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Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities: experimental ordering of a collection of research papers (Part #16)

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Reflection on the themes repeatedly explored at different times in the collection of papers on this site suggests that they might be usefully clustered in terms of particular polarities (rather than in terms of the 35 themes on the website menu). This approach is somewhat consistent with that used by W T Jones (The Romantic Syndrome: Toward a New Method in Cultural Anthropology and History of Ideas. 1961) and discussed elsewhere. As mentioned in the papers, the emphasis on polarities has also been developed in relation to tensegrity (Transcending Duality through Tensional Integrity, 1978; Implementing Principles by Balancing Configurations of Functions, 1979), value polarities (1991), and strategic dilemmas (1992, 1995), including their mapping (1992). Each of the polar topics above effectively describes, a particular journey that interweaves with others. For that reason, some items may be listed under more than one polarity.

The approach is seen as suggesting a methodology that could be applied to other bodies of work. In a separate paper (Configuring Conceptual Polarities in Questing: metaphoric pointers to self-reflexive coherence, 2004) the set of polarities is then explored, as a challenge to comprehension, through a set of complementary metaphors that may usefully point to the nature of that higher order. The metaphors are then used to clarify the nature and intent of the writing process itself.

A previous attempt to configure the above papers explored use of concentric circles divided into sectors (In Search of Transformational Pathways: bibliography of studies conducted from 1962 to 1981 under the auspices of the UIA and Mankind 2000, 1981).