Derek Cabrera’s principles and axioms of conceptual systems

by CT on November 8, 2014

Source: Derek Cabrera, "Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, Perspectives: The Simple Rules of Complex Conceptual Systems: A Universal Descriptive Grammar of Cognition" – Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS – 2008, Madison, Wisconsin, International Society for the Systems Sciences

  • (D) Making Distinctions – which consist of an identity and an other
    (S) Organizing Systems – which consist of part and whole
    (R) Recognizing Relationships – which consist of inter and action
    (P) Taking Perspectives – which consist of point and view
  • Each structure (D,S,R, or P) implies the existence of the other three structures
    Each structure implies the existence of its two elements and vice versa
    Each element implies its opposite (e.g. identity implies other)

"Axiom #1: A concept’s environment is conceptual. A concept exists within a specified environment made entirely of other concepts. That is, a concept’s ecology includes only other concepts and the patterns of interconnection between them, which are themselves concepts. Therefore, a conceptual ecology is unlike other types of ecologies because every instantiation is a
concept. Whereas other types of ecologies contain many different kinds of things, concept ecologies only contain concepts that are the interaction patterns of content (A, B, C, etc.) and its contextual organization."

"Axiom #4: Everything is a concept. To a ‘conceptual ecologist’, everything is a concept. Whether the actual phenomenon under investigation is physical, chemical, biological, psychological, social, theological, epistemological, ontological, philosophical or even whether it is true or untrue, it is viewed from a conceptual orientation. To a conceptual ecologist the object under investigation is always the concepts being had about an object rather than the object itself. "

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