We have suggested that there is no universal, noncatenical, ultimate, doctrinal ground-world principle. Isn't it equally plausible that there is no universal catenical, ultimate principle either? This would mean that, for example, neutrality would be superior to unneutrality one time, and that it would be inferior to extremity another time. And not only this: it would mean that one would have to strive for neutrality on the basis of an ultimate principle one time, and that one would have to strive for extremity on the basis of an ultimate principle another time. But why would neutrality be superior and have to be chosen as a goal in the one case, and would extremity be superior and have to be chosen in another? What would be the relevant difference between the catenical aspects concerned? If there always is such a relevant difference, the whole system of so-called 'ultimate' principles boils down to one system with one ultimate principle understood and interpreted in a relevantistic way. If the distinction between aspects governed by different ultimate, catenical principles is not always relevant, then the collection of these principles is irrelevantistic and exclusivistic in its ground-world effects. But such effects offend against the norm of inclusivity.

A (positive) utilitarian would say that people ought to aim at (non-happiness-catenary) neutrality when this produces more happiness than unhappiness. On the other hand, when it produces more happiness than unhappiness to aim at extremity instead, they ought to do that. (Aiming at the greatest happiness possible is just such an example.) The relevance of the distinction between aspects --'e might claim-- is precisely this: where (non-happiness-catenary) neutrality produces the greatest utility, neutrality should be the goal; where some form of unneutrality produces the greatest utility, this form of unneutrality should be the goal. On this view there is only one ultimate, catenary principle, namely that of the greatest happiness. (For a negative utilitarian it is enough to minimize unhappiness.) However, the utilitarian still has to demonstrate that 'er 'relevance' does not depend on external nonrelevance, that is, that the distinction 'e draws between the happiness-catenary aspect and all other aspects in 'er selection of the ultimate principle is itself relevant.

Now, there are indeed good reasons to assume that the position of the happiness catena is a special one. As a matter of fact, we shall later take this special position of the happiness catena into consideration ourselves. Yet, our choice of an ultimate, catenical principle must not depend on such an assumption, if only because an ultimate principle of happiness would discriminate between primary things which are happiness-catenal and primary things which are not. Moreover, a sole, ultimate principle of happiness would not be compatible with our neutralistic interpretation of the principle of discriminational relevance. A utilitarian interpretation of this principle would make equality and nondiscrimination in the inclusivistic sense a contingent matter. Therefore, the sole, ultimate, catenary principle is not the extremist principle of (the greatest) happiness or utility. That principle is not even truly catenical, because it is merely concerned with one catena in particular, and not with catenas in general.

Given that our equal, unless interpretation of the principle of discriminational relevance is egalitarian, that is, neutralistic, there is only one ultimate, catenical principle which is compatible with it; and that is the principle of neutrality. Solely the relevantistic-egalitarian formulation of the norm of inclusivity is in keeping with our sense of justice, and therefore this egalitarianism or neutralism with respect to the making of distinctions is certainly a very important reason for universal neutralism. (Equality itself could not be conceived of as an ultimate principle, for this would require a justification of the distinction between difference-catenary and other catenical aspects.) To make it plausible tho that neutrality is ultimately indeed superior to polarity, at least as a basic rule to start from, more examples are needed. Of course, counterexamples which seem to make this principle implausible can be adduced too. Thus, not only unhappiness is normatively inferior on the principle of neutrality, but also happiness when compared with a neutral state of being neither happy nor unhappy --the crucial presupposition being that all other things are equal. Such apparent counterexamples we will deal with later in this chapter (in 3.4).

Besides the egalitarian argument for the superiority of neutralness, there is a systematic, catenical argument. It is that the neutrality is not just a predicate of the catena but a special and central one. Suppose that the highest normative value were assigned to an unneutral proper predicate, then the first arbitrary choice would be between a negative and a positive predicate, and the second arbitrary choice would be the degree of negativity or positivity. For a nonderivative catena it does in itself not matter which side is called "the negative" and which side is called "the positive one". To argue that it is '(most) logical' to consider positivity superior and negativity inferior, is tantamount to arguing that what is superior and what is inferior might as well have been the other way round. This is not the sort of guideline one would expect from a normative doctrine. Nonetheless, one might still wonder why a predicate (or the thing having it) would be more inferior as it becomes more unneutral or extreme. Could not the neutrality be superior, while all unneutral proper predicates would be equally inferior? Such an evaluation would imply that being-perineutral or being-extreme made, normatively speaking, no difference. But especially where the neutrality principle provides the goal to aim at, it makes an enormous difference whether something or someone aims at perineutrality, rather than at extremity, and hardly any difference whether it or 'e aims at perineutrality, rather than at neutrality. From this angle it must therefore be assumed that not only neutrality is superior to unneutrality, but also perineutrality to non-perineutral unneutrality, and nonextreme unneutrality to extremity.

A third argument in favor of neutrality is the hypothesis of mean-neutrality as it is actually assumed to be true in scientific theories. As explained in the Book of Instruments (I.2.6.3) this hypothesis underlies the principle of the conservation of mass and energy and similar, physical principles of conservation. (Principles is to be preferred to laws as principles does not presuppose a supernatural lawgiver.) It is because the mean energy increase in a closed system has to be, or is taken to be, 0 that no energy will melt into, or spring from, nothingness. (If the system is called "closed" altho 'energy' may flow in and out, it is the mean increase of mass which is 0.) The fact that for every process the decrease of electrical charge is the same as the increase of charge agrees with this hypothesis as well. Other principles of conservation are those of rotation and momentum. In all these cases the total amount of the quantity concerned does not change, or --to put it differently-- the quantity is 'conserved'. The conservation principles in these interactions are immediately related to the catenical symmetries in the predicates of the interacting bodies or particles. That is why physicists tend to use the notions of symmetry (or the symmetry of a process) and conservation (or the principle of conservation) interchangeably. These two notions together express the regularities in the subatomic world of particles and antiparticles between which there is such a basic symmetry. The search for an 'ultimate, fundamental symmetry' in nature is therefore nothing else than a search for the last principles of conservation and the common denominator of all of them.

A different type of argument in favor of neutrality does not so much center on states of constancy or neutrality, but on attempts or forces to attain neutrality and to maintain delicate balances in nature. Altho there is no logical connection between these descriptions and the normative principle of neutrality --like there is no logical connection between facts and any normative principle--, they put neutrality in a greater perspective and narrow the gap between processes initiated by persons for normative reasons and processes occurring in nature which are not intentional but aimed at the same good nevertheless. Induction currents, for instance, work against the change by which they came into existence. The very attraction between positively charged particles on the one hand, and negatively charged ones on the other, and the repulsion of entities of the same polar kind, is a phenomenon which contributes to electroneutrality in general. Furthermore, if the external conditions of a system in equilibrium (as concentration, pressure, temperature) are changed, the balance will shift in such a way that the change introduced will be leveled as much as possible. (The neutral or neutral-directed concepts here are equilibrium, balance and leveling; the unneutral concept is change.) In thermodynamics it is a principle (or 'law') that every system which can take its own course aims at maximum entropy. Now, entropy is a tricky physical notion which may be defined in several ways, dependent on the quantity or dimension the theorist is most interested in. 'E may think of it in terms of unavailable energy in a closed system, or in terms of 'chaos' or 'disorder' because of the movement of matter in chance patterns. Yet, however irregular the movement of individual molecules may be, the maximum entropy of the system as a whole is a state of overall uniformity or homogeneity. In this state the concentration is the same in all subsystems, that is, the same as the mean one for the entire system. For the system as a whole, maximum entropy corresponds to a complete chemical equilibrium and the greatest order possible in that the density is the same throughout. It is this order the system aims at, and which remains once it has been attained.

There are numerous other phenomena which demonstrate that the whole world is fully alive with a quest for neutrality. Particularly in biology there is an abundance of examples of living beings or ecosystems which try to restore every balance upset. Tho an act in quest of neutrality in one respect may conflict with an act in quest of neutrality in another respect, the fact that 'nature' itself, to which any ideology is alien, has always known some principle of 'neutrality', of 'equilibrium', of 'harmony', or whatever it should be called, makes the cultural selection of such a principle a well-considered and inspiring choice. But perhaps this natural 'canon of equilibrium' is not a principle we can really draw from nature. Maybe it is merely neutralistic imagination or a prejudgment. The principle of conservation does not seem to hold for all physical quantities, and there are also enough examples of the destruction of natural equilibriums. As mentioned in the Book of Instruments (4.3.1) it has been suggested that it is people who prescribe the laws of science to nature. (And for so-called 'laws' this is quite obvious.)

There is one thing, however, which we certainly do not prescribe to nature but to ourselves. That is, that it is the absence of neutrality which requires our explanation or justification more than anything else, and that it may even suffice to explain or justify polarity by referring to a neutrality of another aspect, or to a striving for such a neutrality. Conservation, symmetry and equality are explanations, justifications or goals in themselves, both in the field of natural science and in the field of the normative. In everyday life, too, it is considered rational to start from the assumption that the chance that one thing will occur is the same as the chance that another thing will occur, until or unless one has good reasons to suppose that the one chance is bigger than the other. Indubitably, this general attitude towards neutral notions like equality and symmetry is im- or explicitly founded in a neutralistic postulate.

©MVVM, 41-65 ASWW

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