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Types: Construct or Reality?

Psychological types can be traced as far back as early antiquity. Astrological signs, allegedly one of the oldest, if not the oldest true typological system, are mentioned in Babylonian texts as early as the seventh century BCE. The simple notion of gender type (masculine versus feminine) probably dates from the Stone Age. Later developments in human civilization have produced more typing systems: the temperaments (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic), theorized by Hippocrates and which dominated medieval philosophy, Jungian types and their derivatives in the Myers-Briggs system, Type A Type B typology, the Enneagram (arguably the favorite typing system among integralists), and many more. And as we know, psychological types, an unexpected common denominator between the old art of divination and modern science, are central to integral theory.

However, what is the basis of our belief in the existence of psychological types? Their origins (unknown in the case of astrological signs and quite mysterious regarding the Enneagram) are almost as varied as are the typological systems themselves. Even psychologists (Jungians and others) can hardly provide solid scientific evidence for the systems that they champion. Where is the data and what does it look like? Why have psychological types, despite the lack of clear scientific authentication, become so central in the integral/AQAL/Wilberian framework? Can those various systems peacefully coexist, or do they contradict one another? Why do we favor one system over another? Those are a few questions among many that we integralists might ask ourselves.

Integral New York invites you on Monday Sept 17th, 2012, to begin exploring the theoretical and empirical basis of psychological typologies. Come with your favorite typological system in mind, tell us the reason for your preference, and let us together leave this conversation with a perspective wider, deeper, and richer than the one we had when entering it.

IMPORTANT: Our salon will begin with a short we-space practice; please be on time.

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  • Gabriele

    Learned a lot and loved it

    September 18, 2012

20 went

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