Developing the Horizons of the Mind: Relational and Contextual Reasoning and the Resolution of Cognitive Conflict

By K. Helmut Reich | Go to book overview

12
Conclusions

This volume

Having presented in Part I the arguments and evidence for the existence of RCR, its nature and its development, in Part II I have discussed a number of cases in support of the claim that applying RCR can further (1) scientific insights and (2) social integration, or at least diminish social strife and disruption. The status of the various examples in Part II is visibly quite different, ranging from the tentative explicatory (e.g., 'functional background music') to the inferential (e.g., the relation between RCR and religious judgement, the Swiss and the Frankfurt experience with fighting illegal use of narcotics) to the empirically supported (results of interviews on 'nuclear accidents', 'the two natures of Jesus Christ', and on the 'Holy Trinity'), to initial projects ('rehabilitation of depressed areas'). Each time, by applying RCR a more complete, more encompassing yet more differentiated view is searched for or results together with internal links and context dependences. In that process three differing concerns require attention (Fahrenberg 1992, pp. 52–9 – see pp. 43–5 above): the methodological, the epistemological, and the ontological. Methodologically, each categorically distinct aspect calls for an appropriate research approach (cf. the example of researching anxiety, p. 151 above), which includes its own verification procedures and terminology. Epistemologically, one wants to keep each aspect separate, in particular as regards causal explanations, yet take all (linked) aspects into account for a synopsis or even an overarching theory. Ontologically, one needs to demonstrate (1) that all aspects pertain to the same phenomenon, in other words they are coextensive, and (2) they are subject to a meta-relation, that is mutually linked/entangled/constrained. The approach indicated may go against the grain of our Western culture, but, in appropriate cases, seems to lead to better results than a single-aspect approach (e.g., Fischer, Herzka, and Reich 1992). The effort to swim against the cultural stream - which may be considerable (see postscript below) – therefore seems worthwhile in such cases. However, it is important always to

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Developing the Horizons of the Mind: Relational and Contextual Reasoning and the Resolution of Cognitive Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Figures x
  • Tables xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Theory of Relational and Contextual Reasoning (rcr) and Its Empirical Study 9
  • 1 - Introduction 11
  • 2 - Development of Rcr 25
  • 3 - Metaphysical Assumptions and Theory of Rcr 35
  • 4 - Empirical Studies of Rcr 47
  • 5 - Other Thought Forms and Matching Them to the Problem at Hand 75
  • Part II - Applications of Rcr 100
  • Overview 101
  • 6 - Methodology 103
  • 7 - Religion 116
  • 8 - The Archaeology of Rcr 133
  • 9 - Psychology 145
  • 10 - Education 157
  • 11 - Social Issues 165
  • 12 - Conclusions 185
  • Appendix 1 - Interviewing Techniques 191
  • Appendix 2 - Scoring Manual for Rcr 194
  • References 199
  • Index 219
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