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Ternality Theory

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Pression gives the inter-domanial relationship

Consideration of the structure of each individual tern, and study of the relationship between each of its components and that in the adjacent domain, lead us to a broad generalisation as to the nature of the tie which binds the components together, and which therefore gives the proposed paradigm its inter-domanial structure.

Pression

It has become apparent that this relationship between the domains is that the second component is expressed by the first, and the third is expressed by the second. This is an ordinary use of English, as a signal expresses a message, and a message may express a wish. Inversely, the second component is impressed on the first, and the third on the second. Again, this is ordinary use of English, as the form of a seal may be impressed on wax, or a rubber stamp on a piece of paper. Our technical language can follow existing English further, in that the superordinate concept is that of pression, and the concept is one of pressing out or pressing in.

We have already got some idea of the kind of concepts and laws that may be found in each domain. The concept of pression enables us to clarify what kind of entities we may expect to find in each.

Some entities

The primary domain presents no problem in this respect. It contains all the familiar material objects. If the secondary domain is defined as we have done, and we then regard it as an ontological category, what sort of entities would it contain? One answer is that they are patterns. Ever since the invention of printing, we have been used to the idea that a pattern can be thought of as independent of the material on which it is impressed.

For example, a musical symphony, such as "Beethoven's Fifth", is a secondary entity which you can think of quite independently of what instruments may be playing it. It is even expressed, in a slightly different manner, by the printed notes on a score. It can also be expressed by a vinyl disk, or a CD. All of these are different primary materials, and the manner of the expression of the secondary entity is completely different in each case.

Another familiar example of a secondary entity is a computer program. A piece of software can be a printout of lines on paper, or it can be expressed on a floppy disk, or CD-ROM, or in the RAM of the computer.

What has happened is that there has been a sort of emergence. Without violating the principles of physics, the second-domain activity has achieved a kind of autonomy. Perhaps the analogy with the ontology of mind is instructive.

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© Copyright D J Stewart 1987, 1998, 2003. All rights reserved.

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