IS THIS AN ACADEMIC THINK TANK OR A SUPPORT GROUP for individuals suffering from metatheory?
Here's what the Archdisicplinary Research Centre (ARC)
says about themselves: [We are] a nonprofit organization. We are a growing collective of independents and academic scholars who have created and/or work between big picture frameworks that synthesize everything humanity has learned about ourselves, the world, and the universe, and we apply that knowledge for greater good.
Of course we are all endlessly exhausted and intrigued by such lofty aspirational claims. Likewise we are both weary and excited by every new attempt to “go meta.”
The journey of human abstraction moves from colloquial knowledge into many diverse disciplines of study. Some things cannot be solved in this manner and that gives rise to interdisciplinary experiments. These, in turn, attract and motivate the projects of various high-level transdisciplinary thinkers. What comes next?
What do we do collectively with individuals and movements oriented around integrative transdisciplinary metatheories
? People obsessed with Big Picture/Big History attempts to discover relatively simplified patterns that both incorporate all unfolding knowledge domains & explicate the ontological patterns that straddle all epistemologies.
It is a weird and abstract task that a small number of people feel driven to engage. Yet it may also be fundamentally necessary in order to help produce a coherent human civilization that can do sensemaking across all its divergent disciplines.
Historically this task fell to the great alchemical philosophers and “renaissance men.” It is also found in occult history. The basic patterns of Kabbalah, for example, are notoriously applicable across all fields of human experience. Since Hegel we have wanted a more rational, math-friendly & historicized way of doing supratheories. Since Ken Wilber we have been trying to do this work with types-of-perspectives -- and trying to enfold models of maturation, developmental complexity and emergent novelty.
Today this work is no longer just in the hands of a few famous white male authors. The contributors are more diverse, more computational, more embedded & much more oriented toward mutuality. That's where ARC comes into play.
Its recent presentation
at the Consilience Conference (organized by ARC member Gregg Henriques) highlights its goals:
(a) developing and evaluating theories of the patterns shared across various types of transdisciplinary metamodels, and
(b) recognizing, supporting and promoting the work of such theorists in a shared spirit of non-grasping, non-status-asserting welcome.
The organization includes folks like Daniel Gortz, Cory David Barker, Layman Pascal, Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, Gregg Henriques, Brendan Dempsey, Bruce Alderman and more (even including a still tragically small number of women!).
Their "research lab
" is fun and their Facebook Community
is just getting started.
The claim of diversity still needs some work but generally that sounds pretty good. It gets a little murkier, however, when it comes to the provocative claim that metamodernism
gives way to a new, barely discerned, social stage called archmodernism
* BONUS *
Their introductory booklet Foundations of Archidisciplinarity