Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Questioning Laske

Continuing from this post, here are more excerpts from the ILR article linked in the last post with my commentary to follow.

"I outlined in volume 2 of Measuring Hidden Dimensions that and how cognitive development can be conceived as a progression through four epistemological eras, from Common Sense to Understanding to Reason on to Practical Wisdom. The transition between each two of these eras is characterized by the fact that steps taken in cognitive achievement are never rescinded, except perhaps in mental illness. Consequently, they gradually begin to occur in parallel, or more concisely, in layers, and arrive at their end gathered together as integrated dimensions that form a complete transformational system, with intricate relationships between them.

"The progression by which humans mature cognitively has a well-paced beginning and a foreseeable ending, in that all four strands representing the four eras come together and coalesce. It is as if one were to follow four rivers, each starting at a subsequent location relative to the first, but ultimately, coming closer and closer, together making up a broad stream of sea-going proportions. Clearly, this is an entirely different progression than the social-emotional one, not only because it does not occur in stages but in phases, but also in that it is multi-dimensional."

After describing the 4 phases of dialectical thinking he says of the final phase:

"One can integrate multiple, mutually interdependent perspectives, not just in breadth (as in integral thinking), but in depth. This means that we discard all formalistic thinking [my emphasis], even thinking 'in quadrants', because we can see the quadrants as mere moments of a totality we already grasped when we entered the world of R [relationship, the 3rd phase]."

One seeming contradiction from the last 2 posts is that between the four epistemological eras "steps taken [...] are never rescinded," and yet "we discard all formalistic thinking." He describes Understanding as that formal thinking, so again we have confusion between what is included and what is replaced. The first quote sounds akin to Gebser's integral-aperspectival, where all four are integrated and co-exist, and yet apparently the associated (world)views of each before such dialectical integration are not. I'll research Laske more for clarification on that.

Another point in the last ILR article is in describing Common Sense as "a deep capability that is strongly rooted in the human body. One might see it as somatic knowledge, a kind of ('unconscious’) knowledge that is in constant physiological fluctuation in a visceral and psychologically relevant way." And yet when we move from this to Understanding (formal logic) he characterizes common sense as "a buzzing and booming confusion" where there is no object constancy and no separation of self and environment. This is not at all supported by L&J's embodied realism, noting that our prerational image schema are based in such categorical differentiation. And not at all consistent with the likes of Bhaskar's notion of nondual ontic differentiation per se (differance) as noted in this recent post. Granted Laske is calling them epistemological eras but even within that frame it is not consistent with L&J's epistemological notion of real reason as an extension of prerational categorization.

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