Architecture Room > Forcing Duality Reversal > Inquiry Issues

Inquiry Issues

Unique Difficulty

This architectural inquiry is unlike taxonomic inquiries. There are no directly relevant aids: neither social science research, nor practice literature, nor philosophical traditions, not even blogs from self-proclaimed gurus.

The work has been difficult because some of the Primary Hierarchies (PHs) were incomplete at the time, and their oscillating dualities unknown.

The oscillating duality is itself mysterious. Although fairly evident in most cases, it's deeper function and practical implications remain puzzling. Until a taxonomic principle is determined, formulation is difficult because there may be more than one phenomenon that oscillates.

The inquiry method had to grapple with these issues. I will not attempt to replicate and report the twists and turns of my investigations in a posting, because (even if I could remember all details and false trails) it would be tedious. However, here is a summary of how the inquiry progressed and what you can expect.

Progress of the Inquiry

My underlying assumption was first that THEE is a system—everything must hang together; and second that it is meaningful system—the findings must make sense in human terms.

The validity of level formulation within the Primary Hierarchies (PH) varied. I had a reasonable degree of confidence in: Purpose-PH6, Communication-PH5, and Experience-PH4. There were approximate but acceptable formulations for Inquiry-PH2 and Action-PH1. There was serious uncertainty about Change-PH3 and Willingness-PH7, and so their oscillating dualities had not been identified. Within the latter four PHs, I was more confident about the nature of some levels than others.

The investigative work involved imagining a «forced reversal». I put the phrase in quotes because I mean "forcing myself" to view the element in an opposite way to what is expected, and then to find actual examples to illustrate the reversed polarity and the new element. This was easy to do in some cases and much harder in others.

So I laid out matrices (with blank cells) so I could see all 7 Primary Hierarchies simultaneously and make quick comparisons in the crucial blank columns headed "Forcing Situation" (i.e. conditions under which the oscillating pole reversed), "New Primary Hierarchy (PH)" (i.e. the new realm of functioning), "Target Level" (i.e. the new element defined by its function). I started with what was developed on the website in Communication-PH5. In filling in the blank cells, I focused initially on the easiest levels in my best understood PHs. Levels easier to grasp in one PH differed from these easiest in another.

In this way, I covered most of the levels over several PHs and filled in the matrix progressively. Ideas from one hierarchy were compared and checked against conclusions in another, and this soon led to various general conjectures.

As I progressed, slowly adjusting one feature or another, I reached the point where options became narrow enough to allow proceeding by trial and error. It also became possible to work backwards and adjust my understanding of the least developed PHs i.e. my conjectures regarding the forced reversal had become stronger than my conjectures about levels in those Primary Hierarchies. So, the process helped me complete provisional formulations for Change-PH3 and Willingness-PH7 with a greater degree of confidence.


Eventually a full picture emerged over a few weeks and I came to realize that forcibly reversing the oscillating pole in a Primary Hierarchy (PH) results as follows:

  1. Each of the 7 levels in the original PH converts to a different PH. This means that all 7 PHs are activated (as originally surmised in Communication-PH5).
  2. The conversion is identical in every case i.e. if level "n" converts to PH"m" in one PH, then level "n" did so in every other PH. The PH conversion always occurs in the same order.
  3. Level conversions of a PH always generate the same level in the 7 new PHs i.e. if one level in a PH became an element that was L3 (say) in the new PH, then all other levels in that PH also became L3 elements.

I returned to the matrices once or twice over the following months refining some formulations but not making significant changes. The discovery that I had L1 and L2 reversed in Inquiry-PH2 (& hence had totally misunderstood the oscillation as explained in a Quarterly Update) was a salutary shock. Other changes required essentially no adjustment e.g. the re-formulation of L5 in Willingness-PH7.

For want of any reason or vehicle to revise and refine further, the analysis remained in a note form until the creation of the Architecture Room.

Benefits of Posting

Once a decision was made to go public with this inquiry, my intensity of focus ramped up sharply. Although I did not believe there would be major changes, there is always a myriad of small but important improvements forced by the need to rethink, re-imagine and communicate clearly with credible examples.

This rewriting was not the time to do more than get some incremental refinement of the PHs themselves. Each is a massive entity and needs its own concentrated attention.

However, I did hope to make theoretical progress in one aspect: their oscillating dualities. After all, this was the focus of the purported discovery. Comparing formulations and explanations might reveal some common thread or a deeper understanding.

Your Turn to Contribute

The result is certainly not perfect. It is an approximation that seems to be sufficiently developed to be capable of correction and refinement. You may certainly suggest alternative oscillations or theories of oscillation.

Tell me if the formulations and examples make good sense to you. Some of my examples are probably too general. If so, offer more specific illustrations from your own experience. Where you think an example is unconvincing and artificial, you may be right. Leave a comment with your ideas.

But remember that the error might lie more deeply than the example, perhaps in:

• the name/function of the level in the original PH.
• the conception of the oscillation.
• the conception of the reversal process.
• the understanding of levels in the new PH.

Initial draft:  5-May-2013

All material here is in a draft form. There will be errors and omissions. Nothing should be copied or distributed without express permission. Thank you.Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016. All Rights Reserved.

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