John refers to Kuhn and paradigms as a way through the problem. I
think what he says is useful and interesting but will not get where I
am attempting to go. I am attempting to take the ground that, as
John says, is not yet taken and become much more creatively able
thinkers - particularly as in communities of thinkers.
The use of pradigm and Kuhn's work is much argued about. The term's
meanings stretch from "scientific or other set of rules that
determine if one is in the field" to "a general model of the way
things work". I use paradigm for the earlier one because I find it
too limiting and implies something too specific for the more general
or social domain.
The nature of social "rules" of discourse and domains of accepted
conversation are far looser and subject to interpretive dialogue than
the scientific ones within their own sciences.
Part of the trouble is that we think that we *have* paradigms - or
other such constructs. I think it more powerful to approach it like
they *have* us. as Claude Levi-Struss said, "... not how men think
in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being
aware of the fact..."
I think he's talking about you and I, here, not about some "them".
That is, we are dealing with a universal condition. I think that
this condition has a greater possibility of being transcended over
and over again as a community activity rather than an individual one.
The area of interest to me here is the exploration of approaches
which are not inside the accepted thinking but which are in a
completely different domain. These are the approaches for exploring
"noise" or even for seeking or creating it where none seems to exist.
They are approaches of thinking rather than of the thoughts.
In Einstein's later life, he got interested in what allowed him to
come up with his thinking. To simplify, he said it was new language.
At about the same time (and same place), Saussure came up with
Semiotics which says that it's all language relationships. I think
that there is gold down this mine.
What you propose may be a subset of the larger question. (I'll
anticipate John Warfield by suggesting that Peirce be studied as an
American source of thinking about thinking.)
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk