Episode 13: Integral Theory and Geography (part 2)

In this second part of my conversation with geographer Dr. Brian Eddy, we explore the relationship between nomothetic and idiographic types of knowledge, and how much of our knowledge of the world is situated and contextualized. We discuss how enduring patterns of reality (nomothetic patterns or habits) manifest in particular settings in multiple ways, and give colour to local geographies and life circumstances (idiographic aspects). Here we draw upon Ken Wilber’s concept of ‘cosmic grooves’ and their relation to the creative and the more conserving tendencies of reality. Further on we introduce Sean Esbjörn-Hargens (Integral Ecology) concepts of the ‘Who’, the ‘What’ and the ‘How’ of acquiring knowledge of the world.  Brian takes it a step further in constructing the concept of ‘geo-ontological contingency’, whereby he emphasizes the addition of  the ‘Where’ and the ‘When’ of any given phenomena or event (space-time coupling). Toward the end of this session, we touch upon perspectivism and why Ken Wilber considers perspectives to be the most fundamental aspect of reality.

Listen to part one of our conversation.

NB! We strongly recommend reviewing the figures provided below when following our conversation. You might want to print them out, or you can open big versions of the pictures by clicking the images on this page (images will open in a new tab).

If you feel inspired or provoked by our conversation feel free to add your comments after the interview. You can also send in a written piece of work and get it published together with this episode. Further details can be found here.

Episode links

Brian Eddy (CV)
Integral Geography: Space, Place, and Perspective (academic paper)
AQAL Topology — An Introduction to Integral Geography and Spatiality (academic paper)
Ken Wilber
Integral Institute

Michael Zimmerman
Sean Esbjørn-Hargens



James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (34) er lærer og arbeider i Osloskolen. Han har bred erfaring innenfor dialogbasert prosessledelse, nærværstrening og konflikthåndtering. Ta kontakt med James på følgende adresse: james.arnfinsen @ gmail.com
James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (34) is a teacher, his subjects being geography, religious studies and sports science. He is currently working as a teacher in Oslo, Norway. In his spare time he practices Aikido, a Japanese martial art.