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A Review
Chapter IX
William James'
Some Problems of Philosophy
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review

ISM Extremes

Dedication Introduction Note


Move to any Chapter of William James' Some Problems of Philosophy,
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Chapter IX.............The Problem of Novelty


(Most quotes verbatim William James, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)
147 "The impotence to explain being which we have attributed to all philosophers is, it will be recollected, a conceptual impotence. It is when thinking abstractly of the whole of being at once, as it confronts us ready-made, that we feel our powerlessness so acutely. Possibly, if we followed the empiricist method, considering the parts rather than the whole, and imagining ourselves inside of them perceptually, the subject might defy us less provokingly. We are thus brought back to the problem with which Chapter VII left off. When perceptible amounts of new phenomenal being come to birth, must we hold them to be in all points predetermined and necessary outgrowths of the being already there, or shall we rather admit the possibility that originality may thus instil itself into reality?" (Our bold and color emphasis. Our links.)

Dramatically, James shows deep quantum intuition here. He speaks of what quantum mechanics call "measurement," or special events, or what Pirsig calls "Quality Events." (I.e., "When perceptible amounts of new phenomenal being come to birth...")

"If we take concrete perceptual experience, the question can be answered in only one way.

'The same returns not, save to bring the different.'

"Time keeps budding into new moments, every one of which presents a content which in its individuality never was before and will never be again. Of no concrete bit of experience was an exact duplicate ever framed.

'My youth,'

"writes Delbœuf,

'has it not taken flight, carrying away with it love, illusion, poetry, and freedom from care, and leaving with me instead science, austere always, often sad and morose, which sometimes I would willingly forget, which repeats to me hour by hour its grave lessons, or chills me by its threats? Will time, which untiringly piles deaths on births, and births on deaths, ever remake an Aristotle or an Archimedes, a Newton or a Descartes? Can our earth ever cover itself again with those gigantic ferns, those immense equisetaceans [tree-size fossil plants], in the midst of which the same antediluvian monsters will crawl and wallow as they did of yore? . . . No, what has been will not, cannot, be again. Time moves on with an unfaltering tread, and never strikes twice an identical hour. The instants of which the existence of the world is composed are all dissimilar, and whatever may be done, something remains that can never be reversed.'"

(Our bold emphasis. Our brackets.)

Here, depending on your interpretation of his words, James hints at n-furcating time. We may infer a Bergsonian heterogeneous view of time, or using a dual of our Pirsigean "many truths," we might effuse, "many times." James also agrees with von Baeyer, Wheeler, et al., who claim super- and meso-atomic reality offer no "doubles," or "tiny doubles." (See The Sciences, Sep/Oct 1997 issue, 'Tiny Doubles,' by Hans Christian von Baeyer, pp. 11-13.)

Delbœuf elicits a more classical, unilogical, homological sense of time. We hear him describing SOM's One Global Time, i.e., classical analytical, homogeneous time. Now we know that quantum reality's time may not be homogeneous. Quantum reality has 'many times.' Why? Classical measurables, redefined for use in quantum science all become manifestations of flux:

Manifestations: MassSpaceTimeGravityFlux.

Delbœuf also broaches a difficult issue of reversibility. Again, now we know that 'reversibility' depends upon quantum context. General reversibility appears extremely problematic; however, specific reversibility is rather common in reality, and appears to depend upon both coherence (e.g., BECs, etc.) and partial coherence (e.g. solitons, gravity (imminent), Landauer digital memories, Bénard convection (See Mae-wan Ho, et al.), etc.) in 'local' quantum systems. More generally, it may appear theoretically possible, but it is not clear how an entire quantum multiverse might 'reverse' as a whole, either partial reversal or full BECesque reversal. Latter may model quantum reality prior to its 'birth.'

149 "The everlasting coming of concrete novelty into being is so obvious that the rationalizing intellect, bent ever on explaining what is by what was, and having no logical principle but identity to explain by, treats the perceptual flux as a phenomenal illusion, resulting from the unceasing re-combination in new forms of mixture, of unalterable elements, coeval with the world. These elements are supposed to be the only real beings; and, for the intellect once grasped by the vision of them, there can be nothing genuinely new under the sun. The world's history, according to molecular science, signifies only the 'redistribution' of the unchanged atoms of the primal firemist, parting and meeting so as to appear to us spectators in the infinitely diversified configurations which we name as processes and things."

(Our bold and color emphasis.)

James belies more classical ludicrousness.

150 "So far as physical nature goes few of us experience any temptation to postulate real novelty. The notion of eternal elements and their mixture serves us in so many ways, that we adopt unhesitatingly the theory that primordial being is inalterable in its attributes as well as in its quantity, and that the laws by which we describe its habits are uniform in the strictest mathematical sense. These are the absolute conceptual foundations, we think, spread beneath the surface of perceptual variety."

(Our bold emphasis.)

Classical reality is one immutable, homogeneous, quantitative, syllogistic, unilogical, dialectical, analytical, dichotomous reality.

Quantum reality by comparison, is a many, fluxing, heterogeneous, qualitative, sophistic, paralogical, rhetorical, stochastic, omniadic reality.

These are Classical Thing-king Methods, CTMs.

151 "It is when we come to human lives, that our point of view changes. It is hard to imagine that 'really' our own subjective experiences are only molecular arrangements, even though the molecules be conceived as beings of a psychic kind. A material fact may indeed be different from what we feel it to be, but what sense is there in saying that a feeling, which has no other nature than to be felt, is not as it is felt? Psychologically considered, our experiences resist conceptual reduction, and our fields of consciousness, taken simply as such, remain just what they appear, even though facts of a molecular order should prove to be the signals of the appearance. Biography is the concrete form in which all that is is immediately given; the perceptual flux is the authentic stuff of each of our biographies, and yields a perfect effervescence of novelty all the time. New men and women, books, accidents, events, inventions, enterprises, burst unceasingly upon the world." (Our bold and color emphasis.)

Why? They are quantum experiences!

James' "...all the time." may be his own reversion to a homogeneous time concept. His thelogos appears to insist such. Had he said, "...all the times." then...

"It is vain to resolve these into ancient elements, or to say that they belong to ancient kinds, so long as no one of them in its full individuality ever was here before or will ever come again. Men of science and philosophy, the moment they forget their theoretic abstractions, live in their biographies as much as any one else, and believe as naïvely that fact even now is making, and that they themselves, by doing 'original work,' help to determine what the future shall become.

"I have already compared the live or perceptual order with the conceptual order from this point of view. Conception knows no way of explaining save by deducing the identical from the identical, so if the world is to be conceptually rationalized no novelty can really come. This is one of the traits in that general bankruptcy of conceptualism, which I enumerated in Chapter V conceptualism can name change and growth, but can translate them into no terms of its own, and is forced to contradict the indestructible sense of life within us by denying that reality grows."

(Our bold emphasis.)

James enunciates a need for our unique Quantonic notation. Quantons deny classical identity. They embrace and evince a quantum holism of both quantum cohesion and quantum autonomy in Quantonic interrelationships with one another.

Other authors, like Irving Stein, et al., say classical conceptualism has only objective 'motion' in analytic time as a metaphor or ontology for change. Sad, eh?

"It may seem to the youthful student a rather 'far cry' from the question of the possibility of novelty to the 'problem of the infinite,' but in the history of speculation, the two problems have been connected. Novelty seems to violate continuity; continuity seems to involve 'infinitely' shaded gradation; infinity connects with number; and number with fact in general for facts have to be numbered. It has thus come to pass that the nonexistence of an infinite number has been held to necessitate the finite character of the constitution of fact; and along with this its discontinuous genesis, or, in other words, its coming into being by discrete increments of novelty however small.

"Thus we find the problem of the infinite already lying across our path. It will be better at this point to interrupt our discussion of the more enveloping question of novelty at large, and to get the minor problem out of our way first. I turn then to the problem of the infinite."

(Our bold and color emphasis. Note: Beth and Doug were in Tillamook, Oregon in March, 2000, when Doug made his first 'pass' at this portion of his review.)

Novelty implies quantal.
Continuity implies analytical.

Can you see here, reader, how James essentially invents a quanton? I.e., quanton(genericity,novelty)! Consider, too, specificity vis-à-vis novelty. Which is more classical? Which is more quantum? Why?
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2011 Rev. 5May2009  PDR Created: 7Apr2000  PDR
(10May2000 rev - Add link to 'Quantum Complement Interrelationships' on page 152 above.)
(5Feb2001 rev - Change CTModes to CTMethods.)
(10Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(5May2009 rev - Make page current. Change wingdings font to gif.)

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