Perverse Instrumentalities

brief outline, for navigation:

  1. definition (📍) of perverse instrumentality
  2. list of instrumentalities
    1. limits of consciousness
    2. difference of time
    3. difference of space
    4. difference of having
  3. explication of the instrumentalities (¶1-3)

📍 perverse instrumentality – a conditional and practical syllogism [1] whereby a man reasons that, given his resources, he can do more than another. Hereby this man instrumentalizes these resources and those with whom he aims to do more than. These people are instruments in his design. Hence, the design is perverse – it makes men into instruments as a consequence of thought itself, regardless of what action is taken. Unlike Kant in the Critique of Practical Reason, who argues that human morality must treat men as ends in themselves, here reason is perverse, treating men “merely as a means.”

Key: “M” – major premise. “m” – minor premise. “cl” – conclusion.

1. Limits of Consciousness

Conditional: “if they don’t know of x, I can do y”

Practical Syllogism:

  • M: They don’t know of x (such that x precludes y)
  • m: I can/ought do y.
  • cl: I do y.


  • M: They don’t know of a government service. (Such that, if they knew, I couldn’t market to them).
  • m: I can market to them.
  • cl: I market to them.

2. Difference of Time

Conditional: “if they do not have the time for x, they cannot do x before I do y”

Practical Syllogism:

  • M: x takes an amount of time which one lacks (and x is such that time(y) < time(x))
  • m: I can do y before another does x.
  • cl: I prevent x by doing y.


  • M: Buying a house in cash is slower than buying it on credit.
  • m: And I can obtain that credit faster than another can obtain cash.
  • cl: I prevent their cash-purchase through my credit-purchase.

3. Difference of Space

Conditional: “If they don’t have space for x, they cannot do x as effectively as I can do y”

Practical Syllogism:

  • M: x effectively requires an amount of space which one lacks (and x is such that space(y) < space(x))
  • m: I can do y more effectively than another does x.
  • cl: I occlude x by doing y.


  • M: Filming a video is easier and more effective in a larger house.
  • m: I have a larger house.
  • cl: I occlude the smaller-house video.

4. Difference of Having

Conditional: “If I have resources n greater than another’s connections q, where n > q, then I can do more with n than another can with q”

Practical Syllogism:

  • M: q connections produce output z and n connections produce output y, where z < y.
  • m: I have n connections.
  • cl: I produce output y (superior to the man with q connections, who produced the inferior output z).

Note: this formula appears in all cases of having, especially:

  1. Material
  2. Intellectual
    1. Know-that
    2. Know-what
    3. Know-how
  3. Social
    1. Prestige
    2. Connection
    3. Appearance


  • M: Knowing a financier enables more rapid development of a business.
  • m: and I know a financier.
  • cl: my business development will be more rapid than another who does not know one.

¶1. In the above we sketch any possible reasoning whereby one attempts to outstrip another. These, then, are the a priori forms of competition (see [2] for the meaning of an a priori form). One cannot think competitively without thinking of one of these forms. Naturally, they descend from the most to the least universal (see [3]; Aristotle’s syllogism in the Analytics descends from a universal in the major premise). Perhaps the limits of consciousness could follow time and space (as in [2], Transcendental Aesthetic), though this is debatable, since consciousness is both the condition and consequence of time and space (as in [4]). We proceed, then: 1. Whole 2. Temporal part 3. Spatial part 4. Empirical obtaining.

¶2. Here, the whole of consciousness is epistemological competition, whereas spatio-temporal differences concern ontological-existential competition. Empirical obtaining is a historical competition. Here, history comprehends only what one was able to access during the duration of their lifetime. History, here, is thus a personal history.

¶3. In typical idealist form, each is only one side of the others, all sides of a coherent whole (see [5]). I call this whole “perverse instrumentalization.” All consciousness is temporal, and all consciousness is spatial (as in [2]). Yet, all time is conscious as is all space – there is neither (for us) without us. Furthermore, no man has “x” unless he is conscious of his having that “x”, in some respect (either actually or potentially, see [3], Metaphysics). Thus, each conditional is merely a slice of a more complex totality which, in actual reasoning, will comprehend each as a moment of itself. No man, I argue, will think merely of the superior time on his hands, but also of what can be determined in that time, namely, forming contacts, acquiring resources, etc. these judgments occur in and through time, and time through them. (Cf. Robert Pippin’s account of universal and particular in [6] – no universal positable without reference to a determinate particular). For, I do not think of any empty vacuous time where all is possible – time is no azoth [7]. Rather, I think of time as determinate, as possible then and there, for certain purposes [8]. These a priori forms, then, are the skeletons on which the muscles and sinews of action form – they are the condition for the embodiment of human perversion, of being-towards-death [9].


[1] Aristotle, “Nichomachean ethics,” in Volume 8: Aristotle II, 2nd ed., vol. 8, 60 vols., M. J. Adler, Ed. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990.

[2] I. Kant, Critique of pure reason, [Private library ed. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1955.

[3] Aristotle and R. McKeon, The basic works of aristotle. New York: Modern Library, 2001.

[4] G. W. F. Hegel, K. Brinkmann, and D. O. Dahlstrom, Encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences in basic outline. Part 1: Science of logic. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

[5] G. W. Hegel, “Encyclopedia logic (brinkmann and dahlstrom).”

[6] R. B. Pippin, Hegel’s realm of shadows: Logic as metaphysics in the science of logic. Chicago ; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2018.

[7] B. Valentinus, Azoth sive aureliae Occultae philosophorum, materiam primam et decantatum illum lapidem philosophorum explicantes … Georgio Beato interprete. Johannes Bringerus, 1613. Available:

[8] J. Dewey, How we think. S.l.: Bibliotech Press, 2020.

[9] M. Heidegger, J. Macquarrie, and E. Robinson, Being and time, 35. reprint. Malden: Blackwell, 2013.


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