Friday, December 30, 2011

More holonics

Continuing this tangent in the IPS religious differences thread a few more of the last posts:

I'd agree that no one methodology can exhaust an object's agency a la OOO. However, how can we coordinate the various methodologies through a meta-paradigm? Isn't that one of the goals of an integral approach? We have AQAL, which does a gigi-glossary comparison, but that doesn't tell us much about how they interrelate, partly due to a lack of the 'you' dimension per Edwards criticisms. And it seems like at least some of these 2nd-person approaches are in fact the 'relational' and 'in-between' meta-methods by which to correlate the 1st and 3rd person. Again they don't exhaust or fully define an object yet they provide a more comprehensive coordination of multiple perspectives. In a less critical mood (like now) I might even suggest that this is one of the attributes of a cross-paradigmatic level of cognitive complexity. Except that (critic returning) such models of complexity themselves are sorely lacking in such 2nd person insights we see in this thread, with consequent gaps (more like gaping holes) in their cross-paradigms.

From Edwards' Ph.D. dissertation:

“Integration in the metatheory building context does not mean to create one super-theory but rather to bring many different viewpoints together so that their strengths and weaknesses can be recognized....Rather that simply reproducing dominant theoretical ideologies, metatheory undermines them through this reflexive raising of consciousness about the relationships between theories. And this is, in fact, why several metatheorists have argued that postmodernism is itself a metatheoretical enterprise” (13-15).

Chapter 7.5 goes into how the holon concept can be used to integrate the multitude on lenses he enumerates in the paper. Here he discusses 4 types of holon relations: intra, inter, systemic and intersystemic. Intra shows the dynamics of a single holon (which could be an individual or a group). Inter shows how holons relate. Systemic shows the relationship between holons and the holarchy in which they are embedded. Intersystemic shows relationships between holarchies. Intra is typical of developmentalists. Inter is used by communication and mediation focuses, generally pomo. Systemic is where dynamic systems come in. And intersystemic shows relationships of the first 3. It appears this categorization could itself be seen as a developmental holarchy, like moving from formal to pluralistic to systemic to metasystemic cognition, but I don’t think that’s how Edwards presents it.

Figure 7.16 on p. 197 with accompanying text is interesting in that it shows an intersystemic relation between ecological holoarchy and perspectival lenses. The latter we’ve seen before in Edwards 1st, 2nd and 3rd person holons above. It is interesting though that the 2nd person perspective of “relationships” is also the inter-holonic pomo type above. That is, while it might be useful to categorize it into these boxes my sense is that it is, in itself, a metatheory that breaks out of these boxes and can itself organize all these various lenses within an overall general and semi-universal “super-theory.” God no, a metanarrative emerging from pomo! Say it ain’t so!

I’m also reminded of Edwards' statement from another source dated after the publication of his dissertation:

“I regard integral metastudies as a counterpart to the more typical forms of decentering and deconstructing postmodernism…. Decentering, pluralist postmodern research is not something I believe is to be integrated within an integral metastudies….an integral metastudies needs a decentering postmodernism that it cannot integrate, that lies outside of its scientific and systematic purview, which continually challenges it and is critical of its generalizations, abstractions, and universalizings. The decentering form of particularizing postmodernism is not something that integral metatheory can locate or neatly categorize somewhere within its general frameworks. Decentering postmodernism will always provide a source of critical insight and substantive opposition to the generalizing goals of an integral metastudies…. there is a danger that integral researchers can misrepresent…postmodernism as simple relativism.”

In the dissertation in the referenced section he notes how pomo can miss the developmental holarchy, just as the latter misses pomo insights on relations. I'm all for both and reiterate that pomo indeed makes a universal claim, but of a different sort than the formal developmentalists. And it is indeed a higher cognitive level in metasystems and cross-paradigms, at the very least a compliment to what Edwards calls integral metatheories.

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