What is schema?

The notion of schemas is itself a schema. As such, it is the most promising account we have to explain to ourselves. Schemas are the organizing dynamic of knowledge. To realize how they operate is to understand understanding. Schemas not only determine what we will notice: they also determine what we do not notice.

--Daniel Goleman

What is schema?

What to an American appears as one thing, appears to an African as an entirely different thing. If an American and a North African were to draw the battleship Missouri - the experiment has been made - the American's drawing would look like a photograph and the African's like a dream, for the latter lacks a frame of reference to make it understandable to his intellect, even though his eyes see it - just as the schoolmen did no see what Galileo showed them. We see what we have a mind to see.

--Robert S. Hartman

What is schema?

The scheme of things is a system of order. Beginning as our view of the world, it finally becomes our world. We live within the space defined by its coordinates. It is self evidently true, is accepted so naturally and automatically that one is not aware of an act of acceptance having taken place. It comes with our mother's milk, is chanted in school, proclaimed from White House, insinuated by television, validated at Harvard. Like air we breathe, the scheme of things disappears, becomes simply reality, becomes, as far as we can tell, the way things are. It is the lie necessary to life. The world as it exists beyond that scheme becomes vague, irrelevant, largely unperceived, finally nonexistent.

A scheme of things is a plan for salvation.

Our holiest fictions designate what is right and what is wrong, constitute a scheme of things that redeems the way things are. The way things are is the will to power of groups. The scheme of things conceals the way of power behind a lofty and glittering facade. The whole system hangs on the efficacy of images and words, the keeping of promises, the observance of convention.

(See What is margin of terror?)

--Allen Wheelis