The Tetrast
Sketcher of various interrelated fourfolds.

A periodic table of aspects of humanity that lend themselves to social compartmentalization.

March 13, 2005.

Lend themselves fortunately or unfortunately to compartmentalization &, I think, in most cases fortunately.

In the table below the same general tetrachotomy comprises the four headings in common of the columns & the rows. They are related by regard. For instance, “affairs of power” are (Row 1) decision-making with regard to (Column 1) decision-making. Deciding who gets to decide, & so on.

Note 10/22/2013: This table mow looks — mostly — as intended in Firefox but not Internet Explorer (v. 10). The top of each column should have a branch that goes to the viewer's left and then turns downward to join into the corresponding row. I did a lot of work to make it work in both Firefox and Internet Explorer while meeting some other constraints that probably most people wouldn't care about. I'm daunted by the thought of revising the markup to make it work again as intended. End of note.

Tetrastic 4x4 classification of aspects of humanity
which lend themselves to social compartmentalization.

SECOND level
(the ROWS),


Beginnings, leadings, power, decision-makings
Middles, means, abilities, resources, dealings
Ends, endings, culmi­na­tions, completions, satisfactions
Checks, ente­lechies, establi­shings, knowledge
Subhead (sector)
Subhead (sector)
Subhead (sector)
Subhead (sector)

Subhead (inter-behavior)
(conflict, competition, rivalry, contention), arenas:
Affairs of power, freedom
(politics, diplomacy, military / martial affairs, enforcement; also vis-à-vis nature, e.g., hunting, fire-fighting — such that control really is at stake)
at stake: power.
Business, trade,
finance, wealth
(trade, commerce, finance, economic affairs)
at stake: means, resources, wealth.
Show, games, sports, fashion, “wattage”
at stake: “wattage”, glory, glamour, “action,” splendor, charisma.
honor, standing
(proving oneself, building a case, argumentation, debate, competitive investigation, spying)
at stake: honor, valida­tion, standing, legitimacy.
Subhead (inter-behavior)
Practices, cooperations, tolerances, minding one's (own) business, occupational spheres & concourses:
Administration, management, compliance, adjustment.
Labor, work, collaboration.
Leisure, enjoyments, repasts, celebrations, observances, recreations, pastimes, hobbies.
Study, investigation, review, discussion, reporting.
Subhead (inter-behavior)
Valuings, distinctive unitings, communities:
Ruling / governing valuings
(moral(ism)s, religion, ideological isms, patriotism, “family-ism”).
(“value-for-value,” perfectionism, “competence-ism,” work values / work pride / work ethic).
Tastes, gratificational valuings, valuings about feelings.
Valuings about cognition & legitimacy
(love of knowledge &/or other kinds of cognition, curiosity, values regarding what's worth knowing or cognizing & standards of evidence & rigor).
Subhead (inter-behavior)
Checks & balances, supports, disciplines:
Ruling / governing arts
(community planning, architecture & design; arts of education of character; arts of governing & arts of being governed).
Know-how, productive arts/sciences.
Affective arts
(dance, music, literature, theater, cinema, painting, sculpture, etc., etc., etc.).
Maths & sciences
& fields intermediate between them.

First came the content of the Row 4 more or less as it stands now and, then, much of the overall structure of the periodic table represented here. The rest of the content was built from the cells up, with an eye to indefinite ideas that became later less indefinite in the common set of headings for both columns and rows. Some time later came the distinctive sets of headings for columns & rows. Last came the idea that the columns represent 1st-level distinctions & the rows represent 2nd-level distinctions, such that, for instance, affairs of power are briefly characterizable as decision-making with regard to decision-making, & business is briefly characterizable as decision-making with regard to means. Update March 14, 2009: I came up with the labels "inter-behavior" and "sector" some months ago. End of update.

Just as one might think, the tetrachotomy of beginnings-means-ends-checks was arrived at in part from Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes. It was arrived at also through various other considerations, some quite modern, some simply abstract.

Note 5/25/2014: For a related discussion that eventually addresses the above structure, see "Methods of active learning by basic faculties" at The Tetrast2: Speculation Lounge. End of note.

Philosophical tetrachotomies (or tetratomies) are the polychotomies (or polytomies) that interest me. Not every tetrachotomy that’s come down the pike of philosophy. Just some. No major philosopher of whom I know has been a tetrachotomist, unless one counts Aristotle for the 4 causes doctrine & the Scholastics who held with it; and Kant and Hegel for some of their things (they were also trichotomists). It’s unusual nowadays among philosophers to take a persistent interest in polychotomical patterns of ideas.

Emergent design : explorations in systems phenomenology in relation to ontology, hermeneutics and the meta-dialectics of design by Kent Palmer at talks about Quadralectics.
Hi, Kent. I've added your info here and here.
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