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In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

Last post 06-20-2008, 5:06 PM by schalk. 15 replies.
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  •  06-05-2008, 5:33 PM 54538

    In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    I wrote a blog on Integral Post-Metaphysics recently -- an attempt to defend Wilber's proposal against charges that it was "overly relative" and Green, as claimed by another blogger on Gaia.  I wanted to share it here and open it up for discussion, if anyone is interested....

     

    In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics  


    Neuronal Fluorescence


     

    For several weeks now, ever since Julian posted his Simply Put series and I responded with a Simply Put entry of my own, Julian and I have been debating whether or not Wilber's writings on Integral Postmetaphysics and the myth of the given in Integral Spirituality open the door in the Integral community to relativism, magical thinking, pre/trans fallacies, and so on.  In a recent blog entry, Julian challenged me to write "a piece that puts IPM ideas in their proper context with regard to truth, falsity, pathology, stages of development, and left/right distinctions." 

    This entry is my response to that challenge.  I am going to approach this somewhat informally, not presuming to speak on behalf of Wilber or the Integral community at large, but just talking about how I relate to these ideas in my own thought and practice.  For now, I will talk about how IPM handles the issues of truth, falsity, pathology, and left/right distinctions.  I will return to stages of development (which I believe are implicit in what I'm writing below) in a later entry, or in the comments section of this blog, if necessary.

    Prelude

    In my Simply Put entry, I wrote, "In Integral post-metaphysics, discussion of 'the real' can be understood as making a claim about how a given conperception will behave across a wide range of circumstances - we can count on it to operate in certain ways and be subject to certain kinds of confirmation."  To explain what I mean by this, I want to take a step back and say something about how I view AQAL and Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP).  To do this, I will appeal to a paper which is not part of the Integral literature, but which I believe is consonant with the aims of Integral Postmetaphysics:  A Cure for Metaphysical Illusions: Kant, Quantum Mechanics, and the Madhyamaka, by Michel Bitbol.  In it, Bitbol argues for a functional-operational integration of the three perspectives named in the subtitle of the essay. 

    While AQAL is often discussed and, unfortunately, treated as a static map, I believe Integral Methodological Pluralism invites us to see it in more dynamic, enactive terms, as a sort of integrative operator.  In this conception, the constitutive paradigms of AQAL/IMP - science, philosophy, linguistics, religion, and so on - are themselves understood as operators rather than representational maps.  For instance, following Michel Bitbol's description, "scientific theories [are] operators of structuring our actions within the world and of anticipating their outcomes."  Science here is understood dynamically and enactively, not as a revealer of static, underlying, universal, pre-given truths, but as the product of the disciplined co-interaction of human subjects and the (indeterminate) wholeness of reality.  Similar enactive or operational readings can be given of other paradigms as well.  If we adopt this view, then AQAL, via Integral Methodological Pluralism, becomes, not simply a map of what is "already there," independent of all perspectives, but a higher order, creative enactment itself.  With regards to this notion, Bitbol makes a point which I think suggests a very helpful way to hold the whole project of Integral Methodological Pluralism: 

    Insofar as [transcendental philosophy, quantum mechanics, and the Middle Way] are nothing but tools (operators), the three terms to be related must be taken as plastic and evolutive; each term has to be seen in the context of its history, of its potential developments, and of the dynamics of its possible coadaptation to the other terms rather than treated as a closed doctrinal system.

    With this move, he outlines a fruitful integrative approach that avoids the problems of naïve representationalism and is quite consonant with the enactive perspectivism of Integral Postmetaphysics.

    Truth and Falsity

    If, as is suggested by the Integral Postmetaphysical approach, we abandon the idea of a single, pre-given world order for one and all and accept that everything in the phenomenal world that we can point to is, first and foremost, a perspective (or perspective-occasion, as Wilber sometimes puts it), what happens to the notions of truth and falsity?  Must notions of "truth" and "reality" be thrown out?  Clearly not -- not in a system such as AQAL which attempts to honor and integrate as many (relative) truths as possible.  But we will need to let go of any residual attachment we may have to the naive metaphysical realism that under girds popular understanding. 

    From the perspective of scientific theories as operators, we can say that something is "objective" if certain relationships among phenomena can be observed universally, or across a stable range of circumstances, by active human subjects.  As Kant showed us, this invariant relational patterning of phenomena says nothing about "intrinsic properties" of things-in-themselves.  Because we cannot extract ourselves from the overall situation to adopt a view from nowhere, we can at best study the form given to phenomena by our cognitive apparatus.  But as developmental psychology and relativistic/quantum science have shown us, our cognitive apparatus is neither static in its organization nor endowed (as Kant had originally argued) with a priori forms which are valid at all levels of phenomenal reality.  The phenomenal world enacted by human beings is, in some important respects, enacted differently by human beings at different times and in different developmental or even cultural contexts, with no apparent perspective available that we can hope to appeal to as final or decisive.

    Does this leave us stranded in a flatland, radical relativist swamp?

    Not from the point of view of Integral Postmetaphysics.  But while, according to AQAL, all holons or perspective-occasions are understood to have an objective component (and therefore are not merely products of our psychology or our cultural conditioning), the way forward does not lie in finding a way to separate out the "factual part" from the "conventional / constructed part."  To imagine we can do so is to commit a fallacy of division.

    Rather, as I suggested above, the postmetaphysical approach is an operational one: when we argue that something is real or true, we are making a claim about how a given conperception (a construct-perception) will behave across a wide range of circumstances.  We are saying that we can count on it to behave in certain ways and be subject to certain kinds of confirmation within a given set of operational parameters.  If a claim cannot be confirmed in these ways, we are justified in rejecting it as false.

    Thus, as Wilber and Bitbol both suggest, if we take on board ...

    *  The Madhyamaka critique of ontology (which demonstrates that, try as we might, we will not be able to find any self-existent things-in-themselves)

    *  An operational or enactive approach to cognition and epistemology, such as Varela's autopoeisis or the Neo-Kantian transcendental philosophy of science (which proceeds by identifying invariants [objectivation] and distinguishing them from the noninvariant remainders of any perspective-occasion [subjectivation], without ever having to appeal to correspondence to an absolute, independent, pregiven reality)

    *  The implications of postmodern science / quantum theory (which challenge us to reconsider our attachment to object ontology)

    *  And the constructivism, contextualism, and integral aperspectivism of postmodern philosophy

    ... we will still be able to pursue rigorous scientific inquiry, make objective determinations, and differentiate true claims from false ones based on integrative operational procedures (which IPM situates in AQAL space).

    Pathology

    The above discussion was concerned mainly with truth, which in Integral Theory would be considered an Upper Right (singular objective) type of validity claim.  But Integral Postmetaphysics is equally concerned with other types of validity claims, from truthfulness (Upper Left) to rightness (Lower Left) to functional fit (Lower Right).  Pathology in an individual can be understood from any of these perspectives (UR neurophysiological disorders; LL intersubjective issues, such as family conflicts or problems; UL psychological disorders; and so on).  In my discussions with Julian, it appears he has mostly been concerned with left-hand manifestations of pathology ... and whether IPM undermines our ability to make sound determinations in this area.

    Honestly, I am not clear why he expects this difficulty to arise.  It can't be the subjective or even intersubjective bias that I believe he fears may infect IPM, since psychological assessment of pathology is already an inter/subjective exercise.  Is it the nondual element?  If so, that need not pose a problem either: non-dual does not mean "all one, without distinctions"; it points to the radical interrelationship and co-determination of all phenomenal appearances.  This perspective can be seen as consonant, in some respects, with Object Relations theory, which has a sophisticated model for understanding the intersubjective generation of the object-relational self (e.g., a self which lacks inherent self-existence).  But although Object Relations theory is a constructivist approach, which like Buddhism understands self and object as interdependent and co-emergent, it still has no compunctions powerfully modeling the etiology of different forms of pathology, or suggesting constructivist ("structure building") interventions to alleviate suffering and dysfunction. 

    If students of Integral for some reason come to the strange conclusion that a perspective grounded in nondualism, or which admits postmodern intersubjectivity, is incompatible with the notion of the existence of pathology, they need look no further tha Object Relations theory - if not Buddhism, which freely diagnoses Samsaric illnesses and prescribes spiritual and psychological cures.  They might also read Wilber's thoughts on the nature of UL pathology as set forth in Excerpt C of the Kosmos Trilogy:

    Many psychological symptoms--interior feelings of anxiety, depression, phobia, obsession, compulsion--are the disguised forms of feelings and impulses that, for whatever reason, are too dangerous to the I-space to allow them to arise in their raw and naked forms, and thus they have to be "clothed" in more acceptable fashions. Put bluntly, the psyche lies to itself, becomes false to itself, is no longer being truthful about its own interiors--the price of which is psychological pain and suffering.

    (Truthfulness, recall, is the selection pressure, or validity claim, of the UL quadrant. The types of psychopathology we are investigating here involve violations of this integrity or truthfulness, the price of which is psychological anguish, suffering, angst. When the self is untruthful, it damages its internality codes and boundaries, or the ways to tell with integrity what is true self and what is false self. A history of interior deception, untruthfulness, lying to oneself, deceiving oneself, is the beginning of the creation of a false-self system, the beginning of a kosmic habit as a negative karmic stream of dis-integrity that lives on lies. It is this false self we are briefly examining, which is not to say that other things aren't also happening with psychological dys-eases, including, e.g., UR neurotransmitter imbalances, LL family problems, LR economic factors, and so on. We are here simply focusing on the UL manifestation of the knot in the Kosmos identified as a "psychological symptom.")

    In this example, an original feeling of "anger," which is not allowed by the self's agency, regime, or code (because it is a nice person), is mis-translated as "depression" and thus allowed to arise in the I-space as long as it is wearing that disguise, a disguise that is accompanied by suffering as the price of untruthfulness.

    Wilber's perspective here does not depend for its validity on a commitment to metaphysical realism or foundationalism.  The diagnosis of pathology, in any of its guises, is something that can be handled operationally within the context of Integral Postmetaphysics, without being compromised - as Julian unnecessarily fears - by the fact that all such determinations are necessarily relative.

    Left/Right Distinctions

    By left/right distinctions, I believe Julian means a clear differentiation between the actuality of the physical world and the inter/subjective influences of personal history and culture.

    Integral Postmetaphysics is neither solipsistic nor a form of subjective idealism.  It does not deny the existence of a world outside of or beyond the individual observer, nor does it suggest that the individual observer is solely "responsible for" or the generative source of that world.  The world is not merely a concept or belief.  However, following the Madhyamaka analysis and the insights of postmodern philosophy and science, IPM legitimately challenges the notion that this "external reality" consists of absolute, pre-given, abiding, self-existing objects.

    Conventionally, we can still speak of "the world."  But from an Integral Postmetaphysical perspective, it is more appropriate to speak of world orders or worldspaces, since the four quadrants of AQAL, while distinguishable, are inseprable and always co-implicated, meaning that the world we interact with and describe is always "the-world-as-it-appears-to-this-subject-at-this-AQAL-address."  As perceptual relativists point out, individual objects do not exist independently of our conceptual models.  Objects represent particular patterning "cuts" that we impose on the whole of reality (implying that there are other ways the whole could be conceptually sliced and divided).  A cognitive scientist such as Francisco Varela might point out that there nevertheless appear to be objective constraints on how human beings carve up the world; that it is not wholly arbitrary, and that certain divisions appear to be nearly universal for human subjects, suggesting the impingement of culture-independent objective patternings.  Thus, even though we may not be able to separate the "factual" from the perspective-dependent or "conventional" aspects of any observed phenomenon, neither can we attribute the existence or "order" of the world solely to Lower Left, intersubjectivist patterns or influences.  The Right Hand quadrants cannot be reduced out of the picture, or subordinated to the whims and influences of the individual observer.

    From the point of view of the Madhyamaka, and of IPM as well, neither the objects on the right hand or the subjective patterns on the left are inherently self-existing -- they are co-dependently originated, tetra-enacting, and thus, in the ultimate Buddhist analysis, "empty."  But emptiness is not a denial of existence; without this radical interdependence, no world order at all would ever appear or get off the ground.  Therefore emptiness does not constitute grounds for ignoring or dismissing the importance of either the subjective and objective dimensions of experience in human life.  To privilege one side over the other is to move in the direction of reification, metaphysical illusion, and potential pathology or disorder.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  06-05-2008, 9:03 PM 54544 in reply to 54538

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics


    balder .. could what julian is saying be that there are pre-given abiding self-existing objects out there such as .. for example .. the computer screen u are reading right now  ??

    would anyone say it isn't a computer screen but simply your perspective of what it is ?

    wouldn't it be a screen to anyone and everyone ?

    or to make it simpler .. say an apple .. or rain .. could two people be standing outside side by side .. and it is raining one one and not the other ?

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  •  06-05-2008, 11:07 PM 54555 in reply to 54544

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Fairy Faye:

    I keep looking around for my computer screen. That free standing "thing" that has a separate and distinct reality from everything else.

    Every time I look for it, I find it connected to a keyboard and the doggone keyboard is connected to a desk and the desk is connected to my elbows and my elbows are connected to my body to the ground to the earth connected to your feet ... so hey, stop touching my doggone screen will you?

    My screen in reality is a screen-keyboard-desk-elbow ... -FairyFaye foot thingamabob.  

    Seriously, we can "say" "screen" all we want but there is no legitimate way to say that it has an independent identity aside from the context it resides in and ... that ... context ... keeps ... changing ... as ... the light ... of the sun ... slowly.... goes .... down.

    So, we pull in the scientists and they tell us that the screen is 99% void to begin with, electrons swirling in what is largely open space and I begin to wonder .. What happened to my hard and independent screen?

    A river is a good example. Every time we step into the river it is a new river. New water, new shapes, new atmosphere and a new foot in it that becomes part of it. Oh sure, everyone knows that the river is exactly what I perceive it to be from under this willow tree at 8:34 AM and 3 seconds. It's not what you perceive it to be! Where is this independently existing river that is constantly taking in water and losing water and changing shape and getting feet stuck in it. If the damn thing would just hold still for 2 minutes we could put it in a box!

    So, we can talk in the abstract about the "river" or the "screen" admitting that they do not refer to pre-given and static realities. And that leaves us with 100% objective agreement on what the abstraction is, right? No, now we are really in LaLa land where no one even understands abstractions the same way.

    At least this is how I see the problem in part.

    Oh, and by the way, I am legally blind. When I see the screen it is a big blur. In reality it's a blurry screen. If you say you see it clearly, you are simply operating under the illusion that you really see what it is because you have superhuman eyesight.

    The issue of reality is not satisfied by generalized abstractions and good enough for government work notions. The debate is concerned with what things really are.

     

     

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  •  06-06-2008, 11:33 AM 54608 in reply to 54538

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Hi Balder,

    In a word, does "intrinsic morality" have any reality in our post-modern metaphysics?  Is it really true that, as the Constitution of the United States claims, "All men are created equal" regardless of race, creed, color, gender, etc.?  Must we allow and accept that these truths are "self-evident"?  From my reading of the Integral Post-Metaphysics article, nothing is as simple as it may seem or as we might want it to be; i.e., nothing is simply 'self-evident' if nothing has any independent existence, but rather is based on the Madhyamaka view of interdependent origination.  Maybe interdependent origination is what is 'self-evident'.  Does the notion of hierarchy and holons as relatively independent entities resonate with the idea that anything can be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time?  That, based on the Vedanta notion of "simultaneous oneness and difference." this allows for the 'Both/And' approach to reality, and that a limited 'Orange' perspective would have to be 'Either/Or' instead?  In other words, what from an 'Orange' perspective would be called a 'paradox' is perhaps from a second-tier perspective not a paradox at all, but rather self-evident that certain truths are intrinsically universal while at the same time partial, depending on the context of their manifestations.  But is this perspective in conflict with the 'myth of the given' or is that myth itself to be deconstructed and revaluated when it comes to reading our U.S. constitution?

    Although from my reading of the post-metaphysics paper, my first reaction is that a new language is experiencing its first pangs of birth trauma (lol),  on second glance, my take on it allowed me to understand this is a promising attempt to clarify something that could open into a whole new discussion and even possibly a new paradigm of perspectival approaches to dualism and the subject-object dichotomy.

    Great Paper, Balder. And even better it might be if you could re-draft it in terms for a more vernacular reading audience.  As a scholarly attempt to introduce fresh dialogue into your discussion with Julian, yes, your case is one that appears to adhere to the AQAL litmus test (at least from my limited perspective).

    Thanks for sharing 'It' with the 'I' and the 'We' of us all. ;)

    Jondavi


    The yoga of light and sound is really only one event. It's the frequency of their vibrations that is different.

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  •  06-06-2008, 12:06 PM 54610 in reply to 54544

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Hi, FairyFaye,

    Yes, that is what Julian is saying.  And on a practical level, I have no objection to that -- it is "accurate enough" for people to function practically in the world.  But, as Schalk is pointing out, IPM is looking more deeply, recognizing that everything we see is, in part, a construct...that we cannot take anything as simply "pre-given."  How we "construct" the world depends not only on the type of biological organism we are, but also on our interior level of development (among other things).  In significant ways, the world will "show up" differently to an ant, a dog, and a human being, as it also differs for children, mythic believers, physicists, and saints. 

    This is not an Idealist or solipsist point of view; it doesn't deny that there are factors "external" to the individual, constraining perception in important ways.  But it is saying that we are creatively involved in the shaping and ordering of phenomena; that knowing and being arise together, or tetra-enact.

    For certain tasks, and at certain stages of one's growth or maturation, these sorts of considerations probably are not that relevant; at the least, they would not carry much significance or seem that useful.  Julian, for instance, is helping people move out of mythic beliefs and confront more existential issues, and in that work, IPM is not really something I would "prescribe" either.  But in other contexts, I do think it becomes more relevant -- say, for instance, as an individual becomes construct-aware and attempts to understand how they are self-generating suffering and fragmentation on subtler levels; or even in complex intercultural encounters, as we come to see how deeply our "visions" of the universe are creative enactments instead of simple, self-evident, exclusive truths; and so on.

    Best wishes,

    B.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  06-06-2008, 4:18 PM 54648 in reply to 54610

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics


    schalk .. can anyone or anything plunge into a river and not get wet ?

    balder .. am still not getting it ..

    regarding "how we construct the world depends .. also on our interior level of development" .. but the interiors are on the left side of the quadrants .. aren't we here discussing the right ?

    i understand about tetra-arising .. but your level of interior development isn't going to change the wetness of the river .. or is it ??

     

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  •  06-06-2008, 6:11 PM 54675 in reply to 54648

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    regarding "how we construct the world depends .. also on our interior level of development" .. but the interiors are on the left side of the quadrants .. aren't we here discussing the right ?

    Can you separate the left and the right, such that you can describe, perceive, or conceive of RQ phenomena as they are in themselves, wholly independent of you as the perceiver?


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  06-06-2008, 6:58 PM 54677 in reply to 54675

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics


    BINGO !!

    thank u i bow to u

    wow it's amazing how one question (yours) can fling open the doors

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  •  06-07-2008, 11:07 AM 54777 in reply to 54677

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    You're welcome, FairyFaye!  I'm glad that question helped open a door for you.  :-)

    Jondavi, thanks also for your comments.  I agree that the language is probably still a bit heavy and needs reworking.  I also would like to attempt another pass at this, framing it in a more general context (beyond my conversation with another blogger).

    I like your questions regarding how this perspective applies to something like the Constitution.  Perspectives of universal value are not universally available.  In this way, you can say they are both "universal" and "partial" at once.  But from the perspective at which such value is apparent, we can frame documents which build in an "as if" that constrains behavior and practice.

    Best wishes,

    B.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  06-07-2008, 12:40 PM 54781 in reply to 54777

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

     

    balder perhaps u can let schalk know how julian is helping people move out of mythic beliefs and confront more existential issues .. he was passionately asking about this on the "fundamentalism" thread at the "embodied practice" forum

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  •  06-07-2008, 1:50 PM 54790 in reply to 54781

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Fairy Faye:

    We were talking about an amber fundamentalist, how to deal with their claims.

    You said:

    "sometimes am tempted to ask will u speak with me about god without quoting from the bible ? will u speak with me directly from your heart ?"

    And my reponse was to ask: "how does this give them the new perspective they need to get to orange consciousness?"

    I have know amber fundamentalists (used to work for one - he was a drunken felon who was saved by the Lord and now has a very successful electrical supply company).

    Your comments are not going to make a dent in this guy.

    I can ask this question without even being passionate about it. I am simply saying "it sounds great, but have you ever seen it work?" Because amber doesn't go for that usually.

    Personally, I'd rather hear your explanation of how to move this amber fundamentalist up the chain. What do we need to say or do?

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  •  06-07-2008, 2:01 PM 54792 in reply to 54790

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    I would prefer that the discussion about fundamentalism and how to "approach" Amber continue on the thread on which it started.  So far, I have not received many responses to the actual content of my opening post, and I prefer not to head down a tangent already. 

    I am actually very interested in the discussion you (Schalk and FairyFaye) are having, though, so I will be glad to follow and possibly contribute to it on the Fundamentalism thread or elsewhere.

    Best wishes,

    B.

    P.S. Schalk, I just saw your own "vernacular" expression of IMP on the new thread you started.  It looks great!


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  06-07-2008, 3:34 PM 54804 in reply to 54792

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Balder:

    If we could just wrangle up about the top 10,000 ways in which IMP creates order out of chaos in our world, that would be really useful to people.

    I mean that literally. All around us it seems there are perspectives and positions and assertions that are grounded in one or more of the methodologies that have been shown my IMP to be unsustainable.

    I mean, there may be 10,000 or more specific permutations of this in the actual world, things that are just taken for granted as being true - period. And people are born, grow into these "truths" and live their entire lives carrying around one ball and chain or another, and then die.

    The freedom IMP brings may be the most important event in the world today. And you can only apply IMP to bring forth this freedom if you understand it.

    I am wondering if we should start a thread specifically devoted to instances, almost like a taxonomy, of how IMP resolves what are apparently unresolvable problems.

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  •  06-07-2008, 8:12 PM 54819 in reply to 54804

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Balder:

    I just finished marching through the Gaia IMP threads (yourself, Julian, Zak, et. al.) That is the Mother of all Threads, right?

    Can I share with you a concern?

    I have a strong feeling that we are lacking a methodology for keeping these kinds of discussions from unraveling.

    3 issues are presented. The reponse then talks about 2 of them and brings up 4 new ones. And then someone else chimes in talking about the last of the 4 in the response, and at some point someone is offended and spends time explaining why they were or were not unfairly treated ... and then some honest soul pipes in and says, what are we talking about?

    What we need is an Integral Methodological Pluralism Dialogical Methodology (IMPDM).

    As a former military guy, I love acroynms. We would call it "IMPDOM." (Challenge: give me any program's or item's name and I can make it into an acronym and then translate it into a new word! What a great skill huh!)

    The way IMPDOM would go would be this.

    1. We first ascertain whether we are going to seriously discuss something that can be framed as a topic or issue. (Some discussions are legitimate social chat and not suitable for strict framing.)

    2. If so, we then frame the issue in a clear way (e.g. "Is Wilber's use of the word "metaphysics" correct?) and assign it a title or number. Say IMP Issue A.

    3. At that point, any comments would have to be relevant to exloration of IMP Issue A.

    4. If anyone desires to bring up a new issue IMP Issue B, they may do it only so long as there is a clear connection or cross-relevance that also furthers the inquiry into IMP A.

    5. All comments should restate the essential contours of what was previously said by the last one or two speakers on an Issue.

    6. Any comments that are not relevant to the issue would be out of bounds. (For example: one would ignore comments on motive or apparent confusion of the other or lack of respect by the other, etc. Why? Because a person can have improper motives and still make relevant comments on an issue. They can be disprespectful too (which would violate the terms of IMPDOM and repeated violations of it should be addressed in a p.s. note) but disrespect can still contain legitimate points.

    Here are the two absolutely fundamental evidence rules used in our Federal courts today. I think you can see that these two rules alone would make Integral debates much more focused and useful.

    Federal Rule of Evidence 401: "Relevant evidence" means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.

     

    Federal Rule of Evidence 403: Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

    Or to re-phrase it:

    Integral Rule of Evidence 401: "Relevant comment" means a comment having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the discovery of useful knowledge more or less probably than it would be without the comment."

    And Integral Rule of Evidence 402: All relevant comment is permissible, subject to Rule 403.

    I like that!

    As it stands, the Gaia thread seems to go all over the place, it's hard to follow, responses have to be data-mined to find their relevance, and half the time it is just confusing.

    One issue that comes up over and over is definition of terms. That is clearly relevant and key terms should be explained early on (e.g. relative or metaphysics).  

    So, having said all of that - it seems to me that a key misunderstanding among Julian and Zak and others is that they do not accurately understand what IMP purports to serve as in the first place. Or to put it another way, it seems they could only make the kinds of critiques they are making if they don't even understand what IMP is claiming to do in the first place.

    As Wilber puts it, IMP provides the 8 fundamental methodologies that allow us to obtain reproducible knowledge. I didn't hear anyone offer an alternate model that explains what those methodologies should be and how they differ from IMP. Or even make a coherent attack on the notion that any of the 8 methodologies are inaccurate.

    IMP does not purport to give you the knowledge. IMP purports to make sense of all of the legitimate ways you can gain that knowledge. And it shows how they have distinguishing perspectival features that render them appropriate and legitimate, while functioning within their appropriate domains.

     

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  •  06-20-2008, 2:28 PM 56405 in reply to 54819

    Re: In Defense of Integral Postmetaphysics

    Schalk,

    I just looked at this thread again and realized you had written two posts to me and I never responded.  I apologize! 

    I agree with you that having some rules of discussion would be useful.  I don't know if we could expect them to be implemented on something as open as the blogosphere, but within the blogosphere or a forum like this I think you could set up specific debate or dialogue "events" in which participants agree to follow a number of guidelines designed to keep the discussion productive and on track.  I belonged to a forum several years ago where events like these were regularly arranged.  And Julian initiated several on Zaadz, before it became Gaia -- a Symposium, where several of us each contributed an essay on a particular topic and then linked to each other; and a Z-Bate, where two individuals agreed to debate an issue for a given number of rounds.  Both events were successful, in my opinion, leading to deeper clarity of communication and insight than you often find in blog or forum discussions.

    About the misunderstanding around IMP in the Gaia discussion you referenced -- it may actually have been compounded because we were also using the acronym, IPM, for Integral Post-Metaphysics!  Conceivably, someone may have been talking about Integral Post-Metaphysics while the other person was commenting on Integral Methodological Pluralism...

    In any event, you've inspired me to think about arranging another blogging or forum event like the ones I described.  If I did, would you be interested in participating?

    Best wishes,

    B.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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