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Meta-THEE Perspectives

Theorizing about the Taxonomy

THEE was initially proposed as a discovery about the psychosocial world. It is also a discovery about the make-up of human consciousness. More recently, it has been clarified as a model of personal functioning.

If it is established that something exists to observe and hypothesize about, then that should be accepted as a focus for scientific research. It does not matter whether initial observations and hypotheses are sound or flawed: the research task is to improve them. There are certainly theoretical questions that follow from recognition of THEE:

• why does it have that architecture?
• why is the number of levels so often 7?
• how did these transformations evolve?
• what is the biological substrate?
• &c.

I call these questions «theoretical», because they take observations as given and the conjectures are largely independent of the usefulness of the Frameworks.

Such speculation and theorizing is meta-taxonomic inquiry. It accepts that THEE, despite some present errors, is not only useful but represents something real i.e. it is a valuable model. That model of reality requires explanation just like any model of the universe.

This is a task that I commenced addressing in the Architecture Room of the TOP Studio in 2013 after I was finally convinced about the quality of the model. As soon as scientists more widely grasp the significance of the Taxonomy, it is hoped that investigation into its nature will flourish.
Homology:Closed In the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements, we can distinguish sharply between the discoverer (Mendeleyev) and the theorizer (Bohr) who came along many decades later. Exactly the same logic applies to THEE.

Developing Knowledge


But can THEE possibly cover all varieties of personal functioning? all that is relevant to endeavour? all that can come into conscious awareness?

THEE is a work-in-progress and it is certainly not complete. Nevertheless, the existing Taxonomy enables identification of over a hundred Frameworks and well over a thousand entities. Although the architecture of THEE has become rather complicated as a whole, it grew from a process dedicated to simplification and comprehensibility.

Errors & Surprises

THEE has been developed over many years, and as well as errors in representing particular domains (like purpose, decision, communication, politics &c.) there have been numerous errors and surprises in regard to its architecture.

Improvements and new formal structures, linkages between existing structures, and other architectural issues will be reported as scientific challenges and explored in the Architecture Room, where discussion is welcomed.


A related task is to foster the comparison of THEE findings with work of other practitioners, observers, and investigators. The goals here should not only be to enlarge the taxonomy and validate findings in general, but also to reconcile terminology, extend usefulness and focus specific inquiries.

THEE is an Object in the World

Because THEE has been developed as an object, it can be made an object of inquiry i.e. its architecture can be examined and corrected, improved, and extended. Conjectures about the architecture can also be developed and tested.

The minimum to grasp about this Taxonomy is that it is a unified dynamic structure mapping personal functioning and psychosocial reality, and whose essential forms are Hierarchies, Dualities, Trees , Typologies and Spirals. These forms have not all been invented or noticed by one person alone. They have emerged from empirical observations and the literature over many decades, even centuries in some cases.

To discover order in the myriad fluid manifestations of human experience may seem impossible. But this is not the first discovery of order within disorder. Clouds and coastlines were thought to lack order—until fractals were recognized.

The Taxonomy contains and describes itself, and all endeavours associated with its development, including meta-taxonomic puzzles, conjectures and tests. By definition, it must do so. It will therefore manifest typical limitations and generate typical issues and criticisms associated with those taxonomic categories.

Originally posted: August 2009; Last updated:  2-Feb-2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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