Implicit and explicit metaphysics in conceptualising transfer and transformation

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Abstract

This chapter investigates the possibility of drawing on the discipline of metaphysics in discussions of the transfer of knowledge. The chapter initially identifies appeals to metaphysics in the transfer literature. They uniformly stress the significance of process metaphysics for the question of transfer. The chapter then outlines three dominant metaphysical frameworks, based on objects, processes and structures, respectively, and locates these in the learning sciences. Against that background, the chapter argues that the appeals to process metaphysics identified in the transfer literature cannot establish the claims that are made, namely that process metaphysics somehow make the question of transfer void. The chapter then explores avenues of systematic and constructive reliance on metaphysics in theory construction. One stresses alignment between one’s view of learning and the concept one employs in theory construction. Another points to alignment between the domain of knowledge and existing metaphysical frameworks that have been utilised in understanding the fundamental nature of that domain. A concluding section reflects on the possibility of choosing a metaphysical framework, and stresses the importance of being aware of the often implicit metaphysics in the language with which one theorises.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning for situated knowledge transformation
EditorsNina Bonderup Dohn, Stig Børsen Hansen, Jens Jørgen Hansen
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2020
Edition1.
Pages75-90
Chapter5
ISBN (Print)9780367225735
ISBN (Electronic)9780429275692
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesRoutledge Research In Education

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