course some would say that it would show instead that mathematics is a more of a mere generalization from concrete experience than mathematical platonists like to think that it is. Still, I'd hold that, if the pure-mathematical underpinnings of the above-listed applied areas collectively form a mathematically non-arbitrary pattern of topics, then it could show that the structure of the light cone is rooted more deeply than many suppose.
Some less digressive remarks
Previous versions of this post have referred to the insularist as the 'quasi-solipsist', 'neutralist', and 'solipsoidist'.
The insularist differs from a (sufficiently) simple neutralist, because the insularist may adopt a definite opinion, as long as it involves neither agreement nor disagreement with anybody else. Such an insularist may seem an 'irrelevantist' or an 'esotericist' to others. Then again, the insularist may simply be a deliberate hermit. One may also take these classifications as involving whether there are others whose opinions the opiner values one way or the other. In that scenario, the insularist may as a matter of principle simply value nobody else's opinion one way or the other, and thus may, without resisting, incidentally agree or disagree with others, in just the same sense as a contrarian may, without resisting, incidentally agree with somebody whose opinion does not matter to the contrarian.
I noticed the difference between insularism and simple neutralism in basing the classifications on my treatment of logical quantities (such as singular and general) for terms.* * *
Each of the dispositions to reactive opinion tends to lead one into inconsistencies. If one generally aims in the first place both to agree and to disagree with somebody (such as oneself), one's disposition could be called equivocalist, inconsistentist, absurdist, or the like.
Latest significant edit: November 21, 2015.
|1. Reformism. |
2. Progressualism, "onward-ism."
|3. Contemporism. |
4. Conservatism, traditionalism.
The above are dispositions, not ideologies. That is why I use the word "progressualism" and not the word "progressivism" which seems just too tied to a particular family of ideologies. I would call progressualism "perrectivism" if that word were evocative of the meaning proper to it (it comes from Latin pergo pergere perrexi perrectum, to continue, proceed, go on with). Moderatism seems to incline toward contemporism, but I hesitate to make the identification; the two dispositions don't seem quite the same, although some moderates seem to tend to contemporism, not to mention fashionabilism. The contemporist tends to like where things have now gotten to and, in particular, recent innovations. The difference between contemporism and conservativism is not exactly the difference between preferences for the status quo and the status quo ante, respectively. The contemporist thinks things are at an acme. The contemporist does not generally aim to preserve or conserve new things as a state or stasis; the contemporist instead is inclined to seize the day, embrace the new, rather than to reform it or develop it further or preserve it. The conservative doesn't necessarily favor reactionary reversion to an ancien régime or oppose tradition in the current state of its evolution, but does tend to prefer that which has been the established order, as opposed to novelties and changes that have not become deeply rooted and part of the established order.
How have I arrived at the four? In my previous post "Methods of learning" I outlined, among other things, a tetrachotomy of willful attitudes in inquiry. They in turn were extrapolated from other classifications. At this point I've revised both posts. The willful attitudes suggest political attitudes, excessive ones in particular.
|Causal principle, with dynamic/static character, as overall temporally oriented:||Willful attitude as method of inquiry
(infallibilistic, or insufficiently fallibilistic)
Not contrarian per se, but ignoring contrary evidence and views:
|Excess in political disposition:||Political dispositionn:|
|1.||Agency, direct action, with forcefulness, into the almost now, the edge of the future.||Impetuousness of opinion. Forms a prejudice about what the evidence verges on showing. Overactive, over-PROactive, overreaching.||Radicalism (in the usual political sense). Too little disgust, too strong a stomach, for the harm to others that is poised rather feasibly to result.
Derided as: beasts, barbarians.
|2.||Patience, with endurance, stamina, into the further future.||Pertinacity of opinion. Keeps a prejudice about what the evidence will come to show. Too patient. (C. S. Peirce defined the method of tenacity as the policy of holding to one's first opinion and characterized it as leading to ignoring others' views and contrary evidence as if truth were intrinsically private, not public.)||Programmaticism. Too little fear, too much optimism vis-à-vis the harm to others that is likely going to result.
Derided as: true believers.
|Progressualism, "onward-ism" (but not only or necessarily all that which is called progressivism).|
|3.||Affectedness, with vigor, from just now, the barely now, the edge of the past.||Smugness, imperturbability, of opinion. Forms a bias from what the evidence now shows.||"Smuggism". Too little pain or sorrow for the harm to others that is resulting.
Derided as: pigs.
|4.||Borneness, balance, with stability, settledness, from the further past.||Hideboundness of opinion. Keeps a bias that came from what evidence showed. Too settled. It is like pertinacity but, while pertinacity suggests prejudice (pre-judgment) and tunnel vision in a pursuit, hideboundness suggests bias by old or partial evidence, in an adherence.||Hideboundism. Too little antipathy, resentment, or anger about the harm to others that has resulted.
Derided as: oppressors, old mules, dinosaurs, fossils.
Neither conservatism nor hideboundism is an ideology; the ideological content associated with conservatism varies considerably from country to country, varying with the respective pasts of the countries. Likewise, it would be mistaken to regard all progressualism or "onward-ism" as having the ideology, somewhat variegated though it is, of the incrementalist version of that which currently could be called progressivism or, in the U.S.A., is called liberalism. Dauntless programmaticists may march society toward unmodifiable goals that many of us would consider regressive rather than progressive. Likewise, not all radicals are leftists.
|1. Struggle as trial and error.
2. Practice and repetition.
3. Valuation and emulation/replication. |
(Better known as identification and imitation).
4. Assessing cognitively and testing.
(Reasoning, inquiry, etc.).
I use the word 'faculties' for its convenience. Now, the above methods reflect an underlying four-way division of psychological faculties into
1. will (as including effort, in which sense some speak of conation rather than will),
2. ability (in the sense of handling, dealing-with, skill, competence, etc., psychomotor, mental, social, etc.),
3. affectivity (craving, pleasure, pain, emotion, sentiment, etc.), and
4. cognition (imaginative, intellectual, sensory, perceptual),
— the psyche's faculties of (1) & (2) influencing, and (3) & (4) being influenced by, its objects. This post generally takes a phenomenological view and does not consider questions about the reality of free will, undeceived cognition, and the like.
All four faculties are subject to development through experience and, in that sense, to learning. Each of the learning methods above can serve many ends (e.g., trial and error can help uncover facts), and each such method generally serves, in interplay with the others, to exert and develop its underlying faculty of the psyche. (I have since learned of Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy of learning and its division into cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains; my system differs somewhat and is less detailed, maybe more panoramic.)
1. Struggle as trial & error:
2. Practice & repetition:
3. Valuation & emulation/replication:
4. Assessing cognitively & testing:
There is a popular three-way division (for which Kant could claim some credit) of the psyche into the cognitive, the affective, and the conative (will & effort). The faculty of handling and skill seems usually to be considered an aspect of the conative. Yet, phenomenologically viewed, (A) conation (will & effort) differs from handling and skill analogously as affectivity differs from cognition; and (B) handling and skill differ from cognition, analogously as conation (will & effort) differs from affectivity. Thus, distinctions along common lines emerge among four basic and indeed widely familiar faculties (see the following table).
1. & 3.
2. & 4.
|1. & 2.
1. Will, effort,
|3. & 4. |
Now, one sometimes attributes a state of one such faculty to a state of another such faculty (e.g., saying that a person's not knowing is because of the person's not caring, or vice versa), but to attribute is not to equate. One can and should still distinguish ignorance from indifference, knowing from caring, willingness from competence, etc.
- • Willing vs. able. One usually distinguishes successes and failures of will (and character, virtues) from successes and failures of handling (and competence, skills). Consequential judgments about people often depend on the distinction — quite analogously as on the distinction of affectivity (and values, carings) from cognition (and sapience, knowings). Furthermore, there is a sense in which (1) will and (2) handling are faculties of (1) making/doing/driving and (2) allowing/supporting/bearing; in that same sense (3) affectivity and (4) cognition are faculties of (3) being made-to/acted-on/affected and (4) being allowed/supported/borne. (That is a revision of the classical agent-patient-act threefold to a fourfold.)
- • Cognates: can vs. ken. In another direction, we should distinguish handling, competence, etc., as essentially efferent and behavioral, from cognition as essentially afferent and receptive, in order to be consistent if we distinguish will (e.g., trying) as essentially efferent and behavioral, from affectivity (e.g., desiring) as essentially afferent and receptive. Cognitive attention is handling oneself in order to cognize: one listens in order to hear, one looks in order to see.
- • Along the diagonals. One usually distinguishes volitional determination of outcomes, etc., from cognitive determination of facts, and likewise usually distinguishes competential caring, i.e. taking care, from affective caring, i.e., caring-about.
1. Struggle as trial & error.
2. Practice & repetition.
3. Valuation & emulation/replication |
(identification & imitation).
4. Assessing (cognitively) & testing
(reasoning, inquiry, etc.)
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." The old saying is applied not just to trial and error but also to practice and repetition. Now, the method of trial and error, generically at least, involves variation rather than the narrower repetition involved in practice and repetition. How much further can I take these considerations of variation and iteration? The method of valuation and emulation/replication selectively reproduces special varieties of outcome. The method of assessment & testing colligatively evolves (e.g. by varying of conditions) particular complexuses of outcomes. Well, I tried; maybe I can improve those statements in the future.
Here follows a kind of semi-example, in which certain elements, such as repetition and reproduction, in the methods stand out elsewhere, in four modes of observation:
- 1. Varied/exploratory observation. (I.e., avoid over-simplification.)
- 2. Repeated observation. (I.e., avoid taking result as more typical than it is.)
- 3. Reproduced/replicated observation, preferably by other inquirers. (I.e., avoid taking result as more significant than it is.) Occasionally called the 'sanity check'.
- 4. Buttressed observation — various lines of observation and evidence, and preferably various inquirers, converging. (I.e., avoid taking result as deeper, more 'lessonful', than it is; get collateral checks, balances, supports.) 'Buttressed' seems not the ideal word, but I haven't thought of a better one.
Why would such elements as variation, repetition, etc., have a notable degree of one-to-one involvement with the active learning methods in the first place? Here is an attempt to explore the question a little:
- The will — as opposed to the other faculties — 'leads the way' in learning, when one operates somewhat blindly in a situation that is not mainly under one's control; so in the struggle one will learn, if at all, especially by trial and error, and variation, to increase strength or control.
- The faculty of handling, competence, etc., 'leads the way' in learning, when the situation is more or less under one's control but one still operates (in terms of learning) somewhat ahead of one's affectivity and cognition; 'don't overthink it,' as is said; so one will learn, if at all, especially by practice and repetition along comparatively routine lines to increase dependability.
- Affectivity 'leads the way' in learning, when an experience (or effect or result, etc.) has occurred that one likes (or dislikes) in uncertainty about gaining more of the experience (or less of it); so one will learn, if at all, especially by replicating, reproducing, it (or avoiding reproduction of it), to increase the valued.
Reproduction versus repetition: One does not 'repeat' an experience (or effect or result, etc.), instead one reproduces it (or avoids its reproduction); what one repeats is one's behavior in a setup already in place; if the setup and its user are not still in place, one does not 'repeat', instead one may reproduce, the setup and the user's behavior (one may emulate). (One speaks of 'repeated' experience (or effects or results, etc.) but that is not experience that one has repeated; rather it is experience that has repeated itself to one.)
- Cognition 'leads the way' in learning, when an experience (or result or claim etc.) has emerged that makes one wish to know more; so one will learn, if at all, especially by testing assessments vis-à-vis collateral assessments and experiences, testing for convergence / divergence, seeking to increase assurance, to digest and assimilate the assessment into one's increasing body or system of supported, checked-and-balanced assessments (or to reject it).
In basic trial & error, it is oneself or one's interests that are at stake, so perhaps one should speak of "self-trial." Classical virtue (such as courage) consists in a disposition (such as boldness) to behavior that is due under certain circumstances and in which one engages under those circumstances despite pressure (such as fear) to do otherwise. For each such behavioral disposition (such as boldness or caution), there is an associated virtue or due behavioral disposition (such as courage or prudence) that resists an associated pressure (such as fear or hope). Like will itself, virtue becomes salient in struggles, encounters in which control is seriously at stake. If such virtue is learnable at all, it is learned in the trial-and-error of struggle (although it seems that, as with muscle, one must already have some if exertions are to lead to strengthening).
At any rate this differs from assessing cognitively and testing, wherein it is one's own or another's conjecture, opinion, etc., about something observed in people or things (or in oneself qua other) that is first of all at stake. Still, the involvement of varied tests/trials in both methods makes one wonder, should assessment be mentioned in the names in both methods? Maybe the method of struggle as trial & error should be characterized as the method of struggle and assessment (of one's struggling, one's strengths and weaknesses). Parallel remarks could be made about the method of practice & repetition, and the method of valuation & emulation/replication. The method of practice & repetition should perhaps be characterized as the method of practice and appraisal (of one's practice, its skill), while valuation and emulation involves reproducing others' valuations (or one's own qua those of others). Hence each active learning method would be named for elements both efferent and afferent:
1. Struggle as (self-)trial & error,
2. Practice & repetition,
3. Valuation & emulation/replication.
4. Assessing cognitively & testing.
But I'm unsure about the above formulation in some ways and won't settle on it yet.
Valuation and emulation/replication: An animal needs to appraise and appreciate a fellow animal's behavior in order to emulate or imitate. Search on "No imitation without identification" (Frans B. M. de Waal 1998):
The fact that this sort of imitation occurs in orangutans living with humans is significant. These apes probably sympathize with humans, as defined by Humphrey (1976, p. 313): "By sympathy I mean a tendency on the part of one social partner to identify himself with the other and so make the other's goals to some extent his own."
Emulation suggests the possibility of more depth than imitation suggests; emulation suggests the idea of translation from one mode or medium to another. It also suggests the possibility of rivalry. These suggestions are quite congenial to the topic.
Learning by valuation and emulation involves appreciating others' goals and values; thus it involves learning their responses to things-as-good-or-bad and developing sensibilities, emotional makeups, and values like theirs. One may take as a role model in some respect even something non-living, as if it were living; but normally one would speak instead of replicating a natural object, effect, etc.
Emulation or imitation involves in some sense a copying of another rather than of oneself. It seems to bring repetition to a higher level. Likewise assessing cognitively and testing seem to bring trial and error to a higher level. This involves sharing of questions, expectations, knowledge, etc., but not just sharing but checking & balancing. Yet the sense in which the emulative and cognition-with-testing levels seem higher should not be overrated. Trial & error, and practice & repetition, are not merely rudimentary forms of the other active methods of learning. As C. S. Peirce pointed out, discovery will not be expedited without the struggle to learn, for example struggle sometimes with one's own preconceptions; and much trial & error is involved. Learning by practice and repetition involves developing the capacity for both coordination and independent exercise of practices or skills and, moreover, their translation to different areas and applications.
In assessing cognitively and testing, one cognizes something that reminds one of something (be it by connection, resemblance, analogy of situation, mathematical isomorphism, etc.) and this leads to experiment and discovery. Listen for example to Harvard physicist Lisa Randall discussing memory starting at 0:27:27 in an interview on The Deep End (TheLipTV) published Jun 17, 2013 on YouTube.
Areas of application of the active learning methods.
The methods are incorporated, for example, by science insofar as science incorporates modes of struggle, practice, valuing, cognitively assessing, etc. Most generally, all human pursuits use all the methods, but do so in various degrees and relations. Following is a systematic 4×4 classification of human pursuits, concerns, etc., at which I arrived mostly in the 1990s if not earlier (although I looked at methods of learning only starting in April 2013); I posted a version of the classification at this link. Some things, such as family, seem hard to pigeonhole in this system; but the system helpfully reflects the same kinds of divisions as those among the methods, and is panoramic enough to give some idea of the expanse of the methods' applications. The four sectors (columns) arise ultimately from the same division into four basic faculties as the four realms (rows) do. It's a four-way division applied twice.
Column headings: Sectors. The common themes of each first sector, each second sector, etc., are as follows —with examples from activities of human subsistence. Note: Wherever I say "digestive" below, think digestive, ruminative, assimilative (especially mentally digestive!).
Example: Catching or gathering of food.
Example: Preparing of food.
Example: Presentation, consumption, and enjoyment of food.
Example: Digestion of, and reflection on, food.
Realm 1. Struggle as trial & error: Arenas of conflict, competition, rivalry, dispute.Aristotle mentions men of experience as occupying a step below that of men of arts (crafts, know-hows). The method of trial and error is that of experience, where we understand experience as implying struggle. Indeed both Latin experientia and Greek empeirikos (from which we get "empirical") come from words that mean trial, test. The sectors of getting decisions made (human decision processes, rife with unintended consequences) do not have a common label, so I will call them strivages, that is, struggles as general and persistent modes; moreover, the realm of strivage as an area of human concern appears as strivage with or against others, 'co-strivage', even if the others be wild animals or physical processes (as in hunting and fire-fighting). Note: (11/27/2015): The four cells just below follow the pattern political, economic, cultural, social.
1. Control-getting:Politics, military affairs, affairs of power and conflict
(decision-making with regard to decision-making & impetuses, deciding who or what gets to decide).
2. Productive:Business, trade, finance, affairs of means, logistics, wealth, competition
(decision-making with regard to handlings & means).
3. Consumptional:Sports, fashion, and affairs of glamour, splendor, rivalry
(decision-making with regard to affects and culminal ends).
4. Digestive, ruminative, assimilative:Affairs of standing, honor, legitimacy, dispute
(decision-making with regard to cognition & entelechies).
It is hard to say that all these are merely matters of experience, as people sometimes apply arts and sciences in order to conduct them. So it's better to think simply in terms of strivages. Trial & error is most of all the method of learning in the 1st sector of strivage: affairs of power and direct conflict, fighting, politically and physically. Within each sector of a realm such as the realm of strivages, the learning method associated with the same numeric label has some special added degree of application. E.g., learning by valuation & emulation/replication has a special added degree of application in fashion, sports, etc., even though they are technically strivages. Learning by practice and repetition is involved in fashion, sports, etc., insofar as they are practices. Learning by struggle, trial & error, applies to the strivages not in every respect whatsoever, but instead insofar as they are struggles. I mean the word "strivage" as a counterpart to words such as "practice" and "practition." The strivagic counterpart of skill would be volitional habit, adherence, and most especially, as a mode of volition, dedication, habitual determination.
Realm 2. Practice & repetition: Practitional employments.Furthermore, "experience" in a broader sense includes practice where control is not at stake, hanging in the balance, up for grabs, etc., to any significant degree or extent, that is, practice as not seriously involving struggle. The method of learning by practice & repetition obviously suits such practice. The realm of practice together includes:
Management / administration, & compliance.
Labor, craftsmanship, cooperation.
Fun, recreation, hobbies, festivities, observances, gratificational practices.
|4. Digestive, etc.:
Practical investigation & study.
Practice and repetition are, most of all, the method of learning in the 2nd sector of practice: labor, craft, cooperation. Through practice (if not through practice alone) one develops skill, proficiency, and, through systematic learning, skill as a discipline.
Realm 3. Valuation & emulation/replication: Communities, distinctive unitings.In the realm of valuation together, the method of learning by valuation and emulation/replication applies:
Valuings with regard to power, submission, self-governance, decision-making.
Tastes, sensibilities, gratificational valuings.
|4. Digestive, etc.:
Valuings with regard to cognition.
The method of learning by valuation and emulation/replication applies most of all in the 3rd sector of valuancy: tastes, sensibilities, etc. Religion seems especially associated with the 1st sector here. Added note: in parallel to the ideas of strength (of character) and skill, for valuancy there are the ideas of appreciation, sensibility, devotion.
Realm 4. Assessing cognitively & testing (the reasoning process, inquiry): Disciplines, supports, checks & balances.Finally, the method of learning by assessing cognitively and testing applies in the realm of such assessments, cognitive learning together, recognizing together, mindfulness together. Here the parallels to strength, skill, etc., are intelligence, wisdom, knowledge. For brevity's sake, the list below consists mostly of knowledge disciplines, which pertain to epistême in its loose sense connoting not deductive knowledge per se but at least a body or system of truths, such as engineering:
Governing arts, better known as ruling arts.
Know-how, productive arts/sciences; e.g., engineering.
Affective arts, including the fine arts.
|4. Digestive, etc.:
Mathematics, sciences, and areas intermediate between them.
By assessing cognitively and testing, one develops knowledge. The method of learning by assessing cognitively and testing obviously applies most of all in the 4th sector, which is that of learning and knowing on what bases one learns and knows things, and in which the knowledge disciplines include mathematics, sciences, etc.
Again, within each sector of a realm, the learning method associated with the same numeric label has some special added degree of application. E.g., learning by valuation & emulation/replication has a special added degree of application in the affective arts, even though they more basically are knowledge disciplines than valuantial devotions.
Expansion of the doing-making distinction.
The distinction between (A) the psyche's four basic faculties and (B) the four above sectors follows, closely enough, Aristotle's distinction between (A) prãxis (doing or practice) and (B) poíêsis (making or production).
- Said sectors (production, consumption, etc.) can be called alterational, as pertaining to behavior as purposing change brought to, or drawn from, an object.
- The distinctions among the alterational sectors are similar, yet orthogonal, to the distinctions among the interbehavioral realms (strivage together, practice together, etc.).
- The distinction between the set of interbehavioral realms and the set of alterational sectors is between 2nd-order and 1st-order human concerns — e.g., business is in (the realm of) striving and decision-making with regard to (the sector of) productive processing, means, etc.
|Psyche's faculty |
|Interbehavioral realm |
(e.g., doing together).
|Alterational sector |
|1. Agent, driver. |
|Will, effort, self-exertion. |
Excellence: Character, determination, dedication.
Active learning method: Struggle as trial & error.
|Strivage together |
— conflict, competition, rivalry, dispute.
|Potition, taking charge, getting control, appropriation.|
|2. Bearer, allower, fosterer. (Think of patiens also as gerens and ferens.)|
|Handling, practicing, dealing-with. |
Excellence: Competence, skill, proficiency.
Active learning method: Practice & repetition.
|Practice together |
— cooperation, toleration, etc.
|3. Driven, affected. |
|Affectivity, being pleased, displeased, etc. |
Excellence: Appreciation, devotion.
Active learning method: Valuation & replication/emulation.
|Valuation together |
— distinctive unitings, community.
|Consumption, having the 'enjoyment' of something.|
|4. Borne, supported, balanced. |
|Cognition, awareness, etc. |
Excellence: (Fallibilistic) knowledge.
Active learning method: Assessing cognitively & testing.
|Mindfulness together |
— supports, checks & balances, disciplines.
|Digestion, rumination, assimilation.|
Hedonism? The table above may seem to imply hedonism along its third row; but there is a difference between ends or goals and THE end or goal. See "Telos, entelechy, Aristotle's Four Causes, pleasure, & happiness" at The Tetrast.
Agent, patient, acted-upon, borne. This is a bit connect-the-dots, for brevity's sake. (1) Agens: agent, acting more or less directly, and with more or less strength, into the almost-now (at up to a finite speed limit). (2) Patiens: patient, bearing, allowing, fostering, with more or less endurance, into the more gradually addressable future. (3) Actum: driven, affected, acted-upon, with more or less vibrance, from the just-now, the barely-now, (at up to a finite speed limit). (4) Passum: borne, balanced, with more or less stability, from the more settled past. All four: Being acted-upon and being borne (supported, balanced) differ (sharply or vaguely) likewise as agency and patience differ; to conflate the former two is to conflate the latter two. Agens and actum: The almost-now as subject to one's (agential) presence and the barely-now as present to one (one as acted-upon) are divergent aspects of one's present; this divergence cannot be made vanishingly small across arbitrarily large distances, as long as there are finite speed limits. Within the divergence is the 'elsewhere' with which one at one's given instant lacks communication and causation. Despite their differing overall temporal orientations, each of the psyche's basic faculties has 'sub-orientations' to all four times; e.g., in affectivity there are (1) desire, (2) hope, (3) pleasure, and (4) attachment (along with their opposites).
Three notes on medieval and ancient words and ideas: 1. I used the participial adjective actum, not the noun actus, -ūs. 2. My use of patiens to mean 'endurer or allower' (and shading into gerens and ferens) starts from the divergence of the word's Latin sense from the traditionally corresponding Ancient Greek páschonta, which comes from páschein, which mainly means 'to suffer', 'to undergo', e.g., "to be cauterized", an example given by Aristotle in The Categories. The Latin patiens seems to suit the idea of matter (i.e., the traditional patient-as-cause) better than does the Ancient Greek páschonta. The meaning of 'passion', on the other hand, is much more like that of Ancient Greek páschein and is that much more suggestive of energy and of being acted-on, than of matter per se; in the sense that, nevertheless, matter IS (potential, kinetic, etc.) energy, likewise patiens IS (potential, kinetic, etc.) actum. 3. Latin passum, 'borne', comes from a deponent verb (mostly passive forms with active meanings), but, as a typical deponent passive-form participle, can have passive meaning (as I give to it) when used adjectivally rather than for a verb. Caveat: Latin passum, 'borne', is unrelated to the Latin noun passus, -ūs, 'pace', 'stride', from which the English word 'past' comes. End of three notes.
Production and productive processing. In the case of food, typically one gets hold of it, prepares or productively processes it, consumes it, and digests it. One does not say that one "gets hold of it, then produces it, then consumes it," etc. It seems to aid consistency of expression of those stages if we express the idea of making or production as an idea of making something into something, an idea of preparing, productively processing, a thing. What about production of something from nothing? Creation ex nihilo is an extreme case about which I've nothing worth saying, except to offer a tetrachotomy of absolute creation, absolute preservation, absolute destruction, and absolute suppression.
Know-how and skill. Aristotle associates téchnê, art in the sense of know-how, with production, not with practice per se. One needs to distinguish (A) know-how or art or craft as a knowledge of how to produce, from (B) skill, proficiency, etc., excellence of handling or dealing-with. Now, people tend to associate skill with practice and say that practice makes perfect, referring to the perfecting of skill. Besides productive practices, there are potitive practices, consumptional practices (recreation, etc.), and 'ruminative' practices (practical investigation, etc.), and skills that go with them. In some studied sense, the skill, even considered as non-equivalent to know-how, in every case 'produces' something, for example gratification or familiarity; but in the bigger picture, the division of practice into sectors productive, consumptional, etc., seems more pertinent than the sense in which practice is always productive; hence, it seems better to accept the common understanding of skill as acquired or evolved excellence of practice.
Practice or practition or praxis? Arguably I've conceived of practice in a narrower way than Aristotle did. Maybe I should say "practition" for the narrower sense, and "praxis" as encompassing both practition and strivage. Theory is supposed to belong in a dichotomy with practice in the broad sense of praxis, but theory seems too narrow to do so; in particular it seems not to cover the ideas in valuational devotions; e.g., religious valuations, with their affective elements, are not theoretical in the usual senses, even though, since a person puts such valuations into practice, they seem closer to being theory than to being practice (praxis).
Practical wisdom (phrónêsis). Traditionally translated as 'prudence' until 'prudence' came to mean more narrowly 'due caution', it is wisdom as applied to decision-making in individual cases, and arises from experience. This is wisdom not of practition such as aspires to skill but of strivage such as aspires to character, dedication. I am uncertain about what the corresponding kinds of wisdom of realms besides strivage would consist in; otherwise I would make places for such wisdoms in the last table above. I doubt that practical (strivagic) wisdom ought to be equated to the ruling arts, as they are called, but I'll need to think about it.
Inquiry, argued Charles Sanders Peirce in "The Fixation of Belief," is the struggle to resolve genuine, irksome, inhibitory doubts (not merely verbal, hypothetical, or quarrelsome doubts) and settle on an opinion. From that standpoint, even where that which I call the method of assessment & testing is developed into scientific method, there remains a level of doubt-provoked struggle without which inquiry is fruitless. Peirce pointed out that an inquiry method that regards itself as infallible leads, or ought to lead, sooner or later upon sufficient experience to genuine doubts about the method itself. Below is a table of parallel correlations among various methods and other things.
|Causal principle, with dynamic/static character, as overall temporally oriented||Psyche's faculty
(subject to development through experience &, in that sense, to learning, and not only by the learning method named in the same row)
|Constructive method of learning, cognitive or otherwise
(if both fallibilistic and hopeful)
|WILLFUL, cocksure attitude as method of inquiry
(infallibilistic, or insufficiently fallibilistic)
Not contrarian per se, but ignoring contrary evidence and views.
|Method of inquiry/persuasion by CONTEST & ASCENDANCY
(infallibilistic, or insufficiently fallibilistic)
|WISHFUL attitude as method of inquiry/persuasion on the basis of the appeal of the opinion's claimed facts
(infallibilistic, or insufficiently fallibilistic)
|1.||Agency, direct action, with forcefulness, into the almost now, the edge of one's future.||Will, effort, character.
3. Choosing, taking, etc.
4. Adherence, habit.
|Struggle as trial & error.||Impetuousness of opinion, wild supposition. Initiates a prejudice about what some evidence verges on showing. Overactive, overreaching, pushing too far. Overestimates plausibility and cogency in what it says some evidence verges on showing.||
(Called by C. S. Peirce the METHOD OF AUTHORITY).
Coercion: directly & deliberately making another's will conform to one's own, opposing it into such conformity.
|Persuasion by claimed facts'
PROMOTIVENESS, or avoidance of defeat, of one's will, efforts, cause, etc. A kind of self-commandeering or self-recruitment. This can be turned deliberately upon others in coercion.
Patience, bearing, allowing, fostering, with endurance, stamina, resources, into one's further future.
|Ability, handling, dealing-with, competence.
2. Preparation, approach.
4. Maintenance, skill.
|Practice & repetition.||
Pertinacity, relentlessness, of opinion, swollen expectation. Grows a prejudice about what some evidence will come to show. Too patient. Overestimates likelihood and durability in what it says some evidence will come to show.
(C. S. Peirce defined the METHOD OF TENACITY as the policy of holding to one's first opinion and characterized it as leading to ignoring others' views and contrary evidence as if truth were intrinsically private, not public.)
RICHES, resources, wealth, wherewithal;
sometimes by deliberate MEDDLING, skewing, detouring, corruption.
Meddling: directly & deliberately making another's ability neither conform nor be counter to one's own ability, skewing it into isolation, neutralization.
|Persuasion by claimed facts'
CONVENIENTNESS or avoidance of inconvenientness ("sure, it's a short walk, don't need the car"). Method of accomodation prejudice. This can be used deliberately in meddling, detouring, corruption.
|3.||Affectedness, with vigor, vibrance, from just now, the barely now, the edge of one's past.||Affectivity, values, sensibility.
1. Desire / disgust.
2. Hope / fear; etc.
3. Pleasure / pain.
4. Attachment / animosity.
|Valuation & emulation/replication
(better known as identification & imitation).
|Smugness of opinion, constricted notice. Achieves a bias from what some evidence now shows. Overestimates novelty and importance in what it says some evidence now shows.||Persuasion by
GLORY, "wattage," glamour;
sometimes by deliberate MANIPULATION, dazing, captivation, e.g., rhetoric in the bad sense.
Manipulation: directly & deliberately making another's affectivity partly conform and partly be counter to one's own, i.e., captivating it into skewedness, slantedness, exaggeration or underresponsiveness.
|Persuasion by claimed facts'
PLEASANTNESS or avoidance of pain ("All dogs go to heaven"), or provoking desires, raising hopes, etc., or even provoking disgust, fear, sorrow, anger, etc., if such are what makes one's psychological engine go. This can be used deliberately in manipulation.
Borneness, balance, with stability, settledness, from one's further past.
Caveat: The Latin adjective passum, 'borne', shares no Latin or even Proto-Indo-European ancestor with the Latin noun passus, -ūs, 'pace', 'stride', from which the English word 'past' derives.
|Cognition, intelligence, knowledgeability.
2. Expectation, anticipation.
3. Noticing, discernment.
4. Memory, recognition, etc.
|Assessing cognitively & testing
(the reasoning process, inquiry).
|Hideboundness of opinion, fixated remembrance. Maintains a bias that came from what some evidence showed. Too settled. Overestimates depth and 'lessonfulness' in what it says some evidence has already shown — "I've already learned my lesson," when the case is otherwise. It is like pertinacity but, while pertinacity suggests prejudice (pre-judgment) and tunnel vision in a pursuit, hideboundness suggests bias by old or partial evidence, in an adherence.||Persuasion by
HONOR, standing, status;
sometimes by deliberate DECEPTION, sophistry, fraud, etc.
Deception: directly & deliberately making another's cognition be counter to one's own. conforming it to such conflict.
|Persuasion by claimed facts'
ASSURINGNESS, CORROBORATIVENESS, or avoidance of disconfirmatoriness. Method of confirmation bias. This can be used deliberately in deception.
Maybe I'll add more to this later.