Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

[Return to MetaPerspective]

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Changing Your Mind

The World Question Center 2008

Over at Edge, publisher John Brockman posed this big question to some of the world's biggest scholars, scientists, movers, and shakers:

When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that's faith.
When facts change your mind, that's science.


Science is based on evidence. What happens when the data change? How have scientific findings or arguments changed your mind?"

You might want to bookmark this site, because there are pages and pages of answers here, way more than anyone could possibly read through in one sitting. And each of the ones I read made me stop and think about its implications.

I especially liked what Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner says about how his ideas about his "paragon," Jean Piaget, have changed:
Any serious scientist or scholar will change his or her mind; put differently, we will come to agree with those with whom we used to disagree, and vice versa. We differ in whether we are open or secretive about such "changes of mind": and in whether we choose to attack, ignore, or continue to celebrate those with whose views we are no longer in agreement.
There's a lot here about changing one's perspective. And that's a good thing.

What have you changed your mind about, and why?

Labels: ,