The Instigator
speculative
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
GeoLaureate8
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

The Eastern holistic cognition hindered the development of science in China

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,830 times Debate No: 10766
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)

 

speculative

Pro

The proposition is the following: the Eastern holistic cognition, as opposed to the Western analytical cognition, was among the main factors that led to the Chinese scientific stagnation. I contend that the proposition is true. This cognitive approach has hindered the development of science in that it promoted the establishment of inconspicuous hindering mechanisms, which through cultural consolidation became even more obstructive to the development of science in China. The Eastern holistic cognition, by emphasizing the I as an element in the Whole, certainly paved the road that predated the coming of collectivism towards its cultural acceptance. With collectivism came certain customary practices. For instance, we can think of the deep reverence towards seniors, particularly pronounced in East Asian cultures, which restricted the free flow of thoughts from one to another. Without doubt, the self shapes culture and vice-versa, and certainly the Eastern holistic cognition is but one of the inherent characteristics of the Eastern self, which can be molded by culture alone. I contend that the Eastern holistic cognition may not have been the decisive factor, but was one of the factors that led to some obstructive cultural peculiarities in Eastern cultures. The Eastern holistic cognition was also conducive to the emphasis of balance in Eastern cultures. As balance was stressed, the political apparatus in China did not adopt policies towards the development of science; for instance, families kept their engineering knowhow to themselves and the State did not promote the importance in building upon past knowledge. To that we can add that China did not adopt policies to industrialize its economy. This was politically purposeless as China did not have a culture of consumerism, nor it could have led to scientific development as the foundation was not laid.
GeoLaureate8

Con

It appears my opponent has plagiarized (http://www.asiafinest.com...;), but I will contend his arguments regardless and I expect him to defend the resolution further.

He states that the Eastern holistic cognition, as opposed to the Western analytical cognition, was among the main factors that led to the Chinese scientific stagnation. There are several problems with this assertion.

1. He has failed to define any terms, so I will provide definitions here:

Holistic: Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. [1]

Cognition: That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge. [2]

2. Holistic cognition isn't the opposite of analytical cognition nor are there any properties of holism that would trump scientific progression.

My opponent has made an affirmative claim, so he has the burden to prove the resolution. Thus far, he has provided us with more bare assertions based on a poor understanding of the topic.

{*The Eastern holistic cognition, by emphasizing the I as an element in the Whole, certainly paved the road that predated the coming of collectivism towards its cultural acceptance.*}

The "whole" that Holism represents, isn't a collective group such as the collectivist concept, but rather the entire Universe.

{*With collectivism came certain customary practices. For instance, we can think of the deep reverence towards seniors, particularly pronounced in East Asian cultures, which restricted the free flow of thoughts from one to another.*}

My opponent is trying to connect holism with collectivism, and connecting collectivism with the restriction of the free flow of thought. He provides no explanation, nor explains how any of these things are connected.

The rest of his argument goes off on a tangent while still providing no evidence.

>>Conclusion<<

Pro failed to meet his burden.

[1] [2] Dictionary.com
Debate Round No. 1
speculative

Pro

I could hurt myself with the elbow by saying that the proposition cannot be proven by modern science techniques, but any scientific theory can be proven wrong by new experimental data. The proposition thus cannot be proven wrong or right by scientific means. It can be proven wrong, if any word is, contrarily to intent, misused. However, it cannot be proven right. I can nevertheless convince a majority that it is highly plausible. Now, that I have given myself a semblance of a handicap, I shall proceed. The proposition of this debate implies that the notion that the mind can be predisposed to adhere to a system of thought for the reason that it is also predisposed to perceive in a certain way is true. Consider this simple thought experiment: a person with a narrow field of vision will not notice certain details on the road as a person with a broader field of vision would. Several anecdotal accounts suggest that East Asians perceive in a holistic way; whereas Westerners perceive in an analytical way. An intelligence test was designed for children. After having been used in the West, it was translated for use in the East. Scientists noticed a striking difference in one of the questions. The question involved a picture showing a giant turtle floating in the middle of sea. The question asked "what is it"? The East Asian children often responded "it is the sea"; whereas the Western children often responded "it is a turtle". A scientific research was conducted and confirmed this cognitive difference. Holistic cognition seems to be correlated with the prevalence of values and beliefs—scientific and religious—that put greater emphasis on relations rather than objects considered independently. My opponent should also look up the word "holistic" in the dictionary, which is the antonym of then word "analytic".
GeoLaureate8

Con

{*Several anecdotal accounts suggest that East Asians perceive in a holistic way; whereas Westerners perceive in an analytical way.*}

You have no source for the anecdotal accounts, nor are anecdotal accounts reliable. Even still, this notion is absurd to begin with. How could one experiment involving a few people represent the entire population of East Asia? Second of all, if this "holistic cognition" hindered scientific progress, then why is Hong Kong, China the 4th most technologically advanced city in the world? [1] This shatters your entire assertion.

{*The East Asian children often responded "it is the sea"; whereas the Western children often responded "it is a turtle".*}

This has nothing to do with holism. Holism is a philosophy, not a form of flawed visual perception. Holism is a philosophy that "emphasizes the importance of the whole," but it does NOT say that the parts must be ignored. This seems to be what your whole argument hinges on. You claim that the holistic people of the East can't even visually perceive the parts, and can only see things as a whole. However, this is probably not true, nor does it have anything to do with the philosophy of holism. I personally am a holist, and I can tell you directly that I am fully capable of analyzing.

{*My opponent should also look up the word "holistic" in the dictionary, which is the antonym of then word "analytic".*}

My research says otherwise. I could not find an online dictionary that listed "analytic" as an antonym of holistic.

In conclusion, my opponent has not adequately supported the resolution and has not even provided a clear defense of his position. I have also proved that Hong Kong, a city in China, is one of the furthest ahead in scientific progress, and therefore, my opponents argument has been negated.

[1] http://gpmgroup.info...
Debate Round No. 2
speculative

Pro

Well, I suppose you didn't understand what I actually wrote. What I said is not that this cognitive approach, and holistic cognition has nothing to do with holism, fostered certain thoughts and values, which seems highly possible. Now, there was a scientific research that was done by Richard E. Nisbett on holistic cognition. You should check that out and look up the word holistic in the dictionary, which you have not done to my amazement. As a closing remark, I want to state in an ethical debate on what is wrong and what is right, there's no scientific proof used. In fact, neither con or pro can come up with any evidence. In this debate, people should consider only the likelihood of the proposition and not its factuality.
GeoLaureate8

Con

{*What I said is not that this cognitive approach, and holistic cognition has nothing to do with holism, fostered certain thoughts and values, which seems highly possible.*}

You failed to define or describe this cognitive approach, so I listed the definition of "holistic" and "cognition" and formed the basis of my argument around those terms since you failed to provide definitions. My argument was simply that the philosophy of holism does not hinder scientific progression, nor does it have any direct link to flawed visual perception. You present this argument that describes people who can't identify a turtle in a sea and I find this irrelevant to holism. Nor do I think it's probable that East Asians even have such flawed perception.

{*Look up the word holistic in the dictionary, which you have not done to my amazement.*}

I provided the definition of "holistic" from an online dictionary in my first argument.

-->Conclusion<--

My opponent failed to even present an argument in the third round and has failed to affirm the resolution throughout the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
I don't see what kind of intelligence is being tested by the task of identifying a turtle.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Yeah EHS, I have had to many easy wins lately.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Pro doesn't even understand holism. He contends (or whoever he plagiarized from) that it is antithetical to selfhood, and is instead a form of colectivism. On the contrary, holists have a thorough understanding of selfhood and most certainly adhere to it.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
You should do it Koopin, I want to see his response.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
You should do it Koopin, I want to see his response.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Koopin, you should accept this and just point out that the entire thing is plagiarized in-round. You'll get a free win.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
Should I just accept?
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
yeah.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
Lol.

Shouldn't he automatically lose since he didn't provide any personal response?
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
I really think that if someone gives one argument he will give up.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Osiris 7 years ago
Osiris
speculativeGeoLaureate8Tied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
speculativeGeoLaureate8Tied
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Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
speculativeGeoLaureate8Tied
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Total points awarded:02