Thursday, February 21, 2008

Connecting and disconnecting concepts.

"Schemas are about relationships, space, and time." I said, at the moment I often blog by sending a text from my phone in order not to lose the thought and with the tiny character limit I packed my meaning so densely that it was hard to get a chunk off for conversation so and Mash told me I have become too Zen to easily engage with.

When I wrote this entry I'd been thinking for a couple of days about what makes a pattern of play a schema and how to individuate schemas. A common problem in the philosophy of human activities (e.g. aesthetics, jurisprudence, and political and philosophy) occurs again in this little tributary of philosophy of education. It is the problem that descriptions of the activities of real people in the world do not divide up neatly into clear theoretical categories. But I do think it reasonable to say that "frogs" are not a schema in the way that "trajectory" is because it is at the wrong level of abstraction; schemas are about relationships, space, and time.

Qarl said I'm working at a "meta-schema schema" and I do think I do schemas with concepts, and here even unto the concept of schemas. But am I connecting and disconnecting
(schemas with relationships, space, and time) and (frogs not-with trajectories),
or am I sorting into a hierachy of abstraction?
  1. relationships, space, and time,
  2. trajectory, enveloping, connection, disconnection et cetera,
  3. frogs and kangaroos
But today I want to think about animals. Nikolien suspects some children investigate their relationship with the living world and people through passionate repeated thinking about animals. I agree it doesn't look as theoretically simple as them being into trajectories and thus frogs, or enveloping and thus kangaroos. I think she's right. There's a way of thinking about animals that feels like a schema.



Blogger Mary said...

Must admit my first thought is

Woah Nelly!

Schemas are not a theory of everything. As Tina Bruce pointed out, they have a range. I'm sensing a bit of over-reaching, so I'm going to need more convincing about the animal thing.

What seems to be at issue is the form vs content thing. Schemas are "form" - things that wrap around and transcend "content", binding them together into new wholes. So are you asking if content can transform itself into a whole new form due to the level of passion (neural connections? flow"ness") it generates? Cause that to me seems to be a different theory. Which of course is quite interesting in itself.

So yes, the levels of abstraction does it for me, but not that passionate repeated thinking about anything makes it schematic. My schemas are verbs, not nouns. And verbing nouns like I just did is....well, you know.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

Yes, this is starting to make some sense! Schemas are verbs not nouns! That feels exactly right. I'd suspect they're verbs acting at a certain level of abstraction (a level that's a bit like "about relationships, space, and time").

I've only just started thinking about content-passion: Josie and Liam's animals and there was that child who was into birth too. I'll let you know if I make any progress. I know about myself that I like to work with soft media rather than hard ones and with concepts, words, and people, no matter which schema's dominant at the time.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend you read a book called "The Web of Life" by Fritjof Capra. He is interested in some of the same concepts as you.


2:00 PM  

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