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  triangulating action
scaffolding presence, part 2 of 6
gary e. davis
April 26, 2017

Bear with me in a short geometry refresher prior to sketching a 3-fold model of action (which has extensive empirical corroboration that’s beyond my present pragmatic rendering).

A triangle is suddenly present: emergent triangularity, undifferentiated into parts (features). It may be obtuse or isoscelesan, etc. (re: various types) according to analytical differences between parts of this one geometric kind.

Distinctions (differentiations) mirror interested perceptibility: There are parts: sides, points, and angles. Or there’s interest in distinguishing triangles as types (obtuse, etc.) of the kind in terms of variability of parts.

Relative to three points, the sides relate those points; Three lone points on a surface will likely be seen as a triangle. Many points randomly distributed in a space won’t likely cause constellation of shape; but depending on a distribution of points, a shape may “autonomously” appeal; or the viewer is interested in “finding” shapes.

In any case, sides of a triangle, relative to points, are regarded as relationships between points, a constellation of three points (or 3-fold constellation of points).

Relative to the sides, their intersections “make” points; the “points” are primarily regarded as intersections. When is a triangular part a point vs. when is the part an intersection depends on interest—a “matter” of interest (a “function” of interest). Types of triangles may be distinguished relative to the distance between points or as the length of intersecting lines.

A triangle can be a trope for a 3-fold relationship, such that the closer that two points are to each other (e.g., an extreme isosceles) the more important are the two points irt the third point; or the more important is that one short relationship (side) irt the other two relationships. Two most-important points among three can be regarded as one most-important relationship. Likewise with four points, etc.

Suppose we regard enaction (i.e., enacting an act) 3-foldly, relative to what’s given, enacting itself, and fulfillment of the enaction. The trope of the triangle will seem tangential for awhile here, but I’ll return to it after some explication of action, modeled as a 3-fold.

I want to focus on the notion of en-action rather than merely “action,” because referring to an action is not the same as referring to a behavior. Regarding ‘action’ as shorthand for “enaction” signals that behavioral description is impertinent to understanding action—understanding that, given desire to act, enacting expresses an intent to do something (fulfill a given desire). Behavioral description can’t surmise intent except by inference from models of correlation confidences between behaviors and ascriptions of intent. And an actor never regards herself as behaving, except relative to an interest in observer conditions (or regarding oneself as if observing without presumption of intent).

So, given enacting fulfills (or intends to).

I distinguish satisfaction from fulfillment in terms of the coalescing of satisfactions for fulfillment. An easy example (which isn’t intended to be exemplary) is that bites in a delicious meal are satisfying, but some number of bites are required to be “fulfilled.” Satisfactions gravitate toward the same fulfillment that they’re presumed to serve. Satisfactions are regarded as belonging together relative to a fufillment appealing to all as belonging together in (or on) ways to the same fulfillment.

So, regarding fulfillment as one point in a 3-fold model of action is easily shown to be a trope for a potentially complex discourse. For example, what’s fulfillment in one domain vs. another? What’s fulfillment across modes of well-flourising life such that a general conception of fulfilling life is cogent? In any case, fulfillment is (I would argue) intrinsically appealing.

Fulfillment can be regarded as a coalescence of satisfactions or other ways: a consolidation of actualized interests or a cohering of project-ivity. A structure of understanding can be “fully” comprehended, such that a fulfillment of comprehension is regarded as sufficient understanding. A concept of fulfillment is a pragmatic gravity, maybe beautifully appealing, radiant in calling for happiness of a life fully, a wholly flourishing life, for “real.”

But that’s a long way from regarding individual enactions.

Anyway, fulfillment in enaction (as keynote of life) leads to more desire to act. Fulfillment is part of the givenness of particular desires that evince from the givenness of individuating life. Achieving a peak’s vista calls for seeking another peak. So, an intimacy of prior fulfillments and givennes of desire is integral to that givenness, which I’ll call, for shorthand, givenness or the Given.

More simply, it’s obvious that prior satisfactions are integral to persisting with desire on the way to fulfillment. But individuated depth of satisfactions (reliability of there being satisfaction) is how a fulfilling life feels: full of satisfactions which lead to fulfillments, which lead to fulfillingness of living.

I think that an individuated good sense of fulfilling givenness is integral to regarding givenness as such, separately, as autogenous desire to seek more fulfillments in a horizon of fulfilling life. Givenness as such is a part of singularly enactive life, parsed now relative to a futural gestalt of durable openness (singularly enactive life) of desiring and reaching far horizons: aims of life-long Projects, goals of long-term happiness, and so on.

In good individuation, givenness of desire prevails over need. Orientation of needs satisfaction doesn’t provide a basis for cultivation of desire for fulfillment. But orientation to desire does provide a basis for satisfying needs. Satisfying needs for the sake of desire is better than satisfying “wants” for the sake of needs. Motivation by one’s ownmost wanting—authentic, autogenous desire—is superior to motivation by needs (which, as such, are never one’s ownmost wants). Of course, wants can’t gain fulfillment without satisfaction of need. But satisfaction of need can be sustained without attention to ownmost desire. Thus, in terms of need, “wanting” to live well becomes unduly constrained by a narrowed self interest in what deserves to matter.

So, a notion of givenness is a trope for discursive degrees of attention. What is intrinsic to desire to play and to discover that individuates into creativity and works its way to notable scale, be it artistic, scientific, or otherwise enterprising? In a phrase: Self-enhanciveness of intelligence, which is clearly evident in infancy, follows its potential.

Fulfillment and givenness are tropical points in a model of action which is here pragmatically constrained. (How so is beyond the scope of the present discussion.) Regarding pragmatics as an intimacy of idealism and realism (which I commonly do) is itself pragmatic, simplifying as aspiration of conceptual inquiry relative to an accessibility of short discussions (a “realism” of prospected audience). What, to my mind, is better called an Appropriative Philology involves the integration of everything covering, so far, two websites, all of which covers a fraction of work offline that has been developing for many years. Fulfillment of my Project is happily an ever-receding horizon.

So, easily rich elaboration of the fulfilling givenness of a life (that provides basis for analytically extracting a sense of givenness) is written from an engagement which is felt to be rich beyond depiction. If one called an appealing of fulfilling givenness “thick description” (as theoretical anthropologists do irt ethnographic work), then my Project is very thick.

The practical point of this can be to dramatize how relatively thin is the particularity of given enacting, which is likely relative to very modest, discernible aims. Giving enaction to aims is the common frame of attention in theory of action. It’s relatively uncontroversial: Acts have intentions and aims which are fulfilled through means of action. Complication arises from the variety of things we seek to do, bredths within bredths of projects, days within weeks within years. Rich past is read relative to rich interests in futurity.

But simply doing something can be hard. Analysis of simple action is a worthwhile interest. Yet, it’s relatively simple. Enacting aims—giving enaction its being, so to speak—calls for efficaciousness, which leads to effectiveness. Standards of efficaciousness gain normative value. And enacting aims serve satisfaction and fulfillment of those aims.

Givenness (G), enacting (E), and fulfillment (F) are abstracted points in a 3-fold flow of daily action that implies highly invested and deeply temporal interests, capabilities, and engagements. Depending on interest, one may focus on dynamics that are regarded as relations (F—> G, G—> E, E—> F), poles as elements (pragmatic points) or discursive tropes, or especially important (“near”) relations, like types of triangular tropes.

For a long while, I’ve called this my “G-E-F” model of intelligence, better regarded as a model of intelligent action. And given the prevailing importance of fulfillment, it’s better troped as F-G-E model of intelligent enaction.

Enaction “happens” (is done) by enacting an action. How we’re doing depends on why we do what we do. Enacting (homologous with the -ogeny or -genicness of things) the objectively discernible action (homologous with the -ography or graphicness of things) constellates enaction (homologous with the -logy or logicality of things). Giving enaction to enacting fulfillment constitutes fulfilling givenness. Expression of phenomena can be conceptulized. Reflective impartially can be generalized. Valuing objectively can be validated.

So, this might be regarded resonantly as a 3-fold schema (scaffold, model—troping a conception) of enactional phenomenality:

  • enacting: -ogenic (G-E: giving enaction)—why we do things (expressivist / reflectivist / valuist)
  • action: -ographic (E-F: enacting fulfillment)—what we do (phenomenalist / impartialist / objectivist)
  • enaction: -ologic (F-G: fulfilling givenness)—how we’re doing (conceptualist / generalist / validist)
Yet, the most appealing aspect of this hasn’t been mentioned: It’s homologous with a highly evidenced (via rigorous empirical research) “triarchic” model of intelligence (ch. 11—and practical application), which I found echoed in nearly 50 other models (academic and applied; psychological, literary, and conceptual; clinical, and empirical) during my adventuring in the 1990s.

What can be a good—valuable and valid—triarchiology of such a many-yeared triarchigeny of wide-ranging interdomainal triarchiography? What’s most appropriate for fruitful modeling—for valuably aspiring purpose, validly ambitious “vision”?


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