KARL JASPETRS FORUM
TA 106 (Müller)
Commentary 69 (Response to point  of R25:
MORALS AND THE UNSTRUCTURED MATRIX) by Herbert FJ Müller
PRE-STRUCTURED VERSUS RE-CONFIGURABLE OBJECTS, AND THEIR RELATION TO THE
TERMS OF ETHICAL THEORIES
by Harwood Fisher
11 December 2009, posted 19 December 2009
While it is possible to break up 'objects' that are conceptual and categorical; the matter of percepts and images is something else. That is, I would assume that both percepts and concepts are determinants of ethical sentiments and rules.
Artists can break up images and re-structure them. So, for example, a painting may break up the features of that which would be our usual image of a 'person.' In a painting, those features--even as the artist may present them as fragmentary--may be re-assembled and re-configured with all sorts of other images. These may include natural forms, and even as Picasso included in his rendition of 'persons,' musical instrument 'evocations.'
On the other hand, do we really thereby change the way we 'see' those images--or is there a default configuration of objects--including images of persons--that we are unable to change. (I am leaving aside the issues of 'proto-imaging' as either those of dream states or those with an immature format for percepts. I am also leaving out the issues of pathology by way of brain insults and other such organic problems.)
Based on the idea that there 'is' a wired-in way of configuring images and percepts, it does not mean that our concepts have to conform. But the price to pay if they do not may involve ethical conflict--say, in the case of having a theory of 'the greatest good for the greatest number'—should its concepts and terms run into a conflict with the terms of a theory of the 'ideal of the individual.' Each of these theoretical approaches leads to different conceptual configurations of the individual vis-à-vis other persons. Moreover, the categories of each approach can be at odds.
In that case, when we consider the meaning of the theory and when we adopt its terms and maxims, what role is played by the way we configure images of the person and of 'persons'? Three sorts of conflict can ensue:
Conflict I: Between the two theoretical principles.
Conflict II: Between principles as theories and the images associated with their terms.
Conflict III: Choice of principle to uphold and its practice vis-à-vis any disparity between that principle's terms and the images associated.