Development of Model
Functional Synthesis of Viewpoints (Part II)
- / -
Short Summary: 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 Images
of better quality available separately (0.5mb
This paper was one basis for the much later Functional
Classification in an Integrative Matrix of Human Preoccupations
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
Part II: Development of model
* Viewpoint Model
* Noosphere Model
* Combined Model
* Nature of Space in Model
Part III: Application of model
* Mental Experience
** (a) Society
** (b) Individual in Society
** (c) Change of Discipline
** (d) Individual and Noosphere
* Physical and Emotional Experience
* Audio-Visual Facility to Clarify the Conceptual Model
* Experiment to Validate the Conceptual Model
Appendix I: Typology of Explanations
Having shown the different types of viewpoint in Part I, a means of representing
the relationship between then in a simple physical model, is-required. Note
that at each of the physical, emotional and mental levels, the first two viewpoints
re with reference to the experience at the level itself. The third viewpoints
demand coordination from some other point which will effectively justify the
existence of the level. For integrated experience, the three levels should
be coordinated with respect to the same viewpoint. As a first approximation
it seemed useful to represent this situation by a model analogous to that
of the Bohr atom or solar system, both in the case of the individual and of
society (and similarly of groups). This was suggested by the historical stages
in development of knowledge of the solar system. See Fig. 2.
Fig. 2: Use of a Bohr atom type model to relate
different types of viewpoint
This Bohr atom type model relates viewpoints for: an individual, a group, society as a whole. The relationship between applications of the model at each such level is explained in the text
The nature of each type of viewpoint is explained in the text
In Fig.2 each sphere represents sensitivity to experience at a different
level. The fact of this consciousness at a particular level results initially
(e.g. in a growing child) in involvement in the perceptual environment
and eventually in objectification of the environment and conceptual detachment
from it in terms of the first viewpoints. At the same time there is a spin
effect which fragmentises experience until it is integrated by recognition
of cyclical pattern or rhythm in terms of the second viewpoints. Finally,
there is also a revolution effect which requires integration 'of any
experience of progression in the cycle in terns of the third viewpoints. These
effects complicate understanding of the environment at each level on initial
exposure to it. As a result assumptions have to be made that these effects
do not exist, in order that direct experience can be ordered. Subsequently,
as a result of development, these assumptions can be successively dropped,
when it is possible to integrate the direct experience within the cyclic experience
within experience of progression.
The viewpoint breakdown discussed in Part I was with respect to major viewpoint
transitions. We believe that an analogous or parallel breakdown can be found
for any subsidiary viewpoints that arc taken up. First one is involved in
the new relationship to data, then this is seen in relation to similar viewpoints,
and finally one is aware of a progression or development to other viewpoints.
The major transitions were discussed in order to clarify the introduction
of the above model.
Now, although the viewpoint model appears to provide a representation of
the relationship between viewpoints, it is abstract in concept and does not
stress any degree of unification and convergence, cor does it clearly link
the individual to society. The method used by Teilhard de Chardin (ref. 26)
to stress the significance of the unity of the world of thought was the concept
of the noosphere - a sphere of thought building up around the Earth. In the
terms in which we have distinguished emotional and mental experience, the
noosphere may be visualised as consisting of two concentric spheres around
the physical Earth (see Fig. 3).
|Fig. 3 - Modified noosphere model of organization of society
|Fig. 4 - Combined model: showing relationship between ordinary and
Layers within these spheres at increasing distance from the physical Earth
nay be thought of as representing an increasing degree of organization sad
unification, or increasing 'entropy'. A 'personal noosphere'
to represent an equivalent development in the life of the individual
may be introduced in a corresponding manner. For as an individual grows, he
has to acquire an increasingly powerful coordinative apparatus in an analogous
This creation of increasingly elaborate organization may be thought
of as taking place in each of the physical, emotional and mental spheres.
In the case of society, the concept corresponds to Teilhard da Chardin's 'cooplexification'
- but in this model it is a progressive complexification within each sphere,
although physical organization may be accompanied or preceded by emotional
and mental organization.
Now, to the extent that new layers are added or 'activated' with
the passage of time, more embracing and fundamental unifying structures will
be formed. In effect there is a convergence upon the conscious elucidation
of the structure and reasoning behind every aspect of the functioning of society
(or the individual) as the layers build up. It would seem that we could describe
this as a sphere building outward which in some way was also building
inward on itself. This seems to correspond to Teilhard de Chardin's
concept of an 'enroulement organique sur soi-meme'.
Let us see whether we can combine this concept of unification and convergence
with the coordinating and directional emphasis of the viewpoint model formulated
earlier. We can define a relationship between two types of space (A and B),
(i) every point on the surface of a sphere in one space (A)
is also, at the same'time, a point on the surface of a sphere in the
other space (B);
(ii) points on increasing diameter concentric A spheres are points
on decreasing concentric B spheres.
These two conditions result in a model which was first developed by Jacob
Steiner (ref. 25).
The A space will be taken as our ordinary space centred, for simplicity's
sake, upon the physical Earth and surrounded by the emotional and mental spheres,
as described in the noosphere model. The B space therefore constitutes
what we will term an inverse space. The relationship between the two
spaces may be crudely represented by Fig. 4, but this fails to do justice
to the fact that the centre of the B space can only be related mathematically
to the A space - no two-dimensional drawing will suffice.
Now, it is only at the point of minimum 'entropy' for our society,
the centre of the inverse space, that all individual and group views are reconciled
with regard to experience in society. It is only from this viewpoint that
the overall function of the individual in society and of society as a whole
can be recognized. We will therefore consider the centre of the inverse space
as the centre of both the individual and society viewpoint models developed
The centre of inverse space (or B space) may be considered to be related
to Teilhard de Chardin's 'point Omega', for it is only when the potentialities
of this point have been expressed or embodied in structure that society will
be able to consciously fulfil and direct its functions. (In religions terminology,
the 'line' linking an individual's current viewpoint and this centre
of inverse space represents the 'way to God', for it is only along this line
that the existence and meaning of more comprehensive organizational structures
may be increasingly understood.) The two spaces also give a physical representation
of Teilhard de Chardin's centrifugal and centripetal forces, if we consider
that each centre is a centre of attraction (attraction to mass and attraction
to unity respectively). At the same tine, the two spaces, as potential fields,
are a representation of the two types of energy, physcial (i.e. ordinary space)
and 'psychical' (i.e. inverse space), which are mentioned by Teilhard de Chardin.
In summary, therefore, the remaining conditions defining the model are:
(iii) 'mass' (-representing organization) is of such a nature that
its 'density' (representing complexity) is proportional to its 'entropy';
(iv) the centre of the A-space sphere is the point of maximum density,
and the centre of the B-space sphere is the point of minimum entropy.
Having outlined the model and the nature of the two extreme centres, it is
now necessary to explain its utility in emphasizing direction and synthesis
at stages of organisation (physical, emotional, or mental) between the two
extremes. For a particular level, say mental, it is clear that some organisational
structures are more unifying than others. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
links nore than does Ohm's Law. According to our model, these structures correspond
to viewpoints which should be on a 'higher' ordinary space shell or a 'lower'
inverse space shell. This gradual transition to greater organizing power could
be better represented if we consider each major level (physical, emotional,
mental) as being divided up into a series of shells, (cf . first and
second 'quantum numbers'). Note that a viewpoint taken up on any particular
shell will have an ordinary space aspect and an inverse space aspect. So that
from the shell the ordinary space aspect would effectively constitute a spherical
body (attracting 'mass'), indicating the unity of the viewpoint (e.g. the
scientific 'world'). The inverse space aspect would be represented
by concentric shells of relevant, more powerful viewpoints, or specialities
in the space surrounding it, illustrating the attempts to achieve greater
unity with respect to a particular viewpoint. Note that when we hold a viewpoint
this inverse space aspect is sensed to be 'all around' our current viewpoint.
|Fig.5 - Ordinary space / Inverse space transition
Showing that from a particular viewpoint C, subsidiary viewpoints
the possibility of greater organization) appear to 'surround' C
|D, E, F: represent subsidiary viewpoints on 'higher' ordinary space shells.
They are on a higher shell because it is easier to achieve greater organization
with a specialized viewpoint in its own field
|Fig. 6 - Ordinary space / Inverse space transition
|Showing the relationship between viewpoint C and its subsidiary viewpoints
without taking into account the unifying 'distortion' of inverse space
which is sensed subjectively by the viewpoint holder
Nature of space in model
The purpose of this section is to convey a general impression of the nature
of the sociocultural space created in the model by relating it to expressions
used in daily speech which suggest some aspects of it. Details of the space
will be discussed in the next section.
We have described a space in which an individual has at any
one instant three viewpoint locations, namely his physical location, his emotional
location and his mental location. These represent the points where he has
his 'being' at any one tine. Each individual must have three such
unique locations although they nay change from moment to moment, since he
must choose to experience in three such ways whatever choice he makes.
The space is the volume created by the physical organization of
society, together with the emotional and mental environments of society, and
nay be visualized here, in inverse space terms, as three concentric spherical
bands of possible viewpoints (cf. electron cloud model of the atom) centred
on the hypothetical point of maximum unity. Each location in each band represents
a different node of experience which nay, if commonly held, give rise to some
formal organization in society. It is inly by a change of purpose
that an individual or group can give rise to another viewpoint, which is then
effectively constituted by its own relative coordinate system.
In visualizing this space it is most important to recognize that the path
of movement through it is complex and results from a change of purpose and
the resulting viewpoint. If one specializes, one moves in towards the centre
of the space (explained in Part II) but is tied to the more general viewpoint
currently held, so that the greater the specialization the less the movement
(see Fig. 8). Consequently the path of permissable movement from one
part of the space to another is very complex. It is complex because the gradual
shift in a particular viewpoint in real life is a very complex phenomenon.
The space is complex in another sense, namely that it contains every viewpoint
ever held in the history of the growth of society - many of which are
no longer accessible to us. It also has the viewpoints of the growing infant
which are similarly inaccessible, since these represent the direction from
which individuals grow into the region of conscious membership of society.
The following paragraphs illustrate our intuitive knowledge of the more evident
features of this space as expressed in daily speech.
From a particular viewpoint which one is holding one is 'aware
of the existence' of other viewpoints. This may be looked upon as the
ability to 'see' other viewpoint bodies in the space, rather as stars
and planets are seen from the Earth. Those that one is not 'aware of cannot
be 'seen'. All that is received from those seen is the 'light', which is the
only link indicating bare knowledge of their existence. To the extent that
one 'knows something about that way of looking at things', one'can-resolve
features of the viewpoint body or analyse the light from it. To the extent
that a viewpoint is said to be 'important', it features prominently in that
section of space. To the extent that one is attracted or repelled by a particular
viewpoint, one is aware of some 'inter-maas attraction or repulsion'.
Since each viewpoint represents a different method of treating and
defining data, the problem of communication between viewpoints is twofold.
Either one must take up viewpoints A and B successively, which involves a
transformation of coordinate systems due to a complete change of purpose (required
to'enable him to adapt to the experiences at B). Or the holder of viewpoint
B must learn how to perceive the same order in data as at A, by learning to
construct or transform a specialized section of his viewpoint into an analogue
of that at A. This gives 3 an approximation to the functional apparatus required,
but because it is constructed as a detail of B, it is by definition distant
from A and therefore not as sensitive to the data seen in terms of A. This
data will therefore appear to be less relevant from B or even nonsense if
the distance is too great.
Clearly, if two individuals or groups have similar purposes then
the degree or transformation required for then to 'see eye to eye' would be
small, since they are by definition already in the same region of space. Hence
their problems of communication are considerably reduced.
If one changes a purpose for the first time, one alters a viewpoint
and 'sees things differently', i.e. one is exposed to a different part of
the space. If people are 'poles apart' their ability to communicate is implied
to be zero, if each does not understand what the other is advocating (i.e.
they cannot 'see' each other), or else their viewpoint systems are so
oriented that they view or define data in opposing ways so that they are 'utterly
opposed to one another'.