You can’t be rooted unless you’re free and you can’t be free unless you’re rooted L. Ingalls Wilder

Constructive Recollection Philosophy Application

Finding Truth In Science, Justice And Journalism



 Constructive recollection aims to be a renewal of philosophical Modernism. It adds personal freedom and -responsibility to the view that the object-in-itself cannot be known and the subject-in-itself cannot be sensed. The idea that we only need to recognize other self-conscious subjects as self-conscious subjects is not enough, because this only allows for collectivism, socialism and communism. Personal freedom and -responsibility call for independent rational-, emotional- and/or compassionate confirmation, based on coordinated reflection of our two sources and developing into constructive recollection. oooo 



"How far you gonna go before you lose your way back home?"1 A spinning, although otherwise immobile gyroscope, suspended in three gimbals, aboard a spaceship, indicates which direction is home. The outer- and inner components operate independently of each other, even though together they are one. The independence of elements is essential to the system's functionality. Any friction would cause the central element to point into a different direction - away from home.

Object and subject, our sources, will be called here the environment/other/reality and the organism/self/belief. They must be independent, to stay on track of truth and ethics, indicated by independent confirmation of the one source by the other. The discovery of this "duality of origin" (Bergson 1932), has been a fundamental achievement of faith and reason, separating the material from the spiritual, and what could be doubted from what could not be doubted (Descartes 1644).

Dualism was dismissed by Post-Modernism, right after it had been articulated best, in philosophical Modernism, at the end of the 18th century by Kant (Rohlf 2010). In this other view, object and subject were the same and only dialectics or imminence remained, as monism instead of dualism. The thing-in-itself, which Kant believed could not be known, became the "self-conscious subject desiring to be recognized as self-conscious subject" for whom "nothing was easier" (Hegel 1807).

Kant had discovered that basic categories of the human mind, space and time, were produced by the "phenoumenon" or the organism/self/belief itself. For Hegel and the Post-Modernists following him, this was enough to eliminate objective space and time and therefore a separate object such as the "noumenon" or the environment/other/reality. Subject-object dualism supposedly was dialectic subject-subject "intersubjectivism". For Hegel (1801) this was no more than "too bad for the facts".

Dualism in a Post-Modern climate since May 1968 is not welcomed. Still, it is necessary for verification and falsification which phenomenology cannot handle, so that environment and organism, self and other or belief and reality can produce predictable truth and accountable ethics instead of power and politics/dialectics. Coordinate Reflection (1) of sources enables Independent Confirmation (2) between sources and reflections, to get home to Modernism, by Constructive Recollection (3).


1. Coordinate Reflection

Space and time are not the same, yet as space-time they are one. We experience space-time, in our being, at its depths as time or duration "sub-specie durationis" (Bergson 1911) and at its periphery as space or the plane between the inside and the outside of ourselves, the organism/self/belief and the environment/other/reality. "Intuition of duration" (Bergson 1907) connects inside and outside by material facts or immaterial ideas, produced by both sources and their coordinate reflections.

Sources and reflections are opposed. What-is-sensed is reflected in sensing, while knowing is reflected in what-is-known. Sources reflect facts in temporalizing space, or what-is-sensed in sensing, and ideas in spatializing time, or knowing in what-is-known. The sensing- and knowing organism/self/belief, and the sensed- and known environment/other/reality, are themselves reflecting facts or ideas, and the other source's reflection at the same time, because they are one in space-time.



figure 1


The two sources need to coordinate with their reflections and at last with each other, in order to process the other's content as well, in one continuous flow. Each source moves its "here and now" coordinates with its reflection to "where and when" it meets the other source. What-is-sensed moves forward as it temporalizes space in sensing, after the fact "there and then" in the past. Knowing moves backward as it spatializes time in what-is-known, before the fact "there and then" in the future.

Between recollection and construction, or sensing what-is-sensed and knowing what-is-known, sources and opposite reflections merge, "where and when" they meet. Form or the sensing- and knowing organism/self/belief, can now process content or both the sensed- and known environment/other/reality. Recollection of facts in sensibility and construction of ideas in understanding (Kant 1781) are from then on content, processed continuously by form in Constructive Recollection.


figure 2


Recollection and construction are sensing what-is-sensed and knowing what-is-known or temporalizing space in facts and spatializing time in ideas. Sensing and knowing are form, whereas what-is-sensed and what-is-known are content. Content from one source is reflected and moved to the other source, which' form can now process both contents. What-is-sensed or temporalizing facts and what-is-known or spatializing ideas then mix into the structure functioning at the next higher level.

Content from one source shapes form in the other, until it can process all content continuously, at successively higher levels of functional structure (Dooyeweerd 1935, Sanders 1976). Content is causally differentiated after the fact "there and then" in the past, by the environment/other/reality, as spatialized time and finally integrated before the fact "there and then" in the future, by the organism/self/belief, as temporalized space. Space-time or culture-history gets marked with trails.

On the current space/culture plane or surfaces between the sources, within- and between facts and ideas which are both produced by their dual sources and dual reflections, sensing what-is-sensed is temporalized, recollected or tonated, while knowing what-is-known is spatialized, constructed or detonated, both perpendicular to their plane or surfaces, to- and from time/history, at the depths of the sources, sub-specie durationis, conditioning their relations, getting stronger or weaker.



figure 3


Facts and ideas are content, created by our two sources and processed by the other source as well, at a higher level of functional structure. Content from both sources shape form, although in opposite ways. When all content can be continuously processed, form no longer needs to be shaped. The other content is brought to the source by the other source's reflection, when its "here and now" moves from one fact or idea to the other, relating them in a real system or belief system.

Within facts or ideas, relations to- and from other facts or ideas are structured to a certain degree. Between facts or ideas, relations are functional to a certain degree. Structure is more or less functional, when content shapes form or form processes content. Levels of functional structure within facts, vary in duration tracing back to their evolutionary cause. Levels of functional structure within ideas, vary in duration tracing forward to their teleological moment of creation (Bergson 1946).



figure 4


2. Independent Confirmation


The sensed environment/other/reality is not known ("noumenon") and the knowing organism/self/belief is not sensed ("phenoumenon"), unless they are lifted from subliminal awareness by knowing what-is-sensed or realization and sensing what-is-known or intuition. The noumenon and phenoumenon (Kant 1781) are our sources of facts and ideas, which are reflected and moved to the other source, to shape form from one level to the next and then be processed by form.

Content from the one source may independently confirm content from the other source that was reflected and moved to it. When independent confirmation happens, sensing turns into realizing or knowing what-is-sensed and knowing turns into intuiting or sensing what-is-known, at the first level of constructive recollection. Next levels are intuiting what-is-realized (valuing) and realizing what-is-intuited (trying), just as trying what-is-valued (reacting) and valuing what-is-tried (acting).

Externally- and internally normative content from the environment/other/reality and the organism/self/belief internalize social interaction by looking for-, and when found, looking after independent rational-, emotional- and/or compassionate confirmation. From sensing and knowing to reacting and acting, form is shaped if and when content from one source independently confirms the other. Once form can continuously process content, social interaction may continue externally.


figure 5


Content shapes form in recollection and construction simultaneously, if and when there is independent confirmation at all stages. Once form has been shaped and can now process both contents in social interaction, simultaneity is no longer necessary, although independent confirmation is still intrinsically motivating after externalization. Each source reacts in response to the other's action and acts in response to his own reaction, thus sustaining the ability to independently confirm.

After it has helped shaping form, content travels as a pulse, tonating and detonating in recollection and construction in one source and then the other, if and when independent rational-, emotional- and/or compassionate confirmation happens between them. Processing is then continuous both internally or dialectically within one's reacting in response to the other's acting, and acting in response to his own reacting, as well as externally or interactively between the sources in social reality.


figure 6


Facts and ideas are content produced by our two sources, the sensed environment/other/reality and the knowing organism/self/belief. This content is held in the sources' self-reflections, the sensing organism/self/belief and the known environment/other/reality, shaping form until processing is finally continuous. Different kinds of content come together in each form or each source, where they may be processed together as one, if and when independent confirmation happens.

Facts may positively verify ideas for reliability and negatively falsify ideas for validity. Thus independent confirmation works both ways and differentiate sensing (facts) and knowing (ideas) into knowing what-is-sensed (realizing facts) and sensing what-is-known (intuiting ideas), intuiting what-is-realized (valuing facts) and realizing what-is-intuited (trying ideas), plus finally trying what-is-valued (reacting facts) and valuing what-is-tried (acting ideas), at different levels or stages.

Recollection and construction are driven by independent confirmation when content shapes form, both internally and externally, for each current fact and/or idea. Tonation in recollection and detonation in construction drive all currents, once processing of content by form in each source has become continuous in social interaction. As content shapes form, recollection is implied while construction occurs (Gendlin 1997), at different levels or stages of functional structuring.


figure 7


3. Constructive Recollection


Duality of origin is the reflection of one source in the other and the other in the one, or the recollected source and constructed reflection that is the environment/other/reality, in the recollecting reflection and constructing source that is the organism/self/belief. Recollection is the same cause for all, while construction should be the same end for all, re-legating content in morality and religion, by independent rational-, emotional- and/or compassionate confirmation.

Environment and organism, other and self or reality and belief, socially interact by reacting in response to the other and acting in response to the self, once form processes content continuously after being shaped by it, internally. Recollection occurs and construction is implied, if and when independent confirmation happens. Truth and ethics are also looked for, and if found, looked after, in social interaction, to strengthen the other's independence to confirm another, paying forward.


To confirm another strengthens independence, while independence is a necessary prerequisite to confirm another. - See more at:

figure 8



Recollecting facts, from sensing what-is-sensed to reacting what-is-reacted, and constructing ideas, from knowing what-is-known to acting what-is-acted, is functional structuring at different levels or stages, the highest of which no longer requires content shaping form, as form processes or communicates current content continuously. The organism/self/belief reacts in response to action from the environment/other/reality, as it implies action, in response to its own reaction.

The current flow of content is generated by tonating recollected facts and detonating constructed ideas, in duality of origin, from the environment/other/reality to the organism/self/belief and back. As action and reaction alternate, by adding either sensing to knowing or knowing to sensing, new layers or stages are added, which are logical, chronological or associative relations within-ideas-between-facts and within-facts-between-ideas, defined during recollection and construction.


figure 9


When people are close, they can still be independent and have independent confirmation between them, or it can even be why they are close. It would be bad if their bond is one of dependent confirmation of themselves and independent rejection of others, for fear of the alternative, like being shunned from the community. Then the Significant Other is equivalent to the environment/other/reality, independently confirming the organism/self/belief, by coordinated reflection.

Coordinated reflection and independent confirmation in general, are like Significant Others incorporating each other's lives and letting the other, "better half", always have the last word, in particular. It means they can be physically separated, completely independent, and still be one. The significance of the other is such, that independently, confirmation from the other, of whatever good or bad ideas and behaviors one displayed, will be true and tell what to do or not to do, good or bad.

Significance of the other is proportional to how much freedom of choice one offers the other, to independently confirm anything positive or negative, rationally-, emotionally- and/or compassionately. Thus truth is found, which is predictable and may therefore be accounted for ethically, preventing or promoting it. This is one's personal attention economy, earned and paid forward, if and when independent confirmation happens in constructive recollection of community values.

Paying forward freedom of choice to others, to hopefully receive their independent confirmation of what we do, say or think, our beliefs must have developed to the point that we are willing to stand up for them and let reality be the judge. Their development is the result of the same freedom of choice that was paid forward to us, by the value of independent confirmation or truth to society and to continue our freedom of belief, we must pay it forward to others in the same way.



  figure 10


States of content, from the environment/other/reality and the organism/self/belief, alternate at every stage, in duality of origin. Basically, sensing follows knowing and knowing follows sensing. Built from these states in ever larger compounds, at the first stage realizing and intuiting alternate, at the second valuing and trying and finally, at the last stage, reacting and acting. Dualities are like a gimbal set for an independent gyroscope, keeping sources neutral and peripheries interactive.

Constructive recollection is a cycle of 4 phases, 2 of knowing what-is-known and 2 of sensing what-is-sensed, 1 for each source, the environment/other/reality and the organism/self/belief. All current content develops in 4 stages for every phase, occurring as recollection and implied as construction, by looking for-, finding, and looking after independent rational-, emotional- and/or compassionate confirmation from one source for the other, in actual social interaction or preparing for it.



Content shapes form, gets conditioned and finally, continuously processed, by form. In four stages, facts are recollected by temporalizing and tonating space, while ideas are constructed by detonating and spatializing time, if and when facts independently confirm ideas. For reliability, positive verification of the known- by the sensed environment/other/reality should happen, and for validity, negative falsification of the knowing- by the sensing organism/self/belief, proving it is true.

Content travels in time through the interactive cycle of four phases, two for each source, developing four stages in each phase, all starting one stage apart, for the duration of the (social) interaction. The one acts and the other reacts, or the one reacts in response to the other's action, and then acts in response to his own reaction. Action and reaction, in (social) interaction, always contain all three previous stages they were developed from, in duality of origin with their sibling's stage.

Form continuously processes content, by developing it in four stages, alternating states between sensing and knowing, realizing and intuiting, valuing and trying, reacting and acting, across the four phases of the interactive cycle, only one of which at any one time is externalized in behavior, while the others are prepared or having after-effects in consciousness. Therefore the same current always travels through the present, as facts and ideas, continuously processed in the same way.


figure 11


Both recollection and construction have a (very) good side and a (very) bad side. The difference between good and bad is (un)justified selectiveness. Truth is selective because it is predictable, once found, and therefore justified, while power is selective because it can do and does whatever it feels like, and therefore unjustified. Ethics is selective because it is accountable, and therefore justified, while politics is selective because its primary interest is itself, and therefore unjustified.

Selectiveness is unjustified, when facts are related in only one idea, while there are multiple ideas using them, or people are loyal to only one group, while there are multiple groups they are a member of. Therefore, relations within-ideas-between-facts and within-groups-between-people, adding them to meaningful networks, should be recognized as relations within-facts-between-ideas and within-people-between-groups, where ideas and groups self-conflict in facts and people.

Extrinsic motivation generated by power and politics within-groups-between-people is normative, either externally for e.g. children, followers and conquered, or internally for parents, leaders and conquerors, to play roles or put masks on. Intrinsic motivation generated by truth and ethics within-people-between-groups, is normative for individuals, both externally in recollection and internally in construction, looking for independent confirmation, and looking after it, if and when found.



figure 12


Within-groups-between-people, de sensed environment/other/reality is either acknowledged (Kant's noumenon) or it is not and all that is left is the known environment/other/reality (Kant's phenoumenon). Constructive recollection requires both, while phenomenology or Post-Modernism does only acknowledge the latter. Communication is therefore either interactive between the two sources, or it is "inter-subjective" only within the latter. This is most convenient for power and politics.

Power and politics order social reality into a power-distanced (Mulder 1973) hierarchy, extrinsically motivating people by making them either internally- and externally normative towards each other, or dominant for the one and submissive for the other. It drives the money economy although it suppresses the attention economy. Thus reinforcement is necessary of the law and people's preferences, by reinforced conditioning and "self-fulfilling" prophecy through media and marketing.

Masks are used to dissociate one world from another, both of which people may live in, due to culture-historical-, or personal circumstances. Either way, if these worlds are incompatible, they may cause socioses (Van den Berg 1956), where dissociations are common and accommodated at the community level, or dissociation disorders (Dell and O'Neil 2009) at the personal level. Dissociation is either diminished or enhanced, by independent confirmation or dependent rejection.

Dissociation between organism and environment, self and other or belief and reality, both socially and personally, marks the limit of extrinsic motivation by power and politics. Post-Modern normativity is either external or internal, as subjects dominate or submit dialectically. Modern normativity is both external and internal, as the object is critical to the subject in positive verification for reliability and negative falsification for validity, to intrinsically motivate by truth and ethics.

Victims of the schism of social reality, are up against the prejudice and cronyism within groups, or independent rejection (other) and dependent confirmation (self) between them, for fear of dependent rejection by power and politics. Politically correct cultural pluralism may be to prevent outcasts and/or to let the elite divide and reign. The scapegoats long for truth and ethics to determine their social reality, confirming others, and be confirmed themselves, as independent individuals.


figure 13


People influence groups as groups influence people, however it does matter where to start. Since power and politics always win from truth and ethics, dialectically, the group will have the upper hand. Yet, minority influence can be strong when consistent over long periods of time and not dividing the majority’s attention (Moscovici 1974). Therefore, intrinsic motivation within-people-between-groups can eventually win from extrinsic motivation within-groups-between-people.

Facts are consistent within the environment/other/reality and ideas should be consistent within the organism/self/belief. Therefore, the one source always needs to independently confirm the other, in positive verification for reliability and in negative falsification for validity. Relations between facts and between ideas must transparently lead to- and from the sources and their functional structures should coordinately reflect each other at all levels of recollection and construction.

As people relate to each other within groups, facts relate to each other within ideas, while as groups relate to each other within people, when these people are members of different groups, ideas relate to each other within facts. When groups function separately, people should not separate from themselves and when ideas can be separated, facts can only be what they are and matter. Constructive recollection within- and between facts and ideas can resolve these kinds of conflicts.





Philosophy Application


figure 14




The self-conscious subject should not seek recognition as self-conscious subject, as much as it should seek predictable and accountable truth. Once the organism/self/belief has formed, it should pay forward its freedom of choice, to hopefully be positively verified for reliability and negatively falsified for validity, by the environment/other/reality. Constructive recollection relates facts and ideas within- and between themselves in the most functional manner, to make this possible.



Berg, J.H. van den (1956). "Metabletica of leer der veranderingen. Beginselen van een historische psychologie" p125. Nijkerk: Callenbach.

Bergson, H. (1907). "La Pensée et le Mouvant". New York: The Citadel Press.

Bergson, H. (1911a). "Creative Evolution". New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Bergson, H. (1911b). "The Perception of Change". Oxford: Clarendon.

Bergson, H. (1922). "Durée et Simultanéité". Paris: Félix Alcan.

Bergson, H. (1932). "The Two Sources Of Morality And Religion" p79. London: Macmillan And Company Limited.

Bergson, H. (1939). "Matière et mémoire. Essai sur la relation du corps à l’esprit". Paris: Les Presses universitaires de France.

Bergson, H. (1946). "The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics". New York: Citadel Press.

Boekestijn, C. (1978). "De psychologie van relaties tussen groepen". In: Jaspars, J.M.F.; Vlist, R. v.d. "Sociale Psychologie in Nederland". Meppel: Boom.

Campbell, D.T.; Stanley J.C. (1963). "Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research". Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Dawkins, R. (1976). "The Selfish Gene". New York City: Oxford University Press.

Deleuze, G. (1991). "Bergsonism". New York: Zone Books.

Dell, P.F.;  O'Neil, J.A. (2009). "Dissociation And The Dissociative Disorders: DSM-V and Beyond". New York: Routledge: 750.

Derrida, J. (1992). "Force of Law”. In: D. Cornell, M. Rosenfeld, and D. G. Carlson "Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice". New York: Routledge.

Descartes, R. (1644). "The Principles of Philosophy".

Dooyeweerd, H. (1935-36). "The Philosophy of the Law-Idea". Amsterdam: H.J. Paris.

Duijker, H.C.J. (1980). "Psychopolis". Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus.

Festinger, L. (1957). "A theory of cognitive dissonance." Evanston: Row, Peterson & Co.

Gendlin, E.T. (1997). "A Process Model". New York: The Focusing Institute.

Gilens, M.; Page, B.I. (2014). "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens". Cambridge: Perspectives on Politics.

Girard, R. (1961). "Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque". Paris: Grasset. 

Gould, S.J. (1989). "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History". New York: W. W. Norton & Co.

Hegel, G.W.F. (1807). "Phänomenologie des Geistes”. Bamberg und Würzburg: Joseph Anton Goebhardt.

Hegel, G.W.F. (1830). "Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften Pt. I". Von eigener Hand.

Kant, I. (1781). "Kritik der reinen Vernunft". Riga: J.F. Hartknoch.

Kant, I. (1793). "Kritik der Urteilskraft". Berlin und Libau: Lagarde und Friederich.

Lawlor, L.; Moulard, V. (2004). "Henri Bergson". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Lewin, K. ; (1945). "The Research Center for Group Dynamics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology". Sociometry 8 (2): 126–136.

Meertens, R.W. (1980). "Groepspolarisatie". Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus.

Meertens, R.W. (2007). "The Hofstadgroep".

Marx, K. (1867). "Das Kapital". Berlin: Verlag von Otto Meisner.

Moscovici, S.; Zavalloni, M. (1969). "The group as a polarizer of attitudes". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 12 (2): 125–135.

Moscovici, S.; Nemeth, C. (1974). "Social psychology: Classic and contemporary integrations". Oxford: Rand McNally.

Mulder, M.;  Veen, P.;  Rodenburg, C.;  Frenken, J.;  Tielens, H. (1973). "The power distance reduction hypothesis on a level of reality". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 9 (2): 87–96.

Orwell, G. (1945). "Animal Farm". London: Martin Secker & Warburg.

Ouweneel, W.J. (1984). "Psychologie”. Amsterdam: Buijten & Schipperheijn.

Popper, K. (1935). "Logik der Forschung". Vienna: Julius Springer Verlag.

Redding, P. (2010). "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Rohlf, M. (2010). “Immanuel Kant”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Rotter, J.B. (1954). "Social learning and clinical psychology". New York: Prentice-Hall.

Sanders, C. (1972). "De behavioristische revolutie in de psychologie". Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus.

Sanders, C.; Eisenga, L.K.A.; Van Rappard, J.F.H. (1976). "Inleiding in de grondslagen van de Psychologie". Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus.

Sanders, C.; Rappard, J.F.H. van (1982). "Tussen Ontwerp En Werkelijkheid". Amsterdam: Boom Meppel.

Shotter, J. (1984). "Social Accountability and Selfhood". Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Shotter, J. (2005). "Moving on by backing away". In G. Yancy, "Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged In Self-construction". London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Shotter, J. (2011). "Draft: ‘Spontaneous Responsiveness, Chiasmic Relations, And Consciousness – Inside The Realm Of Living Expression’",

Simon, H.A. (1971), "Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World". In: Martin Greenberger, "Computers, Communication, and the Public Interest". Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press.

Turner, M. (1968). "Psychology and the Philosophy of Science". New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Wit, H.F. de (1991). "Contemplative Psychology". Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

Žižek, S. (2012). "Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism". London: Verso.

Other u2_1991 gyroscopegimbal1 gyroscopegimbal2





Send Feedback