Intellectual Virtues for Comprehensive Practice

Intellectual Virtues for Comprehensive Practice

By examining considerations from traditions that have examined intellectual virtues, we may come to better understand the virtues we need to develop our comprehensivity, our ability to comprehend our worlds broadly for context and deeply for clarity by taking seriously Buckminster Fuller’s aspiration of “wanting to understand all and put everything together”.

This resource will look at one 10 minute video lecture from Linda Zagzebski’s exquisite course on “Virtue Ethics”, produced by the University of Oklahoma, to spur our thinking about the intellectual virtues that might help guide our comprehensive practice, our comprehensive participation in our worlds. The result will give us an opportunity to review all 25 of our prior resources.

Intellectual Virtues

R. Buckminster Fuller’s approach to comprehensive thinking starts with Universe: “The universe is the aggregate of all of humanity’s consciously-apprehended and communicated experience”. This source for our learning can be seen as the collective cultural heritage of Humanity through all history. From this vast heritage, we have accumulated many traditions of inquiry and action. These traditions and their accumulated experiences are the sources for all our learning.

Comprehensive thinking is any effort to explore this vast inventory of experiences and traditions to address our concerns, intentions, and situations. In the resource The Measurements of Life, we learned that an interpretation is what to consider and how to consider it. So comprehensive thinking can also be seen as the process of forming interpretative stories building on our inventory of traditions and experiences. But to be comprehensive, comprehensive thinking aspires to further examine these stories with comprehensive measurement or assessments to form “adequately macro-comprehensive and micro-incisive” (Buckminster Fuller’s catchphrase for our comprehensivity) judgements to better engage our worlds and its peoples with understanding and effectiveness.

With this context for our exploration, what are intellectual virtues?

Continue reading →
Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 0 comments

Tools for Comprehensivity: Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox

Comprehensive learning aspires to integrate more and more of Humanity’s traditions of learning to better comprehend the world and how it works. As we learn more and more from these diverse ways of knowing, it becomes increasingly likely that the perspectives, hypotheses, and frames of reference we encounter will seem incompatible or even inconsistent with others. This resource suggests how to better accommodate these ambiguities as tools for our comprehensive practice.

This way of accommodating ambiguity in our learning is a central theme in the profound 2007 book “How Mathematicians Think: Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics” by William Byers. The book examines ambiguity while it surveys the folklore of mathematics culture and the philosophy of mathematics. It is easy to read and serves as a good introduction to mathematics for readers with weak math skills. It might be especially valuable for those wanting to expand the compass of their comprehensive learning with mathematics.

Continue reading →
Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 1 comment

Shifting Perspectives and Representing The Truth

In an exquisite video presentation Tricia Wang explains the benefits of perspective shifting to better represent the truths of our worlds and its peoples:

This resource will situate Wang’s powerful and important ideas in the context of our Art of Comprehensivity, our learning practices for building an ever more extensive, ever more intensive, and ever more integrated understanding of our worlds and its peoples.

Continue reading →
Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 0 comments

The Fundamental Role of Story in Our Lives

Comprehensivism is the practice of considering with ever increasing depth and breadth more and more of Humanity’s great traditions of inquiry and action to better comprehend how our worlds work and how they change so we might all live more effective lives. In this practice, as each explorer reflects on the value of their independent and group learning, they will from time-to-time identify ideas that they think should be collaboratively examined.

Collaborating for Comprehensivism aspires to engage every participant in organizing ideas for the group to explore. We think this kind of engagement of participants is necessary to activate the full potential of the collective intelligence of the group.

To exemplify this aspiration, we will share and explore an idea that we think should be collaboratively examined. Let’s investigate the idea that story may play a fundamental role in all traditions of inquiry and action, in the practices of a comprehensivist, and in our lives.

Continue reading →
Posted by CJ Fearnley in Resource Center, 6 comments