Archive for the ‘fourfolds’ Category

Aristotle’s Four Questions of Inquiry

November 13, 2019

At the beginning of the second book of his “Posterior Analytics”, Aristotle claims that there are four questions for investigating the nature of things and their properties. The answers to these questions hopefully gives us “demonstrable” knowledge about them, or knowledge of a “scientific” nature.

  • That it is (to hoti) : Is it a fact that a thing has a property? (Is this that?) “the question of fact” knowing-that
  • Why it is (to dioti) : Why does a thing have a property? (Why is this that?) “the question of reason or cause” knowing-why
  • Whether it is (ei esti) : Does a thing or property exist? (Does this or that exist?) “the question of if it is or of existence” knowing-if
  • What it is (ti esti) : What is the nature and meaning of a thing or property? (What is this or that?) “the question of what it is or of being or essence” knowing-what

The original terms were innovative in their ancient Greek, and even today cause some confusion in their translation and explanation (at least for this reader, so pardon the multiplicity of phrasings). It seems these questions are more about kinds or universals and not individuals or particulars, so they aren’t really about agents or locations or times (such as who, where, when).

The questions naturally fall into two sets of pairs: the first pair being between a thing and a property (binary), with the first question leading to the second question (knowing the fact comes before knowing the reason for the fact), and the second pair being just about a thing (unary), again with the first question leading to the second question (knowing the existence comes before knowing the essence).

In order to obtain a demonstration that an answer to one of the two questions to hoti or to dioti is correct, Aristotle reasoned that a “middle thing” is needed, a “link” between question and answer. Four types of cause are given, two of which borrowed from his Four Causes (Efficient and Final), and two others (those of definition and of “an antecedent that necessitates a consequent” (does this mean logical entailment or consequence?)).

Robert Sokolowski in the article cited below calls the ei esti and ti esti questions hermeneutic in comparison with the scientific questions to hoti and to dioti, and argues that each pair of questions reciprocally compliment the other, rather than one pair being dependent on the other. That is because the existence and the essence of things being sought after are indeed the “links” being sought after in the how and the why questions.

Obviously these concepts are too deep to be understood at a simplistic level, which is all I have managed so far.

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterior_Analytics

https://dhspriory.org/thomas/PostAnalytica.htm#201

http://www.richardmckeon.org/content/a-Content-Update_a/McK-Hellenistic&RomanFdnsOfAristotleInWest.pdf

Robert Sokolowski / Scientific and Hermeneutic Questions in Aristotle, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1971), pp. 242-261
https://www.jstor.org/stable/40236788

Patrick Hugh Byrne / Analysis and Science in Aristotle

Keith Bemer / A PHILOSOPHICAL EXAMINATION OF ARISTOTLE’S HISTORIA ANIMALIUM, Thesis 2014, University of Pittsburgh
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/22674/

[*11.142, *11.144, *11.146, *11.163]

<>

 

 

The Twelve Houses of the Zodiac

November 7, 2019

How does one circumscribe the totality of human experience, both for the individual as well as for culture? One of the oldest ways is the twelvefold division of the Houses of the Zodiac, which may have its origins in Babylon. Other similar systems were used in India, China, Europe, etc. In my diagram above I’m using Latin numerals along with the Latin names of the houses.

For Western Astrology, four groups of three houses are divided by the four classical elements and then into triplicities (from Wikipedia):

  • Fire : Identity (I, V, IX)
  • Earth : Material (II, VI, X)
  • Air : Social and intellectual (III, VII, XI)
  • Water : Soul and Emotional (IV, VIII, XII)

And somewhat similarly for India, the divisions of Vedic Astrology are broken into four Bhavas or “needs” (from Wikipedia):

  • Dharma : (Duty) The need to find our path and purpose
  • Artha : (Resources) The need to acquire the necessary resources and abilities to provide for ourselves to fulfill our path and purpose
  • Kama : (Pleasure) The need for pleasure and enjoyment
  • Moksha : (Liberation) The need to find liberation and enlightenment from the world

There are more recent and scientific divisions of human universals, such as those by George Murdock, Robin Fox, and Donald Brown, as mentioned by Jungian analyst Anthony Stevens in his book “Archetype Revisited”. These are also grouped into four categories (from Wikipedia):

  • Language and cognition
  • Technology
  • Society
  • Beliefs

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_(astrology)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_astrology

https://www.dimension1111.com/astrology-the-houses.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_universal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Stevens_(Jungian_analyst)

Anthony Stevens / Ariadne’s Clue: a guide to the symbols of mankind

Note that John Crowley’s “AEypgt Quartet” uses the Latin names of the Houses as “books”, three to a volume.

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2013/12/20/aegypt/

[*11.156]

<>

 

 

The Free Will Theorem

November 4, 2019

The Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen is an interesting argument that tries to suggest free will goes “all the way down”. If experimenters can make their choices freely on how to measure certain experiments then the elementary particles being measured can make “free choices” as well. But the contrapositive of this result seems more interesting to me: if some elementary particles are not free, then the experimenters aren’t either!

I’ve cheated some here because it is really based on three axioms or assumptions, and not four. All for the sake of science (and philosophy)!

  • Fin : Information transmission has a maximal (finite) speed, and obtains from causality
  • Twin : For two elementary particles, it is possible to quantum “entangle” them, separate them significantly, and measure the square of their spin in parallel directions (but “full entanglement” is not required)
  • Spin : For certain elementary particles of spin one (the vector or gauge bosons: gluons, photons, Z and W), the squared spin component (taken in three orthogonal directions) will be a permutation of (1,1,0)
  • Min : Instead of Fin, the weaker assumption Min states that the spin measurers need only be “space-like” separated and make choices independently of each other
  • Lin : Instead of Fin or Min, Lin is an even weaker assumption that rests on experimentally testable “Lorentz Covariance”

If nothing else, trying to understand this theorem teaches you a bit about elementary particles and quantum physics!

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_theorem

https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0604079

https://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200226p.pdf

https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/free_will_theorem.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_boson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_covariance

[*10.132]

<>

The Fourth Estate

November 1, 2019

As the basic institutions and fabric of our democracy come under general attack from within our very own government, I am reminded of this fourfold, long ago enlarged from the original but variable threefold of the estates of the realm. The journalism of the free press still remains a very important part of our society and has long served us well, shining a disinfecting light on the misdeeds of powerful and corrupt elements of the wealthy class, and yes, even some of those in the leadership of religious institutions.

Of course, the very same powerful and corrupt want to attack the scrutiny of the media by childish name-calling and vilification: “enemy of the people”, “lame-stream media”, and other silly phrases that encourage glad-handing and back-slapping, winking and smirking. But these attacks are extremely serious in their intention to weaken and transform a press geared towards informing the ordinary individual, and substitute for it an instrument for propaganda and misinformation serving the puissant.

As newspapers and news magazines lose readers, and traditional television network news shows lose viewers, the internet has provided a multitude of new ways for the “common” individual to be mislead, to be encouraged to give into base and false narratives, and to appeal to tribal mentalities of “us versus them”. I can barely see how this disorder might ultimately benefit the wealthy, but how does this serve the “clergy” of religious organizations that speak of peace and brotherhood yet side with a destructive, hateful agenda?

Oh look, some are calling blogging and social media a “fifth estate”. Piffle!

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estates_of_the_realm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Estate

At first I wanted to put “Free Press” into the fourfold below, but choose “Free Lunch” instead because I didn’t want it to be too political. Oh, well.

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2018/07/11/free-four/

Also, this:

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/10/aaron-sorkin-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-open-letter

[*11.129]

<>

 

Four Things

October 26, 2019

I’ve heard that learning English isn’t easy, but I don’t really remember my own experience of doing so. Learning the difference between these four indefinite pronouns is just one of the many things to know, and seems to be a common grade school poster to hang up in the classroom.

  • Anything
  • Something
  • Everything
  • Nothing

Some use these four words together in a clever sentence or epigram, but today I’ve got nothing except this sad little diagram. I hope it is of some use to someone.

I also see this is done with anybody, somebody, everybody, and nobody, and there are some cute little stories out there too! Plus here’s another diagram.

Further Reading:

https://www.google.com/search?q=something+everything+anything+nothing&tbm=isch

https://www.google.com/search?q=somebody+everybody+anybody+nobody&tbm=isch

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2012/05/21/the-square-of-opposition/

[*11.140]

<>

The Four Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex

October 18, 2019

The brain, the brain, the center of the chain…

— The Babysitter’s Club

The cerebral cortex is the outside part of the human brain’s cerebrum, with the cerebrum consisting of two hemispheres connected to each other by another structure called the corpus callosum. Each hemisphere’s cerebral cortex is traditionally divided into four main lobes, which loosely manage specific brain functions and specifically all voluntary actions of the body.

Because each side of the cerebral cortex has four lobes, I guess you could say that the cerebral cortex has eight lobes. Interestingly, each hemisphere is a bit functionally different in its operation, so perhaps those eight lobes are indeed distinct: left frontal lobe, right frontal lobe, left parietal lob, etc.

There has been research over the years about the functional differences in the hemispheres. Roger Sperry won a Nobel prize in 1981 for his pioneering work on split-brain research, although some of those findings are now known to be much more nuanced than before. Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist has written a interesting sounding book on the differences between the two hemispheres, that is high on my to-read list!

  • Frontal Lobe: attention, planning, deciding, movement
  • Parietal Lobe: language, taste, touch, temperature
  • Temporal Lobe: hearing, emotion, smell, memory
  • Occipital Lobe: sight, vision

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobes_of_the_brain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_cortex

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebrum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Wolcott_Sperry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_His_Emissary

[*11.148]

<>

Everything is Four

August 22, 2019

Is everything four? Some try to prove it with a numerological trick. Take a word. Count its letters. Convert the number to words. Count letters. Repeat. Every English word seems to end up on four or 4, with nowhere else to go! Voila!

Since I’ve searched for this topic, a musician has released an album with this title. Cool!

But what do I mean by it? Everything can be divided into four parts, or has four aspects, or four sides, or what? I’m not sure, exactly.

But let’s test it against Alfred Whitehead’s Criteria for Metaphysical Theories!

  • Is it consistent? Yes! That is, nothing in the theory contradicts other parts of the theory, because there are no other parts. And if something is part of a foursome, that something can also be a foursome (even if an arbitrary one).
  • Is it coherent? Yes! That is, the theory is logically whole, such as it is. A bit boring? Perhaps…
  • Is it applicable? Yes! That is, we can apply our method to reduce something to four parts to everything, as long as we don’t care what the parts are. Plus we can combine anything with three other things, ad nauseum!
  • Is it adequate? No, not really. It does little to explain itself or the rest of the world.

So, we must continue our search for our ultimate metaphysical theory. It must be everything is four, plus something else… plus two more somethings…

Further Reading:

http://www.unterzuber.com/4our.html

http://www.marijn.org/everything-is-4/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_Is_4

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2010/05/21/whiteheadferre-criteria-for-metaphysical-theories/

[*11.140]

<>

 

 

 

Grid-Group Cultural Theory, V2

August 19, 2019

The Grid-Group Cultural Theory (also known as the Cultural Theory of Risk) originated from the studies of anthropologist Mary Douglas and political scientist Aaron Wildavsky. Grid and Group are two dimensions of sociality, each with a low and high value: Grid measures the differentiation between people (so low grid means people are similar), and Group measures the cohesion or social bonds between people (so low group means people do not have strong bonds).

From Wikipedia:

A “high group” way of life exhibits a high degree of collective control, whereas a “low group” one exhibits a much lower one and a resulting emphasis on individual self-sufficiency. A “high grid” way of life is characterized by conspicuous and durable forms of stratification in roles and authority, whereas a “low grid” one reflects a more egalitarian ordering.

And so:

  • Individualist: Low group and low grid, Nature is robust
  • Fatalist: Low group and high grid, Nature is capricious
  • Hierarchist: High group and high grid, Nature is tolerant
  • Egalitarian: High group and low grid, Nature is fragile
High
Grid
Low
Grid
High
Group
Hierarchist
(Positional)
Egalitarian
(Enclaves)
Low
Group
Fatalist
(Isolates)
Individualist
(Markets)

Further Reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Theory_of_risk

http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/grid-group_culture.htm

https://www.dustinstoltz.com/blog/2014/06/04/diagram-of-theory-douglas-and-wildavskys-gridgroup-typology-of-worldviews

[*4.86, *8.112, *11.4, *11.5]

<>

 

Humankind’s Main Feature

August 17, 2019

What is the most distinctive attribute of the human species? What will be our legacy? Is it…

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_Ludens

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_faber

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_Necans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_the_human_species

I kind of like Homo Occisor for “Man the Killer”, but Homo Necans is already out there.

Also see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiddity

[*8.135, *11.139]

<>

 

Writing the Book of the World

August 10, 2019

If one was writing a book that described the entire world or universe as it is, how should that book present the world to us? It is not enough to speak truly, itemizing “all that is the case”, one must also use the right notions while doing so.

Philosopher Theodore Sider wants us to accept structure as the all important fundamental notion of how to talk about the world. His idea of structure is that it reveals where the joints or articulations of the world can be carved, and that the structure of the world is real and it is objective. Structure is the right and proper way to find these joints, and go about this carving.

(Of course the structure that Sider promotes is not to be confused with the structuralism of linguistics and anthropology that was so popular before deconstruction and post-modernism critiqued it nearly to death. This post is not about structuralism because its structure is a reflection of language and the mind itself, not an attribute of the actual world.)

Chapters 1-8 are titled: Structure, Primitivism, Connections, Substantivity, Metametaphysics, Beyond the Predicate, Questions, and Rivals. Chapters 9-12 are devoted to ontology, logic, time, and modality (because I guess these are favorite topics in metaphysics) and what structure tells us about them. I don’t think Sider is saying that reality is carved naturally into these four domains, but I think it makes a rather nice fourfold.

In Metaphysics, Ontology is another word for Being, but it can also mean a classification system for the different kinds of things that exist (but I guess that’s not metaphysical). Modality is the Metaphysical or Epistemic study of necessity and possibility, so it is certainly related to time. There are also modal logics which have quantifiers for modalities such as necessity and possibility.

I closing I must say that once you carve up some structure by its joints, then you are left with parts, which may be structures in their own right. And as I’ve posited elsewhere, functions and actions are the structures and parts of time. I also wonder if there is a comparison of Sider’s structure to the metaphysics of E. J. Lowe, but perhaps I should just read each of their work.

Further Reading:

Theodore Sider / Writing the Book of the World

http://tedsider.org/

Some reviews:
http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/writing-the-book-of-the-world/
https://nwwildman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/12-05-wtbotw-review.pdf
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/dorr/papers/Sider.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-varieties/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-epistemology/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structuralism

Review that needs registration to read:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n16/aw-moore/carving-at-the-joints

[*9.8, *11.112]

<>

 


  Bartosz Milewski's Programming Cafe

Category Theory, Haskell, Concurrency, C++

The Inquisitive Biologist

Reviewing fascinating science books since 2017

Paleofuture

Every Fourth Thing

Simplicity

Derek Wise's blog: Mathematics, Physics, Computing and other fun stuff.

COMPLEMENTARY 4x

integrating 4 binary opposites in life, learning, art, science and architecture

INTEGRATED 4x

integrating 4 binary opposites in life, learning, art, science and architecture

Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works

Chasing the Paper Rabbit

Antinomia Imediata

experiments in a reaction from the left

Digital Minds

A blog about computers, evolution, complexity, cells, intelligence, brains, and minds.

Social Systems Theory

A blog inspired by Niklas Luhmann and other social theorists

philosophy maps

mind maps, infographics, and expositions

hyde and rugg

neat ideas from unusual places

John Kutensky

The way you think it is may not be the way it is at all.

Visions of Four Notions

Introduction to a Quadralectic Epistomology

Explaining Science

Astronomy, space and space travel for the non scientist

Log24

Every Fourth Thing

Ideas Without End

A Serious Look at Trivial Things

Quadralectic Architecture

A Survey of Tetradic Testimonials in Architecture

Minds and Brains

Musings from a Naturalist

Quadriformisratio

Four-fold thinking4you

Multisense Realism

Craig Weinberg's Cosmology of Sense

RABUJOI - An Anime Blog

Purveyors of Fine Anime Reviews and Ratings Since 2010

Intra-Being

Between Subject and Object

The Woodring Monitor

Every Fourth Thing

FORM & FORMALISM

Every Fourth Thing

Log24

Every Fourth Thing

The n-Category Café

Every Fourth Thing

ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE

Every Fourth Thing

PHILOSOPHY IN A TIME OF ERROR

Sometimes those Sticking their Heads in the Sand are Looking for Something Deep

Networkologies

Online Home of Christopher Vitale, Associate Professor of Media Studies, The Graduate Program in Media Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

DEONTOLOGISTICS

Researching the Demands of Thought

Aberrant Monism

Spinozism and Life in the Chaosmos

Object-Oriented Philosophy

"The centaur of classical metaphysics shall be mated with the cheetah of actor-network theory."

Objects & Things

objects & things, design, art & technology

%d bloggers like this: