Conceptual Connections, once again

George Siemens’ version of connectivism still includes a conceptual level. Here,

“At the conceptual level of knowledge development, it is about connecting and bringing concepts in relation to others.”

And if this layer were eliminated, I would miss it, and connectivism would indeed look “incomplete” (as Wiley said).

While in my previous post, I had to agree to some caveats, I am still wondering if conceptual connections would fulfill one of Stephen Downes’ criteria:

“A connection exists between two entities when a change of state in one entity can cause or result in a change of state in the second entity.”

Words can change each other’s subtle nuances, for example when a newer word gradually displaces an older one from a certain meaning, while the older word slowly shifts its connotations, just by being used differently: “Language is use“, as Wittgenstein’s language games take place.

Source: CLIPS

It is difficult und dangerous to map and compare this concept level with the underlying neural level. So it is interesting to compare it with the society level, which Downes once described as “Active participation in the network: – as a node in the network, by participating in society”. Imagine the participants in the thesaurus “society”. During the game of language use and during word history, they are bouncing each other around until their etymology may have been totally distorted.

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8 Responses to Conceptual Connections, once again

  1. Pingback: Conceptual Connections, once again | Connectivi...

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  5. Pingback: Visualizing my understanding of connectivism | x28’s new Blog

  6. I was pretty careful in my statement to allow for non-causal changes of state: “can cause or result in…” – and the purpose was precisely allow that networks could be formed by non-physical entities. Concepts may be one such example.

    I may have spoken disparagingly about networks of concepts in the past – I’m not sure – but I have no desire to rule them out a priori as the sort of things that can form networks.


  7. p.s. Now I have said connections are not just relations between concepts, as Melcher notes here. A concept map isn’t the same as a network. But insofar as concepts are dynamic, interacting things they can and do form networks.


  8. x28 says:

    This is good news; thank you very much!


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