Ken Wilber's four quadrants  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Upper-Left (UL)

Interior Individual

e.g. Freud

Upper-Right (UR)

Exterior Individual

e.g. Skinner

Lower-Left (LL)

Interior Collective

e.g. Gadamer

Lower-Right (LR)

Exterior Collective

e.g. Marx

Ken Wilber's four quadrants is a theoretical model by American philosopher Ken Wilber.

Each holon, or unit of reality that is both a whole and a part of a larger whole, has an interior and an exterior. It also exists as an individual and (assuming more than one of these entities exists) as a collective. Observing the holon from the outside constitutes an exterior perspective on that holon. Observing it from the inside is the interior perspective, and so forth. If you map these four perspectives into quadrants, you have four quadrants, or dimensions (these are unrelated to the three spatial dimensions).

To give an example of how this works, consider four schools of social science. Freudian psychoanalysis, which interprets people's interior experiences, is an account of the interior individual (or, in the diagram, the upper-left) quadrant. B. F. Skinner's behaviorism, which limits itself to the observation of the behavior of organisms, is an exterior individual (upper-right) account. Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics interprets the collective consciousness of a society, and is thus an interior plural (lower-left) perspective. Capitalism economic theory examines the external behavior of a society (lower-right).

The right sides of the quadrants are concerned with empiric observation — what does it do? The left sides of the quadrants focus on interpretation — what does it mean? Wilber contends that modern times evidence a pathological separation from healthy evolution due to a near-complete focus on the right sides, with the denial of the left sides as having no meaning being a fundamental cause of society's malaise.

All four pursuits – psychoanalysis, behaviorism, philosophical hermeneutics and Marxism – offer complementary, rather than contradictory, perspectives. It is possible for all to be correct and necessary for a complete account of human existence. Wilber has integrated these four areas of knowledge through an acknowledgement of the four fundamental dimensions of existence. Further, these four perspectives are equally valid at all levels of existence.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ken Wilber's four quadrants" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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