5/3/2015 0 Comments
Abstraction and linearity- theory building and theory testing- inductive and deductive reasoning- philosophy and rational thinking.
Socrates- Plato and Aristotle working together for the same purpose...
Reflecting on the two first writing without thinking pieces, reinforces- with more clarity, my understanding of the gap - and the potential bridges between theory and praxis.
On the one hand- free "fall" thinking, abstraction, philosophy and channeling ideas through a socratic baby delivery questioning process, makes no sense- if its content is not linked with linearity, simplicity and application in the real world.
This first mental function, inductive and free way of thinking is where flow- new ideas are generated beyond linearity (paradox between psychic entropy, Csicksent). New frameworks are being conceived, with new understandings and possibilities. This Platonic/Socratic conceptual part has certain attributes that are considered the foundations of theory building (concepts and propositions). On the other hand- the conceptual part of this abstraction needs to be translated WITH linearity, articulation, simplicity and scientific mindset- by operationalizing concepts into variables, propositions into hypotheses- and abstraction of theory building into evidence and theory testing. This process is considered the foundation of inductive and deductive reasoning- and essential component of the scientific inquiry (tested, validated, published and approved by the gatekeepers of each discipline).
Providing well articulated linear and simple abstraction is needed for (social/public) consumption and application in practice. Clarity- based on well organized and established disciplines, is also important for institutionalizing new knowledge and new practice (social, educational, medical etc). However, this practice has its flaws- (luck of inter-connections between disciplines and absence of unity and holistic understanding).
On the other hand- abstraction, philosophy and lala-ivory tower academic-talk- can be totally disconnected from people, communities and societies- failing in this way to achieve a very basic function. The application of new knowledge in practice- with the assumption that production of new knowledge should aim the improvement of our understanding of the phenomena around us- and consequently- improvement human condition!
Linear connection with previous sections:
Both functions (inductive and deductive reasoning) should be embraced without limits. Both proficiencies are needed in knowledge deconstruction and abstraction- linked with linear- scientific- evidence based operationalized abstraction- applied in practice and expressed in simple well (re)defined variables (applied theory building and theory testing).
In short- this is the main foundation of theory building (Platonic/Socratic) and theory testing (Aristotelian linearity, logic and epistemology). Both functions combined (abstraction, intersection and interplay between inductive and deductive reasoning)- tested - filtered and approved by the scientific community of each discipline, (gatekeepers). This is the existing "mechanism" of the existing and established culture of science and scientific enterprise. Many questions and challenges remain unanswered and unresolved though.
Does over specialization (mastery and proficiencies) often lead to reductionism and knowledge without unity across other aspects of reality?
Do gatekeepers have the ability to conceive new abstractions beyond the already established knowledge?
Are gatekeepers- often trapped in knowledge they've already produced, based on which- they've already gained popularity, tenure, grants and reputation?
Would deconstruction of existing knowledge- and potential change of the existing paradigm be threatening and uncomfortable- as an expected reaction of the humankind to any change- even positive?
If the main purpose of the production of new knowledge (scientific and academic) aims to serve humanity (by definition- this is what universities and academia exist for) then the answer should be linear and simple. The problems around us call us for creative deconstruction and reform of the existing paradigm- enriched with more abstraction, creative and non-linear brain power- translated and tested with evidence from the field-and with bridges across people (cognitions/mental connections) disciplines- agents and agencies across cultures.
We still have a long way to go! Acknowledging though the anomaly of the existing paradigm (diagnostics) is the first step of a journey towards new knowledge, new solutions- progress, innovation and change.
PS Note: Next step of this writing series- complete abstraction and link it with linearity- AMC Theory and application in today's reality. Renaissance-SFDT- O4H System's approach and O4H Governance translated into 12-year old talk and language.