File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1998/bhaskar.9810, message 77

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 10:34:47 +0200
Subject: BHA: Alethic truth in totality

Hi Howie, and all,

Your point about the totality to the Bhaskarian theory of truth is 
very crucial. But your point is to heavily concentrating on the 
analytic problematic, when you try to capture the Bhaskarian 
conception of truth without taking into account the totality's 
constructive nature and the naturalistic and moralistic argumentative 
ethic's embedded in it. So it is almost impossible at least to me to 
try to posit other short and exact arguments to your accurately but 
only epistemilogically loadet arguments. This topic is so important, 
but I do not have time to write and present my arguments (dialectical 
and logical) about that issue to those topic which you so accurately 

But some general notions to some of your arguments, because 
I have read and it seems to me understood the 'whole' DPF of RB not 
only the first part of that book. In those arguments I'll try to pick 
up more the Bhaskarian conception about human reflexive action  and 
eudaimonistic ethics. Without taking into account these two, it seems 
to me, it is impossible to answer logically and ethically to those 
questions you have presented. 

> 2) What is the status of the truth tetrapolity 

 >  It is unclear to me what the status of the four components 
>of the truth  tetrapolity is. Does each successive component 
>represent a 'step' towards  an ever fuller truth, or do they 
>represent different 'kinds' of truth? The  distinction seems to me 
>to be an important one. If they are seen as steps,  or as 
>representing ever-greater degrees of truth as one approaches alethic
>truth, then a case could be made that RB is trying to work out a 
>universal account of truth. If, on the contrary, they represent 
>different 'kinds' of truth, then there would be no necessary 
>relationship between the components  of the tetrapolity and we would 
>have an irreducibly pluralistic account of  truth. The problem, it 
>seems to me, is that such a plural notion of truth  would seem to be 
>in considerable tension with the claims that are  repeatedly made 
>for alethia in DPF.

My general notion: There is the reflexive human action 
and also human subjectivity and reflexive agent who integrate 
dialectically, transkendentally and naturally those different 
component when constructing her alethically and ethically loaded 
arguments inside that open totality. So there is no way of trying 
exactly elaborate the connections of the tetrapolarity. 

I have not caught your conception about the totality more 
accurately and it seems to me, that your conception about 
the totality is arbitrary and 'rigid' without any conceptualization 
and capturing its dynamic structuration in the real life (and also by 
means of social sciences):

You wrote: 
>   First, how does reference to totality take us any
> further than simply postulating the existence of a world out there,
> of which we are a part, that is independent of our knowledge of it,
> but about which we can acquire knowledge? Why do we need to talk in
> terms of "the constellational unity of the unity of subject and
> object (or being and language) within subjectivity (language) within
> objectivity (being)"? (p. 272) And whence "the urge of totality to
> break down the philosophy/science divide, as that between science
> and everyday life"?
> Second, I am not sure what to make of the following excerpt which is
> part of the same section on totality:
> "Totality is the mainspring too in the logic of dialectical
> universalizability that we have already seen at work... It is the
> fount of the totalizing depth praxis in the axiology of freedom, a
> praxis which just expresses the reality of social relations and
> global intradependence. It is totality that inspires hope, but it is
> equally behind the superveillance techniques that Foucault has
> described. It is the drive for totality that begins discursive
> argumentation, inspires participatory democracy, the Habermasian
> 'public sphere', but it is also at the root of colonialism,
> neo-colonialism, capitalist accumulation and empire-building
> generally. There is a methodological lesson here: dialectical
> arguments and figures are neither good nor bad in themselves--they
> are necessary or possible, and, when the latter, they leave the
> field of phenomena underdetermined. That is to say, our totality,
> unlike Hegel's, is open both synchronically (systemically) and
> diachronically (to the tensed spatializing causal processes of the
> future)." 

Your conception about the theory of truth has fallen to 
the epistemic fallacy, because you seem to separate truths and 
eudaimonistic freedoms by your general conception about totality. 
To me the conception of Bhaskarian totality is  very important 
eudaimonistically. But  at the same time it mainly directs my 
concentration not to elaborate freedoms but uncovering the 
constrictions and other constraints which prevent the reflexive actor 
of the first two levels of Bhaskarian dialectics from achieving more 
truths and eudaimonistic freedoms in her four planar social being. 

I so badly have missed concrete elaborations and suggestive 
dialectical and maybe only subjective  arguments also in this site 
how to go forward towards ethically sounder social being in some 
local real social contexts by means of Bhaskarian dialectical and 
metacritical arguments together with social scientific explanatory 

Sorry, that I do not have time to create other arguments to your 
interesting and challenging points of your long writingk, Howie. 
But it seems to me, that my underlining of the Bhaskarian idea 
about open dialectical totality and reflexive human agency are 
also at stake when dealing your arguments along the lines of the 
Bhaskarian eudaimonistic and argumentative ethics. Sorry again that 
my comment is so general one, here. 

Now I am more concentrating on to the psychological issues such as: 
When the human agency has no reflexive skills (psychological 
empirical work has shown that it is possible and also some kind of 
scientific truth in some contexts) of capturing her  ontic and social 
dynamic environment, because she only has the first two dialectical 
reasoning modes in her possession (1M and 2E) without reflexive 
skills of the 3L and 4D), how I can be of help as her teacher in some
contextual and also generally elaborated nursing practices. 

Martti Puttonen

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