In 1942, Stephen C. Pepper published a seminal book, World Hypothesis, that sought to explain how people create hypotheses about the world. Pepper proposed that there were four basic world hypotheses: (1) formistic (the hypothesis that nature exists as categories); (2) mechanistic (the hypothesis that nature obeys cause-effect relationships); (3) contextual (the hypothesis that processes in nature are relative and context dependent); and (4) organismic (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect interactive relationships in systems). Most classical and modern theories of science and medicine implicitly adopt one or more of these foundational hypotheses. In 1997, Schwartz and Russek proposed that there were four additional world hypotheses: (5) implicit process (the hypothesis that nature consists of invisible forces and information, such as energy and consciousness); (6) circular causality (the hypothesis that nature consists of circulating interactions that inherently change over time); (7) creative unfolding (the hypothesis that processes in nature reflect flexible designs or plans that have adaptive function); and (8) integrative diversity (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect complex integrations of diverse processes). Theories in postmodern and integrative science implicitly adopt hypotheses 5 through 8. However, underlying the creation of the eight world hypotheses is an implicit meta-world hypothesis which we term loving openness (the hypothesis that phenomena in nature reflect levels of openness and caring). This paper briefly explains the origin and implications of the loving openness meta-world hypothesis for understanding mind-body healing in medicine, the reordering of values in integrative medicine (with a primary focus on caring with humility), and the fostering of a new vision for twenty-first century frontier science, spirituality, and medicine.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Advances in Mind-Body Medicine|
|State||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas