I SCENE

The Featuring of the Terms

OUR program in this section is to consider seven primary philosophic languages in terms of the pentad, used as a generating principle that should enable us to "anticipate" these different idioms. In treating the various schools as languages, we may define their substantial relationship to one another by deriving them from a common terminological ancestor. This ancestor would be a kind of lingua Adamica, an Edenic "pre-language," in which the seeds of all philosophic languages would be implicit, as in the panspermia (or confusion of all future possibilities) that, according to some mystics, prevailed at the beginnings of the world.

In our introduction we noted that the areas covered by our five terms overlap upon one another. And because of this overlap, it is possible for a thinker to make his way continuously from any one of them to any of the others. Or he may use terms in which several of the areas are merged. For any of the terms may be seen in terms of any of the others. And we may even treat all five in terms of one, by "reducing" them all to the one or (what amounts to the same thing) "deducing" them all from the one as their common terminal ancestor. This relation we could express in temporal terms by saying that the term selected as ancestor "came first"; and in timeless or logical terms we could say that the term selected is the "essential," "basic," "logically prior" or "ultimate" term, or the "term of terms," etc.

Dramatistically, the different philosophic schools are to be distinguished by the fact that each school features a different one of the five terms, in developing a vocabulary designed to allow this one term full expression (as regards its resources and its temptations) with the other terms being comparatively slighted or being placed in the perspective of the featured term. Think, for instance, of a philosophy that had been established "in the sign of the agent." It must develop coördinates particularly suited to treat of substance and motive in "subjective," or "psychological" terms (since such terms deal most directly with the at

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A Grammar of Motives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction: the Five Key Terms of Dramatism xv
  • Part One - Ways of Placement 1
  • I - Container and Thing Contained 3
  • II - Antinomies of Definition 21
  • III - Scope and Reduction 59
  • Part Two - The Philosophic Schools 125
  • I Scene 127
  • II - Agent in General 171
  • III - Act 227
  • IV - Agency and Purpose 275
  • Part Three - On Dialectic 321
  • I - He Dialectic of Constitutions 323
  • II - Dialectic in General 402
  • Appendix 445
  • Index 519
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