Friday, February 28, 2014

Of elephants and super theories

Continuing from this post. From Mark Edwards, ... An integral metatheory:

"One central aim in modernist social science is to search for theoretical monism [... which] still carries with it the Enlightenment dream of consilence, which is a monistic form of integration. [...] But this objectifying kind of grand theorizing is not the goal of the integrative pluralism that is pursued here. [...] This pluralistic form of metatheorizing aims for an integrative polycentrism" (51).

From Edwards, "Towards an integral meta-studies," Integral Review 9(2), June 2013:

"These meta-level studies form a new layer of global research in that they emerge out of the pluralism of diverse views of reality that are present across different cultures, different political and geographical regions different social histories. Where modernistic forms integrative science have attempted to develop unified grand theories and the single big Theory of Everything, the new integrative meta-level approach recognises the postmodern turns towards interpretive, methodological and theoretical diversity. The goal then is not for a unified grand monism but an open space for pursuing scientific big picture inquiry in which multiple perspectives can be appreciatively and critically considered. Hence, this new meta-level inquiry offers a scientific response to one of the central questions of the 21st century - how are we to develop global conversations around what Raiman Panikkar called 'the pluralisms of truth'" (175-76).

In the last source Edwards criticizes kennilingus for its lack of scientific methodology and finds Torbert's metatheory more amenable on this score. Recall this thread on the latter's work, and how it fills in many of the missing gaps from kennilingus.

According to Edwards the very types of inquiry engaged in at IPS are aspects of metatheory research. Granted it's not the full picture but necessary aspects nonetheless. Which is of course one of the points of the field: no one source is the full picture. And any full picture is not itself complete. We're all a bunch of blind men grasping at different parts of the elephant, and even when we put all those reports together we still don't get the elephant. But we do get better ideas about it, ad infinitum.

1 comment:

  1. See Balder's response.* In reply I said:

    Balder's comments to (c) above remind me of Golden Dawn 'worship,' since I'm on that kick today. In the outer order Temple set-ups a person through various initiations gets to assume a particular deity for ceremonies. One makes the rounds of these god-forms depending on the degree of initiation, up to the apparent head of outer order rituals, the hierophant. The later is considered the central officer-deity in presiding over the lesser officer-deities for outer order work. But even in the outer order rituals this head is guided by inner order officer-deities, which may or not have personal representation on the dais. So like Balder's comments one makes the rounds of a variety of deities to see how they work together.

    Granted the rituals themselves might be considered a particular supertheory or grand narrative in that it is the Golden Dawn egregore. And yet with that GD narrative there have sprung up a plethora of variations with different emphases on ritual, theory, practice and dogma. Even to the point that some claim the 'true' lineage and are the 'right' one. All of which is the main problem with having one paradigm as the model for all others. Same with one god/dess. Same problem, different app.



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