Friday, May 29, 2015

Laske on dialectic revisited

A blast from the past I was re-reading Mark Forman's interview of Otto Laske. I commented on the interview in this post, copied below.

“You cannot access dialectical thinking if you do not practice it yourself” (38:40).

Prior to that he discussed the 4 phases of such thinking. The first is being able to contextualize a situation structurally. The second is seeing it as a process that includes both presence and absence. The third is seeing the relationships therein, how both identity and difference interplay. The fourth is how the first three lead to transformation.

Forman returns to the question of development as a social theory, noting that there are hundreds of models that report a similar structure to our biological, neurological and psychological makeup. So how then can development just be a social construct? Laske answers that indeed there is a biological basis for formal operating thinking, and that once we as a race attain to it we will of course see such consistent structures. He relates this to the first phase of dialectical thinking. These theories know little of the other phases noted above (44:00).

Therefore such developmental models, enacting the formop or perhaps first stage of dialectical thinking, unconsciously support the societal control structure inherent to that level, i.e., the capitalist paradigm with its command-and-control hierarchical structures. Which of course also play out in structural developmental models (47:00).

I'd add that these later forms of dialectical thinking are what we see in much poststructuralist thinking, not to be confused with postmodernism per se. And that the developmental structuralists, caught in their own unconscious social constructions, can only interpret that as some sort of relativism and pluralism (green meme), since they themselves have not advanced into the other phases of this sort of dialectic. As someone once said, “the way out of postmodernism is through it” and these developmental structuralists have yet to go through it.

He relates this to the AQAL model and perspective taking, which are more classification schemes representative of structural thinking. It is not the same as dialectical thinking (52:00). Forman defends AQAL as a tool that can lead to the sort of dialectical thinking Laske is talking about and Laske agrees. But AQAL is missing the 'you' dimension, which is about dialogue and the relationship phase of identity and difference (57:00).

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