A thing is known through something else - a determining idea or context. We can't stand outside relation; one context or concept (notwithstanding the apparent absence of a mediating link) is the standpoint from which we see another. [1/90; 2/196:1]


Yet it never strikes us as being so. We don't see the context that forms our point of view, but through and beyond it - to what we take to be the object of our attention. [1/90]


Nor do we seem to see one form as the means of transforming another; isn't it as though change went on outside (beyond) a form of thought (rather than within and beyond it)? [1/9; 2/373:2]


Words and ideas offer other entities, not themselves, to our attention; or rather offer other entities through themselves. [1/36; 2/373:3]


It seems as though what the process of thinking deals with goes on in front of us; and consequently we have the impression that we are behind what we do - free of it. [1/37]


Objectification gives us an idea of our physical and mental activities as something which can be done without submerging ourselves in the deed, because we’re behind what goes on. [1/43]


Cf. some of my earlier notes to the effect that 'nothing can be done from outside' - and the denial that the thinker can really be outside or behind his thinking, though it may seem to us he is. (The paradox of things and ideas being 'within and beyond' is apt in this case, as in others.) [2/1]


From such a view emerges a picture (a very misleading picture) of a mind always - and as a matter of course - in a position to oversee its own activity. [1/43]


Isn't it as though I have nothing to do with what gets seen? Yet I know well-enough it isn't so.... [1/93]


What is the object 'really like' behind its appearance? What kind of assumption underlies this desire to know what things are really like behind their appearance or the way they seem - without having any point of view on them? [1/94]


As though we can grasp the thing itself, as though a context of knowledge could be put aside. Still, there are doubts. Is the world still there when we go away? Is it there at all? Wanting to look, but not to look.... [1/82]


The social anthropologist who wants to see his subject from a detached, rational point of view, yet doesn't want to make a difference to what he sees. This is an impossible aspiration, but an interesting one. [1/49]


Doesn't the anthropologist's context give him the impression he is divorced from what he sees? Even though he knows the knowledge contexts he employs make a difference... [1/82]


The object of conception seems to stand apart from the act of conception; we see what is there, whether it is seen or not. An impression of stability and permanence is gained at the cost of it seeming to the unwary that the mind's activity has no influence on what is conceived; there may be no sense that the limiting and determining power of the context is necessary to the production of knowledge; and no sense either that a subject is vulnerable to the mind's errors. [1/47]


Doesn't the illusion of being free of what we know come from the same source as the notion of things existing absolutely, ie from the absence of any conception of the determining relationship that mediates this knowledge? [2/307:11]


The context seems to place what is seen or expressed beyond the determining relations. Hence the tendency to look beyond the context which brings about a transformation. [2/354:8]


It isn't so much the illusion that we might be able to gain access to a something not in the mind (the thing in itself) that strikes me, as the power of this illusion to reintroduce itself into my mind time and again, even after I have understood why and how it arises... [2/243:1]


The illusion that we might gain access to something beyond the mind not mediated by a form of knowledge or experience follows from the way what is thought or experienced is 'placed' (via the shift of aspect) beyond the determining relationship which yields it. (See eg 1.13.4.) [2/356:2]


'What is known' is perhaps objectified in the sense that we aren't conscious at the point of acquisition that we do see it from within a determining context... [2/175:1]


And all that's meant by saying we presuppose something (as in saying; 'A context of order is presupposed in assigning advantage to a random mutation.') is that the context isn't apprehended as a determining factor in respect of the advantages the mutation is conferring on it. [2/182:4}


Say I try to insert a square peg in a round hole; do I make a mistake about square pegs or round holes? The question is meaningless isn't it - since to be wrong about one is to be wrong about the relationship between them. But why does it seem fleetingly possible there might be a sensible answer? [1/85]


Isn't it that the aspect shifts and we lose sight of what it is (the relationship of distinct entities) that makes the hole 'wrong'? [1/85]


It isn't a problem of apprehending the determining context (we know there has to be one) but of seeing how it is done. We aren't and couldn't be in a position to see the overlap - the continuity constituted by the shift of aspect that relates the determining context to what is determined. [2/146]


'You can't see two things at once'. (In the interpretative sense of 'seeing', eg a duck/rabbit.) It wouldn't surprise people to be told this would it? [1/82]


They know the mind isn't free of what is seen in that sense, but because their minds and senses are dissociated from what is before them, people don't identify the limitation with a determining attachment to what is seen. (See 2.25.10-11.) [2/159]


We tend to think we aren't constrained by our relationship to the world because we don't think of there being any permanent relation between ourselves and the world. In our way of seeing we have become free of it. [1/108]


Isn't the impulse to want to see without making a difference a consequence of releasing the mind from the world? It will always be possible to use this freedom absurdly..... [2/195]


Objectification is more than a matter of the mind seeming to be able to overlook its own activity and stand behind the thinking. For along with dissociation, doesn't it introduce that sense of things standing free in the world? And of contexts standing free and independent both of what is expressed and of each other? The sense that 'Everything is itself and not another thing'? [2/89]


Objectification/dissociation is at the root of much that perplexes us, including the way the aspect of things changes in different contexts. [s2/47]


It underlies the impression that a determining context transforms things employing no discernible means... (See 2.12.3.) [2/67]


Dissociation - detaching the significance of what is determined from the determining context (via the shift of aspect) - produces this impression. [2/67, 2/112]


A significance is conferred on things through the dissociation of the determining context. (See 2.12.1-13.) [2/200:1]


In consequence of dissociation, language has acquired an autonomy which makes the world seem subordinate to its structure - without revealing the means whereby this ascendancy is sustained. [2/197:3]


Dissociation also seems to promote the fragmentedness of the world and license its confusions; the variations in appearance, the mutability of qualities - and perhaps our tendency to assume a durability in ideas and things not related to the circumstances which sustain them. [2/110]


Objectification involves the relationship between the self and the world, whereas dissociation involves relationships between any entities, including the former. [2/111]


The most important distinction associated with these concepts is probably that between things that seem to stand free of each other (dissociation) and things that stand free of us (objectification). [s2/89]


Thus objectification induces the impression that things exist independently of the knower; and dissociation that they exist independently of each other. [2/135]


Isn't there an unbridgeable gulf between the first and third person views of the world? It seems to be possible in principle at least to give an account of how things work from the third person point of view citing the evidence of reality exhibited in relations between entities which are objectively verifiable. Whereas the former view is haunted by the hiatus between mind and what we claim to know or experience. The evidence is seen to be problematic as soon as the third person relations are attached to their first person source and its relationship to what is known. Yet the views aren't separable. [2/235:3; 2/361:4]


Experiences are generated by first person relationships. The relations between things are third person (objective) and can be communicated - but only as the subject-matter of experiences which are themselves inaccessible to others... [2/270:7]


Dissociation ('everything is what it is and not another thing') leaves distinct entities, including mind and the world, unrelated. [-]


The notion that everything has its own boundary perhaps induces us to suppose that the mind and senses must in some way mediate the world of things while remaining apart from it. [2/214:6]


But 'nothing can be done from outside'. A context transforms another by introducing aspects of itself into it through the determining overlap or by assimilating aspects of other contexts in the same way. (See 2.12.1-13 and 2.13.1-6) [2/87; 2/225:9]


The functioning of the mind requires a standpoint - a limit from which to start; and this limit is always located at the nexus of a link not itself conceived because it falls at the node point formed by a shared aspect. [2/202:6]


'We can't afford to place anything (even 'nothing'!) between the steps, because it would not then be possible to account for the fact that we get from one to the other.' (2.24.3.) Isn't it the placing of our point of view between the steps that makes it impossible to give an account of how ideas and meanings change their aspect? [2/223:3]


This is the limbo from which things 'emerge (as if by magic) as something else' (2.16.6); the mind's blind spot, the place it occupies in fulfilling its determining role. [2/311:2]


Objectification/dissociation introduces this gap between the determining context and what it determines - and thus the illusion of our being able to occupy a position outside of everything. The corollary is that it seems possible we may have no effect on things at all... [2/223:1]


The objective status of things is substantiated by a picture of the physical world which seems to suggest it is remote from an observer, isolated by the interval between observer and object. The sense of space lends support to the idea that the observer is disengaged - or stands behind what is perceived. But within the terms of the view pursued here, 'nothing' (that is, space) is something, indeed is as much a part of the objective world as anything else in it - and, as such, forms a part of the context in which things are seen. Once the sense of space as 'nothing' is vanquished, it is clear there is no discontinuity in this sense between the perceiver and what is perceived. Our impression of the world's remoteness derives from a context of perception in which space functions as a metaphor of physical disengagement. [2/98]


Doesn't the idea of physical space make the concept of seeing things intelligible? [2/301:7]


A corresponding logical gap or 'working space' is introduced between the mind and the world, the context and subject. [-]


If objectification can be said to introduce this gap between the determining knowledge context and is what is known or determined, dissociation similarly punctuates the relationships between entities themselves... (See 3.6.1-3.) [2/103]


There is no mysterious hiatus between the mind and the world or any other entities - except these contextually-determined gaps introduced as the shift of aspect assigns a significance generated by relation to a constituent aspect. [2/203:10]


The first person view, set in the midst of things, yet seeming to occupy some transcendent position 'at the back of the world', makes it difficult for us to understand how our conceptual position is critical in determining what is seen. It tends to seem to us we see what is there - whereas discovering what is there is a matter of the search being prefixed with the appropriate contexts, of our being in the right position to see things. Minds don't determine what is seen in the sense of choosing which contexts apply. I can't choose for there to be a ballpoint pen on the magazine page, or the exam to be at 9.30. These matters have already been determined; I must endorse a determining context that supports or is congruous with them in order to see what is there. (See 1.12.3-7, 1.13.3) [2/158; 2/315:4]


The mind is peripatetic and is always shifting its position, changing its tenancy to get a better view or different view, or reach the next place. We just don't notice we do it. (See 1.10.1, 2.12.6 and 4.7.4.) [2/308:4]


It doesn't seem to us our actions are prefixed by any picture of how things are or by a design we have on the world about us, unless one we have consciously formed and introduced. [2/99]


I don't assume there is no one in the room when I switch off the light on leaving it - I just switch off the light. But my action does or doesn't gain sense from a set of circumstances which either accord or conflict with what I do. [2/171]


Just by thinking or acting don't we seem to have a point of view? How could it be otherwise - we are part of everything that's around us. We don't adopt this point of view - but we do become part of that piece of the landscape, occasioning its determinacy, by electing to 'begin from here'. [2/135]


We may also choose what is to determine our view and in that case what lies behind our view is itself adopted. Thus we can choose to have a point of view, but can't choose not to have one; it will be there whether we conceive it or not. [2/135]


Could every concept be said to form a point of view on what follows? What purpose would it serve? Concepts don't function individually, but as parts of a whole - so why should they be said to form points of view individually? Notes 4.2.1-8 suggest the discovery of meaning in words can be precipitated by the analysis of relations and other interventions. This also seems true of points of view; they may appear wherever seen - without necessarily serving a useful purpose. [2/112]


Nothing establishes a point of view, other than the arrangement of ideas it determines. The relationship is reciprocal; the point of view determines what is seen; and what is seen (conceived or perceived) determines the point of view. [2/175]


There is no certainty of knowledge in any of this; knowledge is achieved when our arrangements agree with something determined independently of them. (See eg 1.13.9-11.) [-]


The arrangement of ideas and impressions within a knowledge context aims to support the independence and autonomy of the relationships beyond it - but may merely engage with inanity, especially since 'objectification' operates without discrimination in this respect, as readily detaching the mind from its own fabrications and errors as from authentic representations of matters of substance. [-]


The capacity of ideas and impressions to project an illusion of substance into a void of reality ('Iago is an honest man') testifies to the fact that representations in the mind aren't as easily dissociated from the relationship to what is beyond it as their distinctness and difference might suggest. (See 1.12.1-9 and 1.13.1-11.) [-]


We can't know that what we see as objective and beyond our ideas and impressions is as it seems. 'Seeing' in this sense doesn't yield knowledge. It is important to bear this in mind because it provides a check on the powerful illusion we have that we can know things without the mediation of a context - and the risk of error introducing a context entails. (See 1.13.3-4.) [2/150]


The independence of what is known is established relative to the context in which it is seen; but seeing doesn't give it this independence and in that respect is deceptive - as is the hiatus (introduced by the shift of aspect) which the mind transcends by no apparent means in achieving its insights into the world 'beyond' thought and experience. (See 1.13.4.) [2/156]


Yet the impression that knowledge is a state of mind is very persistent. Can it be entirely wrong? Doesn't knowing things involve some external situation or circumstance registering on the mind as a state of awareness or certainty? [2/302:2]


Suppose it does. Isn't it the case that a state of mind only amounts to a state of knowledge where it comprises a pattern of relationships ('Iago is an honest man') in turn related to something not determined by the mind? (See 1.13.11.) [2/302:3]


Reference and intentionality echo the absence of certainty in this relationship between mind and its object. [2/94]


The arrangement of ideas or perceptions in a context always brings about the assignment of a quality or significance to some subject; a bottle looks 'small' or a steeple 'distant'. (A significance gets into things....) [2/152]


The observation that 'I find this chair comfortable' doesn't necessarily assign comfort to the chair. Though it might be taken to be a quality of the chair, it could be interpreted as the report of an experience, or indeed of a relationship between a particular individual and a particular chair. It must be assigned to something


Isn't the notion of a contextual influence migrating into the subject ('foreignness' into the behaviour) just an attempt to get rid of the determining context by subsuming it into what is seen? The behaviour is seen as foreign; isn't that all there is to be said about it? What alternative could there be, do you imagine, to our seeing things thus or thus... [2/103]


But I meant only to describe what happens, to describe objectification or dissociation and the shift of aspect! [2/103]


The qualities or properties introduced by the determining context become aspects of whatever they are assigned to; perhaps to the behaviour seen as funny or foreign, or my impression of it, or to something quite illusory, bestowing honesty on Iago (see 3.10.1-2) or an extension into physical space on the image of a ballpoint pen. Why do I find this confusing? Isn't it because the qualities or properties assigned by this process have no determinate place in it...? [2/374:2]


The shift of aspect 'carries' significance from one context to another (even when nothing exists to bestow it on) via an overlap. Isn't the source of my perplexity here? Contexts are related and distinguished by this change of aspect. If the relationship were determinate, it wouldn't work. [2/374:3]


Perhaps I try to decide whether a contextual influence 'goes into' the subject (Is this behaviour absurd; or is absurdity in the context mischievously deployed against it?). Doesn't it seem here that we should be able to divide the relation between the determining context and the subject and allocate qualities to each, perhaps avoiding confusion by confining 'absurdity' to the determining context? [2/100]


We can't of course. Even if there is nothing intrinsically absurd in the subject, once seen thus, dignity or solemnity must be restored in the same way it was denied - by being 'seen' in it anew. That isn't to deny some qualities belong to the subject and others don't. The problem, if there is one, is in the picture of how this comes about and what it entails. [-]


When we attempt to free a ‘subject’ of the significance assigned to it, we find we can’t separate them as it had seemed we might. The illusion that it might be possible and the impossibility of doing it are due to the significance being both in and beyond the ideas we are attempting to isolate it from; to it being both related to the subject and dissociated from it by a shift of aspect. (See eg 2.1.1, 2.4.1, 2.13.6 and 2.16.7. [s2/112]


Where the dissociation of what is seen from the seeing occurs, it resembles the dissociation of an effect from its cause or an idea from its context insofar as it isn't possible to explain how the influence of one aspect of the relationship has crossed the divide into another; and it seems as though the significance conferred by the relation could exist in its absence because the recipient of the contextual influence is independent and quite distinct. Once conferred on the subject by a shift of aspect, the meaning or significance seems to belong to it absolutely - all traces of its origin in the determining context vanquished by the shift itself. [2/103]