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An advantage of recognizing the effective existence of ordinary embodied personalities as vectors of ideality and caring is that it then becomes unnecessary to violate Ockham’s Razor by positing some metaphysical fable about ideas. To deny ideas is to deny consciousness itself, since consciousness is ideality, the most evident ideality. Ideas certainly have presence in the consciousness, that is, in the orientation and deliberate actions, of particular persons. We know this from personal experience and conversations with fellow beings. With the recognition of teleological personalities creating their individual lives in the world, there is no need for Platonic Ideal Forms at the apex of a hierarchy of existence, or for Aristotelian universals, substantial forms, existing in addition to particulars. There is no need for levels of reality such as in Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism. There is no need for any kind of idealism which in any way separates ideas from ordinary embodied persons. Certainly ideas are elements of culture, but culture exists only in the orientation of particular persons and the ability that such orientation includes to create, read, and understand artifacts.
Ordinary consciousness is full of ideas, full of caring. Any person’s consciousness is a bearing future-ward expressing an elaborate orientation created over a personal lifetime. It is a fountain of teleological possibilities in a creative arc of developmental continuity that is a particular life. Personality is a self-thinking idea of a particular embodied life in the world, an oriented bearing into not-yet from a particular no-longer, here among a structure of theres, now among thens-no-longer and thens-not-yet, in a creative arc of ideation. Personality, the self-thinking idea, is always revising itself without breaking its creative arc of continuity. Every individual at any moment is calculating the probabilities of an array of expectations, enacting intentions, reading sensory stimulations as revelations of the surroundings, searching for reference markers and making adjustments on the basis of surprises, constructing a teleological structure within the sense of the passing of time. This being is a fountain of original curiosity, guesses, and expressive impulses, a being of ideas and ideality. Reading sensations in perceiving brute actuality is restricted to some here and now, but there is no perception of here without a sense of there, and there is no now without a sense of then, and then and there are always ideas, features of a person’s orientation in a continuously elaborating situation in a world in time, a situation demanding ongoing teleological reconstruction of intentions, aspirations, and guesses about possibilities and probabilities in an increasingly remote future.
Copyright © 2019 Sandy MacDonald.