emptiness and active contrivance: when ZERO, sometimes A and sometimes B

(There might still be some improperly negated sentences below. Draft. Navigate at own risk.)


(When you realize something is “empty,” you realize for that thing you were mistaking map for territory.)


Consider, the organism experiences

ZERO then A

(The concept ZERO is abstract, and the concept A is abstract. The concept ZERO is itself composed of concepts, and the same is true of A.)

Consider ZERO is instantiated by a concrete particular, this concrete particular, the one that we are referring to here and above, and it is that/this concrete particular to which the concept ZERO is applied. ZERO is only one part of an entire concrete situation, and A is only one part of an entire concrete situation. The same goes for A.

Now, consider the organism experiences

ZERO then B

If the organism ascribed a (provisional) causal relationship between ZERO and A then this is a contradiction of sorts.

For this contradiction to be noticed, ZERO has to be conceptualized as such, A has to be conceptualized as such, and B has to be conceptualized as such. Further, the provisional causal relationship must be ascribed, enabled in part by the temporal relation between ZERO and A. That is, ZERO came before A.

This contradiction of sorts can be resolved in a few ways.

First, it might be recognized that the first ZERO (of ZERO then A) is different in some relevant way from the second ZERO (of ZERO then B). That is, the concrete particulars in the two cases are different. Depending on how defined, one of the ZEROs might not be a ZERO.

We might also consider that ZERO sometimes causes A and sometimes causes B. This may require redefinition of the concept of cause. Can a thing sometimes cause one thing and sometimes cause another thing? It may be that ZERO is a genus with respect to two different (sub)species of ZERO. If so, we might say that ZEROs sometimes cause A and sometimes cause B.

Or, we might say that it’s a ZERO both times, but something is a little different about the ZERO in each case. We might say ZEROs can take on different forms or modes, which are differently causally efficacious.

Or is a thing that we call ZERO, maybe the word “ZERO” can refer to two different abstract things?

Or, is it something besides ZERO that causes A versus B? Or, is it a combination of ZERO and something (or somethings) that causes A versus B, something else in the concrete situation?

Or, something prior to ZERO happened that SOMEHOW, indirectly and/or obliquely led to B versus A.

Or, the causal relation between ZERO and A or B is mediate and something happened between ZERO and A versus B. Perhaps ZERO is necessary but not sufficient. Perhaps those mediate things are themselves necessary and sufficient, or something else.

We might agree that there must be a difference that makes a difference, although only if “ZERO,” “A,” “then,” and “B” make any sense at all.

Consider the individual wants to understand the puzzle.

They might ACTIVELY CONTRIVE for there to be incidences of ZERO-like or ZERO-applicable or ZERO-adjacent concrete particulars, WITH VARIATION (principled or ad hoc), striving to keep ALL ELSE THE SAME, to attempt to answer the question WHY SOMETIMES A, WHY SOMETIMES B, ALL RELEVANT ELSE SEEMINGLY THE SAME, OR THE SAME ENOUGH, OR SUFFICIENTLY OR RELEVANTLY SIMILAR?

It’s ACTIVE CONTRIVANCE (not to mention preconceptual language games) all the way down, for GENERATIVE MODELS if granted INDIRECT REALISM.


For various facets of the above see On the Origin of Objects, Popper, Wittgenstein, Kant, intension [sic], controlled experiments, independent/dependent/control variables, indirect realism, the map-territory relation, reification fallacy, active inference [Friston], AIXI, Gendlin’s Instance of Itself, Zen’s Beginner’s Mind, Rationality and Power, Foucault.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s