Date of Award

8-8-2005

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Timothy M. Renick - Chair

Second Advisor

Kathryn McClymond

Third Advisor

Jonathan Herman

Abstract

This thesis compares philosophers Ken Wilber (Integralism) and Leonard Peikoff (Objectivism), who argue that Western philosophy is saturated with a fallacious mind/body dichotomy, which they trace historically and psychologically. Wilber’s and Peikoff’s agendas, worldviews and starting points are contrasted, specifically, Wilber’s holons, Kosmos model, the Big Three Value Spheres and Peikoff’s metaphysical axioms. Their definitions of consciousness are reviewed, along with their mutual epistemological emphasis on knowledge as contextual. Wilber makes mystical validity claims supported by stages of cognitive development. Discussed attributes of the mind/body dualism are: regression and repression; control versus chaos; hedonism, uniformity and authoritarianism; Subjectivism and Intrinsicism; Ego-agency versus Eco-communion. Both philosophers maintain that each partial strategy collapses into the dysfunctions of the opposite strategy. Their respective models of resolution through integration are presented in conclusion, particularly Wilber’s case for nondual Self-realization.

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