Friday, June 26, 2009

Alliance between expressivism and religion lends a supposedly divine justification

Esalen Conference on Fundamentalism: Jewish Fundamentalism Conference Summary
Judaism and Religious Extremism
Shlomo Fischer opened the conference by questioning the validity of the term "fundamentalism" when referring to radical religious Zionists.

As Fischer noted, when Hegel, for example, was translated into Hebrew, the translators used Kabbalistic terms throughout as technical equivalents for Hegel's terms. This caused Hegel to appear rather closer to Kabbalistic thought than he may in fact have been, but also caused readers to think of the Kabbalah in Hegelian expressivist terms.

Expressivism leads quickly to the ideals of self-expression, what Charles Taylor has called the "ethics of authenticity." In such systems of thought, the highest ethical ideal is to be true to one's interior self, to express in the world one's privileged individuality. As Taylor and others have noted, this ideal is a peculiarly modern one, and is all but unknown in traditional systems of thought. Fischer argued that the combination of traditional Kabbalah and modern expressivism has resulted in the radicalization of religious Zionism, often with dangerous political and religious consequences. It is too easy to say that when religious people do terrible things—plotting to blow up a sacred site, for example, or engaging in acts of suicidal violence—they are not behaving religiously. To the contrary, acts of systematic intolerance and violence are often propagated by people who are genuinely religious (or have real "religious experiences"). When religion is tied to authenticity and expression, the religious task too easily becomes indistinguishable from the call to actualize, express, or authenticate one's own personal or will (or political will to power). Moreover, it is no accident that the central issues for such groups often revolve around violence and sexuality, for if the religious task is the re-sanctify all human life, nothing requires re-sanctification more than those most primordial urges.

Politically, this alliance between expressivism and religion lends a supposedly divine justification to what are otherwise secular projects and so tends to inculcate a dangerous political extremism. Religiously, this alliance is also suspect, for it too often ends by making an idol of the individual or community's will. In modern Israel, this is most clearly seen in the way that the "will of the people" is regularly taken to express a sort of divine sanction. Here, especially, we can see the extent to which these supposedly conservative religious groups are in fact very modern. Radical religious Zionists should not be understood as regressive defenders of an idealized past, but as peculiarly modern religio-political movements. The absolutizing of the general will is an expression of secular nationalism more than of traditional religion. In modern Israel, the equation (what some what call the confusion) of national will with religious witness has given rise to the slogan: the voice of the people is the voice of God revealed to the prophets.

This Israeli version of the vox populi gets invoked constantly in contemporary Israeli politics and leads to one of two peculiarly modern political stances. On the one hand, a revolutionary populism identifies the vox populi with the discontented and disenfranchised voices of the nation and so calls for political revolution. This is a form of revolutionary modernism (think of Georg Lukacs, Henri Lefebvre, Walter Benjamin, et al.) with a Zionist twist. On the other hand, a Statist party goes further and actually identifies the vox populi with state of Israel, as such, because the state is held to be the entity most representative of the Israeli people in all of their diversity (a position mirrored in secular politics by the Hegelian right). Statist rabbis and movements may vigorously disagree with the decisions of the secular government but will, nonetheless, finally cooperate because they believe that doing otherwise would be to disobey God's voice speaking through the nation-state. The recent disengagement from Gaza, which was opposed by almost all radical Zionist parties, went so smoothly because the settler rabbis were Statists and so faithfully acquiesced to the will of the government, despite their own serious objections to the policy.

As a final practical observation, Fischer noted how this attention to the vox populi explains why radical religious Zionists are eager to dialogue with their Israeli counterparts (whether secular or religious, liberal or conservative) but see little need to dialogue with Palestinians and Arabs. Both Statists and populists see the Israeli people as somehow organically expressing the will of God and so, even if they fiercely disagree, they have to pay attention to each other. Arabs, however, are excluded from this organic conception of the nation and are thus little more than bit players in a drama that centers on the relationship between God and the people/nation of Israel. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ray Brassier & Roy Bhaskar

Ray Brassier is a member of the Philosophy faculty at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He was formerly Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University, London, England. He is the author of Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction and the translator of Alain Badiou's Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism and Theoretical Writings and Quentin Meillassoux's After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency. He first attained prominence as a leading authority on the works of François Laruelle. Brassier is of mixed French-Scottish ancestry, and his family name is pronounced in the French manner.

Along with Quentin Meillassoux, Graham Harman, and Iain Hamilton Grant, Brassier is one of the foremost philosophers of contemporary Speculative Realism interested in providing a robust defense of philosophical realism in the wake of the challenges posed to it by post-Kantian critical idealism, phenomenology, post-modernism, deconstruction, or, more broadly speaking, "correlationism". Brassier is generally credited with coining the term "speculative realism," though Meillassoux had earlier used the phrase "speculative materialism" (matérialisme spéculatif) to refer to his own position.

Brassier is strongly critical of much of contemporary philosophy for what he regards as its attempt "to stave off the 'threat' of nihilism by safeguarding the experience of meaning — characterized as the defining feature of human existence — from the Enlightenment logic of disenchantment". According to Brassier, this tendency is exemplified above all by philosophers strongly influenced by Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Unlike more mainstream philosophers such as John McDowell, who would press philosophy into service in an attempt to bring about a "re-enchantment of the world", Brassier's work aims to "push nihilism to its ultimate conclusion".

According to Brassier, "the disenchantment of the world understood as a consequence of the process whereby the Enlightenment shattered the 'great chain of being' and defaced the 'book of the world' is a necessary consequence of the coruscating potency of reason, and hence an invigorating vector of intellectual discovery, rather than a calamitous diminishment"[3]. "Philosophy", exhorts Brassier, "would do well to desist from issuing any further injunctions about the need to re-establish the meaningfulness of existence, the purposefulness of life, or mend the shattered concord between man and nature. It should strive to be more than a sop to the pathetic twinge of human self-esteem. Nihilism is not an existential quandary but a speculative opportunity."[4]

Brassier's work is unique for the way in which it attempts to fuse elements of post-war French philosophy with ideas arising from the (largely Anglo-American) traditions of philosophical naturalism, cognitive science, and neurophilosophy. Thus, along with French philosophers such as François Laruelle, Alain Badiou, and Quentin Meillassoux, he is also heavily influenced by the likes of Paul Churchland, Thomas Metzinger and Stephen Jay Gould. He also draws heavily, albeit often negatively, on the work of Gilles Deleuze, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On the Ontological Principle from Grundlegung by Tom

I take the Hegemonic Fallacy to be Levi’s main target. This is significant because it not only sets him against correlationism but also against the speculative realisms of people like Ray Brassier. Brassier embraces eliminativist lines of thought and would doubtless not shrink from the charge of scientism. Here, materialism would seem to introduce matter as ‘one difference that makes all the difference.’ In contrast, Levi is keen not to debunk the human and his ontology is oriented to be open ended and inquiry led: if it is found to make a difference, then it is real — whether it be Oedipus, evil, Edith Piath or an electron. This is captured in the Ontological Principle which results from the Ontic Principle: “Being is said in a single and same sense for all that is.” Indeed, this is all that Levi thinks can be said about being qua being; thus, ontology must be pursued on the ontic level, dealing with beings themselves.


Roy Bhaskar (born May 15, 1944) is a British philosopher, best known as a significant proponent of the philosophical movement of Critical Realism...

Critical realism
Bhaskar's consideration of the philosophies of science and social science resulted in the development of Critical Realism, a philosophical approach that defends the critical and emancipatory potential of rational (scientific and philosophical) enquiry against both positivist, broadly defined, and 'postmodern' challenges. Its approach emphasises the importance of distinguishing between epistemological and ontological questions and the significance of objectivity properly understood for a critical project. Its conception of philosophy and social science is a socially situated, but not socially determined one, which maintains the possibility for objective critique to motivate social change, with the ultimate end being a promotion of human freedom...

In 2000, Bhaskar published From East to West: The Odyssey of a Soul, in which he first expressed ideas related to spiritual values that came to be seen as the beginning of his so-called 'spiritual' turn, which led to the final phase of CR dubbed 'Transcendental Dialectical Critical Realism'. This publication and the ones that followed it were highly controversial and led to something of a split among Bhaskar's proponents. Whilst some respected Critical Realists cautiously supported Bhaskar's 'spiritual turn', others took the view that the development had compromised the status of CR as a serious philosophical movement.
In his Reflections on Meta-Reality, he states:
This book articulates the difference between critical realism in its development and a new philosophical standpoint which I am in the process of developing, which I have called the philosophy of Meta-Reality.
The main departure, it seems, is an emphasis on the shift away from Western dualism to a non-dual model in which emancipation entails "a breakdown, an overcoming, of the duality and separateness between things." However, this move was seen by some to undermine some of early Critical Realisms strongest aspects.

Whilst his early books were 'models of clarity and rigour', Bhaskar has been criticized for the "truly appalling style" (Alex Callinicos, 1994) in which his 'dialectical' works are written. Andrew Sullivan mocks him for writing sentences such as:

"Indeed dialectical critical realism may be seen under the aspect of Foucaultian strategic reversal - of the unholy trinity of Parmenidean/Platonic/Aristotelean provenance; of the Cartesian-Lockean-Humean-Kantian paradigm, of foundationalisms (in practice, fideistic foundationalisms) and irrationalisms (in practice, capricious exercises of the will-to-power or some other ideologically and/or psycho-somatically buried source) new and old alike; of the primordial failing of western philosophy, ontological monovalence, and its close ally, the epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual; of the analytic problematic laid down by Plato, which Hegel served only to replicate in his actualist monovalent analytic reinstatement in transfigurative reconciling dialectical connection, while in his hubristic claims for absolute idealism he inaugurated the Comtean, Kierkegaardian and Nietzschean eclipses of reason, replicating the fundament of positivism through its transmutation route to the super-idealism of a Baudrillard."

More serious criticisms have been levelled at the substance of Bhaskar's arguments at various points. One objection to Bhaskar's early CR is that it begs the question, assuming, rather than proving, the existence of the intransitive domain. Another objection, raised by Callinicos and others, is that Bhaskar's so-called 'transcendental arguments' are not really any such thing. They are certainly not typical transcendental arguments as philosophers such as Charles Taylor have defined them, the distinguishing feature of which is the identification of some putative condition on the possibility of experience. However his arguments function in an analogous way since they try to argue that scientific practice would be unintelligible and/or inexplicable in the absence of the ontological features he identifies.

More serious criticism has been levelled at the dialectical phase of his philosophy, which it has been alleged proves too much, since CR was already dialectical. Bhaskar's concept of real absence has been questioned by, among others, Andrew Collier, who points out that it in fact fails to distinguish properly between real and nominal absences (in "On Real and Nominal Absences", in After Postmodernism, 2001). Bhaskar's most recent 'spiritual' phase has been criticised by many, perhaps most, adherents of early CR for departing from the fundamental positions which made Critical Realism important and interesting, without providing philosophical support for his new ideas. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Object-ions ...I think Roy Bhaskar’s transcendental realism as developed in A Realist Theory of Science provides the resources for moving from the domain of epistemology to ontology. First, Bhaskar argues that the treatment of being according to the requirements of knowledge, or the reduction of being to knowledge of being, constitutes a fallacy that he refer... from Larval Subjects . - Jan 14, 2009 12:55 AM

Correlationism ...following Roy Bhaskar and his early transcendental realism, I think correlationism is guilty of the epistemic fallacy. That is, correlationism is guilty of collapsing ontological questions into epistemic questions, or of working from the premise that ontological questions can be completely reduced to epistemic questions. Because of this, corre... from Larval Subjects . - Jan 23, 2009 3:23 AM

Principles of Onticology ...From Roy Bhaskar’s Realist Theory of Science. Hegemonic Fallacy- The reduction of difference to one difference that makes all the difference or one difference that makes the most important difference. This fallacy arises from failing to observe Latour’s Principle and the Principle of Irreduction, thereby ignoring the singularities of the assemb... from Larval Subjects . - Feb 3, 2009 9:01 AM

Roy Bhaskar: Transcendental Realism and the Transitive and the Intransitive ...been reading Roy Bhaskar’s remarkable Realist Theory of Science over the last couple of weeks. I am still trying to fully understand Bhaskar’s position and arguments, so if I misconstrue it in what follows I would greatly appreciate the input and clarification of those more familiar with his work. Bhaskar attempts to develop a position he refe... from Larval Subjects . - Feb 3, 2009 2:57 AM

Cube & coffee

Lexi Neale’s AQAL Cube from Indistinct Union by Chris Dierkes
I was hoping to get to this a little earlier, but I’ve been very busy recently. Lexi Neale (whom I have no previous or other contact or knowledge of other than this essay) has written a very intriguing and challenging piece on the Ken Wilber blog offering a pretty radical re-interpretation of AQAL Integral Philosophy. He calls it the AQAL Cube–versus what he sees as Wilber’s AQAL Square.
Warning: His essay is heavy-duty intellectually and so will be my response.

I won’t bother trying to summarize his entire essay. It’s quite sophisticated and deserves to be read a couple of times, think about it. There’s an enormous amount in there. I’m just going to jump in. Neale writes:

Expanding the AQAL domain from Square to Cube may also entail expanding existing definitions, and in the course of this paper I will make every effort to clarify how and why an existing definition could be expanded to embrace the new territory being described. I will also try to preserve existing definitions. For example, the two AQAL Squares of the AQAL Cube will not be given “upper” and “lower” designations, because in AQAL Theory these apply to the quadrants of any AQAL Square. The two AQAL Squares of the AQAL Cube I will henceforth refer to as “below” and “above”; our possessive or material being below, and our non-possessive or non-material being above; or consciousness structures below, and the identity states inhabiting those structures above; or Empirical Consciousness quadrants below and Intuitive Consciousness quadrants above. These differentiations will be further clarified through the course of the paper.

You may notice here a potential re-metaphysicalizing of Wilber’s post-metaphysical turn. The distinction between our material being and our non-material knowing is potentially very mistaken. Namely the subtle knowing self is not non-material. It is rather a different form of materiality–or rather is both consciousness-materiality. In fact on this point, Neale seems to be contradicting himself by having a quadrant above–quadrants inherently involve materiality.

So on one hand we may see Neale as basically arguing for a renewed perennial philosophy in light of AQAL theory. The names so far most associated with that trend in integral world are Frank Visser and Alan Kazlev. The basic idea is that there are worlds above the gross material. Again calling it non-material is not helpful. Referring to layers of materiality would be better. Wilber’s view on this can be read here where he describes how gross material evolution must evolve so that the higher subtle energies-matter can shine through in this world. This is part of what he calls post-metaphysics or maybe better is called a deeply immanent this-worldly transcendence.

On the other hand, Neale may be onto something. But how I think about what he is onto is different than how he sees it. More on that point in a second.

But first…one of the difficulties with Neale’s works is that he is focused on the Quadrants. Now this is a fair assessment of Wilber’s work. Wilber tries I think unfortunately to fit all of the pieces of his theory into the quadrants. Levels and lines are show inside the quadrants. And as Neale correctly points out this screws up meditating deeply on the difference between states and structures. Whenever Wilber does a states/stages distinction he reverts to the Wilber-Combs Lattice which as you will note is not a quadrants view. Pretty much admitting you can’t fit that into quadrants. Much less types (which as a result don’t show up in Wilber’s work very much). And so on.

If however, we take an idea that is in Ken’s work but has largely been neglected–though picked up by Mark Edwards among others–quadrivia, then it can change. [Sidenote: Mark doesn't use the term quadrivia but it's essentially interchangeable with Ken's understanding]... Ken’s ideas of the quadrants is that they are four dimensions of any occasion. The occasion would be in this case the state and the quadrants the 4 dimensions of that state.

Also Mark Edwards and Daniel O’Connor have both pointed out the mis-identification of perspectives with quadrants in Wilber’s work and have shown how you can separate perspectives (modes of being) and quadrants (dimensions of being) out from one another and then relate them. Within what by Neale’s terms would still be called an AQAL Square.

I think Lexi has picked up on those points and they are wise ones to pick up on, but one can still have a non-AQAL Square view while still “just” having the quadrants. The Cube in those regards is not necessary.

In simpler terms, I think a lot of his criticism of the AQAL Square is a legitimate criticism of how Wilber too often tries to squish everything from AQAL into the quadrants with unhelpful results. A more nuanced take (like O’Connor’s/Edwards’) doesn’t I think have those reductions.
So to come back around to the real question: what is going on with this Cube and does it contribute anything? I think it does but I think it does in a way different than the author himself does...

But here again I have a slight disagreement with Neale (again I think). I think he is treating the levels in Wilber’s spectrum as an already essentially built structure. Again there are some (for me) worrying tendencies towards a re-metaphysicalizing. As Wilber says what we know draw as the level violet to ultra-violet may in the future become built as multiple stages.

They really aren’t there. Yet. And to the degree they are in an individual they are very deep but very thin. Plus they have no technological-social-behavioral-cultural matrix upon which to manifest those tendencies at this point in Kosmic development.

Still, this point about how the Tiers evolve I think is a stunning insight. It also seems to me not necessary to have to accept the idea of 2 planes (Empirical and Intuitive) in order to accept the Tier-driver hypothesis. States and stages can be subsituted for Empirical and Intuitive. In the first-tier they are the same. Or rather since they are fused, they don’t show up at all really. That was Wilber’s brilliant insight in critiquing Perennial Philosophy. In 2nd-tier they are differentiated. In third they shift. My sense of the shift is that is not (metaphorically) best described as above/below, but that’s a point of debate I’m open on. What I think is not helpful for sure though is reading that above/below distinction back down through the levels and then critiquing the earlier levels for being “reductionistic” when in reality, it’s more like, that information simply isn’t available in that world.

The Graham Harman Grant from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects

My contribution to the Graham Harman grant for his groundbreaking work here. You should contribute too. For just a few cents a day you can help lift a suffering Latour and Harman out of obscurity and promote their philosophical vision. It’s less than the price of coffee! Can you live with the knowledge that Harman and Latour are suffering while you buy your expresso? Support the Graham Harman grant now! Not only will you be helping Harman, but you’ll be getting a great book!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Constructivism, Perspectivism, Panpsychism, & Correlationism

Constructivism Definition
Constructivism is a philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in. Each of us generates our own “rules” and “mental models,” which we use to make sense of our experiences. Learning, therefore, is simply the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experiences. Home » About Learning, Content, Theories » Constructivism

Constructivist theory
Formalization of the theory of constructivism is generally attributed to Jean Piaget, who articulated mechanisms by which knowledge is internalized by learners. He suggested that through processes of accommodation and assimilation, individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences. When individuals assimilate, they incorporate the new experience into an already existing framework without changing that framework. This may occur when individuals' experiences are aligned with their internal representations of the world, but may also occur as a failure to change a faulty understanding; for example, they may not notice events, may misunderstand input from others, or may decide that an event is a fluke and is therefore unimportant as information about the world.

In contrast, when individuals' experiences contradict their internal representations, they may change their perceptions of the experiences to fit their internal representations. According to the theory, accommodation is the process of reframing one's mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences. Accommodation can be understood as the mechanism by which failure leads to learning: when we act on the expectation that the world operates in one way and it violates our expectations, we often fail, but by accommodating this new experience and reframing our model of the way the world works, we learn from the experience of failure, or others' failure.

It is important to note that constructivism is not a particular pedagogy. In fact, constructivism is a theory describing how learning happens, regardless of whether learners are using their experiences to understand a lecture or following the instructions for building a model airplane. In both cases, the theory of constructivism suggests that learners construct knowledge out of their experiences. However, constructivism is often associated with pedagogic approaches that promote active learning, or learning by doing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theory associated especially with Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), who named it, Edward Sapir (1884-1939), BENJAMIN LEE WHORF (1897-1941), Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) and Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996).
Perspectivism says that there can be radically different and incommensurable conceptual schemes (ultimate ways of looking at the world) or perspectives, one of which we must (consciously or unconsciously) adopt, but none of which is more correct than its rivals.

For Sapir and WHORF our own scheme is dependent on the language we use. Like some other forms of relativism, perspectivism is open to the objection that it cannot cater for itself: is the view that there are different conceptual schemes itself something arising only within one, non-mandatory, conceptual scheme? Also see: indeterminacy of reference and translation, though it has been claimed that this is inconsistent with incommensurability.

Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Friedrich Nietzsche that all ideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that we may make; this implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively "true", but does not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid... This view is outlined in an aphorism from Nietzsche's posthumously-assembled collection Will to Power.
In so far as the word “knowledge” has any meaning, the world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings.—“Perspectivism.”
It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives and their For and Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm.
– Friedrich Nietzsche; trans. Walter Kaufmann , The Will to Power, §481 (1883-1888) [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Perspectivism and Truth in Nietzsche’s Philosophy:
A Critical Look at the Apparent Contradiction
By Nate Olson

“There are no truths,” states one. “Well, if so, then is your statement true?” asks another. This statement and following question go a long way in demonstrating the crucial problem that any investigator of Nietzsche’s conceptions of perspectivism and truth encounters. How can one who believes that one’s conception of truth depends on the perspective from which one writes (as Nietzsche seems to believe) also posit anything resembling a universal truth (as Nietzsche seems to present the will to power, eternal recurrence, and the Übermensch)? Given this idea that there is no truth outside of a perspective, a transcendent truth, how can a philosopher make any claims at all which are valid outside his personal perspective? This is the question that Maudemarie Clark declares Nietzsche commentators from Heidegger and Kaufmann to Derrida and even herself have been trying to answer. The sheer amount of material that has been written and continues to be written on this conundrum demonstrates that this question will not be satisfactorily resolved here, but I will try to show that a resolution can be found. And this resolution need not sacrifice Nietzsche’s idea of perspectivism for finding some “truth” in his philosophy, or vice versa. One, however, ought to look at Nietzsche’s philosophical “truths” not in a metaphysical manner but as, when taken collectively, the best way to live one’s life in the absence of an absolute truth.
By looking at one of Nietzsche’s specific postulations of perspectivism, we can get a better idea of precisely how this term applies to his philosophy and how it relates to the “truthfulness” of his other claims. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche begins with a chapter entitled “On the Prejudices of Philosophers.” Almost immediately he begins to tear into the lack of integrity on the part of traditional philosophers who present their ideas as the product of pure reason.

Panpsychism from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro
In my last book, I wrote that Whitehead’s position, that all entities have a “mental” as well as a “physical” pole, needs to be distinguished “from the ‘panpsychism’ of which he is sometimes accused” (page 28). I now realize that this is entirely wrong; such a distinction cannot be made, because Whitehead’s position is, in a very classical sense, a panpsychist one. Moreover, panpsychism is a respectable philosophical position, and not something that anyone needs to worry about being “accused” of.

I come to this new understanding from reading David Skrbina’s work on panpsychism — the philosophical doctrine that “mentality” is in some sense a universal property of all entities in the universe, or of matter itself. Skrbina’s book, Panpsychism in the West, both argues for panpsychism as a philosophical doctrine, and gives an extended history of this doctrine. Skrbina shows that panpsychism has been a leading strand in Western thought for 2500 years, from the pre-Socratics through Spinoza and Leibniz, on to William James and Whitehead a century ago, and up to many thinkers today. The idea that everything in the world thinks, in some fashion, is far more prevalent than its “crackpot” reputation might lead us to assume.

Skrbina’s companion edited volume, Mind That Abides, contains essays on the possibilities of panpsychism by a variety of contemporary philosophers, ranging from analytic philosophers (among whom Galen Strawson is probably the best-known), through post-Whiteheadian process-oriented thinkers, to “speculative realists” along with other non-analytic metaphysicians (there are contributions from Graham Harman and Iain Hamilton Grant). Together, these volumes make a powerful case for the plausibility of panpsychism, as well as making it clear that Whitehead’s contention that all entities have some sort of incipient mentality is a central expression of the panpsychist doctrine. [...]

Panpsychist thinkers propose, against the eliminativists, that mentality is real. Against the emergentists, they propose that mentality doesn’t just come into being out of nothing; it is always already there, no matter where you look. Mind, in some form or other, exists all the way down. Panpsychists argue that mentality, or experience, is itself a basic attribute of matter (of subatomic particles, of quanta of mass-energy, of actual occasions, of minimal differences, etc.). In other words, mentality is not separate from physicality, but coextensive with it.

One might think of this, classicaly, in Spinozian terms (matter and mind are two attributes of the same unique substance) or in Leibnizian ones (every monad is at once material and mental, since it is both a particle of the world and a perspective upon the world). But Galen Strawson, David Skrbina, and others have reconceptualized these arguments in terms that are grounded in contemporary physics. As Strawson puts it, the “ultimates” out of which the universe is composed “are intrinsically experience-involving… All physical stuff is energy, in one form or another; and all energy, I trow, is an experience-involving phenomenon.”

This line of argument intersects in interesting ways with the arguments of the Speculative Realists. For it implies that mentality must be seen as intrinsic to the universe itself — rather than just being a feature of the way that “we” (human beings, rational minds, subjects) approach it. To restrict mentality just to human beings (and perhaps also to some other species of “higher” animals) is an unjustified prejudice, an instance of the “correlationism” denounced by Meillassoux, or the human-centeredness questioned by Harman. (This also accords with Whitehead’s frequent point that the duality of subject and object is a situational and always changing one. Every entity is a “subject” in some conditions or some relations, and an “object” in others).

In Skrbina’s anthology, both Iain Hamilton Grant and Graham Harman write about the relation between realism and panpsychism in ways that are too complicated for me to do them justice here. Grant argues for “panpsychism all the way down, that is, without exception”; but in doing so, he complicates the whole question of emergence. For his part, Harman is reserved with regards to panpsychism. He sees mentality as an inevitable component of any relationality, or interaction between objects; “objects collide only indirectly, by means of the images they present as information.” But objects are not reducible to the “information” that they transmit to other objects. Harman therefore denies the property of information, or mentality, to objects insofar as they are in themselves, and therefore to objects that do not enter into “vicarious” relations with other objects. And of course, for Harman, relationality is only incidental to, and not constitutive of, the nature of objects. Hence, for Harman, “even if all entities contain experience, not all entities have experience.” Grant’s and Harman’s articles both raise important issues that I do not have the space to pursue right now — I will have to leave them both for another occasion.

Quentin Meillassoux speaking in London on 8 May 2008 Monday, May 5th, 2008
Those of you who have read Graham Harman’s manuscript Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics will know that Quentin Meillassoux’s notion of correlationism features prominently in Harman’s assessment of Latour’s philosophy. Meillassoux will be speaking in London on the topic of “Time without Becoming” on 8 May 2008, at 5:30 pm at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University. Quentin Meillassoux’s book After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency is now also available in English in Ray Brassier’s translation and with Alain Badiou’s preface from Amazon UK. Further details about the event including directions available here. Tags: , , , , , , Posted in Bruno Latour, Graham Harman 1 Comment » ANTHEM » correlationism

Realism and Correlationism: Truth « Grundlegung 4 Jun 2009 ... This post will take a closer look at Meillassoux's treatment of truth in Kant and correlationism. I think something crucial goes amiss here ... Realism and Correlationism: Some preliminaries « Grundlegung 28 Apr 2009 ... This realism has been contrasted with a correlationist position, which is taken to infect much contemporary philosophy. ...

Meillassoux II: Correlationism and the Problem of Ancestrality ... Correlationism, by contrast, was seen to be the thesis that it is impossible to think being independent of the relation between thought and being. ... Correlationism and the Fate of Philosophy « Larval Subjects . As developed by Meillassoux, the predominant orientation of thought in contemporary philosophy is that of correlationism. Written in a crisp, ... Martin M. Rayburn's review of After Finitude: An Essay ... A Great Work of Contemporary Philosophy, June 24, 2008 By Martin M. Rayburn Meillassoux's first book is nothing less than a completely original and meticulously argued philosophical manifesto. Drawing upon the ontology of his teacher, Alain Badiou, Meillassoux aims to prove what was only implicit in Badiou's "Being and Event": the absolute contingency of all being. A writer working largely within the tradition of continental thought--often decried for its putative obscure prose and shoddy methods of argumentation--Meillassoux (unlike Badiou) never sacrifices clarity, and displays a stunning capacity to take down canonical philosophers with implacable reasoning. Although he will doubtless be exposed to criticism as his argument gains a wider readership, Meillassoux has already, in this slim volume, circumvented the many of the critiques that could be thrown his way.

"After Finitude" targets two principal philosophical opponents: the metaphysician and the correlationist. The prime representative of the metaphysical tradition here is Descartes, whose assertion of the absolute goodness of God allowed him to "prove" the existence of an objective world exterior to the human subject. Although Meillassoux is sympathetic to Descartes' attempt to think the absolute--and takes Descartes' metaphysical presumptions seriously--he also recognizes that the metaphysician's reliance on either the principle of sufficient reason or at least one necessary entity (God, atom, history, etc.) hinders any engagement with unconditional truth.

This repudiation of metaphysical dogmatism not withstanding, Meillassoux's primary adversary is the correlationist (Kant and his disciples fall under this category), who subordinates knowledge of the "great outdoors" to its relation with a human being, a thinking subject, Dasein, etc. The correlationist cannot properly interpret the "ancestral" realm that preceded all forms of life. He either rejects the claims of science altogether or qualifies them by confining their truth-value to the world of the scientist and his instruments. Thus, the correlationist "retrojects" this ancestral past and denies its temporal priority with respect to the human present. Meillassoux's most ambitious project in AF is to break the "correlationist circle" whereby human access to the world is hypostatized at the expense of both world itself and thinking as such. Meillassoux shows that the correlationist must either covertly presuppose a world without humans, or "absolutize the correlation" and hence reinstate the dogmatic position he claims to have eschewed.

So what remains to be thought after correlationism? For Meillassoux, philosophy's objective is to reinvestigate ancient metaphysical problems and find new solutions. Meillassoux takes a large first step here by arguing that contingency alone is necessary.

My primary encounter with the world is not theoretical

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Alok never wanted a court case against Peter": To Copernicus: "No, they'd rather not have that freedom . . ."

Perhaps YOU would rather not have that freedom although you seem more than anxious to exercise it here. As you feel so strongly on the issue why don't you write and publish your own book to better inform what you consider to be all those "mislead" readers of Heeh's book? That would be constructive and something to be genuinely proud of rather than mere easy and unreflective criticism. Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era Open Forum at 12:33 PM, June 23, 2009

Re: Unending Desire: de Certau's 'Mystics' by Philip Sheldrake Debashish Mon 22 Jun 2009 02:50 PM PDT

He also challenged Christian exclusivity by saying publicly, "Christianity is something particular in the totality of history.... It cannot speak in the name of the entire universe." This earned him the immediate censure of the Catholic church. His teacher Lubac now denounced Certeau's views and defended the universal Church and its hierarchy. He attacked his former student as a "Joachimite," seeking, as had that medieval visionary, a golden age of pure spirituality without Church institutions or disciplinary institutions of any kind.

It wasn't true that de Certeau was entirely against institutions. What he was calling for is a critical tradition of thinking and practice which resists the inevitable attempt of institutions and organized ideologies to form human subjects and capture identity within their collective mental constructs and prescriptions. DB

(title unknown) from enowning by enowning
Shunya's Notes on the dearth of A.I..

In many ways, Heidegger stood opposed to the entire edifice of Western philosophy. A hammer, he pointed out, cannot be represented by just its physical features and function, detached from its relationship to nails and the anvil, the physical experience and skill of hammering, its role in building fine furniture and comfortable houses, etc. Merely associating facts, values or function with objects cannot capture the human idea of a hammer, with its role in the meaningful organization of the world as we experience it.

Simon Critchley makes a similar point in this week's installment on B&T.

Heidegger insists that this lived experience of the world is missed or overlooked by scientific inquiry or indeed through a standard philosophy of mind, which presupposes a dualistic distinction between mind and reality. What is required is a phenomenology of our lived experience of the world that tries to be true to what shows itself first and foremost in our experience. To translate this into another idiom, we might say that Heidegger is inverting the usual distinction between theory and practice. My primary encounter with the world is not theoretical; it is not the experience of some spectator gazing out at a world stripped of value. Rather, I first apprehend the world practically as a world of things which are useful and handy and which are imbued with human significance and value. The theoretical or scientific vision of things that find in a thinker like Descartes is founded on a practical insight that is fascinated and concerned with things.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We are one in body and one in time

Yahoo Study Group of 'The Gnosic Circle' & Supramental Cosmology
Lori Tompkins 10.29.06 11:03 AM

An ongoing Yahoo group is being set up for students interested in approaching/studying the work of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. The group will be studying The Magical Carousel and The Gnostic Circle* in the context of the Supramental Yoga, the evolution of Consciousness, and the establishment of a Gnostic Civilization based on Knowledge of the Whole.

The Group, suggested and approved by Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, will be moderated by Patricia Heidt, author of 'The Sacred Fullness' (in the process of publication) and resident of Aeon Center of Cosmology in Southern India, as well as Robert E. Wilkinson and Lori Tompkins. Contact Robert Wilkinson ( if you would like to join the group. More details will be posted here as available.

*The books available through Aeon Group at [Note for anyone in the San Fransisco Bay Area, USA, Lori ( has extra copies for sale] webpage announcement:

E Pluribus Unum by Lori Tompkins The Vedic realization of the One that is equal to the Many has been recalled by Indian sage Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950):. ‘We see that the Absolute, the Self, the Divine, the Spirit, the Being is One; the Transcendental is one, ...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 A Blog is Born Considering disharmony is a byproduct of forgetting what one truly has in common with others, this blog is meant as a place to remind myself and my fellow earth-mates that we are not only 'one in the spirit' as the song goes, but we are also one in body and one in time. If we leave out the last two in our quest for knowledge or spiritual growth, I think harmony among human beings will remain an ideal and not a realization. Posted by Lori Tompkins at 5:47 PM 1 comments

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bentham argues that religion is in direct competition with secular law

Ferguson, Frances (1947 -) Coherence and Changes in the Unknown World New Literary History - Volume 35, Number 2, Spring 2004, pp. 303-319 The Johns Hopkins University Press

This essay undertakes to understand Foucault's interest in classification in The Order of Things as a contribution to debates about the availability of beliefs. If a standard defense of the possibility of religious belief involves claiming that religious belief does not need justification, it seems to make religious belief (and all sorts of beliefs about things that are not part of the world of experience) look as though it is a mere product of the wills of individuals. Foucault's analysis of historical shifts in the conceptual operations performed by classifications does not suggest, as some commentators have thought, that there is no distinction between facts and fictions.

Instead, his view implies that the modern era recruited concepts for the world of experience, so that individual examples and the concepts that identified them in terms of their types were related more actively to one another than to unseen causes beyond the world of experience. Bentham's discussion of religion in The Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind of 1822 serves to indicate exactly how far the modern understanding of individuals in relation to groups or types in the social and experiential world came to compete with the possibility of belief in an unseen deity as a cause of the world of our experience.

In Bentham's account, belief in a deity who dispenses posthumous rewards and punishments is not a mere supplement to human law with its present structure of rewards and punishments. Instead, Bentham argues that religion is in direct competition with secular law and its evaluations of human actions, that religion does not give meaning to life but rather deprives human action of significance. Project MUSE Journals New Literary History Volume 35, Number 2, Spring 2004 Coherence and Changes in the Unknown World

Law Ought Not be Centrally Planned (by Don Boudreaux) from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux

In a free society, law isn't simply, or even chiefly, a set of explicit commands handed down from a sovereign (be it a monarch or a democratically elected legislature). A great deal of law - indeed, most law - emerges undesigned from the daily practices of ordinary people interacting with, and sometimes bumping into, each other. People on their own often find ways to minimize these conflicts, and these ways become embedded in people's expectations. These expectations, in turn, become unwritten law - law that good judges find and enforce impartially.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A philosophy is different from what we shall call a teaching

Marko Says: May 2nd, 2007 at 2:29 am
Hi Alan,
I would propose the distinction between Integral philosophies and Integral teachings. I see that in the Integral community the two are not enough delineated while I think it helps to do so.
I found this little explanation of the difference between teachings and philosophies by a professor of the university of Virginia in an article on concsiousness:

“A metaphysical philosophy is a purely conceptual structure that is presumed to be a logically self-consistent description of some aspect of reality. It does not necessarily include techniques for experiencing this reality. A philosophy is different from what we shall call a teaching. The purpose of a teaching is to help a student to know a reality, no matter whether it is phenomenal or noumenal. Since the emphasis is on knowledge rather than on logic, a teaching may use whatever concepts and techniques work in bringing the student to the desired knowledge. A teaching often will have a philosophical basis, but there is no particular requirement to adhere rigidly to it.”

I see Wilber etc. create an integral philosophy, meaning their purpose is to describe in a logical self-consistent way as many aspects of reality as possible.
Aurobindo, Almaas etc. have integral teachings, meaning their purpose is to help their students know (by experience) as many aspects of reality as possible.
Now I am not saying that one is better then the other, I find both of them interesting although I am more interested in the second. But I do see a confusion in the Integral community between the two that would help the discussions if there was more clarity.
And also I see Integral philosophers use concepts from teachings (like for instance Advaita) that are not meant to be used in the philosophical way, but in the teaching way, that is only as pointers for students to find the knowledge themselves through jnana or gnosis. I think you can use these concepts for a philosophical system, but if you then afterwards refer back to the teaching you should not treat it like a philosophy but as a teaching.

alan kazlev Says: May 2nd, 2007 at 5:54 pm
Hi Marko
What you say rings very true
I especially resonate with these words
Integral philosophers use concepts from teachings (like for instance Advaita) that are not meant to be used in the philosophical way, but in the teaching way, that is only as pointers for students to find the knowledge themselves through jnana or gnosis.
This is where I myself differ from the whole Wilberian and Post Wilberian movement. All these discussions and abstracted mental ideason these various forums are just taking these teachings out of their original very pragmatic spiritual milieu, making them into something that to me at least is arid and dry and very mentally abstract.
Interesting to see how little response there has been to my Aurobindo post (only Tusar and yourself as yet). Perhaps this is because Sri Aurobindo can really only be appreciated as a teaching, he can’t be understood as an intellectual philosophy. Those who approach him as an intellectual philosophy - without the practical spiritual connection that sadhana provides - get it completely wrong. This was pointed out by Satprem somewhere in the Agenda, and also I mentioned this in my first essay on Integral Wiorld, regarding Wilber’s misunderstanding of Sri Aurobindo.
Obviously, for me what is interesting and useful is the Teaching, not the Philosophy!

alan kazlev Says: May 2nd, 2007 at 6:02 pm
I should say nevertheless that I totally support the discussions and so on on this and otehr such forums, and for that matter intellectual and philosophical discussionb in general. Just that for the most part it isn’t my thing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Natural Theology of Beauty, Truth and Goodness

Integral World Reading Room Essays Top 50
What's new? Reading Room Wilber Watch My Wilber Book Links Contact

ANDERSON Nonviolence of Nonmetaphysics
Ken Wilber on His Health
Ken Wilber Videos on YouTube
The Depth of the Exteriors, Part II
Integral Design: Ken Wilber's Views on Evolution
Art and Postmodern Criticism
The Wild West Wilber Report
India: Aryan Patriarchy and Dravidian Matriarchy
Integralism and Orgianicism
The Natural Theology of Beauty, Truth and Goodness
The Integral Cycle of Knowledge
The Future of Art and Art Criticism
Stages of Social Development
Is Conciousness Physical?
Christianity: The Great Lie
The Science of Sufism
A Brief History of Holons
Poststructuralism and Postmodernism
Meditation Notes from Ken Wilber
Six Criticisms of Wilber's Integral Theory
Integral Project Management
The Depth of the Exteriors, Part III
Integral Mathematics
The Human Growth Continuum
Revisioning Individuation
Defending the Uncanny
The Wilberian Paradigm
On Ken Wilber's Integral Institute
The Many Faces of Islam
Integral Psychosynthesis, Part I
What is Spirituality?
AQAL, The Next Generation
Subtle Bodies, Higher Worlds
The Myth of Islam as a Religion of Peace
Psychological Analysis of Ken Wilber's Beliefs
Frank Visser on Ken Wilber (Video Interview)
Integral With A Twist
Integral Transformative Practice
Review of "Integral Spirituality"
Perennialism, Postmodernism, Integralism
Integral Theory
Postmodern Spirituality, Part I
The Integral/Holistic Paradigm
An Artistic View of Mental Disturbance
A Spectrum of Wilber Critics
Global Cultural Evolution, Part I
Ken Wilber's AQAL Metatheory
Review of "The Integral Vision"
The Wilberian Evolution Report
The Trouble With Ken Wilber: A Plea for a Change of Discourse

Following the argument where it leads

The Dialectical Tradition in South Africa
By Andrew Nash

This book brings into view the most enduring and distinctive philosophical current in South African history—one often obscured or patronized as Afrikaner liberalism. It traces this current of thought from nineteenth-century disputes over Dutch liberal theology through Stellenbosch existentialism to the prison writings of Breyten Breytenbach, and examines related themes in the work of Olive Schreiner, M. K. Gandhi, and Richard Turner. At the core of this tradition is a defence of free speech in its classical sense, as a virtue necessary for a good society, rather than in its modern liberal sense as an individual right.

Out of this defence of free speech, conducted in the face of charges of heresy, treason, and immorality, a range of philosophical conceptions developed—of the self constituted in dialogue with others, of freedom as transcendence of the given, and of a dialectical movement of consciousness as it is educated through debate and action. This study shows the Socratic commitment to "following the argument where it leads," sustained and developed in the storm and stress of a peculiar modernity. ISBN: 9780415975308 Published June 15 2009 by Routledge.

Climacus on the Uniqueness of Christianity as a Transcendent Religion
from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen

Johannes Climacus, whose view often overlaps with Kierkegaard’s own view yet is never to be simply identified with the latter, emphasizes Christianity as a transcendent religion. By this he doesn’t mean to suggest that there is no continuity whatsoever between nature and grace or that grace destroys nature. Rather, his point is to stress the uniqueness of Christianity in comparison with what he calls “immanent” religions, religions that do not require any kind of divine revelation but which arise from the human mind itself and are, as you might guess, obtainable by unaided human reason or via religious experience.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What is Contemporary Indian Political Philosophy?

Home Go to New Titles Forthcoming Titles Asian Studies (General)
Indian Political Thought
A Reader

Edited by Aakash Singh, Silika Mohapatra
Price: $41.95 Add to Cart ISBN: 978-0-415-56294-2 Binding: Paperback (also available in Hardback) Published by: Routledge Publication Date: 31st December 2009 (Available for Pre-order) Pages: 312

Table of Contents: Foreword Amartya Sen Introduction: What is Contemporary Indian Political Philosophy? Aakash Singh and Silika Mohapatra Part 1: Provocation 1. The Poverty of Indian Political Theory Bhikhu Parekh Part 2: Evocation 2. Gandhi's Ambedkar Ramachandra Guha 3. The Quest for Justice: The Gandhian Perspective Neera Chandhoke 4. The Making of the Mahatma Shahid Amin 5. In Search of Integration and Identity: Indian Muslims since Independence Mushirul Hasan Part 3: Secularization 6. Is Secularism Alien to Indian Civilization? Romila Thapar 7. Secularism Revisited: Doctrine of Destiny or Political Ideology? T.N. Madan 8. The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism Rajeev Bharghava Part 4: Consecration 9. Sikh Fundamentalism: Translating History into Theory Harjot Oberoi 10. The Blindness of Insight: Why Communalism in India is about Caste Dilip M. Menon 11. Dalit Political Theologyand Its Reception in Indian Academia Aakash Singh Part 5: Modernization 12. Gandhi, Newton and the Enlightenment Akeel Bilgrami 13. Scientific Temper: Arguments for an Indian Enlightenment Meera Nanda 14. Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity Sudipta Kaviraj Part 6: Revolution 15. Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood Ashis Nandy 16. Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism Gyan Prakash 17. The Commitment to Theory Homi Bhabha Part 7: Emancipation 18. Justice of Human Rights in Indian Constitutionalism Upendra Baxi 19. Imperial Parody Ratna Kapur 20. Righting Wrongs Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Part 8: Conclusion 21. Contemporary Political Philosophy in India: Concluding Remarks on Concepts East and West Partha Chatterjee

About the Author(s)
Aakash Singh is Research Professor at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics at Luiss University, Rome, Italy.
Silika Mohapatra is Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, India.
© 2007 Routledge, member of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa Business

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Giri engages Jurgen Habermas and Sri Aurobindo in a thought dialog

Knowledge and Human Liberation - Excerpts from Ananta Kumar Giri Annotated by Debashish Banerji
from Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ by Debashish
This is an annotated introduction to the first chapter of a recent book Knowledge and Human Liberation by Ananta Kumar Giri of the Madras Institute of Development Studies.

The essay tries to engage Jurgen Habermas and Sri Aurobindo in a thought dialog. The potency of Jurgen Habermas (1929 - ) in a postmodern era has sustained itself due to the questions of human liberty, equality, ethics and understanding he has prioritized over those of knowledge, identity or experience. Habermas’ most powerful contribution to contemporary thought has been in the theorization of the “public sphere.” In elaborating its implications, Habermas focuses on what he calls “communicative reason.” Communicative rationality, according to him, is "oriented to achieving, sustaining and reviewing consensus - and indeed a consensus that rests on the intersubjective recognition of criticisable validity claims.”

This discipline of intersubjective practice restores the lifeworld from its fragmentation under ideological or economic (commodified) alien consolidations. Thus Habermas’ communicative speech acts operate under an implicit faith in Human universality and its inevitable collective experience as social and individual knowledge, a continuation of the Enlightenment ideal. A discplined intersubjective praxis of creative communication can very well be seen as a part of the social realization of an integral spiritual ideal in a plural field.

Usually this has not been clearly described or prioritized by scholars and practitioners of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Non-Dualism, the emphasis having been directed towards the articulation of a universal (integral) Psychology, in terms taken from Sri Aurobindo’s own writing. But such denotative asocial descriptions have tended to subjugate phenomenological variety and social/cultural/personal experience. As a consequence, the danger of a totalitarian epistemology in the name (nomos) of Integral Theory has asserted itself with its own institutional disciplinary agents, who have increasingly tended to police out (violently if necessary, as the contemporary controversy related to the recent biography, The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, alarmingly and overwhelmingly demonstrates) all subjective interpretation of the way to this goal, and thus to the possibility of a plural realization of the Integral Yoga.

Against this background, the comparative and cross-cultural dialog between Habermas and Sri Aurobindo initiated by Ananta Giri is a salutary intervention. Using each to critique the limits and possibilities of the other, Giri shows how the rational assumptions of knowledge in the Enlightenment ideal lead to aporia which have been amply documented by postmodern thinkers, but which receive a higher validation through the transcendental ontology and praxis of Sri Aurobindo; just as the susceptibility to ontotheological abstraction and totalism of Sri Aurobindo’s phenomenology and praxis when reduced to an Integral Psychology, Integral Theory or Integral Religion can be safeguarded for a plural space through disciplines of intersubjective communication as developed by Habermas.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

ICIS-IGNOU: An Introduction to the Vedas in the Light of Sri Aurobindo

International Centre for Integral Studies
Upcoming Events
Foundations of Growth of Consciousness
Friday, 7 August, 06:00 AM » Thursday, 31 December, 11:55 PM
An Introduction to Integral Studies: Key Ideas from the Works of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother
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Paradigms of Psychological Knowledge: A Historical & Cross-cultural Perspective
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An Introduction to the Vedas in the Light of Sri Aurobindo
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Anuradha Agrawal
An educational, not-for-profit trust, located in New Delhi, India, ICIS is a unit of The Gnostic Centre ( ICIS offers WEB-BASED learning through ONLINE POSTGRADUATE LEVEL courses in liberal arts through a consciousness perspective, derived largely from the spiritual philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. ICIS courses are certified by IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India). Contact:,

Discussions Forum Site news
by Anuradha Agrawal - Tuesday, 2 June 2009, 11:50 PM
The Postgraduate Certificate Courses in Applied Integral Studies are offered ONLINE by ICIS, in collaboration with IGNOU, under the School of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies (SOITS).
The students can accumulate credits towards a PG Diploma (24 Credits) or a Masters (66 Credits) in Applied Integral Studies, through these courses which are 6 to 10 credits each.
Courses beginning 7th August, 2009:
Facilitator: Suneet Varma, PhD
Credits: 8Duration: 150 days
Facilitator: Vladimir Yatsenko
Credits: 8Duration: 150 days
Facilitator: Ameeta MehraCredits: 8Duration: 150 days
Facilitator: Monica GuptaCredits: 6Duration: 120 days
For Application form & Details - as well as Enquiries, e-mail to: ; . Call: +91-9811066667, 9810052545, 9810515693
Course categories
Foundations of Growth of Consciousness
Paradigms of Psychological Knowledge:A Historical & Cross-Cultural Perspective
An Introduction to Integral Studies: Key Ideas from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
The Integral Way of Sri Aurobindo
An Introduction to the Vedas in the Light of Sri Aurobindo