|Theory of Knowledge
A Global Theory of Knowledge for the Future
Edward J. Bartek
ABSTRACT: There is too much factual knowledge to grasp even a speck of the whole. This makes for an excessive diversity that lacks in coherent unity. With no coherency in the parts, there will be no coherent truth in the whole. Without coherent truth there is only a relative truth. Relative truth makes for contradiction from different viewpoints, perceptions, and perspectives. Contradictions deny a common definition and meaning of truth, morality, justice, and beauty. They also deny common standards, values, principles, and virtues. Uncommon values lead to personal and social conflict and confusion, to the blocking of learning in education, to the disintegration of social unity. To have common standards and values, that a global theory of knowledge requires, concrete factual knowledge should be unified by abstract concepts that are unified by abstruse principles that are unified by symbolic structures. Such principles ultimately derive from an ultimate unity and structure. This ultimate unity is the keystone that holds the whole systematic structure of knowledge together.
Spiritual: Intuitive knowledge. The antithesis of sensual.
Rational: Logical knowledge. The synthesis of the spiritual and sensual.
Sensual: Sensory knowledge. The antithesis of the spiritual.
Progressive Ranges: Hierarchical social levels, like person, group, nation, civilization.
There is too much factual knowledge to grasp even a speck of the whole. This makes for an excessive diversity that lacks in coherent unity. With no coherency in the parts, there will be no coherent truth in the whole. Without coherent truth there is only a relative truth. Relative truth makes for contradiction from different viewpoints, perceptions, and perspectives. Contradictions deny a common definition and meaning of truth, morality, justice, and beauty. They also deny common standards, values, principles, and virtues. Uncommon values lead to personal and social conflict and confusion; to the blocking of learning in education, to the disintegration of social unity.
Such personal and social problems result from learning only the factual leaves on the Tree of Knowledge. This causes one to lose sight of unifying principles that are the roots, and the unifying concepts that are the branches. To have common standards and values, that a global theory of knowledge requires, concrete factual knowledge should be unified by abstract concepts, that are unified by abstruse principles, that are unified by symbolic structures. Such principles ultimately derive from an ultimate unity and structure. This ultimate unity is the keystone that holds the whole systematic structure of knowledge together.
An ultimate unity in knowledge is one to which a multiplicity of knowledge coherently relates, and beyond which there is no further knowledge. Thus, God is the ultimate unity in theo-logy, the Ultimate Premise is the ultimate unity in philosophy, and Energy is the ultimate unity in science. A unity beyond the trinity of theology-philosophy-science is the Ultimate of all Ultimates.
Metaphysical system-philosophers have always sought for ultimate unities, for ultimate principles to unify all knowledge. They sought for the fewest, simplest, and clearest keyword-principles to relate, explain, and unify the most knowledge; and which would resolve the most conflicts of truth, morality, justice and beauty. They sought such principles by logical induction; from facts to concepts, to principles; and by deduction from principles to concepts to facts. Some of these philosophers and their ultimate principles are: Socrate's Universals, Plato's Ideas, Aristotle's Categories, Plotinus's One, Kant's Categories, Hegel's Absolute, and Spencer's First Principles.
To find ultimate principles concrete Facts are inductively unified by abstract concepts, that are unified by abstruse principles, that are unified by esoteric ultimate principles, that are unified by an ultimate trinity, that is unfied by an ultimate unity, that unifies all that is induced to it. Thus, the concrete facts of Elm-Oak unify to the abstract concept of Tree. Tree-Flower unify to the abstruse principle of Plant. Plant-Animal unify to the esoteric principle of Organic. Organic-Inorganic unify to the unifying principle of Matter, whose diversity unifies to the ultimate principle and unity of Energy. The same principle applies to the dialectical progression of thesis-synthesis-antithesis, up to the ultimate synthesis of an ultimate principle, as in Hegel's Absolute.
Unity in knowledge was sought for in monism, which says all is from one, like from God; or from dualism, which says all is from two, like from matter-mind; or from pluralism, which says all is from many, like from atoms. Monism results in a static conformity to a unity without diversity. Dualism results in the contradiction of relativity that denies truth. Pluralism results in diversity without unity. Their functional difference is like that between a monistic Stop-sign, a dualistic Stop-Go traffic light, and having no traffic sign or light, with a resulting in pluralistic disorder.
A synthesis of these traffic controllers is the three-phase Stop-Caution-Go traffic light. It symbolizes the global philosophy of Trinityism that says order functions in threes. It synthesizes the unity of monism, the balancing values of dualism, and the diversity of pluralism. As such, it controls, systemizes, and harmonizes the traffic of knowledge from all directions.
Trinityism says knowledge is in balancing trinities of three values, like spirit-mind-body, that are deducible from an ultimate trinity of values. This dynamic ultimate trinity has generic Negative-Neutral-Positive natural values; and/or Spiritual-Rational-Sensual human values. These are thesis-synthesis-antithesis values. The balancing or cyclical changes between the three parts of a trinity, maintain the unchanging entity of the whole trinity. It is like the entity of temperature in a closed room, where there are three layers of temperature-values, Hot-Warm-Cold. To increase one of these values is to cause a balancing decrease in the others, while the whole of the three values remains constant. This is consistent with scientific Conservation Laws and equations, like E= MC2. This balancing principle in a trinity of values is inherent in rigid natural, scientific, mathematical, and physical laws; as well as for less rigid human values.
There are also "No-valued Trinities", or human trinities that have a fourth word added, horizontally, to the trinity. It represents how free-willed choices between a trinity of Spiritual-Rational-Sensual values has been replaced by non-free willed Emotive values. To go beyond the limits of one's balancing trinity of Spiritual-Rational-Sensual values, is to deny these values. It is to become an emotive, non-free willed person. It is like being a mystical, psychic, or occultic person. Their truths are determined by emotive feelings; by fatalistic emotion, instinct, impulse, and compulsion; not by rational free choice. This infers that man's trinity of beings is a basis for a pragmatic psychology and sociology that could answer their unanswered questions.
Most human values may be listed under the categories of Spiritual-Rational-Sensual. This trinity of trinity relates to and is derived from the spirit-mind-body of man; from his intuitive-logical-observing means to learning. The balancing change between these values; from spiritiual to rational to sensual, is apparent in how one's values change in church, in a classroom, and at a party. This change is also reflected in Western Civilization, which is the collective extension of the individual. It's values have changed in dominance from the emotive "Dark Age" of superstition (500-1000 A.D.) to the spiritual Medieval Age of theology (1000-1400), to the rational Renaissance Age of philosophy (1400-1700), to the sensual Modern Age of science (1700-2000). How most, if not all human values, may be listed under these ages, is verified by underlining nouns, adjectives, and adverbs in any history of the West. This is exemplified by this sample listing:
Trinitarian principles are inherent in 8 structures that symbolize dynamic systems of principles. These dynamic structures are simple schematic ideograms, like the line-drawing of a triangle or a cycle symbol. If "One picture is worth a thousand words", one structure is worth a thousand pictures. A systematic idea-structure is like a map that encompasses an encyclopedic amount of knowledge. It is like a systematic cycle-structure can show at a glance that which would take chapters to describe. If true of the cycle-structure, it should be true of other trinitarian structures. Trinitarian structures serve the same purpose for all knowledge as Kant's a priori forms do for science, and Jung's archetypes do for humanity. As their synthesis, Trinitarian structures go beyond them. The 8 structures have the generic trinity of negative-neutral-positive values inherent in them. They also have about 50 keyword-principles inherent in them. These structures, symbolized by keywords, are: Balance, Cycle, Trinity, No-valued Trinity, Progressive Ranges, Cumulative, Balanced Distribution, and Perspective. These structures may be used to explain, illustrate, relate, develop, and unify most knowledge, in most, branches of knowledge. As sources of knowledge, they structures and their principles are a basis for a global system of knowledge and education.
The words that describe the parts, functions, relationships, and interrelationships of Trinitarian structures are keyword-principles. Like their structures, the keywords may be used to explain, illustrate, relate, develop, and unify knowledge in most branches of knowledge. Some of these keyword-principles, that are inherent in the dynamic Balance Scale Structure alone, are: Balance, Cycle, Change, Conflict, Control, Degree, Diversity, Entity, Equilibrium, Harmony, Judgment, Limit. Moderation, Order, Proportion, Quality, Quantity, Rational, Relative, System, Symmetry, Stability, Trinity, Unity, and Value.
Most of these key-principles are found in the other trinitarian structures; especially in the stratified, pyramidic Progressive Ranges Structure. It has some different keyword-principles, like: Cumulative, Perspective, and Integration. Most knowledge may be deduced from the Progressive Ranges Structure, in which the Balance and Cycle-structures are inherent parts. This structure alone, with its sub-structures, is a basis for a global theory of knowledge and value-system. The 8 structures are illustrated in the appendix.
Trinitarian keyword-principles are like keywords that index the infinity of knowledge in a library's filing system. As such, they are keys to opening many new doors to many new kinds of knowledge. Once learned, they enable the perception, association, recall, relationship, unity, and application of an encyclopedic amount of knowledge. By supplying the fewest structures, principles, and premises, by which to relate the most knowledge, reasoning is simplified, clarified, and more universally understood. The structures, with their principles and premises, focus and guide reasoning toward ultimate conclusions to which most rational person will agree. One reason for this is that they have the universe of coherent knowledge to support the parts, sections, and wholes that unify in their ultimate premises.
The basic "Trinity Structure" is a "Building block" of knowledge. Like using the same type of bricks to construct a building, the Trinity Structure may be combined with other Trinity Structures to construct larger dynamic systems of knowledge; from the atom to humanity, to the cosmos. A synthesis of the 8 structures makes a unified structure, that is a "Calendar of Human Change". It includes 4 "Seasons" and 12 "Months" for defining and predicting value-changes. Paralleling the Medieval-Renaissance-Modern, and No-value Ages in Western Civilization, the "Seasons" of this Calendar are called: Spiritual, Rational, Sensual, and Emotive. The Human Calendar is the basis of a philosophy of history, whose principles apply on all ranges of society; from civilization, to nations, to individuals. As a natural calendar enables prediction, control, and resolution of natural problems, the Human Calendar does the same for human problems. It is a basis for perceiving, explaining, illustrating, relating, and unifying most of the changing knowledge of man. As such, it is a basis for unifying most knowledge in a global system of knowledge and education.
Unknown knowledge must relate to known knowledge, if the unknown is to be learned. The same applies to abstract knowledge that is learned by relating to the concrete, and to unknown minor principles that is learned by a major one. Trinitarian structures and their principles are knowns by which to learn the unknown, the concrete by which to learn the abstract; and the known association-keys by which to learn other unknowns. Once a structure and its principles are learned, that which is heard, read, thought, and taught, may be associated and related to be coherent truths. Relative facts change and are forgotten; while structures and their principles do not change and are not forgotten, but are reinforced by whatever is perceived and related to them. When new facts are added to old structures and principles, new ideas are created. This enables learning that is faster, simpler, clearer, and more easily learned; while improving creativeness, and the speed, retention, use, and recall of learning. As the same structures and principles could be used in all books, in all school, at all levels, and for any subject, it points to their use in a global system of knowledge and education
By encompassing the dynamic, balancing trinities of God-Man-Nature, the divinities-humanities-sciences, and the spirit-mind-body; a trinitized school curriculum, using structures and their principles, enables a well-balanced education. In such an education, any value taught would be self-moderated by rational, balancing, 3-sided judgments; made on balancing broad-medium-narrow ranges of perspective.This enables an unbiased, tolerant, non-indoctrinated, self-reasoned education. In such an education Trinityism's many new principles, concepts, and theories; that are applicable in most disciplines; have the universe of coherent knowledge to support their coherent truths. Its all-encompassing structures and principles are a means to intuitively creating new ideas, means to logically organizing these ideas, and guides to physically producing the organized ideas. By unifying the dynamic diversity of intuitive-logical-observable knowledge, a trinitarian education could make one to be a "Universal" or "Renaissance Man". Such a person, like a Galileo, is able to have the theory, knowledge, and balancing practices of a theologian-philosopher-scientist.
Being common to most, if not all disciplines, Trinitarian structures and their principles could be used to teach and relate each discipline to other disciplines. So a a structure and its principle in one discipline does not have to be relearned in other disciplines. This could simplify, clarify, systemize, and unify interdisciplinary educational systems. It could bridge the gaps between theology-philosophy-science; between intuitive-logical-empirical learning. By enabling a coherent, harmonious unity between the changing diversity of disciplines, it could enable the divinities-humanities-sciences to keep pace with advances in the sciences. Being universal and pragmatic, the structures and their principles could enable a universal communication and understanding of ideas between specialized specialists, with less conflict over what is true, moral, just, and beautiful. Such a unification of knowledge and communication is needed in a global system of knowledge and education.
Definitions are based on relating and comparing words to related words or ideas, as in related thesis-synthesis-antithesis words. As such, the three related words of any trinity are a basis for making true definitions and meanings of value-words. Such true definitions enable common standards, values, and communication. As ultimate premises, ultimate structures and their principles are ultimate standard for defining truth and word-meanings. They are also sources of knowledge, from which most knowledge may be logically induced to or deduced from. These premises tend to be universal, eternal absolutes that cannot be denied by logic, fact, or inconsistency. As ultimate standards of comparison, they are a basis for the final judging and defining of words that symbolize the truth and meaning of all values that induce to them.
Trinitarian structures, that are sources of most principles in most branches of knowledge, include interrelating ultimate principles, purposes, perfections, premises, and perspectives. The ultimate principles supply ready general answers, that lead to examples of their particular truths. The ultimate purposes determine if goa1s to them are true; while giving direction, meaning, reason for being, and hope in life. The ultimate perfections are ideals for all to imitate. The ultimate premises enable a rational verification of truth, for that which relates to a principle will be a rational, coherent truth. The ultimate perspective enables the broadest view of the whole of knowledge, to which the relative parts of knowledge conform to be coherent truths. It is analogous to pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that coherently conform to a picture of the whole puzzle. All of these ultimates are ultimate goods (Summum bonums). That which helps to achieve an ultimate good will be good. This makes Trinitarian ultimates to be a basis for a universal truth, morality, and justice system; for a global theory of ethics and values to which most rational persons could agree.
Dynamic trinities of value coherently extend between the microcosmos-macrocosmos-cosmos, from quark to man to the Ultimate Beginning. These balancing trinities, as changing diversities in an unchanging unity, are a means to resolving conflicts, contradictions, paradoxes, dilemmas, and inconsistencies of truth on any range of perspective or society. In terms of principles, trinities deny these mentally blocking problems by enabling almost instant general answers to most questions of "Why?". By so doing they give answers to resolve many of today's "unsolvable" problems. Because of its dynamic, systematic flexibility, Trinityism could resolves inconsistencies and conflicts in knowledge by its unchanging principles that are in harmony with changing facts; that are parts of a dynamic, systematic, unified whole of knowledge.
As a systematic, metaphysical philosophy Trinityism synthesizes most other philosophies in its effort to unify most knowledge. It unifies their diversity of facts and concepts, by its few structures and principles, that are common to most branches of knowledge. Its rigid unity of principles, with their dynamic trinity of flexible values, that are within systematic structures, enable a perception of concrete facts, as well as of abstract concepts relative to the whole of knowledge.
As a synthesis of most philosophies, Trinityism synthesizes such philosophical principles as Plato's forms, Aristotle's Golden Mean, Kant's Antimonies, Hegel's dialectic, and other ideas of other philosophers. As a rational metaphysical system, Trinityism seeks to coherently unify, not only philosophy, but most knowledge into a unity that is a diversity in harmony. As a pending Grand Unifying Theory for most disciplines, Trinityism seeks to systemize, synthesize, and unify most knowledge, by its 8 systematic structures with their inherent 50 keyword-principles. These ultimates may coherently describe, illustrate, relate, develop, systemize, and unify most branches of knowledge. They enable unity in the diversity of knowledge, and a practicality that is evident in the author's published books in philosophy and ethics; and in philosophies of history and psychology; and in manuscripts on mathematics and science.
In effect, Trinitarian structures and their principles could do for ideas what the alphabet did for words, what numbers did for quantity, what the map did for space, what the Calendar did for time, what the thermometer did for degrees, and what the blueprint did for construction. As a synthesis of these past revolutionary changes in knowledge, Trinityism could revolutionize future global knowledge and education.
The benefits of Trinityism are the same as those sought for in monism, dualism, pluralism, and other philosophical systems. The benefits of the Trinitarian GUT-theory are the same as those sought for in scientific GUT-theories; but Trinityism has more benefits. for it encompasses these diverse systems. It has the benefits of the knowledge it synthesizes, plus its own benefits. The benefits of such a global theory of knowledge and education could enable order in the increasing chaos of knowledge, as well as an advance in the mind of man and in his education. Trinityism, as a means to perceiving, predicting, and controlling future education and human values, could enable individual and social man to be, to do, and to become what he wills. Monism was good for philosophy in the past. Dualism was better in the present. Trinityism could be better than both in a future global theory of knowledge.