C-58. Getting turned around

We can express Kierkegaard’s lament (that we walk into the future looking backwards) as a dynamic imbalance (XI) in which after-the-fact (ATF) minding of particulars is given more attention than before-the-fact (BTF) minding needs – for general principles to guide further development of minding capabilities. What we would like to see is ATF/BTF = 1 instead of ATF/BTF > 1. (Or to put it another way, we would like to see more of the future than can be predicted from the past and present*. Or, to put it still another way, we would like to see more of what’s to come of the contingent emergent materiality that is history (App. XI) because we are somewhere in the middle of that history of which we want to make (sic) more – and if unsolved problems are any indication, there is plenty of history yet to be made and we want to assert our own materiality [i.e., our consequentiality].)

Paradoxically, how we get turned around to see more of the future, to take steps more effectively for and in the future, depends on our having seen much farther and further into the past, beyond the mists of a flawed, biased agenda’s observations (C-38, C-54), beyond the things of nature to the Nature of Things, to Everything’s “force field” for behavioral entities of general persisting conditions (C-41) and consequent behavioral necessity’s guiding principles of requisites and imperatives (Topics VI-XI) for agencies, individual and collective, that would compose (II) at least some of the conditions for, of and in that future.

In Kuhn’s terms, the imbalance and the paradox call for a paradigm shift (App. VI). What may be most remarkable about restoring the balance between ATF minding and BTF minding is that this may bring along with it other productive course corrections (e.g., basic/elementary; effectiveness/efficiency; capability/capacity; ADEPT/ADOPT & ADAPT; development and research/research and development; knowing/learning … and so on; see XI). Behavioral balance on so many dimensions then may not seem so impossibly challenging as it now does. If we attend to our functional indicators (App. X) then behavior in accord with the Nature of Things (C-9) and the way forward (App. XII) may come to pass.


* The “present” as a concept is troublesome. It gives entity status and focal emphasis to what is actually the near-future. Behaviorally, there is before-the-fact (future) and after-the-fact (past). The concept of “present” hypostasizes a condition between them that does not obtain. Except as we maintain it at a cost of some of the future. (And may have more than a little to do with a hoped-for “was-is-must be” behavioral principle re order?) The behavioral relevance and consequentiality of “impression” and “imagination” as concepts is easier to see – and the limited behavioral relevance and consequentiality of “image” as a concept is also easier to see – if we understand that we are always in the future. Images are helpful but not all that instructive. Impressions and imagination can be both helpful and instructive, more helpful because they are instructive. Impressively so – and disastrously so if their consequentiality is not fully understood.

(c) 2012 R.F. Carter