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Erik Engdahl: Presentation of myself

Version 2
(21 Feb. 2012)

My first research career was in quantum chemistry. In 1988, I successfully defended my Dr.Techn. thesis. The thesis was considered to be a good one, and several influential people wrote marvelous letters of recommendations for me. With them, I gained three post-doctoral fellowships: in France, in Israel, and in Great Britain. However, at that stage of my personal history, I did not function well collaboratively or in doing independent research. Thus I performed poorly - very poorly.

I felt bad about this and in such a condition I attached symbiotically to something which for me functioned as (See Thomas' theorem!) a non-religious informal sect or sect-like environment. During a critical phase of acute sect-dependence in 1999, I failed to trust my own reality anchoring and I avoided to acquire viewpoints from people outside the sect-like environment. At the end of the day, I had a more vulnerable body, nervous system and brain. After chronic and acute sect dependence, I'm since about 2005 to a high degree autonomous in relation to the sect-like environment. As a by-product, I have acquired material from a 1st person perspective for action research (as participatory observer or observing participant) on sects and coteries. Nowadays, I am betweentimes cooperating with the sect-like environment without risk of sect dependence.

In the beginning of the 1990s, I got some impulses from the leader of the sect-like environment about what she called her "primary thinking" and "unconditional thinking". During my post-doctoral stay in Jerusalem 1991-92, I deviated very much from my research plan and I wrote a manuscript of 43 pages about what I later named the "dedogmatisation method". (Strictly speaking, I didn't trespass the rules for the fellowship as its purpose is to enable the researcher to get to know Israel's ancient and modern heritage in culture, research and statesmanship.)

Very briefly, dedogmatisation is a kind of intellectual aikido. Instead of claiming that a theory is wrong, one identifies which are the prejudices one need to acquire in order to behave in the stiff-legged way the theory describes or predicts. In this way it is possible to put the theory in its rightful place: preserved in the graveyard in loving memory. Recently, I have been interviewed about dedogmatisation.

When I was back in Uppsala for a while in 1992, I sent an abstract to various departments at Uppsala University. At the Sociology Department., I got in contact with three researchers and in Jan. 1993, I gave a seminar on my manuscript. A professor in philosophy of religions told me to go home and do my homework consisting of acquiring an exhaustive schooling in philosophy and philosophy of science. He characterised me as a "glad amateur though with some virtues". Since then, a great deal of my activities has been this very schooling.

After my return to Sweden in 1995, I started collaboration with Professor Tom Burns at the Sociology Department. on the social construction of consciousness. This I presented at Tucson 1996 - a biennial conference on consciousness in Arizona. I also attended a socio-cybernetic conference in Bucharest in the same year. In 1998, Professror Burns and I published a double article about this in Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Since then, I have not been doing systematic research, although I have collected an enormous amount of pointers to articles and books to read.

The dedogmatisation method which I just mentioned, is a new method, at least partially. It appears to me that only a handful number of times each century, a new research method in social sciences, psychology, etc. it is allowed to be introduced. I ready myself to seriously introduce the dedogmatisation method and to apply one or more theories.

As an application, it is not a stretch for me to explore theories on the autism spectrum. Already in 1997, I published on my web site, an abstract for a future world-leading. Fairly recently, in 2007, an article "The intense world syndrome – an alternative hypothesis for autism" by Makrak et al. was published. As this article begins to touch the true cause behind autism spectrum conditions, its publication serves as an impulse to me to begin with this since long time pending project.

Currently, I'm doing progresses in the area of putting priority on projects. In some future, I have the intention to acquire the authority to introduce this dedogmatisation method. A way of doing it, is to very thoroughly vet a predecessor. In my home library, I'm collecting books by Roy Bhaskar, though I have hardly opened them yet. His work could be a suitable research object when - according to my plans - I will start on graduate studies 2.

Thomas' theorem: In Sociology/Social Psychologi, in particular Symbolic Interactionism Thomas' theorem occurs: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences". [Back]

Definition of sect: A rough working definition of a "sect" is a collectively autistic movement or social environment from which it is or perceives as being dangerous to leave or to oppose overt, tacit and even sometimes imaginary demands or expectations. [Back]

Version 1
(19 Sep. 2010, based on an earlier version from 1998)

At an early date, I used and developed computerised IT. During the period 1978-87, I led the computerisation at the Department. of Clinical Chemistry at Falun Central Hospital. During the first part of the 1980s, I guided virtually all of the personnel at this department toward computer mastery. Since 1985, I have used the Internet.

I began my graduate studies in quantum chemistry in the 1983 after having completed my training in barely four years at Uppsala Uuniversity’s school of engineering physics.. In between, I had worked for a year at the high school in Falun, as teacher in mathematics, physics and sciences.

As graduate student and later, I expanded a framework for resonance theory called complex scaling technique. Already at the period as graduate studies, I started close collaboration with researchers abroad. Among other things, I remained several periods in Israel where I did research.

After having received my doctorate degree in 1988, I have been postdoctoral fellow at several places abroad - in France, Israel – and latest doing research in muon spin relaxation in Great Briatin, as a scholarship holder within one of the frameworks of the European Commission.

In the beginning of the 1990s, I began to become seriously interested in social sciences: psychology, neuro-psychiatry, pedagogics etc.. I developed an - in my view - an inovative method for dedogmatisation in order to explore the "validity" of some theory in these areas. With the quotation marks in the preceding sentence, I have in view to explore which complications of life one should have internalised in order for the theory to become valid, i.e. such that one behaves in the stiff-legged way the theory describes and predicts.

Fairly soon after I began examining dedogmatisation, I got in contact with several established researchers in Sweden as well as abroad. In 1988, I published, together with sociology professor Tom Burns at Uppsala University, a double article in the Journal of Consciousness Studies about the social construction of consciousness. We were pioneers to introduce socio-cultural perspective in the latest wave on conscious studies which began in the beginning of the 1990s.

One of my pending projects is to get formal competence in pedagogics, as a high school teacher in mathematics and physics. During my first semester at teacher's training, I encountered a great deal of dogmatisms. Thus one more research project was added to my agenda, among other things the origin of the "teachers' guild" and its ontological status. It appeared to me that several of my teachers in teaching methodology were "fetishists of methology" and almost entirely had concealed for themselves their original wisdom concerning approach to the pupils.

There is a fairly good wish to "modernise" the school or by other means get through with its problem, but the mainstream within the teaching staff seems to tacitly think that the teaching profession still is going to exist in let us say ten thousand years.

This is a more or less destructive position. When I worked out, during the first half of the 1990s, the dedogmatisation method in social sciences, psychology, pedagogics etc., I found out a necessary metaphysical criteria for an activity, theory etc. to be harmless: For something to be harmless it is necessary that it contains growable seeds for its winding-up.

The teaching staff ought to consciously work in the direction of its winding-up. It is a natural human activity to teach those topics which one has learnt or otherwise known. Learning pedagogical elements ought to be included in the curriculum from the very beginning. Down with the professional secrets!

I have a big interest in and singular inclination for pedagogic work with children and youths. This I have advanced by having worked every summer since 1991 at summer colonies (camps in the U.S.A.) for children and youths. During the "classical era"(*), I worked as high school teacher in mathematics and physics at Falun High School. That was during 1998-83.

(*) The "classical era", refers to the era before I began working out the dedogmatisation method, i.e. before 1990. [Back]

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