What is the ultimate purpose of ALL learning? LO30655

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 10/06/03

Replying to LO30612 --

Dear Organlearners,

Jan Lelie <janlelie@wxs.nl> wrote:

>I take the liberty to apply this to your question and would like to
>suggest that learning is of at least two kinds: learning to know
>something (know how, know what, facts, experience) and learning
>to choose something (know where, know who, know why). These
>two kinds need each other (facts without choice have no real
>meaning, as many pupils learn at school and choosing without facts
>looks like gambling) but have different purposes.

Greetings dear Jan,

Thank you for your reply which i found thought provoking.

The way in which you presented these two kinds of learning made me think
of the two phases/assymptotes of learning:-
 * digestive learning nearer equilibrium close to order.
 * bifurcative learning far from equilibrium close to chaos

It seems to me that your "learning to know something" involves digestive
learning. Immature "kernels of knowledge" grow quantitatively by digesting
subordinate experiences and information. However these "kernels of
knowledge" have to come into existence by way of emergences through
bifurcations which results into emergences. This is bifurcative learning.
It is this bifurcative learning which helps us to make wise decisions.

>When i apply the two types of learning, i would suggest that
>learning to know has a purpose (being: making better choice)
>while learning to choose has no purpose (being: making choices).
>It reminds me of a variation of the famous paradox:
> The next sentence learns you you have a choice.
> The previous sentence learns you you do not have a choice.

I do not differ radically from you. But i would put it sightly different.
Learning to know (should it be based on digestive learning) always have
something familiar to where it takes the learner. Herein lies its danger
-- familiarity breeds contempt. Learning to choose (should it be based on
bifurcative learning) have something of a surprise to it. Herein lies its
danger -- surprises may breed fear when they are destructive or offensive.

>On the other had, when we assume that everything must have a
>purpose, we also think that evolution and learning have a purpose.

It makes me think of Jan Smuts who believed that the purpose of all
evolution, physical and spiritual, is to cultimate in the personality of
the individual such that it isof the highest order. For him this highest
order is the recognition of the divine and to choose for it. Jan Smuts was
among other things, a statesman. His political opponents with their
ideology and proposed policy of apartheid used this belief to denigrate
him as someone who cannot be a genuine Christian believer. They claimed
that this divine could include any godhead. They wanted a godhead which
would support apartheid. Thus they began with a peculiar exegesis of the
Bible which will suite their political purpose.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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