Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Bruce: Another element to consider is that Derrida's critique of the notion of a transcendental signified is tied to his critique of the "metaphysics of presence." For him, the two are intimately related. So, it is interesting that Wilber forms his post-metaphysical project around this critique of the metaphysics of presence, but still insists on a transcendental signified. Derrida did not admit to the existence of a transcendental signified (in the form of a fixed, unchanging center), but rather argued that while signifier and signified were not wholly separable, neither could they be collapsed into simple identity -- and this irreducible difference (within the nondual play of signifier/signified) must be retained to make translation possible. If Wilber says that the quadrants co-arise or tetra-enact, and he locates signifier and signified in separate (tetra-enacted) quadrants, isn't he suggesting something similar?
Indeed, as earlier in the thread attests, Kennilingam does maintain a transcendental signified that is 'experienced' by privileged and direct access. Hence he maintains the critique only on the relative side of the street while the absolute side transcends it. And this supposed nondual relation is exactly a metaphysics of presence. I'm sure we have amply demonstrated in the forum how to have a postmetaphysical metaphysics of the Real that avoids such claims to 'presence.' And the Lingam is literally only halfway there with his mixed bag. Perhaps we might call his version metaphysemiotics?
One difference, as you've also pointed out in relation to Bryant, is that I believe Derrida would argue not only for the inseparability of signifier and signified (Wilber's co-enaction), but also for their partial overlap: for instance, signified can become signifier ... I am pretty certain Wilber would acknowledge this, so this isn't really a difference of perspective; it just is something that isn't readily apparent in the visual of the quadrant model itself.
In the pdf of Integral Semiotics the individual signifier and signified reside in the upper right and left respectively. The collective signifiers and signifieds reside in the lower right and left respectively (7-8). A referent though "exists in a given worldspace — it exists in some dimension of the AQAL matrix which is composed of actual phenomena in any number of quadrants, quadrivium, levels, lines, states, and/or types" (7). But then on 9 referents end up in the LL under semantics and collective signifieds? And on 10 he has the kosmic address of various referents "in any number of quadrants, quadrivium, levels, lines, states, and/or types."
Yes. However, it is a little confusing, because there is another section where he appears to locate "referents" in the Lower Left:
In short, individual signifiers are Upper Right (material marks); signifieds are Upper Left (interior apprehensions); syntax or grammar is Lower Right (collective systems and structural rules of language accessed in an objective fashion); semantics is Lower Left (the actual referents of linguistic signs, referents which exist only as disclosed in particular worldviews or worldspaces).
See my edits in the previous post.
Okay, thanks. Yes, this apparent contradiction is something David and I have been discussing also. What do you make of it?
My first impression reminds me of Edwards' criticism of putting holons in quadrants rather than each holon having 4 quadrants. I think this applies to referents as well, in that each referent has 4 quads. Thus each referent has individual and social signifiers and signifieds in their respective quadrants. That is why referents can have kosmic addresses in a variety of quadrants, levels, lines etc.
There is an extended discussion about the transcendental signified in Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality. There may be something dated about it, but it probably at least offers some insights into Wilber's ideas about the subject. You can access some of it here:
A line regarding Habermas' views gets cut off at the bottom. The beginning of the next page reads: "transcendent (common contextual)." He also relates the idea of the transcendental signified to spiritual phenomena at the bottom of 630.
He also discusses it in notes 13 and 14.
Bryant's Borromean knot domains works better in this regard, as they don't track equivalently to the quadrants. He locates the referent in the Real domain and the Real can be both actual and virtual. We might therefore say that the Real has signifiers and signifieds, whether it is actual or not. As can the other two domains as well, given the withdrawn virtual of any domain in the 'center' of differance, itself being actual and virtual.
Given the overlaps of the domains, unlike the quadrants, hence we also get some shared spaces where they intermix and match and change into each other depending on contexts. So we can also say that the signified has the real and the signifier, as well as the signifier has the real and the signified. And all with actual and virtual aspects. They can be distinguished depending on the context or perspective used, the kosmic address, if you will. But there is no privileged perspective outside the kosmic address or (con)text. Hence even the definitions of signifiers, signifieds and the real are open to change and transformation.
We do not get this with kennlingus since his KA does have a transcendental signifier that is the very ground of KA in the first place as consciousness per se. It is right in line with the metaphysics of presence also in its strict dividing lines between the quadrants (domains) with little if any overlap.
Returning to holons we might then say that any holon has real, symbolic and imaginary domains, with each of those domains having actual and virtual aspects. Given the relations it really does appear to be more of a entangled knot than some distinct grid. These are not tidy little boxes with supreme autonomy but a different variety of interconnected autonomy and community. All within a strange mereology to boot that allows for emergence and 'levels,' but again not in a kennlingual or metaphysical way.
This also plays into Bryant's notions of corporeal and incorporeal, in line with the Lingam on some referents not being in the physical or sensorimotor worldspace. More on that later.
I've finally been reading Adam Miller's Speculative Grace from front to back and have been enjoying his lengthy and lucid explication of a Latourian object-oriented ontology. Miller has a series of complementary blog posts to the text, and one of them seems relevant to bring in here: A Material Semiotics?