Biological basis of the Western prejudice for the immutable



CSH: Fara was wondering out loud about the Western prejudice for the immutable. We were talking about how necessary truths indicate a realm that is invulnerable to change and time. Rationalism wants truths that can never be falsified. We are attracted to this. Or: history indicates that people are attracted to the solid, unchanging, predictable, and dependable.

Maybe the Platonic prejudice for forms over individuals is really a reflection of our love of predictability. A world that was perfectly predicted would be a world in which we would be immortal. So it may actually be our survival instinct that is behind the love of the completely transcendent.

What in us is yearning for the eternal? This thing that motivates our interest must itself be eternality. Our homeostasis. The lover can only love what it recognizes, and to recognize is to be. When we are Platonists, we are actually showing attraction for our own cores. Beyond that core is the core of emptiness, which shows that the internal eternal is a psychological projection from the organism’s negentropy. Sentient matter is always in flux, but some types of material flux are self-organizing and self-repairing. When the cell arises as a local and anomalous self-organizing machine, the Platonic bias is born. The reason an organism recognizes and prioritizes Platonic forms over material bodies is that the organism itself is an immaterial, dynamic, homeostatic pattern.

That pattern has no material existence. The self-organization that creates consciousness (of the kind we have) is not a thing, but a process, a stable dynamic pattern. A stable dynamic pattern is not a stuff. Material stuff cannot be immortal, but immortality for relations and properties is at least possible.

In summary, Platonic forms are patterns stabilized inside the homeostatic organism. The organism abstracts these static patterns from their dynamic negentropic basis and projects them outwards as real but immaterial existents. The Western prejudice for the immutable has a biological basis.