Threesology Research Journal
Sociological Threes
Page I

(The Study of Threes)

If you are a student of Sociology looking for resource material for a paper, leave this page until you are ready to tackle philosophical issues related to Sociology. Using the material here for a typical sociology classroom exercise will get you dire admonishment from an instructor who wants you to think in conventional Sociological terms. The information on this page and at this site are way out of the comfort zone of the conventional perspective. Even though you would be able to provide numerous "threes" examples, as I do later on, and even though many of your peers may well use three-patterned examples in their papers, a concentrated "threes" perspective might well get you the label of someone whose meanderings are flirting with the outskirt terrains of madness. Whereas I've always been crazy, being called such simply provides me with more gratifying self-recognition. HA! But for most, who rely on being recognized as one of the normals, I am putting up a Verboten! sign for you to heed. Elsewise, I can not be responsible for your sanity. Leave now or be forever tainted by my corrupting views and cause the greater foundation of Sociologists to demand that I imbibe the fatefully immortalizing elixir of Socrates.

The present page is about looking at Sociology through a Trichotomous (i.e. threesological) lens...

...instead of the typical Monotomous or dichotomous ones frequently employed:

  • Monotomous (monocular)

    1. Positive aspects = Focused, determined, resolute, etc...

    2. Neutral aspects = Static cyclicity of issues (repetition).

    3. Negative aspects = Tunnel visioned, wearing blinders, lynch mob mentality, myopic, "Mad dog" perspective, etc...

  • Dichotomous (dualistic)

    1. Positive aspects = Weigh opposing arguments, consider contrasting issues, etc...

    2. Neutral aspects = Unresolved conflicts sprout more complex (added on) issues.

    3. Negative aspects = Diametric issues such as rich/poor, weak/strong, illiterate/educated, etc... are used as singular arguments (i.e. weapons) to support yet other oppositionals.

  • Trichotomous (threesological—three-patterned)

    1. Positive aspects = Alternatives to traditional compromises of diametric positioned issues.

    2. Neutral aspects = Too heavy a reliance on syllogistic analysis.

    3. Negative aspects = Misinterpreted and misunderstood conclusions are reached or are dismissed because they are not traditional approaches to address issues.

But these are not the lenses of sunglasses worn by someone whose interest in Sociology is commensurate with reading "relationship" articles in magazines, though so many sociology papers reek of such with the intent of invoking an empathetic or sympathetic pathos as a tool to measure their presumed insightfulness of a given social theme. But if this is what you are expecting, in terms of your understanding of what is meant by "sociology", you might as well go elsewhere. The word "sociology" is not always to be equated specifically or simplistically with the word "social" in terms of the psychology of a given situation involving human inter-relationships. You will be sorely disappointed with the content of this page if this is how you view the word Sociology. I don't give a whit about your desire to be emotionally stirred by a particular social event that you can identify with. If this is what you want then go get yourself a comic book, readers digest or one of the several self-centered news stand magazines sporting more advertisements than they do any in-depth commentary. Whereas such an interest has its place, it is not to be found here nor now.

Most people do not use such an observational lens, three-patterned or otherwise, as I do. I apply it widely, to every single subject I can. I even intermix subjects because this is needed if one attempts an ever larger scope of inclusive analysis outside the boundaries and methodologies typically advocated and utilized. Hence, you can not properly study Sociology without an appreciation of Psychology, Mathematics, Biology, Anatomy, History, etc., etc., etc... However, this is not a point about having personally engaged in some ritual in order to profess some intimate knowledge, it is about having knowledge that a given social ritual has an expectation of intimacy which requires surrendering objectivity to subjectivity in order for someone to assumedly feel the full effect of being emersed there-in. Yet, first-hand experiences do not always add valuable insight to be included in a narrative. It is blind ignorance to think that an acquired subjectivity always leads to enchance objectivity.

In other words, you don't have to stick you head into the mouth of a lion to accurately describe it may gnaw or eat you. Nor do you have to invite yourself to a head-hunter's neighborhood jungle cookout to attempt a description of events you may not be able to tell anyone about if they decide to barbecue you. Attempting to discuss something without some appreciation makes you extremely superficial to those who embrace a similar value-system of a larger knowledge base, even when you have what your peers describe as an intimate understanding of a given circumstance. One's peers may well be like-mindedly naive but none of you realize it because all of you interact within a closed system that is erroneously defined as open. Sociology is no different than other professions sporting a cliquish coterie of self indulgences.

For example, you may know everything there is to know about a particular fashion as a fashion, and be well recognized for harboring such an expertise amongst your like-minded peers; but know nothing of its basic construction amongst a given population, advertising demographics, marketing distribution, contrasted economic profiles, etc... However, most of us don't actually know everything about a given subject even when we are defined as an expert, reigning authority or practicing professional. We simply talk a good tale better than others can and are realistically cognizant of our limitations. Nonetheless, despite our honestly acknowledged ignorance, we strive for as much authenticity as we can... even on those days we seemed to be plagued with spelling errors, interruptions and the variegated sociological accoutrements of day to day living.

Those writing about Sociological themes can not get away from being an historian... Their selected topic may well include examples from the distant, not so distant, or recent past. They may also include references to present, near present or "near-enough" present occurrences. And some will even attempt to be visionary by presenting some visualized hope, dream, or direction for the future. In short, it is an exercise in a three-patterned past - present - future grouping even though the writer may not be aware they are utilizing such a formula. And this doesn't even openly speak of the many three-patterned writing rules they will use such as ending a sentence with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Their papers will also include a Title, Subject and Conclusion. And nor does it portray that all of it is accomplished with an anatomy that has multiple examples of "threes" as provided by Dr. McNulty's List of Threes in Human Anatomy page. Aside from these by-the-way "threes" examples, let us return to the specific topic of Sociology.

Auguste Comte (8K)

Auguste Comte (19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857) emphasized the usage of a "Scientific Sociology" in order that we, as a society, might more comprehensively address and hopefully, solve many sociological issues with which we appear to be consistently plagued by. With respect to beginning this page with him, let me provide the first "Sociological Three" taken from his philosophy:

  1. Theological Stage
    1. Fetishism
    2. Polytheism
    3. Monotheism
  2. Metaphysical or Abstract Stage
  3. Positive Stage

His "Religion of Humanity" had this three:

  1. Great Fetish
  2. Great Medium
  3. Great Being

The Religion of Humanity was developed with John Stuart Mill, who used to say of all his later work that it was the result not of one intelligence, but of three: of himself, his wife, and his step-daughter (Helen Taylor).

The first three items are referred to as "Comte's law of three stages" and are collectively viewed as one of the first theories of how society evolves. However, this page is not intended to be a full expose' of his or anyone else's views but my own, but I do provide some links for further reading and to append where the information was derived:

Here is a mere spatter of sources for information on Auguste Comte:

As a by-the-way comment, let's put together a short list of both animate and inanimate historical characters, that portray a reference to a "threes" formula, though one must wonder if any of the people involved were even aware that they were doing so in terms of a larger "threes"-related historical context. For a larger list of Sociologists or social thinking theorists: List of Sociologists.

The following examples are arranged according to date. In a few instances I provide an elaboration, particularly if in my cursory reading I did not find a specific "three" associated with a person, while in other instances I merely referenced a selected threes orientation:

Let us begin the short list with a reference to Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (17 October 1760 – 19 May 1825) whose ideas are said to have influenced Auguste Comte (who was, for a time, Saint-Simon's secretary); but that he also had an influence on Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, and many other thinkers and social theorists. With respect to a "threes" orientation, Saint-Simon had embraced the French Revolution's Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

And let us note that: the French feminist and socialist writer Flora Tristan (1803–1844) claimed that Mary Wollstonecraft, author of "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman", anticipated Saint-Simon's ideas by a generation.

  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) dialectical method: Thesis ~ Antithesis ~ Synthesis
  • French Revolution 1789-1799: Development of the Third Estate ("Third Estate" is also a British reference to the common people.)
  • Auguste Comte (1798 - 1857) 3 stages: Theological ~ Metaphysical ~ "Positival"
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865): Of the People ~ By the People ~ For the People
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883) 3 "isms": Communism ~ Socialism ~ Capitalism; Book: Das Capital (3 volumes)
  • Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) 3-item Book title: (The) Origin of Family, Private Property and the State (1884)

Note: Marx and Engles collaborated on the 1842-1844 influential "Communist (Socialist) Manifesto" (published on the Eve of the Revolutions of 1848). Communism was viewed as an advanced stage of Socialism. Hence, one might write a suggestive 3-part progress of: Democracy → Socialism → Communism.

  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Applied the theory of natural selection to human societies and expounded a world view based on a close study of physical, biological and social phenomena.
  • Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 3 "isms": Colonialism ~ Racism ~ Anti-Communism

EmileDurkheim (9K)

Throughout his career, Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was concerned primarily with three goals:

  1. First, to establish sociology as a new academic discipline.

  2. Second, to analyze how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era, when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed; to that end he wrote much about the effect of laws, religion, education and similar forces on society and social integration.

  3. Lastly, Durkheim was concerned with the practical implications of scientific knowledge.

[H.O.B. note: while in many cases during the development of my theory I have used the word "fusion", we should not overlook those words (and associated ideas) which are synonymous. Such as for example, the word "integration" which is used to describe a key perspective of Durkheim:]

The importance of social integration is expressed throughout Durkheim's work:

For if society lacks the unity that derives from the fact that the relationships between its parts are exactly regulated, that unity resulting from the harmonious articulation of its various functions assured by effective discipline and if, in addition, society lacks the unity based upon the commitment of men's wills to a common objective, then it is no more than a pile of sand that the least jolt or the slightest puff will suffice to scatter.

—Émile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim He thought that transition of a society from "primitive" to advanced may bring about major disorder, crisis, and anomie. (From his Division of Labour in Society.)

He is also noted for defining three types of Suicide: Egoistic, Altruistic, Anomic Suicide (1897) [Excerpt from Robert Alun Jones. Emile Durkheim: An Introduction to Four Major Works. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 1986. Pp. 82-114.]

Though there are numerous references citing four types: Egoistic, Altruistic, Anomic, Fatalistic: Suicide (book) [Wikipedia]

However, with respect to the fourth type: Durkheim's final category of suicide, fatalistic, is relegated to a footnote. This type of suicide occurred within tightly knit groups whose members sought, but could not attain, escape, whose "futures are pitilessly blocked and passions violently choked by oppressive discipline" (Durkheim 1951, p. 276). Prisoners of war or slaves who were bound into distinct groups dominated by other groups might commit suicide in order to escape group membership or to demonstrate control over their lives.

Encyclopedia of Death and dying: Durkheim, Émile

Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber (21 April 1864 – 14 June 1920) is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three founding creators of sociology.

  • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924): First head of the USSR, established "The Comintern" or Third International in 1919.
  • Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)... Italian Leader: Third Way
  • Adolph Hitler (1889-1945)... German Leader: Third Reich

Charles Wright Mills (August 28, 1916 – March 20, 1962) wrote, amongst other things:

The Sociological Imagination (1959), which is considered Mills' most influential book, describes a mindset for studying sociology — the sociological imagination — that stresses being able to connect individual experiences and societal relationships. The three components that form the sociological imagination are:

  1. History: why society is what it is and how it has been changing for a long time and how history is being made in it.
  2. Biography: the nature of "human nature" in a society; what kinds of people inhabit a particular society.
  3. Social Structure: how the various institutional orders in a society function, which ones are dominant, how they are kept together, how they might be changing too, etc.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) Middle of the road approach to three possibilities: Acquiescence ~ Nonviolence ~ Violence

  2. My desire to begin this page with a note about Aguste Comte is fitting since he is sometimes recognized as the father of what might be termed modern Sociology... or at least the lead fore-runner thereof; though you may encounter a similar reference being attached to someone else. Suffice it to say that Sociology has had a lot of Surrogate fathers, but I haven't as yet come across anyone being cited as the mother, sister, brother, cousin, etc... You would think this would be the case since it is Sociology, though some might think it more appropriate to use such references when speaking about a history of Psychology.

    Nonetheless, you would think that a sociological discussion of Sociology would make at least some foot, margin or top page corner note about the recurrent usage of a "three" formulization being used over and over again by these so-called great Sociological thinkers. One would think that Sociologists would study all things social, which includes a recurring mind-set.

    Whereas I initially thought to provide his trio of "Great Being ~ Great Medium ~ Great Fetish", it was later viewed as more religiously than sociologically oriented; and that this particular line-up of "three" may be more obscure to the general reader...

    Yet, some might contend that philosophy, religion and sociology are merely differing flavors of the same overall meal, but that most people never actually get past looking and sampling the table full of food varieties in order to get to the meat and potatoes... or whatever is preferred as a main course. In other words, even though a person may have a Ph.D in sociology, they remain as a kid more interested in trying out and talking about the different desserts than eating or encouraging others to eat more nutritive portions. This is not to say they don't write well, but of what and how they write remains quite superficial. It lacks a substantive amount of personal empathetic experience for those of us who have, so to speak, walked on the roads to which they attempt to write about from an unrealized distance of superficiality or through the window of a vehicle whose mechanisms and means of modernity has smoothed over many of the road's rough spots.

    In short, far too many do not write well about something they themselves have not experienced despite all their technical writing skills and command of a language. They are merely good at telling a tale which relays the experiences of others that they have memorized and collated into a representation in their own words, as if such experiences were uniquely their own. In effect, they are practicing a type of journalistic fictionalism based on what may or may not be actual experiences of others whose emotional content may be identified with one's own, but this is not sociology... theoretical or otherwise... this is akin to soap-opera script writing; for which one journalist was caught red-handed at:

    Janet Leslie Cooke (born July 23, 1954, in Toledo, Ohio) is an American former journalist. She became infamous when it was discovered that a Pulitzer Prize-winning story that she had written for The Washington Post had been fabricated.

    Another example: Jayson Blair (born March 23, 1976) is a former journalist with The New York Times. He was fired from the newspaper in May 2003 in the wake of the discovery of plagiarism and fabrication in his stories.

    Here are some others: Stephen Glass, novelist Kaavya Viswanathan, Jonah Lehrer, Stephen Glass... and here is an additional resource: Journalists as hoaxers

    Despite these few, most journalists strive for responsible and ethical journalism. And Sociologists strive for similar authenticity in their work. But the problem to which I speak of is not authenticity, but the usage of their profession and professionalism to speak of what they are attempting to discuss as if it were substantive instead of a superficiality that students interpret as a lofted standard to emulate... and thus begins and perpetuates a like-minded sociological thinking. It becomes the "right way" to think about all things sociological because students get good grades and even degrees for thinking about different topics in a similar way. They don't know how to think differently because their instructors didn't and don't. An example being the placement of Sociology into the framework of a "threes" perspective, though many of them, like Auguste Comte, utilize a pattern-of-three strategy! They're like someone looking for their glasses sitting atop their head, or standing near their vehicle in a parking lot asking where it's at or wondering why their beverage glass and food plate are empty that were once full before they started writing a sociology paper. They do not see the proverbial forest for the trees.

    Yet, while looking at my pronouncements of a threes theme and they discover someone using an other-than "threes" organizational framework, they are not aware that the pattern they have uncovered, is covered by the larger singular - dual - plural theme, which provides for what some may refer to as anomalies, mutations or some "exclusionary principle."

    Politicians frequently employ their own vernacularized trickery to tell a good, believable story, but so do lawyers and every kid trying to provide a "reason" for not having their homework to turn in; the latter characteristic I was always dumb-founded by when I was in school. I never understood why someone couldn't get their homework done. Then again, I always held it to be a mark of personal esteem to complete all my work in class. Besides, you couldn't go out for recess if you didn't finish.

    The efforts of such "Journalistic Sociologists" honestly lack portraying the depth of a subject in order to provide a full-meal serving instead of the frequently received sugary snacks being offered. Students are easily led astray by sugar-coated presentations which provide a short-term euphoric high, but are unprepared for the crash when confronted by trying to apply such a high to the low-some vagaries of real-world considerations. As long as they remain amongst those whom think as they do, periodically rejuvenating the euphoria, the high is sustained... like a revolution, a political rally, or a religious meeting; but outside this box, withdrawal symptoms can set in.

    But let us move on and away from this bubble-gum chewing chatter and provide some other "Sociological Threes" knowing well that sociological themes can run the spectrum of all things human-related... to which we have applied to the behavior of other life forms as well such as by describing a bee hive as a society (or obversely, the "migrating patterns of humans). A prime example, because it is widely known, is the rendition of society into Lower - Middle - Upper classes. Caste systems such as in India may have more than three, but these generally take on an "other-than" odd-man-out perspective which might provide us with a three-to-one assemblage, that I will not go into on this page other than provide a link to some other examples for those who may have some interest there-in:

    Three -to- One ratios page a

    Others might prefer approaching the observational recording of a social event based on different sociologically-related criteria, for example, by venturing more directly into the area of politics by citing the trio of Democrats - Independents - Republicans, in terms of an American perspective. And still others might prefer such political examples as the French Revolution's Third Estate, the Italian (Mussolini's) Third Way, the three allies of World War I: Great Britain and France and Russia, of War War II: Russia, Great Britain, U.S.; or the three Axis powers: Germany, Italy, Japan. Clearly, different approaches to the study of Sociology lead to observational perspectives one might not have considered but may turn out to have applicable value for further discussion and analysis.

    Here are some others:

    • 3 member family arrangement: Father - Mother - Child/Children
    • 3 generation family arrangement: Grandparents - Parents - Children
    • 3 extended family grouping: Uncles - Aunts - Cousins
    • 3 extended family children assortment: Nephews - Nieces - Grandkids
    • 3 meal classifications: Breakfast - Dinner (lunch) - Supper (Supper and Dinner are sometimes switched)
    • 3 breakfast meats: Bacon - Ham - Sausage
    • 3 aside breakfast assortment: Pancakes - Waffles - French toast
    • 3 typical Restaurant breakfast beverage options: Coffee - Tea - Juice (A glass of water is often provided freely).
    • 3 branch American Government: Executive - Legislative - Judicial
    • 3 "truths" of a court setting: Tell the truth - The whole truth - Nothing but the truth.
    • 3 courtroom examinations: Examination - Cross-examination - Re-cross examination.
    • 3 types of American Colonies by location: Northern or New England - Middle - Southern
    • 3 kinds of American Colonies by type: Royal - Proprietary - Corporate
    • 3 Viking social classes: Nobles - Freemen - Slaves
    • 3 Estates of Medievalism: Aristocracy - Clergy - Workers
    • Third Communist International was founded in 1919 by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (He died after a 3rd stroke)
    • 3 rode from Lexington to Concord: Paul Revere - William Dawes - Dr. Samuel Prescott
    • 3 atom bombs changed the world: Trinity site - Hiroshima - Nagasaki (3 days after Hiroshima)
    • 3 measures called The Reform Acts extended voting rights in 19th century England
    • 3 Korean Kingdoms: Koguryo - Paekche - Silla
    • 3 days, July 1st - 2nd - 3rd in 1863, is when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought
    • 3 shots fired at John E Kennedy's & Yitzhak Rabin's assassinations
    • Third Monday in January is celebrated as Martin Luther King Day
    • 3 U.S. Diplomats killed together: Robert Frasure - Nelson Drew - Joseph Kruzel
    • 3 shots killed Robert Kennedy
    • 3 wars between Rome & Carthage: Punic Wars
    • 3 conspiracy theories (FBI - CIA - Mafia) are suggested for M.L. King Jr.'s assassination
    • 3 word phrase in King George III's diary (July 4, l776: Nothing-Happened-Today)
    • 3-patterned phrase to avoid the Black Plague: Go quickly - Go far - and Return late
    • 3 British ships raided: Boston Tea Party
    • 3-cornered (Tricorn) hats: Continental Infantry
    • 3-piece silver ink stand was used by the signers of the Declaration of Independence
    • 3 cracks: The U.S. Liberty Bell cracked three times.
    • 3 squadrons commanded by General Claire Lee Chennualt: The Flying Tigers
    • *** During a meeting, a motion may be made that is "seconded" and "Thirded"
    • 3 (traditional) great taboos in textbook publishing: Sex - Religion - Social Class
    • 3 person management hierarchy in some retail businesses: Manager - Assistant Manager - Third Man
    • 3 traditional race classifications: Mongoloid - Negroid - Caucasian
    • 3 common job payment distributions: Weekly paycheck - Bi-weekly paycheck - Monthly paycheck
    • 3 day weekends is typical strategy of many workers when choosing vacation days
    • 3 possible samplings for drug or alcohol testing: Breath - Blood - Urine
    • 3-tiered Health System: One for the Rich/Politicians - One for the Middle Class - One for the Poor
    • 3 human evolution phases by August Schleicher: Basic physical aspects - Language - History
    • 3 basic demographic variables: Fertility - Mortality - Migration
    • 3rd World - 2nd World - 1st World nations: Political divisions
    • 3rd reading: Lost reading of a proposed legislation

    3 major Native American take overs in the early 1910's:

    1. Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay
    2. Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C.
    3. Wounded Knee in South Dakota

    Japanese Naval attack fleet commanders were given all but three final orders:

    1. Date of sailing
    2. Date of mid-ocean fueling
    3. Date of attack (Pearl Harbor)

    coctail (45K)

    Contrast the old firing squad three-command directive (Ready - Aim - Fire) with the modern usage of three drugs used for execution (Sodium Pentathol - Pancuronium - Potasium Chloride). In other words, we are still resorting to the usage of some "three" methodoogy.

    • 3 firing squad commands: Ready - Aim - Fire
    • A prisoner might be provided with a last request such as being provided with whatever they want to eat/drink, what to wear or last words, though variations may be permitted.
    • 3 styles of execution from a great height: Estrapade - La cale sech - La cale humide
    • 3 trees: Colloquialism for Gallows
    • *** "Death occurs in threes' is a common social expression/saying; also, "Third time is the charm"
    • 3 noted figures of the Alamo: William Travis - David Crockett - James Bowie
    • 3 Ancient Roman (Latin) forms of first, middle, last names: Praenomen - Nomen - Cognomen
    • Three Mile Island accident is example used by critics of nuclear power programs in general
    • 3 U.S. Supreme Court Authority boundaries: State & Nation - State & State - Government & Citizen
    • 3 English/Welsh Supreme Courts: Court of Appeal - High Court of Justice - Crown Court
    • 3-part P.O.W. "rules": Name - Rank - Serial Number/Last meal - Last request - Last
    • words (Blindfold - Cigarette - Bound Hands/Make peace with God - The World - One's Family)
    • 3 phases of change: Resist change - Begins to accept change - Embrace change
    • 3 days after a homicide produce the best leads to solving it - The second best leads come 3 weeks after the crime - After these two, it is difficult to get reliable evidence.

    And here are some from Alexandor I. Stepanov:

    Standard classification of political movements (and variants):

    • liberalism - conservatism - radicalism
    • liberalism - conservatism - Marxism;
    • liberalism - Marxism - nationalism;
    • the Right - the Left - the Centre;
    • the West - the East - the Third World;
    • the notion of "the Third Way";
    • world-system analysis: kernel - semi-periphery - periphery;
    • Russian ideology of the 19th century: orthodoxy - autocracy - nationality;
    • state ideology of Thailand: nation - religion - monarchy;
    • A. Ferguson: Ages of savagery - barbarism - civilization;
    • Thomsen: the Stone - the Bronze - the Iron Ages;
    • palaeolithic period - mesolithic period- New Stone Age;
    • Ancient history - Middle Ages - Modern times;
    • "Moscow is the Third Rome";
    • "the Third Reich" (Adolf Hitler);
    • "the Third Revelation";
    • classical system of literary genre: lyrics - epos - drama;
      tragedy - comedy - drama;
    • literary process: author - reader - critic;
    • the nobility - the clergy - the third estate in absolutistic France;
    • poetic social order in The Republic by Plato;
    • estate order in the Russian empire;
    • three forms of state service: military - civilian - court;
    • three branches of state power: legislative - executive - judicial;
    • the institute of tripartite commissions: business - trade unions - government;
    • the court: prosecution - defense - judge;
    • the forms of government: autocracy - oligarchy - democracy;

    Alexander I. Stepanov's site:

    The Number and Culture
    The Rational Unconscious in Language, Fiction,
    Science, Present Politics, Philosophy, History

    Some readers might prefer to cite Georges Dumezil's "Tripartite Ideology" of Priests - Warriors - Artisans with respect to the sociological structure of most Indo-European cultures. And still others might prefer to include the Stone - Bronze - and Iron Ages as representing sociological formulas. In short, some look at sociology through the lens of psychology, journalism, history, disease, medicine, industrialization, law, agriculture, animal husbandry, warfare, etc., or the ideas of a specific social theorist such as Hegel, whose three stage process of dialectical reasoning (Thesis - Anti-thesis - Synthesis) was adopted by Karl Marx.

    But no matter which "traditional" perspective is chosen in addressing one's own interest, I have yet to come across any that address sociological issues and concerns from an appreciation that all such ideas are adaptive survival mechanisms. A person may cite a particular economic theory as the "reason" for a particular social circumstance to have occurred, but they do so in a very arbitrary and isolated way in an attempt to make a singular point of either growth, stagnation or deterioration. Or they might use it to detail some education or political theory. Yet, again, their orientation is subjectively oriented to a given situation and not a holistic approach for addressing the issues in the larger planetary context.

    Far too many sociological papers read like a day-time soap opera script that has replaced human characterizations with policies or programs that were adopted to provide a pro-active, after-the-fact, or intermediary stage of intervention. In general, a problem or concern is looked at from either/or an inside, outside or alongside perspective, thinking this will enable the researcher the best advantage for being comprehensively objective yet sensitively aware of individualized contemplations and considerations. In short, the researcher wants to be fair in their assessment. They don't want to be perceived as a bad guy (or girl) when they genuinely want to provide an insight that may be helpful. Yet, year, after decade, after century, sociological problems continue.

    Why hasn't humanity reached some "happy medium", some equilibrium, some harmony after all this time? Why do problems persist and each generations sociological theorists write their papers from the same general perspectives held in past generations... albeit with a different vocabulary placed into a specific social context? What does the recurrence of social problems, so called social "deviancy", or revolutions, actually represent? While human behavior in a given social circumstance may remain relatively unchanged for generations, why does something arise to upset the apple cart, so-to-speak?

    Why have a new idea if an old idea works well so long as everyone complies, like the presumed instinctive "rules" of a bee hive? Why do humans think "outside-the-box" when thinking within the box can produce stability? Why don't we all agree on a single type of government, religion and business focus? Why not have the same love songs, poetry, art and literature? What makes us "color outside the lines"?

    Aside from all the philosophical ideas we could employ in answering the foregoing, we need only say we respond to environmental changes. While some prefer to think of the word "environment" meaning social environment, what I am referring to is the larger planetary environment. If it were to remain stable, it is quite likely to assume we would remain sociologically stable, unless one would like to argue that we are also genetically and physiologically "unstable". However, such examples are also due to a long experienced adaptation to changes in the environment over billions of years for our genetics and millions of years for our physiological development as a species.

    We will never be able to solve human social problems so long as the human species must adapt to a global environment of change. And I am not speaking about deforestation, water and air pollution, usage of pesticides on crops, etc... While we humans have direct control over such examples, we do not have control over the ongoing decay of the environment due to the expansion of the Sun as it decays. It behooves us to get off this planet and away from a decadence for which we must adapt to in order to acquire some relative measure of survival. But it is a death survival. The obstacles to getting humanity away from social problems caused by an attempt to strive for some equilibrium on a dying planet, are present business, government, and religious perspectives.

    None of the current businesses, governments or religions have the word "solve" in their policy vocabularies. They don't want to solve problems because in doing so there would be no need of them. If problems were solved and we all lived in accordance with a "solution" philosophy, there would be no need of this social trinity. All problems of energy, medical care, employment, housing, etc., etc., etc., would be solved. All those in business, government, and religion, which includes all of us, have been brought up to remain dependent on someone or something for assistance in some manner or another. To change this would bring about the a restructuring of human society on a scale never before witnessed. Yet, far too many people want too many of us to look to them for guidance, for answers, for assistance, etc.

    Business, government and religion is structured on dependency. Dependency breeds control and manipulation. It does not breed independence, only the illusion thereof. While you may want to intimate in your next sociological paper the need for humanity to get off this planet, get out of this solar system, and eventually away from this galaxy; please be aware that your grade may reflect you as someone who is not on the same page as those with a typical sociological perspective. You would indeed be rebellious. However, I would prefer you to go along with the crowd so as to get a good grade and leave weird ideas like my own to those who really have nothing to lose in presenting such views.

    For those more interested in writing a sociological paper that may or may not get the grade you want by utilizing a conventional perspective, the following is one source: UNC College of Arts and Sciences Writing Center Let me provide just a very short, but pertinent part with respect to its application for the present paper. Notice it provides the three examples as flawed arguments, and none of which deal with the larger environmental implications):

    ...Sociology is the study of the interaction between individuals and larger social forces. Different traditions within sociology tend to favor one side of the equation over the other, with some focusing on the agency of individual actors and others on structural factors. The danger is that you may go too far in either of these directions and thus lose the complexity of sociological thinking. Although this mistake can manifest itself in any number of ways, three types of flawed arguments are particularly common: the “individual argument,” the “human nature argument,” and the “society argument.”

    • The “individual argument” generally takes this form: “The individual is free to make choices, and any outcomes can be explained exclusively through the study of his or her ideas and decisions.” While it is of course true that we all make our own choices, we must also keep in mind that, to paraphrase Marx, we make these choices under circumstances given to us by the structures of society. Therefore, it is important to investigate what conditions made these choices possible in the first place, as well as what allows some individuals to successfully act on their choices while others cannot.

    • The “human nature argument” seeks to explain social behavior through a quasi-biological argument about humans, and often takes a form such as: “Humans are by nature X, therefore it is not surprising that Y.” While Sociologists disagree over whether a universal human nature even exists, they all agree that it is not an acceptable basis of explanation. Instead, sociology demands that you question why we call some behavior natural, and to look into the social factors which have constructed this “natural” state.

    • The “society argument” often arises in response to critiques of the above styles of argumentation, and tends to appear in a form such as: “Society made me do it.” Students often think that this is a good sociological argument, since it uses society as the basis for explanation. However, the problem is that the use of the broad concept “society” masks the real workings of the situation, making it next to impossible to build a strong case. This is an example of reification, which is when we turn processes into things. Society is really a process, made up of ongoing interactions at multiple levels of size and complexity, and to turn it into a monolithic thing is to lose all that complexity. People make decisions and choices. Some groups and individuals benefit, while others do not. Identifying these intermediate levels is the basis of sociological analysis.

    Einsteinquote (13K)

    Both Albert Einstein (in a quote) and Kurt Gödel in his "Godel's Theorem", warned against the type of thinking which is perscribed by the present day 'common sense' standards of "sociological thinking".

    The significant problems we face today
    can not be solved...
    at the same level of thinking we were at
    when we created them.

    Godel (2K)

    Gödel established two different though related incompleteness theorems, usually called the first incompleteness theorem and the second incompleteness theorem. “Gödel's theorem” is sometimes used to refer to the conjunction of these two, but may refer to either— usually the first— separately. Accommodating an improvement due to J. Barkley Rosser in 1936, the first theorem can be stated, roughly, as follows:

    1. First incompleteness theorem

      • Any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out is incomplete; i.e., there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F.

    2. Second incompleteness theorem

      • For any consistent system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out, the consistency of F cannot be proved in F itself.

    Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems (

    While Gödel presented us with only two Incompleteness theorems, the would-be constraints are effectively nullified by the adoption of a Third Theorem with respect to a "threes" perspective:

    1. For all consistent (which includes all indeterminant) systems (of) F within which all singular, dual and plural operations can be carried out, the consistency (or indeterminancy) of F cannot be proved in F itself...(we must go outside of it.)

    In light of a "Threes Phenomena Perspective", Gödel's Theorem shows itself to be a heuristic proposition that can be applied to an analysis of Sociology... as well as other fields of research.

    — End of page I —

    Initial Posting date: Thursday, May 8, 2014
    Updated Posting: Friday, May 23, 2014

    Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
    Herb O. Buckland