Integral in depth

Thursday, May 8, 2008

integral praxis: A Brief History of Holons

I have benefited greatly from encountering Mark Edwards both in the above link (and here) and in a 3 part series of talks with Ken Wilber on Integral Naked. In his paper on a basic understanding of Holons within the context of the larger philosophical discussion, he outlines very well Holons, how Ken Wilber uses them, and why they are so pivotal to avoiding the fragmentary and disappointing nature of so many of the academic fields we find in universities and in practice. I recommend the paper to anyone interested in Ken Wilber, Integral, or more simply, why I think Ken's work has been so important to me. Mark does a great job expressing clearly what was once a grand solution to the overwhelming angst I felt for the education system.

In the three part series of talks, Ken and Mark go quite in depth into integral theory. They make a clear distinction between quadrants and quadrivia, even as they somewhat disagree. This is something I had never heard about before, but a dilemma I certainly have run into over and over when trying to apply quadrants to real applications. They also talk about the criticism that is out there for Ken's work, something I had not heard Ken directly address before. Much of his attitude is somewhat arrogant, but at this point I cannot blame him. Mark mentions that he never expected Ken to respond to all his critics out there on the web, primarily because that type of criticism is located outside the realm of proper critique, namely peer review. Hearing them talk about this issue for a few minutes was very helpful for me and assuaged a number of concerns I have and have had when pouring through the critical stuff out on the web. Another unique thing about the talks is that Mark actually has some very poignant questions for Ken about some fairly deep issues with integral theory. I found this to be quite a relief because so many of the things I read and hear tend to be divorced from any sort of well thought out and educated questioning of Ken and the theory. Lastly, they went into what Ken calls Integral Math, which is a way of accounting for the quadrants and quadrivia (perspectives) involved in any event. This was another new thing that I had not heard before and helped me to understand how Ken himself would go about applying the theoretical model to any real world situation. I was very intrigued by the approach and am looking forward to going deeper. I recommend these talks on IN to anyone looking to get into the nitty gritty of the theoretical issues and how their application can be approached.

Kevin's Bookmarks