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Towards the systematic reframing of incomprehension through metaphor


Living with Incomprehension and Uncertainty (Part #14)


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It is curious the manner in which "incomprehension" is effectively excluded as a factor in considering the challenges of society and its future governance. It is even more curious that instances of incomprehension are naively treated as the fault of the other.

There is  a case for recognizing a global system characterized by zones of relative comprehension and incomprehension. Using a meteorological metaphor, as indicated above -- whether "temperature" and/or "pressure" is used as a template -- this offers a way of recognizing the potential variety of comprehension conditions within a global knowledge society. Such a mapping avoids the easy assumptions of those who claim to "know" and "comprehend" -- however incomprehensible (and violent) their disagreements with others sharing similar assumptions regarding the respective "truths" they each so adequately comprehend. The mapping also gives space to those who are variously obliged to recognize that there is much they themselves do not comprehend -- especially to the extent that they have to deal with this experience of incomprehension on a daily basis.

This possibility is explored in Annex A in the light of an astrophysical metaphor and a biological metaphor.