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."
From Cook-Greuter's "Mature ego development." Sound familiar?
"Commons and Richards’ (1984) General Model of Hierarchical Complexity, for instance, includes stages of metasystematic and cross-paradigmatic reasoning in its scheme. However, the higher stages in this latter model remain wedded to symbolic codification. Complex cognitive behavior is represented as mathematical formulas (operations upon operations upon operations - almost ad infinitum). Purely cognitive models (Commons and Truedeau, 1994; Stein, in progress), for instance, do not realize and/or acknowledge the incommensurability between symbol and that which is symbolized. Their creators do not recognize the limits of rational analysis and of symbolic representation, and thus, they cannot discover the hidden assumptions and paradoxes that they enact in their models" (10).
"I suggest that a more complex view must include notions of fundamental 'uncertainty', existential paradox, and the nature of interdependent polar opposites as a basis for making its claims. In terms of its understanding of humans, integral evolutionary assertions sound more as coming from a formal operational, self-authoring, analytical, and future-focused mindset than a truly second-tier one despite 'postconventional' content and worldcentric values" (17-18).
"The point of this seminar is not only to acquaint us with the vibrant landscape of contemporary mathematics – and the field of sheaf logic and category theory, in particular – but to show us how this landscape’s powerful new concepts can be deployed in the fields of philosophy and cultural production. Its aim is nothing less than to ignite a new way of thinking about universality and synthesis in the absence of any absolute foundation or stable, pre-given totality – a problem that mathematics has spent the better part of the last fifty years thinking its way through, and which it has traversed by means remarkable series of conceptual inventions – a problem which has also animated philosophical modernity and its contemporary horizon.
"Our guide in this endeavour will be Fernando ZALAMEA, a Columbian mathematician, philosopher and novelist whose work seeks to explore the life of contemporary mathematics while redeploying its concepts and forces beyond their native domain. In an incessant, pendular motion, he weaves the warp of post-Grothendieckian mathematics through a heterogeneous weft of materials drawn from architecture and fiction, sculpture and myth, poetry and music.
"Just as analytic philosophy emerged from the shockwaves of the explosion of classical logic and set theory onto the scene in the early 20th century, the conceptual force of mathematics after Grothendieck holds the potential to spawn a new, 'synthetic' vision of mathematically-conditioned philosophy for the present age, one which Zalamea foreshadows under the rubrics of transitory ontology, epistemological sheaves, and universal pragmaticism."
It turns out Zalamea is a big fan of Peirce. Here's one of his articles on Peirce. The first thing of interest is that in exploring Peirce's Logic Notebook Zalamea appreciates that it is a chronological diary of the development of Peirce's thought. I.e., it shows the process of how Peirce came to his conclusions, the brainstorming, the multifarious and scattered ideas that only later became refined into his formulations. I've oft said that is IPS, how the threads and dialogs explore various topics, and how we then come to more solid positions. It's a media in res, continually.
Which is another of Zalamea's appreciations in the above. How Peirce mixes and matches various fields and paradigms, finding those interstices of intersection between domains and categories. And which Zalamea himself uses in his own interlacing Vennish mixes of sheath logic and category theory.
Also see Zalamea's essay on transmodernism here. From the Intro:
"Transmodernity' –both diachronic and methodological- hopes to reintegrate many awkward postmodern differentials, to balance some supposed breaks with more in-depth sutures, to counter relativism with a topological logic where some 'universal relatives' provide invariants beyond the flux of transformations [....] [with a] merging [of] reason and sensibility which must explore the borders (TRANS) of thought [....] to reinterpret universals as partial invariants of a logic of change, where the borders of reason and sensibility appear as objects of reason in their own right. The important crisis revealed by Postmodernism (impossibility of unique perspectives, impossibility of cutting out antinomies, impossibility of stable hierarchies, etc.) can nevertheless be well understood using a continuous geometrical logic of reason and sensibility, open both to changes and invariances. This short article is intended as a programmatic one, pointing out the possible relevance that some non-standard pragmatic thinking (Peirce’s 'pragmaticism', Latin America’s 'razonabilidad') may have for our Transmodern epoch."
This is interesting, from pp. 3-4 of the last citation:
"Broadening these precepts to the general context of semiotics, for knowing a given arbitrary sign (the context of the actual) we must run through the multiple contexts of interpretation that can interpret the sign (the context of the possible), and within each context, we must study the practical (imperative) consequents associated with each of those interpretations (the context of the necessary). In this process the relations between the possible contexts (situated in a global space) and the relations between the fragments of necessary contrastation (placed in a local space) take a fundamental relevance; this underscores the conceptual importance of the logic of relations, which was systematized by Peirce himself. Thus the pragmaticist maxim shows that knowledge, seen as a logico-semiotic process, is preeminently contextual (as opposed to absolute), relational (as opposed to substantial), modal (as opposed to determinate), and synthetic (as opposed to analytic). The maxim filters the world through three complex webs that enable us to differentiate the one in the many, and, inversely, to integrate the many in the one: the modal web already mentioned, a representational web and a relational web.
"One of the virtues of Peircean pragmati(ci)sm, and, in particular of the fully modalized pragmaticist maxim, consists, however, in making possible it to reintegrate anew the multiple in the one, thanks to the third-relational-web. Indeed, after decomposing a sign into subfragments within the several possible contexts of interpretation, the correlations between the fragments give rise to new forms of knowledge, which were hidden in the first perception of the sign. The pragmatic dimension stresses the connection of some possible correlations, discovering analogies and transferences between structural strata that were not discovered until the process of differentiation had been performed. Thus, although the maxim detects the fundamental importance of local interpretations, it also encourages the reconstruction of the global approaches by way of adequate gluing of the local. The pragmaticist maxim should accordingly be seen as a kind of abstract differential and integral calculus, which can be applied to the general theory of representations, i.e. to logic and semiotics as understood, in a more generic way, by Peirce."
And this is nice, resonant with my boundary reveries here and following:
"Peirce’s modal, multipolar and topological system investigates then the study of transferences of information around regions and borders on such a continuum. The TRANS motto is a crucial one for Peirce. His many classifications of the sciences show how one can 'tincture'the regions of knowledge using his cenopythagorical categories (1-3), and Peirce’s most creative ideas [...] lie precisely on the
borders of regions where information is being transferred" (4).
We're all familiar with the 4 quadrant diagram so no need to repeat it here. I've discussed elsewhere the graphic advantage of Bryant's 3 interlocking circles that while maintaining their own spaces they nonetheless share some space with each other and have a central core (see below). This seems more indicative of the ideas above and in the referenced sources.
Hence AQAL philosophy and the MHC are limited by its set-theoretic paradigm that requires distinct categories and clear boundaries that are not breached (recall this). Within the AQAL diagram the nesting would be boxes within boxes in each quadrant, but the quadrants themselves would remain clearly distinct and separate. Same for the usual ways sets are depicted. But what if they were depicted as follows?
I like it. This figure reminds me of the 'knots' I began exploring last year. The mathematics of knot theory is too complex for me to follow, so I didn't get very far in that exploration, beyond the general sense that knots -- and possibly wild knots -- are fruitful theoretic objects for our inquiries here.
In reading Sattler's Integral World article on scientific dogma he provides an example from his own research in plant morphology. He, like most other scientists, was inculcated into an Aristotelian logic of strict, well-defined categories. But his empirical research was showing that some plants just didn't fit into one or the other accepted category. He came to accept fuzzy logic in developing a continuum morphology for those plants that were somewhere in between. Dogma refused to accept this but he said evo-devo has since proved his hypothesis.
He links to his paper on this. Therein he makes a connection between classical Aristotelian categories and essentialist thinking. (Sound familiar?) While both have been surpassed in many other fields, from pomo to evo-devo, its remnants still remain in some scientific fields. Per my above effusive ruminations, fuzzy logic has yet to make its way into some human developmental studies. At least of the kind so criticized above. Others are indeed evolving due to these empirical evo-devo developments.
A couple posts up I compared Bryant's Borromean diagram with the AQAL diagram, and how the latter could be modified to display the kind of overlapping of boundaries indicative of a fuzzy and/or paraconsistent logic. I created this crude 2-D representation of the AQAL diagram for the same purpose. Each quad overlaps with the others while still maintaining its own autonomy, and the center square is the infamous objet (fucken') a.