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The Distinction Between Systems and Content[]

Beginning with the theme of filling up space, the beginning student's usual impulse is to generate space, or to generate the appearance of content. Sometimes this advances to a second stage, which involves using big words. My thesis of these eventualities is that everyone who develops to a significant stage of intellectual ability has already passed through these stages. Indeed, it is often important to underscore the utility of one of the maximum realizations of this kind of dialectic, namely the use of permutation to organize content.[]

Although permutation is not the only means of efficiency (see for example, Coppedge 1), permutation is the only immediate method available for considering disposably organized points.

The validity of permutative content approaches is especially apparent when it is realized that the central theme of a project depends on generating logical systems as a means of supporting the idea that there is a thesis in the first place. E.g. when no causal structure is apparent, the project lacks rhetoric, and when no argument is made, it is impossible to have a thesis. The existence of arguments and a causal structure require logic. And for logic, it is important to emphasize that 'system' as it is used here, is not used in any trivial sense of the word.

While 'system' and 'content' are often considered independently, the relationship between them is actually exponential, when rhetoric is being used.

Another way of describing the relationship is one of 'subject' to 'context', or as in Frege, 'denotation' and 'connotation'.

Specialization and Generality[]

It is important to make some statement on the relation of specialization and generality, because it bears heavily on the relation between the earlier topics of system and content. Both system and content (subject and context), exist as specializations or generalities. It is even possible to include some relative definitions of specialization, so that some specializations are themselves generalities. However, generality still exists in the absolute sense, whenever a category (genus, which is qua general) is used with relative absoluteness. That is, when a category is said to refer to everything that it could possibly describe, and that description involves multiple things which entirely constitute some definite part of a whole, then that is a generality. Generality can still exist as a specialization when there is a specific function that it involves. And specialization may be considered general when it accomodates multiple sub-specialties. 

How does this relate to systems and content? Well, a workable system is considered to be functional, which requires one of several things: (1) That it is pure logic incorporating adequate premises (this is argued of arithmetic and categorical syllogisms), (2) That what is described is merely a genus of a recognized type (this is true of successful novels), (3) That what is said is a special application of genus, such as applied logic or semantics, (4) That it involves pure specialization, which the reader is expected to 'cognize' according to a sort of programmed relationship. This final answer is unfortunately the norm in academia. The others have great potential.

Given these relationships, the focus is upon (1) Systems, (2) Content, (3) Generality, and (4) Specificity. According to my method of categorical deduction, what this leaves is a formula for 'general systems that have specific content'. Which seems to follow anyhow.

The Value of Process and Meaning[]

Process has been underscored by philosophers such as Whitehead and Floridi, with a tendency to oversell what seems meaningful to the author, but which has no inherent logical coherence to the student. Traditionally, this fault has been attributed to philosophers' actual inability to reach foolproof arguments. For example, Whitehead's and Russell's Principia Mathematica has now been faulted for incoherence, since it does not reduce to a specified number of specified premise statements. Although Wittgenstein may have been inspired by this, he maintained that some information cannot be known, or at least, not known in the form of language.

Nonetheless, there is no denying that the specific meaning of a discipline, whether it is mathematics, creative writing, or philosophy, relates to the meaningful connotation of the statements used to describe its content. This is what mathematical philosopher Jeffrey Ketland describes roughly as 'assignment' (in his article in the journal Philosophy called, "There's Glory for You").

Some might argue, as Whitehead argued orginally, that process is what lends vitality to meaning. At the minimum, as in Ketland's argument, there might be some necessity for vital modalities, causal relationships, or a Leibnizian dependence on consciousness.

However, in the technological age, all of this sums up to 'applications doing what applications do'. According to relativity, for example, what is to say that a 'dynamic' object IS 'dynamic' in the first place? It may all be a matter of perspective. However, that being the case, activities perceived as activities (applications perceived as applications) must have dynamic properties even if the objects or entities are themselves not dynamic objectively. This is an so-called 'object-oriented' approach, which is deveiled of its dependence on dynamic expression to produce or generate meaning. The implication is that meaning can in fact exist as information, and so can process.

The combination of process and meaning, made possible by information, grants several possibilities: (A) Meaning is infinite, and value is cumulative (process meaning), (B) Meaning is finite, but process grants it meaning (meaningful process), (C) Meaning has value, but the absence of meaning has no value, and meaning must be grasped by rules other than meaning, unless meaning supervenes those values (meaning of meaning), or (D) The unresolved is resolved, and the resolved is unresolved, but there is no meaning (the process of process).

The choice amongst those options may determine a kind of intellectual viability, e.g. a hierarchy of (A) Systems, (B) Specificity, (C) Generality, and (D) Content, much as before.

Form and Idea[]

Now that it has been described that there are some relative and some absolute choices in intellectual composition, it is worth noting that there are two further factors, which might best be considered first or last.

These factors are form and idea: simplifications or origins for the general ideas of the above listed sections.

Form describes the symbolic potential of the object to signify, while idea presents the ultimate ability to create authority for a symbol.

With these two ideas, it is possible to breathe life into a system, like the proverbial rabbi with his clay golem.


Coppedge, Nathan. The Dimensional Philosopher's Toolkit. Bloomingdale: Authorhouse, 2013.

Frege, Gottlieb. On Sense and Reference. Wikimedia.

Ketland, Jeffrey. "There's Glory for You". Philosophy Journal, 2013.

Russell and Whitehead. Principia Mathematica.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus". Collected Writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein.