C-110. What is called for (WICF)

Let’s entertain, for now anyway, the ambivalence in What is called for as a question and/or as an answer. As a question it may be the biggest question of all (C-102), taking the question of Ought beyond the nomothetic “laws of nature” and normative practices on into the Nature of Thing’s requisites and imperatives (Topics VI-XI), as principles applicable to effective behavior. Although in the same vein, it goes beyond Biology’s “How come” and “What for.” As an answer it is not a theory of everything but it is a theory about Everything (III).

There is a conspicuous absence in the array of big questions we posed in parallel to perspectives, fields and disciplines of observation, on the contingent, emergent and material history of behavioral entities (App. XI). That question is, “What is the meaning of life?” (Related questions abound, such as, “Who am I?” — invoking a point of view re a needed perspective.) How might this big question of WICF find a fit with those other big questions?

WICF’s needed functionality is the Nature of Thing’s point TO: that point AT which is also a point ABOUT (III; App. XX). Aside from conditions under the disposition of the order of things, where functionality is a gratuitous matter – being predetermined, WICF obtains. Which is to say, that portion of Everything for which apply the general persisting conditions of partial order, consequentiality and discontinuity (of [behavioral] entities). Point TO: Look there to get started anew (C-58).

“Effect” refracts in its most familiar usages as noun and verb, respectively, IN consequence and OF consequence. “Effect” is an R-word, however (C- 106, C-107), with two verb aspects and two noun aspects. It is the Control imperative’s (VI) needed functionality (noun 1) as well as outcome (noun 2); it is capability developed to bring about (verb 1) as well as the step making and taking that brings about the outcome (verb 2). (When we use the simplistic “cause-effect” comception we are collapsing all but noun 2 into the concept of “cause.” Hence the need for a technology of effectiveness such as “all that it takes” [II] to erase the confounding and enhance realization.)

Because needed functionality is the answer, functional equivalence applies (e.g., “I still suits me” re Pbeh), also as in the cases of equi-potentiality and equi-finality (von Bertalanffy). Pragmatic equivalence of exercised functionality is, of course, not assured – nor to be expected. Not all the ways to skin a cat work equally well.

With needed functionality we get purpose. This is no teleological version, requiring a priori dictate. Nor is it subjective – i.e., dependent on a behavioral entity’s particular concern (aka “intentionality”?). This is need, not want. (Want’s positive contribution, if any, follows on need.) With needed functionality.

WICF, re needed functionality, implies Realization (App. XIX; C-107): 1st of understanding, 2nd of effected change. Aristotle’s “final cause” is teleological because its purpose derives from the end of Realization rather than from a beginning in needed functionality. If we move ascription of purpose back to needed functionality, then any trace of teleology disappears.

With any realization of needed functionality you get progress – albeit not with pragmatic equivalence. Hence the “two steps up, one step down” and the very tragic “one step forward, many steps back” of human history.

WICF virtually shouts, “grasp <=> involve” (C-105). With WICF, purpose and progress give meaning to life. Via the two WICF questions of IN consequence and OF consequence, we also give further meaning to “meaning.” In addition to the particulars of reference, usage and consequence there is the generality of Realization. (“What does it all mean?”)

WICF should recall the problems of listening (C-24) and of Presence (C-96), of fully attending to what is there to be responded to – i.e., the needed functionality, the door to composition of problem (both behavioral and situational: [I]) solutions. (See Boggs’ Effectivearts “Attend To” technology, in which he employs professional actors to help make more apparent to those confronted with problem solving all that is involved in the Realization process. Drama’s communicative strength comes across here. We are helped by WICF… sometimes even intimidated.)

What we have done here has been to apply the SGN correction (C-104). Work on and in the frontier (App. XVI) demands attention to needed functionality. It needs that focus, lest in the absence of the SGN correction frontier work reverts to sorting particular bodies on the basis of observed late-stage functionality (C-98) midst other telling identifying attributes – and continued execution of the BPO bias (C-39). And education continues its limping way (C-107).

(c) R.F. Carter