Integral Science LO30702

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/13/03

Replying to LO30696 --

Dear Organlearners,

Vana Prewitt <> wrote:

>I'm wondering if any of you (hello, At?) are familiar with
>Integral Science. I'm coming into contact with some of the
>major principles through the work of Sally Goerner (After
>the Clockwork Universe).

Greetings dear Vana,

I have seen phrases like "integral science of religion" (Georg Schmid),
"integral science of psychology" (Ken Wilbur) and "integral science of
economics" (Ludwig von Mises). Where possible, i followed them up to see
what the phrase is about. In most cases it is a sensitivity to wholeness
for a general subject like religion or psychology. It seems to me that the
first person to have used the phrase "integral" in the sense of wholeness
was the Swiss cultural philosopher Jean Gebser more than fifty years ago.

I suddenly wondered how many people using the phrase "integral science"
were aware that it concerns wholeness. So i used Google's advance
search engine and typed in the 2nd window
   integral science
I got 6 970 hits. I the added to the first window
and got only 99 hits. I replaced wholeness with
and got a mere 27 hits. My curiosity grew. The wholeness of science began
with Goethe, the first person ever to become aware that science had been
fragmented into too many independent subjects. So i replaced holism with
and got 23 hits.

Goethe believed that those who do not search actively for wholeness in
specifically science and knowledge at large live in a world of illusion. I
specifically mention Goethe because many Western people think that the
present post-modern infatuation with wholeness is caused by taking too
much attention of Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism.

Integral science is not the only concept concerning wholeness doing the
rounds. There are also general systems theory (Ludwig von Bertalanffy),
consilience (HO Wilson) and holism (Jam Smuts).

>I'm curious if anyone else has applied the integral lens to
>organizational learning.

Vana, i used in Google both the phrases "organizational learning" and
"integral science". I got two hits, but without anything substantial in
them. But as long ago as the fifties of the previous century, Bertalanffy
pointed out that systems thinking without wholeness is powerless. Now, is
"organizational learning" without systems thinking and thus a sensitivity
to wholeness possible? I do not think so. Senge also considers wholeness
as essential to the LO.

I notice that you end as usual with
>Vana Prewitt
>University of North Carolina Hospitals
>and Praxis Learning Systems

My recent experiences in my faltering health convinded me that at least
here in South Africa our health system is in dire need of a far greater
sensitivity to wholeness.

My own mother tongue Afrikaans illustrate the deep connection between
health and wholeness. One of the words for doctor is "heler" (healer) and
the word for whole is "heel".

I think that you ought to learn as much of the principles of integral
science to understand how much wholeness apply to the health of body and

With care and best wishes


Vana Prewitt <>

At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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