Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Appropriate Systemic Culture

While some moral imperatives may be universally significant, many principles are defined by the systemic culture. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) Systems that embrace moral ideals can increase the frequency of positive behaviors by establishing appropriate procedures. (Zimbardo, 2007) To ensure appropriate organizational motivations, the legitimacy of the authority and culture should be continuously evaluated in the context of objective assessments. (Kilmann, Saxton, & Serpa, 1986) Effective policies are adopted when the ideology of an organization is founded on valid perceptions regarding the nature of the environment rather than illegitimate distortions of reality.

Although concepts like justice and fairness may be independent of organizational values, other principles are often established to maintain the continuity of systemic arrangements. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) The culture of an organization is a representation of the essential values embraced by the hierarchical authorities. (Zimbardo, 2007) Values are the abstract motivations that guide and justify the attitudes and behaviors of an individual. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) A positive organizational culture promotes behaviors that serve the purpose of the institution. (Kilmann et al., 1986)

Systems are power structures that implement procedures in order to promote the achievement of authority motivations. (Zimbardo, 2007) An institution establishes specific procedures to generate particular situations and behaviors that are consistent with the general objectives of the organizational culture. (Zimbardo, 2007) The definitive policies of an organization include behavioral prescriptions that describe the nature of appropriate relationships within the system. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) In almost all institutions, the moral judgment of individual behaviors is relative to these systemic priorities. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011)

An organization may ensure the universal application of essential principles by emphasizing the individuality of each person. (Zimbardo, 2007) By acknowledging the intrinsic value of all subjects, the institution inhibits dehumanization through labels and stereotypes. (Zimbardo, 2007) Additionally, recognizing each person’s unique identity may prevent many moral transgressions that are enabled by de-individuation. (Zimbardo, 2007) By encouraging personal accountability, systems may elicit behaviors that are consistent with moral standards. (Zimbardo, 2007) To prevent deviations from the expectations of the organization, no person should be allowed to diffuse or defer responsibility for their actions. (Zimbardo, 2007)

An organization may promote moral and ethical standards by prioritizing the validity of authority and policy over any other ideal. Systemic principles should be founded on authentic assessments in order to create appropriate procedures. (Zimbardo, 2007) The legitimacy of the authority should be continuously measured by the degree to which the organizational priorities are consistent with objective evaluations. (Kilmann et al., 1986) A moral system should be open to continuous criticism to enable the identification of invalid motivations. (Zimbardo, 2007) By preventing the imposition of a single set of perceptions, an organization may avoid culture founded on subjective distortions of reality. (Zimbardo, 2007)

While the collective arrangement may be maintained by universal priorities of security and stability, the dominant culture defines many behavior expectations within the system. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) The culture is founded on an ideology that is created by the authorities to justify the operations of the institution. (Zimbardo, 2007) In order to maintain effective policies, an organizational culture must be able to adapt to shifting conditions. (Kilmann et al., 1986) The validity of institutional procedures is increased by continuous evaluations of progress in the context of objective measures. (Kilmann et al., 1986)


Kilmann, R. H., Saxton, M. J., & Serpa, R. (1986) Issues in understanding and changing culture. California Management Review. 28(2), 87-94.

Vauclair, C., & Fischer, R. (2011) Do cultural values predict individuals’ moral attitudes? A cross-cultural multilevel approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 645-657. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.794

Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New York

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Conformity and Submission

Systemic forces establish specific conditions to shape the perceptions and behavior of individuals. (Zimbardo, 2007) Through the process of socialization, each individual submits to cultural norms that perpetuate the order and continuity of an institution. (Williams, 2011) An individual conforms to the dominant culture through the adoption of perspectives and values that are consistent with systemic prescriptions. This socialization is promoted by the intrinsic needs of personal development as well as the constructed contingencies of an organization. (Guandong, Qinhai, Fangfei, & Lin, 2012) The cultural institution maintains control through the application of a general ideological essence in particular operating procedures. (Zimbardo, 2007)

An institution of authority functions through operating procedures that define the expectations for each subordinate. These rules secure the system against potential deviations. The organizational culture is defined by a collection of regulations that represent the abstract priorities of the hierarchical arrangement. (Zimbardo, 2007) Ideologies are normative concepts that shape the perceptions of an individual. (Skirbekk, 2010) These ideals often provide the justification for the definitive convictions and conventions of an organization. (Skirbekk, 2010) In the process of socialization, a particular value structure is imposed on individuals to generate behavior patterns that are consistent with the dominant priorities of a culture. (Skirbekk, 2010) In the context of this systemic culture, the measure of an action is relative to ideological values rather than authentic validity.

Conformity is the adoption of behaviors and attitudes that are of objective origin. (Guandong et al., 2012) Generally, people will develop perceptions that conform to those of the majority. (Zimbardo, 2007) Socialization processes often promote the internalization of cultural concepts rather than the construction of original ideas. The resulting value orientations are defined in terms of axiomatic assumptions rather than objective assessments. (Skirbekk, 2010) Within this organizational context, evaluations merely represent a comparison with cultural priorities. (Skirbekk, 2010) The systemic forces generate the convergence of individual perspectives in order to promote the continuity of specific principles and arrangements. The organization manipulates the intrinsic properties of learning to impose a particular conceptual perspective.

Natural methods of information acquisition construct meaning by interpreting experience in the context of previously derived knowledge. New sensations are understood by forming perceptual connections between present events and relevant propositions of significance. However, the subjective perceptions must be modified in response to contradictory evidence. Conformity may be motivated by rational considerations that maintain psychological consistency. (Guandong et al., 2012) This type of conformity is enables the integration of alternative knowledge and perspectives without resulting in the experience of dissonance. (Zimbardo, 2007) A learning individual alters the essence of their understanding when confronted with sufficient information that is contrary to their own ideas.

An individual may also be motivated to adopt the dominant perceptions and behavior patterns because of extrinsic or instrumental contingencies. (Guandong et al., 2012) The institution promotes submission by establishing a complex of operating consequences. (Williams, 2011) Systemic forces arrange situations that compel individuals to act in a manner consistent with organizational principles. Through sanctions and rewards, the institution controls the thoughts and behaviors of peoples to prevent deviation or revolution. (Williams, 2011)

Society is structured by norms that govern behavior within hierarchical institutions. (Williams, 2011) These norms are transmitted through the process of socialization in which each member of society is trained to appreciate and comply with expectations. (Williams, 2011) Socialization is achieved through the imposition of specific cultural values as well as the construction of compelling situational arrangements. (Guandong et al., 2012) By submitting to the values of the culture, an individual perpetuates the authority of the systemic hierarchy. (Williams, 2011) The organization maintains control by establishing ideological and physical constraints that prevent various forms of deviant individuality.


Guandong, S., Qinhai, M., Fangfei, W., & Lin, L. (2012). The psychological explanation of conformity. Social Behavior & Personality, 40(8), 1365-1372. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2012.40.8.1365

Skirbekk, S. N. (2010) Ideologies, myths, belief systems: Tools for analyzing cultures. Comparative Civilizations Review, 63, 7-18.

Williams, D. (2011) Why revolution ain’t easy: Violating norms, re-socializing society. Contemporary Justice Review. 14(2), 167-187. doi: 10.1080/10282580.2011.565975

Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New York

Friday, December 14, 2012

Evil of Omission

Virtue requires positive action in addition to the abstinence from evil deeds. (Zimbardo, 2007) Omission is a form of evil when it causes persistent unjustified harm. (Staub, 1999) Implicit support of a behavior is communicated by the failure to intervene. (Zimbardo, 2007) It is morally imperative that each person evaluate the motivations and consequences of the behaviors of others in addition to their own. If an individual causes or intends to cause suffering for another, any conscious person has an ethical responsibility to take action.

The social context of an event is established by the attitudes and actions of people. (Zimbardo, 2007) Evil always occurs within the context of a situation that, in many cases, may passively allow or actively encourage this type of behavior. (Formosa, 2007) Although supporting circumstances are not necessary for the performance of evil deeds, specific conditions increase the probability that certain behaviors will occur. (Formosa, 2007) Often, organizations develop cultures and institutions that are not intrinsically evil, but they may establish preconditions that increase the potential for abuses. (Staub, 1999) The assessment of systems is an important preventative measure for preventing situations that promote evil deeds. An ethical person must act in order to make some change to conditions that contribute to inhumane events.

Although the behavior of an individual may result in great suffering for other people, malevolence is rarely a person’s primary motivation. (Formosa, 2007) The self concept of most perpetrators of inhumanity and abuse is not defined by an intrinsic sense of evil. (Formosa, 2007) Rather, the perspective of many of these people is founded on perceptions that justify their actions. (Formosa, 2007) Most perpetrators present or perceive their actions as a means of achieving some beneficial result. (Staub, 1999)

A distorted belief system may promote harmful actions in service to presumption of intrinsic value. (Staub, 1999) By passively allowing the promotion of any ideology, a person completely submits to the values of the system. Blind acceptance and obedience enable active agents to promote any particular agenda. Ideological beliefs represent systemic principles that justify the means necessary to accomplish essential objectives. (Zimbardo, 2007) The moral action, in the context of a systemic culture, is to continuously question and challenge the foundation of prevalent perceptions. Although submission to some authority is an essential feature of all organizations, criticism and opposition are important checks that prevent the establishment of systemic policies and procedures that enable inhumane actions. (Staub, 1999)


Formosa, P. (2007). Understanding evil acts. Human Studies, 30(2), 57-77. doi: 10.1007/s10746-007-9052-y

Staub, E. (1999). The roots of evil: Social conditions, culture, personality, and basic human needs. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(3), 179-192.

Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New York

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance and Learning

Cognitive dissonance represents an inconsistency between the actions and beliefs of an individual. (Zimbardo, 2007) Self consciousness is a perceptual representation of the properties of oneself. The concept of cognitive consistency is only valid in relation to propositions regarding the state of affairs. (Gawronski, 2012) Such propositions are often invalidated in comparison with experience. Since any perception is a necessarily imperfect representation of reality, a degree of discrepancy is always present between objectivity and conscious manifestations. This state of tension often initiates changes intended to increase the degree of perceptual coherence. (Zimbardo, 2007) The accuracy of knowledge is improved by alterations that accommodate conflicting information. This process represents the continuous development of artificial concepts that enable meaningful interpretations of existence.

Like all perceptions, self concepts are perpetually incomplete summaries of actual properties. (Gawronski, 2012) The intrinsic limitations of consciousness enable attention to only the salient features of objectivity. Like all types of learning, self discovery is the interpretation of sensory experiences in order to derive meaning. A perceptual representation is constructed by integrating new information within the perspective of one’s personal history. Although the artificial concepts prescribe behavior and expectations, the imperfect nature of understanding prevents absolute consciousness. Subjective constructs must remain modifiable to learn from experience and increase the validity of behavioral responses. (Gawronski, 2012)

People generally attempt to maintain consistent perceptual representations. (Fointat, Somat, & Grosbras, 2011) This sense of coherence is threatened when salient conflicts arise between the essential definitions and sensory manifestations of objectivity. (Fointat et al., 2011) Behavior that is not motivated by conscious inclinations questions the validity of a person’s self concept. (Beauvois, Joule, & Brunetti, 1993) Stability and security are threatened by the uncertainty resulting from experiences that are contrary previously constructed knowledge. This experience of inconsistency arouses an aversive psychological state. (Fointat et al., 2011) However, the modification of perceptions enables the integration of new empirical information into the existing perspective of an individual.

Rationalization is one method of reducing the experience of dissonance by explaining the discrepancy between moral ideals and behavior. (Zimbardo, 2007) Rather than modify previously constructed theories, an individual preserves consistency by creating ad hoc considerations. (Beauvois et al., 1993) This subjective justification of previous perceptual problems creates coherence by modifying the representative concept or producing new behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to an essential principle. (Beauvois et al., 1993) Although rationalizations accommodate novelty, altering the essence of a perception to integrate new information is more appropriate than repeatedly adding supplementary stipulations. Theories that are contradicted by objectivity do not inform valid actions. Abandonment or further analysis is the most appropriate response to the failed verification of a subjective concept.

Inconsistency is often an epistemic indicator of errors in a person’s system of beliefs. (Gawronski, 2012) Dissonance represents an illogical relationship between a theory and an experience. (Gawronski, 2012) In this situation an individual must reassess and revise beliefs in order to maintain the rational function of perceptions. (Gawronski, 2012) Learning is the process of increasing the representation of existence within the subjective consciousness. The continuous modification of perceptions enables the generation of behaviors that are increasingly appropriate to the objective context. (Gawronski, 2012) Valid self concepts are founded on behavioral manifestations. Idealized notions that must continuously contort in order to account for deviations are not pragmatic principles. Meaningful perceptions that inform actions do not include irrelevant or false content. The authenticity of conscious representations is increased through the elimination of superfluous beliefs of insignificant consequence. While an individual may attempt to approximate some valued state, this directed development is only inhibited by false assessments and denial. Appropriate changes and actions are founded on serious appraisals of one’s characteristics and behavior patterns.

Cognitive dissonance results from actions that are opposed to a person’s attitudes and motivations. (Zimbardo, 2007) Perceptual consistency is restored through modifications to behavior or perceptions. (Fointat et al., 2011) While behavioral changes may validate existing concepts, the scope of consciousness is increased by the assimilation of new experiences. A person may choose to change themselves in order to develop desired attributes. However, inaccurate perceptions often produce inappropriate behavioral responses. Understanding is founded on authentic information regarding the state of affairs. Cognitive dissonance is an inescapable symptom of the endless potential for new learning.


Beauvois, J., Joule, R., & Brunetti, F. (1993) Cognitive rationalization and act rationalization in an escalation of commitment. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 14(1), 1-17.

Fointat, V., Somat, A., & Grosbras, J. (2011). Saying, but not doing: induced hypocrisy, trivialization, and misattribution. Social Behavior and Personality, 39(4), 465-476. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2011.39.4.465

Gawronski, B. (2012) Back to the future of dissonance theory: Cognitive consistency as a core motive. Social Cognition, 30(6), 652-668. doi: 10.1521/soco.2012.30.6.652.

Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New Yo

Friday, December 7, 2012

Relational Attributions

While the self concept of an individual may lead them to believe that their behavior would conform to personal principles regardless of the situation, the Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrates the control of context on behavioral responses. The state of affairs is often the result of a dynamic interaction between people and circumstances. (Zimbardo, 2007) Without direct experience in a set of conditions, it may be difficult to make accurate predictions regarding the actions of an individual person.

In order to interpret events, people create causal attributions that establish perceptions of significance and meaning. (Eberly, Holley, Johnson, & Mitchell, 2011) The perceptions regarding causal origins influence subsequent behaviors and cognitions. (Eberly et al., 2011) This explanation typically includes an internal or external locus of control. (Eberly et al., 2011) Dispositional attributions emphasize the significance of personal qualities in the cause of a behavior. (Zimbardo, 2007) In contrast, situational descriptions recognize the contribution of circumstance in the generation of individual actions. (Zimbardo, 2007)

However, the distinction between personal and circumstantial controls is not always clear when behaviors are embedded within an organizational structure. (Eberly et al., 2011) Systems of power translate an ideology into specific operating procedures. (Zimbardo, 2007) Organizational authorities construct a hierarchy of dominance by establishing systemic conditions. (Zimbardo, 2007) In this context, relational attributions explain an event as resulting from the dynamics of interactions. (Eberly et al., 2011) The foundation of this type of causal origin is not reducible to either individual alone. (Eberly et al., 2011) Rather, the relationship between individuals determines the nature of results. (Eberly et al., 2011) An organization designs relational properties to produce specific patterns of behavior in order to construct and maintain systems of power.

Valid generalizations may predict behavioral responses when the conditions are sufficiently similar in different scenarios. Given the nearly unanimous conformity of all individuals to the various categories in the Stanford Prison Experiment, one may assume with some degree of certainty that most people would behave similarly when placed in this context. Although there may be a variety of expressions, the results of this analysis indicate that the majority of individuals internalize the normative expectations of their role within an organization. This internalization represents the assumption of a defined identity. (Zimbardo, 2007) The categories of prisoner, guard, administrator and researcher include specific behavior prescriptions that are imposed on people in order to maintain the functionality of an organization. While a person may intend on protesting against the features and dynamics of a system, the hierarchical power structure includes methods of normalization that promote conformity and compliance.


Eberly, M. B., Holley, E. C., Johnson, M. D., & Mitchell, T. R. (2011) Beyond internal and external: A dyadic theory of relational attributions. Academy of Management Review, 36(4), 731-753. doi: 10.5465/amr.2009.0371

Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New York

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Acquisition of Behavior Patterns

The behavior of an individual represents the interaction between dispositional characteristics and situational conditions. (Zimbardo, 2007) However, the response patterns that predispose an individual to certain actions are formed during a history of personal experiences. (Mitchell, Houwer, & Lovibond, 2009) This history represents the collection of situations to which a person has been exposed throughout their lifetime. Situational forces shape the perspective from which stimuli are interpreted and responses are generated. (Skirbekk, 2010) These conditions are often controlled by systems that establish methods and expectations in order to maintain continuity. (Zimbardo, 2007) The systemic principles are often acquired by individuals under the control of the power structure. (Zimbardo, 2007) The Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrates the rapid socialization that results from immersion within a situational context.

Associative learning involves the subjective pairing of previously unrelated stimuli. (Mitchell et al., 2009) Perceptual relationships connect various sensations with unconditioned stimuli that are often biologically relevant. (Mitchell et al., 2009) This association of events is the foundation for mental representations that enable meaningful interpretations of experience. (Mitchell et al., 2009) Through this conditioning process, the behavior patterns of an individual are developed. (Mitchell et al., 2009) The constructed perceptual perspective predisposes a person to certain responses when presented with specific stimuli.

Dispositional characteristics are the distinct behavior patterns exhibited by an individual. (Zimbardo, 2007) If the relationship between stimulus and response is a manifestation of a subjective perspective, then the composition of perceptual constructions is the essential foundation of this type of individuality. Since these phenomenological conceptions are formed in the relation between biologically significant features and the psychological experience of various situations, dispositional characteristics consist primarily in genetic values that control the development of physiological mechanisms. While this inherited identity contributes to the behavior patterns of a person, the majority of individual response differentiations result from a unique personal history of exposure to various environmental characters.

Situational elements interact with the existing properties of an individual to generate a specific action. (Zimbardo, 2007) The nature of a behavioral response is founded on the perceptual interpretation of the sensory experience. Present circumstances are interpreted from the perspective of previously constructed relational propositions. (Mitchell et al., 2009) These propositions are continuously developed in the context of new environmental information. (Mitchell et al., 2009) Through the control of subjective associations, situational forces shape the perceptions that control behavior patterns.

The situational conditions are often established by systems of power that translate an ideology into operating procedures. (Zimbardo, 2007) A cultural ideology is continuous collection of perceptions that composes a normative concept of reality. (Skirbekk, 2010) These cultural concepts are the foundations of central convictions and conventions. (Skirbekk, 2010) The social expectations and polices are internalized by individuals who acquire the values of the organization. (Zimbardo, 2007) People are socialized to behave in a manner that is consistent with the systemic prescriptions. (Skirbekk, 2010) Though cultural learning learning, the conditions of the power structure become the foundation for the interpretive perspective of an individual. Zimbardo’s experiment illustrates to what extent this internalization can occur very quickly. Each participant rapidly acquired the characteristics that were consistent with the expectations of the operating system.


Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. Random House: New York

Mitchell, C. J., Houwer, J. D., & Lovibond, P. F. (2009). The propositional nature of human associative learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32, 183-246. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X09000855.

Skirbekk, S. N. (2010) Ideologies, myths, belief systems: Tools for analyzing cultures. Comparative Civilizations Review, 63, 7-18.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On Socialization

Socialization is the inheritance of cultural traits. (Lehmann, Feldman, & Kraeuffer, 2010) The transmission of culture is dependent on social interactions. (Lehmann et al., 2010) It is the responsibility of the community to socialize neophytes into mature citizens. The propagation of a society is dependent on the successful dissemination of values intrinsic to the component modes of existence. (Lehmann et al., 2010)

Socialization is the means by which a civilization maintains continuity through time. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p. 164) This is achieved by transmitting the information necessary for an individual to function in maturity. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p. 164) The obligations of each individual are defined by cultural expectations. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) Incipient citizens acquire the skills and values of the predominant culture through education. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p. 164) This process proceeds both through deliberate organizational instruction as well as implicit observation of model behaviors. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p.164)

However, cultural traits would not exist without innovations. (Lehmann et al., 2010) Socialization is a bilateral process that consists of a negotiation between the new and old generations. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p. 165) While elders attempt to transfer the operating principles that define a society, the new generation adapts the values of the authority figures to novel innovations. (Schaie & Willis, 2002, p. 165) This cultural innovation enables a society to accommodate environmental changes. (Lehmann et al., 2010) The rate such innovation is dependent on the complexity of the environment. (Lehmann et al., 2010)

Values are abstract motivations that explain and justify attitudes. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) Moral judgments are representations of cultural values. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) While some values are found throughout all cultures, others are specific to individual civilizations. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) The essential element of all social moral systems is the maintenance of cooperation. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) Through cooperation, each individual benefits from the security of membership within a society. (Vauclair & Fischer, 2011) Each member of a culture has a responsibility to ensure that the definitive values of cooperation are maintained though generations. (Lehmann et al., 2010) However, society must also allow novelty in order to enable the persistence of a culture though environmental change. (Lehmann et al., 2010)


Schaie, K. W., & Willis, S. L. (2002) Adult development and aging. (5th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Vauclair, C., & Fischer, R., (2011) Do cultural values predict individuals’ moral attitudes? A cross-cultural multilevel approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 645-657. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.794

Lehmann, L., Feldman, M. W., & Kraeuffer (2010) Cumulative cultural dynamics and the coevolution of cultural innovation and transmission: An ESS model for panmitic and structured populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23, 2356-2369. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02096.x

Friday, September 14, 2012


Here is the demo from my favorite local band in Columbia, SC. They have been disbanded for a number of years, so I think it is safe to place this download on this sight. I do not claim any rights to this material. If any members of the band would like this removed, please contact me and I will do so immediately. This three song demo contains two amazing original doom compositions as well as a short cover piece. I am sorry that there was never more to come from this group...


Saturday, August 25, 2012

On Subjective Judgment

Judgments relating to the appropriate action in a particular situation result from an assessment of the specific conditions and consequences. A decision is formed in the interpretation of an event from the perspective of the subject’s values. General moral priorities function to prescribe imperatives in certain circumstances. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) However, the validity of any moral action is limited by the imperfect consciousness of the subject.

The confidence in a decision is proportional to the metacognitive perception of the scope of the subjective consciousness. (Koriat, 2011) However, the retrospective judgment regarding the appropriateness of an action is correlated with the degree of consensus with the subjective value system. (Koriat, 2011) Discrimination between alternative possibilities is dependent on cues that are diagnostically informative cues that indicate the validity of the various options. (Koriat, 2011) These attributes are valued based on their agreement with previous experience. (Koriat, 2011)

Perceptual phenomena are created by interpreting current sensations in the context of prior knowledge. Novel information is integrated into the subjective consciousness in reference to existing cognitive schemas. The process of conceptualization consists of sequential assessments of perceptual representations. (Koriat, 2011) The accuracy of a perception is progressively increased by successive comparisons. (Koriat, 2011) The final overt decision is a summation of approximations. (Koriat, 2011) The subjective confidence in the selection is proportional to the percentage of assessments in agreement with the subjective account. (Koriat, 2011)

A decision results from relating present information to valuations. The constructed subjective perceptions provide the significant relationship necessary to interpret sensations. This meaning is compared to valuations in order to determine the appropriate response. Values relating to minimal suffering prescribe utilitarian morals. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) The categorical imperative requirement that moral actions comply with universally valid principles is founded on values relating to justice and fairness. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) The particular judgment represents the perception of compliance between a selection and subjective ethical priorities.

The perception of some value, either consequential or a priori, commits the subject to a course of action that intended to produce a corresponding end. (Hills, 2008) However, this commitment is appropriate only if the end is in fact valuable. (Hills, 2008) The motivations of conduct must possess rational foundations in subjective valuations in order to be valid. (Hills, 2008) Illogical delusions of nonexistent relations will fail to produce desired results. Since the function of subjective value is dependent on rationality, moral actions must comply with deontological criteria in order to maintain consistency. (Hills, 2008)

Assessing the morality of an action is equivalent to verifying the causal relationship between the instrumental means and the intrinsically valuable end. (Hills, 2008) This assessment is limited by the imperfect subjective foresight resulting from the inaccuracy of phenomenological constructions of meaning. Only in hindsight is the subject able to obtain an objective measurement of the consequences of a moral decision. Retrospective analysis of the appropriateness of an action is a comparison between the ends obtained and those desired.  


Hills, A. (2008) Kanitan value realism. Ratio, 21(2), 182-200

Koriat, A. (2011) Subjective confidence in perceptual judgments: a test of the self consistency model. Journal of Experiemental Psychology: General, 140(1), 117-139

Thiroux, J.P., & Krasemann, K.W. (2012) Ethics: Theory and practice (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Politics and Ethics

Politics is the practical application of ethical theories. The principal ethical function of government is the promotion of prosperity. However, utilitarian motivations may conflict with other moral values. (Brulde, 2010) General happiness should only be promoted through morally permissible means. (Brulde, 2010) Moral politics must perform utilitarian actions that are compliant with acceptable ethical principles.

The term ethics refers to the individual attributes of a person. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Normative ethics are the values that result in behavioral imperatives. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Morality is the function of ethical characteristics in social interactions. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) The purpose of moral politics is the application of paramount ethical principles. (Brulde, 2010)

If happiness is the supreme human value, political actions should reflect utilitarian motivations that are within the boundaries of moral constraints. (Brulde, 2010) Consequentialist ethical reasoning operates within the confines of certain deontological obligations. (Brulde, 2010) These moral prohibitions represent the ethical priorities of justice and fairness. (Brulde, 2010) Suspensions of utilitarian criteria may be necessary in order to ensure the well being of society. (Brulde, 2010) Happiness may be the ideal that politics aims to achieve, but this is not the only consideration of an action. (Brulde, 2010)

Immanuel Kant categorical imperative defines moral actions as universal. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) This deontological criterion identifies ethics as absolute rules that must be reversibly applicable in all situations without contradiction. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Another moral principle of Kant is the practical imperative prohibition of human exploitation. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) According to this principle, each individual must be respected as an end in themselves. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Many actions motivated by utilitarian reasoning would be prohibited by these restrictions.

The resolution of the conflict between the teleological and deontological prescriptions is inherent in the definition of rights. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) Since interpersonal influence is inevitable, the ideal of autonomy must include egalitarian considerations of the scope of individual discretion. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) Possession of a right necessarily asserts the authority to limit the freedom others. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) Preservation of rights requires the maintenance of equality though restrictions of activity. (Pallikkathayil, 2010)

A formal social contract is a voluntary exchange of some freedom in order to secure essential rights. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) A moral government is constructed to impartially protect the rights of citizens through legislation and enforcement. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) The resulting institution establishes conclusive rights that are merely provisional in nature. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) Moving from the state of nature to the impartial judgment procedures of a civilization requires surrender to the enforcement of government conclusions. (Pallikkathayil, 2010) The social contract authorizes the institution to enforce egalitarian and utilitarian restrictions. (Pallikkathayil, 2010)

The justice as fairness described by John Rawls provides a model for a system that promotes happiness while remaining compatible with deontological requirements. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) The equality principle provides each individual with the maximum liberty that enables the same freedom for others. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Inequalities are permitted only when universally beneficial and acquired from equal opportunity. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012)

Justice as fairness is developed through the original position of the veil of ignorance. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Each principle must be adopted from a neutral perspective to ensure equal opportunity to all. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) This foundation constructs a government that is able to promote a utilitarian agenda using only means that are agreed upon by all members. The political actions of this institution promote happiness for everyone while complying with essential moral principles.

The government is authorized only to interpret and protect ethical principles by means allowed in the constitution of the institution. Individuals who defy the authority of the institution transgress the moral obligations of the community. However, any government that violates the social contract is unjust and must be replaced. The principles that establish an ethical system are paramount and must be protected from perversions.


Brulde, B. (2010) Happiness, morality and politics. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11, 567-583

Pallikkathayil, J. (2010) Deriving morality from politics: rethinking the formula of humanity. Ethics, 121, 116-147

Thiroux, J.P., & Krasemann, K.W. (2012) Ethics: Theory and practice. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Religious Foundations of Morality

The numerous types of moral foundations can essentially be reduced to two systems of justification, objective authority or subjective reason. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Morality founded on authority is the result of some external source, while arguments from reason are justifications made within oneself. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) This distinction reflects the position of the subject in reference to objectivity. Since values are defined by the subjective perceptions, any objective source of morality is an invalid induction. (Millar, 2011) Religious foundations of morality make the logical error of deriving an imperative from descriptions of reality.

Accepting the cultural significance of religion does not require belief in the doctrine. Many individuals and societies have founded their moral systems on religious texts. The consequences of this are disputable. However, the validity of such a foundation is not dependent on the success of any particular context.

If the believers of a religion accept the contents of their canon as absolute truth, it would seem logical to adopt any system of morality present in the sacred documents. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) However, absolute truth must be applicable in all circumstances. This results in a contradictory consequence as the universal code must then be applied to those who do not accept the truth of the doctrine. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012)

The nature of the contradiction in religious systems of morality results from the fact that subjective perceptions are not necessarily identical to objective reality. (Millar, 2011) The subject constructs perceptions to interpret the meaning of sensory experience. (Flood, 2010) However, this empirical influence on knowledge does not guarantee any truth in the subjective account, as the sensory experience is defined by properties of the subject as well as the object. (Millar, 2011) When constructing the phenomenological account, the subject projects attributes onto objectivity that are really only artifacts of sensory physiology. (Flood, 2010)

The only rational conclusion of this relationship is the nihilistic reduction of supposed objective truth knowledge to mere functional propositions. (Millar, 2011) This epistemic limitation prevents pure subjective consciousness of any absolute truth. (Millar, 2011) Any description of objectivity is only an account of the subjective experience. (Flood, 2010) Meaningful prescriptions must be rationally constructed by the subject and then compared to experience in order to verify accuracy. (Millar, 2011) This unidirectional consciousness is invalid if reversed in the opposite function. (Millar, 2011)

To interpret meaning in reality, the subject must rationally create a universal principle that is then deductively applied to particular situations. (Millar, 2011) There is no rational inductive derivative of universal concepts from isolated examples since it is not possible to verify every instance of the rule’s application. Deductive reasoning can be improved through correction in response to error as in the scientific method of verification. (Millar, 2011) Induction is hopelessly trapped in the antecedence of any individual event. (Millar, 2011)

Religious foundations of morality are always flawed since the induction of a universal principle from a particular example is an invalid derivation of a prescriptive imperative from a descriptive interpretation. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Morals are rules of conduct that function to satisfy subjective valuations. Justifying values based on any objective source claims that the perception is equivalent to the object. However, since consciousness is a reference between the subject and the object, the object is unknowable in itself. (Millar, 2011) The only valid foundation of morality is one that can be arrived at through reason. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) The valuations and perceptions that justify a moral system can be assessed in reference to objectivity only if they are defined by the subject. (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012) Such functional comparisons are not possible if the subject accepts some authority as the absolute source of truth. (Millar, 2011)


Thiroux, J.P., & Krasemann, K.W. (2012) Ethics: Theory and practice, Eleventh Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.

Flood, A. (2010) Understanding phenomenology. Nurse Researcher, 17(2), 7-15

Millar, B. (2011) Sensory phenomenology and perceptual content. The Philosophical Quarterly, 61(244), 558-576

Monday, June 25, 2012

Incipient 2012 Edition

2012 edition of "Incipient" now available. This rerelease includes both new and original recordings. Free downloads available at the official website: Limited cassette tapes available only via email:

Incipient Release Chronology

"Incipient" internet demo recorded and released in 2007.

"Proletariat" internet demo recorded and released in 2007.

"Incipient/Proletariat" demo compilation CD released in 2008. Contains the complete content from both the "Incipient" and "Proletariat" demos.

"Incipient" album released in internet and CD formats in 2009. The first six tracks of this release are new material recorded in 2009. The second half of this release includes remastered material from the "Incipient" and "Proletariat" demos. This release has also been referred to as "Incipient/Morkhet".

"Incipient" second edition CD released in 2009. This edition contains the same audio content as the first with modified artwork.

"Incipient" third edition released in internet and tape formats in 2012. All tracks are identified with new titles in this edition that also includes modified artwork. This edition contains new versions of the first six tracks recorded in 2012. The second half of this release includes the same final six tracks present on the first two editions. The tape version of this release includes an atmospheric intermission that is not present in other formats.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Humid Records

Distorted Cognitions' composition "Eternity Opens as in Ancient Time" appears of the Humid Records compilation Volume One.
This compilation consists of over three hours of various doom metal acts.
Humid Records website
Compilation on Amazon

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Synthesis now available.
Links for free download and CD purchase available at official website:

Featuring E. Newman
Recorded in the fall of 2011.
Algorithm is the effective method of calculation.
01 Vorben
02 Fatal Essence
03 Identity in Execution
04 Orcusorgian

Recorded in the winter of 2011.
Synthesis is the resolution of particular reality and universal ideality.
05 Resonance Potential
06 Hegelian Dialectic
07 Relative Imperative
08 Transcendental Ratio
09 Transcendental Derivative
10 Persistent Becoming
11 Mass Action