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Unique Characteristics of New Science

Unique Characteristics of New Science:

Unfortunately there is virtually no understanding today of empirical philosophy, science, and the relation between them. The power of science is that it answers "how" questions?  Science does not tell us what is, i.e., facts. That is the job of empirical philosophy. Science deals with organizing principles, not facts. Facts can be true or false. Organizing principles are always operational.  That is what makes them so difficult to discover.  We see change not stationary, unchanging realities.

Living entities create themselves. The identity provides the tools to create itself.


  • Processes that mean combinations of functions
  • Function is an act of creation (genes create instruction for creating proteins specific for your body) Something has to exist to put the proteins together.
  • The something is "acts from the primordial matrix" 
  • The primordial matrix (womb) Errol Harris's "Metaphysics and Science." It's outside space/time in the Dirac Sea (see Zero Point Energy).

Methodological Note: To know anything requires two different approaches.
  1. Sometimes we just plain "know" something. It's an intuitive knowing something is just a truth for us.  Like love.
  2. Other times the only reason to believe something is that theory requires it.   (Example of discovery of a planet)  The theory that dealt with the motion of planets said, it looks as if there is another mass out there affecting the motion.  No one had seen it, but after enough searching for it, it was discovered there was another planet where that predicting mass was.

What do our empirical observations tell us is required for self-creation entities? How does it work? It cannot be reduced to the action of matter. There has to be something driving it beyond what genes do.  And so philosophers have called it the primordial matrix, meaning a place where anything manifest is created for manisfestation.  No body had any idea where the primordial matrix was until physicists discovered the Dirac Sea.  Now the Dirac Sea is definitely not in space/time. In fact given the realities of quantum physics and relativity, we don't understand what space/time is in terms of human experience from the Greeks to 1840 our concept of Space/time was Euclidiean Geometry and Time was a separate thing altogether.  With relativity, the two were united into Space/Time on a 4 dimensional curved geometry.  However, relativistic space/time doesn't work for quantum theory.  Relativity and quantum theory have not been joined together tho, Norm believes this years Nobel prize was awarded for very significant work in doing relativistic corrections on quantum optics.  Autopoeisis is saying that there's got to be something else going on here other than material cause and effect or random processes.

Hartman said that value science would be more like musical science than physics. 
What musical science does, it allows composers to select effective acts. If he violates the rules of harmony, there is a consequence. Otherwise he can write anything he pleases.  In jazz, musicians improvise in ways that have not been done before and yet they know how to harmonize it all.

In value science, we will learn what is effective, how to find effective acts to solve problems in life much as the jazz musicians do.
  Problems can be solved first by recognizing the importance of differences and then how to harmonize them.

Whitehead referred to the, “ultimate fact of an irreducible brute matter, or material, spread throughout space in a flux of configurations”.  It now appears that the "ultimate fact" is intelligent energy. The new science must base its foundations on energy, not matter.

The living state is a “metastable energy structure” within the physical structure of a living organism.  Being metastable, it requires energy to maintain it.  Turn the energy source off and it is gone. This is also true for living organisms such as us.  For us the energy source is the oxygen we breathe.  Without oxygen the metastable energy structure dissipates. There is nothing left but non-functioning hardware.

There is no determinism in living process. The new science will not be used to predict. It will be used for guidance in finding effective acts.   Szent Gyorgi says it must be a science of improbabilities.

To quote biophysicist and biochemist, Szent Gyorgi:  (Szent Gyorgi, 4)
There is a basic difference between physics and biology.  Physics is the science of probabilities.  If a process goes 999 times one way, and only once another way, the physicist will not hesitate to call the first the way. Biology is the science of the improbable and I think it is on principle that the body works only with reactions that are statistically improbable. If metabolism were built of a series of probable and thermodynamically spontaneous reactions, then we would burn up and the machine would run down as a watch does if deprived of its regulators. The reactions are kept in hand by being statistically improbable and made possible by specific tricks that may then be used for regulation. So, for the living organism, reactions are possible which may seem impossible, or at least, improbable to the physicist…. If Nature wants to do something she will find a way to do it if there is no contradiction to basic rules of Nature. She has time to do so.   (Living Nature also often works with more complex systems than the physicist uses for testing his theories.)"
Based on the dominant science of today, it is thought that its value is its ability to predict. However actual prediction is rare since prediction requires a standardized laboratory environment and not real life.  The real value of science is it provides knowledge of how to do things, based on how things actually work.  

Living organisms are autonomous.  Everything they know, and can do is developed within, by processes only now being discovered. They are not like any processes a machine view would imagine.  There are no computations.  There are societies of living entities, cells in humans, societies of molecules in the cells and so on down to particles.  At each level the societies permit maximum freedom subject only to coherence conditions some of which are values and value processes.  And we, as human beings are cells in a higher order society.

The role of values and the valuation process that Hartman put forth now becomes incredibly important. Strictly speaking I believe it is valuation processes that are important to living entities. The necessary autonomy of living entities prevents their having any informational inputs. Yet they do need to discover what works in their living context. They do that by acting, to find effective acts. Acts that produce the organism’s intentions are effective acts.

Living entities, organisms, are capable of acting and initiating their own acts.  They are free to act and choose their acts based on values.  In living processes there is no cause and effect or determinism. Life evolves based on values. At all the levels mentioned above, living entities are choosing acts based on values characteristic of their level, i.e., molecules, cells, societies, etc.

That the molecules in cells are living is contrary to what biologists have traditionally thought.  Now laboratory evidence shows signals and behavior indicating that they are living and acting.  In life, valuation processes are pervasive.

Here we find the genius of Hartman’s formalism and the Hartman Value Profile based on it. We speak of dimensions of value.  The test does not reveal the values the testee’s hold. The profile is revealing perceptual processes. The goal is for the processes to be working properly what ever the testee’s values are.  This is true for all sciences. The formalism, synthetic, categories are process categories; not fact categories.
The foundations of a new science of Life-itself and Values; Analytic & Synthetic
  • The Analytic - Process Metaphysics
  • The Synthetic - a New matching Life-itself-Logic

1) The Analytic: A Process Metaphysics
is required to understand values, Whitehead, for example.

No existing science is applicable to life. Values function only in living contexts. And there is virtually no understanding of the living contexts within substance philosophy.  In substance philosophy the assumptions are that our bodies are material and biochemical entities functioning in machine-like ways. Recent discoveries as mentioned before in biophysics reveal how that is completely untrue.

Today process philosophy has become a very active branch of inquiry in which there are many competing positions.  There are many approaches to process metaphysics.  Whitehead’s is probably the best known. Unfortunately it seems to me that scientific materialism is a virus infecting most interpretations of Whitehead.

Without becoming involved in any one such position Rescher lists the basic contentions of process metaphysics showing its suitability for the foundations of the new philosophy
 (Rescher, 31):

  • time and change are among the principal categories of metaphysical understanding
  • process is a principal category of ontological description
  • processes and the force, energy, and power that they make manifest are more fundamental - or at any rate not less fundamental - than things for the purposes of ontological theory
  • several, if not all, of the major elements of the ontological repertoire (God, nature as a whole, persons, material substances) are best understood in process terms
  • contingency, emergence, novelty, and creativity are among the fundamental categories of metaphysical understanding.

2) The Synthetic; A Matching Living Logic (I prefer the word life-itself logics):
To understand what biophysics is revealing, today, a new form of logic and thinking are also required.

The logic of non-living matter (discrete things or objects) is much concerned with truth preservation, consistency, mono-polar, and cause-and-effect. The "living" functions are very different from the "non-living." The logic of life is creative, rich in variety and even paradoxical as it embraces both poles of contrasts (strong/weak). Even psychology shows that paradox is a fundamental principal in the human psyche. Instead of cause and effect, life logic is governed by willful intensional acts.  For 2000 years it was believed that paradox was fatal.  We now know that it need not be, but it does require a different kind of logic.

I do have problems with the word logic.  Logic is a collection of formal systems originating in the need for sound arguments.  Needed now is a class of formal systems with different properties for different purposes. They could be called intensional logics; (intensional refers to meaning). Google leads me to believe that intensional logic now means modal logic. I think we are losing distinctions.  It could also be called axiologic for value logic.  For now I will call them “i-logics.”

Distinction between Old and New Logics or Formalisms:

Characteristics of Traditional Logics:
  • truth preserving
  • thing oriented (extensional)
  • consistent which denies process
  • static
  • excludes self-reference (self-knowing)
  • excludes values

Characteristics of Living Life-itself-logics:
  • creative
  • meaning oriented (intensional)
  • allows oscillation
  • dynamic
  • requires self-reference (self-knowing)
  • value-driven

Life requires the use of both poles of categorical contrasts.
Traditional logics were constructed in such a way that would cause collapse if there were inconsistency.  Traditional logics were designed for argument. Therefore they required truth-preservation.  Life is creative and can quickly move beyond current truth. Logic for Life must be able to grow and evolve. Thus traditional logics cannot handle the requirements of Life. (See Life Requires above)

To this day, infinitesimal calculus is the primary, if not the only, formalism used for scientific inquiry. The infinitesimal calculus is founded on real numbers. Thus it produces real numbers, creating the illusion that science must be quantitative. Life, however, is not computational. Thus we need new formalisms based on forms of order other than numbers, in working with life and living processes.

Due to crises in mathematics at the end of the 19th century more research was done on logic in the 20th century than in all previous known history.  The results show new formalisms never seen before that can be used to meet the requirements for Life-itself, e.g., see Combinatory Logic by Curry and Feys for a primitive frame.

The primitives of the Life-itself-logics:
  • will not be things
  • there will be acts and inner relations (Inner relations are relations that change the related)
  • the rules will not be inference rules but transformations
  • they will not have truth-values 
  • they will not have subject-predicate forms of propositions. 
  • categories will not be object categories but function categories 
  • The questions we will ask of i-logics will not be “is it true”?
  • We will ask, “Can one get there from here”?

Life-itself logics can be used for application to social change, for example:

In our research, we are working on the problem of running out of sufficient jail space.  It is asked if we could reduce the number of prisoners, and crime, by tougher sentencing. Would not harsher punishment cut down on recidivism?  No!  When the Congress imposed tougher punishment recidivism increased, exacerbating the problem.  The logic of life itself explains why.

Living organisms are functioning internally, as super jazz bands. We do not have inputs or outputs.  Our brains are not computers. In no way are we processing inputs or outputs. Our theories of perception have to be reversed. Perception does not begin in the senses. Perception begins as the organism acts.  Acts may be physical or mental. Acts, I think of as a soloist playing a riff.  The riff creates perturbations. Now the rest of the band has to form closure.

The process of forming closure is how we learn. What we know and what our capabilities are depends on the history of our acts.  Thus no two people live in the same world.  Punishment tends to exert maximum control. Thus the person is unable to find new acts and learn.  Punishment freeze-frames them as they are, or makes them worse.

Logic Considerations for Life-itself

Life-itself is how a living organism is organized and is on-going organizing. It refers to the organizing principles of all living organisms.  If any of these principles are evident, then the entity is living.  You don't have to discover all the principles of a living entity to know it is alive. For example if it comes into manifestation "whole" it is alive and will have the required principles.

Self-reference introduces paradox invalidating conventional logic. For example, consider the sentence “This sentence is false”.  The sentence refers to itself.  If it is false it is true.  If it is true it is false.

There are modern logics that allow for such apparent paradox. In thinking about life, conventional logic should be replaced by such modern logics.

The apparent paradox is resolved by oscillation therefore life is vibratory.  Thus life cannot be consistent.  Thinking it should be leads to Jung’s notions of the dark side.

Truth and Knowledge Development

Reality for a living organism is a co-creation of self-knowledge and the external context. Truth conditions (what you believe to be knowledge) become important in predicting the effectiveness of acts. The external context always involves both poles of categorical contrasts. Reality is created by choosing one or the other poles thus reality is always limiting

For living process space is fractal. Space/time as we have known it does not apply.

Living entities are created as a single whole.  There are no parts. See the liquid crystalline nature of living tissues that enables wholeness.


Distinguished, living entities must be autonomous. All living entities are autonomous, so they can differentiate subject only to coherence

Autonomy implies they are closed to information.  Information is not a commodity.

Informare, formed within, replaces information
A living entity can only know and do what its own living history has provided.


Living entities are manifest with an invariant identity. Identity refers to the process specifications by which their autopoiesis occurs. A living entity cannot violate its identity. Now we begin to see many consequences such as a person cannot be controlled, may not be able to fulfill arbitrary expectations, there is no possibility of literal language and we all live in different realities.


A living entity has maximum freedom of action subject only to coherence conditions within its living context. Coherence from coheres – to stick together; coherence, meaning compatible habits of acting.  Coherence can refer to a range of applications from quantum coherence to axiological coherence.


Living acts are never the result of cause and effect as in physics.  They are acts chosen on the basis of values.
Values are internal experiences

For the simplest entities the only choice may be to act or not act. For humans the choices may be a very complex variety.

For humans there are three kinds of experience, aesthetic, practical and correct.   These are named intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic. These form a hierarchy that is I>E>S.

Living process is social, i.e., carried out by democratic societies of cells. At all levels from atoms to the universe life forms societies. The society is called a nexus.  Values conflicts are resolved by a “Regnant nexus” replacing the notion of controllers.  Regnant nexus are transient as required.

Substance ideas reveal nonliving passive entities pushed about by external forces.  For example the motion of the planets under the force of gravity or living entities as mere objects.

Life is an epiphenomenon.   

Process ideas reveal self-creativity motivated by a will shaped by values. The fundamental law of process according to Whitehead is the many become one and are increased by one.   Process ideas bring life-itself to center stage while substance becomes derivative.  I find process ideas to be far more aesthetically pleasing.  They explain so much and unite so much.  Suddenly life makes sense.

  • Cause and effect thinking, so prominent in substance beliefs, will not work in dealing with life. 
  • Life is unpredictable and uncontrollable. That can be frightening to many people, but it need not be.  Values are our navigation aids. 
  • The rules for successful navigation are to give priority to intrinsic values.
  • Next come extrinsic values and finally,
  • the lowest priority, systemic values. 

Unfortunately society teaches us to place systemic values the highest.  Thus we “sail” courses to flounder amongst the rocks.

We hope that over the next ten weeks you will understand this.  When you do you will understand that you are one of the many.  If you are open to intrinsic value your intuitions will inform you as to how to establish connections that work best for you.  Thinking is systemic.  Watch out!

Complex Systems versus simple systems
  • Complex (living)  Does not mean the same as complicated.
  • No simulation possible
  • Too many living entities acting uniquely
  • No largess model
  • Always becoming
  • Cannot predict
  • Ordered by valuation and meaning
Example of mathematic model of complexity   (Box of variables)
  • Simple systems
  • Mechanistic
  • Ordered by Cause and effect
  • Finite in nature created by creator
Autonomy Necessary in life:
By necessity Life needs great variety of individuals expressing uniqueness, like a Prism can reflect all aspects of light.  It is only by my being an autonomous uniqueness that my participation takes on its greatest value.  What does world need from me?  A paradox of sorts in that we are both separate and participating at the same time in a wholism.  How do you maintain individuality by melting into system?

In-fomare:  to form within
  • Implications for communication?
  • Developing trusting relationships?
  • Trusting in self?  In knowing and choosing correct action for ourselves?
  • Isn't it by knowing opposites and knowing what we are not as well as what we ```    are?
  • Oscillations necessary between polar contrasts, opening to more and more of what we can express and be and know through recognizing the darkness in the areas not known, unknown, unfamiliar.

Cosmic Living Entity is the whole cosmos organized as a living entity. Gaia recognizes the earth as a living entity.

Process means a sequence of changes leading to some end.  There are two kinds of process; mechanistic and creative.  They might also be called non-living and living process.  Values are only operative in living process.

Non-living and living processes are quite different in how they are organized and what they can do.  Non-living processes are built on mechanical principles of cause and effect.  Knowing how a non-living process is organized, and knowing its current activity, one can predict, by chains of logic, where it will evolve baring chaotic breaks.  In contrast, living processes are autopoietic, i.e., self-building, autonomous, self-knowing and value driven, will driven.  These properties preclude the possibility of applying logic as we have known it and, also, applying language to understand living processes.

Metaphysics:  In philosophy it is the study of basic foundations for our worldviews. Since we all know we see what we expect to see, the metaphysics of choice tell us what our starting expectations will be.  Generally we learn this in our society, the language we speak, how our parents treat us. It becomes very much a subconscious basis for our perception. It creates the assumptions from which we act.

Paradigm:  A set of related assumptions about some aspect of reality from which we act.

Whitehead's Process:

An actual occasion is a living event composed of many many living entities with their own identity in which every entity in the composition is making judgments for itself; what do I want based on prehensions (felt sense facts of togetherness or the awareness of one another).  Eternal objects are perfect because they are outside space and time like Plato's Ideals in mathematics.  Eternal objects (these are the epi-principles of life-itself) are organizing principles around which space/ time organizes itself within perfections.  Each entity is going to be invoking some aspect of some eternal object(s).  This could be the same as laws of coherence.  Eternal objects are like objectives (intensional attractors).  A living entity in an actual occasion has prehensions giving it what it's got to work with. All of this said is what is presented to us at the beginning of the actual occasion. An actual occasion reaches satisfaction in the concrescence of its being positively prehended by another actual occasion and becomes a superject

Each individual will decide on the basis of the eternal objects (superject) and the prehensions;

Philosophical/metaphysics of Process   by Rescher
Processes effect changes, they make a difference the world scheme of things in actualizing an open indeterminate future in ways that distinguish it for the determinate past. But processes also establish connections. The infant and septuagenarian, the apple seed and the full grown tree flowering in spring are connected, integrated, unified, and individuated into a single unit with its on- going identity through the operation of a complex manifold of subordinate processes which together constitute the macro process that is the history of that person or tree. A process involves more than change as such. It is always a matter of organized variation – structured change is of the very nature of process. In particular, physical processes are interlinked with one another. They reach out in space and time to form a manifold of interconnectedness with smaller subordinate processes always joining to form larger super ordinate ones.


Substance Philosophy
 Process Philosophy
"What is"
A description of things and relationship
Between things
External relations; John is taller than Mary
Things have no will, are passive with no
ability to self act
What is going on"
A description of what is going on in
a living process
Internal Relations: John loves Mary
Anything living has ability to self-act

 Characteristics of each Paradigm  
 discrete individuality
condition (fixity of nature)
uniformity of nature 
unity of being
(individualized specificity)
descriptive fixity
classificatory stability
passivity (being acted upon)
interactive relatedness
wholeness (totality)
activity (self-development)
unity of law
functional typology)
productive energy, drive, etc.
fluidity and evanescence
activity (agency)”

Thinking is abstract so what you can imagine is juxtaposed against what you're experiencing of what is.

Expect to not be able to get closure
  • Language is abstraction, its possible because of imagination (words are metaphors)
  • We communicate through metaphor when we describe an image  (the metaphor meets a feeling)
  • A metaphor is something we can relate to from many ways.

These metaphysical categories reflect what we look for in experience.  I found it to be an interesting exercise to try changing my experience by looking for interactive relatedness rather than discrete individuality, etc.  Begin now to consider the differences.

Here we first focus on the terms and concepts in Substance Philosophy.
  • Discrete individuality means that everything is separate and not context dependent. It simple is what it is and does not change itself. Everything becomes an assemblage of independent parts like parts of the body.  It doesn't support life because a living entity is not composed of parts or static states.
  • Separateness means something cut away from the rest of the whole.
  • Condition is a fixed state that does not change at all.  It's like a machine part that is what it is no matter what happens around it.
  • Unity of being means it is a singular part with specific purpose that exists for its own sake, not changing, or affected by change.
  • Descriptive fixity means being always consistent in describing something and that description never changes and it is only one narrow way of describing something.  My heart works like a pump.
  • Classificatory stability means however you classify something, it is not going to change.  Ex: My trumpet is a musical instrument. 
  • Passivity (being acted upon) means the thing can only move if a force hits. It can't move or exercise any will of its own.  Ex. A rock
  • These ideas are the foundations of current thinking in all of us about the assumptions of reality.  They are powerful in holding us hostage. 

The above set of philosophical assumptions gave rise to the theory of reductionism.
  Reductionism simply means that a phenomenon is best understood by understanding an assemblage of its basic parts.  Thus has been the search in physics for most fundamental particles and their theory.  It has been believed that if we understand the most fundamental particles they can be assembled into atoms.  Atoms can be assembled into molecules.  Molecules can be assembled into cells.  Cells can be assembled into organs.  Organs can be assembled into organisms.  Thus you and I can be explained!  Well, of course it is nonsense.

The functions of our identity requires love and loving.

Being ourselves is the only way we can be and our society has structured itself in such a way that we can't feel the love that connects us, forms us, creates us.  By being turned outward towards that which is knowable by others we have become stuck in false measurement, unknowable capricious rules, we have collectively and individually lost ourselves.  The love is inherent within us and yet we can't feel it or know it except in those fleeting moments of being in nature, with animals, a moment of heart felt sharing or an aesthetic moment experienced in the arts.  Love always draws us to oneness.