January 26, 2010

Integral Sociocultural Studies and Cultural Evolution

Towards a more integrative approach to the analysis of collective development and the possibility of an Integral egalitarianism.

By Mark Edwards

What I hope to show in the following [essay] is that the basic principles of Integral philosophy itself, when applied consistently to the issue of sociocultural evolution, raise some serious concerns regarding the assessment and ranking of cultures on global unidimensional scales of development, irrespective of how universal or cross-culturally valid those scales may be. I maintain that, if we apply the same developmental logic that Wilber has proposed for individual growth to the collective domains, then Integral philosophy should regard global assessment and ranking practices as invalid and unnecessary in many instances.

In addition to this, because Integral philosophy actually incorporates the valid perspectives of the transpersonal philosophies and Nondual revelations, it should be a voice for a type of Kosmic egalitarianism which, according to many scriptures and sacred teachings, has absolutely no place for the grading of evolutionary attainment, whether that be for individuals, cultures, or other collective forms.

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