by Camdiluv ♥

Convergence and Contrast in Dialogue Conversations

by Augusto Cuginotti

From photography to music to dance, contrast seems to be a key component of the arts.

When this was pointed out to me in a conversation with a painter from Barcelona, I started to notice how much our daily conversations rely on contrasting concepts. I observed people searching for the opposite in order to understand and define.

Initially I thought this might be our cultural devotion to Hegelian dialectics (thesis – antithesis – synthesis), but later I wondered if it is not part of our need for a reference point, a need for contextualisation. An idea would be clear when we can claim similarity or opposition to another that is already part of our daily conversations.

It might be our eagerness to understand, to settle in known grounds the novelty landing in our territory. The division can become a debate based in a dichotomy (splitting into two non-overlapping parts), a discussion in search for middle ground or for dialectical transcendence as in some forms of dialogue. Socratic dialogue and Bohm’s dialogue are both ultimately based on dialectics. A

Used as dualities or complementary opposites, contrast is a way of both scientific Western explorations and Eastern philosophy.

And even if dialectic transcendence seems a perfect construct to explore the world as an ever evolving process, I’m thinking it might hold a tone that is fundamentally monological.

Imagine two or more people bringing their worldviews together and seeking for convergence. Here are some possibilities of what can happen to those people’s worldviews in conversation:

  • If the sense of co-existence of worldviews is lost, dichotomy takes its place and it becomes a matter of one as opposed to the other.
  • If we claim a need for compromise or transcendence, we give up the ability to contrast present worldviews hoping for a compromised unifying view or one that transcends and includes. The latter is metaphysically flawless, but also means many stories become one new truth.
  • If there is co-existence and we settle on a paradox, we need both contrasted worldviews alive and therefore there is no convergence or synthesis.

The way to accomodate convergence in a topic and at the same time hold multiple worldviews seems to take us in a journey to consider looking at things beyond creation of patterns and systems. To take us to consider worldviews as narratives being constantly developed by a multitude of perceptions and consciousnesses.

Instead of a worldview being represented by our social constructions (represented by our many social systems), it could be the narratives that are perceived as the most powerful ones to accommodate our present social communications.

The convergence of worldviews in a specific matter would serve only at the moment of conception and could not be used as data to pattern formation or a creation of a social system. Social systems as structures would then be restricted to spaces and opportunities where many narratives can be recursively updated and shared in the search of the most powerful for the moment to come.


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