• Recursive: repeated application of the same transformation function to its own output
  • Reduction: simplifying integration of plurality to unity by grouping similarities to form a generalization
  • Representation: an instantiation of one thing for another
Process Definition Sample Output
1 Sensation the detection and transduction of stimuli transduced sensory input
Perception the reductive integrated representation of sensation everyday perceptual awareness
2 Reification the reductive representation of concrete “proper” nouns / particular things generated from classifying repeated similar perceptions my cat Spot
Classification the reductive representation of abstract nouns / types / classes / categories (and their hierarchies) generated from classifying repeated similar reifications cats, mammals, animals, …
Schematization the reductive representation of relationships among abstractions (and their hierarchies) generated from classifying classifications part/whole, inside/outside, object-attribute, …
Mathematicization the reductive representation of invariant form among schemas generated from generalization from systemic relationships mathematics, logic, …
  1. ⟹ Generation ⟹
  2. ⟹ Generalization / Abstraction ⟹

The generative (and generalizing) movement from Sensation – Perception – Reification – Schematization – Mathematicization is the movement toward pure form. Form is the pattern/structure that emerges when, by process of associating likenesses, we strip away the particularities of the “substance” of previous levels of abstraction.

Understanding is the fitting of one integrated set of representations (the explanandum) to another integrated set (the explanans), most fruitful in its consequences when the “center of gravity” of the explanandum and explanans lie at markedly different levels of the hierarchy of abstractions.