What does 'poles on a continuum' mean? The full sentence is below. There have been two ways that have been suggested, overarching ways, that represent, if you like, poles on a continuum.
Aug 30, 2018 10:37 AM
Answers · 6
A "continuum" is a continuous series with no gaps or breaks in it. For example, the rainbow is a kind of continuum of colours going from red to purple with no gaps, continuously changing from one colour to another. The natural numbers between 0 and 1 are also a continuum, because between 0 and 1 are 0.1, 0.2 etc. Between 0.1 and 0.2 are 0.01, 0.02 etc. There are no gaps in the series, the values increase continuosly. The poles of a continuum are the end points. For example, some people say that political positions are a continuum. "Left wing" and "right wing" are "poles on a continuum". "Authoritarian" and "liberal" are also "poles on a continuum". So the meaning of the original sentence is: There are two opposite methods, but we do not have to choose one or the other, because there are many positions between them. For example, we could choose a method which is 70% A and 30% B, even though A and B are opposites.
August 30, 2018
poles on a continuum-opposite ways/ideas/states. Ex: Creation and destruction, birth and death exist as poles on a continuum.
August 30, 2018
Usually, "poles on a continuum" mean the opposite ends of a spectrum. In this case, they are probably saying the "two ways" are approaches that are opposite to each other.
August 30, 2018
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