"Mind" versus "Concept" Mapping versus Lev Vygotsky (& Lenin too)

The Theory of Relativity mind mapped

It seems that Mind Mapping® is a technique, related to Concept Mapping. Mind mapping was "invented" (and copyrighted) by Tony Buzan in the UK. "Ah," I say., "Ah." [Penny drops] However ..>>
The concept mapping technique was developed by Prof. Joseph D. Novak at Cornell University in the 1960s. This work was based on the theories of David Ausubel (a follower of Piaget --DR), who stressed the importance of prior knowledge in being able to learn about new concepts. Novak concluded that "Meaningful learning involves the assimilation of new concepts and propositions into existing cognitive structures".....The difference between concept maps and mind maps is that a mind map has only one main concept, while a concept map may have several. This comes down to the point that a mind map can be represented as a tree, while a concept map may need a network representation. [Source ]


You may think that's interesting but if you want to be exposed to how wanky Buzan can 'conceptualise' the Mind Map --"his" Mind Map -- check out this video here on YouTube.

Seems almost a shibboleth the way Buzan has tried to engineer his copyrighted Mind Mapping® from the very ancient form of thinking by visualizing that had been developed as long ago as Ancient Greece philosophy. Now he 'owns' the term. Bugger.

So for me to proceed into this area I gotta deal with the fact I have to pilot myself between a Can Do New Age guru type and all these go getter business execs who are keen to exploit any edge they may have on the competition or makes them look good at the next seminar.

But you see, I'm a keen adherent of the perspectives developed by Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (Лев Семенович Выготский) (Yes. He was a Russian -- a Soviet Psychologist and Marxist. See his archive here)
Formal language facilitates a shift from subjective to objective styles of thought. When we decontextualise linguistic units the semiotic potential is altered. Initially when I started this project I found myself trapped by the context Vygotskian concepts were embedded in, unable to think about them clearly outside of the texts. In an effort to abstract the meaning from the text I drew a mind map. This map provided a way of organising my thoughts, a means I might add that lends itself particularly well to paragraphs and sections because of its structure. I then drew up a table with the concepts written across the top of the page and again down the side of the page. Having done this I found myself thinking in different ways about the concepts, relating them to each other in ways that I had not done previously. The semiotic potential of tabling these concepts was realised. Decontextualising the mediational means allows us to approach and think about ideas in new ways. In doing so we frequently create something new. SOURCE: 'Vygotsky' by Trish Nicholl
The Vygotskian relationship between culture, consciousness, and
psychological phenomena is diagramed/mapped below. Source:Ratner
But,you see, 'mind mapping' has this great non lineal logic. And, if impulse should take you, and you were to read Lenin's Philosophical Notebooks or a primer on Dialectical Materialism you won't get far before you run into the science of relationships. In Lenin you'll even get mind maps! Things relate to other things. So in conceptualizing that relationship why not mind map and draw the links -- via trees, networks, wriggly lines or pointy bits.

But I think technically & semantically, at least, Buzan is wrong. The mind isn't being mapped -- the concept is being formed.
Dialectics as living, many-sided knowledge (with the number of sides eternally increasing), with an infinite number of shades of every approach and approximation to reality (with a philosophical system growing into a whole out of each shade)—here we have an immeasurably rich content as compared with "metaphysical" materialism, the fundamental misfortune of which is its inability to apply dialectics to the Bildertheorie, to the process and development of knowledge.... Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmire, into clerical obscurantism (where it is anchored by the class interests of the ruling classes). Rectilinearity and one-sidedness, woodenness and petrification, subjectivism and subjective blindness—voila the epistemological roots of idealism. And clerical obscurantism (=philosophical idealism), of course, has epistemological roots, it is not groundless; it is a sterile flower undoubtedly, but a sterile flower that grows on the living tree of living, fertile, genuine, powerful, omnipotent, objective, absolute human knowledge."

--SOURCE: "On the Question of Dialectics" (1915), in: Collected Works, vol. 38 (Philosophical Notebooks); Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1981; pp. 357-36; concluding paragraphs.

Channels