As referenced in this post, see the new issue. Plenty of articles to discuss here. The table of contents follows:

Research Across Boundaries: Introduction to the First Part of the Special Issue

Markus Molz & Mark G. Edwards



Impressions from the Luxemburg Symposium Research Across Boundaries

Jonathan Reams & K. Helmut Reich


Surprises Ahead: What Will Be Special about the 21st Century? Why Do We Now Need Boundary-Crossing Research?

Ruben Nelson



Varieties of Boundary Crossings

V. V. Raman    



Networks of Agape and Creativity: Learning Across Boundaries and the Calling of Planetary Realizations

Ananta Kumar Giri  



Toward a Genealogy and Topology of Western Integrative Thinking

Gary P. Hampson


From Knowledge to Wisdom: Assessment and Prospects after Three Decades

Nicholas Maxwell



Towards a New Art of Integration

Ananta Kumar Giri



Against Consilience: Outsider Scholarship and the Isthmus Theory of Knowledge Domains

Mike King



Global Knowledge Futures: Articulating the Emergence of a New Meta-level Field

Jennifer M. Gidley



Towards an Integral Meta-Studies: Describing and Transcending Boundaries in the Development of Big Picture Science

Mark G. Edwards



The Transdisciplinary Moment(um)

Julie Thompson Klein



Visions of Transmodernity: A New Renaissance of our Human History?

Irena Ateljevic



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

Soren Brier



Listening into the Dark: An Essay Testing the Validity and Efficacy of Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry for Describing and Encouraging Transformations of Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry

William R. Torbert



The Arc from the Body to Culture: How Affect, Proprioception, Kinesthesia, and Perceptual Imagery Shape Cultural Knowledge (and vice versa)  

Michael Kimmel



Integrating Conceptions of Human Progress  

Rick Szostak




New Departures in Tackling Urban Climate Change: Transdisciplinarity for Social Transformation (a critical appraisal of the WBGU 2011 Report)

Christoph Woiwode                    



Transdisciplinary Consumption

Sue L.T. McGregor


Views: 470

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Given some of our recent discussions, the abstract from Hampson's article is of interest:

"Contemporary integrative thinking such as meta-theorising, integral approaches and transdisciplinarity can be productively contextualised by identifying both a broad genealogy of Western integrative thinking, and also a topology regarding facets of such thought. This paper offers one such genealogical and topological reading. The genealogy involves the historical orientations or moments of Hermetism; Neoplatonism; Renaissancism; the nexus of German classicism, romanticism and idealism; and reconstructive postmodernism. Arising from this , an indication of a general topology of Western integrative thinking is offered (with case studies), one involving objects of integration (such as philosophy and spirituality), macro-integrative entities (such as syncretism), micro-integrative entities (such as creativity and love), integrative 'shapes' (such as organicism), and processes of integration (such as intuition)."

I've skimmed most of these.  They're all 20-50 pages long and most of them introduce some new theory, each with it's own new set of terminology to learn.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

And the most shocking aspect of these articles is that I think I'm beginning to understand what most of them are writing about.

Yes, I had hopes for the Hampson article, but it seems to be more of a survey or listing various influences.  The phrase: "This paper has offered indications toward ..." seems to be academic-speak for "here's a survey of interesting stuff associated with ..."


I tried to read 4 of the articles but go so bored that I ended up skimming and decided this stuff really doesn't hold much interest for me anymore. Even authors I previously prized like Edwards, Gidley, Hampson and Torbert. This stuff is just getting too academic and dry, like having sex without any lubrication. It's just more irritating than informative. Whereas journals like Speculations and O-Zone are for me where the action on the real cutting edge of philosophy resides.

I realized that part of my distaste is from the blatant hubris and superiority complex in these articles, highly reminiscent of kennilingus. Meta this or meta that is the key to the salvation of mankind, and we hold the key to that knowledge. Whereas I'm starting to think of meta more as in meta-data, like with the NSA. It's just organizing records, or in this case paradigms, and in no way has any relevant content.* We're all fascinated by something that is more like a macro in computer science, useful shortcuts but in themselves not much more than that, like meta whatever.

* Which reminds me of Edwards' statement from this source:

"Integral metatheory building is based on the analysis of extant theory and does not deal with empirical data. Consequently, it cannot validly make conclusions about empirical data based on its metatheorising. If it does so, it is stepping outside its realm of authority. To put this in another way, metatheory is primarily about other theory and not about the prediction or evaluation of first-order empirical data."

Furthermore, I'm not opposed to big picture meta-theory. It's just that I see the likes of the speculative realists including in theirs this notion of excess, withdrawal or differance at the heart of their meta-paradigm(s). This tends to keep them open and contingent, with much less of the kind of hubris we see in the more 'integral' meta-paradigms that are blind to such excess. It is very much akin to the restricted/general economy and consequent models of restricted/general complexity explored here (and following).* And ironically enough, those SR models seem to me to be more 'integral' than those claiming that title, and more accurately demonstrating the next wave of evolution.

* Starting with Morin and going from there. It will be most interesting at the ITC in August to see how kennilingus gets along with Morin and Bhaskar, since the latter two challenge the former in ways I've explored ad nauseum in the forum.

And another thing. It seems the likes of Bryant, as one example, came to the meta-paradigm from intimate study and enactment of the empirical data of individual paradigms. Hence we don't see the kind of over generalizations in the meta-theory first approaches, trying to fit data into its preconceptions. While onticology ends up with a meta-paradigm it does so based on much more solid data. While its meta-paradigm emerges from the ground up holistically, kennilingus and models like the MHC are top-down ideals where the data must fit the meta or it's just not seen. Granted onticology's meta-paradigm is not yet as comprehensive as kennilingus, I'd suggest it will be much more coherent, accurate and comprehensive when it gets there due to the above.

I don't exactly see (or, more interestingly, I don't mind) blatant hubris & superiority complexes. Arrogance gets a bad rap these days but it looks good on certain people in certain situations. The issue is rather the style, grace, energy and interestingness with which superiority is conveyed.

It is one thing if these folks have a different idea of fascinating but we get the impression that they are not privileging the interest. It becomes pedantic in the same of cinema that focus too much on a moral or a superficial notion of what people ought to see in a film. Plot! Character! Human relevance! Sure -- but we'll watch a crocodile eating gazelles for two hours. Integrity is lost when the author or artist looses focus on the coolness of their forms.

The problem in a lot of ongoing "integral journals" is an excess (sic) of dusty, self-abnegating "academic air" -- the patented blend that is pumped into the lungs of so many university-trained thinkers. This style of terminology has a hollowness that makes complicated and legitimately "meta" phrasing suspiciously  unpalatable.

As one old wag said of his years with Jiddu Krishnamuriti, "The transmission was there... but listening to his talks was like chewing sand."

In way these people (whomever they are) are like victims of pedophilia. A certain complexity of conceptual terminology was pressured into their system before they were naturally ready. The result is a disturbance. The was an integrity breach. As THEURJ said above, they are "just organizing records". A certain verbal-analytic machinery functions in their writing without (relatively speaking) much person, much juice, much trans-academic energy.

It is not enough to discuss "trans-disciplinary"... you have to splice some genres of human activity together.

There is an analogy here to politics. A functional politician -- someone doing actual human politics -- appeals (or at least desires to appeal) to the diverse majority of people who have little or no interest in politics. So many of the most progressive agendas never reach public office simply because the candidates won't take their shirts off and challenge people to a push-up competition, etc. What they see as silly, hypocritical, mere pageantry, goofy, etc. represents their actual contact with the bio-cultural energies of the people. People who are not like them... people who could not bear to be in politics.

If they are not dealing outside of politics then they are not dealing with the People and are therefore not doing actual politics. Instead they meet in cabals of similar (either manipulative or idealistic) people who roughly dress the same, use the same terminology, go to lunch at the same places, have the same bureaucratic willingness to plod through the routine. But most people are not like that. They even hate that. Integral theory is only integral when it appeals beyond integral theory.

Agreed about the stench...I mean air, of academia, having myself been so inculcated and which required intense analysis and an ongoing 12-step program. My name is theurj and I'm a recovering academian... Also your point about not engaging or enacting the paradigm was one of my points about Bryant, for example, who knows inside out the paradigms of which he meta-izes. Whereas the 'integral' crowd just has a meta-Program in which all must fit while knowing little detail as to the contents of the paradigms they are meta-izing. Plus Bryant engages his audience not only in the classroom but in his blog, so has a good sense of being outside the ivory tower.

This blog post by Bryant was referenced in the OOO thread. Reading through the comments he said this of relevance in this thread:

"When I approach any philosophical text, I distinguish between its meta-philosophy and its philosophy. The meta-philosophy of a philosophy is how it describes or represents its position. The philosophy of a philosophy is what it actually develops in the body of its work. At the level of DeLanda’s meta-philosophy, you’re absolutely right. He claims not to advocate the existence of units. However, when you look at his actual analyses, he’s intoxicated by units of all kinds and even looks like an actor-network theorist."

And from this post (not Bryant):

Some excerpts from a Caputo interview. The first could be aimed at a kennilingual obsession with boundaries and meta-paradigms, which seems more inherent to the modernist project.

"The...paradigmatic modernist would be Kant, who divides the world up into three critical domains.... And so modernism is very emphatic about drawing borders between things and enforcing those borders, policing those borders. Kant’s philosophy is a kind of meta-philosophy of meta-critique, which is a kind of science of science which polices borders. So it makes for very strong distinctions between subject and object, between politics and between public and private."

This IEP entry on contemporary metaphilosophy is interesting. And this one from Princeton.

Speaking of imagery or imagination as mediator, recall this post et seq. about image schemata being 'updated' archetypes.

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2024   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service