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Title: Towards a new axial vision : a complex integral realist perspective
Author: Marshall, P. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 9195
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis aims to sketch the contours of a vision that moves beyond the dominant paradigm or worldview that underlies and governs modernity (and postmodernity). It does so by drawing on the remarkable leap in human consciousness that occurred during the Axial Age and on a cross-fertilization of what are arguably the three most comprehensive integrative metatheories available today: Complex thought, integral theory and critical realism – i.e. a complex integral realism. Its evolutionary / developmental perspective sees both the Axial Age and European modernity as different expressions of the same underlying mental / rational structure of consciousness, the first in a more balanced and ‘efficient’ manifestation, the second unbalanced and ‘deficient’. Axial Age thought involved a both a ‘standing back and looking within and beyond’, a process captured in its three breakthrough domains of cognition, ethics and spirituality. European modernity, on the other hand, entailed a more exclusively cognitive ‘standing back’ and lacked a balancing ‘looking within and beyond’. Tendencies intrinsic to the mental structure first appeared in axial Greece as the seeds of four biases – analytical over dialectical, epistemology over ontology, presence over absence and exterior over interior – which were later accentuated by its distorted expression in European modernity. By deploying the three integrative metatheories, it recounts the consolidation of these biases in modernity, the challenges to them and their underlying paradigm / structure throughout the 20th century, and the remedies provided by the three integrative philosophies – remedies that have paved the way for a new vision. The thesis then outlines some of the contours of a ‘new axial vision’ that is appropriate for the 21st century, one that integrates the best of premodernity, modernity and postmodernity and that is embedded within a complex integral realist framework. It includes sketches of a ‘new axial cosmology’ and an updated version of the three axial breakthrough domains.
Supervisor: Bhaskar, R. ; O'Regan, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available