Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘phenomenology’

Cybersemiotics: A New Foundation for Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaningful Communication and the Interaction Between Nature and Culture

Søren Brier

Abstract: Cybersemiotics constructs a non-reductionist framework in order to integrate third person knowledge from the exact sciences and the life sciences with first person knowledge described as the qualities of feeling in humanities and second person intersubjective knowledge of the partly linguistic communicative interactions, on which the social and cultural aspects of reality are based. The modern view of the universe as made through evolution in irreversible time, forces us to view man as a product of evolution and therefore an observer from inside the universe. This changes the way we conceptualize the problem and the role of consciousness in nature and culture. The theory of evolution forces us to conceive the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities together in one theoretical framework of unrestricted or absolute naturalism, where consciousness as well as culture is part of nature. But the theories of the phenomenological life world and the hermeneutics of the meaning of communication seem to defy classical scientific explanations. The humanities therefore send another insight the opposite way down the evolutionary ladder, with questions like: What is the role of consciousness, signs and meaning in the development of our knowledge about evolution? Phenomenology and hermeneutics show the sciences that their prerequisites are embodied living conscious beings imbued with meaningful language and with a culture. One can see the world view that emerges from the work of the sciences as a reconstruction back into time of our present ecological and evolutionary self-understanding as semiotic intersubjective conscious cultural and historical creatures, but unable to handle the aspects of meaning and conscious awareness and therefore leaving it out of the story. Cybersemiotics proposes to solve the dualistic paradox by starting in the middle with semiotic cognition and communication as a basic sort of reality in which all our knowledge is created and then suggests that knowledge develops into four aspects of human reality: Our surrounding nature described by the physical and chemical natural sciences, our corporality described by the life sciences such as biology and medicine, our inner world of subjective experience described by phenomenologically based investigations and our social world described by the social sciences. I call this alternative model to the positivistic hierarchy the cybersemiotic star. The article explains the new understanding of Wissenschaft that emerges from Peirce’s and Luhmann’s conceptions.

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The Status and Relevance of Phenomenology for Integral Research: Or Why Phenomenology is More and Different than an “Upper Left” or “Zone #1” Affair

Wendelin M. Küpers

Abstract: The specific treatment that Ken Wilber gives phenomenology in his model of integral theory requires a critical investigation. According to Wilber’s model, different methodologies are situated in distinct quadrants or “domains of knowing,” namely the subjective, objective, intersubjective and interobjective domains, labeled by their position in the model’s matrix illustration, upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. In this model, phenomenology is isolated in the UL quadrant, and even more specifically as the inside perspective of this subjective domain. What this means is that, according to Wilber’s classification, phenomenology is an exclusive, rather than inclusive, approach that limits its field of inquiry and therefore its range of knowing also to an inside exploration of the subjective.

In contrast to this positioning, a critical reflection on the current status and usage of phenomenology in integral theory is provided. The goal of this undertaking is to show that phenomenology–particularly in its more advanced forms–is more and different than something to put merely into “upper left” quadrant or to understand only as a “Zone 1” affair suggested in the conventional integral model.

In the first part the paper outlines an introductory understanding and examines classical (Husserlian) phenomenology as well as illustrates some of its limitations. Based on various critiques and further developments of phenomenology, the status and usage of phenomenology in integral (AQAL) theory is discussed critically. Particularly, this concerns the ordering of phenomenology into a separate realm or zone, the status of consciousness, including the debate related to its structure and states, and inter-subjective dimensions as well as the relation to contemplation and meditation.In a second part the paper introduces the more advanced phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty that overcomes the limitations of the previous versions of phenomenology. Advanced phenomenology entails a strong proto-integral potential and as such contributes to compensating for some of the weaknesses and limitations of integral theory.

Furthermore, a third part proposes that such advanced phenomenology provides the foundations for an “adequate phenomenology” in integral research. Based on the specific ontological, epistemological, and methodological considerations, this final part and the conclusion outline some perspectives on what is called integral “pheno-practice.” The explicated criticism and the proposed pheno-practical approach might enrich integral research, improve its theory building and empirical testing by offering perspectives of a more inclusive, coherent and relevant nexus of ideas and possibilities for integrative theory and practice.

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Ein Integraler Gestalt-Ansatz fuer Therapie und Beratung

Reinhard Fuhr & Martina Gremmler-Fuhr

Zusammenfassung: In diesem Text stellen wir unseren Ansatz für Psychotherapie und Beratung auf dem Hintergrund des integralen Paradigmas dar. Wir erläutern zunächst kurz vier Anforderungen an ein integrales Konzept in diesem professionellen Bereich: Umgang mit Komplexität und Vielperspektivität, Berücksichtigung gerichteter, vieldimensionaler Entwicklung, Orientierungs- und Sinngebungsfunktion, Realisierung relationaler Qualitäten in der Arbeit. Nach einer Begriffsbestimmung von „Therapie“, „Beratung“ und „Bildung“ charakterisieren wir das seit vielen Jahren von uns entwickelte Konzept für den Integralen Gestalt-Ansatz unter den Fragen nach (1) den Intentionen und Aufgaben von Therapie und Beratung, (2) der Gestaltung der Kommunikation und Beziehung, (3) der Art der Problemdefinition und dem Umgang mit Diagnostik sowie (4) den Strategien und Methoden – alle unter Rückkopplung an die zuvor erläuterten Anforderungen an ein integrales Konzept.

Abstract: In this text we present our approach to psychotherapy and counseling on the background of the integral paradigm. We shortly explain four major requirements for such an integral concept: handling complexity and multi-perspectivity, considering directed and multi-dimensional development, offering orientation and meaning, relational qualities. After defining the terms „psychotherapy“, „counselling“, and „education“ we present our concept for the Integral Gestalt Approach which we have developed and evaluated for many years by dealing with four questions: (1) the intentions and tasks of therapy and counselling, (2) the formation of communication and relationship, (3) the specific way of defining problems and using diagnostics, and (4) the strategies and methods – all related back to the major requirements of an integral concept.

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