PurplSoc, Krems, Austria, Krems, October 19-21, 2017.
A Cognitive Framework for the Quality Without a Name, Patterns and Pattern Languages, and the Properties of Life
Christopher Alexander has explored three different ways in which our sense of peace (or wholeness) is a guide to creating loving environments (which support life). We present evidence for a cognitive framework that can ground and relate 1) the Quality Without a Name, 2) patterns and pattern languages, and 3) 15 properties of life. Our cognitive framework distinguishes healthy concerns, which are rooted in the tensions of our world, and unhealthy concerns, which are not.
Healthy concerns have us apply a pattern abstractly, through potential and actual recurring activity, to step outside of our situation, as if into an extra dimension of new possibility, where we locate a sense of peace and balance. From this optimal vantage point we resolve our tensions by establishing the pattern concretely, as material structure, and stepping back into our situation, where we become sensitive to new tensions.
We thus develop circumstances for an ever more central sense of peace, and an ever greater sensitivity to life, to the natural tensions and concerns ever forming at the periphery. We describe a system of six concerns which patterns address and which provide various "names" for aspects of this Quality Without a Name.
We relate the 15 properties of life to 4 planes of being stepped out, being stepped in, and moving to and from these states. 3 general properties (strong centers, strong boundaries, levels of scale) get expressed in these planes as 12 specific properties. We derive these 12 properties and relate them to cognitive linguistics.