The science of the ancient Stoics was naïve and erroneous. Modern science has come up with all the answers. The universe is not based on any life principle but, as “natural science” will have it, is just the ashy aftermath of a great dirty explosion. The end result is that, despite all of Becker’s the creativity of attempts to revamp a new Stoicism compatible with current science, he necessarily ends sliding into the Epicurean paradigm diametrically opposed to his original intention. Current science is atomistic, dualist and a philosophy espoused by Bertrand Russel, Peter F. Strawson, and so many others of modern times, the same position espoused by the ancient Epicureans.
As Becker well knows, the “doctrine that the universe should be understood as a purposive, rational being” is central to Stoicism. Throw it into the dustbin of history and Stoicism goes with it. Becker, or any of the moderns for that matter, has not even attempted a case against the ancient scientific doctrine. The only argument seems to be is that if it is ancient then it must be inferior to the science of us moderns. In those days, they did not even have internet shopping and motor cars. An alternative approach, and the one promoted here, is to resurrect the ancient science of antiquity and in particular the Stoic version.
The Stoics conceived a world free of anything or anybody behind the scene pulling the strings. There can be no outside organiser. This world is totally unconstrained. There are no pre-ordained rules. The only principle constraining the world is that it be totally unconstrained. Thus, the central principle is of a rational kind. The system is constrained by its own Logos. This principle applies to the cosmos, and equally to any being of the Cosmos.It is important to note a key subtlety here that distinguishes the Stoic mode of thinking to that of Aristotle. The principle doesn’t apply to Everything as Everything is not a thing. It applies to Anything. The Stoics never proposed a TOE (Theory of Everything). Instead, they proposed a TOA (Theory of Anything). This subtlety rests on the difference between thinking abstractly and thinking generically. The Stoics were not abstract thinkers like so most other thinkers. They were not generalists, they were generic thinkers, they were generitists.
One modern way of describing the principle of such a system is that it is bound by the iron laws of First Classness (FC), a term borrowed from Computer Science. FC is a fiendishly difficult concept to formalise and even more difficult to make iron like. Many examples of FC abound in Computer Science but won’t be mentioned here. Remember though that asking your local guru on the matter will only result in a partial answer. The only thing we will say about FC is that it leads to the common perception that developing systems that do not violate FC is considered Good. Whenever a software developer violates the principle in his work, he knows deep down that he is committing a sin which one day will come back to haunt him. Thus, in the field of software development, the FC concept provides a moral compass to software engineers. It is perhaps, the only moral compass.
Returning to the Stoics, a basic expression of FC in Stoic physics is that the property of an entity must be considered an entity in its own right. If this were not the case, an entity would be ontologically more important than its property, or perhaps vice versa. FC demands a dictator free zone: no one definitively calls the tune.
Now Becker argue as that in the centuries following the Renaissance the advancement of science put Stoicism on the defensive. This is certainly the case in the emergence of classical physics. Classical physics violates the Stoic FC requirement concerning entities and their properties. Classical physics opted for Second Classness constituted of two modes of being, particles and force fields between particles. The force fields were not particles in their own right but a kind of something else. Stoic physics was dead in the water. Physics had become an Epicurean atomistic, dualism.
But then, in the twentieth century came the rise of quantum mechanics. The tables were turned. There were no force fields, just particles. The forces between particles could be explained by an exchange of other particles called gauge bosons, particles in their own right. The movement back towards the original Stoic FC doctrine had started. However, quantum mechanics is still only an empirical “suck it and see” science. None of its findings can be derived from first principles. The source of any such principles of course can only be from the dictates of FC, a slippery beast but not an impossible one.
FC is a principle and has no explicit structure. However, structure, a certain kind of structure, is necessary in order not to violate FC. Some of the ancients knew this going right back to Empedocles. A reverse engineered version of the reasoning will appear in a book I am writing, but we all know what it looked like. Empedocles called them the four Roots. Others have called them the four Letters. The Stoics saw it as the theory of the four Elements. In my book, I argue that the four Letters can be interpreted as a unifying science that includes the four-lettered genetic code as a special case. I call it the God Code.
That any entity in reality can be coded by a four letter, generic code has stupendous implications. That every cell of an organism must contain a copy of the same code for the whole organism is incredible enough. What is even more stupendous is that that this genetic code should be more generic than just for the animate, applying right across the board, applying to anything. None of this would have surprised the Stoics. This was the way too that they saw the world. Present day traditional sciences might be devoid of any “grand teleological explanations” as Becker states, however things will be different for the resurgent new unifying science based on the ancient Stoic doctrine.
The naivety of the theory of the four Elements lies more in the naivety of the eyes of the modern beholder than in the ancient theory. The naivety of modern science lies in its belief that the only source of scientific knowledge is because of empirical measurement. This naturally leads to a dualistic way of seeing the world: The world is populated by material entities, which possess sensual properties. The sensual properties are not material and are not even entities. This is a valid and useful way of conceiving the world. It is particularly useful as it is free of any costly overheads that may come with a more elaborate conceptual schema. All that really matters are the data. However, it is not the only way, and certainly not the most fundamental way of conceiving the world.
The empirical view of the world violates FC because of its dualism between entity and property. Ignoring attempts by quantum mechanics to buck the trend, modern science is based on Second Classness.
This acceptance of a Second Classness view of the world can be traced back to Aristotle. Aristotle interpreted the four Elements of antiquity in a way that would be somewhat similar to the moderns. The four elements were the elementary constituents of matter. Matter was a simple mixture of these four elements.
Aristotle retained some of the ancient form of reasoning in terms of oppositions, but otherwise his approach resembled the moderns. For him each of the Elements possessed particular, plain and ordinary properties. Thus, according to Aristotle:
Chrysippus and Ground Zero
By Ground Zero, we mean the centre of the Cosmos. Ground Zero has a certain shape, the shape of the entity located at the centre of the Cosmos. As we know, this entity is none other than any subject whatsover that takes the pain to contemplate on its particular spot in the universe. Without fail, this subject, like any other subject, sees itslef as being located at the aforsaid location, notably the centre of the Cosmos, the centre of its Cosmos, at least.
As for the shape of this entity, the generic subject, it has a left and a right side and also a front and a back. This is the structure we have been referring to as the semiotic square. It is a structure that can be interpreted in many ways, as a blueprint for epistemological organistion of knowledge, for example. There are also ontological, and of course many biological interpretations. On the biological front, this structures can be thought of as the structure of a whole, as coded by a chromsomal codon. Any biological organism is organisaed as an entity viewed as a whole from a myriad of points of views. To each codon there corresponds a holistic point of view. The genetic cum generic code is the language that articulates the geometric algebra of this exhaustive but holistic view of the organism. Another intepretation of this highly generic semiotic square is that it offers a schematic for elementary cognitive structure.
Chrysippus Square of Oppositions reconstructed, based on four of his undemonstratables
So prodigiously generic is this structure that it can make the head spin. To top it off, we now have Chrysippus joining the fray. Now Chrysippus was consided by the ancients to be the equal of Aristotle, so he cannot be dismissed as a lightweight. In the diagram below, we have organised four of his five fundamental syllogisms into a form which falls quite naturally into the elementary structure of the generic semiotic square. As can be seen, the premises of the first and the second hypothetical conjunctive syllogisms make one diagonal of the square and the two disjunctive forms mark out the other diagonal. It is becoming clear that we have here, a structure which has a resembalnce to the Square of Oppositions of Aristotle. The Scholastics added the AEOI four lettered labelling to Aristotle’s system and spent over a milenium probing into its delights. Not to be outdone, we have added our lettering to out reconstructed version of the Chrysippus Square in the hope of preparing it for its reinvigorasted role in the present millenium. Suffering from a lack of creativity, we have borrowed the RNA version of the biologist’s genetic code. Why invent when you can steal, is our motto. It took the author a little while to get the right fit, but he is reasonably confident that the his allocation of the CAUG lettering, is the spot on. He would be very miffed if this was not the case.
Chrysippus and the Grand Unification
The ancient Stoics have been the historic mentors for the material presented in this work. They developed the most succesful and diverse form of monistic philosophy that the Western world has ever seen. Zeno provided the intuitive and informal core elements of the doctrine. Chrysippus’s logic marked the first tentaitve steps towards the formalisation of a unifying science. The full significance of Chrysippus’s contribution has been little understood by the moderns, blinded as they are, by the achievements of the current day sciences. Despite these achievements, the present day sciences are lacking in any kind of cohesive unifying discipline. The unifying science started by the Stoics, will provide such a unification.
Of critical importance is to learn how to reason in a different way than is customarily taught in modern schools and universities. The moderns only have a partial grasp on rationality. Modern science and mathematics only understand the notion of the true and the false. What lacks, is the understanding of truth. However, the very mention of this word, truth, can seem off puting. After all, probably more people have been burned at the stake because of an alledged incorrect understanding of truth, than for any other reason. However, buried amongst the historic debris of lost causes lurks indeed the rusted hulk of truth.
Nevertheless, as any philosopher knows well, truth of this kind must be self justifying. For many, such as Karl Popper, the notion of a self justifying truth is synonomous with the blind faith of religious zealots and doctrinaire extremists, something anathema to science. Popper is content with the kind of knowledge where each proposition is forever condemed to the judgment that it might be false. Even worse. at the same time the proposition must accomodate to the stark reality that this judgment might indeed be true. But then again, it mightn’t. Modern scientists are a brave lot.
Sidenote: Popper did eventually nuance his views on this matter in the light of the self justifying biological organsim notion. In so doing he imlicitly admits that the bilogical organism is obsessed with self justifying its continual existence in the world. As such, biological organsims seem to have ontologically more in common with the logic of religious zealots and political fanatics, than with the cool, dry head of the analytic philosopher.
The stark truth about truth is that it must be relative. and never absolute. It is only in this way can it become an absolute truth. In other words, it becomes an absolute truth relative to itself. This is the essence of monistic philosophy: It is the rationality of the self justifying Self. Relative to this subject, there is only one truth.
We have already made inroads into the science of the subject.. Unlike the analytic rhetorical type reasoning of the analytic philosophy, the reasoning of this right side, monist philosophy is expressed in terms of oppositions and oppositions between oppositions. It is in this way that the readoning becomes a relativisdtic form of reasoning. Rather than rhetorical, it becomes dialectical. The nuts and bolts of the reasoning deals with the dialect of two entities, one which has and the other that is. These entities differ by gender, the first corresponding to the feminine gender, the second to the masculine. The dialectic of to have and to be, constitues the core essence of the monistic, right side form of reasoning.
This is the dialectic of the subject minamally conscious of itself. It leads to a particular kind of knowledge. It leads to the generic truth that reality, viewed from any particular perspective, is the reality viewed from the the point of view of the generic subject, the any subject whatsoever kind of subject,
The elementary form that arose from our investigations was the semiotic square. This structure arose from the opposition between what the subject is and what the subject is not, that is to say, what it has. This opposition was formalised in terms of the gender construct. This leads to the four distinct parts of the square being gender typed MF, FF, FM and MM.
This very generic quadtuple structure is highly lacking in determination. The edifice is so undertemined that it is not even clear whether it corresponds to the semiotic structure of knowledge of the world, or the stucture of the world itslef. Is this epistemology or is it physics? Is this the structure of Mind or is it the structure of Body? Is it structure of a generic language or that of a generic world?
Finding an answer to these kinds of questions is key. It is here that we find the great enigma of this science. Unlike the analytical thinkers who want to understand the realtionship between Mind and Body in terms analogous to that between horse and cart, the synthetic monist thinker must take a different tack. The horse will not be seperated from the cart but treated as an organic whole. One cannot have one without the other. We cam across the very essence of the monist solution in the form of the gender construct. Rahter than plucking attributes from a predefined definitional framework or harvested from emperical measurments, we constructed the one single fundamental attribute from which stem all other attributes of our science. This was the attribute possessed by the pure feminine entity. The attribute, an entity in its own right, was the masculine entity. These two entities are different. They differ by gender. However, they are absolutely indistinguishable. Two entities are distinguishable if they have different asttributes. Here there might be two entities but there is only one attribute between them: Two entities; one has an attribute, the other is the attribute.
This gender construct provides the generic formula for all of the science that follows. The dialectic of the masculine and the feminine provides the generic base for all other seemingly dyadic stuctures such as the popular Mind Body duality of the analytic philosophers. The relationship between the pure feminine and masculine is a generic form of the same relationship between Mind and Body.
Not everyone will agree with this assertion. Certainly, an analytic philosopher or anyone reasoning from a Cartesian viewpoint, would take the abstract road, abstractly arguing that Body is like a machine and Mind is an intelligence that drives the machine. The two are linked together by some kind of “bridging laws”, perhaps, There is no dialectic here as the notion of a bodyless mind and mindless body, is considered quite respectable. They can conceivably go their separate ways: Put the brain in the bottle and the brain dead body on life support, should do the trick.
Such a surgical seperation is impossible for an organism constructed from the gender construct. The organism is constructed according to a four-lettered code. According to out gender calculus version of this code. Each letter is made up of one of the four binary gender typings, MF, FF, FM and MM. On the face of it, the organism might be just a highly complex essemblage of hydro-carbon based compounds. However, from an organisational point of view, it is a seething mass of intertwined, gendered entities. It is this gender typing of content and form of the organsim that ensures systemic coherence. It is in this way that the One can be constructed from the inseperable and indistiguishable Two.
The Stoics saw this dynamic systemic organ
isation of the organism in terms of the tensions and tenos of a fifth kind of substance they called pneuma.
The pneuma is in constant motion. It is a process into itself, and from itself. The inward process produces unity and substance, the outward process dimensions and qualities. The pneuma is a disposition (hexis) in process. As a disposition, the pneuma holds the cosmos together, and accounts for the cohesions of each individual entity. The pneuma is the cause of the entity’s being qualified: For the bodies are bound together by these. [Chrysippus views on the pneuma (Reesor, 1989)]
The coherence, the very being of an organism is synomous with it maintaining Oneness. The mechanism for achieving and maintaining Oneness is through the establishment and maintenance of gender typing. The oranism must know, without a shadow of doubt, what it has and has not and what it is and is not. In all cases. These are the key determinants of consciousness. Also, the determinations are purely relative. They are purely subject-ive. This, one must admit, is trully a beautiful, self referring system.
Beautiful indeed, but how does it work? With profound beauty one would expect an accompanying simplicity, a profound but simple principle. Seeing that everything involved in this kind of self organising organism is relativistic, there should be some some fundamental relativistic principle at play. In the tradional sciences of our day, the only reltivistic principle known is in physics. There is no known equivalent in biology. In physics, we see relativty theory expressed as demanding that the laws of physics remain invariant from one reference frame to another. Perhaps more pointedly, as shown by Zeeman, the principle of relativty is intimetely bound up with the non violation of the causality principle. It is here that one can grasp the simplicity and elgeance of the theory. System coherence demands the coherence of causality. The claim of generic science is that this is not enough. A much more demanding form of relativity is required, what we call generic ralativity.
If the work presented in this book is to be more than the usual exposition of inconclusive philosophical prose, then we should be able to advance an equally simple and elgeant formulation concerning the essence of generic relativity, the cornerstone of the generic science we are trying to develop. Fortualely, we don’t have to look far. The principle is located at Ground Zero and there is noone who knew this spot in the Cosmos better than Chrysippus, the Stoic logician par excellence. Ground Zero is the location of the Logos, the reasoning faculty of any subject whatsoever. The form of the Logos can be understood in terms of the dialectic of having and being which leads to the semiotic square. Chrysippus provided tha logical framework of the Logos semiotic square in the form of four of his five undemonstratables. We have ressurected this structurte as an alternative to Aristotle’s Square of Oppositions as already shown in Figure 30. We have named this Chrysippus’ Square of Oppositions. The fit between this strucute and the four undemonstrables is confortable and reasonably self evident. Thes stucure effectivel provides an additional logical impetus to the thrust of our argument. The four undemonstratbles provide a logical dimension to the interpretation of the four element theory and the corresponding four letters.
Five undemonstrables minus four leaves one. The missing syllogism is the third undemonstrable, the incompatibility syllogism: One can’t have one quality and the other at the same time. We now come to the fundamental tenant of generic science. It is founded on the premise that there is noting more incompatible in this world than the masculine and the feminine. This premise does have some intuitive appeal and so we will stick with it. This is not a bad idea as it appears that the whole cosmos hinges on the concept. It is this incompatibility principle that holds not only the cosmos together, but any being whatsoever that exists,
In the case of biological organisms, the concept should be relatively easy to grasp. A stumbling block might be in accepting the fact that the genetic code is more than a mere transcription language which curiously somehow accidently became a convention adopted by all living organisms since the year dot, without exception. Accidents do happen, but this accident does seem a little bigger than most. Life might be subject to evolution, but the language of life seems absolutely impervious to change. Nature seemed to have got it absolutely spot on, right from the start.
The reader may rest with that interesting accident hypothesis or move on to considering that the code may be based on a generic semantic and ontological structure. According to our take on the question, this structure is based on the dialetics of being and its naturally orthogonal counterpart, that of having. This can be formalised in terms of the gender construct and leads to a four letter code based on the four possible binary combinations of the two genders. It is generally accepted that all biological processes are coded by the genetic code, what we claim to be the genric code. Moreover, in multi-clled creature, the same code is repeated for each cell. We say that this code expresses a relative typing on all aspects of the organism. At the very ground roots level, the typing is in terms of complex combinations of gender typing. We claim that the organism relies on this form of organisation in order to arrive at knowledge and consciousness of itslef. It is via this absolutely relativistic gender typing that the entity knows what pertains to it or what does not. This is the most elementary and most essential feature of life.
Morevoder, the basic health of the organism will be placed in peril if this typing mechansim starts breaking down. The cohesian of the system demands the constant maintenance of the integrity of gender typing through the organism. The Stoic picture of a pneuma permeating every aspect of the organism is very helpful The penuma is constantly attracting and reppeling, constantly maintaining the equilibrium of the organsim.
The Stoics claim that there are two primary principles working through the pneuma, the active principle and the passive principle. This terminology is also helpful, as long as we recognise that the active and passive ultimately refer to the masculine and feminine, in a particular configuration. For example we refer to the feminine as active by the mixed gender term FM. The masculine as active becomes MM and so on for the passive MF and FF variants.
Maintenance of the integrity of gender typing throughout the organism is paramoint. Since the system is changing and reacting to its environment, this integrity must be synchronised. This brings us back to the key logical ingredient that keeps guarentees such coherence. The coherence principle.
The Gender Coherence Principle
The organisational coherence of an organism is regulated through gender typing. The maintenance of organisational coherence is synonomous with maintaining the integrity of gender coherence. This can best be expressed in the form of Chrysippus’ third undemonstratable, the incompatibility syllogism. The premise can be restated in the form
We will call this the gender coherence principle, the fundamental organisational principle of Nature.
Note in passing that an entity can have multiple gender typing. However, it cannot have two different gender typings at the same time. This raises interesting question regarding the degeneracy of the genetic code. Take the amino acid asparagine, for example. It can be coded by either the bases AAU or AUC. In gender terms, this translates to the gender typing MFMFFF or MFMFMM. According to the gender coherence principle, such an netity has two possible “quantum” gender states. At any time it can be functioning as either MFMFFF or MFMFMM, but not both at the same time. Remember that gender typing at any instant of time is not absolute and cannot be measured deterministically by a third party. Gender typing is relativisitic and dynamic and in coherence with the organism so typed.
Note that the so called superposition of states addressed by quantum mechanics dissapears if they are considered to be more like relativistic gender states. Any observer that tries to deterministically measure a relativistic gender state of an organism will encounter superposition. For the organism in question, there is no superposition whatsoever. Relative to its integrity system, the gender coherence principle demands that the very opposite apply at each and any instant.
As for the organism, in the life sciences the organism might be a cat on a slab in the lab. For the physicist, the organism might be a much smaller or much larger creature. However, it is stillan organism based on the same generic organisational principles.
In an appendix attached to this work, elementary particle physics will be interpreted from a generic point of view. This realuts in elementary entities like quarks and leptons being gender typed in terms of codons, similar to in biology. In this way, any being in nature code itself in terms of the genric code based on gender typing. This includes the cosmos itslef, as a dynamic self organising being.
In traditional relativity theory one can discern an elementary organisational coherence which can be stated in a form comporable to the gender coherence principle. In this case it becomes the principle of causal integrity. The principle states the dialectic of cause and effect.
This is the most fundamental organisational principle known to traditional physics. The law must not be violated in any context (i.e., in any reference frame) and so demands a system that obeys Einstein’s Special and General Theory of Relativity.
One can see that the form of Eistein’s relativity has a certain resemblance to the generic form expressed, not as a causality coherence, but as gender coherence. There is also a fundamental difference, Eistein’s relativity demands a coherence across time: Causes must preceed effects in time. In other words Eistein’s relativity is diachronic in nature. In contrast, the generic version of relativity demands a coherence at the same time. In orther words generic relativity is synchronic in nature, and up until now, has been totally ignored in physics.
Computer Science Interpretation
It is important to keep in mind at all times when dealing with the generic that it is not an abstract science. Generic science is capable of formalism but not as as an abstraction, which is necessarly dualist. Generic science is monist and non abstract. Some effort is required to become accustomed to this totally different paradigm. Interpreting some of the concepts in a Computer Science setting can help, in this regard, unlike axiomatic abstract mathematics, Computer Science is a constructive science and naturally synthetic in nature. It also leads to natural monisms where the theory of code can be expressed in code.
Generic science is a disciple which has for its vocation the task of articulating the structure and organisational principle of any living being. The science is naturally constructionist. This raises the question of how to construct an organism based on generic science principles. Such an organism would have to be based on gender typing and be organised on the gender coherence principle. In addition, the whole system must not violate the principle of First Classness. Is this possible?
This is a silly question as our very own presence on this globe is at least some kind of feasability proof of the concept, a living proof in fact.
What we wish to do in this section is to provide a very simple example of how Computer Science, unknowingly, has already started to go down the path of Generic Science. Our example is the very computer itself, the Von Neuman computer.
Before Von Neuman, there already existed programmable calculating devices. However, they all had one thing in common. They were based an an absolute dichotomy between data and program. For example, the program migh be hard wired into the device and the data fed in via paper tape. If we want to put some gender typing into the mix, we could say that the program was masculine stuff and the data feminine. With this arrangement, the gender coherence principle could be satisfied because at no time is any confusdion possible between what was program stuff and what was data stuff. Data was always on the paper, and program in the machine. The only problem was that such a device violates First Classness which is incompatible with such a blatant and absolute duality. First Classness cannot tolerate a world cut up into two, one made of paper and one made of the other stuff.
Von Neuman started the process of moving the calculating macjhine into the realm of a generically organised entity. He made two innovations. The first innovation was shared memory where there was no longer to be any absolute dichotomy between data stuff and program stuff. They were all loaded into shared memory in the same format as small chunks of information. Von Neuman was then faced with the problem of how the computer could tell the difference between program stuff and data stuff. It was here that Von Neuman decided to invoke his version of Chrysippus’s incomatibility principle. The principle was that:
In order to implement this principle, he came up with his second innovation. It was called the Program Counter, The Program Counter is a pointer into the shared memory of the computer. The rule was that a program instruction was the chunk of memory pointed to by the Program Counter at a particular instance in time. All the rest of the chunks were considered data. Having executed that instruction, the Program Counter would be incremented to the next memory location, and that would then be considered a program chunk and no longer potential data. In the case of a JUMP instruction, the Program Counter would be moved to some other distant place in memory and the process continues. The computer was born.
Like practically every major advance in computer science, the Von Neuman’s computer was an exercise of eleiminating violations in First Classness, in this case, eliminating the fixed dichtomy between data and program. Hence forth, the distinction became relative to the dynamically changing Program Counter. What was program and what was data depended on contect.
However, such a deice is far from freeing itslef from violation of First Classness. The Program Counter itself, becomes a rigid priveledged memory location, totally estranged from the run of the mill informastion chunk in shared memory. That is yet another dichotomy to be eliminated by generic engineering principle. There is a long way to go.
The Von Neuman computer needed a fuew furth innovations in order to be operation. However, not many other innovations were needed. Add a stack, interrupts, and a few input/output ports and that’s about it.
You must log in to post a comment. Log in now.