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Intersubjective Musings. A response to Christian de Quincey's 'The Promise of Integralism'

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Abstract:

This essay highlights the problematic way in which Christian de Quincey has interpreted Ken Wilber's approach to intersubjectivity. By redressing de Quincey's account, I not only provide a more nuanced understanding of Wilber's actual position but demonstrate ways in which Wilber's 'all-quadrant, all-level' framework can serve the multivalent nature of intersubjectivity more comprehensively than hitherto accomplished by any approach to consciousness. Toward these ends the essay is divided into three parts. The first part sets the stage by examining de Quincey's treatment of Wilber's polemic period, the ontological status of 'feelings', and how Wilber's treatment of intersubjectivity can lead to misunderstandings. The second part takes a close look at how both de Quincey and Wilber approach intersubjectivity. I will concentrate on exposing how de Quincey's failure to observe Wilber's use of key terms (e.g., interpretation, mutual understanding) leads him to offer up something that is already contained and surpassed in Wilber's writings/model. The third part (re)examines key passages from Wilber that de Quincey is using to buttress his argument. In the conclusion I summarize de Quincey's pitfalls and offer some reflections on the need for a multidimensional framework for intersubjectivity.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California Institute of Integral Studies. Email: integralecology@yahoo.com

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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