From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

We are copying this definition, very important to P2P Epistemology, from The Transitioner's site on Collective Intelligence:

URL = http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Aperspectivism

"Aperspectivism is a concept created by Jean Gebser in his book called « The Ever Present Origin ». See below for information on this key book.

Definition and Explanation

"Let's imagine a circle of people around a complex colorful object. Depending on their position around this object, some people will say it's back with a flower hat. Others will say it has a pair of eyes. Others will mention its blue vaporous aspect, with no precise details, with a had without flowers, etc.

No one can individually grab the object in its plain reality, everyone has an « angled » perception, based upon the angle he/she is looking from. In the classical approach, named « perspectivism », each one would defend his/her point of view by claiming his/her own perception, fully sincere and valid..

No matter which process is used to select the dominant view (from the strongest, the most charismatic, the most agile, the elected representative...), the final version that will emerge will also have an angle.

The only way to apprehend the complex reality of this object is collective. Each one should be able to provide his/her point of view, just like providing a new piece in a giant puzzle. We no longer stick up for a point of view, but we offer it. Thus, while everyone has an individual perception that is absolutely sincere and contradictory, the community becomes able to manipulate a complex object that none of the member can individually grasp..

This approach seems obvious to us for real 3D objects that belong to our perceptible reality. Yet we leave this approach as soon as complex symbolic objects enter in the game. Then we jump into perspectivism, just like if the balance of contradictory forces would give birth to an emerging truth. This is one of the greatest contemporary illusions there is." (http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Aperspectivism)


The Primacy of Intersubjectivity

From http://www.calresco.org/wp/stream.htm

"When we consider ourselves, taking what is usually called a first-person perspective, just what do we see ? We describe ourselves with words, with concepts, identifying our ideas. But where do these come from, what is the source of all the descriptive categorization we thus employ in, say, our phenomenlogical approach ? At birth no such abilities exist, so these must arise by experience, and for humans such experiences are always highly social - our entire 'human' mind is almost created culturally, in other words from a second-person 'we' perspective, even our view of the material or animal worlds are formed from the prior beliefs of the society that teaches us about such 'things' and their 'labels'. Thus when we abstract a separate 'I' all we are doing is breaking out from the collective whole a delusion. The 'I' still contains the essence of 'we', our very thought processes are 'we' processes. We think as our culture taught us to think, our thoughts suffer from the very same limitations and possibilities as the culture that incubated us. We often think that we escape such pressures in our 'I' perspective, but we only can challenge our upbringing to the extent that our culturation permits.

We emphasised earlier the role of culture in creating and maintaining mind, the social aspect, but now we can see that we must also add body, the biological aspect. Our genetic inheritance is again a form of intersubjectivity, arising from the interactions of many lifeforms over many aeons. This form of causality both enables the development of brain and mind and restrains it - we cannot do what we are biologically incapable of doing. But we can overcome these restrictions, and that is what our culture adds to the mix. Humans cannot fly, but cultures can. The 'aeroplane' is a cultural creation, a new 'lifeform' (in memetic space) that can evolve, grow, replicate and die - in common with all our artefacts and fashions. Mind possibility then is extended into the cultural artefacts that augment it. Consciousness then is a three-way intersubjective coevolution, between mind and body, between mind and culture and between ideas or concepts. In other words consciousness isn't located just in the 'brain' but exists in the world, in the society and in the body also - we cannot then meaningfully isolate any 'mind' in a 'first-person' sense at all, it is an environmentally driven 'active externalism' also, the artefacts we use (as mind creations) whether artificial or natural are also intersubjective - we integrate all our available resources (e.g. a calculator) when we think. The mind is embedded in and structurally coupled to our environment.

"Human consciousness is not located in the head, but is immanent in the living body and the interpersonal social world. One�s consciousness of oneself as an embodied individual embedded in the world emerges through empathic cognition of others. Consciousness is not some peculiar qualitative aspect of private mental states, nor a property of the brain inside the skull; it is a relational mode of being of the whole person embedded in the natural environment and the human social world." (http://www.calresco.org/wp/stream.htm)

Key Books to Read

Jean Gebser. Ever Present Origin : Part One: Foundations Of The Aperspectival World]. Ohio University Press, 1986

Michel Bauwens: I consider this one of the most important books I had the opportunity to read, and I strongly recommend it, despite its complexity. It's a history of how leading artists, scientists and philosophers started to see the world differently, already at the beginning of the 20th century. However, this epistemological evolution, the basis of a peer to peer mode of knowing, has yet to fully transform the consciousness of broader groups of people. Jean Geber may be considered the father of the 'integral movement' in philosophy.