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Lecture 5

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New College
John Vervaeke

Lecture 5 The depth landscape: a sense of realness Plato’s realness Plato said there are two intuitions of realness: power and intelligibility. Power in Ancient Greece is based on asymmetric dependence. A is moved by B. B is moved by C. C must be the most powerful! Example: a cup casts a shadow. The cup moves the shadow, the shadow cannot move the cup. Cup is more powerful. This posits that power is unilateral, and moves towards some unmoved mover, a God that dictates all and has static presence to the world. Unilateral power is consistent with Plato’s Republic, and Plato’s worldview. He was not satisfied with the Greek democracy. The Republic concentrates power at the top. In asymmetric dependence, one uses transitive inference to find root causes and to understand the causes and effects. However, Western sciences posits inertia and Newton’s laws: for every action there is a reaction. Everything affects everything! Phenomenologically, we do not want unilateral power, we want RECIPROCAL power: we want the effect the object so that the object affects us. Something with a lot of reciprocal power opens up the chances for many things to happen, for POWER. And we want access to as much power as objects present to us! Something with a lot of reciprocal power is a nexus of causation. Doctors cannot just diagnose, they must INTERVENE in the disease, have reciprocal power over the disease. Plato’s intelligibility Intelligibility: fitness and functionality in the world. Recall that our fitness has to do with our SOC. Fitness is dynamic and it complexifies us. When an object is complex, how do we import/export the object? Through metaphor, analogy, symbol. (See lecture 2) What do people looking for when scanning info? Systematicity: the ranking in types of info we prefer. Searching in a systematic way. In searching for info, an object can be attributed (apple is red), or an object can be related to (apples are crunchier than oranges) Relating to an object is more enjoyable than attributing to humans: more powerful. Higher order relationships: relations between relations, provide even more power than attributing. Example of intelligibility: the Bohr model of atom related to solar system Solar system: planets orbit sun, sun attracts planets, held in equilibrium. Bohr atom: electrons orbit nucleus, nucleus attracts electrons, held in equilibrium. These ideas converge. Converging is systematic. Note that the solar system analogy is a complex one! Integration: the orbits the differentiation: the planets/electrons, the sun/nucleus This solar system analogy has a sensibility to it, a REALNESS. Realness: information that gives you reciprocal power. It would be difficult to explain the Bohr model from scratch. But one can understand very quickly with the solar analogy. We are constantly looking for systematicity and for realness. Why? In order to track reciprocal power. When things are real, they seem DEEP to us. Deep is complexifying. You have access to something both trustworthy and multi-apt. The Depth Landscape Depth contains realness. Depth also gives us assurance, it is not an illusion (it is trustworthy), and it is co-relevant (not absurd) The landscapes of Salience tracking -> presence tracking -> depth is happening 24/7 When salience-presence-depth is integrated, it is called the significance landscape. Significant – both in importance, and that is signifies (means) something. It is the ground of our mattering. It is how we project and how we govern ourselves by our projections. The term meaning in the Meaning Crisis, says John, is equated to significance, and all the landscapes that constitute it. This is not semantic meaning (dictionary) but existential meaning. RR --> perspectival knowing  fundamental framing  landscapes and significance The 3 Levels of Relevance Realization: Religio and the diagrams There are 4 interrelated spokes to every religio diagram Down: in reference to the past Up: in reference to problem solving Left: in reference to communication Right: in reference to future and anticipation Note that John is re-defining the words used in the spokes. They are not everyday uses of the words. Level1: Unconscious making of connections: Logos The root word connotates logical, also logistics (of time and mind), and logo, a pattern that is revea
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