The ontological position of the norm of neutrality is no different from that of the norm of inclusivity. The principles of which the norms of neutrality and inclusivity are interpretations are both (non-meta-)doctrinal and nonpropositional. Thus, in the first instance both norms belong to a first-order normative doctrine, that is, a normative doctrine about the ground-world. We have seen how in this ground-world the principle of relevance of which the norm of inclusivity is an interpretation is supplementary to the principle of truth. Truth in isolation is not worth anything, for truth always needs relevance in the end. Similarly, the principle of neutrality of which the norm of neutrality is an interpretation is supplementary to the principle of relevance. Relevance in isolation is not worth anything either, for also relevance needs a focus of relevancy in the end. It is the principle of neutrality which ultimately furnishes this determinant.

Like the principles of truth and relevance, the principle of neutrality is a normative principle. This means that by adopting the principle neutrality is considered normatively superior in the same way as truth and relevance are considered normatively superior. Just as the principle of relevance tells us only that relevance is superior to irrelevance, so the principle of neutrality tells us only that neutrality is superior to unneutrality. It does not imply that neutrality would be superior to truth, for instance (assuming that such an assertion would make sense at all).

Theoretically, the quantity belonging to a focus of relevancy can be a binary quantity, that is, a quantity whose value is either 0 or 1. (Say, 1 for fulfilling a promise, and 0 for not fulfilling it.) In such a case there is no neutral value (and no unneutral one) in the strict, direct sense. On the catenical construction there simply is no neutral value, because the existence of such a value requires both that the quantity in question can be larger (or positive) and that it can be smaller (or negative). But in every other, noncatenical sense of neutral which somehow still agrees with the word's original meaning of not which of two, a binary quantity does not have a neutral (or unneutral) value either. For example, it might be argued that a flower either has stamens or pistils, or that it does not have them. In the former case it would not be neutral, in the latter case it would. But the nonneutrality which purports to represent only one value here (1, for instance), actually represents two values, namely the having of stamens (the organs producing male gametes) and the having of pistils (the female counterpart). This is the reason why the lack of both stamens and pistils has been termed "neutral" in the first place. Yet, this is not the sort of 'neutrality' the principle of catenated neutrality is concerned with. It would only be exclusivistic to adhere to a principle according to which it would be superior to have neither female nor male reproductive organs, or for that matter, only female or male ones. Any principle which made the exclusion or possession of certain organs or parts normatively superior or inferior in itself, would be exclusivistic. And so would any principle which made a whole group or class normatively superior or inferior in itself; for example, the class of nonsexual beings as distinct from the class of sexual beings, or vice versa.

If the quantity belonging to the focus of relevancy admits of three or more degrees, it will be a catenary quantity. (This does not mean that some artificially construed quantity which can take on three or more values must be catenary.) In this case one of the nonextreme values is neutral; which one will depend on the catenization. The neutrality is, then, the predicate on the line between negative predicates on the one hand, and positive ones on the other, while there is not, and cannot be, another set of nonlimiting predicates from a logical and catenical point of view. So, unlike the existence of two sexes on Earth (with the possible addition of a third, nonsexual division) the existence of one or more negativities, one or more positivities and of one concatenate neutrality in between, is not logically contingent. Moreover, a predicative principle such as the principle of catenated neutrality does not distinguish one kind of nonpredicative primary thing, or part of a thing, from another kind of thing, or part of a thing, but one kind of predicate from another kind of predicate. By thus differentiating between predicates, it teaches what proper predicate a thing should have or not have, that is, what the thing should be and do, or what it should not be and not do. To say that catenated neutrality is superior, as in the case of the principle of catenated neutrality, is to say that the catenal in question should have the neutrality of the catena in question. It is not yet to say more than that. It may not be 'possible' for the catenal to be neutral at all, for instance. Or, it may be 'possible' to be neutral in one respect, and to be neutral in another respect, but not to be neutral in both respects at once.

The modal condition as expressed by the word possible need not be of a physical nature. It can also be of a catenical character. For example, a primary thing which is unneutrally catenal with respect to a certain catena, but neutrally catenal with respect to the increase catena of that catena, has first to become unneutrally catenal with respect to the increase catena before it can become neutrally catenal with respect to the original catena. But when it is neutrally catenal with respect to the original catena, it can, catenically speaking, also be neutrally catenal with respect to the increase catena. From the perspective of the principle of neutrality the situation in which the primary thing is neutrally catenal with respect to both the original and the increase catena is normatively superior to any situation in which it is not; that is, all other things being equal.

The ceteris paribus clause (all other things being equal) is a crucial one, for it is not hard to conceive of all sorts of situations in which happiness-catenals would supposedly be 'terribly distressed' if 'everything' were neutral or equal, and if 'nothing' were allowed to change. Apart from the question of whether literally everything could indeed be neutral or remain the same, such reasoning is fallacious. The argument that happiness-catenals would be very unhappy under certain so-called 'neutral' conditions, is not an argument against neutrality, but an argument against unhappiness, which by itself is a plainly unneutral predicate. According to the principle of catenated neutrality a situation in which a thing's catenality is neutral or less unneutral is a better one than a situation in which its catenality is unneutral or more unneutral, granted that there is no difference in happiness-catenality in both situations, nor any other catenary difference in any other respect. If there is such a difference in happiness-catenality, or in other respects, the ceteris paribus clause does not hold any more. Of course, in practise this will often be the case, yet to grasp the meaning of the principle of catenated neutrality we must start with varying one quantity at a time. For each catenical aspect, neutrality is superior to unneutrality, and perineutrality to non-perineutral unneutrality, all other things being equal.

To have meaning in the first place, the principle of neutrality can solely apply to nonnormative aspects, since it is a normative principle itself. If, and insofar as, concepts like goodness or praiseworthiness and badness or vice are normative concepts, the principle of neutrality is not applicable to them, even if they are or were catenary concepts. It is precisely the function of the principle of neutrality as a normative principle to establish what is good (namely neutrality or the promotion of neutrality) and what is more or less bad (namely unneutrality or the promotion of unneutrality); and what is recommendable (namely striving for neutrality) and what is more or less vicious (namely striving for polarity). Hence, it would be erroneous to start from the idea that goodness in a purely normative sense would be the positivity of an explicit triad (the 'goodness catena'), and to argue next that one should be neither good nor bad on the principle of neutrality. It follows precisely from this principle itself that goodness in a purely normative, universal sense would be the neutrality of a badness catena, that is, a bipolarity-catena or quasi-duad. That it is good to be neutrally catenal or bad to be unneutrally catenal, and that it is recommendable to strive for neutrality or vicious to strive for unneutrality as an ultimate value, is what is immediately implied by the principle of catenated neutrality itself.

©MVVM, 41-60 ASWW

Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Fundamentals
The Norm of Neutrality