Levels: The Structure of Philosophical Inquiry

§1: a trion of trionisms

I2 am going to attempt a distinction between phenomenal and metaphenomenal trionisms of which there are two: the component or preliminary and the ultimate or substance . in the former, there is a focus on the experience of the I2 in interaction with I1, the lesser-than-I2, and I3, the greater-than-I2. the focus is on understanding and resolving internal conflict. in the latter there is a focus on the explanation of the construction of the human individual.

§1.1: phenomenal trionism

two basic elements plus an experiencer can generate conflicts.

§1.1.1: Plato: coalition politics

Plato had two basic elements in his scheme of things: matter and mind (nous). objectively, the individual mind returned, at death, to the collective or divine nous. experientially, Plato gave us the imagery of the dragon, the man and the lion. the man's job was to gain the assistance of the lion in keeping the dragon at bay.

this sort of coalition politics produces a dualistic typology. the conflict of the greater self vs the lower self or { I2 - I3 } vs { I1 - I2 }. the I2 may feel pulled in two directions.

§1.1.2: Jung: the ego/self axis and the persona

in jungian psychology, the ego must differentiate itself from the self and from the persona, the mask we wear in public.

§1.1.3: Freud

id/ego/superego

§1.1.4: transactional analysis

child/addult/parent

I2 am going to attempt a distinction between phenomenal and metaphenomenal trionisms of which there are two: the component or preliminary and the ultimate or substance . in the former, there is a focus on the experience of the I2 in interaction with I1, the lesser-than-I2, and I3, the greater-than-I2. the focus is on understanding and resolving internal conflict. in the latter there is a focus on the explanation of the construction of the human individual.

§1.2: internal phenomenology

two basic elements plus an experiencer can generate internal or 'intra-experiencer' conflicts and coalition politics.

the earliest example of a psychology of this type is found in the thinking of Plato. Plato had two basic elements in his scheme of things: matter and mind (nous). objectively, the individual mind returned, at death, to the collective or divine nous; but, if the near-death experience of Er is any indication, some part of the individual survived in order to reincarnate. in any event, Plato gave us the most enduring image of intra-experiencer conflict: the interactions of the dragon, the man and the lion. the man's job was to gain the assistance of the lion in keeping the dragon at bay.

this sort of coalition politics produces a dualistic typology. the conflict of the greater self vs the lower self or { I2 - I3 } vs { I1 - I2 }. the I2 may feel pulled in two directions.

modern psychologies change the terminology; but, when one aspect of the experiencer must mediate conflicts with two other aspects, one recognizes the essential insight of platonic psychology. examples include:

modern psychologies can change the terminology; but, when one aspect of the experiencer must mediate conflicts with two other aspects, one recognizes the essential platonic insight. examples include:

  1. jungian psychology: the ego/self axis and the persona - in jungian psychology, the ego must differentiate itself from the self and from the persona, the mask we wear in public.
  2. freudian psychology: id/ego/superego - the ego must navigate between the demands of the id and superego, somehow striking a balance.
  3. transactional analysis: child/adult/parent - all three are aspects of the freudian ego; but, still, there is the need for mediation.

§1.3: metaphenomenal/component trionism

the attempt here is to explain the construction of the human individual rather than the process of resolving inner conflict; but, the explanation may not be an ultimate explanation; for, the components may be reducible to something more fundamental.

the human individual consists of a human body, the experiencer and an ontological component. the different 'flavors' of trionism make different assumptions as to the origin of the experiencer.

§1.4: metaphenomenal/ultimate trionism

a trionism at this level would hold that each of the components of a human individual is constructed of a distinct substance, one that is separate, not derived, from the existential and ontological components of the human individual. I2 would classify the component trionism of christian thinking thru Campanella as a substance trionism at this ultimate level.

however, at this level, the 'derived substance trionism', assumed by shamchaya psychology (wherein the experiencer is constructed out of a substance that is thought to be derived from the interaction of the existential and the ontological components of the human individual) seems more like a dualism than a genuine trionism at this ultimate level.

§1.5: level of intra-psychic conflict

this level would primarily be useful in classifying psychologies. we might consider Descartes' notorious belief that the I2 is transparent to itself, that there is nothing within of which I2 can not become conscious; and, classify Descartes as a monist at this level; but, it is difficult to see what that accomplishes.

if I2 focus on the explanation for intra-psychic conflict, it is possible to classify a great many psychologies as having a single phenomenology: the I2, as experiencer of inner conflict, must mediate between two opposing forces and may form a coalition with one of them.

the earliest example of a psychology of this type is found in the thinking of Plato. Plato had two basic elements in his scheme of things: matter and mind (nous). objectively, the individual mind returned, at death, to the collective or divine nous; but, if the near-death experience of Er is any indication, some part of the individual survived in order to reincarnate. in any event, Plato gave us the most enduring image of intra-experiencer conflict: the interactions of the dragon, the man and the lion. the strategy of the man, the I2, is to gain the assistance of the lion, the I3, in keeping the dragon, the I1, at bay.

§1.6: level of component analysis and interaction

at this level the concerns are the structure of the I0, the origin of the I2 and the interactions among the components of the I0 (if any). one might reasonably theorize that all relevant facts developed thru phenomenological investigation or third person empirical research will initially be explained with reference to the properties of the components of the human individual, interactions between the components of the human individual and interactions between individuals or between individuals and environmental factors. however, such component based explanations are not necessarily ultimate explanations; for, the components may themselves be reducible to something more fundamental.

at the component level, belief systems may be organized into 'families' according to their view of the component structure of the human individual. I2 will use the following nodes of increasing specificity:

of course, not every belief system classified require use of each of these nodes.

§1.7: level of ultimate explanation

at this level, the belief system assumes or concludes that all the components within the human individual are derived from or reducible to a small number of fundamental realities, usually a single substance or a pair of substances; but, any attempt to show that mind is a property of matter or that mind is reducible to matter would need to explain how philosophers discovered properties of matter unknown to physicists --- a question that remains unanswered.

in any event, the classification scheme at this level is very simple: