Christian Relaunch


Only man converses. An animal society involves gregarity, in which psyches form groups with fixed instinctive patterns, but not conversation, which is rooted in expressive choices.

"Sunomilic" is from Greek sunomilia (conversation).

All conversation aims at what is known as "communication" which is the basic form of accord (agreement). An activity with any other aim is not a conversation but something else: maybe a pair of monologues, or a threat display. All communication involves accord, at least regarding the language and concepts. If we agree about nothing, I can use my voice to arrange for you to know something but I cannot tell you anything.

Politeness is part of geniality.

For every imperative realm there is need for accord as regards how to develop that realm. Thus, for every such realm there is a distinctive form of accord. But even within a realm accord may take many forms.

Concurrent roles. Two selves may, during the same period, cultivate multiple accords, in different forms. For instance, colleagues may also act as teachers. And, since school and college both pertain to knowledge, it is likely to be common for a self, during the same period, to act both as teacher and as colleague of the same other self. Similar comments could be made regarding many other pairs.

The table lists the forms of accord that have occurred to me.

If others come to my attention I shall add them to the list, unless they are just minor variants of the ones I have already mentioned.

Realm Form of Accord Notes
Knowledge School * A school is an accord between teachers and pupils for the former to convey knowledge to the latter.
* Infants and adults can both be pupils.
* A subject should be a pupil only in obedience to her king, and the latter may authorise the teachers to act in loco parentis, but these are irrelevant to the structure of the school as such. (I hope it is not necessary here to emphasise that no other party has a right to interfere.)
Knowledge College * A college is an accord for a shared pursuit of knowledge.
* Much of what occurs at "colleges" is really schooling.
* A university is a college of unlimited scope.
* A scientific collaboration, as expressed for instance in co-authorship, is a kind of college.
Action Trade * A trade is an accord whereby each of two parties achieves an aim not shared by the other. For details see Trade.
Expression Nation * A nation is primarily identified by shared language, and more broadly by sharing other forms of expression. I see no neeed for conflict between distinct nations and a single global nation. Expressive accord can occur at many levels, from the global (based on broad accord regarding what concerns all) to the local (based on particular, limited accords). The word "nation" is flexible, but it seems that at a certain level there is an optimal combination of scale and coherence, which ruling gangs have taken advantage of in evoking consent from their victims through the idea of "the nation state".
Expression Expressive Collaboration * Song often arises from accord between lyricist and composer, and likewise for other hybrid forms.
* Expressive accords between composers, or between poets, etc, seldom reach the heights. Such expression seems to be largely a matter for soliloquy.
* Certain forms of expression benefit from interpretation by a group of performers, and their performance is itself expressive. But interpretation is more heavily embedded in the pragmatic than is composition, so it is more limited in expressive scope, and the conductor's customary homage to the score is more than mere modesty.
Respect Arbitration League * Pragmatic friction should be moderated by mutual respect and resolved through arbitration leagues, in which participants agree to appoint arbitrators, whose decision all will accept. (When consensus is needed, the most convenient way to attain it is sometimes to appoint an arbitrator, even with everyone willing to give way.) The appointment is by consensus of all participants, albeit that consensus may take the form of agreeing a process (a constitution) under which arbitrators are elected.
Conversation Clique * A clique is an accord to converse on unspecified topics. It may be formalised as a social club.
* There is noting wrong with cliques as such. "Cliquiness" is excessive reliance on a clique. Abusus non tollit usum.
Conversation Neighbourhood * Geographical proximity facilitates conversation, so it is useful to live near those with whom we happen to have reason to converse.
Altruism Aid Agency * Aid agencies are commonly called "charities", though that word is often applied instead to groups with a certain "legal status" in the eyes of the ruling gang, regardless of whether they truly give aid.
Commitment Family * A family is an accord into which commitment refines the animal behaviour of marriage and parenting.
Commitment Friendship * Any accord of commitment other than family may be called a friendship. There are varieties of friendship, in accordance with various circumstances and aims. Like family, friendship is a refinement of an instinctive behaviour pattern. See Lorenz in the Book List.
Decoration Decoration Group * A decoration group is an accord to facilitate the practice of decoration. Decoration is often combined with expression, but here I refer to the pure form. I claim no familiarity with such groups, but I am sure they can be found.
Decoration Game * A game is an accord between players (or teams) to pursue mutually incompatible aims subject to restrictions designed to yield beauty. For a player to give that beauty priority over his (or his team's) assigned aim is called sportsmanship, for "when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game" (Grantland Rice, Alumunus Football).
* In team games, a team is itself an accord, an accord to pursue, then to execute, games with other teams.
* I reserve judgment on association football's claim to be, par excellence, "the beautiful game". But those formations and geometries sure are decorative.
Reverence Congregation * A congregation is an accord to facilitate the practice of reverence. (Etymologically the word could refer to any form of assembly, but I use it only for this form, with which it has come to be especially associated.) For details see Congregations.

Back to Cosmology.