Friday, September 22, 2017

Murray on prepositioning integral theory

And then there's postmetatheory as highlighted in the Introduction to "Metatheory in the 21st Century." I appreciate that Tom Murray's last chapter was valued for 'prepositioning' metatheory itself, something I've long harped on in the relationship of image schema to differance. Also how it anchors abstract metatheory in the body, for without that it's just more 'complex' but less 'real,' more metaphysical and less postmetaphysical. Of course if we use metatheory's usual definitions and assumptions then postmetatheory would transcend and include and thereby supersede metatheory, thereby outmeta-ing the meta. Poetic justice, that. E.g.:

"The final chapter of the volume is Tom Murray’s "Contributions of Embodied Philosophy to Ontological Questions in Critical Realism and Integral Theory”. This chapter takes a different approach than previous chapters in that it is less concerned with the relationship or possible synthesis between critical realism and integral theory. Instead, Murray draws on the field of embodied philosophy (a la Lakoff and Johnson’s position of embodied realism) to augment both CR and IT. He introduces a number of the core distinctions and findings of embodied realism and illustrates how these notions can ground integrative metatheories like CR and IT. He focuses on epistemological and ontological issues, which is quite useful given that it is within these contexts that most of the philosophical challenges and opportunities exist between these two approaches. In some respects this final chapter represents position 0 in that it foregrounds the process of integrative metatheorizing and helps establish the clearing of such metathinking and meta-practice" (28-9).

Murray reiterates some of Edwards' et al. points. E.g., that categories often overlap and that categorizing too rigidly leads to miscategorizing certain things to fit into a one-size-fits-all schema. Hence Edwards' far broader lens categories usually missing from AQAL. And as I noted previously, Edwards admits that all those lenses seem as if to be inherent in ontology itself due to their continual recurrence. Indeed, image schema preposition those lenses.

Murray also addresses that too much metatheory can obstruct what is feels like to examine what's behind it. We need to critically examine our assumptions and epistemic drives, to explore the unconscious metaphors we use in support of it.

"This is not a purely intellectual exercise, but a phenomenological process of feeling into the movement of such drives as sensations within the body, as they arise in the moments of thought and discourse" (14).

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