The Institute for Cultural Evolution launched today. Founded by Elizabeth Debold, Carter Phipps and Steve McIntosh, the non-profit is dedicated to combating climate change and important world issues by a unique, peace-making and developmental approach. Based on Integral Theory, a socio-cultural framework developed by Ken Wilber, the think tank promises to alleviate “grid-lock” in politics by bridging the gap between conservatives and progressives, ecological activists and white collar corporate culture.
I’m interested to see what will happen when the rubber hits the road for Integral Theory. Although more loosely based on Ken Wilber’s philosophy – McIntosh being an independent thinker – the foundational principles are largely the same. I remain wary after the publication of “Integral Trans-Partisan Politics,” over at Integral Life, which inspired a joint publication/response over at Beams and Struts. I hope that this new think tank takes a broader, and more diverse approach to social problems. (more…)
I interviewed McIntosh just this past summer. We talked in Chelsea, just near the High Rise, and I experienced Steve’s breadth and depth of ideas first-hand (and left with my head buzzing on the whole concept of the dialectic of history).
Steve’s book is no less impressive. The text is passionate, articulate, philosophical and clear. He covers a lot of ground for the book’s size (roughly 300 pages), and explores topics that I feel are fresh in the world of integral literature and philosophy; even covering some of the more controversial topics, like making a case for progress in light of the critical mind of the postmodern world. Whether or not you will agree with each of his arguments, I think Steve is able to present a totally fresh case for a teleological and progressive worldview that is worth considering. A more thorough exploration of Evolution’s Purpose is forthcoming (look out for blogs in the coming months).
For those who have picked up Carter Phipp’s Evolutionaries and wish for a deeper look at evolutionary philosophy, this is it.
In the meanwhile, here’s a recent video of Steve discussing his book:
Steve takes me through the big themes in his book: explaining what the purpose of evolution is through integral philosophy, rooted in a dialectic of history and reaching back to philosophers like Hegel, Whitehead, and the mystic Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin. I’ve always found McIntosh to one of the most unique integral authors in that he offers his own interpretations. His first book, Integral Consciousness, offered both praise and criticism of Integral Theory, as popularized by Ken Wilber.
The conversation was compelling and energized– you won’t find a more articulate expression of the integral-evolutionary philosophy. Hope you enjoy our dialogue: