Prof. Dr. Johannes Heinrichs Integrale Philosophie
Prof. Dr. Johannes Heinrichs
Integrale Philosophie -
Theorie welcher Praxis?

Prof. Dr. Johannes Heinrichs
Integrale Philosophie -
Theorie welcher Praxis?

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Johannes Heinrichs developed a “reflection system-theory”, claiming to bridge the gap between action-theory and system-theory. His reflection-theory in general is nothing less than a modern development of German idealism. By his systematic approach he opposes to the mere historicism of mainstream philosophers, also by the spiritual character of his philosophy.

Instead of the so called language analysis, which he regards as too superficial, he has published 5 volumes on the universal general characteristics of human language, reconstructing language on the basis of sense-analysis. There is a certain parallel to the famous approach of Noam Chomsky, whose basis is nevertheless a materialistic (genetic) one, whereas Heinrichs' approach is a structuralism on the basis of the structures of human self-reflection parting from the basical "sense-elements": I, It, You, Medium.

Syntax is only one dimension of this integral language theory which comprises 1. the sigmatic dimension (not discovered by Charles W. Morris, the discoverer of only 3 semiotic dimensions) which has to do with the relations of words to objects, 2. the semantic dimension which constitutes the inner-subjective treasure of word-imaginations, 3. the pragmatic dimension which is (different from Morris psychological “pragmatics”) the interpersonal action-dimension of language, 4. The syntactical dimension, correctly defined by Morris, but comprising also a structural stilistics as continuation of syntax. These semiotic dimensions constitute also the basis of the division of the arts.

For language is, in Heinrichs' view, only one of the big semiotic levels which are,
in their reflexive succession: I. Action, II. Language as meta-action, III. Arts as meta-languages, and IV. Mystics where the original subjectivity (subject-directedness) of action is finally overcome by the activity of the Sense itself. This structural concept of mystics is not bound to any specific religion. It is, in Heinrichs` view, the essence of spirituality (and the historical religions). In "Integral Philosophy", the levels or media of mystics are analyzed, and the idea of the Divine as Self-Consciousness of the universe is developed.

Due to that spiritual character of his very methodical and logical philosophy, Heinrichs cooperates with the Theosophical Society (in Germany e.g. with the review “Theosophie heute”). He is longtime-visitor of the International City of Auroville (South-India) where the thinking of Sri Aurobindo is cultivated.

Discussed by a growing public in German speaking countries is his most practical and political book: Revolution of Democracy Berlin, Maas Verlag 2003, 2nd ed. Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin 2014, since 2018 located at Baden-Baden. It has been published in Russian and in Bulgarian language. In this book as well as in a book on Europe, and in a series of corresponding articles, he declares a 4-level-parliamentarism (distinction of economics, politics in the proper sense, culture and ultimate value-system) as indispensable for the outstanding evolution of democracy, i.e. for a serious value-realisation in a "communicative society". Here is the important, even decisive link between political and spiritual thinking. The outlines of this new model of democracy are contained in the English brochure: Value-Levels-Democracy. The Reflection-System-Theory of Four-Segmentation, Auroville 2019: Prisma. (Available for free, see the link in Bibliography.)

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