The Outer Limits of Knowledge

Misunderstanding the world in fundamental ways, as we generally do, we more often (and collectively) seek continuity and security in those things which are only very rarely able to provide them. It may even be that the world is at base unintelligible and that for all our vainglorious aspirations, there exists no irreducible and cognitively-translatable Fact, Theory or Truth of (all) things; only progressively-refined approximations on an endless asymptote. Being that observable affairs and states at an approximately human scale are fairly predictable, causally attributable and (for all this) logically sensible, it is perhaps inevitable that we should assume this patterned order and regularity as foundational and then proceed to project our acquired intuitions upon both the staggeringly vast cosmological and vanishingly small sub-microscopic worlds of our (fairly recent) technological discovery.

What if rationality and material sensibility is not an anchor and rock of certainty but only an island of relatively stable continuity in an infinitely-extended ocean of irredeemable enigma, paradox and discontinuity ? For our human and rationally intelligible world to make sense it need do little more than maintain coherence within a circularly self-supporting and hyper-inflating recombinatory volume of definitions and references, each iteratively composed of other such definitions and references, without effective base or foundation. Logic and intelligibility might appear foundational because from within that sphere by (and through) which their own practice and activity are derived and self-validated, they are actually necessary consequences or emergent inevitabilities. The expanding and recursively-exponentiated power sets of all possible truths and facts permissible from within such a system of constitutively self-reflective knowledge entails that system appear as self-evident and logically sensible as seen from within itself, otherwise it should have long ago collapsed under the weight of its own unsustainable and implausible uncertainty.

 

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