Topic X: Construction Imperative

With incomplete instruction, given partial order, construction becomes an imperative if one is to give direction to behavior, especially compositional change, beyond that (more or less) dictated by body and/or environs. An imperative, but also an opportunity – if we develop the capability to do so.

We can make a step we may then take. That is, we can if we understand the nature of construction and how it fits into the structure of process. Construction, in appreciation of possibility, requires that we free up relating and relation (before the fact) from relationship (after the fact). This, in turn, requires joint development of cognition and communication (see Behavioral Manifold, and below. Also see Communication and Cognition in App. III).

Cognition can treat of relationships, by valuation or evaluation, seeing them as particulars. But what cognition is really good at, with the help of communication, is using its relating to put relations (which communication can objectify, thereby making them available to be related) to work to produce new relationships (see constructive change.)

What cognition and communication manage to do is to provide minding with a “grasp x involve” capability to guide moving’s parallel capability (VII). We make a minding difference that makes a moving difference that produces the step’s outcome. (Behaviorally, it’s a matter of consequentiality.)

With partial order, the order of things is something less than the Nature of Things. So, constructively, we produce order too: not least, to heed the control imperative.

A key here is that cognition’s relating and relations are not limited to simple association. Mere association as a minding capability gives cognition little implicative strength. Behavior would be largely reactive. But inside-outside and before-after relations have directive, constructive import. (Difference and similarity relations also add implicative strength. They do so most familiarly as sorting, within the context of the inside-outside relation [see below]. However, difference (ala discrepancy) also contributes in the case of nonsingularities to stopping and being stopped.)

We can systematize what is being talked about here as ideational mechanics. Then we can show how, through pointed questions employing these tools, ideation (the joint contributions of cognition and communication) can serve to bring more of the future into the present and thereby enable us to improve our futures. To serve imagination: because imagination (as capability) is more fruitfully productive than image can ever be (; )

Think about what’s going on here as developed curiosity – a 5th type of curiosity actually. Add I-curiosity (to imagine what might be found or produced) to L-curiosity (to learn something), K-curiosity (to know something – for one’s self), J-curiosity (to find out what is happening or has happened),and H-curiosity (to test hypotheses)

Looking at some kinds of pointed questions, in the context of unpointed questions, may help here:
Pointed question Verbalized examples
? (Unpointed) "Huh?" "So?" "I'm lost!"
(1)E? "What do I make of this (E)?"
"Is this (E) what you are talking about?"
(2)Er? "What is this (E) a piece (r) of?"
"What comes after (r) this (E)?"
(3)?rE "What is the source (r) of this (E)?"
(4)E?E "How do these (E,E) relate (r)?"
(5)(ErE)? "Does the tree follow the seed?"
(6)(ErE)?(ErE) "How does status ErE) relate to deference (ErE)?"
(7)(ErE)r(Er?) "2 is to 4 as 5 is to what?"
(8)[(ErE)r(ErE)]? "Does status differ from role?"
(9){[r] r [r]}? "Does this relation follow from that relation?"
What kinds of answers are there to such questions? In (5), (8) and (9) the answer is a simple yes or no – the classic research question. The answers identify or help to identify in the other cases. In cases (1), (2), (3) and (7) some element is in question, either as what is being talked about (point AT) or as what is being said about another element (point ABOUT). In cases (4) and (6) a relation is in question.

We take the view that a relationship, constructed or found, minimally comprises two elements and a relation: ErE. Because cognition and communication can produce a relationship where none previously existed we need to carefully distinguish among types of elements and among types of relations. (Some are typically not well distinguished: Consider “thing” – the commonest of the common nouns [see: anything, something, nothing, everything and Everything]. We can not afford to neglect any difference that makes a difference.)

Thus to the symbolic and pictorial notations we used to illustrate types of minding and moving ( and ), we now add further notation to show something of familiar and not-so-familiar element (thing vs. thingk*) and relation (inner-outer; before-after varieties [sequence, necessary antecedent, necessary consequent, contributor – ala ATIT]; same-different) components of ideation.

In effect, what the construction imperative has us doing is focusing on the behavioral solution, Sbeh, but for producing possible solutions, working before the fact, not just using ideational tools to analyze existing solutions after the fact. We want to bring as much as we can of the behavioral problem, Pbeh — and its sources in the Nature of Things – into the picture. We are looking at agency more fully in terms of step capabilities, needed and developed, with an eye to further compositional change.

*A thingk is an element proposed as an answer to a pointed question about a missing E.

(c) 2010 R. F. Carter


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