Meervoudige denke: Versmoor/vermoor instellings denke?
Multiple thinking: do institutions smother/kill thought? Thought is the most distinct ability of humans. For humans to be fully developed beings the full development of this ability is required. When this is neglected humans become less human and all relationships humans are involved with will be damaged. This damage can with time assume catastrophic proportions. It can cause the collapse of societies and even the downfall of civilisations. This article reflects on the importance of multiple or compositional thinking as the ideal mode of thinking, on the essential problem that thought development is hindered by the preferable emphasis on simplified thinking, as the easily adoptable mode of thinking, and on the possible impoverishing consequences for individuals and societies of such strategies as it finds expression, comes to fruition and are enforced in institutional contexts: education, politics, culture. The smothering/killing of multiple thinking takes effect. Eventually simplified thinking becomes the general attitude in society as a whole. The alarming proportions already assumed due to the loss of thorough thinking are immense. It affects schools, universities, scientific work, political institutions, and administrative activities over a broad spectrum – as a matter of fact already the whole of society. We are confronted hereby with enormous challenges. In case these considered arguments are valid, as many would suggest, the situation has urgently to be reversed. Some proposals in this regard are made. It is first of all required to ponder the limitations of limited thought and its consequences. Additional to this it is necessary to realise that attitudes regarding poor thinking should be changed, that the poverty thereof be accepted, and that alternative thought routes are available. At the same time an awareness of the complexity of reality, human reality as well as natural reality, in its multiplicity and scope, should be kept vividly alive. No simplified, linear, and hence reductive thinking can offer adequate answers to the challenges of such a reality. Only a thought, willing to accept this and to think accordingly, will have a hope of the fulfilment of meaning and the enrichment of humans and reality.