Thinking - in terms of processes
We have opted for an approach in which anything within the
fields we are concerned with is conceptualised in terms of processes.
This implies that what is to be analysed is the on-going and
Thinking - in terms of "populations" or "ensembles"
Following population thinking - as developed by evolutionary
theory - we have adopted the notion of populations consisting
of unique individuals.
In logical terms a taxon, the name applied to the taxonomic
group covering such a population, is not a "class"
of individuals with identical characteristics, but an "ensemble"
of individuals, which have to be assigned to that ensemble in
accordance with criteria to be decided upon.
Thinking - in terms of "figurations"
Following Norbert Elias we have opted for an approach in which
all processes involving a plurality of units are conceptualised
as "processes in figurations".
(We are referring here to core idea of the theoretical-empirical
models of games as developed in "What is Sociology?"
- not to the use of the notion "figuration" in figuration
sociology where figurations are mostly treated as wholes.)
THE COMBINED APPROACH
If one combines these three approaches into one it appears
that LANGUAGE, SOCIETY and CULTURE have to be considered as continuously
changing results of the processes of interaction among the involved
It seems that this approach may also turn out to be fruitful
in other fields.
We use the term POLYLOGUES for the interactive processes
actually taking place - whenever the units involved are human
(More about our usage of the term "polylogues" in:
Polylogue - a paradigm for cultures [http://www.inst.at/studies/s_0802_e.htm]
Learning in Polylogues)