Coherent Reconciliation of Eastern and Western Patterns of Logic


Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens - TRANSCEND Media Service

Towards a Polyhedral Rosetta Stone in Aid of a Paradigm Shift Respecting Opposition


27 Nov 2023 – A previous exercise focused on the possibility of an appropriate game to simulate the challenges of the globally traumatic Israel-Palestine conflict in particular, with its more general implications for analogous conflicts (Simulating the Israel-Palestine Conflict as a Strategy Game, 2023). Development of the game made experimental use of ChatGPT. That concluded by envisaging the possibility that a set of 8 strategic conditions could be usefully arrayed coherently in terms of 8 trigrams of the traditional Chinese BaGua configuration in 2D.

Given the fundamental opposition characteristic of territorial conflicts, whether inspired and sustained by religion or otherwise, there is a strong (if not urgent) case for exploring new ways of framing such conflict from a global strategic perspective. Curiously little use is made of the insights of “oppositional logic” to that end, despite the extensive literature on the so-called square of opposition — a diagram representing the relations between the four basic categorical propositions (Jean-Yves Beziau and Gillman Payette, The Square of Opposition: A General Framework for Cognition, 2011). The origin of the square can be traced back to Aristotle’s tractate On Interpretation and its distinction between two oppositions: contradiction and contrariety.

Of illustrative relevance are the rare applications of such considerations to international relations, as by Fabien Schang (Depicting Negation in Diagrammatic Logic: legacy and prospects, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference Diagrams, 2008; Abstract Logic of Oppositions, Logic and Logical Philosophy 21, 2012, 4; End of the Square? South American Journal of Logic, 4, 2018, 2). Complicity in the prevailing disconnect between academic insight and experiential reality is worthy of comment in its own right.

Global exposure to the horrors of the systematic destruction of Gaza in the Israel-Palestine conflict has evoked surprising expressions of incomprehension with little effort to address its origins (Global Incomprehension of Increasing Violence: Matching incapacity to question the reason why, 2016). Whilst there is no lack of blame, there is little understanding of the context by which it is framed (Global cultivation of blame-games, 2018; Towards an imaginative reframing of blame game dynamics through animation, 2015; Responsibility for Global Governance: Who? Where? When? How? Why? Which? What? 2008).

Such incomprehension is curiously matched by binary preoccupations, exemplified by the call to “like” or “dislike” comments and perspectives on the internet — with a degree of expectation that “there can be only one“. This preoccupation plays out in policy slogans such as “you are either with us, or against us” and in the quest for hegemony in a monopolar world. The preoccupation contrasts curiously with the challenge of LGBTQ and the various distinctions that may imply, as argued separately (Global Civilization through Interweaving Polyamory and Polyanimosity? 2018). It also contrasts with the 16-fold set of logical connectives fundamental to computer operation.

The following exercise explores the possibility of reconciling in 3D selected 8-fold and 16-fold logical patterns variously promoted in Eastern and Western contexts, in accordance with an approach advocated by Susantha Goonatilake (Toward a Global Science: mining civilizational knowledge, ‎ 1999) and discussed separately (Enhancing the Quality of Knowing through Integration of East-West metaphors, 2000). Further experimental use is made of ChatGPT, especially as a corrective to the current preoccupation with the problematic global consequences of AI (Use of ChatGPT to Clarify Possibility of Dialogue of Higher Quality, 2023; Second-order Dialogue and Higher Order Discourse for the Future, 2023)

Whilst the challenge in what follows is that of reconciling logical patterns from different contexts, of potential subsequent relevance are the cognitive implications to which those patterns refer. In the Western case these typically emphasize the rational focus most characteristic of logical computer operations — but only too evidently impotent with respect to conflictual situations. The Eastern case is associated with a degree of subtlety extensively interpreted through metaphor. This tends to invite cognitive engagement evoking aesthetic dimensions — an appropriate complement to the horrors of conflict.

The concern with “reconciliation” concludes with a focus on the requisite collective memorability of complex global strategic initiatives and how that is to be enabled if they are to be viable. Given the effort by the UN Secretary-General to envisage the nature of future global cooperation through a report titled Our Common Agenda (2021), how is “common” to be articulated in the UN’s planned Summit of the Future (2024) — potentially with the aid of AI?


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