SEP 05, 1974
When in the course of the evolution of an intelligent species, sentience is
achieved, it becomes possible for members of that species to perceive that what
cannot be directly known, but merely inferred from their varying perceptions. It
then becomes imperative that a formulation be made of the assumptions which had
underlain the communications among members of that species - that the import of
those assumptions be accessible as the basis of interaction among sentient
- I perceive that I exist and that I perceive.
- I perceive that what I perceive may not exist.
- I infer that I may not exist, therefore, I accept that I exist.
- I perceive others, infer that these others may not exist, and accept that
I must choose, in each case, to or not to accept that these others exist.
- Further, I accept that I must infer whether these others perceive, and
whenever I so infer, I must choose, implicitly or explicitly, whether or not
to afford to these others, in each case, whatever status I accept for
Having grown into an environment which unquestionably accepts the existence
of self and others and informally accepts the status of sentience and equality
among others, it is only via the media of the technical requirements of formal
rigor that these assumptions do not seem patently absurd.
When the opportunity arises, I hope to perceive it and to choose wisely. (See