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."
I like this but wouldn't you need to leave the center empty, rather than covered by all four boxes, to replicate the objet a?
It's like Bryant's Borromean diagram, where the center is the intersection of all the domains. And it's also indicative of the universal particular or concrete universal we've been discussing elsewhere, since the 'emptiness' of object a requires the embodiment(s) of those relative domains for its dependent origination and ties them all together.
Oh, you're right. I was thinking of this image, where it seems more like a gap than an overlap:
Even with that diagram, where it appears that the gaps are 'empty space,' we presuppose that space is empty. Whereas if we accept onto-cartography's notion that there is no space-time in itself, but each suobject creates its own space-time, then the empty gaps are just an illusion. I.e., emptiness is full of a multiplicity of different space-time 'gravities' criss-crossing and overlapping, even when there is no apparent suobject in those empty gaps. I say apparent but a suobject's space-time gravity is part of that suobject and it too is 'material.' But we just don't see it due to our limited perception. It's kind of like the ethereal milky stuff between the bright spots in my icon.
I understand. I'm not thinking of a conventional picture of empty space, or space as container, or as self-existing, etc.
See Laske in this ILR article. Note Bhaskar figures prominently therein.
"A simple-minded definition of dialecticism would be that contradiction lies in the nature of things, and that wherever reality is thought about holistically, the perception of contradictions enforces a privileging of larger organized wholes over isolated individuals and entities. Felicitously put, Reality is perceived as pervaded by negativity or absence (Bhaskar, 1993), simply because 'something' is defined as being both itself and not itself, and this 'not itself' stems from its intrinsic relationship to 'something else' without which it could not be what it is."
In the next quote I'm not quite sure what he means, given the confusing grammar. It seems that western dialectic at the meta-systematic level maintains that sort of 'positivity' that lacks an understanding of the kind of absence noted above.
"While Asian dialecticism is largely part of people’s common sense, in Western culture dialecticism has never penetrated culture as a whole but has remained more of a philosophical tradition. Due to this fact, Western dialectical thinking has retained a semblance of high-brow thinking (if not leftist ideology), and has set itself apart from understanding (including scientific understanding) as reason. This distinction has been elucidated by 20th century studies in cognitive development that, even when restricted to formal logical thought (Commons, 1981 f.), have shown empirically that adults’ thinking increasingly tends to re-fashion logical tools as a means of dialectical (meta-systemic) discourse and dialog. A not immediately obvious consequence of this is that a purely positive definition of reality—as if no contradictions existed—robs reality of its potential for change since contradiction introduces negativity or 'otherness.'"
This seems to be supported by Laske in his 2010 ITC paper, when he said "the absence of dialectical thinking in adult developmental research is palpable" (2). At 4 he notes that the only developmental psychologist to take up this sort of dialectic was Basseches. On 8, using Bhaskar's interpretation of Hegel, negation is preserved in memory, whereas in formop it is pushed out as false. It seems Wilber's use of Hegel is a different interpretation more like Common's MHC, and Laske notes this absence of absence leads Wilber to "purely logical thinking" (16).
Also on 16 he discusses the usual Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis formula, but given the above it seems to be quite different from than that used by Wilber and Commons. At 17 this is clarified noting that his form of dialectics requires depth-first, instead of breadth-first as in Wilber. Therefore "integral thinking fails at the preservative negation of what it negates and then transcends, missing the dialectical moment while transcending."
He uses technical terms here with which I'm not familiar but my translation is that Wilber, in typical formop and metaphysical fashion, sublates the 'other' in the new synthesis as in set theory, whereas Laske's synthesis preserves the other in mutual entailment more like Zalamea's math using Peirce (here and following). It also seems to support my notion that postmetaphysical thinking spirals back down in depth to perserve/integrate/synthesize (or de/re) the absences or gaps dissociated by metaphysical formop and its more complicated or sophisticated metaphysical extensions a la the MHC. Therefore this spiraling down in depth is simultaneously spiraling up in height or breadth, like our image schema that do both from the middle.
On 19 he launches into a discussion of dialectics similar to that in the ILR article, where he repeats the above paragraph on meta-systematic ops retaining formop's lack of absence (21). In light of everything noted above it seems to support my interpretation.
"It should be obvious that a given model alone (actual, determinate) cannot, in principle, capture all the richness of a general concept (possible, indeterminate). [...] The existence of multiple ways of representing and modeling should avoid any identification of a mathematical concept with a mathematical object. [...] It turns out that continuity is a protean concept, which [...] can be modeled in several diverse ways. [...] The continuum (general) can only be approached by its different signs (particular models) in representational contexts" (4 - 5).
Mark Forman is conducting a series of interviews with Otto Laske on the latter's work. Here is the first one:
Laske sees developmental theory "less as a classification device and more as a tool for helping people" (6:36).
"Dialectics is about things being inseparable and separate" (15:00).
More from Peirce's Continuum, linked above. In section 1.3 he talks of the general very much like Bryant's or DeLanda's withdrawn or virtual. E.g., "whatever is free of particularizing attachments, determinative, existential or actual. The general is what can live in the realm of possibilia" (10). He sees the continuum as in the general category which he relates to Peirce's thirdness. It is woven with secondness (determinacy and actuality) and firstness (indetermination and chance). However, apparently unlike Bryant's withdrawn and more like DeLanda's virtual, the general continuum is "homogenized and regularized, overcoming and melting together all individual distinctions" (10).
He quotes Peirce on 12, seeming to further support the above, where the continuum is supermultitudinous and as such "individuals are no longer distinct from one another. [...] They have no existence [...] except in their relations to one another. They are no subjects, but phrases expressive of the properties of the continuum."