Saturday, February 22
Duhem, in "The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory" traces the slow development of physical science, for example in distinguishing beween qualitative and quantitative attributes of physical reality. While speaking about "ample? minds and "narrow minds" he advances a psychological theory perhaps making some of the same logical errors he attributes to the "model" system of physical theory construction of the English. His claim is that qualitative attributes can have no attributes of magnitude. Perhaps this is true by comparison to discrete objects. The question is- can a thought be responded to as an "iinner" object?it is possible that this issue of magnitudes as discussed by Duhem is as yet a fairly elementary principle, as yet uundefined as a principle, in psychology and poetics. In psychoanalysis, we see that a malfunctioning mind tends to magnify details out of proportion. The tools available to physical science attempt to provide basic measurements (as in the contemprary concept of atomic time) on a micriscopically accurate basis. - once a mean has been established (like Pi or the baic unit of atomic time). The imagination, in contemplating such quantities, is kept within limits.The malfunctioning mind lacks such a "mean." It uses (unconsciously) memories of early childhood to assess functions of current reality which sometimes establishes limits which do not accuately respond (correspond) to observed reality. So to measure this response we would have to compose the subject's memories of these early assessments and how they were established to correspond to the subject's actual currrent reliable knowledge. A rough estimate of the distortion would then be within the differences beween the current stock of knowledge of the subject as compared to the apparent limits imposed by the subject's actual current assessment.. This would yield a rough (quantitative!) current assessment- that is, if a rough *quotient* of the subject's available knowledge could be determined. This, as in the physical sciences, could be recorded as a *magnitude*.
Can the objects of thought-thoughts- be defined as discrete objects? How could scale be related to such an identified object (of thought). (1/31/86)