Gary Hampson in his Integral Review article “Integral re-view postmodernism” (cited below) discussed how Wilber distinguishes constructive and deconstructive postmodernism. The latter is a lower level of postformal development (green) while the former is a higher postformal development (teal and above). Aside from Hampson questioning the validity of deconstruction as relativistic he also questions this placement and suggests that perhaps they are both sides of the same postformal coin (level).
In this regard Mark Edwards (2010) says:
“I regard integral metastudies as a counterpart to the more typical forms of decentering and deconstructing postmodernism which seeks to identify and give voice to the personal story, the local history, the grounded experience, and the marginalized instance. These two postmodern activities are fundamentally different and provide critical counterpoints for each other’s development. Decentering, pluralist postmodern research is not something I believe is to be integrated within an integral metastudies. Decentering postmodernism and integrative postmodernism are complementary forms of knowledge building. Where integral postmodernism develops abstractions, decentering postmoderism develops grounded stories. Where integral postmodernism creates imaginative generalized frameworks, decentering postmodernism creates particular narratives and personalized accounts of human experience.
“This is not a developmental modernism versus postmodernism battle. It is an ongoing complementarity (e.g., Plato and Aristotle). An integral metastudies should not be seen as a rational project of integrating every perspective, concept, paradigm, or cultural tradition within its domain. There must be some things that, by definition, lie outside of its capacities to accommodate and explain. Consequently, an integral metastudies needs a decentering postmodernism that it cannot integrate, that lies outside of its scientific and systematic purview, which continually challenges it and is critical of its generalizations, abstractions, and universalizings. The decentering form of particularizing postmodernism is not something that integral metatheory can locate or neatly categorize somewhere within its general frameworks. Decentering postmodernism will always provide a source of critical insight and substantive opposition to the generalizing goals of an integral metastudies. In the same way that postmodernism often misunderstands integrative approaches as just some form of scientific monism, there is a danger that integral researchers can misrepresent the decentering and localizing concerns of postmodernism as simple relativism” (408 - 09).
Recent work on metatheory suggests that postmodern decentering is itself a form of metatheory, a compliment to the more constructive kind. For example in the special Integral Review issue on metatheory Steven Wallis (2010) says:
"It may be noted that six of our authors describe metatheory as making implicit assumptions explicit, analysis of assumptions, analysis of underlying structure, and the analysis of structure. These are essentially deconstructive approaches.
"In contrast to this deconstructive approach, metatheory may also be understood to integrate multiple theories. The two approaches may be inseparable as one cannot combine or integrate two theories without also integrating the assumptions, structures, and concepts of those theories. In short, metatheory (as the study of theory) may be conducted in at least two ways. It may be integrative (where multiple theories are combined). It may be deconstructive (where theories are parsed into their constituent components for analysis and/or recombination). Either way, the process leads to the creation of a metatheory, metatheorum, or a 'theory of theory'” (78).
In the same issue of IR Latha Poonamallee sees Advaita non-dualism as one of the deconstructive metatheories. She says:
"Another school of thought takes the position that examining metatheory as a constellation of ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions is a useful one. This paper is more aligned with the latter view that an examination of the underlying assumptions about theorizing can increase 'theoretical consciousness'and provide an alternate framework for inquiry” (190).
I will have more to say about nondualism as a legitimate metatheory in itself later, which disagrees with using such traditional notions of nondualism because they retain metaphysical elements.
Edwards, M. G. (2010) "‘Of Elephants and Butterflies: An Integral Metatheory for Organizational Transformation," in Integral Theory in Action: Applied, Theoretical, and Critical Perspectives on the AQAL Model
, Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (Ed.) Albany, NY: SUNY Press, pp.385-412.
Hampson, G. (2007). "Integral re-views postmodernism
: the way out is through." Integral Review 4.
Poonamallee, L. (2010) "Advaita (non-dualism) as metatheory
." Integral Reveiw 6:3, July.
Wallis, S. (2010) "Toward
a science of metatheory
," Integral Review 6:3, July.