Herbert A. Simon: Helping Professionals Find Themselves
Philosophical Reflections for Educators, C. Tan, ed., Cengage Learning, 2008
Posted: 25 Feb 2008
Educating the professional (designer) includes communicating the prescriptive rationality which carefully guides the design process. This rationality is bounded, and hence tutors and students must be open to the need to satisfice for a variety of possible and permissible design solutions, instead of optimizing for a best design solution. Such an openness to a variety of design solutions leaves the designer free to choose to craft his final design, and so allows him to constitute and discover himself in the process of design. Educators of the professional student should therefore support his authentic self-constitution by supplying a context of freedom. Nevertheless, this freedom is not license: when reason can inform about end-values and disvalues, the educator will also need to alert students to versions of self-constitutions that are irrational and hence should be absolutely avoided.
Keywords: Herbert Simon, Self-Constitution, Free Choice, Professional Education, Design, Natural Law Theory
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