A range of new terms have been added to the glossaries of Wittgenstein On Learning, particularly in the general, knowledge and practices.
As a summary you will be the following newly added terms in the respective glossaries:
- GENERAL GLOSSARY: affordances & effectivities, information entropy, mindfulness, structuring structures which structure structure, and tacit knowledge;
- KNOWLEDGE GLOSSARY: information entropy, mindfulness, tacit knowledge; and
- PRACTICES GLOSSARY - affordances & effectivities; structuring structures which structure structure, and tacit knowledge.
AFFORDANCES & EFFECTIVITIES - As defined by Gee (2008), "the term 'affordance' (coined by Gibson 1977, 1979) is used to describe the perceived action possibilities posed by objects or features in the environment ... Any environment in which an individual finds him or herself is filled with affordances." (p. 81) In other words, an affordance contains the possibility of a successful practice, but it does not ensure success. "Even when an affordance is recognized, however, a human actor must also have the capacity to transform the affordance into an actual and effective action. Effectivitiesare the set of capacities for action that the individual has for transforming affordances into action. An effectivity means that a person can take advantage of what is offered by the objects or features in the environment." (p. 81)
INFORMATION ENTROPY - refers to the decay of information and understanding unless that information is processed, conceptualised, synthesised and maintained. In an information society - like our modern, internet age - too much information can lead to a fragmentation of deep understanding. Therefore, whilst information may proliferate but deep understanding may lose cohesion unless maintained.
MINDFULNESS - is the practice often attributed to meditation which involves a deepening awareness of experience. In mindfulness, one seeks to develop the peace of mind in the present moment, to become aware of the attributes of one's form of life, to understand "what is the case" with clarity, and to find solace in a more holistic and multifaceted perspective on experience. To be mindful is to achieve a clear view.
STRUCTURING STRUCTURES WHICH STRUCTURE STRUCTURE - Refers to those aspects within one's environment that gives shape to practices, influences what practices one is part of, and comes to sustain practices. The concept is closely related to Bourdieu's concept of habitus, and it refers to the background to practices and knowledge which is often taken for granted or assumed. For instance, an actor must be aware that the ability to attain a career in acting is built on the premise that a culture values the concept of acting and drama, and the culture can allow/afford for members of its community to embody the role of actors. It can be the case that one feels entitled to a form of living without admitting that this form of life is reliant on certain capital, practices, methods of production and division of labour to be in place for the practice to be sustained.
TACIT KNOWLEDGE - as defined by Gerrans (2005) is "knowledge not consciously possessed by the agent or able to be articulated by her in propositional form but which nevertheless regulates her activities. Bourdieu’s account of the concept draws from a philosophical tradition whose 20th century inspiration is Martin Heidegger, which treats tacit knowledge as practical ability or skill, acquired through habituation ... [It is a] conception of knowledge [that] is, in effect, a dispositional one, which identifies knowledge with the socially acquired capacities, propensities or tendencies of an agent to act appropriately in given circumstances." (p. 54)