Abstract: I construct a universal philosophical method starting from the act of knowing, through different binarisms: known/unknown, self/non-self —the interaction, within the mind, between representations of the self and the real; the former diverge from other self(s), the latter converge. How to fit all this into a single reality, especially with an inaccessible reality per se? I introduce a new dimensional manifold, the complex, with two axes, horizontality and verticality. The horizontal axis is that of systems of elements, virtual as well as material, unified by the ontological concept of information. The conscious, representational workspace is a horizontal conceptual plane. While its constitution is part of the vertical axis, from quantum levels to graphs created by neural networks, through the levels of neural physiology. Constitutional complexity of a nature other than representational. In this two-axis dimension, the place of the representative phenomenon cannot be reduced to that of the constituent system. On the contrary, their gap generates two opposing looks, ontological and teleological. The ontology of reality per se is not accessible, it is a pseudo-ontological look that generates our mind, a horizontal simulation of complex verticality. Driven by the representation of reality, the pseudo-ontological look converges —in science. While teleological views diverge —founding the diversity of philosophies.
Part 1: Shifting from the subject with some binarisms
Let’s look for the simplest start
‘Universal philosophy’, is it an oxymoron? Certainly for those who define philosophy as the diversity of ways of knowing. So let’s prune the oxymoron. Let us first remove what is not universal. It is not holistic proselytism that would like to merge our thoughts into a Great Fusional Whole. It is not, in a closely related genre, a universal thought that would produce a “true truth” about things and people —one does not correct an oxymoron with a pleonasm! In fact, if there is to be a principle in a universal philosophy, I take the conflict. A tenacious principle, constantly renewed by epistemic diversity.
However, in diversity, conflict is multifaceted rather than unique. Looking for the universal leads me back before diversification. I return to a more basic definition of philosophy: the act of knowing. In what universal framework can this action be exercised?
The Unknown-Eating Mind
Action of knowing transfers from the unknown into the known. The framework thus includes these two spaces, known/unknown, and their relationship. The framework is indissoluble of its progenitor: the mind. But is it reduced to mind? Thinking of it installs a particular philosophy: solipsism, “my mind is Everything”. I don’t dwell long. If, in my mind, ‘Everything’ is known, I am God. “Harsh” solipsism. This does not correspond to everyday events. The unknown constantly surprises me. ‘Everything’ contents the unknown, so I go back to my previous frame. As a “soft” solipsist I only called this frame ‘My Mind’. I divide it into known and unknown, like a non-solipsist, whom we will call ‘realist’.
The realist calls the general framework ‘the Real World’. In it she locates her mind provided with representations, forming the known space, and the independent world of these representations, the unknown space. An elementary step of philosophy was to recognize that a part of this second space is even unknowable. My mind combs the unknown with its representations and collects answers; but it cannot know what is beyond its representations and who enters into relation to them. Recognizing the unknown forces us to accept the unknowable, unless we return to a conviction close to ‘I am God’, which is: ‘I will become God’.
To close the visit of the solipsist, she is separated from the realist only by the terminology. The solipsist calls the general framework ‘Me Mind’ and leaves the unknowable outside. The framework of the realistic is broader and includes the unknowable in the ‘Real World’.
Let’s look at the known. This space can be divided into the knowledge that the mind has of itself and that which it has of the external world. Is it the separation between subjectivity and objectivity? No, it is a matter of two objectivities as soon as the mind knows that it is the owner of this knowledge. Subjectivity is the false attribution of knowledge to an actor who is not the true owner. It is, for example, attributing a representation of the real to the real when it is the mind that designed it. Materialism is usually subjective and not objective as generally thought.
Subjectivity is also attributing a representation of the mind to reality while it is always the mind that conceives it. Eliminativism is also subjective. The representations that the mind forms about reality thus manage to eliminate its own existence as a spirit. Only subjectivity manages to generate such an outcome, while the objectivity of the mind is to recognize one’s own experiences.
Self and non-self, mental organization over physics
Objectivity, let us repeat, consists in granting each subject ownership of its knowledge. I will define two poles of objectivity in the mind: 1) The Spirit pole groups together the representations of the mind about itself. 2) The Real pole brings together representations of what is external to the mind. This separation is not only philosophical and spiritual. It corresponds to two different bodily sensitivities, interoceptive (innervation of the internal organs) and exteroceptive (sense organs). This is the first step in a confluence between philosophical system and scientific system that it is possible to push much further, unfortunately not within the limits of this article.
If the terms ‘Spirit pole’ and ‘Real pole’ confuse you, replace them with ‘self’ and ‘non-self’. These are good approximations.
Collectivist Real pole and individualist Spirit pole
Our two mental poles have very different destinies. The Real pole seeks to coordinate with those of others. The recognition of an exterior implies that of other minds busy representing it with their own poles. Our individual Real pole has the natural vocation to get closer to others. It identifies with external reality, which is supposed to be unique and independent of our minds.
Is it arbitrary to assume the unique physical reality when the minds are multiple? It does not matter to our need for a universal philosophical system since reality per se is located in the unknowable. What matters is the relationship with reality per se. Our mind is content to interpret the regularities of things. This facilitates the construction of the Real pole. The best methodology here is science. The best coordinated Real poles among our contemporaries form the scientific group. But this is not the only paradigm encountered. And science itself has many subgroups. The unity of the “Real World”, as represented by our associated minds, is far from established.
The fate of the Spirit pole is very different. It naturally tends to diversify, for several reasons: Interoceptive signals vary from one individual to another. Inapparent in the healthy, they are invasive in patients and hypochondriacs. Exeroceptive signals vary in quality and intensity, despite our anatomical similarities. Especially the events experienced differ significantly. The Spirit pole being reshaped by each episode, its identity is heckled, often labile. The sum of these representations creates a mental scene specific to each individual.
We therefore host, within our mind, on the one hand a Real pole that seeks to unify with others, on the other a Spirit pole that is personalized. How do they handle their conflict? And how do our ways of knowing, the episteme, fit into this pattern? It may seem strange to you that I would build a philosophical system on a psychological model. But notice that we relentlessly psychoanalyze the discrete real to define an ontological departure. Would it be serious to free oneself from it for the fanfare of the teleological departure? The tradition for universalizing a philosopher is to study her psychology, more politely after her death. But here it is Philosophy that I want to universalize. And it is eternal! Impossible to wait for its expiration. Everything comes at the right time, you see! This model will easily explain our epistemic preferences according to the positioning that our mind takes there.
Materialist or idealist, an ‘or’ to be replaced by an ‘and’
It is indeed a conflict between the Mind and the Real pole, between self and non-self, each having an “opinion” on the other. As in any conflict, each of the actors wants to gain the upper hand. A compromise all the more difficult as one experiences more than it analyzes, while the other does the opposite. One is mostly innate, conservative, has the same experiences since childhood, is driven by impulses. The other is acquired, changing, influenceable, culturo-dependent. In modern societies, the Real pole grows at an impressive rate during education and pushes the Spirit pole as a backdrop. Personality is one with physical reality. This is the materialistic profile. The Real poles contain the same scientific references. This unified representation is confused with reality per se.
Sometimes the Spirit pole also manages to dominate without sharing. This is the idealistic profile. Matter is no longer creative but only materialization of the will of the spirit. The universe must submit to our desires and no longer impose its soulless processes. The mind is the origin, either as a fragment of a spiritual whole —for mystics— or as a receiver of ideals —for philosophers.
A little verticality, for a change
This epistemic classification is not new. But it is usually in horizontal form: the different epistemic modes are switches to choose. We have our preferences, but remain free to use several modes and compare their results. The mind can embark on the ontic, scientific, empirical, Cartesian, Kantian, positivist, holistic, systemic, pragmatic path. But how to synthesize the results? How to calculate their respective weight, compare foreign qualities? It is illusory to look for a metaphilosophy from a horizontal classification. We will find successes and failures in all modes, without being able to predict them.
The vertical, hierarchical classification is more powerful. It defines two directions to knowledge, irreducible to each other: ontological direction and teleological directionS. These directions start from two separate objectivities, equally irreducible to each other: the fundamental constitution of things, and their final, mental organization. What connects them is the complex dimension, a series of self-organizations from fundamental forces to mental rules. From each position starts a privileged direction: 1) Fundamental elements share ontology, deciphered by science and considered primary. 2) From mental consciousness depart teleologies, deciphered by epistemology and considered intentional and dominant, if not primary.
But no direction can exist without the other, their challenge proves impossible. It could only intervene in the horizontal classification of our epistemic modes, which its limits encourage us to abandon. Vertical thinking gets rid of it.
Part 2: Complex verticality
Disgusted with the labyrinthine system?
My philosophical system is becoming clearer. But he introduced several binarisms that detract from its clarity: known/unknown, matter/mind, Spirit/Real poles, constitution/organization, ontology/teleology. How to simplify this labyrinthine system? It is precisely the introduction of the complex dimension that makes it possible to arrive at a universal model. Our multiple approaches converge. Each of the paths of knowledge can be part of this new dimensional variety.
Complexity in itself or only epistemic?
Let’s start with the ontology/teleology binarism. The complex dimension places micromechanisms at the bottom of the complexity scale and mental awareness at the top. Question: is this complex dimension only an original epistemic tool or does it impose itself on reality per se? Seeing the success of this tool in the general description of things, models effectively superimposed from one discipline to another, it is difficult to think that reality per se would not participate. Vertical thinking has invaded science as much as philosophy. “Reality levels” are everywhere. We have moved from a hard/deterministic monism to an emergent multidualism. Scientists no longer seek to impose fundamental forces on all of reality per se. On the contrary, they question the elements of each level of reality on the laws they formulate together.
If the complex dimension is a structure recognized by reality per se, it becomes possible to inscribe this reality at each level of complexity. It is in itself constitutive, and in non-itself interpreted by observers, which concerns the constitution. Here appears the metaphor of the two-sided coin, constitutive side and interpreted side, root of the complementarity between ontological and teleological looks.
Ontology is a pseudo-ontology
The investigation is well under way, but have I not forgotten that these representations are entirely in the mind? If reality per se is inaccessible, how can I suddenly decide to include it in my complex dimension? The criticism is fair. I actually have no certainty that reality per se is at the origin of my scientific ontology. Fundamental forces are part of the language of my mind, and this language has often been turned upside down by scientific revolutions.
We must admit. Admit that ontology is actually a pseudo-ontology, proprietor of our minds despite all the science they can host. The scientific mind is a fisherman. It sends its theoretical hooks into the depths of reality per se. If it bites, the mind is very comfortable, and puts a nice frame around its theory. Then it is already thinking about a deeper hook.
The pseudo is enriched
Pseudo-ontology certainly, but more and more assertive. Because each model connects better with the others. Because they are more accurate, better verified. The photographs of reality per se retain their status as representations, but are taken with instruments of increasing sophistication. The complex dimension is again proving valuable for a universal philosophical system. It is the tightening of its weaving, from one level of reality to another, that constantly brings our pseudo-ontology closer to reality per se.
Another essential contribution of complexity: it is possible to attach the unknown to this dimension. Quantum fields and consciousness are not the ends, only points bordering the known on complex verticality. There are naturally the more fundamental to discover, the higher to organize. The dimension plunges on both sides into the unknown. What structures it is the strong relationship between our level models. Here is the known/unknown binarism attached to the system.
Cavalcade in complexity
How do we walk through the complex dimension? The two directions of look, teleological and ontological, provide contrasting experiences. The teleological look is spontaneous, requires no education. It makes chip jumps down the complex dimension, provides experiences specific to each level of reality encountered. The human being awakens a rich emotional experience, the animal an excitement according to its rarity and dangerousness, the plant aesthetic feelings and nutritional interest. The pebble does not awaken much except in the geologist or the collector. But the teleological look always manages to come alive passionately, even for minute incidents on the scale of complexity. The nuclear physicist runs away with her particles in a love collision. Teleologies are as numerous as our minds. Each seeks company for its particular assembly of representations, somewhat fetishistic.
The ontological look is much less exuberant. It is patiently calibrated by science to serve the fundamental elements, which seem to us to be weakly complex compared to humans. No real substance has been found to these elements, but a true form, yes. That is the information. Today the entire ontological look uses information, as well as pseudo-substances that are the names of the elements in relation, themselves piles of information.
A complexity welded by information, welds apparent to the informed observer
While the teleological look descends complexity by leaps, ontological strives to raise it with a single continuous impulse. It uses successive information models closely related by correlations. Levels of reality are discernible with the ontological look, but they are levels of entangled information. The ontological look is the welder of reality. For eliminativists, the levels would be a residue of the archaic teleological look, which could be erased by an ultimately fundamental algorithm, from which the whole ball of reality would be unwinded. Expect.
The abrupt differences between the two looks are found in their favorite language. In ontology it is mathematic, codified to the extreme to limit the fantasy of its users. Its internal coherence presages its proximity to reality per se. Real seems, by nature, mathematical. In teleology, it is the opposite. The richness of written languages, of varied ethno-cultural origins, allows our diverse minds to multiply this direction of look. If philosophy wants to borrow mathematical language, it must restrict itself to ontological tasks or it becomes poorer.
A particular interest in each language, each look
Written languages name the innumerable regularities of the world under the teleological look. They bring them individuation, quality, personality. Mathematical language standardizes the world as sets of information under the ontological look. The two views are complementary and indispensable, irreducible to each other. No challenge.
The particular interest of the ontological look is to show the continuity of the complex dimension, the teleological to show its discontinuity. Thus we can bring to our mental stage a reality that is both monistic and full of contradictions and incompatibilities. The double look is the foundation of a universal philosophical system.
We have created new disciplines at the top of this complex dimension of knowledge, close to the conscious mind. They now allow us to integrate the spirit into it. Neurophysiology, neurocognition, consciousness, correlations are improving. Correlations? Yes, let us not forget that teleology and ontology are not reducible to each other and that they do not hold the same discourse. ‘Correlation’ is a provisional term for where they meet. For each level of reality there is a constitutive, quantitative face, described by a mathematizable model, and a phenomenal, qualitative face, subject of experiment.
Part 3: The integration of the philosophical mind
Understanding our mental complexity
The nature of the interface will be the subject of another article, this one being already… complex. It is a delicate subject, more scientific than philosophical. Indeed, the ontology of science sees a continuous complex dimension, as the unfolding of algorithms, while the teleology of philosophy easily accepts the discontinuity of phenomena. Science is therefore the most difficult to convince of the reality of complex levels, of these two-sided constitutive and emergent coins. These interfaces constitute the ‘points’ of complex verticality. Without them verticality collapses. I actually prefer the term ‘attractors’ to ‘points’, because complex verticality is not a spatial but a organizational variety.
I ask for the moment your scientific mind to admit that these attractors are part of the real per se, testify to an additional dimensional variety, the complex, which frames the others. Your philosophical mind will be seduced by this opportunity. In particular, complex verticality makes it possible to understand the major difference that separates constitutional and representational complexities in the mind.
The constitution is the organization of the neural support. It forms levels of data processing that we call ‘virtual’, as concrete as those of physical matter under the ontological look. These are entangled sets of information, described for neurons by graph theory.
The phenomena associated with material levels are the easiest to observe; this is why the teleological look associates them with the notion of ‘substance’. While the ‘virtual’ levels are much more numerous, difficult to separate, and their ‘substance’ is only perceptible to the other networks that observe them. Thus these levels are spontaneously invisible to our senses and to conscious teleology. The conscious workspace ejects them into an alternative universe, that of virtuality and ideals. They are now visible to the educated ontological look, as a continuity of levels of information succeeding those of neural physiological support. There is no ontological break between the material and the virtual. With the complex dimension reality is monistic and multi-dualistic, each term belonging to a complementary look and not generating contradiction.
From constitution to representation
A mental level is made up of virtual elements called ‘concepts’. These concepts are themselves assemblies of sub-concepts in the structure I have just described. Constitutionally, a concept is an activated neural pattern. Each participating neuron occupies a precise position in the graphic organization of the brain. Within a level, the concept-elements are organized to build a new system. Relationships produce a sequence of configurations. In the conscious workspace, the summit of mental complexity and source of our phenomenological experience, it is the sequence of thoughts.
These thoughts are highly complex since they are part of the underlying high conceptual stack. They can be arranged together in the level where they are compatible. Accounting does not depend in any way on the subjects of the representations, but on the physical level of mental integration. Coarse concepts can be associated with sophisticated ones. Example: The sensation of a bite on the skin reaches the conscious space through a complex low height, while the representation of the mosquito causing the bite has a much higher height. The two merge into conscious experience, mixing the coarseness of the biting sensation with the multiconceptual definition of the mosquito. The bite encourages the act of crushing the intruder, “without thinking”, while the representation of the mosquito can encourage to simply sweep it so that it goes to feed elsewhere. Reflective synthesis.
The reflexive synthesis of a mental level is the interaction of the concepts-elements present. It is an internal process at the level, horizontal in the complex dimension. The level can establish the representation of any phenomenon. This representation can be the complex mapping of the phenomenon. It simulates the complex verticality of the phenomenon, but within a level, that is, forms a horizontal plane of complexity. It’s a simulation. The experience of this complex verticality is not reproduced. The representation is only a description. It can be compared to others, to our own conscious experiences. But impossible to really experience it as the authentic phenomenon.
The consequences of this limitation are significant. We can simulate the mental experience of our fellow human beings, bring it closer to ours, without ever experiencing it like them. Each mental universe constructs its specific, inimitable, only verbalizable experiences. It is verbal and body language that unifies our intimate experiences.
The complex dimension branches into a host of independent piles, forming a multitude of universes at their top. Paradoxically, while it is the teleological look that experiences its unique experience, the multitude is rather obvious for the ontological, which sees information systems produce divergent results at each level, resulting in an unprecedented number of different final entities. The multiverse appears to the ontological look. While the teleological looks for similarities, categorizes and brings together phenomena of the same order, says: “This being who resembles me has the same consciousness as mine”.
The plan is shareable, not its experience
I have said that a complex phenomenon reproduced by the conscious workspace is a horizontal, “flattened” representation of it. Let’s take the example of my current thinking, which describes mental complexity. My text conveys complex verticality, but the text itself is a flattening of it. No matter what fantastic, poetic, emotional, and empathetic vocabulary I might use, it will never contain my experience. We share its horizontality, not its verticality. Your own verticality is building the same horizontality as me, the same meaning of text, I hope.
I will paint my flattened thinking at the end of the article, in the form of diagrams of the complex dimension. Beautiful shapes reflecting complex verticality. But the patterns are not vertical in themselves. They constitute a “plan”, aptly named. Horizontal mapping of the complex verticality of my philosophical system.
Every thought of us is like this. It is the flattening of the phenomenon we represent. Trend that makes us see the flat world, complexity as a simple property of its horizontalized mathematical processes on a spreadsheet. Many researchers get caught up in it. Current vogue of “platism” —eliminativism, illusionism. This tendency makes us blind to the complex dimension. Aristotle, the genius who founded Western thought, was also caught there, as I recount in this article.
Let us summarize: Recognizing the existence of complex verticality separates for a thought its constitutional complexity —the way in which it was constituted— and its representational complexity —the horizontal, flattened complexity of the subject studied. A thought can have a solid constitutional complexity —otherwise it would fail to exist— and a fragile representational complexity —the idea is wrong, because the intermediate stages of its conception form erroneous results. Here is finally an excellent explanation for a disturbing fact: the firmness with which we express a fanciful opinion, even after the destruction of its major pillars! In a single, flat neural system, opinion would immediately waver. Where would it go to save itself? But not in a complex, hierarchical system, whose levels retain a certain independence. The whimsical opinion can be maintained if it finds allies at its level. And why not, become less inept when the sub-concepts have changed.
What is mental analysis?
Several “flattened” alternative opinions can compete in conscious space. It is difficult to separate them when their constitutional complexity is not known. Without additional evaluation we are forced to try them almost randomly. Mental analysis is the ability to reproduce and study this constitutional complexity. It dissects each opinion to reduce it to its constituents, goes up the chain of organizations to detect its defects. The analysis does not, of course, allow direct access to the constituents, to the unconscious in person. These levels are independent. It maps them and simulates their organization. However, neural integration is so close that through a phenomenon of feedback, unconscious processes improve according to the suggestions of this “idealized” plan. Our unconscious benefits from conscious feedback.
You probably think, at this point, that I moved away from philosophy to sink into neuroscience. Perhaps only the philosophers of the mind have followed me so far. Yet it is here that we can understand the simple possibility of a universal philosophical system. A text means nothing without a reader. Don’t rely on spiritualism to store it. It must be able to fit into your brain. And for that we need to understand how it works. If you’re still around, it probably even has boosters I forgot to mention about.
Fortunately, we are close to the end of this presentation. It becomes easy to understand how to place several philosophical systems in a conscious space and make them compete with each other without one managing to eliminate the others. We have here the mind of a scholar, rich in her countless readings, in thoughts adapted to reconcile them with these encounters, of her preference for the system that best marries her present identity. The conscious space of our scholar is —if she is well awake— a rich cartography of the great thinkers of humanity. Horizontal mapping. And the experience of it. Its qualia, mixed with all the others. Yes, the scholar has a body too.
To complete such a system and make it universal, a philosopher needs three things:
1) The recognition of complex verticality. She must straighten her cartography and make the final stage the top of a structure being explored. All professional philosophers are already busy there. But there is no consensus on how this philosophical verticality is organized, no metaphilosophy. The task is less easy than at the bottom of the complex dimension, where scientists have effectively structured complex verticality, without calling it that, by the simple delimitation of their disciplines.
2) Admit that the ascending, ontological path of philosophy obliges us to make choices, according to context, personality, culture. This upward path is diversification. The final conscious space remains unique. A universal philosophical system does not lead to a cloning of consciousnesses. Where philosophers can come together is on a common ontological departure: context, personality, culture, understood in a consensual way. The final conclusions will also be joint. This presupposes, in the participants, a comparable aptitude for the analysis of philosophical verticality. To compare results, the method needs to be shared and refined. Because let us remember that the method is a horizontal map of verticality and not verticality per se.
3) Never renounce the reality of conscious phenomenological experience, which illusionists want to annihilate. I explained the origin of platism that leads the illusionist to think like this. The horizontal map of the illusionist has no box for the phenomenon. She just paints it with a different color on her map. But does not know what a ‘color’ is with ontological language.
Demand complex verticality
The philosopher is entitled to demand, and this is his third claim, that the universal philosophical system give a natural and indisputable place to phenomena. The scientism of the ontological look cannot replace teleological personal experience. This recognition, it is the complex verticality that can guarantee it.
In this dimension, for any individualized thing, living or inert, mental or amental, the location of the process is not in the same place as the result. The parts are at a complex jump from the whole, not reducible to each other. The parts take an ontological look towards the whole; the whole takes a teleological look towards the parts. One is fundamentally quantitative, the other fundamentally qualitative. One sees only information, its continuous interaction; the other sees the categories, stable, discontinuous qualities, subjects of unique experiences, qualia.
The Flip Dance
To find the phenomenon related to a process, it is enough to flip into the complex dimension. Which is not easy. For all its power of abstraction, our consciousness is stuck in it. In its horizontal workspace. It passes from a teleological look to a pseudo-ontological only, without being able to turn around. It can only simulate the experience of processes without being able to be in their place. Even the experience of our body, in the first person, is compared to that of others with a lot of approximation.
But let’s not complain! This experience is continually changing, driven by the shifting integration of the impressive pile of our mental levels at high altitudes. We are in orbit above a conceptual planet, satellite oriented towards the neighboring stars, attracted by the brightest, trying to guess their composition, equipping us with the latest instruments.
This telescope that I propose to you is intended to be a universal philosophical system. Does it really deserve this title? I stress that this is less of a framework than a method. No framework is universal. I add to mine the complex dimension but how many hidden varieties are missing? I deliberately started on the known/unknown binarism. Walking on the shore that separates them, the researcher necessarily adopts the dominant feeling: modesty.
The method has higher pretensions: it gives voice to all actors: reality per se, its mask in the mind that I call the Real pole, the mind about itself, its religious attempts to deify itself —my method is agnostic and not atheistic. Speech is the property of the actor. No language can judge the relevance of others.
Mathematics is the language of reality per se. But then it would be multiple, because there are mathematicS, some incompatible with each other. Demonstration above all that they are pseudo-ontological languages, chosen by our mind according to its postulates on the real per se. But perhaps this is an indication of a complexity that also imposes itself on reality, that the levels of reality each speak their mathematical language in relative independence.
The strength of the method is to solve a remarkable amount of currently insoluble problems. Body-mind, real-virtual, substance-information, continuous-discontinuous, individual-collective, a complete library is to be rewritten with this method. Its fragility lies in a single question: Does the interface of a complex level exist in reality per se and what is its nature? Only a conjunction of philosophical and scientific views can answer. My own answer will be the subject of a future article.
Purely theoretical progress?
The method may appeal more to pragmatists than to theorists. Its applications extend to all aspects of everyday life, particularly medicine, sociology, politics. It does not make the philosopher a scientist or a political analyst, but makes it possible to control the interpretations of the models used. The model is a good tool for horizontal analysis, within a complex level; interpretation is a complex verticality and therefore almost always needs transdisciplinarity. I will detail some practical applications in a third article.
Part 4: Diagrams
I will end with several diagrams summarizing the method in its framework. You will find, hanging there, all the binarisms I have mentioned:
Figure 1: Classic complexity
ab——–AB1CD2EF3GH4IJ5KL6M——- ab Biomolecules
bc——abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz——bc simple Molecules
………………………………………….……………….… quantum Vacuum
Complex verticality marked by the levels to which the teleological look is most attentive. Each line is written in an alphabet reflecting the diversity of its elements, which increases. On each level persist previous elements, which still interact with the most complex. They frame these most complex on each line. The most complex are fewer in number but more diverse on each level.
Figure 2: Complex human
___ F(kidney) ____ F(gut) ______ GW (Global Workspace)
__x10 kidney __x100 gut _x1000 brain
_________<10 simple Molecules
__________x1 quantum Vacuum
Detail of the complex height in the human being. Here is arbitrarily reported (because there is no specific work on this subject) the number of ontological information levels for the stages identified by the teleological look. At the top, the number of levels separating the cells of an organ from its higher function, cited for 3 organs including the brain, champion of complexity thanks to its highly hierarchical networks.
Figure 3: Sections of the complex dimension
Known/unknown binarism and matter/mind
Diversium = the entire complex dimension —which diversifies
Quantum = probabilistic
Materium = classical physical real
Stratium = stratified mental
Societarium = part of Stratium representing the society
Figure 4: Double look
Binarism ontological look / teleological look, constitution / representations
The ontological look sees the continuity of constitutions.
Teleological looks see the discontinuity of representations.
Figure 5: Complex diversity figures by levels
x 8 billion conscious space(s)
x thousands memes (shared concepts)
x hundreds elementary concepts
x 200 types of neurons
1 type of basic information (assumed)
Top-bottom: 8 billion different teleological looks.
Bottom-up: 1 unique ontological look.
Figure 6: Complex mental universe
Binarism pole Spirit / Real pole
4 types of mental universes:
1) Infant: low complexity, barely individualized Real pole —the infant makes no difference between her mind and the entire universe.
2) Materialistic adult: high complexity, dominant Real pole —the mind is a backdrop embedded in reality.
3) Adult idealist: high complexity, dominant Spirit pole —reality is a projection of spiritual ideals.
4) Philosopher: recognition of one’s own mental scene, so that there is an independent and inaccessible reality per se, as well as other mental scenes, connected by a common linguistic space.
1 thought on “A universal philosophy”
Part 5: Discussion
Perhaps you belong to the moderate reductionist tendency and are skeptical about the reality of complex verticality. I have not demonstrated its existence in this article, it is to come. Yet it is the basis of my supposedly universal method! Yes, absolutely. Because I do not need to prove the existence of this dimension in the real per se. The method is confined to the use of teleological and pseudo-ontological looks. It is a discussion between the two poles of the mind. The real per se never intervenes directly. Complex verticality is indispensable to the pseudo-ontological look. Science tramples in reductionism, finds openings by emancipating the different levels of reality. Unequaled productivity of pragmatism.
Reductionism tells us that causality is entirely bottom-up, that the “block” of reality contains all the hidden reasons for seemingly unpredictable emergences in the unfolding of processes. What’s the point if those reasons are impossible to know? What’s the point if there is no computational means in the universe that can simulate these processes? And if these means could be approximated, how will one know whether one has accessed the real per se or only a finer simulation? As much as reductionism is a valuable tool of scientific thought, I think it is a religion with no outlet for philosophy. On the contrary, it is to put a ball and chain at its feet, a very heavy ball when it comes to illusionism.
I recall this essential point on which even the reductionists agree: the real per se is inaccessible. To think that this will change is to think that God will come down among us. While waiting for Him, I remove the real per se from my universal philosophy and replace it with its excellent double: the pseudo-ontological look. This one is delighted to be able to cling to the bars of the complex dimension. Let’s not take away its ladder, let’s add all the missing bars!