Motif and Background
A general insight pervades my vision of reality (s.l.).
Every named particular state of affairs, S, within the universe can only be such a state of affairs if it is in some way contrasted with its negation, non-S. Expressed in another way, every Motif is embedded within a Background, or, again expressed in an other way, every Motif presupposes a Background. If this was NOT the case, then an indication of such a state of affairs, for example in a proposition, would lack any assertive nature. If for example everything would be RED, implying that there would not exist any negation of it, no background, then the term RED (applied to something) would not mean anything, because we could just as well denote everything as (being) GREEN, or any other NON-RED.
RED and GREEN would then just be different words or concepts (mental signs) signifying the same (state of affairs).
In the same way BEING presupposes NON-BEING, because not EVERYTHING can BE, for example something that IS its negation cannot BE. We also can speak about things which are not there anymore, or about things that do not yet exist. So BEING (assigned to things) has assertive meaning, because not everything IS.
In fact the co-existence of Motif and Background follows from the Principle of Contradiction, probably the most fundamental principle. If EVERYTHING would be RED, it could just as well at the same time be NON-RED. This is a contradiction, so we must conclude : Not everything is RED.
On the basis of this Principle of the co-existence of Motif and Background we can expect all possible kinds of states of affairs (existing) in Reality, which relate to each other as Motive and Background, like :
The first two pairs are more or less related, and are very important in Metaphysics.
- Principle ------------------------- Concretum
- Abstract(able)[immaterial] ------- Concrete [material]
- Dynamic ------------------------- Static
- Species [general, universal] ------ Individual
- Matter --------------------------- Form
- Essence [per se] ----------------- Accident [per accidens]
- Intrinsic Totality ------------------ Aggregate
- Subjective (knowledge) ---------- Objective (knowledge)
- Motif ---------------------------- Background
- Being ---------------------------- Not-being
Concrete state of affairs are governed by non-concrete principles.
When we consider the pair EXISTING IN ITSELF and NOT EXISTING IN ITSELF, and we apply this to an abstractable feature, say, a mathematical pattern which we can discern IN some material objects), then we should also expect immaterial beings -- existing AS immaterial beings -- to be present in the extramental (material) world. This by the following reason : The above mentioned features exist in things, they do not exist in themselves, and are as such present in the extramental (material) world. But the principle of co-existence of Motif and Background would demand -- besides the presence of these features that exist in things, and which are by consequence material -- the presence of abstract features which do NOT exist in things, and are by consequence immaterial features.
But this obviously implies two worlds, ONE INSIDE ANOTHER, a Real World and an Ideal World.
This seems to me very improbable. We have to do with two different ways of being, a material way and an immaterial way. A material way of being means in-formation of Prime Matter, resulting in a Form-Matter composite, which implies observability by the senses, and, related with this, changeability. The negation of this all is equivalent to an immaterial way of being, which implies non-observability (by the senses) and non-changeability.
So it seems reasonable to postulate a separate immaterial but objective world (separately existing from the material world), a sphere of Being which we can call the Ideal World. In such an Ideal World (a world populated with immaterial abstract entities, as such existing in themselves, not existing in something else) we also, and in the same way, can assert the necessary co-existence of Motif and Background, because even in an abstract world we can, for example, abstract features from the already immaterial entities (For the assumption of an -- objective and independent -- Ideal World alongside a Real World, see the beginning of the Essay on The Universal ).
back to main text