Thank you for joining with us for a week long conversation beginning on Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 20th, 2015 with oft-published scholar Ken Gergen about his new article "From Mirroring to World-Making: Research as Future Forming" about the re-framing of scientific inquiry from a passive mirror reflecting what is to an active, relational process that shapes the future.
We invite you to continue the dialogue and post questions or comments for Ken or the other community members to discuss current models of research and inquiry and what the future could hold.
Our week culminated on Friday, March 20th featuring a webinar with Ken further exploring the themes from his article and building on the discussion that emerged over the course of the week. To listen to a recording of the webinar click here: RECORDING OF WEBINAR
Two articles recommended by Ken during the webinar:
Winner of the 2014 essay competition, Independent Social Research Foundation, London, UK
In press: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
About the article:
The “science wars” of recent decades have largely subsided, giving way to what might be viewed as a condition of reflective pragmatism. However, the prevailing metaphor underlying most research across the social sciences remains that of the “mirror.” That is, even while conscious of its biases, researchers continue the attempt to reflect, explore, illuminate, or describe aspects of individual or social life. After considering some of the shortcomings of the prevailing practices, I offer an alternative to the mirror metaphor, one that defines the researcher in terms of world-making. By this I mean an orientation to inquiry in which the major attempt is not to assay the world for what it is, but to actively shape the contours of the future. A future forming orientation is especially invited by the increasingly rapid fluctuations in social life, and represents an alternative to the prevailing tradition and its unclear consequences for society. Shifting from a view of knowledge as propositional, to one of knowledge as praxis – or practical “knowing how” – I discuss research in a future forming direction, including critical inquiry, the creation of new practices, and collaborative action. Attention is also given to the role of theory, and to a relational ethic of research.
More about Ken Gergen:
Kenneth J. Gergen, Ph.D., is a founding member, President of the Taos Institute and Chair of the Board, and the Mustin Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College. Gergen also serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Gergen received his BA from Yale University and his PhD from Duke University, and has taught at Harvard University and Heidelberg University. He has been the recipient of two Fulbright research fellowships, the Geraldine Mao fellowship in Hong Kong, along with Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Alexander Humboldt Stiftung. Gergen has also been the recipient of research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the Barra Foundation. He has received honorary degrees from Tilburg University and Saybrook Institute, and is a member of the World Academy of Art and Science.