Phase D—Component Propositions


“I have identified the premises and propositions that my project depends on, and can state counter-propositions. I have taken stock of the thinking and research I need to do to counter those counter-propositions or to revise my own propositions.”


Suppose that you have started getting a handle on what others have written and done (Phase B) and have clarified the direction of your project (Phase C). Yet, you still find yourself focusing on work that supports your views while avoiding opposing views. Now is the time, then, to tease out the additional research needed to prepare yourself to address an audience that does not already share your views.

Tools and Processes

Component Propositions


Note: The Component Propositions process opens your project even wider, but, without this, you run the risk of finding yourself, when time for new research is short, seeing that you needed to have paid more attention to alternatives to the propositions that underlie your project. You might take note of the similarities and differences between what emerges in Phases C and D in relation to the interplay of the creative—opening wider—and critical—focusing in—aspects of your thinking.

In session 5
Begin to use the Component Propositions process to take stock of the thinking (e.g., including revision of your propositions) and research that is needed in addition to the central strands of your project.

By session 6
For four to six different propositions, summarize the counter-propositions and counter-counter propositions, and identify any areas that need more research that have been exposed.

Follow up

Keep a list of the areas needing more research in front of you when you prepare your design for further research and engagement during Phase E.