John, If there is no structure holding the wholeness together, it is not a wholeness, it is a plurality. This would argue that we are not connected, just little bits of star dust floating around in the same neighborhood.
A whole needs an unmoved mover, meaning, there must be something that holds a structure together.
According to whom, Kate?
Language points to pluralities, multiplicities. I agree we must have a sense of a center. This is somatically located in the midline of the body. It is not a number that I could measure with, it is a felt sense. With what method of measurement would I use to measure last night’s dream?
These are semantic differences that we are pointing to but the boundaries are not structured in such a way that the use of a slide rule or a compass are going to make much sense. And every result that comes from measurement comes from a method of measurement.
There is a difference between math and language. A difference that makes a difference. I am open to the possibility that there is a third that can mediate between first and second. We don’t have to stay stuck in an either/or.
Whole or part? Whole and Part? Neither Whole nor Part?
A whole needs an unmoved mover, meaning, there must be something that holds a structure together. Otherwise a universe is not a whole, just a huge mass of bits, unrelated to each other. Whatever the structure that holds the whole together is–that is an ummoved mover. A principle that is final point of integration.
You assume I am promoting static truths that have become outworn and destructive.
I am responding to the metaphor of the Unmoved Mover. I have big questions marks around this assumption. I am eager to discuss this further but perhaps in classroom it is easier to develop?
This maybe beyond what can be developed in this thread, Kate, so I leave this as an open possibility.
Yet all of the variations and parts came from one whole strip of paper.
I think our disagreement about this always comes down to the same place. You assume I am promoting static truths that have become outworn and destructive. I argue that outworn truths have never been real truth but just reflections of a deeper condition that is transcendent that we must constantly renew.
There can be no wholeness without a whole. Whether one believes this whole that we are in is a dynamic process using no compass, or a dynamic process that has attractors, the point is, we are connected, there is a whole. And the axis mundi is the organizing principle of the whole.
Black Elk was a Lakota Sioux medicine man and second cousin to Crazy Horse. He was in Both the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the Battle of Wounded Knee. In a vision he had when he was nine years old, he saw the whole world as one. Taken in his vision to the center of the world where there was a world mountain, he saw the hoops of many nations united in one hoop…with on mighty tree sheltering everyone as the children of one father and one mother.
One might argue that this vision is an artifact of just one obscure culture having no real relationship to other cultures, but this would fly in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
All opposing forces are measured against the Center, the top of the mountain, the Unmoved Mover. Otherwise, all truths are too slippery to hang onto–and one is in a sort of postmodern hall of mirrors.
This arrangement is like the King at the head of the table who can command his household and family or empire. Postmodernism is more than just a hall of mirrors it is an effort to preserve pluralism. Some people don’t like pluralism, people like Donald Trump, for example. He wants a world where he is the boss. . Can we have pluralism without conflict, paradox and impasse? Would we still be alive?
I just want to add something about wholes and parts. Any system can’t be both complete and consistent, according to Godel’s incompleteness theorem. Many mathematicians tried to throw this theorem out but it has tangled up everyone who has tried. So, we can never achieve wholeness as an frozen entity that we can see out there. It can be inferred, the shadows of our doubts, can point to something else, but it is not a package we can put a bow around. The exercise breaks us out of our Euclidean surfaces.
Wholeness and parts are in motion, and as we explored in the exercise, the boundaries and edges of a physical object are very different from the boundaries of complex person who can talk back to you.
It seems we can treat wholes as static ( as Plato did) with an absolute, invisible, whole that was beyond senses. This has led to a lot of fascists’ social theory, the impositions of fixed essences onto persons that they then must obey.
What I liked about the exercise is how it demonstrates that objects, whether physical or semantic, can’t be separated, reduced, and isolated. The exercise seems to point to pluralism, diversity, and movement, rather than an unchanging essence, that is unified without any differences. These are old philosophical problems and I think we should keep them alive rather than try to sort everything out and expect it to sit still. How do you know if it’s alive? Does it move? In the beginning there was movement. And this implies an asymmetry as perfect symmetry would never go anywhere.
I’d be interested.