An object refers to any unit of information as well as the aggregate set of information that sits below that unit in a hierarchy. For example, in a neural network trained to identify written letters, the two legs of the letter “A” would each be objects, as well as the horizontal line that spans across them. But the letter “A” is also itself an object, which can exist in a larger word such as “APPLE”. The word APPLE itself is an object within a larger sentence such as “I ATE THE APPLE.”
The process of objects being nested in higher order objects is called abstraction. Abstraction can happen indefinitely and is only limited by the technical size of the neural network or the architecture. The lower the level of an object, the more concrete it will be. A concrete object may be, for instance, color, smell, taste, touch or sound. These are also objects, even if they are not linguistic forms. Objects can exist as the cognizance of qualia-states such as bright, sweet, loud, soft or coarse — without being attached to those words themselves. Objects will not be attached to word symbols until they have grown sufficiently complex so as to become a meta-category of their own. A meta-concept such as “APPLE” is an abstract object composed of many sub-objects each which register another dimension of the entire object “Apple.” This can be its appearance, its linguistic symbol (the word “Apple”), its smell, its taste and its touch. When the word “Apple” enters consciousness as an object, the entire architecture of sub-objects below it is also primed for action potential.
In the CTA model, each of the four energetic functions conceptualizes objects differently. As information processing programs, the energetics experience the nature of objects in distinct ways. The holistic reality of any given object in the human mind becomes the sum of the participation between these four energetic functions. However, independently, these functions have different definitions for objects. These are called object types. To begin to appreciate how these objects exist in our cognition, it’s necessary to borrow a metaphor from another field — namely mathematics. The object types that the CTA handles are not equivalent to mathematical objects, but they can be roughly represented as such:
For P+, as the Information Gatherer, objects are sensory-information variables. These objects are made of sensory attributes such as colors, textures and shapes. In the mathematical sense, we can model this by calling them variables such as a, b, c, x, y, z. P+ brings variables into working memory, although it does not supply their identification (J-), contextualization (P-) or procedures (J+).
For J- an object is a specific value that is identified, which makes a variable distinct from others and gives it a unique quantity. In the mathematical sense, we can model this by calling them values such as .45, .33, .03. J- can identify what the value of a variable is, between 0 and 1, where 1 is the perfect mono metric being employed. The J- process does not gather variables (P+), nor does it know their coordinates (P-), or their vectors (J+) but it knows their values.
For J+ an object is most analogous to a vector direction such as up, down, left, right, forward, back. Linguistically this can be thought of as verbs, for example, lift, push, sink, swim, run, walk, hop. We can liken these to mathematical vectors insofar as they describe the trajectories of objects. However, the J+ process does not know the values (J-) of the objects, their coordinates (P-) or how many there are (P+).
For P- an object is most analogous to a spatiotemporal coordinate. For example: yesterday, tomorrow, last year (temporal) at the beach, park, school (spatial). Space and time would form the X and Y coordinates respectively.
Please note that I use these four descriptions of object types instrumentally, as it is not possible to map out these variables, values, vectors and coordinates in a four dimensional grid in any meaningful way. Being aspects of cognition, these elements exist phenomenologically in much higher than four dimensions, and are also not synonymous with our real-world spatial environment due to our human capacity to abstract all information types.
To give an example of this problem, when we are “sitting at the park” we may simultaneously be “having bonding time with our partner.” These two coordinates (P-) exist simultaneously but they are coordinates in very different senses. A park is a geographical location, but “bonding time with our partner” is not, yet it is treated as a coordinate-object by our P- function. To elaborate on how this may be, after the park we may want to go to the movies with our partner, and we may do so because going to the movies is adjacent (coordinate-wise) to “having bonding time with our partner” – even though both of these activities have no necessary adjacency in a 4 dimensional world. The object “bonding at the park” is close in its abstract coordinates to “hugging at the movies” and it’s easy to navigate from one to the other, cognitively, without considering the procedural limitations (J+).
Furthermore, while at the movies with our partner we may be “skipping out on work”, which is a coordinate closer to “getting fired” than to “getting a promotion.” This is all independent of the fact that work may just be one block away from the movies. All of these locations and coordinates exist simultaneously in the multi-dimensional reality of the human mind. Thus, graphing these infinite dimensions cannot be done without placing the information in a structure as complex as our own minds themselves. The same could be said for each of the other functions (J+, J-, P+), each of which suffer the same problem with infinite dimensionality, causing an inability to model this faithfully using a 4 dimensional grid.
Aside from the object types, there is another feature of objects, which are their forms. These forms derive from their attributes as either abiotic (A), biotic (B), associative (O) or literal (U). While an object type may be, for instance, a coordinate (P-), that coordinate can either be literal (U) or associative (O). Two different object types can have the same form. For example a variable-object (P+) may be associative in one person, and a coordinate-object (P-) may be associative in another person. Affinities and friendships may develop between people who share similar object forms, even if they are different object types. Such people belong to the same Attribute Classes.