3rd January 1968 | DRAFT
Application of Model
Functional Synthesis of Viewpoints (Part III)
- / -
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
The model should be able to represent the link between individual, group
and society for each of the three levels of experience, physical, emotional
and mental, and have the properties listed in the Introduction. Mental experience
will be considered first.
Starting with the totality of mental experience in society, it may be represented
within the model by viewpoint shells with viewpoints corresponding to each
of the main disciplines, e.g. art, science, etc. The different shells would
therefore represent differing levels of development or organization of the
constituent viewpoints. The more organized the viewpoint for a particular
discipline, the higher the shell on which it will be located. The mental
'body' or nucleus of society, about which these viewpoint shells are
concentric, is equivalent to the lowest level of the mental noosphere. It
is the viewpoint common to all mental experience (perhaps a recognition of
other minds or a sense of humanity).
|Fig. 7: Successive specialization of viewpoints within viewpoint
Each of these disciplines, as viewpoints on a particular shell, itself constitutes
a whole with viewpoints respect to it, e.g., science has all the subdivisions
of science. Similarly, a particular subdivision of science has its own subdivisions,
e.g. chemistry has inorganic chemistry (see Fig. 7).
Because of their specialization, the subdivisions can achieve agreater degree
of unification within their limited subject area, and may therefore be further
toward the inverse space centre. They are effectively on higher viewpoint
shells with respect to the main division. The main division is the highest
common factor. But to the extent that speciali2ation increases, the
incremental increases in the degree of unification achieved in successive
subspecialities are represented by smaller increcents in overall unification.
This illustrates the fact that if an out of the way scientific speciality
is highly organised.
|Fig. 8: Projection of Fig. 7
|Showing possible levels of organization/unity achieved at increasing
degrees of specialization of particular viewpoints within a shell -- basedf
on representation of the sequence of energy levels in a multi-electron
atom (cf G. S. Zhdanov, ref. 29)
This does not represent as great a degree of overall unification as if a
main division of science achieved a greater degree of organization. In order
for a speciality to make considerable advances, the discipline as a whole
must advance. This is further clarified by Fig. 8, 9 and 10
|Fig. 9: Successive specialization of viewpoints (different presentation
of Fig. 7)
- each distinct point on a viewpoint shell is a potential
'opening' for further specialization
|Fig. 10: Projection of Fig. 9 (different presentation of Fig.
It must be remembered in considering the various stages of this model that,
where ever a viewpoint is taken up, it will consist of an ordinary space base
surrounded by unifying concepts further toward the centre of inverse space.
This is how the situation is best visualized. It is also possible to visualize
just the gradations of ordinary or inverse space potential (as in Fig.
8), but this only gives limited logical clarity - the value of the
model lies in the complexity at the inverse/ordinary transition at any particular
level, for this is the point of moment by moment experience.
We have shown how the pattern of the totality of mental experience
and points of view in society may be represented. It is now necessary to
show how the individual (or groups) with particular viewpoints, relates himself
to this pattern, and thus becomes a social being.
(b) Individual in Society
As a person grows up he is forced to recognize the importance of the division
of labour and knowledge in society and the need for him to specialize. As
a result he delegates responsibility for evaluation of the majority of his
modes of experience. For example, if he decides to become a scientist, he
implicitly delegates his potential responsibility for artistic creation to
the artists, for philosophical advances to the philosophers, and so on. The
more he specializes within his chosen field, the more he delegates responsibility
for the way he thinks with respect to experience in fields excluded from his
speciality. In this manner he becomes actively the master of one field, but
is forced to passively accent the ruling of experts which he has effectively
delegated to study in other fields.
As a child he was potential master of all these modes of experience, but
due to the rapidity of growth and education, he will suddenly find himself
in one or two functions with the remaining functions forgotten or in an extremely
rudimentary state. And most probably he will not recognize any functional
connection between the more and the leas developed specialities, other than
through the habits he has carried with him. He has effectively become cut
off from experience as a whole man, in the sense of healthy balanced use of
all functions (cf. E. Cassirer, ref. 5). How is this situation represented
in the model?
As a member of society he has, at any particular moment, a definite position
on the mental noosphere of society, just as a man always has some definite
position on the surface of the Earth. But as a specialist, he also has a definite
position within the world noosphere of his speciality (which being more organized
is on a higher viewpoint shell). As a member of a school within that speciality,
he has a definite place in the world or noosphere of that school, and so on
up to his own private viewpoint, as is shown in Fig. 11.
|Fig. 11: Relationship between successively specialized viewpoints
considered as noospheres
- each location on P, for example, has an equivalent location
on 0, N and M. This is an illustration of the fact that
any member or sub-group of a minority group is at the same
time a member of the entire group (M). This may not be acknowledged.
confusion arises if, for example, N, M, and P
are considered from the 0-world to be subsidiaryto it.
This confusion is represented by the consequent irregularity
of their movements around 0 if such were the case (cf. the
irregular movements of the planets about the Earth when they
were assumed to revolve about the Earth).
It is only when the relationship between group and sub-group
is acknowledge that such confusion can be resolved.
Note that in his progressive specialization, if he is continually conscious
of the fact that he has implicitly delegated responsibility for the other
functions, and of the functional connection between the main body and
his speciality, then he will be aware that the subsidiary bodies revolve about
the main body, i.e. that his speciality performs a particular function for
society as a whole. But, to the extent that he is too involved in
his own speciality and has forgotten his delegation of the other functions,
and possibly that leading to his own speciality, then he will consider that
the main body and all the other subsidiary bodies revolve around his viewpoint
body, i.e. he will cot recognize any functional connection. And the main
body, which represents the level at which he receives the basic experience
as a member of humanity, merely becomes a viewpoint, subsidiary to that of
his speciality. He then 'sees' the motions of these bodies as being irregular
and unordered, for the most part (particularly when compared with the order
of his speciality), in the sane way as did the early astronomers view the
motions of the planetary bodies. This is a representation of the reason that
the breakdown of knowledge is so disputed and confused. Confusion is probably
increased due to subdivision shell viewpoints being equally fulfilling to
the individual however specialized, because at each shell its constituent
viewpoints parallel the functional features (and necessities) of the main
division. In this way we can get an artistic, philosophic, etc. way of looking
at scientific results. On this point E. Spranger (ref. 24, p.3) says: 'In
each section of mental life, though in different proportions, all mental attitudes
are present. Each total mental act displays to the analyzing observer all
the aspects into which the mind could possibly be differentiated.'
(c) Change of Discipline
We must now show how a man can switch from one discipline or subdivision
to another. It has already been stated that a man does not take up every possible
viewpoint during a life time. As things stand, he could not even if he wanted
to, but it is more important to indicate why, from the model, he very definitely
does not want to and only restricts himself to a limited range, which changes
gradually over the years.
Consider the representation of a particular viewpoint shell as shown in Fig.
13. A person takes up a particular mental viewpoint in the shell, with
respect to the main subject, Neighbouring view- points on one side will
be viewed, according to his lights, as progressively behind the times (because
successively less organized), and on the other as too new (tentative greater
organization) to have been properly established. F.e is not restricted
to the view he takes and may take up any of the neighbouring views or
specialize into their subdivisions. But these appear to be decreasingly relevant
as the distance from his most frequent viewpoint increases. Different individuals
have different abilities to take up or adjust to a scale or spectrum of such
|Fig. 13: Relationship between viewpoints on a shell
- although there is continual striving toward greater unity in
the organization of experience (i.e. striving toward the centre of
inverse space), the effective movement is through the successive
activation of the more progressive viewpoints in the shell, until
all such viewpoints have been activated.
- if in a particular viewpoint shell a particular viewpoint prevails,
than reaction to experience will be governed by efforts to complete
the viewpoint shell (cf. chemical reaction of elements to complete
the outer shell of electrons)
Although the individual is striving toward greater unity (i.e. toward the
centre of inverse space via a higher viewpoint shell), his effective movement
is through the uncompleted or unactivated viewpoints around the main
subject '(see Fig. 13), until he conaiders the viewpoint shell
is complete and a new shell can be started. Thus in society at any
one time there will be groups and individuals working over a rauge of neighbouring
viewpoints from the rearguard to the avantgarde.
We have recognized the movement toward greater unity. In practice, however,
development within a discipline is much more gradual than the above process
would imply and we suggest that viewpoint shells are built up to completion
at a number of subsidiary levels, before a new viewpoint shell is started
at the main division level.
There seems to be some carryover or parallel between developments in one
field and in another. In practice developments in science have an effect
or parallel in art and philosophy, etc., e.g. relativity, surrealism and existentialism.
This effect is not so evident in the development of the individual, although
it is probable that in taking up a particular speciality, an individual carries
over his inclinations from the general to the particular, so that he starts
with the viewpoint corresponding to the main division viewpoint held. . One
of the reasons for this paper is that the insights into the particular are
apparently only rarely and by chance brought over into the general.
We must distinguish here between the switch in viewpoint as a result of the
daily habit cycle (shown in Fig. 12), the change in viewpoint of an
individual over a number of years, and the actual development of knowledge
within the discipline. The latter is represented by the extension of the delegated
pattern within the total mental experience of society. It implies that another
potential mental position has become acceptable. The switch of viewpoints
as a result of a pattern of habits is triggered, in each case by an environmental
factor to which the currently held viewpoint is not adapted.
|Fig. 12: Functional links between a viewpoint and
movement from main viewpoint X to subsidiary viewpoints T,
U, V, and W is a process of specialization. By specializing
to U, for example, responsibility for T, V, and W is delegated.
- if at V, for example, the functional dependence of U on
X is recognized, than U will be understood as revolving around
X. Otherwise, as at W, X will be considered as revolving
- any change of viewpoint from W to V would be based on
habit, since a conscious change must be based on recognition
of the functionel link through the main viewpoint X -
as would be the case with a change from, V to U
Although over a number of years an individual is unlikely to change from
being principally scientifically inclined to artistically inclined (except
during the growth period), he is much more likely to change between branches
of science, say chemistry to physics, and oven core inclined to change between
particular views of his chosen speciality, chemistry. Assuming that such changes
are always made to produce a greater degree of unity, then it could be said,
from the model, that the tendency to shell completion proceeds more rapidly
with greater degree of specialization. (A high degree of specialization is
like a high degree in a car. It enables one to maintain a high speed. Changing
the level of specialization is like changing gear, with the highest level
of generalization being the most powerful.)
In the same way, if we consider the society pattern, the degree of completion
represented in science by the 19th century materialist synthesis is rarely
met with. Most development is within subdivisions andspecialities sad it is
here that the viewpoint shells are relatively rapidly completed and new fields
are opened out.
Note that although a shell may have been completed in the society
pattern, so that society as a whole has incorporated a shell of views, the
'outdated' viewpoints in earlier sheila are still of value. In
particular, any growing individual will probably have to pass through then
(an ontic distorted duplication of phylic development) even if only fleetingly.
If the education system is not good and cannot show him the link to succeeding
views, then he may well get stuck and cycle through the functions with respect
to some particular 'outdated' view. In addition, sophisticated views only
operate in sophisticated society. In cases where sophistication drops away,
as in wars, then possibly lover shell views nay in some cases be more applicable
to the situation.
(d) Individual and Noosphere
Up to this point we have discussed the individual in terms of the
relationship of his viewpoints to the general pattern of views in society.
But any particular individual holding a viewpoint at a particular level
may also be considered as dwelling as an organism in the noosphere corresponding
to that level. He will react with other individuals and data on that level
in terms of the viewpoints which he tends to hold. For these viewpoints represent
the manner in which he unifies his experience on that particular level, and
to the extent that he will always attempt to further unify his experience
in any interaction, he will attempt to complete the viewpoint shell in terms
of which he reacts, in a manner analogous to that of reactions between atoms.
On a particular noosphere level we may therefore speak of a more or less
developed, ecosystem of interacting organisms at different stages of development.
(It is in these terms that Teilhard de Chardin and Sir Julian Huxley
can speak of nan having just reached the mental stage of being to draw himself
out of the biological mud onto dry land.) In terms of the model there would
be a 'chemistry' and a 'thermodynamics' (cf. Sir Julian Huxley speaks
metaphorically of a psychosocial temperature and pressure), as well as an
'ecology' at each level.
On the noosphere collections of the same type of organism could be visualized
as herds or crowds, whilst in the atomic sense they would be simultaneously
represented as a particular element in the solid, liquid or gaseous phase
prevailing under the existing conditions.
At each level each individual has an aspect of unity in the sense
that he is to a greater or lesser extent conscious of a degree of unity further
toward the centre of inverse space. He also has an aspect of diversity in
the sense that ha can choose to adopt any combination of a wide range
of viewpoints and subsidiary viewpoints with respect to his changeable body
position, conditions and choice of reactions with other individuals on . that
Physical and emotional experience
Experience at these levels is treated in a similar manner
within the model. This will not be discussed in detail here, since the main
problem is the integration and convergence within mental experience. The model
does however bring out the importance of the trend to global physical integration.
Consideration of physical experience does illustrate a feature which
will clarify the conceptual model as a whole, namely) the transition between
ordinary and inverse space as experienced in ordinary space.
Society has reached the level of organization where we no longer
have only the visible features crested by Nature on the Earth's surface, i.e.
mountains, rivers, etc. We now have roads and cities. The latter represent
the formalization and embodiment of wholes or centres which we have defined
by our patterns of conscious activity, We speak of London as a 'financial
centre', etc., and we conduct our physical lives with respect to many such
centres. In the same way my home is a centre for my personal life.
These centres are locations that we have, since our nomadic days, progressively
defined to govern ourphysical lives as social beings.
Now the outward visible features of such organization represent, from the
model, the ordinary space aspect (equivalent at the mental noosphere), whilst
to the extent we sense the pull of these places as 'centres', we are recognizing
the inverse space aspect.
We can see how the visible buildings represent a conglomeration of organization
about the centre of a city, say, and how suburbs and individual buildings
represent secondary and tertiary levels of organization about subsidiary centres.
We also recognize that communication is only effective with other centres
when a person communicates with his 'opposite number' in the other centre,
i.e. a person who her a similar function with respect to his own centre.
Audio-visual facility to clarify the conceptual model
The individual's point of view within this conceptual model can be clarified
by considering the following audio-visual display facility which illustrates
some of its features.
A man sits alone in the centre of a spherical room. The wall is divided into
sectors, each of which can portray (by back projection or TV) a subdivision
of the discipline in which the person is presently involved. He can thus look
at a continuing series of films on activity in each area pertinent to his
current field. As he looks at each sector, the sound track pertinent to that
film is relayed to him. The sectors correspond to the viewpoints in a particular
viewpoint shell with respect to his current viewpoint (represented by his
position at the centre of the room).
The man has a first set of switches before him. He may choose,
at the touch of a switch, to specialize into one of the sectors displayed
before him. The switch replaces all the currently projected into each sector
by films relevant to the subdivisions or viewpoints of the chosen speciality.
He nay continue to study these films or specialize again into one of the
sectors, and so on down to the conceptual treatment of the finest detail.
Note that his location within the field of experience is 'governed
and defined by the series of views through which he has specialized, going
back to the most general. These represent his positive choices and, negatively,
his delegation or rejection of responsibility for other views.
The man has a second set of switches which activate successive
sectors in the shell to which he is currently exposed. This represents the
development of a particular viewpoint shell.
The man has a third set of switches. These control the
degree of abstraction and unification. He is exposed to the same
speciality subject matter ineach sector, i.e. from the same viewpoint, but
it is in terms of a different viewpoint shell. He could therefore see how,
for a particular sector, development followed through from its early primitive
period to its current state of abstractions. In this way he could see, using
the second switches, howparticular viewpoint shells built up at different
levels. Note that the more primitive the viewpoint the less he will be able
to specialize into it.
The man has a fourth set of switches. These enable him to 'jump'
from the viewpoint ho is at present holding to any other discipline or subdivision
of which he knows. The switches control changes of subject, as opposed
to the specialisation controlled by the first switches. Because he is changing
the subject, he is not exposed (on the wall) to any viewpoints which he
can choose to go into, as is the case with specialisation, which operates
by exclusion of all but one subject within the field of view. He only has
to choose a sector switch before him. With subject change, however, if he
wants to generalize he must carry within himself, as in real life,
a map of the divisions and subdivisions of knowledge and their functional
interrelationship. He can then 'back out' of his current specialization
and see it within the context of its neighbouring specialities. To represent
this situation in the facility, the nan might have to choose from the list
of disciplines known to him (i.e. a list unrelated to the sectors displayed),
what he considers to be the immediate generalisation of his particular experience.
He would key out the code of this viewpoint and would be able to check 'whether
his choice was correct by whether the viewpoint he had just held was displayed
in one of the new sectors.
In this way the man could work his way back to the most general viewpoint
display in which all the major disciplines appeared in the sectors. By using
the second and third sets of switches he could choose to view this level of
generalization from the most primitive viewpoint and could thus put himself
in the position of holding the early mythical world views. Clearly he would
not be able to specialize very far under these circumstances as the number
of distinct sectors would be very limited.
Many people using this audio-visual facility would probably repeat their
real life experience by 'hopping' from one subject to another.
They would do this without establishing the connecting link between the two
by first generalizing from the one to the viewpoint from which
they could then specialize into the other. Because, as in real life,
the facility does not (in the list mentioned) indicate the level of generalization.
It does not distinguish between disciplines and the particular viewpoint which
is the generalization of the one the individual is holding. This 'hopping'
phenomenon illustrates the fragmentation and lack of continuity in experience
The facility also illustrates how easy it is to get lost in the maze of knowledge.
One can only control one's experience by learning to generalise correctly,
otherwise one is subjected to the experiences arising from one's 'hopping'
habits. The facility also illustrates that it is only by getting back to the
most general that a person can recognize the interrelationship of the various
viewpoints open to him.It is only at this point that he can recognize
the functions open to him, what he has delegated to society and in many cases
forgotten the significance of. It is at this point that ho is a whole person
exposed at the same time to the full range of experiences or modes of being.
If the person remained in the room for an extended period, it would be possible
to plot the relatively stable pattern of viewpoints he eventually needed
to hold to avoid the two sets of extremes: 'boredome with relaxation
- fatigue due to over absorption of information' and 'static
unity -- chaotic diversity'. To achieve this stability the individual
might, have to successively hold or view a variety of sciences, art, religion,
sex, travelogues, etc., or even cut out all external experience for a while
by use of a fifth switch. Such a plot would give a very useful profile
of a person - particularly foreducational and vocational guidance purposes.
It could be used to supply him with a checklist of material (fiction, non-fiction,
periodic) and information sources adapted to his interests - in effect
it could design a personal library and information network to keep him up
In real life, of course, the person not only actively absorbs information
and passively views experience, but also actively changes his environment
through the viewpoint which he currently holds. In real life he is the cameraman
taking the pictures seen in each sector - it would be difficult to introduce
this into the facility, although it resembles the control given in the new
automobile driving instruction facilities, where the driver has to keep the
car on the photographed road.
The three viewpoint levels mentioned earlier are illustrated as follows:
The first corresponds to the man's involvement in what occurs on the
wall (represented in the extreme by some forms of psychedelic experience),
up to the point where he conceptually recognizes himself to be at the centre
of the room. A backward tribesman would, for example, be so involved in
the current display as to be unable to recognize that he can control it
through the switches.
The second corresponds to his recognition of the cyce through which ha
needs' to 'hop' to maintain stability, in other words, recognition of a
progression in the cycle as his tastes and interests change.
To the extent that the individual in experiencing in three ways simultaneously,
namely, physical, emotional and mental, the facility should arrange that a
man be exposed to three sets of sectors simultaneously, which is technically
impossible, but does illustrate the complexity of life experience. (One could
conceive of three spheres -concentric about the man'n position, the mental
being, that with greatest diameter, as with the 'personal noosphere'.) A sixth
type of switch could allow him to choose to view sectors in terms of either
the physical, emotional or mental levels.
To further increase the parallel with real life experience, the man could
be provided with a seventh type of switch. The facility could be so
adjusted that the chosen subjects projected into each sector would
be replaced from time to time by other subjects or viewpoints, randomly selected
by the facility. This would effectively represent the intrusion of extraneous
factors in the environment when attempting to hold a particular viewpoint.
The man would than have to use the seventh switch to get back his chosen subject
-- if he wanted to. This choice and his ability to make it over an extended
period, would represent his degree of purposefulness. He could, if
he wished, just allow his experience to drift at the mercy of the randomising
Control by switches, particularly the first and seventh, could be to some
extent discarded, since such control requires a reflective, delaying element
in the facility which is not present in real life. Interest could for example
be measured directly (directional spectacles, eye flicker, pupil size,pulse,
etc.) and any change could immediately initiate changes in the films projected.
In this way the facility could possibly have extensive therapeutic uses, since
the man would be exposed to what basically interested him.
The facility as described illustrates the complexity of modern life.
It is understandable how individuals will quickly isolate themselves in widely
separate fields of experience unless they re initiated gradually into certain
sensitive nodes of experience and points of view. They are only isolated,
however, to the extent that they can only communicate effectively with others
holding the same viewpoint.
(For each type of person a different audio-visual model is more efficient
for imparting comprehension of concepts. The audiovisual model above is based
on a conceptual model which is essentially scientific, although in use it
attempts to touch upon all the other combinations of functions in their own
terras. For the musically inclined the conceptual model is also aptly illustrated
by the tonic scale and a piece of ramie. Here an octave may be considered
equivalent to a shell of viewpoints. The piece of music is in a particular
key (major division viewpoint chosen) and has a theme or combination of notes
(viewpoint cycle at the subdivision level.). Aspects of this theme ore then
developed in greater and greater detail in the main work (viewpoints being
completed at greater degrees of specialization). This musical analogy best
illustrates the carryover from general to particular, from theme to subtheme,
and vice versa. To illustrate the lack of distinction between division and
subdivision, general and particular, consider how a particular note nay be
used in the major theme and in a detail of development. It is the player
or listener who must recognize the distinction between its two uses.)
Experiment to validate the conceptual model
From the model, there should be evidence for the existence of viewpoints
in a shell in the following areas:
a) the cost generalized viewpoint shell should contain the 'purest' breakdown
of viewpoints. There is no direct evidence for these but a guide to them
is found in material on ideal personality types, e.g. Spranger's six types,
Jung's eight types, the four humours, glandular type theory
b) the formalization of the functions of the above types should be evident
in efforts to classify fields of knowledge, e.g. Dewey and U.D.C. knowledge
classifications, Collingwood's grouping of disciplines
c) each field of knowledge will be represented by types of organization
concerned with furthering the particular discipline. There have been a variety
of efforts to classify organizations
d) within each discipline, corresponding to a specialized viewpoint shell,
are the schools or particular approaches to the discipline, e.g. schools of
philosophy, art, management, etc.
e) individuals have been classified in a wide variety of ways (see
G.W. Allport for summary and bibliography) over the years. Thin evidence can
be used as a guide only, for reasons, outlined below.
f) half-humorous classifications of executives, gardeners, smokers, golfers,
g) some very interesting empirical data is discussed by G.A. Miller (ref.
15) concerning the maximum number of alternatives an individual can distinguish.
A number of different investigations into abilities to judge pitch, loudness,
taste, and number of points on a line, leads Miller to the conclusion that
the mean of the number of distinguishable alternatives corresponds to 6.5
categories (one standard deviation includes A - 10; two, 3 - 15), which he
considers a remarkably narrow range. He considers that this range may represent
the compromise of our species to the range of environmental stimulus energies.
The items above cover viewpoints in the static sense, we now come onto the
dynamic or developmental aspect:
h) there is much evidence on the historical development of viewpoints
in society, philosophical periods, musical and artistic periods, etc.
j) there is some evidence for the viewpoints through which a growing individual
passes, A summary and bibliography is in R.B. Cattell, but the work of J.
Piaget is particularly valuable concerning children.
k) at the most detailed viewpoint level in the model, where passage through
the constituent viewpoints of a shell would tend to be very rapid, we find
some evidence for the stages of development of an idea and the processes
of thought, e.g. works on the stages from creativity to final formulation
of an idea, the conception of a project though to its implementation, Spraager's
discussion of the relationship between ideal functions at this level.
There is a great deal of evidence in most of these fields, but it presents
a confusing picture. The following would appear to be reasons for this, in
terms of the model.
i) G.W. Allport says 'The principal reason why psychologists do not
agree with one another in their lists of elements (of the personality) -is
that each is animated by a slightly different intention.....According to his
own habits of thought, each psychologist tends to think of individuals
as combinations of whatever abstractions he happens to favor for psychological
In terms of the model, each of these different breakdowns is based on the
total pattern of viewpoints as seen from the viewpoints of each different
group of investigators, In order to get around this problem, trait elements
listed in the dictionary are currently used, on the basis that all significant
traits would be evenly represented there by a symbol (see G.W. Allport, R.B.
Cattell). This list can be reduced by clustering related symbols. Individuals
are then rated against questionnaires by judges.
In this model we are trying to achieve a viewpoint analysis which will
be significant to the person holding each particular viewpoint. In other words
we must attempt to incorporate the categories of the persons holding the viewpoint
and relate these to those of neighbouring viewpoints and so build up the complete
pattern. The modified dictionary list may contain too much detail classified
solely to the satisfaction of the designer. It will not be meaningful to
the holder of every viewpoint and may contain many elements to which he is
not sensitive. We are seeking a breakdown which is stable and currently recognized
by each user - in terms of which he currently acts and orients himself.
The essence of this breakdown is that it does not commit anyone to accepting
any categories other than his own.
ii) From the model, viewpoints at different levels of specialisation would
tend to be confused. A strongly held specialised viewpoint will be considered
equal to a weekly held general viewpoint, since there is no basis for distinguishing
between their hierarchical order.
iii) From the model, shells at different stages of development would bo
considered to have different numbers of viewpoints, since some viewpoints
would not have been activated. Shells way also have differing numbers of possible
viewpoints. Those features would confuse an investigator.
iv) Rating judges would tend to be equally insensitive to viewpoints distant
from their own. Such viewpoints might be highly significant to the holder
of such viewpoints or vice versa.
Clearly the only way we can proceed to get a viewpoint analysis significant
to the holder of each viewpoint, is to get the holders to map out their
own viewpoint environment. Each knows, better than any investigator, the
significant viewpoints in his field. In effect we want the holders of a
particular general viewpoint to indicate into how many sub-groups or schools
they split. This method does not have the normal disadvantages of self-rating,
since we are looking for differences between sub-groups not asking for the
detailed characteristics of each sub-group. It is not affected by subjective
judgment on the part of a particular sub-group or individual, since the other
sub-groups or individuals exert an objectifying influence - each group
can view the relations between the others clearly even if it cannot see its
own relationship to them. The groups as a whole maps itself, without any outside
judges to distort the results.
Some of the evidence in the literature mentioned above will be of this type
and cats then be analysed further to see whether viewpoint shells arc being
confused. In this way sections of the space can be capped out and linked,
working from the detail towards the general for which there is no objective
evidence. The '(quantum jump' between viewpoints will be more difficult to
detect in very detailed or undeveloped viewpoint shells. Having established
a tentative breakdown as a guide, we can now start to experiment. Individuals
are easier to use because the environment can bo controlled and the organizations
and fields they arc attracted to, will link the results to those of the general
What we have to attempt to do is to define an individual's environment so
that he holds a particular general viewpoint and a very small range of detailed
viewpoints. This would be the closest we could get toreproducible results
in his interactions with other members ofhis group holding the same major
viewpoint. But if the model's implications are correct, there, will be reactions
arising from physical, emotional and mental viewpoint at a variety of levels
of specialization. It will be difficult to distinguish between levels, but
it will be easier to distinguish sub-divisions of a major viewpoint.
A group of strangers with one fairly evident viewpoint in common should therefore
be allowed to interact under restricted environmental conditions. They should
attempt to determine what subgroups they form with respect to that main viewpoint.
This procedure would tentatively define two viewpoints, major and detail,
for each individual. This can be confirmed by testing the interactions of
such tentatively 'typed' individuals with those from other similar
groups. Individuals in the sane sub-group could then attempt to repeat
the procedure until no characteristic differences could be established. The
procedure could be repeated with other major viewpoints.
By modifying the environment it should be possible, from the model, to get
individuals to take up other viewpoints and therefore lead to a different
set of types. Thus variables like proximity, light, alcohol, excitement, danger,
authority, etc. nay be introduced as is done to some extent in group dynamics
research. In this way a range of viewpoints per individual can be determined,
whether he 'loses a shell' in a highly structured environment (e.g. danger)
and gains a shell in a highly permissive environment, or vice versa.
During the course of these experiments, the characteristic types of reaction
can be determined, e.g. whether holders of different viewpoints 'couldn't
get on', 'sot on like a house on fire', etc. In this way some measure:
of the 'energy of interaction' could be obtained with possibly
some indication of the types of bonds formed under various conditions. Mote
that according to the model all viewpoints held 'in common' would tend to
represent bonds, but others would lead to interaction.
The problem of distinguishing between physical, mental and emotional bonds
would have to be overcome by isolating successively groups of identical physical
types before using these typed subjects to test for the breakdown of emotional
reactions, and then mental reactions .
From the types and their various reactions to form 'bonds' it should be possible
to determine whether there is any tendency to 'shell completion' reactions
which would give a sequence to the viewpoints in a particular shell, i.e.
a developmental sequence. It should also be possible to determine the characteristics
of the organizations and disciplines favoured by individuals with particular
type characteristics. This would lead on to the formulation and testing of
a functional classification of disciplines.
The only approach which we have been able to locate which approximates this
'peer rating' procedure and the shell effect is that of T. Leary at the Kaiser
Foundation (ref. 14). But the ratings in this case are still reduced to a
particular predefined system and are designed for use in the psychiatric clinic
A basic problem raised in the Introduction was the hostility between individuals
and groups holding different viewpoints, Considering man as a territorial
animal, in Ardrey's terms (ref. 4), it seems as though the territorial concept
may be extended to cover say standpoint which a group or individuals take
up - whether it be the land the group occupies or the mental viewpoint
they hold in common. The territory is defined in both cases by the instinct
to defined it. In these terms, each viewpoint becomes a territory, and each
individual has as many such territories that he will defend 'irrationally'
as he has roles, e.g., citizen, profession, family man, etc. His willingness
to defend a particular viewpoint when faced with conflicting loyalties to
two such viewpoints is a measure of the relative importance of such territories
A very interesting feature is the relationship between viewpoint/ territory
andthe 'homing instinct' discussed by Ardrey. In terms of the model the
homing instinct would be explained by the potential well which a principal
viewpoint effectively constitutes - if this well effect can be sensed,
and we use the expression 'being drawn back' to a particular place or
viewpoint, then a similar situation might apply with migrating birds, fishes,
The model shows clearly that different groups may be visualized as existing
in different parts of a unified inverse space and are not necessarily directly
exposed to each others unifying concepts. This would explain opposition to
the recognition of the value of synthesis and the tendency of each discipline
or school to react to or define data in a special manner. It
also gives a justification for the emphasis on the autonomy of each discipline.
The tendency to establish concepts of increasing organizing power within a
particular field may be viewed as the 'attraction' of the centre of inverse
space, resulting in the tendency to complete viewpoint 'shells'. The latter
would account for features of developmental and type psychology. For example,
it shows how past world views, whether in the history of society or in the
life of a growing child, were the right views at the time, not merely misguided
or naive as we tend to think. By holding these views a certain stability was
achieved on which more sophisticated structures could be built. This brings
out the point that perhaps some views are more suitable than others to a particular
individual or group at any particular stage of development in modern society.
This is perhaps obvious, but the social trend is still against recognizing
the validity of matching one's choice of view, whether 'outdated' or not,
to one's personally assessed requirements - rather than, always taking
or straining to take the most fashionable or modern view.
The model does show how the different groups are functionally related within
society and how individuals are related to these groups. Specialized viewpoints
only succeed in ordering or determining certain features of the environment
- the remaining features of the environment - the remaining features
are 'seen' as being in irregular motion with respect to the viewpoint. By
dropping assumptions inherent in the viewpoint and establishing a sore comprehensive
viewpoint, the uncertainty created by this motion can be progressively eliminated.
In this way there is direction and convergence.
Although it has not been covered, the model does allow for such groups as
races and nations and brings out the importance of the trend toward cultural
convergence. It also stresses the significance of the individual and his
search for personal fulfillment within society. It shows that the individual
should recognize or define his ownpurpose and coordinating viewpoint in order
to act consistently and to achieve this fulfillment. And in the same way,
the model brings out that groups should recognize or define their own purposes,
if we wish to move towards some explicit definition of a consciously recognized
overall purpose for society.
Note that purpose, although not discussed directly, is the driving
force behind taking up a particular viewpoint. In this treatment, although
creating directional effects at and within different levels, 'it is not
a 'final cause' but the ability to hold a particular viewpoint with respect
to which secondary decisions can be taken. Purposeful action is with respect
to a viewpoint, rather than convergence upon a goal which causes action.
In the same way the Earth pursues the course laid out by its orbit, and does
not fall into the Sun, which effectively holds it in the orbit. Schoppenhauer
(ref. 18) makes a similar comparison between the continual striving of 'will'
and gravitation - achievement of an end does not terminate the process.
We arc not stating that the centres or viewpoint bodies exist in
any substantial sense. What is being suggested is that we have, by the ways
in which we act, progressively defined many such locii so that they appear
to govern our lives in the same way as do the mathematically defined focal
points of a planetary orbit or of the trajectory of a car cornering. (We
are not competent to judge how our use of these locii is related to that intended
by Plato with 'ideas'.) By the way the locii have been defined, they
have only a mathematical existence but are nevertheless extremely useful conceptually.
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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