By Anthony Judge
Development through Alternation
Another approach to the logical discontinuity between answer domains is through the study of paradoxes. For Solomon Marcus: "Paradoxes occur when two different levels of knowledge, of language, of communication, of reality, of human behaviour, etc. are seen as one level, are mixed, are superposed, are combined, or are confused." (149) He gives 18 pairs of levels which demonstrate a variety of paradoxes of which some are well-known to specialists.
To clarify the semiotic difficulties involved, Marcus groups them into four types:
Another philosopher, Archie Bahm, has studied the many characteristics of polarity as a basis for ordering constrasting theories (148). For him, polarity involves at least three general categories which he discusses in detail. These are: oppositeness; complementarity (involving subcategories of supplementary, interdependence, dimension and reciprocity); and tension (involving subcategories of tendency, extra-tension, duo-tension, con-tension, dimensional tension, inter-level tension, polari-tension, rever-tension, rhythmi-tension, and organi-tension).
This section contains the following subsections (use the links in the Table of Contents to navigate)
- 2.1. Oppositional logic
- 2.2. Polarity
- 2.3. Paradoxes and antinomies
The philosopher Stephane Lupasco has explored the nature of antagonistic dualities (147). He shows that knowing is intimately associated with such duality and takes place by actualizing one of the terms of the duality and virtualizing the contradictory one. In this way only a monism is knowable, especially in science, even though it is the dualism which is the "motor" for this process. That by which we know illuminates a contradictory order whose contradictory nature is not apparent.
It is convenient to designate as a "domain" that subset of the space of psycho-social communication within which questions of a particular type maintain their credibility for sufficient time to sustain a discourse. If Attali's lead is to be pursued, the nature of such domains needs to be clarified.
Attali argues that three theories open the way to an analysis of the production and circulation of meaning in an organization (5, pp. 207-208). The theories converge and give the following. An organization exists:
The restrictive nature of a particular form of accumulation also affects the kinds of answers sought to the problems arising from that accumulation process. Answers tend to focus on changing the pattern of accumulation or eliminating it altogether. The focus of attention is however limited to the level of accumulation at which the problems are currently most evident. Answers tend not to be sensitive to what is accumulated through promulgation and implementation of the favoured answer.
There would seem to be a vital connection between human development, social development, need satisfaction, and accumulation. This can be represented by Diagram 1.
These relationships are more clearly seen in three dimensions as expressed by the tetrahedron in Diagram 2a. Note that this may be usefully skewed to indicate distorted relationships between the different processes, or limiting cases where one is identified with another.
The difficulty arising from this representation lies in the ambiguous status of accumulation as:
In attempting to understand better how individuals and social groups accumulate the significance they associate with their particular answers, it is appropriate to look at critical analyses of the well-documented capital accumulation process. This should provide further insights and clues for the pursuit of the enquiry into the characteristics of a desirable meta-answer. The task is therefore to "decodify" such analyses, using them as a model to understand accumulation processes in general rather than as limited to economic processes in the narrrow material sense.