I decided to move this post over to its own thread to work on this. I'll also move other related past posts over from other threads to riff on later.

The last post reminded me of something I've been working on using Bergson via Bryant. It's not completely thought through yet, with gaps still, but I thought I'd get it down here and then work on it further.

Now where Bryant might be akin to something like the MHC is in his endo-relational organizational structure. Recall in TDOO his distinction between exo- and endo-relations, and its correlation with intensional and extensional relations in a set (212). Endo-relations reside in the structural organization of its elements, the elements themselves not being autonomous entities. Hence the elements of this set cannot be otherwise; they must be in a relatively fixed pattern to maintain an entity's autonomy (214).

Bryant uses Bergson's diagram on memory to show how endo-relations are maintained (232).

It is similar to hierarchical nests but not quite. ABCD shows the unfoldment of an entity over time. A'B'C'D' show the memory of the entity, which feeds back into its unfoldment and also allows for future anticipation. But what is unfolded and remembered-anticipated is how an entity selectively organizes its structural elements in relation to its environment. This can and does change in response to these relations, but even when it changes it maintains a relatively stable endo-relational structure to maintain autonomy.

Where Bryant didn't go with this, and I do, is in relating this to the Wilber-Combs lattice. As I've laid out in different posts and threads, we might loosely correlate A'B'C'D' with our early development using MHC's stages with Gebser's, from pre-operational/archaic (D') to primary/magic (C') to concrete/mythic (B') to abstract-rational (A'). Formal rationality begins at A, which can be then trained to retrieve through focus and memory to integrate the previous levels throuch meditative or contemplative methods.

But here is where it diverges with the MHC and uses a twist or fold in the W-C lattice. I've claimed that the MHC continues to get more complicated with it's postformal stages, not fully remembering and then integrating the previous stages by not taking into account how the meditative process works. When integrated via meditation there is a fold or twist in both the W-C lattice and in Bergson's diagram above. Hence we get something more akin to Levin's bodies as the integrative process unfolds in reverse order, the prior magic and mythic becoming the transpersonal and the prior archaic becoming the ontological.

This relates to the W-C lattice in that the higher stages are the meditative integration of earlier state-stages in reverse order: gross-abstract, subtle-magic/mythic, causal-archaic. These are the third tier in the lattice. But whereas the lattice continues to differentiate states from stages in postformal levels a la the MHC, the states and stages undergo a transformation in the fulcrum of formal operations with meditation. i.e., they are heretofore more fully integrated and that differentiation is now replaced a la Gebserian IA awaring and the prior analysis-synthesis (de-re) above.

Relating this back to Bryant's endo-relational structure, the endo-relational elements are structurally organized in a specific and nested way akin to transcend and include. Wilber senses that there is a difference between enduring and transitional structures akin to Bryant's endo- and exo-relations. Wilber even uses Luhmann in ways similar to Bryant but not in this way, since Wilber's enduring structures are cogntive like pre-formal to concrete to rational. These would be more akin to Luhmann's independent and autonomous exo-relations.

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I'll park this here for now, a recent Laske article in ILR: "From developmental theory to a dialogical and dialectical epistemolody."

"What I saw as the gold of developmental theory, namely the interviewing required to obtain developmental evidence by listening to individuals, laid buried until CDF came into being in the year 2000, and still remains buried for the majority of developmental practitioners after 15 years, because of the huge amounts of 'theory' and ideology that have been heaped upon Kegan’s and Basseches’ conceptual interpretations of their interview-based empirical findings."

More from Laske in the reference two posts up. The first is instrumental in understanding the recent dust-up between Visser and Perez.

"As a result of my training in these various modes of dialog with clients and patients, in my two books I moved, I would say today, from developmental theory to a new kind of epistemology (theory of knowledge), one that is based on dialog and thus has the potential of becoming a broader social practice, in contrast to argument-based dialectical epistemologies such as Adorno’s and Bhaskar’s which put themselves at risk of remaining elitist."

This one reminds me of Lakoff's work on framing, even though Laske doesn't make that connection to him. Frames go below and shape present awareness of our cognitive and other skills at whatever level and context.

"Rather than be guided by abstract concepts about development (such as 'stages' and 'phases'), deeper insight can be gained by delving into the frames of mind of individuals."

In this one via dialogue he tries to bring awareness into those fallacies and errors of thinking based on false frames and go beneath to 'retroduce' them.

"I began to see that, from Bhaskar’s vantage point, the CDF-based cognitive interviewer was centrally dealing with 'epistemic fallacies' and 'category errors' committed by people in organizations, and that the interviewer’s task was therefore to 'retroduce' these errors, that is, show them to be fallacies by interpreting what was said by the interviewee."

And of course the major fallacy needing correction is the metaphysics of presence, which underlying frame infects all higher levels and contexts:

"Cognitive interviewing constantly encountered THE epistemic fallacy according to which the world is reduced to what is presently known about it, with the benign neglect of pervasive absences. Taking further into account Bhaskar’s distinction between the real, actual, and empirical worlds, I began to see that individuals who could not rise beyond this fallacy, and thus could not transcend the actual world – what the real world appears to be, rather than what it is – were surely stuck."

From Zak Stein, "Higher levels are not always better":

"These findings suggest that late-stage capabilities are fragile, domain specific, and context-sensitive accomplishments, which can be stabilized over time, but are likely to remain transient optimal-level performances that are heavily dependent on social and environmental scaffolding. (Note that this is what we should expect if we think capabilities tetra-arise.) Moreover, everyone shows up differently beyond formal operations, even if it is true that certain universal deep structural properties set the range of what is possible at these levels. In fact, in many domains, there is a greater diversity of developmental pathways toward and through the higher stages than there are for the lower ones. [...] And just because someone has shown up in one context as very developed does not mean they will show up in all contexts that same way. Evidence suggests that the farther reaches of human development are as messy and complex as the rest."

"It is also not true that the artifacts produced at the higher levels are uniquely prone to be valuable. For example, trans-disciplinary meta-theories are frequently cited as artifact-types clearly requiring the development of post-formal capabilities. But many of these kinds of sophisticated meta-theories are deeply flawed or radically partial or both. From Wolfram (2002) and Kaufmann (1993) to Churchland (1996) and Wilson (1975), highly complex theoretical edifices can be extremely reductionistic. And as recent advances across a whole range of fields have demonstrated (Kagan, 2009), even the most developed and complex theories can be seriously mistaken, or just plain wrong."

I like a lot how a careful, very bright researcher/thinker states this. This sounds so true to my more vague sense of development, and of the claims and "confirmations" of important development and blossomings. Yeah, t.



theurj said:

From Zak Stein, "Higher levels are not always better":

"These findings suggest that late-stage capabilities are fragile, domain specific, and context-sensitive accomplishments, which can be stabilized over time, but are likely to remain transient optimal-level performances that are heavily dependent on social and environmental scaffolding. (Note that this is what we should expect if we think capabilities tetra-arise.) Moreover, everyone shows up differently beyond formal operations, even if it is true that certain universal deep structural properties set the range of what is possible at these levels. In fact, in many domains, there is a greater diversity of developmental pathways toward and through the higher stages than there are for the lower ones. [...] And just because someone has shown up in one context as very developed does not mean they will show up in all contexts that same way. Evidence suggests that the farther reaches of human development are as messy and complex as the rest."

"It is also not true that the artifacts produced at the higher levels are uniquely prone to be valuable. For example, trans-disciplinary meta-theories are frequently cited as artifact-types clearly requiring the development of post-formal capabilities. But many of these kinds of sophisticated meta-theories are deeply flawed or radically partial or both. From Wolfram (2002) and Kaufmann (1993) to Churchland (1996) and Wilson (1975), highly complex theoretical edifices can be extremely reductionistic. And as recent advances across a whole range of fields have demonstrated (Kagan, 2009), even the most developed and complex theories can be seriously mistaken, or just plain wrong."

Re-reading this Lakoff interview I'm reminded of Eisler saying that when we enter a phase of emphasis on the individual, typically white and male, it is a regression rather than an evolution. In her terms, in that case a dominator hierarchy takes over instead of an actualization hierarchy. Lakoff frames it differently, noting that the regressive is into a dysfunctional and authoritarian father, whereas the progressive balances the family structure with nurturing parents in partnership. Same with how democracy is viewed: in the former it's all about individual merit and in the latter it's the public-private partnership. This is consistent with my contention that a pathological dominator hierarchy takes over with the model of hierarchical complexity (and resultant models of development based thereon), given its basis in the sort of metaphysics inherent to this capitalistic regression with its individual over-indulgence and deficient rational/false reasoning.

Which reminds me of this post, copied below:

I see the same idealistic dynamic or restricted economy involved in such integral models when based on the same kind of egoic-rational consciousness and its hidden metaphysical premises including a mereology based on the kind of set theory inherent to that consciousness. Whereas we see a different sort of democratic mereology in Bryant and the speculative realists, which I'd suggest is influenced by this other kind of emerging reasoning beyond the metaphysical formal operations inherent to capitalism. And in many cases, integral theory in its support of such an idealistic economic system, as it tends to unconsciously use the same kind of consciousness structure from participating in and enacting not democracy but plutocracy.

I appreciate Wilber here talking about actualization hierarchies:

"As Elliott Jacques’ works have empirically demonstrated, the way most organizations are structured, those at the lower levels of this hierarchy usually work on the floor or assembly line; those at the intermediate levels mostly work middle management; and those at the upper levels work upper management (including CEO, CFO, COO). What these newer organizations do is move all of those levels—the entire hierarchy itself—into teams of usually 10 to 15 people. Any person, in any team, can make literally any decision for the company—and, in fact, virtually all the major decisions in the organizations are made by team members. [...] This makes each team, and each person in the team, much more Integral—they can operate on any level in the hierarchy they are capable of, as long as they consult with those who will be affected by the decision (although they don’t have to follow the advice), where previously they had been constrained by their place in the pyramid. One of the great findings of Laloux’s work is that actualization hierarchies can flourish when dominator hierarchies are removed. A company of 500 individuals thus has, not one but 500 CEOs, any one of whom might have a breakthrough idea and be able to implement it, a true self-management move that is one of the major reasons for the astonishing success of so many of these organizations. What happens to middle and much of upper management? Mostly, it doesn’t exist. Those hierarchies have been relocated."

I also appreciate this from Wilber:

"[T]here are two types of hierarchies, there are dominator hierarchies where higher levels abuse their capacities and oppress or alienate or repress individuals that are viewed as being lower on some scale. [...] So in actualization hierarchies [...] things going from atoms to molecules to cells to organisms, for example. There, each stage transcends and includes its predecessor."

And there's the crux of the difference between many of the sources cited and commented on above in their strange and/or democratic mereology. By definition his actualization hierarchy assumes certain premises on the nature and construction of hierarchical complexity, which indeed does oppress and repress (subsumes) those lower on a particular scale. His rhetoric is good but doesn't match the implicit, taken for granted, and seemingly unconscious assumptions of his own measuring scale. Hence we get the likes of altitude sickness, still rampant in kennilingus.

Wilber also doesn't acknowledge that dominator hierarchies are based in not only individual but male dominance. He accepts the spiral dynamics notion that levels alternate between individual and communal preference. Whereas for Eisler the individual focus, typically also male focus, is a regression rather than an alternating advance. Hence we get formal operations* being not only metaphysical in that it separates the binary poles, but also favors the male dominant side of said poles: male over female, heaven over earth, absolute over relative and so on.

Another thing from Wilber's comment about Jacques' work, even though a company might be hierarchically organized in terms of job responsibilities, from laborer to CEO, each person "can operate on any level in the hierarchy they are capable of." This recognizes that while there is hierarchy, no one part or person of it is at one particular level. The company is more a democratic mereology.

The same goes for individual people in terms of their own mereology as noted earlier in this thread using Luhmann. While there are certainly hierarchical (assemblage) levels in terms of our organization, each level retains its own autonomy and development, and it functions within the autonomy of the level of the whole. This is very different from the sort of hierarchical complexity that sees each member of the set (whole) entirely subsumed in the whole and strictly limited to the whole's agenda. That is a dominator hierarchy and at the heart of the very way levels are constructed based on an over generalized, over (male) individualized, over rationalized, over metaphysicalized and deficient/dysfunctional mode.

* This is to be distinguished from healthy, real formal reason, much commented upon in this thread.

As I'm sitting in the library a book on the shelf catches my attention: Jean Jacques Rosseau: Restless Genius by Leo Damrosch (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). The flyleaf says Rosseau was instrumental in the American and French Revolutions. The table of contents leads me to a chapter on his social theory in The Social Contract. An excerpt:

"The heart of Rosseau's thinking [...] is to honor modern individualism but at the same time to subject it to a devastating critique. [...T]he solution now is to counteract selfishness by creating a [...] general will that can transcend individual self-interest. [...H]e was imagining voluntary commitment to the good of the community. The idea was to give people a reason to overcome their selfishness by sublimating their egos in a kind of collective ego" (348-49).

Also noted was that Adam Smith "extolled the virtues of sociability even as he called for a free market (348). And that modern society was the cause of selfishness, hence Rosseau's suggested remedy (349).

An excerpt from this recent Bryant blog post of interest to this thread:

"The minimal unit of being is the fold.  The minimal unit of being is not the things, not the object, but the dyad; the dyad between thing and field. [...] The fold is a thought of continuity.  That which is folded, the thing, is continuous with the field out of which it is folded.  Where object-oriented philosophy proclaimed an independence of all relation, a discrete conception of being composed of units, pli-tology speaks of an interiorization of a field in the formation of a fold that is both continuous with the field out of which it is folded, yet distinct from it.  Folding, of course, is an activity, a verb. The foldings of being should not be conceived as something that occur within being that is then finished in accomplished– a sort of dialectic between the potential and the actual, of dunamis and energeia –but rather as an ongoing activity or process of folding where there are perpetual exchanges between thing or the folded and field or that which is folded.  The folded arises from the field, creasing it in all sorts of complex ways, and rebounds back upon the field modifying it in all sorts of ways.  Here I hasten to add that dyadism is not a dualism.  There is not one thing, the object, and another thing, the field.  There is instead inseparable bond between the two, the folding of their difference, the activity of their differentiated, which both divides and unites.  Things are, as Stacy Alaimo argues, trans-corporeal; they are folded into one another, sheathed in one another, in a generalized dyadism."

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