My Unorthodox Redefinition of Praxeology

This is part of my attempt to create my own praxeological theory. It is unfinished and probably very flawed, but I had fun doing it. My own praxeological theory is based in the mental act of judgement. To commence with the explanation of my theory, I will first point out that action is one of Aristotle’s ten traditional categories. As Aristotle asserted, the ten categories are scientifically undefinable [1]. However, we may express the elements consisting in action. This may be a definition in another sense, but not a strict scientific definition.

“Action: the production of change in some other object.” [2]

To logically divide action into separate species of action requires a difference in which to base this separation. The difference used is termed intelligence. Any action attributed with intelligence is termed a judgement. Therefore, a judgement is defined as an intelligent action. Judgements possibly fall under the genus termed mental actions. Other species of mental action possibly include the will, imagination, memory, sense, among others. The creation of these divisions belongs to the science of psychology. None of these other mental actions are strictly attributed with intelligence under criteria outlined here. The term intelligence is somewhat arbitrary, it may be replaced with rationality, consciousness, etc., but any discipline must have a defining factor separating judgements from other mental actions, or else the term judgement is scientifically useless and may be discarded. Therefore, judgements belong to their own species of action, however psychologists decide to organize the genus of mental actions in the future.

To illustrate this conundrum, some psychologists could possibly make intelligent action its own genus that includes imaginative action and judgements. However, then they would need to specify another differentiating factor that separates judgements from imaginative actions. Some psychologists may decide that imagination is an individual instance of judgement. This is the reason why I don’t attempt to approach the subject about what constitutes other species of mental actions. I only assert judgement as one of the species of mental action and whatever separating difference belonging to this species of judgement I term intelligence. Under this criteria, intelligence strictly refers to the essential characteristic differentiating the specific species of action termed judgements.

Praxeology in Relation to Other Sciences

I have direct, fundamental knowledge of this essential characteristic termed intelligence. The reason I know judgements exist is because I have experience coming from the memories formed during the multiple instances I sensed myself performing a judgement. The mechanisms comprising these abilities belong to psychology as I have already said.

The point is that this logical division separating judgements from other species of action is based on empiricism. Since its fashionable for some to consider empiricism as the source for scientific knowledge, this would establish praxeology as a proper scientific discipline under this criteria. The same mental processes are used to separate the various species of animals in biology, viz. sense, memory, and experience. Lions are their own biological species because biologists have documented multiple instances of encountering them and they have experienced the properties unique to their species. Likewise, I have encountered myself judging multiple times and have experienced the judgement’s unique properties. It is a fact that I am currently communicating the determinations of my judgement as propositions on this blog post and is evidence of judgements occurring as a result of my intelligence.

Intelligence is just a term for the physical, mechanistic cause of these judgements of which is examined as a subject of neuroscience. The discussion about which substances contain the ability for intelligent action and how to determine or estimate intelligence within an action of any animal or any other substance other than ourselves is also the subject of other scientific disciplines. In addition, the normative discipline of logic prescribes rules for conceptual judgements. The normative discipline of ethics prescribes rules for real judgements. Praxeology does not prescribe rules and is therefore not a normative discipline, but a scientific discipline as already explained.

Properties of the Intelligent Action or Judgement

The judgement is comprised of a production of change in some categorical determination in the brain, of which there are seven possibilities:

Universal Affirmative: All horses are white.

Particular Affirmative: Some horse are white.

Universal Negative: No horses are white.

Particular Negative: Some horses are not white.

Indesignate: No knowledge about the relationship between horse and white

Singular Affirmative: This single, specific horse is white.

Singular Negative: This single, specific horse is not white.

These determinations represent all the possible relationships between an object and an attribute that can exist in the brain. The physical manifestation of these states inside the brain again belongs to another discipline other than praxeology. Any change between these various determinations constitutes a judgement. A person may hold contradictory determinations. They then apply the rules of logic and change some of their determinations, thus performing judgement.

Subject Matter of Praxeology

The subject matter of praxeology is the various methods of changing a determination, or methods of judging. The logical division outlined here is not a continuation of the previous logical division of the category of action. The former is a natural division, while this is an artificial division. Therefore, these are not further divisions of various actions, but a division of various methods or strategies of judging. Therefore, all of these divisions still belong to a single species of action, viz. judgements. These can be divided into at least two parts:

Real Judgements: Judgement corresponding with bodily motion

Conceptual Judgements: Judgments involving concepts or representations in the mind

Some bodily motion is judgement. An example of a real judgement would be changing the determination of your arm from ‘the arm is not moving’ to ‘the arm is moving’. You have produced a change in determination from singular negative to singular affirmative. This change in determination is judgement. Sometimes, reality doesn’t correspond to real judgements, e.g. a newly amputated patient is unaware about their condition and makes the real judgement to move their arm. At this point, their determination has changed from ‘arm is at location A’ to ‘arm is at location B’. They then make the real judgement to look at location B. Sense informs them that ‘No arm is at location B’. They apply the rules of logic to change their determination from ‘arm is at location B’ to ‘arm is not at location B’.

Most applications of the rules of logic is habitual and occurs very quickly. If its habitual, it does not constitute as judgement. To be judgements, you must be going through each step in the mind meticulously. Sometimes, the mind forms learned habits and this is route processing not part of the species judgement. Route processing belongs to another species of mental action. Arm motion may also be a part of route processing formed by habit, e.g. shooting a basketball often does not require actively judging all the motion involved.

Motion in this sense is a judgement in the same class as all other judgements. Bodily motion may also be produced, but not as judgement. In this sense, a pumping heart would not be judgement under normal circumstances (some Buddhist monks say they can control their heartbeat), or any a habitual motion by route processing. This sense of motion is attributable to inanimate objects, like rocks. The two senses of motion are analogous and constitute two different logical terms. The first is movement as a logical part of intelligent action or judgement, belonging to the same species as all other judgements. The second is movement as its own species or genus of action. The second sense only exists in substances. The existence of motion in the second sense is independent from any determination. The first sense of motion is a change in determination, or judgement, and normally corresponds with motion in reality. However, it doesn’t have to correspond with reality as explained.

[1] Aquinas, De Anima, I., lect. 8.

“Definitions too have a beginning and an end, for you cannot go on to infinity in the enumeration of genera; the most general genus has to be taken as the first one. Similarly in enumerating species; you cannot particularise to infinity, but must stop at the most particular species.”

[2] George Hayward Joyce, Principles of Logic, pg. 138

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