Re: mindfulness (e-prime, rand, epistomology, etc.)

Hagbard Celine (
Sat, 05 Jul 1997 18:33:47 -0400

Joshua F. McMichael wrote:

> Hagbard,
> >(1) Noun Phrase-1 + TO BE + Noun Phrase-2 (Identity)
> >(2) Noun Phrase-1 + TO BE + Adjective Phrase-1 (Predication)
> >where TO BE represents an appropriately inflected form of the verb "to be."
> >Critical thinkers have argued against using statements having the structure of
> >(1) because they *immediately produce high order abstractions* that lead the
> user to premature judgments.

First of all, my initial post never cited the above text. I merely said,
"For an interesting discussion of E-Prime see..."

At the very least, I'm glad you found it interesting, if not amenable to
your own views on discourse.

> Hmm... seems to me that the whole purpose of learning is to "immediately
> produce high order abstractions". Are you against forming high order
> abstractions?

No, I agree that accurate meta-level abstractions are an important part
of the learning process, not to mention the creative process. But, if
they're inaccurate, I can't see how that helps you learn concrete facts,
unless you ask someone about it and then they give you the correct
answer. That of course assumes that there's someone around teaching you
all the time. Regardless, premature judgements seem to be a bad thing
for the most part. I can't say much more than that other than that what
I originally wrote was:

> I must plead E-Prime on this one. To ask what man *is* suggests that man
> does not *become*. Knowing one's nature and the nature of the universe
> in which one exists is IMO the ultimate goal. If I can finally know what
> I *am*, then I have stopped evolving. Since time doesn't stand still for
> me, I become incorrect about what I *am* only a millisecond later.

E-prime is useful in this situation only in that it avoids the incorrect
meta-level abstraction that humanity *is* one thing or many things, and
therefore the premature judgement that it *is* that thing forever. I
don't think its possible, or even desirable to make e-prime a religion.