The Theory of Agnostic Perspectivism

5 minute read

[2022-01-28 Fri 22:20] - 7942

Incentive

All my life, I have never witnessed a subject in the making. Whatever domain I was intrigued had a significant amount of literature already published for new entrants.

Around ~2 years ago, I read Leonardo’s biography and I was infatuated by the idea of pushing the primal boundaries of a subject - research today, conventionally speaking, is too specific to be primal.

Now, given my epistemological interests, I would like to experience the growth of an immature subject without explicitly needing any heavy machinery.

My Primal Closure

Proceeding to formalize my thoughts:

I would classify a subject as primal if one can reach its boundaries without any complicated instruments. Further, I would classify primal instruments as the sensory organs, one’s own brain, and observations (entities, their behaviors and their attributes) that are consequent upon these core primals. Collectively addressing this as my primal closure. For a tool to be usable in the propagation of the subject, it should be conceptually accessible with these primal tools with the theory that the subject provides.

Clarifying with an instance: The observation that when I press the tip of a pencil against a paper, I can see new marks on the paper is in my primal closure but the observation that I know that pencils are made by wood, graphite, lead going through some non-trivial process is not within my primal closure. A pencil is easily available in my habitat and this association of a pencil and its canonically observable behaviors would be “natural” for me.

Do note, however, that all subjects degenerate into primal ones as one can first develop the complicated instrument with simpler “natural” ones and proceed normally.

Pertaining to my present need, the starting point of many subjects is a non-trivial dogma. Hence, I would have to play catch-up for a long time before I actually get to the crux of the subject.

For instance, to study geometrical optics, I would have to first get into how light traverses in different media (I know that it slows down in glass but not exactly why so). It doesn’t seem so obvious with my primal closure and would have to take a big detour before I actually get into geometrical optics.

As a good rule of thumb - any subject that has a pragmatic name, probably has its primal aspects neatly abstracted away already, and hence a respectable amount of literature to influence new entrants and requiring correspondingly larger detours to get started with the subject.

Pragmatics

As of now, I could identify two ways to go about it:

  • independently pursue an already established subject without explicitly seeking inputs other than my primal closure
  • invent a subject

A caveat with such a pursuit is that if I choose to go with an already established subject, I’d be reinventing the wheel and progress wouldn’t be optimal: Its not a far-fetched hypothesis that I’d be better (questionable) by reading up on the subject.

I also don’t want to waste my time with some unnecessarily esoteric subject. I was, again, inspired by Leonardo’s codices: the way he so easily could sketch out intricate ideas on paper - I would like to be so fluid with my thoughts on notebook without being bothered by the technical nuances of doing so. The way one does that is exactly by completely tackling those technical nuances and incorporating them as second nature. So drawing was a natural choice.

I started out a week ago by trying exactly point out what made things to seem like exactly those things: what exactly makes a cup of tea (note that this notation is heavily overloaded and saying “cup of tea” already fires up a lot of intractable thoughts in one’s brain that my primal closure, without ignorance, cannot reach) seem to me a like a cup of tea. I messed around with shadows a bit and how they affect depth perception (everyone knows they do but only some get into the details). I spent a day of observing how light interacts with objects around me, how I perceive patterns, how different factors affect what I see.

One would quickly realize that drawing, however, would cater only to one’s vision and I’d be cutting my potential short if I constrict myself to the same.

Culmination

I was going to name my pursuits in the expansion of my primal closure as “Observation Theory”. Albeit not heavily used, this name is still slightly overloaded and new entrants would approach this subject with some mental baggage.

Therefore, I chose ..

The Theory of Agnostic Perspectivism

Note that I do not intend to use “Agnostic” in the theological sense. Instead etymologically: Agnostic (from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) ‘without’, and γνῶσις (gnōsis) ‘knowledge’).

Now, Perspectivism is, as Wikipedia says …

.. the epistemological principle that perception of and knowledge of something are always bound to the interpretive perspectives of those observing it.

Hence, this is supposed to be a personalized take on observations, without the explicit influence of prior knowledge.

Now that I finally have the joy of inventing a legitimate subject, I’m enthusiastic to see how it evolves over the years.

This is my first, self-incentivized, pragmatic, aware, epistemological pursuit. Feels much better than reading up on it.

All consequent posts will be tagged as #TAP

Leave a comment