Outlines of the Theory of Choice

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Outlines of the Theory of Choice

There are two distinctions of orientation or of intention of a subject toward any phenomenon: "to" or "from" it, attraction or repulsion, acceptance or rejection. The +/- acceptability or pleasantness/unpleasantness of a phenomenon to a subject is the term indicating his or her +/- orientation to the perceived phenomenon. There are six components of the stream of human consciousness: contact senses (smell, taste, tactile senses), distant senses (auditory, visual) and emotions. Only four of them (the three contact senses and emotions) possess their own acceptability or pleasantness. Pleasantness of Condition of a Subject (PCS) is a sum or an integral of acceptabilities of these four components. "Happiness" is the upper limit of the maximization of PCS; a subject is constantly striving to maximize PCS or to reach for happiness. An attitude of a subject to a phenomenon in the center of his or her attention is determined by the synchronous PCS. Belief/disbelief is a verbalized positive/negative attitude. Desire of a phenomenon x is a change of PCS (PCSx) created by the act of perceiving/imagining the phenomenon; the strength of desire is the magnitude of this change. Desire of a phenomenon characterizes power of the PCS maximization possessed by this phenomenon. Need is a periodic desire; the desire correspondent to need is a concrete form of existence of this need. Choice is determined by comparative strength of the desirabilities of the competing elements of choice; it includes choice of the phenomena to perceive or attend. The attention of a subject toward a perceived phenomenon x is proportional to the strength of its desirability: ATTx=kPCSx; the distribution of attention is a function of the desirabilities of phenomena perceived at that time. Will is an ability of the subject to influence the balance of desirabilities of elements of the subject's choice in the predetermined way. The nature of the will's effort is a self-inducement of suitable emotions through activation of memories by the concentration of the subject's attention to them.

I. The Universal Intentional or Orientational Quality of "Acceptibility"

Process of choice is vitally important for animals including humans because they are open, active, and limited systems. The term orientation is used in this work in two meanings corresponding to two main aspects of choice¡Xan appraisal of the elements of choice one by one, and their comparison resulting in the choice being made. An appraisal of a singled out element of choice is also an act of orientation of a subject to it that can be 'positive' or 'negative', 'toward' or 'away' from it.
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