Closing the Enlightenment Gap | Gregg Henriques
Developing a new theory of knowledge
“Science afforded us a partial understanding of the world which emerged in the enlightenment. What I'm saying is they gave us physics and chemistry and biology pretty nicely. But it broke at the level of psychology, the social sciences and, in particular, how to connect sciences to the humanities.
“As a function of that breakdown we built this entire institutional structure—but we don't have the wisdom to coordinate ourselves. We're flying blind with an enormous amount of power, but not wisdom. Part of the reason we don't have wisdom is because our knowledge systems are inadequate and broken.”
How can we know so much and yet continue to live so dangerously?
Gregg Henriques has been working on this problem for over 20 years. He believes the problem lies with our knowledge systems, which arise from the Enlightenment but fail to make sense of the fundamental system through which we understand the world—ourselves, our own psychology. He says we need a second enlightenment in order to repair our relationship with ourselves, the world, one another, and with knowledge so we can respond to the climate crisis and build a better world for all.
Gregg Henriques is a a Full Professor and a core faculty member in James Madison University's Combined-Integrated Clinical and School Psychology Doctoral Program. He’s the author of A New Unified Theory of Psychology, and writes the Theory of Knowledge blog on Psychology Today. He’s a leader in the Unified Psychotherapy Movement, which attempts to use meta-theory to achieve an effective integrative scheme for the various psychotherapy paradigms. He’s also interested in synthetic approaches to philosophy, and leads a group called the Theory of Knowledge Society, which hosted its first conference in April (2018), titled: Toward a Big Theory of Knowledge.
He is currently developing a systematic evaluation of character functioning and well-being (called the Well-being Checkup), examining an approach to psychological mindfulness called "CALM MO" (which stands for developing a Curious, Accepting, Loving-compassionate, and Motivated toward valued states of being Metacognitive-Observer) and researching the college student mental health crisis and what might be done about it.
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