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  primordial appeal of individuation
individuality of genesis, part 5 of 8
gary e. davis
May 9, 2017

Consider a fractal, such as a tree, which standardly (stereotypically, prototypically, generically) has a geometry at the level of branch-twigs that’s homologous with the geometry of its trunk-to-base-branchings. This fractality results from the recursivity of the genome. Phenomenal geometry tropes recursive generativity in growth.

Sternberg’s model of intelligence “genetically” divides into three dimensions that individuate recursively, such that higher levels of the model express individuated results of lower levels.

But any appearance of atomism is a reconstructive result of analytical modeling dependent on the high-level (highly individuated) capabilities that fins atomistic modeling efficacious for some purpose. The 3-foldness of lower levels are reconstructively defined (for theory) relative to higher levels by that higher expression of the inquirer expressing a self-reflective modeling.

But ironically, the higher level of intelligence is proximally understandable in “terms” of “low,” ordinary differences because ordinary understanding (ostensibility) is abstracted from the horizon-constituting individuation of intelligibility that gives cogency to merely ostensible interest (analogously as inanimate objects are abstractions from intentionalized engagements).

At the highest level, the 3-fold seems quite “fuzzy” (analytically speaking), yet very ordinary: internality, externality, and individuality. One might consider individuality as embodying a primal differentiality which is prenatal: there being the light (inside the womb), soon to be a felt postnatal differentiation between “I”/[not]-I. This later individuates into distinguishable innerworldliness and outerworldliness (“globally” becoming tribal “us” and “them”). Phenomenally (I would argue), primal reality (selfality) gains differentiation as environs/self differentiation, in a sense of selfality containing sense of environs valuationally as derived from its interest in external-ization. Primally, what matters for self-differentiation (thus, externality) is relative to self efficacy, even as overt self-centeredness outgrows blatant egoism relative to individuation that was—and remains—enabled by capabilities primarily interested in self efficacy.

Intrinsic interest in self enhancement is well-established in clinical child psychology [discussion]. Maturation beyond egoism happens by way of the capabilities which were primally motivated by desire to individuate. This persists as maturely interested activity, curiosity, intrinsic appeal of learning, “making a difference” (making something), desire to form projects, and, generally, purposive enactivity with which one identifies (as if the external world has value inasmuch as it is contained by “being” interesting).

Self identity is primordially enactive (not a static conception of being), venturing in “terms” of interests, valuations, purposes, and engagements. This is why it’s “common sense” to talk about what’s “within one’s world” and advocating experience “beyond one’s horizons.” That horizonality primally derived self/world differentiation “within itself,” like cellular differentiation emerges from itself. Then, individuation learns to appreciate overt externality of the environs (the home, the yard, etc.), beyond self-differentiation of itself (e.g., self/m[other]).

So, individuality becomes vastly differentiated, including—relative to other persons—what child-developmental psychologists call “separation/individuation” processes [citations: Stern and Pine/Mahler] (which express an individuational interest in differentiating which is intrinsic to natality). The “/” there expresses a simultaneity of the individuating difference: Individuation through separation is, at the same time, separation through individuation.

A 3-fold model at this level (internality, externality, individuality) gains a new modality (isomorphism of innerworldliness, outerworldliness, and individuating), which is corroborated by empirical Analytical Psychology (discussed earlier), building on clinical work with infants and early child development (I would argue): individuation (of innerworldliness), separation (of outerworldliness), and integration (of individuation). This corresponds (is congruent, isomorphic) with Sternberg’s “local” subtheory of mentality, pertaining to his “experiential subtheory” of 3-fold recursivity. That’s what I introduced above: internality, externality, individuality.

Another way to name this 3-fold is: integrating (as individuation is a cohering enactivity apart from a concept of integration or identity), individuating (as enactive self-differentation apart from a concept) and identifying (or forming a concept of selfidentification).

This makes individuation an uncanny selfidentificational identity-in-differentiation which, for conceptualization, implicitly enframes the limits of the concepts involved, where each may be seen to become a version of the other. (This wouldn’t be obvious from my brief discussion here, but it’s an interesting dynamic, a micro-version of paradigm boundedness where basic conceptions become essentially ironical or even self-undermining, as Deconstruction in literary philosophy enjoys disclosing.)

A “mirrorplay” of each as the other emerges due to the recursive enactiveness of individuating: building on itself as it broadens itself (a kind of bootstrapping). A leading modeler of infant/child self-enhanciveness works in terms of recursive “building and broadening” (cited above). Sternberg models this in a “macro”-theory of mentability, which he also calls a “contextual subtheory” of mentality. Its three modes are: assimilating or shaping experiences, selecting or preferring experiences, and adapting experiences.

The next section here will add to the 3-fold troping above and return to those in a cohering way that is well-corroborated empirically.


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