Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

September 19, 2006

Five Philosophical Propositions on Conflict Resolution, Part One

Kenneth Cloke’s new book, The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey Into the Heart Of Dispute Resolution, is a book by an experienced mediator about many things, including his conclusions after many years of a rich and varied practice. Ken will be interviewed this fall and early winter in Engaging Conflicts Today, and has given permission to excerpt portions of his book here. Here’s a partial list of philosophical assumptions he makes about conflict — the remaining propositions will be posted later in the week:

1. No two human beings are the same.

2. No single human being is the same from one moment to the next.

3. The interactions and relationships between human beings are complex, multidetermined, subtle, and unpredictable, if only because they involve two or more different, constantly changing individuals.

4. Conflicts are even more complex, multidetermined, subtle, and unpredictable.

5. Most conflicts take place beneath the surface, well below the superficial topics over which people are fighting, and often hidden from their conscious awareness.

Ken’s book can be purchased directly from his publisher, Janis Publications:

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