Three Principles Underlying Eastern Dialecticism

These three principles are according to the psychologist Kaiping Peng, which I found in Nisbet’s superb book, “Mindware:  Tools for Smart Thinking.”  They are

  1.   Principle of Change
    Reality is a process of change.
    What is currently true will shortly be false.
  2.   Principle of contradiction.
    Contradiction is the dynamic underlying change
    Because change is constant, contradiction is constant
  3.   Principle of relationships (or holism)
    The whole is more than the sum of its parts
    Facts are meaningful only in relation to the whole.

These principles ring true with my life experience.  Moreover, I regard them to be especially relevant to our current time.   Particularly in the current political arena, they have a large relevance.  We ignore these principles at or peril.

It is interesting note that the physicist Niels Bohr was highly knowledgeable about eastern dialectics.  He attributed his development of quantum theory in part  to the metaphysics of the East.  The centuries long debate in the West about whether light consists of particles or waves was resolved  by realizing that light can be thought of in both ways.  The concept of action at a distance was also comprehensible using eastern dialectics.  However, Nisbet notes that empirical science provided convincing evidence that these events did occur.


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