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Main: ThoughtPatterns

by Ambjörn Naeve

In many modeling situations, I make use of various types of patterns - a way of expressing structure that is becoming popular within the software engineering community. However, it is also receiving attention in wider circles - even including such "mathematically remote" areas as the humanistic sciences.

Definition: A thought-pattern expresses the interaction of a number of concepts. It represents a way to think about the underlying subject matter. A thought-pattern is a form of arithmomorphic grid that we put on top of our dialectical experiences in order to make them communicable (= medial).

The most obvious example of a thought pattern is provided by language itself. As a thought-pattern, our language shapes our way of thinking in more ways than we could ever express. In fact, it determines the very essence of what is expressible ("sagbar") in the sense of Wittgenstein [Tractatus].

Definition: The term arithmomorphic distortion will refer to the discrepancy that any arithmomorphic grid (= thought-pattern) by necessity creates in relation to the underlying dialectical reality that it is trying to express.

A thought-pattern functions as a grid by trying to capture (= express) some kind of typical behaviour. It functions as a form of "strategic mistake". By trying to express something but not quite succeeding, it provokes a discussion about its own inappropriateness. In this way a thought-pattern directs mental energy towards the process of making its distortions expressible, thereby inspiring a more informed calibration process between the different participators involved in its interpretation.

A thought-pattern is always subjectively created, and successively "objectified" by different calibration procedures. The state of consensus (= collective agreement on validity) of any though-pattern is represented by its corresponding calibration history. Since the thought-patterns presented here lack an attempt to describe this history, they are to be considered basically my own. That does not mean, however, that I consider them all as having originated with me. On the contrary, I have often tried to express how I conceive the thought-patterns of others. This is of course an important part of the group-consensus forming calibration process.

To summarize this discussion, I want to emphasize the following: When I express a certain thought-pattern, I do not mean it to be taken literally. Neither do I claim it to apply to any single individual case. The inevitable arithmomorphic distortion must always be taken into account.

Thought-patterns can be regarded as stereotyped ways of thinking that may or may not apply in the individual case, but which tend to have a certain statistical quality about them. In fact, they can be thought of somewhat like the laws of quantum mechanics in contrast to the old deterministic laws of classical mechanics.

The common denominator of the thought-patterns that I present here is the fact that I have seen traces of them in various places - both within academia - in the small - and within the surrounding society itself - in the large. In some cases this may well have been due to my misconception of the situation. In any case, it is an important benefit of thought-patterns to contribute towards making all forms of misconceptions explicit.

The science-humaniora despise/stigmatize pattern

Educational design patterns

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Page last modified on December 05, 2006, at 05:21 PM