C-16. Process consequentiality

Difference maker, difference making, and difference made. Difference making, the behavior, the process, is too readily ascribed to the agency – the entity in behavioral entity. We fail to maintain the independence of body and step (III), thereby failing to fully appreciate the consequentiality of step making and taking.

It is this same confusion that leads us to ask, after the fact of unsuccessful ventures, “Who/what is to blame?” If a person is not thus accused, it may well be some other condition, either an environmental body or a condition, such as a relationship (e.g., “structure”) or an event, treated as if a body.

(Body) responsibility is thereby focal, not (step) capability. Body x step and responsibility x capability are each important dynamics (XI), with significant aspects of interdependence (e.g., the responsibility to become more capable, the virtue of responsibility predicated on capability: V). So the emphasis on person and responsibility relative to process and capability is twice flawed.

Blame, we see, does not just tell of confusion. It also tells of our inattention to consequentiality within process. We simply have not extended our analytic coverage of consequentiality to all the differences (including similarities) that make a difference within the behavioral molecule. (See C-11: Control foci).

If we had, perhaps then we would have done a better job of strengthening our capability to solve problems.

We too often take behavioral solutions, however compound and complex, and look to see if they solve the situational problem (I). Our concern is too much with effect and not enough with effecting. A sculptor would not be indifferent to the compositional steps taken to shape the block of marble. Should a scientist– indeed, anyone seeking to solve a problem – be indifferent to all of the compositional consequentiality within the steps constructed and then taken?

Characterization of process consequentiality is familiar enough. Just think “cause.” (Which, of course, invites back the confusion engendered by not according step equal and independent stature along with body: Difference making too easily becomes absorbed within difference maker.) Unwelcome although another label in this area may be, “process consequentiality” is introduced here to emphasize a point:

We have not fully realized process consequentiality, not in understanding and most assuredly not in fulfillment. Problems remind us. Yet, necessity and possibility beckon.

Composition is the exemplar of process consequentiality. The compositional capability required for problem solving needs to know everything there is to know about process consequentiality. And compositional efforts will help to bring about that knowledge – the art of science. (See C-10: Community science, for example). But, for problem solving, composition needs a better tooling up (via procedures, tools and even procedural tools – which see: C-N) of the before-after relation, so that it can then relate before the fact that which is required for the needed relationship(s) and solution. And it needs a language able to represent all of the consequentiality.

Consider how poorly logical necessity does for the before-after relation (crucial to composing relationships) relative to its productivity using the inside-outside relation (e.g., as with induction and deduction). Necessity and sufficiency as before-after relations require supplementation, by sequence and adjacency, to provide anything close to a plausible rendering of behavioral consequentiality. (Compare “All that it takes” for instance [II] or the exceptions to “necessary and sufficient” posed by the phenomena of equipotentiality and equifinality.)

The minding capabilities (V) are key. We must and can find realization in the consequentiality of cognition and communication as arts and sciences of the possible. We must see them as they provide the grasp x involve capability (VII) for minding that enables our moves to be compositionally productive.

How best to proceed? Science will have to embrace “development and research” along with “research and development.” Think “make and measure.” It’s like “knowing while trying to do” (compared to “learning by doing”). We can develop processual consciousness by specifying each difference we are introducing for making a difference – then check to see if it does indeed make that difference before we commit to a final solution. Keep the Wright brothers in mind!)

(c) 2010 R. F. Carter