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  -logy as love story
gary e. davis
January 11, 2019

psychology, historiology, epistemology, ecology,... How many -logies are there?

By definition (M-W Unabridged) a -logy was originally a child of Greek logos, which is ambiguous: “word, reason, speech, account.”

It’s not that there was such a fourfold differentiation for the Greeks that was integrated by the concept of logos; rather that logos was, in modern terms, ambiguous in the fourfold sense. Surely, the Greeks would understand such a fourfold differentiation (surely there were Greek words for each), but each of the four were derived modes of logos (differentiations of logos—I’m guessing, due to the ambiguity belonging to ‘logos’ itself.)

Conceptually, though, the fourfold is an orderable sequence: reason, account, speech, word. That sequence is isomorphic with: being, action, performance, and element—action of being (account of reason), performance of action (speech of account), and element of performance (word of speech).

I’m not equating “being” and “reason,” etc., but the isomorphism is valid: existing, intending, and expressing with signs.

Logos embodies ambiguously the living difference between being (“-ing”ing or enacting) and being of mentality—or it’s validly the between of minding and mind (or differentiation—betweening?) of the lived, immanent difference.

minding, mind shows itself. Minding bears [representable] mind. Mind grants its minding.

Well, this is a long way from a mere, simple definition of ‘-logy’ (as “noun combining form”), firstly as “1: oral or written expression”—example given: ‘phraseology’. (Why not ‘phraselogy’ or ‘phraslogy’?)

Actually, ‘ology’ is a noun: “a branch of knowledge : science,” but that word is seldom used. (I’d never heard it, until seeing it in M-W.) Anyway, that’s a long way from mere expression—the dyadity of oral irt written! (And by the way, is orality a kind of writing, as Derrida prospected?: self-displacement as presented performance [performing a present]?)

But evolving sense— etymology—gets us higher: The second definition of the noun combining form to become standardized is “2: doctrine, theory, science,” which is quite a conceptual range!—very ambiguous. But the lexilogical notion at this lexigraphical point (2:) is a kindredness or kinship of the three—example given: ‘sociology’.

Ha!: Is sociology a doctrine, a theory, or a science? Do we live in the ambiguity—as, say, domain of insight (science) and folly (doctrine)?

Is this etymological point in the evolution of logos a condition of integral indeterminateness?

Sociologists would say sociology is “science.” A conceptual analyst might say it’s doctrinal (salaries to be had, research funds to be won), premised on a theory of what sociality is. Is it a derivative of psychal life? Or are humans intrinsically “social”—versus, say, “thickly” interpersonal, such that sociality is a thin abstraction of near-and-dear living (which some ethical theorists claim about personal value)?

Then, it came to pass that ‘-logy’ standardly may mean “3: discourse, treatise”— example given: ‘insectology’ (strange). “Here, let me share with you my Trumpology.”

So, ‘-logy’ is standardly 3-fold—ambiguous as such, in a tri-fold sense; and that’s isomorphic with the original ambiguous relationality of logos:

  • action of being (account of reason): discourse
  • performance of action (speech of account): doctrine
  • element of performance (word of speech): expression

next—> logogeny



  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis