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."

Views: 5386

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi t and others - I don't remember reading entirely through this thread, and I think I only have a rudimentary sense of the distinction between "real and false reason."

I have, since first seeing this particular verbalizing of a distinction, thought sure, ok, good, and thought-felt, mild-argh, I feel compressed or constricted by the force of it.

My ambivalent reaction could be seen as being complex in my psychology. Nonetheless, I want to go with some challenge to the phrase and distinction's utility and wholeness/partiality.

Without going further to start, any binary choice might seem unfair, constrictive, and even false, and might carry with it an echo of an early developmental stage that casts reality simply as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, and as school testing protocols, true and false. Right away we may be stumbling over our own pluralistic, multiplistic, postmodern developmental achievements. Therefore I seem to have some flinching aesthetic or allergic-like response from the get-go.

So that is my inadvertent starting point. Then I seem to question further.

I am wondering if one carefully, step-wise began to parse the micro leaps of embodiment's ways, as with sensation, perception, image/memory/archetypal-like pattern, signs, symbols, languaging, simple metaphor, and complex somewhat abstracted metaphor (is there such a thing?), and blending all that with language-associated cognitions of varying types, where would a line be drawn at the first departure from real to false. Something like that.

I'll end here for now, eh. wdyt?

OK, maybe I'll continue a little further where my musing have gone.

I can see the potential, short-cutting utility in emotionally charged dialogue, say, about politics, economics, social concerns. It carries some weight as a short-term challenge to say something like, that reasoning seems false to me (or some other softer characterizing words to replace "false.") Depending on the situation, since it has such a strong and possibly polarizing effect to say, "False," in all it's terseness, maybe a person might soften its delivery with tones of voice, or qualifying adjectives like 'a bit false.'

It seems to me, fairly early on in going down this path of challenge or commitment to enter dialogue or dialectic, it could be good to follow-up the word-bomb with something like, "And this is why I am calling it 'false reason.' In my thinking about logic and the way arguments are made, it seems to me that ideas can be pretty disconnected with life, in a way, not connected to the body that lives and must survive and thrive. We might say that words can easily become 'disembodied'. This kind of disconnected from palpable life thinking can get us into a lot of trouble. This is why I challenge the realness of this reasoning..."

The reason why I am making this distinction of when it might be justified to dualize reasoning in this false/real way, is that there may be times and circumstances when abstract reasoning has utility, merit, natural human value. I'm not sure what any of those might be at the moment, but it occurs to me that in creative thought and language play, something we are gifted for doing, perhaps at least as art, we can say yes to less embodied reason.

In following some chain of links from threads you were engaged in recently (I can't remember which), we came upon a blog-space I think that was addressing what grounding was. This is an ongoing topic and inner-questioning of mine. In the past being "grounded" was considered sort of an ultimate litmus test of value. Or being "centered." In out post modern thinking and the stories and science of leaving planet earth that has been most people's primary referent. I have come to like, "How are we oriented?" How do we, how can we, how ought we orient ourselves? What is, for example, the scale of our referent, which relates to our framing and our chosen metaphors? Cosmic, deep space, black hole, within a kosmic thrum or cacophony, where is our ground related to which we can feel embodied and primarily oriented? Something like that, eh.

(Btw, do you know the link that I am speaking of which was addressing "grounding?")



Ambo Suno said:

Hi t and others - I don't remember reading entirely through this thread, and I think I only have a rudimentary sense of the distinction between "real and false reason."

I have, since first seeing this particular verbalizing of a distinction, thought sure, ok, good, and thought-felt, mild-argh, I feel compressed or constricted by the force of it.

My ambivalent reaction could be seen as being complex in my psychology. Nonetheless, I want to go with some challenge to the phrase and distinction's utility and wholeness/partiality.

Without going further to start, any binary choice might seem unfair, constrictive, and even false, and might carry with it an echo of an early developmental stage that casts reality simply as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, and as school testing protocols, true and false. Right away we may be stumbling over our own pluralistic, multiplistic, postmodern developmental achievements. Therefore I seem to have some flinching aesthetic or allergic-like response from the get-go.

So that is my inadvertent starting point. Then I seem to question further.

I am wondering if one carefully, step-wise began to parse the micro leaps of embodiment's ways, as with sensation, perception, image/memory/archetypal-like pattern, signs, symbols, languaging, simple metaphor, and complex somewhat abstracted metaphor (is there such a thing?), and blending all that with language-associated cognitions of varying types, where would a line be drawn at the first departure from real to false. Something like that.

I'll end here for now, eh. wdyt?

Ambo: When you have the time please consider reading the thread. Yes, it's long but I think the answers are therein. To answer briefly here, false reason is not a binary to real reason. Think of it in terms of kennilngus. E.g., each stage goes through fusion, differentiation and integration. So the formal rational stage, which differentiates from the mythical stage (concrete conventional), can go into dissociation instead of integration. I agree with Wilber on this. Formal reasoning, when integrated per this thread, is real reason which can then move into postformal reasoning. This thread explores what that integration means, which is where I depart from Wilber and the model of hierarchical complexity crowd.

Hi, t - I follow what you mean when talking about the generalization of stage conditions where worldviews and manner of holding content of consciousness is at first sort of an undifferentiated mass that is 'believed', then from seeming anomalies within the held views and from new input that doesn't fit, cognitive dissonances are felt as differentiation occurs. There often seems to be a drive for consonance, coherence, relative harmony, thus the work of integration, visible and invisible.
I get that dissociation is one example of a failure to integrate, and dissociation can be more easily understood to lead to lines of reasoning that are crooked or with huge gaps and erroneous confabulatory fill-ins.
If I were to read this good thread again and carefully, along with any missed posts from before, I am guessing that I would/will see, as you suggest other examples, versions, and explanations of integration, that makes reasoning truer, realer.
I am not sure that I wouldn't still find the language labeling of "real" and "false" reasoning a somewhat polarizing label, though, obviously it has been looked at in nuanced less binary and dualistic ways. But maybe. And - it certainly isn't a huge deal either way.
Thanks for your reply.
While I am thinking a little about this aspect of 'reality of self' that seems to be organized and facilitated by fundamental orientation, I'll mention a few thoughts that I have been circling around. Yes, I still think that we commonly are oriented by the basic sensory/perceptual apprehension of gravity, that leads to "keeping one's feet on the ground," being "earthy", and "grounded." Another metaphor that suggests stability and coherence in a moving, changing world is "being centered." A spinning top, as long it is centered, has a better chance of staying upright.

I mentioned that as our science-informed worldviews have taken us beyond our world and into cosmic expansions and huge frames of reference, it might be harder to think you are grounded or centered. Postmodern plurality is disorienting too in its multiplicity of accessible perspectives.

Being "embodied" helps to hold onto primary orientational cues, and may even be reliable at higher developmental stages, yet we may also not come to trust entirely or rely on our senses and basic perceptions.

What is foreground for me at the moment isn't just the "space," perception of temporal plasticity, and knowledge and maybe some sense of dynamics on a cosmic scale, but also analogous features when traveling inward. I think of inner space and non-conventionally measured time and the huge variability of phenomenally noticed objects and knowledge. I of course think of TSK that Bruce studied.

As "Big Mind" process and other religio-philosophical traditions have suggested, "you are not your clothing style." "You are not your body." "You are not your thoughts." Until you come to feel and maybe wonder about, who am I? What is reliable? How do I orient myself now? If the self is no more, what orients, how, and in relation to what?

These sorts of musings take me to think more about what is real and what is false. Reasoning that tries to express itself or from oneself may have lost even a tether of embodiment. At least for a while, as in a state, or a state-structure.

Some "spiritually" moved people say things that may be dissociated and may be by-passing important groundings, like substantial sense-perception and logic. I suppose it may be post metaphysical and perhaps such a high level integration that new strange language is necessitated to try to describe. I wouldn't know, I don't know.

This is where my musing is taking me now, about what is real and what is false (probably not binary as you say,) how we know, and how we subsequently or simultaneously reason.

Yikes, this may be false dissociated, illogical reasoning, and I maybe couldn't know.



Ambo Suno said:

OK, maybe I'll continue a little further where my musing have gone.

I can see the potential, short-cutting utility in emotionally charged dialogue, say, about politics, economics, social concerns. It carries some weight as a short-term challenge to say something like, that reasoning seems false to me (or some other softer characterizing words to replace "false.") Depending on the situation, since it has such a strong and possibly polarizing effect to say, "False," in all it's terseness, maybe a person might soften its delivery with tones of voice, or qualifying adjectives like 'a bit false.'

It seems to me, fairly early on in going down this path of challenge or commitment to enter dialogue or dialectic, it could be good to follow-up the word-bomb with something like, "And this is why I am calling it 'false reason.' In my thinking about logic and the way arguments are made, it seems to me that ideas can be pretty disconnected with life, in a way, not connected to the body that lives and must survive and thrive. We might say that words can easily become 'disembodied'. This kind of disconnected from palpable life thinking can get us into a lot of trouble. This is why I challenge the realness of this reasoning..."

The reason why I am making this distinction of when it might be justified to dualize reasoning in this false/real way, is that there may be times and circumstances when abstract reasoning has utility, merit, natural human value. I'm not sure what any of those might be at the moment, but it occurs to me that in creative thought and language play, something we are gifted for doing, perhaps at least as art, we can say yes to less embodied reason.

In following some chain of links from threads you were engaged in recently (I can't remember which), we came upon a blog-space I think that was addressing what grounding was. This is an ongoing topic and inner-questioning of mine. In the past being "grounded" was considered sort of an ultimate litmus test of value. Or being "centered." In out post modern thinking and the stories and science of leaving planet earth that has been most people's primary referent. I have come to like, "How are we oriented?" How do we, how can we, how ought we orient ourselves? What is, for example, the scale of our referent, which relates to our framing and our chosen metaphors? Cosmic, deep space, black hole, within a kosmic thrum or cacophony, where is our ground related to which we can feel embodied and primarily oriented? Something like that, eh.

(Btw, do you know the link that I am speaking of which was addressing "grounding?")



Ambo Suno said:

Hi t and others - I don't remember reading entirely through this thread, and I think I only have a rudimentary sense of the distinction between "real and false reason."

I have, since first seeing this particular verbalizing of a distinction, thought sure, ok, good, and thought-felt, mild-argh, I feel compressed or constricted by the force of it.

My ambivalent reaction could be seen as being complex in my psychology. Nonetheless, I want to go with some challenge to the phrase and distinction's utility and wholeness/partiality.

Without going further to start, any binary choice might seem unfair, constrictive, and even false, and might carry with it an echo of an early developmental stage that casts reality simply as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, and as school testing protocols, true and false. Right away we may be stumbling over our own pluralistic, multiplistic, postmodern developmental achievements. Therefore I seem to have some flinching aesthetic or allergic-like response from the get-go.

So that is my inadvertent starting point. Then I seem to question further.

I am wondering if one carefully, step-wise began to parse the micro leaps of embodiment's ways, as with sensation, perception, image/memory/archetypal-like pattern, signs, symbols, languaging, simple metaphor, and complex somewhat abstracted metaphor (is there such a thing?), and blending all that with language-associated cognitions of varying types, where would a line be drawn at the first departure from real to false. Something like that.

I'll end here for now, eh. wdyt?

I wonder if this quote from Bernard Loomer will resonate with the theme of this thread.  This is from a long essay (1975 I think) entitled "The Everlasting Size of God," which explores Whitehead's concept of "everlastingness" in connection with Loomer's own concept of "size," which is about the continuously growing possibility (related to emergence) of greater stature, or what Wilber calls "depth" (in contrast to span). This is his conclusion of the essay:

"We live with the indispensable aid of our ideas, especially the ideas of largest generality. But every advance, every achievement, brings with it the ambiguous impulse both to go beyond and to rest content. Idolatry takes many forms. In this instance it may appear as a commitment to our most general ideas and understandings. But life moves beyond even these, important as they are.

There is a restless spirit within the processes of becoming that moves toward greater size or stature. It celebrates and builds upon past and present achievements of stature, wherever they occur. It struggles against ambigu­ous principalities and powers within itself and its creations. It discloses itself as a community of size, urging us to share its life of relational love, with its accompanying struggles, tragedies, despair, and crosses, together with its celebrations, dances, common meals, and healing graces. It calls for our doubts, questions, rebellions, and growth pains. Yet in this call­ing it asks us to find our peace by accepting in faith the meaning of its mystery and the mystery of its meaning.

For myself, this is the empirical equivalent to Charles Hartshorne’s necessarily existing God."

Ambo: As to Big Mind, and general Buddhist methodology, of not indentifying with self, that too can end in a disembodied, metaphysical premise. The Batchelor thread shows two very different approaches to the topic within Buddhism, rangtong and shentong. It is roughly analogous to real and false reason. Evan Thompson's work in this and this thread gives a strong rangtong Buddhist version using modern neuroscience and embodied realism.

David: I'm not sure I'm understanding the quote. If it implies that we must always grow bigger or more complex to make progress then I don't agree. Or that we must shoot for "ideas of largest generality," that also seems to miss the point. The largest generality and its opposite, the smallest particular, are both part of the false reasoning based on an abstract, formal logic and its hierarchical category theories. In the above, basic categories shaped by image schema are seen in the middle of such hierarchies. Real reason then extends 'down' to the particulars and 'up' to the generalities ad infinitum. There are no lowest and highest linear points, as both 'ends' loop around back to, and originate from, the middle of things. If that's what the quote means by "mystery and the mystery of its meaning," or "Charles Hartshorne’s necessarily existing God," then I'd agree. But I'm not sure it is.

Also see this post and the one following from another thread, also of relevance in this thread.

I agree with your concern about any implication that we must always grow bigger or more complex. I would want to carefully guard against this faulty extension of Loomer's thought, though I can see how some might want to take it in that direction.

He's not saying that we should shoot for ideas of largest generality.  He's saying we need to balance our abstract notions of largest generality with the more ambiguous and contradictory ideas. A commitment only to our abstract generalities and understandings (our metaphysical systems, etc) can become idolatry.

The rough parallel that I see is between your statement that "Real reason then extends 'down' to the particulars and 'up' to the generalities ad infinitum" and Loomer's statement in the abstract of the article: "The most complex richness or size within individual unity is achieved by synthesizing diverse elements that offer the greatest contrasts. The greatest size, including intensity, would emerge from transforming what had been incompatibles into effective contrasts."

Loomer also emphasizes the importance of embodied reasoning, and not privileging abstract rational thought, and so I think yes, you got the essence of his "mystery of meaning".



theurj said:

David: I'm not sure I'm understanding the quote. If it implies that we must always grow bigger or more complex to make progress then I don't agree. Or that we must shoot for "ideas of largest generality," that also seems to miss the point. The largest generality and its opposite, the smallest particular, are both part of the false reasoning based on an abstract, formal logic and its hierarchical category theories. In the above, basic categories shaped by image schema are seen in the middle of such hierarchies. Real reason then extends 'down' to the particulars and 'up' to the generalities ad infinitum. There are no lowest and highest linear points, as both 'ends' loop around back to, and originate from, the middle of things. If that's what the quote means by "mystery and the mystery of its meaning," or "Charles Hartshorne’s necessarily existing God," then I'd agree. But I'm not sure it is.

Hi t - I expect that I will check out those links soon.

For sure, on the potential disembodiment with the Big-mind and various other spiritual approaches - the, "you are not your body" can easily be and I suspect often has been dissociation-like.

When I have heard and been exposed to that suggestive phrase, "You are not your . . ." I think, yes and no. I suspect as a practical default, and in caution of 'false' reasoning, identification at some level is not only helpfully cohesive of self, but plenty real. So when I hear those injunctions into a disidentified state or imagining, I can feel a significant inner glitch of trust, in wanting to comply, yet doubting. There are times when distancing or disidentification seem to be more spontaneous and integral with rather conscious moments that have lead up to this imagining or feeling into the I am nots.There are some times in 'meditation' when there seems to be so much minimally occupied mental space that I could almost agree with the I am nots.

theurj said:

Ambo: As to Big Mind, and general Buddhist methodology, of not indentifying with self, that too can end in a disembodied, metaphysical premise. The Batchelor thread shows two very different approaches to the topic within Buddhism, rangtong and shentong. It is roughly analogous to real and false reason. Evan Thompson's work in this and this thread gives a strong rangtong Buddhist version using modern neuroscience and embodied realism.

Hi DM - there may be more in your quotes that I can relate to, but I want to state a quick potential resonance with you and this quote, "It calls for our doubts, questions, rebellions, and growth pains. Yet in this call­ing it asks us to find our peace by accepting in faith [emboldening mine] the meaning of its mystery and the mystery of its meaning."

Part of what I seem to have been wanting to get at is this challenge of finding reliable orientation referents that can pertain to different AQAL addresses, or different conditions and phenomena beyond our usual. When you take away the, "I am nots" and/or you imaginally find yourself in deep outer space or inner space for which much sensory-perceptual functions and apparati did not evolve, how does one orient oneself? 

On earth there are so many sensory, proprioceptive, kinesthetic, perceptual networks of self feedback and knowing. Feeling one's profound and almost ubiquitous responses to gravity are one. Breathing apparently continues on earth or in a controlled off-planet environment and those breath-related movements and sensations are relatively reliable orienting cues. Touch and other senses could also be present, but different.

Yet as we imagine ourselves (already tending toward disembodying mentality), we can find ourselves without the usual cues. It may be that Einstein and other scientists have 'made discoveries' while imagining and while in non-ordinary states. These might be disembodied moments, yet it turns out that some of their discoveries are reasonable and congruent with reality as we know it. It is surprising, how many times in recent years that we hear that Einstein's theorem or theory turns out to be consistent with yet another newly measured condition.

I have taken a while, David, to get to my resonance with your quote. I want to say that in our imagining and thought experiments, where we end up where we are, not these, nor those, nor seemingly any thing, what is in the orienting function is "faith." Some of find that unreliable, and dubious from various logics and personal reactions, yet some people find faith to be substantial. Take away everything, and there is faith. Faith is at least a place-holder within the mystery, perhaps a heuristic imaginal tool that can create a perception of orientation and maybe even leverage for accomplishing and for facilitating/catalyzing useful interior networks. If what I just said is intelligible at all, it is probably clear that I am trying to consider it objectively, brain-science-like; that apparently would not be the language and understanding of subjects who feel faith as orienting.

I hope that was intelligible enough.

Faith, at least, = felt and declared orientation. Disembodied? Hmm - probably some things could be said about that.

I feel like I have nattered here, David.

What in that quote most resonates with you in regard to "real and false reason", embodiment, or orientation?

DavidM58 said:

I wonder if this quote from Bernard Loomer will resonate with the theme of this thread.  This is from a long essay (1975 I think) entitled "The Everlasting Size of God," which explores Whitehead's concept of "everlastingness" in connection with Loomer's own concept of "size," which is about the continuously growing possibility (related to emergence) of greater stature, or what Wilber calls "depth" (in contrast to span). This is his conclusion of the essay:

"We live with the indispensable aid of our ideas, especially the ideas of largest generality. But every advance, every achievement, brings with it the ambiguous impulse both to go beyond and to rest content. Idolatry takes many forms. In this instance it may appear as a commitment to our most general ideas and understandings. But life moves beyond even these, important as they are.

There is a restless spirit within the processes of becoming that moves toward greater size or stature. It celebrates and builds upon past and present achievements of stature, wherever they occur. It struggles against ambigu­ous principalities and powers within itself and its creations. It discloses itself as a community of size, urging us to share its life of relational love, with its accompanying struggles, tragedies, despair, and crosses, together with its celebrations, dances, common meals, and healing graces. It calls for our doubts, questions, rebellions, and growth pains. Yet in this call­ing it asks us to find our peace by accepting in faith the meaning of its mystery and the mystery of its meaning.

For myself, this is the empirical equivalent to Charles Hartshorne’s necessarily existing God."

Reply to Discussion

RSS

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2017   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service