This entry is part [part not set] of 14 in the series A theory of perspective

As the title suggests, this theory is an attempt to explain everything relates to the word “perspective”, such as: “keep a fresh perspective”, “look at the problem in a different perspective”, “different persons have different perspectives” or “try to understand the perspective of the other”. All of the advice is good, but it’s always easier said than done in practice. If there is theory to explain what exactly a perspective is, then we don’t need those advice anymore.

The theory is stemmed from two analogies in the preface of a small poem book, whose author has borderline personality disorder, and is a big fan of Zhuangzi, a Taoist philosopher. The applications will be:

  • Analogy
  • Writing
  • Finding the balance point
  • Communication and perspective taking
  • The cold gaze

To be specific, here are the questions that each section trying to answer:

  • Analogy: Why do analogies help us understand a problem we don’t understand? How to reason with analogy without making logical fallacy?
  • Writing: How to explain a concept when the novice really lacks background? What does it mean to have a transformative writing? What does “big picture” really mean?
  • Finding the balance point: Why are efforts to be adaptive become maladaptive? Why is it hard to balance between disciplinary and flexibility? How to stop the indecisiveness without worrying of doing wrong?
  • Communication & perspective taking: Why do people keep misunderstand each other? Why do others keep distorting our words? Why don’t we realize that we are distorting theirs? How to solve it when it happens?
  • The cold gaze: How to see your core value when your mind is clouded with fantasies, ruminations, resentments, or fears?

Each of them has been studied separately in different fields: cognitive linguistics, stylistics, decision making, communication & social psychology, and cognitive therapy. Their root, however, all origin from cognitive psychology, the study about how knowledge is organized and retrieved in our mind. There are researches to connect cognitive psychology to each field, but it doesn’t seem to have a research to gather all such connections in one place.

The underlying philosophies of it are Taoism, Buddhism, postmodernism, and perhaps romanticism. The discussion section will scramble a bit about the nature of information, metaphysics, epistemology, neurocognition, semantics, and physics. They are just minor points, and the readers don’t need to know any of them. The author doesn’t claim that they know too.

Because the writing section is quite long and scary, there will be a tea break after it. The tea break will discuss about logical naïve realism, intellectual betrayal, and fearlessness – everything that an independent researcher may face. The readers may want to grab some food or take a walk before continue. They may also want to avoid reading this article on phone too, because that would be terrible for their spines.

Sometimes a non-blind doesn’t aware that they are blind, and sometimes the blind can have a vision that the non-blind cannot understand. With this theory, I hope having a new perspective and taking the perspective of others when you need to do it most are no longer impossible.

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