Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The Tetrast2 - Speculation Lounge

Contrarian, partisan, neutralist, conformist

First posted on Friday, June 13, 2014.

Recentest significant edit: April 24, 2015.

Methods of opinion based on   
agreement or disagreement with OTHERS.
Contrarianism:Prefers habitually to agree with no others and to disagree with some others.
Partisanism:Prefers habitually to agree with some others and to disagree with some others.
Neutralism:Prefers habitually to agree with no others and to disagree with no others.
Conformism:Prefers habitually to agree with some others and to disagree with no others.

Neutralism tends to its logical extreme through quietism, isolationism (personal, familial, tribal, etc.), loner-ism, hermitism, quasi-solipsism. The original title of this post was "Contrarian, partisan, quasi-solipsist, conformist".

The methods or dispositions above do not strictly depend on actual conformity, contrarity, etc., among facts. Inconsistency in one's opinions is quite possible, and a preference for inconsistency in agreement or disagreement with others, a preference for taking both sides, etc., is also possible and could be called equivocalism.

Political dispositions

First posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Recentest significant edit: June 13, 2014. Former title: "Political temperaments".

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 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, 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. Impulsiveness of opinion. Forms a bias from what the evidence newly shows. Over-REactive, erratic, fickle. Impulsivism. Too little pain or sorrow for the harm to others that is resulting.
Derided as: ninnies, flakes, yo-yos, appeasers / easily appeased.
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: pigs, oppressors, old mules, dinosaurs, fossils.
Conservatism, traditionalism.

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.

Methods of active learning by basic faculties

First posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
Original title: "Methods of learning".
Recentest significant edit: May 16, 2015.

Widely familiar methods of active learning:
1. Struggle as trial and error.

2. Practice and repetition.
X 3. Valuation and emulation​/​replication.
(Better known as identification and imitation).

4. Assessing cognitively and testing.
(The reasoning process, inquiry).

The above methods reflect an underlying four-way division of the psyche's — or, more simply, the person's — faculties into
1. will (including effort),
2. ability (handling, skill, competence, etc., psychomotor, mental, social, etc.),
3. affectivity (desire, pleasure, pain, emotion, etc.), and
4. cognition (imaginative, intellectual, sensory, perceptual),
— the psyche's faculties of (1) & (2) influencing, and (3) & (4) being influenced by, its objects. 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, and generally serves 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 is somewhat different and less detailed than his.)

1. Struggle as trial & error:
needed for developing one's
will, character, dedication.

2. Practice & repetition:
needed for developing one's
handling, competence, skill.


3. Valuation & emulation​/​replication:
needed for developing one's
affectivity, sensibility, devotion.

4. Assessing cognitively & testing:
needed for developing one's
cognition, sapience, knowledge.

There is a popular three-way division 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. (Benjamin Bloom seems to include volition in the affective domain.) Yet, pheno­meno­logi­cally viewed, handling and skill stand to conation (will, etc.), analogously as cognition stands to affectivity; and handling and skill stand to cognition, analogously as conation stands to affectivity.

The psyche's major faculties
for influence between itself & its objects

1. & 3.
& being

2. & 4.
& being
1. & 2.

1. Will, effort,

2. Ability,

3. & 4.

3. Affectivity,

4. Cognition,

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.

So, all four are distinguished from one another along common lines.

The methods.

1. Struggle as trial & error.

2. Practice & repetition.
X 3. Valuation & emulation​/​replication
(identification & imitation).

4. Assessing (cognitively) & testing
(the reasoning process, inquiry)

"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, with aspects of the methods reflected as four modes of observation:

1. Varied / exploratory / thorough 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 different inquirers. (I.e., avoid taking result as more significant than it is.)
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.
* * *

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,
and (self-)assessment.

2. Practice & repetition,
and (self-)appraisal.

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 just 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 seems 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.

So, are the other active learning methods the methods, not of knowledge per se, but of other areas or dimensions of life? Yes, they are variously proper to struggles, practices, and valuings that seek conclusions partaking primarily of volition, ability, or affectivity rather than of cognition. The methods are also incorporated, for example, by science insofar as science incorporates struggles, practices, appreciations, etc. Most generally, all human pursuits use all the methods, but do so in various degrees and relations.

1. Struggle as trial & error.

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:

1. Political, military, conflict-related affairs
(decision-making with regard to decision-making & impetuses, deciding who or what gets to decide).
2. Business and finance, affairs of means, logistics, wealth, competition
(decision-making with regard to handlings & means).
3. Sports, fashion, and affairs of glamour, splendor, rivalry
(decision-making with regard to affects and culminal ends).
4. 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.

2. Practice & repetition.

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 mainly involving struggle. The method of learning by practice & repetition obviously suits such practice:

1. Management / administration, & compliance. 2. Labor, craftsmanship, cooperation. 3. Fun, recreation, hobbies, festivities, observances, gratificational practices. 4. 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.

3. Valuation & emulation​/​replication.

In the realm of valuings, the method of learning by valuation and emulation​/​replication applies:

1. Valuings with regard to power, submission, self-governance, decision-making. 2. Care-how. 3. Tastes, sensibilities, gratificational valuings. 4. 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.

4. Assessing cognitively & testing (the reasoning process, inquiry).

Finally, the method of learning by assessing cognitively and testing applies in the realm of such assessments, cognitive learning, recognizings, etc. Here the parallels to strength, skill, etc., are intelligence, wisdom, knowledge. For brevity's sake, the list below consists mostly of knowledge disciplines, which are more like epistême in its looser sense, not as deductive knowledge, but as involving at least a body or system of truths, such as engineering:

1. Governing arts, better known as ruling arts. 2. Know-how, productive arts/sciences, such as engineering. 3. Affective arts, including the fine arts, etc. 4. 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.

The common themes of each first sector, each second sector, etc., in the realms outlined above are as follows —

with examples from activities of human subsistence:

1. Potition,
adoption, control.

Example: Catching or gathering of food.
2. Processing,

Example: Preparing of food.
3. Consumption,

Example: Presentation & consumption of food.
4. Rumination,

Example: Digestion of, and reflection on, food.

The above classifications of human concerns are something at which I mostly arrived in the 1990s if not earlier; I posted a version of it at this link.

List of the realms — and associated excellences:

1. Strivage (striving or struggle as a general mode): conflict, competition, rivalry, dispute;
— and strength of character, determination, dedication.
2. Practice: cooperation, toleration, occupational spheres & concourses;
— and skill, proficiency.
3. Valuing: distinctive unitings, communities;
— and sensibility, appreciation, devotion.
4. Cognitively assessing (i.e., as to lessons): supports, checks & balances, disciplines;
— and (fallibilistic) knowledge.

Arguably I've conceived of practice in a narrower way than Aristotle did. Maybe I should say "practition" for the narrower sense, and "practice" as encompassing both practition and strivage.

Expansion of the doing-making distinction.

Now I come to a point of some interest regarding Aristotle's distinction between (A) prãxis (doing or practice) and (B) poíêsis (making or production). If we recast the idea of making or production as an idea of making something into something in the sense of productively processing a thing, then the distinction between doing and making seems extendible (mutatis mutandis) to other modes. It turns up in the distinction above between 'realms' and 'sectors', which is a distinction between 2nd-order and 1st-order human concerns — e.g., business is in (the realm of) volition, decision-making with regard to (the sector of) productive processing, means, etc.

(A) Effort, self-exertion, volition, struggle. (B) Potition, appropriation, control.
(A) Performance, practicing, dealing-with. (B) Productive processing (think of patiens also as gerens and ferens)
(A) Having an affect, liking, disliking. (B) Consumption, having the 'enjoyment' of something.
(A) Being aware, cognizing. (B) Digestion, rumination, assimilation (think of passum as one's being borne, supported, balanced).

However, the 'realms' are not merely the 'A' series — which series is hardly more than the ordered fourfold of a person's faculties discussed near this post's start. The 'realms' are more specifically areas or cross-areas characterized by inter-behaviors, ways that people behave (and feel, etc.) toward and with one another, involving the 'A' series.

Inquiry methods.

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 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)

(These have some similarity to that which C. S. Peirce called the METHOD OF THE A PRIORI, which fosters opinions as something like tastes, opinions arising in conversation and comparisons of perspectives in terms of "what is agreeable to reason," the method thereby depending on fashion in paradigms and going in circles over time.)

1. Agency, direct action, with forcefulness, into the almost now, the edge of one's future. Will, effort, character.
 1. Trying.
 2. Seeking.
 3. Choosing, taking, etc.
 4. Adherence, habit.
Struggle as trial & error. Impetuousness of opinion. Forms 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.

Persuasion by
, might;
sometimes by deliberate COERCION.

(Called by C. S. Peirce the METHOD OF AUTHORITY).

Persuasion by claimed facts'
, 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.

Take the patient as Latin ferens or gerens or even patiens to the extent that patiens DIVERGES FROM Greek páschonta (from páschô) which it usually translates.

Ability, handling, dealing-with, competence.
 1. Testing.
 2. Preparation, approach.
 3. Achievement.
 4. Maintenance, skill.
Practice & repetition.

Pertinacity, relentlessness, of opinion. Keeps 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.)

Persuasion by
, resources, wealth, wherewithal;
sometimes by deliberate CORRUPTION.
Persuasion by claimed facts'
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 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
(better known as identification & imitation).
Impulsiveness of opinion. Forms a bias from what some evidence newly shows. Overreactive, too pushed by things, erratic, fickle. Overestimates novelty and importance in what it says some evidence now shows. Persuasion by
, "wattage," glamour;
sometimes by deliberate MANIPULATION, e.g., rhetoric in the bad sense.
Persuasion by claimed facts'
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.
4. Borneness, balance, with stability, settledness, from one's further past. Cognition, intelligence, knowledgeability.
 1. Supposition.
 2. Expectation, anticipation.
 3. Noticing, discernment.
 4. Memory, recognition, etc.
Assessing cognitively & testing
(the reasoning process, inquiry).
Hideboundness of opinion. Keeps 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
, standing, status;
sometimes by deliberate DECEPTION, sophistry, fraud, etc.
Persuasion by claimed facts'
or avoidance of disconfirma­toriness. Method of confirma­tion bias. This can be used deliberately in deception.

Maybe I'll add more to this later.

Image sharing and video hosting at Photobucket