Klir’s Four-level Epistemological Hierarchy

In Batesonian theory of learning, the first level is learning to change our behavior to be more adaptive to the environmental changes. The second level of learning, the meta-learning, is learning how to learn the first level of learning. The third level is learning how to change the paradigm of learning. The fourth level of learning is changing the whole worldview. So learning1 is the ordinary learning. Learning2 is learning to learning1 and so on.

Palmer’s Four Ontological Levels of Fragmented Being

Later on, Palmer replaced the learning levels with the four ontological special system levels to get the full fledged ontological levels hierarchy. 

Palmer's ontological hierarchy is an odd combination of entities. The metasystem is a basis for the languaging realities comprising the Domain, World, Kosmos and Pluriverse as an ever expanding levels of extensional hierarchy. The System itself is a top level of a formal/structural hierarchy of parts consisting of Form, Pattern, Monads and Facets. In this lower wing of the ontological hierarchy, substratum beyond form is pattern. Substrata beyond pattern are called traces by Derrida. Substrata beyond traces are propensities or tendencies.

Klir-Bateson Four levels of Learning

After expanding the Klir epistemological hierarchy with the Batesonian learning hierarchy, he inserted another hierarchy. It is the special systems hierarchy : the dissipative, the autopoietic and the reflexive. The three levels systemic hierarchy form the bridge between the Klir's epistemological and Bateson learning levels to get a greater Hierarchy: the ontological hierarchy.

The ontological hierarchy seems to be a shadow of his older version Fragmentation of Being Hierarchy as shown in his book The Fragmentation of Being (page ) as it is shown in the following picture.

Using an informational metaphor, the four subsystems -the material, energetic, informatic and normative subsystems- are analogous to the computer hardware, the computational process, the programs and the programming paradigm of a computer system respectively. Using a computational linguistic metaphor, they are correlated to the machine assembly language, the higher programming languages, the application programs and the purpose of the application programs. 

It is more interesting to observe that, beside the nature/computer analogy, there is certain parallelism that can be found between the four internal levels of the natural systems with the the four existential strata of a human individual. The four structural strata of human existence are the individual's body in the world, the behavior within society, the mind within culture, and the conscience within values. 

In other words, each one of the four human existential levels is correlated to the material, energetic, informatic and valuational levels of natural systems. Now, due to the noticed parallelism, any system, natural or human kind, can be be thought as an integral system consisting four existential levels which are related to the ontological realms of bodies, forces, meanings and values respectively. 

Finally, all integral systems can be thought as forming an horizontal hierarchy, from the smallest to the largest physical system. In the Kent Palmers's terminology our horizontal or external hierarchy of integral systems is not an ontological hierarchy, but an ontic one. But for now, let us concentrate to the four existential levels of the vertical or internal hierarchy. 

Philosophically speaking, the four existential strata of reality of Integralism are seemingly similar to Kent Palmer's four Fragments of Being: the Pure Being, the Process Being, the Hyper-Being and the Wild Being. Now, Kent Palmer, following the steps of Bateson, posited that there are no other kind of Being beyond Wild Being and called the Beyond of Being as the Unthinkable and identified it with the Void or Sunyata of Budhism. 


To crown his last step, he characterized the five systems with properties of five hyper-complex algebras from the 1-dimensional real number algebra to the 16-dimensional sedenion algebra. The ordinary system is correlated to the real numbers, the dissipative systems to the 2-dimensional complex numbers, the autopoietic systems with the 4-dimensional quaternions, the reflexive systems with the 8-dimensional octonions and, lastly, the meta-systems with the 16-dimensional sedenions.


            Combination oxidation types. The situation is not always simple.  The body can be caught in states that are more complex combinations of fast and slow oxidation, and others that are somewhat more esoteric such as a four lows pattern.

            One must also correct the sodium/potassium ratio and the calcium/magnesium ratio.  The four major ratios (Ca/Mg, Ca/K, Na/Mg and Na/K) constitute the major tetra of the body, which is just a way of saying they form a unit of four items that we find we must correct to rebalance and restore a body to full health.  This brings us to another vital concept in the whole systems model of healing.  That is the repeating use of simple whole number patterns such as 2, 3 and 4 in our bodies.

The vegetation of the study area includes, among others, Proteaceae, Restionaceae, Ericaceae, Bruniaceae and the sedge bergpalmiet ( Tetraria thermalis)

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Carlisle vs. The Big Four


While researching a Carlisle great, I happened upon a claim by the University of Chicago stating that the Maroons became the first Western team to beat one of the "Big Three" after defeating Princeton in 1921. I vaguely recalled little Carlisle accomplishing that feat in an earlier decade. Yale, Harvard and Princeton, otherwise known as the "Big Three," were generally viewed as the strongest football teams in the country in the early days of college football, and the "Big Three" became the "Big Four" when the University of Pennsylvania's play reached championship level. However, the legendary Carlisle stars almost did not get the chance to compete with the "Big Three," "Big Four," or anyone else for that matter.