Monday, March 14, 2011

A sociogenetic hole

I referenced Mark Edwards work on metatheorizing in p. 3 of the progressive economics thread. Returning to another of his JITP articles, "Evaluating integral metatheory" (3:4 Winter 2008), he is criticizing McIntosh for eliminating the LR quadrant. Therein he echos previous criticisms against Wilber from Integral World:

"The artifact-in-use, sociogenetic, and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) traditions all see artifacts as intimately involved in the evolution of socio-cultural identity. While Wilber also neglects these approaches in his explication of the quadrants, at least his LR quadrant provides a space for the accommodation and exploration of these theories and paradigms from an integral metatheoretical perspective. As yet, however, AQAL-informed theorists, including Wilber, have not explored this sociogenetic tradition of human development" (73).

Recall earlier in the Varela thread Wilber reducing Varela to just a LR systems theorist and thereby equivalent to a dictator. This is due to the kennilngus neglect of “not exploring the sociogenetic tradition.” Here Edwards goes after McIntosh for doing the same to Luhmann, who is reduced to a gross materialist:

“For Luhmann, consciousness is part of the personal systems and social system’s environmental ecology. Far from denying consciousness, Luhmann sees individuality as being immersed in a sea of consciousness as expressed in social communication. This is not an objectivist worldview, let alone a classical materialistic one. It is a worldview that emphasizes social communication in the creation of individual and collective systems of awareness and meaning rather than subjective intention” (75).

Here we see that P2P ideas such as these are really not limited to the LR quadrant but rather show the relationship of all the quadrants. Granted its focus and methodology might be something we can associate with that quadrant but it is certainly not limited to it.

He concludes again with the same arguments previously used on Wilber and we get the inference that they are still valid:

“Metatheory that sees all aspects of evolutionary development as essentially caused or designed by the dynamic unfolding of the subjective and the cultural suffers from a form of psychological developmentalism. Developmentalism reduces change processes such as learning, cognitive growth, and moral development to the unfolding of interior structures. It does not recognize the contributions of the embodied, relational, and interobjective theories of change and development. And so, we have the polarized views of a behaviorism that sees consciousness as epiphenomenal to behavior and developmentalism that sees the physical and the interobjective as epiphenomenal to the intersubjective. The debate between the cognitive and the sociogenetic perspectives on development, as exemplified in the contrasting of Piagetian and Vygotskian explanations of human development, is another variety of this polarization. In seeing interobjective explanations of evolution, such as systems theory, as epiphenomenal (i.e., as exterior “clothing” to an interior consciousness), McIntosh falls within this developmentalist tradition. A more integral approach would attempt to accommodate the valid aspects of both paradigms within a much more embodied and social understanding of mind” (79).

Also see Edwards' wonderful powerpoint presentation on his own ideas for filling this hole.

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