Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Integral Ecology discussion

I was informed by Archive Fire blog of a reading and discussion group for the book Integral Ecology.
The first post is up at Knowledge Ecology blog. His review of the Intro and Chapter One confirms a strict kennilingus orientation in the material. Not surprising but also not all that interesting, to me. A good thing about this first review is that the blogger is not completely convinced and has several questions, some following:

First, Integral Ecology is positing both a multiple epistemological and ontological system, and yet, despite this nod to ontology, are we really talking about anything more than “multiple perspectives?” Second, if we accept that interiority is a fundamental feature of the cosmos, operating at different levels, how do we approach the relationship between internal and external dimensions of a given entity? The AQAL approach seems to imply a consistent, geometric symmetry between inner and outer, or individual and collective, in what sense is this accurately descriptive of the terrain it is trying to map? Third, integral theorists are generally critical of those who are themselves critical of hierarchical or developmental schemes. Without rejecting the hierarchical nature of many natural phenomena, how do we critically think the notion of “levels” in the AQAL model with specific regard to how these distinctions manifest in intercultural environments and other contested areas of dialogue, where difference is a significant feature of the encounter?

As yet there are no comments to this opening.


  1. I appreciated this from a comment to the first post, by Adrian:

    "I have to admit to some disappointment at how closely (slavishly?) Z and E-H follow Wilber in invoking the 'pre/trans fallacy' to criticize Romantics, 'extreme postmodernists,' et al. They rarely mention names or provide examples, and mainly only cite Wilber himself on these topics."

  2. Blogger Adam replied to the above comment:

    "I am afraid that one of the consistent problems we are going to have going through this book is the frequent use of straw figures, particularly when it comes to Romanticism and Postmodernism.... There are of course reasons for critiquing Romanticism and Postmodernism (an even more opaque term), but Wilber and other integral theorists seem to carry a little extra baggage when it comes to these two topics in particular."

  3. Hah! I just followed your link to "kennilingus," very funny. Its kind of ironic in this context since I am generally pretty critical of the man and his work. I do like the direction Hargens/Zimmerman are taking it though, with a few notable disappointments that always crop up for me when I start rummaging through my thoughts on AQAL. More to come on all of this as the discussion progresses.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.