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NUM-INOUS COMICS PT. 2

This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

STRENGTH AND SUBSTANCE

Here's a small revision to my terminology in this section of GOOD WILL QUANTUMS PT. 2:

....the function of sensation as Jung and I conceive it is entirely "pre-cognitive," while that of feeling is "post-cognitive." It doesn't help me at all to use 'affect" in both senses, so from now on I will take the first-stated position: "affects" are *quanta* that belong to the post-cognitive function of feeling. In contrast, the function of sensation, being non-judgmental, is concerned rather with dynamicity in its purest state, as stimuli that either enhance or detract from the subject's life-quality. This brings me back to Kant's concept of dynamicity as "might" or "strength," and thus I reconfigure the earlier statement of the potentialities thusly:

The KINETIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of strength-quanta.
The DRAMATIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of affect-quanta.
The DIDACTIC (formerly "thematic") is a potentiality that describes the relationships of idea-quanta.
The MYTHOPOEIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of symbol-quanta.

There's a viable logic in defining the quanta of the sensation-function as "strength" or even "might," given that I've sometimes used the latter term as a catchall for any and all physical activity-- which would include an organism's attempt to suss out its environment through the use of the senses. Yet both terms don't seem wholly adequate to describe what the organism is specifically doing when it uses its senses, as opposed to other activities.

I still believe that sensation must be concerned with "stimuli that either enhance or detract from the subject's life-quality," and that this is the foundation for all later formulations about "the good and the bad," and for the attempts of higher organisms to articulate their "gut feelings" into the full-blown affects that belong to the function of feeling. But the word "strength" doesn't work so well, even though I chose it in part to ground the feeling of sensation within the mode of dynamicity. just as the other irrational function, that of intuition, is grounded within the combinatory mode.

The activity of Creature A's sensation-function does have its "strength" associations, at least with respect to whether Creature B can be eaten, or may try to eat Creature A. And yet, there are numerous examples where there is no competitive aspect to sensing one's environment. Just moving about in the environment involves sensing what it's like. For birds it's understanding. through the senses, the currents of the air; for fish, it's understanding, through the senses, the currents of the sea, and so on.

What all sensory activities seem to hold in common is not so much strength or might but *potency.* The sea has a potency both to help a fish find its prey and to escape its predators, and that potency is realized only through the creature's senses.

I have actually uses "potency" earlier in an unrelated sense in 2014's POWER AND POTENCY, but given that I'm so thoroughly influenced by Northrop Frye, I think I would be remiss if I didn't coin at least a handful of terms that had more than one distinct meaning in my system. Also, given the relationship of the terms "kinetic" and "potential" in physics, it makes sense in literary terms for "the kinetic" to arise from something that at least sounds like "the potential."

Thus, in any future meditations about the potentiality of the kinetic:

The KINETIC is a potentiality that describes the relationships of potency-quanta.

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