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Thomas Kuhn—The Structure of Scientific Revolutions


I found Kuhn’s book on paradigms and paradigm shifts extremely helpful, and my encounter with this book provides a good illustration of Kuhn’s thesis. The average reader views Kuhn as a critique of scientific methodology. In contrast, what hit me is that Kuhn was describing what I had experienced attempting to interact with academia. thus, I was viewing Kuhn through the lens of a totally different paradigm than the average reader. Using the language of Kuhn, I was doing revolutionary science while academia was doing normal science. I was attempting to introduce a new paradigm to individuals who insisted upon using the methodology of normal science while recoiling instinctively from the type of thinking that is required to practice revolutionary science. Kuhn describes revolutionary science as the absence of normal science. Since reading this book, I have attempted to work out principles that can guide the thinking of revolutionary science, in order to practice it in a semi-rigorous manner. I should also mention that this essay was written in 2010 when I was just beginning to extend the theory of mental symmetry.

I first encountered the theory of Thomas Kuhn three weeks ago, when he was being mentioned in a scientific forum. Reading through his book, I was struck by how well his description fits into the theory of mental symmetry, and how accurately he portrays the struggle of attempting to introduce a new paradigm to an existing scientific community. Therefore, I felt that it was imperative to plunge in and attempt to analyze his theory of scientific revolutions.

When you are building a cognitive model of how people think, it is hard to check the data. Even though brain scanners now allow us to get inside a person’s head to some extent, you still cannot use a ruler to measure a cognitive theory for accuracy. Instead, you have to look for independent confirmation. If someone from a different field is saying something similar to what you are saying, then that acts as a form of peer review. And, if some well known expert whom you never heard of until three weeks ago is saying things that fit into your cognitive model like a hand into a glove, then that is a very good sign. That describes my encounter with the theory of Kuhn.

So, how can I claim to be an expert in cognitive science if I have never even heard of Kuhn? Because, every scientific discipline has its own experts, and in today’s specialized world, it is possible to go for a long time in one area of thought without ever encountering the experts of other areas.

I will be backing up my statements with a lot of quotes from Kuhn, and I will be quoting from the 1969 third edition of his book.

Here is my essential thesis: The human mind contains seven interacting modes of thought, which can be analyzed by studying cognitive styles. The diagram of mental symmetry describes the way in which these seven modes of thought interact. The interaction of these seven modes generates two basic mental circuits, which I refer to as intellectual Contributor thought and practical Contributor thought. (At some point, I will get tired of typing out those terms and start referring to these two circuits as Ci and Cp.) Business and economics use practical Contributor thought (or Cp) to work with external objects and services. I have put together an analysis relating practical Contributor thought to economics, quoting extensively from Ludwig von Mises. Thomas Kuhn, in contrast, describes the operation of intellectual Contributor thought. I will be describing that relationship in this essay.

These two mental circuits normally operate in isolation from one another. That is because combining them builds an internal image of God and leads to uncomfortable mental constructs such as conscience and guilt. The core doctrines of Christianity describe the process by which the two mental circuits of practical and intellectual Contributor thought can be integrated. I have put together both a simplified description of that analysis as well as a technical supplement.

So, in summary:

Cp leads to business, as described by Ludwig von Mises.

Ci leads to science, as described by Thomas Kuhn.

Cp + Ci leads to Christian doctrine.

My approach to Kuhn can also stated in brief: A basic distinction needs to be made between developing intellectual Contributor thought and using it, or to use computer terminology, between programming it and running it. When people are using intellectual Contributor thought, then I suggest that this corresponds to what Kuhn calls ‘normal science’. In contrast, developing intellectual Contributor thought occurs during a ‘scientific revolution’. Notice that a similar distinction occurs with practical Contributor thought. Economics describes the operation of practical Contributor thought. However, economics does not deal with the programming of this mental circuit. Instead, one has to learn about that by looking at other areas of human thought and activity.

Again, in summary:

Running Ci is described as normal science by Kuhn.

Programming Ci occurs during a scientific revolution of Kuhn.

Running Cp leads to economic activity, as described by Mises (and others).

Programming Cp involves culture, education, religion, and morality; topics which economics avoids.

That is the big picture. Obviously, there are a lot of details, many of them have already been worked out, and many more remain to be addressed. However, because I am only one finite person, my goal has been to look at a number of fields at a medium level of complexity, deep enough to convince myself—and hopefully others—that the theory of mental symmetry works, but not so deep for me to get lost in the details of specialization. Thus, I have looked in fair depth at some of the founding writers of a field, but I have not taken the time to examine what everyone in that field is saying or doing.

Intellectual Contributor Thought

Since we will be comparing intellectual Contributor thought with the findings of Kuhn, we will begin by summarizing how this mental circuit functions.

Both practical and intellectual Contributor thought contain a map, a goal or ‘bottom line’, and a way of moving through this map. For practical Contributor thought, the map is provided by Perceiver strategy, the goal comes from Mercy emotions, and Server actions are used to move through the map. For intellectual Contributor thought the ‘map’ is provided by Server strategy, the goal comes from Teacher emotions, and Perceiver facts are used to move through the map. Practical Contributor thought and intellectual Contributor thought are mirror images of one another. Teacher is the mirror image of Mercy, and Server and Perceiver are mirror images.

Because humans inhabit physical bodies and live in a physical world, practical Contributor thought is the mental circuit that is used in normal life: Mercy strategy remembers experiences from the external world, and assigns a feeling to each of these events: “I like dark chocolate”; “I want to visit Paris.”; “I hate being alone in a  dark alley.” Perceiver thought then creates a mental map by building connections between Mercy experiences: “You can get good dark chocolate at the local drugstore. It is on the shelves in a middle aisle near the checkout counter.” “Paris is on the Seine river. It is in the north central region of France. France is in Western Europe.” “Dark is an absence of light. A main street is usually lit up. One end of a dark alley is usually close to a main street.”

Perceiver strategy also performs the function of defining my current location: “I am now at home, two blocks away from the drug store”; “I am currently in Seattle”; “I just stepped into a dark alley.”

The emotional discrepancy between my current location and my desired goal creates excitement for Exhorter strategy, which motivates me to focus in some way on the goal. I may use visual imagination to fantasize about eating chocolate; I may watch a documentary about Paris; or I may imagine a thief stopping me and taking my money.

Practical Contributor thought takes this Exhorter drive and excitement and channels it into useful work. It does this by adding Server actions to Perceiver facts. This takes various locations within the Perceiver map and connects them through the use of Server actions: “I can put on my jacket and head out of the door and walk to the drugstore”; “I can buy a plane ticket and fly to Paris”; “I can look for a main road and exit the dark alley.” Because Exhorter thought finds both positive and negative experiences exciting, Exhorter drive can motivate me to reach a positive goal, such as visiting Paris, or leave a negative location, just as a dark alley.

This describes how practical Contributor thought is used to work with physical locations. Obviously, it is also possible to internalize the map and work with imaginary locations and internal goals, such as getting a Bachelor’s degree or losing some weight. However, the same elements are still present.

Intellectual Contributor thought also works with a ‘map’, a ‘bottom line’, a drive, and a way of reaching this goal. In this case the ‘map’ comes from Teacher and Server thought and Perceiver thought is used to move through the ‘map’. For practical Contributor thought, the external world provides a readymade map of physical reality. For intellectual Contributor thought, all the ‘maps’ are artificially constructed.

For practical Contributor thought, the ‘bottom line’ comes from specific Mercy emotions: “I like dark chocolate”; “I want to visit Paris”. For intellectual Contributor thought, the ‘bottom line’ is provided by Teacher emotion. Teacher strategy likes to discover order within complexity. Teacher thought feels good when many items fit together. Thus, the emotional goal for intellectual Contributor thought is to create some system, theory, or structure in which many items combine to form an integrated whole.

It is easy to describe the Perceiver map that is used by practical Contributor thought, because it corresponds with physical reality. The Server ‘map’ that is used by intellectual Contributor strategy is more difficult to comprehend. Similarly, when practical Contributor thought performs physical movement, it is obvious that Server strategy is used to move from one location to another. However, the idea of using Perceiver facts to move from one intellectual location to another is not intuitively obvious. Therefore, let me use a few examples to illustrate intellectual Contributor thought.

One possible intellectual ‘map’ is the verbal map of speech. Here, words and sentences provide the Server elements, and Perceiver meaning is used to ‘navigate’ from one sentence to another. With normal speech, the number of possible Server elements is very large, and the Perceiver meanings that are constructed tend to be rather loose. As a result, the Teacher structures that are assembled tend to be rather flimsy.

Mathematics and logic are also verbal maps, but they are capable of producing greater feelings of Teacher order because the elements are more solid. First, there is a restricted technical vocabulary, in which exactly the right Server word, sentence, or equation must be chosen. Second, the Perceiver meanings of these technical terms are precisely defined, as are the Perceiver steps that may be taken to move from one Server element to another.

A computer program is also an intellectual ‘map’. As with math and logic, only a limited set of Server words and sentences are permitted. Perceiver thought then interconnects these lines of codes using branches, subroutines, and interrupts.

Another possible intellectual ‘map’ is a map of bureaucracy, law or procedure. Here the Teacher/Server map is provided by a list of laws, regulations, or accepted steps. These various laws are connected by Perceiver transitions. For instance, if you get your driver’s license, then you may drive a certain set of vehicles. That defines your current ‘location’—the Server steps that you may carry out. If you want to drive a bus or a truck, then you must take an exam; this is the Perceiver transition—yes, no, right, wrong. If you pass this exam, then your Server location changes and you have permission to drive another set of vehicles. The goal of this entire system is to increase the overall Teacher order of the road system and minimize the chaos of vehicle accidents.

Technology provides another set of possible intellectual ‘maps’. In this case the bottom line is to construct a functioning machine. Each part of the machine has a Server function, and Perceiver thought assembles these various items into the Perceiver object of a machine. The goal is for all the parts to work together as a physical expression of Teacher order.

Artistic action, such as dance, or synchronized movement, is also driven by Teacher emotion. The goal here is not to reach any Mercy goal, but rather to combine the various Server actions in a way that generates Teacher emotions of order and structure, which is felt as beauty, grace, and elegance.

The explanation which I just gave also illustrates intellectual Contributor thought. The ‘bottom line’ comes from Teacher thought, and the positive Teacher emotion comes from building a general Teacher understanding. The more general the Teacher theory, the greater the Teacher emotion. My goal is to increase the Teacher feelings associated with the diagram of mental symmetry by using that theory to explain more situations.

The ‘map’ comes from Server thought, which deals with process and sequence. First I talked about the process of speech, then I mentioned math, and computer programs. I then used Perceiver facts to show that mathematical equations and computer programs are special cases of speech, and that all three contain Server sequences and use Perceiver logic to move from one sequence to another. The goal was to create a Teacher feeling of comprehension in the reader: “Aha! I see! The mental lightbulb goes on! Speech, mathematical equations, and computer programs are examples of intellectual Contributor thought because they use Perceiver logic to tie together Server sequences in order to create Teacher order.”

I then increased generality of the Teacher theory by making a larger Perceiver leap from communication to action, looking at bureaucratic action, mechanical action, and artistic action. In each case, I began by describing the Server process and then used Perceiver logic to connect these various Server sequences together.

Science according to Kuhn

Kuhn describes the same elements in his analysis of science. And, let me say one more time that I did not get my ideas from Kuhn. Three weeks ago, I did not even know that he existed: “A student discovers, with or without the assistance of his instructor, a way to see his problem as like a problem he has already encountered. Having seen the resemblance, grasped the analogy between two or more distinct problems, he can interrelate symbols and attach them to nature in the ways that have proved effective before. The law-sketch, say f = ma, has functioned as a tool, informing the student what similarities to look for, signaling the gestalt in which the situation is to be seen. The resultant ability to see a variety of situations as like each other, as subjects for f = ma or some other symbolic generalization, is, I think, the main thing a student acquires by doing exemplary problems. After he has completed a certain number...he views the situations that confront him as a scientist in the same gestalt as other members of his specialists’ group.”

In the language of mental symmetry, the equation f = ma is the Teacher bottom line. A bottom line is emotional. The goal of Contributor thought is to increase the emotion associated with the bottom line. In this case, the bottom line is a general Teacher theory. The Teacher emotion that is produced by a Teacher theory can be increased by making the theory more general. The theory increases in generality by being used as a guide to summarize Server sequences. Perceiver thought builds this feeling of Teacher generality by showing how one Server sequence is similar to another and how all are examples of the general Teacher theory of f = ma. In the language of Kuhn, a general Teacher theory is a ‘paradigm’.

Teacher strategy works primarily with words and symbols. Thus, a Teacher bottom line will usually be described in terms of words and symbols. Kuhn calls these ‘symbolic generalizations’: “Sometimes they are found already in symbolic form: f = ma or I = V/R. Others are ordinarily expressed in words: ‘elements combine in constant proportion by weight,’ or ‘action equals reaction.’ If it were not for the general acceptance of expressions like these, there would be no points at which group members could attach the powerful techniques of logical and mathematical manipulation in their puzzle-solving enterprise.” For the theory of mental symmetry, the diagram of mental symmetry provides the ‘symbolic generalization’.

So, is the Teacher bottom line a universal theory or a specific sequence? Mental symmetry says that it is both. We can understand how this works by examining the behavior of the Teacher person. Three of the seven mental modes are capable of concentration: Teacher, Contributor and Mercy. Neurologically speaking, this concentration appears to be carried out by three corresponding acetylcholine circuits in the brain. Thought and concentration are strongly related in the Teacher person. When he thinks, he will temporarily take some specific Teacher memory and pretend that it is universal. In other words, he will concentrate on that specific memory and interpret everything else in the light of this theory, a process which I call ‘interpreting the elephant in the light of the gnat’. A general Teacher theory, at its heart, is a specific Teacher memory which can be lifted up and treated as universal—mentally speaking it really is an ‘elephant’ and not a ‘gnat’. Once a specific Teacher item has been turned into a general Teacher theory by Teacher concentration, then Server and Perceiver thought can be used to add more details to this now general Teacher theory. 

Kuhn describes this same ambiguity: “In much of the book the term ‘paradigm’ is used in two different senses. On the one hand, it stands for the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community. On the other, it denotes one sort of element in that constellation, the concrete puzzle-solutions which, employed as model or examples, can replace explicit rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science.”

He also describes how a general Teacher theory or paradigm is formed by taking a specific sequence and turning it into a general theory: “A new theory is always announced together with applications to some concrete range of natural phenomena; without them it would not be even a candidate for acceptance. After it has been accepted, those same applications or others accompany the theory into the textbooks from which the future practitioner will learn his trade. They are not there merely as embroidery or even as documentation. On the contrary, the process of learning a theory depends upon the study of applications, including practice problem-solving...That process of learning by finger exercise or by doing continues throughout the process of professional initiation. As the student proceeds from his freshman course to and through his doctoral dissertation.”

This quote brings out two important points: First, I have mentioned that intellectual Contributor thought begins with a Server map. Kuhn is describing the process of building a Server cognitive map. The student of science acquires his knowledge by solving problems. Each problem involves a sequence of Server steps. As he continues to solve these problems, he gradually builds up a Server ‘map’ of solved problems. In the same way that Perceiver strategy divides Mercy experiences into various categories, so the problem solving education of the scientist takes the problems which are presented to him mainly through the use of Teacher words and sorts them into various Server categories: With this type of problem I use this approach; that type of problem needs to be handled using this technique.

This concept of Server before Perceiver is also present in language. First, one learns how to say the various words and sentences, then one attaches a Perceiver meaning to these words and sentences. When talking about discussing competing theories, Kuhn also emphasizes that Server sequences come before Perceiver meaning. “Such problems, though they first become evident in communication, are not merely linguistic, and they cannot be resolved simply by stipulating the definitions of troublesome terms. Because the words about which difficulties cluster have been learned in part from direct application to exemplars, the participants in a communication breakdown cannot say, “I use the world ‘element’ in ways determined by the following criteria.”...Part of the difference is prior to the application of the languages in which it is nevertheless reflected.”

Let us move on now to the second point that is brought out by the previous quote. MBTI® says that there is a division between Sensing and iNtuition and insists that this mental split is fundamental. Mental symmetry agrees that the split between Sensing and iNtuition is naturally present, but suggests that it is a result of the interaction between the mind and the body, and is not inherent to the mind itself. Instead, mental symmetry suggests that is possible, with great difficulty, to integrate all four of the MBTI® divisions.

The division between Sensing and iNtuition is a result of the separation between Teacher words and Server actions. Teacher thought is able to express itself in words; Server strategy can use physical action to impose sequences of movement upon the external world. As everyone knows, it is easy to say one thing and do another. When Sensing and iNtuition are divided, then Sensing deals with specific actions, because the physical body forces me to reach a goal one step at a time. Words, in contrast, are by nature more general than actions. When I hit a ball, I have to use my body to hit a specific ball. In contrast, if I talk about hitting balls, then I can refer to many specific incidents, from playing baseball with the neighbors to the time when Babe Ruth the great baseball player pointed to a certain place in the bleachers and then hit a home run to that location.

Kuhn himself realizes that bringing Sensing and iNtuition together is something that is both uncommon and misunderstood: “The paradigm as shared example is the central element of what I now take to be the most novel and least understood aspect of this book. Exemplars will therefore require more attention than the other sorts of components of the disciplinary matrix. Philosophers of science have not ordinarily discussed the problems encountered by a student in laboratories or in science texts, for these are thought to supply only practice in the application of what the student already knows. He cannot, it is said, solve problems at all unless he has first learned the theory and some rules for applying it. Scientific knowledge is embedded in theory and rules; problems are supplied to gain facility in their application. I have tried to argue, however, that this localization of the cognitive content of science is wrong. After the student has done many problems, he may gain only added facility by solving more. But at the start and for some time after, doing problems is learning consequential things about nature, In the absence of such exemplars, the laws and theories he has previously learned would have little empirical content.”

Several points need to be highlighted from this quote. Kuhn is saying that philosophers view scientific knowledge as something that comes from theory and rules. Like science, ‘theory and rules’ is also an example of intellectual Contributor thought, but unlike science, it is one that is limited to the realm of iNtuition, Teacher words, and technical language: Teacher strategy uses words to build general theories, and Perceiver thought uses the rules—usually of formal logic—to construct and test these Teacher theories. The Server confidence that is needed to give stability to these Teacher words usually comes from the physical action of writing. Putting my words down on paper turns ephemeral Teacher sounds into lasting Server sequences, making it possible for Perceiver rules to work with something solid.

What happens when this Server stability is not present? We can answer this by looking at what happens to practical Contributor thought when Perceiver facts are not solid. One could compare this to walking on ice. Because you can’t get a grip on the surface, you cannot establish your location. Therefore, when you try to stand still you slip, and when you try to move, you go nowhere. Similarly, when Server stability is missing from intellectual Contributor thought, then theory building goes nowhere. This is like the high school math student who looks at a word problem and does not know what exemplar to use: “Do I use this method or that method? How does that method work? I can’t remember the difference between this method and that method. Help, I am going nowhere.”Or, it is like attempting to learn a language without memorizing the words. One word or sentence will sound similar to another, and there will be nothing solid in Server thought to which Perceiver meanings can be attached.

If we examine the average philosopher or the typical mathematician, we find that his theory building is limited to the iNtuitive realm of words and theories. In fact, back in Greek times, one of the prerequisites for being a philosopher was that one had to be a man of leisure. Thus, the Greek philosopher lived in iNtuition, his slaves labored within Sensing, and these two were kept far apart.

The scientist uses logic and mathematics, but these only provide a portion of his thinking. Instead, he is continually attempting to develop Sensing and iNtuition in tandem: He develops iNtuition by learning verbal theory. Then he applies this iNtuition to Sensing by using his theory to solve practical problems. It is this integration of Sensing and iNtuition which distinguishes science from mathematics. The mathematician serves one master: the equations and rules of mathematics. The scientist, in contrast, must always make two masters happy. In addition to pleasing the theoretical master of logic and equation, he must also serve the practical master of physical sequence. As a scientist, Kuhn looks at the iNtuitive bias of the philosopher and says, “I have tried to argue, however, that this localization of the cognitive content of science is wrong.”

Speaking in more general terms, I suggest that science itself provides one of the strongest proofs that the four MBTI® divisions are not locked in stone and that they can be bridged. Science assumes that it is possible to bring Sensing and iNtuition together and science would not be possible if these two could not be brought together. Looking at the mirror image of practical Contributor thought, the businessman deals with value. Value requires a combination of logical Perceiver facts and personal Mercy feelings. Bringing those two together requires integrating Thinking and Feeling.

Integrating Sensing and iNtuition is not easy. Instead, it is a long and drawn out process involving a lot of doing: “That process of learning by finger exercise or by doing continues throughout the process of professional initiation. As the student proceeds from his freshman course to and through his doctoral dissertation, the problems assigned to him become more complex and less completely precedented. But they continue to be closely modeled on previous achievements as are the problems that normally occupy him during his subsequent independent scientific career.”

When a Teacher theory is based in iNtuition, it is possible to use words to describe this theory, because iNtuition uses words. However, when Sensing is used to build Teacher understanding, then one ends up with a general Teacher theory which cannot always be put into words: “Though many scientists talk easily and well about the particular individual hypotheses that underlie a concrete piece of current research, they are little better than laymen at characterizing the established bases of their field, its legitimate problems and methods. If they have learned such abstractions at all, they show it mainly through their ability to do successful research.”

Bridging Sensing and iNtuition—an Overview

Before we continue, I need to explain where we are heading. Normally, when comparing paradigms, one is comparing two possible alternatives. However, we are dealing here with three overlapping theories: First, there is the theory of mental symmetry. Second, there is the approach of science, as described by Thomas Kuhn. However, to this mixture I will be adding the third alternative of the religion of Christianity.

Science is a search for paradigms. Science cannot exist without universal Teacher theories: “Once a first paradigm through which to view nature has been found, there is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself.”

But, religion is also a search for universal answers. It makes no sense to talk about religion without mentioning universal concepts. In other words, both science and religion are addressing similar themes—they are in fact competing paradigms.

However, I suggest that the paradigms of current religions fall into what Kuhn calls the pre-paradigmatic stage: “This is the situation that creates the schools characteristic of the early stages of a science’s development. No natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation, and criticism...No wonder, then, that in the early stages of the development of any science different men confronting the same range of phenomena, but not usually all the same particular phenomena, describe and interpret them in different ways. What is surprising, and perhaps also unique in its degree to the fields we call science, is that such initial divergences should ever largely disappear. For they do disappear to a very considerable extent and then apparently once and for all. Furthermore, their disappearance is usually caused by the triumph of one of the pre-paradigm schools, which, because of its own characteristic beliefs and preconceptions, emphasized only some special part of the too sizable and inchoate pool of information.”

According to mental symmetry, it is the interaction between Mercy and Teacher emotion which determines the difference between what Kuhn calls pre-paradigmatic and paradigmatic science, or what I call soft and hard science. In the mind of the child, Mercy emotion rules supreme. That is because Mercy strategy deals with experiences and emotions and the physical body fills Mercy thought with experiences which are accompanied by the ‘prefabricated’ emotional labels of physical pain and pleasure. These defining experiences then become the basis for programming the rest of the mind. As I describe in much greater detail elsewhere, when emotional experiences from the external world provide the basis for mental development, then it results in the sort of childish thinking which I call Mercy idolatry. It is idolatry because it builds the mind around external objects, people, experiences, and rituals. It is Mercy idolatry because the external world programs Mercy thought, which then becomes the core for mental processing. Tribalism and ritualistic religion, I suggest, are based upon Mercy idolatry. They worship at a shrine; they protect their shrine with taboos. Higher religions and scientific education agree that further mental development is both possible and necessary. Therefore, we will not discuss Mercy idolatry here any further, except to mention that every human begins life as a child with his mind governed by some form of Mercy idolatry.

One of the most effective ways of escaping Mercy idolatry is through the use of what I call Teacher idolatry. It is still idolatry, because it is building the mind around emotional content from the external world. But, instead of using emotional pressure to fill Mercy thought with defining experiences, emotional status is being used to program Teacher thought with words. Teacher idolatry works because the Teacher and Mercy emotion both feel the same. Thus, one feeling can be substituted for the other. But, while Teacher and Mercy emotion feel the same, they are produced in a totally different way: Mercy emotion comes from experiences, objects, and people. It feels good about experiences; it attaches emotional status to objects and people. Teacher emotion, in contrast, is produced by order within complexity. Teacher strategy feels good when many individual items can be explained by a single simple explanation. Thus, Mercy strategy will interpret emotion as importance whereas Teacher thought will interpret the same feeling in terms of generality.

The childish mind knows about Mercy feelings, but it does not know about Teacher emotion. In order to sense Teacher feeling, Teacher strategy requires a paradigm—a general theory. But, in order to acquire a paradigm, one needs to learn many individual facts or sequences and then tie them together. However, as I elaborate elsewhere, the human mind is ultimately driven by emotion. Thus, without the emotional pleasure of a paradigm, there is no motivation to learn about the pieces from which this mental structure is constructed. This leads to a chicken-and-egg sort of problem. You need a paradigm to want to learn the details of a paradigm, but without details, you cannot build a paradigm.

Once you have a paradigm, then Teacher feelings provide an emotional reason to delve further: “By focusing attention upon a small range of relatively esoteric problems, the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise by unimaginable...During the period when the paradigm is successful, the profession will have solved problems that its members could scarcely have imagined and would never have undertaken without commitment to the paradigm.”

The solution to this chicken-and-egg problem is to use Mercy feelings to jumpstart Teacher thought. Words provide the starting point for Teacher strategy. Therefore, if the student studies words, then Teacher thought will be filled with information. If these words are presented in an organized fashion, then Teacher thought will learn that words can be organized into a general theory. And, if these words are given permanence, then Teacher strategy will learn that general theories can be used as paradigms to explain many situations. Finally, if these Teacher words are associated with Mercy status, then Teacher strategy will interpret this Mercy feeling as Teacher generality and will feel that the theories are universal.

This combination of elements defines the textbook. The textbook plays a major role in scientific education: “In music, the graphic arts, and literature, the practitioner gains his education by exposure to the works of other artists, principally earlier artists. Textbooks, except compendia of or handbooks to original creations, have only a secondary role...Contrast this situation with that in at least the contemporary natural sciences. In these fields the student relies mainly on textbooks until, in his third or fourth year of graduate work, he begins his own research.”

Holy books also play a defining role in higher religions. What is the difference between a holy book and a textbook? I explore that question elsewhere, but I suggest that fundamentally speaking, there is no difference. In both cases, Mercy status is being used to lift up Teacher words. A holy book places more emphasis on the Mercy feelings behind the Teacher words, whereas a textbook focuses more upon the Teacher emotions that will result from learning these words, but according to the starting student, a textbook is a form of holy book: “The man who reads a science text can easily take the applications to be the evidence for the theory, the reasons why it ought to be believed. But science students accept theories on the authority of teacher and text, not because of evidence. What alternatives have they, or what competence? The applications given in texts are not there as evidence but because learning them is part of learning the paradigm at the base of current practice.”

Kuhn also says that studying science is quite similar to the study of religion. In his words, the study of science “is a narrow and rigid education, probably more so than any other except perhaps in orthodox theology.”

And having taught high school math for several years, I can assure you that for the average math student, Mercy emotion rules. I could talk to my students endlessly about the intellectual pleasure of learning a theory, but only some of them would grasp this concept. For most of the students, the only motivation that ultimately mattered was Mercy feeling: “You will learn this material because I am the teacher and you are the student and because it is part of the curriculum. You will be tested on the chapter and your mark will go into your permanent record and this will determine which college you can attend, which will govern the course of your life.” My goal was to introduce my students to the Teacher joy of learning for its own sake, but I was constantly forced to conclude that I had to begin by using the Mercy pressure of people, status, and pleasurable experiences. This also explains why one of the most critical skills for the school teacher is what is euphemistically known as ‘classroom management’—knowing exactly how to use a combination of Mercy pressure and Teacher understanding to coax the student into making the mental transition from holy book to textbook. Likewise, the teacher is overjoyed when a student begins to apply ‘critical thinking’, a sign that Teacher thought is beginning to operate within his mind.

We can now understand the difference between pre-paradigm and paradigm, or between soft and hard science. A soft science is stuck somewhere in the continuum between holy book and textbook. It has a collection of Teacher theories which provide some Teacher emotions of generality, but this hodgepodge of understanding is being held together by the Mercy status of various experts. Thus, each school of thought has its founders, its ‘saints’ and its core theories and doctrines.

The Stages of Science

Natural science begins by collecting Perceiver facts, the raw material for general Teacher understanding. But, because no Teacher paradigm exists to hold these Perceiver facts together, this collection of information will be semi-random. And, because Mercy status is filling in for the absence of Teacher understanding, Perceiver thought will only be partially independent of Mercy driven superstition. Thus, this collection of information will also be only partially reliable: “But though this sort of fact-collecting has been essential to the origin of many significant sciences, anyone who examines, for example, Pliny’s encyclopedic writings or the Baconian natural histories of the seventeenth century will discover that is produces a morass. One somehow hesitates to call the literature that results scientific. The Baconian ‘histories’ of heat, color, wind, mining, and so on, are filled with information, some of it recondite. But they juxtapose facts that will later prove revealing with others that will for some time remain too complex to be integrated with theory at all.”

The next stage is that of the pre-paradigm, in which the collections of Perceiver facts begin to coalesce into general Teacher theories. However, the emotional ‘glue’ that ties everything together is still provided by Mercy emotions and Mercy status: “This is the situation that creates the schools characteristic of the early stages of a science’s development. No natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation, and criticism. If that body of belief is not already implicit in the collection of must be externally supplied, perhaps by a current metaphysic, by another science, or by personal and historical accident.”

Because the core areas are being held together by the Mercy emotions of personal status and experience, and because Mercy emotions vary from one individual to another, this stage will be marked by various schools of thought. In religious terms, one group may accept the Bible as a holy book, while another group may only recognize the Old Testament as authoritative. Another group, living in another region of the world, may accept Hindu or Buddhist writings as ‘gospel truth’. One can find similar divisions in soft science, such as the Freudian and Jungian schools of psychology.

“The early developmental stages of most sciences have been characterized by continual competition between a number of distinct views of nature, each partially derived from, and all roughly compatible with, the dictates of scientific observation and method. What differentiated these various schools was not on or another failure of method—they were all ‘scientific’—but what we shall come to call their incommensurable ways of seeing the world and of practicing science in it.”

During this pre-paradigmatic stage, some form of scientific thought is generally being applied and Teacher theories are being developed, but this scientific processing occurs mainly on the periphery and in isolated areas. The overall thinking is still being guided by Mercy status. Looking at this in terms of education, the holy book is being treated as a textbook in some areas, but when dealing with core doctrines, the attitude of a holy book still prevails: “This is the period one during which individuals practice science, but in which the results of their enterprise do not add up to science as we know it.”

The transition from pre-paradigm to paradigm, or from soft science to hard science, occurs when a single general Teacher theory succeeds in tying most of the facts together. At this point, it becomes possible to let go of the experts and to allow the theory to stand on its own intellectual feet. When the mind makes a shift from the Mercy emotion of personal status to the Teacher emotion of general theory, then this affects the motivation of the scientist. Before, he used Mercy status to prove the generality of his Teacher theory. Now, the only Mercy status that matters comes from colleagues who share the same general Teacher theory: “The most esoteric of poets of the most abstract of theologians is far more concerned that the scientist with lay approbation of his creative work, though he may be even less concerned with approbation in general. That difference proves consequential. Just because he is working only for an audience of colleagues, an audience that shares his own values and beliefs, the scientist can take a single set of standards for granted.”

However, this is ultimately as far as Kuhn develops the concept of mentally holding on to a paradigm. In his postscript, he concludes that “a paradigm governs, in the first instance, not a subject matter but rather a group of practitioners. Any study of paradigm-directed or of paradigm-shattering research must begin by locating the responsible group or groups.” In the terms of mental symmetry, Teacher thought is being used to build general Teacher theories in order to generate Teacher feelings, but this Teacher structure is still being undergirded by a specific group of people with Mercy status. The role of Mercy status and Teacher idolatry may have diminished to a small cluster of colleagues, but it is still present.

In order to become completely free of either Mercy or Teacher idolatry, the Perceiver facts and Server sequences that hold the mind together need to be given stability by internal confidence. In practice, this means holding on to a Teacher theory or paradigm in the absence of approval—either from colleagues or from the population at large, and that seldom happens. However, every doctoral candidate is expected to perform some original research, in which he learns what it means to be completely internally driven in at least some region of thought.

Kuhn makes essentially the same point: “Any new interpretation of nature, whether a discovery or a theory, emerges first in the mind of one or a few individuals. It is they who first learn to see science and the world differently, and their ability to make the transition is facilitated by two circumstances that are not common to most other members of their profession. Invariably their attention has been intensely concentrated upon the crisis-provoking problems; usually, in addition, they are men so young or so new to the crisis-ridden field that practice has committed them less deeply than most of their contemporaries to the world view and rules determined by the old paradigm.”

I should point out that a person can become committed to a paradigm in two ways: Obviously, as a person uses a Teacher theory, he will add details to his general understanding, which will improve the generality of that theory and the Teacher emotion that is produced by that theory. I should say in passing that this principle applies to any activity. Whenever a Server action or skill is repeated, that repetition will indirectly lead to feelings of Teacher generality. A newcomer to a field does not have this emotional Teacher ‘baggage’, and thus he finds it much easier to contemplate a new theory. In my personal experience, it is the graduate student who is most open to a new theory, because he has the skills which are needed to evaluate a theory but he has not yet become emotionally committed to a specific theory or paradigm.

However, there is also a Mercy form of becoming emotionally committed to a theory. It feels good to be a VIP, an internationally recognized expert in some area. And this Mercy feeling has nothing to do with the Teacher theory itself but instead comes from the fact that one is recognized in Mercy thought as a person who is a bonafide expert. The general population may not understand the Teacher theory, but they know that the expert possesses a Teacher theory, and they regard the expert with a sense of Mercy awe.

Moving on to another aspect of Kuhn’s statement, Kuhn states that “invariably their attention has been intensely concentrated upon the crisis-provoking problems.” In other words, something motivates the developer of the new theory to come up with a new paradigm.

Looking back, I can see certain critical factors which led me to fixate upon developing the theory of mental symmetry. First, as a Perceiver person, I am naturally attracted to facts and truth. Second, growing up in a conservative Christian home, I was taught that the Bible contained absolute truth. However several critical factors prevented me from turning into a fundamentalist believer. On the one hand, I spent my high school and college years living at home with a schizophrenic brother. That brought me face to face with the horror of using emotional pressure to determine Perceiver truth. As a result, I decided that I had to follow Perceiver logic and accept Perceiver facts no matter where they led, because I had experienced the alternative, and it was literal insanity. On the other hand, I also grew up in the era of free love and the hippies, in which people rebelled from Perceiver rules and decided to pursued subjective Mercy feelings: “If it feels good, do it. How can something that feels so good be wrong?” Observing this behavior from the sidelines, it became clear to me that this also was not the answer, for there were moral principles of cause and effect, and when one rejected the concept of moral truth, then it led eventually to another form of insanity. Thus, I was faced with a dilemma. On the one side was the insanity of rejecting Perceiver rules. On the other side was the insanity of using Mercy pressure to define Perceiver rules. Therefore, the only possible solution lay in using logic to look for rational principles of moral cause and effect. That led me to the key concept of the relationship between confidence and emotion. And when my other brother, driven by similar emotional reasons, starting working with the concept of cognitive styles, I found his theory compelling, because it gave me a way to use Perceiver logic to analyze subjective Mercy experiences.

And, I suggest that this, together with another concept which we will introduce later, is one of the two key principles that separates science from Christianity. Like me with my schizophrenic brother, science looks at the option of using Mercy status to determine Perceiver truth and recoils in horror. But, it addresses this problem by avoiding Mercy feelings. But, blind faith and logical thought cannot coexist, because blind faith uses Mercy pressure to mesmerize Perceiver thought, whereas logical thought uses Perceiver processing to determine Perceiver facts. In simple terms, Perceiver thought cannot be simultaneously asleep and awake. Therefore, by ‘waking up’ Perceiver thought, science by its very nature causes people to question any Perceiver truth that was learned from holy books, holy men, community elders, and established authority. Every teenager goes through a similar sort of mental transition. As he learns to think for himself, he concludes for a while that all adults are idiots who know nothing.

But, by remaining objective, science removes traditional morality without providing an alternative. However, people cannot live without some source of subjective stability. They must have solid Perceiver facts that apply personally to ‘me’, but science only gives them solid facts that apply to the natural world. The end result is a short term burst of personal freedom as people feel emotionally freed from the personal restrictions of traditional morality, followed by a lasting sense of personal angst and uncertainty. When the next major crisis strikes, then the average person will look for something solid in Perceiver thought that can give stability to ‘me’—but he will not find anything. He will then turn to some strong person who can use his personal status to re-mesmerize Perceiver thought into knowing some form of subjective truth. That describes what happened as a result of 9/11. Because of that crisis, the average American felt emotionally vulnerable, and in response to that crisis, America is turning into a police state. And, in a police state, there is no academic freedom, because ‘might is right’ and scientific evidence means nothing.

Looking at this process from the viewpoint of Christianity, what the average Christian notices is the downfall of tradition morality along with a loss of respect for the holy book of the Bible. But, because Christianity primarily approaches the Bible as a holy book and not as a textbook, it assumes that Mercy status must be used to impose the Perceiver truths of moral cause and effect. Therefore, the Christian believer who practices blind faith instinctively becomes part of the group cheering on the emergence of the police state—as long as Christian leaders are the ones who are doing the imposing of truth. As a result, much of American Christianity is transmogrifying into its own worst enemy. For, historically speaking, the police state has been the traditional enemy of Christianity and has done its best to stamp it out.

That defines the current North American intellectual dilemma. The solution, I suggest, lies in questioning a fundamental assumption. Both science and Christianity ultimately assume the existence of a split between Thinking and Feeling. Science assumes that Perceiver facts can only be preserved by avoiding Mercy feelings, and Christianity assumes that moral truth which applies to Mercy feelings can only be established by using the emotional pressure of Feeling.

But, I suggest that there is a third way, which involves integrating Thinking and Feeling. This means gaining the Perceiver confidence that is needed to hold on to the facts in the middle of emotional pressure. Instead of protecting Perceiver facts by avoiding subjective feelings, emotional situations should be seen as an opportunity to build Perceiver confidence. If one wants a non-scientific illustration, think of the typical role playing computer game. One of the main goals is to gain more abilities by ‘leveling up’. If one goes on a quest which is too difficult, then the game character will die. However, if one avoids any contact with the enemy, then there will be no progress. Instead, one has to continue tackling the right level of enemy and solving the appropriate type of quest. And, as the character gains experience, it becomes possible to tackle situations which could not successfully be handled before. Precisely the same principle, I suggest, applies to the relationship between confidence and emotion.

But, why am I focusing specifically upon the religion of Christianity? Why not some other religion, or religion in general? First, even though it may be politically incorrect to say so, Western science came to birth within a Christian context. As Kuhn states, “only the civilizations that descend from Hellenic Greece have possessed more than the more rudimentary science. The bulk of scientific knowledge is a product or Europe in the last four centuries.” I am not trying to minimize the efforts of other civilizations. I just spent eight years in Asia, so I am somewhat familiar with a non-occidental mindset. For instance, when dealing with inventions, then China has historically been at the forefront. However, it is interesting to note that perspective in painting, harmony in music, the renaissance, the reformation, and the birth of modern science all occurred in roughly the same time and place. And, all involve the use of Perceiver thought to govern the relationship between emotional Mercy experiences.

There is, however, another reason for focusing upon Christianity. As I continued working with the theory of mental symmetry, an obvious computer programming question came up. If this cognitive model describes the human mind, then how does one program such a computer so that all of the modes function in harmony? What emerged from that intellectual exercise was a set of programming steps, and those programming steps correspond at a detailed level to the core doctrines of Christianity. I have put together several hundred pages describing that thesis. Other religions emerged from this analysis as well, but as incomplete paths. Buddhism appears to describe an emotional shortcut which leads to ecstatic worship at the cost of mental content. Hinduism appears to be stuck largely at the level of Mercy idolatry, whereas Islam locks in holy book thinking and makes it very difficult for the religious student to treat his holy book as a textbook. As for Judaism, there are logical reasons to treat it as the predecessor of Christianity. Like all current paradigms, Christianity often likes to pretend that Judaism no longer exists, but it appears that Christianity focuses more upon the right hemisphere division between Thinking and Feeling, whereas Judaism addresses itself to the left hemisphere split between Sensing and iNtuition. For the Jew, religion is halacha or ‘doing’, something done by Server thought; for the Christian, the key concept is belief, which is performed by Perceiver strategy.

However, when I include Christianity in my analysis of scientific thought, I am not referring to a Christianity of blind faith. Instead, I refer to a Christianity that uses logical Perceiver facts to build rational general Teacher theories. This concept may seem somewhat strange to both the typical scientist and the average Christian, so let me begin by quoting from Kuhn in order to examine some of the parallels between science and Christianity.

Science and Christianity

We have already seen that when it comes to the method of education, Christianity and science are quite similar, because both place a heavy emphasis upon officially approved textbooks, and in both cases, the beginning student treats the textbook as a form of holy book, full of ‘revealed truth’.

The scientist may complain that the Christianity is an exclusive belief, which rejects those who refuse to share its set of beliefs. However, science is quite similar: “When, in the development of a natural science, an individual or group first produces a synthesis able to attract most of the next generations’ practitioners, the older schools gradually disappear...The new paradigm implies a new and more rigid definition of the field. Those unwilling or unable to accommodate their work to it must proceed in isolation or attach themselves to some other group.”

And, the scientist accuses the Christian of being intellectually inbred, using a specialized religious vocabulary and interacting only with fellow Christians. However, when a scientist discovers a paradigm, then “no longer will his researches usually be embodied in books addressed, like Franklin’s Experiments...on Electricity or Darwin’s Origin of Species, for anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will usually appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only ones able to read the papers addressed to them.”

In addition, the scientist says that the Christian holds on to his doctrines even when they are contradicted by logical facts. But, Kuhn notes “what scientists never do when confronted by even severe and prolonged anomalies. Though they may begin to lose faith and then to consider alternatives, they do not renounce the paradigm that has led them into crisis. They do not, that is, treat anomalies as counterinstances, though in the vocabulary of philosophy of science that is what they are.” “By themselves, [counterexamples] cannot and will not falsify that philosophical theory, for its defenders will do what we have already seen scientists doing when confronted by anomaly. They will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

Similarly, the scientist often accuses the Christian of attempting to rewrite history from a Christian perspective. But, the scientist does the same: “Textbooks, however, being pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation of normal science, have to be rewritten in whole or in part whenever the language, problem-structure, or standards of normal science change. In short, they have to be rewritten in the aftermath of each scientific revolution, and, once rewritten, they inevitably disguise not only the role but the very existence of the revolutions that produced them. Unless he has personally experienced a revolution in his own lifetime, the historical sense either of the working scientist or of the lay reader of textbook literature extends only to the outcome of the most recent revolutions in the field.”

In a related vein, the scientist says that the Christian rewriter of history often puts Christian words into the mouths of historical figures who did not hold Christian beliefs. But, “science textbooks refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts’ paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific.”

And, the scientist fears that the Christian agenda is to shut down all opposing viewpoints. But, as Kuhn states, “[Scientific] revolutions close with a total victory for one of the two opposing camps. Will that group ever say that the result of its victory has been something less than progress?...When it repudiates a past paradigm, a scientific community simultaneously renounces, as a fit subject for professional scrutiny, most of the books and articles in which that paradigm had been embodied. Inevitably those remarks will suggest that the member of a mature scientific community is, like the typical character of Orwell’s 1984, the victim of a history rewritten by the powers that be. Furthermore, that suggestion is not altogether inappropriate.”

The point I am trying to make is that there are far more similarities between science and Christianity than either side would like to admit. In fact, the current American conflict between science and Christianity looks rather like a classic Kuhnian struggle between two competing paradigms.

And, when one observes this conflict between science and Christianity, one strongly gets the impression that one side is talking past the other, instead of communicating with the other. But, that too is a symptom of a classic Kuhnian paradigm struggle: “When paradigms enter, as they must, into a debate about paradigm choice, their role is necessarily circular. Each group uses its own paradigm to argue in that paradigm’s defense.” As Kuhn states, “the status of the circular argument is only that of persuasion. It cannot be made logically or even probabilistically compelling for those who refuse to step into the circle.”

The solution, Kuhn suggests, lies in translating the concepts of one paradigm into the language of the other: “Since translation, if pursued, allows the participants in a communication breakdown to experience vicariously something of the merits and defects of each other’s point of view, it is a potent tool both for persuasion and for conversion.” And, it is interesting to note that Kuhn, in his discussion of science, uses the Christian buzzword of ‘conversion’ to describe the process of going from one paradigm to another. Looking at this transition from a religious perspective, the Bible describes conversion in terms of shifting allegiance from one Teacher paradigm to another: “For he [Jesus] rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13 NASB.

Let us now take the previous few paragraphs of quotes from Kuhn and translate them into the language of mental symmetry. After that, I will then take some of the core doctrines of Christian salvation and translate them too into the language of mental symmetry. We have seen that Christianity and science are similar in a number of ways. I would now like use the theory of mental symmetry to describe why they are similar.

Kuhn suggests that it would be helpful to possess a neutral language which could be used to compare one paradigm with another. But, he concludes that “no language thus restricted to reporting a world fully known in advance can produce mere neutral and objective reports on ‘the given.’ Philosophical investigation has not yet provided even a hint of what a language able to do that would be like.”

While a neutral language may be impossible to achieve, I suggest that a realistic alternative is to use a language that lines up with the existing biases of the brain. When Immanuel Kant compared noumena with phenomena, he suggested that the mind automatically pre-interprets sensory information in terms of categories such as time, space, identity, generality, and cause and effect. The theory of mental symmetry provides a rational basis for Kant’s concept by suggesting that the mind is divided into seven different processing modes and that each of these seven modes is prewired to interpret incoming information in a specific way. Thus, Perceiver thought is wired to think in terms of facts, Server strategy naturally looks for time and sequence, Mercy strategy assumes a world of experiences with identity, Contributor thought assumes cause and effect, whereas Teacher strategy looks for generality. When one translates a paradigm into the language of mental symmetry, then I suggest that one is using categories which are pre-built into the wiring of the human brain. This may not be a neutral language, but it is the only language which the human mind is ultimately capable of using.

If that is the case, then why does the human mind not already use this language? That is a good question, and I suggest that it involves the interaction between the mind and the body. When the physical body provides input to the mind, this also is an inherent bias, one which appears to be described by the four major divisions of the MBTI® system. The divisions which come from the physical body and which appear as a result of living in a physical body lead to categories which are slightly different than those which seem to be wired into the brain itself.

For instance, MBTI® talks about Thinking versus Feeling, whereas mental symmetry suggests that the real distinction should be between Perceiver thought and Mercy thought. Thinking conflicts with Feeling; Thinking is Perceiver thought that ignores Mercy emotions; Feeling uses Mercy emotions to override Perceiver thought. But, the real distinction is between Mercy experiences and Perceiver facts, which do not have to conflict with one another. Mercy thought adds emotional color to individual experiences; Perceiver thought determines how these various experiences are connected. These two concepts are mentally orthogonal. But, a person only realizes that they are orthogonal as he acquires the Perceiver confidence that is needed to hold on to Perceiver facts while faced with emotional experiences. And, the way that one builds Perceiver confidence is precisely by recognizing in the middle of an emotional charged situation that facts and feelings are orthogonal—totally independent of one another. One does not affect the other. Whenever I can come to that realization, I have managed to hold on to the facts in the midst of emotional pressure.

For instance, suppose that I am trying to lose weight and I see a piece of chocolate almond cheesecake. Perceiver thought will insist that eating rich desserts will make me gain weight, while Mercy strategy will insist with equal fervor that chocolate almond cheesecake tastes good. These two concepts are completely independent of one another. One is a Perceiver link of cause and effect; the other is a Mercy emotion. They can both be valid at the same time. But, the politically correct assumption is that truth should not make a person feel bad. However, truth has nothing to do with either good or bad feelings. Mentally realizing that concept, though, requires the presence of Perceiver confidence, which can only be increased by successfully completing a number of mental ‘quests’, each tailored to a person’s current level of confidence.

Mental programming uses mental modes to make sense of sensory input. Mental re-programming means going past the divisions which the body imposes upon the mind and reorganizing internal information in the light of the mental modes themselves. This distinction is quite similar to Kuhn’s distinction between normal and revolutionary science.

Analyzing Intellectual Dogmatism

Let us return now to our analysis of the similarities between science and Christianity. A paradigm is guided by Teacher emotion. Teacher thought feels good when ideas fit together, and feels bad when they don’t. This explains the exclusivity that accompanies the emergence of a paradigm. When there is no general Teacher theory, then there can also be no Teacher pain, because there is nothing to contradict. However, once a person experiences the Teacher pleasure of a general theory, then he can also experience the Teacher pain of having his Teacher theory attacked. And, the easiest way to protect a theory from being attacked is by avoiding people who hold on to opposing paradigms.

Teacher strategy appreciates order within complexity. It feels good when many concepts can be summarized by a simple theory. But, the raw material for Teacher thought is words. Thus, Teacher strategy also appreciates it when a theory itself can be verbally described using a minimum of words. As a result, a Teacher theory will naturally breed its own technical abbreviated language and vocabulary, shared only by those who also believe in the Teacher theory.

As for people holding on to Teacher theories even when they contradict the facts, this is because of the inherent tension between Perceiver facts and Teacher theories. Mentally speaking, Perceiver thought does have the power to destroy a general Teacher theory by coming up with a fact which contradicts that theory. That accurately describes the interaction between Teacher theories and Perceiver facts. However, this will only happen if the Perceiver fact has sufficient confidence to survive emotional pressure. Remember that there is no fundamental difference between Mercy and Teacher emotion. Feeling is feeling, regardless of its source. When a person tries to protect Perceiver thought by avoiding emotional pressure, he may be able to build a rational Teacher theory, but he is boxing himself into another emotional situation which he cannot avoid. The Teacher theory that he has constructed is itself emotional, and questioning a Teacher theory means holding on to Perceiver facts in the middle of emotional pressure.

In practice, this means that Perceiver facts, by themselves, seldom prove sufficient to dislodge an existing paradigm. Instead, in the words of Kuhn, “once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place. No process yet disclosed by the historical study of scientific development at all resembles the methodological stereotype of falsification by direct comparison with nature. That remark does not mean that scientists do not reject scientific theories, or that experience and experiment are not essential to the process in which they do so. But it does mean—what will ultimately be a central point—that the act of judgment that leads scientists to reject a previously accepted theory is always based upon more than a comparison of that theory with the world. The decision to reject on paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other.”

Using the language of mental symmetry, once a person has a Teacher theory, he can only handle the emotional pain of letting go of that theory if he is able to replace his current theory with another Teacher theory. To exist without a general Teacher theory is unthinkable: “To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself.” In other words, once a person uses Teacher emotion to guide his thinking, he cannot go back to the situation of existing without positive Teacher emotion.

Therefore, if a Perceiver fact comes up which really does attack the general Teacher theory, then the easiest response is to modify the theory in order to handle the contradicting information. This sort of ad-hoc modification will lessen the emotional elegance of a Teacher theory by making it longer and more complicated, but it is better to reduce the Teacher pleasure slightly than do without Teacher pleasure at all.

“Defenders [of a theory] will do what we have already seen scientists doing when confronted by anomaly. They will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

As a Teacher theory becomes more complicated in order to deal with exceptional cases, it loses its Teacher appeal, because Teacher thought wants order within complexity, and what now exists is merely partial order within complexity. If an existing paradigm loses enough of its emotional appeal, then eventually the level of Teacher emotion will drop to the point where Perceiver confidence can handle the emotional pressure. This when a school of thought is most open to a new paradigm.

In the words of Kuhn: “Because it demands large-scale paradigm destruction and major shifts in the problems and techniques of normal science, the emergence of new theories is generally preceded by a period of pronounced professional insecurity. As one might expect, that insecurity is generated by the persistent failure of the puzzles of normal science to come out as they should. Failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones.”

Leaving one general Teacher theory for another is emotionally painful. Quoting Kuhn, “Wolfgang Pauli, in the months before Heisenberg’s paper on matrix mechanics pointed the way to a new quantum theory, wrote to a friend, ‘At the moment physics is again terribly confused. In any case, it is too difficult for me, and I wish I had been a movie comedian or something of the sort and had never heard of physics.’ That testimony is particularly impressive if contrasted with Pauli’s words less than five months later: ‘Heisenberg’s type of mechanics has again given me hope and joy in life.’”

Returning to the situation in which a general Teacher theory is in a healthy state, why does the holder of a Teacher theory rewrite history from the viewpoint of his paradigm? Because, a Teacher thought likes to expand. It is emotionally driven to increase its domain and to bring more specific examples under the wing of its general explanation. Therefore, when a new general Teacher theory emerges, then there is an emotional drive—from Teacher thought—to rewrite everything in the language of the new theory. For, remember that words provide the raw material for Teacher strategy Therefore, a Teacher theory will want to make all words consistent with its approach, including the words of those from the past who followed a different Teacher theory.

And why does a general Teacher theory want to shut down opposing viewpoints? Because there is only room for one universal Teacher theory. When there are two competing general theories, then Teacher strategy is continually faced with the emotional pain of potential contradiction.

Kuhn says that translation is an effective way of bridging competing paradigms. However, I suggest that the response of a scientist to translation will depend upon his level of Perceiver confidence and the methods which he is using to protect and extend the generality of his Teacher theory. As Kuhn warns, “For most people translation is a threatening process, and it is entirely foreign to normal science.”

I suggest that there is a mental reason for this reluctance. It appears that Teacher thought cannot ‘see’ the rest of the mind. Instead, other modes of thought have an indirect effect upon Teacher strategy. They control the way that memories in Teacher strategy connect and relate, and they decide whether memories do or do not connect. Teacher strategy feels good when everything fits together into a unified whole.

However, what ultimately matters for Teacher strategy is not the existence of universality but rather the appearance of universality. As long as a Teacher theory ‘rules over everything that it surveys’, then that Teacher theory will feel universal. This ‘everything’ may be limited to a few peasants surviving in wooden huts in some forsaken valley. But, if that is all that the Teacher theory can ‘survey’, then the tribal chieftain of that valley will feel in Teacher thought as if he is king over the world because he is absolute king over all of his world. For, when a monarch surveys his domains and makes universal pronouncements, then, like the scientist, he is using Perceiver rules to build general Teacher theories. 

Providing a translation between one theory and another is like sending an emissary to another kingdom. The very existence of the diplomat threatens the universality of the chieftain’s rule. Similarly, the very existence of a translation can threaten the existence of a troubled Teacher theory. For instance, one common reaction which I receive when peddling my paradigm of mental symmetry is for people to refuse to discuss content with me. By ignoring the Perceiver facts, they can pretend that a translation does not exist. In one case, I gave my analysis of Christianity to a former professor at a theological seminary. Even though we had a fairly extensive interaction, the dialogue was always about procedural questions such as writing style or references. The content of the theory itself was never discussed. Even after I pointed out several times that the content of the theory was being avoided, the professor still politely but stubbornly insisted upon refusing to discuss any content. When I finally did receive a written response from him and another professor, the response still avoided addressing any of the content. Instead, my theory was rejected because I had presented it as a paradigm; the very fact that I had suggested that mental symmetry could be a universal Teacher theory made it unacceptable. When I pressed for details, the result was a universal rejection: “Your thinking is completely muddled. There is nothing good in your material. You have wasted your life. You should stop your research right now. I am offended at you for presenting your theory to me. I now consider the subject to be closed.”

I mention this personal anecdote for three reasons: First, Kuhn may be talking about changing paradigms in theoretical terms, but I know from personal experience that he is attempting to analyze something which really does occur. Second, notice that the response that I received was stated in universal terms. Teacher thought deals with generality and universality. It gets offended at competing universal statements; it condemns alternative viewpoints in universal terms. Finally, I am trying to illustrate that while the theory of mental symmetry appears to be consistent with major orthodox Christian doctrines, the approach which I am taking involves a major paradigm shift, even for those who professionally teach these same orthodox Christian doctrines.

So what exactly does it mean to change a paradigm? It means using the same fundamental set of Perceiver facts to build a different Teacher theory. “One perceptive historian, viewing a classic case of a science’s reorientation by paradigm change, recently described it as ‘picking up the other end of the stick,’ a process that involves ‘handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations within one another by giving them a different framework.’”

But how can a new general Teacher theory use the same Perceiver facts if Perceiver facts are used to build a Teacher theory? Kuhn answers this question: “The transition from a paradigm in crisis to a new one from which a new tradition of normal science can emerge is far from a cumulative process, one achieved by an articulation or extension of the old paradigm. Rather it is a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals, a reconstruction that changes some of the field’s most elementary theoretical generalizations as well as many of its paradigm methods and applications.”

If one compares a paradigm or general Teacher theory to a building, then reconstructing a paradigm is like taking the building apart brick by brick and then putting these bricks together in a different way. The fundamental facts may be the same, but the building is completely new. In addition, many of the intermediate facts will change as well. Where a door used to appear, there may now be a solid brick wall.

The overall shape of the new building will depend upon Teacher concentration. Remember that Teacher thought has the ability to take a specific piece of information and act as if it is general. When a paradigm shift occurs, then a different set of elements will be viewed by Teacher thought as significant. Facts which used to be ignored may suddenly become quite significant—and vice versa.

This re-linking of Perceiver facts and shifting of Teacher importance will have an indirect effect upon Mercy strategy. So far, we have largely ignored Mercy thought in our discussion of scientific theory. But, Mercy experiences provide the raw material for the Perceiver facts which are used to construct general Teacher theories. Perceiver facts organize Mercy experiences into categories. When Perceiver facts change, then these categories will also change. And, when Teacher concentration alters the relative status of Perceiver facts, then Mercy strategy will find itself emotionally drawn to a different set of experiences. Notice the two related but distinct changes: Perceiver categories will change and emotional focus will shift.

In the words of Kuhn, “the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well.”

Now let us apply this concept of paradigm shift to Christianity. Normally, Christian theologians focus upon the Perceiver facts of doctrine. Christianity is strongly based in Perceiver belief, and it labels Christian organizations and churches based upon their adherence to orthodox Christian doctrine: a denomination places a different interpretation on minor Perceiver facts of Christian doctrine, a sect has differences in major areas, whereas a cult changes the fundamental Perceiver beliefs regarding personal salvation.

Using only the theory of mental symmetry, I have discovered that it is possible to derive a set of religious doctrines which correspond to Christian beliefs at the level of denomination. There are one or two differences at the sect level, but a good case can be made for suggesting that it is the theologian who is misinterpreting the Bible on these one or two points.

Notice that even though the Perceiver facts are the same, a major paradigm shift is required of the theologian, because I am not basing my doctrines upon quotes from the Bible, but rather deriving them solely from a cognitive model of the mind. This statement bears repeating. When a person studies science, he begins with a textbook—which he regards as a sort of holy book. But, his science textbook teaches him that the natural world is governed by a simple set of universal laws. Eventually he leaves his textbooks behind and allows his problem solving to be guided by the general Teacher theories of science.

I am suggesting that Christianity follows the same path. It begins with the Bible as a holy book. It then makes the transition from holy book to textbook. Finally, it leaves the Bible behind and follows Christianity as a general Teacher theory. Is that what Christianity presently does? No. Instead, it gets stuck somewhere between the holy book and textbook stage. But, my thesis is that all of the core doctrines of Christianity can be derived from the theory of mental symmetry, and I have several hundred pages of analysis to back up this thesis. That is where the paradigm shift comes in for Christianity—making the transition from textbook to paradigm. This is a major mental shift. As my previous illustration showed, the very fact that I am suggesting that Christianity can make the shift from pre-paradigm to paradigm is offensive to some.

I suggest that science also needs to make a paradigm shift. In the case of science, it appears that two factors need to be changed. The first we have already discussed: replacing objectivity with Perceiver confidence. This means gaining the Perceiver confidence that is needed to handle emotional pressure instead of trying to protect Perceiver facts by avoiding Mercy emotions. In MBTI® terms, this means integrating Thinking and Feeling.

What happens if Christianity moves past the holy book to the paradigm and science embraces these two major changes? I suggest that it is then possible to unify science and Christianity into a single paradigm, using the theory of mental symmetry.

Christianity and Mental Symmetry

Obviously, a thesis like that needs some evidence to back it up. So, let me describe what it means to translate Christianity into a paradigm. I should mention that this is a vastly abridged summary of an analysis which has been written elsewhere.

I have suggested that science has taken the unusual step of integrating Sensing and iNtuition. From my analysis of personality, it appears that bridging Sensing and iNtuition is actually the third step in a four step process. If we examine science in the light of this three step process, we can conclude that science sidesteps the first stage, carries out the second, partially performs the third, and is in the process of tackling the fourth. This four step process is the path by which a person—or society—develops and matures. I suggest that each step involves the integration of one of the four MBTI® divisions and that these four must be integrated in a specific order: First Thinking versus Feeling, then Perceiver versus Judging, then Sensing versus iNtuition, and finally Introverted versus Extraverted.

Bringing Thinking and Feeling together is the first task. The reason that this task must be tackled first is because the physical body fills Mercy strategy in the mind of the child with emotional experiences and these emotional experiences act as defining events which determine the initial set of Perceiver beliefs and Server skills. For instance, suppose that the baby sees a red hot element on a stove. The sight of the bright red color along with the warmth coming from the element provides a positive emotional experience for Mercy strategy. This emotional attractiveness convinces Perceiver thought that the hot element and the baby belong together, and attracts the attention of Exhorter thought. Therefore, the baby performs the Server action of reaching out to touch the hot stove. This sequence of emotional appeal followed by personal identification and reaching out and grabbing encapsulates much of childish thought, whether it occurs in the child or the adult.

Science realizes that personal feelings cannot be trusted to come up with logical facts, and so it tries to protect Perceiver thoughts by avoiding subjective bias. Three of the main tools that science uses are objectivity, peer review, and repeatability. Objectivity stays away from personal feelings. Peer review tries to cancel out personal bias by balancing the personal opinions of one individual with those of another. The assumption is that personal bias is randomly distributed, and so the feelings of one person will be balanced by the feelings of another. Politics uses a similar principle with its concept of an opposition party. Finally, repeatability tries to avoid the bias of specific Mercy situations by looking for Perceiver facts which are independent of time or location.

These three methods are quite effective at sifting out the ‘wheat’ of Perceiver facts from the ‘chaff’ of personal experience and opinion. But, if science suffers from a systemic flaw which is common to all scientists, then this method will fail. And, I suggest that a bias against personal feelings is a systemic flaw. Science, as a whole, is objective. It protects Perceiver facts by avoiding Mercy emotions. It follows Thinking and not Feeling. That is why I say that science sidesteps the process of bridging Thinking and Feeling.

A more universal approach is to build the Perceiver confidence that is needed to accept Perceiver facts even when subjected to emotional pressure. Then one does not have to avoid feelings in order to stay logical. This is one major reason why science needs Christianity. According to Christian doctrine, the first step in ‘becoming a Christian’ is to accept the truth about oneself—to allow Perceiver facts to apply to the core of personal identity in Mercy strategy. Thus, one of the core signs of being a Christian is the ability to accept Perceiver truth even when it makes personal identity feel bad.

While most Christian theologians still teach this as standard doctrine, it is quite obvious that much of modern Christianity does not practice what it preaches. However, historically speaking, one of the main signs of a Christian revival has been personal honesty and personal integrity. And, we have already seen why most North American Christianity no longer emphasizes Perceiver truth and honesty. When a person or group uses emotional status to define Perceiver truth, then it will suffer from the conviction that Perceiver truth can only be defined through the imposition of emotional status. But, again speaking historically, the Christian church has been the most effective in spreading its message of truth when individual Christians chose to walk a path of personal honesty and integrity.

In other words, like objective science, blind faith Christianity also suffers from a systemic flaw: it assumes that moral truth can only come from the words of a holy book, and it assumes that religious fervor is required to make a book feel holy.

And, it is interesting to note that religious fervor also causes a person to avoid dealing with personal feelings. I have accused science of being objective and avoiding subjective emotions. However, when Christianity is taught as blind faith in a holy book, then it does exactly the same thing, for a totally different reason. In order to have blind faith in the words of a holy book, I must believe that the author of that book is far more important than I am, and I will only continue to believe in the truths of that book if I continue to feel that I am ‘a mere worm’ compared to the ‘marvelous greatness’ of the person who wrote the holy book. In other words, blind faith goes hand in hand with an attitude of religious self-denial. Thus, scientific objectivity avoids ‘me’ and religious self-denial suppresses ‘me’. In both cases, ‘me’ gets left behind.

Returning to our main topic, we really are dealing here with the split between Thinking and Feeling. Science follows Thinking and protects Perceiver thought by avoiding Mercy emotions instead of building Perceiver confidence. Christianity, in contrast, follows Feeling by swallowing its Perceiver truth blindly from a holy book. Instead, it should develop Perceiver confidence by moving from holy book to textbook to paradigm. What does it mean to move beyond holy book truth to textbook truth? Holy book mentality says that something is true because it is written in the holy book. Textbook mentality says that something written in the textbook is true because it accurately describes reality.

The second stage is to bring Perceiving and Judging together. I interpret this split as a division between fun and work, or a split between Exhorter excitement and Contributor control. Perceiving (which is not the same as Perceiver) pursues Exhorter excitement to the exclusion of Contributor decisions. It wants to follow excitement wherever it leads; it tends to run off at the mouth. Judging, in contrast, emphasizes Contributor control. It wants to make decisions; it prefers to shut down Exhorter freewheeling and bring closure to imagination.

One can compare these first two steps to the construction of a boiler, with emotion being like the pressure of the steam and confidence corresponding to the strength of the metal. Integrating Thinking and Feeling through the growth of Perceiver confidence turns Perceiver facts into solid mental building material which can handle emotional pressure. Integrating Perceiver and Judging uses the solid material that was constructed in the first stage to bottle up the emotional pressure and channel it into useful work.

The result of following these first two stages is the emergence of practical Contributor thought—a mental circuit which is used extensively in economic activity and which we are not focusing upon here. When practical Contributor thought emerges, then the mind treats subjective emotion in a different fashion. No longer is there just childish identity with its subjective bias and Mercy idolatry. Instead, what now emerges is goal oriented behavior, which is guided by a map of value—a combination of logical Perceiver facts and emotional Mercy experiences. I look at practical Contributor thought elsewhere in my analysis of economics, quoting extensively from the writing of Ludwig von Mises. However, I should point out that economics has its own method of avoiding subjective Mercy feelings, because it says that value is based in personal, subjective feeling, and then proceeds to ignore value while dealing exclusively with the external symbols of value.

The result is two natures: an ‘old nature’ based in Mercy idolatry, and a ‘new nature’ which is law-abiding and goal-oriented. Perceiving and Judging gradually come together as an individual repeatedly chooses to follow the ‘new nature’ and reject the ‘old nature’. Thus each situation becomes viewed as a personal problem to solve, a challenge to overcome, or a ‘quest’ to complete. During this second stage, it is primarily Contributor confidence that grows, because Contributor strategy is the part of the mind that chooses to connect Server actions with Perceiver facts.

It is only after these first two stages are completed that it becomes possible to integrate Sensing with iNtuition. In essence, If one continues along the path of responding in an adult fashion to the problems of life, then eventually the childish nature will die. It is at this point, that Sensing and iNtuition become unified. That briefly describes the process—as viewed by practical Contributor thought.

Kuhn refers implicitly to the same three stages of learning. Repeating part of a previous quote: “After the student has done many problems, he may gain only added facility by solving more. But at the start and for some time after, doing problems is learning consequential things about nature, In the absence of such exemplars, the laws and theories he has previously learned would have little empirical content.”

First, Kuhn refers to the ‘laws and theories he has previously learned’. This implies that the first step is learning laws and theories, which corresponds to the initial stage of learning Perceiver facts about the natural world.

The second step is learning from problems: “at the start and for some time after, doing problems is learning.” The goal of performing all of these problems is to develop a new way of thinking and responding—the way of the scientist. Eventually, though, the third stage is reached where the student thinks, responds, and solves problems as a scientist: “After the student has done many problems, he may gain only added facility by solving more.”

So what does all of this have to do with Christianity? I suggest that we have just described the first three stages of Christian growth. First, one acknowledges that one is a ‘sinner’ who naturally violates truth, and one chooses to accept truth. This leads to the birth of a ‘new nature’. Then, this new nature grows as one continually chooses to respond to personal challenges with honesty and personal integrity. Finally, a third stage is reached in which the new nature replaces the old. The Christian who reaches this stage is righteous; he naturally deals with problems in a manner that describes the ‘new nature’.

But, where are the Christian concepts of God, Jesus, and personal salvation? They all come into play when one adds intellectual Contributor thought to the mixture. That is because choosing to follow a path of personal integrity may be a noble aim, but it is seldom put into practice. As our look at changing paradigms has demonstrated, Perceiver facts, by themselves, are seldom sufficient to convince a scientist to change his general Teacher theory. That is because a general Teacher theory is emotional, and when facts come into contact with feelings, then feeling invariably win. Instead, if you want to convince a scientist to abandon his paradigm, you must present him with an alternative paradigm.

In a similar fashion, attempting to be honest about myself also involves a conflict between Perceiver facts and emotional pressure, but in this case the emotional pressure comes from personal identity within Mercy thought. The solution is to replace one emotion with another. The scientist who changes paradigms is willing to experience the Teacher pain of letting go of his old paradigm because it will be followed by the Teacher pleasure of gaining a new and better paradigm. In the same way, a person will be able to accept Perceiver facts about himself if the Mercy pain of personal honesty can be balanced by the Teacher pleasure of learning a general Teacher theory.

And that is where science comes into the picture, because science takes Perceiver facts about the natural world and uses them to build a general Teacher understanding. Why does the scientist pursue science? Because building and using a paradigm generates Teacher pleasure. The scientist thinks that he can only protect Perceiver facts by remaining objective. But, he does not have to remain objective, because the Teacher pleasure of understanding will make up for the Mercy pain of subjective honesty. He has a solution for the problem of childish identity. He is just not choosing to use it.

Turning Science into Religion

So, what happens when subjective Mercy emotion is added to the process of building Teacher understanding? Objective science turns into a form of rational religion.

In order to understand this, we have to look a little further at the relationship between science and practical Contributor thought. Science looks for principles of natural cause and effect. It then uses universal Teacher theories to describe these natural sequences. For instance, cause and effect says that when a ball is dropped off the cliff, it will accelerate and hit the bottom at great speed. Science then says that the path of the ball can be described by the equation f = ma, or in this specific case, f = mg. Using the language of mental symmetry, science begins with a Perceiver connection of cause and effect, it extracts the Server sequence from this chain of events, and then uses a general Teacher theory to relate this Server sequence with other Server sequences.

Notice that we are looking here at the process of going from practical Contributor thought to intellectual Contributor thought. That is because practical Contributor strategy thinks in terms of cause and effect—sowing and reaping. Ask any businessman and he will tell you that this concept is fundamental. Saying this in scientific language, practical Contributor strategy is by nature teleological; it is goal oriented. Without personal goals, practical Contributor strategy cannot function. Again, ask any businessman for verification.

However, once Server sequences have been added to Perceiver facts, it then becomes possible to analyze the same event from the viewpoint of intellectual Contributor thought. The businessman focuses upon the beginning and the end. He is interested in the facts: “What is the starting point; what is the ending point.” His thinking is teleological. He cares very much about the value of the ball that was dropped over the cliff, and the ultimate state of that ball matters very much to him. In other words, his thinking is guided by subjective Mercy feelings, personal emotional goals, and the Perceiver facts which connect one specific Mercy experience to another. The scientist, in contrast, does not care about the end states or even the identity of the object being dropped. Instead, he cares about the process. He analyzes the path that the ball took on its way to the bottom. He compares the path of one falling ball with that of another. He then uses Perceiver thought to compare the Server path of one falling object with that of another.

Is Perceiver thought always needed to perform this comparison? If one Server sequence is sufficiently similar to another, then Server thought can perform the comparison by itself. However, the real power of scientific theory emerges when one apparently dissimilar Server sequence is successfully compared with another, and that sort of dissimilar comparison appears to require Perceiver thought. For instance, if I drop a ball over a cliff, it is fairly obvious that a person falling over the cliff will trace out a similar path. But, if I say that the movement of the planets is governed by the same general equations as the ball falling over the cliff, then I am going beyond merely comparing one Server sequence with another to translating one Server sequence into another. And, that type of translating is performed by Perceiver thought.

Now let us return to our look at Christianity. What happens when personal Mercy feelings are added to scientific cause and effect? You get conscience and guilt. Cause and effect says, “Anything that falls off the cliff will get destroyed at the bottom.” Conscience says, “If I fall off the cliff I will get badly hurt.” Guilt says, “I am badly hurt because I fell off the cliff.”

Science dislikes teleological thinking, because that implies conscience, which implies the possibility of guilt. But, if one wants to use the positive Teacher emotions of building a general Teacher theory to balance the subjective Mercy pain of personal honesty then one must connect general Teacher understanding with personal Mercy identity through precisely this teleological link of personal cause and effect.

We have looked at what happens when personal Mercy feelings are added to Perceiver principles of cause and effect: cause and effect turns into conscience. Saying this more bluntly, science becomes moral.

The normal tendency is to view morality as a set of do’s and don’ts. That is what happens when Mercy status is used to determine Perceiver truth. But, science takes cause and effect, looks at the Server sequence that connects cause with effect, and then searches for a general Teacher law which describe these Server sequences.

When subjective emotion is added to this process, then the type of morality that emerges is Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative: An action is moral if it is possible to take that specific action and generalize to the situation in which all people perform that action. For instance, is lying moral? No. That is because lying only works when some people lie within an overall context of personal honesty. If everyone lied, then it would not be possible to lie. Similarly, childish identity, with its driving force of Mercy idolatry, then becomes viewed as an example of what Kant calls ‘radical evil’: violating a categorical imperative in order to pursue short term personal gain.

Where does God fit into the picture? If we examine the mental interaction between Mercy emotion and Teacher emotion, then we come to the conclusion that an internal image of God emerges whenever a universal Teacher theory touches personal identity within Mercy thought. The reason for this is quite simple. Mercy strategy interprets emotional experiences in personal terms. Suppose that Teacher strategy comes up with a universal theory. Mercy strategy will then sense the presence of an invisible, universal ‘person’ who lives within the realm of words and exists outside of the normal experiences of space and time. The name which we give to such a being is God.

This explains why science generally does not believe in a personal God. Because science remains objective, the general Teacher theories of science do not turn into internal images of God. Instead, one gets the impersonal ‘god’ of nature, which possesses many of the attributes of a personal god without actually being referred to as a personal god.

Thus, when the Christian says that morality comes from God, he is technically correct, because mental bricks of personal cause and effect form the raw material out of which a mental image of God is constructed.

Notice that I am talking here about an internal image of God, and not an external real God. What I have described so far all occurs internally and is guided by mental interaction. So, what does this have to do with a real God? Does this mean that God actually exists? Obviously, crossing that boundary means dealing with the final MBTI® split which is between Introverted and Extraverted.

When dealing with this final split, I suggest that one is ultimately faced with two possible alternatives. If objective science continues to be followed, as is occurring today, then it will lead to a complete transformation of the external world of objects. Eventually, these objects will become so sophisticated that they will start invading the internal world of thought. We are currently at that threshold. The division between I and E is being broken down as Extraverted invades Introverted. But, what type of external is entering the internal realm of human thought? One that is completely inhuman because it is based upon an objective foundation which ignores human feelings.

However, if Christian principles of personal salvation are accepted as a paradigm, then a different situation emerges. As we know, general Teacher theories are driven to grow and expand. This, for instance, is what drives the expansion of a bureaucracy. Therefore, if a person develops a general Teacher theory which describes the mind, then Teacher thought will want to expand this theory by believing that it also applies to the external world. Thus, if a person develops an internal image of God which is sufficiently general, then he will be emotionally driven—by Teacher thought—to believe that such a God actually exists, whether this is true or not. This will also lead to an integration of Introverted and Extraverted, except in this case Introverted will extend to Extraverted. However, because personal Mercy experiences were included, the Teacher understanding that results will be human, and because Mercy identity submits internally to Perceiver principles of personal integrity and universal order, people will be emotionally driven by their belief in an external God to treat others as human beings within an external atmosphere of personal integrity and universal order. Even if a real God does not exist, living within such a society is far superior to having an inhuman mechanical monster invade your soul and attempt to destroy your personal identity—as is happening today.

Moving, on, I suggest that we are left with two major remaining difficulties. The first is a chicken-and-egg sort of problem. How does one produce the positive Teacher emotion that is needed to handle the Mercy pain of personal identity when a real Teacher understanding only emerges after one has transformed personal identity? Saying this another way, how do you use the Teacher emotion of understanding the laws of nature to guide you in solving scientific problems when you only gain a proper Teacher understanding of the laws of nature after you have solved many problems?

The solution is found in the textbook. For the student of science, the textbook uses words to teach the laws of nature. These words lead to the understanding of a general Teacher theory consisting of words and equations, resulting in feelings of Teacher pleasure. The student may think at this point that he has a general Teacher theory, but he only has the description of a Teacher theory. This is where the mathematician and the philosopher typically stop. They think that they are dealing with generalities, but in fact they are only working with the description of generality. However, as long as the words of iNtuition are separated from actions of the Sensing, then the scholar who works with the verbal description of a Teacher theory will feel that he actually is dealing with Teacher generality.

Teacher generality comes from order within complexity. The student of science acquires a true sense of order within complexity as he populates his verbal theories with the details of numerous solved problems. This addition of Sensing to iNtuition produces real Teacher generality. As Kuhn points out, “In the absence of such exemplars, the laws and theories he has previously learned would have little empirical content.”

Thus, when the beginning student uses the Teacher emotion of a paradigm to help him accept Perceiver truth, this positive Teacher emotion is coming from a verbal theory that was acquired from a textbook. As he continues to solve problems successfully, his verbal Teacher theory slowly transforms into a verbal theory that is backed up by extensive non-verbal content. The Sensing of solving problems will add depth to the Teacher theory which initially resided only within verbal iNtuition.

Precisely the same sequence occurs with the growing Christian believer. Initially, he learns about God and Christian doctrine from the words of a holy book. This verbal understanding produces the Teacher pleasure that allows him to accept Perceiver facts which make personal identity feel bad. As he follows up this initial step of personal honesty by continually choosing to walk in personal integrity, his understanding of the categorical imperative grows—in Christian terms, he learns about the ‘ways of God’. Using Christian language, he begins by being declared righteous and ends up by actually being righteous, for ‘righteous’ means acting in a way that naturally expresses the universal Teacher order of a universal God.

And, just as the person with one paradigm sees the world differently than a person with another paradigm, so the individual who achieves righteousness literally sees the world in a different way. In Biblical terms, he encounters the Holy Spirit, a spirit which ‘the world cannot receive’ because it holds to a different Teacher paradigm. Kuhn says that a paradigm shift actually changes objection recognition for an individual. Similarly, the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as the ‘spirit of truth’. Truth and object recognition are both functions of Perceiver thought.

So, why does Christianity describe all of this using preachers, sermons, worship services, and emotional appeals? Because that is what happens when Christian doctrine is not taught as a Teacher paradigm. The essential elements must all be added somehow through Mercy experiences and Mercy feelings. I look at many of these extra elements in my analysis of Christianity. However, if Christianity is taught as a Teacher paradigm, then the Mercy elements of ‘churchianity’ are not required—and they often end up being counterproductive.

Does this mean that paradigm based Christianity contains no emotional elements. Of course not, for that would turn it into a form of objective science—devoid of Mercy emotions. If you want to know the difference between empty Mercy ritual and Mercy experiences that are backed up by Teacher understanding, then I suggest comparing a movie of spaceflight with a documentary of a space mission. The visual elements may be rather similar, but the documentary is backed up by an internal world of rational content which the movie completely lacks.  

The Second Major Change

One major factor still remains. When we began this discussion, I suggested that science needs to make two major changes. The first is replacing objectivity with Perceiver confidence. We now need to introduce the second change, which is something which Kuhn spends his entire book trying to prove, accuses others of consistently denying, and then finishes his book by denying it himself.

Let us begin with Kuhn’s fundamental thesis. “To the extent that the book portrays scientific development as a succession of tradition-bound periods punctuated by non-cumulative breaks, its theses are undoubtedly of wide applicability. But they should be, for they are borrowed from other fields. Historians of literature, of music, of the arts, of political development, and of many other human activities have long described their subjects in the same way. Periodization in terms of revolutionary breaks in style, taste, and institutional structure have been among their standard tools. If I have been original with respect to concepts like these, it has mainly been by applying them to the sciences, fields which had widely thought to develop in a different way.”

Why did Kuhn write his book? In order to prove that scientific progress is not a gradual process of incremental growth. Instead, he argues that science must be divided into ‘normal science’ when growth is gradual and incremental, and ‘revolutionary science’ when the existing paradigm is thrown out and replaced with a new one. And, he emphasizes that this principle does not just apply to science. Instead, one finds such revolutionary change in many different fields of human activity.

Kuhn then accuses people of ignoring their revolutionary past and pretending that the present paradigm always ruled supreme. Why do people do this? Because general Teacher theories hate exceptions. Theories want to be universal, and if they cannot be universal, then they will pretend that they are universal. And, because Teacher thought thinks naturally in terms of time and sequence, a general Teacher theory will extrapolate into the past and pretend that it always existed and will extrapolate into the future and pretend that it always will exist.

In the words of Kuhn, “Textbooks refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts’ paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative. Scientists are not, of course, the only group that tends to see its discipline’s past developing linearly toward its present vantage. The temptation to write history backward is both omnipresent and perennial.”

And then, Kuhn takes the last three pages of his book to do the same thing that he accuses others of, which contradicts everything that he has written so far:

“The analogy that relates the evolution of organisms to the evolution of scientific ideas can easily be pushed too far. But with respect to the issues of this closing section it is very nearly perfect...Successive stage in that developmental process are marked by an increase in articulation and specialization. And the entire process may have occurred, as we now suppose biological evolution did, without benefit of a set goal, a permanent fixed scientific truth, of which each stage in the development of scientific knowledge is a better exemplar.”

Instead of accepting his own logic that revolution is the primary paradigm, he turns his theory of revolution into a theory of evolution. But a discontinuity is not a continuity. It is not rational to end a well-written treatise on The Structure of Scientific Revolutions with a three page obeisance to the theory of evolution.

Kuhn then says, “That problem—what must the world be like in order that man may know it?—was not, however, created by this essay. On the contrary, it is as old as science itself, and it remains unanswered. But it need not be answered in this place. Any conception of nature compatible with the growth of science by proof is compatible with the evolutionary view of science developed here.”

In other words, he admits that a theory of aimless evolution has no solution for the question of why science works. And how does he respond to this crisis in his paradigm? By setting it aside for future generations to solve.

As Kuhn himself says: “All crises close in one of three ways. Sometimes normal science ultimately proves able to handle the crisis provoking problem despite the despair of those who have seen it as the end of an existing paradigm. On other occasions that problem resists even apparently radical new approaches. Then scientists may conclude that no solution will be forthcoming in the present state of their field. The problem is labelled and set aside for a future generation with more developed tools. Or, finally, the case that will most concern us here, a crisis may end with the emerge of a new candidate for paradigm and with the ensuing battle over its acceptance.”

I have suggested that the Teacher pleasure of learning a general Teacher theory can help a person to endure the Mercy pain of personal honesty. However, as far as I can tell, this method will only be effective if revolution is accepted as the primary paradigm, and not evolution.

Let us begin by analyzing the Mercy side of the equation. In the mind of the child, Mercy idolatry rules supreme. As a result, childish identity continually practices what Immanuel Kant calls radical evil—it acts in ways that contradict universal Teacher order. Because of this, Teacher strategy will view childish identity as an exception to the rule, and general Teacher theories hate exceptions to the rule. Therefore, the natural response is for Teacher thought to try to ignore childish identity and its chaotic behavior. Stating this in Christian language, sin separates man from God. However, it is possible to replace childish identity and its Mercy idolatry with an adult identity which is guided by value and which uses practical Contributor thought. But, this personal transition will only occur if childish identity is replaced by adult identity, a revolutionary process which is the Mercy equivalent to changing a paradigm in Teacher strategy.

If positive Teacher emotion can be added to this Mercy sequence of replacing childish identity with adult identity, then our problem is solved, because making the transition from childish to adult identity will still feel bad for Mercy thought, but the Teacher pleasure associated with following this sequence will make the Mercy pain bearable.

But, does the falling apart of childish identity always lead to the emergence of adult identity? No. Instead, this will only happen if the process is driven by Perceiver facts. If the adult processing of practical Contributor thought is to emerge from the chaos of childish identity, then Perceiver truth must be permitted to label experiences accurately and build a mental map of value. Initially, being honest about myself will produce personal agony. However, if this honesty continues, then personal identity will gain the stability of being held together by solid facts, and it will experience the benefit of being guided by goal oriented behavior.

The same sequence occurs when one Teacher paradigm is replaced by another. Initially, Perceiver facts attack the existing paradigm and plague it with counterexamples. However, science believes that continuing to search for Perceiver facts will lead to the development of a better Teacher theory.

Now, remember that Teacher emotion is produced by generality. Therefore, if Teacher thought is to feel good about a sequence of personal or paradigmatic rebirth, then this sequence must be a general sequence, which appears repeatedly in many disciplines and in many situations. And that is the thesis of Kuhn’s book, which he repudiates in the last three pages.

It is also the primary theme of Christianity: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 NASB.

The standard Christian approach is to interpret this passage from the viewpoint of Mercy status. That is because Christianity thinks largely in terms of Mercy importance and holy books. However, this passage is really talking about Server sequence and Teacher generality. The sequence being described is one of personal rebirth. The name of the person experiencing this sequence is then being raised above the names of other individuals. I have suggested that a mental image of God is based in a general Teacher theory. Teacher thought works with concentration, lifting up a specific item and treating it as general. Here we have God lifting up the specific item of the name of Jesus and treating as general.

A name is a Teacher label given to a person, such as butcher or barber. In this case it is the name of Jesus which is being exalted into generality. Jesus comes from the Hebrew yeshua which means ‘salvation’. Thus, the Bible describes salvation through rebirth as the primary paradigm, which is also the thesis of Kuhn’s book.

But what about heaven and angels, and miracles? How can they be integrated into a rational scientific paradigm? As the standard argument goes, if an image of God is based in universal laws, and if Teacher thought hates an exception to the rule, then there cannot be any miracles, because miracles are exceptions to the rule. Kant, along with many others, have made this argument.

The mistake, I suggest, lies in approaching the supernatural from the realm of Mercy thought. In fact, my thesis is that the supernatural realm is the mirror image of the natural realm, and that just as the physical body naturally develops practical Contributor thought in the human, so ‘aliens’ live within containers which are ‘naturally’ consistent with intellectual Contributor thought. This means that when it comes to the supernatural, the scientist actually has a better grasp of how it functions than the Christian. I have examined this topic in much greater detail elsewhere.

Consistent with this hypothesis, it was the Roman centurion who approached the supernatural with a scientific-like attitude whom Jesus complimented on having the greatest faith: “just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” Luke 7:7-9 NASB.

First, the centurion approached the problem in terms of Teacher domain: “I am a man placed under authority.” Then, he described the process of operating within a domain, and suggested that a similar process occurred with miracles. Finally, he recognized that the process was governed by Teacher words.

So, why does Kuhn insist upon denying his theory of revolution and submitting in the end to the theory of evolution? I suggest that this is because he has no alternative paradigm. As Kuhn says, “The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other.”

Well, I am presenting an alternative paradigm, the theory of mental symmetry, which also includes an analysis of Christianity—as a paradigm and not as a set of blind beliefs in a holy book. Kuhn says that “when a new candidate for paradigm is first proposed, it has seldom solved more than a few of the problems that confront it, and most of those solutions are still far from perfect.” However, the theory of mental symmetry already covers an extensive range of topics; it already has undergone substantial development.

It is possible to say a lot more about the subject, much of which I have done elsewhere. Therefore, now that I have presented the essence of my paradigm, I would like to spend the remaining pages doing what Kuhn calls ‘mopping up’.

Normal Science and Cognitive Styles

At the very beginning of this paper, I suggested that ‘normal science’ involves the use of intellectual Contributor thought, whereas ‘revolutionary science’ programs this mode of thought. We will now explore this concept further by looking at the relationship between cognitive styles and intellectual thought.

I will also be comparing practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor thought. Economic activity uses practical Contributor thought; science emphasizes intellectual Contributor strategy. Both of these mental circuits are centered upon Contributor thought. There is no inherent reason for these two circuits to remain separate. Instead, I suggest that these ways of using Contributor strategy develop into two distinct circuits because of the MBTI® divisions. Science emphasizes Thinking; business assumes Feeling. Science integrates Sensing and iNtuition in the external. Business ties together Thinking and Feeling, also externally. Science dislikes teleology; business requires a bottom line. Science is guided by iNtuitive theory; business is distrustful of any activity that is guided by theory and not by value and a bottom line.

The operation of intellectual Contributor thought is usually carried out by the Contributor person. This does not mean that the Contributor person is the only one to use this mode of thought. However, every cognitive style prefers to use the mode of thought that is conscious in his mind and is uneasy about being driven by subconscious modes of thought, because that implies a loss of conscious control. In addition, our research suggests that the cognitive style of Contributor is fairly common, which means that a significant portion of the population will naturally gravitate to the approach of normal science. In contrast, revolutionary science appears to be primarily the domain of the Teacher person, a cognitive style which is quite rare. Our research suggests that two of the biggest revolutions in science were led by the Teacher persons of Newton and Einstein. (By ‘our research’ I mean the thinking that my brother Lane Friesen and I did together for many years working out the character traits of the seven cognitive styles.)

The Contributor person may prefer to use the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought, but this mental circuit requires the cooperation of several modes of thought. This places the Contributor person in an awkward situation. On the one hand, he wants to use this mode of thought. On the other hand, he cannot use it effectively unless he programs it, and that means developing subconscious modes of thought.

The same problem occurs with economics and practical Contributor thought, and the solution which the Contributor person generally applies is also the same: He acquires the mental content that is needed within some narrow range of thought and then he makes the transition to using this content as quickly as possible. He then limits his thinking to this narrow region of expertise through the use of Contributor concentration.

I should mention in passing that three modes of thought appear to be capable of concentration: Mercy, Contributor and Teacher thought, and there appear to be three corresponding acetylcholine circuits in the brain. Teacher concentration is like a point around which other items coalesce. As we saw earlier, it focuses upon a specific element and acts as if it is general. Contributor concentration, in contrast, is more like a circle within which elements are confined. It focuses upon a plan, and limits thought to this plan. Therefore, the typical Contributor scientist will choose some area of expertise, and then become an expert within this small field while remaining relatively ignorant outside of his area of expertise.

For instance, this combination of Contributor expertise together with a limited set of Perceiver and Server content describes the tight rules which one finds in logic, mathematics, and computer programming. First, the Server map of permissible statements is restricted to a small technical vocabulary. Second, only a limited number of Perceiver transformations are allowed to be applied to these Server statements. Contributor thought then limits itself to manipulating this technical collection of Server statement and Perceiver transformations. Because the Server and Perceiver content is limited, Contributor thought can make the transition quickly from programming intellectual Contributor thought to using it.

For the Contributor person, it is the challenge of solving an intellectual problem that matters. This is because two separate streams of thought come together with intellectual Contributor thought (a similar process occurs with practical Contributor thought). On the one hand, Contributor strategy ties together Server and Perceiver memories. Therefore, Contributor thought is conscious in the technical aspect of intellectual Contributor thought—using Perceiver transformations to manipulate Server sequences. On the other hand, the mental circuit of intellectual Contributor thought is driven by Exhorter excitement and energy, and Exhorter strategy is attracted to extreme emotions and novel situations.

When a person uses Contributor concentration to limit thought to some area of specialization, then Teacher strategy will not gain the breadth of information that is needed to construct a truly general Teacher theory. However, without strong Teacher emotions, there will be nothing to provide excitement for Exhorter strategy, and without Exhorter excitement, the motivation for using intellectual Contributor thought is lost. A similar situation can arise with practical Contributor thought, and that explains the motivation behind sensation-seeking behavior.

Therefore, Exhorter excitement must be provided through other means. The novelty of tackling a new intellectual problem will generally provide excitement for a while. In addition, the possibility of not being able to come up with an answer can also be exciting, for Exhorter strategy finds the possibility of Teacher pain as exciting as the promise of Teacher pleasure. Finally, Mercy status and pecking order can also substitute for Teacher pleasure. Thus, the Contributor person may tackle the problem because of the accolades that he will get from his colleagues.

This type of thinking, I suggest, describes what Kuhn calls normal science. Obviously, it is not just practiced by the Contributor person, but I suggest that it is the Contributor person who sets the standard for normal science and who excels at practicing it. A similar situation exists with economics and practical Contributor thought. The Contributor person is not the only one who practices business, but he sets the standard for business, and he is the one who naturally excels at business.

In the words of Kuhn, “The scientific enterprise as a whole does from time to time prove useful, open up new territory, display order, and test long-accepted belief. Nevertheless, the individual engaged on a normal research problem is almost never doing any one of these things. Once engaged, his motivation is of a rather different sort. What then challenges him is the conviction that, if only he is skilful enough, he will succeed in solving a puzzle that no one before has solved or solved so well. Many of the greatest scientific minds have devoted all of their professional attention to demanding puzzles of this sort.” This is a fairly accurate description of the intellectual Contributor person.

Kuhn elaborates elsewhere: “Mopping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others. Instead, normal scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies...By focusing attention upon a small range of relatively esoteric problems, the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise by unimaginable. ”

In other words, the focus of normal science is not upon building a general Teacher theory. Instead, thinking is being limited by Contributor type concentration to the domain of an existing general Teacher theory. Extensive thought occurs within that realm; what lies outside of that realm is largely ignored.

Kuhn says that the thinking which occurs within normal science can be broken up into three main categories: “Normal science consists in the actualization of that promise, an actualization achieved by extending the knowledge of those facts that the paradigm displays as particularly revealing, by increasing the extent of the match between those facts and the paradigm’s predictions and by further articulation of the paradigm itself.”

The first branch of activity could be described as the intellectual opportunity. These are areas where the Teacher goal of increased understanding can be reached through a minimum of Perceiver effort. Kuhn describes this as “that class of facts that the paradigm has shown to be particularly revealing of the nature of things.”

The second type of activity deals with intellectual risk. These are Perceiver facts from the real world which have the power to either confirm or else contradict a theory. Exhorter strategy finds them exciting because there is the possibility of intellectual disaster. I should mention in passing that the Contributor person does not want to actually experience disaster, either of the Mercy or Teacher variety. However, he can be strongly motivated by the possibility of disaster, and thus may try to walk close to the physical or metaphysical cliff—without ever actually falling over.

The third class of activity adds technical details to the general Teacher theory. The goal here is to tighten up the Server sequences, Perceiver facts, and Contributor manipulations which help to define the general Teacher theory. Kuhn says that this involves working out universal constants, developing quantitative laws, or clarifying ambiguities. Again, we see the emphasis upon Contributor type thought. While this ‘technicalization’ of a paradigm makes it more useful as a theory, it also allows the Contributor person to redefine the field so that it emphasizes Contributor thought and marginalizes other modes of thinking.

A similar effect occurs in economics with practical Contributor thought. The marketplace is supposed to make it easier for people to gain personal wealth, just as science is supposed to be an organized search for general Teacher understanding. In both cases, Contributor strategy is responsible for handling the actual transactions: practical Contributor thought does the buying and selling in economics; intellectual Contributor thought performs the logical manipulation and the technical calculations in science. This type of mental processing is beneficial to many cognitive styles.

However, because the Contributor person is driven so strongly to succeed, and because he hates so much to fail, Contributor persons will instinctively adjust the field to emphasize transactions to the exclusion of content. In the marketplace, business will focus upon futures, margins, and other financial abstractions which allow a person to emphasize buying and selling while ignoring the objects and services that are actually being bought and sold. This tilts the playing field in the favor of Contributor thought. Similarly, the ‘technicalization’ of an intellectual field also focuses upon the solving of intellectual problems, while taking attention away from the actual scientific content, which tilts the intellectual playing field in the favor of Contributor thought.

For instance, when I was studying neurological papers, I often found that the most interesting information lay in the anecdotal material that was mentioned in passing, because it described the general content of the research. In contrast, most of a typical paper is devoted to meeting the Contributor standards of intellectual exchange by satisfying the requirements for getting published. Obviously, there should be standards of excellence for scientific thought, just as there need to be technical requirements for carrying out business in the marketplace. However, these standards are often used very effectively by the Contributor person to deny success to other cognitive styles. But, when the market fails, or when normal science reaches an impasse, then it is these other styles who are forced to ‘bail out’ the Contributor and add the content that he has so carefully removed and avoided. It is interesting to note that this provides a good explanation for the Financial crisis of 2008 and its ‘virtual economy’ of credit default swaps. Millions of American homeowners were permitted to lose their homes so that the bankers and stock traders could continue playing their trading games.

Kuhn describes the ‘technicalization’ of a field: “When the individual scientist can take a paradigm for granted, he need no longer, in his major works, attempt to build his field anew, starting from first principles and justifying the use of each concept introduced. That can be left to the writer of textbooks. Given a textbook, however, the creative scientist can begin his research where it leaves off and thus concentrate exclusively upon the subtlest and most esoteric aspects of the natural phenomena that concern his group. And as he does this, his research communiqués will begin to change in ways whose evolution has been too little studied but whose modern end products are obvious to all and oppressive to many. No longer will his researches usually be embodied in books anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will usually appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only ones able to read the papers addressed to them.”

In the words of a popular author, referring to a different aspect of practical Contributor thought, Contributor persons have ‘the right stuff’ and they respect others who also have ‘the right stuff’, while looking down their corporate noses at those who do not have ‘the right stuff’. Again, it is not just the Contributor person who is admitted to this inner circle. But, the Contributor person appears to be the driving force behind the building of this circle and he is the one who benefits the most from its existence.

Kuhn also mentions that researchers who do go outside of their narrow area of expertise and spend time writing about less technical details often lose some of their ‘right stuff’: “Today in the sciences, books are usually texts or retrospective reflections upon one aspect or another of the scientific life. The scientist who writes one is more likely to find his professional reputation impaired than enhanced.”

The Transition to Revolutionary Science

Let us look now at the transition from normal science to revolutionary science. I suggest that activity—be it intellectual or practical—which is driven by Contributor concentration will eventually reach an impasse. This can happens for several reasons, but the basic process is as follows. It begins with Contributor concentration limiting thought to a certain mental ‘valley’ and intellectual Contributor thought exploring this valley. That describes the nature of normal science.

As Kuhn says, “In so far as he is engaged in normal science, the research worker is a solver of puzzles, not a tester of paradigms. Though he may, during the search for a particular puzzle’s solution, try out a number of alternative approaches, rejecting those that fail to yield the desired result, he is not testing the paradigm when he does so. Instead, he is like the chess player who, with a problem stated and the board physically or mentally before him, tries out various alternative moves in the search for a solution. These trial attempts, whether by the chess player of by the scientist, are trials only of themselves, not of the rules of the game. They are possible only so long as the paradigm itself is taken for granted.”

Saying this in the language of mental symmetry, the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought works within an existing general Teacher theory; it limits its thought to a particular mental ‘valley’.

But, what happens when this mental exploration uncovers some mental anomaly which does not fit the Teacher paradigm of that particular ‘valley’? The first response of the typical Contributor person will not be to ask for help from other mental strategies, because that would mean losing mental control and admitting personal inadequacy. Instead, Contributor thought will typically respond by applying—more Contributor thought, which will define the problem more precisely. However, Contributor strategy is driven by Exhorter thought, which is attracted to emotional crises. The result is a vicious circle. The intellectual problem attracts the attention of Exhorter thought, which motivates Contributor thought to work out the technical details of the problem, which defines the problem more acutely, which attracts the attention of Exhorter strategy even more strongly.

Will an intellectual crisis always arise? That is hard to say. However, if revolution is the fundamental paradigm, then that suggests that this may be the case. In addition, if morality can be defined as using all mental modes in harmony—which I do elsewhere, then this implies that using Contributor thought to the exclusion of other modes of thought will eventually run into problems. However, even if an intellectual crisis never arises, the valley will eventually become fully explored and the resulting Exhorter boredom will drive Contributor thought to explore new regions outside of the valley.

Kuhn describes how Contributor thought instinctively responds to intellectual crisis by applying more Contributor thought: “Faced with an admittedly fundamental anomaly in theory, the scientist’s first effort will often be to isolate it more precisely and to give it structure. Though now aware they cannot be right, he will push the rules of normal science harder than ever to see, in the area of difficulty, just where and how far they can be made to work. Simultaneously he will seek for ways of magnifying the breakdown, of making it more striking and perhaps also more suggestive.”

Kuhn also mentions the vicious circle: “ anomaly comes to seem more than just another puzzle of normal science, the transition to crisis and to extraordinary science has begun. The anomaly itself now comes to be more generally recognized as such by the profession. More and more attention is devoted to it by more and more of the field’s most eminent men. If it still continues to resist, as it usually does not, many of them may come to view its resolution as the subject matter of their discipline. For them the field will no longer look quite the same as it had earlier. Part of its different appearance results simply from the new fixation point of scientific scrutiny. An even more important source of change is the divergent nature of the numerous partial solutions that concerted attention to the problem has made available. The early attacks upon the resistant problem will have followed the paradigm rules quite closely. But with continuing resistance, more and more of the attacks upon it will have involved some minor or not so minor articulation of the paradigm.”

As the previous paragraph implies, eventually the problem will become so acute that Contributor thought will lose control. This loss of control is inevitable because Contributor strategy is based upon a mental foundation of assumed confidence. Remember that Contributor strategy ties together Perceiver facts and Server sequences. But, Perceiver and Server memories are based upon confidence. When Contributor strategy is functioning, it assumes Perceiver and Server confidence; it trusts that the underlying Perceiver facts and Server sequences are solid. But, if these fall apart—which they will do when the emotional pressure becomes too strong, then Contributor thought will no longer have any way of guiding Exhorter strategy. When this happens, then the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought will break down.

“Normal science possesses a built-in mechanism that ensure the relaxation of the restriction that bound research whenever the paradigm from which they derive ceases to function effectively. At that point scientists begin to behave differently, and the nature of their research problems changes.”

When intellectual Contributor thought breaks down, then Contributor thought can no longer impose its rules of technicality upon intellectual thought: “All crises begin with the blurring of a paradigm and the consequent loosening of the rules for normal research. In this respect research during crisis very much resembles research during the pre-paradigm period.”

Exhorter thought and imagination, the mental strategy that comes before Contributor thought, becomes dominant. “The analytical thought experimentation that bulks so large in the writings of Galileo, Einstein, Bohr and others is perfectly calculated to expose the old paradigm to existing knowledge in ways that isolate the root of crisis with a clarity unattainable in the laboratory.”

When intellectual Contributor thought is functioning, then Contributor strategy assumes the stability of underlying Perceiver and Server structure. When this underlying structure itself becomes uncertain, then Exhorter strategy will find new intellectual crises to attract its attention. Scientists will begin to ask basic questions about Perceiver knowing and Server sequence, questions which normally belong to the field of philosophy. Notice that this crisis is deeper than the previous one. Initially, there was a loss of Contributor confidence. Intellectual Contributor was unable to solve a problem within an existing Teacher paradigm and that emotional crisis attracted the attention of Exhorter strategy. Now it is the underlying Perceiver and Server confidence that is crumbling, and Exhorter thought is being attracted to the emotional crisis of doubting basic facts of Perceiving knowing and Server sequence—fundamental elements which are assumed by normal science.

“It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers. Indeed, normal science usually holds creative philosophy at arm’s length, and probably for good reasons. To the extent that normal research work can be conducted by using the paradigm as a model, rules and assumptions need not be made explicit.”

When underlying Perceiver and Server structure starts to crumble, then the paradigm as a whole becomes uncertain: “Though there still is a paradigm, few practitioners prove to be entirely agreed about what it is. Even formerly standard solutions of solved problems are called in question.” Previously, the uncertainty was limited to a point in the valley. Now, the entire valley becomes rocked by intellectual earthquakes.

This is when science moves past intellectual Contributor thought that is limited to an existing general Teacher theory and turns into a searc. “The analytical thought experimentation that bulks so large in the writings of Galileo, Einstein, Bohr and others is perfectly calculated to expose the old paradigm to existing knowledge in ways that isolate the root of crisis with a clarity unattainable in the laboratory.”

When intellectual Contributor thought is functioning, then Contributor strategy assumes the stability of underlying Perceiver and Server structure. When this underlying structure itself becomes uncertain, then Exhorter strategy will find new intellectual crises to attract its attention. Scientists will begin to ask basic questions about Perceiver knowing and Server sequence, questions which normally belong to the field of philosophy. Notice that this crisis is deeper than the previous one. Initially, there was a loss of Contributor confidence. Intellectual Contributor was unable to solve a problem within an existing Teacher paradigm and that emotional crisis attracted the attention of Exhorter strategy. Now it is the underlying Perceiver and Server confidence that is crumbling, and Exhorter thought is being attracted to the emotional crisis of doubting basic facts of Perceiving knowing and Server sequence—fundamental elements which are assumed by normal science.

“It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers. Indeed, normal science usually holds creative philosophy at arm’s length, and probably for good reasons. To the extent that normal research work can be conducted by using the paradigm as a model, rules and assumptions need not be made explicit.”

When underlying Perceiver and Server structure starts to crumble, then the paradigm as a whole becomes uncertain: “Though there still is a paradigm, few practitioners prove to be entirely agreed about what it is. Even formerly standard solutions of solved problems are called in question.” Previously, the uncertainty was limited to a point in the valley. Now, the entire valley becomes rocked by intellectual earthquakes.

This is when science moves past intellectual Contributor thought that is limited to an existing general Teacher theory and turns into a search for general Teacher theories. No longer can Contributor concentration restrict the range of thought. Instead, Exhorter strategy will be given the freedom to direct attention in new and exciting areas, and Facilitator thought will be permitted to make random changes: “In the latter effort, more than in any other part of the post-paradigm development of science, he will look almost like our most prevalent image of the scientist. He will, in the first place, often seem a man searching at random trying experiments just to see what will happen, looking for an effect whose nature he cannot quite guess. Simultaneously, since no experiment can be conceived without some sort of theory, the scientist in crisis will constantly try to generate speculative theories.”

What often guides the scientist during these times of crisis is Teacher feelings of elegance and simplicity: “Something must make at least a few scientists feel that the new proposal is on the right track, and sometimes it is only personal and inarticulate aesthetic considerations that can do that. Men have been converted by them at times when most of the articulable technical arguments pointed the other way.”

“There is also another sort of consideration that can lead scientists to reject an old paradigm in favor of a new. These are the arguments, rarely made entirely explicit, that appeal to the individual’s sense of the appropriate or the aesthetic—the new theory is said to be ‘neater,’ ‘more suitable,’ or ‘simpler’ than the old.”

Why are these Teacher feelings of aesthetic implicit? Because they belong to the nonverbal aspect of science which comes from the solving of many scientific problems. This repeated Server activity creates a corresponding non-verbal Teacher theory, which produces Teacher feelings of order within complexity when problems are solved simply and elegantly.

Revolutionary Science and Cognitive Styles

Now that we have described the process by which the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought falls apart, I would like to look briefly at how other cognitive styles approach general Teacher theories. When normal science breaks down, it is these other strategies which come to the fore. We will begin with Exhorter strategy.

The thinking of the Exhorter person usually does not pass the Contributor test of academic rigor. Nevertheless, it plays a crucial role in the development of scientific thought because it is the precursor to science. When normal science fails and revolutionary science is required, then Exhorter thought generally provides the new solution. This can occur simply through the loosening of Contributor control. Exhorter strategy provides the drive and imagination for Contributor thought. During normal science, Contributor strategy is firmly in control, dictating the standards of professionalism that must be met in order to be regarded as a legitimate scientist. However, if the scientist allows his imagination to wander, then Exhorter strategy within his mind will be given the freedom to explore new paths. And, because Exhorter strategy is attracted to novelty, Exhorter thought will come up with new ideas. This type of out-of-control thinking also occurs when dreaming, and fresh ideas often arise in the middle of the night: “The new paradigm, or a sufficient hint to permit later articulation, emerges all at once, sometimes in the middle of the night, in the mind of a man deeply immersed in crisis.”

Let me clarify exactly how this works. In the Contributor person, Exhorter strategy is subconscious, and it provides the drive and imagination for conscious Contributor thought. During normal science, the Contributor person controls subconscious Exhorter thought within his mind by channelling it through the technical standards of academic rigor. Because of the strong will of the Contributor person, and because of his ability to meet these academic standards better than anyone else, it is the Contributor persons, assisted by the Facilitator persons, who set the standards which all of the cognitive styles must meet in order to get a job and get published. During times of revolutionary science, Contributor persons lose control of the research process, other cognitive styles are temporarily permitted to ‘run the show’, and more freedom is also given to subconscious thought within the minds of the Contributor persons themselves.

Exhorter strategy comes up with Teacher theories by the method which I call ‘proof by example’, more commonly known as anecdotal evidence. If you look at the diagram of mental symmetry, you see that Exhorter thought ties together Mercy experiences with Teacher theories. When Exhorter strategy encounters an emotional Mercy situation, it attempts to come up with a corresponding general Teacher theory: “I was driving along in my car, daydreaming as usual, when suddenly a child ran in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes. There is a lesson here to learn. The most significant events of life often cross your path when you are paying attention to other matters.”

While Exhorter thought bases its general Teacher theories upon individual, emotional Mercy experiences, the connections between these experiences are determined by Perceiver facts and Server sequences. Therefore, if a person—regardless of his cognitive style—programs his mind with solid Server and Perceiver content, his Exhorter imagination will become more intelligent. But, Exhorter imagination combines Teacher and Mercy content. Therefore, when Exhorter thought comes up with Teacher theories, it requires a mental foundation of Mercy images, preferably emotional ones. Objective science avoids Mercy feelings. However, if a scientist translates his Teacher theories and Perceiver facts into Mercy images, he can develop an intelligent Exhorter driven imagination that is very effective at solving scientific problems in non-traditional ways. Richard Feynmann, the famous physicist, provides a great example.

A similar principle applies to practical Contributor thought. This type of high quality emotionally driven behavior is illustrated by the professional artist, who has learned the Perceiver facts and Server actions of a particular skill, but who then uses emotionally driven Exhorter imagination to move spontaneous through this mental network.

The average Exhorter person does not have the patience to add scientific content to his imagination, especially since objective science suppresses Mercy emotions—the starting point for intellectual Exhorter imagination. But, like the scientist, the Exhorter person does appreciate general Teacher theories, especially if they are new and backed up by testimonials. The typical scientist looks at these pseudo-scientific Teacher theories and rejects them for their lack of intellectual rigor, but these pre-scientific concepts provide the mental seeds from which scientific paradigms grow.

For instance, the theory of mental symmetry began in the 1970s as a system of cognitive styles proposed by a religious Exhorter seminar speaker called Bill Gothard. His thinking is not scientifically rigorous, and he quickly rejected our research as being ‘too secular’. However, his anecdotally based theory provided the starting point from which the model of mental symmetry was gradually constructed. Similarly, every major branch of modern science began existence as a pseudo-scientific aspect of ‘natural philosophy’.

The next step in developing a new paradigm usually involves a Teacher person. For the Exhorter person, what matters is novelty and crisis. He comes up with a theory, pursues it for a while, and then moves on to the next concept. Or, he sees a personal problem, comes up with a theoretical solution and then turns into the motivating speaker or dynamic preacher who peddles his intellectual cure.

Teacher thought, in contrast, uses concentration to find the nugget of a theory, turn it into a general Teacher theory by treating it as general, and then interpreting everything else in the light of this new general theory upon which he is concentrating. This then establishes a bottom line for intellectual Contributor thought within his mind, which can then begin to function.

While the Teacher person has the ability to force his mind to concentrate upon a Teacher theory, he cannot ‘see’ the rest of his mind. As a result, he has no way of evaluating the Perceiver facts that are used to build and develop his newborn theory. The Teacher person usually tries to compensate for this cognitive weakness by building his Teacher theory using only Perceiver facts from trusted and established sources. This assumes, of course, that the trusted sources can in fact be trusted and that there is not a systemic flaw in the system.

The Teacher person may also emphasize logic and use mathematics to attempt to find theoretical stability. But, unlike the Contributor person, the Teacher person is not driven by the challenge of solving intellectual puzzles. Instead, he wants to discover an emotional theory which will not crumble. For, he is conscious in Teacher thought and he experiences the Teacher pain of a fragmented understanding up close. However, he is caught in a mental dilemma: He wants to find a Teacher theory that will not change, but conscious thought for him tends to provoke paradigm change while it is subconscious thought that gives stability to his theories. Similarly, Mercy strategy, the other emotional mode of thought, also has problems with mental instability, and also gains stability only as subconscious thought is developed.

It is normal for the Teacher person to think in terms of revolutionary science, for whenever he uses Teacher concentration to focus upon some item within Teacher thought, he is performing a temporary paradigm change. If he lacks mental content, he will literally come up with a new complete paradigm every few months. Similarly, it is tempting for him to respond to a minor intellectual problem by coming up with a new general Teacher theory. When a new paradigm is needed, then this approach is extremely effective, as the examples of Newton and Einstein show. However, this mental bias towards revolutionary science means that working with the Teacher person can be both highly effective and emotionally draining, because one spends most of the time either trying to hold on to the existing paradigm or else error-checking a new paradigm for accuracy.

The Perceiver person is conscious in the mode of thought which builds a general Teacher theory. Because he lives within Perceiver thought, he is naturally able to determine the reasonableness of Perceiver information; whenever he encounters a new Perceiver fact, he places a label of confidence upon it by comparing it with similar Perceiver facts. Thus, unlike other cognitive styles, he can actually build a fairly solid intellectual structure using unstable or uncertain building material, because he has the mental ability to test each potential mental brick for stability and certainty. This type of thinking is most useful when a general theory is in its early stages of development.

This intermediate form of thought often falls between the cracks of accepted practice. On the one hand, the thinking of the Perceiver person is too technical for the average person because he is using Perceiver facts and not merely following automatic thought or pursuing emotionally driven reasoning. On the other hand, his thinking is not technical enough for the scientist because he uses Perceiver reasonableness to evaluate his information and not Contributor approved rules of logic and mathematics. Thus, his potential audience tends to leave him because he is either too technical or not technical enough. The one major exception to this is the field of Engineering, a semi-rigorous field of research and application which the average person tends to regard as too technical and the typical scientist often looks down on as not technical enough.

In addition, the Perceiver person lacks the ability of either the Contributor or the Teacher person to concentrate. Because he cannot limit his mind to a single context or theory, the Perceiver person finds himself learning facts about many different areas. This is both a minus and a plus. On the minus side, it means that he finds it difficult to gain the deep technical expertise that is required to be accepted by the Contributor specialist as a true expert. However, on the plus side, it is precisely this wide net of factual information which increases the accuracy of Perceiver reasonableness.

How can one check Perceiver facts for accuracy? The method of normal science is to evaluate the information using the technical rules of math and logic or the technical instruments of scientific analysis. However, it is also possible to check facts by looking for similar facts in other disciplines. This is the method which I learned in Engineering, a realm of thought which is often forced to use incomplete general Teacher theories. As the Engineering saying goes, if you can come up with the same answer using two independent methods, then your solution is probably correct.

Going further, if one discovers that two dissimilar paradigms contain a similar collection of Perceiver facts, then this is a very strong confirmation that one is on the right track and that one has discovered not just an accurate Perceiver fact but rather a legitimate general Teacher theory. This describes what I have been experiencing when comparing the theory of mental symmetry with Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy of science, Ludwig von Mises’ analysis of economics, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and the Christian doctrines of personal salvation. I am not just finding similar Perceiver facts, but instead the Perceiver similarity extends to networks of Perceiver facts and entire paradigms.

For the typical Contributor scientist, the method of Perceiver reasonableness is not acceptable. It does not adhere to the officially approved technical methods and it faces the Contributor person with information which lies completely outside his narrow area of expertise. Thus, the more that the Perceiver person attempts to follow the ideals of science, which is using Perceiver facts to build general Teacher theories, the more he finds himself being pointedly ignored by those who claim to follow those same goals, but who are in fact using concentration and technicality to make up for a lack of general understanding. Faced with such opposition, the Perceiver thinker can either give up or else continue to develop his Teacher theory and wait until a time of intellectual crisis makes scientific thought more open to new paradigms.

In addition, if the Perceiver researcher can persevere, then as he continues to move from one related topic to another, his Perceiver facts will gain in clarity and precision, and eventually his methods will be sufficiently technical to pass the threshold of acceptability, especially if he can look at the findings of existing experts and relate their facts to his growing paradigm.

At least that is what the theory states. I am testing it by writing this essay—and others. I should say in passing that the ‘existing experts’ which I find to be most helpful to examine are the original authors who started a field. First, because they were struggling to develop something new, this forced them to develop more Perceiver and Server confidence than those who came later. Therefore, they are more willing to make emotionally tinged statements which those who come later might reject as politically incorrect. In addition, because their writing is addressed to a broader audience, their comments usually cover a wider range of topics and are not locked into one narrow field. Finally, because they developed a paradigm, their vocabulary is also less technical and their explanations are more complete.

Moving on to the Facilitator person, his mode of thought can be found at all stages of science, but his thinking tends to push science in certain predictable directions which are often helpful to the development of science, but not always. Facilitator strategy follows Contributor thought, and uses mixing and balancing to adjust various items within a Contributor context. In mathematical terms, conscious thought for the Facilitator person involves interpolating between a set of fixed options by adjusting in an analog fashion between various extremes. When faced with a situation that lies beyond his fixed reference points, he will use the conscious blending to extrapolate from his existing paradigm. Thus, Facilitator thought assumes that the current paradigm always applied, that it applies everywhere, and that it always will apply. As a result, the Facilitator person is often the strongest proponent of evolution, in all of its various forms and permutations. Saying this another way, while the Contributor scientist assumes a Teacher paradigm, the Facilitator researcher assumes the existence of normal science. When a paradigm falls apart, the Facilitator person literally feels muddled, and he will go to great lengths to avoid that sensation.

The Facilitator researcher is good at exploring a paradigm, for he will use mental adjustment to work his way systemically through a topic. He is also talented at using the experimental method, because he will keep all variables fixed while adjusting parameters one at a time. He can also come up with a solution during times of crisis by randomly adjusting factors until a solution appears.

Facilitator strategy has a love/hate type of relationship with Exhorter thought. The Facilitator person strongly appreciates the order and structure of normal science and usually views the Exhorter person as a ‘bull in a china shop’ who uses crude and unsophisticated methods to destroy existing structure and provoke radical change. However, if the Facilitator person ever feels that a field of thought has been fully explored and that there is nothing left to adjust, then he will experience intense boredom and will insist upon leaving the present topic and moving on to something totally different, even if this means destroying existing structure and provoking radical change. Thus, the Facilitator person may say that he believes in evolution, but his personal history actually contains periods of evolutionary change interspersed by episodes of revolutionary upheaval.

As for the Server person, one would think that he would play a major role in science, because Server strategy builds the cognitive map for intellectual Contributor thought. However, our research suggests that this is not the case. The culprit appears to be the division between Sensing and iNtuition. Most Server persons become so locked into the daily routine and physical action of Sensing that they never learn the iNtuitive Teacher theories that are required to transform action into scientific investigation.

Finally, the Mercy person finds himself on the wrong side of the division between Thinking and Feeling to be strongly attracted to normal science. Science is objective; the Mercy person lives in subjectivity. When science becomes applied in technology, then the Mercy person can excel, but he will use the tools of technology in a non-theoretical way, playing with them in order to gain practical experience, and feeling his way to a solution. In addition, the Mercy person can often be found in the social sciences, in which personal emotion plays a major role.

Political Revolution and Scientific Revolution

Kuhn makes a comparison between scientific revolution and political revolution in one of his chapters, and I would like take a few paragraphs to discuss this in the light of mental symmetry.

As Kuhn points out, both types of revolution are triggered by inadequacies in Teacher order and structure. In a scientific revolution, it is an internal general Teacher theory which is crumbling. In a political revolution, what is falling apart is the external general Teacher structure of a political system of law and order.

In both cases, specific situations have come to light which contradict the existing general Teacher structure. Initially people try to handle these exceptions within the existing general Teacher order, but slowly they come to the realization that the paradigm is not working.

“Political revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, often restricted to a segment of the political community, that existing institutions have ceased adequately to meet the problems posed by an environment that they have in part created. In much the same way, scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, again often restricted to a narrow subdivision of the scientific community, that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way. In both political and scientific development the sense of malfunction that can lead to crisis is prerequisite to revolution.”

Perceiver facts have the ability either to build or contradict general Teacher theories. In both a scientific and a political revolution, there are two sources of Perceiver truth, and it is the contradiction between these two ways of defining Perceiver truth which produces the tension.

In science, Perceiver facts originally come from observations of natural cause and effect. The scientific observer compares one natural Server sequence with another and comes up with Perceiver similarities. These Perceiver facts are then used to build a general Teacher theory or paradigm. Once this paradigm is in place, then it can become the source of new Perceiver facts. These new Perceiver facts do not come from observation of the natural world. Instead, their main purpose is to extend the Teacher generality of the paradigm. The stress appears when the Perceiver facts which come from the general Teacher theory contradict those which come from the scientific observation of Mercy experiences.

Kuhn describes the inherent stress between these two types of Perceiver facts: “Few philosophers of science still seek absolute criteria for the verification of scientific theories. Noting that no theory can ever be exposed to all possible relevant tests, they ask not whether a theory has been verified but rather about its probability in the light of the evidence that actually exists. And to answer that question one important school is driven to compare the ability of different theories to explain the evidence at hand.”

A similar situation arises in politics. Originally, Perceiver laws were formulated to coordinate the Server actions of a group of individuals. But, when Perceiver thought ties together Server sequences, then this will build a general Teacher understanding. Teacher feelings such as political and military power, domain, societal order, and bureaucracy will emerge. Once this Teacher structure is in place then it can become the source of new Perceiver laws. These new Perceiver laws do not come from a desire to coordinate the actions of the common man. Instead, their main purpose is to extend the Teacher domain of the monarch, government official, government organization, or bureaucracy. The stress appears when the Perceiver laws which come from the government system contradict the Perceiver laws which are need to coordinate the actions of normal citizens.

These Perceiver differences, by themselves, are insufficient to threaten the general Teacher theory. As Kuhn says, a scientific theory always faces potential counterexamples, and every political system contains individuals who feel disenfranchised.

If a scientific or societal ‘counterexample’ is to provoke change, then the first step is to define this tension more precisely. This clarifies the Perceiver differences between the Perceiver facts that come from the Teacher order and those that come from Mercy experiences. This relates to Hegel’s concept of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis—as he himself originally formulated it and not as those who came after him modified his ideas. According to Hegel, the ‘antithesis’ emerges when a societal group comes to the realization that it is different than the ruling group. One thinks, for example, of the average communist comrade, who slowly realized that party members shopped in different stores, ate at different restaurants, had different medical care, lived in different housing, and so on. This Perceiver difference contradicted the socialist general Teacher theory of equality. As Kuhn describes: “In increasing numbers individuals become increasingly estranged from political life and behave more and more eccentrically within it.”

The instinctive reaction of any general Teacher theory to a contradictory Perceiver fact is to ignore it. The crisis emerges when this counterexample can no longer be ignored. At this point, people will begin to start questioning the existing Teacher structure. In Kuhn’s words: “As the crisis deepens, many of these individuals commit themselves to some concrete proposal for the reconstruction of society in a new institutional framework.”

In both types of revolution, those who are in power have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, because they are using their personal connection with Teacher generality to bring them good personal experiences in Mercy thought. The political leader has a nice home and a cushy job, thanks to his position of authority; the established professor has his tenured job, personal prestige, and the perks that go along with this. These are the ones who have the most to lose if there is a paradigm shift and the existing Teacher structure is overthrown. That explains why the Mercy reason why the new regime and the new paradigm usually comes from an outsider or someone who is new to the system. In addition, there is also the Teacher reason of having to find one’s place within a new Teacher paradigm.

Kuhn says that an old scientific paradigm will only be rejected when a new Teacher paradigm exists to take its place. That is because science is objective: it uses Teacher emotions and tries to avoid Mercy feelings. Thus, the only way to overcome the Teacher emotion of an existing paradigm is with the Teacher emotion of a new paradigm. This does not mean that there are no Mercy feelings in science. Whenever people get involved, subjective Mercy emotions always tag along. But, personal Mercy feelings play no official role in scientific discussion.

Politics, in contrast, has as its basic unit the human individual and his personal emotional aspirations. Therefore, the Teacher emotion provided by the structure of the political regime can be opposed by the personal Mercy feelings of those who do not feel part of the system. As a result, the Teacher chaos that is provoked by a political revolution is generally far more intense than that which is triggered by a scientific revolution. In a political revolution, “the parties to a revolutionary conflict must finally resort to the techniques of mass persuasion, often including force.” In contrast, one of the unspoken rules of scientific research is that one must not use political pressure to back up a theory. This is a natural corollary of being objective. If one avoids Mercy emotions when building Teacher theories, then one will also tend to avoid Mercy emotions when defending theories.

The attitude of a religious group to political force is often a good indicator about how it defines Perceiver truth. If it practices blind faith and uses Mercy importance to establish Perceiver truth, then it will also be willing to use political force to protect that truth when it is threatened. However, if it has learned that Perceiver belief can only grow by being tested, than it will also avoid using political force to impose truth or morality upon the population, relying instead upon personal example and verbal persuasion to defend its Teacher theories.


Finally, I would like to spend a little more time on Kuhn’s concept of incommensurability. In the words of Kuhn, “like the choice between competing political institutions, that between competing paradigms proves to be a choice between incompatible modes of community life. Because it has that character, the choice is not and cannot be determined merely by the evaluative procedures characteristic of normal science, for these depend in part upon a particular paradigm, and that paradigm is at issue. When paradigms enter, as they must, into a debate about paradigm choice, there role is necessarily circular. Each group uses its own paradigm to argue in that paradigm’s defense.”

Saying this in the language of mental symmetry, normal science uses intellectual Contributor thought, a mental circuit which assumes a structure of permissible Server sequences and Perceiver rules. Both logic and mathematics are examples of intellectual Contributor thought. When one is building a paradigm, one steps outside of intellectual Contributor thought by using other mental modes to determine the appropriate Server sequences, Perceiver rules, and general Teacher theory. One cannot use intellectual Contributor thought to program intellectual Contributor thought. Using an analogy, one can’t build a car by driving a car.

Thus, one concludes that it does not make sense for a professor of some field to refuse to learn anything about the theory of mental symmetry and then demand that logic be used to prove this theory. Both Thomas Kuhn and the theory of mental symmetry state that this is a mental impossibility: “Debates over theory-choice cannot be cast in a form that fully resembles logical or mathematical proof.”

But, Kuhn suggests that the incompatibility between one paradigm and another extends beyond mere problems of logic and its valid use. I suggest that this is because Perceiver thought serves two mental purposes, a concept which has been introduced before. When dealing with practical Contributor thought, Perceiver thought divides Mercy experiences into various categories, building the mental map which organizes and arranges Mercy experiences.

However, when dealing with intellectual Contributor thought and communication, Perceiver strategy plays the role of assigning Perceiving meanings to Teacher words. Science begins with observation of the external world, as Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into objects and categories. But, when a general Teacher theory is constructed, then these Perceiver categories will often be modified in order to be consistent with Teacher understanding. Thus, the scientist will interpret the world using the Perceiver categories that come from his Teacher paradigm and not those that come from physical observation.

Kuhn tries to clarify this concept in his postscript: “Consider the scientist inspecting an ammeter to determine the number against which the needle has settled. His sensation probably is the same as the layman’s, particularly if the latter has read other sorts of meters before. But he has seen the meter (again often literally) in the context of the entire circuit, and he knows something about its internal structure. For him the needle’s position is a criterion, but only of the value of the current. To interpret it he need determine only on which scale the meter is to be read. For the layman, on the other hand, the needle’s position is not a criterion of anything except itself. To interpret it, he must examine the whole layout of wires, internal and external, experiment with batteries and magnets, and so on. In the metaphorical no less than in the literal use of ‘seeing’, interpretation begins where perception ends. The two processes are not the same and what perception leaves for interpretation to complete depends drastically on the nature and amount of prior experience and training.”

Thus, the layman sees the meter, but nothing more. Perceiver thought in his mind knows how to recognize a meter as a physical object and examine the position of the dial on that meter. But, for the scientist, that physical meter is associated with a complete general Teacher theory.

As a Perceiver person, this sort of thing happens to me all the time. For instance, when I look at an electrical circuit, two distinct processes are occurring simultaneously. First, I am using Perceiver object detection to interpret what I am physically seeing: “There is a diode; here is a transistor; the base of the transistor goes through this resistor.” Second, I am mentally constructing a sort of schematic diagram of the circuit, based upon my general Teacher understanding of electric circuits. I then overlay these two sets of Perceiver facts on top of each other. I may examine part of the physical circuit in order to determine the location or physical condition of some specific component: “Oh look. There are black marks on this power transistor. Maybe it is blown.” Or, I may use Teacher understanding to update the mental schematic: “The circuit must have an output stage. Where is that located?”

There is a second effect which also involves Perceiver thought. When the layman approaches a topic, Perceiver facts in his mind are being provided by automatic Perceiver processing, which automatically categorizes sensory experiences into vague, uncertain categories based upon sensory repetition. This is the source of common sense and the starting point for Perceiver reasonableness. When a person thinks about a subject, he pulls Perceiver facts into the internal world of Perceiver thought. (Each of the four simple styles appear to have an automatic part in the back of the brain together with an internal world in a portion of the frontal lobes.) This allows Perceiver facts to become more solid and to be defined more precisely. These Perceiver beliefs from the internal world of thought override facts which were gathered through automatic processing. As a result, the person who has learned a paradigm observes his external world using a sharper and clearer set of Perceiver categories.

Kuhn describes this mental effect: “Looking at a contour map, the student sees lines on paper, the cartographer a picture of a terrain. Looking at a bubble-chamber photograph, the student sees confused and broken lines, the physical a record of familiar subnuclear events. Only after a number of such transformations of vision does the student become an inhabitant of the scientist’s world, seeing what the scientist sees and responding as the scientist does. The world that the student then enters is not, however, fixed once and for all by the nature of the environment, on the one hand, and of science, on the other. Rather, it is determined jointly by the environment and the particular normal-scientific tradition that the student has been trained to pursue.”

Notice first that Kuhn describes the tension between the two types of Perceiver facts: those which comes from object recognition and those which are related to theory. But, the scientifist does not just see items in the light of Teacher theory. He also sees items more clearly than the layman. That is because the scientist has practiced seeing. He has trained Perceiver thought to distinguish more carefully between one visual item and another. Therefore, he notices details and patterns which the untrained eye does not.  

A Teacher paradigm modifies this by determining where a person will focus his attention and what he will train his eye to see more clearly. For the physicist with his cloud chamber, interpreting visual curves is an important visual skill, because it is used to recognize subatomic particles. Someone with a different or competing Teacher paradigm will train his eye in different areas, and will develop different visual skills. The photographer, for instance, learns how to interpret light and shadow, the car mechanic becomes adept at interpreting the noises of a car engine. (Non-verbal sounds are also interpreted primarily by Mercy thought.)

This mental attention is driven by Exhorter thought, which is attracted to strong emotions. The attention of the average person is guided by the Mercy feelings of normal existence. When a person builds a paradigm, his attention then becomes directed also by the Teacher emotions of general understanding. Thus, his understanding alters his emotional response so that he regards different events as important. When a person changes paradigms, then his Teacher emotions will also change, causing him to focus upon different aspects of reality.

“Therefore, at times of revolution, when the normal-scientific tradition changes, the scientist’s perception of his environment must be re-educated—in some familiar situations he must learn to see a new gestalt. After he has done so the world of his research will seem, here and there, incommensurable with the one he had inhabited before.”

Finally, it is possible for a general Teacher theory to actually modify the Perceiver categories of object recognition. This occurs, for example, with Western music. Musical intervals are based upon simple harmonic ratios such as 2:1, 3:2, 4:3, and so on. This arrangement comes from Perceiver thought observing the vibrations of strings and comparing these vibrations with each other. The ancient Greeks first described these relationships.

But if one wants to build a musical scale out of musical intervals, then one must take these unequal ratios and turn them into equal musical steps. In the Western scale, each semitone is defined as a frequency that is about 1.059% above the previous note on the scale. Thus, the Teacher theory of a structured scale ends up modifying the Perceiver categories of pitch, leading to the ever present tension between true pitch and tempered pitch. True pitch is based in natural intervals; tempered pitch is based in logarithmically equal intervals. Teacher theory actually ends up slightly modifying Perceiver truth in order to make it more regular and more structured. When a person hears a piano, he thinks that he is hearing intervals that are in tune. In fact, a piano has been subtly mistuned in order to regularize the intervals. Without this slight mistuning, Western music with its many keys and continual key changes would not be possible. And, a similar Teacher-Perceiver tension exists with other elements of music.

In the case of musical scale, the difference between true and tempered intervals is quite slight. Most untrained ears cannot tell them apart. Similarly, Perceiver facts which come from scientific theory are usually so similar to those which come from common sense that the untrained thinker cannot distinguish the two.

A similar principle applies to the concept of cognitive styles. When the average person observes human behavior, he concludes that categories such as Thinking versus Feeling or Sensing versus iNtuition are accurate. But, it appears that the actual categories are subtly different, and it is that difference which makes it possible to build the general Teacher theory of mental symmetry. The average person on the street probably has never thought about the distinction between personal emotion and Feeling, and would have a hard time distinguishing one mode of thought from another.

So far we have looked at what is happening within Perceiver thought. But, an additional effect also occurs within Server strategy. When working with abstract thought, Server comes before Perceiver; Server strategy builds the cognitive ‘map’ within which Perceiver thought functions: “Paradigms may be prior to, more binding, and more complete than any set of rules for research that could be unequivocally abstracted from them.”

Let us begin by quoting Kuhn: “The practice of normal science depends on the ability, acquired from exemplars, to group objects and situations into similarity sets which are primitive in the sense that the grouping is done without an answer to the question, “Similar with respect to what?” One central aspect of any revolution is, then, that some of the similarity relations change.”

Kuhn refers to the grouping which is acquired from exemplars. In the language of mental symmetry, each time a person solves a scientific problem, he is gaining confidence in a Server sequence. Server sequences bring stability to Teacher words, and they lay down a set of nonverbal ‘tracks’ along which Teacher thought will naturally travel. Thus, Server ‘doing’ warps Teacher ‘saying’ even before Perceiver thought has a chance to add Perceiver meaning. When a person uses a paradigm for an extended period of time, he learns how it works. This is Server knowledge, related to sequence, time and action. There is no instant way of acquiring this Server knowledge and Server confidence. For instance, suppose that I drive a certain model of car. When I meet someone else who owns the same type of car, they will understand what I am talking about because they will have experienced similar Server sequences.

Translation uses Perceiver thought to convert one set of Teacher words into another. Translation works because all humans inhabit similar physical bodies and live in similar physical surroundings. But, imagine trying to describe Western society to someone who has only lived in a communist country. Translation breaks down because there is nothing to translate to. The sequences and actions carried out are too different. Words may be able to give a partial description, but the only way to really understand what it means to live in a certain society is to live for a while in that society. Similarly, if one really wants to evaluate a new paradigm, then one must use this paradigm for a while.

The philosopher or mathematician who lives in iNtuition cannot truly grasp this Server aspect of incommensurability, because it involves the Server actions of Sensing, which are not connected in his mind with verbal iNtuition. The scientist, who does bridge Sensing and iNtuition, knows what it is like for Server procedures and actions to affect words so much that translation becomes exceedingly difficult.

And, that describes one of my biggest problems when attempting to describe the theory of mental symmetry. It is not just a verbal theory. It is a lifestyle. When I come up with a concept, I do not just use logic to work it out. Instead, I also put the concept into practice in some way, and these Server actions lay the mental foundation for further theoretical work. This goes one step beyond objective science, which itself goes one step beyond philosophy and other theoretical fields. Science conducts experiments, adding the Server actions of Sensing to the Teacher words of iNtuition. However, comprehending mental symmetry requires personal application, adding both Server actions and subjective Mercy emotions to theoretical concepts.

In Conclusion

That brings us, finally, to the end of this rather lengthy analysis. I would like to finish by looking at the waffling conclusion of Kuhn in his postscript in which he attempts to extricate himself from the baffling conclusion of his initial book. He begins by mentioning that others have accused him of embracing relativism in his final pages: “One consequence of the position just outlined has particularly bothered a number of my critics. They find my viewpoint relativistic, particularly as it is developed in the last section of this book.”

In response, he protests that he really does believe in scientific progress: “Later scientific theories are better than earlier ones for solving puzzles in the often quite different environments to which they are applied. That is not a relativist’s position, and it displays the sense in which I am a convinced believer in scientific progress.” Stating this in the language of mental symmetry, he states that he firmly believes in the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought: It is possible to come up with new and improved general Teacher theories which are better at guiding the problem-solving of normal science—a mode of thinking which uses intellectual Contributor thought.

But then he realizes that this has a disturbing implication: “A scientific theory is usually felt to be better than its predecessors not only in the sense that it is a better instrument for discovering and solving puzzles but also because it is somehow a better representation of what nature is really like.” Again, translating this into the language of mental symmetry, the circuit of intellectual Contributor thought did not come into existence in a vacuum. Instead, it was born out of something else which is out there. Similarly, when intellectual Contributor thought functions, it is discovering more about what is out there, and when science experiences a revolution, then scientific theory is put back together by something out there.

But, Kuhn does not like the idea of something being out there, just as the typical Contributor person does not like to admit that there is any other form of intelligent thought: “Perhaps there is some other way of salvaging the notion of ‘truth’ for application to whole theories, but this one will not do. There is, I think, no theory-independent way to reconstruct phrases like ‘really there’; the notion of a match between the ontology of a theory and its ‘real’ counterpart in nature now seems to me illusive in principle.”

However, he insists that he really does believe that it is possible for intellectual Contributor thought to come up with new and improved methods and theories that can be used in normal science: “I do not doubt, for example, that Newton’s mechanics improves on Aristotle’s and that Einstein’s improves on Newton’s as instruments for puzzle-solving.”

He is not sure, though, that the concept of progress extends beyond intellectual Contributor thought: “But I can see in their succession no coherent direction of ontological development. On the contrary, in some important respects, though by no means in all, Einstein’s general theory of relativity is closer to Aristotle’s than either of them is to Newton’s.”

Thus, Kuhn is faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, the overall thesis of his book suggests that something has to exist outside of intellectual Contributor thought and its method of normal science. On the other hand, Kuhn ends up insisting that nothing really exists outside of intellectual Contributor thought. Why? Kuhn gives us the answer: “There is, I think, no theory-independent way to reconstruct phrases like ‘really there.’”

In other words, even though Kuhn’s book demolishes the concept of the supremacy of intellectual Contributor thought and its ‘normal science’ of solving intellectual problems, he still concludes by insisting that nothing really exists apart from intellectual Contributor thought. Why? I suggest that this is because he has no better paradigm.

But, the theory of mental symmetry can explain pre-scientific thought, normal science and revolutionary science. It suggests that the mind contains seven different modes of thought and that normal science involves the cooperation of several modes of thought, guided by Contributor strategy. When normal science falls apart, then these other modes of thought come to the fore and guide mental progress. Does this negate the concept of intellectual progress? No. Instead, it expands it, by suggesting that progress should be measured in terms of mental wholeness, and not limited to the one facet of intellectual progress. The scientific circuit of intellectual Contributor thought requires partial mental wholeness. But, it is not the only mental circuit and Contributor strategy is not the only mode of thought.

For instance, as I mentioned at the beginning of this essay, one month ago, I did not know that Thomas Kuhn existed. (It says three weeks at the top because it took me a week to write this up.) I found the similarities between what Kuhn is saying and what the theory of mental symmetry describes to be both striking and extensive. Similarly, I found out several months ago in a similar fashion that the theory of mental symmetry was noticeably similar to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Likewise, I discovered that it is possible to use the model of mental symmetry to come up with a set of mental programming steps which match up with the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. In each of these cases, I was using a method of thought which is more like engineering than science: Come up with a solution using two independent methods. If both answers are the same, then you are probably on the right track. And, if you can come up with the same paradigm using a totally different method, then you are almost certainly on the right track.

This method of intellectual thought lies outside of normal science with its rigid logic and mathematical equations. However, it appears to head in the direction of normal science; it is the precursor to intellectual Contributor thought, just as the half-baked theories and semi-rigorous equations of engineering often lead toward rigorous science.

That leaves us with one final point. Kuhn points out that old paradigms are only thrown out when new and better paradigms emerge. But, sometimes there are certain problems which the old paradigm is better at solving than the new one. Consistent with this observation, Kuhn also mentions that he sees no linear movement towards ‘absolute truth’ in the succession of Aristotle to Newton to Einstein. Why is that?

I suggest that this is what happens when mental progress occurs in the presence of mental splits. When a new theory replaces an old one, then the new one will often reside on the other side of a mental split. For instance, medieval thinking was based in Feeling; the mechanistic theories of Newton abandoned Feeling for Thinking. But, they did not integrate Feeling with Thinking. Similarly, one often finds a right hemisphere theory being replaced by a left hemisphere one. The philosophy of Heidegger provides an example of rejecting Perceiver-based spatial reasoning and replacing it with Server-oriented action-based reasoning.

To the extent that a new theory leads to mental integration, to that extent I suggest that it really will lead to progress. If we look at Western science, it integrates Sensing and iNtuition. Therefore, it has transformed the way that we do things. However, it does not bridge Thinking and Feeling, therefore it has had no beneficial effect upon our personal emotions and our interpersonal relations. Before, we had to use bows and arrows to kill our enemies from a distance. Now, we can lob ICBMs at them from the other side of the globe. But, we still are still thinking in terms of ‘us versus them’ and we are still trying to kill ‘them’ and they are still trying to kill us.

So, why not adopt a paradigm that makes it possible for us to progress in all areas of thought and existence.