Aporia

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Derrida in his later life became more and more preoccupied with what has come to be termed “possible-impossible aporias” – aporia was originally a Greek term meaning puzzle, but it has come to mean something more like an impasse or paradox. In particular, Derrida has described the paradoxes that afflict notions like giving, hospitality, forgiving and mourning. He argues that the condition of their possibility is also, and at once, the condition of their impossibility. - Jacques Derrida (1930—2004)

His philosophy of deconstuction led to the idea that if something has worked before, exploiting it was not a decision but just an application, it is just programming. You only are forced/required to make decisions where you don't have an obvious solution. The need for leaders to be able to contemplate Aporia (the state) is critical as they are rarely exploiting prior solutions in a time of crisis but are truly making decisions (see Zhen's blog post). This defines a mindset (allowable use?)

"the instant of a decision is a madness"

The idea that disorder encompasses Derrida’s idea of Aporia first came from John van Breda. Derrida appears to have meant Aporia to cover that embracing contradiction rather than trying to avoid it or trying to enforce contradictions into neat or tidy classification or solutions. This interpretation harks back to the original Greek use of the term and not strictly Derrida's meaning of an impasse or paradox. In Cynefin this led to the reframing of disorder as either Aporetic (Aporia being the noun form and therefore the state) or Confused and allowing for embracing of this state. Where originally we would have looked to recast or destruct the items in disorder, so we can move them to one of the other domains we now acknowledge that this state has validity and this has lead to the definition of the Aporetic Turn. This leads to disequilibrim or what we often call messy coherence which is another corner stone of Cynefin.

It should be noted that the idea of dealing with contradictory ideas is something that many others in philosophers and artist have also considered. There is Aristotle idea of golden mean, Kierkergaard either/or and Lupasco included middle to name a few. One of the more notable being Fitzgerlad's

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up. 1945


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