Вот три абстракта лекций с 2019 конференции Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) website.
Problem Solving, Introspection and Lessons Learned over the Course of Writing Two Books on Organic Chemistry
By Andrei Hent ( B.Sc in Chemistry with Honors, 2012, University of Toronto)
ABSTRACT. How can we learn to read our own minds when seeking to solve challenging scientific problems? I present a range of practical methods, techniques and strategies, relying on mental operational concepts such as “differentiation”, “integration” and “concretization”, as well as the value of grounding scientific ideas in experimental evidence. This talk, which emphasizes developed mental processes and introspective techniques, draws on lessons I learned over the course of co-authoring two books on apparently distinct topics in the field of organic chemistry. We will look at a typical problem and possible avenues for tackling it. We will establish context and causality, as well as “author bias” and “framework bias”. We will, ultimately, consider how to make progress when facing a seemingly intractable problem—by using specific practical methods, visual and algorithmic. Helpful aids and methods are, on the whole, helpful precisely because, by encouraging us to examine and direct our own mental processes, they work to lessen the mental burden imposed by the limited number of mental units which humans can hold in conscious awareness at any time (George A. Miller, 1956). The idea of limited cognitive capacity is essential not just to problem solving but also to understanding and ultimately to effective communication in all fields of knowledge, including the field of science. I conclude with pertinent references about the history of chemistry, along with guidance for objectively judging scientific articles in the literature.
Introspection: The Key Process of Creatical Thinking
by Lee Pierson, PhD, 1982, Psychology, Cornell University
ABSTRACT. Introspection, “a means of learning about one’s own currently ongoing, or perhaps very recently past, mental states or processes” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), was the original principal methodology of scientific psychology, as practiced by William James, Wilhelm Wundt, Edward Bradford Titchener, the Würzburg psychologists, and others. But with the ascendancy of behaviorism (and, later, of methodologically-behavioristic cognitive psychology), introspection nearly disappeared from the psychological scene.
The aim of this talk is to identify introspection on thinking (i.e., conceptually identifying what is going on in your mind while you are thinking, particularly any gap in your thinking that is impeding its progress) as not only a method of scientific psychology past or present, but also a valuable personal practice whose goal is to provide guidance for keeping one’s thinking on track to its goal.
This form of introspection is the key skill underlying creatical thinking. “Creatical thinking” refers to the processes of going beyond the faulty automatic “programming” (the invalid assumptions) that makes bad critical thinking and breaks good creative thinking. It is how you can refocus your thought process when what comes to mind automatically has left your thinking stuck, sidetracked, cognitively biased, or otherwise in error. Introspection on thinking — identifying what to think about next for getting your thinking back on track to its goal (the “key issue”) — is the skill needed for getting this process started.
Introspectively identifying what to think about next makes sustained independent thinking possible when it otherwise might founder. Introspective thinkers can spiral in to their thought-goals instead of becoming stuck circling around them. Introspection, with this functionality, is, I believe, the most important cognitive skill that is not yet explicitly taught at any level of schooling.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed: The Introspective Mind of a Self-Possessed Scientist
by Shoshana Milgram Knapp, Associate Professor, Department of English, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ABSTRACT. In the novel Ursula K. Le Guin termed “an ambiguous utopia,” the protagonist, Shevek, is engaged in a problem-solving mission that is broadly moral as well as specifically scientific. By journeying from his home planet of Anarres to the planet Urras, he seeks not only to engage in scientific exchange, but to “unbuild walls,” to bring together the worlds that were separated by exile. He invents the “ansible,” designed to “permit communication without any time interval between two points in space.” It is both a concrete discovery and a metaphor for the restoration of lost connections and the forging of new ones. His conceptualization of time, moreover, has parallels with the ideas in Michael Douma’s recent Creative Historical Thinking (Routledge, 2018). But who is Shevek, and how does his mind solve problems, in physics and in all his explorations?
Within the novel, Le Guin dramatizes and emphasizes Shevek’s relentless and recursive introspection, his quest to understand not only the outside world, but the world within him. By reading his own mind, he comes to own himself. His brilliance, Le Guin shows, follows from his unconventional introspective method. When the young Shevek grows to maturity on Anarres and, in alternating chapters, when the adult Shevek encounters Urras, Shevek observes not only the actions and values of the two planets, but the course of his own cognitive development. In studying the texture of time, or the nature of the Odonian revolution, or the fallacies within dichotomies, he challenges and questions the “walls,” the assumptions that can poison life if they are not recognized and exploded. He derives, in fact, a special pleasure from seeing and assailing his own errors. “He smiled; the pleasure of patching the hole in his thinking made him radiant.”