Threesology Research Journal
Sociological Threes
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~ The Study of Threes ~

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In addition to the two-patterned mindset of "manifest and latent" which might be viewed in terms of a "bilateral form of positivism", we find the incorporation of a 3rd orientation called "dysfunction", which might otherwise be viewed as a "mono-negativism", thus signaling the presence of a one/two orientation:

Dys-... or Negative Functions

Social processes that have undesirable consequences for the operation of society are called dysfunctions. In education, examples of dysfunction include getting bad grades, truancy, dropping out, not graduating, and not finding suitable employment.

As an historical review there is nothing wrong with the foregoing ideas except that in being offered, students are not taught to distinguish the presence of tripartite and dichotomous formulas being regurgitated by human thinking processes in different contexts with different labels. Human cognition, that is, human thinking— has not been given enough weight in the analysis of Sociology nor most subjects in order to assist in the acknowledgment of repetitious mental patterns which have an effect on how society functions; particularly when the repetition is aligned with the presence of what appears to be an overall limitation in human cognitive processing and exhibition. While many have an intuitive appreciation that such a limitation exists, they do not know where the appreciation comes from and nor do they have a model to which they can refer to nor provide as an illustration for nay-sayers.

The presence of an observable and quantifiable limitation has been used to construct government after government, into organisms which are readily seen as insufficient instruments to deal effectively with social problems becoming exacerbated by increasing populations and the consequences which are seen in the presence of different pollutions (water, crime, air, abuse, neglect, hostility, Nationalism, etc...). Thousands of Sociologists, Political Scientists, and the interested public who may or may not become influential Journalists, civic leaders, politicians, Corporate CEOs, or entertainment celebrities who have a large audience whom they influence; are not quantifying the limitations of human thinking processes but are instead adding to the literature of metaphorical interpretation because this is what is being sought for by those giving an academic grade, political grade, corporate grade, military grade, etc., which becomes engrained as the standard operation procedure of right-mindedness sometime called political correctness, but advances far beyond this defined territory of philosophical consideration which has been used as a type of catch-all phrase incorporating every dimension of social practicality but actually represents a prejudice promoted by journalists and would-be social philosophers.

When a student is confronted with the above dichotomies and the others which are presented in different subject contexts such as the Persistent Dichotomies (Pg 1) found in psychology or the usage of a zeros/ones binary system in computer language based on the on/off duality of electronic switching; there is an impulsive orientation taught to them to accept these as a defined Natural Law to be learned and reiterated so as to pass a course, yet they are not likewise being taught to think alternatively as suggested by a reference to a trichotomous orientation. Those that refuse to even try to think creatively are quick to adopt a dichotomous point of view as support for retaining a primacy of interest in the usage of dichotomies, while a few students are not fearful of venturing a supposition, even if they are not socially vocal about such considerations.

While students learn alternative dichotomies in different subjects and may come away with the notion that dichotomization is a fact of life, they do not also ask why this may be so and whether or not such an idea is an imposition of the social environment which retains a conservatism as opposed to a radicalism or some measured position of orientation in between. The fact that such patterns reoccur in different subjects does not stir the question of why this is so and why are there a limited number of patterns being used over and over again... thus implementing the observation that society is subjected to a form of imposition... like a society within a society within a society. The Society the average person thinks they live in such as described by a democracy, communism, socialism or other economic terms; the Society which exists beyond the confines of usual discourse and is discussed by PhDs and scholars; and the society that many people may well see (whether in or out of an academic setting and whether or not they have an advanced College degree or specialized cerebrally-oriented activity), but don't necessarily discuss in terms that are now being presented as a focus.

If it is not one's culture, not one's society creating conditions which makes us repeat a small number of thinking patterns, then perhaps it is the environment which human society is helping to sustain, and preventing the triplet code of DNA to evolve. Indeed, let us ask point blank the reason for the Triple Code of DNA not evolving if Evolution is as important as it is made out to be. What this is sustaining it to remain a triplet code? Is it the same which is causing humanity to remain in an endless cycle of social problems as well?

In one Sociological theory after another, the analysis very often leads to the usage of "chunking" information into what may be called manageable bite-size bits and pieces used to represent what may be a large amount of perceptions and interpretations, except that the chunks from all the different theories are not compiled to represent a tell-tale sign of human cognition being found in every single focus of interest humanity has. In most cases, there is a usage and re usage of a very small set of patterns which can be identified by the usage of enumeration. Patterns which are being repeated... just like the patterns found in genetics (with respect to the Triplet code in DNA and RNA, for example), and physics (with respect to the three fundamental large particles labeled protons- neutrons- electrons, or three smaller particles labeled 3 quarks... for example). Whereas we might want to, and frequently do describe them as Natural laws just as we say there are 3 laws of motion, 3 laws of planetary motion, 3 families of fundamental particles, etc..., we fail to consider them as constraints imposed upon us by the type of environment we permit ourselves to be subjected to— and that this constraint forces us to adopt sociological constructs which adapt, over time, to the adopted behavior of establishing a further retention of some measurable level of equilibrium that is adjusted to fit what appears to be an underlying incremental deterioration of the environment... which society must rationalize into accepting and creating imaginative scenarios for creating a better world if we do this or that and adopt one or another social, political, or educational policy and construct, apply, or practice them in some 1- 2- 3 patterned way and offer some hierarchically arranged 3-patterned reward system for compliance such as the three college degrees of Bachelor's, Master's and PhD, with or without the 3-patterned distinctions of Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude .

Far too many repetitions are defined as being Natural, normal, and even referred alternatively as habit, "it's who I am', "it's what I do", "it's the way things are", etc... yet, things nor people have to be as they are or do what they do. such expressions are all too frequently used by those who have learned how to "work the system" as it is which requires that people continue to be suppressed in order to make them easier to manipulate by those who have learned how to carve a niche' in the system as it is, though this does not mean they are actually talented, only that they are permitted to be enabled to carry out a routine, such as in the case of many of those who get a job in or out of politics which requires someone who can manage a given process as it is structured. Most routines do not call for someone to be innovative, to be a creative thinker, or have any particular attribute except be able to follow rules already laid out, like someone who has learned how to perform the requirements of a board game better than others, and do not like it when the suggestion arises for the adoption of a change, or periodic changes... such as actually implementing the design of a New Government which may require that one or more persons already occupying a given position to be excluded, because their presence and functionality prevent change and prefer things to remain as they are... for their own interests and the interests of those who are like-minded, though multiple millions more than them unduly suffer because of their selfishness.

Clearly an idea to be registered as "our ordinary normative sociological concepts have no relevance to science because they fail the tests of good epistemic practice", instead of its debate as found here: Introduction: The Rational-Social Dichotomy, can be used to define the present state of Sociological inquiry as a "Normative" (normal/natural) process which overlooks the identification of basic cognitive themes because far too many of them rely on what may be termed "soap opera" representations of social activity instead of any attempted measurable analysis. It reminds me of the French staging the Tour de France along different courses every year so that a measurement of athletic ability over a given course can not be tabulated, because the socialization of the overall sport is more important to the mindset of the French, with its many childishly displayed ceremonial gifts. Indeed, it appears that Sociological theory has an over-abundant usage of an underlying French mindset that one might say is a group- oriented obsession, and is in fact a salient point from which so much of Sociology stems as is represented here:

The French Revolution and the Rise of
Sociology in France

Robert A. Nisbet

American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Sep., 1943)


The concept of the social group, the nucleus of sociological speculation, is to be associated with the French Revolution rather than with ideas current during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During the Revolution the Church as a separate social organization was demolished and the family underwent modification, while the state triumphed at their expense. Auguste Comte was impressed by the atomizaton of society resulting from the disruption of these primary ties uniting men in nonpolitical society. he sought to reinstate the social group in social thought. The responsibility of sociology in the post-war would will be to rehabilitate and make meaningful these primary ties and other lesser social loyalties.

The influence of the French Revolution upon the foundations of Sociology in France is a fact which has received somewhat less than the attention it deserves. That it is a fact of significance in the history of social theory may perhaps be inferred from the references to the Revolution as the principal source of those difficulties to which his monumental works were addressed. In the works of such earlier men as Bonald and Comte the effects of the Revolution are so manifest as to establish it as a strong influence upon their writings.

To suggest merely that the pioneers of systematic sociology were affected by this event is not, however, to cast any light upon the basic ideas of sociology. The history of any social science is less an affair of biographical facts strung loosely together by the thread of chronology than it is an inquiry into the rise and development of the central concepts of the disciplines. What is important here is to show the relation between the Revolution and the emergence of those concepts which were from the outset the distinctive subject matter of sociology. What we are interested in is how the central core of sociology, in contrast to those elements which are merely peripheral and held in common with all the social sciences, came into existence.

In the case of sociology this central core, the nucleus of all its speculation, is the concept of the social group; and any investigation of the origins of systematic sociology is at bottom an inquiry into the social and intellectual conditions which resulted in the appearance of this concept. A concern with social groups, especially with those groups which are intermediate between the individual and the state, has been from the very beginning the identifying characteristic of sociological thought. From this nucleus have derived such specific interests as those embodied in the study of family, class, community, and association. From it have also derived the basic and distinguishably sociological problems of social control and social disorganization— problems which have been fundamental since Comte. Such interests and problems belong historically to sociology alone of all the social sciences, and their rise in social theory is closely connected with the French Revolution.

The French Revolution and the Rise of Sociology in France

And let us not forget to note the French person who is said to be the Father of Sociology: Auguste Comte (1798–1857) (also: Wikipedia: Auguste Comte and The History of Sociology who created the idea about (Sociology) The law of three stages: (Theological- Metaphysical- Scientific), which undeniably expresses an effort to establish some basic tool for referencing an underlying cognitive pattern related to all ideas, actions and activities. The three laws have alternatively been labeled the three laws of history, development, and human knowledge:

  1. The Theological stage, refers to explanation by personified deities. During the earlier stages, people believed that all the phenomena of nature are the creation of the divine or supernatural. Adults and children failed to discover the natural causes of various phenomena and hence attributed them to a supernatural or divine power. Comte broke this stage into 3 sub-stages:
    1. Fetishism – Fetishism was the primary stage of the theological stage of thinking. Throughout this stage, primitive people believe that inanimate objects have living spirit in them, also known as animism. People worship inanimate objects like trees, stones, a piece of wood, volcanic eruptions, etc. Through this practice, people believe that all things root from a supernatural source.
    2. Polytheism – At one point, Fetishism began to bring about doubt in the minds of its believers. As a result, people turned towards polytheism: the explanation of things through the use of many Gods. Primitive people believe that all natural forces are controlled by different Gods; a few examples would be God of water, God of rain, God of fire, God of air, God of earth, etc.
    3. Monotheism – Monotheism means believing in one God or God in one; attributing all to a single, supreme deity. Primitive people believe a single theistic entity is responsible for the existence of the universe.
  1. The Metaphysical stage, is the extension of the theological stage. Metaphysical stage refers to explanation by impersonal abstract concepts. People often tried to believe that God is an abstract being. They believe that an abstract power or force guides and determines events in the world. Metaphysical thinking discards belief in a concrete God. The nature of inquiry was legal and rational in nature. For example: In Classical Hindu Indian society the principle of the transmigration of the soul, the conception of rebirth, notions of pursuant were largely governed by metaphysical uphill.
  2. The Scientific stage, also known as the Positivity (or positivist) stage, refers to scientific explanation based on observation, experiment, and comparison. Positive explanations rely upon a distinct method, the scientific method, for their justification. Today people attempt to establish cause and effect relationships. Positivism is a purely intellectual way of looking at the world; as well, it emphasizes observation and classification of data and facts. This is the highest, most evolved behavior according to Comte.

However, let it be noted:

"When Auguste Comte discovered that Adolphe Quetelet had appropriated the term 'social physics', which Comte had originally introduced, Comte found it necessary to invent the term 'sociologie' (sociology) because he disagreed with Quetelet's notion that a theory of society could be derived from a collection of statistics."

The French economist Turgot (1727-81), the friend and defender of the Physiocrats, produced an interesting and original interpretation of progress and historical development. In his tow discourses, delivered at the Sorbonne in 1750 on the Advantages to the Human Race from the Establishment of Christianity and the Successive Advances of the Human Mind, he set forth in clear and unmistakable language the doctrine of continuity in history, the cumulative nature of evolution and progress, and the causal sequence between the different periods of history. He also doubtless furnished Comte with the suggestions which grew into the latter's laws of the three stages of intellectual progress. While he described progress as primarily a process of intellectual improvement, the conception of continuity in development and the essential unity of the historic process was a brilliant contribution.

Sociology Before Comte: A Summary of Doctrines and an Introduction to the Literature (page 220)
Author(s): Harry E. Barnes
Source: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Sep., 1917), pp. 174-247
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL:

While Comte used a "pattern-of-three" in the construction of his laws, he did not have access to the multitude of different ideas in multiple subjects that we of today do. He could not have known about the triplet code in DNA or the "threes" in particle physics, though the three-patterned concept of past- present- future may have been thought of from time to time. Likewise, he may not even had known about the patterns-of-two in the old yin/yang ideology, though contrasts and dichotomies may have been a consideration, albeit without a working list of the many we see today. His concept of though progression could not have made an analogy with the development of the three germ layers because such an idea developed over a much longer period than he was alive. Nor could he have known about the idea about Carl Woese's late 2oth century Three Domains of life idea.

However, even though such basic patterns of human conceptualization are to be found, we find that Sociologists are still hung up with the old French Sociological themes involving soap opera plots. Indeed, let's take a short review of a French and other Socialists Lineup:

  • Henri de Saint-Simon (17 October 1760 – 19 May 1825) (Saint Simon's conceptual recognition of broad socio-economic contribution, and his Enlightenment valorization of scientific knowledge, soon inspired and influenced utopian socialism, liberal political theorist John Stuart Mill, anarchism through its founder Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who was inspired by Saint-Simon's thought and Marxism with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels identifying Saint-Simon as an inspiration to their ideas and classifying him among the utopian socialists.)
  • Charles Fourier (07 April 1772)
  • Auguste Comte (1798–1857)—The Father of Sociology, The term sociology was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) in an unpublished manuscript (Fauré et al. 1999). In 1838, the term was reinvented by Auguste Comte (1798–1857).
  • Harriet Martineau (1802–1876)—the First Woman Sociologist (translated Comte's works from the French into English)
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (15 January 1809)
  • Arthur de Gobineau (14 July 1816)
  • Emile Zola (1840-1902), (Worked from a perspective of sociological analysis through literary representation. Zola defined his own work as a practical sociology since he wanted his literary creations to contribute to the development of modern science. He displayed an acute sense of the rèel and was among the first to formulate certain sociological problems which anticipated the key premises of French sociological thought as later developed by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).
  • Gustave Le Bon (07 May 1841)
  • Émile Durkheim (1858–1917)


Another frequent dichotomy which arises is the three-part expression of "cause and effect", though one might offer several others (and it should be noted that "dichotomy" can be used to label opposing, complimentary, or compilation, and not necessarily a division):

  • positive/negative
  • rich/poor
  • strong/weak
  • war/peace
  • educated/uneducated
  • upper class/lower class (Marxian: bourgeoisie and the proletariat)

Instead of three laws of human thought progression, a "law of threes" (so-to-speak) is better suited for understanding human cognition applied to sociological themes imposed on by an incrementally deteriorating environment which forces the usage of a system of inter-related rationalizations for the purpose of maintaining some semblance of equilibrium as the presumed ship of Humanity slowly sinks beneath all its efforts to stay afloat.

Origination date: Saturday, December 7th, 2019... 4:07 AM
Initial Posting: Thursday, December 26th, 2019... 6:51 AM

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland