Friday, April 24, 2015

The relationship of relative to absolute

In a FB IPS post on transcendence I re-posted the following from another FB IPS thread.

Another way of approaching r/a terms is through basic categories and image schema. Recall that these prototypes are in the middle of classical categorical hierarchies, between the most general and the most particular. Basic categories are the most concrete way we have of relating to and operating within the environment. Thus both the more particular and more general categories are more abstract. And yet our usual way of thinking is that the more particular the category the more concrete or relative the object it represents and vice versa.

Which is indeed related to the a-terms being asymmetrically dependent on the r-terms, if by r-terms we mean those concrete image schema which are the basis of more abstract derivations. It's easy to confuse them because our 'common sense' associates the more concrete objects of the world with the most particular objects on our constructed hierarchies; the same for the most abstract and ephemeral of thoughts, which do not seem physical or material. And yet these hierarchies are not constructed that way, instead being from the middle both up and down via image schema and basic categories.

Such things are unconscious and not readily apparent. So of course we can 'reason' from both the bottom-up and top-down in such hierarchies if we associate the r-terms with the most particular and the a-terms with the most general or abstract. But we do so from the most concrete of image schema, the actual r-terms, while both the top and bottom of the usual, classical hierarchy are the most abstract.

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