This webpage brings together details of formulae, contents and inner forms of the main varieties of hierarchies found in THEE. (Click to be taken directly:)
These hierarchies relate to each other in complicated ways so there is no simple diagram: for more detail, visit the Architecture Room. Below is a comparison of the architectural properties of these hierarchies.
The Root Hierarchy (RH) is unusual in its complexity: not surprising as it contains, enfolded within itself, all the elements of human endeavour.
THEE Note: It would have been exceedingly difficult to have discovered the Root Hierarchy de novo. It could only emerge from discoveries much farther downstream in the taxonomy. Visit the Architecture Room for details of the discovery.
Each of the Root Levels emanates a Primary Hierarchy (PH)
|RL7 = PH7||Willingness|
|RL6 = PH6||Purpose|
|RL5 = PH5||Communication|
|RL4 = PH4||Experience|
|RL3 = PH3||Change|
|RL2 = PH2||Inquiry|
|RL1 = PH1||Action|
The Root Hierarchy is also subject to a Q- expansion, via a 4-level Modal Hierarchy applicable to each Level. In this expansion, the Q-Hierarchies turn out to be transformed Principal Typology Hierarchies (i.e. Spirals): a most curious and unexpected arrangement.
See below for a note on the Root Typology.
Each Primary Hierarchy has 7 Levels which are elemental i.e. not capable of emanating further hierarchies.
In its 6th Level, a Primary Hierarchy contains a 7-level nested hierarchy that is a Typology: called a Principal Typology. Principal Typologies are of immense practical and taxonomic significance.
Three Primary Hierarchies— —have been formally published, and one more, , is posted in its Satellite. However, they are all provisionally formulated. See details in the Architecture Room together with conjectures about the PH-Levels.
A Principal Typology is a secondary hierarchy nested within L6 of the Primary Hierarchy. It is identified with a single prime (') or a superscript 2 (2).
Each of the 7 Levels is a Type that is a coherent system built on a core process that operates as a belief. The Types manifest in two closely related ways:
The function of Types (syn. Levels, Systems, Approaches) is to guide the proper or best use of the Primary Hierarchy. It is conjectured that each Type in the Typology derives its characteristic nature from according primacy to the respective Level in the originating Primary Hierarchy, and that is the justification for the ordering.
The hierarchical quality here is formal (or conceptual) rather than practical because the Levels (Types) are incompatible and do not require or imply each other as in holistic hierarchies. (However, their context value-sets do: see Spiral below.)
Visit the Architecture Room for conjectures about the rationale of Principal Typologies.
The Root Typology deals with Primal Quests, those purposes that govern our entire life. It has similarities with Principal Typologies but probably differs insofar as it lacks a Q-expansion.
It is possible to re-order the Levels of a Principal Typology in terms of underlying values that are communally recognized and not intrinsically incompatible.
Type = Content-Actions
Mode = Context-Values.
A standard pattern for this re-ordering has been discovered as follows:
If the Types are plotted on a Typology Essences Table (TET), compatible value-sets within each Type can be identified and these are referred to as Modes. The Spiral trajectory describes how the Mode values may cumulate to evolve a maximally sophisticated context for Types—given appropriate effort and opportunity.
The diagram shows the Spiral trajectory for incorporating Modes in Stages. This sequential order becomes the order of hierarchical Levels for content-choices within the context relevant to the Type, irrespective of Stage.
The Spiral-derived Hierarchy of Levels based on the Modes is holistic i.e. distinctive features of these Levels interact and influence each other. Because this hierarchy is holistic, its Levels also form a Structural Hierarchy.
More about Spirals.
The 6th Level of the Principal Typology Hierarchy either emanates or contains a nested hierarchy referred to as a Tertiary Hierarchy and identified by a double prime (") or superscript 3 e.g. L"4 or L34, PH"2 or PH32.
The Tertiary Hierarchy appears to be holistic and emanated in the case of the , and the In both of these cases, a structural hierarchy has been developed.
In the other Primary Hierarchies, the Tertiary Hierarchy seems to be a Typology (i.e. non-holistic) and is probably nested. e.g. within the . which lies within in
Quaternary Hierarchies: This is the term provided for a hierarchy, nested or emanated, within the 6th Level of a Tertiary Hierarchy. Should these exist, they are presumed to contain Types.
Whenever a THEE7-level hierarchy is holistic, adjacent Levels can be combined in all possible combinations to generate new structures (Groupings and Groups) that correspond to further recognizable and important psychosocial entities.
All Groupings include and integrate all Levels in the originating holistic hierarchy, and become Levels in the Structural Hierarchy. Every Grouping and every Group within each Grouping also requires recognition and naming.
In regard to Groups (green cells) are different sizes according to the number of Levels they include.shown below, the
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The Structural Hierarchy is derived from all possible combinations of adjacent Levels in the originating holistic hierarchy. Its Levels, L1-L7, are viewed as Groups of 1 i.e. Monads ( ). The function of the entities will alter slightly from their originating Levels so as to suit the new context.
Then other Groupings follow:
6 hierarchical Dyads i.e. Groups of 2
5 hierarchical Triads i.e. Groups of 3
4 hierarchical Tetrads i.e. Groups of 4
3 hierarchical Pentads i.e. Groups of 5
2 hierarchical Hexads i.e. Groups of 6
1 Heptad i.e. the Group of 7 Levels.
The Grouping is identified by a G number. A superscript number identifies the Group in the particular G-level, and a subscript number identifies an internal Level within that Group: e.g. refers to a Pentad, focusing on the 2nd Pentad , and specifically denoting its 4th Level .
Formal names above and below the 7 Groupings appear to drive the entity. With these two aspects named, we can use the natural flow of language to help us understand what is being delineated. For example, using the framework:
We can start anywhere because the system is cyclic. So we read that ... there are  [ ] which [ ] [ ], which must be [ ] within [ ] [ ], which [ ] [ ], which ... and so on. The phrasing is necessarily formal, but the meaning should flow easily.
Additional useful clarification as well as a validation check is obtained by recognizing that each Level in a Group (whatever the Grouping) has a particular «quality». In other words, the 2nd Level in any Group—whether a Dyad, a Tetrad, a Hexad &c.—always has a similar feel (an example of resonance.) For more explanation, see the Creativity framework and look at the analysis of the validity of the chosen qualifiers.
There are numerous Structural Hierarchies awaiting clarification and development. But many are now available.
Working with Values: Software of the Mind (1995) contains two Structural Hierarchies worked out in detail. Ch. 9 deals with . Ch.10 and Ch. 12 deals with the ( . Download the Chapters.
It has not been determined whether any form of Structural Hierarchy can itself be structured via a second-order Grouping of Groupings.
The Modal Hierarchy is a set of 4 Styles applicable to each Level in the Root Hierarchy and each Level/Type in a Principal Typology Hierarchy. The Style determines a particular way of operating the Type i.e. each Type can manifest in a person in one of 4 Styles.
This 4-level hierarchy has implications for personal choice and is required for the formal process called Q-expansion. The effect of a Q-expansion via a Modal Hierarchy is to produce: 7 (Levels/Types) x 4 (Styles) = 28 subsidiary Types.
This process also generates many socially significant Q-Hierarchies (below).
The Modal Hierarchy applied to the has the following styles in its Levels:
α: Generating decisions
β: Shaping decisions
γ: Challenging decisions
δ: Resolving decisions
The names that have been provisionally given to different Styles of the are:
The , who uses evidence to resolve situations where decisions have been made.
The , who gets evidence that potentially challenges decisions made by others.
The , who uses his knowledge as input to shape decisions made by others.
The , who obtains information that generates decisions by others.
Levels within the Principal Typology Hierarchies can be expanded using a suitable 4-level Modal Hierarchy.
The Modal Hierarchy reflects the psychosocial reality that a person can choose to operate any Type in one of 4 distinctive Styles. These Styles are socially perceived to be examples of the Type.
The result is a structure containing 28 subsidiary Types. The 28-level structure can be arranged to form 7 overlapping Q-Hierarchies (and Subsidiary Typologies).
2 of the 56 Q-Hierarchies in THEE have been clearly formulated through developing insights gleaned from the literature:
Levels of work in Elliott Jaques' A General Theory of Bureaucracy (1993) became THEE’s , identified primarily in terms of expected work output (far easier to estimate than time-span.)
Levels in Beck & Cowan's Spiral Dynamics (2005) became THEE’s . However, THEE constraints demanded a different order, which then led to a variety of useful and otherwise unexpected applications.
The power and great practical importance of these frameworks gave the original discoverers the impression that they had found something fundamental "the theory that explains everything", and unique "the only systematically scientific approach". It was as if each was complete and self-sufficient.
It is now fairly certain that each is just one among many frameworks with an identical architecture; and each emerges as a special case from something more comprehensive. Hence the THEE formula-symbol standing for - e.g. .
More Q-structures should be discovered: they are likely to be valuable.
Every Q-expansion specifies numerous important psychosocial phenomena related to the Principal Typology that it expands. There is enough evidence to propose that a Q-expansion produces:
● 7 Subsidiary Typologies
● 7 Spirals of Development (without any transformation of the sequence)
● 7 Q-Hierarchies
● 7 Q-Hierarchy Trees
● 7 Q-Structural Hierarchies
● 7 Q-Structural Hierarchy Trees
This is referred to as the Q-Domain Hierarchy.
More about Q-expansion structures.
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|Distinguishing Properties of the Varieties of Taxonomic Hierarchy|
|7-Levels||Each Level is
|Root Hierarchy (RH)||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||X|
|Root Typology Hierarchy (RH')||√||X||√||X||X||?||√||√|
|Root Tertiary Hierarchy (RH")||√||X||?||X||√||X||√||X|
|Primary Hierarchy (PH•)||√||X||√||√||√||X||√||X|
|Principal Typology (PH'•)||√||X||√||X||X||√||X||√|
|Spiral Hierarchy (PH'•CH)||√||X||X||?||√||X||√||X|
|Q-Domain Hierarchy (PH'•Q1-7)||√||√||X||?||X||X||X||√|
|Structural Hierarchy (•sH)||√||√||X||?||X||X||√||X|
|Tertiary Hierarchy: PH"6 only1||√||X||?||X||√||X||√||X|
|√ = characteristic; X = not present; ? = not certain; n/a = not applicable.
1 This variety of hierarchy has been little studied apart from . The other 6 varieties are believed to be simpler.
Conceptions as at Mar-2014: Subject to amendment.
Originally posted: August 2009; Last updated 2-Feb-2014