Reply To: Hierarchy as Ontological Priority

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  • Type: TiNe
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Some very interesting ideas above^

I’m formulating some replies to them.

But I also wanted to import another member’s (Jelle) response via Discord:


Good morning! I just perused said article and the generalized “philosophical” focus under each type look good for your first concept map (Je pragmatism Ji essentialism etc.) I think that yeah Ji would prob lead to some deontological tendencies. The overall idea that we have a priori assumptions that shape our perceptions/belief-structures/ontology is :ok_hand_tone2:. “Ontological” feels like it isn’t quite the right word to use at that level of description, I think but I know what you were getting at, and think it’s correct.
Because you are talking about the predetermined boundary/focus/restriction of each given function’s phenomenal domain, it makes more sense to just go ahead and call it “conceptual primitive”. It’s a little unconventional for ontological belief (implicit or not) to precede phenomenal experience. I think the more standard way to frame it (and the idea you are getting at) are more like “conceptual primitives binding percepts into unified experiences” — but the bedrock ontology arises from there. It seems too chronologically early to drop ontology at that point. That being said, primitives could still be about ontological things (causal chains, process, property clusters etc.) on a very very very basic skeletal level. However the focus on some part of reality is still “phenomenal domain” so that’s why calling them ontological assumptions seems a little weird. Because they’d be more concepts rather than fully formed propositions at that point. HOWEVER calling it Ontological Priority with respect the focus of the phenomenal domain is correct. What you listed are different aspects of ontology. So that’s fine.
The next thing I noticed was that you are theorizing the primitive/assumption is the same as the “metabolism”. This seems a little funny to me too and it might come across strangely to others who are into computational/functional models of the mind because “metabolism” usually involves syntactical processes that deal with propositional content (sentences and sentence tokens). It wouldn’t be unusual at all to say that metabolism is a priori or species specific, but again, it wouldn’t operate on the level of phenomenal experience, it operates on the level of thought and belief.
So a distinction I think you probably need to know here is that concepts are building blocks of propositions, and those are associated to perception and beliefs respectively. Phenomenology operates at the fundamental concept/percept level (“time is linear, time is simultaneity”), then Ontology is something expressed with belief and propositions (“I am a thinking thing”) etc. Note that the first is way easier to imagine as being implicit and totally taken for granted.

. . . So, if that’s unclear, what I’m saying in a nutshell is…IF you do want to make metabolism itself a priori, then you can’t apply the assumption to phenomenology. It would have go up to the level of beliefs to make sense. If you want to make it an ontology-focused conceptual primitive, then you can apply the assumption to phenomenology. But phenomenology is prior to belief. Keeping those two levels of description separate is really important. It looks a bit like you’re saying “molecules are made of cells” atm. Or mixing up two different levels. Think of phenomenology as driving semantics and metabolism as driving syntax. Put everything together, tada, you have thoughts about the world.
That is my only criticism of what you said. The rest was good!

However if you want to just make it all CT specific terms that’s up to you — your community will know what you mean.
I don’t see why’d you do that if you have a perfectly good established lexicon available to you now to describe exactly what you mean.
Everything I say hinges on “metabolism = data processing” btw. Be careful applying input output stuff at the level of phenomenology, because it will break your idea that you are trying get across: functions result in unified, irreducible, and specific experiences.

OH you could make both metabolism/primitives a priori. Which is probably the case anyway! Then you would have to explain both separately at each level

thanks jelle! i’m still processing some of the above – but im glad to have your input on this. I would indeed like to have termonology more compatible with proper philosophical understandings of what is meant, so if I can better frame it that way, that’s something I’d like to do.

A PDF by David Chalmers for your perusal
Attachment file type: acrobat

If you want some philosophy on “metabolism” being a priori and innate, See Jerry Fodor — it’s very amenable to your model of the mind
Eh this one is better

Fodor was also a staunch defender of nativism about the structure and contents of the human mind, arguing against a variety of empiricist theories and famously arguing that all lexical concepts are innate. Fodor vigorously argued against all versions of conceptual role semantics in philosophy and psychology, and articulated an alternative view he calls “informational atomism,” according to which lexical concepts are unstructured “atoms” that have their content in virtue of standing in certain external, “informational” relations to entities in the environment.

The idea you’re trying get across is called Nativism

Fodor thought they were a species specific thing so you’ll probably be into that!
Or innatism

woot! i’ll definitely do some reading of this — it does sound like what i’m aiming to express. but it’s like I lack the language/vocabulary for it, but i might know which one best fits it by being acquainted with what the differences really are.

It’s really complicated vocabulary because a lot of new words get made up in philosophy

some are more obscure than others though, i’d imagine?

Conceptual primitives
Not really. Innatism is a really old idea, and it’s pretty well accepted that we primitive ideas, or “common ideas”. People disagree on what they are. Some people think it’s logical stuff, some people think it’s slices up experience, some people think it’s both, some people think all truths are innate
And we just “rediscover” them.
It’s hard to imagine how we could have thoughts at all without innate ideas fixing them in some way.
I am working on a related philosophy problem myself right now re. essence
And how we see Thingness

bookmarks links

It’s interesting shit
Good luck!

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