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[xmca] the concept of COMPATIBILISM

This is a response to the thread on the dialectic or tension between dynamic
emergence and traditions and how various accounts emphasize one side or the
other of this tension.
I have been reflecting on Jack Martin's & Alex Gillespie's article "A
Neo-Meadian Approach to Human Agency: Relating the Social and the
Psychological in the Ontogenesis of Perspective-Coordinating Persons" in the
journal  "Integrative Psychology and Behavior" [which can be downloaded from
Gillespie's website]
They introduce their topic by saying they are situating their work in
relation to other developmental accounts and are elaborating a COMPATIBILIST
rendering of human agency as the DETERMINED self-determination of persons.
Martin and Gillespie state " ...persons have evolved and developed as
bio-cultural hybrids whose emergent psychological capabilities enable them
to self-determine.  More particularly, these self-determining capabilities
have been, and continue to be CONSTITUTED, both philogenetically and
ontogenetically, through person's activity and interactivity within their
biophysical and sociocultural world..  In consequence, persons ought now to
be understood as both determined and determining in that they are EMERGENT
within both phylogenesis and ontogenesis...."
They refer to D. Dennet's book "Freedom Evolves (2003) which recommends
psychology embrace a compatabilist position BETWEEN DETERMINISM AND AGENCY,
in which determinism does not imply inevitability for human agents whose
evloved nature (as language and cultural capable, reasoning, and moral
beings) is to be self-consciously reactive to their circumstances. This
self-conscious response[ability] changes the KINDS of persons we become [and
changes our institutional structures]  Persons, according to Dennet are
self-determining agents with a "subjectively OPEN future" and a CONSTANTLY
EMERGING nature.  Martin & Gillespie note that the more we know and
understand about our own determinants, the more we become self-determining.
Determinism at a biophysical level can become self-determinism at a
cultural-psychological level.  But that self-determinism does not escape
This account of development is a contemporay, empirically informed theory of
COMPATIBILISM between determinism and agency. Martin and Gillespie are
writing within the sociocultural "turn" in psychology but they recognize
their are a pluralism of accounts within this sociocultural account. Their
compatibilist account is Neo-Meadian and is elaborating a developmental
perspective which emphasizes SOCIAL ACTS and PREreflective interactivity as
foundational for later developments of  of reflective intersubjectivity and
more speculatively suggest the emergence of METAreflective capacity which
embraces the imaginal [ideal] and dialogical capacity to change the kinds of
persons we become [and the institutions we inhabit]

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