A synthesis (syn- “together” + -tithenai “put”) is put-together piece by piece, expertly connected at each joint with logic.
The synthesis is placed before the mind, and the mind conceives it (con- “together” + -capere “take”). It is taken-together — conceived as a whole.
But the conceived whole still contains within itself the synthesis, which may be safely assumed and ignored. The whole can, in principle, be reopened, analyzed and seen to form a valid synthesis, or it can remain a closed unit — a given — represented by a concept.
In being simultaneously together-put and together-taken — both a conceived con- and synthesized sum- — the knowledge is consummated.
When a synthesis is unblessed by conception, the synthesis must remain either a certified truth claim, or a thinking process that must be consciously repeated to reaffirm the truth. The knowledge feels unnatural, mechanical and artificial in application.
Consummated knowledge feels natural and can be called second-natural.
Consummated knowledge is integrated into one’s own subjectivity, and becomes an extension of one’s own self. Consummated knowledge is faithful.
Synthesis stays external. It is a pile of objective ideas one thinks about and considers “true”. Synthetic knowledge might become engrained in habit and experienced as familiar, but it can never be seen in nature as a given,
Some rationalists are unable or unwilling to conceive a distinction between habitually-engrained and second-natural. They want to believe human nature is artificial and arbitrary. This is the mentality that assured us that our ears would learn to love serial music, that we would feel happy dwelling in cold, austere modern spaces. This is the mentality that wishes to reengineer language in order to remake our norms.
The only difference between artificiality and second-nature is time — and compulsion.
These rationalists fancy themselves more open and imaginative than those confined to the narrow convention of today’s taste. They are prophets who refuse to limit themselves to contemporary prejudices.
But what if today’s worst and most narrow prejudice is the malleability of human nature? That taste is a prejudice — but not rationalism, not unfettered imagination?
Consummation is the ideal of design. A great design is intuited on the whole, but the intuition provides insight into the design’s synthesized parts. Designers work hard keeping the system consummated so part and whole inter-illumine.
This consummation is also the ideal of philosophy. An enworldment is a conceptual-synthetic understanding of everything that permits us to feel the synthetic black-boxed truth sealed tidily inside wholes, which we could, but needn’t, open, analyze, inspect and reassemble, unless we are bothered by it, or truly curioys. Without being burdened and overwhelmed we can intuit an intelligibility of the world around us.
Or we can just break open every concept and leave the parts disassembled snd scattered. Every concept can be deconstructed, as we invariably find if we try.
The deconstructions do not necessarily destroy our faith in the concepts, but if the concepts are destructible, a deconstruction is the most effective means.
For this reason, we often deconstruct unwanted given truths with an intent to destroy. Once we have done it, we sometimes feel we have earned the right to call the former given a mere construct.
Do we, ourselves, stop seeing the given as true? Nobody can prove one way or another, so it is safe to lie if we wish.
We can also make new syntheses and put them into concept-like boxes and claim that we find these boxes intuitive.
Do we ourselves see these concept-like constructions as given truths? Nobody can prove one way or another, so it is safe to lie if we wish.
And many of us have grown so burdened with facts accepted from other experts that we no longer have any expectation of intuiting a given world. Nothing feels natural, and we congratulate ourselves on that fact. We tell ourselves and each other that we are better off relying on “System 2” artificial thinking-about as we bob about adrift in a meaningless universe. Nobody can prove one way or another, so it is safe to lie if we wish.
Nobody can prove one way or another, so we think it is safe to lie if we wish — except this unprovable dishonesty is felt with immediacy. The dishonesty pervades a personality and gives it a coloration and odor. Though this profound dishonesty cannot be formally discredited, it is not believed, even by oneself. But nobody can prove one way or another, so it is safe to lie if we wish.
Lack of intellectual conscience is a liability to philosophical and design craft.