TREE OF PORPHYRY – BRIDGE ACROSS CONSCIOUSNESS
I am exploring a kind of broad “postulate” – that maybe (?) the entire structure of mind/cognition/classification can be organized across a single primary dimension of variation – a dimension supposedly common to many alternative ways to parse the recursive logic of sets or classes or taxonomies – more or less an attempt at a “tree of all trees” I suppose – that, in fairly poetic language, I call “The Bridge Across Consciousness”.
This morning, I took a close look at the “Tree of Porphyry” graphic, and drew a re-interpretation of it, in the language of this “Bridge” model.
I think this idea does (?) capture the essential concepts in the Tree of Porphyry – and maybe opens up the analysis to a bunch of other interesting ways to see what we are looking at, and why it is interesting, and perhaps powerful or centrally integrated. Is this model genuinely faithful, shall we say – to library science and classification, to various kinds of taxonomies, to the cognitive science of concept formation, to empirical cognitive psychology – and who knows, maybe to S. R. Ranganathan’s “Planes of Work” (Idea Plane, Verbal Plane, Notational Plane) -- ??
My approach to all these things tends to be very “holistic and integral” – and usually most reliably guided by holistic top-down imagery or “gestalts” (for a comprehensive review of diagrammatic approaches to psychology, see Charles Hampden-Turner’s “Maps of the Mind”, full text online here: http://bridgeacrossconsciousness.net/mindmaps.cfm ) For me, the great scientific/spiritual/political mystery of cultural globalization (and what to do about it) has something to do with amazing convergence – and for my money, the kinds of things we are talking about in this Ontolog forum are probably the most powerful keys to something that might really help support “a world that works for everyone”.
In this model of Porphyry’s Tree – we might simply say that his tree is a “top-down stipulation” and just take it on faith – without starting up issues about whether, for example, “animals are sensitive” and “plants are insensitive”, as is suggested in the “Dimension 3” column, or whether “humans are rational and beasts are irrational” (Dimension 4). Those definitions too (“what is “sensitivity”, what is “rationality”?) are just ad-hoc stipulative…
I don’t know whether everybody can read/receive graphics on this list – but they are working for me. I’ll directly embed these files – and attach them. Thanks.
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