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Timothy Leary's Interpersonal Circumplex

The interpersonal circumplex was developed by Timothy Leary and is vaguely similar with The Grid. The most essential similarity seems to be that Leary's model allows vector summation. This has apparently been implemented in a computer game by Timothy Leary called Mind Mirror. You may need DosBox to run it on PC.

The differences between the Interpersonal Circumplex and the AMOQ Grid include:

  • The Interpersonal Circumplex is a polar coordinate system.
  • The scope of the Interpersonal Circumplex is smaller than the scope of the AMOQ Grid because the Interpersonal Circumplex does not assign any specific identity to those areas of the coordinate system whose X or Y coordinate in the AMOQ grid is zero.
  • The resolution of the Interpersonal Circumplex is higher for badness than the resolution of the AMOQ Grid because the circumplex has fifteen slots for badness per quadrant whereas the AMOQ grid has six slots for badness per quadrant.
  • The resolution of the Interpersonal Circumplex is lower for decency than that of the AMOQ Grid as the circumplex has only one slot for decency and excellence per quadrant whereas the AMOQ Grid has ten such slots.
  • In comparison with the AMOQ Grid, the Interpersonal Circumplex appears to distort the topology of good and bad in a way I find unexpected and arbitrary. The Interpersonal Circumplex seems to emphasize badness while ignoring the difference between excellence and decency.
  • The descriptions of the cells are highly different.

There is a chance that the AMOQ and the Interpersonal Circumplex can be mapped or superimposed on each other in some way that can be deemed more correct than any other way.

Four Life Positions

In his work Prometheus Rising, Robert Anton Wilson proposes an interpretation of the Four Life Positions that is equivalent with the following AMOQ relativization:

Order of appearance Life Position AMOQ quadrant
1 I'm not OK, You're OK Objective Quality
2 I'm not OK, You're not OK Subjective Quality
3 I'm OK, You're not OK Normative Quality
4 I'm OK, You're OK Mystical Quality

The Four Life Positions are used in Transactional analysis which I haven't yet had time to study. This interpretation appears to be contrary to some of my assertions in Zen and the Art of Insanity. In that work and in this wiki I argue that subjective quality is first. I base my assertion on my conversations with a mother. That mother told that babies, upon being born, are unaware of being born and that other people exist. A newborn baby does not know the difference between himself or herself and the mother. If so, how could the infant evaluate himself or herself in comparison with his or her mother?

Admittedly, since the self or other people are not defined in the mindset of the newborn baby, from the baby's own point of view it would not be true that "I'm not OK, You're not OK". This is obvious because the baby does not even know language. Therefore the baby is not nominally in the life position of "I'm not OK, You're not OK" from his or her own point of view. But functionally the difference between the self and other people would appear to correspond with the life position "I'm not OK, You're not OK". However, although "I'm not OK, You're not OK" seems like a moral evaluation, being in this life position does not necessarily describe the moral essence of the situation in which a person experiencing this life position is. The person could as well be euphoric. In this case the essential meaning of "I'm not OK, You're not OK" is that because of the separation between individuals this euphoria cannot necessarily be communicated to anyone else. In the case of dysphoria, on the other hand, the essential meaning of "I'm not OK, You're not OK" might be that the person is suffering because of someone or something else and cannot understand the cosmic or spiritual function of the entity that makes him or her suffer. I would be inclined to consider God a person in this context because animistic thinking is integral to subjectivity and explains why the notion of personhood is subjectively so vague: in a state of high subjective sensitivity the whole universe feels alive and this includes things that are normally considered inanimate. In any case, the essence of goodness within a quadrant is more important in evaluation than the essence of badness within that quadrant. This is because vectors with equal X and Y coordinates are good and consequently there is more good than evil.

Due to the aforementioned reasons I would be inclined to substitute Wilson's interpretation with this kind of an interpretation:

Order of appearance Life Position AMOQ quadrant
1 I'm not OK, You're not OK Subjective Quality
2 I'm not OK, You're OK Objective Quality
3 I'm OK, You're not OK Normative Quality
4 I'm OK, You're OK Mystical Quality

Ultimately, it all depends on what we consider the starting point of life or personhood. In this case it is placed at birth. Some others might place it at conception and so on. Essentially, I am only arguing that this issue perhaps cannot be resolved without explicating what is the moment when a new life starts or a new person comes to existence. In this inquiry I have placed that starting point at birth and I think it is better than Wilson's solution of placing in somewhere in early childhood but apparently not at birth. But Wilson's solution could be considered more correct than mine if we require Life Positions to be nominally identical with quadrants instead of being merely functionally identical. If an infant does not know language he cannot formulate Life Positions even though they are arguably so simple that a small child who does know language could formulate them and understand them quite correctly.

A child must know language in order to be able to nominally identify with any of these Life Positions as they are presented here: as language. Here, "knowing language" would seem to mean something like understanding the notion that words are supposed to be universal references to things in the sense that when you use words you expect the other person to understand the words the same way as you do. This would require objective thinking. Hence, if a person cannot be in a Life Position without understanding the Life Positions in an objective manner then newborn babies arguably are in no Life Position at all.

Frankly, thinking of children as beings who live in a reality of "I'm not OK, You're OK" would seem to suggest that children are thought of as nuisances.


This topic has gotten its own article. See: Socionics

Mental Symmetry

Mental Symmetry seems to resemble the Analytic Metaphysics of Quality in the following ways.

  • Analytical processing is rational quality
  • Associative processing is gnostic quality
  • Concrete processing is tangible quality
  • Abstract processing is abstract quality
  • Confidence is external quality [Dubious: see below]
  • Emotion is internal quality [Dubious: see below]

From these results we can infer the following:

  • Teacher personality is the normative quadrant
  • Mercy personality is the subjective quadrant
  • Server personality is the objective quadrant
  • Perceiver personality is the mystical quadrant
  • Facilitator personality is implicitly contained in the Analytic Metaphysics of Quality by virtue of the Analytic Metaphysics of Quality being a metatheory of the quadrants. The facilitator personality is that metatheory.

Note that in Jung’s personality types the mystical quadrant is not the perceiving thinking style, but it is instead called “intuition”.

According to Mental Symmetry the lines that connect Teacher, Exhorter and Mercy to each other, and Server, Contributor and Perceiver to each other, respectively, denote that these thinking styles “share the same information”. I am not sure what this means. In the Analytic Metaphysics of Quality raw information is romantic quality, which the above Mental Symmetry diagram does not mention. Instead of information, emotion and confidence seem like the internal and external domain. I do not know how to continue inquiry from that as long as these domains haven't been defined as anything else than arbirary unions of opposite quadrants or by means of intensions and extensions.

Mental Symmetry is impressive work but seems to lack a well-defined analytic structure that goes beyond the limits of dialectic by identifying romantic clusters. Weak emergence is not included, either, and strong emergence appars to be included incompletely: objective quality may emerge from normative quality, and mystical quality may emerge from subjective quality, but the rest of the eight forms of strong emergence seem omitted. Also, from an analytical point of view I do not understand the purpose of emphasizing the Facilitator person. Simply examining the different personality types within a metatheory and understanding the explanation seems equivalent to already operating on Facilitator level. However, the Facilitator personality may be an useful instrument of rhetoric or a starting point for something.

These are tentative speculations. I have not studied Mental Symmetry extensively.

Cognitive Styles

Cognitive styles appears highly serial and interesting. I am not familiar with it and have found no reason to suspect a significant degree of similarity with the AMOQ.

See Also