Needing to know

Green is the colour of nature (photosynthesis) in reflecting the one colour it doesn’t need.

Things seen as causes of consciousness depend on an eventuality that is conspicuously more than those causes.

We know by the fact of knowing as much as of the fact of the facts known.

The fact that an objective world can be separated from our subjective world in an act of knowing owes to the fact of the subject, not the object.

It is a myth that science can explain the bigger picture by subtracting everything from the picture in order to identify an original cause.

Causality is a contextual reality in a context that now includes our line of sight.

The universe is incomplete in all its objective causes and states – which can now be seen as a prelude to the presence of an extensive subjective dimension.

Facts speak to us only insofar as we select them for that purpose.

Science remains a natural philosophy insofar as it doesn’t exist without the need to know – which an objective world doesn’t seem to share with us.

No fact exists on its own, especially a known fact – and the world alone is not enough to account for the fact of knowledge.

Science changes the world through the thinking by which the world became more than it was.

Every perceived fact is a fact made of perception.

It is not the facts that generate a truth or falsity, but our values – our vested interests held in a point of view.

It seems unthinkable that we need to think outside the world that ‘science has given us’ in order to see a world in which science represents but one form of thinking – in which thinking makes science what it is.

We become victims of our own prejudices in judging ourselves by the scientific standards we impose on the world.

Mike Laidler

Starting Points

Reality is a confluence of the is, the was and the will be. We live in a universe that is going somewhere in the process of becoming more than it was. We see ourselves in two worlds – the mental and the physical. Our mental world is characterised by thoughts and feelings, but it is not a world we can easily ascribe to a physical world outside. Yet we readily explain mentality in terms of its dependence on the physical, believing there can be no other source of its existence. This is because there is a part of the physical world that we claim as ours and identify with in our thoughts, namely the brain.

So we bear witness to an externality that merges with our subjective internality; but this is not an explanation because we also know that these two realities are worlds apart, unless we mean to claim that the physical world already incorporates a primitive form of consciousness. However, no explanation has ever done justice to our perspective on the difference, a perspective that occurs only because we have crossed the threshold into subjectivity.

Then is it not feasible to take our ideas off in another direction, beginning with the idea that subjectivity is a distinct property of existence that manifests in the physical under specific conditions, an example being ourselves? But still we are left with unsolved puzzles – of the origins of subjectivity in particular and physical existence in general, which remain unexplained, yet which we temporarily believe to be explained, at least in our case, by their observable association.

Perhaps we confound ourselves in thinking that change is explicable by tracing it to the point from which it is first observed. This is a rational notion so far as the observation of starting-points allows, but it soon becomes dubious when we try to hang onto the idea that change is explicable as a property of the things changing, as if change itself can be explained by those things as they were, unchanged and insensible – as if everything has to be the one thing, of the one nature, because it all has to have the same starting point.

© Mike Laidler 2015

Objective subjects

It shouldn’t surprise us to discover that we are good at being psychologists, seeing that we are our own subject matter.

But experts tell us that we need to be less subjective and more objective – to make objectivity the objective of subjectivity, so we can really surprise ourselves as we look upon ourselves as objects of the looking, thereby to get to know ourselves better.

However, there can be no objectivity without a subjective base to work from and return to with knowledge won – objectivity being a state of mind – whilst the fact of knowledge has no bearing in reality without a subjective reality to hold it in place, though we like to think it is otherwise, as if knowledge comes from the objects known.

Mike Laidler