Four Primary Relations


I’ve written previously about my fourfold Structure-Function (consisting of Structures, Functions, Actions, and Parts) and its association with four Modal Verbs (Must, Should, May, and Can). This resulted in the combined fourfold of Modal Things.

Here I present the next step: what it is that Structures Must do, what it is that Functions Should do, what it is that Actions May do, and what it is that Parts Can do.

Structures Must Maintain => Maintenance
Functions Should Perform => Performance
Actions May Occur => Occurrence
Parts Can Vary => Variance

The first column lists the four aspects of Structure-Function. They are loosely based on Aristotle’s Four Causes. Structures correspond to the formal cause. Functions correspond to the final cause. Actions correspond to the efficient cause. Parts correspond to the material cause.

The second column lists the Modal Verbs, the “modes” of each aspect. They are similar to deontic logic, two being more or less necessary and two being more or less contingent.

The third column lists the Actional Verbs, what it is that each aspect does in its modal way. One could also say these as mottos: “Structures must be maintained”, “Functions should be performed”, “Actions may have occurred”, and “Parts can be varied”.

The fifth column lists the four primary relations that correspond to each of the four aspects.

These four relations could inform a metaphysics, consisting of relations all the way down, all the way up, all the way back, and all the way forward.


[*7.192, *8.40, *8.136]


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