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 is 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."
See Priest's several part lectures on logic, paraconsistent logic, dialetheism and paradox at this link dated 2/20/17. As one example, see around 7:50 of lecture 4, the diagram of the vesica piscis, showing how something can be both true and not true in that area of intersection. I've used that diagram and concept throughout this thread.
Also see this post and several following in another thread on Wittgenstein and prototype theory in cognitive science.
I downloaded Mark Edwards' 2010 book at the bottom of the initial post in this thread. Check out the different lenses in Chapter 6 and how he relates them in Chapter 7. "In general, theorists rely on only a small number of conceptual lenses in developing their explanations of organisational transformation. This means that, for example, process theorists ignore structural lenses, such as those used by multilevel theorists, and developmental theorists make very little use of the transition process or learning lenses. Theorists who come from a standpoint or relational perspective often neglect the developmental and multilevel lenses and those lenses expressed as bipolar dualisms. In fact, the extensive list of lenses in Table 7.1 suggests that most theorists are relying on a relatively limited conceptual base in developing explanations for transformational occurrences. This exclusionism has several unfortunate implications for theories of transformation in organisational settings" (134).
A similar sentiment from Lakoff from a metaphoric angle:
"The science and the social sciences all use causal theories, but the metaphors for causation can vary widely and thus so can the kinds of causal inferences you can draw. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. You just have to realize that causation is not just one thing. There are many kinds of modes of causation, each with different logical inferences, that physical, social, and cognitive scientists attribute to reality using different metaphors for causation. Again, it is important to know which metaphor for causation you are using. Science cannot be done without metaphors of all sorts, starting with a choice of metaphors for causation. Most interestingly, if you look at the history of philosophy, you will find a considerable number of "theories of causation." When we looked closely at the philosophical theories of causation over the centuries, they all turned out to be one or another of our commonplace metaphors for causation. What philosophers have done is to pick their favorite metaphor for causation and put it forth as an eternal truth."
Now Edwards admits that he's using the holonic lens as a 'scaffold' to accommodate all the lenses (189). That lens is the container schema according to cogsci. And it has its own premises and inferences that apply to that schema, but it is only one of dozens of schemas. So I question that the holonic lens can truly provide a syntegrative scaffold for all the other lenses. Lakoff et al. certainly do not use the container schema to do that with the other schemas.
And this from Edwards et al. in Integral Review:
"For a tensegrity-oriented approach the centre is a virtual one, rather than being occupied by some dominant body, individual, concept or value. [...] Therefore syn-integral bridging does not follow the ideas of a metaphysical harmony, nor an underlying unity-oriented ideal(ism). Rather, it embraces demands of diversity, complexities, intricacies and ambiguities of bounded organizational realities" (128).
Note that they reference Lakoff and Johnson's work, particularly footnote 7 and its referenced text (121-22) on image schema and primary metaphor.
I was just re-reading some of Lakoff & Nunez, Where Mathematics Comes From. Even in math there is no one correct or universal math. There are equally valid but mutually inconsistent maths depending on one's premised axioms (354-55). This is because math is also founded on embodied, basic categories and metaphors, from which particular axioms are unconsciously based (and biased), and can go in a multitude of valid inferential directions depending on which metaphor (or blend) is used in a particular contextual preference. Hence they dispel the myth of a transcendent, Platonic math while validating a plurality of useful and accurate maths.
However Lakoff & Nunez do not see the above as relativistic postmodernism (pomo) because of empirically demonstrated, convergent scientific evidence of universal, embodied grounding of knowledge via image schema, basic categories and extended in metaphor. They see both transcendent math and pomo as a priori investments.
Responding to my own inquiry above about Edwards using the holon lens to scaffold the other lenses, in rereading Philosophy in the Flesh it turns out that our basic level categories and actions, those with which we directly interact with the world, depend on gestalt (part-whole) structure. Mental imagery (image schema) are also based on this gestalt perception. So it seems that the container image schema (holon), while only one of several different schemas, is fundamental in the sense above.
And yet Lakoff said this about set theory, which is built at least in part on the container schema:
"The same is true of set theory. There are lots and lots of set theories, each defined by different axioms. You can construct a set theory in which the Continuum hypothesis is true and a set theory in which it is false. You can construct a set theory in which sets cannot be members of themselves and a set theory in which sets can be members of themselves. It is just a matter of which axioms you choose, and each collection of axioms defines a different subject matter. Yet each such subject matter is itself a viable and self-consistent form of mathematics. [...] There is no one true set theory." (WMCF, 355).
They also explain why the above is not postmodern relativism:
"In recognizing all the ways that mathematics makes use of cognitive universals and universal aspects of experience, the theory of embodied mathematics explicitly rejects any possible claim that mathematics is arbitrarily shaped by history and culture alone. Indeed, the embodiment of mathematics accounts for real properties of mathematics that a radical cultural relativism would deny or ignore: conceptual stability, stability of inference, precision, consistency, generalizability, discoverability, calculability, and real utility in describing the world" (362).
In chapter 2 of Sattler's book, Wilber's AQAL Model and Beyond, he reiterates a point I've long made in this thread regarding set theories: Some sets are fuzzy, meaning a member can be both partially in and out of a defined set. Hence a part is not completely subsumed in a larger holon as in the typical nested concentric circles. One kind of set theory does that, another kind (fuzzy set) does not. The former nested set forms one kind of hierarchy, the fuzzy kind form what I've come to call hier(an)archical synplexity. Both are internally consistent depending on which set axioms you choose, yet both are inconsistent with each other.
Then again, which set axioms are more consistent with cognitive science given its own methodological axioms? It depends on which cogsci you use. The 1st generation is built on what Lakoff calls the necessary and sufficient categorical conditions of disembodied, abstract reason. The 2nd generation is built on the fuzzy categories of embodied reason. The question becomes which is more empirically accurate given advances in the field?
In the above referenced Edwards book he discussed 3 different kinds of holarchy: developmental, ecological and governance (132). This might or not refer to different kinds of set theory. E.g.: "In true governance holarchies, more encompassing levels do not determine what the less encompassing levels will do in isolation from the organising agency of those junior levels. Higher holarchical levels do not cause lower levels to behave or think. The exchange is always a two-way process. Hence, in a balanced governance holarchy, constituent holons are best seen as leader-followers" (133).
Note the diagrams of the 3 types (figure 7.1). The governance holarchical levels are not subsumed within the higher levels, indicating a different set relationship.
Which of course reminds me of Bryant's discussion of intension and extension relationships in Badiou's set theory. In the former the elements of the set are ordered in a particular way, whereas in the latter the elements can be related in multiple ways. I.e., elements in the latter are not defined by their relations whereas they are in the former. This seems to be the difference between the internal organizational structure of an individual holon and its relationships with other, external holons, similar to Edwards' different types.
Edwards gets at this from his own angle via his four orders of holonic relations: Intra, inter, systemic and inter-systemic (189-90). Intra-holonic order is the dynamics within an individual holon, often the focus of developmentalists. Inter-holonic order is the mediational dynamics between holons, often the study of constructionists. The systemic order is the relationship between holons and the holarchy in which it is embedded. He uses the governance holarchy as an example of this. Inter-systemic order is multi-lens frameworks "which consider multiple systems of holons and holarchies in dynamic environments" (191). The latter sounds a lot like Lakoff et al's cogsci, both at least cross-paradigmatic approaches.
Note: Commons et al now have a new stage above that call meta-cross-paradigmatic. I'm honestly not that interested in the minutiae of all this stageism. I don't know how the stagers rate this stuff.
What's next? Super-post-trans-meta-cross-what da fa?