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Thread: A critical look at Transcendental perspectivism

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    A critical look at Transcendental perspectivism

    "Transcendental perspectivism" is a philosophy which was written up by someone in Germany (Mr. Werner Krieglstein) and is touted by some people to be superior to other philosophies. We can imply that according to them it has benefits that are not found in simpler ideas such humanism, the golden rule and so on.

    Transcendental perspectivism is an obscure philosophy (just 8000 results in Google, many of them being insignificant or unrelated, and only 6 mentions of his manifesto) with most likely a handful of followers/believers/fans around the world.

    From Wikipedia:
    Transcendental perspectivism is a hybrid philosophy developed by German-born philosopher, Professor Werner Krieglstein. A blending of Friedrich Nietzsche's Perspectivism and the utopian ideals of the Transcendentalism movement, Transcendental Perspectivism challenges Nietzsche's claim that there are no absolute truths while fully accepting his observation that all truth can only be known in the context of one's own perception. This is accomplished through an appreciation of the emotional relationship between two perceptions (the "perceiver" and the "other").
    I respect people's desires to think and write about philosophy but it is not something I'm interested in, other than a philosophy's practical benefits. I have many questions about this philosophy and I would like to use this thread to look at it critically. One reason for doing this critique is the discrimination experienced by non-believers of this philosophy (see the "Other comments" section at the bottom). This is my main question in this post:

    Suppose we have a group of 100 Transcendental perspectivists and they are working together to solve various problems or just living life and interacting with each other in whatever way.
    How is this group of Transcendental perspectivists superior in any way to a group of people who simply believe in the golden rule, humanism or other simple philosophies and ways of life? What would the key differences be?
    I'm talking about net practical benefits of believing in such a philosophy.

    Mr. Werner Krieglstein is a human being like the rest of us and may have made mistakes so his ideas should not be believed to be perfect, neither should he be believed to be some kind of spiritual leader, guru or master.

    Analysis of the Manifesto
    There are 11 points in the manifesto of this philosophy listed on the Wikipedia page. Most of them are nothing special and my main point is that they either do not tell us anything new. Most of them have no connection with the philosophy's core definition ("truth can only be known in the context of one's own perception"). People have known about many of these rules since a long time. They are basically derived from common sense or have existed before.

    1. Transcendental Perspectivism recognizes truth as experiential and personal, but not as objective and universal. Therefore all religious beliefs including agnosticism and atheism are respected equally, as long as they do not impose their values on others.
    "Respect people of varying beliefs." - nothing special. Everyone agrees and has known this since a long time and the same is true for the following:
    2. Transcendental Perspectivism prefers diversity and difference over singularity. These are assumed to be more natural and beneficial in evolutionary terms.
    4. Transcendental Perspectivism aims for cooperation and connectedness over competition and survival of the fittest. This, too, is seen to be more natural and adaptive.
    The following have individual replies:
    3. Transcendental Perspectivism rejects domination in all its forms. It especially rejects domination of men over women. For this reason Transcendental Perspectivism embraces a reevaluation of the philosophical canon from a feminist perspective.
    Women's rights - once again, nothing special. People in civilized societies agree that men should not dominate over women and everyone should be treated equally.


    5. Transcendental Perspectivism assumes that there is a unique perspective, an inside-out view for everything that exists, including Nothingness. This puts consciousness at the center.
    I dont know what that means and I'm not sure how this has any practical benefits or would make someone's life better. I wouldn't want to go into complex psychological discussions about 'Nothingness' and 'consciousness', what they are, how they are related and so on.


    6. Central to Transcendental Perspectivism is the search for the Other. Since all is consciousness we can communicate with all. This makes Transcendental Perspectivism a shamanistic philosophy.
    A "shamanistic" philosophy? From Wikipedia:
    Shamanism (/ˈʃɑːmən/ SHAH-mən or /ˈʃeɪmən/ SHAY-mən) is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.[2] A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.[3]
    See underlined. Is he sure about wanting to call TP a shamanistic philosophy? Again, wondering how this has any practical benefits for the individual or society in comparison with more simple ways of life such as humanism, golden rule and so on?


    7. Transcendental Perspectivism assumes a holistic view of the human body. Mind and body are one. Healing the body can never be seen in isolation and vice-versa, a sickness of the mind affects the body.
    This addition is pretty arbitrary and again nothing special here. People have believed and known since a long time that mental health and physical health are closely related and effect each other. For example if I'm anxious or have been stressed, this will effect my immune system. If I'm physically sick with flu, this has an effect on my thinking -- things that people have known since a very long time.


    8. As a shamanistic philosophy Transcendental Perspectivism provides the basis for a reanimation of the natural (material or inanimate) world. This will not result in a new superstition, but will be complemented by mathematical structure and empirical verification.
    Once again, the word "shamanistic" is mentioned. Again I have no idea how this point has any practical benefits for the individual or society.


    9. Transcendental Perspectivism bridges the gap between the sciences and the humanities. It reunites the various fields of the cognitive enterprise of humanity by providing a new and in depth understanding of the physical world on which all human knowledge is based.
    This is also pretty arbitrary. I could create a new philosophy called Transcendental Fruit-ta-loop-ism and claim that Transcendental FruitTaLoopIsm unites everything and everyone, defends women's rights, helps people stay healthy, makes them very happy and productive and so on. But can I prove that it has practical benefits that are not observed in societies based on humanism or the golden rule and so on?


    10. By providing a full and in-depth understanding of the physical nature of the human being Transcendental Perspectivism initiates a renaissance of the body. It invites a physical celebration of the human being within a physical world. This reevaluation of the human body will lead to a third enlightenment, the Enlightenment of the Body.
    "By providing a full and in-depth understanding of the physical nature of the human being" ?
    Isnt the "full and in-depth understanding of the physical nature of the human being" found in medical texts? The rest is just psychobabble that anyone could come up with: A "third" enlightenment of the human body. What are the other two?
    The human body has tonnes of components that work together. Sleep well, eat well, exercise if you can, treat others nicely and manage stress. That is all you need to know. Don't worry about the "enlightenment of the body" as there is no such thing. If there is, is there an "enlightenment of the left hand", since the left hand is part of the body? Once again, there are no practical benefits of this point that cannot be achieved by following other more simpler and existing ideas.


    11. By reconnecting humanity with the rest of the physical world Transcendental Perspectivism will initiate a new spirituality. This has been called a cosmic spiritually. It is cosmic consciousness because these new individuals will be fully aware of being members of a larger whole, as they themselves are the composite symphony of numerous smaller wholes.
    Humanity is already connected with the physical world. We are living in it and interact with it on a daily basis, knowingly and unknowingly.
    Deletion of this point (#11): Mr. Werner has apparently deleted #11 on his website: http://perspectivism.com/perspectivist-mephesto/
    He used to have this point before (see archived version of his MySpace page and other Google results which quote the old version) , so why did he delete it on his website? Like #11, all the other points should be candidates for criticisms and alteration. Why shouldn't some other points be deleted as well? Do followers of his philosophy still believe in #11, because that is now deleted from his website?
    This deletion also proves that this manifesto is just another personal essay. Mr. Werner is no more a higher spiritual/philosophical authority than me or you or anyone on the street and therefore is not a role model for anyone and should not be followed without questioning.

    On that same link for his website for the manifesto, "ted lumley" seems to be knowledgeable in the area of philosophy and had comments (dated Jan 26, 2011) and seems to bring up a lot of good points such as for #7 where he seems to point our certain defects in Mr. Werner's statements:
    (a User's comment left on Mr. Werner's website) -- "while this ‘shamanistic transcendental perspectivism’ makes much sense, it seems to invert the natural order of things. it was the imposing of aristotelian telos and absolute euclidian space that allowed us to synthetically/abstractly reduce the energy-charged plenum of space of our experience, to a notional mulitiplicity of local being that notionally move about and interact within an absolute fixed and empty space. so, there is no need to ‘reanimate’ since we are continually included in an animate world, but there is a need to break out of our betwitchment by thought and language (and the notions of subject, object, intention, doer-and-deed which nietzsche rightly identifies as ‘total Fiktions’ but ‘useful Fiktions’ that we are confusing for reality (the tool is running away with the workman)."
    Note that Mr. Werner wrote no response to Ted's comments.

    Other comments:
    In my opinion "Transcendental perspectivism" is someone gathering existing ideas and putting his label on it and calling it a new "philosophy", creating a new faith system for people who would believe in it. Followers of the philosophy then end up discriminating against others who dont believe in it, thinking that somehow the non-believers of the philosophy are inferior in some way or dont know something that the believers know, or that the believers 'get it' but the non-believers don't. This discrimination divides people, creates another "us and them" environment when we already have enough of these already and creates unnecessary hurdles which have no benefits. This discrimination is a significant problem in my opinion. I have seen and personally experienced this discrimination myself.

    There is no need for dividing humanity further than it is already divided, and to make anything more complicated. All the rules of living life are simple, intuitive and have existed since a long time. We have to remember that great people have existed in this world without even knowing what this philosophy is and great things have been achieved by individuals and groups without the application of this philosophy. Unless proven otherwise, it is not a necessity for humanity in any way.
    What can Mr. Werner's 'Transcendental perspectivism' do for humanity that has not been possible using other ideas? Are there are real live examples of its application that show its benefits?
    Any individual, project or initiative should create their/its own set of 11 or 15 points which are customized to their own/its own needs. They/it should not simply borrow "Transcendental perspectivism" without thinking for themselves, looking at it critically, or discriminate in some way against non-believers.

    So in this thread I'm requesting any believers of this philosophy to respond to the question I highlighted in the beginning of my post and explain how it is superior, and why they have chosen to believe in it and how it has benefited their lives and those of others in ways that could not be possible believing in more simpler ideas that have existed before.

    I will repeat the main inquiry here:
    Suppose we have a group of 100 Transcendental perspectivists and they are working together to solve various problems or just living life and interacting with each other in whatever way.
    How is this group superior in any way to a group of people who simply believe in the golden rule, humanism or other simple philosophies and ways of life? What would the key differences be?
    Last edited by Crocobear; 04-04-2014 at 02:17 PM.

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    As the man is still alive and has had talks recorded, here are few talks made available via Youtube.

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    I can't really help you with this particular philosophy as I'm unfamiliar with it, but generally speaking there are two main groups of practical benefits that you get from any belief system:

    - Easing the mind. This is a direct result of believing in something that avoids questioning or criticising one's own lifestyle and actions, or avoids the burden of responsibility in some way. This is essentially self-delusion, but most of humanity seems to do it and benefit greatly from it. A variant of this is the ease of communication between individuals who share the same beliefs.

    - Benefits gained from the actions motivated by beliefs. Sometimes these benefits are fairly obvious, such as when general tolerance of others is involved, while sometimes they are as hard to predict as the future applications of any arbitrary high-level field of mathematics (that is, almost impossible to predict). In addition, the world generally is diverse enough that the same motivations also tend to lead to drawbacks and pitfalls.
    Last edited by Hexchild; 04-04-2014 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Fixed typo.

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    Gps, thanks for the video links, I had a quick glance at one of the videos. Nice to see a 'live view' of the guy. I think I had seen a video of him once before when I had looked him up in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexchild
    In addition, the world generally is diverse enough that the same motivations also tend to lead to drawbacks and pitfalls.
    Thats my concern in this case (underline is mine).

    Easing the mind. This is a direct result of believing in something that avoids questioning or criticising one's own lifestyle and actions, or avoids the burden of responsibility in some way. This is essentially self-delusion, but most of humanity seems to do it and benefit greatly from it.
    Agreed with the above other than it being beneficial. I am concerned with the net effect, not just one part of the effect (the benefits). I added the word "net" to my post now.

    A variant of this is the ease of communication between individuals who share the same beliefs.
    I am familiar with that - it does help bring believers together but on the other hand it also causes the opposite of "ease of communication". I had pointed out in my post that believers end up discriminating against non-believers. I have experienced this discrimination myself in this case. So the effect is polarization and in my opinion the net effect is negative as it adds to the already existing "us vs. them" atmosphere that is currently prevalent everywhere.
    In my opinion we do not need systems or beliefs that divide people up more than they already are. These divisions basically create unnecessary dislike or hostilities (other synonyms: prejudice, opposition, disapproval) between believers and non-believers, simply based on the fact that one group has that belief and the other doesn't. This prevents collaboration and trust between people.

    Benefits gained from the actions motivated by beliefs. Sometimes these benefits are fairly obvious, such as when general tolerance of others is involved
    Do you mean beliefs result in more tolerance for others? In that case I would again mention the problem of discrimination against non-believers (intolerance of non-believers) and reiterate that the net effects are not beneficial.
    In my post I'm not wanting to discuss general benefits or harms of beliefs and so on (that is another topic) but rather, the specific advantages of Transcendental perspectivism and how it is superior to the golden rule, humanism and so on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    In my post I'm not wanting to discuss general benefits or harms of beliefs and so on (that is another topic) but rather, the specific advantages of Transcendental perspectivism and how it is superior to the golden rule, humanism and so on.
    Noted. I'll try to be fairly brief in this out-of-scope response.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    Agreed with the above other than it being beneficial.
    These delusions are often beneficial, in the sense that they work around mental hangups about, and social conflicts around, things that are mostly bogus and don't necessarily matter that much in the grand scheme of things. It may not be the most effective or intelligent solution, but it is one that both occurs naturally and does the job.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    I had pointed out in my post that believers end up discriminating against non-believers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    So the effect is polarization and in my opinion the net effect is negative as it adds to the already existing "us vs. them" atmosphere that is currently prevalent everywhere.
    These negative experiences you keep coming back to are a problem that is inherent in the nature of group dynamic as well as the way the human mind compresses information, rather than a problem with the particular common ground that holds a particular group together. Bigotry exists everywhere, and will most likely continue to do so regardless of the details until the mental glitches that cause it are removed from our gene pool.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    Do you mean beliefs result in more tolerance for others?
    Some beliefs do, some don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexchild
    These delusions are often beneficial, in the sense that they work around mental hangups about, and social conflicts around, things that are mostly bogus and don't necessarily matter that much in the grand scheme of things. It may not be the most effective or intelligent solution, but it is one that both occurs naturally and does the job.
    Yea, I guess they are beneficial for some people and give them something to think about and the previous things you said were also valid (the benefits).

    Bigotry exists everywhere, and will most likely continue to do so regardless of the details until the mental glitches that cause it are removed from our gene pool.
    Yea agreed that bigotry is found everywhere in different varieties. The glitches will happen less as people realize more and more than they have to believe in themselves and not some kind of "guru" (or ideology) who/which has the answers to whatever questions they have, or are seeking. People have become better over time but its a slow process.

    Anyway, good points made.

    I just want to clarify my own position to others that I'm not against other beliefs. I'm totally ok with people believing what they want, as long as they're not discriminating against others in any way (creating an "us vs. them" environment), or thinking they're superior in some way unless they can prove that the superiority of their belief system.
    Last edited by Crocobear; 04-06-2014 at 02:42 AM.

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    I'm not formally educated on philosophy (barring a single first-year course which I never attended, was in French, and I bullshat my way through). I wasn't even aware that my way-of-thinking was called Transcendental Perspectivism until it was pointed out to me (or maybe I stumbled on it while reading Wikipedia, I don't remember. Either way, I had forgotten about it until Wise Fool made that thread).

    Reading through the manifesto alongside your critique, it looks like it was written in response to the social climate at the time. A Transcendental Perspectivist manifesto written for the Millennial generation would look quite different and highlight different points, I think. You're right that they are not new ideas, but they are the ideas which:
    -matter to people, and
    -are direct results of the way-of-thinking of the philosophy.
    The manifesto was written to an audience, to appeal to a particular perspective.

    The key difference, I think, is in paying attention to and understanding other perspectives. Humanism, agape, whatever - preaches unconditional acceptance. How is conflict resolved in those philosophies? How do they handle perspectives which do not mesh very well, e.g. satanic philosophy? As far as I know, it's jail or exile; Humanism relies on the idea that self-interested sociopaths are not common.

    I would instead seek to understand why they would behave a certain way and balance out their motivations so that acting in self-interest also leads them to some kind of greater good, keeping in mind that nobody has the whole picture nor can anyone know what the 'greater good' actually entails.

    In other words, it's guesswork and approximation. Solving it numerically instead of demanding that your equations behave a certain way.

    Maybe my philosophy isn't quite transcendental perspectivism, but I find little to disagree with them on.

    To answer your question: what is superior about it? I find that non-rejection+non-attachment often leads people to view me as very wise and intelligent, even if I am neither of those things. :P I'm 'safe' to tell things to, because I'm always going to react roughly the same way: sympathy until calm, followed by a collaborative (often socratic) analysis of what happened, what it means, and what to do about it. But I'm swamped. I have to ration my care to a select few close friends.

    So maybe I'm overgeneralizing. Maybe a society composed entirely of people who do that wouldn't be ideal. But there is sure as hell a lot more demand than there is supply right now.
    Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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    Thanks for your reply! Apologies in advance for the length of my reply.
    Quote Originally Posted by Resonance
    The key difference, I think, is in paying attention to and understanding other perspectives.
    The quality of wanting to understand other perspectives is found in good friends, spouses, co-workers, counselors, managers and so on -- these people have been doing these things without even knowing what TP is.
    Just like you were doing it before without knowing what it was.
    Empathy for example "is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being." (wikipedia)
    Instead of saying you're a Transcendental Perspectivist, you can simply say that you are good in empathy, communication, conflict resolution and so on.

    I would instead seek to understand why they would behave a certain way and balance out their motivations so that acting in self-interest also leads them to some kind of greater good, keeping in mind that nobody has the whole picture nor can anyone know what the 'greater good' actually entails.
    These are once again qualities that are found in people who are good managers (for example). They make everything and everyone work together and make compromises. They will be aware that others may have better ideas than their own. This implies that they understand that (quoting you) "nobody has the whole picture nor can anyone know what the 'greater good' actually entails."
    The well-known simpler phrase "Good leadership qualities" can be used to describe people like that.

    Reading through the manifesto alongside your critique, it looks like it was written in response to the social climate at the time. A Transcendental Perspectivist manifesto written for the Millennial generation would look quite different and highlight different points, I think.
    So can we say that you're implying the manifesto is outdated? (since part or whole of it is not valid anymore) If this philosophy has an outdated manifesto thats a major problem in my opinion and it makes me wonder if there are additional problems.

    what is superior about it? I find that non-rejection+non-attachment often leads people to view me as very wise and intelligent, even if I am neither of those things. :P I'm 'safe' to tell things to, because I'm always going to react roughly the same way: sympathy until calm, followed by a collaborative (often socratic) analysis of what happened, what it means, and what to do about it. But I'm swamped. I have to ration my care to a select few close friends.
    You're a good rational intelligent human being who treats others with care and understanding. In my opinion that is enough to describe you. These are not qualities that are exclusive to TP. For example many good personality characteristics have been praised in ancient quotes (a page about ancient quotes)

    Maybe a society composed entirely of people who do that wouldn't be ideal. But there is sure as hell a lot more demand than there is supply right now.
    Agreed that there is a demand for people who care and respect others and attempt to understand other people's perspectives. That is how I would say it. I would not say there's a need for "Transcendental Perspectivists" as it puts a label on people which brings me to the issue of using this label to describe people:

    Here is an interesting point and I would like a response on this paragraph:
    If a "Transcendental Perspectivist" has a few bad days and they're irritated and do not feel like being understanding of other people's perspectives for a few days, does it mean they apostated from "Transcendental Perspectivism" for a few days? :- ). Another way of looking at is this. The ability to understand other people's perspectives and the ability to know that our own opinions/perspectives may not be perfect, is not an on or off issue. Its a variable ability. Is there a value for "being understanding of other perspectives" that one has to cross before they can be considered to be a "Transcendental Perspectivist"? There is none. Just like people's joy and anger can range from 0~100 (none~very) [variable], the ability to understand other perspectives can also vary. It is not a binary quality (on/off, 0/1, has it/does not have it).
    Or for example it wouldn't make sense for anyone to say that they are an 'Empathist', which is the closest thing to saying one is a Transcendental Perspectivist. Would there be a certain amount of empathy one would have to show before they're considered to be an 'Empathist'? I would say no.

    So in my opinion a label like "Transcendental Perspectivist" doesnt make any sense. Trying to understand other people's perspectives, being aware that we are also imperfect ourselves, being aware that we may not know everything, being willing to acknowledge any incorrect deeds or thoughts of ours, working with compromises - these are again, just good leadership qualities from people who are good with social interactions and have a level head on their shoulders. These qualities are variable. It depends on who is being interacted with (for example you said you only do it with chosen friends), whether its a Friday night or a Monday morning, whether someone has been walking in freezing weather for 10 minutes or they're sitting on the sofa in the comfort of their home, whether they are in the company of a spouse they love or the company of a stressful boss - and so on.
    So those qualities vary.
    Repeating your quote about friends:
    I have to ration my care to a select few close friends.
    Could one say you're a Transcendental Perspectivist when it comes to close friends and a non-Transcendental Perspectivist when you're in the company of people you dont care that much about or dont like them? (which ofcourse is normal human behavior, that is how we all are)
    A label makes sense when it applies in all situations. For example someone is a Buddhist when they are a Buddhist in all situations. If they become a non-Buddhist under certain situations it wouldnt make sense.
    I feel the problem is because English is not his native language and he has attempted to make something like "empathy/compassion" (a variable quality) into a label like Transcendental Perspectivist (a binary label, which is true or not true; in other words, someone is a TP or is not a TP). To clarify, not having English as a native language is fine as everyone has their own native language.

    Discrimination can happen when labels like this are applied. For example when we say that people are excluded/included from certain activities based on whether they are a Transcendental Perspectivist or not, that is discrimination and is harmful for meaningful cooperation designed to help people work together in better ways (supposedly one of the purposes of TP).
    To say that TP means tolerating perspectives and then to discriminate against people who are not TP (and therefore to not tolerate other's perspectives) is a contradiction.
    Another example of why this kind of discrimination is bad: We could say that Aunt Abby has given a lot of good advice over the years which could be summarized and turned into some kind of philosophy and it wouldn't be nice for me to say if someone is not an Aunt Abbyist, I would not let them in my house or for me to discriminate against them in any way. I would give no reason for the discrimination other than the fact that they are not an Aunt Abbyist.

    Humanism, agape, whatever - preaches unconditional acceptance. How is conflict resolved in those philosophies? How do they handle perspectives which do not mesh very well, e.g. satanic philosophy? As far as I know, it's jail or exile; Humanism relies on the idea that self-interested sociopaths are not common.
    The tolerance of perspectives that dont mesh well, depends on how disruptive that perspective is. If its someone practicing some kind of satanism in their own home, its ok. If its something that is disrupting other people's lives or effecting their human rights, that has to be dealt with. Any reasonable society would know what to do in those situations without having to apply TP.
    Switching from theory to practice for a second: if there's a noisy, rude, unhygienic neighbor or roommate who refuses to live in a civil manner, I would like to know what the difference of interaction/treatment would be if the neighbors/roommates were occupied by "Transcendental perspectivists".

    I'll quote Wikipedia:
    Transcendental Perspectivism argues that each truth is the product of the perceiver; however, if two perceivers share a truth, then that truth transcends each individual perceiver. This is achieved not by one perceiver convincing the other about the validity of a held truth, but rather by the union of two truths held by each perceiver. The other's perception plays an equal role in the development of a transcendental truth.
    Say there are 4 people in a group. 2 of them share Truth A, and 2 of them share Truth B. According to the definition, both truths A and B are "transcendental" (whatever that word means). Is Truth A more or less "transcendental" than B? For example there could be competing political parties (A and B). Which truth is more right than the other?
    Or is there a Truth C which is a mix of all of them? If we're just saying 4 people arrive at a truth which is a mixture of all the truths plus E (an error), that again has been going on for centuries without giving it a label - working in a team and compromising. Taking a little bit of that, and a little bit of this, or taking everyone's best input and putting it together.

    In that same paragraph for TP's page on Wikipedia, it says:
    to truly develop a transcendental truth, the perceiver must experience empathy and compassion for the perception of the other.
    So it is Empathy that is needed and I mentioned empathy in the beginning of my post.

    Sorry if this got too long. If you had to choose what to respond to, I would be interesting in knowing the questions in that paragraph: Is Transcendental Perspectivism a binary quality? How understanding does one have to be before they're considered to be a Transcendental Perspectivist? And if they had a really bad day at work and do not feel like being as understanding of others as they usually are, are they still a "Transcendental Perspectivist" for that period of time?
    And I would like seeing a response for the problem of the rude/noisy neighbor/roommate who lives among Transcendental Perspectivists and how they would deal with that situation (compared to what civilized normal people would do if they were following Aunt Abby's advice).
    Last edited by Crocobear; 04-06-2014 at 05:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    Is Transcendental Perspectivism a binary quality?
    How understanding does one have to be before they're considered to be a Transcendental Perspectivist?
    the meaning of understanding would have to be clearly defined before any transcendental perspective could truthfully answer this. infact you would have to give a specific example for the context of the 'understanding'.

    And if they had a really bad day at work and do not feel like being as understanding of others as they usually are, are they still a "Transcendental Perspectivist" for that period of time?
    anyone can think of themselves as anything, anyone can think of others as anything, however to have a transcendental perspective is different to labeling yourself or others something, transcendental perspectivist or otherwise

    And I would like seeing a response for the problem of the rude/noisy neighbor who lives among Transcendental Perspectivists and how they would deal with that situation (compared to what civilized normal people would do if they were following Aunt Abby's advice).
    firstly, a person can be a 'civilized normal person' as well as other things, if someone appears to be a civilised normal person, as well as something else, the result is not more than one person. to answer your question, 'they' can react in an infinite amount of possible ways, so it is impossible for me to accurately answer how they would deal with a situation of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    Thanks for your reply! Apologies in advance for the length of my reply.

    The quality of wanting to understand other perspectives is found in good friends, spouses, co-workers, counselors, managers and so on -- these people have been doing these things without even knowing what TP is.
    Just like you were doing it before without knowing what it was.
    Empathy for example "is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being." (wikipedia)
    Instead of saying you're a Transcendental Perspectivist, you can simply say that you are good in empathy, communication, conflict resolution and so on.


    These are once again qualities that are found in people who are good managers (for example). They make everything and everyone work together and make compromises. They will be aware that others may have better ideas than their own. This implies that they understand that (quoting you) "nobody has the whole picture nor can anyone know what the 'greater good' actually entails."
    The well-known simpler phrase "Good leadership qualities" can be used to describe people like that.
    Both "Good Leadership Qualities" and "Good in Empathy, Communication, Conflict Resolution" include a host of other details which are not (necessarily) part of it (though might be correlated). Further, they both make a simple change in perspective sound like some kind of difficult skill or inherent quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    So can we say that you're implying the manifesto is outdated? (since part or whole of it is not valid anymore) If this philosophy has an outdated manifesto thats a major problem in my opinion and it makes me wonder if there are additional problems.
    I don't see how it's a problem, and you didn't say anything more on this in your post. Could you elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    You're a good rational intelligent human being who treats others with care and understanding. In my opinion that is enough to describe you. These are not qualities that are exclusive to TP. For example many good personality characteristics have been praised in ancient quotes (a page about ancient quotes)

    Agreed that there is a demand for people who care and respect others and attempt to understand other people's perspectives. That is how I would say it.
    That's closer to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    I would not say there's a need for "Transcendental Perspectivists" as it puts a label on people which brings me to the issue of using this label to describe people:

    Here is an interesting point and I would like a response on this paragraph:
    If a "Transcendental Perspectivist" has a few bad days and they're irritated and do not feel like being understanding of other people's perspectives for a few days, does it mean they apostated from "Transcendental Perspectivism" for a few days? :- ). Another way of looking at is this. The ability to understand other people's perspectives and the ability to know that our own opinions/perspectives may not be perfect, is not an on or off issue. Its a variable ability. Is there a value for "being understanding of other perspectives" that one has to cross before they can be considered to be a "Transcendental Perspectivist"? There is none. Just like people's joy and anger can range from 0~100 (none~very) [variable], the ability to understand other perspectives can also vary. It is not a binary quality (on/off, 0/1, has it/does not have it).
    Or for example it wouldn't make sense for anyone to say that they are an 'Empathist', which is the closest thing to saying one is a Transcendental Perspectivist. Would there be a certain amount of empathy one would have to show before they're considered to be an 'Empathist'? I would say no.

    So in my opinion a label like "Transcendental Perspectivist" doesnt make any sense. Trying to understand other people's perspectives, being aware that we are also imperfect ourselves, being aware that we may not know everything, being willing to acknowledge any incorrect deeds or thoughts of ours, working with compromises - these are again, just good leadership qualities from people who are good with social interactions and have a level head on their shoulders. These qualities are variable. It depends on who is being interacted with (for example you said you only do it with chosen friends), whether its a Friday night or a Monday morning, whether someone has been walking in freezing weather for 10 minutes or they're sitting on the sofa in the comfort of their home, whether they are in the company of a spouse they love or the company of a stressful boss - and so on.
    So those qualities vary.
    Yes, the qualities vary, as do the tolerance of a humanist or the machiavellianism of a Satanist, or the faith of a Christian, or the enlightenment of a Buddhist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    Repeating your quote about friends:

    Could one say you're a Transcendental Perspectivist when it comes to close friends and a non-Transcendental Perspectivist when you're in the company of people you dont care that much about or dont like them? (which ofcourse is normal human behavior, that is how we all are)
    A label makes sense when it applies in all situations. For example someone is a Buddhist when they are a Buddhist in all situations. If they become a non-Buddhist under certain situations it wouldnt make sense.
    I feel the problem is because English is not his native language and he has attempted to make something like "empathy/compassion" (a variable quality) into a label like Transcendental Perspectivist (a binary label, which is true or not true; in other words, someone is a TP or is not a TP). To clarify, not having English as a native language is fine as everyone has their own native language.

    Discrimination can happen when labels like this are applied. For example when we say that people are excluded/included from certain activities based on whether they are a Transcendental Perspectivist or not, that is discrimination and is harmful for meaningful cooperation designed to help people work together in better ways (supposedly one of the purposes of TP).
    To say that TP means tolerating perspectives and then to discriminate against people who are not TP (and therefore to not tolerate other's perspectives) is a contradiction.
    Another example of why this kind of discrimination is bad: We could say that Aunt Abby has given a lot of good advice over the years which could be summarized and turned into some kind of philosophy and it wouldn't be nice for me to say if someone is not an Aunt Abbyist, I would not let them in my house or for me to discriminate against them in any way. I would give no reason for the discrimination other than the fact that they are not an Aunt Abbyist.
    I find that someone who does not make an effort to understand others' perspectives is very frustrating to deal with, since it's impossible to compromise or discuss rationally with them. Of course, this is not a problem if they are powerless, since you don't have to convince them of anything, but unfortunately being in power often means you don't have to consider others' perspectives in order to get what you want.

    So sure, it's discrimination - based on the quality, not the label. Much like it's discrimination to hire programmers who think functionally, when your entire codebase is in CloJure.

    What do I do when faced with someone whom I need to compromise with but who refuses to see my perspective? Figure out theirs, and reason about it from their perspective. Sometimes this means explaining why it would be in their best interests, sometimes it means using what power I have over the environment to set the occasion for them to do what I want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    The tolerance of perspectives that dont mesh well, depends on how disruptive that perspective is. If its someone practicing some kind of satanism in their own home, its ok. If its something that is disrupting other people's lives or effecting their human rights, that has to be dealt with. Any reasonable society would know what to do in those situations without having to apply TP.
    Switching from theory to practice for a second: if there's a noisy, rude, unhygienic neighbor or roommate who refuses to live in a civil manner, I would like to know what the difference of interaction/treatment would be if the neighbors/roommates were occupied by "Transcendental perspectivists".

    I'll quote Wikipedia:

    Say there are 4 people in a group. 2 of them share Truth A, and 2 of them share Truth B. According to the definition, both truths A and B are "transcendental" (whatever that word means). Is Truth A more or less "transcendental" than B? For example there could be competing political parties (A and B). Which truth is more right than the other?
    Or is there a Truth C which is a mix of all of them? If we're just saying 4 people arrive at a truth which is a mixture of all the truths plus E (an error), that again has been going on for centuries without giving it a label - working in a team and compromising. Taking a little bit of that, and a little bit of this, or taking everyone's best input and putting it together.
    Yes, it has, but it hasn't been codified as a specific way of thinking, and many other (more totalitarian) philosophies preach a different organizational structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    In that same paragraph for TP's page on Wikipedia, it says:

    So it is Empathy that is needed and I mentioned empathy in the beginning of my post.

    Sorry if this got too long. If you had to choose what to respond to, I would be interesting in knowing the questions in that paragraph: Is Transcendental Perspectivism a binary quality?
    No, it's a way of thinking. More specifically, it's a way of thinking which we are all capable of, but which we exercise far too little.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    How understanding does one have to be before they're considered to be a Transcendental Perspectivist?
    Quite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    And if they had a really bad day at work and do not feel like being as understanding of others as they usually are, are they still a "Transcendental Perspectivist" for that period of time?
    If someone had a really bad day at work and does not feel like praying to Jesus as they usually do, are they still a Christian for that time?
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocobear View Post
    And I would like seeing a response for the problem of the rude/noisy neighbor/roommate who lives among Transcendental Perspectivists and how they would deal with that situation (compared to what civilized normal people would do if they were following Aunt Abby's advice).
    Ideally: understand why they are being rude/noisy and, if they are willing to compromise, do so - if not, find some other way to motivate them.
    Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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