Unconcealment, or: The limit of understanding
I propose that the only thing that can be understood in its essential nature is the act of self-reflective thinking, which takes itself as its own object of study. All other things can only be explained, "made sense of", in a relational sense. Example: "Now I see why the lamp did not turn on when I toggled its On/Off switch: the plug had fallen out of the electric outlet." But I can figure this out with no knowledge whatever of electricity, i.e.: just from "the outside". Other then self-reflective thinking, we can only understand things from the outside, not in their essential ("inner") nature -- if they have any inner nature, which they may not have.
This is not just an "academic" or speculative question, like how many angels can dance of hte head of apin: It is the question what if anything is going on in human beings (possible example: right) who are not reflecting on their experiencing in the event of living it and communicating their self-reflections with me, for instance: participants in a mass rally for a Good Cause who are listening intently to the march organizer's exhortation to futher the Good Cause, or spectators in the crowd at a football or soccer game, or my manager at work when he's telling me to do something he's been told to tell me to do, or Donald John Trump stirring up his "base" at a rally, or the human beings being stirred up in that "base" at that rally, or an ant crawling across my desk, or a cinderblock, etc.
I am proposing that we cannot understand any of these "from the inside", only relationally in a context which we construct within our thinking, such as: "Oh, now I see why all the people I am watching in this cheer rally (right) are cheering: because the cheerleaders just now told them to cheer", etc. Is anybody home? ☏
It's not simple. I have two cats. I study them. One I am not sure about. The other seems to exhibit a kind of non-discursive alertness. Many persons seem to exhibit discursive not-alertness ("Anybody home?"). The cat is worth thinking about because she does seem to have a spark of aliveness, so if I could understand her I might be better able to understnd myself. The people arew orth thinking about because they an cause me trouble in my empirical life ("prgamatic agenda"), while, on the oher hand if they were different, they could help me live more fully. SAince at best they are defective discursive agents ther is not much to be lerned from them except maybe gottchas. I recently read that Ludwig Wittgenstein said that most people are not worth much.