A New Chapter for Work with the Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF)

In recent months, Otto Laske’s work on human development has become more widely known on account of  CAD, the Center for Applied Dialectic directed by Bernhard Possert. In addition, Dr Iva Vurdelja has worked with film maker Mark Stanic on the film “Forging a Life”, a documentary now available for distribution (http://vimeo.com/884507807; Password: Otto). The documentary traces Otto Laske’s creative life in both the arts and sciences, showing how it lead to the creation of the Constructive Developmental Framework in 1998 to 2002.

CDF takes a philosophical and empirical step beyond “developmental theory”. It transitions from a stale and limited notion of development as social-emotional, based on R. Kegan’s and Loevinger’s work, to a much broader, philosophically grounded. dialogical epistemology, by including in developmental work  and thinking practices built on Laske’s and his collegues’ consulting, coaching, and team development work. In this more highly developed form, CDF links to philosophical traditions as well as new philosophical streams of thought as represented, e.g.,  by Roy Bhaskar’s Dialectical Critical Realism and Gilbert Simondon’s work on the philosophy of becoming as transduction (of which human development is a special case).

From G. Simondon’s vantage point, a theory of human development over the lifespan needs to be grounded in a theory of becoming starting with physical systems and moving to biological, pxychic and collective systems. CDF amplifies this notion by showing that psychic systems, at some point of their unfolding, extend themselves into reflexive systems, a prototype of which is outlined in Laske’s CDF, in particular its social-emotional, cognitive, and psychological components (ED, CD, NP). More on this topic is forthcoming.

As to the relevance of CDF in organizational and research practice, a December 21st 2023 Zoom session (https://youtu.be/m073wg8uvJ4 ) produced a set of testimonials on the benefits of using DTF, Laske’s Dialectical Thought Form Framework, in a wide variety of social and natural science work, from climate research to team facilitation and coaching. Understanding Laske’s DTF was recently made easier by the 2nd edition publication of Laske’s 3 books on dialectical thinking by Springer, under the title of “Advanced Systems Level Problem Solving” (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-40332-3 ).

In addition to the books on DTF, Laske “Measuring Hidden Dimensions: The Art Science of Fully Engaging Adults” (of 2005) has been published in a second edition by Wolfgang Pabst Science Publisher, both in its original English and German (https://www.pabst-science-publishers.com/index.php?id=21).

The reader is invited to visit the many essays and papers by Otto Laske, found on this website under Blogs, especially Laske’s Social Science Archive I to IV (https://interdevelopmentals.org/?s=social+science+archive).

Readers with an interest in studying CDF through practical, ‘hands-on’ case studies may write to Otto Laske at [email protected] . See also the ‘Services’ menu on this website.




Author: Otto Laske

I am the founder and director of IDM, the Interdevelopmental Institute. My background is in philosophy, psychology, consulting, and coaching based on developmental theory to which I have mightily contributed myself. See the blogs at www.interdevelopmentals.org.