Architecture Room > Root Hierarchy Projections > To a Primary Hierarchy > Names: Entity & Function

Names: Entity & Function

Contents of the Taxonomy

Initially, the taxonomy was constructed out of psychosocial things in analogy with physical things e.g. a 'purpose' is a thing, and so levels of purpose might also be referred to as different types of purpose. But that raises the issue of why levels are needed and/or why types should be arranged hierarchically.

Subsequently, it became evident that psychosocial reality contains both structures and processes e.g. there are «organizations» and there is «work» within them.

However, on closer scrutiny, it became evident that a structure like an «organization» only exists by virtue of repetitive processes—physical, psychological, and social. These give the appearance of endurance and stability. If all «work processes» ceased, then the «organization» itself would vanish for all practical purposes.

So taxonomic elements were not so much things to be defined but functions to be formulated.

I referred previously to "noun" names and "verb" names. The present architectural investigation demands greater clarity. The terms now preferred are:

■ «entity name» which can be either a noun or a verb,
■ «function name» which is a verbal phrase relating to the dynamic use of the entity (i.e. within a Tree framework).

The Case of «Purpose»

Purpose is one of the earliest frameworks to be discovered. All the levels of purpose in PH6 were initially described as nouns:

tactical objectives-L1, strategic objectives-L2, internal priorities-L3, principal objects-L4, social values-L5, value systems-L6, ultimate values-L7.

It is not immediately obvious how to convert these to verb forms. The initial approach was simplicity itself:

• Add the term "set" for individually controllable levels (L1-L4)
e.g. set a tactical objective;

• Add the term "hold" for the intrinsically social levels (L5-L7) which must be identified with as part of group membership
e.g. hold a social value.

Although purposes naturally have to be "set" and "held", closer scrutiny reveals that the function of the levels in practice does not accord with those formulations.

Example: "Principal Objects" of Project NewCo

Principal objects-PH6L4 are not "set" within Project-NewCo, they are given. In order to "set" the principal objects for Project-NewCo, you must function in a time when Project NewCo is desired but does not yet exist. To bring it into existence, you have to create a mini-endeavour whose primary task (i.e. principal object) might be: Create Project-NewCo. One necessary outcome of that mini-endeavour will be to specify Project-NewCo's rationale i.e. its principal objects. In other words, «setting principal objects» is a strategic objective (L2) of a mini-endeavour prior to and apart from Project-NewCo itself. Once completed and determined, Project-NewCo can be created because its principal objects indicate key aspects of its identity (e.g. raison d'etre, funding, staffing).

Within Project-NewCo, the specified given principal objects serve to provide identity, guidance, structure and stability of purpose to insiders. The principal objects will only serve their proper function if they are owned and sustained by the Project NewCo insiders.

So the «function» of PH6-L4 in practice is something like:  «sustain principal objects». For this function to be operative, those involved must appreciate the nature of principal objects as «entities».

The current and still provisional view of the Primary Hierarchy of Purpose-PH6 (not previously published) is therefore:

L Entity Name Function Name
7 Ultimate Value Activate an ultimate value
6 Value System Adhere to a value system
5 Social Value Share a social value
4 Principal Object Own a principal object
3 Internal Priority Install internal priorities
2 Strategic Objective Set a strategic objective
1 Tactical Objective Pursue a tactical objective

The numerous formulations of properties and relationships between the purpose entities are largely unaffected by this taxonomic development.

The Case of «Inquiry»

The Primary Hierarchy of Inquiry-PH2 was initially suggested at an early stage when next to nothing was known of the Taxonomy. Only entities were identified with their properties, and function was barely mentioned. The hierarchy was presented as follows, and the conversion into functions via a «verb name» seemed simple and obvious.

L Entity Name Verb Name
7 Wonder Wonder
6 Judgement Judge
5 Relation Relate
4 Measurement Measure
3 Comparison Compare
2 Concept Conceptualize
1 Observation Observe

However, it is evident that these verbs are simply actions i.e. the action in making a comparison, the action involved in measurement. To say that a «relation» is based on «relating» is not to say very much. While important and indeed essential to inquiry, action terms do not indicate the function of the entity within endeavours.

In order to grasp the hierarchical quality, I have applied the conjecture being investigated in this section, namely that the function of each level stems from the unique necessity of the corresponding Root Level. My justification is that it has been confirmed in well-understood hierarchies like Purpose above and adds clarity. As a result, the table for Inquiry-PH2 now appears as follows:

L Entity Name Function Name
7 Wonder RL7-Willingness process intrinsic to wondering.
6 Judgement RL6-Purpose process intrinsic to judging.
5 Relation RL5-Communication process intrinsic to relating.
4 Measurement RL4-Experience process intrinsic to measuring.
3 Comparison RL3-Change process intrinsic to comparing.
2 Concept RL2-Inquiry process intrinsic to conceptualizing to enable inquiry.
1 Observation RL1-Action process intrinsic to observing as part of inquiry.

In the case of Observation-L1, it is clearly not enough for inquiry simply to observe or sense some phenomenon. The observation must be registered to enable subsequent analysis, and that involves doing something (e.g. ticking a box) and the function is therefore:  Registering an observation.

For a Concept-L2 to be operative in inquiry, it must be adequately defined, which itself requires inquiry. For a Comparison-L3 to be performed, you must set up a system of relevant things revealing changes of state. Measurement-L4 is a form of socially agreed comparison-L3 that has been instituted formally, and the functional issue here involves user acceptance of its validity (i.e. experiential). Relations-L5 are abstracted from what reality has to offer and this is a construction based on communication. Judgement-L6 only makes sense when explained in terms of criteria. Finally, Wonder-L7 functions through a willing active release.

The provisional formulations are now as follows:

L Entity Name Function Name
7 Wonder Release wonder
6 Judgement Explain a judgement
5 Relation Construct a relation
4 Measurement Accept a measurement
3 Comparison Arrange a comparison
2 Concept Define a concept
1 Observation Register an observation

Entity-Nouns Imply Action

We naturally think of entity nouns from L1 to L5 in action terms i.e. as intrinsically verbal. However, it is evident that this results from a cumulation of level functioning up to but not beyond the particular entity. Action is provided ultimately by the lowest level in the system, not by the level that you happen to identify.

This Matrix uses PH2-Inquiry as an example: see further examples below.

Level of Emergence of Entity : Noun-Name       Functions Implied by Entity : Verb Name    
7 Wonder               Wonder  
6 Judgement             Judge    
5 Relation           Relate      
4 Measurement         Measure        
3 Comparison       Compare          
2 Concept     Conceive            
1 Observation   Observe              


Measure = Make a Measurement (PH2L4) involves acceptance of the measurement principle (L4) + using that system  to arrange comparison (L3) + defining the relevant concepts (L2) + registering what is observed on the scale (L1).

Signal = To Signal (PH5L2) involves understanding what the signal is and when it should be used (L2) + producing the appropriate stimulus (L1).

Intervening = Make an Intervention (PH1L5) requires devising action-result possibilities in a situation (L5). However, as an action-event, it necessarily also involves deploying a repertoire (L4) + using techniques (L3) + following certain procedures (L2) + making bodily movements (L1).

Entities-functions at L6 and L7 often seem to float above the world of action. They seem to permeate actualities and often get taken for granted or ignored/neglected.

L6 entities provide an essence e.g. in Communication-PH5, a symbol-L4 requires meaning-L6 to be a symbol; in Change-PH3, forming-L3 assumes a clear representation-L6 of the state of affairs.

L7 entities remove boundaries e.g. wonder-L7 opens up Inquiry-PH2; imagination-L7 opens up Experience-PH4; trust-L7 opens up Willingness-PH7.

Last amended: 29-Dec-2014

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 2009-2018. All Rights Reserved.

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