Monday, April 30, 2012

Translated Excerpts from a French Integral Theorist

Edgar Morin, French sociologist/philosopher
I often found that the best way to understand a complex idea is to understand how it's different from other similar ideas. Understanding what something is NOT is an essential part of understanding what it is: it clearly delineates the boundary. It's an aspect of Integral Theory that was immediately appealing to me, it emphasizes differentiating between things that are seemingly identical, looking deeper than the surface of things.

It's a quality I discovered recently in the French philosopher Edgar Morin, and it made me want to offer you a few translated excerpts in this post. Morin is a contemporary integral thinker that Sean Esbjörn-Hargens compared to Wilber and Roy Baskhar (unpublished source). Sean suggests that while Wilber's work focuses primarily on psychology and spirituality (Upper-Left quadrant), and Bashar's on the intersubjective realm (Lower-Left), Morin's "Complex Thinking" finds coherence in systems of systems (Lower-Right).

Here are some chosen excerpts1 that integralists might find, if not familiar, at least relevant to how they think about Integral Theory. Enjoy! (all emphasis below are mine)