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May 26, 2004

Concrete Thinking


Concrete thinking is "Thinking characterized by immediate experience, rather than abstractions. It may occur as a primary, developmental defect, or it may develop secondary to organic brain disease or schizophrenia." Actually, concrete thinking is only considered a defect in those individuals over the age of twelve, until then, it's a developmental stage. ( Dialectical thinking , in contrast, is considered the more advanced form of thought, for which we should all be striving, if we are interested in maturing, that is.)

George W. displays an excellent example of concrete thinking with his suggested solution to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by the military at Abu Ghraib. He proposes to demolish the physical building in which the abuse took place. W.'s magnanimous gesture is equivalent to the Catholic Church closing some parishes(which they are, for financial reasons) in order to prevent the sexual abuse of children by priests. Really.

If the definition above is correct, we have alot to worry about, because we seem to have a person at the helm, with a major developmental deficeit, at best.

The earliest of Piaget's developmental stages, birth to two years, is the sensorimotor stage . At the latter end of this stage, the game, Peek-a-boo, delights babies, because they begin to learn that objects can exist even when they are not in view. W. couldn't be thinking on that level could he? Does he think this problem will really disappear? We can assume that he won't be delighted if it pops up again. The real question is, will he be surprised?

Photo note: There was a concrete wall in my archives, what can I say. It's not pretty, but it is illustrative. You will be interested to know that I had difficulty deciding which, of several, photos of concrete walls to publish. I didn't think a larger version necessary. Please let me know if you need one.

Much more interesting concrete

Posted by Dakota at May 26, 2004 07:16 AM