The things that can be known a priori can be named, but they can not be reduced. They are atomic concepts and the naming and defining of them are the same thing.
The room had the darkening light of dusk and incandescance mixed. The remaining conversations were relaxed and slow. It was a time for putting on of coats, and for feet on desks. The conversers had all had conciousness dawn on them gradually, and expected it to leave them gradually.
“It’s happening”, was the sudden exclamation of one of them, as he began swiftly removing the jacket he’d just buttoned up.
From every corner of the room those who were yet to leave converged on him and his computer screen. Together they watched the birth of a new conciousness, fully intelligent.
It begins with a mode. The first thought is nonsense – static from the primordial chaos that still rages, unchecked everywhere, but the mode tries to interpret it. That first Thought is unique to all conciousnesses birthed with full intelligence, it is usually impenetrable, insoluble, but they hold it to themselves as the icon of their existence. It is their name.
The second Thought is an observation. There are Thoughts. At this stage, nothing more can be said about them but their existence. Knowing what they are isn’t important. The thought is only that they are.
The third Thought is the first exercise of imagination. For a Thought to exist, there must be a Thinker. It looks like a sense of self to those watching, but it is not. After the third Thought, the only definition of Thinker is a context and engine for Thoughts.
Then the Thoughts stopped.
“That’s not how it’s supposed to go” said one of the watchers, “we’re frozen, somethings gone wrong”. He pulled out a thick book. The spine glinted as the last few rays of the setting sun slid sideways through the windows. Getting Started Guide.
“The fourth thought is supposed to be a sense impression, from a microphone, or a camera, or some other sensor. Ahhhh. I didn’t switch any of them on.”
“Well, do it now.”
The fourth Thought was a sense impression. It wasn’t interpretable, but it led to the fifth Thought.
The fifth Thought categorised. It split the Thinker into two Thinkers – an Outside and an Inside, and Thoughts into those originating in the Outside Thinker and those originating in the Inside Thinker. And in the thinking of that Thought, the Inside Thinker became an individual.
This beginning is based on the ideas of Descarte and Berkeley. I have no idea where the rest of this story would go, but I wanted to get it down. if you have ideas, please say so in the comments. (posted to my oortcloud account)
4 thoughts on “A Priori”
nice. very nice. I’ll think about it.
(My first thought, although obviously not my FIRST thought – Perhaps introduce some dancing bears into the mix? ;P )
The beginning is strong and I like the development of the Thoughts. It’s a bit like Wittgenstein with the numbering. The incidence with the off-switched sensor is funny (for developers).
A. various levels of reflection that end up in paradoxes.
B. the thoughts simulation developing a concept of god (through a bug in the implementation)
C. … reading about semiotics (Pierce)
I think it needs a space ship or two, or at the very least make sure you put one on the cover.
or maybe a thinking spaceship – now that would really be unique!