This post continues from the previous in this series, which looked at integral ecophilosopher Sean Esbjorn-Hargens’s writing on the ontology of climate change. Here I examine the relationship between leading integral theorist Ken Wilber, integralist Esbjorn-Hargens, and process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.
It’s a little difficult to separate Wilber’s and Esbjorn-Hargens’s views on Whitehead. I will simply refer to “IT” (Integral Theory) in speaking of both their views, though these are generally ascribable to Wilber. (And I should note that identification of the term “Integral Theory” with Wilber himself is not uncontested.) I will use “KW” (Wilber) or “EH” (Esbjorn-Hargens) when quoting from specific written sources. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes attributed to EH will be from his article “Integrating Whitehead: Towards an Environmental Ethic,” which is found online, undated and unpaginated, at the integralworld.net website. Most of the Wilber references are either from “Appendix A: My Criticism of Whitehead as True but Partial,” found here, or from printed sources, especially The Eye of Spirit: An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad (1997) and Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (orig. 1995, revised 2000).