Conjecture: To study «» naturally, it is necessary to study endeavour, because consciousness probably exists to enable endeavours. Active consciousness is generally referred to as « » or « ». It assumes a fully alert state.
Inquiry into the personal and social side of endeavours demands self-awareness. It is not possible to master your own functioning if you are not mindful. You cannot become aware of how another is functioning without experiencing some resonance with their inner state.
The discovery of taxonomic Frameworks emerged from consulting in a collaborative fashion with leaders to assist them to meet challenges. The leader-clients had to willingly agree to commit to formulations on critical matters. Nothing occurred in projects without that commitment. This type of inquiry has much in common with action research or grounded theory, as perennially re-invented. However, it differs by consciously focusing on developing generalizations and fundamentals applicable to anyone, anywhere. Read more about THEE in social science.
Making the psychosocial element explicit and conscious poses the question:
Are we in control of ourselves?
It seems that, mostly, we are slaves—to our biology, to our habits, to our ideologies. Focus on the human element helps us design and pursue our endeavours more effectively and in a humane way. However, it demands we reject slavery and choose liberty—which means valuing and pursuing awareness, including reflecting on our values, thoughts and actions.
Inquiry must be conducted precisely when a person is fully committed and cognizant that they and others will judge their functioning.
Such inquiry is potentially intrusive and will not occur unless the person responsible believes the inquirer is able to help them handle their challenges.
In these situations, the client and consultant become pre-occupied with what ought to be done. So both inquiry and intervention are inherently and unavoidably ethical.
A «person» is a purposeful social being: the simplest and quintessential human system. From a first person or consciousness perspective, this is « ». We are each capable of conscious awareness in relation to our endeavours. However, our social world is populated by other more complex unique beings (Syn. individuals, bodies, units, systems). These are explicitly created and organised to engage in endeavours. So they lie within our inquiry remit.
Bodies with an independence and capacity to function purposefully still remain dependent on people within them. Without persons, with their capacity to be creative, political, adaptable, hard-working &c, there would be no families, associations, communities, or governments.
Once brought into existence, social bodies take on a life of their own and become part of the social environment. Due to their complexity and power, both good and bad activities may be enormously magnified. Still, whatever is done remains the responsibility of someone.
Human aggregates and statistical entities which are not true «beings» include: crowds, networks, the «hive» mind, socio-economic classes, everyone whose surname starts with R, academic conceptual groups like «all extroverts», i.e. any accumulation of people devoid of a unifying purpose and capacity for awareness and reflection. These also require study, but from a slightly different perspective.
or or are terms used to emphasize unitary phenomena. is the term often used to emphasize or the relevance of , or the possibility of Note that the label «system» can refer to almost anything, because a systems-thinker sees everything as a system.
As well as competitive survival urges, each person is driven by a variety of creative and ethical states, and also social pressures. These properties of persons colour and shape the functioning of their organizations and societies. It is not clear yet whether or not computer intelligence or a futuristic Internet will be able to function in a spontaneous, willing/unwilling, self-interested and idealistic, conventional and political way. Unless it does, it may be far quicker in calculation and far more knowledgeable than we are, but it will never demonstrate personal functioning or possess the equivalent of personal intelligence.
Details of inquiry methods are not provided on this website. However, the following Topics cover issues that are not always well-understood.
Other supporting material:
Originally posted: August 2009; Last updated 22-May-2014.