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Re: Idealism vs Materialism: universal formal ontology

Title: Idealism vs Materialism : Idealism and the Differentiating Element


 Dear Chris,

Thanks for your comments and references.

Perusing your web pages, a reason of some delay with the answer, I found myself at one on many issues. Nevertheless, you misplacement of ontological categories may become a serious obstacle in your endeavor to 'trace a development path from the 'big bang' to consciousness through' and 'to flesh-out all of the possible interpretations of reality'. First and foremost, your 'fundamental template dichotomy of differentiate/integrate' is sprung from a confounding claim that opposition and complementarity are forms of dichotomy. This contravenes to the canons of ontology where the dichotomy as a bipartite and bifurcate division is a kind of oppositeness, altogether with other forms of opposition: 1.interdependent correlatives; 2.contraries (the disjoint contrarieries without intermediates and differing in kind, like odd and even, or with intermediates differing in degree, like white, gray, black); 3.contradictories (contradiction as dialectic, antagonism, complementarity, contradictoriness of propositions, affirmation and negation).

Strictly speaking, ideal dichotomy is always composed of positive and negative terms which describe not a kind or a class, like the contrary opposites, but rather the whole universe. And the reason why it was not recognized useful for the exhaustive division of a class (or a kind) is that the resulting negative opposite is indefinable and undividable, and so must be discarded in a series of divisions. As the illustration, the dual opposite of 'intelligent', 'not-intelligent', applies to everything, all the things in the world which are not intelligent, animals, objects, colors, etc.

As a consequence, your fundamental oppositeness of Sameness (integrations, unary, symmetry, collectivism, where, consciousness, A&B, Bose-Einstein condensate) and Difference (differentiations, binary, asymmetry, individualism, what, A XOR B, fermions) is hardly a dichotomous relationship. Which is rather 'sameness' and 'not-sameness'.  Besides, more correct to oppose identity (sameness) to diversity (otherness) and similarity (likeness, resemblance) to difference, for the combination of the first two pairs determines the degrees of likeness and difference. That is, to get the difference, one need to compose sameness and diversity, whereas you start your model of reality from sameness and difference.    

I suggest a better phraseology and expression may essentially contribute to a better understanding of your otherwise original metaphorical interpretation of such crucial issues as the individual and the universal, the one and the many, the same and the other. 


Azamat Abdoullaev 


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 1:58 PM
Subject: RE: Idealism vs Materialism: universal formal ontology

Azamat, you wrote:
"As I have noticed in my communication with Chris, dual thinking, the tendency to classify things into two opposed classes, the damnation of all metaphysical argumentation, makes all the confusion here again."
No. There are TWO perspectives operating. ONE is based on exaggerations from a base, what I have labeled as "asymmetric" dichotomies. These focus on identifying SAMENESS across DIFFERENCES. These will give you a spectrum format in expression - power law stuff. The passage 'along' the dimension that develops from this is a passage from vague to crisp, local to universal. Each point in this hierarchy is a point for analyisis of DIFFERENCE from SAMENESS and as such we use opposition to analyse - this gives us Gaussian distributions, the dynamics of +1/-1 as compared to those of worthless/priceless.
Due to the PRECISION focus of our brains, so as we differentiate we move into perspectives that are 'opposites' oriented, we are focusing on a particular point on the spectrum derived from asymmetric perspectives. Our brains do this 'naturally'.
The price of high precision thinking is the pushing away of 'others' to make things 'clear' - this clarity is PARTS oriented when seen from the position of our species... gets into what I have pointed out before re XOR/AND dynamics - and is experienced in such areas as basic sensory paradox processing.
Understand these dynamics and out pops the properties and methods of all categorisations where the universals created then need local context to give them some colour.
As a dichotomy is recursed so it develops into a continuum where we can no longer detect 'difference'. THAT becomes the background upon which we then try to impose structures - that background is not a 'tabular rasa', it has the structure of patterns of differentiating/integrating such that the labels we create will reflect what is beneath them: meaning in the form of vague 'feelings' of 'something' where the precision is in the label that links the universals to a local context, and in doing so causes the generation of a lexicon.
The differentiation element of the differentiating/integrating dichotomy is the 'discrete' end of the process and will focus on objects, wholes and parts. The integrating element is the 'continuous' end of the process and will focus on relationships.
The asymmetric nature of the dichotomy shows objects being derived from relationships (or the 'space inbetween' objects - as fermions are derived from bosons). Focus on the objects and out will pop 'opposites' in the form of DIFFERENCE from SAMENESS (fermionic perspectives - electron/positron pair where the difference is in the charge).
If we focus on the 'boson' end of things, so the focus on differences in energy levels reflected in differences in temperature give us the 'hierarchy' we see emerge from a BEC where the BEC is representitive of the 'integrated whole', no distinctions possible, and as we raise temperature so fragmentation occurs, allowing for identifying SAMENESS from DIFFERENCES. This SAME *dynamic*  operates in our brains and reflects the overall dynamics of differentiating/integrating - same patterns across all scales of analysis.
(for some maths re representation of all of this at the abstract level of 'differentiating/integrating' see