Metasystemic and Dialectical Thinking

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John Stewart:

"As I understand it, the fundamental purpose of developing metasystemic/dialectical thinking is to produce models of complex ‘reality’ that are more useful. This is driven by the recognition that less complex levels of thinking, such as analytical/rational cognition, fail to adequately model much of reality. Most of reality is not mechanistic and is not analysable with analytical/rational thought. This is why mainstream science has failed miserably to develop adequate theories and models of complex phenomena - its efforts to develop a science of sociology, psychology, political economy etc have fallen far short of what is required. It’s models of complex phenomena in these domains often fail to make accurate predictions.

This is a major problem for humanity at present. Human civilization is facing existential threats that are driven by complexities that cannot be modelled and dealt with by analytical/rational thinking. To survive, humanity needs what metasystemic/dialectical thinking can provide: good models of complex reality that enable us to model possible interventions and that help us identify interventions that will help us to survive these existential threats.

As such, metasystemic/dialectical thinking is fully grounded and fully practical. It’s goal is to produce mental models that are better at reflecting the complexity of most of reality, and at making predictions about how these parts of reality will unfold and respond to possible interventions. Any instance of the use of metasystemic/dialectical thinking can be continually tested against its ability to produce mental models that make accurate predictions about the ‘real’ world." (Metamodern Forum, June 3, 20210