Jump to content

The Epistemic Perspective By Whitehead


minsocal
 Share

Recommended Posts

The following describes what can be viewed as a radical form of pluralism. Boree comments that this is perhaps the most difficult of the various perspectives one might adopt. I find it challenging, but many of my Progressive Christian friends think it is, at least, worthy of consideration.

 

The Epistemic Perspective (Boree, 1998)

 

The true, ultimate reality is therefore understood as the sum of all these [individual]perspectives, plus much that is unperceived. Unlike the objectivist approaches, which insist that we subtract our subjectivity from our observations to arrive at an ultimate reality much reduced from experience, the epistemic view sees ultimate reality as all views added together, and then some! The perspective, then, could be labeled intersubjective, rather than subjective or objective, or we could use the term phenomenological. Whatever label we give it, it is accepting of multiple perceived realities and deals well with the difficulties of relativity and uncertainty, yet maintains a “faith” (which is nonetheless founded empirically and rationally) in ultimate reality.

 

Moral values are phenomenological (necessarily involving consciousness), yet have their own ontological reality ...another real qualitative dimension. There are a variety of individual and social perspectives. These perspectives are respected, but one does not shy away from recognizing that some are better than others (Boree, 1998).

 

Note: The last sentence is probably the most provocative. It should not be seen as a challenge to others to defend their own perspective.

 

Comments?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read Boree's work, so I'm hesitant to comment in major way.

 

This statement:

the epistemic view sees ultimate reality as all views added together, and then some!
makes me think of Process Theology, which I'm not a fan of.

 

On the other hand, the last statement:

These perspectives are respected, but one does not shy away from recognizing that some are better than others (Boree, 1998).
is definitely a statement I agree with.

 

 

I completely agree that we need to make room for a variety of individual and social perspectives (pluralism). But there are limits when it comes to respecting other people's social perspectives. The example I've used before is the cultural practice of female circumcision (genital mutilation). No one will ever persuade me to accept this cultural practice as part of my ultimate reality.

 

I don't see the journey of wisdom as a never-ending dialectic. I see it as a helix. Sometimes it looks as if we're going in circles, but when viewed from a different perspective (sideways) the path of evolving wisdom can be traced.

 

Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever label we give it, it is accepting of multiple perceived realities and deals well with the difficulties of relativity and uncertainty, yet maintains a “faith” (which is nonetheless founded empirically and rationally) in ultimate reality.

 

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of philosophical jargon. But I seem to get the idea that this sentence indicates an each way bet - that we construct our concept of reality from the 'seen' as well as from the 'unseen' worlds. If that is what the thrust of this debate is about I would tend to agree - generally.

 

However, what the statement does not indicate is anything more than a 50/50 split. While I accept some empirical evidence I lean more to intuition - more like a 80/20 split.

 

The argument then is raised - how does one gain intuitive knowledge? But, of course, such question can only asked by an empiricist - inituitives have no need to demonstrate their knowledge base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The argument then is raised - how does one gain intuitive knowledge? But, of course, such question can only asked by an empiricist - inituitives have no need to demonstrate their knowledge base.

 

Intuition is a cognitive mode or capacity, not a complete personality. It is simply a matter of switching modes as needed. You can examine your intuitions rationally and emprically if you like. The same can be said for your emotions.

 

Cognitive capacities should not be confused with acquired enhancements of those capacities. Everyone has the capacaity called "intuition". Some develop that capacity as they mature more than others, and so on ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intuition is a cognitive mode or capacity, not a complete personality. It is simply a matter of switching modes as needed. You can examine your intuitions rationally and emprically if you like. The same can be said for your emotions.

 

Cognitive capacities should not be confused with acquired enhancements of those capacities. Everyone has the capacaity called "intuition". Some develop that capacity as they mature more than others, and so on ...

 

Thank you for stating this so clearly.

 

Not only can we examine both our intuitions and our emotions rationally and empirically, I don't think it's possible to achieve a state of peace, healing, and relationship with God unless we consciously choose to look at our intuitions and emotions with our logic, and to look at our logic with our intuitions and emotions.

 

Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for stating this so clearly.

 

Not only can we examine both our intuitions and our emotions rationally and empirically, I don't think it's possible to achieve a state of peace, healing, and relationship with God unless we consciously choose to look at our intuitions and emotions with our logic, and to look at our logic with our intuitions and emotions.

 

Jen

 

It's helped me heal many wounds, but it took a while I must admit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . but it took a while I must admit.

 

Yes, ditto that. I am somewhat in awe of this great mystery -- the slow leavening that time provides to raw experiences and raw commitment. It's the part that will not yield to logic. It happens as it happens, unique to each person. There are many things that can be taken away from a person -- but not the kind of healing you describe.

 

Best wishes to you,

Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And what can I say of this topic?

 

What is bearing false witness?

 

When one adds to an account or changes the concept to fit an ideological belief one bears false witness, just as Constantine did and then ordering all previous texts expunged so that no trace of any changes would exist in written form. How many great leaders have twisted reality to conform to their particular persepctives? Do we have another today?

 

The foundations of all Religions are crumbling as Humanity is put on trial, is it no wonder that the world is burning, melting, sinking or quaking as a result of flawed and false beliefs?

 

I know the effects of false witness and how bearing false witness affects a person's life and relationships.

 

Do you really know the truth and do you really want to know the truth?

 

Can you see the flaws in the twisted testimonies in the Bible, maybe you first need to study what a lie really looks like...

 

I know you get it when you reply how awful an experience a case of judicial misconduct is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service