Structuralizing Possibility

On one hand, articulating a theory excludes 99.9999% of the possibilities. Representing reality in a specific form intellectually negates the possibility of conflicting interpretations.

On the other hand, articulating a theory opens up new intellectual possibilities by reimagining the way reality is understood. This may lead to additional theories, and greater understanding, that may not have been possible without the introduction of the catalytic idea.

The key, then, is to not become attached to our representations but to see them as part of an expansive, evolutionary process.

2 thoughts on “Structuralizing Possibility

  1. Quai Franklin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your approach. As a Vedantist thinker, I start with the position that to define a concept is to inject an artificial duality into the Universe where it doesn’t exist “naturally”. That being the case, I expect that when I form a theory that is meant to explain phenomena, I am really open to adjusting that theory as new data and new patterns emerge from observation. I remain open-minded because I realize that, particularly in terms of social science and cultural analysis, observation is subjective. The best I can do is shoot for a theory that is internally, logically consistent and that I take in all observations and classify them as objectively as possible.

    You’re also talking about the exciting consequences of theory formation, that of being the catalyst for future ideas and ways to practically implement the theory. The personal and societal transformation possibilities are really astounding. I think people like you and I understand the power of ideas and have the respect for ideas that motivate us to be intellectually honest. To be otherwise is to be destructive to the human experience.

    Thank you for all the intellectual and creative work you’re doing here. It’s great to know there are others out there like me!

    • jrdreistadt says:

      Thank you for introducing me to a new idea, or at least one that has escaped my conscious understanding – Vedanta. If only all scientists, social and otherwise, were as open as us – what an amazing world of possibilities we could create together! I am also so grateful to have connected with you here, and thank you so much for appreciating my work.

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