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[xmca] Since some people asked
My understanding of the Lewinian contrast between Aristotelian and
Galileoan modes is that the Aristotelian mode hinges on placing things in
conceptual categories - almost as if the placing of something in a
conceptual category explains it. My understanding of "unit of analysis" is
that it bears a strong (but not identical relation to finding the
conceptual home for some piece of behavior).
My understanding of the Galileoan mode is that the issue is not placing
things in conceptual categories but is in a complexly structured analysis
of conditions, influences, causes, involved in any event, etc.. The
analysis didn't look for "types" - it looked for conditions. In this sense
the "unit" of analysis, if there is such, is the result of this analytic
enterprise and not its beginning.
Hence, "analysis into units."
For me this all bears on where I started, Werner's enterprise. Werner was
not Galileo, nor was he Aristotle.
The object of Wernerian analysis was to describe, in somewhat structural
terms, what would count as "development" and not as "mere" change. For
Werner Development had to mean something other than change over time.
Although that sounds a bit like Aristotelian thinking (the "concept"
"development") - BUT the practice was Galileoan. Any piece of behavior, as
candidate for development was examined from a number of points of view,
including the material conditions, the patterns of behavior, both in terms
of correctness kinds of errors, or in terms of directionality of behavior
or lack thereof, or the degree to which behavioral units were organized
with respect to one another (if you don't like the implicit reference to
NB: The referent of developmental analysis was not people it was the level
of organization of behavior and how it was organized in given situations
(this was later developed by Kaplan using the Kenneth Burke's rhetoric and
grammar of motives tetrology as a means of developmental analysis), To the
extent that there was overlap or not between material cultural conditions
and level of organization of behaviors the distinction between behaviors
and people was not easy to understand (or maintain). [blame it on Cassirer]
Interestingly the Wernerian use of microgenesis helps to save this
particular day, Depending on temporal conditions that same individual could
show either an "advanced" or a "primitive" level of response (unfortunate
choice of words, but they were the words used). One study in this mode
involved the display of a typed word at different exposure times - at
shorter exposures reports of word meaning resembled "aphasic" speech. These
kinds of studies clearly demonstrated the referent of a Wernerian notion of
developmental analysis. This issue wasn't about fading or timing, it was
about level of organization of response.
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