Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chia, Holt, Strategy Without Design. Heidegger, H. Dreyfus on Heidegger, ... Wayfinding, Skillful Coping,...

I have been reading a book by Chia and Holt, Strategy Without Design, The Silent Efficiency of Indirect Action. I was led to it by S. Dreyfus of Berkeley's Industrial Engineering Dept. who works on intuition and expert knowledge, who has written on what he calls System 0 (vs. Kahneman's System 1 and 2 in his Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow), about when people have deep intuitive knowledge of what to do. (There is also a fine article by Kahneman (dubious about expertise) and Klein (studies experts' intuitive capacities) in the American Psychologist where they define better where they agree and disagree, Sept 2009.) In any case, in googling around I found the link below, where Chia/Holt talk about what's wrong with knowledge in business schools. Reading the abstract is enough. 

Chia/Holt are part of a movement that is concerned with process, influenced by Heidegger (through an interpretation by Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley's Philosophy Dept). Dreyfus's interpretation is I think appropriate, and in maybe 1972 I attended his class on Heidegger (Stanley Fish was also attending) when he was expounding this, well before he had spread the word more widely through publication.

Like all such books, Chia and Holt go too far, but still I find it useful. On the other hand, I have been thinking in these terms for 40+ years, influenced not only by Heidegger, but by Albert Hirschman, Harold Garfinkel, and others. My first book, Advice and Planning (1981), has a 100-page essay on advice, one that I could only write after hearing Dreyfus's lectures (I already had a rough draft that did not work, but during one of D's lectures I realized what I needed and so could now write the essay properly, which I did when I was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 1973-74.). The idea was to think of knowledge for policy and the advisor (or expert or professor) as coming from involved experience rather than abstract application of something we know to a situation.

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