Nov 30, 2012

Objectivity, Real and Perceived

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller...

We are all complex compilations of the real world. I use the term real world to refer to the reality outside, but not separate of our own perceived notion of ourselves.

Politics is the negotiations and pursuance of power. It is negotiated and pursued by people. Politics in essence exists solely in the actions of people. To understand the causes and effects of politics it is necessary to analyze the operating systems, the mediums of politics: people.

Everything that we are is derived from the real world. What makes us “We,” what gives us any identity at all, are our minds. The whole content of our minds is comprised from ideas. In turn, every idea we ever had is rooted in perceptions we received of the world. The thought of ice cream is from the multiple perceptions of the sight, taste, smell, and feel. More difficult and generalized terms such as justice are abstracted from many complex ideas which in turn were generated from experience and natural inclinations. Experiencing pain and the natural inclination of seeking to avoid pain, create the idea that people that induce pain should be punished; and justice is coined. The identity each of us has of ourselves is generated from experiencing the world through our own unique viewpoint, partnered with certain genetically inherited mental characteristics which play more of a minimal role in actually defining who we are; whereas no one is born with a significantly more pronounced self-conscious then anyone else.

Now the entire content of our minds are ultimately taken from the external world, but it is important to note that our minds are not separate from the external world. It is human nature to perceive the happenings inside your mind as separate from the external world and thus give us our own self identities; that feature was developed through evolutionary steps within the human species allowed each individual to differentiate between oneself and its environment. This ability gave us self identity and preference for oneself over anything external to our sensory receptors; and this selfishness was a prominent factor in the flourishing of the human species.

The arrogance of individual identity make us feel we are worlds unto ourselves; that my thoughts exist in my mind and not in the external world. The reality of the situation is that the mind exists in the external world and ipso facto thoughts are apart of the external world. It is true you cannot know what I am thinking, but I cannot see through a cardboard box either, I have to open it to find out. One cannot know what another is thinking, however that claim can be or soon will be at least partially refuted by the advancement of the neural sciences.

This introduction following the path of empiricists such as John Locke and David Hume is necessary, because to know anything of the external world such as politics, we must know ourselves; we must know the limits and characteristics of our own operating systems, such as our natural arrogance based upon self identity, for us to come to an unbiased truth.

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