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Epistemological Issues: a checklist

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Checklist of issues prepared for a meeting on epistemological problems of the project of the United Nations University
on Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development (Colombo, 5-8 August 1982) [PDF original]


"As agreed in Warsaw [Meeting on Social Indicators, Decembr 1981], I am briefly setting down below a list of themes in which I am interested in relation to the epistemological question. Many of them I have explored in one way or another in different papers [on this website], including some for GPID. My interest in them is primarily in terms of the way in which they improve our response to development problems through the design of more viable organizations and programmes."

Themes: The items are in no particular order and are not of equivalent significance

1. Ignorance
2. Levels of comprehension
3. Concept packing (Fuller)
4. Metaphors as key to minimum resource development (bypassing formal learning process)
5. Concept encoding and forms of presentation
6. Territory construed as a map
7. q-holes (Aitken)
8. Quantum logic implications (Bohm, Heelan, Hooker, Mushakoji)
9. non-Boolean logic (Mushakoji)
10. Attention span
11. Number of set elements and comprehension possibilities
12. Pattern language (Alexander)
13. Disagreement, discontinuity, complementary
14. Ambiguity, paradox
15. Polarity, dichotomy
16. Oscillation, alternation and resonance between concepts
17. Conceptual catastrophes (Thom)
18. Epistemological implications for organization design
19. Non-verbal languages as a source of new concepts
20. Non-indo-european languages as a source of new concepts
21. Collective learning and memory
22. Memory reinforcement (Yates)
23. Learning pathways
24. Future of comprehension, scenarios, visions of desirable comprehension
25. Conceptual goals
26. Distinctions, boundaries
27. Epistemological traps, blindspots
28. Conceptual expansion/exploitation processes
29. Conceptual liberation/autonomy processes
30. Conceptual instability/evanescence
31. Self-reference (Hofstaedter, Godel)
32. Epistemology and time/activity
33. Counter-productive aspects of advances in knowledge
34. Rheomode (Bohm) ; "statement"s vs."dynamicments"
35. Conceptual containers
36. Dialectics, trialectics, multi-lectics


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