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Workshop: Philosophy as an Instrument for Conflict Resolution Practitioners
One approach to conflict resolution, CMM (Coordinated Management of Meaning), prioritizes the search for coherence in meaning in various aspects of an individual’s life. Within the realm of practice, this is relevant to how practitioners temper their approaches to account for the way that involved parties create meaning. While CMM takes a communications perspective of meaning-making, conflict resolution practitioners’ reserve of framing tools is lacking a philosophical approach. Adopting a philosophical view, grounded in critical thinking, would guide the process of meaning-making by introducing a variety of lenses through which practitioners can understand conflict situations and stakeholder perspectives. Additionally, specific sub-disciplines within philosophy are already suited to this endeavor, like existentialism. In particular, this workshop will aim to enhance practitioners’ views of meaning by increasing their knowledge of theories of the creation of meaning. Four continental philosophers and their core beliefs on this subject will be explored – Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Camus. This paper will include a brief overview of meaning-making in conflict resolution, an abridged analysis of each philosopher’s theory, and an explanation of its potential applications in this field.