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켄 윌버(Ken Wilber)
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    제 목 : Wilber and Whitehead    
  글쓴이 : 정강길 날 짜 : 08-04-25 07:15 조회(10579)
   트랙백 주소 : http://freeview.mireene.co.kr/bbs/tb.php/e004/19 
  LINK 1 : http://indistinctunion.wordpress.com/2008/04/20/wilber-and-whitehead/ (2091)
  LINK 2 : http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/critics_04.cfm/ (1403)




[Photo Alfred North Whitehead].

 

 

For background, my previous post. The relevant sections I will be dealing with are from this article (section IV), scroll down to Appendix A.

 

So I summarized Wilber’s view on the mind-body problem honing in especially on his version 3a and 3b–mind as interior, body as exterior, with 3a being the relative process Whiteheadian view and 3b being the Nondual view.

 

Within 3a however Wilber says that Whitehead’s process philosophy suffered from a lack of dialogical (i.e. intersubjective, Lower Left in Quadrants) emphasis.

 

David Ray Griffin, arguably the world’s foremost process philosopher (and a remarkable Christian theologian) and Wilber had an interesting back and forth over this claim (of the deficiency in Whitehead’s thought) which is reproduced in the appendix to Wilber’s Essay.  [Long wondefully nerdy discussion to follow].

 

The difference boils down to how existents are related.  For Whitehead the primary poles are concrescence and prehension.  That is to say each moment is the sum of everything before plus this moment.  So all objects are subjects-become-objects aka pan-psychism.  Prehension specifies the way in which all beings (subjects and objects) through consciousness are prior to sensory experience/reflection cognizing one another.  What Griffin calls a “nonsensory sympathetic perception”.

 

Wilber agues that this view is easily open to critique from the postmodern interpretive schools of Continental European philosophy (Heidegger, Dilthey, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty), i.e.  that this empiricist model of Whitehead assumes individuals who then relate to objects as opposed to subjects-in-society/linguistic construction interpreting objects in/via social-collective construction. What is called in the postmodern-ese “monological”-ism:  “one view” as opposed to dialogical.

For Wilber:

Thus, even in Whitehead’s notions of concrescence and prehensive unification, I do not detect a vivid understanding of strong intersubjectivity. Rather, using a merely Whiteheadian process philosophy, one must construct intersubjectivity (and true dialogical experience) from a repeated application of prehensive unifications and concrescences, all of which are to some degree after the fact. I believe this hampers Whiteheadian process philosophy from becoming a truly integral philosophy. By adopting a quadratic, instead of limited dialogical, approach, I am not denying Whitehead but enriching him.

Griffin criticizes this description of Whitehead as monological.  Here is the correspondence between Wilber and Griffin on this point:

DG: “My only real problem with your discussion of Whiteheadian process thought is your criticism of it as monological….Each occasion is internally influenced by EVERY prior occasion and exerts influence on EVERY future occasion…. How much more relational could an ontology be? Indeed, some members of the camp refer to this as ‘process-relational’ thought. And some of us refer to this an ‘ecological’ view of the self….”
 
KW: “You can be ecological and relational and still be monological. Traditional systems theory, for example, is a relational and ecological model, but it is entirely in third-person it-language (monological). Most ecological sciences are monological. Almost all Gaia theories are monological. And to the extent that some Whiteheadians talk about I-it prehensifications–even in relational and ecological terms–they are often stuck in monological modes.”
 
DG: “Regarding monological: it is true that a Whiteheadian subject prehends only ‘objects.’ But this is by definition: whatever is prehended by a subject is by definition an object for that subject. It does not imply ‘objectivity’ in the (dualist) ontological sense…. The objects of the elementary prehensions… are ‘objects-that-had-been-subjects,’ so that the prehension (or feeling) of them is a ‘feeling of feelings.’ So it seems very misleading to use the term monological….”
 
KW: “Well, it’s tricky. For me, the intersubjective space is the background out of which the subject arises and in which the subject prehends objects, and that background permeates the subject (even if it entered as object), and then henceforth, as the new subject creatively emerges, it emerges in part from this intersubjectivity, and thus intersubjectivity at that point first enters the subject as part of the subject, not as an object-that-was-once-subject. This intersubjectivity is thus truly dialogical, not monological. Analogous to, e.g., somebody at moral-stage 5 will have his thoughts all arise within that space, but that structure was never an object, but rather forms part of the structure in which the new subject arises moment to moment, and thus enters the subject as prehending subject, not as prehended object that was once subject.”
 
DG: “I think I see your point–that what you call real dialogue involves a more [quadratic] view of the self. But given the subtlety of the distinction between this and Whitehead’s view, it seems misleading to characterize it as ‘monological.’ Why not distinguish between two kinds of dialogical positions–call yours ‘complete’ and call Whitehead’s ‘partial.’”

There’s a lot there, trying to break it down and chunk.

 

Griffin begins by pointing that concretion and prehension is wildly different than traditional materialism and empiricism which assumes isolated (non-processual) entities that just bounce around and bump into one another. What Griffin calls a “sensationist” epistemology.

 

Wilber grants this point (”it is relational”) and yet still wants to differentiate that this is not intersubjective in the truest sense.  There are relations and interactions and objects that were prior subjects, but for Wilber the key point is that the intersubjective is a permanent feature of reality (quadratic all the way up and down).  So the intersubjective is not that which arises first and foremost out of concretion and prehension however much deep relation granted is there, but rather what comes on the scene at any point of arrival of any manifestation in the universe.  It is not just prehension that goes all the way down but communication and all beings communication in a language (if not vocalized or self-consciously) that itself is always already within a given community.  Whether cells, insects, whales, or humans.

 

So Griffin concedes the point and makes an interesting observation about a complete dialogical versus a partial dialogical (which presumably would also include systems theory, ecological holistic views, etc.).

Clarity around this distinction could help make clear the different in integral thought between classical modernism (in Griffin’s terminology) and its attendant materialism and sensationist epistemology and these other “partial dialogical” ways.  AQAL integral is still complete dialogic, but the others are partial.  This would open a door to a fuller transcend and include understanding and appreciation of many of these “green” epistemologies and worldviews/metaphysics.

 

When all gets labeled “Flatland”, there is a theoretical purity and simplicity that is compelling and persuasive (and still fundamentally correct) but I’m not sure politically and philosophically it is the best way forward.

I think it could allow for a much healthier inclusion of these elements and a deeper process-oriented sense to enter integral thought.  Again it is there in Wilber’s writings where a “level” is really just a tendency to exist in a certain vector, fluid, open to change and modification, and recalling that intersubjective does always involve bodies (whether communication or ecological or both) as well as relations.

 

Otherwise there is a tendency for the AQAL system I find to become too static and blocky in its understanding by some and its application.

 
 
 ....................................
 
 
 
 
Do Critics Misrepresent My Position?

A Test Case from a Recent Academic Journal
 
Part IV
 
 
BORROWING
 
In perhaps the most embarrassing part of his attack on my work, de Quincey accuses me of subconsciously plagiarizing his work (although why he would want to claim that the model that he so aggressively attacks is actually his model is not made clear). As much as you want to see your critics fumble the ball when they are unfairly attacking you, this was just painful to watch.
 
In 1995 I published SES. The core of its argument, as de Quincey acknowledges, was a call to integrate "the Big Three"--the big three of art, morals, and science; or the Beautiful, the Good, and the True; or I, we, and it; or first-, second-, and third-person dimensions.[7]
 
Three years later, in 1998, de Quincey presented a paper that called for integrating first-, second-, and third-person approaches. He sent me this article in 1997. I told him I agreed with it, since it repeated my own model and my own conclusions.
 
In his JCS article, de Quincey suggests that, having read his paper, I unconsciously "borrowed" his call for integrating the Big Three. He says, "I was pleased to see Wilber subsequently emphasize what I was calling for: a comprehensive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person approach to consciousness studies (which Wilber now calls the 1-2-3 of consciousness studies)." But, of course, I had been emphasizing that Big-Three approach starting with SES, as its many endnotes make perfectly clear, and this approach was repeated--including the call for a Big-Three approach to consciousness studies--in The Eye of Spirit, written in 1996 and published in 1997 (see the Collected Works, volume 7), all of which saw the light of day before de Quincey's paper began circulating.
 
In an endnote, de Quincey says, "I do want to state for the record that the call for a comprehensive 1, 2, 3 of consciousness studies was first presented in my Tucson paper in 1998." What evidence does he have for this, and how does he deal with the awkward fact that SES was out in 1995? De Quincey never answers or even addresses that, but he does say the evidence of my borrowing can be seen in the fact that I use two phrases in Integral Psychology that are similar to phrases found in his 1998 paper. These two phrases are "agree with each other" and "comprehensive theory."
 
This, as I said, is simply painful. I deeply appreciate that Christian wants to have his ideas acknowledged, and I am more than glad to point to him as a worthy comrade in the drive for an integral Big-Three approach to consciousness studies. I have a reputation for scrupulously giving credit where credit is due, as thousands of footnotes readily attest, but the suggestion that I got this idea from de Quincey just left me totally speechless (as it did every person I talked to about his article). But de Quincey is quite right about one thing: there is indeed some extensive, unconscious borrowing going on here.[8]


SUBTLE ENERGIES
 
In my own system, the "body/energy" component is the Upper-Right quadrant, and the "mind/consciousness" component is the Upper-Left quadrant. The integral model I am suggesting therefore explicitly includes a corresponding subtle energy at every level of consciousness across the entire spectrum (gross to subtle to causal, or matter to body to mind to soul to spirit). Critics have often missed this aspect of my model because the typical four-quadrant diagram shows only the gross body in the Upper-Right quadrant, but that is only a simplified summary of the full model presented in my overall work.
In the traditions, it is often said that these subtle energy fields exist in concentric spheres of increasing embrace. For example, the etheric field is said to extend a few inches from the physical body, surrounding and enveloping it; the astral energy field surrounds and envelops the etheric field and extends a foot or so; the thought field (or subtle body energy field) surrounds and envelops the astral and extends even further; and the causal energy field extends to formless infinity. Thus, each of these subtle energy fields is a holon (a whole that is part of a larger whole), and the entire holonic energy spectrum can be easily represented in the Upper-Right quadrant as a standard series of increasingly finer and wider concentric spheres (with each subtler energy field transcending and including its junior fields). Each subtle energy holon is the exterior or the Right-Hand component of the corresponding interior or Left-Hand consciousness. In short, all holons have four quadrants across the entire spectrum, gross to subtle to causal, and this includes both a "mind/consciousness" and a "body/energy" component.
 
De Quincey assures us that "subtle energies don't fit into any of the quadrants." On the contrary, those subtle-energy experts who are more familiar with my work, including Larry Dossey and Michael Murphy, have stated that an AQAL approach to these energies might be the closest approach we have to an integral theory of both consciousness and subtle energies.


CONCLUSION
 
We have seen that, of the ten or so major issues that de Quincey addresses in my work, he substantially misrepresents every one of them. I have in each of those cases given what de Quincey says, followed by direct quotes of mine showing what I actually said, and readers can see for themselves the jarring discrepancies.
 
Obviously, the question arises as to why this happens. I will set aside any personal or professional motivations of de Quincey's (I really don't know him), and instead focus on what seems to me the sufficient reason for such widespread misunderstanding of my work: the sheer volume of the material. I also have a tendency to write on two levels--the main text and the voluminous endnotes, and often my nuanced position is buried in the endnotes. There is also the fact that I constantly try to incorporate criticism into my work and alter my ideas based on responsible criticism--hence the four major phases of my work, with others surely to follow (thus, the idea that every time somebody criticizes me I claim that I am being misunderstood is ludicrous; if that were the case, I would never have presented any model beyond wilber-1. Even de Quincey acknowledges that "Wilber has a way of assimilating and accommodating the barbs of his critics"--a backhanded compliment for the fact that I greatly appreciate responsible criticism and do whatever I can to fix any problems with my presentation.) But this often means that somebody will give a blistering attack on, say, wilber-2, and that attack gets repeated by others who are trying to nudge me out of the picture, with the result that, as the editors of A Guide to Ken Wilber concluded, over 80% of the published and posted criticisms of my work are based on misrepresentations of it.
 
Keith Thompson offers what I think are two cogent criticisms of the way I write as contributing to this problem. I believe he is correct on both counts.
Having said all of that, do I find Wilber maddening? Yes. Surely not in all respects, but very much so in some. The annoying problem that I have found in attempting to criticize Wilber's work is that he often states his actual, detailed position on a topic in several obscure endnotes spread over several books (this is certainly true with his treatment of Whitehead; also his theory of semiotics, his actual stance on intersubjectivity, holography, etc.). Then, since in the main text of his books, he tries to be more popular, he often gives simplified, popularized, and therefore sometimes slightly misleading accounts of his real position. If you want to criticize him, criticize him for that! It has gotten tons of reviewers into real trouble, because they take his popularized statements at face value. Of course, Wilber's defenders then come back with the actual quotes about his real position, dug up from some obscure endnotes, and the reviewer looks like an idiot. This can be very exasperating, but still, it doesn't excuse critics misrepresenting his actual or more sophisticated position.

Speaking of Wilber's defenders: Shambhala is about to add a new feature to Wilber's domain of the Shambhala Web site. It's going to be called "Wilber Watch," and it's going to identify misrepresentations of Wilber's views. I told a friend who works at Shambhala that this seemed to me, well, a bit funny. He said in one sense he agreed... but then he forwarded to me many illustrations of said misrepresentations, and I was frankly amazed. Most involved egregious misreadings of Wilber's work, some of so studied in their mistaken conclusions that it was hard not to attribute bad faith to their promulgators. By the way, not a single one of said "misrepresentations" was simply a matter of the writer reaching different interpretations than Wilber. Ken has repeatedly said he has no problem whatever with anyone reaching different conclusions than his. I have watched many Integral Institute participants do that time and time again, sometimes quite vociferously disagreeing with Ken. Each and every time, Ken has nodded and said something like, "Fair difference of interpretation.... I can see how you reach that conclusion."

At the same time, Ken has a very keen eye for "different interpretations of the data" that are in fact little more than misreadings (willful or not) of his work. I don't blame Ken's "defenders" for wanting to identify these and hold them up to a wide audience. (Wilber's section of Shambhala has gotten more than a million hits already this year.) A really good and valid criticism, it seems to me, would not be to try to attack his position on a single issue (like philosophy of mind or intersubjectivity), but call him to task for never producing a definitive glossary. For work spread out like his, that is inexcusable. I think he or his students are working on one (last I heard it was 400 pages), but he really needs to be kicked in the ass for this.

Point taken. I have also decided that there is no real way out of this morass of misrepresentation unless I start teaching my material. De Quincey's article was the straw that broke this camel's back. It was so off the wall that I decided I really needed to take some sort of action.

Nor can I count on the editors at professional journals to help me out here (Bob Forman is a major exception), because they face the same difficulties as everybody else. The managing editor of JCS was sent a long email by Keith Thompson pointing out the many inaccuracies in de Quincey's article (portions of that email were reprinted above). The editor declined to do anything about it, or even to print Thompson's corrections. Nor did the editor show me de Quincey's article before it was published; nor did the editor offer me a chance to respond to these distortions. Again, I don't blame editors for this; I doubt that I would give much space to a whiney author who's always complaining "That's not what I said!"

The good news in all this is that it has spurred me to begin taking this material out in the world myself. This will also give people a chance to see me in the flesh, and thus decide if I am really the devil that their projections proclaim. (Of course, they might decide yes! But at least it will be based on real intersubjective impressions, not shadow projections.) I have already started doing this with Integral Institute, as Keith noted above, and we are starting a period in Integral Institute's history where this type of interaction will only be increasing.

Appendix A--My Criticism of Whitehead as True But Partial:
The Move from an Incomplete Dialogical View to an Integral/Quadratic Formulation
 
Although Alfred North Whitehead, according to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, has had almost no impact on professional philosophy, he does have a small but loyal cult following, many of whom find in Whitehead a philosophy congenial to spiritual concerns. In many ways I am one of those fans. As I have often pointed out, I believe that when it comes to the microanalysis of moment-to-moment experience, Whitehead's notions are indispensable--notions such as prehension, concrescence, prehensive unification, "the many become one and are increased by one," the hierarchy of real occasions, the transcend and include nature of prehensions themselves, and so on.
 
But I have also suggested that, especially when it comes to the nature of intersubjectivity, Whitehead's view has the lingering impressions (and limitations) of British empiricism from which it arose (as Whitehead once put it: "Spend your days and nights with David Hume." Now when it comes to any sort of truly integral or AQAL formulation, David Hume is the last gentleman you want to spend much time with). The paradigm of British empiricism is an analysis of immediate experience of an object by a subject. That is, it is an investigation of monological occasions presented to the sensorimotor awareness (using "sensorimotor" to mean both the cognitive and affective dimensions of that level). I see the rock, I see a patch of red, I see an object--those are the occasions that form the basis of most of empiricism.
 
As usual, I am not saying that is wrong; I am suggesting it is very partial. The more I studied the positive aspects of postmodernism, the more I became convinced that in addition to the immediate and monological apprehension of an object by a subject, there were types of knowing and experiencing that, although never leaving a grounding in immediate experience, were so complex and sophisticated--and involved background cultural contexts that never entered awareness as an object that was once subject--that we needed to supplement immediate empirical knowing (or even immediate conceptual knowing) with interpretive, dialogical, paradoxical, ambiguous, intersubjective awareness, an intersubjectivity that is not just a result of the interaction between a prehending subject and other prehending subjects, but rather forms the priorly existing space or field in which both subject and object arise, after which, the subject then prehends the object in Whiteheadian process terms.
 
I am not saying that you can't take a Whiteheadian approach and stretch it to cover strong intersubjectivity; I am saying that it is better to start with intersubjectivity and derive Whiteheadian process as a limited subset of that prior field. In other words, instead of starting with the paradigm of "I see the rock"--which is the apprehension of a Right-Hand object by a Left-Hand subject--let us start with a quadratic formulation--which means that not just subjects and objects (or interiors and exteriors) go all the way down, but all four quadrants go all the way down. In this case, the Lower-Left quadrant (of intersubjectivity) plays a constitutive role in the formation of both the subject and the object (which then act to inform and alter the intersubjectivity, so that all four quadrants are mutually co-creating). All four quadrants equally conspire to result in what appears to be the simple "I see the rock," but in fact, both the "I" and "the rock" exist in cultural contexts, preconscious backgrounds, and intersubjective structures that do not themselves enter awareness when "I see the rock," and yet shape and form that prehension without that prehension ever even knowing it.
This is, of course, the standard critique of empiricism by hermeneutics, or the standard critique of Anglo-Saxon philosophy by Continental philosophy. The more I studied philosophers such as Heidegger, Nietzsche, Dilthey, Charles Taylor, Thomas Kuhn, Foucault, and a host of other interpretive philosophers, the more I became convinced that simple empirical knowing (the Left-Hand subject prehends a Right-Hand object) had to be supplemented by a four-quadrant analysis that gave equal emphasis to all four quadrants in the generation of immediate experience, and that the empiricists, by analyzing the picture only in its final stages, were missing several crucial ingredients.
 
My suggestion, then, is that instead of taking "I prehend the rock" (or "I prehend the concept") and pushing that down into the atoms of experience, we instead take the four quadrants and push those all the way down to the atoms of experience. In other words, the paradigm of prehension is not "I see the red patch," but rather, "I and the red patch arise in the space created (in part) by intersubjectivity, and once I and the red patch have arisen, then I see the patch in an immediate prehension." And ultimately, that intersubjectivity itself can exist--that is, subjects can participate in each other's immediate presence--because the agency of each subject opens directly onto nondual Spirit or pure Emptiness, so that, as I often put it, the agency of each holon acts as an opening or clearing in which other holons can manifest to each other, and that opening or clearing itself is (in part) a product of the four quadrants, so that a holon's culture (LL quadrant) is always already an intrinsic part of the holon's prehension of any objects. This is my attempt to include, all the way down, the enduring insights of the great postmodern writers, writers that, in Whitehead's time, were really just becoming well-known and well-respected.
 
Thus, I maintain (as explained in SES and elsewhere) that this four-quadrant space "goes all the way down"--because interiors and exteriors go all the way down, and so do singular and plural. This does not particularly contradict anything Whitehead said, but it is a richer, fuller, and more integral expression of the very nature of real occasions, which is not "Left-Hand subject prehends Right-Hand objects," but "All four quadrants arise mutually, the end result of which includes a subject prehending an object (physical, emotional, conceptual, etc.)."
 
Thus, even in Whitehead's notions of concrescence and prehensive unification, I do not detect a vivid understanding of strong intersubjectivity. Rather, using a merely Whiteheadian process philosophy, one must construct intersubjectivity (and true dialogical experience) from a repeated application of prehensive unifications and concrescences, all of which are to some degree after the fact. I believe this hampers Whiteheadian process philosophy from becoming a truly integral philosophy. By adopting a quadratic, instead of limited dialogical, approach, I am not denying Whitehead but enriching him.
(Interestingly, de Quincey himself maintains that Whitehead does not have a complete understanding of intersubjectivity. De Quincey mentions none of this in his attack on my work, presumably because he wants to use Whitehead--who "solved" the mind-body problem according to de Quincey--in order to beat me senseless, and thus it will not do for him to point out that Whitehead really doesn't understand intersubjectivity. The fact is, only a quadratic formulation can coherently push true or complete intersubjectivity all the way down, and therefore only a quadratic formulation can really handle the mind-body problem [#3a].)
 
My second objection is that if Whitehead is not "all-quadrant," he is not "all-level" either--he does not have access to a full map of the spectrum of consciousness. This is uncontested by Whitehead scholars (including de Quincey), so I won't dwell on it. My point is simply that, according to even de Quincey, Whitehead is neither all-quadrant nor all-level, and thus an AQAL formulation can "transcend and include" the important contributions of Whitehead without repeating his acknowledged limitations.
(Note also that because Whitehead does not write about the nondual wave of awareness, his writing does not have a solution to aspect #3b of the mind-body problem, either; and thus, once again, by moving to an AQAL formulation this final aspect of the mind-body problem can likewise be solved. I am aware of no other approach that offers plausible solutions to all four aspects of the mind-body problem.)
David Ray Griffin and I had an email exchange on some of the limitations of Whitehead's process philosophy, which is printed with his permission (this conversation was first published in the Introduction to volume 8 of the Collected Works):
DG: "My only real problem with your discussion of Whiteheadian process thought is your criticism of it as monological....Each occasion is internally influenced by EVERY prior occasion and exerts influence on EVERY future occasion.... How much more relational could an ontology be? Indeed, some members of the camp refer to this as 'process-relational' thought. And some of us refer to this an 'ecological' view of the self...."
 
KW: "You can be ecological and relational and still be monological. Traditional systems theory, for example, is a relational and ecological model, but it is entirely in third-person it-language (monological). Most ecological sciences are monological. Almost all Gaia theories are monological. And to the extent that some Whiteheadians talk about I-it prehensifications--even in relational and ecological terms--they are often stuck in monological modes."
 
DG: "Regarding monological: it is true that a Whiteheadian subject prehends only 'objects.' But this is by definition: whatever is prehended by a subject is by definition an object for that subject. It does not imply 'objectivity' in the (dualist) ontological sense.... The objects of the elementary prehensions... are 'objects-that-had-been-subjects,' so that the prehension (or feeling) of them is a 'feeling of feelings.' So it seems very misleading to use the term monological...."
 
KW: "Well, it's tricky. For me, the intersubjective space is the background out of which the subject arises and in which the subject prehends objects, and that background permeates the subject (even if it entered as object), and then henceforth, as the new subject creatively emerges, it emerges in part from this intersubjectivity, and thus intersubjectivity at that point first enters the subject as part of the subject, not as an object-that-was-once-subject. This intersubjectivity is thus truly dialogical, not monological. Analogous to, e.g., somebody at moral-stage 5 will have his thoughts all arise within that space, but that structure was never an object, but rather forms part of the structure in which the new subject arises moment to moment, and thus enters the subject as prehending subject, not as prehended object that was once subject."
 
DG: "I think I see your point--that what you call real dialogue involves a more [quadratic] view of the self. But given the subtlety of the distinction between this and Whitehead's view, it seems misleading to characterize it as 'monological.' Why not distinguish between two kinds of dialogical positions--call yours 'complete' and call Whitehead's 'partial.'"
I also discussed with Griffin my belief that both subjectivity and intersubjectivity arise ultimately from nondual Spirit as the real Self of all holons (see below). He again agreed that this could not be easily accommodated in a Whiteheadian system, and he again suggested I refer to Whitehead's view as "incomplete" and mine as "complete" in this regard.
 
I think that is a good idea, and so I will repeat that I believe that enriching Whitehead's partial view with a more complete, quadratic view of experience allows us to move towards a much more integral framework for Kosmic occasions.
 
Keith Thompson brings his own reflections on a more integral approach to these issues:
I enthusiastically recommend the writing of Sean Hargens, especially his brilliant paper called Integrating Whitehead: Towards an Environmental Ethic. It is hard to disagree with Sean's insight that Whitehead deserves tremendous credit as a unique historical who broke with the scientific materialism of recent centuries. His philosophy of organism is such a radical break that it is only in the last twenty years that an intellectual climate has emerged allowing Whitehead's work to be received by a wider audience. At the same time, it's clear to me that Whitehead has limitations, and to me these are important because today it is possible to fill in the blanks and extend Whitehead's enterprise. This is not possible in a context where it is seen as of fundamental importance to defend Whitehead, in the sense that many avowed "Whiteheadians" seem constrained to do. Likewise, I have never understand the impulse of "Aurobindonians" to say that Aurobindo's system is "complete." (It is not. Wilber has identified weak areas and fleshed them out impressively.) Heidegger was clearly a Nazi sympathizer. That fact cannot, I believe, rightly be used to attack Being and Time. However, neither can one's appreciation for that book explain away Heidegger's shameless toadying to Hitler.
Let me close out with a few observations about the issues at play regarding Whitehead, beginning with remaining issues in the Wilber-Griffin colloquy.
 
Griffin says (to Ken), "My only real problem with your discussion of Whiteheadian process thought is your criticism of it as monological...." I found this to be quite telling. Here Griffin doesn't take issue with Ken's criticism of what Ken argues to be Whitehead's incomplete holarchy. This is where Wilber's all-quadrants, all-levels, all-lines approach is quite useful. By using AQAL, you can create a more accurate holarchy of compound individuals in both the Upper Right--atoms to molecules to cells to neural cords to triune brain, etc.--and therefore get a much more accurate holarchy of interiors in Upper Left--prehension to sensation to perception to symbols to concepts to rules to formop to vision-logic to subtle, etc.--and therefore you escape reductionism of all interiors to (mere) prehension. Griffin didn't challenge that at all.
 
Sean Hargens demonstrates that Whitehead reduces all interiority to prehension: the preconscious experience of a subject "feeling" another subject (as object). Now it's true that Whitehead does explore a variety of prehensions (conceptual, hybrid, impure, negative, and physical) but it seems to me that at the end of the day these are all shades of the same color. With astonishing clarity, Sean shows how Whitehead doesn't fully develop or appreciate the many types of interiority that emerge after prehensions. This takes nothing away from my appreciation of Whitehead, who after all was writing before the major insights of developmental psychology had come onto the scene.
 
Sean's treatment also makes clear that Whitehead's inability to distinguish the many variations of interiority is a form of reductionism because it collapses all interiors into the concept of prehension (complex as this concept is). Expand interiors beyond the limited (though insightful) notion of prehensions, and a hierarchy of interiors becomes apparent. This hierarchy of interiors (subjectivity) has correlates in the exterior (objective) dimensions of form and it is important to acknowledge these parallel and equivalent hierarchies. Which of course brings us to Wilber's mappings (AQAL). The relationship between the levels in each of these hierarchies is one of "transcend and include" as Wilber famously puts it. Whitehead captures this with his adage: "The many become one and are increased by one."
 
Whitehead's account is incomplete in an important way because he fails to honor the complexity of interiority in all its varieties. Sean is generous when he notes that it is problematic to assign the concept of "prehension" (the basic unit of interiority) to all exteriors, as Whitehead tends to do. The interior-exterior relationship complexifies with evolution; I don't feel this understanding coursing through Whitehead's intellectual bloodstream. One also needs to account for the post-rational stages of interiority (e.g., the realms discussed at length by such traditions as Buddhism and Vedanta). Whitehead doesn't do this, which is understandable, since there is not a hint of evidence that he had any rigorous practice for opening experientially to trans-rational domains. (Aurobindo did and Wilber does.) Nor, apparently, did Whitehead read widely in those areas. Well, we all have our blind spots....
There is, finally, the "ultimate" meaning of the mind-body problem (#3b) and its relation to "ultimate intersubjectivity." I maintain that any sort of genuine and immediate intersubjectivity can only be derived from nondual consciousness or nondual Spirit. The reason is that, in the relative or manifest dimension, there is no simultaneous subject-to-subject presence, as Whitehead clearly explained. Whitehead pointed out that any actual occasion can only prehend its descendents, not its contemporaries. The reason is that every form of communication from one subject to another must enter the stream of time and travel to the other subject; by the time it reaches the other subject, the immediate present is gone, and thus the other subject prehends only the past (perception and memory being essentially synonymous). Thus, for Whitehead, there is no simultaneous Presence for any two subjects.
 
(De Quincey does not answer this objection of Whitehead's; de Quincey merely asserts, without any argument or evidence, that he, de Quincey, has a strong form of simultaneous subject-to-subject presence. But without postulating some sort of faster-than-light information transfer, he cannot get around Whitehead's argument.)
 
This is where the nondual traditions have much to offer. For these traditions, simultaneous subject-to-subject presence is possible because ultimately there is only one Subject (Atman, Buddhamind, Godhead). This means that each subject in the relative, manifest dimension, although prevented from having simultaneous presence in the relative realm (for precisely the reasons outlined by Whitehead), nonetheless possesses an immediate subject-to-subject simultaneous Presence in the ultimate or nondual dimension. Because there is ultimately only one Subject, then genuine intersubjectivity on the relative plane has an ultimate grounding. The reason is exactly as Erwin Schroedinger, cofounder of quantum mechanics, put it: "Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown." Because there is only one "nondual Mind," then all relative minds can possess immediate "touching" or simultaneous Presence, something that Whitehead's view cannot explain or even allow.
 
According to the nondual traditions, as this nondual Spirit or Mind "steps down" into the relative, manifest plane, each individual mind or subject remains nonlocally and immediately in touch with other minds or subjects (all the way down), which is why, among other things, knowledge of other minds is possible. Once on the manifest or relative dimension, then the relative forms of intersubjectivity arise (three of which were outlined by de Quincey, and four or five of which I outlined). But all of them can exist primarily because of the nondual ultimate nature of consciousness itself, which is "a singular the plural of which is unknown." This is the final and radical meaning of intersubjectivity (namely, grounded in nondual Spirit), and this is likewise the fourth and ultimate meaning of the mind-body problem and its "solution" (namely, awaking to the one Mind or nondual Spirit, which is "not-two, not-one"). My simple suggestion is that all four or five of these meanings and their solutions ought charitably to be included in any integral approach to these important issues.
 
For further reflections on this issues, see Sean Hargens, "Intersubjective Musings," posted at
 
 
 
 
NOTES

[1] In the following email I have changed "you" to "de Quincey."

[2] Keith Thompson:

Now it is true, as several have charged, that Wilber does not derive intersubjectivity solely from anything holographic. The reason, as he told me once, is that the holographic theory is based merely on the interpenetration of finite subjects and objects, and thus fails to also include the infinite (it includes the All but not also the One). So he refuses to use merely holographic theories to derive intersubjectivity, because that leaves out the unbounded infinite Spirit that is the actual ground of all four quadrants, including the intersubjective.

But he does say that on a given, finite, manifest level, the holons are holographic. He says this clearly and often in Eye to Eye. In fact, in the first edition of that book, he said "between levels, hierarchy, within levels, holarchy (meaning holographic)." Then he switched terminology in the second edition of Eye to Eye but kept the identical meaning: he chose "heterarchy" to mean "holographic interpenetration of each holon on a given level," since no holon was "higher or lower" than another, but all of them had "mutual interpenetration with equivalence." And he chose "holarchy" for between levels because Koestler had already established the usage for that word. But clearly, Wilber finds holons of similar depth are mutually interpenetrating and mutually co-creating and holographic. He repeats that standard formula in SES ("Within levels, heterarchy, between levels, holarchy"). He then talks about pathological heterarchy and pathological holarchy, etc.
So he would definitely agree his theory is not merely holographic in any typical sense, because holography doesn't account for those aspects of holons that are nonequivalent and it doesn't account for the infinite. This is why he is often viewed as an opponent of the holographic paradigm (ask any of the more obsessive Wilberphobes at CIIS), but clearly that is only "half true."

[3] This is from The Eye of Spirit, second revised edition, CW7, note 12 for chapter 11:

The "impassable gulf" is simply another name for the subject/object dualism, which is the hallmark not of Descartes's error but of all manifestation, which Descartes simply happened to spot with unusual clarity. It is still with us, this gap, and it remains the mystery hidden in the heart of samsara, a mystery that absolutely refuses to yield its secrets to anything less than post-postconventional [or nondual] development.

I have repeatedly had people explain to me that the Cartesian dualism can be solved by simply understanding that . . . and they then tell me their solutions, which range from Gaia-centric theories to neutral monism to first-third person interactionism to systems theory [to Whitehead process philosophy]. I always respond, "So this means that you have overcome the subject-object dualism in your own case. This means that you directly realize that you are one with the entire Kosmos, and this nondual awareness persists through waking, dream, and deep sleep states. Is that right?" "Well, no, not really."

The [ultimate] solution to the subject-dualism is not found in thought, because thought itself is a product of this dualism, which itself is generated in the very roots of the causal realm and cannot be undone without consciously penetrating that realm. The causal knot or primordial self-contraction--the ahamkara--can only be uprooted when it is brought into consciousness and melted in the fires of pure awareness, which almost always requires profound contemplative/meditative training. The subject-object duality is the very form of the manifest world of maya--the very beginning of the four quadrants (subject and object divide into singular and plural forms)--and thus one can get "behind" or "under" this dualism only by immersion in the formless realm (cessation, nirvikalpa, ayn, nirvana), which acts to dissolve the self-contraction and release it into pure nondual awareness--at which point, the traditions (from Zen to Eckhart) agree, you indeed realize that you are one with the entire Kosmos, a nondual awareness that persists through waking, dream, and deep sleep states: you have finally undone the Cartesian dualism.

[4] As Nagarjuna demonstrated, the ultimate relation of subject and object cannot be stated in words but only realized with Enlightenment (satori). Any attempt to state the ultimate relation of subject and object by using relative words will fail. This relationship can be shown (with satori), but not said (without satori). This applies only to aspect #3b of the mind-body problem.

[5] See note 15 for chap. 14 in Integral Psychology, which also gives the endnotes in SES.

[6] Kindred Visions is still in the process of being edited and assembled. We had so many wonderful contributions we are at a loss as to how exactly to proceed. Most likely we will simply post all of them on Integral Institute's website once it is up and running. Stay tuned to Shambhala.com for more information.

[7] Technically, "we" is first-person plural, and "you" is second person. But I include first-person plural ("we") and second person ("you/Thou") as both being in the Lower-Left quadrant, which I refer to in general as "we." The reason I do so is that there is no second-person plural in English (which is why southerners have to say "you all" and northerners say "you guys"). In other words, when "we" is being done with respect, it implicitly includes an I-Thou relationship (I cannot truly understand thee unless WE share a set of common perceptions).

[8] And "for the record," I first used the phrase "the 1-2-3 of consciousness studies" in a conversation with Frances Vaughan and Roger Walsh in 1996. Roger had come up with what he called a "20-20" rule, which is that it would be great if funding organizations had a rule that at least 20% of funding had to go to research in each quadrant. This got us to talking about an upcoming talk that Frances was going to give, and we decided that she should call it "The 1-2-3 of Consciousness Studies," as a shorthand for the Big-Three approach of integrating first-, second-, and third-person approaches. I can't remember whether Frances or I first came up with that phrase--they can't remember, either--but we did agree she would call her talk by that title. Immediately thereafter I began using that phrase as another shorthand for the Big Three approach to consciousness. Two years later I made some of the endnotes in The Eye of Spirit the basis of an article in JCS with the title "An Integral Theory of Consciousness," which was written in 1996 and published in 1997--again, well before de Quincey's paper crossed my desk--and parts of which were actually published in the Noetic Sciences Review, where de Quincey works. The first printed use of the phrase "the 1-2-3 of consciousness studies" occurred in 1996 as I edited "An Integral Theory of Consciousness" for its eventual inclusion in volume 7 of the CW, where the phrase can be found in several places, such as p. 378. And then, with Integral Psychology, I used the phrase "the 1-2-3 of consciousness studies" as a chapter title--all of this in a type of homage to that conversation with Frances and Roger, and which I personally trace to Roger's "20-20" rule.

[9] Wilber (2000c) gives these examples p. 570.
 
 
 

 
 
Appendix B: Intersubjective Nuances (by Sean Hargens)
Figure 1: Intersubjectivity as (Cultural) Context
 
Definition
The structures created by intersubjective meshworks, which are unavailable as an object. These structures are constitutive of the subject.
Examples
Structures include: Linguistic, ethical, cultural, aesthetics, and syntactic. [9]
Thinkers
Foucault, Derrida, Saussure, and Heidegger.


Figure 2: Intersubjectivity as Resonance
Definition
The degree of "mutual understanding" between two holons based on the degree in which depth and span-domains are shared and similar.

Divisions
Depth-Domain: The degree of depth (vertical axis) of the Kosmos
represented.
Worldspaces: Unconscious resonance between two subjects who
share physical and/or emotional domains.
Worldviews: Conscious resonance between two subjects who share a
subjective level of psychological development.*
Span-Domain: The amount of span or width (horizontal axis) of the
Kosmos represented.
Including: culture, language,
Thinkers
Gebser, Elgin, Schutz, Aurobindo, and Habermas
* See Figure 2.5 for the three dimensions within the concept "worldview."
 
 
Figure 2.5: Dimensions of a Worldview
Intersubjective
The cultural worldview resulting from the average level of development of any given culture at any time.
Subjective
The personal worldview resulting from the average level of development of an individual. Can either be in sync with the general culture, but can be both higher and lower then that.
Objective
The level of reality that an individual chooses to focus on with their subjective worldview.*
*This process results in a cartography of over two dozen worldviews.

 
Figure 3: Intersubjectivity as (Phenomenological) Space
Definition
The felt-experience of dimensions of intersubjectivity.
Divisions
Resonance: How one experiences the depth and span they share with other holons.
Relationships: How one experiences relationship with other subjects.
Spirit: How one experiences the ground of Being.
Thinkers
Husserl, Schutz, Grof, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, and Abram
*Recall, intersubjective structures are not available to felt-experience, rather this is refers to how one experiences their culture

 
Figure 4: Intersubjectivity as Relationships
Definition
The way we identify and have relationships with other subjects/objects.
Divisions
It-It: An objective subject in relationship with an objective object.
I-It: A subject in relationship with an object.
I-I: A subject in relationship with a subject.
Solidarity: Relating to another subject because they mirror you (e.g.,
your values, creed, ethnicity, nationality, gender).
Difference: Relating to another subject as a subject despite the fact
that they are different from you in important ways.
Thinkers
Kegan, Irigaray, Benjamin, Buber and Whitehead
 


Figure 5: Intersubjectivity as Spirit
Definition
The transcendental quality to the relationship that allows for any dimension of intersubjectivity to manifest.
Divisions
All four dimensions: Context, resonance, space, and relationship.
Thinkers
Wilber, Emerson, Schopenhauer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Institute for Transformation of World and Christianity