Schemas and Frames

Universal Schemas, Eternal Schisms

Having been introduced to Kent Palmer’s General Schemas Theory on Quora, I noticed some interesting overlap with my own under Multisense Realism*. In particular his use of a The paper identifies an emergent ontological hierarchy (of schemas) as follows:

· Pluriverse
· Kosmos
· World
· Domain
· Meta-system
· System
· Form
· Pattern
· Monad
· Facet

The paper also identifies an ontic hierarchy: “which might include gaia, social, organisms, organs, cells, molecules, atoms, particles, quarks, strings”. The paper goes on to explain that “any of the ontological schemas can be applied to any of the ontic hierarchy thresholds”. This is a very point, and while I have not explicitly talked about it in MR, part of the multi-sense aspects of implicitly includes this kind of portable mereology which applies to the continuum of public physics.

I’m not convinced that the ontological hierarchy terms he suggests are as different from each other as is implied…is a pattern different from a monad or form? Is a world something other than a meta-meta-meta system? My sense is that whatever qualitative differences are implied by this hierarchy are leaking in by association with the ontic hierarchy. We talk about worlds because we have the example of planets and forms because we have the example of macrocosmic objects that we can see and touch with our body.

I like the idea of the ontic vs ontological hierarchy and hope he doesn’t mind if I borrow it on occasion.  I would describe the ontological hierarchy as a generalization of the ontic hierarchy such that the overall shape and design of public physics is preserved as an abstraction which can be applied to any level of any nested hierarchy. What separates the levels in the first place is a slightly different matter, one which I hope Multisense Realism helps illuminate: Science should not take these ‘leveling’ breakpoints, in which there is an aesthetic shift of attention from a complex multiplicity to a higher order of simplicity.

This shift does not happen out in space somewhere, it is not an objective mechanism, rather it is a natural relation of coherence which emerges from participants and parts as much as it is recovered from the whole. This spectrum-like quality of aesthetics is universal and is, in my view, the backbone of the cosmos – it is Sense in the grandest sense; a sanity which is truly uni-versal. I suspect that this unity of all ‘verses’ is what multiverse theories fail to factor in, as they neglect to investigate the role that wholeness has in experience and what role experience plays in the whole. I would therefore feel comfortable in clipping off the Pluriverse level of the ontological hierarchy.

The MR version of the ontological hierarchy seeks a purely quantitative sense:

· Meta systems (Mega-system, Giga-system, Tera-system…)
· System
· Root systems (micro-system, nano-system, pico-system…)

However, in addition to the ontic hierarchy, MR offers a perpendicular conjugate holarchy which relates to interior, qualitative phenomena. The physics of privacy is seen not as a parallel dimension to public physics, but rather that the continuum of sense is an Ouroboran monad in which endophoric and exometric polarities are only one of the fundamental discernments.  The ontic schema of Multisense Realism is a matrix that ‘eats its own tail’ as well as pairs up the largest and smallest levels. The reason that the largest and smallest levels are paired is to reflect the order in which systems have been established. Rather than a chain of events on the micro level leading to cosmological scale events, it must be understood that without a human scale orientation to divide and compare against, the two scales are the same thing.

I propose instead that the evolution of the Cosmos or Kosmos (please stop me before I use the word Qosmos) is a ‘tunneling within’ nested systems, so that the outermost systems are the most distant from our human privacy. Regardless of the scale difference, our understanding of astrophysical meta-systems (Cosmos, Galaxy, Solar System) has a lot in common with our understanding of nuclear physics (atom, quantum, strings). The modeling of both relies on the same mathematical and logical principles, the same assumptions of eternal force-relations and statistical laws. The Western physical approach to both cosmology and microcosmology is identical and presents a united front of impersonal mechanisms. This outermost frame is generally considered to be the sine qua non of science and engineering. All causes and conditions are presumed to follow from the presence of these initial ontic realities and ontological-mathematical principles.

The first order of business then is to wrap the maximum and minimum ends of the schema around, so that the meta-systems of astrophysics meet up with the root-systems of nuclear physics. Notice that the phenomena are entirely related as well. We smash the smallest particles in the largest particle accelerators. The chain reactions of nuclear fusion, which a nearly instantaneous and of course infinitesimally small generate the largest and longest lasting events. This is important because it establishes the principle of perceptual relativity. It’s not merely that things are too large/slow or too small/fast for us to relate to directly, it’s also that the too large-slow/small-fast phenomena are the same things. To get to phenomena which we find familiar, we have to go to the mid-range, to phenomena which last between 0.1 seconds and 24 hours. This kind of range in which direct human perception is appropriate.

To link the meta and root schemas then (and this is for the public facing ‘exometric’ ontic hierarchy) I would offer:

Exometric Ontic Schemas

  1. Astrophysics ⊇ Quantum Mechanics
  2. Geology ⊇ Chemistry
  3. Evolution ⊇ Genetics
  4. Zoology⊇ Biology
  5. Anthropology⊇ Sociology
  6. Neuroscience ⊇ Cognitive-Science

The corresponding revised ontological hierarchy then would be:

Exometric Ontological Schemas

  1. Maximum ⊇ minimum
  2. Tera⊇ pico
  3. Giga⊇ nano
  4. Mega⊇ micro
  5. Meta⊇ root
  6. System/phenomenon

Another change that I would add is to recognize that these hierarchies of external metrics are meaningless without internal experiences which yoke them together along the transverse axis. Every real, whole phenomenon has its roots in the outermost aesthetics of physics (1.) and the innermost idiosyncratic aesthetics of its own experience (6.) The continuity between the two, and the correlation of that continuity with uniqueness and privacy is the perhaps the most revolutionary idea within MR. That uniqueness itself is a physical property, a strange attractor of significance which is perpendicular/orthogonal to generic-cardinality-entropy is radical and exotic at first, but I do suspect that this is the Holy Grail to integrating consciousness with matter. Awareness looks up and down through the nested external hierarchies, as well as within its own internal histories (in the case of humans at least).

Because of the perpendicular symmetry between public and private schemas, private schemas are not only different from public schemas, they are fundamentally different in how they schematize. Public systems are forms and functions which are literally nested within each other by scale. Forms exist within the physical boundaries of other forms and functions are sequential processes which are composed of sub-functions, steps within steps which are timed to different orders of oscillatory magnitude. Private experiences are not only steps and structures but the are the appreciation of phenomena. Experiences inhabit other experiences in ways which are not mathematically well-founded. We can apply a loose, meta ⊇ root hierarchy as follows:

Endophoric Ontic Schemas

  1. Absolute⊇ Sense
  2. Archetypes ⊇ Qualia
  3. Intuition ⊇ Emotion
  4. Significance⊇ Instinct
  5. Being⊇ Doing
  6. Afference⊇ Efference

Unlike the well-founded exometric schemas, the endophoric shemas are a multivalent fugue. The physics of privacy requires precisely the conditions which public physics lacks. There is a law of conservation of mystery which keeps any given experience isolated from others in some senses but united in others. It is an unfolding narrative in which the joke is not revealed until the punchline, but the punchline is implicit in the intent of the joke from the start. Teleology therefore is a function of a larger, more meta endophoric schema exerting its sense, or harmonizing with itself on lower, down-root schemas.

Endophoric Ontological Schemas

  1. Univeral ⊇ schematic
  2. Perennial⊇ ephemeral
  3. Solitary⊇ oscillating
  4. Essential⊇ existential
  5. Irreducible⊇ related
  6. Experience

Putting it all together, the Endophoric and Exometric schemas can be seen to wrap in the horizontal sense as well as the vertical meta/root sense:

  1. Astrophysics ⊇ Quantum Mechanics Absolute⊇ Sense
  2. Geology ⊇ Chemistry Archetypes ⊇ Qualia
  3. Evolution ⊇ Genetics⊥ Intuition ⊇ Emotion
  4. Zoology⊇ Biology Significance⊇ Instinct
  5. Anthropology⊇ Sociology Being⊇ Doing
  6. Neuroscience ⊇ Cognitive-Science Afference⊇ Efference

These can be further consolidated into single Super-Schema formula:

Literally Nested Public Metric Figuratively Nested Private Experience

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