Fragment 166, word count: 416.
‘Teleology’ means ‘purpose’, ‘reason’ or ‘an anticipatory ideation of agency’. The existence of teleology is a certainty, perhaps the only one, although we also act routinely on the practical certainty of known features of actuality that have been reliably stable. I know what a coffee machine is, where mine is, and how to use it to make coffee. That knowledge is part of my orientation, my sensibility. Let’s accept from science that measurable nature is perfectly non-teleological in its brute material actuality. The completely different existence of teleology is a certainty because it is the very genius of our knowing and caring agency, our living existence within brute actuality. “I anticipate, expect, wonder, and intend, therefore I am.” Since teleology conceives a place and grasp in the non-actual future, it is by definition an idea, a constant re-directing of the willing of an ongoing agency. Every teleology is, of course, an individual person. With teleology at the core of our dramatic lives of knowing and caring (we know because we care, we reach knowing through caring *), we cannot coherently claim uncertainty about its existence or its power to intervene effectively in the arrangement of things in brute actuality. So, we discern reality in its duality, two contrasting but entangled moving streams of instability, one which, in itself, doesn’t matter in the least as it falls insensitively by inertia and entropy. The other is teleology which creates importance and relevance in the personal drama of its individually embodied living. Teleology is the only reason anything matters, and that, along with its ideality, is its claim to transcendence. The notion transcendence tends to lift our gaze to the sky, away from the simple light of individual consciousness. However, it still makes sense to call teleology transcendent when it only belongs to embodied personalities of the familiar kind and not something skyward or cosmic. If teleology (the only certainty) isn’t transcendent then nothing is. The foundational status of ideas and ideality in the world that matters, the world as experienced, lands us in metaphysics, and the whole of metaphysics rests on the single question: What should we make of teleology? What should we make of the anticipatory ideation of agency which is our consciousness of time as our primordial context? The answer lies in conceiving an idealism that identifies teleology as a multitude of individual and locally embodied sensibilities in an irreducible duality with measurable actuality which is perfectly non-teleological: time is a dual instability.
* Artificial intelligence (AI) can’t care, so can’t know.
Copyright © 2020 Sandy MacDonald.