Ton quotes Rorty on Catch-22 – Ton Zijlstra‘s post “Wrong Vocabulary” includes a quote from Rorty, which is another good statement of my Catch-22 [Quote] It reminds me of American pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty who stated that it is not possible to argue the pragmatist case with the vocabulary of Platonian dichotomies, the very thing it aims to replace. The Platonian vocabulary simply is not fitted out for this. [Unquote]
Rational logic is not (entirely) useful when dealing with humans,
and is particularly useless when trying to explain or justify why.
In fact Ton’s post precedes the Rorty quote with a conversation prompted by Verna Allee about social change [Quote] … change is not something you can plan, or can set goals in and then work towards them …. being able to gain understanding of social issues and conventions in an organisation may well be the first step in working towards (evolutionary) change …. the combination of design and social change implicitly contains the wish to make social change a controlleable process …. there is no such control, nor is it needed …. we can work towards change, but we’ll never be sure of the outcome. [Unquote] reminds me not only of my MBA thesis on the subject of organisational cultural change, but also that quote from Northrop [Quote] the basic paradox of our time [is that] “sound” theory tends to destroy the state of affairs it aims to achieve [Unquote] (His scare quotes, not mine). As good a statement of the Catch-22 as any I’ve heard.
Verna Allee takes much the same line as myself about not wasting time with traditional logical arguments [Quote] Winning the uphill battle [against command and control management mentality] would merely amount to showing how the ‘new’ fits in with the ‘old’. The thing is: it doesn’t, and it doesn’t have to either. [Unquote] This is very Tom Peters too, as in Ready, Fire, Aim.