the yang doesn’t get the yin-yang

August 2, 2006

I’ve been engaged in a debate on a list serve with someone who has been using De Bono’s water and rock logic distinction to privilege dialogue over debate. I had made the innocent comment that debate produced good discussion and generally explored new ground in an interesting way, whereas dialogue tended to bland consensus if taken to extreme. At this point the consensus lovers went into full scale attack (which made for a fun debate). Their main argument was that rock logic is all about dualistic categories with one side being right and the other wrong, whereas water logic is open to any idea and is all about non-judgmental dialogue. Rock Logic apparently is Western and bad while Water Logic is Eastern and good. My response was that a western authors dualistic model was being used to argue against dualistic thinking and wasn’t this a contradiction? The argument continues, but talking it over with my co-author and longer term colleague Cynthia Kurtz she came up with a brilliant phrase to summarise the issue. It’s the title of this post.

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