Dialectical Thinking in Dialogue with Others


Complex thinking is of use both in analysis projects and dialogue-focused encounters. Although these two purposes may overlap, they can beneficially be pedagogically distinguished. In 2024-5, Otto Laske teaches complex thinking in each of these two branches of dialectics, described below. Please direct inquiries to Otto Laske via email to ‘[email protected]’.


Objective: Mastering the four moments of dialectic and their associated 28 thought forms for the sake of boosting the scope and depth of one’s analytical thinking for purposes of data analysis, prediction, artificial intelligence mapping, holistic linking of data sets, implicit critique, elucidation on unwarranted assumptions, ideological falsehoods, and narrow positivistic descriptions.

Methodology: Laske’s Dialectical Thought Form Framework (DTF), an integration of Frankfurt School ‘Critical Thinking’ with Kohlberg School research findings about adult cognitive development over the lifespan, as well as Bhaskar’s Critical Realism.

Activities engaged in by participants: Based on their progressive grasp and real-time use of the four moments of dialectic and their associated thought forms, participants practice deep listening, Such listening is directed to the cognitive (thought-form) structure of others’ communication, with a focus on the quality of holistic and systemic thinking manifested. Deep listening, guided by the instructor, leads to mind-opening questions addressed to a particular speaker that lay bare what is not made explicit, reflected upon, absent, falsely assumed, defensive, obfuscating, flat and  unrevealing as to truth. In collaborative listening in teams, structural listening focuses on the absence of one or more of the moments of dialectic (thus lack of systemic and holistic thinking). Participants have the option of writing a short case study to which written feedback is given by the instructor.

Activities engaged in by the instructor: In introducing key concepts of DTF and modeling its dialogical uses in real time, the instructor acts as a team leader, teacher, deep listener. and witness of the group’s real-time communication. In this role, he models fluidity of thinking in thought forms, search for holistic solutions, and grasp of systemic connectedness of seemingly disparate events and entities.

Prerequisites: None

Start Date: Signup of minimally 6 participants

Number of Participants: Maximum of 8 participants

Workshop Duration: Fifteen 1-hr sessions over 28 weeks (7 months)

Certification: Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM) Certificate of Meta-Systemic Thinking

Inquiries to: [email protected] (Otto Laske, Director of Education, Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM)