The word hypothesis is in essence a license to speculate while subjecting our truth claims to the criteria of empiricism. As Integralist we love to speculate about various lines of consciousness and states of experiences. It’s fine to conjecture, speculate, or to use one’s experience and observation as long as you frame it as such and not present it as fact. Speculation from experience is indeed the initial stage in developing knowledge which would not advance without venturing into the possibilities. Although we may strongly believe a speculation to be true, there is indeed a difference between belief/opinion and the criteria of evidence (yes established by modernity) that establishes a fact. We see many folks in our community who struggle or are oblivious to this distinction today. In empirical parlance a belief is held as a hypothesis. This conceptual distinction has many benefits.
As soon as you use the word hypothesis you have kept the scientifically trained folks in a discussion and perhaps open to possibilities they would otherwise dismiss. The self-inflicted wound of dismissal was the point of the first blog, Modern & Post-modern Dialectics. Secondly, by holding a conjecture loosely, that is as a hypothesis, you are staying open to corrections and new information as a line of thought develops. Finally, you have set a higher standard of proof than mere belief and group consensus. This is just a good Integral mind-set. This nod to orange levels of knowing can be easily incorporated into our awareness and strategically stated by everyone in our community.
- · IEC 2020 has set as a goal to strengthen the Academic & Scientific Tract of its outstanding program. As part of this initiative, a series of blogs will be written on this subject and what it might contribute. It is time for Integral to better hold the dialectical tension of the truth claims of modernity alongside the freedom granted by post-modern sensibilities (McIntosh, 2012).
McIntosh, S. (2012) Evolutions purpose: An integral interpretation of the scientific story of our origins. Select Books, Inc. New York.