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."

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"I think Lakoff would say that a. embodiment metaphors are the only way anyone ever knows anything and that there is no time when we have ever known anything that was grounded in bodily orientation"

Hi Lu - by chance, is there supposed to be a "not" in between words "was grounded"?

Yes. Thanks for catching it.

Ambo Suno said:

"I think Lakoff would say that a. embodiment metaphors are the only way anyone ever knows anything and that there is no time when we have ever known anything that was grounded in bodily orientation"

Hi Lu - by chance, is there supposed to be a "not" in between words "was grounded"?

“Embodied approaches can deepen meta-theoretical endeavors by adding nuance to their primary categories and methods of inquiry toward a more deeply 'construct aware' approach to philosophy than is seen even within communities working on meta-theories” (2).

Murray, Tom (2015). “Embodied Realisms and Integral Ontologies.” Chapter in the upcoming Dancing With Sophia: Integral Philosophy on the Verge.

If the endeavor (e.g. Integral Theory) and its primary categories and methods of inquiry are formed based on false reason assumptions, Mr. Murray's offer to help bring nuance to those flawed categores and methods would seem to be a damning with faint praise.

The more I look at it, the more the Integral Stage theory seems to be an exercise that does not actually apply to any person (the subjects being categorized), but instead is simply an exercise that allows bystanders to use false reason to pigeonhole unwitting fellow humans.

Back to embodiment as the source of knowing. The female and male bodies are different in significant ways. This difference produces a very real split in available schemas. Integral has thrown women a bone by inviting consideration of Types in the AQAL map. But, nary a mention is made once the theoretical discussion turns back to the meat and potatoes of quadrants and states and the like.

Integral is dominated by false reason based on male logic failures to embrace its unique version of embodiment.

Does anyone honestly feel that the 4 quadrants do justice to how women know things?

My sense is that Integral may be an exercise in taxonomy on steroids. Blind men grasping different parts of the proverbial elephant and then constructing a map that does nothing more than describe how their hands feel.



theurj said:

“Embodied approaches can deepen meta-theoretical endeavors by adding nuance to their primary categories and methods of inquiry toward a more deeply 'construct aware' approach to philosophy than is seen even within communities working on meta-theories” (2).

Murray, Tom (2015). “Embodied Realisms and Integral Ontologies.” Chapter in the upcoming Dancing With Sophia: Integral Philosophy on the Verge.

I empathize. But not all integral metatheory is kennilingus. See for example metatheorist extraordinaire Mark Edwards on altitude sickness. I also noted in this post how his various lenses happen to nicely correlate with various image schemas.

Hi Lucy - I think that with varying degrees, tones, proportions, and contexts, people here are also skeptical of glib color-coding and even reifying of overly specific stage descriptions. I suspect that most people here have thought about this plenty, and they may not be as fired up about it at this particular moment as you sound to me to be.

I also guess that as you get to look around the huge volume of conversations about this and related themes you will begin to notice that people have put a lot into this issue already. They may be reluctant to be prodded to re-enter themes without some renewed evocation for them. Not responding may not mean that a person isn't interested in the topic you place forward or challenge. It may take a while for you to find your way around the forum. Please excuse me if this sounds at all condescending.


One related thread that I haven't gone through carefully yet has a post which I notice is a careful critique by a bright researcher - this one. You'll see a paper by Zac Stein referenced that is pretty tight on a very related issue. I've heard him and many others speak about and challenge the very themes that you raise, so yeah, evidently important.


Lucy Summers said:

. . .I am deeply suspicious of the implications of the Integral fascination with stages (color codes for the rungs on the evolutionary ladder.)

People seem to glibly throw around color labels they have no business touching. And, they don't even differentiate among the various "lines" or "ways of knowing" that are the true object of their fuzzy observation.

Can we get an edict banning this? It is such an arrogant game. The very application of the stage color labels to others by definition presupposes that "I am already beyond the stage I am talking about." Otherwise, how could I even talk about it? That may be the perfect exemplar of self-aggrandizement.

Lucy, doing a quick search on the topic of color-coding I came up with an interesting quote that echos your own distaste. I embolden the quote below. Kevin Shepherd wrote a long paper on Ken Wilber And Integralism. About 6 paragraphs down in Chapter 9 - The Beck Wilber Alliance - he says:

"Michel Bauwens is a Belgian commentator, sometimes described as an integralist. He was a fan of Wilber books for many years, but eventually became critical. He complains that "the encounter of Ken Wilber with Don Beck has been an unmitigated disaster." This verdict illustrates the informed discontent with both sides of the alliance. "Colour coding has become a Stalinist technique to silence critics, to make a debate on the merits of arguments impossible." Aversion to colour coding can be acute in view of such strictures. Bauwens also accuses Spiral Dynamics of operating as a business, being “marketed to business and political leaders as a means of social manipulation.” See Michel Bauwens, A Critique of Wilber and Beck’s SD-Integral (2005)."

Lucy Summers said:

I am deeply suspicious of the implications of the Integral fascination with stages (color codes for the rungs on the evolutionary ladder.)

People seem to glibly throw around color labels they have no business touching. And, they don't even differentiate among the various "lines" or "ways of knowing" that are the true object of their fuzzy observation.

Can we get an edict banning this? It is such an arrogant game. The very application of the stage color labels to others by definition presupposes that "I am already beyond the stage I am talking about." Otherwise, how could I even talk about it? That may be the perfect exemplar of self-aggrandizement.



theurj said:

"We are lying when we lose touch with this process but not necessarily when we do not foreground it."

Same goes for the likes of Lakoff and company when they don't foreground cognitive levels. That is in no way necessary to enact real reason or integral vision logic.

Hi t - I am back at the video that you posted from Lakoff's ICPS presentation. I relistened to the first 30 minutes and am now 2/3 through, at 1 hour. I may have to stop soon and finish it at another sitting. I am still uber-enthused by this, and I want to express that.

I like when he uses the word "integrated" at various moments, and when he doesn't, other words speak to the ongoing challenge of what we mean by "Integral" and "integration", i.e."blend" and such.

This is an extraordinary rendering, mapping of how man lives and functions in the world.

A few minutes ago he was speaking of "state" being metaphored as something like a "bounded region in space" and he elaborated a bit. As I listened and mused, it tied in nicely with states of AQAL and TSK that balder has explored and plenty more.

So chock full!

Again, I'm glad you linked it here.

theurj said:

“Embodied approaches can deepen meta-theoretical endeavors by adding nuance to their primary categories and methods of inquiry toward a more deeply 'construct aware' approach to philosophy than is seen even within communities working on meta-theories” (2).

Murray, Tom (2015). “Embodied Realisms and Integral Ontologies.” Chapter in the upcoming Dancing With Sophia: Integral Philosophy on the Verge.

Also see this post.

Zak Stein's latest blog post appreciates Lakoff and presents Zak's favorite metaphors for how the mind-brain/learning and mental systems work. I particularly liked this simple description of how we reason: "We speak about things we do not understand as if they worked like the things we do understand. This can be a powerful aid to understanding, but it can also lead to distortions, errors, and a comforting illusion of knowledge where there is really only confusion."

http://www.zakstein.org/your-mind-is-not-like-a-computer-its-like-a...




Ambo Suno said:

Hi t - I am back at the video that you posted from Lakoff's ICPS presentation. I relistened to the first 30 minutes and am now 2/3 through, at 1 hour. I may have to stop soon and finish it at another sitting. I am still uber-enthused by this, and I want to express that.

I like when he uses the word "integrated" at various moments, and when he doesn't, other words speak to the ongoing challenge of what we mean by "Integral" and "integration", i.e."blend" and such.

This is an extraordinary rendering, mapping of how man lives and functions in the world.

A few minutes ago he was speaking of "state" being metaphored as something like a "bounded region in space" and he elaborated a bit. As I listened and mused, it tied in nicely with states of AQAL and TSK that balder has explored and plenty more.

So chock full!

Again, I'm glad you linked it here.

theurj said:

“Embodied approaches can deepen meta-theoretical endeavors by adding nuance to their primary categories and methods of inquiry toward a more deeply 'construct aware' approach to philosophy than is seen even within communities working on meta-theories” (2).

Murray, Tom (2015). “Embodied Realisms and Integral Ontologies.” Chapter in the upcoming Dancing With Sophia: Integral Philosophy on the Verge.

Thanks for linking Stein's blog post. He reiterates many of the themes in this thread. E.g., using the mind as ecosystem metaphor:

"Ecosystems are composed of a wide variety of independent and yet co-evolving species, so there is not one central 'unit' that can serve as an overall measure of the ecosystem. Rather, to understand an ecosystem you must take multiple measurements in a variety of places across a variety of time scales. Ecosystems are also sensitive and actively responsive to the larger environments in which they are nested. They can be easily disrupted and thrown off balance, but they are also generative and creative, self-regulating, and self-transcending. They are adaptable, open systems, and are constantly in a state of dynamic equilibrium. As ecosystems evolve they display non-linear growth, with jumps, dips, regressions, and daily and seasonal changes and rhythms. Their growth is not simple and linear, but messy and dynamic."

I also like this one: "[It] became clear that one of the main reasons we stick with simplistic metaphors such as the 'mind-as-computer' is because they do not challenge our status quo systems and processes." In this case he's referring to our educational system, but it applies across the board to our socio-economic systems as well. Hence we don't get challenges to that system from the kennilinguists, even defending it to the point of saying valid and accurate criticisms of it are just MGM conspiracy theories (as was the case recently in some FB discussions).

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