Without Hypocrisy All is Tautology

Andy Martin has written another great piece for The Independent. Topical – as in Piers Morgan and the usual opinionated #Celebs / #Trump / #Brexit / #Corbyn bollocks that fills all our bandwidth – but spot on with the underlying subtlety of what is really going on.

We’ve lost perspective of real truth, we’ve got this expectation that it must be consistent in our every expression and complete in the sum total of our expressions.

Not appropriate or timely to “review” what Andy has written – go read, he’s far wittier than I – but my immediate response was to shout out for Brunsson – who made his name back in my (mature) Masters’ days on “Management Hypocrisy”. With (yikes!) almost 30 years of philosophical, metaphysical and epistemological study since then (mostly in the last 15 or so) my agenda has moved on from management in business organisations to governance (cybernetics) of human affairs at its most profound and general.

My Brunsson references are largely replaced by Gödel / Wittgenstein / Einstein – best summarised here, after Rebecca Goldstein – and also the likes of Shannon / Dennett / Rovelli.

Hypocrisy, contradiction, exceptions and paradox are not flaws in truth, they are an essential part. The essential part. The part we need to understand. “Exceptions that make the rule” sounds like a wise-crack but the cracks are how the light gets in. Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the enslavement of fools.

It may be scientific to seek internal consistency in any given model we hold, but life ain’t scientific. Important though science is, we need good fences between the scientific world-view and real life as lived and governed by our decisions.


Also published on Medium.

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