Hello. Wouldn't it be great if every choice we faced was binary; this or that, up or down, left or right.
The problem is life, science and research are rarely that tidy despite the temptation to make it so and that's what this post is about. When you're reading research or writing assignments it's sometimes tempting to go with the 'one thing or the other' approach as it's easy to write and means that more often than not you won't have to read too much.
But it probably won't get you a good mark and it won't leave you with the feeling that you've done your best.
And more to the point, as tempting as it is, there's often more potential outcomes and options than just two.
The reason why I'm squarely blaming Descartes for this relatively modern obsession is because he was one of the first philosophers to propose that the mind and body were split into two discrete elements-and it really caught on. Suddenly dualism was everywhere and people were dividing things into two categories as explanations for social phenomena. At the moment, dualism is enjoying a renaissance which is interesting and a little surprising. Although maybe it's to do with people wanting simple answers to complex problems in times of uncertainty-it's just a thought.
Anyway, if you want to look up concepts like dualism use Credo, our online database of encyclopedias; it's easy to use and provides enough detail to get you started on most topics.
Finally, remember that most issues are not black and white; subtlety or nuance are important skills when discussing and writing about topics and need to be honed like any other. That always comes from reading and making connections between authors and findings.
As always, come and see me if you want to discuss any of these issues, along with help and advice on anything else.
Society of Business Economists writing prize
13 hours ago