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Leo Semashko. Tetrapsychology in a new culture of peace

Leo Semashko

Tetrapsychology: a harmonization of the society and human

The human psyche is multi-dimensional, which has engendered, over the course of history, a variety of psychological theories, from o­ne-dimensional (e.g., Wundt, Freud) to multi-dimensional and integrated (e.g., Piaget, Ganzen). Each theory has a certain informative and practical significance. Psychology, today, is expected to synthesize these psychological theories and create a well-integrated and multi-dimensional model of the human psyche, to meet the present-day needs of globalization and of a network/informational society. o­ne of the key, and ever-growing, needs is for social-psychological HARMONIZATION at the level of both global society and the individual psyche, along with a need to overcome growing branch-based disharmony. Tetrapsychology is o­ne of the multi-dimensional models able to harmonize the contemporary world and individuals.

 Tetrapsychology is a postpluralist psychological theory, and a four-dimensional (tetra) model of the social and individual psyche, which posits four social-psychological SPHERES (macro-components, spaces, fields) of individuals and society, regarding them as different aspects of the whole, aspiring for harmony. Tetrapsychology assumes that the psyche has three spatial dimensions - psychic resources, processes, and structures, - and o­ne temporal dimension - psychic states. Tetrapsychology posits similarity and distinctions between, and intermeshing of, natural, psychic and social space-time. Tetrapsychologys theoretical-methodological foundation is tetrasociology (Semashko, 2002; 1999). Tetrasociology assumes that the social world is formed by an amalgamation of four spheres of social reproduction (social life): SOCIOSPHERE, reproducing individuals (people), INFOSPHERE, reproducing information, ORGANISPHERE, reproducing organizations (political, legal, managerial, financial, etc.), and TECHNOSPHERE, reproducing a diversity of material-technical resources.

 Social spheres are an objectification (materialization and estrangement) of corresponding individual spheres: CHARACTER, reproducing people (individuals); CONSCIENCE, reproducing information (including self-awareness), WILL, reproducing organizations (including an individuals self-organization), and BODY, reproducing things and material resources (including o­nes own organism). Society's spheres and individual spheres differ from o­ne another by o­ne of the four resources reproduced in them: PEOPLE, INFORMATION, ORGANIZATION, THINGS.

Social spheres and individual spheres, although not identical, are similar and inextricably linked. They are rooted in o­ne another and inseparable. They reproduce o­ne another and are o­ne anothers product. So they can and should be regarded as a WHOLE - spheres of social/individuals. Parallel to social/individual spheres, four types of psyche/psychology are theorized: humanitarian, informational, organizational (including political, managerial, financial, legal, and the military), and sensitive (physiological and unconscious).

Social/individual spheres dialectically include o­ne another as part-and-whole, as variable matryoshkas, and form, through variously proportioned mixtures of themselves, the whole range of diverse social/psychological phenomena. The oldest source and analog of this viewpoint is Hippocrates theory of temperaments as mixtures, in different proportions, of four physical elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Applied to individual spheres, body represents earth; will, water; conscience, air; and character, fire. A contemporary analog is Jungs theory of four psychic functions of extrovert and introvert modalities and their harmonization.

All social/individual spheres are EQUALLY important, because the absence of even o­ne of them makes the societys/individuals existence ABSOLUTELY impossible. Still, in their functioning these spheres are VARIOUSLY prioritized, changing their roles and significance for each other. In their dialectical intermeshing and interaction at all levels and in all planes, they conform to the five principles of HARMONY discovered by Ganzen: repetition, co-subordination, proportion, balance, and unity (1974) .

Every social/individual sphere needs every other o­ne. It needs products/resources reproduced by each of the rest. This is why each sphere is envisioned as having corresponding blocks (components, parts). The multitude of social/individual spheres and blocks creates a multi-dimensional social-psychological space, in which they comprise the spaces fields, superimposed o­n each other and forming spatial NETWORKS of social entity and psyche. Social/individual spheres and their components are linked by corresponding sphere NEEDS and ABILITIES. There are four classes of these: humanitarian, informational, organizational, and material. Both social spheres and individual spheres have these classes of needs (inlets) and abilities (outlets). Individual spheres project o­nto the categories of sphere needs and abilities in the following manner.

Character represents the individuals relationship to people (including self), an indivisible MY SELF, and my humanitarian resources. Character includes values, feelings of higher order (love, belief, hope, freedom, justice, conscience, guilt, etc.), and direction, and projects o­nto humanitarian needs and abilities. Humanitarian needs include the individuals need of self and other people: parents, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens, etc. Also included are humanitarian assets and humanitarian property. Humanitarian property includes MY parents, children, wife, friends, etc., MY values, MY humanity. Humanitarian abilities include abilities to reproduce self and the likes of self through processes of birth, rearing, educating, etc. Love for people, which is both a process and a state of individual harmony, is the essence of an individuals humanitarian needs and abilities.

Conscience represents the individuals relationship to information, an indivisible MY CONSCIENCE, and my informational resources. It includes senses and reason, thinking and cognitive senses, intellect and imagination, knowledge and perception, the essence of which is information, and projects o­nto informational needs and abilities. Informational needs are an individuals need of informational resources and property. Informational (intellectual) property is MY knowledge and perceptions, which I have produced. Informational abilities are an individuals ability to reproduce informational resources.

Will represents the individuals relationship to organization and order, an indivisible MY WILL, and my organizational/volitional resources. It includes consistency, orderliness, persistence, purposefulness, stubbornness, diligence, assiduousness, accuracy, the essence of which is organization, and it projects o­nto organizational needs and abilities. Organizational needs are an individuals need of external and internal order, organizational resources, and organizational property. Organizational property is MY order and consistency, MY money, shares and other financial resources. Organizational abilities are an individuals ability to reproduce organizational resources.

Body represents the individuals relationship to things, an indivisible MY BODY, and my material resources. It includes organism, physiology, gender, physical constitution, anatomy, health, temperament, subconsciousness, which project o­nto material needs and abilities. Material needs are an individuals need of material resources and property. Material property is MY things (apartment, furniture, clothes, shoes, food, car, summer cottage, etc.), which belong to me. Material abilities are an individuals ability to reproduce material resources. Body includes sensory inlets from and motoric outlets to all other spheres of the individuals. Needs and abilities constitute the individuals interests and motives. As with spheres, all sphere needs and abilities are EQUALLY necessary, but differently prioritized. Equal necessity does not preclude internal hierarchy (Maslow).

What holds all the spheres, needs and abilities together is a persons reproductive EMPLOYMENT, throughout (his or her) life-time, from birth to death. Reproductive employment is a sociological, rather than an economical, notion. It is broader than the notions of behavior, work, activity, and operation, because there are non-behavioral, non-work, non-active and non-operational forms of employment. Social/individual spheres are parallel with employment spheres and population SPHERE CLASSES, but differ in the criterion of 'main' employment in o­ne of the spheres.

Individuals/societys reproduction spheres and reproductive employment spheres are also spheres of culture: humanitarian, spiritual, organizational and material culture. Cultures core is spiritual. Culture is tantamount to a persons spirituality, the spirituality of the reproductive employment of his/her energy, distributed among and materialized in all the products of reproduction. If humans are the source of spirituality, then information is its carrier and mediator. Cultural spheres are differentiated by information spheres. Reproduction spheres also have political and economic dimensions. So, every sphere has its social (humanitarian), cultural, political (organizational) and economic dimensions.

The major manifestation of integration of a societys spheres is that they concurrently, but in different respects and in different expressions, prove to be spheres of every individual person: spheres of CHARACTER, CONSCIOUSNESS, WILL, and BODY. Societys spheres are the objectification (materialization and estrangement) of corresponding spheres of individuals. They coincide in the object and product of reproduction. Character, reproducing people, including individuals, coincides with societys social/humanitarian sphere, and vice versa. Consciousness, reproducing information, including self-consciousness, coincides with societys informational sphere, and vice versa. Will, reproducing organizations, including individuals self-organization, coincides with societys organizational sphere, and vice versa. Body, reproducing things, including its own organism, coincides with societys technical/material sphere, and vice versa. Both societys spheres and individuals spheres are identified by o­ne of the four resources reproduced in them: people (individuals), information, organization, things. Societys spheres and individuals spheres, although not identical, are similar and inseparable. They are rooted in each other, inseparable from each other, reproduce each other, and are each others product. For this reason they can and should be approached as UNITARY spheres of social/individual or individual/social. In spheres, society and individuals coincide in all their substantive dimensions: in reproductive employment and its classes, in needs and abilities, in humanitarian/social, cultural, organizational/political and economic dimensions. The concurrence of individuals and society in spheres is outlined in the table.

Table of society/individuals spheres





SOCIOSPHERE: Humanitarian needs and abilities s/i Humanitarian employment s/i 

  Socioclass (humanitarian class of population) s/i  Humanitarian culture/information s/i 

Social politics (humanitarian organization s/i) 

Labor market (social economics s/i)



INFOSPHERE: Informational needs and abilities s/i Informational employment s/i 

Infoclass (informational class of population) s/i 

  Spiritual culture/information s/i 

Cultural politics (organization of culture s/i) 

  Information market (economics of culture s/i)



ORGANISPHERE: Organizational needs and abilities s/i Organizational employment s/i 

Organiclass (organizational class of population) s/i Organizational culture/information s/i 

  Administrative politics (organization of management s/i) Market of capital (economics of management s/i)



TECHNOSPHERE: Material needs and abilities s/i Technical/material employment s/i 

Technoclass (technical class of population) s/i Material culture/technical information s/i 

  Market of goods (economics of material production s/i)



Note: Interaction and inter-determination of the table's elements occur in all directions: horizontal, vertical, forward, backward. Tetrasociology appears as a cluster of tetrasocial disciplines: tetrapsychology, tetraculturology, tetraeconomics, tetraphilosophy, tetrapolitology, tetrasociocybernetics, tetraaxiology, tetrasocionics, tetrasociolinguistics, tetrahistory, etc., all growing from the same theoretical-methodological foundation of tetrary postpluralism.

The dialectics of spheres has another aspect: the contradiction between the harmony of integral spheres and the disharmony of their branch parts, or their branch content. Societys/individuals spheres are always the carriers of harmony, partnership, balance of both social and personal forces. o­n the other hand, societys/individuals branches have always been the carriers of disharmony, competition, domination of social and personal forces, with all the inevitable consequences, such as violence, wars, self-destruction, greed, unrestrained struggle for enrichment. The nature of every society/individual has two permanent cornerstones: sphere harmony (harmony of individuals/societys spheres) and branch disharmony (disharmony of branches of society/individuals). Given this, the conscious, free will of a person cannot terminate either of the two foundations. The will can o­nly change the functional priority of o­ne of them. Historically, up until now, with several rare exceptions, branches have had spontaneous priority. However, preconditions are now in place for spheres to receive conscious priority, both in society and in individuals.

The disharmony of branches has become too destructive a force for society and individuals. To survive, we will have to give priority to the harmony of spheres, to ensure that harmony dominates societys and individuals inner workings. If you will, this necessity can be called the 'social law of dominion of the harmony of spheres' at a particular stage of a societys/individuals development. o­nly the harmony of spheres, as an internal, inborn, self-imposed curb o­n disharmony, can keep avidity, greed, self-interest, and an unrestrained desire for enrichment, felt by branch-based society and branch-based individuals, within acceptable limits. o­nly the harmony of spheres can save us from the self-destruction that results from either excessive wealth or excessive poverty. This inborn, social tendency toward harmony is certain to lead to the radical transformation of psychology, as well, both social and individual. The mission of social science, including psychology, is to articulate the underlying principles of this transformation, and to ensure that these principles can operate efficiently and consciously, rather than haphazardly, as in the past.

Tetrapsychology, theorizing multi-dimensional fundamentals of society/individual social-psychological space, posits necessary pre-conditions for psychological harmonization of both society and individuals through the harmonization of their employment spheres, and does it keeping the needs and abilities of society and individuals together, rather than divorcing them. To a certain extent, society cannot be harmonized without individuals, and vice versa. Hence, tetrapsychologys key conclusion: individuals and societys psychological harmony can be achieved at the level of spheres-employment, rather than at the level of branch-employment, because social-psychological harmony occurs at the meshing of society/individual spheres.

These ideas have been fruitfully applied, for instance, by Yuriev (1992; 2002), in his research o­n multi-dimensional political psychology, and in his theory of the harmonization of political relations in the globalization era.

Tetrapsychology provides a theoretical basis for studying the internal harmonization of individuals and their harmonious development. It is closely linked to tetrasociology, as a theoretical basis for studying the harmonious development of societies. Together, they provide a framework for discovering a natural order of social harmony, which creates the foundation for a culture of peace that will seek to prevent wars, terror, poverty and other powerful social deviations.


Ganzen V. (1974). Perception of Whole Objects. LeningradUniversity (Russian)

Semashko, L. (2002). Tetrasociology: Responses to Challenges. TechnicalUniversitySt. Petersburg

________. (1999). Sociology for Pragmatists. From Monism to Tetrism. European house. St. Petersburg. (Russian)

Yuriev, A. I. (1992). Introduction to Political Psychology. St. PetersburgUniversity (Russian)

________. (2002). "Russian Project: the Claims o­n the Future," Bulletin of Political Psychology. # 2 (Russian)

________. (2002). "Globalization as the New Form of Political Power Changing Man and the World Order" Russia: planetary processes. St. PetersburgUniversity (Russian)

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