General Ontology
Cosmos and Nomos

Theory of Ontological Layers and Complexity Layers

Part XXIX (Sequel-25)

Crystals and Organisms

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This document (Part XXIX Sequel-25) further elaborates on, and prepares for, the analogy between crystals and organisms.

Philosophical Context of the Crystal Analogy (II)

Since the previous document, we are discussing the Categorical Laws (in the context of the theory of ontological Layers serving in turn as the philosophical background and framework for the crystal analogy).
So far we have considered the Laws of Applicability, the Laws of Categorical Coherence, and the Laws of Categorical Stratigraphy, while we are still dealing with the Laws of Categorical Dependence, of which we are presently discussing the first Law, viz., the Law of Strength (Categorical Basic Law). We continue now with the text of the previous document :

This Law is, however, far from being self-evident, and especially the direction of dependency is often reversed in theories (lower categories depending on higher categories). Indeed, when we reverse the direction of dependency, we do not need a NOVUM anymore, because then we start with the highest content and deduce from it the lower content (simply by removing something), that is to say, we deduce a subset from a set.
Earlier we indeed had entertained the possibility of the highest entity being the starting point of all. This highest then, simplifies to a graded series of the lower ( = holistic simplification), while all this then explicates (into the observable world) in reversed order. All this theorizing was meant to get rid of the necessity to assume the periodic appearance of a NOVUM.
But let us here postpone this theory for as long as possible, and assume, for the time being, the periodic appearance of a NOVUM, which means that the constitution of reality is from the bottom up, starting with the lowest categories, and proceeding by over-forming and over-building, reflecting the periodic advent of a NOVUM. And it is the collective concretum, for instance a human being, that demonstrates the direction of categorical dependence, i.e. it demonstrates that the lower categories (the categories having less content, such as the inorganic categories) are the strongest.
We (largely following HARTMANN) will say more about it later, when the other Laws of Categorical Dependence are discussed.
But before this is taken up, we must consider just another misunderstanding about the categorical dependence.
It is, namely, conceivable, that one is tempted to interpret the dependence of higher categories on lower categories as a form of dependence of a concretum on its principle (category) :  The vertical categorical dependence within the system of Layers would then be some sort of categorical determination. The lower category Layer would then relate to the higher as to its concretum. Especially the reappearance of lower categories in corresponding higher categories would point to it. This is so because the concretum, in a way, contains its principle or category. This analogy, however, is wrong. Neither the dimension nor the type of dependence is the same in both cases. Of all categories one can say that they are associated with a corresponding concretum. So this also applies to reappearing categories (because they are as such just categories). It follows that these reappearing categories determine in a two-fold way :  in one way they do it with respect to their concretum, in another with respect to the higher categories in which they reappear. But these two determinations do not coincide, but lie in different dimensions. This is already evident by the fact that the higher category determines a concretum different from that which is determined by the lower category that is contained in the higher category. The next diagram illustrates the difference.

Figure above :  A lower Layer of Being (blue) and a higher Layer of Being (yellow).
Lower category and its concretum.
Higher category and its concretum.
There is an analogy between the lower and the higher concretum because of the reappearance (and concomitant modification) of the lower category in the higher Layer.
Types of determination indicated.

The above diagram illustrates different types of determination. As an example (in this case a special category) one could let the two concreta stand for the phenomenon of  r e g e n e r a t i o n  :  The lower concretum is then regeneration in crystals, while the higher concretum is regeneration in organisms. The lower Layer is then the Inorganic Layer, while the higher Layer is the Organic Layer.

The same applies to the type of dependency (already indicated in the above diagram).
The phenomenon of reappearance of categories cannot demonstrate the equality of categorical determination on the one hand, and categorical dependence, on the other, because reappearance is not all-out :  Many categories do not reappear in higher Layers.
While every collective concretum contains all general categories of its Layer, it is not so that every category of a given Layer contains all categories of the lower Layers (meaning that each higher-layer category has taken up its corresponding lower-layer category, and so, by virtue of coherence, would contain all lower-layer categories) :  Some categories are totally new, as is the case in the over-building relations. So the higher categories do not generally behave as if they were 'concreta' of lower categories.
Moreover, a (collective) concretum is wholly dependent upon its determining categories. Not so a higher category Layer upon the lower Layers, i.e. although a higher Layer depends upon the lower Layers, it does not completely depend on them.
All general features of a given (collective) concretum are determined by the general categories of its Layer, while these categories in turn are partially determined by lower-layer categories and partially by the NOVUM of the present Layer. The lower categories determining higher categories (in virtue of their reappearance), leave, in these higher categories a broad play for determination of a different origin (the NOVUM).
The lower categories determine, within the framework of the higher, just certain very general and subordinated features, which are, it is true, fundamental, but do not make up the specific nature of those higher categories and with them that of their corresponding concreta. They just determine as a conditio sine qua non (i.e. a condition that must, in every case, be satisfied, but which is still not a sufficient condition). And such determination lets the determined only be partially dependent.
More important still is another difference (between categorical determination and categorical dependence). The categories of a given lower Layer do not exhaust themselves in their determining higher categories. Also without such determination they are what they are. For principles (categories) with respect to their concretum, it is characteristic that they fully exhaust themselves in determining this concretum. Such a principle is in itself, i.e. without its concretum, not independent  ( Therefore the category -- analysed as If / Then constant -- contains the concretum [which is its Then-component] ). A lower category, although as such, i.e. without its concretum, not independent, is surely independent within the relation of it (partially) determining a higher category, that is to say it is independent insofar determining a higher category). So this relation is not a category-concretum relation. This independency of a lower category with respect to a higher category that it partially determines is expressed in the second Law of Categorical Dependence, namely the Law of Indifference.
Clearly one should, in considering categorical dependence within the framework of Layers, leave out all analogy with categorical determination (category-concretum determination). Lower categories are not 'principles' of higher categories -- at most one could say so with respect to the Fundamental categories -- , but either their 'matter' or their ontological base. So it is said by the third Law of Categorical Dependence, namely the Law of Matter, which indicates the limits of the being-stronger of lower categories. Matter namely (i.e. matter in the ontological sense, and having as its counterpart form), also determines :  As over-forming of given matter not everything is possible, but only that what that particular matter allows. But such determination does not touch upon the specific nature of the higher.
Within the framework of the Layers we have to do with two types of superiority, viz., in the form of strength and of height.
The superiority of the higher consists in the wealth of content, of structure, in the from Layer to Layer increasing quantity and quality of content. On the other hand, the superiority of strength consists in its being-a-foundation, its independence and determining power.
The determination, issuing from the lower categories (onto the corresponding higher categories [not to be confused with the determination of the lower categories' concreta] )  is more unconditional and irresistible. It is not dependent on the richer content of the higher categories. On the contrary, the latter depend on the determination issuing from the lower categories. The determination issuing from the higher categories can never go against that of the lower. There is in the World no power whatsoever that could neutralize or even only transform the latter. And in the case of a conflict, as many theories want to see it, the higher determination would give way to the lower.
But this view (that assumes conflict) would mean that in the real World higher being -- life, consciousness, objective spirit -- would never have the chance to appear. But in fact there exist the higher Layers of Being, enjoying the same reality as the lower Layers do. Already this is sufficient ground to acknowledge that the relation between superiority of the stronger and superiority of the higher in the domain of categories cannot have the form of conflict, but of something else.

The last two Laws of Dependence (to be dealt with), viz., the Law of Matter and the Law of Freedom, are concerned with what form the relation between superiority of the stronger and the superiority of the higher actually has.
But before we discuss these two categorical Laws, we first turn to the second Law of Categorical Dependence.

The Law of Indifference

The lower category Layer surely is basic with respect to the higher, but it does not exhaust itself (as to what it is) in this being basic. Also without the higher Layer the lower Layer is an independently determining layer of principles.
Also as a whole, a category Layer is -- if at all -- only conditioned from below, not from above. It is indifferent with respect to all the higher.
Lower being has not in it any destiny toward the higher. It is indifferent as to all over-forming or over-building it may undergo. Its layer-independency consists of all this.

One cannot fully grasp the significance of the Categorical Basic Law (the Law of Strength) without also considering the Law of Indifference.
We know that the higher (partially) depends on the lower. This implies that the lower is independent of the higher, it does not presuppose the higher. Therefore it is indifferent with respect to the higher.
The dependence of a higher category upon a lower, consists in the fact that the latter is included into the former. But this is not the whole story of categorical dependence as such. This dependence alo refers to the conditioning of a whole higher Layer upon a lower Layer. And in the case of over-building, many general categories of the lower Layer do not reappear in the higher Layer, which means that these non-reappearing categories do not as such, i.e. individually, condition higher categories. But  as members  of the lower Layer, these non-reappearing lower categories do, together with the reappearing ones, determine the higher categories-as-members-of-the-higher-Layer, that is to say, the whole higher Layer is (albeit partially, because they have a NOVUM) conditioned by the whole lower Layer (in fact by all the Layers beneath it). Said differently :  The higher categories are collectively (partially-) conditioned by all lower categories taken together. And all vertical intercategorical dependency, in the sense just described, is unidirectional, the higher (partially) depends on the lower and not vice versa.

As for the concretum, an inorganic being (or material) is fully determined by its categories, fundamental, general and special. As for it to be an  inorganic  being without (further) qualification, it is fully determined by (to begin with) all Fundamental categories, and  all  General categories of the Inorganic layer. For it to be just an inorganic being, it does not need to be co-determined by one or more organic categories (because it is as such already completely determined by all inorganic categories [and all Fundamental categories] ).  Therefore such a being is categorically self-contained. There is no need for it to develop into an organic being, or, in other words, its content (making it an inorganic being) is already completed, and does not need to be supplemented by organic elements in order to be this content. This state of affairs reflects the indifference of the Inorganic Layer with respect to the Organic.
If all this were not so, the organic elements would already be presupposed by the inorganic elements. In fact the content of an inorganic being would already be organic were its categories not indifferent to organic categories. All this is more or less equivalent to saying that in that case all inorganic beings have the tendency to complete themselves into organic beings. But that would in turn mean that no inorganic beings were left. They all are organic beings. And this is clearly not the case.
The same applies for the Organic with respect to the Psychic  ( Here all the psychic categories are only collectively conditioned by lower categories [i.e. not one by one with respect to each one of them, but at most with respect to some of them], because the Psychic over-builds the Organic [instead of just over-forming it] (Only some individual categories are over-formed at the transition from Organic to Psychic). An organic being is fully determined by its categories, fundamental, general and special. As for it to be an  organic  being without (further) qualification, it is fully determined by, to begin with, all fundamental categories and  all  general categories of the Organic layer. Thus in order to be what it is supposed to be, an organic being does not need categories of higher Layers. So the constitution of an organic being does not in any way presuppose consciousness. As such it is not in any way geared to become a conscious being. If this were not so, psychic elements were already co-constituting the organic being, turning it in fact into a conscious being, resulting in there no non-conscious organic beings left.
And again, the same applies to conscious beings with respect to the objective spirit (Geist).

So here we have everywhere the Law of Indifference applied. The lower can surely have the  capacity  to let itself be over-formed or over-built, but it has not an inherent tendency to do so.
Violating this Law in speculative thinking has more impact as regards to the resulting world view as one may think at first sight. Let us paraphrase HARTMANN, when he speaks about all this in his Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940, p.531-533 :

If, namely, the lower Layer, instead of its being conditioned by still lower Layers (if there are any), is conditioned by higher Layers, be it only just in the sense of a destination towards them, then the concrete entities of that lower Layer (its collective concreta) must in their totality (i.e. all of them) have the teleological tendency to ascend into the higher Layer. In holding this position one should claim something that contradicts all observation.
It is not true, that all physico-material being has the tendency to become organic living being. The origin of life in the Universe is subject to conditions of which it is easily understood that they are present as rare exceptions only.
In the same way it is not true, that all living being has the tendency to become conscious, and that all conscious being tends to elevate itself into objective spiritual being. Clearly, only a very small fraction of physical (inorganic) being is formed into organic being. And only certain of the highest organic forms become conscious (namely the higher animals). In both cases the origination of higher being is based on a categorical conformation that cannot be described as a predetermination or destination of lower categorical configuration. In any case observational experience does not support this, and a priori one cannot know anything about it.
And in the same way we cannot claim that all consciousness ascends to objective spiritual being, or even only having the tendency to do so. It would, if it did, get through to personality, to ethically assessible acting, to creative formation of a society and to the objectivity of shared knowledge. Far remote from all this, is the spiritless consciousness as is observed in higher animals, and as has existed for a long time in the beginnings of human evolution. The non-spiritual consciousness is contained within the vital forces, within the dance of natural inclinations, requirements and instincts. A tendency to transcend all this is alien to the non-spiritual consciousness. And although it is true that we cannot -- based on our experience -- draw sharp boundaries, it is easy to see that the awakening of spiritual life in the phylogenetic line of change of consciousness, is deeply characterized by the advent of a whole system of higher categories, which indeed let spiritual being stand out in all its domains, and (is) not (characterized or originated) by a mere explication ( = unfolding) of that what was already implicitly present in primitive consciousness (HARTMANN is here fully acknowledging the genuine creativity of organic evolution [ in the sense of organic transmutation] ).
One can, it is true, when considering the whole sequence, more or less legitimately express all this as 'higher-formation' or anagenesis. But one should, to prevent metaphysical misinterpretation, care not to understand anagenesis as 'development' or 'evolution' in their literal senses (something de-(en)veloping [un-wrapping] from its envelope, and, respectively, something un-rolling from an enrolled or coiled-up state, where in both cases the higher is supposed to be already present). Anagenesis should be understood exclusively as the periodic advent of higher and higher forms of Being (where "higher" means :  more and richer content and structure), that is to say as categorical over-forming or over-building of lower being by higher.
To emphasize it again, 'evolution' (or 'explication', or 'development') taken literally, presupposes the higher already to be wrapped- or folded up in the lower. And this means that in all genuine 'evolution' the higher is, as a germ, already present in the lower. Such 'evolution' is not creative, it cannot lead to anything new  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.532).

Nowadays one is trying to artificially device dynamical systems that are allegedly creative (See about such [interesting] attempts, First Part of Website :  the many documents dealing with dynamical systems [cellular automata, boolean networks, dissipative systems] and about Artificial Life, where one will see that it is not easy to determine whether a given process is really creative).

So the term 'evolution' or 'development', when used in the formation of the higher, must be interpreted as  generation  or  origination,  i.e. the creation of the new, or the advent of the NOVUM.
In the individual development of organisms, on the other hand, the term 'development' is also appropriate in its literal sense, because here we have largely to do with an unrolling or un-wrapping from a germ.

If one departs from the relationship of category and concretum, then it is no problem (HARTMANN, p.532) that for the concretum the ascent to higher being only secondarily takes place, while the latter is as such already pre-existing in the categories, which themselves do not have a temporal existence  ( In terms of If / Then constants, categories do indeed not really actually exist, but only  a p p l y.  The higher being is 'pre-existing' in the Then-component).
If  (HARTMANN, p.532)  there were an ascending 'evolution' (in its literal sense) present in the relationship of the dependency of Layers, then all lower being must contain the teleological compulsion to make it (all the way) to the higher. The World process would end up in a state that all things have arrived at the highest form of being. In what way this contradicts known facts was explained earlier. But it contradicts also well-known and verified natural regularities and rules :  Organic being cannot at all exist without the enduring inorganic base in which it is embedded. That is to say, when we have organic beings, the inorganic must still be around to support life. And likewise it is evident that spiritual being cannot exist without a substrate that is non-spiritual consciousness, above which it edifies itself, and by which, and from which, it lives. But we know also that not all conscious beings are spiritual beings (for instance the apes).
So if all lower being went up into higher being, then all support has vanished, and this is then nothing else than self-destruction of all higher being (because it then has no ontological foundation anymore, and although this foundation is still not a sufficient ground, it is definitely a conditio sine qua non for it).
The Law of Indifference says that nowhere in the World there is preformation from Layer to Layer, and thus no unrolling of the preformed, but only over-forming of the lower by the higher, and where this fails, only over-building.
With respect to both types of stacking relationships, the being of a given lower Layer is totally indifferent. Both are accidental to it. The lower never, and at no level, has the tendency to carry something higher or being included in it as an element (HARTMANN, Ibid., p.533).
But apart from that, the lower has turned out to have the capacity to ascend to higher being, but this only means that it just happens to be suitable for it to be over-formed or over-built by certain higher forms of being. And it does so when certain conditions are met. If the latter are not met, that's allright to it, it does then not ascend. When we say that the lower is "suitable for it to be overformed or over-built" we in fact mean that it is not suitable to evolve into higher being all by itself, but that it will not resist being over-formed or over-built by a NOVUM (and all that that entails).
We will now turn to the third and fourth Laws of Categorical Dependence, beginning with the third Law.

The Law of Matter

Everywhere in the ontological stratigraphy where we see the reappearance and over-forming, the lower category is 'matter' for the higher (which then is its 'form'). Although the lower category is the stronger, the dependence of the higher upon it only extends so far as the intrinsic nature of that 'matter' narrows down the play of higher-formation. The higher category cannot form just anything from its corresponding matter, but only that what is possible in this matter. It cannot transform the lower elements (because these are stronger than it), but only over-form them. The determining power of the matter cannot go beyond such a limiting function (i.e. the function of narrowing down the spectrum of possible higher structures). And where the higher category Layer only over-builds the lower, the latter is even not matter anymore, but only an ontological base. And with this the influencing power of the lower is further diminished.

We have seen that the objective spirit (which is the collective concretum of the Super-psychic category Layer) presupposes consciousness, while consciousness as such is not geared to objective spiritual being, having reality also without it. Further we saw that consciousness is tied up to organic being, so that it can only exist when the latter is present as its carrier, while the organism in turn is not dependent on consciousness and also not geared to it. That further organic being is only possible in the presence of physico-material being, while this in turn can exist without organic being.
So we have, within the stratigraphical framework a dependence in the downward direction (the higher depends on the lower) and an indifference in the upward direction (the lower is indifferent with respect to the higher).
But in fact this is only half the truth, i.e. only one side of the categorical dependence relations. The strength and indifference of the lower do not exhaust the categorical dependence relationships as they reign in the World. Were one assessing the Layer sequence in the light of only these two features (strength and indifference) one would be biased.
The other side or aspect of categorical dependency resides in the Law of Matter and in the Law of Freedom.
Whereas the first two Laws of Categorical Dependence (strength and indifference) lay stress on the dependence of the higher and the independence of the lower, the third and fourth Laws are about that by which the higher is independent and autonomous. This is because the higher is only dependent upon the lower in a certain respect :  either as over-forming of the lower, whereby it absorbs the lower categorical structure as a structural element, or as over-building, which only requires the lower as a carrying base. Clearly, in the case of over-forming the dependency of the higher is larger and in a more intense way involving content, than in the case of over-building.
Does one, therefore, wish to unearth the aspect of autonomy of higher-level being with respect to lower-level being, one should start with the relationship of over-forming. Because here the dependency (of the higher upon the lower) is larger, the autonomy of the dependent is more questionable. But if this autonomy is demonstrated here (i.e. in the relationship of over-forming), then it is directly evident in the case of over-building. That's why the Law of Matter immediately only concers the over-forming. Its range of validity is not, however, so much limited as one would think at first sight. It is a fact that over-forming is not totally confined to the transition from inorganic into organic. First of all, the Fundamental categories, starting already in the Mathematical Layer, pass through all subsequent Layers (and are thus from Layer to Layer over-formed). Further, we have categories, like Time, that, starting in the Inorganic, pass through all subsequent Layers above it. Finally, there are some higher categories that reappear in still higher Layers. All this reappearance involves over-forming of the respective categories. So within certain limits, over-forming takes place at all Layer boundaries, implying that 'pure' over-building does not actually exist. Everywhere lower categories reappear, they form a kind of 'categorical matter'. And it is therefore this 'localized' or punctual matter as well as the comprehensive matter (representing a whole Layer) that is the subject of the third Law of Categorical Dependence (the Law of Matter).
For further elucidation of this Law we can best depart from the Law of Indifference. As long as one sees the indifference of the lower Layer with respect to the Layer on top of it, just as the self-containedness of the lower Layer with respect to all higher Layers, one does not exhaust the essence of the Law of Indifference. It still has another side. And this concerns, at each Layer boundary, not the lower, but the higher Layer. If one realizes what precisely indifference of A with respect to B means, then one finds that it implies, apart from the independence of A with respect to B, also an independence of B with respect to A. So when, to begin with, B is dependent on A, then indifference of A with respect to B, means that B can only be dependent on A in only a certain respect, while in another respect it is independent of A.  This other side of the indifference, with respect to the stratigraphic relationship, thus consists in the indifference of the lower Layer of Being with respect to what new form sets in in the higher Layer, i.e. what, with respect to specific content sets in. Such indifference is the opposite of determination. The lower Layer thus has not only not a destination towards the higher (has no tendency to become the higher), but also does not in any way determine, what precisely will originate in the higher Layer as a result of over-forming. Such indifference, then, with respect to possible over-forming, is clearly that of matter (in a categorical sense). The corresponding Law, then, must be the Law of Matter  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.540 ).

While this Law mitigates the dependency of the higher Layer in the case of over-forming, because the matter does not at all totally determine higher categories, this dependency is further decreased where the higher Layer over-builds the lower. There the lower Layer is not even (or only partly so) matter for the higher, but only its ontological base or foundation, and only determines as does the capacity of a substrate to carry (i.e. the capacity of the given substrate to carry something, determines what, in all cases, cannot be carried). For also an ontological base cannot carry everything whatsoever, but sets certain limits to that what it can carry. It, however, does not positively determine the  content  of that what it is going to carry  ( In the case of over-forming there is still some determination of content of the higher by its matter).
We speak of one Layer over-building another, when at least one general category fails to reappear. Such a category, then, cannot of course determine (part of) a positive content of any category of the over-building Layer. Some other categories do (in all cases of Layer-overbuilding) reappear, and do then of course partially determine the positive content of the corresponding higher categories. An example is the category of causality, which, beginning in the Inorganic Layer, reappears in all subsequent Layers with concomitant over-forming.
In both cases, viz., over-forming and over-building, one can say :  No higher power whatsoever, can neutralize the elementary form on which it rests. But also no elementary form whatsoever, can, all by itself, create the higher.
The relationship that obtains here, is something well-known in everyday life. One can illustrate it well with the Aristotelian example (analogy) of the construction of a house. Bricks and beams do not determine the  plan  and  shape  of the house. Their determining consists in their admitting only certain types of construction that comply with their properties. In this way matter co-determines. But this determination does not refer to the intrinsic content of the specific construction plan. It only narrows down its possibilities. And this limitation is such that it remains indifferent with respect to all specifics of the form. That indeed is the intrinsic way by which matter determines :  It does not presuppose the form, does not imply it, it is rather only the condition in virtue of which the form is possible at all. It holds this form fast onto this ground, does not let go, and shines through it. Its contribution to the total determination of the form is therefore a compulsive one. But measured in terms of content of the form, this determination is only minimal contribution, a frame as it were, of possible formation  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.541 ).
Although this state of affairs is simple and almost self-evident, it is an insight of relative recent origin, having involved diverse detours.
Almost always, when one acknowledged the determining force of the lower Layer of Being with respect to a higher Layer, one overestimated it with respect to content. But where, on the other hand, one acknowledged the qualitative independence of the higher, there the determining force of lower Layers was overlooked. Almost all metaphysics was concerned exclusively with these extremes in this respect. Both extremes, however, do not hold.
The Law of Matter is critical reflection with respect to both sides. It in fact says that the truth lies in the middle.
As categorical Law it says that every lower Layer of categories co-determines, it is true, the high-level formation, but at best only as its 'matter', if not, only as its ontological base (Seinsfundament). The being-stronger of the lower is just a determination from the bottom up. And such a determination does not go beyond a conditio sine qua non  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.541 ).

In the Inorganic-Organic relationship, which is a pure relationship of over-forming, this applies literally. The atoms and molecules, together with all their physical rules, preserve themselves within the constitution of the organism, as well as in the specific system of processes, which makes up its being-alive. But the organism's intrinsic structure and the equilibrium of processes in which they maintain themselves, do not come from them (i.e. they do not come from the atoms, molecules and all their physical rules), but belong to the high-level formation. Certainly, the organism remains subject to the laws of its inorganic elements. Its motion in space remains conditioned by gravity, inertia and physical energy, whether it consists, as tropism ( = reacting to external stimuli), in walking or flying. But the tropism as such, the purpose-oriented function itself of the legs or wings and all that it entails, has its intrinsic nature coming from purely organic factors.
Not so evident are things at the transition from Organic to Psychic. Fore here no simple relation of over-forming is the case  ( It is the case only with respect to some individual categories), and thus no relation of matter. Some categories, it is true, do reappear, other categories, however, fail to do so. Here we have over-building. This does not mean that now an entirely different dependency law applies. It only means that here the dependency becomes more tenuous, that is to say weaker, and even seems almost vanishing with respect to certain higher functions of psychic life. Insofar as the matter-form relationship limits the dependency (of the higher on the lower), it is surpassed by the foundation-superstructure relationship (i.e. the relationship between the ontological base and the higher structure that is carried by it).
Also this is in principle evident when one (in one's consideration) sticks to the observed facts. The physiological processes as they are tied up with organic form, are in no way elements of psychic events anymore, but they are their carriers and conditions of being. They do not return or reappear as a content in consciousness.
In the same way as at the organic-psychic boundary, things are at the psychic-superpsychic boundary. Spiritual being is not psychic act, and its laws are different. But the executional nature of the act preserves itself in it. The act just grows into a different system, different with respect to content and significance. This different system is itself in no way act anymore, it rises far beyond the limits of the act-executing consciousness, into a domain of common spiritual life, a domain which uniformly persists and develops through the continuous change of individuals. But also this higher system always remains hooked back to consciousness and psychic act as to its carrier, and cannot exist without it. It is even, because of this, temporal (i.e. existing in Time), and this being tied up with Time becomes evident and accessible in the historicity of the objective spirit. And, mediately, in virtue of the being-carried of consciousness by organic being, this higher system is even spatial (tied up with space). Surely, the objective spirit is as such non-spatial, but its actual existence in the World is, by its being hooked back to the lower Layers of Being, spatially localized. However, beyond such being hooked back, this bottom up dependency (i.e. dependency upon a substrate), immanent in the relationship of over-building, does not go. This means that it is much weaker than in the relation of over-forming. It hardly involves content anymore. For the object- and cognitive relations, by which all concrete beings become, from the bottom up, again content-determining in spiritual life, are entirely different relations, namely (connected with, or coming from) a specific NOVUM of the objective spirit  ( The mentioned concrete beings do not become subordinated or included into the objective spirit, but are intended)  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.544 ).
It is now time to turn to the fourth and last of the Laws of Categorical Dependence :

The Law of Freedom

Are the higher categories conditioned only according to their matter, or even only by their ontological base (or foundation), they are, despite their being weaker, by virtue of their NOVUM, free (autonomous) with respect to the lower. The NOVUM is namely new, qualitative formation. This superiority constitutes the being-higher, regardless whether lower elements are being over-formed or over-built. Only the weaker has freedom with respect to the stronger, because it is the higher. It therefore has its play not within the lower, but over and above it. For because the lower, as it is in the higher, is only an element, and as such exists indifferently with respect to its over-forming, respectively over-building, the play of the higher above it is necessarily unlimited.

This fourth Law of Categorical Dependence is in fact a law of independence. It is the counterpart of the Law of Matter and already shines more or less through the latter. But it adds to the mere negative limitation of dependence, as expressed by this Law of Matter, the actual positive content of this limitation, namely the autonomy of the higher categorical structure.
As counterpart of the Law of Strength one could call it also the "Law of Height". For this is its sense, that there is, alongside the priority of the stronger and the being-elementary, a priority of the higher, and all this within the same stacking of Being and its categories (One should realize that content and structure of concrete entities [concreta] go parallel with those of their determining categories, because categories -- themselves being If / Then constants -- contain in a way their corresponding concreta). This priority of the higher not only consists in the wealth of structure, and also not only in, say, the content of meaning or sense (meaning :  "making sense") and value -- which uncontestably is right, but which as such is not an ontological aspect --, but also in a certain type of independency, or, positively expressed, in 'categorical freedom' and autonomy.
Because according to the Law of Strength the higher is dependent on the lower, there could seem to be a contradiction, for the independency, expressed in the Law of Freedom, refers to the higher with respect to the lower. So we must first of all resolve this apparent contradiction. And this is not difficult :  The dependence of higher categories on lower is only partial, and so leaves room for some independencey of the higher. Higher categories depend on lower, only as on their matter (over-forming) or as on their ontological base (over-building).
If the lower category Layer were not indifferent with respect to the higher, which rests on it, and if the higher were not just conditioned by the lower as by its matter or even only as by its ontological base, but were also conditioned (by the lower) with respect to its special content, then, with the lower categories being stronger, there could be no autonomy of the higher. In that case a higher Layer cannot hold a NOVUM against the lower Layer. Higher Layers would then fully consist, and only consist, of the sum of reappearing categorical elements. And, of course, according to the Law of the NOVUM (third Law of Categorical Stratigraphy) this cannot be. Reappearance as such is not what constitutes higher forms. The strength of lower categories is only that of elements. It is, from Layer to Layer, as in the Aristotelian example of bricks and beams :  They do not constitute the construction plan of the house, they only are limits of its play. And thus from Layer to Layer the lower categories only impose a limitation of play for the higher categorical structure, while this latter itself is, against the lower, an autonomous structure  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.545 ).
Because the lower category Layer is indifferent with respect to the higher, the Law of Freedom can, without contradiction, hold against the Law of Strength, that in spite of the being-stronger of the lower categories, the specific content of the higher is a NOVUM (and thus autonomous) with respect to the lower.
Indeed, a higher category, or higher category Layer, must involve autonomy, because it is (by definition) only higher when it is a principle (or collective principle) of a new and qualitatively superior formation and so implying autonomy. Therefore the categorical freedom of the higher is about an independency within dependence, about the independence of the dependent, without spoiling the dependence. In an equivalent way one can also say that categorical freedom of the higher is about the coexistence of structural superiority of the higher with the being-stronger of the lower within the ontological stratigraphy of the World. And this relationship holds at all Layer boundaries, regardless whether the higher categories over-form the lower as their matter (i.e. whether the lower reappear in the higher Layer) or just over-build them as their ontological base or carrier (i.e. whether all or most lower [general] categories do not reappear in the higher Layer). The stronger categories are at the same time the poorer, and cannot, despite their power of determination (of a concretum), influence the specific content of a higher concrete being (while they do fully determine the content of their (own) concretum, which determiniation is not categorical dependency). And this means :  At every Layer boundary (i.e. at every transition from one Layer to the next higher Layer) there remains play for higher-formation 'above' the lower. This play is the free range of possible autonomy of a higher Layer of Being.

It is now time, while still discussing the Law of Freedom, to again concentrate on the allegedly appearance of a NOVUM at every Layer boundary. Indeed it is the Law of Freedom that makes this NOVUM -- as NOVUM -- explicit. The idea of the successive appearance of a categorical NOVUM, as proposed by HARTMANN in his Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940, is based on the large qualitative gaps as they are allegedly visible in the general series of phenomena :  Inorganic Nature, Organism, Consciousness, Objective Spirit. It is then assumed that these gaps are the result of corresponding gaps in the categorical structure that underlies these phenomena, or in other words, the gaps as they are visible in the observable world reflect some corresponding discontinuity in the categorical make-up of the World (i.e. in the domain of the World's principles). Indeed, if we interpret a category as an If / Then constant, then the structure of that what is determined is in some way already present in the category.
The alternative to such a Layer theory is a theory that does not assume the mentioned successive appearance of a NOVUM. But then it must somehow place all potentialities of 'development' of the World's stuff -- potentalities to develop life, consciousness, objective spirit, and what not -- right into the beginning of the history of Being. And this means that, with respect to initial nothingness, it must assume the appearance of a great NOVUM, a hyper-NOVUM, we might say. And after that, nothing truly new will ever appear again, and, indeed, cannot appear again, that is to say all potentially new types of being are already implicitly present in the beginning. What we see as development is nothing but the unfolding or explication of that what was already present in an enfolded manner. This scenario is the bottom line of the so-called  " Theory of Everything" where researchers are looking for one single master equation or master nexus according to which the World unfolds, i.e. according to which things successively turn from an implicated state into an explicated state. Because of this one single master equation, the whole of temporal reality is then consisting of one category Layer only, which means it is not layered at all.
The fact that this theory places everything already in the beginning -- albeit in an implicit way -- implying no true creativity (only successive unfolding) of the world process and no openess towards the future -- is a problematic point for it (but still doesn't prove it wrong). Further I doubt whether such a theory will, even only in principle, ever to be able to account for the enormous diversity and complexity of existing concrete beings, and for the apparent huge gaps between the mentioned domains of phenomena. And, connected with it, whether it can account for all the subtleties that we encounter in plants and animals and in conscious beings (in the latter their distinction between an inner and an outer world).
But, as we will see, the theory of ontological Layers and successively appearing NOVA, although enjoying the fortunate position of having to presuppose only a more or less humble beginning of the history of Being (i.e. only inorganic matter and inorganic laws), and of being open to virtually any novel developments (not in its literal sense), also has its problematic points :  If we analyse what the appearance of a categorical NOVUM actually means, we will see that it necessarily entails the appearing of local indeterminacy which is, by the way, totally overlooked by HARTMANN. When accounting for final causality (as is present in the objective spirit, that is to say in the goal-oriented conscious actions of human beings) he avoids assuming any indeterminacy. Instead he assumes different types of determination (in this case nexus categories), each one of them characteristic for a particular category Layer. But these different nexus categories are assumed to be the result of the successive and step-wise over-forming of causality (also where higher Layers over-build lower Layers), and these over-formings are themselves the result of (or identical to) successively appearing NOVA. And it is these NOVA (as any NOVUM does) that necessarily entail local indeterminacy. Although the necessary assumption of local indeterminacy within the determinative web of the World looks problematic, it is not totally alien. In Quantum Mechanics it is encountered. And although the world of Quantum Mechanics is, according to me, about deficient beings, the latter can sometimes be connected to macroscopic beings (efficient beings), as the thought experiment labelled "Schrödinger's Cat" demonstrates.
In the next Section we will discuss the above problems concerning the NOVUM more deeply. The NOVUM will not be discussed with respect to its alleged content (as we have done earlier with the NOVUM as it is supposed to appear in the Organic Layer), but with respect to its general ontological status.

NOVUM  or  Unfolding of the preformed?

( Ontological Status of the categorical NOVUM )


On our Website, especially its Fourth (i.e. present) Part (See discussions in I and II of the present Series of Documents), we have given much thought and attention to HARTMANN's theory of the NOVUM, i.e. the truly new aspect  (thus not merely the phenomenologically new, but the categorically new, i.e. the new with respect to the very principles of observed phenomena)  that appears at a junction between Layers of Being or (equivalently) category Layers. Crossing from the Inorganic to the Organic HARTMANN postulates the appearance of an organic NOVUM (Nexus Organicus), that is responsible for the specific and goal-oriented organization of chemical processes. Then, at the transition from the Organic to the Psychic, a psychic NOVUM is postulated, that somehow is responsible for the remarkable interior world that is actually experienced, when the (higher) organism explicitly distinguishes its 'Self' from its 'not-Self', and which ability we call consciousness. Finally, at the next Layer boundary, there appears again a NOVUM, a super-psychic NOVUM, that is responsible for spiritual life.
Such a theory has always troubled me, because I keep on asking where such a NOVUM comes from (which is as such, of course, a silly question, but serves to find out what a novum is and whether such thing is possible at all). If it comes from the next lower level, then it is not a NOVUM, so it must, if it is really a NOVUM, come out of the blue.
And one has Darwin's theory of evolution, which proposes a more or less gradual development of lower organisms into higher ones. Extrapolated downwards, this leads to a theory of the origin of life from the Inorganic. It all seems so plausible (even HARTMANN accepts the theory of evolution [in the sense of organic transmutation, and not in the sense of unrolling, unfolding or explicating] )  that life has originated from inorganic materials and has developed further into higher organic forms, all the way up to conscious beings, and even further into social and moral conscious beings. After all, in the beginning the Earth was not at all suited to harbor life, so it must have been started from inorganic conditions. And, OK, we must understand 'evolution' and 'development' not as unrolling (unwrapping), but as origination, generation and transmutation. But even then it is unclear what these terms should mean in the context of inorganic and organic history.

Let us see what follows when we do not accept the periodic appearance of a true NOVUM to account for life, consciousness and objective spirit.
Obviously we will then follow the modern dynamical systems approach as it is used in research on artificial life, or on chemical- or computer models of the origin and further development of life. Here it is supposed that complex dynamical systems exist that generate novelty from more or less simple conditions or beginnings  ( In First Part of Website much attention is devoted to such systems [cellular automata, boolean networks, L-systems, dissipative systems, etc.] ). Here we have the transition from simple and less ordered initial conditions to complex and ordered patterns. At first sight this is a promising avenue to the understanding of the origin and development of life.
But is it really going to account for all this ?
A dynamical system in general, and thus also a (special) system that generates complex patterns (morphological or behavioral), is governed by its dynamical law. Such a law can be seen as something mathematical. When it is physically interpreted, we obtain one of the many possible initial states or conditions of the system. From this initial condition the system will deterministically go its way -- following a particular trajectory -- and finally reach some end state, which could be either a steady state, or some cycle, or it could end up onto a so-called strange attractor along which it runs indefinitely without ever visiting a state in which it already has been in earlier. Especially the steady state and the cycle state (i.e. a periodic cycle) could turn out to be a well-organized complex pattern. This complex pattern can then, in theory, represent a 'higher form' with respect to the (pattern representing the) initial condition. In this way we indeed have avoided the assumption of the appearance -- out of the blue -- of a NOVUM. The higher form, generated by the dynamical system, IS our NOVUM, but fortunately, not coming out of the blue. But of course such a 'novum' is not a genuine NOVUM, because it was already implicitly present in the dynamical law and initial conditions of the dynamical system. And because the dynamical law of such a (particular) system is just a special case of (the set of) general natural physical laws (as they really are, not as we think they are), the essence of life and consciousness must already be implicit in those general physical laws. And when conditions are right, these patterns, that is to say life and consciousness, will necessarily appear.
This is the bottom-line of thought of those evolutionary biologists and philosophers who do not accept any genuine NOVUM to appear out of the blue during the Earth's history. In most general terms we have to do with the so-called  " Theory of Everything", which assumes that the history of all being can be described by one single master equation, which, when physically intepreted, in such a way that we have the appropriate initial condition, unfolds itself, and as such is then the history of Being. Indeed, the assumption of the appearance of a genuine, say, organic, NOVUM introduces a mysterious element into biology, and it is understandable that one tries to avoid such an assumption.
But is the theory that avoids this NOVUM, i.e. the theory described above  ( The theory along the lines of the dynamical systems approach, or, more generally, the  " Theory of Everything" )  less mysterious?
Indeed, at first sight it looks far less mysterious than assuming the periodic appearance of a genuine NOVUM. But is it really so?
The dynamical systems approach to the origin (and further development [transmutation] )  of life and consciousness must assume such dynamical laws and initial conditions that deterministically lead to high-level complex patterns. Simple dynamical systems transmute into more and more complex dynamical systems that generate very complex and organized patterns that are eventually organic patterns and patterns of consciousness. But then these organic patterns and patterns of consciousness (conscious patterns) must already be implicit in even those simple initial systems, when we do not accept the periodic appearance of a genuine NOVUM.  I think that this enormous potential, that is assumed to be present from the very beginning, is at least as mysterious as the periodic appearance of a NOVUM.  It is, as I think now, even more mysterious. This is so, because when we admit the successive appearance of a genuine NOVUM at several  advanced  points along the trajectory of the Earth' history, the NOVA appear (or can apply) when some appropriate substrate has finally been formed (by unfolding) on the basis of relatively simple initial conditions, that, all by themselves, cannot lead to life and consciousness. The appearance of a NOVUM is then more plausible (certainly with respect to the first and last ' NOVUM ' that must be assumed at the very beginning of the history of Being by a theory of everything) :  It only appears when a lot of 'preparatory' work has already been done (where the term "preparatory" can only be used after the fact, that is to say, no teleology is here assumed). And indeed, if we accept the successive appearance of a NOVUM along the trajectory of the Earth's history, the basic natural laws can be assumed to be much more simple than they would have to be if all the potentials to develop life and consciousness were already implicit in those laws. We then would not, in our explanation, have to start with basic natural laws that are unimaginably complex (at least with respect to their unfolding). No, they are relatively simple (certainly with respect to what they can unfold), and in being so, they create relatively simple patterns  ( It has been found that simple systems can generate highly complex patterns. But are they then simple? Further, the absolute degree of complexity is in fact low, first in the sense that they have until now, in experiments, never reached the status of even, say, the complexity of a humble bacterium, and secondly in the sense that the complexity must in fact be measured not in the system's result, but in its algorithm or dynamical law. In this sense a simple system can never generate a complex result. This result is as simple as the system's dynamical law plus initial conditions. The difference between the two is that the result is unfolded content of the law + initial conditions).
And again, in the context of the successive appearance of a NOVUM, the initial dynamical system can, moreover, i.e. by an additional reason, be itself relatively simple right from the start (it doesn't need to be initially complex), namely when we assume, with HARTMANN, that a lower Layer is indifferent as to the content and existence of any higher Layer (Surely a Layer of Being is a category Layer, and that means that it is a [coherent] set of categories, which in turn means that such a Layer cannot really exist. However, what we, in the present discussion, actually mean by the "existence of a Layer" is the existence of all relevant sufficient grounds [which are the If-components of the If / Then constants] implying that the categories now apply).
So no 'preformation' of the living and of the conscious has to be assumed (when accepting HARTMANN's theory of NOVA). An initial relatively simple system runs its course and from time to time a NOVUM appears. If the substrate, already developed so far, turns out to be appropriate, the NOVUM materializes and a new Layer is formed.
Let us investigate what all this means (and not means).
The NOVUM needs not, in this theory, be supposed to be existent beforehand. It must, however, pre-exist as an If / Then constant (where the NOVUM is the Then-component). If circumstances happen to be right, the If / Then constant applies and the NOVUM appears. In this framework the categorical NOVUM (i.e. the NOVUM as a category) is the If / Then constant, while the Then-component (all by itself) is its concretum.

But this assessment of the categorical NOVUM as an If / Then constant is not entirely consistent.
We have said that an initial general dynamical law, which contains the whole potential to develop life and consciousness (and in which there is no increase in complexity reckoned from the physically interpreted dynamical law ( = initial condition of system) to the final pattern that is generated), is not so likely. Such a dynamical law, as any dynamical law, is a category, and more specifically a nexus category. But if we, in accepting the appearance of a categorical NOVUM, see this NOVUM as an If / Then constant, then we have (in our theory) returned to a category which is, in the present context, certainly a dynamical law that is in some way present and creates phenomenal complexity all the way up to life and consciousness (where these phenomena just unfold from the law, and consequently are not something really new). But we'd just said that this was not so likely. So we are forced to categorically interpret the NOVUM in a different way, a way which clearly shows its newness (novelty) and does not disguise it in the form of a potential as part of a dynamical law.
The categorical NOVUM should, to comply with all this, have the following general structure :

If  X,  then non-N

where X is a disjunctive set of conditions, and N is the genuine novelty. It is further assumed that there can be no sufficient ground for N to appear.
In itself, N could be the concretum of the category If  X,  then N.  But this category does not hold, because X will result in non-N.
The specific nature of the  If  X,  then non-N  category must be such, that it, all by itself, i.e. without a cause, sometimes happens to be

If  X,  then N,

and then, indeed, when X is the case, genuine novelty will follow.
Here we see, in a dramatic way, what it entails when we assume the appearance of a genuine NOVUM somewhere along the trajectory of the history of Being :  The determinative fabric of the World is  i n t e r r u p t e d  here and there and from time to time, that is to say we are forced to admit that there is some play for freedom, i.e. that there is local indeterminism, at least at the categorical level. And this is unavoidable when we accept the NOVUM.
HARTMANN, Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940, pp.557, says that every Layer of Being has its own type of (concretum-concretum) determination (its own type of nexus) (Such a concretum-concretum determination is itself the concretum of a nexus category, or, said differently, the general and specific nature of some concretum-concretum determination, such as causality [general] or the law of planetary motion [special], stands under [i.e. is determined by] a [general or special] nexus category).
In the Organic Layer it is the Nexus Organicus (taken generally) that determines, as a category, the organic concretum-concretum determination, and which is an over-forming of causality (where every special Nexus Organicus [specific for some particular organic species] is an over-forming of some special inorganic dynamical law). But this over-forming takes place through the action of the organic NOVUM, which here is the nexus organicus itself (while many other organic features are over-formings, for which the nexus organicus is responsible).
In the Super-psychic Layer the specific type (but general for the Layer) of concretum-concretum determination is itself determined by the nexus finalis (final nexus, final causality), which is the result of over-forming of the psychic nexus (which is itself an over-forming of the nexus organicus) in the context of an over-building of the Psychic Layer by the Super-psychic Layer (and where the Psychic Layer is an over-building of the Organic Layer) (Recall that also there where layers overbuild, some categories nevertheless reappear, resulting in over-formed categories). Also in this case we have to do with the appearance of a NOVUM, and thus with a local indeterminacy.
This latter is not seen by HARTMANN.
A local indeterminacy, as found in the discussed cases, means a partial indeterminism of the World as a whole. Where and when local indeterminacy is the case, it is total indeterminism. It is an interruption of the World's determinacy, which latter consists of several types of determination.

With all this, we are, however, not done yet with the analysis of a categorical NOVUM.
It is necessary to delve deeper into the general nature of it in order to fully understand what exactly is meant when we claim that somewhere up along the line of history, i.e. the history of being, something NEW appears. Let us, for the time being, limit our discussion to the phenomenon of Life, meaning that N (as we saw it in the above formulas) is the concretum of the nexus organicus, which itself is the organic nexus category or If / Then constant.
If we assume the constant

If X,  then non-N
changing to

If X,  then N

somewhere along the mentioned line of history, then from that moment on (organic) novelty will appear wherever the condition X happens to be met. But from then onwards we have a world possessing the complete potential to give rise to life. The new constant,  If  X,  then N,  applies everywhere (i.e. its range of relevance is the whole World), and wherever X is satisfied, N will follow. But then, from the viewpoint of theory (applying Occam's razor), we can happily ignore the initial part of the described history of Being, that part namely, where we not yet had the  If  X,  then N  constant. And then we are wholly back to the assumption of the Theory of Everything (or its special biological version), in which it was claimed that all potentials are already present, right from the beginning.
It is clear that this is not the way to characterize the (organic) NOVUM, but rather to deny it.
To remedy this we could assume that the category randomly oscillates between  If  X,  then non-N  and  If  X,  then N.  But this is not consistent with the actual long-term presence of stable life on Earth.

In order to reach a solution for this dilemma, some facts are very important :
We know that, apart from the events that took place at the origin of life, life is only generated from life. If life is lost (by the death of some individuals), it is not replenished from the inorganic world, but from the organic. Once got off the ground, life has to sustain itself, and indeed it does. And it seems that when it is totally wiped out, it will not automatically appear once again.
In the light of all this we're beginning to understand that a categorical NOVUM, as such, i.e. as something really NEW, implies (by its very nature) some aberrant properties. It implies them, however, precisely because it is new :  These aberrant properties are not as such assumed by some ad hoc theory, but unfold the precise meaning of "new".

The categorical organic NOVUM can now be described in terms of  If / Then  constants as follows :

Generally the constant  If  X,  then non-N  applies. Further we assume that there cannot exist conditions that necessarily lead to N (where N is the concrete organic nexus, and where the (nexus) category  If  X,  then N  is the Nexus Organicus, if there were such a category). The presence of inorganic matter (and energy) is a general conditio sine qua non for life to appear at all, meaning that without inorganic matter there can be no life, but at the same time meaning that it is not a sufficient condition. Indeed we know that the Inorganic will not, totally from itself, give rise to life. It is indifferent to it.
The condition X in the above constant is the special conditio sine qua non for life to appear, namely the maximally attainable conditio sine qua non. It is that specific state of matter (in its physical meaning), that is absolutely necessary for life to appear. But also this special conditio sine qua non is still not a sufficient condition for life to appear. Thus, when X is satisfied, N will not appear, because  If  X,  then non-N  applies.
But we now assume that this particular category can fluctuate, it can, for no reason at all, suddenly switch to its opposite :  If  X,  then N.  If this occurs, then everywhere (in the Universe) where X happens to be satisfied (representing the existence of physical matter in a particular state of complexity), life will emerge (in its primordial stages). And from then on the constant  If  X,  then N  will continue to apply, but only within the organic 'machinery'. Outside the latter, it will not apply, i.e. there the original constant  If  X,  then non-N  will apply.
Said differently :
After biological life has originated as a result of (1) the fortuitous transformation of the constant  If  X,  then non-N  into the constant  If  X,  then N,  and (2) the condition X being locally satisfied, the new constant  If  X,  then N  continues to apply, but its range of relevance is limited to the actually existing organic domain (organic machinery) only.
The original constant,  If  X,  then non-N,  also applies, but only outside the actually existing organic domain. Thereby it is possible that this category fluctuates again. And then again, wherever in the inorganic the condition X happens to be satisfied (in the organisms it already is), life will again originate from an inorganic substrate, and now also in these new organisms the constant  If  X,  then N  keeps applying, while it does not apply in the inorganic domain.

We have said that when the category  If  X,  then N  ([now] taken generally) 'flashes up' from the original category, the concrete NOVUM,  N,  will appear wherever the condition X is satisfied.
For the organic NOVUM,  X is a certain complex state of  inorganic  matter and energy (i.e. a certain chemical configuration).
For the psychic NOVUM,  X is a certain complex  organic  state of matter, i.e. chemically complex matter, forming patterns whose succession (from one pattern to another) is determined by a particular, very complex and appropriate version -- that is to say, a highly evolved version -- of the Nexus Organicus)
For the super-psychic NOVUM,  X is an association of a great many related organic individuals, each possessing a highly evolved form of consciousness geared to function within the association.
So in this latter case organic individuals with highly evolved consciousness are (already) presupposed in the categories  If  X,  then non-N  and  If  X,  then N,  where N is the concrete super-psychic NOVUM.  And of course, organic conscious beings themselves in turn presuppose the psychic and organic NOVA.  But this looks like we have returned to the Theory of Everything, where all higher structures are already implicitly (and thus at least as categories or principles) present from the very beginning.
We can solve this problem by emphasizing that for all  If / Then constants,  the If-component (which was X in the above cases) -- and also the Then-component -- is not presupposed. Only when the If-component is actually materialized somewhere, the Then-component follows necessarily, meaning that  only then  the category is 'present', i.e. the category is only then present, when it actually applies. In all other cases the category is not 'there', and so its components are not presupposed. This is in accordance with HARTMANN's position that a category does not exist in the absence of its corresponding concretum.

So when we have our  If  X,  then N  constant, this constant, or category, and with it the condition X, is in no way present as long as the category is not actually applying. So X is not presupposed, but only present when the category actually applies, and the category does not apply until X is present. And in this categorically peculiar case (i.e. the case of a spurious category as we might say) the category continues to apply only  within  the concretum that was initially determined by it. The spurious category is in the present case the constant  If  X,  then N  resulting from the spontaneous switching of the category  If  X,  then non-N  to its opposite. And because all categories are only 'present' when they actually apply, their range of relevance can only be assessed (by us) after the fact.

If in an organism the condition X is no longer satisfied anymore, it will die, and return to the inorganic. From there it cannot be retrieved, because the inorganic is the range of relevance for the constant  If  X,  then non-N.  As has been said, life must replenish from its own stock, and it indeed does.

The characterization (i.e. status, not content) of the categorical NOVUM that appears in the Psychic Layer, and also of that which appears in the Super-psychic Layer, can be done along the same lines as we did it for the organic NOVUM.

All in all we have to admit several types of nexus categories, characterizing each Layer :  causal nexus (Inorganic Layer), organic nexus (Organic Layer), psychic nexus (Psychic Layer) and final nexus [i.e. final causality, or, equivalently, super-psychic nexus] (Super-psychic Layer). The latter three are successive over-formings of causality, and represent the appearing NOVA. The concretum of these nexus categories are themselves concretum-concretum determinations. Further we have the other category-concretum determinations (i.e. those apart from the nexus categories), and, finally, the Categorical Laws, which are category-category determinations and themselves categories.
And this overall determinative fabric is from place to place and from time to time somehow interrupted by spots of total indeterminacy.
At the transition from Inorganic to Organic, this happens when the causal nexus of the Inorganic is over-formed in virtue of the advent of a totally new element, resulting in the Nexus Organicus. This over-forming is described by HARTMANN in several places in his work, among others in his Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940, p.560.  The lower levels or Layers are not over-determined (in fact it is the concreta of these Layers [which are category Layers] that are not over-determined). Their processes give varying results, varying because of, for example, interfering noise that is present everywhere. The over-formed nexus (i.e. the nexus resulting from over-forming) overcomes this interfering noise, and so leads to a definite, specific and repeatable result. This repeatability is the new nexus law.
In physical processes, for instance crystallization, there may be, with respect to the crystallization of a particular substance under the same thermodynamic conditions (temperature and pressure), several different possible outcomes, which all have, however, the same lowest energy. So in such a case there are several equally possible outcomes -- several equally possible crystal structures. Observation of crystallization, however, shows that always only one particular lowest-energy structure materializes.
While it could be that here there is, in all these cases, in fact only  one  lowest-energy configuration of atoms after all (meaning that all other configurations have higher energy), we could expect that this is not so in many complicated biochemical reaction networks, as they occur in organisms :  Several different results are then energetically equally possible, but in the organism (i.e. in an organic context or environment) only one is chosen. If this is so, we have here an instance of some directive agent that is implied by the organic NOVUM.
All this is, in its generality, acknowledged by HARTMANN, but he has overlooked the fact that the introduction of the categorical NOVUM (in the theories) necessarily entails a local  indeterminism (while HARTMANN denies any indeterminism, local or univeral).
Maybe in the domain of 'deficient beings' -- with which quantum mechanics deals -- such 'macroscopic' local indeterminism (as we have just described) is already anticipated.

Turning now to the alternative theory that rejects the assumption of any NOVUM, we can ask ourselves what is worse :  the assumption of localized indeterminism, or the assumption that all potentialities to create life, consciousness and beyond, are already present in the basic physical laws of inorganic Nature.
The drawback of the latter assumption is that there is then in fact not a genuine  openess  of Nature towards the future (i.e. towards future developments). It is true that life, consciousness, etc. will appear only when certain initial conditions are actually satisfied. So there is a certain unpredictability in all this (but only for us as [not] knowers, not for Nature). But all potentialities are initially present (as assumed by the alternative theory), and when all of these are materialized, there can be no further development into still higher forms (i.e. when the whole stock of laws or categories, initially present, is totally unfolded, no genuine higher development can take place anymore). This is a serious drawback, because the theory suggests that somehow some 'master creator' has led it all down beforehand (albeit in an enfolded state) :  genuine creativity cannot take place from this initial state upwards. Moreover, and this is still worse, in spite of all the efforts to come up with a good theory of the origin of life, it has failed until now (See, for instance, SHAPIRO,  R., 1986,  O r i g i n sA Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth), let alone some good theory about the advent of consciousness. Of course such failures do not prove the necessity of assuming a successive appearance of a genuine NOVUM, but they do point in this direction.
We cannot deny the sharp boundaries between inorganic, organic, psychic and super-psychic  phenomena,  and maybe they point to sharp boundaries between the corresponding  principles  (categories) of the inorganic, organic, psychic and super-psychic, but maybe not.

The idea that all potentials to develop life, consciousness, and beyond, are already present right from the beginning, namely in the form of some general dynamical law (general nexus category), which applies to the Universe as a whole (meaning that all 'perturbations' of the system intrinsically belong to this system, because it has no 'outside'), and which (idea) is summarized in the form of the general formula of the  " Theory of Everything",  (this idea or theory) can be compared with the Theory of a successively appearing Categorical NOVUM  in still another way :
The, in a certain way, physically interpreted general formula or dynamical law is the supposed starting condition of the Universe. It does not need the appearance of NOVA in order to finally generate life, consciousness, etc.  However, it is evident that this general formula is itself a NOVUM, indeed, a hyper-NOVUM. It is so with respect to initial nothingness. So the Theory of successively appearing NOVA is more humble (than the Theory of Everything), because it assumes much simpler beginnings, i.e. it assumes a much more moderate NOVUM to begin with, viz., a much more moderate NOVUM with respect to initial nothingness. And in addition it allows creativity to take place, and (allows) openess with regard to future developments in, or of, the Universe).

To investigate how, say, organisms have actually originated and evolved totally from simple beginnings by virtue of the known laws of physics and biology (that is to say along the lines of the Theory of Everything [where the laws of biology are supposed to be derived from those of physics] ),  leads into a 'reductionist nightmare' as is vividly described by Ian STEWART and Jack COHEN in their Figments of Reality, 1997 (and also in a previous book of them). The reductionistic approach gets bogged down into a tangled mess of utter complexity. And although this nightmare is only epistemologically (methodologically) meant, the longer such serious difficulties continue to persist, the more support there is for a non-reductionistic theory,  i.e. a  theory that denies that all phenomena can (in theorizing) be reduced to a simple beginning (allegedly legitimized by the reductionistic theory because it claims that from this simple beginning all subsequent phenomena have developed, simply by unfolding).
And the best non-reductionistic theory I came across is that of Nicolai HARTMANN, in his Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940. So let us (in accepting HARTMANN's theory) not be troubled too much by the assumption of local indeterminism (within an otherwise deterministic World).

It is true, that not all mysteries have now been solved, but we have, I think, come a little bit closer to some understanding of the trajectory that happened to lead from the Inorganic all the way up to the Super-psychic.
On the basis of all this argumentation about the status of the NOVUM, I do accept HARTMANN's theory of category Layers and the successive appearance of a genuine categorical NOVUM, as the most plausible theory of general form generation.

In  Evolution, part LXc, Summary of Noëtic Theory, in Fifth Part of Website  we have developed the theory of the categorical NOVUM still further, especially emphasizing the role played by the Implicate Order.


We now continue with the discussion of the Law of Freedom (fourth Law of Categorical Dependence). This law was about the autonomy of higher structures, while these latter are dependent on lower structures.
Dependency as such does not necessarily abolish all autonomy. The strong power of lower principles may be as superior as is possible, it applies, also in the higher Layers, only to that what falls under those principles. And that is, measured with respect to the higher formation, only something subordinated. It always concerns only some few aspects of that higher formation, namely those that do not make up or determine the special nature of the higher concrete entities. 'Absolute' dependence is thus far from being a 'total' dependency. The absoluteness of the lower principles is nothing more than for them to apply uncompromisingly, which indeed is the meaning of the being-stronger of lower categories, that is to say the impossibility that whatever higher categories could breach their determination. It does not mean that they determine all aspects of higher being. On the contrary, the higher up they penetrate into the sequence of Layers, the thinner become the threads of this 'absolute' determination, and the more they degrade into a mere ontological base, which is indifferent with respect to all what is edified on top of it.
Categorical dependency is essentially, it is true, an absolute, but nevertheless only a partial dependency. That's why it is compatible with a corresponding independency, also when this categorical dependency becomes, in virtue of repeated upgrading, almost unrecognizable  ( It is still there, and compatible). The thorough interpenetration of dependence and freedom is, in the light of all this, not an unsolvable riddle (although this freedom brings with it -- as we saw above -- local indeterminacy). It is rather a more or less simple relationship, whose necessity within a stacking of Layers with categorical diversity, is evident  ( HARTMANN, Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940, p.546 ).

Above (in the discussion of the Law of Strength) we indicated that, as a pecularity of the ontological stratigraphy of the World, there are two types of superiority (that of Strength and that of Height) that grade in opposite directions. Now we can also say that there are two types of  autonomy  and of categorical  priority.  In virtue of the three other Laws of Categorical Dependence we can now say that this pecularity needs not just to be accepted as such, but that it is evident by reason of an intrinsic consequence of a categorical diversity. For (assuming) a one-sided priority of Being -- be it that of height or that of strength -- would make all Layers one-sidedly totally dependent upon one (particular) Layer only, either all lower Layers upon the highest, or all higher upon the lowest, resulting in the removal or destruction of the categorical diversity and qualitative wealth of the World. Such state of low diversity and wealth would, however, contradict all unbiased analysis of the Given -- as understood over the whole range of naive as well as of scientific experience  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.547 ).
Not just from any (relevant) viewpoint both sorts of ontological priority are evident. That's why in metaphysical doctrines in most cases only one was seen. Also in the Law of Strength only one is expressed, namely the ontological priority of the lower in virtue of its strength. And also the Law of Indifference still expresses this, but here the ontological priority of height becomes already visible. But not until the Law of Freedom it becomes explicit. The decisive step is in fact taken by the Law of Matter, for with the relationship of over-forming it becomes evident how, within the unity of a layer sequence, the priority of the higher can coexist with that of the stronger in an unconstrained way.
Both types of priority do not conflict with each other, because they mean something entirely different. By the same reason also the Law of Freedom and the Law of Strength do not conflict with each other. Their coexistence rather explicitly expresses the difference between the categorical priority of height and that of strength :  The higher form does not claim to be a condition and carrying base, and equally not to disattach itself from the base of the stronger, but only to have for itself its special nature in an autonomous way, while resting on the stronger. This claim is clearly compatible without qualification with the being-stronger of the lower. The being-weaker of the higher means, according to the Law of Freedom, only a being-conditioned by the structurally poorer, which as such does not influence the excess of structure of the higher (i.e. it does not create it), because it is indifferent to that excess. It is this excess of structure, the NOVUM of the higher, to which the categorical aspect of freedom refers. And therefore one could formulate the Law of Freedom also differently :  Freedom is only possessed by the weaker with respect to the stronger, because the weaker is the higher.

In the next discussion we must interpret  "the lower"  as it relates to the higher (and not as it relates to what lies beneath it, because then it is the higher).
Correspondingly, we must interpret  "the higher"  as it relates to the lower (and not as it relates to what lies on top of it, because then it is the lower).

Of course the above alternative formulation of the Law of Freedom does not mean that the stronger then lacks autonomy. The state of being-stronger is rather itself a kind of autonomy. That is clear from the Law of Indifference. But freedom is not identical to autonomy. Freedom means the resistence against a determination, against which it upholds itself. The lower Layers of Being do not experience any determination by the higher Layers, so their autonomy with respect to the higher is no freedom. The higher Layers (or categories) on the other hand, do experience a definite determination by the lower. Therefore the type of their autonomy with respect to the lower can legitimately be called freedom.
We can express all this also as follows :
Freedom is the autonomy within dependency, independence within dependence. That's why only the categorically weaker can have freedom against the stronger, and not vice versa :  The stronger cannot have freedom against the weaker (because it is not [partially] determined by the weaker, and can therefore not go against this determination).
The independent can have the autonomy of strength. The latter is, it is true, not identical to the former, but inextricably connected to it. Only the dependent can have the autonomy of freedom.
In the Layer sequence of the World, these conditions have a fully concrete meaning :
The higher formation has its play not within the lower, that is to say not at the latter's level of being, but over and above it. This is because all the concreta of the lower Layer are already sufficiently determined by the categories of this Layer. As a totality these concreta can be called the collective concretum of the Layer. And we can then say that the collective concretum of the Layer is categorically saturated. And so it has no room for further determination, that is to say there is no play for such determination within it (such play must therefore manifest itself above the Layer). And because the categories of this lower Layer are the stronger, the higher cannot in any way influence them, neutralize them, or change them, that is to say the higher cannot contribute to the determination of the collective concretum of this lower Layer. And this is what is meant when we said that the higher formation has its play not within the lower, but over and above it. So in the lower Layer there is no room for extra determination. But above it the higher categories have unlimited play. For above this lower Layer (or in this lower Layer, as seen from above) those same stronger categories of it are either only matter of over-forming or even only the ontological base of that which rests on it (or carried by it). In both cases they behave totally indifferently with respect to the appearance of the higher form. In over-forming these stronger categories determine only as the capacity of the element, while in the over-building they determine only as the capacity of the ontological base (Of course, in addition to this determining, they determine their own concreta, which reside in their own Layer). Both do limit the higher forms only in the sense of a condition. They thus limit their autonomy only in the downward direction.
The higher categories cannot go against the lower, with them, however -- having them, as it were, for themselves -- they can do anything that comes up with respect to their forming content. They are, and remain, however, in all their autonomy, more or less dependent on them (i.e. on the lower), but they are free within their dependency  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.548 ).

As Materialism or Mechanism (or Ontological Reductionism) distorts (according to HARTMANN, Ibid., p.550, and probably rightly so) the living condition, so does Biologism distort the condition of being-conscious, and with it distorts psychic life. When one understands consciousness as a mere function of the organism, a function among other functions, one surely can imagine its origin on the basis of mutation- and selection processes of a most specific kind. One cannot deny a certain legitimacy of such a position. But it does not represent an ontological insight into the very specific and peculiar nature of consciousness. This nature is rather already presupposed in this assumed function. The characteristic nature of a subjective interior world, more or less opposing an outside world, remains unaccounted for in such a perspective. One (in holding the just mentioned position) not only has ignored the autonomy of the psychic, but also its different ontological status, i.e. its peculiar way of being. To the psycho-physical problem, as it presents itself in the unity of a human being, is done no justice anymore by such a schematic way of explanation. It assumes that the organic process is sufficient not only to merely carry the psychic phenomenon, but also to exhaustively make it up and to ontologically constitute it. Said differently, the theory that claims to understand and derive psychic phenomena wholly from the organic process, interprets consciousness as just a biological function of the organism among other such functions, for instance digesting. If this were true, then consciousness would belong to the same ontological level than (non-conscious) life does (i.e. life in general), which means that with respect to their general principles they are identical. Whatever theory one will come up with, to explain consciousness, it has to account fully for its peculiar nature.
Things are the same with attempts to understand spiritual being wholly from the system of psychic events, i.e. to interpret, say, (logical) predication, cognition, sense of value and moral responsibility, artistic creation and contemplation,  exclusively along the lines of mere psychic reactions. In doing so one in fact degrades the very nature of spiritual life, ignores its characteristic objectivity, its content of sense, its supra-individual and supra-subjective being(ness). Instead of explaining it, or even only just acknowledging its enigmatic nature, one destroys its specific whatness and autonomy. One destroys it by violating the Law of Freedom and not acknowledging the NOVUM of higher being (See HARTMANN, Ibid., p.551 ).

This  concludes  our systematic treatment of  Categorical Laws  as first proposed by HARTMANN in 1940.


Some Reflections on the Categorical Laws and their Consequences

Alleged reversal of categorical dependence.

The Law of Indifference states that the lower Layer is indifferent with respect to any Layer that may lie on top of it. This means that there can be no influence of the higher on the lower. But this Law seems to be violated when we think of the influence that is actually exerted by the objective spirit (i.e. the conscious and goal-oriented actions of man) on lower being. This influence is evident by the results of technology, medicine, therapy, production of synthetic materials, etc. Nature can be manipulated by the objective spirit. It is, however, clear that, while such interfering with Nature cannot be denied, it does not affect the very  rules  of Nature, i.e. not its categorical structure. On the contrary, man can interfere with Nature by knowing and obeying her rules and principles. He can select a pattern of causal factors from which he expects, on the basis of his knowledge of these rules, certain (desired) outcomes (Something analogous is going on in the organismic body, but there it goes its way in a non-conscious way, resulting in the coordinated physiological bodily functions). And this is an influencing by way of  over-forming  of lower categories, not by way of  trans-forming  them. Man cannot in any way go  against  the lower categorical structure, but  with  it he can do whatever he's able to. And this is possible just because the lower categorical structure is indifferent with respect to any over-forming it might experience or be subjected to. In this way human artefacts (products of technology, effects of medicine, therapy, etc.) categorically belong to the highest Layer of Being (the Super-psychic Layer), but only as artefacts (including accidental or not intended effects). As mere materials, things, physiological and biological results on the other hand, they are belonging to their respective  lower  Layers.

Categorical Freedom and Free Will.

It is interesting to see how the problem of  free will  fits into the Theory of Layers and of the NOVUM.  We will, (largely) following HARTMANN, find out that categorical freedom -- as established by the Law of Freedom -- of the higher with respect to the lower, is a phenomenon that turns up at each Layer transition, and that freedom of the person (free will) is just a special case of categorical freedom.
The problem of free will involves the problem of determination :  not the determination of a concretum by a category, but the concretum-concretum determination, i.e. the necessary succession of concrete states. Such a determination itself stands under a category, a nexus category, that determines what kind of concretum-concretum determination takes place. So to get some insight in free will it is necessary and relevant to investigate nexus categories. Now it is evident that it is not so that the whole of reality is totally indeterministic, and it can be found out that reality is also not wholly deterministic in the sense that one and only one single type of determination, say, causality, pervades all of reality. It is much more plausible that each Layer has its own specific type of nexus category (as one of the general categories of the given Layer). But these types are not isolated, but relate to each other by over-forming. Recall that even at those Layer boundaries where over-building takes place, some categories nevertheless reappear in the form of over-formings. And this is indeed the case in causality :  it successively reappears in each new Layer in a modified state. It is, therefore, instructive to trace causality from its origin -- the Inorganic Layer of Being -- all the way up into the Super-psychic Layer and see how it is modified. This modification is the direct consequence of the NOVUM of that Layer in which causality (as nexus category) reappears. We will do this tracing by paraphrasing some longer sections of HARTMANN's text, beginning at page 559 of his Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 1940. Where necessary, we will comment and supplement without mentioning it as such. In fact it is us speaking, while presupposing everything that has been discussed earlier on this website, and fully acknowledging the great original and stimulating work on categories and categorical laws created by Nicolai HARTMANN.

To actually demonstrate the successive over-forming of the causal nexus (Nexus Anorganicus) is still more or less difficult, because out of the existing types of temporal nexus, that is to say, of the existing types of concretum-concretum determination involving time, and thus involving a succession in time of states or stages, only two (types) are more or less well-known, viz., the causal nexus and the final nexus ('final causality'), and these lie much too far apart to directly demonstrate the successive over-formings. What lies between, we can only guess  ( This [guessing] has been done earlier with respect to the organic nexus). Nevertheless we must begin with the  causal nexus,  because it is the initial member, starting off the series of over-formings.
It is clear that its ability to let itself be over-formed is not self-evident, especially because in these over-formings a NOVUM is involved, which itself is -- as we have shown earlier -- an irrational element or aspect within the fabric of reality.
The Layer of origin of the causal nexus is the Inorganic. Its most comprehensible form of appearance is Mechanism. But it is not limited to that. It comprises all levels of dynamic relationship, and extends, apparently uninterrupted, into the organic process. But because the causal nexus is nothing more than the temporally progressive dependency of later process states upon earlier such states, it cannot, with this simple linearity, suffice for the organic morphogenetic process. Here clearly a different determination is added, co-determining the organic process, and over-forming the original causal nexus, which now becomes (just) a structural element of a nexus, in which a pre-existing form-wholeness is the directive agent.
As to what way this form-wholeness, as higher (type of) determinant and as categorical NOVUM, is set up in it (i.e. in the original causal nexus), we only know one thing, namely that in the development of the individual organism, a germ system is active, that is real, temporally originated, spatially localized, and tied up with certain cells and cell parts. In precisely what way such a germ system works itself out (involving the expression of genes) or manifests itself causally in the generative process of the whole (organism) is only partially known. We only know that the DNA part of the germ system produces specific enzymes (i.e. catalysts for biochemical reactions) in an orchestrated way. For our general problem (viz., the over-formings of the causal nexus) the clarification of the form generation issuing from the germ system is not directly necessary. The only thing that is important is that the (more or less) unknown specific intrinsic structure of a higher type of determination in it (i.e. in the germ system), that is to say the structure of a specific Nexus Organicus, should be acknowledged, when dealing with concretum-concretum determination in organisms. To characterize that structure (as a higher type of determination) we cannot think of the final nexus ('final causality') (as reprsenting the general nexus in organisms), because then we would apply too high a category (one from the Super-psychic Layer) to the organic process, resulting in the annihilation of categorical autonomy of the Organic Layer and with it its indifference with respect to higher Layers. The fact that we find functionality in organisms does not imply a conscious functionality which is the essence of the final nexus. And in all cases where scientific analysis of the organic process is carried out, it only encounters causal chains. These latter are confusingly diverse, but definitely show an orchestrated nature, i.e. they are tuned in  to each other within the unity of the morphogenetic process. Whatever the categorical structure of this orchestrated nature may be, its presence cannot be denied. And it is very probable that this categorical structure makes up the higher type of determination, immanent in the organic generative process, a higher type of determination that over-forms the fabric of causal threads (i.e. that organizes this fabric).
With respect to the causal nexus something very fundamental already follows :  It happens to have such a nature that it allows itself to be over-formed, and this means that if there exist supra-causal determinants, that can edify and co-determine it, it does not exclude them, but takes them on board without resistence, and carries their effects in the course of the process precisely as consistently as those of its own previous states. So the causal nexus is able to accept alien determination without loosing its own proper nature. What is changed by this acceptance is the qualitative direction of the process only, i.e. only its result. Consequently the causal nexus (category) relates to the higher nexus (category) as matter to form. It is indifferent with respect to the higher structure, and the latter is as such autonomous with respect to it. The being-stronger of the lower form of the nexus is therefore not neutralized. Once something is a cause in a given (organic) process state, its effect will unstoppably follow, regardless whether the causal nexus is (already) over-formed or not. The higher form of the nexus cannot stop the causal necessity, cannot bargain. But it can add extra determination, and that is already sufficient to turn this causal necessity towards another result. For it is this that makes up the indifference of the causal nexus as regards to higher determination, that it is not geared to predetermined end results, but allows itself to be turned towards other outcomes.
The organization of causal factors into a definite pattern, and, in virtue of this, i.e. now being a coherent pattern of causes, leading to a definite and specific end result, was described in the previous document, namely there where we discussed the Nexus Organicus. To consult it, click HERE .

What we have just found out about the causal nexus, although obtained from its relation to organic determination, turns out to be important with respect to the narrower problem of freedom in human willing and acting. Historically, causality was a serious problem for the defenders of free will, because of its relentlessness. It looked like no other determination, independent of it, could tame it. But we've seen that the causal process can be steared to (give) specific results, without loosing its nature.
To understand all this, evidently depends on the appropriate interpretation of the causal relentlessness. From a more or less different viewpoint we once again will try to expound what this all means. The relentlessness only means that factors, once they are contained in the overall nexus of the causal process, do not disappear again without having issued their corresponding effect, that is to say they, as actual components of the process, cannot be neutralized by any power in the World. Their effects can, however, be influenced by other factors of the same process. This being influenced indeed demonstrates that the effects of the first mentioned factors were in principle there, otherwise they could not be influenced at all (influenced in this case by the secondly mentioned factors, or by any factors whatsoever). For because the relentlessness of the causal effect does not mean that no other factors could enter the process, it not at all means that the ultimate outcome of a whole causal complex cannot change. Rather, the overall effect must change (with respect to what it otherwise would have been) as soon as new components or factors enter the content of the overall nexus. It should do so necessarily, just because of the relentlessness of the causal determination. We should be aware of the fact that the new factors entering an existing causal complex are nothing else than causal factors themselves. What is categorically new is not these extra factors, but the explicit  selection  of causal factors to enter at all into an incipient causal complex, or, said differently, to actually constitute such a complex, resulting in an  organized  causal complex, which as such has a definite and repeatable outcome. Categorically we then must say that this organizing of causal factors takes place in virtue of the organic NOVUM.

The ability of the causal process of letting it to be fine-tuned is therefore based on the fact that this process does not resist insertion of selected factors. This ability -- which could categorically be called  the ability to become over-formed -- is, and remains, limited by the great mass of factors initially making up the causal process, and by the prevailing natural constraints. The causal process does not accept just any sort of (extra) factors, but only those that are compatible with it. Only such factors can really interfere with it. But this limitation (of letting it be organized into a higher form of determination) is no more than the  being-stronger  of the lower category with respect to the higher. It is not a resistence of it against becoming over-formed at all. Under way, a  purely  causal process indiscriminately picks up new facors as long as these are compatible at all  ( In the context of a causal dynamical system we could call these new factors  perturbations ['deviating' the trajectory of the system] ).
The higher determination on the other hand, i.e. the higher nexus, selects  individual causal factors, while at the same time having them  organized.  So pure causality is 'blind', i.e. although it is never without direction, it does not have a stable  specific  direction. It is indifferent as to its final outcome.

The just discussed fraction of the categorical analysis of the causal nexus is already sufficient to solve the problem of the apparent antinomy between causality and personal free will. While the supra- or extra-causal nature of the additional factors entering the causal process is not so evident -- in fact I think that they, with respect to the organic nexus, are still just causal factors, that are, however, organized in a specific way -- the supra-causal nature of them within the final nexus (which is the nexus of the Super-psychic Layer) is beyond doubt.
The solution of the problem of causality and free will typically does not lie within the content of the problem, but within a much more general context. It lies in the relationship of dependency and autonomy in general, which accompanies the Layer sequence from the bottom up. The ability of the causal nexus to let it be over-formed is a crucial point in case. For when already the organic morphogenetic processes have their autonomy (in the way indicated above) with respect to the causal nexus, while the latter fully extends into these processes, how much more should this be true in psychic being and all the more in ethical-personal being. In the latter case we even have a qualitative view of the whole phenomenon, because here we know the existing type of the higher nexus (which is the final nexus ['final causality'] )  and can actually see the over-forming. Moreover, also the content of the determining factors that -- in the process of over-forming -- enter the original determinative configuration, can be shown :  It lies in the domain of values and shall (thou shalt not steal). And in them the supra-causal origin is beyond doubt  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.563 ).

The determination issuing from the will of a person has the form of a final nexus. Free will is a special case of the, from Layer to Layer, reappearing categorical freedom, which is the general ontological framework from which one should start in order to solve the problem of free will. The final nexus is the typical nexus category of the Super-psychic Layer of which the collective concretum is the Objective Spirit which in turn involves the person as acting within human institutions and history.
The categorical structure of the final nexus ('final causality'), as it is present in the will and (human) act(ion), can be described as consisting of three levels, steps or acts  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.567 ) :

With this third act(ion) the person interferes in the collocation of natural processes. For this act, as the realization of something initially non-existent, is itself a real process that actually takes place (not only imagined). Its form of determination is a truly causal event :  In it the selected sequence of imagined means (to realize the goal) just functions as a sequence of causes :  Each individual means generates the next as its causal effect, and the last effect of this chain is the goal that was initially intended (by the mind). [In selecting the proper means, a willing person can also, if deemed necessary, advance some means at specific points along the causal chain after it has been set in motion]. This goal has now become real. The only difference of this chain from other causal processes is its being-tied-up with the -- in anticipation -- selected sequence of means, that is to say its being embedded in the higher type of determination, namely the final nexus. Its causality is here not one without specific end state anymore. It is steared by the means and factors selected by the willing person, that is to say, the embedded causal process is 'finally' steared and directed.
Here then we have, loud and clear, the reappearance of the causal structure in the final structure (which consists of the three acts described above). The third act of the higher nexus is clearly tied up with the general causal structure of real processes. Here we see the Categorical Basic Law (the Law of Strength) at work :  The higher and much more complex determination does not neutralize the lower. For that it doesn't have the power. It rather lets it enter into its own domain as an essential component of its nature. The final nexus is an over-forming of the causal nexus. This is very instructive for handling the problem of freedom as well as for that of categorical dependency :  The lower form of nexus is not only not an impediment for the higher, is not a limit of its autonomy, which would then first have to be conquered or overcome, but, on the contrary, a condition that must be satisfied before the higher nexus is possible at all. This is not only evident in the third act of the final nexus, but also already in the second, which consists in the (imagined) backwards determination issuing from the selected means, (starting) from the imagined goal. If there were not an all-out causal connection of lower being, then for an active goal-oriented being (a person that is goning to act in order to realize an imagined goal) it would not be possible to effectively select the appropriate means to realize the intended goal. For these means are selected according to their ability to effect the goal (means that are not believed to realize the goal are excluded from this selection). So the causality of these means is paramount. If there were no necessary connection between a given cause and its effect, it would not be clear why a particular means is more appropriate than another to effect the desired goal. Only the prospect of the effect of a particular means is decisive to choose it as a means. Prospect, however, is only possible when particular causes have particular effects. Human prospect is, it is true, very limited. But such limits refer to the subject. They do not constitute a limit of the causal collocation, but are the limits of our knowledge of it. So far -- in a decision -- our relevant knowledge reaches, it also includes the possibility of selecting the appropriate means. For nobody takes a decision to realize something when he has no means for it at his disposal. But that signifies that the selective value of the means is nothing else than their causal workings insofar as these lead to the desired goal. It further follows that in a non-causally determined world, precisely that which gives the spiritual being (i.e. a person) its superiority with respect to the things of his environment, namely his ability to realize imagined goals, is totally impossible. And because the will is inextricately connected with this ability, the whole domain of personal acting and of the ethos in man would then be impossible.
The higher determination, making up the final nexus, is not directly related to free will. Goal-oriented act is as such possible without free will. Not, however, vice versa, because all personal activity presupposes this higher determination. So for the problem of free will it is just a necessary condition (a conditio sine qua non) ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.569 ).
Without solving the problem of free will exhaustively, we come closer to it when we realize that a complex relationship is involved.
In it we can discern a stacking of three autonomies : This precondition is, however, very instructive, because it clearly shows what it generally means that a lower determination is over-formed by a higher, and how dependency and autonomy can coexist at all. The phenomenon of over-forming, as we see it in the final nexus, is the only analysable example of categorical freedom within the layering of determinations. And because any (categorical) freedom whatsoever is over-forming (or over-building) of something formed, it also throws light on how we must imagine the two higher autonomies (the first and the second, i.e. the setting of the goal, and freedom against the moral principle) that are contained in free will  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.570 ).

The analysis of the final nexus is also significant for the general metaphysical outlook :  To legitimate free will, one theorized that the whole world is subject to the final nexus. But in a totally finalistic world all goals are already set, and all means already selected, resulting in a world that is already totally determined, so that no freedom whatsoever can occur. The unity of only one single type of determination intrinsic to all levels of Being is a hypothetical construction. It is not in any way as such given, and if one assumes it, then the known phenomena -- especially the two extremes of spiritual and material being -- contradict it. That's why ontology should not assume it. This is especially clear in the problem of freedom.

Type of Unity of the World.

Especially the Stratigraphical Laws and the Laws of Categorical Dependence make up the type of unity of the World. This type of unity does not fit into a simple scheme :  It is not something (most) general, not a supreme principle, not a center, not a primordial ground, no end goal. It is an intrinsically complex unity of relationship, in which the comprised diversity remains essential. This type of unity cannot, like a genus, be super-ordinated above the special cases. Its function is not exhaustively made up by any subsumption. A layered structure internally connected by a consistent dependency, and comprising consecutive autonomies, does not admit a type of unity other than a comprehensive one, in which the special nature of the comprised co-determines, from level to level, the way of comprehension. This type of unity is basically unity of structure or of coexistence, articulated or segmented unity of an order of Being. One cannot apprehend it other than :  as the regularity and rule-based nature itself of the order of Being. But that means that one can only apprehend it in (the context of) the layering of Being. Along this line the unearthing of the categorical laws actually went, especially with respect to the two last groups of them. The categorical laws, in their intrinsic mutual relatedness, constitute the very type of unity of the real World. Their compounding automatically forms a system of laws. In this system the  system type of Being  is reflected, insofar as it lets itself be read off from the overview of given phenomena. To (mentally) construct a system is easy. To obtain the (World's) system type from the World as it really is, is a different matter. When one looks for the unity of the World there where it isn't, one will never find it. When one, led and blinded by a compulsive call for a system, one misses the possibility to understand the World. One not only misses unretrievably an opportunity to solve the eternal basic questions, but also the pathways to their apprehension and professional treatment. For this the problem of freedom is the most instructive example. When, on the other hand, one follows, in an unbiased way, the content of the problems as they present themselves, acknowledges the difficulties as they are encountered, one will automatically be led by them to the natural system of Being. For there indeed are many indications as to the existence of a unity- and system nature of the World. It is only that one should not expect that an initial orientation will already yield a full insight into the mystery  ( HARTMANN, Ibid., p.575 ).

With all this we have come to an end of our treatment of Categorical Laws.


In the next document we will investigate some inorganic general categories, especially those of Relationship, Process and Causality. And with this we are then, finally, ready to pursue the crystal analogy.

In the document(s) after those concerned with the crystal analogy (coming up later) we leave the investigations into the latter, and, based on the results of these investigations, now accept this analogy as a general context for the previous and ensuing work.  This ensuing work will be a continuation of our investigation into the promorphs of two-dimensional crystals, but now explicitly involving their internal symmetry (plane group symmetry). In addition, the crystal analogy could point (if it allows to be so interpreted) to two different Layers of Being, that are either distinguished from each other by a (mere) jump in physical complexity (and nothing else), or by some really fundamental ontological NOVUM, resulting in the organisms to be  elevated  or over-formed (non-equilibrium) crystals.

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To continue click HERE for further study of the Theory of Layers, Part XXIX Sequel-26.

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