THE NEW MODEL OF HARMONY AND UNITY
THE CAUSE OF NEUTRAL-INCLUSIVITY
We must discriminate
between neutralness and unneutralness,
and recognize the supreme value of neutrality;
between the unneutralness which is nanapolar,
that is, neutral-directed, and that which is not.
We must discriminate
between inclusiveness and exclusiveness,
and recognize the value of inclusivity.
Let every person distinguish
the neutral and inclusive attitude
from the extreme and exclusive attitude,
from the unneutral and exclusive attitude.
And let every person realize
that these two ways of thinking,
these two ways of feeling and behaving,
are fundamentally incompatible.
Those who know are aware of
the active side of the exclusive attitude:
preferential treatment or privileges,
and exclusion or subordination,
on the basis of family ties or race,
of people's denominational persuasion,
of language, political creed, wealth or class,
of age, sex or sexual orientation,
or on the basis of any other factor
irrelevant to the ultimate values.
And those who know are aware of
the sentimental side of the exclusive attitude:
inhibition, compulsion and alienation,
from nature and what is natural in our kind,
from groups of a different culture or mind,
if not from the immutable norms themselves.
We adherents shall advance
the neutral or neutral-directed in the world,
where it echoes "Down with extremism!";
the inclusive in ourselves and in others,
while it echoes "Down with exclusivism!".
We shall not discriminate
but to further the neutral and the inclusive,
the cause of neutral-inclusivity itself.
As noted before, it is often hard to tell
ideas or systems of thought apart from
Similarly, it will often be hard or impossible to distinguish
neutralism from inclusive relevantism. The foundation of neutralism
is a relevantistic one in that
the norm of neutrality has
been defined as "the relevantistic interpretation of the principle of
neutrality"; the foundation of inclusivism is a neutralistic one in that
the norm of inclusivity
has been defined as "the neutralistic interpretation of the principle
of relevance". At this point it must be admitted that our reasoning
has been circular. But the circle we have drawn is so all-embracing
that no further justification is needed, or that we cannot conceive
of any alternative belief or proposal which would be more plausible.
Neutralism is concerned with the
catenical dimension of
thought, and inclusivism with the relevancy-conditional dimension
of it. Neither neutralism nor inclusivism covers the
truth-conditional aspect of thought as such, let alone
and purely propositional aspects of it. When neutralism-inclusivism
is for us the most plausible (or least implausible) normative system of
disciplinary thought, it is
therefore for us the most plausible catenical and
relevancy-conditional normative system of disciplinary thought.
Like protoneutralist conceptions and theories, neutralism pictures for us
a model of harmony, but whereas this new model is catenical,
protoneutralist conceptions and theories build on
antonymical metaphysics; like
protorelevantist conceptions and theories inclusivism pictures for us a
model of unity, but whereas this new model is now relevancy-conditional,
protorelevantist conceptions and theories build on inconsistent and
The idea of a perfect world of harmony and unity is perhaps
as old as thought itself. As we have seen in the previous
chapter, even antineutralist thinkers have made their strife of
opposites issue in harmony and unity in the end. Hence what is
new about the neutralistic-inclusivistic model is not the idea of
harmony and unity as perfect things but, firstly, the catenical
interpretation of harmony and the relevancy-conditional
interpretation of unity; and secondly, the special interplay
between the neutralistic theory of 'harmony' and the inclusivistic
theory of 'unity'. Because of the intimate connection which
exists in our model between the norm of neutrality and the norm
of inclusivity, or between the notion of neutrality and the
notion of inclusivity, it is reasonable to speak of "one notion
of neutral-inclusivity". It is this catenical,
relevancy-conditional concept which replaces all traditional and
ancient concepts of harmony and unity.
The norm of neutrality is a
ground-world norm; the
principle of neutrality a ground-world principle. It is when this
norm or principle is applied to the making of distinctions that it
coincides with the norm of inclusivity, for no distinction shall
be made so that things on the one side of a divide are
undervalued and those on the other side overvalued. The norm of
inclusivity itself is the ground-world application of the
principle of relevance. Via this principle we enter
propositional reality. Here
propositional principles, or norms of thought, take over, such as the
principles of truth, coherence and parsimony.
inclusivity are connected in at
least two fundamentally different ways.
One way is
interpretation of the respective principles.
With regard to the principle of
discriminational relevance this means that equal treatment in a
literal sense needs no justification, and that the burden of
proof is with someone who claims that a distinction is relevant.
Another way is thru the focus of relevancy, which always
has to be a neutralistic value.
This value may be a
perfective one, like equality,
corrective one, like the
minimization of unhappiness or a maximum situational improvement in
Everyday goals like the best quality of work to be done, or the greatest
possible safety to be achieved, should fit in with this scheme, for
example, because they minimize (the chance of) unhappiness or because
they contribute to the establishment of optimum conditions for
good health. Neutral-inclusivity requires that such goals always
serve neutrality in the end, however remote the position of
these goals may be with respect to that
ultimate, perfective value.