Re: Philosophy underlying LO? LO142

Joe Kilbride (
Fri, 17 Feb 95 16:01 CST

In <Postmodernism -- switching epistemes not just paradigms LO129>, Kent
Palmer wrote re: the need for a greater understanding of the philosophical
underpinnings of Learning Org concepts. I agree we need such an
understanding. Toward this end, I am willing to make my ignorance of
philosophy apparent. It is actually quite easy for me to do so...

Recently I have been reading some history of philosophy to better
understand the philosophical underpinnings of the "old" mechanistic
paradigm everyone seems to agree we are leaving behind. And so I have
achieved a layman's familiarity with
Bacon-DesCartes-Hobbes-Spinoza-Leibniz. In studying these philosophers, it
does not take long to understand how the mechanistic, "world as clockwork"
notion came into being and evolved through the 16&1700s into our
predominant worldview.

One way to represent the "spreading" of this worldview is:

Philosophy--->Physics--->In time, all other disciplines
---------- ------- --------------------------------
DesCartes Newton Dalton in chemistry
etc. Darwin in biology, etc.

While I realize the above is not "true", as a gross simplification it
works for me. What is not at all apparent TO ME is when and how the "new"
paradigm came into being. Arguably, there is lots of related activity in
the "all other disciplines" column of such a table, so I assume there must
have been some originators in the Philosophy and Physics columns who
precede them.

Philosophy--->Physics----> In time, all other disciplines
---------- ------- --------------------------------
Ashby? Von Bertalanffy?
Wiener? Shannon?
Maturana/Varela in Biology?
Prigogine in Chemistry?
Bateson in Anthropology?
Boulding in Economics?
Powers in Psychology?
Shewhart and Deming?
Forrester and Senge?

My questions are:
1. What philosophers are the originators of this "new"
paradigm which underlies the Learning Org concepts?
2. Are Kant, Hegel, Santayana, James, Dewey, Russell and
Whitehead philosophers of the "old", the "new" or some
"intermediate" paradigm?
3. Who in Physics -- Einstein? Heisenberg?
4. Any additions/deletions to "all other disciplines"?
5. If we are now moving beyond the "clockwork", what is the
metaphor for this new worldview or paradigm?

I await increased understanding...

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/ )| Joe Kilbride -- Kilbride Consulting, Inc. | ( \
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(\\\\ \_/ / Metaphor and analogy can be helpful, \ \_/ ////)
\ / or they can be misleading. All depends on \ /
\ _/ whether the similarities the metaphor captures \_ /
/ / are significant or superficial.-- Herbert Simon \ \
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