A conceptual model is described to supply a context
within which the increasingly isolated fields of knowledge and experience
can be related without jeopardizing their autonomy. This is achieved by defining
a space such that every viewpoint held in society is uniquely determined
and related within that space in terms of its purpose and its ability to organize
its subject matter. The properties of the space are such that developmental,
directional, unitary and convergent features are emphasized with regard to
society as a whole, groups and individuals.
The final model effectively constitutes a map of functions or modes of
experience by which individuals or groups can relate themselves to other
viewpoints. An audio-visual display is described which could illustrate the
model and an experiment to validate it is discussed. [NB 0.5mb
This paper was one basis for the much later Functional
Classification in an Integrative Matrix of Human Preoccupations (1982)
used as the basis for the subject classification of the Yearbook
of International Organizations and the Encyclopedia
of World Problems and Human Potential
Part I: Development of an initial classification of viewpoints (separate document)
Part II: Development of model (separate document)
-- Viewpoint Model
-- Noosphere Model
-- Combined Model
-- Nature of Space in Model
Part III: Application of model (separate document)
-- Mental Experience
-- (a) Society
-- (b) Individual
-- (c) Change
-- (d) Individual
-- Physical and Emotional Experience
-- Audio-Visual Facility to Clarify the Conceptual Model
-- Experiment to Validate the Conceptual Model
Appendix I: Typology of Explanations
This paper is concerned with the difficulty created by the progressive
divergence of viewpoints in society. Holders of many viewpoints find it increasingly
difficult to see the relevance of other viewpoints and there is no accepted
context through which they may be related. Disagreement is most often considered
'irrationally' as being due to the other party's erroneous viewpoint - which
is after all a 'rational' conclusion in terms of the holders viewpoint (cf.
R. 'Ardrey's discussion of 'territory', ref. 3,4). A context is required in
which the 'rationality' of one viewpoint can be transformed into that of another.
As things stand, each node of experience as formalized in fields of knowledge
and, activity, is becoming increasingly isolated from its neighbour. This
isolation, and the desire for autonomy, has tended to oppose any form of functional
synthesis of knowledge and experience within society as a whole, as well as
to prevent any recognition of convergence of interests or appreciation of
a common sense of direction. This problem is reflected in the individual's
difficulty in integrating his consequently fractionated experience to achieve,
some sense of unity, and the difficulty in establishing a personal sense of
direction in harmony with that of society to give him a maximum sense of fulfillment.
The importance of these problems has been discussed by, amongst others, Sir
Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley, E. Cassirer, Trigant Burrow, and Colin Wilson
(see references). S. Strasser (ref. 19, pp. 191 and 201) emphasizes one aspect
of these problems in one field whilst discussing the functional loss of modern
science: '...different communities of researchers do do not understand
one another because they dp not want to understand one another....The various
croups of theorists...fall apart into all kinds of clans which live in an
atmosphere of mutual distrust, aversion and scorn... The man of science....
is no longer able to find a connection between what he thinks and does and
the activities of other specialists of entirely different orientations. The
end result is that he no longer knows exactly what he is supposed to be doing,
for understanding what his special science really is, requires a standpoint
lying above this special science itself.' To the extent that these inter-group
problems result in a disruptive effect on society, we also need, in Ardrey's
terns, to be able to hold a synthetic viewpoint to promote the ends of society
as a whole.
The purpose of this paper is to show that viewpoints can be related
through a conceptual model based on the purpose for which the
viewpoint is held. 'Purpose' is treated as the purpose for consciously fulfilling
a particular organic or psycho-social function, not as the goal or
final cause of an act, nor as the unconscious basis of action.
A purpose-related concept (e.g. direction, intention, relevance,
motivation, etc) seemed the ideal key to such a model. The only element common
to a multitude of different modes of experience and treatments of data
is that each is undertaken for a purpose. Every other element may or may not
occur, or will be defined differently - but it is always possible to obtain
agreement that for a consciously chosen experience there was a purpose in
choosing it, rather than some other mode. The nature of the purpose may be
defined differently, but it is always present. A sense of direction seems
to be the one concept which a wide-variety of disciplines have in common,
in one form or another. Therefore, in order to develop the relationship between
each field of knowledge in a model, a factor must be introduced to indicate
the purpose resulting in that field. G.W. Allport (ref. 1, pp. 237-8), referring
to the elements of the personality, states that 'The justification of
any scheme of analysis is always to be found in the purpose for which the
analysis is made. A system of elements is 'true' in so far as it
fulfills the avowed intention of the analyst. The principal reason why psychologists
do not agree with one another in their lists of elements is that each is animated
by a slightly different intention. Until the purpose of an analysis and the
psychologist's aim are clearly specified (as they seldom are) it is
not possible to argue about the suitability of one set of elements or another.
For certain purposes it is fitting to view the mind as a congeries of ideas,
for other purposes, as a network of neural arcs, or as a system of vectors,
or as an hierarchy of sentiments. 'We submit that analogous statements
can be equally applied to any differences of opinion in and between other
fields of experience.
A comprehensive model must therefore supply a context for all purposes
in order to link all the consequent modes of experience. There is however
one very important restriction which avoids the apparent conclusion that an
unordered, relativistic or pluralistic model would be satisfactory. The latter
would be too general to be of any value.
An individual's purposes arise from the necessity to maintain and further
those functions governing his existence as a biological and social entity.
There is therefore always a pattern of organic and psycho-social functions
which he must perform or, by delegation within society, have performed for
him. The totality of such delegations by all individuals results in the functional
organisation of society. The restriction on the unordered collection of purposes
above, is that an individual must be able to organize himself so that all
his functions are performed, no matter to what degree he specializes. There
are therefore only certain permissible combinations of functions open to him
and the pattern of functions in society is similarly restricted.
Apart from the stabilizing aspect of functions, man also seems to be involved
in the shaping of his environment into a state of greater order which
is more satisfying to him. In effect one function is to progressively stabilize
his position in time. But as a result of the progressive organization of man's
environment due to the action of millions of individuals, man has long reached
the stage where he is forced (aided by the population and information explosions,
and the tension of modern life) to improve continually the organization of
old organization. This developmental process of convergence on a hypothetical
maximum of organization or unification (consistent with the stabilizing function
requirements) must be incorporated in the model - both in the case of
the long-term development of society and in that of the short-term development
of the individual to maturity.
The additional criteria, in constructing the model are based on those
detailed by Sir Julian Huxley as necessary properties of a satisfactory
'idea system' (ref. 12, 13). The model should:
emphasize the functional importance to society and the individual of
each field of knowledge and experience
- facilitate the individual's efforts to define his purpose and locate the
position within this pattern which will give him maximum personal fufillment
as a responsible member of society
- recognize the succession of idea systems necessary to unify experience
as the individual and society develop
- recognize the importance of 'outdated' concepts in development and education
- facilitate the planning of future development
- recognize the trend toward increasingly general and unitary concepts whilst
maintaining the autonomy of individual specialities
- facilitate communication between isolated specialities
- facilitate the adaptation of new concepts in every field of knowledge to
human life and its problems
- stress not only intellectual convergence of interests, but a physical convergence
(as is evident in the physical integration of society, e.g. internationalism,
communications, world trade, etc)
A most important criterion is that the conceptual model should be representable
in a physical fora to facilitate visualization, comprehension and education.
While I believe the final model to be original, most of the ideas incorporated
therein have been developed or mentioned by, amongst others, Sir Julian Huxley,
P. Teilhard de Chardin, R.G. Collingwood, E. Spranger, and H. Read (see references).
PART I - Development of an Initial Classification of Viewpoints (separate document)
PART II - Development of model (separate document)
PART III - Application of model
We have attempted to distinguish between 'motive' and 'purpose'
in order to provide a model which will bear some relation to an individual's
subjective attitude when he acts. It has seemed that the academic approach
is only concerned with explaining his actions to the satisfaction of observers,
who are not particularly concerned with the criteria in terms of which he
makes his decisions. This split between the academic and the practical
is illustrated by the fact that for the past five years at least, 'Psychological
Abstracts' has contained only one referenceto 'purpose', and the latest
'Encyclopedia of Philosophy' (ref. 8) contains only a cross-reference
to 'motive'. On the other hand, 'purpose' is increasingly
used in politics, daily speech, and business management. Inthe latter
case, 'purpose' is treated as the vital 'principal
criterion' for decision (H. Simon, p.4, ref. 20). B.M. Gross bases his
whole treatment of the management of organizations on purpose, and E.P.
Learned (p.529, ref. 15) rates the determinations of purpose as 'among
the most important and most neglected of all human activities'.
Business management theory does attempt to distinguish between the 'purpose'
of an activity and 'motivating' employees to act. This is
the distinction between the subjective and the objective sense, and it would
appear to be a useful one.
We have attempted to develop a means of establishing the relevance
of specialized discipline to the life of an individual. There is however,
increasing acceptance of the following propositions:
i) no man or group of men can know everything:
ii) a lifetime's work may be required to understand the significance of
some specialized fields;
iii) knowledge does not need to be useful, and if it is, nay be in some
This means that we are reaching the point where the delegation of a function
to a specialist becomes decreasingly valuable, for although he can explain
or control a phenomenon to the satisfaction of his colleagues, it nay bo almost
impossible for him to relate it to daily life. The counterpart to this effect
is that he then runs the danger of being unable to receive information which
might contradict his explanation.
Worst of all, however, is that we are back where we started prior to the
division of labour. The only persons who know about the control of the phenomenon
are so 'far away' communication-visa, that it is easier to repeat the
investigations if one wants to use the answer, than to try to locate
reports of previous investigations and relate the language of the explanation
to one's ownproblem. In other words, although an objective explanation has
been provided, it is so distant that it does not fulfil, any social function
and is effectively a subjective explanation because it is so private. This
nay appear to be an extreme case, but all specialized information is to some
degree inaccessible and thus non-functional - increased specialization
increases non-functionality, unless provision is made for the flow back of
useful information. In effect such specialized areas become worlds of their
own and the information generated is only functional and objective to those
worlds. (Sea Appendix I for a typology of explanations.)
In this model we have attempted to approach these problems by putting everything
on a functional basis immediately related and comprehensible to the
individual or group concerned. A need for an answer must take the fora of
a functional problem, so that by specializing through that function in terms
of the functional map, one must come to the area in which information
is being generated or, the problem. At the same time one can understand the
adjustment in viewpoint necessary to comprehend the data generated. Each
individual can therefore recognise what is or is not relevant to the development
of his functions.
The model maps out the location of the distant castles where specialised
knowledge may be obtained so that each individual can toll where to go and
how to get there so as to be able to relate the knowledge eventually obtained
back to the starting point - and not forget the origin of his problem.
We have taken the approach that individuals and groups should be
studied as phenomena in their own right, as was suggested by Teilhard de Chardin.
Generally, we only dare to discuss phenomena which can in some way be measured
on the physical world surface. This is because we have developed the necessary
objectivity and conceptual equipment to detach ourselves from the thing we
are measuring. But this is only a fairly recent historical development, as
can be seen by the high degree of subjectivity and personal involvement of
the alchemists and astrologers, in what were to become the sciences of chemistry
and astronomy. Can we not therefore say that there may come a time when we
can isolate or detach ourselves from our emotions and thoughts in order to
be able to analyse them in an analogous manner.
The problem is to develop the conceptual and experimental techniques
to isolate constants. We will have to feel our way slowly and clumsily, not
knowing quite what we are looking for, as was the case with the early scientists.
Only in this way can we find a means of 'backing out' of our subjective
involvement in these constant factors we arc seeking. But we have an advantage.
We have already developed many useful and complex models in a wide variety
of sciences, whereas early researchers only had mythical, religious and magical
models to aid their thought processes. Using some of these scientific models
as guides (as is done in operations research), we can seek out analogous situations
to which they might apply the fields of emotional and mental experience.
In this paper we have used combinations of the solar system and Bohr atom
The search for 'mental atoms' is not a new one. G.W. Allport (ref.
1) mentions that it has gone out of fashion although he suggests that the
psychologists favouring factor analysis hope that personality can eventually
be reduced to a schedule resembling the periodical table in chemsitry (p.
243), and that the elements will bear some relation to the genetic units of
The final model appears to embody all the desired properties, namely, representation
of synthesized experience, convergence, direction, functionalism, developmental
features, importance of the individual, etc. It is simple in principle tut
the conceptual relationship between ordinary and inverse space is sufficiently
complex to provide a context for the wide variety of points of view and interests,
to explain their apparent isolation and to recognize the necessity for their
autonomy. In addition, the model appears to include many features which have
been recognised intuitively and are accepted in daily speech. The model 'space'
has the structure and properties of a very complex mandala in the psychoanalytical
Testing the model in practice, perhaps in the manner outlined, would
establish whether the 'viewpoint shell' feature can be used as a basis
for explaining group and individual typology, development and interaction
in society. An important consequence of the validity of the model would bo
that the nature of the succeeding viewpoints required for the development
of an idea, an individual, groups and society, and the possibilities inherent
in them, could be predicted - if the parallel between succeeding shell viewpoints
holds, as with elements in the periodic table. The model would then also
provide a context through which many other scientific models could be brought
to bear an emotional and mental phenomena. The functional classification of
disciplines would provide the individual with a 'map' and a technique
for moving through many fields of experience, as formalised in society, since
the classification is the 'lengthened shadow' of his own make-up.
Finally, the justification for developing this model has been that there
are sofew comprehensive -models, that any contribution nay be considered
as a worthwhile basis for discussion. As a model it should be judged on whether
it is a useful and fruitful means of linking the various effects of
conscious experience discussed, rather than on whether it is a true
representation of the situation.
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