TA 122 (Müller)


Response 3 (to C2, Fisher)




by Herbert FJ M Müller
25 February 2009, posted 28 February 2009



I would like to thank Harwood Fisher for his commentary.  As he writes, there are some differences of opinion, and I would appreciate clarification. 


Let me start by describing my position about structures (from TA112 [3]) :    Structures  Created  And  Determined  By  Doing  Versus  Primary  Given  Ready-Made  Structures.   The situation in perception and reality-design is similar to the one in  motor coordination development and fine tuning, which finds its optimum in effective doing.    All mental structures  and their precursors  -  concerning self, world, and everything  -  are pragmatically structured,  affirmed,  posited,  and tried out  within  ongoing experience which is  an unstructured matrix or background for structures :  zero-derivation (0-D).   All structures therefore  require and include  the subject(s)’ activity.   Reality is not found or given in a subject-exclusive mind-independently  ready-made state (MIR).   Instead of    trying to discover an imaginary given  single MIReality and world,   we devise multiple conceptual designs  for structuring and handling experience as it happens;  the world is a stage that we build as we can.    Instead of either accepting or rejecting metaphysics-ontology (MIR-belief),  it is transformed into  reality-design (working-metaphysics). 



Concerning particular points of HF’s comment :


Re <3> HF :  ‘ Here come the reifications -- on both sides of the fence.  I agree that Johnson's statements there mash things down so that the levels of consciousness and the questions of agency are inadequately and illogically handled.  But the distinctions between a 'proto-self' or sense of 'me' and the 'I' while involving a hefty dependence on concepts of construction, make little sense without working in assumptions of bounds -- whether in classicatory conceptions or in categorical distinctions, replete with the constraints of the logic necessary for thought and its evaluation. ’

HFJM :    I have difficulty following this statement;   and that actually relates to my original question.   
Here come the reifications’ :   I guess there are two ways trying to understand this. 

(a)   HF means that there arise working-structures, which one needs to deal with the subjective aspect of experience.   This is how I would see it  -  but then I don’t know what HF means by the term ‘reifications.’     

(b)  HF means that the reifications are onta, that is, mind-independent realities,  which is the traditional meaning of metaphysical-ontological entities, and also the one Strawson used for ‘things’ in his neo-metaphysics.    In that case I have to disagree, because the mind cannot be mind-independent, nor can the self-structures inside the mind be mind-independent.   

How does the notion of ‘bounds’ come in ?    Structures have pragmatic boundaries as one of their characteristics, so what is the intention of this statement ?   Also, I don’t see logical problems in the constructivist view;  what are you referring to ?


Re <6> 
HF: ‘ I see your alternative as ontologically loaded and headed toward the problems I outlined above. ’


HFJM :  My argument is that ontology is non-functional, because it excludes the subject(s), and should be replaced by more functional subject-inclusive ‘reality-design’.  That would imply that my proposal cannot be ‘ontologically loaded’  -  unless by ‘ontology’ you mean something different from what I described above. 


Herbert FJ Müller
     e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>