While dualistic thinking is positive as a means to explain Hodges' model, if a form of thinking (reasoning as ego-defence) is relied upon to excess and not balanced by other evidence then this can contribute to psychological problems. As Johnson (1994) also indicates, the three forms of thinking we are discussing in this series of posts are progressive. Compared to dualistic, Johnson states that multiplistic and relativistic thinking represent a more complex level. Appreciating that there are other sources for answers, possibly more than one answer and a need to relate things together.
Dualistic thinking epitomizes the categorical invitation that Hodges' model affords. In its most primitive form it has to be ready to hand and with the mind in an instant it is: the duality of fight or flight. A reflex arc circumvents the dualistic in an effort of instant reduction to survival.
Of course, the model is not intended to encourage thinking in extremes, polarised and absolutist. This property*, however, affirms the model's potential as a health promoting, educational and self-care resource.
There is another form of dualism that is given to us by life not model. It is the dichotomous variety that often influences and shapes attitudes to others, discourse and debate within our many cultures, politics and religious affairs.
The additional set of axes related to disciplines, for example, psych-social - referred to in the previous post [II] tempers the risks above in two ways:
- by virtue of the learner expanding their knowledge and hence the number of concepts they understand and in-form their community of practice.
- there is a space between the disciplines and concepts that might further support the structure, content and utility of Hodges' model.
I started these posts with what Hodges' model declares from the outset. This is the model's structure, the configuration of the axes the appearance of the (empty) quadrants. But as experience is gathered so the axes fade into the distance. They become grey and blue as in a background, a template we start to take for granted and work around, with and within. Content in the form of concepts and associated meaning can then populate the foreground that holds the promise of becoming increasingly more integrated which is stimulated by a shift from dualistic thinking to more pluralistic thought.
Assad, M.L. (1999). Reading with Michel Serres: An Encounter with Time. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Johnson, D.D. (1994) Dualistic, Multiplistic, and Relativistic Thinking as it Relates to a Psychology Major. Honors Theses. Paper 202.
*There are many tools that permit us to compare another duality: the binary. The presence or absence of phenomena, for example, a bone injury, or a new star, comet or asteroid.
See previous posts: Michel Serres
See also bibliography item:
Jones, P. (2008) Exploring Serres’ Atlas, Hodges’ Knowledge Domains and the Fusion of Informatics and Cultural Horizons, IN Kidd, T., Chen, I. (Eds.) Social Information Technology Connecting Society and Cultural Issues, Idea Group Publishing, Inc. Chap. 7, pp. 96-109.