Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Contradictory languages

Read this articulate, intelligent item, and see whether you agree with what I write about it below:

There are two different 'languages' apparent in this item – not parallel or equivalent languages, because the terms and the conceptual frameworks that each represents do not translate directly from one to the other. Hardly surprising, since their differences are not merely at the level of vocabulary and register. Beyond that, they serve rather reflect different social functions, and represent (and generate) different understandings of child development. And different understandings of humanity itself.

Reading this personal story I can form no concrete idea of the nature or dynamic of the particular developmental disorder being described here. What I see instead is a child and her family being badly let down – hardly uniquely – by two antagonistic, insufficient and mutually incomprehending views of the world. 

The confusion represented here is as just one long-term predictable product of a society whose ideas on child development are split between two equally ineffective reductionisms. the sociological vs the biological – often manifest in practice, when it comes to providing services. as idealists vs mechanists.`

Oh for a dash of materialist dialectics...

I know, I know. In practical terms, for all the children and their families trapped in all this, there are very few for whom philosophical analysis offer the slightest help or comfort. What they need is sharp, clear demonstration of practical, effective pedagogic intervention to achieve real and immediate change, and help orientate towards a different way of interpreting the world and acting upon it.

Some who read these words will know what I mean. Some perhaps not. What is to be done?

By the way

It question here is not the matter of the relative incidence of given conditions but that biological factors in themselves are insufficient to explain developmental disorders, any more than are social ones, and that applies across the board.

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