Dialectical Thinking or Kick Box Thinking

Dialectical Thinking is a common way of resolving arguments in company meetings, families, scientific discussions and political debates. It is suggested that dialectical thought enable individuals  to tackle complicated issues once they acquire the capacity, to coordinate the characteristic contrasting and contradictory thoughts.

Often the process unfolds in a fixed pattern.

A person or a party (A) puts forward a statement or conclusion.

Then he gives two or three as convincing reasons or arguments that supports his position:

+ Pro is….

+Also pro is…

+And pro is…

Then, a second party or person tries to undermine or find a way to destroy the arguments of A.

If the person or party have undergone a training in negotiation, they will aim at the weakest  reason A has given. If they succeed to prove the given argument is false, then there is no need to destroy the stronger arguments because the proponent’s suggestion has already become implausible.

Then party B will present their arguments to prove that A’s conclusion is wrong.

– Against it is…

– Also against it is…

– And against it is…

Upon that, it is A’s turn to shoot down the arguments of the  opponent.

These types of discussion are in many ways fruitless. It is difficult to reach a conclusion and there is a lack of new ways to approach a problem. It is a constant kicking and boxing of ideas back and forth without
any true dialogue with others.

Above described pattern of Dialectic Thinking is deeply rooted in Western society.  Hegel suggested that this approach  were responsible for many of the achievement and discoveries made in particularly technology and medicine.

Basically, a sequential process is followed which assumes that once a thesis is formed, an antithesis must arise, and then, miraculously, a synthesis will be reached. Provided that the personal relations between the proponent and the opponent will be unaffected by this process of fighting each others arguments. Mostly, it is not.

Moreover, an A against B debate delivers seldom new insights outside the statement put forward. A proposal to increase the age for a state pension with two years will end up with an agreement or with a veto. By relying on dialectical thinking it is difficult to up with ideas of other possibilities to provide social security for the elderly, other than by a state pension.

Ideas such as the ones below would not be explored. One of them could, if improved upon, lead to a way of providing social security for the elderly.

– Increase the pension age with 5 years

–  End the pension age at 90

– Everyone is obliged to make savings for a pension

– Organise pension as a health insurance

– Only people with a university degree will have to work longer

– Everybody has to work 50 weeks before entitled to a pension

– The amount of pension depends on your earned income during your life – the higher income the less pension

Basically, Dialectic Thinking, also called :adversarial thinking”  is sequential in nature, and focused on the interchange of arguments.Or a Kick Boxing Thinking!

One answers to overcoming the limitations of traditional dialectic thinking is Parallel Thinking. This idea was designed by Edward de Bono. In Parallel Thinking both thinking parties look at the same direction (parallel), and the aim is to explore the unknown as the nineteenth century explorers travelled through continents. An advantage with this approach is that the more brain power is directed at the same point. All the involved parties try to find points for the argument and then they can switch at look for ideas against the suggestion. The result is a more rounded view of the suggestion that may lead to a better decision.

Photo:  Protection by graur razvan ionut

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