24.9.09

hijacking new world orders

So I noticed while reading Mark Edwards' "Where is the Method to Our Integral Madness" that he basically states the reason why Meta-theorizing is still kind of a "fringe" discipline is because there is no real Method for proving any of the assumptions that meta-theorists come up with (am I right in taking this conclusion from that paper?); That there is no formal infrastructure with which to prove or solidify hypotheses, and the result is that:

"Integral meta-theory will not take its full place among the mature forms of scientific disciplines until it too has reliable methods for (re)searching the good, the true, the beautiful and the just." 185 Edwards

While I wasn't completely clear on Wilber's Integral Methodological Pluralism (except to say that we should all appreciate each others unique insights and contributions) I was wondering if Merry's "Evolutionary Leadership" may perhaps be (at least the start to) that infrastructure needed to determine the validity of a meta-theoretical assumption.

That is, for a community (which accommodates a meta-theory) to display the CHANGE CYCLE; the 5 TENETS that lead to the evolutionary impulse of which 4 CORE ELEMENTS come to emerge; CHANGE CONDITIONS; DESIGN FLOW; and ultimately the EMERGENCE OF COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE (out of which we facilitate a necessary change) through its structural processes...-if these key aspects are considered the actions of those who apply the meta-theory proposed, then could these processes possibly constitute the necessary method with which to in fact prove the theory? To paraphrase, perhaps the meta-theory is only able to be proved by charting the RESULT of its theoretical manifestation (simply by displaying these common traits) AFTER people abide by it?

I know this runs into the problem that in the absence of other methods, research communities will simply APPLY a format rather than act as contributors and critics to a living system, but I got the feeling that meta-theories really couldn't be institutionalized first because they are the constructions of a new world view that can't be proven UNTIL they are actually in effect, and by then it WOULD be proven because it ALREADY exists in actuality--which to me was what the opening anarchistic quote was speaking to in that it is impossible to nail down an assumption because all our tools (science, rationality, logic...) are NOT universal measures of excellence. It's a contradiction that helps us understand the world, though it's too vast to actually prove empirically, aside from us ASSUMING the theory is right and living our lives accordingly.

"Creating the conditions in our physical selves which will maximize our ability to respond to emerging needs is therefore a key part of leading ourselves from an evolutionary perspective." Merry 78

Because "self" is the vanguard of any movement, there is no way to prove a theory is accurate aside from first adopting it fully, and second, acting from/through/out of that prime motivator; which makes it impossible to check the validity of the theory until it's already in motion.

However, considering that meta-theories are built from unit theories (that are constructed using methods) then wouldn't they be implicitly true by default?

Maybe I'm missing something crucial, or perhaps stating the obvious, but it just seems that meta-theories appropriate and co-opt discovered truths and fuse them together to serve the authors own vision of reality, to get the audience to see the way the author sees. And it can't really be proven false until it fails as a cultural perspective (but what would that even look like? Reality would have to be in direct opposition to the proposed theory after it was instated), right?

Anyway, if any of that's true, then I like meta-theory that much more because it seems like it is founded at its core by freedom, as long as its backed up by pre-established facts. In this respect, we would be free to do anything, as long as we could (integrally) justify doing it!

No comments: