An Analysis of Initial Conditions

One of the principle issues in philosophy is causality. Whether engaged in from an academic viewpoint or not the matter of causality is inescapable. In order to have an ordered view of our worlds’, we must have some degree of an organizing principle. And, in order to do this, we also must be able to manipulate objects.

Initially, as children, we learn to manipulate objects in the external world. It is from these experiments that we then can derive and infer broader rules of how objects are to be organized.

Causality is a central concept to understanding the other governing principles that constitute specific “relational frames.” We learn that a given object has a specific name that refers to it; we learn to coordinate objects (e.g., this is next to that); we learn to compare (e.g., this is better than that).

These frames are interesting in their own right, however, they are subordinate to the governing principles, such as causality. In fact, it is chiefly causality that is necessary for the appropriate functioning of one’s ability to organize.

The child is able to experiment and learn from these external objects through an innate sense of causality in conjunction with a basic understanding of laws of nature, specifically time and space (space-time).

Now, these external objects are not just randomly tossed about in the child’s environment, rather, as the child continues to learn, they develop a model or representation of the external world, akin to a map.

These objects have names, coordinates, relations, and a whole host of complex calculations can now be performed. However, this new layer of complexity is taking place within the child’s model of the internal world.

Thus, the external objects, including people, are no longer bound to only the outside world, but they are now a part of the growing internal world.

Here, causality returns to the foreground, as it becomes more nuanced and convoluted with the introduction of the emergence of the idea of self and the internal world.

For example, as children, if child A pushes child B, and there exists an adult who witnesses the order of events, then the correct causality is clear to the adult, and likely known to both children, but their finger-pointing is irrelevant, for there exists an objective vantage point from which causality can be evaluated.

This ceases to be the case as the internal world becomes more complex and one’s sense of self further develops. Armed with agendas, biases, and defensive weaponry, the battle for objective reality becomes one of immense uncertainty.

For example, if adult A pushes adult B, and there exists adult C who witnesses the order of this event, then the order of causality is no longer clear. For adult C cannot serve as some kind of Archimedean point, as the presence of the adult in the previous example could.

This results in a variety of distortions that extend much further than these simplistic situations. For example, this challenge posed by conceptualizing causality is one of the issues within the conventional Western model of medicine. There is such an emphasis on treating the effect that the cause becomes of less importance; however, this doesn’t take into account the significant role of circular causality within systems and rather focuses on linear causality.

As a general rule, linear approaches are suitable for arriving at a solution, but there exist issues whose nature are not fully accounted for by this type of approach, such as the double-bind, which we will explore in subsequent writings.

Thoughts for Ponderance: Humility & Inquiry

There is always more to be drawn out from the shadows—as long as light continues to shine. The scope of the unknowable is and will always be unknown; through repetition and indirect of methods of approximations, the distance between the known and unknown can be lessened, inferences and hypotheses can be made with reasonable certainty.

However, it will forever remain a limit of human knowledge to determine the extent to which content stills remains lurking in the darkness of the depths. The totality can never be reached through rational thought, only approximated; to assert otherwise is to demonstrate one’s unconsciousness by pretending to have mapped and ascertained that which, by its very nature, is unknowable, both in scope and nature. Therefore, humility will always be a necessary requirement for true intellectual and personal inquiries.