We have never defined what factor of distinction means in terms of our ontological framework. In a strictly dichotomous system a 'factor of distinction' is just the fact, possibility or 'question' of having or not having a certain predicate. But when we speak of factors like age and race as 'factors of distinction', we do not think in strictly dichotomous terms, for the question is here not one of having or not having a particular, proper age or race predicate (let alone of having or not having some predicate age or race). In this case the age or race predicate may vary itself and may either be proper or improper. Age predicates can be construed as catenated predicates, but the exact status of race predicates very much depends on the definition of race in general and of belonging to a certain race in particular. If factors exist where a distinction can be made between having or not having a noncatenated, proper predicate, or where catenality exists, then race seems to refer to a cluster of factors, rather than to a single factor, even if one only reads "skin-color" (which is not more than a reference to a part-attribute of the body). When we treat racism as a singular exclusivism, rather than as a plural one, the definition of singular can therefore not be taken in too strict an ontological sense.

We are capable of exactly defining singular and factor in our ontology, but in the case of the classification of exclusivisms this does not appear to be necessary. For we are not so much interested in what kind of major, irrelevant distinctions are, or can be, made by people with an ontology like ours, but also, and especially, by people with an entirely different ontology. They may take it for granted that body and 'mind' are two things existing side by side, and that a factor like race is a single factor. As racists do indeed treat race as a single factor, we shall treat racism as a singular exclusivism accordingly. The same applies to all other seemingly singular exclusivisms which may be plural in strictly catenical terms.

A manifestation of exclusivism of which the object of exclusion or exclusivity belongs to one particular field such as that of gender, age or race, will be referred to here as a 'unitary (manifestation of) exclusivism', if there is no other manifestation of the same hierarchical level belonging to the same field. For example, exism on the basis of gender (X.582.1) is a unitary manifestation. Male exism (X.582.50) pertains to the same field, but like female exism (X.582.51) it is of a lower level. Both male and female exism are manifestations of gender-based exism themselves.

A combination of two or more unitary manifestations is a 'compositional (manifestation of) exclusivism'. Here the object of exclusion or exclusivity does not belong to one particular field, but to one of the fields of a particular combination of fields. For example, interideological exclusivism (X.156) is a compositional manifestation of which exism on the basis of denominational doctrine adhered to (X.313), on the basis of political ideology adhered to (X.625), and on the basis of one or more gods believed in (X.10033) are lower-level manifestations, some of them unitary, some of them compositional themselves.

If one arranged the world as a series of concentric circles with each circle representing a sort of ingroup-outgroup distinction, then the smallest circle would enclose the (human or nonhuman) 'ingroup' which is the object of a unitary exism. By widening the circle the 'ingroup' would become the object of a compositional exism: the wider the circle, the higher the level of exclusivism. The two or more distinct (types of) things or matters which are the object of a compositional manifestation may be very similar and always belong to a certain category which unites them in view of a particular criterion. Because they can exist independently, and are entirely formed into a whole by themselves, both unitary and compositional manifestations will be called "integral (manifestations of) exclusivism". For example, both ego-centered exclusivism and speciesism are integral exclusivisms.

In section 1.2.2 of the previous chapter we have already differentiated 'infrafactorial' and 'interfactorial exclusivisms'. In the case of the former exisms the factor named is the factor of distinction, whereas in the case of the latter the factor named is the object of exclusion or exclusivity itself. An interfactorial exism has a different factor from the infrafactorial one of the same name. Thus the factor of distinction of infrafactorial racialism (X.597.1) is race, but the factor of distinction of interfactorial racialism (X.597.0) is not race, or not race in the same sense. If it is also race, then the question whether the factor of distinction is race or not. But the factor of distinction might also be another one which distinguishes race from other factors. If so, then the rac(e) in racialism denotes the object of exclusivism, not the factor of distinction. This illustrates a feature of the general nomenclature of exclusivisms, whether it concerns the nominal or adjectival parts of their names. They refer either to:

  1. the factor of distinction, that is, the criterion of subdivision (as in sexism and ideological exclusivism), or to:
  2. the object of exclusion or exclusivity, that is, the class or quality to which an unequal or disproportional value is explicitly or implicitly attributed (as in androcentrism and religionism).

One can distinguish an infrafactorial and an interfactorial variant of every integral exclusivism. The interfactorial variant can be treated as a unitary manifestation, but the infrafactorial variant may be either unitary or compositional. For example, the interfactorial variant of politico-ideological exclusivism (X.625.0) pertains to situations in which the factor political ideology itself is judged or treated as more, or as less, important than other factors, while there are no (relevant) reasons for doing so. The infrafactorial variant (X.625.1) however, differentiates between people or their characteristics themselves. Political ideology is, then, still too vague or general a factor; and at least we should distinguish a political doctrine which people may or may not espouse from a political party they may or may not be a member of, or vote for. It is then doctrine-related politico-ideological exism (X.1251) and party-related politico-ideological exism (X.2501) which are the unitary exisms concerned, and not politico-ideological exism itself, even when infrafactorial.

As the criterion of subdivision changes for every unitary and compositional level, the antithetical facet of inclusivity changes accordingly. Hence, every other integral exclusivism is antithetical to another facet of inclusivity. Just as every lower-level integral exism is a manifestation of a higher-level exism, so every lower-level facet of inclusivity is itself a facet of a higher-level facet of inclusivity. Thus local exism (X.1223) is a manifestation of (subnational) territorial exism (X.611). In an analogous way supralocal inclusivity (N.1223) is a facet of territorial inclusivity (N.611).

So far we have mainly discussed the formal features of the classification of integral exclusivisms. In the other divisions of this chapter we shall take a closer look at substantive criterions for the subdivision of these exclusivisms.

©MVVM, 41-67 ASWW

Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Fundamentals
The Manifestations of Exclusivism
How to Survey a Morass of Irrelevance