From hurt to love LO20466

Paul Rousseau (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 20:39:16 -0500

Replying to LO20429 --

Winfried Dressler writes:

>Dear Paul,
>What we experience are the interactions
>between these definitions and the real reality outside. With this, it may
>be useful to distinguish two different purposes of such definitions:

> Purpose 1 is to imunise from reality. This is done by tautological
> definitions, that do not interact with reality. They are stating what
> reality is, but are never subject to testing. Why do people do this? I
> really don't know, but my guess in the mail you responded to was, that
> people fear the influence of reality on their (what I called, using At de
> Langes terminology) uncategorical identity - some psychologists I think
> call this "Ego" to be distinguished from the "Self", which does not fear
> reality and thus strives for "categoricity". This brings me to

> purpose 2: Definitions are built in such a way, that they allow for plenty
> interaction with reality. They allow to create hypothesis on how reality
> may react and such hypothesis can be tested, for example by experiments or
>more generally just by acting according to this hypothesis and looking for
> what happens. Such definitions or hypotheses are never true, but "only"
> more or less consistent with reality and coherent within themselves..
>I guess that purpose 2 provides for a better way to deal with reality. It
>is still not directly as you asked for, but it at least admits, that there
>may be differences between my definitions and reality, although I know,
>that I need my definitions. I am afraid that it is hard to get more

This does help. I'm not quite convinced that people deliberately (on
purpose) block out stimuli. The ability to respond to stimuli depends to
some degree with the knowldege base one has. I could spend hours looking
at sky with a telescope and tell myself that the planet Jupiter does not
exits. What is really happeing is that I do not 'know' (have a mental
image of in this case) Jupiter and would not recognize even it was in my
line of vision.

If I learn more about Jupiter, I am more likely to see and enjoy the

I think that larger knowledge bases also make possible 'purpose 2'
perception, although the openess to new reality is more passive and is not
necessarily purposeful.

So, while I agree the impact of "Purpose 1", I think that the ability to
recognize external events is a lot more complex than this.

Purpose 2 experience is also more available to those with more education

>.. But before
>digging deeper in this hole of my thinking I have to pause and to ask,
>whether I lost you or whether I could touch your concern.

No, you have not lost me and I appreciate your response.

Paul Rousseau
St. Clair Beach, Ontario

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