Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Laske rehash

I've posted on these before, but they came up again in the FB IPS discussion:

I was re-reading some Ning IPS posts on Otto Laske, like this one and the one following it when he responds to Michael Commons. A few excerpts:

"And while conceptual clarifications can help, if all the theory does is to 'pin down' a person 'at' at s
tage or 'between' stages (as most stage theories do), then we have already lost the dialectics that is relevant here."

"This is also demonstrated by logical ('closed system') thinking being overcome, eventually, by 'post-'formal thinking or dialectical thinking (you say 'metasystematic' which is close but not the same as dialectical, in my view). I call this property of systems to be pervaded by absences their negativity (to speak with Bhaskar), and this absence will eventually catch up with systems (including theories) – as it does with the real world, too -- and make it break down or be seen more clearly as limited (which is the same thing, one ontological, the other epistemological)."

"I am also concerned with effects of systems on human agents because systems are typically used to classify, constrain, and subdue individuals, often with the pretension of 'helping' them (as in 'developmental coaching')."

"Now, when you look into this non-identical further, you come upon exactly those ABSENCES I spoke about above, gaps that changed thinking or real change will fill – there would be no change without absences pervading reality. This then leads to the distinction Bhaskar makes between 'reality' and 'actuality' where all that the sciences deal with is actuality but never reality which is a deeper concept."

"So, I guess I am looking for a developmental science – not just of humans – that can cope with Absences and is dialectical enough not to mistake actuality (which is transitory) for reality (which is violently transitory)."

Also see this Laske article in the Aug/Nov ’13 issue of ILR. The first 2 paragraphs question the scientific or ‘objective’ facts claimed by developmentalists and see them more as a product of their unconscious societal biases. One of those biases is that very blindness in accepting the modernist (formal) premises of a pure objectivity apart from more subjective biases, as if science or math could get outside of context and determine the final ‘truth’ of things. Another example of that is the incessant obsession with classification in the third paragraph, and that those classes are rigidly structured with clear dividing lines: you’re either in the classification or not. Laske doesn’t see this a representative of dialectical thinking but a continuation of formal logic.

Also see this Ning IPS post. 

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