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When The Stars Align: On the Contributions of Gilbert Gottlieb and Peter C. M. Molenaar to Developmental Science Theory and Method1

When The Stars Align: On the Contributions of Gilbert Gottlieb and Peter C. M. Molenaar to... Among the many conceptual and methodological issues of basic importance in developmental science, the nature-nurture controversy and the measurement of intraindividual change, respectively, are arguably the two most fundamental. The former issue pertains to the ontology of development: Of what is development constituted or composed? The latter issue pertains to the epistemology of the field: Through what means (methods) can we know (or measure) that a human has changed developmentally?Peter C. M. Molenaar’s (2015) short but creative and far-reaching article rightly points to the theoretical framework of Gilbert Gottlieb (e.g., 1997, 1998), a model that, today, would be understood as an instance of relational developmental systems (RDS) theories (Overton, 2015). The RDS metamodel provides a singularly important path for integratively addressing the issues of ontology and epistemology to which we have pointed. Molenaar (2015) explains that Gottlieb’s ideas provide an ontologically persuasive and empirically generative means for understanding why Cartesian “split” and biologically reductionist conceptions of the role of genes in human development are incorrect and why, in turn, bidirectional relations between biological/physiological processes (e.g., genetic activity, neuronal structure and function) and psychological, behavioral, and contextual processes are fused in constituting the fundamental relational process of human development. Gottlieb’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Developmental Science IOS Press

When The Stars Align: On the Contributions of Gilbert Gottlieb and Peter C. M. Molenaar to Developmental Science Theory and Method1

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved
ISSN
2192-001X
DOI
10.3233/DEV-14159
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Among the many conceptual and methodological issues of basic importance in developmental science, the nature-nurture controversy and the measurement of intraindividual change, respectively, are arguably the two most fundamental. The former issue pertains to the ontology of development: Of what is development constituted or composed? The latter issue pertains to the epistemology of the field: Through what means (methods) can we know (or measure) that a human has changed developmentally?Peter C. M. Molenaar’s (2015) short but creative and far-reaching article rightly points to the theoretical framework of Gilbert Gottlieb (e.g., 1997, 1998), a model that, today, would be understood as an instance of relational developmental systems (RDS) theories (Overton, 2015). The RDS metamodel provides a singularly important path for integratively addressing the issues of ontology and epistemology to which we have pointed. Molenaar (2015) explains that Gottlieb’s ideas provide an ontologically persuasive and empirically generative means for understanding why Cartesian “split” and biologically reductionist conceptions of the role of genes in human development are incorrect and why, in turn, bidirectional relations between biological/physiological processes (e.g., genetic activity, neuronal structure and function) and psychological, behavioral, and contextual processes are fused in constituting the fundamental relational process of human development. Gottlieb’s

Journal

International Journal of Developmental ScienceIOS Press

Published: May 15, 2015

References