Basic Perspective Some fundamental perspectives
One should therefore think evolutionarily, historically, and logically, structurally. These concepts are often perceived as contradictory, as either-or, as opposites, where structure, for example, indicates a static model, and history, for example, a successive developmental model. However, the idea here, influenced by Hegel, Habermas, and Wilber, is to establish a framework from which developmental psychology, especially, can be understood as structural similarities within a developmental stage, a critical phase, an epoch.
Phylogeny and ontogeny are combined into an epochal order structure with some “ages” or developmental phases that exist simultaneously and mutually influence each other. This is based on three “swaying” basic perspectives:
- The classical/mechanical
- The thermodynamic
- The cybernetic
The CLASSICAL/MECHANISTIC orientation is defined by an order structure that seeks a fixed point. The world is in harmony. My goal is to show that the celestial machine is not a kind of divine being but rather a kind of clockwork, as Johannes Kepler wrote.
For example, in mechanics: a clock, a solar system, and an eternity perspective where the mystery of the planets is solved, reversibility in time. Things repeat, energy can be transferred. Bringing order to chaos, finding unchanging principles, unchanging quantities that lie behind and can explain the immense variety of transient phenomena, the movements in the manifest we see around us.
From Plato, Aristotle, Columbus, Copernicus, Galileo, to Kepler and Newton. Philosophical consciousness first emerges with natural philosophers, Thales, Plato, Socrates, viewing consciousness as the element that connects principle and the manifest. Doubt as the principle of philosophy, cf. Socrates’ defense speech. Freud’s therapy as a meta-philosophical teaching situation. It involves the ability to distinguish, to mediate between A and B.
The THERMODYNAMIC orientation – the break with feudal connections, mythology, and images of gods is under “scientific” liquidation. Energy can be produced, the steam engine, time becomes irreversible, things cannot be undone. Working with closed systems where energy changes, deteriorates.
Philosophically, it is particularly defined by the idea of development and recapitulation, from Darwinism and biology – what is “primitive/wild” was just something “lower/earlier” that is now tamed. A research perspective influenced by continental developmental thinking. To be is to be. To be is to learn, to be is to be learning. To be learning is to reflect, which is to be reflective, and so on. To the matter itself. The self as a subject or the self as a reflexive project? The self as a result of enlightenment, the individual’s exit from Hegelian “master/slave relationships,” exit from Kantian “nonage.” The history of civilization as a developmental process. The positivist (Comte, Marx) belief in science and progress. Positivist knowledge, scientific knowledge, is the highest and most developed form of knowledge. Research characterized by ideological/moral understanding. Time has direction: Starts positively – the grand narrative of liberation – but ends in the metaphor and pessimism of decline. It goes downhill, a mythic age, Ragnarok, imperialism. Freud: The burden of culture. Sexual liberation is impossible. In philosophy (Central European thought), Husserl, Ehrenfels, Meinong, Heidegger. Structuralism and semiotics, literature, and linguistics: Saussure, Hjelmslev, Peirce, Austin, ending with Wittgenstein. Emerges, resurfaces as Metasystem Transition Theory and Wilber’s evolutionary thinking.
The philosophical and scientific environment is characterized by secularization: the order of nature is not divine. From Comte, positivism, belief in science and progress. Positivist and scientific knowledge are the highest and most developed forms of knowledge: describe, explain, predict, causality (S/R). From religious, political to scientific. Legal: from fist law to courtrooms. The communicative actions and arguments of the noosphere. The farewell to the German Philistine. The emergence of strategic thinking.
Social development, from around the turn of the century. Not the individual biological body but the social body and culture as a starting point. Durkheim, Parsons, role theory, social position, abstract subjects, status, age, gender, group, etc., to predict and control behavior. Capital logic, administrative science, social anthropology, and role theory, aggression and herd behavior, class struggle, social characters.
The Renaissance concept of the individual, the division into individual/society. The abolition of serfdom, the law on compulsory education, a freely self-administering individual, liberated from external pressure. Increased politicization, private schools, church laws, the breakthrough of industrialization, urbanization requiring systematic upbringing and education. Morals and norms must be internalized, and the individual must acquire formal knowledge and skills detached from concrete contexts and tasks. Can be analyzed separately. Childhood and youth are invented. Around 1900, social psychology emerges.
Hegel, Feuerbach, Engels, and Marx. The ability to think abstractly in Hegel’s sense: historical and logical, Reich and Adorno/Horkheimer and the Frankfurt School. Lucas, Marcuse. Fromm, Critical psychology (Holzkamp). The cultural-historical school and Soviet psychology: Leontjev, Vygotsky, Luria. Activity theory.
The CYBERNETIC orientation – working with self-regulating, open systems, emergence, creating a new order. Symbolic interactionism, Cooley and Mead, and constructional alternativism: Kelly. Cybernetics, connectionism, and information theory. Ken Wilber, Bateson, Capra, Grof. Pregorine with autopoesis. Chaos theory, fractal mathematics, catastrophe topology. The world contains structures that make “specificity imply generality.”
Phylogeny is combined with ontogeny = recapitulation thinking; cybernetic psychology = scientism = Hegel’s absolute spirit. Freud’s libido = kundalini. Evolutionary psychology = anthropological psychology, “Atman” is equated with consciousness in dynamic change – the grand narrative of liberation as a project. Historical and logical in the Hegelian sense. Wilber’s/Huxley’s holons. Structure and system as hierarchical metaphors/metonyms – constructs/schemes (Kelly, Piaget) – totality is overarching. Creative intelligence. Consciousness transcends the brain.
Biological ecology, Gaya hypothesis, eco-fascists. From the big bang to the present: the origin of planets, Gaya hypotheses, life on earth. The first humans: hunter-gatherers to farmers, the Asian mode of production (slaves), feudal/tyrants, capitalism/communism towards the information society? Ancient philosophy = “perennial philosophy” (Huxley, Leibniz) – modern dynamic/cybernetic/narrative psychology. Psychosemiotics = literary studies. The noosphere/Wilber.
Ontogeny: the individual repeats the species’ development in condensed form. Cellular consciousness. Knowledge as linguistic memory. The 3 brains (crocodile, mammalian, frontal lobes). Rodney Cotterill on the master knot and Freud on the magic block. Mirror image (Cooley, Mead, Blumer on symbolic interactionism). The emergence of the reflective self (I, we, and its language). Personal identity, gender, family, group, social responses. Intentionality confronted with necessity. Dewey and Bandura: social learning. Interpersonal cloning and deutero-learning (Bateson). Myth and metaphor by Lakoff.
The Oedipal cloning. Situated learning and social responses. Legitimate peripheral participation. Birth/Grof, as the first “fulcrum,” dome reversal, catastrophe, phase matrix for personal crisis-like shifts in identity, needs, and morals.
Bowlby on attachment theory: the “self” as a cybernetic self-regulating system, homeostasis, a secure base – ontological security. Stern on the development of self-sensations and changes in interpersonal relations.
Freud’s psychosexual development, Erikson’s epigenetic principle and life stages, Piaget’s cognitive developmental stages (egocentrism), Mahler’s object relations theory and separation/individuation phases, Stern’s self-sensations – the self-induced companion. Kohut’s narcissistic injuries. Allport’s “proprium.” Maslow’s self-actualization and Jung’s individuation process – archetype like animistic and magical gods drawn/cloned via Kelly’s role repertoire.
Evolutionary psychology: Habermas seen as a synthesizer – not analytical, consciousness-philosophical, but involves pragmatics, analytical philosophy of language, structuralism, psychoanalysis, (Wilber also Buddhism and contemplative and psychological directions) – each of which, separately, is paralyzed and powerless without an understanding of communicative action.
Therefore, Habermas, due to the differentiation of reason into three forms of knowledge and cognition, advocates for a critique that cannot be justified historically, pointing to the conversation situation and the telos and meaning formation that might lie in reaching an agreement. Points to language, which with an inherent “telos” – purpose, manages to bring conversation partners to a common understanding.
For example, Habermas seeks a synthesis of an argumentation and truth theory with an evolutionary theory: a theoretical and an empirical linguistic statement and analysis level. Freud’s psychoanalysis and Mead’s Symbolic Interactionism. Critical theory and critical psychology.
For example, Habermas points to Piaget and Kohlberg’s developmental processes, which are translated into stages in learning processes of different developmental stages: societal formations and worldviews. Recapitulation thinking. Just as with Freud, phylogeny and ontogeny are intertwined. Habermas takes the side of reason/modernity as an evolutionary and emancipatory project – in contrast to poststructuralists and system functionalists (who advocate irrationalism and nihilism) and also opposed to dogmatic fundamental ontologies (Heidegger). Habermas reads reason into a real historical tendency and framework and not just a subjective one.
The dual nature of reason and irrationality propels it forward (Horkheimer). Everything has a life cycle, including society, organizations, and individuals, a beginning, a middle, and an end. Capitalism means a giant step in the emancipatory possibilities of individuals, new forms of identity, and moral consciousness – conversely, capitalism comes to act as a hindrance to the continued emancipation of people – system logic wins over the lifeworld, no residual potential of critical observation. The meme complexes of systems logic win through clever manipulation over the meme complexes of the lifeworld. The instrumental reason’s autism, crime, and violence legitimized by the phantasmagoric mimesis and circus. Ecology is excluded as a dangerous virus, a mockery to protect narrow economic egocentricity.
Hegel’s totality is rewritten in Habermas’s communicative action as: the insights of the conversation partners are partially true and partially useful – one should use the strengths and incorporate these magnitudes. Similarly, the different psychological directions are partially true – as far as they go!
Truth as enlightenment, as a process – we have it from Kant. We are an audience, language users, communicating. We assume the existence of a reality independent of us and language – which, in turn, only appears as a fact because we are language users. Language and reality cover each other, and it presupposes a mutual relationship between language (users) and reality. It presupposes, as with Kant, some necessary conditions for language use (necessary logical relations between words and concepts – without these situated relations, there are no words and concepts) – language use refers to logical facts without which reality does not exist, something we can talk about. But with Hegel: even these relations undergo change and have a phylogeny and ontogeny – history and logic.
Where Marx focuses on materialistic historiography with all the emphasis on the development of productive forces. Habermas, on the other hand, can more precisely point out that it is the relations of production (changes in communicative hierarchies) that create the conditions for the powers of production. There is a close connection between the system and the lifeworld: changes in the lifeworld’s communicative hierarchies are a prerequisite for the system to differentiate itself. There is a constant influx and outflow due to the necessary progression of generations from cradle to grave.
The thinking individual as a starting point – experience as symbolic vividness as a basic orientation. The self and the others are not final entities – the ego and you/we mutually create each other through symbolic interaction. I and you/we as a dialectical unity in a social meme-responsory, where symbolic forms condition (symbolic interaction like language and other cultural forms) the meaning content, interpretation context, context hierarchies.
The binding problem, the master knot, Freud: the magic block! The back of the optic nerve is the projection field – through which reality takes shape. The world around me is black – only the light entering through the eye provides the data that allows the brain, like a monitor, to experience reality as real. Pineal gland.
The dialectic between the recognized and recalled in the limbic apparatus ensures that meaning is constantly produced. Memory!