Postformal Thought: Commons’ Model

  • Gerald Young


Commons (2008a) has developed the most comprehensive model of postformal thought in the Neo-Piagetian literature. In 2008, he presented his model with colleagues in a special issue of the journal World Futures. The present chapter is largely based on the articles in the issue. After reviewing each article, I provide commentary. Commons (2008a) model involves four postformal stages, and mine consists of one stage with five substages. The major difference in the models is that Commons appears to have missed a step involving hierarchization after the first step in his series. In the following, I show how the descriptions that Commons provides for his four postformal steps and the examples given to elaborate them suggest that a hierarchical step is needed in his model and that it fits very well into his series. Moreover, I present several models that are comparable to those of Commons and colleagues. However, these models avoid some of the issues deriving from the Commons’ model that I point out in the comparison of the two models. In particular, I describe a model of management styles derived from the present model.


Cognitive Development Management Style Collective Intelligence Formal Thought African Grey Parrot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Glendon CollegeYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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