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Re-Send: Diagrams and Essay
by Luke Rondinaro
01 July 2002 23:55 UTC
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As promised, here's the re-send of the essay and diagrams I sent the other day.

Best!  (Luke R.)



Problematic nature of “ultimate terms”:  Perhaps an investigation into ever-deepening levels of “basic terms” is what we should be aiming for.  Two things here:  On the one hand, according to our ideal, we want to avoid if we can help it merely scratching the surface of  the systems & phenomena we’re inquiring into.  We should want to get at deep-structuring as much as possible in our work and not be superficial.  On the other hand, this type of method is going to force us into ever-descending probings into those levels of  phenomena and understanding that people, fortunately or unfortunately, term as being “evident” or “The Evident.”  It seems to me that the only way we’re ever going to get at a good knowledge of the world around us in any accurate way is to probe deeper into what people seem to think, in their basic assumptions and active-creative-“perceptions” is “EVIDENT” (that is to say, what they believe and see to be natural “givens” in their environment).

Reality-as-it-is, etc. è Here we come to an interesting conundrum of modern thought in Science and Social Science.  Whether or not we entirely agree with Postmodernism and its related sorts of inquiries, whether we even accept the understanding that the mind shapes its own understaning of the outside world, sooner or later we have to ask the philosophical or scientiaefically-reasoned question -> what is the “nature” or (better said) state of this “physical” world we ‘actively’ observe and investigate?  If it is “material”, then based on our current discussion, what does that really mean or’ somewhat-accurately’ tell us about such a world?  Or is it a world more of “mass-energy-force relationships” – some of these relationships we and other biological creatures on our earth perceive as being concrete material things (i.e., real objects – water, stones, grass, etc.) – and, then, what does this mean? …

Here’s my big problem with either form of classic “materialism.”  Isn’t either form of materialism, in fact, a kind of object-based view of materiality (implicit in both a study of material objects and material substances) that itself is somewhat dubious in light of Einsteinian Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Modern Theoretical Physics (as practiced by Stephen Hawking and others)[not even to mention the New Physics, Complexity, Chaos Theory, and Whole Systems)?  Doesn’t it tend to reduce materiality itself to an issue of “what you see is what you get” or “a stone is just a stone, an atom is just an atom, and so on?” …

Scientiafic Empirealism                         

      - Quarks & photons realsm                         

      - A potato is more than “just”                      

                a potato, both at the                                         

                level in wh/ we call it                                    

                a potato & at other                                             

                macro/micro levels        




                More to reality than just


                Extraordinary stuff in an

                   Extr’nary world

                Unfolding, multidimensional

                    Wrld of transphysical realities


                [Subtle/discrete atomism –

                    World of manifest objects

                     Underlined by forms of discrete

                        Matter and atomized realities

                       (i.e., subtle matter)]

Pragmatic realism

    - A potato is just a potato; no more, no less

           - What you see (…) is what you get – ordinary stuff

               in an ordinary world – day to day world of practical

               experience in the plain, common ‘material’ universe


                [ (Object)ive Materialism – a materialism of

     manifest objects]

Figure 1   

If it is, then how can we possibly reconcile such a view with the fluid dynamic and metaphorically “organic” state of the universe all around us, as Physics in the 20th century has more than adequately shown? …  Even more important, how can we possibly reconcile the pragmatic realism/materialism of mechanistic science paradigms  (which are really manifestations of a kind of radically empiricist, Newtonian fundamentalism) and certain social science perspectives (that seem to say:  sociology = social work, economics = accounting, business, and finance, etc.) with the almost philosophically “atomistic” state of the cosmos itself, as shown more & more by modern scientists and their field? … What do you think?

[Social] Science è as Human Services under a Pragmatist, Utilitarian context

                Economics = business, accounting, and personal finance

                Sociology = social work and practical social issues

                Organizational Behavior = how to behave in an organization

                      In order to maximize organizational efficiency and

                      Productive output

                Psychology = therapy and personal mental or behavioral health

                Archaeology = how to ‘procure artifacts for musums’ versus ‘heritage preservation’ theory

                Anthropology = social/cultural preservation of endangered minority peoples and/or

                      Their traditions – acts as a tool via its content to foster diversity education and

                       Multicultural values

Figure 2

[Sociological Overlay]                


 [Pragmatic Context of                             

   Social Affairs]

[Social] Science as a study of                          

      social constructs and                             

      practical social issues                                                                  

The Science of Social Statistics 


[Underlying Substrate]


[Socio-Behavioral Context]

Social [Science] as a study of social structures,

      phenomena, and processes – gets at the

      roots & manifestation of human

      behavior in communities

The Science of Social Systems 

Figure 3

I view the matter this way.  I may hold to a Scholastic-Aristotelian framework, but methodologically I’m much more of an “atomist”, “Pythagorean,” and a “math-as-language” kind of thinker, than even a positivist (in a ‘logical’, ‘legal’, or a distinct factualist sense).  In fact, the interesting thing I do see in modern science is that it too tends to have “wings” as it were; some who seem to hold to a more utilitarian, pragmatic, empiricist model of science (SCIENCE=TECHNOLOGY) and an {ongoing} empiricist interpretation of what we know scientifically about the world, such that -> [[it’s almost as if only through those experimental means after the fact that we know of the existence of cells, molecules, black holes, etc.  That is to say, we almost cannot know about such things in any continual sort of way, except for fact-checking on them again and again]]   Perhaps, you’ve noticed this type of thing too among some physical scientists?  In any event, I’m not sure “empiricist” is the right word to use here about such a methodological paradigm, because I’ve also seen the work of empirical investigators that doesn’t hold to such a continual, “fact-checker”(ism).  If so, and if you know any more about this than I, perhaps you can suggest a better term to use of these methodological/ideational paradigms than the words “empirical” or “empiricist.”  (Perhaps I’m just mistaken on this matter and am just misunderstanding Science and Empirical Inquiry, however) … What’s your opinion? … In any case, I’ve also noticed another wing in scientific understanding which is itself very atomistically-oriented, dealing much more with physical and biological phenomena in terms of force-energy relationships, fluid-dynamism, and the deep-structured dimensions of physical substances in our cosmos.  I referred to this intellectual school in terms of the categories “Subtle/discrete atomism” and “Scientiaefic Empirealism.”    (Note:  “Subtle matter” refers to a concept coined by the medieval philosopher/theologian John Duns Scotus;  Here “matter” doesn’t mean the substance or stuff of things in the universe but a source (or “principle”) of individuation in a thing, such that it cannot be physically separated from the thing itself  because of its being an aspect or dimension of that selfsame thing)


And, so I’m back to my fundamental assessment that there seems even to be a number of different “social sciences(s)” or frameworks of what constitutes true/real social science.  If you can – and would – please evaluate and comment upon those models I’m including in the correspnding diagrams.  What I have done regarding such models is to:  notice their pattern in the public and academic spheres of social science study, apply concepts or descriptions that I believe best fits them, & then set them in distinction-relationships with other opposing models.  The models themselves, of course, might be erroneous and the distinctions might be baseless.  But I invite you all now to be the judges of such.  And, please, if you know of better models and distinctions regarding the differences among social science paradigms, do tell me.   I’m always interesting in improving or deepening my understanding of these matters and I’d certainly be happy to pick-up-on/learn about some new ones … (Best!)

The Science of Social Statistics 

                Study of – latest (statistical) findings about society – the

                    Study of statistically-established contemporary, or

                    Otherwise, trends and their facts

                “Society” as a product of “technology” – community-building and                         

                      social construction – people “create” society and civilization                  

      as they would make a shop tool such as a hammer or saw                                                                                                                                                        


                “Society” as something one learns; but nonetheless is

     something one is born into and moreso grows into

The Science of Social Systems 

                A Classificatory System answering the question, what is

                     The systematic structure of human communities &                         

                      How are they put together?  How do they operate?                                        


                “Society” as the resultant of an evolutionary, historical                                                

                         process – people ‘come together’ in communities –

                       They really don’t “create” them in a (socially)

                         Conscious, technological sense

-- The Primary Importance of

Behavior and Behavioral

Culture is Human


Figure 4


[Factually Normative Content]               


Social Science I --- Is-for-Ought


[Factual, Ontologically-Positive,

     Content that tends towards

      The patternization of distinct

       Atomized realities]


Social Science II --- Is-for-Is

Figure 5


















































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