This is related to some questions we're currently having in the OOO thread on correlationism but I decided to start a new thread focusing on this author. Tom Murray has some new articles at this page, one of which is “Embodied realisms and integral ontologies.” Therein he quotes Wilber from IS, p. 252.


“…all objects are first and foremost perspectives. NOT 'are seen from perspectives,' but ARE perspectives…there is no 'apart from' how a thing appears…'things' do not exist in a pregiven world.”


Murray then asks:


There are several assumptions or implications here. The idea that our perception of the nature of objects, and even their appearance as objects, is constructed by our mental apparatus is generally accepted. But this quote leaves open the question of whether perspectives exist in a pregiven world (and whether they might reasonably be considered 'things'—which would lead to a contradiction).... Are perspectives then things that humans have/use, or are they fundamental components of the world? Wilber's claim that 'there is no apart from how a thing appears' seems to be taking the non-realist (or radical socialconstructivist) position that a world 'out there' does not exist.... Wilber's claim also appears to fall prey to what Roy Bhaskar calls the epistemic fallacy.... Yet in the larger context of his body of his work Wilber does not take a radically anti-realist or social constructivist position (nor fall prey to the epistemic fallacy)" (3).


As Mike Meyers' character from SNL's Coffee Talk used to say, “discuss amongst yourselves.”



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I made Tom Murray aware of this discussion and invited him to join in if he has the time and interest. If you read the thread Tom you might be unfamiliar with some of the ideas mixed in with your work, like object-oriented ontology (OOO). Links are provided when discussed above if you're so inclined.

Nice.  I finished reading it earlier today and have been planning to post something in response to it soon. 

My last post in the OOO thread is also relevant here on khora.

In “Integralist mental models of development” Murray says:


My inquiry here is not directed at those doing empirical research in adult development” (3).


It is directed more at the integral community at large, those who use and misuse said research. But what about those doing the empirical research, like Commons et al? What about their inherent biases, many of which are explored in this article. Some of the more general misunderstandings in the community at large stem from some of the inherent biases within the heart of the research, which like any worldview tends to see what it wants to see based on the premises of its view. I explored this in depth in the “real and false reason" thread.


In discussing critical examination of a model's claims, and more importantly, its constructs, Murray says:


A model may make certain claims about developmental levels, and one can inqure into the validity of those claims. But we can also inquire about the concept of level itself itself and how it is interpreted” (6-7).


Agreed. But as I sad, this is the crux of examining those 'empiricists,' for their 'facts' are tainted too by their biases. More later.

On p. 29 of the latter article Murray talks about different models of development, comparing hierarchical complexity and more 'spiritual' approaches. He notes some have tried to integrate these, and we could say the WC lattice is such an attempt. As is my own attempt in the real/false reason thread. He says:

“But what if the vast majority of us have so much 'baggage' to overcome, that, in a pragmatic sense, the journey into and beyond second tier is proportionally more about releasing and healing that it is about increase in hierarchical complexity” (30).

Amen brother, my thought exactly.


I came across the above essay by Tom Murray this morning on Murray's website and started reading it, since I noticed it is slated for publication in Dancing with Sophia.  I promptly posted a link to it on the OOO thread, but then a little searching on our forum led me to this thread.  Aha!  This has already crossed my radar and I didn't recall it!  Your sleuthing for relevant topics, Edward, is really excellent.  I'm quite enjoying reading it now, imagining my recent paper possibly occupying the same volume; it seems they touch on a complementary suite of concerns.

Perhaps we can also start a thread on Dancing with Sophia, once it comes out.

See this post and following relevant to this thread.

Also Murray complains on 39 (of EC) that L&J's Philosophy in the Flesh (PF) "barely mentions [...] the influence of emotions and basic human drives on cognition" (39). True, but that book's purpose was elsewhere and in other works Lakoff explicitly addresses this. It seems PF is the only Lakoff source used in this article besides Women, Fire and Dangerous Things, and the latter with only one incidental reference.

Whereas the the other sources I used in the real/false reason thread abound with the emotional bases of rational thought, which address the political ramifications of framing.

Murray also has a draft paper available for the upcoming volume on critical realism and integral theory in which Balder will also be featured (1).

This is interesting from p. 3, in that Bhaskar said "categories are not to be viewed as something which the subjective observer imposes on reality; rather categories such as causality, substance, process, persons, etc. — if valid — are constitutive of reality as such, irrespective of their categorization by observers or thought." L&J explicitly state in PF that our basic categories are part of human embodiment and not outside us in reality. I questioned that though in this post which may be more akin to Bhaskar, but I'll see as I read more.

Regarding that, Bhaskar does indeed argue for what he calls "categorial realism" -- which he describes as a form of modal realism.  In that sense, there may be some kinship here also with Latour's recent work (and more generally with the adverbial and/or prepositional approaches I described in Sophia Speaks.)

I like this from p. 6, something I've long harped upon:

"This relates to the type of dialectic that Bhaskar proposes (in DPF), which, rather that being constrained to the Hegelian and Wilberian transcend-and-include dialectic, can also accommodate a dialectic that deconstructs on its way toward more real(istic) (non-categorical, including rhizome-like) understandings."

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