Destiny, Philosophy and Concept Integration

by

John Wright

 

The book, Destiny, identified an essential task or responsibility of all philosophers: that of integrating the whole of human experience, as they understand it, into a coherent whole. That means disparate experiences, across countless endeavors, in multiple subject areas of perceived importance, through time, must be seen to fit into a rational whole. One might reasonably ask whether the philosophy of Destiny does in fact accomplish that very large task?

If Destiny does not integrate the whole of human experience into an actionable plan for human progress across the many areas of human interest and endeavor, then Destiny is not truly a philosophy. Of course, there are other tests and requirements beyond the integration aspect that are also essential, but if that factor or aspect is missing, then all one has is a polarized position, perhaps more ideological than philosophical, based on limited focus and limited subject matter.

To make matters worse, there is the troubling consideration that the whole of human experience up to the present time may in fact lack key subjects essential to understanding what we are and what we might be doing on our behalf. In short, we suspect that our conceptual knowledge is incomplete at best and perhaps pathetically so. Yet, how can we proceed into the unknown unless we start with serious contemplation of that which, individually and in combination, we believe we understand? We should expect regular and sometimes dramatic corrections to remind us of the incomplete state of our knowledge.

Our progress is a random walk in the classical operations research sense, for we have a perception that there is a goal ( I wanna get out and learn and do, when young, and I wanna go home and rest, when old ), but we have little going for us to suggest that we will understand or achieve that goal in any reasonable amount of time. Most of us simply "feel" our way along in the course of living. Moreover, we are finite and we must pass the baton to others in a rather short time frame. We must proceed, however, for the alternative is to give up and live basically like the rest of the animal kingdom, with confined, self-centered and immediate goals, primarily focused on eating and reproduction. That is not acceptable. I am not an ant, a virus or a simple bacterium or devoid of potential growth. I am human. I think. I learn. I see collective and individual progress. I will progress to my ultimate evolution, whatever that may be.

So much for preliminaries. Now, what exactly does concept integration mean? First, integration includes the physical realities. These are the unarguable facts related to eating, sleeping, reproduction and survival in environments that might be hostile on our home planet. Then, it may include the more simple abstractions related to physical realities, as in: mammals appear to need shelter of one form or another, so one might propose that elephants have cleverly hidden houses. Beyond that example of simple and incorrect hypothesis, groups of simple concepts may be seen to have a similarity or pattern that suggests larger wholes. For example, is it not intriguing that we do not find any species of mammals except humans routinely killing each other in mass numbers? Is there a purpose in selective destruction? Finally, we toss in the behavioral aspects of creatures who appear to have the facility of reasoned alternative choices. Ah, ha! Enter that facet of human experience that appears to differentiate us from all other forms of life of which we are aware. Concept integration must take into account that facet of human capability that provokes us to grow in our knowledge. Moreover, there simply is no philosopher or philosophy in our history that accepts or promotes the dynamic nature of the human to grow beyond current concepts of achievable knowledge as defined by the philosophy. The most astounding fact is that concept integration is simply an organized statement of stasis up to this time in history. When the best intellects in any period of history hit their individual experiential and conceptual limits, they make the common mistake of the rest of us in assuming limits for Humanity as a whole ... forever.

True concept integration must consider and combine the domain of all human knowledge and human experience at any point in time and also claim temporal and proximate ignorance regarding our growth capability and self-determination. Does that mean we have responsibility for our actions simply because we are able to project the potential results of various choices? Yes. Does that responsibility include the idea that all of what we do must make sense in terms of a larger whole? Yes. Well, it appears that we are on the path to understanding concept integration. It is not a sterile exercise but a human responsibility that accompanies and derives from a human capability. It means we are to bring all the facets of our existence together in a manner that promotes our growth without destruction of our nursery (mother earth) or each other or other species of life. If only we will.

Destiny is based on the physical proofs of human advancement and our responsibility to continue and to accelerate that process. Destiny takes a strong position about eliminating the human weaknesses that appear to negate much of our progress in every generation. Destiny rejects the confining aspects of the teachings of early philosophers and religions in a kind and respectful manner. They were ignorant by a coincidence of time of birth in history, as are we in our turn. It is our job to re-integrate the whole of existence continuously in terms of our ability to understand by broader experience and improved depth of knowledge. Our limits are flexible and we can grow beyond them by enhancing our abilities to learn and to conquer the debilities associated with aging and the wastefulness of death.