4/22 – A New Approach to Dialog: Teaching the Dialectical Thought Form Framework – Part II: Dialoging Tools of Dialectic

Feature Articles / April-June 2017

 Otto Laske

Otto Laske

Otto Laske, Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM)

Part II: Dialoging Tools of Dialectic

Using a Short Table of Thought Forms

The reader now realizes that in order to understand the world around it, the thinking ego uses thought forms, and that grouped together thought forms make up a living, transformational system that increasingly develops over a person’s life time (“mind”).

Since the mind is a “system”, thought forms never exist in isolation; they are therefore always ready to be deepened, linked, and coordinated.

Since the thinking ego itself never appears, being “sheer activity” (Arendt), TFs expressed in speech are its only visible and audible evidence.

Even if speech is not voiced and remains “inner speech” (leading to action), it is nevertheless speech through which TFs make an appearance.

No matter how many thought forms we might decide to start with, naming them is a first crucial step. Embodying them in words makes them memorable, pointable-to, extendable.

For strictly pedagogical reasons, let us start with 12 thought forms, 3 for each of the four moments of dialectic. [CPRT x pel = 4TFs x 3TFs = 12TFs]

In the “short” Table 4 below rows present the four moments of dialectic (MELD) in the form of the 4 classes of thought forms (CPRT). They are differentiated by 3 columns that distinguish degrees of depth of dialectical thinking, thus of spelling out MELD.

PEL (p,e,l) Integration

As illustrated by the Process (P) class of TFs, the degrees of depth are the following:

  1. pointing to (p) — Pp
  2. elaborating (e) — Pe
  3. linking (l) — Pl

Let us call this sequence the “pel” sequence, or PEL.

The sequence indicates a progressive deepening of thought such that thoughts (“utterances”) initially pointing to X get elaborated further into X1 and finally become linked to other thought forms, such as Y to Z.

Although the pel sequence is outwardly linear, by expanding a thought to related thoughts the mind creates groupings or constellations of thought forms that leave all linear logical thinking behind.

The following “short” Table 4 illustrates the deep integration achieved by the PEL process through applying p,e,l to a single thought form in each of the CPRT classes of TFs. For historical reasons the numbering of the 28 Thought forms of the four classes has been:

Process TF#1-7, Context TF#8-14, Relationship TF#15-21, Transformation TF#22-28.

However, adult thinking begins in C (see Fig.4) – Context – so the both the table’s vertical order and the process is always CPRT.

Table 4, Integration, illustrates the process. To follow it refer to Table 5, Compact Table of Thought Forms, in which the p,e,l progression has been colored p gray, e grayer, l grayest.

The 4 classes of TFs listed in the first column of the “short” table above are sequenced in terms of how they show up in cognitive development, namely, in the sequence of C>P>R>T. To each of these class specifiers the tags p, e, and l are attached.

While [use of] Cp simply points to a whole composed of parts, a deeper way of articulating the whole as a context is indicated by Ce that elaborates a part- whole compound by describing its detailed structure. When elaborating this description further by way of Cl, the thinker entertains the notion that there is not simply a single compound to focus on. Rather, it may be seen in multiple ways, thus denoting viewpoints or frames of reference, or else that there exist, in fact, many different compounds all of which merge into a single one because of a constitutive relationship that holds them together.

Since thought forms guide attention, one might read the table as suggesting that there are 12 aspects of a subject matter, “X”, that a thinker can decide to focus on, depending on his/her depth of thinking, or level of cognitive development. In the case “X” stands for the concept of “house”, a thinker can choose to simply mention “house”, or can elaborate in detail what s(he) means when using the concept “house”.

Movements-in-Thought, and Listening, Constellations, and Coordination

Of course, a more developed thinker would not restrict her/himself to mere pointing-to but would either elaborate “X”, or link it to “X1” to “Xn”. Such a “movement-in-thought” regarding “X” can be pictured as a movement through Table 4 in real time, overriding its static two-dimensional form.

Accordingly, thought forms, in whatever class, take the form of extensions of each other, by which an initial movement-in-thought eventually “spills over” into another class of TFs. In this way, logical barriers break down that would have kept the thought confined to a particular class like a prison cell.

We therefore speak of “coordinating” thought forms of different classes, forming ever more powerful TF sequences (called Constellations below).

Listening is a form of knowledge acquisition based on absorbing, and decoding, the verbal representation of reality constructed by an interlocutor.

In terms of dialog, the p,e,l sequence discussed above has a second, related function, namely that of enabling deep listening (Sherratt 2002). In light of this, Table 4 is equally a map for listening-to-interlocutors that enables interventions driving dialog deeper. (This also holds for Table 5, below).

An interlocutor A listening to B, upon recognizing — or inferring — a thought form presently articulated by B can re-direct B’s train of thought in order to increase either the scope or depth of his/her thinking. S(he) can also decide to abstain from jumping off B’s train of thought, staying very close to it as in DTF cognitive interviews, and thereby help B realize the depth of thought that could be reached relative to where B began “thinking”.

Just as a speaker moves deeper and deeper into a particular subject matter, so an attentive, wholly present listener will resonate with what is said by an interlocutor, and then potentially move ahead of the latter to come to conclusions about, not only what the interlocutor is saying, but what s(he) could be saying and is for some reason withholding.

And then the listener, depending on a decision (she) makes about how to “be with” the interlocutor, can either focus on the deeper meaning of what was just said, or decide to move ahead of the interlocutor and challenge her/him, making her/him aware of missing elements in what she articulated.

And so ultimately, movements-in-thought are always simultaneously movements-in-listening. The two movements are intertwined in dialog, and thus are inseparable. One without the other sends us back into monological dialectic.

Using the Compact Table of Thought Forms

The p,e,l sequence, then, indicates a deepening of dialectical thinking over the course of a dialog or a text unfolding in real time (including as manifest in a text written by an individual or team).

But how “deep” is deep? Table 5: Compact Table, below, sheds light on this question, by expanding the 12 thought forms in Table 4 to 7×4 = 28 (Basseches 1984; Laske 2008).

(The DTFM contains detailed discussion of each thought form and its contrasts)

“Compact” Table 5 comprises 4 columns, one each for each class of thought forms, and 7 rows, one each for each thought form within each class. The thought forms (TFs) have integer names ranging from “1” to “28”, and can thus be referred to individually, both in using them and in describing them as heard in others’ speech flow.

Actually, the table is itself an expansion of the pel sequence, only that we are now no longer focusing on moments of dialectic (MELD; as in Table 3) but on the depth to which an initially used TF is extended.

In the naming of the TF, e.g., TF# 8, this greater depth is not indicated. Rather, it becomes manifest in more explicit TFs that follow the initially used TF further down in the “compact” Table 5 column (class of TFs). Thus, we “go into depth” as we descend down the column of the table, a movement that, in cognitive assessment by interview, is systemically evaluated.

Here as above, a good way to read the compact Table 5 as a living entity is to see it as a map for thinking about a subject matter “X” in 28 different ways, depending on the thought form class chosen (CPRT) and the aspect within it that attention is presently focused on.

As said above, the table is also a map for listening and for inferring thought forms appearing in texts (Frischherz 2013 a/b).

On further reflection, the seemingly only quantitative expansion of the short Table 4 into the compact Table 5 constitutes a qualitative modification. It makes it clear that there are two kinds of deepening of dialectical thinking that can occur:

  1. The first kind of deepening refers to a moment of dialectic (e.g., 1M) or an entire class of thought forms (e.g., C=Context), and results in a progression exemplified in the short Table 4: CpèCeèCl.
  2. The second kind of deepening refers to individual thought forms (within a class of TFs), and is exemplified in the compact Table 5 by the progression, e.g., from TF8 to TF14 (Context), and from there to other classes of TFs (P,R,T).

Let me explain this further.

As we move downward in a column or class of thought forms, e.g., from TF#8 to TF#14 in the compact Table 5, we increasingly refine TF#8 in its scope and meaning until we arrive at TF#14. Only together do (all) the Context thought forms TFs #8 to #14 spell out the dialectical meaning of “Context” relative to a specific subject matter, and similarly for the other classes of thought forms (P: TF#1-7; R: TF#15-21; T: TF #22-28). In short, the TFs comprised by a column together unfold a single moment of dialectic

For example, by moving from “contextualization of parts within a whole” (Table 5, TF#8) to “multiplicity of contexts” (TF#14):

What was originally only “pointed to” –namely that “a whole is composed of parts”—is increasingly elaborated by moving to consecutive thought forms such as TF#9, TF#10, TF#11, TF#12, TF#13, until reaching TF#14 which affords the broadest and deepest picture of a subject matter “X” thought about in terms of context (1M).

What is more, when a thinker is able to see that for some “X” there exist multiple contexts, not just one, s(he) has already reached the boundary between Context and Relationship! This is so because speaking of multiple contexts (as in TF#14) naturally leads to the assertion that there is a limit of separation between one context and another (TF#15).

In terms of expanding the scope of a thought, this means that s(he) can now explore what relationships exist between the contexts s(he) is focusing on. The focus of attention is now the Relationship class of TFs, and her/his former focus on Context has been superseded.

The movements-in-thought outlined above are not simply monological but rather dialogical.

They capture the unceasing give and take of a true conversation in real time. In such a process, thought forms brought forward by one participant will be taken up and expanded, critiqued, and re-formulated by co-participants or members of a team. As a result, dialog between individuals can be charted as a set of movements through the map represented by either the short or the compact table of thought forms, aligned with a commensurate listening process.

When we think of dialog in real time as structured by thought forms, both Tables 4 and 5 appear as a two-dimensional abstraction from a living process.

However, viewed as maps of thinking and listening, the tables make visible the movements-in-thought of the thinking ego, whether in the medium of speech or writing.



Actually, there exists a third way of deepening dialectical thinking. It has to do with forming constellations of thought forms, a process that occurs naturally but can also be engaged in systematically if the goal is depth of thinking about a particular subject matter in light of a particular goal to be reached or a decision to be made.

The important aspect in this deepening is no longer quantitative (adding thought forms), but is qualitative.

It pertains to the fact that when thought forms are used in real time, even a single thinker moves closer to an understanding of a thought object X only by assembling thought forms into constellations.

Given the world’s complexity, thought object X does not yield its secrets to a thinker until s(he) uses a constellation of thought forms all of which together make X transparent.

Without explicating the four moments of dialectic as they appear through the four classes of thought forms (CPRT) a thought remains stillborn.

On the Nature of Thought Form Constellations

It is important at this point to distinguish thought forms (TFs) from concepts. While concepts refer to thought objects, thought forms refer to larger wholes such as situations, events, dimensions, totalities, global rhythms, etc.

Although a thought form (TF) can be seen as a “base concept” of higher order, its flexibility stems from the fact that it can be expressed by way of many different concepts, depending on the thinker, his/her topic, and the social context. For instance, TF#1 “unceasing change,” will elicit different concepts from different thinkers, and can therefore itself be seen as a virtual constellation of concepts a thinker might choose.

However, a more apt way of understanding the use of TFs is that they “naturally” form constellations among themselves since they are only moments of a dynamic system.

To understand this better we can follow Th. W. Adorno (1999, 162) who writes about concepts what we need to say about TFs here, keeping in mind that every TF can be actualized in speech and writing by way of potentially quite different concepts:

“Concepts enter into constellations. The constellation illuminates the specific side of the object [or situation, event …] which to a classifying [logical] procedure is either a matter of indifference or a burden… The model for this is the conduct of language. It does not define concepts; [rather] it lends objectivity to concepts [TFs] by the relation into which it puts the concepts [TFs] centered around a thing [topic]… By gathering around the object of cognition, the concepts [TFs] potentially determine the object’s interior [i.e., its nature or essential meaning].”

The crucial idea that Adorno brings forward here is that concepts as well as TFs never mean anything in isolation but form networks (sets of nodes), and also that TFs need and call for each other to make sense. There is no “house” without a “roof” or “window” and “door”.

Just as little as we can isolate concepts and “define” them can we isolate and freeze TFs. And since TFs derive from the four moments of dialectic (1M, 2E, 3L, 4D), TFs need to be seen in conjunction with and interaction with each other.

Using TFs of a single class such as C or R is a handicap right away. In light of the p,e,l sequence of thought expansion and deepening, restricting oneself to a single dimension of dialectic is not deep thinking.

Proceeding to elaboration (e) is natural, and can be done both by staying in the same class or by moving to a different class of thought forms. Ultimately, elaboration yields to linking (“l”) by which thought forms get coordinated into constellations. When that happens, TFs “gather around the object of cognition to determine the thought object’s interior, or “meaning”, as Adorno puts it, above.

How thought constellations are formed is a function of the level of cognitive development of a thinker. Even at the same level of development, such as “phase 2″ of dialectical thinking (Fluidity Index < 30; Fig. 2), the way different people “think” will be different from one to the other, and not only because they are guided by different kinds of self-interest. For instance, a person may think about a topic [concept] such as a “circular economy” in terms of TF#s P7, C10, R16, and T23, while a second person might choose TF#s P4, C9, R18, and T22 to think about it.

But even if two individuals choose identical TFs, one would still differ from the other by the emphasis given to each TF within the constellation, such that the weight – degree of articulation – with which the TFs are expressed will differ between any two thinkers.

As a result, different constellations comprising TF#s P7, C10, R16, and T23, for instance, would slightly differ among each other, and so would the insight into the object or situation obtained by employing them.

“Constellation” is thus an abstractionDifferently weighted TF constellations are unique and idiosyncratic ways of expressing one’s thinking about a subject matter that differ in the level of complexity of the thinking that is accomplished.

Following the proposed example, the important aspects that would emerge in the first constellation (TF#s P7, C10, R16, T23, Table 5) can be circumscribed as follows:

  • TF#7: [Embedding in process, movement]. Any economy is embedded in an ecological niche which itself is embedded in a cosmology; therefore, when we forget about the economy’s link to what surrounds it but is inherently connected to it, we may well fail to reach the purposes we have for a particular economy.
  • TF# 10: [(Description of) structures, functions, layers, strata of a system]. The economy comprises distinct layers, some biological, others technological or political, and these layers interrelate, perhaps even intertwine. The economy is no flatland and is composed of potentially incompatible components that interact, one absenting conflicting with, disrupting or impairing — the other. 
  • TF#16: [Valueof bringing into relationship]. [which includes valuation, thus transcends facts]: There is value in bringing into relationship those pieces of the economy that compete for effectiveness, in a way that is constantly changing; they need to be seen as elements of a larger whole sharing a common ground, potentially of opposites. 
  • TF#23: [Valueof conflict leading in a developmental direction]. Different aspects of the economy are apt to come into conflict with each other, and while this conflict may be disruptive or even destructive, it may also turn out to drive cohesion within the economy further, thus leading to overall development that would be impossible otherwise.

Depending on what is the level of articulation given to each TF by two different thinkers’, we would have before us two significantly different ways of grasping and acting within a circular economy.

Using the same TFs, the two thinkers would be insightful about a circular economy to different degrees. Considering that the ideal outcome would a balance of TFs in all four classes of thought forms, thinker B would have a more balanced view of the matter but at the price of lacking a more detailed contextual understanding compared to thinker A.

Thinker A

The first thinker is stuck in Context TFs (TF#10=65%) thus unable to see a circular economy as anything more than an abstract design one can describe in great detail.

This “logical” thinker would see a circular economy quite unrealistically since s(he) has not even begun to use TFs of class Transformation, and would thus be unable to appreciate the limited durability and harmony of complex systems, nor could s(he) appreciate the force of conflicts in the economy as a driving force of its constant reshaping of itself (TF#23=0%).

Although s(he) would to some modest degree be able to see the impact of the economy on its social and physical environment (TF#P7=20%) and could perhaps even arrive at a fairly apt appreciation of how the many pieces of the economy form a larger whole (TF#R16=15%), overall her/his notion of “circular economy” would be more of a textbook concept rather than a structurally deep one. S(he) would therefore be a poor change agent or sponsor of change and remain befuddled regarding what is actually happening in such an economy. 

Thinker B

Thinker B’s cognitive profile is characterized by relinquishing the predominance of Context TFs (thus of logical thinking) which reduces a circular economy to a textbook abstraction.

S(he) shows a remarkable balance between thought form uses in all four classes (CPRT) that leads him to begin appreciating the economy’s complexity, risks for instability, and available potential to remediate tensions in the economy by making use of conflicts and inequalities that appear.

Thinker B could demonstrate, for example, that’s( he) has parted with the illusion that a multitude of algorithms based on formal logic, engaged in the analysis of massive quantities of data, will solve all the problems the economy poses (nevertheless appreciating what algorithms on their own might be able to accomplish).

If s(he) can proceed from TF# R16 to TF# R18 or TF# R19; Table 5), s(he) could even begin to understand how a constellation of algorithms, one of which is failing, might be able to compensate for this failure since together the algorithms form a transformational unit, or constellation, that is to some extent self- repairing.

As the two examples demonstrate, it is ultimately constellations of TFs that centrally matter when we talk about “comprehending the real world through dialectic”.

The complexity of such constellations is a matter of how TFs are elaborated, linked, and coordinated in real time, whether in speech or in writing text.

The Relationship of Scope to Depth of Thinking

We have seen that regardless of whether a thinker uses 28 or 12 TFs, s(he) formulates constellations of TFs by which the concepts used to articulate TFs come to “surround” an object of thought so that its alethic truth is illuminated.

At the same time, thinking sheds its logical constraints and become “untrammeled”.

This is an outcome no single TF can produce, even less a single concept articulating a TF. It is only an entire constellation of TFs in their elaborated and linked form that can shed light on objects of thought referencing the reality we are aiming for.

Since dialog generates potentially very complex TF-constellations, it is often advisable to restrict the scope of a discourse for the purpose of deepening the thinking about the subject matter under scrutiny.

Breadth and depth of thinking do not easily go together, and while logical thinking proceeds “breadth first”, dialectical thinking proceeds “depth first”. (This explains why they urgently need each other.)

To permit thinking to be “depth first” is the purpose of the Three Houses in DTF, shown below, which facilitate an understanding of how people (when interviewed in real time) construct their workplace.

(Adaptations of the Houses to other task domains such as private life can easily be made.)

The Houses follow a “divide and conquer” strategy, initiating a discourse in the Task House where tasks and goals are central, moving on to the Organizational House where four perspectives on corporate culture are discussed, to end up in the Self House where the interviewee focuses on his or her professional self-development into the future.

Figure 10 below sets out the various “floors” in each “house”.

Cognitive Interviewing

It is important to understand that the Houses are no more than a template for having a dialog about an interlocutor’s internal workplace (the workplace as internally constructed).

They are not prescribing what to speak about, nor how, nor is there a need to focus the dialog comprehensively on all 4 “floors” of each of the Houses.

Rather, the goal is depth, not breadth, of dialog so that dialectical thought forms can emerge or, to put it differently, so that thought is empowered to move beyond p (pointing to) to e (elaborating) and l (linking and coordinating to create constellations.)

Assume now that there unfolds a dialog of half or one hour about the three aspects (Houses) of a person’s internal workplace.

We can “record” the movements-in-thought of the interlocutor’s thinking ego by listening to his or her speech from a perspective of what TFs are used by her.

The picture that emerges might look like Fig. 11, below:

When we scrutinize the movements-in-thought shown in Fig. 11, we detect particular constellations of TFs by which the interviewee attempted to comprehend and explicate a particular topic chosen by him.

These constellations differ between the three Houses in terms of complexity, which could indicate an imbalance of the individual’s thinking about different dimensions of his/her workplace.

Given a map of such constellations emerging over time, we can then determine the interviewee’s present “cognitive profile” in terms of the fluidity and depth of dialectical thinking measured in terms of four classes of TFs.

Consequently, we can also give feedback to the interviewee about his/her present thinking and can put in place appropriate cognitive coaching interventions for the sake of remediation and training. Or else we can make a recruitment decision, selecting the most cognitively advanced applicant for a particular job.

In a professionally conducted cognitive interview based on DTF another aspect of TFs comes to the fore, namely that individual TFs function as “mind openers” for both parties to the dialog.

While the interviewer, recognizing a TF used by the interviewee, can reinforce that TF as well as guide the interviewee to a different, related TF or a different class of TFs, the interviewee receiving such (implicit or explicit) feedback can begin to understand in greater depth “how s(he) is actually thinking”, and in what way s(he) might be able to think in a more complex and fluid way.

Responding to another person’s thinking based on DTF then becomes (cognitive)“ mentoring”.

On the Risk of Sabotaging Dialectical Thinking

Laying bare the thought form structure of thinking in real time produces insight into fallacies of thought that end up sabotaging thinking efforts.

By sabotaging dialectical thinking I mean using dialectical thought forms in a purely formal-logical or systems-thinking manner, even while relating them to each other. After all, dialectical TFs all focus on a particular content as other concepts do and seem to lend themselves well to differentiating one concept from another, which indeed is a requirement of dialectical thinking but is also what formal logical thinkers primarily look for.

  1. By turning a thought form such as TF#1 into a content, one can easily argue about “unceasing change” in a purely logical manner, assigning examples or “solutions” to it, without ever going into any depth about what the TF dialectically stands for, namely an element of negativity or absence to be spotted in either physical or social reality, or both.
  1. A similar issue arises when the Dialectical Thought Form Framework (DTF) is used for cognitive assessment by way of interview. An inexperienced interviewer or assessor who does not grasp the intrinsic interrelationship of classes of thought forms and of their members, in my experience tends to treat TFs as purely logical concepts, and also evaluates interviews entirely based on their content, thereby arriving at a false cognitive profile of an interlocutor.
  1. A third way of sabotaging dialectical thinking, in my experience, is to give particular TFs specific meanings. For instance, one could assign to TF#1 a label like “emergent change”, and then proceed blithely to centering the thinking that follows on the contents of what one takes to be the meaning of emergent change in a particular environment, for instance, in organizations.

What can be done about this kind of sabotage? Actually very little – except for waiting for cognitive adult development to happen in the TF user.

Thought Form Features

Since, on their way of becoming experts of dialectical thinking, beginners increasingly grasp their limitations in using TFs, there is hope that with practice and increasing cognitive maturity, the following peculiar features of TFs may begin to be seen:

  1. All TFs are essentially “mind openers” and all uses which do not contribute to that function turn TFs into purely logical
  2. All TFs embody the essence of “absence” or “negativity” which makes any kind of hypostasis – of labeling TFs as having a particular content – a sure sign that a particular TF is bein
  3. All TFs are only “half-thoughts” relative to the TFs they are intrinsically related to as a function of a particular individual’s movements-in-thought.
  4. All TFs are only “moments”, just as the moments of dialectic they represent in the mind, and therefore can never be “pinned down” to have a specific content
  5. As the thinking ego itself, TFs are, to speak with Ahrendt (1971, 167), “slippery fellows” that shy away from direct appearance. (Their appearance in Concept Behavior Graphs only gives the illusion that, once named, they can be taken prisoners.
  6. All TFs are midwives of deep thinking which pass out and die when they come to a formal-logical fence, having their light

One thing is clear: wherever “dialectic” has become an ideology of whatever kind, it has given up its spirit! In this sense, its appearance is its death.

On the Risk of Sabotaging Logical Thinking

There exists today an equally large risk, that of sabotaging logical thinking, a priceless developmental achievement of early adulthood that counteracts ego-centrism.

As a summary of beginning research on effects of new technologies shows (Greenfield 2015), social networking and other — by nature solipsistic — uses of the internet seem to be causally involved in bringing about an under-nourishment of the pre-frontal cortex where personal identity, moral judgment and conceptual resources reside (Greenfield, 96-150). This development reduces both potentials of logical thinking and resources that enable the progression from logical to systems thinking to dialectical thinking to occur.

In light of this treatise on how to facilitate making Hegel’s “effort of the concept”, the question arises whether teaching dialectical thought forms could become a tool of choice for rescuing logical thinking from staying immature for life as a side effect of social networking and other solipsistic uses of the internet.

My hypothesis is that this is a strong possibility, for the following reasons:

  • While it is generally assumed that learning to focus on, and separate, concepts (i.e., logical thinking) is a precondition for developing dialectical thinking, experiencing dialectical—t hat is, holistic, systemic, and transformational—thinking also challenges, and thus nourishes, logical thinking (as happens in DTF interviews).
  • This is the case because the human mind is not innately logical but has intuitive resources dating from childhood that are closer to holistic than to logical thinking (Stern 1985).
  • After all, a “thought form” like unceasing change (P), perceived by an infant intuitively and perceptually, invites working from the broader, intuitive circumference of the notion of change to envisioning and differentiating types and kinds of change, thus forcing not only the identification and recognition of potentially “logical” conceptual elements, but also their synthesis.

Logical thinking cannot provide such a synthesis, so that one might view dialectical thinking as the mature form of what infants, embedded in common sense, naturally intuit.

In short, the progression from logical to dialectical thinking is not a one-way street, but involves an integral transformation of the entire human Inquiring System.

One can therefore work in teaching both from logical to dialectical, and from dialectical to logical (thinking). A promising pointer to this possibility is the teaching of dialectical thinking to children undertaken in Russia (Belolutskaya 2015; Veraksa 2013).


About the Author

Otto Laske is a social scientist and epistemologist grounded in work of the Frankfurt School linked to that of Nicolai Hartman, Bruno Liebrucks, and Roy Bhaskar. In 2000, he founded the Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM) for teaching the Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF), a synthesis of adult-developmental research from 1975 to 1995, whose cognitive component is DTF. His developmental and organizational work is based on dialectic as a real-time dialogical discipline. In his work he is influenced by Adorno, Bhaskar, Hegel, Horkheimer, Jaques, Marx, and Sartre, fruitfully combining philosophical thought with empirical assessment and research in the cognitive and social-emotional development of adults.

He can be reached at the Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM) by writing to otto@interdevelopmentals.org, or by calling 978 879 4882 (Gloucester, MA, USA). His artistic work is found at www.ottolaske.com.

Acknowledgement: I want to thank Alan Snow, Sydney, for his indefatigable editorial and moral support since 2009 regarding the publication of my writings explicating the Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF).


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