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Fragment 198, word count: 604.

Tags: nature, science, sensibility, sensitivity, caring, thinking, agency, knowing, metaphysics, Hegel.

The world is organized by two very different sets of principles. One is a system of “laws of nature” as described by empirical/ mathematical sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy. This system of nature appears to be universal and immutable and presents itself in a vast natural world-structure including enduring objects in cycles of predictable change. The other set of organizing principles is a scattered multiplicity of separate and distinct points, namely the set of busily gazing sensibilities, each encountering and personalizing parts of the natural world, each curious and needy and learning to make sense of its surroundings which it must come to know to situate and orient its personal agency. The personalizing and coming to know is the world organizing activity of sensibilities. Through careful attention to specific qualities among the contents of strictly personal sensitivities, each sensibility organizes an idea of a world that surrounds it, a sense of enduring objects in cycles of predictable change. What is crucial to sensibility is a semi-reliable set of known place-markers for an effective orientation of agency for an unstoppable and dangerously indeterminate future.

It has been speculated that the world of objective nature would be incomplete or insubstantial if not for knowing sensibilities who each personally organize from their sensitivities an idea of the world and then live with and build that idea by sensitively touching fragments of objective nature against it. There is speculation (Hegel) that nature calls sensibilities into existence in the course of perfecting itself, so that it can know itself, reflect and appreciate the awesome grandeur of its intricate existence. Sensibilities mirror nature, certainly, and are often struck by nature’s beauty. The speculation suggests that mirroring the world of nature, knowing its details and its evasions of being known, is the purpose and fulfillment of the existence of sensibilities. However, sensibility is not fulfilled or completed by knowledge severed from the drama and caring in its personal purposes. Sensibilities are very bad mirrors of the objective world since the personal idea of the world that any sensibility organizes to live through is unavoidably very different and largely remote from objective nature. Each sensibility organizes its idea of the world according to its personal principle of caring, with the result that relatively few objects or patterns are noticed or remembered. Any personal idea of the world needs helpfully simplified schematic impressions, abstractions, generalizations, variously structured forms of ideality. (search circle)

As bad as sensibilities are at mirroring the brute actuality of nature, we do manage, in orienting ourselves for ongoing personal agency and expression, to organize our creative ideality into a world we recognize as hugely not-self, and in doing so we manifest what we are as more than objects in nature, as supra-objective particulars existing as neighbours of the hard not-self, the uncaring and unquestioning natural world. Although nature seems to subsist independently of sensibilities, it must be kept in mind that “I think, therefore I am!” highlights that the only certainty of knowledge we have is our own personal existence as a world organizing principle. Thinking is caring and questioning, the ever-questing focus of personal caring. It is caring and questioning so specifically that the focus of attention passes from relevant detail to relevant detail, revising and filling out a precisely pointed future-ward movement. Our certainty of the world of nature is based on the certainty of our personal existence as a caring world builder. The objective world of nature is, after all, an idea, a structure organized by sensibility for the purposes of living and enjoying what it is to be living.


Fragment 3, September 21, 2011, Encountering Subjectivity (word count: 788)

Fragment 11, November 10, 2011, Nature: Ground and Sky (word count: 2,752)

Fragment 86, November 4, 2015, Horizontal Dualism and the Spiritual Quest (word count: 2,321)

Fragment 121, January 12, 2018, Welcome to Metaphysics (word count: 1,312)

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