Principle Examples – Part Two

LOGO FINALQuality IS…an anthology of principles.

Why establish concept to concept relationships?

If principles are understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.


Moving on to another example, the next principle was gleaned from the stunning website of the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee.  The site is presented by Dr. Henri D. Grissino-Mayer and is entitled The Ultimate Tree Ring Web Pages. If you select principles from the side bar on the left hand side of the home page you are taken to Principles of Dendrochronology. Following is the introductory paragraph.    (

As with any science, dendrochronology is governed by a set of principles or “scientific rules.” These principles have their roots as far back as 1785 (the Principle of Uniformitarianism) and as recent as 1987 (the Principle of Aggregate Tree Growth). Some are specific to dendrochronology while others, like the Principle of Replication, are basic to many disciplines. All tree-ring research must adhere to these principles, or else the research could be flawed. However, before one can understand the principles, one needs to know basic definitions of terms used in tree-ring research.

Let’s proceed to the analysis of a couple of the principles presented on this web site.  The site stresses that all researchers must adhere to these principles, or else research could be flawed. The need for guiding principles is evident with universal application.

The Uniformitarian Principle

Physical and biological processes that link current environmental processes with current patterns of tree growth must have been in operation in the past.

Analysis:  The principle is concept dense with seven concepts. There is one transitive verb (have) with the modal verb (must). A modal verb indicates that something is compelled to do something because of a rule or law. There are no conditional adjectives associated with the transitive verb. The adjective “current” is directly linked to the concepts, ‘patterns and processes’. Our analysis supports the conclusion that this is indeed a principle. It clearly demonstrates the three effects; Concept Density, Conditional Adjective and Transitive Verb. Modal verbs help strengthen a principle.  We will call this:

The Modal Verb Effect

The Principle of Limiting Factors

Rates of plant processes are constrained by the primary environmental variable that is most limiting.

Analysis: The principle is concept dense with three concepts.  There is one transitive verb (rates) and no conditional or limiting adjectives. The word “rate” is also a concept so the principle actually contains four concepts.  All adjectives are directly linked to the associated concepts. No modal verbs. Conclusion: confirmed principle.

Next post: A summary of the Principle Effects

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Patrick Kelly
Acknowledgements: Henri D. Grissino-Mayer