by Marinus Jan Marijs
It is generally assumed that development deals with increasing complexity. To a certain degree that is correct, illustrated by the fact that higher mental functions in biological systems require a more complex brain. However one could say that the complexification of the brain is a lateral development. This is a development from simple to complex. However the vertical development is a development from multiplicity to union. For example abstract thinking which you will need with algebra makes it possible to arrange very complex data. However algebra is not of a greater complexity than the concrete representational image thinking. It’s even simpler, this is because it directs itself to essential elements. An image of a cow is much more complex than the word “COW”. This simplification makes it possible to regulate much more complex data. A higher ontological functioning is in itself not an increase in complexity. Intuition which is an ontological higher functioning than analytical thinking, is even simpler.
This implies that one has to make a distinction between the increase in ontology (‘vertical’) and the increase in complexity (‘horizontal’).