Paradox Lost: A Cross-contextual Definition of Levels of Abstraction (Linda G. Elson)
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Title: Paradox Lost
Sub-title: A Cross-contextual Definition of Levels of Abstraction
Author(s): Linda G. Elson
Editor(s): Alan Ponikvar
Publish Date: May 2010
|In this work Linda Elson is guided by an interest in bringing clarity by way of a definition to a central theme of communication theory--levels of abstraction. She notes that a "levels-perspective" has been often employed in various fields of study but has not itself been a topic of investigation. By rectifying this problem, Elson hopes that there will be an appreciation of the explanatory scope of such a perspective. To this end, this work's concluding chapter surveys and offers creative applications and suggestive implications of a levels approach to a wide variety of fields.|
Elson's work is grounded in Alfred Korzybski's program of "consciousness of abstracting" as well as Gregory Bateson's appropriations of Bertrand Russell's theory of logical types. But she argues that Korzybski and Bateson, for all they have done in turning attention to processes of abstraction and levels of logical typing, have nevertheless failed to provide a coherent definition of levels phenomena.
Her definition emerges as she explores levels phenomena that arise in logical paradoxes, considering in turn the liar's paradox, the prediction paradox, and the prisoner's dilemma. She then explores double binds that arise from paradoxical injunctions, and concludes her study with a delightful survey of jokes and a clever analysis of humor in light of the work on Henri Bergson.
Contents: At the Margins, a Remembrance. Thom Gencarelli. An Introduction to Paradox Lost, Lance Strate. Editor's Notes. Introduction. The Liar. The Prediction Paradox. The Prisoner's Dilemma. Comparing Lies, Predictions and Dilemmas. The Double Bind. Humor. Toward the Definition. Implications and Applications. A Levels-Orientation to Abstraction. Logical Typing, and Language More Generally, Corey Anton. Bibliography. Author Index. Subject Index.