I'm sorry to hear you are resting your case at this point, but I'll carry on concerning some of what you quoted from Blakeslee:
“The abilities and even the personality of an individual is strongly influenced by his “mental habits.” One of the most important of these habits is a person’s tendency to depend primarily on his left or right brain. Some tasks clearly demand left- or right-brain approaches. But the majority fall into a gray area where either the intuitive or the logical can be used with some success. People habitually favor one approach or the other."
How does Blakeslee suggest that 'mental habits' come about in the first place? How do abilities come about? How does personality develop? Why does the mind (initially, eventually?) come to be as he says 'left or right brained'. What makes a person dependent on one side or another?
Mental habits are learned. I've not read much about Montessori, but I think her work would be a real example of how methods form an orderly mind that is capable of both reason and creativity. I have a problem with the word intuitive because it means the immediate knowing or learning WITHOUT the use of reason or in other words, instantaneous apprehension of something. I don't believe in that though I do believe that sometimes we have subconsciously worked through reasons for something and so mistake it for intuition until we slow down to examine our own thought processes.
Montessori was able to 'train' children's minds to function higher than was expected as her subjects were children who were considered intellectually retarded. By giving a child tools to focus their brain processes in their respective capacities, the mind is trained for the future as well. I suspect both sides of the brain are essential though poor mental habits perhaps result in a preponderance of right brained versus left brained use or vice versa.
I can't quite buy into this right brained, left brained thing. They were obviously meant to coexist and be functional together. While it is important to know and understand the functioning of the brain, I think this particular approach assumes an awful lot that has not been validated, and mental habits is an awfully nebulous phrase to be tossing around especially as it is in this example being used to prove some kind of point .. and I appear to be missing that point entirely.
"Fortunately for some people, there are occupations in which one can function by relying on only one hemisphere all the time. Many athletes and artists, for example, are so non-verbal they can hardly speak intelligibly. Rock, blues, and jazz musicians, for example, have a term called “soul,” which represents the complete elimination of intellectualism in favor of
feeling. Intellectual training does, in fact, tend to destroy the quality of “soul.” "
Okay, now I've had it! Many athletes and artists are non-verbal? In what universe? Has Blakeslee ever watched a professional football game, listened to the commentators, many of whom were the best athletes in their day? They sound pretty verbal to me. Of course, there are also a lot of 'dumb' athletes, just as there are dumb people everywhere that are non-verbal. To use this to support some theory misses the point of asking why SOME athletes, artists, John Does are non-verbal. It is a matter of education and it is a matter of properly training the mind because it is obvious that for every non-verbal artist, athlete, whatever there is another who IS verbal.
Same goes for 'soul' and it's incredible connection to 'intellectual training'.
"The polar opposite of the intuitive artist is the pure intellectual who verbalizes everything. Many of the “scholarly” fields such as literary criticism, education, and philosophy provide a refuge for left-brain types. While the real contributors to these fields combine insight and intuition with their verbal and logical abilities, a frighteningly large number of intellectuals have lost touch with reality. While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality. Many “intellectual” discussions are no more than arguments about the meaning of words. The truly creative person uses logic and words as tools, yet knows their limitations.”
Yes, there are intellectuals who have no clue and a great many others that seem to know how to put stings of words together yet have no clue as to what they are talking about. A lot of them are Objectivists! However, in the context (if the above even has a context) that example makes no sense whatsoever. Defining words is critical as is understanding the context in which they are used. If communication is to be successful, everyone has to be talking about the same things. People tend to have different definitions of words -- their own emotional attachment to it or some kind of cultural attachment, and they often do not realize it. Think of words like 'selfish', 'altruist' and other such words. Unless they are clearly defined, a conversation can be interpreted in many different ways.
I have to requote this part because it makes no sense:
"While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality."
Huh? So, they are powerful tools only in reality? There is something else? A non-reality in which these tools are not effective? I'm way confused.
"I rest my case, at least for the time being."
Not so fast Paul! LOL! I'm still trying to figure out what on earth the case was! What was this Blakeslee trying to demonstrate? And for what purpose? This kind of thing is so absolutely one of my pet peeves! The man has tossed about this and that like flotsam and jetsom and claims to have said something worth the effort of reading it?! Argh!