Unicist Ontology

Unicist Ontology and Functionalist Principles

The purpose of developing the unicist ontology was to define the nature of things based on their functionality to generate a bridge between science and metaphysics that allows managing the principles of the functionality of things based on a scientific approach. This development was led by Peter Belohlavek at The Unicist Research Institute.

The unicist ontology describes the functionalist principles of facts, ideas, individuals, and things. The unicist ontology gave birth to functionalist knowledge which is the bridge between science and metaphysics and integrates functionality with operationality. The research of the unicist ontology of things is based on using unicist ontological reverse engineering that begins with the operational facts and ends with the discovery of their functionalist principles that define the unicist ontology.

The unicist ontology is a universalization of the discovery of the ontogenetic intelligence of nature that defines the nature and functionality of an entity. The ontogenetic intelligence of nature is defined by a purpose, an active and entropic principle, and an energy conservation principle that are integrated in their oneness defining the functionality of the entity. The active principle drives the evolution while the energy conservation principle sustains the purpose. The ontogenetic intelligence of an entity in nature defines its intrinsic functionalist principle that regulates its evolution.

The unicist ontology describes the nature and functionality of reality by emulating the ontogenetic intelligence of nature. Therefore, there is an ontological logic to understand the nature of reality. Nature is not a question of opinion. From a functional point of view, the nature of a specific reality is unique. That is why there can only be “one” unicist ontology of the functionality of something, which has been named its functionalist principle.

The functionalist principle defines that there is nothing in the universe, which is part of a system, that does not work with a purpose, an active and entropic function, and an energy conservation function. Their interaction defines the functionality of the binary actions that make the functionalist principles work. These functionalist principles integrate the unified field of things. There are two different unicist ontological structures of things, the intrinsic structure that describes the functionality of something in itself, and the extrinsic structure that describes the functional use of things.

The unicist ontology defines and describes the functionality of things. Its knowledge is needed to define the functionalist principles and the synchronized binary actions that make things work. A metaphor clarifies this: 

The cost of a glass is in its solid;
its value is in its hollow.
Its cost has no value.
Its value has no cost.
But both of them are within the glass.

The cost of a process is given by its operation;
its value is given by its functionality.
Operation has no value.
Functionality has no cost.
But both of them are within the process.


The discussion about the unicist ontology revolves around its profound implications for understanding and managing the real world, particularly within adaptive systems. The unicist approach, by focusing on the functionality of things, offers a unique perspective that transcends traditional empirical and analytical methods.

Unicist Ontology

It delves into the essence of causality in adaptive systems, where each component’s role and purpose are defined by their contribution to the system’s functionality. This approach is not only theoretical but also highly practical, as it provides a framework for predicting the behavior of complex systems and for designing solutions that are in harmony with the natural laws governing these systems.

The unicist ontology’s emphasis on functionality and causality in adaptive systems brings to light the importance of understanding the underlying principles that make a system functional. In this context, causality is not linear but complex and triadic, reflecting the adaptive nature of the system. This perspective challenges the conventional wisdom of cause-effect relationships in a deterministic sense and opens up new avenues for exploring the dynamics of adaptive systems in a more holistic and nuanced manner.

Moreover, the unicist approach underscores the significance of ontological reverse engineering in uncovering the functionalist principles that underpin the nature of things. By starting with the operational facts and working backward to discover the principles that define their functionality, researchers and practitioners can gain insights into the essence of complex systems. This process not only enhances our understanding of the natural world but also empowers us to design strategies and interventions that align with the intrinsic nature of the systems we aim to influence.

In essence, the discussion about the unicist ontology is about bridging the gap between the abstract understanding of the nature of things and their practical application in the real world. It offers a comprehensive framework for navigating the complexities of adaptive systems, enabling a deeper understanding of their functionality and the causality of events within them. By embracing this approach, we can better anticipate the behavior of complex systems, design more effective solutions, and ultimately achieve a harmonious integration with the natural order of things.

Comparison of Ontologies with the Unicist Ontology

Comparison of:Ontology (Philosophy: the Being) Aristotle, Wolff,
Kant and others
Ontology (IT: shared understanding of a specific domain)
Gruber, Sowa, Arvidsson and others
Unicist Ontology (Defines the nature of things based on their Functionality
Peter Belohlavek
FunctionalityIt defines WHAT “things” areIt defines the key concepts, properties, and relationships of IT domains.It defines WHAT “things” are, based on their functionality, and WHY they work
PurposeKnowledge acquisitionInformation and knowledge acquisitionManaging adaptive systems, including the forecast of their evolution.
DevelopmentDiscoveryShared expert opinionsUnicist ontological reverse engineering and the use of pilot tests and destructive tests
Use in businessTo apprehend realityTo manage adaptive systems and adaptive processesDevelopment of ontogenetic maps for individual, institutional, business, and social fields.
Scope of applicationUniversalArtificial Intelligence, Information SystemsDevelopment of ontogenetic maps for the individual, institutional, business and social fields.
Language usedNatural languageWeb Ontology Language and othersUnicist Standard Language and natural language
Results to be achievedTrue knowledgeValid knowledge and informationValue generation by managing the causality and functionality of entities
Evolution / Involution lawsInexistentInexistentUnicist laws of adaptive systems evolution
InexistentInexistentUnicist logic, a double dialectical logic
InexistentBased on shared validationEmulating the triadic structure of the ontogenetic intelligence of nature
Mathematical validationInexistentInexistentFollowing the mathematics of unicist logic
Deals withIdeasCategories and objectsFunctions, roles, and objects
OnenessOne ontology for each aspect of realityDepending on the consensus of the expert opinionsOne unicist ontology for each function

Unicist Ontology and Unicist Logic

The development of the unicist ontological methodology represents a milestone in the field of adaptive systems. Beginning in 1980, this methodology underwent a rigorous and comprehensive development process that spanned nearly two decades. By 1998, the unicist ontology was fully articulated, marking a pivotal moment in the understanding and application of this innovative approach. The foundation of this ontology is the unicist logic, a framework that seeks to emulate the ontogenetic intelligence of nature. This emulation is not an academic exercise but a practical tool to decipher the functionality, dynamics, and evolution of various entities and phenomena.

Unicist Ontology

The unicist logic, at the core of the unicist ontology, diverges from traditional forms of logic by focusing on the nature of reality from a functional perspective. It is predicated on the understanding that the ontogenetic intelligence of nature—nature’s inherent blueprint for growth and development—governs the functionality and evolution of all living things. By aligning with this intelligence, the unicist approach offers a coherent and comprehensive model to understand and predict the behavior of adaptive systems.

The development of the unicist ontological methodology represents a milestone in the field of complex adaptive systems. Beginning in 1980, this methodology underwent a rigorous and comprehensive development process that spanned nearly two decades.

The practical implications of the unicist ontology and its underlying logic are vast. In the realm of business, for example, it enables the design of strategies that are in harmony with the market’s natural evolution, enhancing competitiveness and sustainability. In healthcare, it can lead to more effective treatments by aligning with the natural processes of the human body.

The methodology’s adaptability and depth make it a tool for addressing the challenges inherent in complex adaptive systems. The journey from the inception of the unicist ontological methodology to the full definition of the unicist ontology underscores a commitment to understanding the deep, underlying principles that govern the natural and human-made world. The unicist approach, with its emphasis on functionality, dynamics, and evolution, provides a framework for navigating and influencing the ever-changing landscape of complex adaptive systems.

The Unicist Ontology Defines the Nature of Things Based on their Functionality