Regular readers will have seen how fruitful I have found Thomas Kasulis’s distinction between intimacy and integrity worldviews. So it is worth interrogating that distinction further and seeing how well the categories stand up to more careful scrutiny. The next couple weeks’ posts will in some respects follow my own thought process in trying to understand how robust the integrity/intimacy distinction turns out to be.
In explaining the distinction between the two, Kasulis breaks down the intimacy-integrity distinction into five main characteristics or features of each worldview:
- Intimacy is objective but personal; integrity emphasizes objectivity as public verifiability.
- In an intimate relation, self and other belong together in a way that does not sharply distinguish the two; integrity emphasizes external over internal relations.
- Intimate knowledge has an affective dimension; integrity emphasizes knowledge as ideally empty of affect.
- Intimacy is somatic as well as psychological; integrity emphasizes the intellectual and psychological as distinct from the somatic.
- Intimacy‘s ground is not generally self-conscious, reflective, or self-illuminating; integrity emphasizes knowledge as reflective and self-conscious of its own grounds. (Kasulis, Intimacy or Integrity, pp. 24-5 and 32)
I have begun to think that one of these things is not like the others – but is also, perhaps for that reason, more important than the others. Continue reading