In philosophy, a dialectical triad is a progression of three philosophical ideas. Thesis, antithesis and synthesis. The first idea is followed by a second idea that negates the first. Then the conflict between the first and second ideas is resolved by a third idea. And in the end, you have a new idea that reveals a deeper truth about the world.
TRYADS -- Combining the concrete, abstract and absolute to have greater impact with your ideas
This tool is like a three panel comic strip. In the panel one, a character states their position. In the panel two, another character disagrees, rejects, counters or objects. And in panel three, both characters are brought together by some greater wisdom. This ancient framework for organizing ideas is a powerful tool in the art of storytelling. Whether you’re writing, making a presentation, proposing an idea during a meeting, or simply trying to help someone understand you point of view, the progression of thesis, antithesis and synthesis are quite helpful. Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Done and done. Hegel, the philosopher who pioneered this triad, said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two. He knew that the dialectical method was a continuous and unending mechanism for building on ideas.
During the production of my product development and innovation card game, this triad made my writing process much easier. Knowing that I had to start with an intellectual proposition, introduce a critical perspective on it, and then solve the conflict by reconciling their common truths, my ideas had guardrails. Constraints were introduced. And prolificacy ensued. Here are a few of my more ridiculous ideas that follow the framework. Product number one. Ugly people want to get better at dating, but because of their looks, they don't have the opportunities to practice. How can we solve this paradox of beauty? Goblin is an innovative new dating app for ugly people who have low confidence and need romantic practice when the stakes are low. Our pressure free dating experience empowers hideous people to just relax, explore their boundaries and improve their dating skills, without all the stress of attractiveness. Goblin. Who needs beauty when you're all beasts? Okay, product idea number two. The average household receives eight hundred pieces of junk mail per household, equal to nearly two trees every year. Meanwhile, one tree produces about a hundred pounds of toilet paper a day. But since there's no stopping this paper train, let's redirect it. Repaper is a shredding, recycling and manufacturing center where you drop off junk mail, which is repurposed as toilet paper, and distributed to people who need it most. This keeps our trees in circulation, puts wasteful catalogues where they belong, and allows people to clean themselves with something other than their hand.
Next time you’re trying to convey a message to an audience, see if you can reveal a deeper truth about the world. Use this progression to illuminate greater wisdom. How could you combine the concrete, abstract and absolute to have greater impact with your ideas?
Organize your ideas for optimal communication
Engage people with narratives that win them over
Use your ideas to reveal deeper truths about the world
Connect your message at the deepest possible level to influence human behavior