Diminished A Priori Representations of Others

By a diminished representation of someone, I mean a representation that lacks the qualities and details gained through experience. A diminished representation agent A has of the agent B cannot have the content generated by the cause originating from the agent B, which is transformed into a neurological effect in the agent A. There are immediate neurological effects originating from the agent B, but there is no long-term causal history between the two agents. Thus, the only thing the agent A has is a diminished, a priori representation of the agent B.

Now, only those who we know are real for us in a posteriori sense. The formation of shared causal history in the neurological level through the interactions of cause transforming into an effect creates a neurological framework of a posteriori experiences. The rest of the population are mere diminished a priori representations such as the sales person, the man on the street, the hot babe, China, the enemy soldier and so on.

These diminished representations can only be a priori approximations. They are rapid categorizations of individuals who are as they are, but from whom we have no knowledge of what they have been through, what is important to them and what they believe in. And as such, the individuality of a categorical a priori approximation does not have significant relevancy. The people who form the representation of a crowded street could be replaced by other group of people without significant relevancy to the representation of a crowded street. The persons in a night club could be similarly replaced by another group, but if the people in the night club were a group we shared a history with, the significance of replacing them with another group would have relevance.

Now, in effect of these diminished a priori representations, we form extremely egocentric bubbles with the group of people we know. Outside this egocentric bubble is an entire reality of people whose lives have as much value as our own. Not for ourselves, but in the value of human existence in general. The essence of their being is unreal in the details we cannot have a posteriori knowledge of. Beginning to know more about someone can be seen as an increasing resolution in the representational self of the other. This a posteriori knowledge associates details to them, making them more real to us. And through a posteriori knowledge, they become valued, important for us. Yet, the only difference between the persons they are and who they would be for us if did know them is in the forms of a priori- and a posteriori knowledge. And if you consider this matter further, you will note how these two forms of knowledge play their part of enabling the difference between the world in peace and a world in war.


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