The New Emergent Life-itself Paradigm Requires Understanding of Values
The New Emergent Life-itself Paradigm Requires Understanding of Values
For 30th Anniversary of Hartman Institute Conference
Norm and Skye Hirst, Ph.D
"The first man to see an illusion by which men have flourished for decades surely stands in a lonely place." Gary Zukav
Today there are many experiments in biophysics that defy explanations in terms of what we have known. That is a hopeful sign. The old and dominant worldview of matter, mechanisms, determinism, and reductionism provided no room for values. Today we see not only experiments but also world problems that have no explanation leading to resolution. Our institutions are failing. When unsolvable problems pile up it may be time for a paradigm change.
A new paradigm now is emerging unlike anything we've known. New ways of thinking, knowing, and living reveal how values will now be, not only understood, but necessary for surviving with dignity on a higher moral plain.
Here today, I want to pay tribute to the great visionary insights Robert Hartman put forth during his lifetime. His insights were ahead of their time, but they provoked me as well as many others, I'm sure, to do the inquiry required to bring those visions into their time, fully formed and ready for use when they are most urgently needed for this emerging paradigm.
This paper will:
- Reflect on some of Hartman's visionary wisdom that has most inspired me
- A brief description of the emergent Life-itself paradigm
- The role of Values as seen through this new lens
- The fulfillment of Hartman's life's work; the creation of a Science of Values
- A call to the future role for us all here today
My Work Beginnings with Robert Hartman:
Fifty-two years ago, while a physics student at MIT, I encountered a soul transforming experience. I knew then physics would not solve the problems we were going to face. I knew that we needed a better understanding of values. It seemed, back then, there was virtually no understanding of value. Fortunately, for me, the next semester saw the arrival of Robert Hartman as a visiting professor. I took his course. He became my teacher, friend and mentor for many years.
He spoke of a transition from value philosophy to value science. He spoke of the nature of science. As a physics student I knew exactly what he meant. (I fear his distinction between science and empirical philosophy has been lost.) But he added that the future science of value would be more like the science of music than physics. That was disappointing since I knew the power of physics to transform the physical reality. With music I wasn’t so sure.
Nevertheless, I agreed with what he taught me. I knew what I was going to do with my life. But there was nothing in our knowledge to support what I knew to be true. Talking about formal axiology was a disheartening experience. It was too easy for people to say, “In Hartman’s opinion.” Or. “That’s an unusual model”. Or, “What do you mean by formal?” I could not convey the idea that what Hartman had done was beginning to provide for values what physics has done for matter. Or on the rare occasion when I came close I received a lecture as to why there could never be a science of value.
There were applications of Hartman's theory that were amazingly successful but nothing was known about reality that indicated they should be.
I knew then there was going to have to be a profound change of the most basic paradigm on which we base our beliefs about reality. This became clear based on several experiences such as learning about the crises in mathematics at the end of the 19th Century, the profound changes in logic being made as a result, and by the way scientific research kept running into “brick walls“. I realized that in the future understanding values was going to be required. I accepted grounding the theory as my life’s work.
My Inquiry Process and Background:
Hartman said, "Everything is as difficult as it is worthwhile".
It has been difficult, I had to overcome all that I knew and learn new possibilities that did not yet exist. And Robert Hartman gave me many inspirations that have guided my process.
I had studied physics gaining experience with an actual science. I studied the philosophy of science to help me understand science in general. I studied mathematics to understand the driving force behind scientific inquiry. I studied the theory of logic to understand the limitations of mathematics. I discovered the limitations of logic itself. I then studied the most modern theory of formalisms and discovered that logic, as we know it, is simply one amongst many possibilities for doing meaningful formalisms. What people today believe is rational is simply one choice. Believing that philosophy itself was a way of exploration I turned to it. Mainstream substance philosophy offered a worldview, a metaphysics that further entrapped us. Way down deep human knowledge developed in a way that became committed to errors that destroy life. The dominant Western worldview was based on materialism and determinism. There was no room for values.
I would continuously discover that the dominant worldview could not be a complete worldview. I began to realize that the-way-down-deep errors were the result of defective logic. There had to be a paradigm change if we were to make progress or even survive.
I remember that in class one evening Hartman quoted Whitehead saying that all philosophy is a footnote to Plato. Hartman then added that he thought all future philosophy would be a footnote to Whitehead.
Since Hartman thought all future philosophy would be footnotes to Whitehead I promptly bought Whitehead’s “Process and Reality” and started reading. “The many become one and are increased by one.” What?!!!! I set it aside, vowing to get back to it. Back in those days I was steeped in materialism and determinism. Well, I did get back to it. Several times! Eventually I sort of began to understand it. I concluded that the root of our difficulties was in our metaphysics. We needed to switch to process metaphysics. I went to graduate school at the University of Texas to study with Charles Hartshorne, renowned, process philosopher, process theologian, and most instrumental in developing panentheism (a synthesis of theism and pantheism). Hartshorne used to complain that people thought he had jumped off his mothers lap onto Whitehead’s; but he already was pursuing process. But I suspect the real reason I chose to study with Hartshorne was that Hartman described him as a real child of God. I agree!
The Emergent Paradigm is Underway:
The paradigm change is now underway and is being recognized. The Institute of Noetic Sciences has just published a report documenting the change - the 2007 Shift Report. Their WEB site summarizes the report as follows:
“The 2007 Shift Report: Evidence of a World Transforming, attempts to chart the transition we believe is underway from a rigid, mechanistic, and materialistic worldview to one that is built on a foundation of interconnectedness, cooperation, and the intersection of science and spirituality.
Section I – Worldview Breakdown While acknowledging the benefits that the Newtonian paradigm has provided, this section makes clear that the limitations of this worldview are exceeding our ability to overcome them, leading to potential worldwide disaster. The impacts of such factors as trauma, stress, and the fragmentation of consciousness are addressed”
I agree with Willis Harman who said,
"We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in history — a change in the actual belief structure of Western society. No economic, political, or military power can compare with the power of a change of mind. By deliberately changing their images of reality, people are changing the world." Willis Harman, Global Mind Change
I call this emergent Paradigm the Life-itself Paradigm (See Robert Rosen)
Back at MIT I was exposed to research trying to explain the origin of life. I remember one sunny afternoon sitting in a courtyard staring at a tree. The tree was alive. I loved that tree. I became focused on its living. I realized that perhaps life came first. Research should have been focused on explaining the origin of matter. I also realized that we needed to understand life to understand values. I concluded that perhaps I should study biology. Reading biology I became disillusioned. It was as if reality was partitioned into two domains; one living and the other non-living. Science needed to distinguish them and unite them.
Recent experiments of the past 20 years in physics and biophysics are producing results that cannot be explained with the traditional worldview of science and philosophy. (See Field Being paper) A new worldview is required. The old worldview of "matter as a fundamental reality" does not work. Not only is a new view of reality required, we also need to change protocols of inquiry to cope with it.
The idea of "matter being fundamental" has led us astray. Matter doesn't do anything. It is non-active, but acted on. Matter is rearranged by cause and effect. It comes down to mechanisms. Thus, the science of physics deals with what is probable. Physics has been the fundamental science.
What was not considered in that physics is the contribution of living entities that could initiate their own acts. Let me suggest this image to help us out.
Example: We have billiard balls on a table. We can calculate where the balls are going to scatter to and with what speed by the magnitude and direction of the force that hits them. This is a mechanical process, like cogs in a wheel. Force causes effect. Values don't show up here. Variety generation is constrained.
Suppose instead of inert billiard balls, we have something alive and capable of moving by its own will. They are all together in some form of pattern that now gets hit with some force, magnitude and direction. You don't know where the living entities are going to scatter to because they are capable of generating actions original to the context or to how they are feeling. They may run, they may just dodge, they may create a whole new possibility based on the fact they can choose an act and do it. Variety increases.
In living entities, their acts can create new forms of order. Thus living entities do not approach reality in a machine-like fashion that is always limited to the current context of order. Living entities must change and adapt constantly to evolving forms of order and this requires values as opposed to cause and effect as guiding force.
There is a Basic Difference between Biology and Physics:
We can no longer assume that physics is the most basic science from which all else can be derived.
To quote biophysicist and biochemist, Szent Gyorgi: (Discoverer of Vitamin C)
“ There is a basic difference between physics and biology. Physics is the science of probabilities. If a process goes 999 times one way, and only once another way, the physicist will not hesitate to call the first the way. Biology is the science of the improbable and I think it is on principle that the body works only with reactions that are statistically improbable. If metabolism were built of a series of probable and thermodynamically spontaneous reactions, then we would burn up and the machine would run down as a watch does if deprived of its regulators. The reactions are kept in hand by being statistically improbable and made possible by specific tricks that may then be used for regulation. So, for the living organism, reactions are possible which may seem impossible, or at least, improbable to the physicist…. If Nature wants to do something she will find a way to do it if there is no contradiction to basic rules of Nature. She has time to do so. (Living Nature also often works with more complex systems than the physicist uses for testing his theories.)"
When I realized that values only were active in living processes, I turned to biology. Traditional biology focused on structure. Studying structure we wind up with nothing but misleading guesses as to what processes are going on. Now, electronic biology has been discovered. The living energy structure in our bodies is electronic and biophoton energy flows. The last paragraph in Szent Gyorgi’s book on sub molecular biology states:
“In an earlier chapter I emphasized the biological importance of "organization," by which I meant that if Nature puts two things together a new structure is born which can no more be described in terms of the qualities of it components. The same holds also for functions. In living systems the various functions, too, seem to integrate into higher units. We will really approach the understanding of life when all structure and functions, all levels, from the electronic to the supramolecular, will merge into one single unit. Until then our distinguishing between structure and function, classic chemical reactions and quantum mechanics, or the sub- and supramolecular, only shows the limited nature of our approach and understanding.”
Life requires a science that deals with the improbable. In the observation of living processes, we see that Life does not function in any of the ways traditionally thought.
- Life works by living entities choosing and initiating acts based on values.
- Life is creative and fundamental.
- Life does not work by cause and effect.
Now to get an idea as to how Life itself works:
Well, the times have changed. Leading edge discoveries in the last four decades have changed everything. In physics they have discovered the Sea of Dirac, named after the Nobel Laureate in Physics, P.A.M. Dirac. What had been thought of as empty space is actually filled with zero point energy. Rather than matter being fundamental, energy flows in the Sea of Dirac are fundamental. The dynamics of those energy flows are, I believe, the dynamics of life. The energy flows manifest matter and living entities. Actually living entities is a broader category then we knew. For example, our bodies are composed of cells that contain molecules. Traditional biology claimed that the molecules were just jostled about; occasionally two would collide and their shapes were such that they would lock together. Now it is known that the molecules are emitting signals. They are “singing” to find one another. The molecules are living entities.
Living entities are capable of choosing how to act and initiating their acts. With our past obsession with matter and mechanism and determinism we have neglected to consider that living entities can act; and are free to choose their acts based on what, for them, are values. In life, value processes replace cause and effect; it makes such a difference that living processes can increase order, thus living entities are not subject to the second law of thermodynamics. (In 1947 the Nobel Laureate in Physics, Erwin Schrodinger stated in his book “What is Life” that living organisms are not subject to the second law of thermodynamics.)
Now I want to demonstrate a reason why value processes are necessary. It has to do with the variety of reality. Assume three light bulbs; each can be individually on or off. What is the variety of patterns? The answer is 23 or 8. It is like counting in binary; 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. Suppose there are 8 bulbs. What is the variety? It is 28 or 256. Suppose there are 256 bulbs. The variety is 2256 or 1.16 x 1077. That power of 10 expression means move the decimal point 77 places to the right. Astronomers estimate the number of particles in the universe to be between 1072 to 1087. That is overwhelming and this is one trivial example.
For living entities, such as you and me, we cannot possibly make sense of it all. How do we survive? The answer is that living entities are informationally closed systems. Living entities are autonomous, i.e., only responsive to self-law based on informare. Informare means formed within. That is, the “information” available is not gathered by senses from the outside; it is formed within.
Dr. Mae Wan Ho a prominent biophysicist, has used advanced technology to observe living organisms as they live. After 27 years of laboratory observation she describes a human as a society of 75 trillion cells functioning with no controllers or set points, unlike computers, our bodies have 75 trillion cells living in a pure democracy. They have maximum freedom as provided by the coherence conditions imposed by the holism of the body. All cells are connected by the connective tissue that is liquid crystalline. The electrical properties of such liquid crystalline tissue provides for both electron flow, electricity, and proton flow, proticity. The proton flow, proton jump conduction, is extremely fast; all cells are functioning in unison. Thus, Dr. Ho describes our bodies as jazz bands playing our theme in 72 octaves with instruments as small as 10-9 meters to as large as one meter. As long as we are alive the jazz band never stops playing.
In a press release, from The Institute for Science in Society, Dr. Ho says:
“Quantum Jazz is the music of the organism dancing life into being. We are all quantum jazz players, in the very substance of our being.
Like the little fruit-fly larva, the Daphnia, and any other small creature, we too, would be resplendent in all the colors of the rainbow when observed under the polarizing microscope at a special setting that lets you see right through to the tissues and cells and especially the molecules, as they are busy being alive, and keeping the organism alive.
Organisms are thick with spontaneous activities at every level, right down to the molecules, and the molecules are dancing, even when the organisms sit still. The images obtained give direct evidence of the remarkable coherence (oneness) of living organisms. Even if we could know the complete state of an organism we could not predict its next state.
Based on my reading the work Szent Gyorgi, there is metastable structured energy in this incredible electrical environment. This structured energy requires energy to maintain it. For reasons I don’t understand the body is only allowed to use the oxygen from breathing for this purpose. Without sufficient oxygen the metastable energy will dissipate; this is death.
We have been taught to believe that the genome has the instructions to produce us. It is said that we all have unique genetic codes. (I often wonder who is keeping track of the assignments.) I think the early ideas on genetics have now been debunked. There is now the fluid genome, a society of genes in which the function of a particular gene depends on the actions of the whole society. Also there is two-way communication between the genome and the body. Finally biophoton flows contribute to the making and maintenance of our bodies. All living entities emit biophotons, light. Auras are real
Now there is reason to think that our genetic codes might just be our URL’s to our identities in the Dirac Sea and, in the Dirac Sea all life is connected and in oneness.
Now torsion waves been discovered. The Russians have been working with them since the 1970’s. They travel at a velocity of one billion times the velocity of light. They primarily affect living entities. If you sit inside a pyramid the energy may feel different. This is due to torsion waves. When someone tries to detect something unusual with the usual scientific equipment they will find nothing; thus you will be assured that it is all in your imagination. Torsion waves affect living organisms, though standard instruments cannot detect them. They seem to have effects on spin distribution. I just learned about torsion waves so I am looking into them. Give me your questions and I will keep you informed.
OK! That is a little bit on the new reality we have to work with.
A New Science
To create a science of the improbable must seem improbable. What is science anyway?
Old Paradigm Habits to be challenged:
There are many beliefs about what science is that are not going to be true of the required new science. They are not true of science in general and it is not clear that they are all good beliefs for the old sciences. Let us not let beliefs such as “science must be quantitative” corrupt approaching the new science. Others to be questioned:
- The Church-Turing thesis.
- The rejection of why questions.
- The rejection of Aristotle’s final cause.
- Ashby’s Law.
- That physics is the most fundamental science from which all else should be derived.
- That logic must preserve truth.
- Linear infinitely divisible space-time.
I think science is the search for and discovery of organizing processes known as meta-principles.
All science, existing or possible, speaks of structure, stable relationships created by the organizing principles. Thus in dealing with living organisms we can follow the practice of autopoiesis and see that an organism is born with an invariant organization creating structure that can evolve, i.e., structural plasticity. That is, a living organism is manifest structure that can change, evolve and adapt as required by the organizing processes. The organizing processes are expressed in formalisms. Notice in physics the mathematics, i.e., the formalism, expresses processes. For example a law of motion relating force and momentum. Also notice in the law of gravity, an inverse square law produces structure in the planetary orbits. The orbit for something moving in an inverse square law field must be a conic section. Thus structure is also expressed in mathematics.
But there is quite a difference in the elements of the formalism and the manifest article. The movement of any physical object, no matter how large it is, or of what shape, can be expressed as if the force is applied to a point at the objects center of mass; and a point can not physically exist!
(Hartman described all this in terms of Kant’s analytic and synthetic. Later I found the analytic and synthetic discussed in philosophical papers. What the papers described was not Hartman’s version.)
But, what about the improbable? It is often heard that science predicts. Now it is clear that life is not predictable. Can science help in dealing with life? Well, the idea that science predicts is misunderstood and over rated. The Nobel Prize has been awarded for designing an experiment in which science actually can predict.
No science could have predicted that we would engage in space flight. However, once we decided to there were questions needing answers if we were to succeed. For example, how much energy did rocket engines have to produce to accelerate the space ship to the velocity required to escape earth’s gravity?
What science can do is provide the knowledge necessary to design effective acts for a given purpose.
Thus what life-itself science can do is tell us that attempts to control life will fail and produce undesirable consequences. Looking at failing institutions, what is being tried will explain the failure. For example:
- The medical model is based on thinking of the body as divided into organ specialties but the body functions as a single whole oneness.
- Schools try to force learning that is impossible unless the student is in a state of inquiry.
- The US has the largest percentage of the population in prison. We also impose tougher punishment than any other country.
- Foreign policy based on force and control also will fail.
Understanding values and value processes as revealed in the new paradigm would direct us away from these unfortunate practices.
Values and Perception:
Here I'd like to introduce philosopher Nicholas Rescher's contrasting descriptions of Substance Philosophy and Process Philosophy so that you might consider how Process Philosophy is more living than Substance Philosophy as I present this paper further. Concerning process metaphysics, philosopher Rescher says: “… process metaphysics propounds certain characteristic stresses of emphasis in contrast to those of substance metaphysics, as follows:
- discrete individuality
- condition (fixity of nature)
- uniformity of nature
- unity of being (individualized specificity)
- descriptive fixity
- classificatory stability
- passivity (being acted upon)
- interactive relatedness
- wholeness (totality)
- activity (self-development)
- unity of law (functional typology)
- productive energy, drive, etc.
- fluidity and evanescence
- activity (agency)”
Characteristics of the old world view’s material universe: deterministic, materialistic/cause and effect, passive things/parts/things/ machine-like/no final cause, only way to cause action is with force, it’s predictable, need for consistency/ truth preservation, discrete separate things, a thing world, dealing only what facts and what is. There is no way of seeing process or how something becomes other than cause and effect. Notice, if you will, the similarity to Substance Philosophy characteristics.
In 1996 psychologist Eleanor Rosch characterized perception based on this form of knowledge as follows:
"In the analytic picture offered by the cognitive sciences, the world consists of separate objects and states of affairs, the human mind is a determinate machine which, in order to know, isolates and identifies those objects and events, finds the simplest possible predictive contingencies between them, stores the results through time in memory, relates the items in memory to each other such that they form a coherent but indirect representation of the world and oneself, and retrieves those representations in order to fulfill the only originating value, which is to survive and reproduce in an evolutionarily successful manner”.
Good grief! This is an accurate description of much current thinking. If I believed this is all there is I would be screaming in anguish. I would be wondering if it is worth it. Perhaps what we are witnessing today is many people screaming in anguish.
This kind of knowledge she calls analytic knowledge. I call it machine-like information that is disconnected from the wholeness of life, a non-living thing with no context from which to generate appropriate meaning.
The new paradigm provides the following characteristics of Living Entities/self-creating/self-motivated/self-knowing/autonomous/informare/ and connected/cooperative/self-referencing/must form societies/invariant identity/come into existence in its totality, it has no separate parts/initiates to act and choices are made from values/able to act in unrestricted environments/unknown environments. (See Addendum 1 for more explanation)
Requirements of life-itself – instant communication/variety/energy management/holism/vibratory/cooperation/living at edge/improbable/non-predictable/avoids equilibrium/self-organizing/pure democracy/ categorical contrasts-oscillation (See Addendum 1 for further explanation)
Eleanor Rosch has also described the world of life:
By contrast, "primary knowing" arises by means of "interconnected wholes, rather than isolated contingent parts and by means of time-less, direct, presentation" rather than through stored "re-presentation." "Such knowing is open rather than determinate, and a sense of unconditional value, rather than conditional usefulness, is an inherent part of the act of knowing itself... Acting from such awareness is "spontaneous, rather than the result of decision making”, and it is "compassionate…since it is based on wholes larger than the self."
In the context of primary knowing, analytic knowledge can be beneficial. Without primary knowing, analytic knowing can be fatally flawed. Today all social institutions are failing. Without knowledge of life, analytic knowing produces “work-arounds” that are ill adapted and exacerbate the catalogue of existing problems.
Some Conclusions and the Value Roles:
I suggest that primary knowing is intrinsic value.
Intrinsic value is the grounding for all the other values. It's where and how we connect to the whole. One purpose and necessity of life is to produce and manage variety. By connecting to the intrinsic, we can then determine the subsets for finding effective action.
First I want to present the problem by illustrating variety proliferation. This will be useful in many areas. Also remember, Hartman said, "Value is not just the number of attributes in an intension but the number of subsets."
Exhibit A: As mentioned earlier
Assume three light bulbs; each can be individually on or off. What is the variety of patterns, the number of subsets? The answer is 23 or 8. It is like counting in binary; 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. Suppose there are 8 bulbs. What is the variety? It is 28 or 256. Suppose there are 256 bulbs. The variety is 2256 or 1.16 x 1077. That power of 10 expression means move the decimal point 77 places to the right. Astronomers estimate the number of particles in the universe to be between 1072 to 1087,
The computer model makes us think in terms of inputs and outputs. This model works because we confine computers to very limited environments. We provide programs for very limited forms of input, the variety is manageable, and the duration is short enough that we need not expect radical change; if there were radical change we would reprogram the computer.
For any living entity the limited conditions do not prevail. Living entities are born into unimaginable variety that might radically change in the course of a lifetime. They are not equipped to process inputs. Living organisms do not have inputs. As I mentioned earlier, Dr. Ho says the activity inside is similar to a jazz band playing our theme in 72 octaves. They are autonomous, i.e., autonomic (self law). They begin by experimenting with acts searching for effective acts; acts that produce what the organism intends.
All life is connected in the Dirac Sea. We call it the oneness effect.
I believe our knowing involves far more than our few senses. When our physical bodies are injured, the intensity of emitted photons increases in the area of injury. Szent Gyorgi pointed out that the living energies in our bodies are electronic and bio-photon flows.
The liquid crystalline character of connective tissue now explains how communication throughout the body/mind field is instantaneous. The nervous system plays a role that is not controlling, but interpreting.
Life-itself functioning as a whole, connected, and forming inner and intra relations may be pointing to different functioning processes that work cooperatively for the greater whole. As creation processes deem it necessary in emerging contexts, life-itself expresses novelty through the various particulars of say, “you and me”, "this and that." In this holistic self-knowing, self-referencing, life-itself finds effective action, does self-correction and chooses effective acts that work for the whole.
Thus in Hartman’s terms I see….
- Intrinsic Values, our primary connection to the oneness of life to establish meaning
- Extrinsic value to develop our own uniqueness and expression through understanding experience
- Systemic values to provide for organizing principles and organizing abilities
Living Process Events
To talk about values I want to look at the events in a living process, i.e., those events when you choose a set of acts for the next step in your evolving process.
In this moment of now, what might you be aware of? It is certainly not restricted to sensory input. If you only believe in what you can touch and measure, you are disconnected from primary knowing based on connectedness of all life. Your intuitions and feelings are telling you all about this connectedness, unless you choose to ignore it. In your holistic awareness of the moment, there are three distinct interwoven value domains. Each value requires a different way of knowing.
The three distinct domains of value are: Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Systemic described as follows:
- Living entities that are self-defining, self-valuing and self-acting. Any interaction with a living entity will produce results beyond our expectations and, perhaps, beyond our control. Living entities are valued intrinsically; living entities must be valued for their own uniqueness; that is called unconditional loving.
- Things that are passive. They cannot violate forces of nature. Otherwise we can control what they do. Things are judged extrinsically by comparison to other members of the class concepts to which they belong, i.e., chairs or jobs.
- Structures and rules that are invented by us. They are invented to provide order, reason, agreement and the possibility of creativity. Since we invent them, they are what we say they are. We judge them by applying them to our experience and then judging them as to whether or not they work, judging them as right or wrong. This is the domain of systemic values.
Now begins valuation leading to harmonization-valuation
George David Birkhoff was the world’s leading mathematician in the beginning of the 20th Century. He wrote a book “Aesthetic Measure” published in 1933. From that book I got the idea that value is the harmonization of diversity. The greater the diversity the greater the value provided it is harmonized rather than in conflict. Thus life functions to produce novelty plus coherence conditions. I think the coherence conditions are value laws.
The Logic for Value Science
For science we need a matched pair of metaphysics and formalism. The metaphysics required is process metaphysics. With that metaphysics we need to develop a new empirical philosophy embracing the new discoveries and explain it all by new logics.
The new logic requires signs as opposed to symbols. Symbols are dyads including icon and what it's referencing. Signs are triads including icons, what it's referencing and meaning. Charles Peirce, 20th century American philosopher and creator of semiotics proposed abductive processes that take us from 1stness (Intrinsic Value) to 2ndness (Extrinsic Value) and to 3rdness (Systemic Values).
1stness is Intrinsic Value connecting us to the oneness of life. In abduction, we move to 2ndness that becomes our Extrinsic Values as a basis for action. Further abduction takes us to Systemic Values that make us aware of the ordering properties in which it all has to fit. So far I believe no one has figured out how abduction can be done. They don't realize that valuation processes do abduction.
The meaning component of signs provides for the development of intensional logic. I do have problems with the word logic. Logic is a collection of formal systems originating in the need for sound arguments. Needed now is a class of formal systems with different properties for different purposes. They could be called intensional logics; (intensional refers to meaning). Google leads me to believe that intensional logic now means modal logic. I think we are losing distinctions. Hartman correctly pointed out in his book that modal logic is not intensional logic. It could also be called axiologic for value logic. For now I will call them “i-logics.”
Distinction between Old and New Logics or Formalisms:
Characteristics of Traditional Logics:
- truth preserving
- thing oriented (extensional)
- consistent which denies process
- excludes self-reference (self-knowing)
- excludes values
Characteristics of Living i-logics:
- meaning oriented (intensional)
- allows oscillation
- requires self-reference (self-knowing)
The primitives of the i-logics:
- will not be things
- there will be acts and inner relations (Inner relations are relations that change the related)
- the rules will not be inference rules but transformations
- they will not have truth-values
- truth values will be replaced by coherence, coherence will be conserved
- they will not have subject-predicate forms of propositions.
- categories will not be object categories but function categories
- The questions we will ask of i-logics will not be “is it true”?
- We will ask, “Can one get there from here”?
Recognizing Intrinsic Awareness Is Key:
I have had many personal experiences that illustrate intrinsic awareness.
- I was sitting in a ninth grade algebra class. It was 10 AM when I sensed my grandfather’s presence. He made me aware that he had just died; he did not want to leave without saying goodbye to me and to tell me he loved me. Later the record showed that he had died that morning at 10 AM.
- I was at the University of Texas and I was getting ready to go to a morning class. Suddenly the feeling that I absolutely must not go overwhelmed me. I stayed home. A friend called me to ask if I was all right. She told me to turn on the T V. That was the morning of the sniper in the tower. Had I gone to class I would have been walking across his target area just as he started shooting.
- I was living in Connecticut and consulting in Manhattan. I commuted by train. I had a book I was anxious to read. I could barely wait for the day to be over. As I walked to Grand Central I felt someone was forcing me to buy a news magazine. I really wanted to read my book. I felt as if I was out of control. Something stronger than me was forcing me to buy a news magazine. And then I bought the news magazine I usually didn’t read. As I sat down on the train the magazine fell open on my lap. The exposed page told me that Robert Hartman had died.
- Finally, a memory of Hartman in class, he stopped his lecture and seemed to be in a trance. He spoke for some time about why we should believe in God. Then he stopped and went back to his lecture. As we filed out at the end of class someone remarked that if an atheist had walked into class he was not walking out. Hartman asked what he had said. We all promised to find it in our notes and tell him at the next class. However, at the next class we discovered that no one wrote anything during the trance; I think we were all in a trance. In many other conversations with him, I do remember him saying that …
"God is the hypostatization of both poles of all categorical contrasts."
It is these kinds of human experience that must be accounted for and paid attention to. I believe they live in the Intrinsic. It's where love is felt, where we find our meaning and our connection to the whole.
I believe the most serious mistakes result from the failure to understand Life itself and the role of values. Life itself needs a huge variety and harmonization. The many different societies are like different cells in the larger organism of unity. Each society has it's own coherence. However, too often people have different criteria for coherence. Some societies are seen as analogous to cancer cells needing to be destroyed. Finding ways to harmonize and utilize that variety creates a healthy body/world. However, not being aware of the possibility of harmonization we resort to violence and destruction.
With the coming Life-itself Paradigm we now can understand more fully the importance and organizing power of the Intrinsic, and why the inversion of the hierarchy has occurred to create many of our world problems today.
I believe there is now more than enough knowledge to quickly develop both an empirical philosophy and science of value.
It is urgent that we move and act now with new understanding of Hartman's work and to realize his vision for a world that does work for everyone with life lived on a higher moral plain.
Unfortunately it is not sufficiently well known. Part of our job is to make it known. Thank God for Internet. Our challenge is before us. I look forward to joining forces with each of you with your talents and gifts to make Hartman's vision of a science of value a vital force in this emergent Life-itself Paradigm.
Then we will, as Hartman predicted, live on a higher plane of morality because we recognize Values as inherent in Life-itself and it is no longer a lonely place, but the new reality.