Relations between Dimensions and Factors of Functioning

'
The knowledge and methodology within Arc of  Essentials © is - as previously stated (see Matrix of Dimensions and Main Components of Arc of Essentials © - Body of Knowledge ) - based on insights concerning principles and laws on four fields of knowledge:

psychology

,

logic

,

causal analysis

and

language and communication

.
This expertise covers four areas or domains of our total reality, which represent dimensions of information. They include laws, mechanisms and processes that always play a role in any information processing and judgments.
 
What are the essential binding relations between these four dimensions of judgments? In other words, what is a model for Arc of Essentials © that maps the main links between these four main areas?


 

Organism



First, the model of Arc of Essentials © applies to any living system. This may be an individual but also a group, an organization or a society at large. In general, such as system can have four basic capabilities:

consciousness

,

information processing

,

physical behavior

and

communication

. If we want to understand the wat the system works, then we at least need to understand all of these four basic capabilities, their workings and more importantly, their interactions.
 

Subjective experience



Naturally, complete reality as it surrounds us and penetrates us, will be the area to retrieve our most 'objective' and therefore reliable information from. We do however not deal straightforwardly with that reality, but through our (conscious)

subjective experience

.
Therefore the primary 'medium' and starting point within which we are faced with information is our everyday experience of things, or world of experience. This is the variable content of - the conscious part of - our 'Bubble of Perception': filled with ever-changing sensations, body feelings, perceptions, memories, fantasies, reasoning, emotions, dreams, etc..

Subjective experience takes a prominent place within the model. Logically, we see that subjective experience constitutes the first reference for everyone in any way. The quality of subjective experience is beneficial to everyone ahead in his life - or 'happiness', ranging from superficial pleasure, to deep satisfaction or supreme ecstasy. This quality is our primary criterion that gives purpose and direction in our life and work. The 'objective' factors play an important but only secondary, indirect role in this respect, eg as a circumstance, means or condition.

Because subjective experience is that important, it is interesting to take a look at its composition, content and operation. Within the entire realm of subjective experience we can distinguish two sub-dimensions.

(a)

Content:


First there is content, the psychological and mental the elements, components or building blocks of subjective experience. Essentially this 'raw material' of experience consists of 'loose' subjective sensations, especially the so-called 'qualia': the aspects of experience that we perceive most immediately. These can be ordered according to their sensory characteristics (submodalities) such as color, shape, temperature, etc., and therefore be fairly well linked with specific neuronal areas, functional fields and pathways in the nervous system.

(b)

Structure:


Second, there are the relations between the elements, especially ordering relations. The most important are relations of time and sequence, location and position, associative or similarity relations, quantitative or proportional relations, and relations of reference including sign-to-meaning relations. In general, all these relations can be reduced to derivational relations.
The relations jointly determine the structure of subjective experience. It appears to be rather difficult to really directly map relations of subjective experience to a specific source, origin or formation cause 'on location' in the nervous system, such as neuronal areas, substances, tissues or circuits in the nervous system. But there is a general, overall structural congruity to be discerned between the structure of subjective experience and the structure of neuro-physical domain. Broadly seen, subjective experience at least shows a certain reflection or an expression of the neurophysiological process of information processing, in particular with respect to modality (somato-sensory organization), temporal aspects ie chronology (stages of input, processing and output), and type of operation (instantaneous experience, memory or construction).

Of these two main groups, the content is generally the most unique, volatile, unpredictable and incalculable - and therefore the hardest to identify, describe and predict, unless it be with use of a lot of additional information from contextual sources, personal history, empathy and intuitive assessment. In most cases the result will be highly subjective and personal.
The structure however is much more widespread (universal), stable and limited in comparison to the content. Moreover, the structure determines the relations between the parts, and thus the composition, organization and operation of the whole: hence the saying 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' In other words, the structure is much more decisive for the contents, than vice versa. Thus, the structure is much easier to discover, describe and predict than the content. This is especially true if we make use of reliable knowledge of relevant scientific disciplines, such as neuro-physiology, general linguistics and formal logic.
 

Semantic network



In short, the subjective experience - be it on the conscious or the unconscious level - may consist of an almost infinite variety of 'loose' elements such as sensations and experiential aspects, as well as the relations between them, ie organization, coherence or structure.
Now it appears that the coherence of mental contents and their relations can be described in terms of a semantic network: a network-like 'fabric' of meanings that are interconnected by numerous referential relations.
Once any organization appears within the subjective experience, there is a semantic network. This semantic network thus is an immediate derivative of subjective experience.
Next it will be clear that the semantic network of subjective experience is related to a number of major areas and related factors within our reality.

Domain

 

psychology




Subjective experience is in any case largely a product or a function of mental functioning. Our understanding of the factors and influences that determine the subjective experience thus also stems from our concept of man, or model of human functioning. Psychology is the first of scientific disciplines that should offer insights to this. But it should of course then provide a coherent, clear and balanced model of human functioning.
The most solid basis for a model of the human psychic system is primarily found in the workings of the nervous system, therefore in neurophysiology (including neuroanatomy). On basis of mainly material aspects this is also related to neuropsychology, biopsychology, biology, chemistry, etc.. Concerning the more intangible aspects that are related to information processing and behavior, we may find useful knowledge in the areas of linguistics, social psychology, cognitive science, and formal logic.

Within Arc of Essentials © a psychological model has been developed in which tangible and intangible dimensions are integrated on grounds of the most solid scientific knowledge:

'Psychology of Subjective Experience' ©

.
Arc of Essentials © - components Psychology.


Information



Once our experience no longer comprises only total chaos, like a diffuse gray mist of identical noise - that is, as soon as any difference can be detected - there exists an ordering relation. Now it appears that certain ordering patterns within this network repeat themselves relative to other patterns: there are certain regularities between different relations. Because of this, except for (direct) relationships, also referential relations are possible, or meaning relations, and because of that,

information

.

In short, information is derived from the ordering relations of the semantic network. van het semantisch netwerk. Moreover, this network is constantly changing, being 'refreshed' with new inputs from its resources: observation, body sensation, memory, mental processing, inference, creative construction, phantasy and imagination, etc.. Therefore, organization and reorganization are constantly taking place. In this respect, our subjective experience constitutes a part of the psyche as an information processing system.

We use information to determine our choices and reactions, through continuous processes of selection and decision. For the most part this takes place at an unconscious level - but we can become conscious of much of it.
In short, the subjective experience has the organization of a semantic network, the ordering relations within it embody information, and this provides the grounds for our selection and decision on inferences, judgments and reactions.

Domain

 

logic




The many different processes of information processing can be traced back to an elementary process: on basis of available data, other data can be derived - through a process, or operation, we call reasoning. In the end, we use the outcomes of this process to determine or to change our decisions and responses in such a way that will as we hope render desired results. To best deal with information we therefore need to understand the laws of information that provide guidelines by which we may reason with optimal outcomes.

The field in which information - in the sense of ordering relations - is studied in the most accurate, thorough and universally valid way is that of

logic

. In its most precise and powerful form this is formal logic.
In formal logic one searches for the ultimate forms and limits of representative power (consistency) and decision capacity (validity).
{Note. Actually, formal logic can be considered to be the only 'real' logic, because any other logic would be suboptimal, satisfying to a lesser degree basic logical principles such as clarity, precision, consistency, general validity, etc. - and if not, it belongs just as well to the same, 'real' logic.}

A well-known derivative, an application and an extension of formal logic constitutes in particular mathematics. By far however, most of the processes and problems of reasoning, judgment and decision making with which we have to deal in our daily life do not satisfy calculability, but they can however be optimally addressed with logic, irrespectively of any use of arithmetic or calculation.
The exact possibilities and limits of logic are again defined in meta-logic. From this, there is irrefutable evidence that reliable information is actually only possible insofar as the laws of (formal) logic are precisely followed.

Then, psychology shows that most people know very little or nothing of these laws of thought (and the facts show that they are usually not learning about them in regular schooling, education or training, apart from the secondary disciplines of arithmetic and mathematics). In general, people appear to heavily rely for their reasoning on their 'intuition', which is an instinctive, half-unconscious, associative and impressionistic manner of judgment in which emotion and imagination have free reign. This usually leads, in particular in social judgment, to gigantic error levels in terms of prejudice, hasty judgments, irrelevancies and all other kinds of fallacies - with absurdly much unnecessary confusion, disadvantages and damage, that the newspapers and website blogs fill with squabble daily, and the consulting rooms of coaches and therapists are flooding of. This may be considered strange because the basic principles of logic are just as easy to learn as the principles of reading, writing and counting.

The logical insights and techniques that are most directly applicable for fast, sharp and sound judgments in all possible situations, are grouped within Arc of Essentials © under the heading of Method

'Practical Logic' ©

.
See, eg Arc of Essentials © - components Logic.


Information application



Almost all problems and goals - big and small - are about finding causes, cues and solutions to achieve desired results. Naturally, for this we rely on information and information processing, and thus logical reasoning.
Based on the conclusions from these processes - again, consciously or unconsciously - we convert such information into responses eg physical responses like expressions and behaviors, through intestines, glands and muscles:

Information application

.

Determining the critical link in achieving goals and solutions firstly requires good explanations of phenomena - what are the causes of a certain result? - and every good predictions - what are the effects of a particular factor? This requires understanding the application of cause and effect principles.

As soon we are facing physical and social world outside, so-called empirical reality, we are faced with cause-effect relationships: principles of causal working, influence, control, and hence dynamics, physics, mechanics, cybernetics, etc..
In several ways our conscious perception inevitably depends upon causality in the physical world: (1) it is affected by forces or factors from that reality through the senses, body and nervous system; (2) it reflects in its contents some part of that reality; and (3) it contains information that we apply to reality through explaining and predicting, on basis of which we determine our deliberations, choices and actions.
Having knowledge of causal relations is therefore essential and indispensable in our lives.

Domain

 

Causality




Most causal relationships we learn about quite arbitrarily in our lives, playfully on the go as it where, through intuitive experimentation, in a casual haphazard manner, by trial and error, hit-or-miss.

An objective understanding of causality, however, first requires a special application of logic in areas of empirical reality. This means that the abstract results from logic have to be tailored to fit causes and effects in real situations. Next we can use statistics in order to investigate, describe and test causal relationships on a larger scale.
In other words, we also need a special kind of logic for applying information for practical purposes: causal logic.

A unique method of cause-effect analysis, tailored for practical problems, is provided within Arc of Essentials © called Method of

Causal Analysis

.
See, eg Arc of Essentials © - components of Causal Analysis.


Syntax



Information consists of abstract patterns, and these may reflect for instance the coherence in concrete physical objects or certain clear and intense experiences. But they do not have in themselves - in essence so to speak - a specific, recognizable shape. We can however represent information or record it in a recognizable form, using specific codes such as speech, writing, symbols, icons, etc.. We do this by means of a particular language, grammar or

syntax

. Through the syntax we can also deduce the information from that shape again.

The syntax provides a system - rules and 'vocabulary' - to encrypt and decrypt information. We will have to follow the rules if we are to effectively display information and - for example at a later moment - to recognize it.


Information exchange



Finally, our subjective experience largely constitutes inter-subjective experience. That is, it consists of 'shared', 'common', or, more precisely, symmetrical perceptions between individuals, what we usually call mutual understanding (which also includes shared conventions, sensus communis, communis opinio, etc.)
We need this mutual understanding with others, in order to function socially or, to put it plain and simple, to survive in society. (As the 'social monkey' that we essentially are).

Therefore, we are almost constantly engaged in collecting information from our environment, especially our social environment, and expressing information and transferring it to others:

Information exchange

.

Domain

 

language & communication




Most inter-subjective 'truths' we learn through non-verbal communication, in it's most basic form designation by simple signs, gestures and hints, or 'deiksis' (ie deictic reference). When information becomes more complex however, we start to use language.

The fact is that we do lots of information collection, borrowing, capturing, expressing, transferring and sharing with others through

language and communication

. Also, all science branches, but especially the social sciences, depent heavily for their data collection, research, theory and knowledge development on information exchange, both with experts and lay people (like subjects, audience, customers, etc.), and language is an indispensable medium for this.
In communication we make use of utterances and nonverbal codes as carriers of information - but these codes and schemes on their turn can reduce, fade or warp the original information. Thus, the syntactic surface structure of language and expressions is not identical with, but refers to the semantic deep structure which contains the real information, consisting of one piece of the semantic network that is laying underneath. 'Words are only indicators' as they refer to certain content not present in the perceivable form, and therefore we need psychological language analysis to know exactly which content this may be.

The human language capacity in itself again affects mental processes in many aspects: eg semantic content, concepts and perceptions, encoding and decoding, information gathering, processing and transfer.

In other words, insight and expertise with respect to language and communication are essential for reliable information processing and judgments. The structure and function of human language systems is being studied in general linguistics and in related areas such as general semantics (GS), psycholinguistics, etc..

Within Arc of Essentials © a universal and very systematic method is provided, especially for the analysis of all forms of information in language and other symbols: Method of

'Psychological Language analysis' ©


See, eg Arc of Essentials © - components of Language & Communication.


Conclusion



The above shows that psychology has in itself little to contribute to optimizing information processing, without additional insights from fields that are more directly concerned with quality of information and representation, like logic, causal analysis and language analysis. Ironically, the opposite does count. Ultimately psychology - without the necessary complement - delivers a very small contribution to gain answers, solutions and results.
On the other hand, none of these disciplines such as the table shows, offers in itself sufficient tools for an optimal information processing and judgment: each plays an important and crucial role in these processes.

It is therefore essential that we understand the interconnectedness of laws, mechanisms and processes related to information processing and judgments. Precisely this interconnectedness is clearly and systematically mapped within Arc of Essentials © through a series of related models and methods for data and judgments (see the summary,

Matrix of Dimensions and Main Components of Arc of Essentials ©

).

In addition, Arc of Essentials © offers adequate solutions and additional extras for various problems and shortcomings in these areas:

Solutions and Extras of Arc of Essentials ©

.

See also:


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