My brain's running slow today – The preference for ``things ontologies'' in research and everyday discourse on human thinking

Säljö, Roger
July 2002
Studies in Philosophy & Education;Jul-Sep2002, Vol. 21 Issue 4/5, p389
Academic Journal
The focus of the article is to reflect on the tendency of research traditions in the areas of human learning, development, and communication, to use metaphors and analogies that construe human mental activities and resources in terms of physical objects. This is evident, for instance, in modern cognitive science where computer metaphors (information processing and information storage) have been foundational for the discipline. However, this tendency to reify human activities can be found in many other traditions, and it goes back to ancient Greek thinking. It is argued that the consequences of this tradition of reification are significant for the human sciences. One important element of these types of metaphors is that they describe people and their capacities in static, rather than developmental, terms.


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