Virtual and Real Relativity

12 юли, 2012 | Публикувано в: Articles | Автор: Сергей Герджиков
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Serghey Gherdjikov

Sofia University

Virtual and Real Relativity

“Virtual and Real Relativity”, Sofia Philosophical Review, Vol. III, No. 2, 2009, 92–113

Here the topics of the virtual and that of relativity are joined together. New concepts of relation, virtuality and reality are devised.

Relation is definition. It is not something detached and real but is the very ‘thing’. Relating is virtual defining – projection of the real connection between moments of a life process. ‘This’ without ‘that’ is not this. ‘I’ without ‘you’ is not I. ‘West’ without ‘East’ is not west. ‘Man’ without other living beings is not man.

We pass each other. In the same degree we do not know ourselves as an ego, as community, as civilization. This is an unconsciousness relativity effect, which comes into being in the process of communication between cultures and between individuals.

Relativity in awareness can be a virtual freedom for a synthesis of definitions, relations and descriptions, and a real freedom for a synthesis of a life process, identity and life in a human form.

Which is real and which is not, if thongs are definite only in relation? Which is real and which is not in a global inter-relating and virtual communication?

The virtual pertains to all artefacts. The reality of artefacts, and especially of signs, lies in their being related to a meaning, their reality is relational. Meaning is understood as a moment of a human life process.

The scheme is elaborated in two spheres: virtual and real relativity analogous to special and general relativity (Einstein). This theoretical scheme is developed into a study, giving new solutions to a series of problems concerning information and meaning, the world and language, identity and difference. Four areas of real and virtual relativity are studied: language (linguistic relativity), logic (logical relativity), concept (conceptual relativity) and description (descriptive relativity).

1. Initial considerations

The natural attitude is a real, indefinite position, which can be stated as ‘living as a human being’. ‘Me-here-now’ is a centre, a zero-point of a frame of reference where the things and events of the world are defined.

In the flow of life I experience: the world is immediate, unconditioned, non-relative. Natural attitude is spontaneous and unrelated; it can be described as spontaneous sensation, perception and description in a natural language. The speaker finds an unrelated world and extrapolates:

The world is one and the same for different preceptors and descriptions.

Life flows not as an undifferentiated flow, but in flowing forms, mutually defining each other, thus defining a living form and a world. This is the real sphere where human beings acquire meaning.

In logic and mathematics the symbol aRb is accepted for a relation (Russell). But R has no reality along with the separated a and b.

Definition 1. Relation: the one with reference to the other.

When writing “a > b” we are defining a with reference to b, but are not stating a third thing between them. Therefore relation is virtual with respect to the relata, and thus the definitions in their mutual reference are virtual. To virtual relations ‘correspond’ real connected qualia. What distinguishes the real from the virtual with sufficient clearness is that the real can live without the virtual and the virtual has no life without the real.

Taking awareness of relativity. In Husserl’s phenomenology the position of experience (Еrlebnis) is absolute (Husserl 1907). But even when I say ‘life’, ‘I’, ‘world’, I am situated in a particular language and only there have those ‘evident things’ any significance. For there are no detached elements prior to language: life, I, consciousness, world, a thing, etc., which Husserl takes to be absolute units of the natural attitude.

Thus it turns out that ‘natural attitude’ is not natural and ‘evidence’ is due to local linguistic conventions. The awareness of relativity shakes natural attitude. The feeling is as if one suddenly has lost the bottom under one’s feet. It is a shock to realize that a thing changes into a different thing in a different respect and ceases to be something definite at all when devoid of reference.

Identity and differences are relative.

The world is not something in front of us, it is a life of our own. The world beyond or, more exactly, prior to ‘subject-object’ (‘language-world’) is life which comprises also communication by speech.

Computer simulations, in which one is able to communicate, to produce, to buy and sell, to win and lose, to act analogously to one’s state in society put one in a situation radically different from the familiar division of nature and spirit. Which is real and which is not? Here a clear answer is given: real is what we are born in, what we live and die in. We cannot be born, live and die in a computer simulation.

It is not ascertainable in language that in different languages we confront one and the same world. Comparison of languages in a live situation shows: the degree of difference with respect to ‘the world’ that different languages admit of is so high as to cover even seemingly immediate data like time. The same sense perceptions are described in incredibly divergent ways. One may affirm that in ‘language’ there is no independent and non-relative spatio-temporal world.

Definitions of the world are made in languages. The world contains language, life contains speech. Prior to languages there isn’t so far anything definite beyond spontaneous sense perceptions: there are even no ‘I’, ‘thinking’, ‘thing’. The pairs of concepts (‘subject-object’) are virtual, symmetrical, homogenous syntheses, not real entities. Contradictions are heterogeneous syntheses.

A non-relative area. In one and the same community divergence of meanings is small enough and a common frame of reference for the language community is present.

Cultural relativity. Different language communities, depending on the distance between their languages, may not only maintain different statements about the world, but talk in different categories. This is valid even of sensations of colors, sounds, tastes and smells. The greatest differences we find exactly between those concepts we assume to be universal and common to all mankind: ‘God’. ‘being–non-being’, ‘absolute-relative’, ‘subject–object’, ‘I-world’, ‘necessary-accidental’, ‘freedom–non-freedom’. Neutral talk is a classical illusion, analogous to the illusion about neutral results from measuring distances and time-intervals in mechanics. It is not possible and not sensible to look for ‘truth’ somewhere ‘in between’ those diverging concepts.

There is no such thing as ‘language’ employed by all people to exchange neutral information about an independent world. ‘Language’ is a form of speaking in a local life.

Then even science as a ‘objective knowledge’ is an illusion. Science is in its essence trans-cultural and there is no ‘Chinese physics’ or ‘British biology’. But its philosophy and theory contains Western categories and concepts: substance (‘Universe’, ‘elementary particle’), necessity (‘energy’ that is being conserved, ‘laws of nature’, which are eternal). Categories like ‘objective world’, ‘observing subject’ are Western ones.

Human individuals and communities are living forms and not just carriers of languages. Our life-process is a synthesis (re-synthesis) of those forms themselves, which are subject to spontaneous decay. This is a point of view analogous to ‘general relativity’: in reality ‘inertial systems’ do not exist; space is non-Euclidian. Linguistic continuum is virtual and acquires reality only in life. This view-point brings us beyond relativism.

‘Gravity’. Languages are really related to human life’s processes. From pure languages making statements of the world and expressing each other by means of translations (‘virtual relativity’) we move on to living people talking about their lives (‘real relativity’). People are speaking in the form of their life-process. Taken as reality, all cultures are forms of life of man with his form. Languages gravitate toward human form, not to some language, and this does away with relativism.

‘Inertia’. Languages are fixed to local forms of common living. Communities fix local identities. In reality people understand each other with difficulty; they pass by or repel each other.

The source of meaning is a life process. The horizon of ‘relativity’ in the present theory and study is the spectrum of dispersion, the area of discrimination between the definitions and descriptions of the world in the flow of information and especially speaking and writng (respectively, listening and reading).

A ‘classical domain’. The ‘classical domain’ is a domain of a homogeneous and isomorphous linguistic space-time where the statements and communications between speaking individuals and communities come into being.

Classical linguistic gravitation. Each language is assimilating and shaping world forms, describing them in its own form.

‘Invisibility’ of language. A mother tongue is ‘invisible’ as one of the languages – i.e. it is not taken awareness of with respect to other languages it is not recognized as one language on an equal footing with other languages. (The eye is invisible for itself.) Thus it is also undefined, unselfconscious for its speakers. For the majority of people the world is described in one language and in one network of concepts. In this situation through the invisible optics of language a world prior to language and independent of language is perceived a world is perceived as prior to language and independent of language. The interference of language into the world remains unseen. In this situation people are convinced of the existence of a unique World and a unique Language, of a unique grammar and a unique logic.

A ‘virtual sphere’. As a ‘virtual sphere’ I designate the domain of artefacts and especially signs. The virtual has no reality without respect to the real – the flow of worlding. A sign is a sign with respect to an object of reference; an artefact is an artefact with respect to a function.

The poles ‘virtual-real’ are relative. The virtual is virtual with respect to the real, and the real is real with respect to the virtual. The virtual is real as a sensible form. The real is virtual as a passing experience, not a permanent reality.

Franz Boas formulated relativity as a methodological rule: “The scientific study of generalized social forms requires … that the investigator free himself from all valuations based on our culture. An objective, strictly scientific inquiry can be made only if we succeed in entering into each culture on its own basis.”(Boas 1928). This is known in anthropology as ‘principle of relativism’.

Relativistic illusion. Acknowledging relativity entails the acceptance of a position, which is a mirror image of the ‘Absolute’: “Anything is relative”. But anthropological relativism has a limit (a ‘human nature’ is postulated). The contingence of the I and the communities (Rorty 1989) does not imply the absence of an individual and community to be maintained against disappearance.

A new definition of Relativism. Relativism is non-discrimination between virtual and real.

A ‘real sphere’. As ‘real sphere’ I designate the domain of the immediate living of individuals and communities. The real cannot be created and destroyed. The idea of ‘being’ is involved here. What one experiences cannot be synthesized and deleted, cannot be edited and corrected. It is real to be that human being.

Definiteness of relativity. We have to quit relativism. To do this we have to define relativities. Seemingly there is no foothold in relativity, but in fact the foothold is exactly in relatedness.

So far the theory of real relativity has not been developed, i.e. a theory describing the curved space of global communication and description of the world while avoiding its reduction to the level of classical understanding. This ‘general’ theory overcomes the relativism of the ‘special’ or virtual theory. It overcomes absolutism dominating classical philosophy and, partially, theoretical physics, as well as contemporary relativism.

2. Definitions and propositions – real and virtual

Definition 1. Relation: one with respect to the other.

Axiom 1: Every definition is relation.

Consequence. There is no definiteness outside a relation.

Definition 2. Synthesis: connecting separate moments in a life process.

Definition 3. Real is here: experienced, quale, phenomenon, flow of lived forms.

Definition 4. Real relation (connection): unity of qualia as moments in a life process.

Real relatedness/relativity: definiteness of moments in a life process, meaningfulness.

Definition 5. Real position: moment-locality of living as a human being: ‘me-here-now’.

Principle of real relativity:

Meaning is a moment in a life process.

Definition 6. Virtual: definiteness of meaning.

Axiom 2. The virtual is synthesized as a non-living artefact with a live meanng.

Definition 7. Virtual relation: definiteness in two or more signs. ‘This’ is together with and different from ‘that’.

Insofar as defining is relating, different relations yield different definitions. Unrelatedness is indefiniteness. The non-relative is indefinite.

Virtual (semiotic) relativity: signs being defined in relation to other signs.

Reference is to say virtual-real relatedness, conferring of meaning.

Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real-virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

Sign is contingent and it is not coused by its referent. It is choosen for to referate it – the definition of the sign is teleological. This act is projecting of a meaning into a sign, semiotic synthesis.


Axiom 3. Language is a frame of reference, in which the semiotic form is defined and through it the real phenomenon.

Semiotic synthesis is here a synthesis of a semiotic form.

Definition 9. Virtual position: a moment-locality of a semiotic act in the centre of a frame of reference of a language: ‘here-now-I-designate-that’.

Principle of virtual relativity:

Semiotic forms are defined with respect to a language.

These definitions and propositions are only rules of an investigator’s game. They do not express any ‘evidentnesses’, any ‘fundamental obvious truths’. But they are made to work in a serious game. In the present study they are working this way: by means of them phenomena of relativity in languages, logics, concepts and descriptions are recognized, described and explained. By them familiar things and theories like information are given new significance.

3. Virtual and real definiteness (information)

Virtual information. Taken virtually, ‘information’ is a series of units, variety, definiteness. It is limited by ‘noise’ – lack of definiteness (Shannon). Here no meaning, no understanding, no subject is introduced.

Axiom 1. Every definition is relation.

Relation (definition) has as a minimum two units and can be indefinitely multiplied. Thus definiteness grows. This formulation is directly confirmed by the definition of a unit of information – a choice between two alternatives – not one unrelated unit. The amount of information for one and the same description may vary with varying systems of signs.

Real information.

Axiom 2. The virtual is synthesized as a non-living artefact with a live meaning.

Here an act of finding (creation) emerges: something is being experienced or done. What is being experienced is immediate; what is being done serves an intention or function. The black form on white background is seen and the black character is written/read in order to denote something.

Real relatedness/relativity: definiteness of moments in a life process, meaningfulness.

Taken as reality, information is ‘variety ordered by meaning’ and meaning is a ‘life process’. In relation to meaning variety is accidental. It is a fixation of a form in natural selection, adoption of something as a sign, finding a solution to a problem, virtual projection, creative discovery. In any case meaning is not determined by logic or a cause, i.e., taken as reality,  information is not present prior to an act of synthesis.

Qualia are real – signs are virtual. Qualia are organized in forms of life processes and thus acquire their meaning.

Definition 3. Real: experienced, quale, phenomenon, flow of lived forms.

The sign doesn’t ‘stand for’ the object. For semiotics every sign ‘stands for’ something in the world (Peirce): “stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity” (Peirce 1931, 2.228). A definition within the pair ‘virtual-real’ avoids the confusion of the semiotic definition: in reality a sign cannot stand in place of anything except of another sign. The word ‘red’ does not really replace the sensibilium red. We have to do here with intertwined life processes: looking-talking, which cannot stand one in the place of the other. Here one can see how the opposition real–virtual relativity throws semiosis into relief.

A paradox of ‘virtual information’. Information is ‘improbability’. It is measurable as an amount of defining characteristics. But here only certain states, playing the role of signs, are taken. What will play the role of a sign depends on our decision. E.g. it is our choice that the presence and absence of electric current designate the states 1 and 0. The paradox is that information is independent from us and, nevertheless, depends on us – the location of ink drops in water does not depend on us, but the choice of this location as a defining characteristic depends on us.

Definition 7. Virtual relation: definiteness in two or more signs.

‘This’ is together with and different from ‘that’.

Insofar as defining is relating, different relations give different definitions. Unrelatedness is indefiniteness. The non-relative is indefinite.

Consequence. The degree of definiteness equals the amount of different relations, in which something is defined.

Amount of information – Shannon. Claude Shannon’s theory laid out in his “A Mathematical Theory of Communications” (1948) is a cornerstone for informational sciences and technologies. Here Shannon defines ‘amount of information’ as follows: “The choice of a logarithmic base corresponds to the choice of a unit for measuring information. If the base 2 is used the resulting units may be called binary digits, or more briefly bits, a word suggested by J. W. Tukey. A device with two stable positions, such as a relay or a flip-flop circuit, can store one bit of information. N such devices can store N bits, since the total number of possible states is 2N and log22N = N” (Shannon 1948, 380).

It is clearly seen that the unit of information is defined by a logarithmic base 2 (binary digit, bit). This is a decisive confirmation of the thesis about definiteness as a relation between two at least. Shannon eliminates the semantic aspect and reduces information to definiteness between alternatives. But this technological aspect contains intention toward an act of choice – 1 or 0.

The two, not the one, is a unit of definiteness. This confirms the thesis about definiteness as relatedness. Each addition of a unit adds a new relation and thus a new defining characteristic. The extension of definiteness can go on for ever. Zero definiteness is in the one unrelated to something else. In absence of another number ‘1’ has no meaning.

‘Memorizing the accidental choice’ – Kastler. “’Memorizing the accidental choice’ – this is the usual way information originates.” (Kastler 1967, 29). Before a combination of letters to open a safe has been introduced, each combination is equally good, but once introduced, one and only one combination is necessary to open it.

‘Memorizing the accidental choice’ is a meaning conferring act, and in absence of it the information is not information. This act is explicable by real relatedness of the virtual projection.

Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real-virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

Sign-forms have meaning with reference to a life process. In the light of the concepts of real–virtual there is no gap between non-living and living, between life and consciousness: we have created this gap through the immense differences in our concepts and theories about the spheres in question. This is the basis for surmounting those differences.

Information ‘as such’ is unreal. This follows from the propositions and definitions of virtual and real relativity. Information is neither ‘in the world’ nor in the mind – it is in ‘life’. In contrast to matter, information has no mass and energy. Only the information carrier, as matter-energy, is liable to entropy. In reality any information is carried by a material form characterized by energy and as such it is being destroyed and turned into noise.

What distinguishes variety from information is the difference between disorder and order. Thus the digits 4371 are disorderly until entered as a code for axess to a bank account. Order is introduced by the synthesis of meaning. If order is detached from meaning anything in the world becomes information and the concept loses any content.

Information is created. Creation of information is an act of juxtaposition of life processes and signs: reference, projection.

Information is conserved. Information can not move, as it is devoid of matter and energy. The meaning of a sign sequence is unchanging with respect to space and time so as to be transmittable. We remember the codes; we know the language, speak one and the same language in order to understand each other. Taken virtually, information is conserved: the virtual does not move.

The processing of information is not synthesis of information. Information can be transformed without being changed. The chess playing programme and other similar forms of artificial intelligence do not synthesize information; they apply algorithms. The application of algorithms transforms the data, while conserving the order of the algorithm. This is a projection of one information – the program – onto another information – the data.

Consequence. An ‘artificial intelligence’ cannot create information without our own decision that it does.

Consequence. Without us knowing the state of an ‘artificial intelligence’ this state is not meaningful information.

Taken as reality, information is an ‘energetic state’. Pure information does not exist anywhere in the world. There are physical, energetic states, which are, in their meaningful ordering by us, information. Pure information would be information devoid of energy and mass, devoid of a carrier and a living generator of meaning.

Consequence. There are no ‘data’ without somebody taking them as such.

Taken as reality, information is being lost. This is explicable in light of the Principle of Entropy and the propositions from the beginning of this study. As a state, information is subject to entropy, i.e. to increase of indefiniteness. Left without maintenance, information is being lost.

DNA mutates, books and other artefacts fall apart, records are damaged, messages are distorted by noise, human beings forget, people pass each other. When people that confer meaning to information vanish, left without a meaning conferring act, information is lost. Information is lost in the process of communication in different linguistic systems. Information definitely changes in translation between ‘inertial’ languages.

In reality ‘entropy’ is definable with reference to a live process. Entropy, taken as an ‘insufficiency of information for the description of the system’ obviously presupposes certain objective information of the system, which, however, is lacking. This is a paradox in the concept of ‘objective information’ and, hence, in ‘entropy’. The paradox is rooted in the optical illusion of non-relativity connected with ‘the objective’. In fact a system contains as much information as defined by us in description and the lacking information is indefinable.

The two aspects of entropy, ignorance and indefiniteness, taken as ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’, come down to a life process. They are not different.

There is no artificial life and no artificial intelligence.

There is no virtual world.

4. Virtual relativity

Axiom 1: Every definition is a relation.

Consequence. There is no definiteness outside a relation.

‘Something’ is ‘something’ with respect to ‘something else’.

Virtual (semiotic) relativity: definiteness of signs with respect to other signs.

Insofar as defining is relating different references yield different definitions.

Relative is everything that is ‘that’ as well as ‘another’ and is neither ‘that’ nor ‘another’ outside a definite reference.

Something turns into something else ‘under our very eyes’, something is already another thing, suffice it that we relate it to something else. This is not a fantastic conversion of things.

A human is human only with reference to non-human forms. ‘Human’, in absence of other living beings, is immediately reduced to ‘living being’. ‘Living’, in absence of non-living, is immediately reduced to ‘existent’, and ‘existent’ without non-existent melts into indefiniteness.

Sign symmetry. Sign symmetry is a mutual polar relatedness of signs. At least two digits or words are mutually defined through their boundary and relation. Examples: + –, 0–1, necessary–accidental.

Sign asymmetry. Sign asymmetry is a mutual non-polar relatedness of signs.

Examples: + – 0, 1–2, necessary–possible.

Definition 6. Virtual: definiteness of meaning.

For the virtual area one can disregard energy and deal with information only. In virtual space-time energy is absent or is reduced to zero, is ignored.

In virtual space-time the laws of physics are not applied, life and consciousness as a live process are not included. One can disregard communities, individuals, the life process. One can talk of autonomous language(s), artificial languages, of texts and translations, of descriptions and knowledge, of the ‘growth of objective knowledge’ in an autonomous ‘third world’ (Karl Popper).

Consequence. The virtual does not live – it is not born and does not die.


Artefacts are virtual.

Axiom 2. The virtual is synthesized as a non-living artefact with a live meaning.

Signs and constructions are real sensible forms, but they are signs and constructions in their reference, by virtue of their referring us to referents and functions.

A sign is defined in significance. An artefact is defined in intention/ function.

Creation of an artefact is creation of meaning. In creation meaning is lent to artefacts: intention, significance, function. And this is inseparable from the creation of artefacts itself: there are no devices in themselves, no concepts in themselves, there are no numbers in the world outside man. There are no theoretical entities outside human theorizing.

From all the above it follows: there is no live word, digit, number or statement. There is no ‘live computer programme’, ‘live machine’, ‘live concept’, ‘live theory’.

An ‘idea’ as a pure form free of matter (‘Platonic adios’) is something virtual and therefore nonliving. Concepts and ideas are not born; they do not live, do not move anything and therefore do not die. Whatever is immortal is nonliving.

Consequence. One cannot live in a virtual world.

Axiom 3. Language is a frame of reference, in which the semiotic form is defined and through it the real phenomenon.

Each of these frames of reference defines its own places for the signs, its own positions of designating, expression, description, its own definitions of referents and meanings.

Here are some sign forms (syntheses): ‘01’, “a>b”, “All humans are mortal”. Sign forms are all referring, meaningful series of signs.

Sign system: a set of ordered signs destined for the creation of unlimited number of expressions according to linguistic rules: 0-1 in a binary numerical system, 0 – … 9 in a decimal one, ABC…Z in the Latin alphabet, some set of gestures in the deaf-and-dumb alphabet, the set of road signs.

Definition: ‘Virtual space’: a set of virtual sign-points defined in a language.

Taken virtually, one can move everywhere without any limits, but in reality this requires a carrier and a programme (a book, a telephone, a computer in front of a living individual).

Definition. ‘Virtual time’: a series of linguistic operations or syntheses defined in a language.

Taken virtually, one can travel in time without any limits, but in reality this requires a carrier and a programme (a book, a film, a computer game in front of a living individual). In reality one remembers, imagines, expects.

No more than one position can be occupied at a time.

Definition 9. Virtual position: moment-locality of a semiotic act in a frame of reference of a language: ‘here-now-I-designate-that’.

Consequence. No more than one position can be occupied at a time.

Consequence. One cannot be aware of two points of view at a time.

Consequence. A statement, in which different sign systems are present, is devoid of meaning.

People converse also in mixed languages, but they interpret them in communicative acts. Formally, i.e. virtually, mixing of signs renders them meaningless. This is why unanswerable questions arise with respect to expressions like “The brain thinks”. In the latter physiological and psychological language are mixed.

A position is indefinite when lacking a reference to another one.

Axiom 1. Every definition is relation.

Consequence. There is no definiteness outside a relation.

Consequence. A position is indefinite when lacking a reference to another one.

A language is defined with respect to another language. A virtual position is defined with respect to another one. When lacking a reference to another position one’s own position is indefinite. It is merely a zero-point. It is the virtual analogue of the imaginary ‘transcendental subject’ (Kant, Fichte, Husserl).


Language – a programme for virtual syntheses.

Axiom 3. Language is a frame of reference, in which the semiotic form is defined and through it the real phenomenon.

Consequence. Language is virtual, in contrast to speech.

Language is analogous to a programme for recognition, description, explanation, prescription, speech action. Thus the problem of the relation between language and speech is beautifully solved.

Consequence. A computer programme is a virtual language for the possible operations performed on it.

Definition. Linguistic field: space of linguistic acts and forms of a language.


Virtual inertia.

Definition 9. Virtual position: moment-locality of a semiotic act in a frame of reference of a language: ‘here-now-I-designate-that’.

Information is conserved. A sign system is conserved.

Consequence. Position is conserved in a state of rest or drift – it is not changed without exertion of force.

Position moves spontaneously and unconsciously (analogously to ‘rectilinear motion’) – drift.

Position is consciously changed – solution of a cognitive or communication problem.

Consequence. Getting aware is a synthesis of a new reference (definition) or series (a sequence of definitions).


Statement – virtual definition.

Definition. Statement: synthesis of a linguistic form.

A statement in the sense of virtual relativity is meaningful speech, synthesizing (engendering) at least one unit of meaningful information.

Consequence. There is no difference as to form between definitions and propositions.

“A straight line is the shortest distance between two points” is a definition as well as an axiom, according to its position in the network of propositions.

Consequence. There is no difference as to form between definitions, axioms and consequences in this investigation. The differences are functional ones.

‘Reference-meaning’ as ‘virtual-real’. The distinction between reference and meaning (Frege) is to be conceived as a description on two levels: virtual and real, world and life. Understanding reference as use (Wittgenstein) fuses meaning and reference. It manifests the gradual shading off between the too.

Here a new definition of the couple reference-meaning is given. Reference is a virtual aspect of real meaning.

At a most primitive level one can say: I-human, one can point to oneself and say: John. But this already amounts to a synthesis of meaning. The elementary syntax: „S–V–O“ (subject-action-object) has the form of a live act. This is a synthesis or, more exactly, a re-synthesis against the spontaneous decay of meaning into indefiniteness. Who does synthesize? – The speaker together with the other speakers. What do they synthesize? – Their collective form of life.

Consequence. Grammar has meaning as a network of forms of life processes.

‘Grammar-semantics’ as virtual-real. Grammar has its semantics: it is the real meaningfulness of virtual grammatical form. The distinction between grammar and semantics is relative. It is a consequence from the relative independence of the virtual on the real.

Grammatical categories have their semantic in live forms and processes.

In reality grammar is local. Grammars alien to our own can use an adverb as subject (Japanese) and a noun form as predicate (Chinese). Some languages are inflected and some are not. Local grammar is a form of the frame of reference of local language (‘background language’ – Quine 1968).

Local ontology depends on local grammar. Grammar traces out the ‘ontology’ within which people belonging to the linguistic community are thinking. It supplies them with categories like ‘subject-predicate’, ‘subject-copula-object’; ‘noun-verb’, ‘person-singular/plural-tense’. Those categories are not a priori, evident; they are not fixed in whatever way and are not used in all languages in the world. Local ‘ontology’ is the position, the form of descriptions made in the language of native people.

Consequence. No universal grammar exists.

Ostension is the root of reference.

Reference is to say virtual–real relatedness, conferring of meaning.

Reference is defining of a sign together with other signs with respect to a quale, phenomenon, experienced. Without ostension, pointing to the referent outside any language, there is no definiteness in the world. Without correlation with other words (concepts) there is no defining in speech.


Synthesis of a description

Sign synthesis is here synthesis of sign form. Sign forms are synthesized from signs and relations between them. Description is sign synthesis: extended defining in the form of speech or text.

Definition. Descript: a unit of description.

‘Descript’ is a word or symbol carrying the status of an element from a local description of the world. A descript may be a local concept: ‘spirit’, ‘totem’, ‘deity’; category: ‘being’, ‘essence’, ‘idea’; a scientific notion: ‘energy’, ‘mass’, ‘velocity’. By means of sufficiently specific groups of descripts a culture can be recognized.

Communication – internal and external: interchange of information between linguistic individuals and communities. Communication can be defined as a game (language game – Wittgenstein) according to rules and using a language not necessarily understandable outside that game.

Communication corresponds to movement in mechanics. Here it is transfer of information, not of matter. In communication one assumes information to be transferred directly without distortion until one comes upon incomprehension.

Translation is projection. Translation is re-statement in another language. Taken virtually, translation is a transfer of information accompanied by its transformation from one language into another. Purely virtually, information can be transmitted from one code system to another. E.g., one and the same number can be written in different numeral systems. In the process no information is lost. But natural languages are not completely formalized. Hence, translations between natural languages are not completely determined.

Axiom 3. Language is a frame of reference, in which the semiotic form is defined and through it the real phenomenon.

Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real–virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

Consequence. Translation is virtual projection.

Consequence. Translation is transition from one frame of reference to another.

For natural languages every translation changes information according to the differences in particular units and rules. There are no rules for translation between different grammars and, nevertheless, translations do exist. This is explained by real relatedness.

Real relatedness/relativity: definiteness of moments in a life process, meaningfulness.

Between natural languages information cannot be transferred on a one-to-one-basis. It follows that translation, taken as reality, is projection of meaning into another language.

Translation is transfer of meaning. But meaning as life process is local and cannot be transferred. A meaning is projected into a meaning by means of description of life processes.



Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real-virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

Words, statements and descriptions are projected from their reference area into an imaginary area: finite→ infinite, accidental→ necessary, being→ nothingness. A concept referring to something at hand is projected into a polar concept for which nothing at hand is present.

Transcendence. Virtual projection spontaneously passes beyond the limits of validity, due to unawareness of the human form of the ‘objective’ world that is being described.

Relativity of the ‘thing’. ‘This’ is ‘this’ only with respect to ‘that’. Without ‘that’ there is no ‘this’ (Chuang Tzu). ‘Sky’ is ‘a space above earth’, ‘earth’ is a surface ‘under a sky’.

Virtuality of ‘the thing’. As Hilary Putnam put it: “‘Objects’ do not exist independently of conceptual schemes. We cut up the world into objects when we introduce one or another scheme of description” (Putnam 1981, 52).

Virtual (semiotic) relativity: definiteness of signs with respect to other signs.

‘Virtual linguistic relativity’ is the mutual determination between words, statements and languages. Linguistic relativity is virtual with respect to the real one. Virtually relations between words and between words and objects are defined. Definition is relation in a sign system with respect to another definition. A word in a language stands, together with another word, against an object; a sentence stands together with another sentence against a phenomenon, description stands together with another description against a form in the world.

5. Real relativity

A real form is ‘that’ as against another. Experiencing is non-relative, but I am me only with respect to someone else (we as against others). We humans are humans as against other beings. Life is life by virtue of overcoming death.

Definition 4. Real relation (connection): unity of qualia as moments in a life process.

A colour-form without sound, smell, taste and touch melts into ‘sensory form’, blue without non-blue melts into bright, ‘brightness’ without darkness melts into absence of light.

Consequence. There are no definite unrelated realities.

Consequence. ‘The transcendental ego’ purified from ‘empirical reference’ is empty.

The real is the non-virtual living, worlding. The real is not ‘language’, neither is the ‘world’ in front of us (‘objective reality’). Real is the living-of-the-world. We do not live in a world but live the world.

Synthesis of meaning. Life processes are syntheses of meanings with reference to a re-synthesis of the living form. Those processes confer meaning to the virtual processes.

Definition 2. Synthesis: connecting separate moments in a life process.


Definition 5. Real position: moment-locality of living as a human being: ‘me-here-now’.

Definition. Attitude: ‘mental aspect’ of position. We are perceiving, thinking and acting in durable forms.

We heed selectively groups of forms for perception, thought and action. We describe the world, communicate with others and act, unconsciously tuned in to certain forms of speaking and acting. While we (re-)synthesize meanings our awareness is selective and contextual. An attitude confronts evident and impossible things, in which it traces out its boundaries.

‘Evidentness’ is ‘invisibility’ of attitude. ‘Evidentness’ is what is taken as evidently true because of the invisibility of its conditionality and dependence on attitudes and grammars. Thus Descartes took as evident: “I think, therefore I am.” But a statement-evidentness is an oxymoron: there is evidence only to vision, only qualia are evident. “I am in the world” is such ‘evidentness’. It easily disintegrates if one analyses it. One does not discover an I as localized in the world, one does not discover a boundary between I and world, and one discovers that “The world is independent from me”, “A human being is a spirit (soul)–body” are also valid.

Inertia and inertness of attitude. Position is conserved in a state of rest or drift – it is not changed without exertion of force.

Attitudes are inert. Attitudes are inert analogously to the inertness of masses. Einstein identified this inert mass with gravitational mass. This holds of linguistic phenomena too. Each statement has ‘inertness’ by virtue of an attitude acting as an invisible gravitational mass that is curving linguistic space and thus shaping the paths of speaking and writing.

Projection of attitude. We are projecting our visions of objects that are invisible in the world, and those visions are moments of an attitude. A Christian believes in Jesus’ invisible body, a shaman visualizes spirits as ethereal specters, a scientist imagines micro-particles, waves and strings as real.

Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real-virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

‘Subject-object’ is projection of a life process. Subject-object as a cognitive form is projection of the life process in a state of perceiving by the body of the world external to it. But this is only a moment of the active living of the world and of world-life. The world is not external to life but is shaped by life. The subject is not internal to life but is what is re-synthesizing itself.

Free attitude: precondition for understanding and cognition. The free attitude is awareness of the gravitation of life processes. Taking awareness is limited in its scope and grants no warrant for change of attitude. Free attitude is adopting a position with awareness of relativity, seeing one’s position in relation to other positions, it is definiteness and relatedness at once. For the free attitude there is no evidentness and each statement is visible as relative. In this attitude progresses the grasping and description of ‘the other world’ and thus of the other subject. The grasping and description of ‘one’s own world’ as related to the others progresses too.

Principle of real relativity:

Meaning is a moment in a life process.

In reality information is meaningful: a synthesis of problem solution, a life process, ‘a way of life’. The synthesis of meaning in a field of different possibilities is definition: selection, trial-error-finding, decision, choice. The intention of the meanings is re-synthesis of life.

The virtual defines life in order to organize it under the conditions of the environment and in presence of rivals and co-habitants. The virtual directs on the right path – the one on which live form is being re-synthesized.

The virtual ‘is carried’ by the real. The virtual does not exist outside the real: the real is its ‘carrier’ and ‘creator’.

Reference is non-real. In the world there is no pure information without matter and energy. In this sense the virtual is non-real as are relations apart from related objects.

The real is indefinite with respect to the virtual. The world does not speak. No form in the world determines a word to denote it. Sensation, image, perception, thought are indefinite with respect to language. Taken virtually, entropy is noise, taken really, it is indefiniteness of meaning.

No propositions can be drawn logicaly from perceptions (Popper).

Indefiniteness of ‘language’ with respect to the ‘world’. Language is not determined by the world; in particular, it is not a picture of the world. Words and qualia (elementary experiences) are incomparable.

Grammar is not determined. A given local grammar cannot be drawn from the forms of life of the respective community. This follows from the indefiniteness of the world to language.

Denoting is undenotable. No sign system is able do denote denoting itself – relating signs to qualia. Semantics is developed in a meta-language, in which a phenomenon is represented by a name (‘white snow’) (Tarski 1944). There is no language capable to voice a statement about a phenomenon: ‘meta-language’ inevitably talks about qualia by means of names, using either a conventional or an artificial grammar. Pointing to a sensible form and uttering the name does no more avoid this situation: pointing is a sign – ‘that here’.

The sensible world is not congruent with description, but it is exactly that world that sets the boundaries of the describable. There is no grammar in it, but it is exactly its form that is the source of grammar in its several versions. In the sensible world there is no definiteness comparable to definiteness in words, but it is exactly qualia that set the horizon of words. There is not one single description of a group of phenomena, but people from distant cultures reach understanding in their perception of natural phenomena.

Sign–reference–meaning. Reference belongs to the virtual dimension and level of language, meaning – to real relatedness. In the frame of reference of the theory and study proposed here this triad of terms is redefined in such a way that a sign does not stand for (replace) its referent but defines it; reference is not a denoted entity, but only a relatedness.

Grammar–semantics–pragmatics. Grammar, taken virtually, is independent but is, in reality, semantically definable in a form of a life process: somebody–does–something (SVO). Grammatical categories have their semantic definition but do not come down to semantics. Grammar and semantics are not understandable outside the pragmatic context – it is the use of signs that, in the final account, confers on them meaning and spectra of references (Wittgenstein). Far from being engendered by grammar, speech is its very source. To take the ‘system of language’ as the basis of speech, as Chomsky postulates, is to take the virtual for real.

There is no universal metaphysics and ontology. There is no universal concept even for time. Concepts and beliefs like Being–Nothingness, Absolute–Relative, Necessary–Accidental, Possibility–Reality are specific, local.

There is no definite world independent of language, prior to and in front of language. But there is a shared world of humans – their life. Language interferes in the world invisibly and many linguistic notions appear to us as essences.

The real relativity has projections on three levels of human life: individual, community, global mankind.

Individual real relativity. As reality speech is inseparable from breathing, the movements of vocal chords, mouth and lips. The information carried by speech points to a form, state or doing. Statement is a vital act, not just interchange of information. Live speech does not stand against an external world but defines meaning. Grammatical form is adapted to communal vital interest.

Descriptions, questions, expressions, performances. Wittgenstein, in his Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein 1953), develops a philosophy of language as life and clears the horizon for a philosophy of language for concepts like ‘performative’ (John Austin): a statement-action – “I decide (order, invite, etc.).” An ‘illocutive act is the performance of an intentional linguistic act with certain conventional power (Austin 1962). These concepts, no doubt, represent vital communication processes.

Communication – a ‘gravitational interaction’. In communication understanding is attained by means of live meaning, in real relativity. Communication, in the sense of real relativity, corresponds to gravitational and accelerated movement in mechanics.

Communication curvature. Communication ‘curves information’ by its very accomplishment: we understand others by means of our own experience. In fact, this is no curvature, but a right line of communication in a ‘non-Euclidian’ space.

‘Gravity’. Languages are really related to human life’s processes.

Local real relativity. Real communication is not an informational, but a vital process. Taken as reality, communication is an energetic process: we share attitudes, emotions, thoughts and co-ordinate our activities. Information is motionless: what is moving is structured energy (e.g. discrete impulses). Information is given meaning wherever it is taken as information; i.e. it is re-created. When acquiring meaning, it is being ‘bended’, distorted when transmitted from one individual to another, from one community to another.

Intersubjective projection. People interchange not just messages, but experiences. Language only ideally (virtually) is an expression of thoughts and interchange of information. As a real process, communication cannot be accomplished and observed from a neutral point of view. In communication we synthesize forms of expression and behaviour, which are socially adequate and acceptable for the others, we ‘bend’ individual meanings so as to synthesize a real communal meaning.

Definition 8. Virtual projection: Real-virtual relatedness, projection of meaning into a sign (of a sign into another sign by means of a common meaning).

One’s own form is in part socially projected insofar as unconscious meanings are projected into conscious definitions and are distorted by a social Ego. Intersubjectively projected form is that part of individual form, which results from virtual projection of somebody else’s life processes. Understanding somebody else’s statement is projected form.

Global real relativity.

With differences taken account of, languages are understandable, meanings is communicable and the world is one for all languages in one form of life – the human form.

Qualia, identical for human individuals, are ‘gravity centres’ of linguistic phenomena. Words are shaped in the field of qualia. Thus, however distant, languages converge towards human form.

Thanks to human form meaning can be created and projected wherever humans live. Globality is the circumstance of all life processes and, especially, of human cultures being situated on the planet Earth. Locality is the circumstance of a community being situated with respect to other communities on the Earth. Real relativity allows defining the world in all sorts of languages and cultures. Analogously, ‘general relativity’ in mechanics allows the formulation of laws of motion in all sorts of moving systems – inertial as well as non-inertial.

Real translation ‘transfers’ meaning, not reference. As a real process translation is transmitting of meaning, not of words or grammar. Reducing translation to a formal replacement of words according to rules renders it senseless. This happens in computer translations guided by translation programmes, despite of programmers having applied dictionaries and grammars in the best possible way. The transfer of meaning is problematic. According to local real relativity every community creates and lives with its own meanings, which may be lacking in other communities. In this case a projection by analogy is made and a live situation is described.

Indeterminacy of translation. Real translation is not a complete translation. Real communication between individuals and communities is never a complete determination of referents or meanings, except for purely formal calculi. There is entropy – talking at cross-purposes, distortion, annihilation of meanings. This entropy is a result or local orders.

Rival meanings. In conditions of plurality of individuals and communities competition for the same resources is present, for synthesis and re-synthesis of life. Communities’ vital processes interfere and clash. The values of certain communities are incompatible with those of others. The life of certain communities is incompatible with the life of others.

Cross-cultural communication. Cross-cultural communication is interchange of meanings between individuals from different cultural communities (native-alien). It is unintelligible from the point of view of virtual relativity and relativism. Cross-cultural living, in which someone is alien, is strained between the local meanings of one’s own and the foreign culture. But it does exist and is subject to development, which confirms the global character of linguistic forms related to human form.

Today we are living more and more intensively in cross-culure situations.

6. Solutions of problems

As a result, owr investigation game produces some new solutions.

Vital meaning. Life exceeds all possible meanings. It is unrealistic to look for ‘the sense of life’ – a humanitarian ideologem, which never offered anything sensible beyond life itself, but only subjection to virtual projections: God beyond the world, a Good beyond good and evil things, Beauty beyond the beautiful, Truth beyond truths.

The world exceeds all possible descriptions. Every description is temporary and local. There is nothing untouchable in great ontologies, theories and ‘facts’.

Freedom-unfreedom. Conceptions of freedom in different cultures on the planet diverge up to incompatibility. In the West freedom is above all freedom of the person and in the Far East it is above all freedom from a person.

In the real relatedness of great local concepts like freedom to human form, freedom of the person is individual spontaneity of the life process and freedom from a person is getting awareness and surmounting of individual ego-projections.

Identity. One’s identification with an opinion, conviction, theory, position is an Ego: an unfree identity through unconscious acceptance of real attitudes and virtual projections as essences. Unawareness is taking the virtual for real. The attitude is taken for an innermost, interior I. Habitual thoughts are taken for ‘evidence’. Habits of mind are taken for true intuitions. Grammatical form is taken for ontological essence. Convictions and opinions are championed without awareness of relativity.

Critiques between positions are senseless if positions and sharing of the common human situation are not taken into account. That situation itself does not speak any particular language to be exalted above all other languages.

Anything can be proven or refuted from appropriate positions, insofar as proofs and refutations involve concepts and descriptions. Therefore in experience any ultimate proof of a theory is altogether impossible.

In the final account identity has a reverse power: it makes one dependent. In freeing ourselves from this virtual identity we find natural, spontaneous, mutable identities in the gradation: individual–community–humanity–life.

Global awareness. The live awareness of relativity makes our mental forms conditional and we do not expect them to be unconditionally the same as other people’s. We are ready for surprises, we explore and acknowledge other people’s attitudes and categories like religion without a God and a fate, freedom without individual independence, nature without the division in ‘human’ and ‘animal’ and world beyond the division ‘nature–culture’.

We realize the relativity and conditionality of the I, the Absolute, Necessity, Causality, Freedom.

This brings us nearer to planetary wisdom: we all, despite of our differences, are human and living beings and have to uphold our unconditional life against the destructive forces of the Universe.

Cultural relativity. The network of concepts and propositions about virtual and real relativity explains the phenomena of linguistic and cultural relativity observed and described by investigators of distant languages and cultures – linguists and anthropologists.

Artificial–natural. In the present study virtual is distinguished from real as artefact from life. Life can never be artefact. As a consequence, one is not able to create life from a non-living thing. Another consequence is that one is unable to create artificial live intelligence.

One cannot live in a virtual world. One is not born, does not live, neither die in the virtual. It is inhabited by images and signs.

A rule of the mirror. Relating is defining. Always look for yourself in the other, the alien, your mirror-image. Thus you are being defined. ‘The transcendental subject’ is invisible for itself. The eye does not see itself. One is not aware of one’s position and in this sense it is a zero-point, a reference point. Only in ‘mirroring’ the ‘transcendental’ becomes empirical and the invisible becomes visible. The unconscious is taken awareness of.

If you take it as evident that the world is divided into a subject and object think about an indivisibility of subject and object. If you take it as evident that God exists think about ‘There is no God’. If you take it as evident that you are an Absolute I think about a ‘relative I’, ‘virtual I’, ‘lacking I’. If you take as evident “I am in the world” assume “The world is in me.” “I am outside of the world” and “The world is outside me” are not devoid of meaning. All those statements are meaningful with reference to different descriptions and life processes.

West–East. Taking the East as an underdeveloped cultural area is a West-centred misunderstanding. Taking the East as a location of great Truths is an illusion. In the perspective of the West an ‘Eastern mysticism’ is discovered – a projection-concept derived from ‘Western rationalism’. A ‘contemplation’ is discovered as a polar concept of ‘action’. These ‘discoveries’ are fictions corrected by an insight into the alien from the standpoint of a free attitude. We can understand the others and the aliens. The relativism on the West–East axis dissolves on the level of human form.

‘Western description’: specificity. The Western description of the world is that description, which has been shaped in the wake of Western civilization in Antiquity and has developed till our days in Europe and North America. In categories it can be stated in the following way:

– logos: language and the world have one and the same form;

– subjectobject: man is subject and the world is object, ‘objective world’;

– culturenature: man is cultural being and nature is external to man;

– spiritualmaterial: ‘spirit’ is mixed with ‘idea’ and thus is virtualized as opposed to ‘body’ mixed with ‘matter’;

– civilizedsavage: “We are the civilized, and the rest are barbarians” – position of great civilizations;

– humananimal: man is exceptional as a thinking being, and all the other living forms are lower in comparison to him;

– scientific world view: science is objective and unlimited, and shamanism, religion and common knowledge are subjective and limited;

– rationality: the Western world is rationally organized in technology, economy, society and state by virtual ends indirectly linked to the re-synthesis of life.

Absolutismrelativism. There is no hope for the discovery of absolute truths. Truths cannot be stated in non-relative formulas. There is no special way to state the human. That is not to say that the horizon of truths is boundless: all live truths are reduced to the human form of life.

Rationalirrational (mystical). The rational does not come down to logic. There is no ‘Reason’ and ‘Understanding’: concepts result from the ordering of perceptions by means of languages. The rational is synthesis of a life process with human coming to awareness and comprehension. It is life’s shortest way through the non-living. Life transcends rational estimation and converts the rational into irrational. The world, taken independently of descriptions, is unknown and this is the ‘mystical’ (Wittgenstein).

Spiritnature. This is a purely Western opposition unknown in other great cultures. In this attitude a human being is divided into a ‘spiritual essence’ and ‘natural basis’, the latter not belonging to human being. The meanings of this attitude reduce life to vegetating devoid of meaning, on the one part, and to speech, on the other part, which is attributed unconditional sense. This attitude is unfree and is freed by acknowledging it as virtual projection.

Humananimal. Asymmetric position polarizing one species against all the others. ‘Human-animal’ isolates humans from the other forms of life. It brings with it the conviction in man’s superiority, but within the inevitable human measure. The other creatures must be subject of our rule and may be subject of destruction. Such position is deadly on planetary scale.

Subjectobject. There is no ‘object’ along with the ‘subject’, ‘in front of’ or ‘against’ it. There is no place where the subject ends and the object begins. The description of one’s position coincides with the description of one’s world.

Transcendental–empirical subject. What is experienced is a life process. This is a real, non-relative process, but not a transcendental one, since ‘I’ is related to ‘the other’. The ‘I’ does not see its own position, but whatever it sees it sees it from that position. This is a zero-position. The transcendental subject is an optical illusion, to which the invisible, local, empirical I corresponds.

Knowledge–reality. The classical opposition ‘knowledge–reality’ is strongly misleading and describes the world inadequately dissociating it from the ‘subject’. The question about the conformity of knowledge to a transcendent thing (Husserl 1907) is a pseudo-problem. From the present study’s point of view there is no opposition ‘knowledge–reality’, since reality is immediately experienced. This experience coincides with authentic cognition, while ‘knowledge’ is description in a sign system.

Humanities–natural sciences. There is no ‘Spirit’ or ‘culture’ distinguished from ‘nature’ as ‘unique’ from ‘universal’. There is no special sphere of texts, the meaning of which is outside the experienced world. One cannot be born, live and die in a virtual world, in a language, in a culture. The classical division holds back humanities from the area of scientific investigation and natural sciences from the domain of artefacts. The study of artefacts spontaneously grades into scientific one and the other way round. Only essays employing metaphorical language are incommensurable with science. On the other respect, scientific description itself is a form of culture.

‘Experience’ – logical empiricism. ‘Experience’ comes down to life process and carries the limitedness, indefiniteness and inevitable burden of the non-living, chaos, death. Therefore experience cannot be a foundation of certain knowledge.

‘Trial-and-error’ – Popper. Trial is synthesis of a possible problem solution. It is relative and does not warrant re-synthesis – description, explanation, prediction, action. Error is a deviation from the line of re-synthesis, disintegration.

‘Paradigm, normal science, scientific revolution’ – Kuhn. In Thomas Kuhn’s conception of scientific development ‘paradigm’ is ‘conceptual matrix’. This view leads to relativism if the limit of paradigmal relativity is not acknowledged. In fact researchers from different paradigms do agree about important observations and experiments.

‘Incommensurability’Kuhn, Feyerabend. ‘Incommensurability’, as elaborated by Kuhn and Feyerabend, is relativistic. Incommensurability is an effect of talking at cross-purposes described in the light of relativity as incongruence of languages, grammars, descriptions. Translation between them is non-linear and requires interpretation.

‘Theory-ladenness’– Feyerabend. ‘Theory-ladenness’ of descriptions and thereby of ‘facts’ is a virtual effect of attraction by theory (language, conceptual scheme) of descriptions. A virtual field is formed, in which a spectrum of facts, experiments, observations opens up. Taken as reality, the vision expressed in observation is unrelated to theory. The height of a mercury column or the visible position of a star is theory-free.

‘Uncodifiability of scientific method’ – Sokal. Scientific method is internal, not external, to scientific activity. It is contextual, habitual, organized, on the whole, by rules, but is not consciously applied. Put into a formula (Popper), scientific method is uselessly trivial. This is clarified in the light of relativity. Scientific research is synthesis of a new life process with a new real and virtual relatedness. It requires a new observation, experiment, new hypothesis and, probably, new explanatory theory. Nothing of that can be defined in a ‘Scientific Method’.

Corresponding concepts: families, language games (Wittgenstein), cultural relativism (Boas), linguistic relativity (Sapir, Whorf), human nature (empirical cultural anthropology), translation (theory of translation, radical translation, untranslatability), clash of cultures (Huntington) cross-cultural communication (understanding, being at cross-purposes, conflict, cultural disaster), reference (denotation), semantic framework (Carnap), conceptual scheme (Quine), information – amount of (Shannon), information – meaning (Kastler), world cultures (Spengler).

Four areas of study covered by the present work:

– linguistic relativity;

– logical relativity;

– conceptual relativity;

– descriptive relativity.


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