Item. Is there an academic discipline that combines physiology and psychology in a systematic way? Or to put this in slightly different terms: can an examination of the physical be used to somehow predict behavior, speech patterns, ways of viewing the world, etc.? “We have two eyes” ––does this suggest we’re hardwired to see things in black and white? “We stand upright and walk forward”––does this mean we’re predisposed to seeing things in short term increments, slightly ahead, rather than far into the future? A skill to be developed––simply paying attention to this area. How the physical builds and shapes our ideas, thoughts, and behavior.
Item. “Place yourself in the shoes of another”––empathy. We assume this to be a simple skill. But in practice it’s usually a first take, then a brief response. To be genuinely empathetic to another––the task of sensing another’s inner state––invokes new ways of thinking about other people. “What has likely shaped this person?” “What life experiences has this person likely endured?” “How will this person likely react?” “What might be done now to help?” None, easily answerable. Nor is such thinking often emphasized. A skill to be developed––empathy, but this time with at least some degree of precision.
Item. Do ideas influence other ideas? In the realm of pure thought? Can one set of purely theoretical concepts influence another set of purely theoretical concepts? Again, not in the physical world, but in the ideational world. You’ve heard the term “gravitational pull.” We’ll call this notion “ideational pull”–– the silent and invisible influence between ideas that occurs beyond our level of understanding and perception. Let’s assume there are dimensions of pure thought (beyond our present understanding) where such influences exist. That ideas do influence other ideas in the ideational, not physical, realm. What would be some of the characteristics of ideas that would likely hold great “ideational” weight? Some might suggest the following: “The idea would be capable of being easily universalized.” “The idea would be capable of withstanding a challenge from a competing idea.” “The idea would be capable of forming itself with coherence rather than incoherence.” “The idea would be capable of making sense by itself as well as in relation to other ideas.” “The idea would be self-corroborating, self-referencing, self-establishing––it would not necessarily be reliant upon, or derived from, something other than itself.” Etc. As one can readily recognize, these proposed characteristics seem in some respects to be entirely earthbound––in the realm of pure thought such concepts as “relation” and “coherence” may actually be meaningless, beside the point. The universe of ideas apart from us may behave differently, on its own terms. Which brings us to this. Law courts (and juries) issue opinions based on competing ideas. But the realm of ideas does not necessarily track, or conform to, the realm of physical reality. There is likely a disconnect between the rules that govern the ideational realm and the rules that govern the physical realm. So the question arises: how to bridge this gap? The only sure method would be if we could see with clarity into this invisible ideational realm; that is, if we could see how ideas were exerting their influence. If such “second sight” were possible, there would be no disconnect––the ideational and the physical could at last be reconciled and merged. It thus seems clear: developing this “second sight,” in some respects, should be at least one aspect of the legal method. And if such a skill is recognized, and taken into account, it likely over time can be practiced and improved.
Within this inner truth, this absolute universal which has got rid of the opposition between universal and particular, and become the object of understanding, is a supersensible world which henceforth opens up as the true world, lying beyond the sensuous world which is the world of appearance…The supersensible is the established truth of the sensual and perceptual…It is manifest that behind the so-called curtain, which is to hide the inner world, there is nothing to be seen unless we ourselves go behind there… G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind, Pgs. 191-213 (Translated by J.B.Baillie)(Harper Torchbooks 1967)