Constructivist Foundation Journal


email me. This page is subject to revision and extension. It is a work in process and begins with a confrontational style for therapeutic effect. My website amounts to a one-person reaction to collectives. Of course there’s no such thing as one person, except in so far as one assumes to be the point person. For that reason I’m keeping close control over my Karl Jaspers Applied reaction to efforts to misuse Karl Jaspers. He is not my hero, but I do feel a certain kinship due to unusual events. Paragraphs are signified to assist my website manager in making changes.


(This page--being an unusual experiment in electronic-process structuring and reporting--might be interrupted by updates, and it might be well for the reader to come back to the updates after reading what follows the updates. Particular attention should be paid to dates of updates and dates of original and revised page dates. This 11-11-update points to the constructivist foundation’s “now” appeal for open participation which appears to conflict with my earlier comments about it being a gated community. My earlier observations can serve to forewarn, which in turn becomes a forearming resulting in the community’s gates being opened for controlled inspection to prove otherwise. How that works is like this: When I was a casework supervisor, a caseworker might be given a poor performance evaluation as a last resort toward improvement. An improvement-plan might include transferring to a new supervisor; if it seems possible that an effort will be made by that caseworker to show supervision and evaluation was unfair. If the transfer results in the caseworker’s improvement, the poor evaluation is shown to be incorrect and the caseworker’s self esteem is seemingly preserved, but the poor evaluation might still be understood as proper by the supervisory staff. There are some problems that go away if they are simply looked at. Problems can go through a metamorphosis in a blink of the use of the time-tool. An open gate does not mean there’s been a transformation of the mind-set. This parenthetical note was added 11-11-2005)

UPDATE: 11-11-2005

In Mr. Muller’s personal website (“Karl Jaspers Forum”), he permits Mr. Alexander Riegler (editor of the new constructivist foundation journal) to advertise the “constructivist foundation” on a platform misnamed as “Karl Jaspers Forum”. (Mr. Muller has barred me from his website and will not permit the posting of my website address.) I want to remind the readers here that to use Jaspers, Mr. Muller had to misrepresent the reality in which Jaspers presents himself. This is done initially in his website’s statement-of-purpose where he says that Jaspers reduces philosophical reflection to, as Muller says, “present experience and cannot be replaced by fixed traditions or methods “. All one must do is remember the biblical faith Jaspers represented, and remember that his philosophical reflections proceeding from an article of faith, including the belief that “all men are related in Adam, originate from the hand of God and are created after His image” (Origin and Goal of History). Throughout his works he speaks about the biblical imageless God, and the same is potentially present in Jaspers’ encompassing concepts. It is what distinguishes existence from Jaspers use of “Existenz” (and that in keeping with the spirit of Kierkegaard).

Riegler should not have taken advantage of this clear misuse of the real Karl Jaspers. Riegler says, “…all we can say is that whether reality exists or not is a useless question to ask.” Of course that premise might be soothing for conscience-consciousness, for it means the objective Jaspers can be treated as non-existing, and, therefore cannot be misused. Jaspers can be not only hackneyed but also subjected to constructivist solipsism where the collective (“we” constructivists)  “will have to find explanations for observed phenomena without any anchor in a ‘secure’ objective reality.” (See Riegler’s reaction to Mr. Dykstra, TA40C4)

On the postings of 11-11, from a constructivism’s perspective Mr. Muller reacts to Mr. Adrian van der Meijden (who is also misunderstood) by asking, “Since mind-independent objects, etc., are metaphysical postulates, how can they be ‘represented’?”. Muller’s misrepresentation (i.e., representation is…missed…due to the loss of objectivity) of Jaspers is a good example of a constructivism’s metaphysic. Muller has a meta-jaspers rather than a philosophical comprehension of Jaspers, but the metaphysical Jaspers is even a misrepresentation, for the physic and psyche phenomena emitting from Jaspers’ writings are not allowed as evidence (withheld) by Mr. Muller. In other words, the Jaspers that Muller postulates suffers from the lack dialectical thoroughness and his Jaspers is myth without content. There’s no good reason for this lack of content for the data is easily accessible.

We return now to item 15 (now under construction) and pick up with Muller’s considerations of Adams and Dykstra, and relative to Riegler.

(Nov 7, 2005)
01. Prefatory remarks—To understand another as well as oneself (whatever self image one might have at any particular time and place) one needs as much data as collectible from personal influences, for example, memories, and data from the testimony of others regarding their own life’s experiences, all with some connection with empirically based possibilities and actualities. A point of contact currently with the newly formed Constructivist community is Herbert Muller, an octogenarian and “associate professor of psychiatry” at McGill University, at least associated with Douglas Hospital. The other point of contact is his use of Karl Jaspers. We know a little of Mr. Muller’s biography, but much of Jaspers, so we begin a comparison of the two with some of what is known of Jaspers. This comparison tends to show that Mr. Muller’s conditioning does not lend itself to properly understanding Jaspers.

02. We will begin with the educational environment of Jaspers. The University of Heidelberg, though originally Catholic, became Calvinistic, and finally a state institution which retained a protestant or reformationistic character as seen in such notables as Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, and Karl Jaspers. All three are the greatest of sociologists. Jaspers has confirmed the influence of both fellows. Regarding Weber, his evaluation can be found, e.g., in Jaspers’ “Three Essays: Leonardo, Descartes, Max Weber”. The final sentence in Troeltsch’s two-volume work, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches can show his influence too:

The truth is—and this is the conclusion of the whole matter—the Kingdom of God is within us. But we must let our light shine before men in confident and untiring labor that they may see our good works and praise our Father in Heaven. The final ends of all humanity are hidden within His Hands.

This sentiment runs throughout Jaspers works, for instance, in “The Future of Mankind” nearing the end of his Chapter 15 on Substitutes for Reason he says:

The human situation, now as ever, demands a rebirth of man. How it will occur must be left to experience and action. If I see the best chances for it on Protestant soil, this is due only to the Protestant principle which approximates philosophy: no mediator; direct contact with God; universal priesthood—and a corresponding institutional dismemberment of the Church into many creeds and independent congregations.

03. To explain how this quote is pertinent to substitutes for reason, I want to interject one of my own biographical events, an undergraduate memory. It’s justified by the fact that Mr. Muller uses Jaspers, and he has used me in his opening Constructivist statement. “Pappy” Trinkle had a Doctorate in psychology and taught religious courses too, so when, in the context of a class on the biblical Romans he asked: “What is a good substitute for faith?” he asked it from psychological perspective as well as biblical. I was the only one who answered it in a non-doctrinaire way. Obviously, if one answered that the law or reason was a substitute, it would at least be reflected in one’s final grade--it was part of the final exam. The normal response was expected to be “There is no substitute for faith!” But that was not the question. The question had to be addressed, and my answer began with “A good substitute for faith is…” As he thumbed though the papers looking specifically for someone who would offer a substitute, he with a stern demeanor placed one aside, and then went back to it. We all wondered about that paper, and I wondered is that mine? It was mine, and as he bifocaled on the whole sentence, his expression turned immediately to one of approval, and then he read it aloud: “A good substitute for faith is greater faith” (I may have verbally enhanced the idea) and then expounded showing the relevance of the answer to Paul’s treatment of the limits of the law, logic, works, and all within the context of divine grace which is always greater than an ever increasing good works and faith. And that is what Jaspers is saying when he begins talking about substitutes for reason, and as he approaches the need for philosophical faith.

04. Jaspers’ Heidelberg experience (pre-war, war, and post-war) is meaningful, and I see my own as conducive to understanding Jaspers though insignificant overall by comparison.

05. In an attempt to understand why Mr. Muller seems unable to understand Jaspers thoughts, let’s see what is known about Mr. Muller’s biography. He was born 81 years ago in Cologne, and after serving in the military he graduated from Cologne University and attended the University of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro ending up associated with Douglas Hospital in Canada. There several years ago he came to the conclusion that the notion of prestructured mind independent reality must be abandoned. There are a lot of gaps here in his history, and with as little conjecture as possible, we will try to understand the environment in which he was reared to attempt to understand the aversion to the structured reality of his early experiences. Details about the war years can only come from him, and that then compared to the experiences of Jaspers and Gertrude.

06. First the history of Cologne University is known. It is clearly Roman Catholic and has never been otherwise. Cologne is reportedly 43% Catholic and 18% protestant. By the end of WWII 99% of the Jewish population had been annihilated. It is the only city in Germany with an explicit tax on prostitution and literally boasts of being Germany’s gay movement’s stronghold and as a City is known for its easy-going tolerant attitudes. In 2005 Cologne hosted one of the largest-ever meetings of Catholic youth. Jaspers visited Cologne about a decade before Mr. Muller was born and had this to say:

In Cologne…where the wonderful Van Goghs were surrounded by expressionist art from all over Europe in queer monotony, I sometimes had a feeling as if VanGogh were the sublime and only case of one “mad” against his will among so many who want to be mad but are too healthy. (Lib. Of Living Phil. p. 417)

07. This information is not meant to do anything more than express an appreciation for the manner in which Mr. Muller may have had to come to terms with his early environment, and in his final stages now wants to leave those similarly challenged with a academically respectable formula that would circumvent coming to what he considers less effective terms. He must come to terms with memories and these memories can only be faced with a view of experience as one imposed upon him with such force that the source must be denied and replaced by a self reliance equal to the task of keeping suppressed memories at bay.

08. So this is not a judgment as much as it is an effort to understand why he is the self he is, and why he chooses Karl Jaspers to justify his rationalizations, one who is so inimically different even to the point of nemesis.

09. Finally, there is another personage worthy of mention here, for he is the first in the Constructivist’s Journal mentioned from Muller’s website, “Karl Jaspers Forum”. Like many, Adrian Meijden had contributed to the website when it was coming across as something with some University or academic connections. Mr. Muller mentions Meijden and refers to a comment he had made to the effect that the poet Rilke should not be used for linear discussion. Muller, in the third paragraph “epistemic structuring--People, Tools, and Agency: Who is the Kybernetes?” says that Meijden’s comment is “misleading”. The rest of the paragraph contains linguistic spins easily subject to analysis.

010. Mr. Meijden’s can express his own defense and analysis (which will be too thorough to include here in total). But he has given me permission to quote from a notation he sent to the Alexander Riegler, the apparent Editor of the Constructivist Foundation and Journal. Mr. Meijden makes 6 points, three of which seem most appropriate for the context of my website page here. He states, “…the learned gentleman not only misquotes me but completely misunderstands me”. “His handling of whatever I do post to his KJF, so misnamed, is unethical as he edits…” and “I have already been the cause of a complaint to McGill University over Muller’s standards which resulted in the withdrawal of McGill permission to post on the hospital’s website.”

011. These comments are exhibited here in an effort to understand what precipitates Mr. Muller’s exploitation of Karl Jaspers, not excluding myself, which will be addressed later. The unfavorable criticism Mr. Meijden has made could provide a hint as to why he chooses a poet and the mystic arena to squeeze out disagreements with Mr. Meijden. But there is another precipitating possible factor.

012. Mr. E. von Glasersfeld, author of “Radical Constructivism” had been contributing to Muller’s “KJForum” and had some significant dialogue with Mr. Meijden. Glasersfeld is one of the outstanding members of the Constructivist Foundation community and also among the select firsts to publish in the first posting of the Constructivist Foundation’s Journal. Mr. Glasersfeld had also sided with Muller on his view of religion, being atheistic, and I had reacted to this collective force and pointed out the unreasonableness of it--in keeping with the spirit of the social studies of Weber and Troeltsch (Troeltsch’s works by the way was purchased in the book store of Lincoln Christian College, one of those types of sects Glasersfeld and Muller were minimizing). Mr. Meijden had provided some corrective linguistic analysis of some German words that were being used by those companions to prove Jaspers was prone to evolutionism. The last I heard, therefore, of Mr. Glasersfeld, was that he had begun reading some of Jaspers works. I thought to myself, well, if that is so, he will soon come to regret having gotten involved and used in the Muller Forum. But I suppose that is too much to expect of “constructivism”.

013. My point here is that it is important for Mr. Muller to defend his epistemic conduct through an attempt to present a document for admission to the new community showing not only his staunch disassociation with non-constructivist non-bilinguals, but also establish a forbearer- connection to constructivistic (the word should never be capitalized for significance) thinking, namely to karl Jaspers, the most systematic theistic existential thinker of our time. To do this he had to wrestle Jaspers out of a theistic environment, set him up as a Radical Constructionist, identify him with evolutionary constructivism and then claim Jaspers slipped into abnormality because Muller could not reconcile him with Muller’s early experience and late rationalizations.

014. Finally, zero consciousness or the constant toehold on the unconsciousness is immanental, cul-de-sac, turn-around-invisible ontological thinking without phenomenal bases. It is unreasonable and uninhibited conduct liberally removed from imposed objective historical standards. It has no proper connection to Kant’s noumenal intelligible realm which must not only be historical and of healthy tradition, it must behave out of an empathetic awareness of various degrees of anomalies the source of which, though invisible to personal reasoning processes, results in a self-imposed rational law “to treat humanity in every case as an end, never as a means only.” My position is that the use of others to gain entrance to a gated community smacks of “means” thinking.

015. In summation--But, again, avoiding the void or zero-derivational trap of immanental fundamentalism and judgementalism, we must remember that Kant, Jaspers reminds us, in his own home “had never heard or seen anything wrong or immoral.” Konigsberg, Kant’s birth and death place retained the influence of the moral reformer Luther and Malancthon. Hannah Arendt, caught up in pre-war war and postwar determinates owed a certain innocents and naivety to Konigsberg’s social and religious environment. Mr. Muller’s environment is different, and his methodic “means” might work for him and others of like ken. But his lack of circumscription qualifies him for confinement in a community where he can be of therapeutic assistance to other “constructionist’s” efforts to maintain equilibrium. I recommend him for that therapeutic position in a closed community. 

1. Just now (Nov. 2005) we’re seeing a “Constructivist” establishment forming and at first glance it appears now like a gated community, and from a gender viewpoint, primarily monastic. A review of its first Journal tends to reveal that the McGill University-supported “Karl Jaspers Forum” was an obvious but unsuccessful effort (by “Nameless Powers”, [to use Jaspers’ words]) to stake a claim in historical reality via Jaspers while disclaiming reality’s objectivity. Confrontations have apparently driven the constructivism movement into practicing in a choir loft. A review of Herbert Muller’s opening comments in the Community’s Journal shows how and why Jaspers was reconstructed and then deconstructed from a particular or arbitrary “cybernetician’s” perspective (Mr. Muller begins with this post-modernity neurolinguistic jargon), i.e., any perceived system in Jaspers has to be reduced to an emphatic naturalism consistent with the invariants of inborn cognitive operators bombarding in solipsistic immanenence. Mr. Muller therefore complies with the three dimensions for navigating in the Constructivist Foundation’s community. The first dimension begins with the “biological-physiological”. He complies too with the second dimension which begins with “evolutionary epistemology” and then enters the navigational ship-lock movement [heightens or lowers—my analogy] in the actual creation of an evolved ontological formula worthy of worldview religious status--for there in endless discoveries and infinite talk about infinite finitude there can be no decisive opposition to the presumptuousness of the requirements. There is some limited laissez-passer more than a traditional respectable laissez-faire. Mr. Muller, it will continue to be shown on this webpage as energy and time permits, not only helped conjure but complies with the disciplinary threats against those alleged to be violating the evolutionism perspective. He has laboriously identified himself with the same evolutionism school and done so by making Karl Jaspers appear to have argued for it. To the contrary, Jaspers saw with authentic individualistic adroitness and in the highest traditional sense, and in the spirit of constructionist Kantian-like logic saw the flaw in evolutionism. Jaspers said of Kant:

“Even though Einstein may have calculated that the cosmos is finite, even though it has been computed that the world began five billion years ago, every thinking being must still grant the validity of Kant’s demand: Continue to investigate, try to go still further.” (Great Philosophers, p. 369)  

2. The fact that Jaspers’ name received this much attention, and is now encoded (hidden in the misconception of the concept of the word “encompassing”) in one of ten gates (“multiple distinctions” by the Constructivist Foundation Journal’s Editor) shows that deferring to real personages is an admission of the reality of tradition and history independent of the psyche of any radical constructivist (ism) and outside the exclusive constructivist community. The Community’s front gate is revealing in itself; it clearly eliminates Descartes whom Jaspers has analyzed and vindicated hermeneutically, i.e., putting Catholicity in causal perspective. This Constructivist community, this agency of post-modernity, this colony of academics, seems to have one distinguishing notion in common: selective ingress-passages are meted out to fleshed-out relics of prestigious personages to protect several notables utilizing state-of-the-arts glossolalia. The Governor (Editor) of the community has placed himself in the position similar to that of the Corinthian Church, and the admonition of the biblical Paul applies; where several are speaking incoherently, “let one interpret” (some traditional constant-value surviving from the lesson of the Genesis tower of Babel). By this method if there’s any unity of interpretation, the problem of babbling is resolved and reason stands a chance at prevailing.

3. Constructivist-roads inside the new community will probably lead to a central ziggurat where constructivist-community empowerment can be orchestrated. It will be interesting to observe the inhibitions resulting from an inoffensive struggle that can be mistaken for substantial coherence. Here, amidst soloing solipsists we will see no serious attempt to make disciples but rather an effort to find contentment in companionship (a poor substitute for content and one of the characteristics of the nameless power Jaspers refers to as “Contemporary Man” in the book “Man in the Modern Age”).

4. One gate and path will be crowded with proponents of a naturalism worldview, and Mr. Muller is largely responsible for the liberal distribution of free passage here through his Karl Jaspers Forum, and it will be interesting to see if the infinite babbling about the infinity of the finite will have the same disastrous effect on the constructivist community as it had on the Karl Jaspers Forum. It will be one of the main obstacles to coherence and will determine whether constructivistic qualities will prevail over quantified constructivism. We will witness meta-linguistic pandemonium in the clamor for distinction. We will see relics and artifacts or artificial who’s who from reality snuck in to reinforce companionship. There may be some embracing, some manifested inhibitions under banal “post-modernity and modern liberality” using Jaspers emphasis on love and communication but avoiding his warning against another nameless power, the “Perversion of Liberty”. Jaspers’ encompassing concepts have already been embraced but encoded in the way Mr. Muller limits Jaspers’ “encompassing”. Though encoded it is clear, to the objectively critical, that Jaspers is being dragged into that newly incorporated community and if not kicking and hollering certainly resting uneasily. We could take a lesson from some orthodox Apache religious concepts and not mention Jaspers name at all for in doing so we might disturb his restfulness in the happy place. But there’s no need to call forth his apparition if we simply confess that essential constructions are…given… somewhere between inheritance and tradition but including the encompassing history of humankind as it is recorded and faithfully interpreted.

5. Mr. Muller is using phenomenal noumenal apparitions by the continued efforts to confine Jaspers to a naturalism worldview, and others who, have positivistic tendencies, like to think of themselves as removed from fixated presuppositions, like to stand as close to Mr. Muller without being too conspicuously obsequious. Mr. Glasersfeld has already endeared himself to the objectivity of the spirit of the community, and gained a special convenient friendship having already expressed agreement with Muller on the Karl Jaspers Forum. Mr. Muller got the support he was seeking and knows that if constructionism can be shown to be unreasonable, having proponents of an evolutionism worldview, they can be relied on to create enough babbling and consensus to bring down historic and traditional structures, and several friendships cultivated on his “KJForum” can be used at anytime as props. 

6. Whether intentional or not Mr. Muller wants to continue to use Jaspers by showing his significance wherein there seems some superficial agreement, such as the use of a single term “encompassing”, but then use what he claims is Jaspers later erroneous reversion to an mind-independent reality stance. Mr. Muller through the didactic convention of repetition has attempted to raise this idea to a principle through the formula “MIR”. That must not be permitted.

7. The reason for this schizophrenic behavior, this effort to reconcile the inimical situation (i.e., why use the name of Jaspers in the masthead if he reverted to the constant given in tradition and not naturalism in the form of evolutionism) is that he had not anticipated my ardent efforts at showing Jaspers’ honest treatment of the encompassing of encompassings, the encompassing possibilities, and must certainly he had not anticipated someone clarifying the great continuation of the Catholic protestant controversy, and bringing the matter into public view. He had not anticipated the obvious probability that Jaspers was following the movement of the independent sectarian religious movement in the movement west and into the new world. Jaspers deemphasized evolutionism knowing the historical situation in which it arose. Mr. Muller could not come to terms with that, and choose rather to censure any further argument against it.

8.Before beginning a point by point critique of Mr. Muller’s use of individual contributors to his now personal website, the “karl Jaspers Forum” two things needs to be remembered. First that Forum came across as prestigiously University related. Second, one might justifiable expect a traditionally controlled degree of laissez-faire. Third, the contributions made under one understood environment are now being exploited as though it is one’s individual’s property. There’s nothing illegal about, and that’s a good thing, for it offers the same opportunity for rebuttal in tit for tat fashion.



Preface: Constructivists rarely admits errors. One reason for this is the default system implied in personal experience. It’s the ageless argument that “that’s the way I am and can’t help it”. If another person points out that a constructionist makes mistakes it’s subject to a judgmentalism, that the critic is being insulting, for a person cannot be liable for non-experiences and to be wrong would require reducing intersubjectivity to objectivity. It’s that old cliché that goes “I’m only following the cybernetic dictates of my experiences, that is, following orders”, or, as a constructionist I’m not responsible for conduct ignorant of objective experience. When one sees the words intersubjectivity and ongoing experience, the person has begun to disappear into the anonymity of the secular constructionist community. In Mr. Muller’s first article in the “constructivist foundation’ journal” part of the title is “People, Tools, and Agency” he masterfully shows how by renaming borrowed mental tools, reuses misinterpreted people, he thereby gains access to an exclusive collective, i.e., the “constructivist foundation”. However, Mr. Muller does say, in conclusion, that he might be misinterpreting some he quoted, but this does not include his steadfast efforts to portray Jaspers as a pulsating person, first lost in reality, then withdrawing into a self, and then reverting to reality again.

9. Among those—after Mr. Meijden, 09 above--from Mr. Muller’s “Karl Jaspers Forum” is Maurice McCarthy. He is mentioned 8 times (pp. 39, 43, and 45). Statistically that places Mr. McCarthy in notable company, for, Mr. Glasersfeld (“Radical Constructivist”) is mentioned 9 times--though affirmatively. Mr. McCarthy, though, is used to show where Mr. Muller disagrees with Mr. McCarthy. I asked Mr. McCarthy if he would respond and allow the essence of the response to be included on this Page. He did respond. Regarding my “Constructivist foundation” page’s slant he stated this meaningful and respectable caveat: “I’m inclined to think that it will be seen as too personal or ad hominem in its approach. In my view the arguments are best won by trying to tackle the opponent of their own ground, as it were—the only way out is through.”

10. Jaspers can be shown to have shared this sentiment too (Library of Living Philosophers). For instance, he responds with restraint to Walter Kaufmann’s “sarcasms” but says that Kaufmann does not begin to understand him, so much so that Jaspers found it difficult to find a point of departure. Jaspers then goes on to speak of the need to radically contradict Kaufmann’s evaluations, which he termed “naïve behavior”. (In view of Jaspers’ confrontational technique, his radical disagreements with Kaufmann, one needs to review TA 63 and Muller’s C28 and the use of Kaufmann against Jaspers—the latter being the nametag  used in the masthead of his Website.)

11. So, Mr. McCarthy is in excellent company regarding efforts to remain impersonal. Jaspers’ situation justified his change in tactics, but he became personal with himself first. Jaspers felt guilty for not having spoken out more against National Socialism, for not saying a “false word in public”. “I omitted to do what my heart told me to do,” he said. He felt so guilty about this that when in 1945 he was being lionized for heroic deeds, he published a correction saying: “I am no hero and do not want to be considered one”. This political atmosphere led to Jaspers 1946 “The Question of German Guilt” where the confrontational style took on the nature of a cosmologically distributed attack. It was this atmosphere of using people, tools, and agencies that he excused himself from and left for Basel in 1948. Heidegger filled that void easily at Heidelberg.

12. I hope it has been made clear enough that Mr. McCarthy is not to be associated with my bluntness. His response to Mr. Muller is repeated verbatim to show a reasonable display of justified disagreement with Mr. Muller. I’ve taken the liberty of changing “0-D” to the words “zero derivation”. It’s changed to avoid establishing a principle through repeated use of a symbol as though it is a formula for universal application. For that reason Mr. Muller’s words are not repeated. I’ve shown the new Journal’s paragraph numbers to which Mr. McCarthy is responding. If that’s improper I can change it. McCarthy says:

48 At zero-derivation (encompassing experience) no assertion of any kind can be made, neither positive nor negative. One is equally right or wrong to call it subjective or objective. It is constrained only by the necessary requirements for knowledge: That here is a content to be known and that there is a means of coming to know it. Zero-derivation is the moment at which the only possibility of all and any knowledge and all and any error might be said to exist. Every possibility and every worldview is left open and no possibility can be excluded.

The means to know is called structuring activity by constructivists. At zero-derivation it is undecided whether it is subjective, objective, both or neither. What I claim is that for any conclusive knowledge to exist then the gap between content and structuring activity has to be closed. Further, that this gap is closed if, and only if, there is something it is like to be structuring activity present in the content. Without this qualitative identity with a part of the content the gap must forever remain open.

The only content in the whole of everyday experience which shows this relation is the product of our own thinking. If it does not exist, then I have condemned myself not to be able to know even those mental ideations which I am wholly conscious of structuring myself, i.e. my very thoughts in the thought form.

49 I do not seek a knowledge in which there is no possibility of error (if that is what Muller means by ‘absolute’) but am I only able to ‘trust’ my own conscious thinking process or can I really know it? In observing my own thinking I am viewing from the ‘inside’. My thoughts are phenomena which do not seem to approach me from the outside such as percepts do. That is why [I] can rather more tha[n] merely ‘trust’ them. Only in my own thinking do I actually have a sure grip upon the content of experience.

50, 88, 104 In ordinary usage, duty is something due to someone or something else. It implies submission or obedience to something other than the self. The ‘categorical imperative’ is usually taken in this sense, I believe. The contradiction to the ‘basic tenets of constructivism’ is exactly why I raised the point in passing.

I’ve always interpreted the categorical imperative as, “Act so that the principle on which you base your action may be valid for all.” Surely this means death to individual impulses. It annihilates free moral action. Since constructivism elevates the self to a first principle then Kant’s dictum would seem to me to be alien to it.

13. Overall I would have to do some definite conjuring here to disagree with McCarthy’s statements. My purpose here is to show that is what Mr. Muller has done. My purpose extends to providing a ground for fair hearings. (My work with the Indiana Department of Public Welfare included involvement with fair hearing processes where genrally I leaned against the State administration and toward the clients and employees under my supervision.) My view on Kant’s use of the moral law and the categorical imperative does not mean I disagree with Mr. McCarthy’s apparent practical view. To Kant the moral law would include the law of nature but more from the perspective of inherited traditional mores (his family life) where free will is primary and binding on a self imposed rational law and against libertine impulsive trends. An action valid for all, to be healthy, should include inherited enlightenments. That enlightened understanding allows one to accept that a zero-constructivist’s infiltration of a constructivism community could function as an excellent temporary therapist who uses popular props as methods. But when publicized outside the community neither Karl Jaspers nor others should be “people” used as “tools” to establish an “agency”.

14. I appreciate Mr. McCarthy’s forming his comments in such a manner as to avoid an emphasis where we would have disagreements, for, at this point it helps maintain the hoped for philosophical slant of my page on constructionism.  That area includes his concern about closing or bridging the gap between science and religion. For instance in another place he has stated parenthetically that “(God the Creator is a reasonable interpretation of ‘hyperjective’)” Mr. Muller uses this word and its semantic (sign to things) function in the further effort to establish the “Constructionist” agency by reducing “hyperjective” to a constructivist’s epistemic pragmatic field of experience (sign to user) where objectivity is the collective, i.e., the community. I think this is the libertine trend to which Mr. McCarthy is objecting, and to which constructivism have aversions. In that sort of atmosphere where naturalistic awareness is going to be trampled on at the gate of the new constructivist community it’s best not to bring the subject up. An in-depth group therapist must have learning outside the group.  

CONTINUED (11-13-2005) Returning to this page after a few days I think it would be well to reaffirm the mission. It is primarily an effort to show Jaspers too is used improperly in Muller’s first “constructivist journal” piece.

15. Mr. Muller then mentions Mr. Dykstra because he agrees that all people have the ability to create structures. That appears to be the extent of the dialectic for his mention. There is no argument here, so an analyst must do some databased guessing. One apparent reason that Dyskstra is mentioned is because in “Karl Jaspers Forum Target Article 40” Dysktra is commented on by the editor of the “constructivist foundation” Alexander Riegler (TA40, C4).

16. Bill Adams is mentioned once in the article overview and relative to the distinction between experience and consciousness. It’s obvious Mr. Muller does not see the encompassing of consciousness essential to encompassing experience and stays clear of feeling-states. Adams is inclined to proceed to feeling states. He, in effect, affirms that Adams’ statements must be rejected because they reflect a mind-independent view of reality—characteristically the “MIR” label is pinned on Adams. I found Mr. Adams’ efforts (on Muller’s Forum) convincing. So much so I asked him to read and comment on my Target Article 70. His response was a disappointing nit picking about syntax, while what was needed was comments about the systematic structure regarding the limits of historical determinateness.

17. In my view Adams is correct (of course it’s a correctness easily shared by normal thinking and nothing special) in pointing out that Mr. Muller’s zero-derivation results in nothing substantial regarding social construction, and Mr. Muller’s argument again is an escape into a mere verbal endorsement that his main aim is “an access to the mind-brain question”. In my TA 70 the limits of mind is systematically shown to hit bottom but there is no absolute skid row or zero-derivation reached. And that systematic procedure simply prepares the ground for feeling states, which also must be critically accessed and penetrated to where an illumination of indeterminateness can occur. I was disappointed that Adams would not see that in my Article.

18. But, Mr. Muller shows in 57 and 58 that he makes no distinction between the connection between feeling states and experience, and therefore incapable of comprehending the objectivity essential for effective therapeutic relationships. Mr. Muller gets lost in talk about experience-structures and argues they do not exist. He doesn’t realize that he’s arguing mainly against what normal others don’t argue for.  Mr. Adams saw the same limits in his discussions with Ernst von Glasersfeld .

19. It appears to me there are at least four reasons Adams is referred to: first, he has some academic standing and has some degree of realistic objectivity; second, he engaged a fellow constructivist, Glasersfeld; third, Adams’ disingenuous (e.g. Short-Note) critical evaluation of me, demanding my censoring, tended to reflect unfavorably toward objectivity; and fourth, his status was such that if his Wood-evaluation was worth using to censor me, he has to be worth mentioning in Muller treatise-of-application for membership in the new constructivist community—for Muller has to justify censoring me but has to be subtle and indirect in the process.

20. We may return later to consider others he mentioned (Nixon, Pivnicki), but for now, too much time and effort on this page has been devoted to Mr. Muller’s disqualifications for understanding Karl Jaspers. His article contains several references to me (paragraph 28, 32, 37, 51, 64, and 100) and the only one he makes relevant to Jaspers is paragraph 64.

21. First, (before analyzing paragraph 64) Mr. Muller must diminish a fundamental and established constant to make room for exercising rights or privileges. He has to eliminate established fundaments to stake claims on the limits of measurements regarding the constant pulsation between what is known and unknowable. One fundament is this: Critiquing everything, as a matter of course is a protestant quality. Whatever he means (about the means between the known and unknowable) is not affected by the symbols “0-D”.  The only possible significant function the…formula…could serve is to give to institutional thinkers a slight-of-mind (as in slight-of-hand) movement, i.e., a sneaker-wave of doubt regarding institutionally certified dogmatic thinking. Mr. Muller could serve as a secular prophet in a catholic community but would not know how to provide transcendental guidance for those left without faith and objectivity, those left in a state of nihilism. Muller is neither a special or general therapist.

22. For instance in paragraph 100 Muller mentions the “Vatican’s opinion”, and he in effect states that objective certainty results in conjuring “God” to enhance that religious institution’s supernatural authority.  A sneaker-wave of zero-derivational thinking might inundate authoritarianism and overcome the inhibition to authentic selfhood of its members. But, though that might work in a Catholicity on a roll, Muller assumes it is needed more on protestant soil. He wants to deconstruct individuality through the verbal sign of “0-D”. This assumption is based on a bias against the freedom of religious expression in particular and freedom in general (for he certainly generalizes in his judgments of “believers”). The constructivist bias manifested by Mr. Muller leans toward religious constructivism depicted in formulated creeds. This is not Jaspers’ position. My position regarding the invisible God is not comparable to the misuse of a God-concept to enhance a theocracy’s struggle for power against the migration horde.

23. Returning now to paragraph 64—Here Muller first makes a quick switch from the encompassing concepts of Jaspers to that of “Searle 2004” and refers to previous paragraphs and makes easy criticisms of Searle. He uses the occasion in paragraph 27 to again demonstrate a misunderstanding of Jaspers. Here he makes a general statement about Jaspers’ “ciphers”, i.e., that Jaspers understands ciphers as serving a metaphysical function only. Muller says Jaspers says “we create and use them as tools: guideposts and stabilizers.” This is more like a half-truth made whole truth by Muller. The implication is that when Jaspers was in a balanced state of mind, he saw ciphers as something conjured whereas according to Jaspers some ciphers speak to us as in revelation and inspiration, history etc. Muller avoids the top down vertical transcendental dimension. To establish this immanentalism, Muller performs an inverse movement. He moves from a clear position that there is no mind-independent reality, to as-if there’s mind-independent reality, to an absolute mind-independent reality when it come to what he means by “biological evolution”. He does this parenthetically. Parenthetical statements serve often as mechanism for in-depth slips, like at the end of a therapeutic counseling session regarding problems that are repressed, the counselee, upon rising to leave might say: “Oh, by the way …” and reveals in that instant more than what massively encompasses the instant.  The parenthetical comment can reveal upon reflection where a slight-of-mind movement is hidden behind the incidentals ciphers.

24. Parenthetically, Muller attempts to show that there is a reality independent of mind (and incorrectly then identifies mind with consciousness…parenthetically) immediately upon saying “Mind (consciousness) cannot be reduced to MIR-entities, including objective processes like evolution”. Here, parenthetically emphasized, he declares that if someone using religious language voices opposition to the effable origin of humankind, even if the opposition is by Jaspers (“the origin of humankind is utterly unknown and unknowable”), Muller scoffs at it. This matter has been so thoroughly addressed that it was the primary reason for censoring contributors to his website. The discussion continues with last homage paid to the entity by Roberts and Muller (see posting 11-11-2005).

25. An interesting situation is currently developing and it’s not an “evolution” in any mysterious sense of the term. John Landon has a book, which takes off from Jaspers’ article of faith expressed in “Origin and Goal of History”. He zeros in on Jaspers’ characterization of the axial period and develops a theory. Two popular attention-getting words are used: “evolution” and “Oedipus”.  Jaspers opposes any idea of evolutionism in terms like, “there is no series, either in time or in meaning. The true situation was rather one of contemporaneous, side by side existence without contact” and “only in the Axial Period do we encounter a parallelism that follows no general law…”

26. Interesting to me that there are two areas of Jaspers works where I have wondered and tended to disagree, and Landon has chosen one upon which to construct an “Eonic evolution”.  It will be interesting to see how a fair awareness of Jaspers thinking can be applied to this new theory of  “evolution”. What the new theory seems to take account of is the outdated limitations of previous theories. (See new page on JASPERS APPLIED TO JOHN LANDON’S EONICISM)
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