On Elements or Basic Fundamentals across Disciplines

The question of metaphysical fundamentals or elements is a fascinating subject to contemplate.  I believe that our answer to the question “what are the basic fundamentals in the world?” depends on the disciplinary lens that we are looking through.

In my current paradigm, the basic chemical ‘building blocks’ of the universe are the elements delineated in the chemical Periodic Table of Elements and their molecular structures. The forces and various levels of physical composition (e.g. electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, etc.) are the basic physical (that is, ‘pertaining to physics’) elements of the universe.  Living systems and their constituent parts are the basic physiological elements of the universe of life.  Cells are the basic biological elements of the universe of living creatures.  Celestial bodies of every kind (planets, planetoids, stars, quasars, meteors, meteorites, etc.) are the basic astronomical elements of the universe.

Memes and cultural products are the basic cultural building blocks, people and social associations/relationships are the basic sociological building blocks, consciousness and its subjective contents are the basic psychological elements, currencies and systems of transaction, demand, manufacture, and distribution are the basic economic elements, and polities, political agents and systems of power are the basic political elements.  Many of these categories of elements or ‘building blocks’ are, of course, interrelated.  In short, we can understand the basics or fundamental parts of the world in different ways depending on the disciplinary perspective we are using to look at the universe.


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