Sunday, May 29, 2011

Adrian J Ivakhiv - Process Integralism

In Ivakhiv's on-going series of posts on integral theory, particularly as it is in conversation with Whitehead's process philosophy, he takes a look at a fine essay by Bonnitta Roy from the December 2006 issue of Integral Review, “A Process Model of Integral Theory” (pdf).

This is short, so I am sharing the whole article - but please go check out his blog. He and others are planning a close reading of Hargins' and Zimmerman's Integral Ecology, so Adrian has been getting familiar with integral theory (AQAL and otherwise).

Process integralism

Further on the integral theory front, I wanted to mention another angle on the Wilber-Whitehead conversation.

Bonnitta Roy’s article “A Process Model of Integral Theory” (pdf) in the December 2006 issue of Integral Review is a thought-provoking attempt to advance post-metaphysical integral theory further toward process thought and Dzogchen Buddhism (what better combination?). Among the useful moves she makes are her links to Jason Brown’s Whiteheadian process neuropsychology — which is, to my mind, the most developed of that line of thinking, alongside Ralph Pred’s Onflow — and to the prescient work of Buddhist scholar Herbert Guenther. Guenther’s 1989 book From Reductionism to Creativity: rDzogs-Chen and the New Sciences of Mind sank with too little trace, probably because it was so far ahead of its time: providing a dynamical-systems, enactive-cognitivist rendition of Buddhist theories of mind, it anticipated the later work of Francesco Varela and Evan Thompson well before their enactivist paradigm became as well established as it is today.

The four appendices to that article have disappeared off the Integral Review site, but Bonnitta has kindly made them available here: A (diagrams), B (Guenther notes), C (the mind-body problem), and appendix D which addresses the Wilber-Whitehead dialogue. Roy’s argument in the latter is that the process model starts out at a “more fundamental level than [Wilber's] quadratic framework — in the depth and dynamics of a process view.” (See my overview of this debate here.) See also Roy’s “Integral Manifesto” in 6 parts, beginning here.

Among the other articles I’ve found particularly interesting in Integral Review are two ambitious pieces on critical integral theory and integral micropolitics by Daniel G. Anderson (who blogs here), Martin Beck Matustik’s “Toward an Integral Critical Theory of the Present Era” (pdf), and Tom Murray’s “Collaborative Knowledge Building and Integral Theory” (pdf), which provides an extremely useful and judicious review of integral theory critics’ and proponents’ views, as well as an argument for working through the divisions.

No comments: