Universal vs. existential qualifiers

Can an honest person lie? Can a dishonesty person tell the truth? Are there actions that can contradict being? Are there non professionals that can do what the professional does? Are there professionals that can do what is contrary to being a professional? What then becomes the essence of the being and doing for the profession and professional?

A universal qualifiers make the statement: “Every….” or “For all…” or “All…”

Existential qualifiers make the statement: “There exists…” or “There is at least one….”

Applying these to being honest we can probably agree that we cannot use a universal qualifier: “Every person is honest” since the existence of one that contradicts disproves the universal: “There is at least one person that is dishonest”

One contrary existential disproves a universal. This is why in research to demonstrate cause we rely on probability. There is a lot that could be unpacked here, but for now I need to move on.

When it comes to being and doing we can agree that doing is, at least in part, a reflection of being. We can do things that are contrary to our being, particularly if our goal is to “become” the being that such doing would reflect. A “non runner” can go for “a run” with the hope of becoming a runner (this is related to question 3 and will be addressed accordingly).

Question one is related to whether doing has to be universally associated with being. Can a runner not run? Can an honest person tell a lie? Can a therapist that is transformative not transform? Of course each of these examples requires a different set of considerations and the structure of being and an existential contrary doing cannot be subjected to a simple rule.

Can a runner not run? Sure, if “not run” is simply a day, how about a week, a month, a year, a decade? At what point does the “runner” a state of being, cease to be a runner if they are not doing what a runner does (run)? It is easy to say that a runner is still a runner when they take off a day, or a few days, or even a week, perhaps even a month or a couple of months. But a year? Now things get grey. A decade, to me, is not grey. I am “not a gymnast” - I am not “doing gymnastics.” I have not done gymnastics since 1989, I ceased to be a gymnast at some point after that - when I am not sure. When I was a gymnast I did not do gymnastics all the time, or even every day (nor was I very good). But being a gymnast influenced my doing.

Similarly, can someone be “honest” and tell a single lie? Does “there exist” a lie (doing) in an honest person (being)? We showed that there exists time, perhaps a day, week, month of not running for a runner.

Finally, based on the APTA Vision Statement - a profession that transforms society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience requires therapists that do something related to this statement. Let’s call that being a “transformative” therapist. A transformative therapist (being) transforms (doing). Of course the single therapist does not transform society, their reach is smaller, minimally a patient, more likely a community of patients. For the profession to be transformative it needs a substantial proportion of its membership to be transformative, or the proportion that is transformative to have a big impact. For example, if less than 1/2 of therapists are transformative then it is more difficult of the profession transform; unless that group of less than 1/2 have a big impact!

Considering the relationship between being and doing is an interesting exercise for the categories of interest. Often times we disagree with people because we have different definitions of being and expectations for the doing associated with that being, and, particularly different expectations for universal vs. existential qualification. If I hold that to be transformative the profession must have “All therapists being transformative” (universal set of being) and for a therapist to be transformative then “all therapy is transformative” (universal set of doing) then I am holding a very strict set of qualifiers. Probably unreasonably strict. I do not hold this view - it is just an extreme example.

Next up I will address the possible roles of knowledge in being and doing.

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