The Institute for the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearean Thought
             MOTTO: Know you not that I must be about my mother's business

  • PRESS RELEASE April 2023

    The Institute for the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearean Thought
    The Quaternary Institute
    Quaternary Institute & Quaternary Imprint



         The purpose of the two or three year course of Quaternary education is to develop a philosophic attitude consistent with the natural logic of life. It is expected that for most tertiary graduates at whatever level (bachelor to doctorate) a period of up to two or three years will be required to completely download the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the tertiary program. As the downloading proceeds the birthright program of natural logic will be recovered and developed to replace the old program.

         Progress through primary, secondary and tertiary are essential preliminaries to prepare the mind for the effective operation with natural logic. Only by completing the full cycle of education is it possible to develop human understanding and expression with the philosophic simplicity necessary to operate consistently at the mythic level.

         The philosophy of Shakespeare as articulated in his Sonnets provides the basis for the Quaternary Program. Because William Shakespeare is the only person to have systematically articulated the natural logic of humankind in respect to nature it is fitting that his work provide the overall structure for the proposed two to three year course of post-tertiary learning. The philosophy of the Sonnets will be utilised to develop a comprehensive sense of the natural logic of life.

         While the program is intended to be inclusive of many areas of interest that are proto-quaternary, such as the work of cognitive scientists and neurobiologists toward demonstrating the priority of the body over the mind, and the increasing awareness of gender and ethnicity issues arising from a dissatisfaction with the old paradigm, the course will initially utilise the work of a few thinkers relatively free of the psychological residuum of the last 3000 years of overwrought idealistic expectations. Hence the specialist work of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé, and Duchamp will provide a second tier of reference for each of the principal components of Shakespeare's natural logic.

         In a three year course Shakespeare's works will be studied in each of the years. The first year will provide familiarization with the Sonnets and their basic structure and themes. Consideration will also be given to the reasons why the philosophy of Shakespeare's Sonnets has not been appreciated over the last 400 years. In the second year attention will focus on the plays and other poems as works based on the philosophy articulated in the Sonnets. The inadequacy of 400 years of commentary on the plays will be discussed.

         Along with the material presented on Shakespeare's Sonnets in the first year, there will be an introduction to the work of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and Duchamp. The program will be based on the direct study of their work. Darwin's Origin of Species and Descent of Man, Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Philosophical Investigations, On Certainty, and other writings, Mallarmé's The Afternoon of the Faun, Un Coup de Des, Herodiade, and sonnets, and Duchamp's Large Glass, Etant donnes, and the associated readymades. In the second year the interrelation between these thinkers and other contributors to the proto-quaternary sensibility will be studied.

         The third year will bring together the work on Shakespeare with the work of the previous two years on Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and Duchamp, plus contributions from other proto-quaternary interests as a way of demonstrating the possibilities for any individual to have a mythic awareness and the possibility of applying the mythic awareness in various forms of expression.

    Outline of the Quaternary Program








    Introduction to the Sonnets as the vehicle for Shakespeare's philosophy

    Sonnet structure and themes

    400 years of Sonnet mis-
    interpretation from an inadequate paradigm

    Darwin's philosophic method

    The Origin of Species as natural logic

    The Descent of Man on the relation between the body and mind

    Duchamp's Large Glass as the basis of all of his works

    Etant donnes as a rejoinder to the Large Glass

    The role of the Readymades

    The Tractatus and the correct logical multiplicity

    The Philosophical Investigations and the use of biological metaphors

    On Certainty and the grounding of possibility in the natural world

    The apologetics of Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hume, etc.

    Primitive expressions of the Sonnet paradigm in indigenous myth

    Concerns with feminist, ethnic and environment issues


    Natural logic in the philosophy of Shakespeare

    The mythic dimension

    The priority of the female over the male

    The sexual and the erotic

    The aesthetic and the ethical

    The philosophy of the Sonnets as the philosophy behind all the plays

    The evolution of secondary sexual traits

    The biological relation of the female and the male

    Mental powers and moral sense

    The history of mis-
    interpretation of Darwin's understanding of evolution

    The influence of the deep symbolism of Mallarmé on the ideas behind the Large Glass

    The mythic dynamic of the Large Glass

    The priority of the female over the male

    The role of eroticism in all Duchamp's works

    The limited art historical reading of the readymades

    Philosophy as psychology rather than psychology as philosophy

    The residuum of apologetics in Wittgenstein's approach

    Wittgenstein's influence on philosophic method

    Lakoff and Johnson and the cognitive scientists

    Antonio Damasio and the neurological scientists

    Biblical scholarship and the recovery of the feminine gender


    Philosophy presented in the form of argument and poetry as a complete expression

    The natural logic of life and the correct logical multiplicity

    The practical application of the Sonnet logic to provide consistency in artistic expression

    The persistence of Darwin's influence understood as a consequence of his philosophic integrity

    Darwin's regard for the effect of his discoveries

    Utilizing natural logic to organise empirical findings

    The consistency of Duchamp's expression throughout his lifetime

    The Large Glass as the mythic masterpiece that con-
    textualises the art of the modern period

    Utilizing the mythic content of Duchamp's work

    The combination of the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations toward a consistent philosophy

    Wittgenstein's concern that he would be lucky to be understood within 100 years

    The concern for the direction of human progress and a return to a regard for nature

    The recovery of the priority of nature, the female, and the increase dynamic for a consistent appreciation of aesthetics and ethics

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    Roger Peters Copyright © 2001