March 24, 2019

A thought on meaning

'Meaning' as the transition from an idea to a belief.

I might be stealing this from somewhere, but I just realized that I now think 'Meaning' is the transition from an idea to a belief.

What I mean, is the sensation you get when you put appreciation and attention into a thought, it becomes an belief. Something of value to you, or eventually to a group through a transition mediated by our means of communication.

Underlying this transition, there is a plethora of complexity that can be found in context of exactly this transition of an idea or a belief between its existence in the 'self' (phenomenologically), and that of the 'group'. If we look at ideas and beliefs from the level of the individual and the transitions thereof between the group and the individual, it aids us in slowly dissecting the process of meaning (I believe meaning is a status as part of a process, not a state on its own).


For example, it seems that both ideas and beliefs of the individual can transition to beliefs of the group, but we don't have the notion of 'ideas' of a group (or rather, they are ideas for non-believers). Ideas are at the individual, and can transition to beliefs of both the individual and the group. Generally, groups seem to form a process of natural selection on ideas of the individual that partly reconstruct and posit them as new beliefs.

The system that defines the 'rules' or 'norms' of this natural selection (and how awareness and attention to beliefs influences the creation of new ideas and beliefs), are discussed in more depth in philosophical concepts like episteme (Foucault) and paradigms (Kuhn). More modern discussions of these things are also available around thinkers like Jordan Peterson.

Notes in Dutch:

  • Het 'zelf' is een reproductie van de ervaring van het heden in de ervaring (herinnering) van het verleden.
  • Laten we de wereld van idee├źn van het 'zelf' scheiden (het 'erzijn' van het Zijn?), om zo op de golf van evolutie met onszelf in de hand voort te schrijden.