Abstract: One of the most important and challenging issues facing humanity in the 21st century is the increasingly complex human-ecology interface. This article suggests the potential that integral mediation and integral ecology hold in addressing this interface. It distinguishes two categories of ecological challenges, removed and local tangible ones, and indicates that they require adapting methodologies to address them. Using a local tangible challenge—a 35-year old conflict over land use issues in the Slocan Valley, British Columbia, Canada—as an example, an integral mediation approach is outlined. First, context is given, both historically and geographically. Then the main capacities employed in the vision-building and mediation process are outlined. The article presents the case in such a way as to emphasize some generalizations, favoring these over a presentation of many case details. It concludes with a brief description of perspectives that are prerequisites in order to successfully apply integral solutions to the human-ecology interface.
Abstract: Otto Scharmer’s generative dialogue model of the four fields of conversation has been largely applied in organizational settings with the intent of fostering conditions for groups to learn to think together, generate new knowledge and solve the deeper problems that pervade organizational culture. This article introduces elements of Wilber’s Integral or AQAL paradigm as an interpretive framework for advancing key distinctions within Scharmer’s account of generative dialogue.
Abstract: By integrating philosophical rigor with practical examples and personal history and revelation, the author shares how he ended his quest to understand the concepts of life, mind, and soul and resolved the mind-body problem. The article relates the key insight garnered from Elliott Jaques that triggered a new, internally-consistent conceptual framework or paradigm. Founded on a unitary organism model of life, it replaced the mind-body-soul model. The paper is grounded in the premise that our attempts to answer a question (e.g., “How do we think and judge?”) are hindered by accepting an entity (e.g., mind) whose only evidence is that the question exists. The logic of the new conceptual framework is developed through brief, methodical discussions that juxtapose choice and judgement with calculation, Newtonian physics, randomness, and self correction. On that foundation, unitary arguments trace the author’s dissolution of concepts of mind, body, and soul and the spiritual. General implications of this framework are then applied to terminology and to the origin of life, abortion, and trading one duality for another. In relating some personal implications of this framework in daily life, the author makes the case for the value of simplicity in conceptual frameworks and the clarity that can result.
Abstract: I suggest there are two key factors that bear on the quality of interdisciplinary endeavors: the complexity of cognition and collaboration and the epistemological structure of interdisciplinary validity claims. The former suggests a hierarchical taxonomy of forms of inquiry involving more than one discipline. Inspired by Jantsh (1972) and looking to Fischer’s (1980) levels of cognitive development, I outline the following forms: disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and trans-disciplinary. This hierarchical taxonomy based on complexity is then supplemented by an epistemological discussion concerned with validity. I look to a handful of philosophers to distil the general epistemological structure of knowledge claims implicating more than one discipline. This involves differentiating between levels-of-analysis issues and perspectival issues. When all is said and done, we end up with a “language of evaluation” applicable to interdisciplinarity endeavors. Ultimately, this suggests an ideal mode of interdisciplinary endeavoring roughly coterminous with Wilber’s (2006) Integral Methodological Pluralism.
Gary P. Hampson
Abstract: In this article I re-evaluate the potential contribution of postmodernism to integral theory via integrally-derived perspectives. I identify a premature foreclosure: the underappreciation of postformal modes of thinking (cognitive development beyond Piaget’s formal operations). I then enact certain forms of postformal reasoning in relation to integral theory. This includes an engagement with such perspectives as complexity theory, conceptual ecology, vision-logic, dialectics, genealogy, critical theory, and construct-awareness. A major theme concerns the dialectical relationship between reconstruction and deconstruction—partly explored through a developmental assessment of contra-indicative discourse by both Wilber and Derrida. Although the territory is complex, the relationship between current Wilberian theory and postmodernism is clearly problematised. I posit that a deeper engagement with postmodernism can lead to an autopoietic deepening of integral theory.