Looking at Razie Mah’s  (2014) A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form (Part 4 of 24)

0023 Peirce’s categories label the number of elements.  Thirdness has three elements.  Secondness has two.  Firstness has one.

0024 The three elements of thirdness are relation, actuality and potential.  Each category is represented in thirdness.  Thirdness exhibits the logics of exclusion, alignment and complement.

0025 The two elements of secondness are contiguous.  One real element is contiguous with another real element.  For nomenclature, I place the contiguity in brackets: one real element [contiguity] other real element.  The contiguity has the character of substance, causality, embodiment, information and so forth.  Secondness exhibits the logics of contradiction and noncontradiction.

0026 The one element of firstness can be really goofy.  Imagine two frames.  In one frame, the canvas is covered with the color gray.  The other frame holds a painting of a park in Paris in the middle of summer.  Both images belong to firstness.

Here is another way to imagine firstness.  Picture a coin.  One item has two faces.  One can only observe one face at a time.  Firstness exhibits logics that are inclusive and allow contradictions.

0027 Here is a picture of the nested form.  The categories serve as subscripts.

Figure 07

0028 So, what do the covers for the primers, as well as the masterwork, How To Define The Word “Religion”, portray?

Here is the pattern.

Figure 08

0029 Now, back to education.

I appeal to homeschoolers and private schools.

0030 How does one teach the ten primers as well as the masterwork?

The method is easy.  Read and discuss.  The text is marked with points.  Step by step, both instructor and student can walk together and examine each point.  Both will learn along the way.


Each point takes one to three minutes.

An assessment of class time may be found in day 23 of this blog.

0031 The advantage?

Right now, so-called “public” schools teach the scientific facts of human evolution, according to a Darwinian picture of descent with modification.  But, imagine that the facts constitute an actuality2 that will enter into a category-based nested form.

The following nested form results.

Figure 09

Indoctrination asks the student to recite the facts of human evolution2.

Education asks the student to consider the normal context3 and assess the potential1 underlying the facts2.

Facts are not the same as understanding.


Looking at Razie Mah’s  (2014) A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction (Part 5 of 24)

0033 The second primer covers sensible and social construction.

This primer is a little loopy, because, when sensible construction fails, social construction begins and when social construction ends, sensible construction begins once again.

0034 I proceed by way of example.

Today, in 2022 AD, all books on human evolution weave the fossil record into a seamless garment, starting around two million years ago and ending with paleolithic hunter-gathers.

A sequence of figures depict the actuality2 of descent with modification3.

Figure 10

0035 Descent with modification3a is situated by evolutionary science3b.

Here is a picture of a sensible construction.

Figure 11

0036 Clearly, a situation-level nested form emerges from (and situates) a content-level nested form.

Sensible construction is composed of content and situation levels, in a two-level relational structure.


Looking at Razie Mah’s  (2014) A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction (Part 6 of 24)

0037 What happens next?

Of course, some clever comedian adds more figures to the picture of human evolution painted by descent with modification.

The additional features raise a question.

Figure 12

0038 Comedians love to upset the narrative.

Clearly, the fat guy with a beer2a cannot be explained by evolutionary science3b with material and physical models2bbased on natural selection and genetics1b.

Neither can the hunch-back at the computer.

Sensible construction fails.

Figure 13

0039 When sensible construction fails, social construction begins.

A social construction appears within a nested form on the perspective level of a three-level interscope.  A three-level interscope is a nested form composed of nested forms.

Figure 14

0040 Well, of course, the guy with the beer does not descend with modification from the guy with a spear.  The two guys occupy different living worlds (or, in German, Lebenswelts).  The guy with a beer belongs to our current Lebenswelt.  The guy with the spear belongs to the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Does this sound vaguely familiar?

Recall that actuality2 represents a dyad composed of two contiguous real elements.  Actuality2 looks like this:

one real element [contiguity] other real element

Correspondingly the perspective-level actuality looks like this:

the Lebenswelt that we evolved in [first singularity] our current Lebenswelt2c

0041 Notice that elements of the perspective level are really empty slots.  

0042 What is the potential1c?

A perspective-level potential1c virtually brings the potential of natural selection and genetics1b into relation with the potential of both archaeology and history1a.

The potential1c is triadic relations.  Triadic relations include signs, mediations, judgments, normal contexts and category-based nested forms.  The human niche is the potential of triadic relations1c.

0043 What is the normal context3c?

The normal context3c is not clear.  Whatever it3c is, it3c puts evolutionary science3b into perspective, even as evolutionary science3b emerges from and situates the potential of Darwin’s foundational principle of descent with modification3a.

I do not think that the perspective-level normal context3c rules out theology.

If I look back at the original comedy, where the guy with a spear “evolves” into the guy with a beer, I see an intimation of a theocomedy, the humorous counterpoint to our great theodrama.

Human evolution comes with a twist.

0044 Here is a picture of the beginning of a new age of sensible construction.

Figure 15

Looking at Daryl Domning’s Book (2006) “Original Selfishness” (Part 7 of 16)

0044 The development of the word, “concupiscence” (D’), from the originating emphatic, I-myself (A), produces technical definitions of words, that are at odds with traditional definitions.  Cupid (B’) starts by labeling the presence of self among other selves.

Figure 12

Cupid (B’) associates to self (B).  If self (B) labels the intensional awareness of an internal consolidation of various, situational I-myselves, then cupid (B’) labels an extension of that awareness.  This extension occurs, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, as individuals cooperate in social circles, the family (5), intimates (5), teams (15), bands (50), communities (150) and so on.  So, the consolidation that produces the self (B’) is motivated by a competition to perform as a self among other selves in various social circles.

That competition entails concupiditas (C’), the desire to perform as a self among other selves.  Concupiditas (C’) corresponds to selfish (C).  Concupiditas (C’) is an adaptation that satisfies the biological criteria of evolutionary selfishness and conforms to Domning’s criteria for original selfishness, manifested in the emphatic, I-myself (A).

0045 Here is a picture.

Figure 13

0046 Like cupid (B’), the technical term, concupiditas (C’), does not align with common parlance.

A contemporary example of a concupidic behavior (C’) takes place in bars and houses around college campuses.  Drinking games meld competition and cooperation.  Each participant is a cupid (B’), competing to shoot an arrow into a keg of beer, in order to endear oneself to others in the drinking group.

One must compete in order to cooperate?

How twisted is that?

0047 Concupiditas (C’) is situational.  Concupiditas entails human choice.  Concupiditas introduces rules to the game.  Concupiditas is being with others, in particular situations, where performance is congruent with belonging.

The rule of the drinking game is simple.  Drink as much beer as you can.  This rule is given precedence over other rules, such as long-term cooperation necessitates that other selves are not injured.  The drinking game entails risk.  Concupiditas (C’) entails a human choice about which game to play.  The games belong to concupiscence (D’).  The choice belongs to the person and concupiditas (C’).

0048 Concupiscence (D’) corresponds to selfishness (D).  One must compete to cooperate.  One must perform in every social circle that one belongs to.  That performance entails risk.  Sometimes one is born into a social circle (the family, band and community).  Sometimes one must choose (intimates, team).  Concupiscence (D’) is the state of competing to cooperate.  Each self desires to cooperate, because those who cooperate take the greater risks and enjoy the greater benefits.  Each self desires to be among other selves.  Each self has its own original selfishness.  Every game and every social circle has rules, established by tradition.

Figure 14

We compete to belong to and to flourish within social circles.  We compete to cooperate. 


Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay  (2022) “Covid was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 1 of 10)

0001 Matthew B. Crawford, at University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, publishes an essay at the website, UnHerd, on May 21, 2022.  The website is worth investigating.  Crawford is worth reading.

0002 But, that is not my only motive for this sequence of blogs.

It turns out that well-organized writers provide excellent material for triadic diagrams.  These blogs aim re-articulate Crawford’s argument, following the technique of association and implication.  The method is the same as with the other blog this month, concerning Vigano’s speech on how Vatican II serves the agenda of the Great Reset crowd.

0003 The title of Crawford’s essay is displayed in the header.  The subtitle reveals the nature of the endgame.  Liberal individualism has an innate tendency towards authoritarianism.  That tendency manifests as real behavior.

0004 What is the real behavior?

Italian Giorgio Agamben (b. 1942) captures its essence with the political philosophical… or is it theological?.. label, “state of exception”.  During the past eighty years, emergency declarations become more and more the norm.  An emergency declaration inaugurates a state of exception and provides cover for top-down programs of social transformation.

0005 What do emergency-justified “liberal” projects aim to accomplish?

The core of the “liberal” regime is both political and anthropological: to remake humans.So, the answer depends on the meaning of “make”.


Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay (2022) “Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 2 of 10)

0006 How are humans to be reconfigured?

Two key political philosophers articulate two visions.  

0008 John Locke (1632-1704 AD) regards humans as self-governing creatures.  Humans are endowed with reason.  Commonsense allows us to rule ourselves.  Democracy is the mode of government most suitable for reasonable citizens.

Liberals remake humans by changing their votes.

Locke’s position may be re-articulated as a nested form.  A nested form?  See A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

Here is the nested form.  The normal context of human nature3 brings the actuality of commonsense2 into relation with the potential of a form of governance suited for self-governing people1.  Democracy1 labels that potential1.  Democracy1 is the potential of a state arising from self-governing people1.

Here is a diagram.

Figure 01

0009 Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679 AD) claims that each human is vulnerable, especially in regards to other humans.  Every person is vulnerable to the ambitions of other people.  We need a state to protect us (from one another).

Liberals remake humans asking the government to protect them from harm.

Hobbes’s position may be re-articulated as a nested form.

The normal context of the state of nature3 brings the vulnerability of each person (especially with respect to other people)2 into relation with the possibility that the state will protect us (from ourselves)1.  Hobbes has a label for a form of governance that manifests the potential of protecting us from one another.  He calls it1 “leviathan”.  Leviathan1 is the potential of a state capable of protecting us (from one another)1.

Here is a picture.

Figure 02

0010 From its inception, the liberal civic religion holds both Locke’s and Hobbes’s positions as a mysterious union.  Of course, this union is filled with contradictions that cannot be resolved.  But, that is the nature of mystery.

What is a mystery?The chapter on message, in Razie Mah’s masterwork, How To Define The Word “Religion”, describes a relational structure corresponding to mystery.  An intersection of two nested forms portrays a mystery.


Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay (2022) “Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 3 of 10)

0011 What is the relation between the following two nested forms?

Figure 03

Remember that democracy1 is the potential of a state arising from self-governing people1 and leviathan1 is the potential of a state capable of protecting us (from one another)1.

0012 Enlightenment liberals know that each nested form does not emerge from and situate the other.

The normal contexts are different.  For example, the word, “nature”, in the two normal contexts, has different meanings, presences and messages.

Similarly, the potentials are different.

For example, the second amendment of the original American Constitution says that all citizens can own and carry guns.

On the one hand, any rational person has the right to defend “himself”, especially against those who would take “his” property (such as a zealous government official).  That’s democratic.

On the other hand, a zealous government official may be commissioned to protect “vulnerable persons”.  Vulnerable persons may be conditioned to fear people carrying guns.  The self-acknowledged vulnerable folk may demand that the zealous government official take the guns (property) away from other citizens.  That’s leviathan.

The Constitution rules in favor of democracy.

0013 So, how do the two nested forms relate to one another?

Enlightenment liberals know that both nested forms constitute a single, contradiction-ridden entity.  I call this actuality2′, “the individual”.

Figure 04

The individual2′ is an actuality that is constituted by the intersection of two nested forms.  The intersection binds two independent actualities.  According to the masterwork, How To Define The Word “Religion”, intersections associate to the message underlying the word.  Intersections are mysteries.

0014 The construction may be also be portrayed in the following fashion.

Figure 05

Now, that looks like an intersection.

This diagram conveys the mystery underlying the liberal civic religion, which accompanies the spread of democracy in the modern Age of Ideas.


Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay (2022) “Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 4 of 10)

0015 Usually, an intersection serves as an actuality2 in a category-based nested form.

Here is a picture.

Figure 06

0016 But, according to the chapter on presence in the e-book, How To Define The Word “Religion”, the individual in communityA belongs to firstness in the following undifferentiated nested form.  Each element in the figure below designates an interscope (a nested form composed of nested forms).

Figure 07

Yes, the mystery of liberalism2′ applies to the tier related to firstnessA.  It2′ resonates with the actualities contained in the interscope for the individual in communityA.  The comparison will be further developed, later.

0017 Since the liberal tradition is a civic religion, liberalism also belongs to the societyC tier.

The societyC tier contains two types of religion, ones above the sovereignbC (suprasovereigncC) and those below the sovereignbC (infrasovereignaC).

The three levels of the societyC tier are (from top to bottom) suprasovereigncC, sovereignbC and infrasovereignaC.

In comparison, for the individual in communityA tier, the three levels are judgmentcA, perceptions and phantasmsbA, and sensations, decodings, impressions and feelingsaA.

“Decodings” convert what someone speaks into a meaning, presence and message underlying the statement.

Figure 08

0018 I offer this comparison because liberalism is a religion on the societyC tier.  Yet, a core mystery of liberalismcoincides with the virtual nested form, in the realm of actuality, for the individual in communityA tier.

So, allow me to juxtapose the virtual nested forms in the realm of actuality, for both the societyC and individual in communityA tiers.

Figure 09

0019 So, the question arises, “Is liberalism a suprasovereign or an infrasovereign religion?”

This answer is both.  Liberalism consists of many different institutions3aC, striving to remake humanity1aC, according to diverse organizational objectives2cC.  The variety of causes is enormous, from teaching people proper manners to ending human trafficking.  These causes appeal to the commonsense2V and the awareness of vulnerability2H characterizing individuals2′.

Only fools have no commonsense2V.  Only sociopaths have no awareness of vulnerability2H.

So all liberal institutions, appealing to anyone who is not a fool or a sociopath, share a relational object2cC, the mysterious intersection of Locke’s and Hobbes’s nested forms.

Furthermore, this relational object2cC, is an actuality that associates to the virtual nested form in the realm of actuality for the individual in communityA tier.

Figure 10

Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay (2022) “Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 5 of 10)

0020 Remember, the technical definitions of democracy1V(2cC) and leviathan1H(2cC) are:

Democracy1V(2cC) is the potential of self-governance or the potential of a state arising from the cooperation of self-governing people.  Another way to describe this term is the potential of being sensible1V(2cc).  Only fools are not reasonable.

Leviathan1H(2cC) is the potential of a state that will protect us (from one another).  Another way to describe this term is the potential of feelings of security1H(2cc).  Only sociopaths dismiss such feelings.

0021 We thought-align to the liberal objectrel2cC by applying commonsense2V and being aware of our vulnerabilities2H.  In doing so, we embrace the technical definitions of both democracy1V(2cC) and leviathan1H(2cC).

Figure 11

0022 With this denkalignment in mind, Crawford raises the question (more or less), “How stable is the individual?”

0023 The individual2cC is the object that brings the modern nation state into relation.  Liberalism stands at the heart of every legitimate nation-state.

Liberal policies operate in the arena of leviathan1V.  These policies must gain the assent in a democracy1H.

Liberal agendas touch base with feelings of peace and security1V. Peace and security provide motives for adopting a particular policy.  These agendas must be reasonable and sensible1H.  They must not defy commonsense2V.

0024 For example, the liberal civil rights movement in the USA during the 1950s and 1960s demand that the leviathan (the courts) overturn discriminatory laws (“Jim Crow”) in southeastern states.  Protests peacefully threaten civic order1H.  The liberal civil-rights movement appeals to commonsense1V and Christian values.

0025 Christian values?

The concept of the individual is conceived within the womb of the Christian tradition.  The Church gives birth to the individual.  Through the sacraments, an individual can come into mystical union with the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah.  The Church delivers a template for commonsense action and for peace of heart in the political realm.  But, it cannot impose its template.  The leviathan can.

The liberal civil rights movement says, “According to commonsense and Christian values, every person, even the descendants of slaves, are individuals (hence, citizens).”

0026 The liberal civil-rights movement also relies on legal warfare that challenges the so-called “Jim Crow Laws”, supports legislation to assure civil rights in federal jurisdictions and undermines apparently “unequal” separate educational institutions.

0027 The civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s succeeds in implementing its organizational objective2aC and remakes humans, that is, re-orients individuals in communityA.

The concept of the individual, liberalism’s relational object2cC remains intact as individuals in communityA change alignment on the content, situation and perception levels.

Figure 12

Here is a liberal movement that successfully remade humans by changing individual hearts and minds.

0028 Unfortunately, the use of lawfare, short for “legal warfare”, during the civil-rights movement, calls the stability of the individual2cC into question.

Subsequent movements follow under the banner of “civil-rights”.  None carry the same legitimacy.  Each defies commonsense1V.  The federal government gains in scope and power, promising to reduce the vulnerability of its citizens to a diverse range of threats, from industrial pollution, to financial distress, to systemic discrimination, to lack of “equity, and to more and more, until finally, to the sudden appearance of a novel coronavirus that can be “diagnosed” by a newly marketed polymerase chain reaction test (that, everyone learns later, also tests positive for influenza).

0029 The leviathan’s response to the last threat, according to Crawford, unravels the mystery.


Looking at Matthew Crawford’s Essay (2022) “Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame” (Part 6 of 10)

0029 What does it mean to unravel a mystery?

The intersection unravels into a resolution, where one nested form emerges from (and situates) the other.  A two-level interscope results.  One nested form goes into the content level.  The other occupies the situation level.  The two-level interscope is discussed in A Primer on Sensible on Social Construction, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

0030 Say what?

To start, what would produce the conditions where a mystery resolves into a heresy?

The intersection2 is the union of two actualities2, so it2 should enter the slot for actuality2 in a nested form.  So if the normal context3 shifts, then the internal dynamics of the actuality2 may change.

Crawford suggests that the recent political response to the novel coronavirus completes a historic transition, from modern liberalism3 to hypermodern (some would say, “postmodern”) technocratic progressivism3.

0031 Here is a picture.

Figure 13

0032 In liberalism3, the goal is to move the mystery2, in a spiritual sort of way, by exploiting democracy’s and leviathan’s abilities to remake humans1.  Appeal to the people’s commonsense.  Set limits to what is acceptable.  Offer inspiration.  Apply peer-pressure.  Certainly, liberals think that they are smarter (or better, more enlightened) than other citizens.  But, they respect the wisdom of tradition, particularly the Christian tradition.  Indeed, liberalism3 seeks to practically implement the Christian vision in a fallen world, by calling the individual to be reasonable and by cajoling individuals to recognize their weaknesses.

0033 In technocratic progressivism3b the goal is to move vulnerable persons2b, in an efficient sort of way, by using the leviathan1b to situate the impulses of human nature3a.  Insist that commonsense2a is defined by technocratic calculations1b.  Frame every challenge as a fear-inducing crisis.  Offer scientific and technical explanations, using terminology that confounds the literal meanings of words.  Insist that alternate policies have dire consequences.  Label the opposition, “malevolent”.

0034 The result is a new relational structure, “the unraveled individual”, which casts a shadow upon the originating mystery.

Figure 14

Vulnerable persons2b virtually emerge from (and situate) commonsense2a.A mystery unwinds into a heresy.