Which came first? LO20327

Gray Southon (Gray.Southon@uts.edu.au)
Fri, 08 Jan 1999 09:58:16 +1100

Replying to LO20296 --

Dear At,

Thank you for your detailed explanation of NMR. I now see that the point
you are making is that not only do the component parts make up the whole,
but the whole has an impact on the behaviour of the component parts.

I must confess, that this seems to be so simple and even obvious, that the
detailed explanation through complex analogies seems out of proportion.

I wonder whether an unnecessary problem has been generated by the
dichotomy about which came first. Is this necessary? It seems to me that
entities and concepts can co-exist and interrelate without designating a
primary one.

You are right in saying that I have no basis for excluding the relevance
of any discipline without thorough analysis. However, there is a practical
problem. There are a large number of contending disciplines, and I have
limited time. I need to make decisions on limited information, and the
conclusion that I have come to is that theories based on inanimate systems
do not address the texture and complexity of animate systems, let alone
cognate systems (i.e. systems made of thinking beings).

I have been impressed with the writings of George Soros who highlights the
fact that with social systems, the theory is in fact part of the system,
and is capable of changing the system itself. He describes these as
reflexive systems. He claims that this aspect has been ignored by social
scientists, and argues that it demands a very different approach to theory
and knowing in social science than is used in natural sciences.
Ironically, this reflexitivity is very much part of everyday life, and I
find explains complexity, uncertainty and irreversibility in a much
simpler, and yet more sophisticated way than chaos theory, entropy or NMR

Getting back to the original issue of learning and creativity, I wonder
whether these terms are sufficiently well defined or even defineable to
bear the logical analysis that you have been submitting them to. Certainly
I find the dichotomy of "which comes first" as unnecessary.

Such are my views anyway


Gray Southon
Gray Southon
Senior Lecturer in Knowledge Management
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Consultant in Health Management Research and Analysis
15 Parthenia St.
Caringbah, NSW 2229
Ph/fax 02 9524 7822, mobile 0414 295 328
email gsouthon@ozemail.com.au, web page http://www.ozemail.com.au/~gsouthon/


Gray Southon <Gray.Southon@uts.edu.au>

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