Exploratory Research Questions

The following stems from the problems stated in Can Human Behavior Become a Science?.

I am in a creative phase of exploratory research for my dissertation, expanding my understanding of pertinent problem domains in order to hone in on a research question and it’s respective hypotheses. The following are questions that will guide my research. The goal is to be able to answer them in writing and not just in my mind. References are a plus. Not all of them need to be answered in the end but the list will provide a little pragmatism through this otherwise intuitive phase of search in the dark.

  • What is unique about the “natural systems theory” that Bowen was trying to produce?
    • Was he initially or ever trying to produce one or did it arise naturally?
    • When did the hypothesis change to a systems hypothesis?
  • What constitutes a “natural systems theory” for this project?
    • Critique on Bowen’s answer above?
    • What criteria must paṭiccasamuppāda (The Buddha’s model of causality + origin of suffering) meet to be one? Is this even the right attitude for creating theory?
    • Is juxtaposing one theory onto another a good way to build a theory?
      • Well, both the Buddha and Bowen started from scratch so I guess we are OK here.
      • Nevertheless I am still juxtaposing “Vipassana theory” over NST.
  • What are the “rules” for integrating two natural systems theories into the comprehensive theory as Bowen envisioned it?
    • Did he have any?
    • Is the point just to get individual theories to “fit” together to allow for dialogue?
      • E.O Wilson’s Consilience: “Every college student should be able to answer the following question: What is the relation between science and the humanities, and how is it important for human welfare?”
    • What are the bounds of Bowen’s “integrative theory”? Just humans, all life, or earth and cosmos?
  • What is and is not a “systems theory”?
    • How does it relate to “complex systems”
    • How does it relate to chaos theory? (fundamental to my hypothesis on the practice of Vipassana)
    • Where does “self-organization” come into play? (fundamental to my hypothesis on the practice of Vipassana)
    • Do the mathematics of complex systems/chaos theory matter for us?
    • What qualities of a ST lead Bowen to believe it could “unite the sciences?”
      • What was the timing and comparison of his contemporaries’ thoughts on this topic? (Bateson, Bertalanffy, Haley, etc.)

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