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Philosophy of life

needs recursion and semi-permeable boundaries

A heading should already provide an orientation about the content and the intent of a text. Both are orientation in this case, and full of apparent presumptuousness about both philosophy and life. This can only be done recursively.  

Orientation can only grow out of existing orientation, either through internal rearrangement or by adding from outside. That means the need for open, not completely closed systems. Semi-permeable boundaries and recursion are quasi a priori basic assumptions, without which no orientation is possible.

But what is orientation? For a long time, humans believed to differ fundamentally from animals, above all through their intellectual abilities and, in particular, the skill to ask questions. This is increasingly being questioned. If questions are questioned, this again already points to recursion. In addition to the mental faculties of the head, orientation naturally also arises from the other parts of the body not only of humans, but of all living beings.

Using the human example, we can also assign feelings to the upper body, enforcement to the abdomen and activities to the extremities. By adding them, we go from the mental realm to the more-comprehensive life, for which four dimensions could be assumed according to the example just given. Modern description of nature could also be done with four dimensions, namely time and three spatial ones, so that 4D, i.e. four-dimensionality, seems to have a more general meaning as well in the humanities as in natural sciences.

But if, as in the heading, philosophy is related to life, 4D should also be valid for this relation, what should be emphasized more clearly than before. Such characteristic is only acceptable if it produces consistent results regardless of the type of experience. This is called consistency and corresponds to the compatibility required in many areas of life. The recording can preferably be done logically or rather holistically, whereby mainly western and (far) eastern culture differ. Mathematics provides an extremely logical method, particularly in its nature-related form. Their procedure “orientates” in progressive order on the point, on lines, on surfaces and on bodies.

However, the orientation itself should also have 4D properties that refer to this sequence what reminds of questions by progressing similarly in search for laws, growth, development and complexity. Again, recursion must be considered a basic principle. However, in a particularly critical manner, this includes a ring closure that concerns the influence of complexity on laws. To put it more clearly, we have to ask questions such as how laws are formed from (possibly decaying) complex conditions, which requires both development and narrowing.

Philosophy of life would be expected to give this kind of orientation and may therefore even have to deal primarily with development and boundaries, which are currently important points or fields for us. However, these two expressions in turn differentiate between logical and holistic approaches, i.e. in principle more of a European or Far Eastern type.

After this preface we can only begin to encircle what we mean by philosophy and what by life. Both are far from fully understood terms, areas, interactions or ring closings, which will certainly occupy us for a long time to come and therefore cannot be dealt with in one text. But we can come closer to this if we acknowledge and reaffirm the basic requirements, namely recursion and semi-permeable boundaries.

© Hans J. Unsoeld, Berlin 2020


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