Appreciating conflict: Lessons from J

KronoScope 13 (2):248-267 (2013)

Raji C. Steineck
University of Zürich
Conflict is both a creative force in the establishment and a necessary condition for the sustenance of all higher modes of being. This, in short, I find to be one of the most ground-breaking insights of J. T. Fraser’s theory of “Time as a Hierarchy of Creative Conflicts.” As a consequence of this insight, I argue that to understand, with Fraser, the constitutive and creative function of some kinds of conflict will help us to accept, and even embrace, conflict not merely as a perpetual fact, as suggested by Stuart Hampshire, but as a necessary condition that makes possible whatever is of specific value in human culture. I go on to propose to distinguish between accidental and constitutive conflicts, and show how assessing conflicts accordingly can help to better manage them and avoid some destructive paths of action. The paper closes with some reflections on the limitations of the insight and its application
Keywords Conflict  Dialectics  Theory of time
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