Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘dualism’

No Ontological Leaps: A Primer on Scientific Materialism

Christian de Quincey

Abstract: When the issue is intelligence in nature, arguments about whether science supports neo-Darwinian theory or intelligent design miss the point. The details of evolution or the structure of the brain are irrelevant because biology and neuroscience have nothing to say about consciousness. Science informs us only about the physical world. However, consciousness/mind/intelligence is non-physical, and no amount of evolution or complexity of purely physical processes could ever produce anything non-physical. There are no ontological jumps. You don’t get something from nothing—or, more precisely, you don’t get “no-thing” from anything. How, then, do we account for the fact that consciousness exists in an otherwise physical universe? It all comes down to our basic metaphysical beliefs.

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The U.S. Imperial Jugger-not: Saturation Points and Cultural Globalization

Meg Spohn Bertoni

Abstract: Globalization is not merely inevitable western cultural conquest. The assumption that the juggernaut of western hegemonic domination will continue until the world is consumed is a common one, but not an accurate one. That accuracy is compromised by a number of related misconceptions about the nature of globalization. Some of these have to do with an attachment to dichotomy in a world too complex for dualism. Some of them are related to assumptions about the nature of trade, of trends, of inevitability, and of statistical prediction that turn out not to be accurate—and by extension misconceptions about the unidirectionality of cultural exchange. Most are related to misconceptions about the nature of culture—particularly in oversimplifying, and making strange assumptions about, nonwestern cultures. Cultures change over time, with generations and historical forces—today’s cultural changes make up tomorrow’s cohesive culture. Cultures die not when they change to reflect the new attitudes and lifestyles of the peoples who live in them, but when they stagnate and become static, preserved only in museums, artifacts and books, and not in the everyday lives of the people themselves. Finally, phenomena do reach a saturation point, from biological populations to the motion of catamarans to absorption of cultural values, and these can be observed using methods of nonlinear dynamics. This project considers common misconceptions about globalization and culture, and uses concepts from nonlinear dynamics to expose the nature of the movement and saturation points of cultural globalization.

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How I Lost My Mind and Found the Meaning of “Life”

Herb Koplowitz

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.

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