KARL JASPERS FORUM
TA 122 (Müller)
Response 3 (to C2, Fisher)
EMBODIMENT AND REIFICATION
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 ) : ‘ 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. ’
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
- unless by ‘ontology’ you
mean something different from what I described above.
Herbert FJ Müller
e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>