This post is part of the work done at Conjecture.
This post has been written for the first Refine blog post day, at the end of a week of readings, discussions, and exercises about epistemology for doing good conceptual research.
I have recently presented my model behind the Refine incubator that I'm running. Yet in the two weeks since this post was published, multiple discussions helped me make legible an aspect of my intuitions that I didn't discuss in this post: the notion of different "shapes of mind".
There are two points to this intuition:
I've given my current best model of the different forms of pluralism and when to use them in another recent post. What I want to explore here is the first point: this notion of shape of mind. For that, let's recall the geometric model of bits of evidence I introduced in Levels of Pluralism.
We have a high-dimensional space with objects in it. The space is the problem and the objects are bits of evidence.Because we suck at high-dimensional geometry, we use frames/perspectives that reduce the dimensionality and highlight some aspects of the space. These are operationalizations.There are clusters of bits of evidence in the space (whether they are rich or poor). These clusters are veins of evidence.
Here the shapes of mind are favored operationalizations — that is, the favored low-dimensional compression of the high-dimensional space where the bits of evidence lie. More precisely, a shape of mind is a cluster of "close" such transforms.
What makes someone have a given shape of mind?
One thing this handle makes clear is the difference between my model for different programs as Refine, SERI MATS, and PIBBSS respectively aim at:
I'm excited to finally be in a field with all three.
Thus we can see framing exercises as a way of shaping your mind to see the hidden bits of evidence that you want to access.