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'Horizontal' integration

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I listen to lots of Leonard Peikoff's lectures and his work is incredible.

I have no issue with understanding the concept of integration and it's narrower concept of hierarchical reduction as one particular means of integration.

But I struggle to understand what is meant by 'horizontal' integration; I understand that it means an integration of another particular based on the same level of abstraction, but how does one exactly gauge what level of abstraction they are operating on? What kind of knowledge can someone integrate on the same level that isn't partaking in some sense in reduction.

Can someone maybe provide some examples to really elucidate *horizontal* integration?

Thanks very much

Edit: I am currently listening through Peikoff's course 'The Art of Thinking' on ARI Campus and am on tape 2 'Hierarchy'

At around 35:00 he explains how reduction is a process that takes your idea down to the 'roots' - the perceptual referrents. Is horizontal integration merely doing something like mentally connecting psychology to economics or sexuality to philosophy or sexuality to economics?

Edited by AlShalashaska
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I think I have basically answered my own question but would be interested to see if anybody has objections/additions.

It essentially boils down to the necessity to 'map' ones concepts to metaphysical fundamentals. 'Reduction' is one method to map ones concepts to reality but the proofs you achieve by doing this are useless unless properly integrated 'horizontally' to the whole context of knowledge.


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Horizontal integration is the opposite of compartmentalization.  What makes this kind of integration specifically horizontal is that it is not hierarchical reduction.

Example of dodging the need to horizontally integrate in ethics:  Honesty again: I have to take in food. I don't have any. To correspond with reality, Ill take yours. But productiveness is how to get food. "But productiveness is next semester."

This example shows that honesty and productiveness need to be integrated, but one is not derived from the other.  In learning what is honesty one does not need to learn productivity.  In learning how to use the concept of honesty (and how not to use it) to reason one does need the concept of productivity.

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Horizontal integration is how we check the validity of our ideas. We are not infallible and can make errors in concept formation and reduction. By checking our ideas against other ideas, we can more easily detect contradictions. Then we know something is wrong, and we can begin honing in on the problem.

Also, as Peikoff argues, horizontal integration serves another function. By comparing different ideas, we learn more about each one and how they relate. It's part of the ongoing process of expanding our knowledge of reality.

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