Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I posted the following in the Yahoo Adult Development forum and am cross-posting here. I'll keep you apprised of some key responses, provided I get any:
Building on the post below* regarding Lakoff's embodied reason, he seems to call into question the type of abstract reasoning usually found at the formal operational level. This appears to be false reasoning based on the idea that reason is abstract, literal, conscious, can fit the world directly and works by logic (also see for example this article ). If formal reasoning is false wouldn't this call into question some of the assumptions of the MHC? That perhaps this "stage" is a dysfunction instead of a step toward post-formal reasoning?
Now Lakoff has his own hierarchy of how embodied reason develops: image-schematic, propositional, metaphoric, metonymic, symbolic. (See for example "Metaphor, cognitive models and language" by Steve Howell.) So I'm wondering how the MHC takes into account Lakoff's work here and how it answers his charge of false reason? Terri Robinett noted in his Ph.D. dissertation (at the Dare Association site) that "work has already begun by Commons and Robinett (2006) on a hierarchically designed instrument to measure Lakoff’s (2002) theory of political worldview." So perhaps you can shed some light on this?
* This is the referenced post:
Since Michael brought up Lakoff as perhaps being "at right angles to the stage dimension" I read this by Lakoff this evening: "Why 'rational reason' doesn't work in contemporary politics." He distinguishes between real and false reason, the former being bodily based and the latter existing in some sort of objective, abstract realm. Very interesting indeed. Here are a few excerpts:
"Real reason is embodied in two ways. It is physical, in our brain circuitry. And it is based on our bodies as the function in the everyday world, using thought that arises from embodied metaphors. And it is mostly unconscious. False reason sees reason as fully conscious, as literal, disembodied, yet somehow fitting the world directly, and working not via frame-based, metaphorical, narrative and emotional logic, but via the logic of logicians alone."
"Real reason is inexplicably tied up with emotion; you cannot be rational without being emotional. False reason thinks that emotion is the enemy of reason, that it is unscrupulous to call on emotion. Yet people with brain damage who cannot feel emotion cannot make rational decisions because they do not know what to want, since like and not like mean nothing. 'Rational' decisions are based on a long history of emotional responses by oneself and others. Real reason requires emotion."
And this one is significant, which was made apparent in my discussions with Commons:
"In objectivist cognition, concepts by definition exclude all nonobjective influences.... For example, the properties of basic level concepts [their embodiment]...cannot be true properties of concepts in an objectivist theory" (165). Hence the complete avoidance of Lakoff's (and company) work; it is not "objective" and proven (i.e., circle-jerked) with so-called objective, mathematical, set-theorectical axioms.
"The classical theory comes with two general principles of organization for categories: hierarchical categorization and cross-categorizaton. [In the former] a partition of a category into sub-categories such that all members are in one, and only one, subcategory.... [In the latter] a number of hierarchical categories at the same level.... [these] are the only organizations of categories that exist" (166-7).
We see exactly this in the kennilingual (and MHC) notions of hierarchy and heterarchy. Multiplicity, on the other hand, is both/neither (see complexity and pomo thread).
Note: Lakoff sees such objectivism as metaphysical in both senses that 1) it is not embodied (and therefore transcendental) and 2) sees such a clear distinction between subject and object (like the clear distinction between categories), aka dualism, aka formal operations. He has noted before (and in this book as well) that his embodied paradigm is metaphysics as realism but not in the other senses. Again, akin to what we're seeing with the complexity pomoers, de/reers and postformal operators. (The latter term should be sung to this tune.)
A key reason Lakoff is ignored by hierarchical complexifiers:
"It is the classical concept of a category, the concept that contemporary research on prototype theory claims is untenable as a fully general approach. If that concept changes in an essential way, then most, if not all, of objectivist metaphysics and epistemology goes. What is at stake is a world view" (174).
Yep, a formop worldview dressed up as postop and integral, with the math to prove it. Never mind that the math is also formop based on classical category theory. Lakoff challenges the unconscious presuppositions and premises upon which such theory is based and taken as given.
Chapter 12 begins with a discussion of how a species is viewed since Darwin can no longer fit the category of natural kinds. We're seeing this same discussion at the end of the pomo and complexity thread from the DeLanda and the speculative realist camp (well scientific too, using DeLana and Delueze's science and math), which also decry objectivism (and essentialism and hierarchical set theory). Note that like Lakoff, they too have a place for hierarchy but it isn't the dominant place, just contextualized in a broader understanding. Classical category (and set) theory have to ignore evolutionary biology!
"The formalist program of separating syntax from semantics accompanied the mathematicization of logic and the unification of logic with mathematics. The separation was needed in order to make sense of axiom systems....[it is] an alien division...relative to human language and thought" (226-7).
Lakoff goes on to note that there is indeed a hidden interpretative (semantic) element hidden in the assumption that there can be a completely objective set of rules for syntax devoid an any interpretative element at all. In another context, this hidden performative contraction is the basis of claims of performative contradictions in pluralists who recognize that syntax cannot be separated from semantics. This specious claim is more a projection and limitation of formop than inherent in postop pluralism due to the original and hidden contradiction from its dualism taken as a given.
Chapter 17 of WFDT discusses cognitive semantics, one of Lakoff's realistic alternatives to objectivism. Basic level categories, as noted earlier in the thread, process via part-whole gestalts. However they are not the most simple in terms of a classical, hierarchical complexity scale, rather being in the middle. Given that the following is most interesting: "The wholes seems psychologically more basic than the parts" (270). While Lakoff doesn't make the connection, we see the complexity pomoers, speculative realists and OOOers coming at this from another paradigm with their "parts are more complex than the whole." I have only an inkling as how to make this connection between them clearer, but it will come.
There are different kinds of preconceptual image schemas, which ground the basic categories: container, part-whole, link, center-periphery, source-path-goal, up-down, front-back and linear order are some examples. Concepts then build on these schemas: categories in general build on container schemas, hierarichal structures in terms of part-whole and up-down, relations in terms of links, radial structure in terms of center-periphery etc. I find an interesting correlation here with Mark Edwards' pluralistic lenses. See table 9.2 from this ILR interview for example, where he lists these categories of lenses with some examples: holarchical, bipolar, cyclical, standpoint, relational. Also see table 8.1 from this interview for some cool graphics for the lenses. From the latter he says:
"Table 8.1 is not a catalogue of forms of theories. It’s meant to show the generative (metatheoretical) lenses that, in isolation or in combination, can be used to construct theory."
Whereas for Lakoff the preconceptual image schemas are the generator for the later, more abstract metatheory(ies).
From the ILR Edwards interview, part 8:
"These lens categories tap into some basic relationships that exist in the human experience of reality. Consequently, they show up within every attempt to understand, explain, or get some handle on the complexity that exists within and around us and between us and through us. I see them as coming out of some kind of morphological fault line in the Kosmos, windows that we create and which we are drawn to look through, proclivities that we innately possess as sentient beings who act and imagine."
I don't as yet see a direct correlation with L&J's work though.
I see similarities between Lakoff's critique of objectivism and Edwards' critique of a hierarchic-centric view in AQAL. For example, Edwards says in part 9 of the above referenced interview"
"AQAL metatheory has focused almost exclusively on the stage-based approach where development is seen as the holarchical emergence of qualitatively new forms of complexity and capacities. This is, what I call, the developmental holarchy lens. However, this is only one among many other explanatory lenses that might be used to describe and understand transformation.... We need to combine it with and differentiate it from many other lenses if we are to see how stage-based development aligns with other aspects of transformation."
Lakoff sees the objectivitst paradigm as being solely reliant on a hierarchical category theory, and as a result we get a very dualistic, metaphysical conception of the world. While I don't see that Edwards criticizes this particular aspect in AQAL you can see I've repeated made that same connection with the kennilingual metaphysical dualism. And both Lakoff and Edwards recognize that there are a variety of ways basic categories and/or lenses can combine and that all forms derived therefrom must be utilized and contextualized in a meta-theory. Hence neither oppose hierarchical complexity but both put it in a larger context and thus take out the metaphysics that seems inherent when this is the predominant lens used.
Hi, have you checked out either of Bonnie's recent Magellan videos (which I posted here)? The second one, especially, critiques the developmental/dialectical orientation (bias) of Integral theory.
Thanks, I will. Also for reference see Edwards' blog post on altitude lens sickness.