[From Rick Marken (2003.12.01.1155)]
Bruce Gregory (2003.12.01.1247)--
> Rick Marken (2003.12.01.0930)
> The definition of conflict says that there is no solution to conflict
> because conflict is a state of impossibility; if there is a possible solution,
> then there is no conflict.
This strikes me as a bit odd. Just because there is a possible
solution, doesn't mean that the "parties" involved have found it, does
Right. And while the solution is not found (or not accepted -- see below) the parties will be
in conflict. But I would call this a _pseudo-conflict_. It's a false conflict because,
contrary to our definition of conflict, there is a solution for the implied system of
equations that define the conflict.
Here's an example of a pseudo-conflict. I say 11*11 = 1001. You say, no, 11*11 = 121. We
are in conflict because we want the same perceptual variable -- the solution to the equation
11*11=x -- in two different states. This is a pseudo-conflict because there is a solution:
11*11 = 1001 in binary and 11*11 = 121 in decimal. If we can agree that we were looking at
the situation in terms of different number systems, then there is no conflict: we are
actually controlling different perceptions. If, however, we insist that we are both looking
at the situation in terms of the same number system, the conflict remains. I would say that,
in that case, the conflict changes from a pseudo-conflict to an _unnecessary conflict_.
Now that I think of it, many of the conflicts we see on CSGnet are probably unnecessary
conflicts of this sort. One group says "PCT says this" and another says "No, PCT says that".
One group says "PCT doesn't account for this" and another group says "PCT does account for
that". I think the problem is analogous to the two number system problem, where one symbol
(11) is used to refer to two different quantities (decimal 11 and binary 3). I think the
groups in conflict on CSGNet are often using one symbol (PCT) to refer to two different
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971