Monday, June 25, 2012
We're all autopoietically closed in operation: A draft inspired by Escher's drawing hands
I self-describe myself.
(Just as the right hand draws the left hand in Escher's picture).
Myself self-described is immediately read by 'I' who self-describes.
(Just as the left hand draws the right hand).
'I' who self-describes is now affected by myself self-described.
'I' is now a self-reference of myself, which is a self-reference of I.
Neither 'I' or myself is free from this self-referential circle.
Could I ever describe the "genuine I" that is unaffected by my self-description?
Or is there any "genuine I" that is unaffected by my self-description?
The "genuine I" wouldn't show up in my self-description.
(Just as you who see Escher's picture above doesn't show up in the picture).
My self-description never expresses the "genuine I".
I may describe anything "genuinely", but 'I' seems to be the only exception.
Could I describe anything other than myself "genuinely"?
Or indeed, could anyone describe anything other than himself "genuinely"?
I wonder again.
Any description of anything by anybody is done through his words and affected by his history; he can only use his words acquired in his own history.
Of course, as long as his words are used for communication successfully, they are not entirely arbitrary, but the fact remains that no one is free from his self-referential circle.
Someone uses words, but his words are not truely objective (or "genuine") but affected by his history, and once they are used, they affect him again and his history is renewed.
Whatever we do, we have to involve ourselves in what we do.
There's no way we can get rid of ourselves.
All of us are autopoietically closed in operation (Luhmann).
When we communicate, for example, we're all trapped in our own autopoiesis.
So, should there be anyone who observes our communication "genuinely", it cannot be any one of us.
The "genuine observer" never shows up in our communication.
It is only supposed outside our communication.
(Just like the "genuine I" is supposed only outside my self-desription).
The "genuine observer" of of any kind is only our linguistic concpetion.
It never exists physically.
If someone claims he is the one and participates in our communication, he is, by the very act of communication, affected by us and affects us. He is no longer genuinely objective.
Then, why bother with the "genuine observer"?
Blame Descartes, who posited the non-physical "I".
Blame other modernists, too, who claimed that such "I" could be the "genuine observer" of objective reality.
We're all closed in operation, and that is why communication that is not dictated by anyone is so important for us.
If someone claims that he is the genuine observer and dictates communication, the rest of us are under his total control. Communication is dead.
Continuation of communication suggests that our operational closure is not so hopeless.
And not-so-hopelessness is our hope.
Call the genuine observer of our operation "God", if you want.
That statement does not prove the existence of God, though.
Believe in God, if you want, but never say anything about it.