This book provides a fundamental and integrated framework of human thought, beyond the confines of any particular knowledge discipline or tradition. It serves to highlight the intellectual strengths and limitations of each modality and is therefore useful for comparative purposes. The history of thought may be viewed as a series of ongoing attempts to determine the nature of the true, the real, the beautiful and the good. Today, a wide variety of competing approaches and derivative movements of thought vie for attention, for example: positivism, naturalism, critical realism, critical rationalism, existentialism, humanism, pragmatism, postmodernism and constructivism, to name but a few. The problem that this work addresses is how to make sense of it all. For this purpose a set of archetypal and dynamically interrelated orientations that shape the human intellectual endeavor is proposed. A meta-theory that juxtaposes basic orientations or predispositions of mind is introduced and shown to be plausibly and consistently applicable to different bodies and levels of thought across different cultures (specifically: Western, Eastern and African thought). The theory is further demonstrated for a selected number of philosophical and psychological disciplines, namely: the philosophies of science, of law and of art; psychoanalysis and industrial psychology.
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