Imported from an old blog.
Heidegger has come up quite often in my own personal ramblings about the nature of work, collaboration, and information and knowledge representation. A few days ago, Aldo posted some information about the foundations of the Language Action Perspective (social constructionism, Heidegger, the notion of breakdowns in learning, organization as networks or interaction and commitments) that tickled long bound threads in my brain and ancient notes in my palm pilot.
In a modern phenomenology, a person is a being embodied in a physical and social environment by which they create, discover and manipulate meaning: That which is in the world is what we know. What we learn is the result of an ongoing compare and contrast of what we already know with what we are becoming to know through experience and interpretation. Knowledge is the exploration of the sympathies between concepts.
Our appreciation of existing description is based, to a powerful degree, on how well it resonates with our conception of the world or the world we want. Analogical reasoning describes what we know, it reveals new learning, but it only does so in the way in which we allow ourselves to vibrate in or out of tune with the phenomenological world.
Husserl regards phenomenology as a way of describing without the influence of individual interpretations (our own tunes). More modern views eschew such things: there is always the interpretive dance, coming through our senses. We know what we want to know by what we allow ourselves to feel, smell, hear, etc.
The most true moments of learning (from the mundane "I did not know that" to the alterations of faith) are the breakdowns: That which we are and know collides with the world of experience in a moment of discordancy that we either accept with a cascade of adaptations, or reject with a closing of doors.
Information tools and environments support breakdowns to varying degrees of effectiveness. Tools and communication networks with open formats, open (and granular) access and flexible processes of use stir diversity into the information ecology, making room, by design, for the unexpected and thus for learning. Tools and communication networks with constrained formats, access and processes are not for learning, but that does not make them bad. They are for action (to be continued...)