Gendlin, Eugene

Gendlin asserts that an organism’s living interaction with its environment is prior (temporally and philosophically) to abstract knowledge about its environment. Living is an intricate, ordered interaction with the environment, and as such, is a kind of knowing. Abstract knowledge is a development of this more basic knowing.

The fact that concepts change does not mean that they are arbitrary; experience can be formulated in many diverse and incompatible ways, but to the extent that they are rooted in experience, each formulation has its own precise relationship to experience. Thus Gendlin’s philosophy goes beyond relativism and postmodernism. He agrees with postmodernists that culture and language are always already implicit in experiencing and in concepts. Empirical testing is crucial, but it does not keep science from changing every few years. No assertions are simply “objective”.

Gendlin points out that the universe (and everything in it) is implicitly more intricate than concepts, because a) it includes them, and b) all concepts and logical units are generated in a wider, more than conceptual process (which Gendlin calls implicit intricacy). This wider process is more than logical, in a way that has a number of characteristic regularities. Gendlin has shown that it is possible to refer directly to this process in the context of a given problem or situation and systematically generate new concepts and more precise logical units. Taken from Wikipedia See his book Focusing

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