CATENATED AND NONCATENATED, PRIMARY PREDICATES
The universe does not only 'contain' — if we may use this word
— objects, not only
primary things and
primary attributes and relations but
also more complex systems of nonprimary predicates.
One of the latter systems is the
catena, a whole of (con)catenated positive, neutral and negative
Whereas attributes and relations are purely intensional, with no component
parts, the universe is in a sense a pure
extensionality recognized in ordinary
language as a 'thing' but without any proper predicates which can be
ascribed to it.
Nevertheless, all things consist directly or indirectly of
attributes on our ontological construction, and so the universe comprises
a theoretically unlimited number of parallel attributive systems, and
therefore it contains ultimately solely attributes itself (since also
relations are, as things, sets of attributes).
After having distinguished
the different domains to which things belong and the kinds of attributes
which are the base-elements in these domains (primary, secondary, and so
on), it is high time now to consider how primary attributes (and relations)
can be categorized.
A systematic study of these atoms of the first domain
of discourse, to which we belong ourselves as bodies and as persons, will
at the same time tell us more about the character of their own, secondary,
attributes and relations.
The first distinction to be made, then, is between primary predicates,
looked upon as things in the second domain, which are and which are not
part of a catena.
The former predicates will be termed "catenated", the latter ones
The following list is an example of predicates which are
catenated, at least in a sense:
||directed away from|
For each pair of attributes or relations in this list, the predicate on the
left and the one on the right are 'chained', catenated or inseparably
(It is no coincidence that the original meaning of catena is
Every extensional element of a catena exists because of the existence of
the other constituents.
No positive predicate can exist without the concatenate negative predicate,
nor without the concatenate neutral predicate.
For example, no love can exist where there is no hatred, no equality where
there is no inequality, and conversely.
Quite a few ideologues and others have said this before, while
emphasizing in particular that no good or goodness can exist where there is
no evil or badness.
What they have thus often deluded people into believing is that there must
somehow always be bad things (people, for instance) where there are good
Unfortunately this reasoning tortures logic.
Fortunately it tortures logic only: badness is not a 'bad thing' in the
sense of an object, person or abstract thing which has the attribute of
being-bad, nor is goodness a 'good thing' in an analogous sense.
Badness is a primary attribute, that is, a simplex, secondary entity.
A thing which is bad, however, is a primary entity and nonpredicative.
Hence badness would still exist (in the second domain) if
nothing in the world (in the first domain) were bad.
It would even exist if nothing 'could' be bad.