Sunday, June 7, 2015

Elementary Units and Emergence Patterns

Philosophy is a diverse intellectual ecosystem. People are inspired to think about just about every aspect of reality and imagination.

My focus in the sophi is nearly always what I call "axioms." These are elemental units, building blocks, basics; what I sometimes like to call "legos." A good way to think of this is to image the ACGT of DNA: from these legos are built every known instance of life. The types of life which emerge from these basics are part of what I call "emergence patterns."

=> => => => => 

It is a mistake to think that one can treat a frog in the same way as a DNA helix. It is also a mistake to try and apply the problems, systems and causalities of emergent patterns to the nature of philosophical axioms. One might also think of these two types as general (axiomatic) and specific (emergent).

These two types of thinking are often confused, and I think it's a good practice to consider the reach of any one idea. Is it a basic of something? of everything? Is it a repercussion of something?everything?

For example:
axiom: energy exists
emergent pattern: atomic bombs exist

Suppose one says, "atomic bombs are bad" and gives thoughtful reasoning as to why this should be. It would be a mistake to respond: "that's like saying energy is bad!" There exist too many interactions between e=mcand Hiroshima to apply the same conclusions to both instances.

Axioms tend to be observations, whereas emergent patterns easily run the gamut from observations (I see that butterfly), to physical interactions (that butterfly is pollinating a flower), to ethical decrees (you should not kill that butterfly).

I'm interested in axioms because the puzzle of finding the true commonalities between things is fascinating. <poet> I'm not making idle chatter, I'm chasing the truth. </poet>

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