Circumventing the logic and limits of representation: Otherness in East-West approaches to paradox
Oxford University Press
Reason for embargo
This is the author accepted manuscript. It is currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by the publisher
Paradox has become a popular theme in management and organization studies. In this chapter contribution, we argue that paradox arises, not from our phenomenal experience, but from our efforts at conceptualizing it through the logic of comprehension dominating Western thought. We identify an Aristotelian-inspired ‘Being’ ontology and a corresponding representationalist epistemology as the primary underlying cause of paradox in truth claims made on empirical observations. We draw on a Heraclitean-inspired tradition in the West, which resonates deeply with a traditional Oriental approach, to show how paradox may be circumnavigated through an alternative logic of Otherness. Underlying this alternative metaphysical outlook is an ontology of Becoming which takes flux and change as pervasive and inexorable. Language and logic are thus seen as futile attempts to fix the unfixable. Embracing a Becoming worldview of reality enables us to recognize the limits of logic and representation and to deal with the paradoxes associated with it by developing more nuanced and oblique modes of communication and responses. A Becoming world-view sensitizes us to a necessary Otherness always already immanent in representational truth claims.
In: Handbook of Organizational Paradox: Approaches to Plurality, Tensions and Contradictions Oxford University Press Edited by: Marianne W. Lewis, Wendy K. Smith, Paula Jarzabkowski, and Ann Langley. Chapter 6
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