An example of abstraction is turning 2 + x = 4 into 2 + 2 = 4.
Because of the way the mind works, we think part of abstraction as first learning the general rules of addition. Followed by learning that 2 + x = 4 depends on solving part of the unknown insofar as we know the answer.
By implication, it may seem that I’m saying we know abstraction unconsciously but don’t know we’re doing abstraction. That’s not the case.
Thinking of Socrates presenting math problems to the slave, the slave doesn’t know abstraction but knows the solution to the questions provided by Socrates once the context is more concrete and less abstract.
Socrates concludes that the slave uses the particular math problem to conclude abstract math principles by “going back” to a previous, more eternal knowledge that we had forgotten.
This implies a third abstraction. 2 = x = an eternal truth we had forgotten.
Regardless if we’re solving for x or trying sympathize with another person, our response to the situation depends on an eternal knowledge. Regardless if we’re aware of the eternal knowledge or not.
This “third abstraction” is controversial.
2 = x is cool with math and science. That’s enough abstraction.
2 = x = an eternal truth we had forgotten is too metaphysical.
The 2 = x relationship can understood as closed.
The abstraction is contextual and beyond the context is just nonsense. That’s consistent with our general understanding of abstraction.
When it comes to existential confrontations, a secular, irreligious community may drape the context as the limits of human understanding.
Death can be regarded as nihilistic or absurd. Human interaction can be determined insofar as our solutions depend on group cohesion, peace, general caring. If there’s social issues, the political process should address them and our interaction re-determined to being more socially conscious and accommodating.
We don’t have to assume a third abstraction to live with the answers.
Obviously, however, for philosophical integrity, we have to entertain the third abstraction as it persist in all our answers. If our answers depend on an abstraction, what else can be abstracted? Can other things be abstracted?
Abstracted from where? Abstracted from Socrates’ eternal truth?
The Third Person Argument — If you and I are arguing a point alone in a balcony over some mimosas, is there a third person we both refer to as carrying judgment?
An answer (and mind you, this is just one of infinite possible answers: just to carry on the conversation) is “Yes, both person is interacting with one another and the culmination of the discussion is yet to show itself, but we must abstract that, from any answer, it would show a consistency that both interlocutors are dogmatic towards something they hold with loyalty, integrity, love, etc.
“And thus there is a third person in the conversation even if the two interlocutors think of two different people when they talk. Or even if they refer to two different groups. Say they’re of differing ethnicity from different parts of the world. Two people that know little of the history of each other’s people. They will engage in this conversation insofar as there is conversation to have.
“Any conversation is towards a resolution. And any resolution is evident of its elements and the powers that merged the elements as such. Imagine that one person is from cold tundra and the other from equatorial warmth. The conclusion of the conversation will resonate in both of them, as they are the only ones in the immediate participation of the event.
“The resonation of the conversation will continue living insofar as both interlocutors are impacted by it. The resonation may even be re-told once they go back to their respective home countries.
“Their respective home countries, where we assume that their third person resides, are receptive to the re-telling insofar as they find themselves in the conversation.
“If one of the speaker did not represent the community well, the community will not understand the re-telling anymore than it would understand the speaker. Somehow the speaker looks incorrect.
“The third person is not within the community. The third person was within the conversation and came out once they were in an unexpected context. Their own community doesn’t understand the speaker because they cannot abstract what the proper response is.
“The speaker that did represent the community well is understood. The third person is a new community with more resonance.
“The discordant community has resonance but a resonance without a third person. There is abstraction but no proof. Thus we fall back to a dogmatic ‘2 = ? = an eternal truth in response to this stranger.’ Dogma because the eternal truth is assumed without any representation of it.”
How do we find the eternal truth? If there is no eternal truth, what are we looking for when we want harmony but only find discord?
“Is there a third person we both refer to as carrying judgment?” — Another possible response, “No, if one of the speakers were blind, we would assume a third constant, a visual field, that only one of the speakers would be privileged to judge but the visual field does not depend on either speaker. It’s a solution for one and not a solution for the other. If the visual field ceased to exist, we wouldn’t be able to say if reality as we know it shifted its groove or if maybe the second speaker went blind.
“Either way, the problem is the same, now the one who did use the visual field as a solution added “not seeing” as a problem to their mere existence.
“The blind conversationalist teaches the other how to solve the problem of existing without depending on the visual field.”
“Through the same flicker that took away the visual field, it now appears in front of both speakers. The flicker takes into consideration the impact this would have on their bodies, and after a while of flickering, both are now able to healthily look around them (not assuming a good-willed universe, the universe just wanted to keep the conversation going).
“We see that there is no eternal truth either way. The problem’s solvability depended on the context that allowed reasonable abstraction. Just as the flickering can be explained either by God working a miracle or the universe wanting to keep the conversation going. The unreasonable abstractions to our problems (“the third person”, “the community”, “making our mentor proud”) can just be called dogma. And dogma is just like the visual field in the funky example-universe. It can flicker.”
What if this dogma doesn’t exist without our consent? What if this dogma meets rebellion? What of the third person?
2 = x= it’s possible to correlate equivalency may be a reasonable abstraction, but it’s only reasonable if we take the following as precedent:
it’s possible to correlate equivalency = 2 = x
Or we can get,
it’s possible to correlate equivalency = apple apple = 2 apples = 2 = x
There’s ample evidence that non-human animals can behave in way that they understand equivalency and can act to make things balanced. For example, if they’re in a situation where sharing food seems reasonable, they’ll share food.
We wouldn’t say this is because of dogma. They’re definitely sentient and have feelings and we should be moral towards them, but they survive on instinct most of the time. Even when sharing or doing other calculations in their head.
They don’t consider heavily why they’re sharing food but they do. We share the same way but also maybe by volunteering at a community cook out or homing shelters, or by donating to charities, etc. Because we understand a worldwide balance or maybe a community-wide balance.
We also choose to ignore a lot of world hunger because we can’t do anything and thinking about it fills us with dread.
it’s possible to correlate equivalency = there’s world hunger = I’ll donate to world hunger = my dogma is positively validated = I can be inactive towards world hunger until an appropriate time when it’s reasonable to abstract my participation, in the meantime I’ll be mindful of more immediate problems
it’s possible to correlate equivalency = there’s world hunger = tough luck, I’m not doing anything
2 = ? = it’s possible to correlate equivalency = 2 is whatever is equivalent
What is equivalency? We again go to:
x = 2 is good enough for math and science.
There is no higher reason for equivalency.
As a human, I’m self-aware enough to know that my existential computations are limited by biological ability to process sense-data into individual thoughts that correlate themselves with a seemingly-self-arranged universe whose assembly brings a departing state towards a re-assembly dependent on overbearing natural forces that place all pieces together = the departing state is never arrived at, but we can look back to previous states of arrival = our role in arriving is only seen as we depart = we reasonably abstract that our arrival is going to be contextualized based on principles of the past due to the role they played in the future = this reasonable abstraction is biased based on our past dogma but the only validation that matters is equivalency = biasness is not relevant in equivalency
This is perfectly valid in math and science but we see a moral problem. And if there’s ever a problem other than epistemic, we also have a metaphysical problem. And if we have a moral, epistemic, metaphysical problem, we need the comfort of beauty. And we’re going to manage all that, we need a model for the logic that makes them all equivalent.
Where does biasness come from? From the eternal truth we forgot? Or is biasness the result of some ill-done intention? Is biasness a misunderstanding on our part or theirs? Is biasness an internal struggle towards equivalence?
Are our differing biases evident of multiple eternal truths we forgot, only fully evident and revealed individually?
Socrates first starts the math problem by stating a rather abstract question. The slave answers through bias. Socrates shows a more obvious, concrete question, which clearly negate the previous answers given by the slave and insinuate the answer more clearly.
The only shift is that the slave understanding their own bias differently now. Socrates’ claim that a forgotten truth has been remembered is not necessary for this abstraction.
If the universe behaved under different principles, the same would hold true for equivalency and bias without guaranteeing an eternal forgotten truth.
The eternal forgotten truth can be true but it could just equally be bias.
Abstraction is ultimately making an unknown known by a biasness that guides our understanding of equivalency.