Identity, Diversity, Set Theory: The Design of Concepts and Solutions for a better Future

    • IMG_5201
    • Presentation speakers
      • Gerhard Eichweber, Silva Plan / Value Group, Switzerland


    The concepts of identity, identification of self with others, such as persons, groups, artefacts etc. as well as the identification of individuals and Groups – and, thus, of any individual’s self – by others, are complex processes, which in part can be seen as semioses. Thus as sign-processes, in which individual aspects of individuals are perceived and interpreted as signs expressing identity. In this context, not only inborn or acquired qualities of an individual, but also artefacts, their preference, choice and specific use, serve as signs – both as proactively chosen and made statements of identity and identification of self and as perception and interpretation by others. In this context, “other” is applied to all which is not physically and mentally an inherent part of a person’s self. As identities are not identical, but different, it is important to differentiate thus given diversity. Diversity as a natural “given” contradicts the probably not so much human but animalic tendency, to generalise, which leads to egalitarian approaches and their ubiquitous infiltration in sciences. Some peculiarities of such human diversity, down to organic differences are reported as metaphors for the understanding of the limiting nature of prevailing concepts of “scientific”. For the purpose of understanding complex interrelations, it is important to recognise the utter significance of qualitative distinction in comparison to merely quantitative approaches. As shown in different papers, this applies above all to the concepts of society and economy and to the understanding of the deeper roots of “economic” crisis based on egalitarian reduction of diversity to insignificance, which in itself reduces identities and existences to insignificance. The fact, that it is this not taking individual difference and, thus, diversity, seriously into account, and that this repression of qualitative diversity is the very root of economic crisis, and many more problems of societies and conflicts between societies in the world, is still to be learnt by many. The concept of “Set Theory”, adopted from mathematical theory as a logical concept, may help to illuminate and understand why human diversity is not only a given not to be repressed, but an opportunity to better serve and reign over people by encouraging and catering to their vast range of individual distinction. Set theory allows to better understanding how people through their differing preferences regarding different topics can at the same time be members of different sub-sets. And how their self identification through choice of artefacts underlines both their identity and their distinction. Design as the method of conceiving and realising the Gestalt of artefacts according to humans and society, is the tool for systematically achieving individual successes, the sum of which, as the sum of all transactions realised based on the degree of satisfaction of customers’ preferences, is called “Economy” and leads, with employment, to prosperity. Design, however is also the method of improving the processes leading to better understanding and, thus, one would expect, better politics and administration. In this paper, in literal interpretation of the original definitions of “Design” since the Bauhaus, in combination with the definitions of the related terms “Gestalt” and “Artefact”, is chosen in its most vast and general understanding: Design as a process concerns all aspects – thus: the entire Gestalt – of all Artefacts. Artefact meaning all results of human activity and inactivity, thus: All. The paper relates to previous papers about economy, crisis, entrepreneurship versus both socialism and capitalism, employment and the ability of appropriate remuneration, as related to the “culture” of dealing with qualitative diversity and its distinction as well as realisation, and what this means regarding concepts such as education, democracy etc. Having defined as the most important of all equal rights for individuals as well as groups, societies, states and continents, the “equal right of being different”, thus, as the right of being, this paper adds another way of explanation as yet another piece to the puzzle of understanding the importance and priority of qualitative diversity and distinction over all, but above all over all merely quantitative aspects and criteria.