From Cognition in Practice by Jean Lave

Cognition in Practice, by Jean Lave, 1998

“So far I have described a series of dichotomously polarized issues that have sustained limitations on debate between paradigms and disciplines over a considerable period of time. I have yet to describe the sources of the coherence with which the issues reinforce on another. They take their shape, the great divides formed, in terms of a positivist epistemology which specifies a series of assumptions on which they are based: rationality exists as the ideal canon of thought; experimentation can be thought of as the embodiment of this ideal in scientific practice; science is the value-free collection of factual knowledge about the world; factual knowledge about the world is the basis for the formation of scientific theory, not the other way around; science is the opposite of history, the one nomothetic the other ideographic; cognitive processes are general and fundamental, psychology, correspondingly, a nomothetic discipline; society and culture shape the particularities of cognition and give it content, thus sociocultural context is specific, its study ideographic; general laws of human behavior, therefore, must be dissected away from the historical and social obfuscations which give them particularity. These propositions entail one another in complex ways. To challenge any one of them draws the rest into question as well. A quest for better understanding of everyday cognition in context that questions conventional relations between the socially organized world, culture and cognition – and hence the whole field of assumptions – is unavoidably, therefore, a fundamental epistemological question.” page 87

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.