Integral Theory in Action

Applied, Theoretical, and Constructive Perspectives on the AQAL Model

Edited by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens
Foreword by Roger Walsh
Afterword by Ken Wilber

Subjects: Humanistic Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Spirituality, Systems Analysis
Series: SUNY series in Integral Theory
Paperback : 9781438433844, 475 pages, August 2010
Hardcover : 9781438433851, 475 pages, August 2010

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword: The Integral Enterprise: Current Frontiers and Possible Futures
Roger N. Walsh
Sean Esbjörn-Hargens
Prologue: The Academic Emergence of Integral Theory: Reflections on and Clarifications of the 1st Biennial Integral Theory Conference
Mark D. Forman and Sean Esbjörn-Hargens
1. An Overview of Integral Theory: An All-Inclusive Framework for the Twenty-First Century
Sean Esbjörn-Hargens
I. Applied Perspectives

2. Responding to Climate Change: The Need for an Integral Approach
Karen O’Brien
3. Embodiment, an Ascending and Descending Development
Theresa Silow
4. Beauty and the Expansion of Women’s Identity
Vanessa D. Fisher

5. Writing to Effect: Textual Form as Realization in an Integral Community
Michele Chase

6. An Integral Understanding of the Etiology of Depression
Elliott Ingersoll
II. Theoretical Perspectives

7. Now You Get It, Now You Don’t: Developmental Differences in the Understanding of Integral Theory and Practice
Zachary Stein
8. The Final Cause of Cosmic Development: Nondual Spirit or the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
Michael E. Zimmerman
9. Frames of AQAL, Integral Critical Theory, and the Emerging Integral Arts
Michael Schwartz
10. Integral Situational Ethical Pluralism: An Overview of a Second-Tier Ethic for the Twenty-First Century
Randy Martin
11. An Integral Map of Perspective-Taking
Clint Fuhs
12. Second-Tier Gains and Challenges in Ego Development
Susanne Cook-Greuter
III. Constructive Perspectives
13. Rhizomatic Contributions to Integral Ecology in Deleuze and Guattari
Sam Mickey
14. Exploring Epistemic Wisdom: Ethical and Practical Implications of Integral Studies and Methodological Pluralism for Collaboration and Knowledge-Building
Tom Murray
15. Appropriation in Integral Theory: The Case of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s “Untold” Integral View
Charles I. Flores
16. Of Elephants and Butterflies: An Integral Metatheory for Organizational Transformation
Mark Edwards
17. Developmental Action Inquiry: A Distinct Integral Theory That Actually Integrates Developmental Theory, Practice, and Research
William R. Torbert, Reut Livne-Tarandach, David McCallum, Aliki Nicolaides, and Elaine Herdman-Barker
Afterword: The Dawn of an Integral Age
Ken Wilber

Leading scholar-practitioners discuss the strengths, limits, and potential of Integral Theory and the AQAL model.


In a world as complex as ours, an integral approach is needed to help sort through a dynamic landscape and respond effectively to individual and collective challenges. Integral Theory in Action provides the first multi-authored overview of such an approach. Integral Theory is the result of 30 years of research and is being applied in over 35 distinct disciplines. This volume brings together two dozen leading scholar-practitioners who are actively applying integral principles and who address a range of issues from an integral perspective including: climate change, embodiment, feminist aesthetics, community discourse, treatment of depression, developmental theory, and global ethics. The strengths, limitations, and potential of Integral Theory and Ken Wilber's AQAL model are weighed by each contributor. This collection pushes the field of Integral Theory in new ways and new directions, and provides a comprehensive overview that makes it an invaluable resource for any integral effort.

Matthew Solomon is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. He is the author of Disappearing Tricks: Silent Films, Houdini, and the New Magic of the Twentieth Century.