Cash Value of Meaning and Truth

To better understand William James’s  metaphor of  the Cash Value of Truth, I would like to make a case that “Cash value of Meaning” would be an improved word choice for today.
This is to say that from a subjective stand point, a person decides what is meaningful and how meaningful in any given context ( family social, work social environmental, aesthetically such as Studying a sculpture in a gallery) etc), in a market like process. Each context has own meanings, finally interpreted by the person, himself in his own interests.William James

A simplified example two people in the context of conversation.

Each person brings memory, previous opinion, biology, world view, diction and present mood into the field of conversation. This context of meeting  includes the physical location, and participants, including anything in the background. It maybe limited to what was discussed. If the two converse freely, the talking points and their significance of each discussed topic is decided by the participants in a intersubjective manner. All the topics discussed belong to the conversation and should rely only on that field at the time. How significant each topic was is prioritized with events in that field of conversation.

This may have been a meaningful exchange. The importances of this bracket event: the conversation, is experienced and prioritized by emotive, intellectual and active reaction. the important moments are provocative.

Later, If one the participants, reflects on the conversation earlier (people usually do) to define more meaning, they are now creating a NEW context. Now the context, or field, is with the person and his memory. Probably not as provocative… the entire market place is within the coercion of his own world view and mood of the location and his body/mind. The participants of the market place, of this moment of reflection are entirely himself. All arguments are of himself… body,mind, location.

  • Each meaningful experience is localized event. This fits with James thoughts that life is a series of interwoven experiences.
  • Interpersonal / intersubjective meanings are less coerced when it is discussed or experienced with multiple participants, whether other people, organisms, or environmental agents. just as William James market- like metaphor suggest.
  • The building blocks of are more constant meaningful ideas are defined tested and retested by new day to day experiences.

“Truth’s” for  William James,  are meaningful (in that they provocative or conscious constructed) ideas that are assimilated by one or many by verification in the marketplace of a reality. Truth is always contextual, always referring to experience, social, environmental, spatial, etc.  Truth always refers to an experience or a series of experiences where they are verified intersubjectively by all the participants in the field.  This holds true in science and other Academic contexts where ideas are rigorously tested by  the tester,   subject and controlled fields of testing.

Meaningful Conclusion

Truth Happens to an Idea as James proclaims, after rigorous testing in experiences, or its deemed as not true.
“Meaning of Ideas” is when those ideas and happenings, true or not, have a significance or use,  and  a how significant or useful to the ideas that are  tested in the realm of experiences.

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intersubjective disagreements, Markets and Democracy

I still believe democracy is still important.  I also believe in the spirit of civil rights: that a person has ownership over his body  and is free to cognate (think, feel,  be attract to, be mindful of) as  he/she wishes  — whether I  like what or how or a person thinks or not.  Its really that outward actions   that one places guidelines and restrictions on — this: responsibility part of freedom/responsibility.   what one “owns”,  one is responsible for. Freedom and responsibility are intertwined.

This is an ideal condition. More accurately i believe most people are best suited gaining relative freedom, responsibility, and self-sustainability, whether by pursuing these concepts or recognizing opportunity as they come along.  Physical and circumstantial conditions  can  limit these realizations for any person. However I am going to stick to an ideal concepts for now.

If freedom of choice and thought  is  individual right to  cognate as he/she wishes, then responsibility is something that includes more than an individual.. a group or a society.  How can a group of free thinking and choosing  individuals, with so many different attitudes and thought processes, come together and decide how not to trample over each other with their actions?

The following  video  is an interesting video that suggests that Democracy is, metaphorically, a intersubjective market place for  individuals to decide standard value and meaning in a group dynamic…  such as community or society.

The following was revised from post
subjective disagreements, market and intersubjectivity
posted originally 6-06-2011

A market, group or society makes decisions on values and meanings as a whole while its  diversity   engines the interaction between components or individuals.

Interesting video  shared by     entitled “Intersubjectivity“.

The narrator uses the example of a stock in a market to demonstrate how intersubjective relationships determine value. As he demonstrates on the chalkboard   it is the the whole of a free  market that determines a price of a stock, and  the  market requires  subjective disagreements between individuals with  different perspectives to work. That is, without the differences of subjective  valuing of a particular stock,  with different subjective  opinions of  the individual  buyers, sellers , no trading activity would take place.

Even though the participants  have come  to this market with similar interests: business, market trading, interest in a the same stock, …it is the difference of their belief  ( in particular the worth and value of a stock) that makes the market work.

If I look at this Market as a simplified model of a society, what can I infer?
Although people often seek out common interests, values and other people like themselves… its the diversification  of people in a democratic society that sets the societies values.
We are in a society as bound by our differences and disagreements  as we are bound by our similarities.
if  our economy is engined by the diversity of subjective disagreement in valuing, diversity of professions, I may assume that socially …as  communities or nations… we are better with diversity. Diversity  in  faiths, philosophies, opinions, conservative and liberal view points, life styles, etc.

What can we live with?
A society makes decisions as a whole based on values and belief  that are different then its  individuals. This means to preserve our individual rights, beliefs  and values we must tolerate  other subjective rights, beliefs an values, and come to common decisions we can all live with, decide by a democratic society as a whole.

Intersubjective Ethics.

A  democratic society  of individuals in complex relationship  is  powered by its diversity of subjective view points  and lifestyles ,as it is its common-ness.

If  we do agree  as a  democratic society that diversity is a necessary….or  at least diversity is a positive attribute, than we  must have some definition of tolerance.
One must be able  demonstrate patience and fairness when dealing other individuals who think, believe and act differently then himself, if not welcome the differences.
One must be able to deal fairly with people differing faith, ethnicity, health, education , background,  gender and age, etc that is different then themselves, as they have different needs and values, but are just  as important to a society.
Tolerance is an important  personal ethic to define, just as  other intersubjective  ethics such as reciprocity and dignity.

Society and the individual.
I think that, if we look objectively at societies as gestalts of intersubjective interaction, we can better understand the relationship of the individual to society. At the same time individuals interact within a spectrum of agreeing and disagreeing values ,beliefs, and perspectives  they also come together to make decisions as a whole in  democratic community, nation, or society.

And if you disagree with me, I will respect that. :)

Intersubjectivity and Interpersonal Brighter Side Repost

Repost…
Intersubjectivity and Inerpersonal Bright Side” was origionally posted: dec 5, 2011.

 
Look upon other people and see that we are all  humans.  We  roughly appear to have the same forms and physics, the same sets of uniquely  human behaviors ( such as use of language). Upon deeper inspection, by biologists  who study DNA, There are traits and characteristics that are universally Homo Sapien or  human.
Meet and talk with other people and discover that people have cognitive differences of each person; Travel and note the cultural  differences of people.
If  you are one who has used medications and therapies for serious health problems, you will quickly learn the unwritten rule : “what works for one may not work for another, everyone is different“. One can infer each Homo Sapien is  biologically different from the next, Same  goes for their sum total of subjective  experiences. The individual  has characteristics that are unique.

I am  pretty sure  that a universal model does not apply when talking about all people, most of  the time. But we also, in talking about the human race per se , or groups… education  ,communication or interactions ..need to talk about more than just the individual. I certainly want to know more than the individual that is me.

Self and Other, Person to Person

As I am  a subject of my  own permeated world that I participate in,  other persons are the subject of their own. As  subjects we have considerable influence upon the world. a subject acts upon other things.  In  the shared circumstance, such as that  of  a  conversation, or any other interpersonal experience, Each must treat the  “other” as a subject of overlapping or joined existence– an intersubjective circumstance.  Intersubjectivity.

On the hand, a we appreciate, as it were, [another  persons]  otherness, and on the other hand we appreciate the humanness we have in common

Brighter Side of Human Nature. Alfie Kohn chapter titled The Self and Other
Kohn goes on the explain  intersubjectivity in a meeting  (conversation, circumstance, Dasein etc) .  After the two fold contrast of Self and Other arises; and two subjects recognize an intersubjective  meeting, A   twofold attitude with the contrasting  of  sameness and difference arises. This is not a state between sameness and difference, according to Kohn, rather a “dynamic tension of the two”.

One  who appreciates both dimensions of otherness and common humanness is able to appreciate a given individuals subjectivity […] a subject is an actor, a knower, a center of experience and while two individuals share  these features each is  also a different subject.

I would postulate  that one is  often comforted in the  sameness beyond humanness in a intersubjective moment.  A subject maybe comforted in the sameness of culture, age, gender, ethnicity, ideology.  Perhaps, for better or for worse,the  Sameness    we find in other people confirms ones own identity.
We are at the same time excited by the novelty of otherness, sometimes startled…. sometimes curious. If   man is  to reach  beyond his own hands grasp , it could be said one seeks  out  otherness beyond himself. In interpersonal relationships, we very often find another person’s Otherness, including the persons individual experiences and circumstances, compelling or alluring.

Beyond Objectification

Many Neuroscientists believe that they have located “Mirror neurons” in the human brain. These neurons are believed to activate when we observe   other people actions.  In certain developmental stages (the experts argue the exact ages)  one learns by observing others, an interpersonal  action.

The understanding  that: other people  that one contacts (meets and interacts with) in his/her  own experiences,  have  similar  experiences  of their own, more than any stone, tree , structure or object;
and that they impact and influence  as subjects within their own experiences… this is understanding  takes a practical leap of faith.
But this understanding, which requires assumptions supported by a subjects growing experiences, lifts one beyond dull  solipsism and egoism , to the richness of an intersubjective matrix, which is our human world.

Modern Physics may suggest a  “subject:object” or “I:it” outlook as impractical. All things  have influence on all other things in a field, whether the affect is grand or arbitrary.  Any subject acting on a body, whether a stone, tree, another person, earth, sun, is influenced by the other in return. Objects are not static or inert.
For the purpose of interpersonal subject:subject or intersubjective relationship We may  as, Martin Bubers suggest, choose “I:thou” interpretation over “I:it” .

The Brighter Side

The rich understanding of other people in their  Dasein beyond ones own existence is one thing and Learning from others another. We also have to live with each other in space and our societies.  If I am ” to treat others  in the manner I wish to be treated“, Wouldn’t I have to know what is it like to be in another circumstance?

I am Reading Alfie Kohn’s The Brighter side of Human Nature“. Which postulates an individual’s existence is ideally positioned somewhere between the poles of  Egoism and Altruism, and the motivations of an individual lies somewhere between self-interest and pro-social selflessness.
He writes about the importance of  “Perspective  taking” including Empathy (or feeling into)
three types of perspective taking:

  • Spatial and perceptive:  imagining what its like to be in someone else’s physical circumstance.
  • Cognitive:  imaging how another people (and organisms) think,feel and act from their perspective including strengths, limitations
  • Empathetic: Being affected by another’s circumstance.

Perspective taking is understanding another’s perspective, while Empathy is “feeling into”, or being affected by another persons perspective or circumstance. In quoting by Robert Salmon Perspective taking and Empathy…”Are  form[s] of social cognition intermediate between logical or moral thought ”

Cohn synthesizes the work of scientist(including doctors , biologists) , psychologist, educators, and  philosophers and the book is   heavily annotated.  Cohen further illustrates the importance of  understanding intersubectivity in interpersonal relationships, to promote the pro- social(or altruistic) and motivations and actions of individuals. He makes a strong case for an the Altruistic interests of the individual beyond self interest. I would recommend the book for all, but especially humanists, individualists and existentialists.

To be a subject in Existence is  moral participation. To act upon and with others requires Dignity, Reciprocity, and Tolerance, (Ethics) in addition to subjects self -interests and mutual interests with others.

Intersubjectivity and Interpersonal Brighter Side

Look upon other people and see that we are all  humans.  We  roughly appear to have the same forms and physics, the same sets of uniquely  human behaviors ( such as use of language). Upon deeper inspection, by biologists  who study DNA, There are traits and characteristics that are universally Homo Sapien or  human.
Meet and talk with other people and discover that people have cognitive differences of each person; Travel and note the cultural  differences of people.
If  you are one who has used medications and therapies for serious health problems, you will quickly learn the unwritten rule : “what works for one may not work for another, everyone is different“. One can infer each Homo Sapien is  biologically different from the next, Same  goes for their sum total of subjective  experiences. The individual  has characteristics that are unique.

I am  pretty sure  that a universal model does not apply when talking about all people, most of  the time. But we also, in talking about the human race per se , or groups… education  ,communication or interactions ..need to talk about more than just the individual. I certainly want to know more than the individual that is me.
Read more of this post

subjective disagreements, market and intersubjectivity

A market, group or society makes decisions on values and meanings as a whole while its  diversity   engines the interaction between components or individuals.

Interesting video  shared by     entitled “Intersubjectivity“.

The narrator uses the example of a stock in a market to demonstrate how intersubjective relationships determine value. As he demonstrates on the chalkboard   it is the the whole of a free  market that determines a price of a stock, and  the  market requires  subjective disagreements between individuals with  different perspectives to work. That is, without the differences of subjective  valuing of a particular stock,  with different subjective  opinions of  the individual  buyers, sellers , no trading activity would take place.

Even though the participants  have come  to this market with similar interests: business, market trading, interest in a the same stock, …it is the difference of their belief  ( in particular the worth and value of a stock) that makes the market work.

If I look at this Market as a simplified model of a society, what can I infer?
Although people often seek out common interests, values and other people like themselves… its the diversification  of people in a democratic society that sets the societies values.
We are in a society as bound by our differences and disagreements  as we are bound by our similarities.
if  our economy is engined by the diversity of subjective disagreement in valuing, diversity of professions, I may assume that socially …as  communities or nations… we are better with diversity. Diversity  in  faiths, philosophies, opinions, conservative and liberal view points, life styles, etc.

What can we live with?
A society makes decisions as a whole based on values and belief  that are different then its  individuals. This means to preserve our individual rights, beliefs  and values we must tolerate  other subjective rights, beliefs an values, and come to common decisions we can all live with, decide by a democratic society as a whole.

Intersubjective Ethics.

A  democratic society  of individuals in complex relationship  is  powered by its diversity of subjective view points  and lifestyles ,as it is its common-ness.

If  we do agree  as a  democratic society that diversity is a necessary….or  at least diversity is a positive attribute, than we  must have some definition of tolerance.
One must be able  demonstrate patience and fairness when dealing other individuals who think, believe and act differently then himself, if not welcome the differences.
One must be able to deal fairly with people differing faith, ethnicity, health, education , background,  gender and age, etc that is different then themselves, as they have different needs and values, but are just  as important to a society.
Tolerance is an important  personal ethic to define, just as  other intersubjective  ethics such as reciprocity and dignity.

Society and the individual.
I think that, if we look objectively at societies as gestalts of intersubjective interaction, we can better understand the relationship of the individual to society. At the same time individuals interact within a spectrum of agreeing and disagreeing values ,beliefs, and perspectives  they also come together to make decisions as a whole in  democratic community, nation, or society.

And if you disagree with me, I will respect that. :)

reflective listening for improved communication

If  one wishes to be a good observer of facts ,one withholds judgments,  interferes as little as possible with data, and summarizes what he observes. One must do the same when he or she is listening to what others are saying. One can do this with “Reflective Listening“.

the purpose of  “Reflective  Listening” is to :

  • listen  fully, clarify understand what another person saying.
  • build trust and  a repore with other people.
  • Improve communication
  • Increase  personal  empathy and relatedness

Active Reflective listening:

  1. Use Good Listening Skills.
  2. Withhold judgment while listening
  3. Listen Closely To What is being said, and How something is said.
  4. Pay attention to nonverbal cues: gestures, voice inflections.
  5. Respond to What you hear, and Nothing else.
    • Reflect and Listen
    • Affirm Feeling and Values when express
    • Explore and Encourage a speaker to share
    • Avoid listening “Road blocks “
  6. Summarize
  7. Continue to listen.

Reflecting and Listening

Reflecting tells the person who you are listening to that you understand them, and allows you to passively challenge statements for clarity.

  • I hear you saying………..
  • Sounds like……………….
  • You believe………………….
  • you are confident that….
  • Could it be that……
  • You think that…….
  • Correct me if I, Wrong , but i hear……….
  • From your perspective…………
  • I’m picking up………..
  • The part I understand is…..
  • It Seems as though…………
  • By that you mean…..

Statements, that start like this are known as “Tentafiers” and they avoid introducing any opinion, advice, or talk of your experience. Remember: this is about  better listening  and listening objectively.

Example:
Speaker: Its my brother. He borrowed th car again without asking.  He never shows up on time.  Never helps me when I ask for his help. and now he is asking to borrow money again.

Listener: “It sounds to me, that you believe your brother is taking advantage of you”..

Affirming Feeling and Values

Sometimes people talk to get things “off their chest”, or the just need someone to talk to. They may not notice how they are feeling as they talk. Pointing out feelings and values when you here them, challenges the speaker to experience them, more directly as they communicate.
It also tells the speaker “Hey! I know how you Feel” and “I want to know how you are feeling”.

  • You are Feeling……..
  • You Feel……..
  • I hear you saying that,   part of you feels….. and part of you feels….
  • It Sounds  like you really value……

Its  helpful to have  Strong “Emotional Grammar” and Empathy in answering these Tentafiers.
The good news is mastering  Listening helps to improve ones Emotional Grammar and Empathy.
Some Feeling Words:
You are Feeling…….

Angry ,  Unsure ,  Excited ,  Apprehensive ,  Joyful ,  Happy
Suspicious ,  Sad ,  Curious ,  Helpless ,  Cheated ,  Confident ,
Overloaded ,  Stressed, abandoned , Conflicted  , In-love ,  disrespected …

(A   downloadable list of Feeling words can be found  {click Here})

Example:
Speaker:“I just got a raise at work and my vacation plans were approved!  I made record time on my drive home! I’m on a roll!

listener: “you’re feeling ecstatic!”

Explore and Encourage.

One doesn’t want to intrude on a speaker when he/she is active – reflectively listening, but we may want to encourage the speaker to clarify what they or saying or talk more specifically about a subject.

I am Wondering….

  • ….what that means to you.
  • ….How you’re feelings about…..

Questions that encourage clarification and specification, that don’t lead the speakers to conclusions , are called “Opened ended  questions“.

  • Can you Tell me more about…?
  • What does that mean to you?
  • What would you like to see happen?
  • What are some of your Options?
  • Could you give me some examples?
  • How did you come to this conclusion?
  • What worked before?
  • Have you felt this way before?
  • Which concern seems most important right now?

It is Recommended that “Open ended Questions” are be used sparingly after reflecting and listening for a while.

Listening “Road Blocks”

Road blocks are statements one tries to avoid as they are nonconstructive to listening.One  don’t wish to interject our opinions, experiences, and advice  while listening.
I will cover road-blocks in the next post.

Summarizing:

* ” I’d like to take a moment to summarize so i am clear about…

  • your concerns…”
  • what your feeling…..”
  • what you’ve told me….”

* ” Lets recap the Ground we covered.”

Summarizing is a good way to  express that you’ve been attentive in listening and that you clearly understand the major points the speaker expressed.

In Conclusion

Active Reflective Listening was developed  from the work of Carl Rogers Client Centered Therapy. Reflective Listening is  used professionally by  Law enforcement, EMT, who need to listen to people for facts quickly, business people with clients, etc. It can be use personally to improve oneself and relatedness to friends and family.
After all, most people like “Good Listeners”.

The Golden Rule and Dignity

From subjective lenses,  I ( the first person perspective of my day -to-day reality),  observe and interact with other people in my-world.

Other people are not me (or “I”) , but other people are like me…and with compassion and relatedness in experiential interaction … I assume that they are more than mere objects:
living-subjects immersed in their lives,   like I am in mine, overlapping existence.

With that in mind,
I think that I would treat other people, these subjects (as I am a subject of my-world)….
I would treat them as I would want to treat myself . Just the same I wish to be treated as more than a mere object, I would expect to be respected by others as they would respect and treat themselves.

Therefore,:
I am to treat others as I would want to be  treated.
— A variant of the “golden rule” or “ethic of reciprocity

I esteem “myself “ to be more than an object and expect the treatment by others, in their subjective, as they would treat “themselves”.
Dignity.

To me, the “golden rule” is a core subjective principle, one that I would like to see as a social or cultural contract. I think that this definition of human dignity as a related core principle.

The golden rule is a principle of many objective and religious philosophies:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.“ — Traditional

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” – book of Mathew, Christianity

“No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” — traditional Islam

“Every person has dignity and worth, and, therefore, should command the respect of every other person.”—Humanist Manifesto I.”

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — Leviticus, Judaism
….

from The Golden rule the pan-moral principle.

Whether stemming from quality of subjective experience or the objective morals of religion, the ethic of reciprocity and dignity are the cornerstone of civil ethics and respect of individuals in any society.

They esteem the individual, they esteem the society.