Towards 40 principles of contradictions creation, or
Why scientists and lawyers do not understand and despise each other.

TRIZ proposed tools of contradictions resolution. But what is about tools of contradictions creation ? While most of the areas of human creativity (such as sciences, engineering, etc.) need the former, there are areas which need the latter. One of them is art. Another one is law. Let's speak today of the latter.

Firstly, it has to be emphasized that I am not talking about creating trivial contradictions. Anybody can do it. As anybody can make inventions of the first level. I am talking about creating amazing contradictions. Here is an example. There was a case in Canada when two people were arrested for a murder. The Crown prosecutors had enough evidence to believe that one of them shot and killed a person. However they did not know who of the two. Then the judge proposed a paradoxical solution: try one for the murder and the other one for the firing of the very same bullet !

This is an example of the very true law approach. The logical approach would be to drop the charges on the grounds that prosecutors could not determine who of the two was the killer. This is exactly how a similar case was resolved in Russia in the 1950s.

It took place in the times when prosecutors were demanded by Khruschev to strictly adhere to the presumption of innocence principle and do not force suspects into confession. Moreover, confession itself was declared to be no proof in courts. (A stark contrast to the contemporary worldwide practices when confession is still recognized as a proof.) The essense of the case was as follows. There was a fight between two brothers and a third person. The third person was stabbed once but fatally. It was logically to assume that one of the brothers stabbed him (two people cannot simultaneously hold one and the same knife and the victim had just one wound). But the brothers refused to cooperate with the investigators which is why there was no way to determine who of the two actually stabbed the victim. Trying to not violate the presumption of innocence principle the prosecutors dropped the charges. The lack of creativity and ignorance of the methods of creating amazing contradictions did not allow them to charge one with murder and the other one with piercing of the very same knife through the body of the victim !

Paradoxically enough, such contradictions creation can also be viewed as contradictions resolution. Indeed, one can argue that in the first case prosecutors were facing a contradiction: one of the two has to be charged because it is known that one of the two is the killer, and none of them have to be charged because it is not known which of the two is the killer. The resolution of the contradiction is as usually accomplished by separating between opposites: one of them charged with killing but not charged with firing the bullet, and another one charged with firing the bullet but not charged with killing. But anyway such a contradiction resolution creates a logical contradiction and better called contradiction creation.

The law is full with such amazing contradictions and the lawyers have a very specific way of thinking which is hard to understand by other people. That is probably why the scientists have the high contempt towards lawyers (as completely illogical creatures) and lawyers in their turn despise scientists for inability to think correctly ! Here is an example that highlights the difference between the logical and correct thinking.

Suppose that you were involved in a car accident because of a sudden heavy rain which reduced your visibility to almost zero. Was the rain a mitigating or aggravating factor in your case ? Here is how the logical thinking goes: there was no signs of the approaching rain; it came suddenly in a split second; there was no way to stop car immediately; but the visibility became almost zero momentarily; hence you did what you could but the rain aggravated the situation and thereby mitigated your guilt (if any at all). But here is how the correct (from a lawyer prospective) thinking goes: you did not have experience of driving in the very heavy rain when visibility is almost zero; but nevertheless ventured to drive in it; hence you are reckless and this aggravates your guilt !

In logics axioms are fixed but conclusions vary. The variation of conclusions is boundless depending on the input data to which the axioms are applied. In law, conversely, there are limits to the variation of conclusions but axioms are not fixed. Basically it is hard to say what axioms are. There are only explicit and implicit limitations on the possible conclusions. For example, if there is a guilt, then somebody has to be guilty. (It is, of course, an implicit constraint.) It is almost impossible to make weather or other external factors responsible. (Also a kind of "the closed world condition".) That is why in car accidents the guilt practically never attributed to weather. The "logic" of the rulings is always retroactively tailored to fit this limitation.

There are also explicit constraints, which look very much like axioms. For example, the famous "ignorance of law does not excuse" which probably was the first amazing contradiction created back in the Roman times. We got so used to this formula that simply ceased to realize that it is a contradiction which constrains the outcome of reasoning rather than an axiom which serves as its starting point or as a rule of deriving conclusions.

Imposing limitations on the possible conclusions (rather than fixing the axioms of deriving them) is meant to make the evasion of responsibility difficult (if possible at all). In so doing the court decisions accumulated numerous techniques of amazing contradictions creation. Would not it be worthwhile to collect them and put to use in TRIZ ? I foresee an objection: why does one need it if TRIZ is concerned with contradictions resolution ? Well, if you still have this question then you are thinking logically rather than correctly !