New Physics Models Underlying Postformal Thought

  • Jan D. Sinnott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


As I described in Chapter 3, new physics is one of the intellectual antecedents of postformal thought. New physics thinking is the kind of logical thinking structure that complex postformal thinkers—like my wise relatives and Einstein—have always had at their disposal in various forms. The purpose of this chapter is to review some important original ideas basic to the new physics as it was first articulated, that is, to relativity theory and quantum physics. Of course, physics has evolved immensely since the origins of the new physics. But my purpose is to show how useful even the basic new physics ideas are as metatheories for life-span development, especially for cognitive life-span development. Other post-Newtonian physics paradigms, especially general systems theory, chaos theory, complexity theories of self-regulating systems, and postmodern thought, will be discussed in Chapters 6 and 7. All these paradigms reflect elements of basic postformal thought and provide ways to study such thought.


Physic Idea General System Theory Newtonian Physic Formal Thought Aristotelian Logic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan D. Sinnott
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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