About the TOK Society
A Brief History and Overview
The TOK Society is interested both in big picture views in general and Professor Henriques' Unified Theory Of Knowledge. This consists of the set of 8 key ideas developed to offer the outline of a consilient theory of knowledge and wisdom for the 21st Century. It is the central focus of the TOK Society.
To understand Professor Henriques' Unified Theory Of Knowledge, it is helpful to review its history and development. It started as the Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System, such that the ToK System, along with the BIT and JUST as the "joint points", provided the outline for theoretically unifying psychology and defining its subject matter. The ToK System was the primary frame for the ideas between 2003 and 2008. It is worth noting that the ToK System is a theory of scientific knowledge that offers a novel way to conceptualize both reality (as depicted by Matter, Life, Mind, and Culture) and the way scientific knowledge emerges out of Culture to generate descriptions and explanations of that reality (in the form of the physical, biological, psychological, and social sciences). It is also useful to point out that the ToK System introduces new ways to define Matter, Life, Mind, and Culture. When capitalized, these terms refer to different dimensions of complexity or planes of existence. This is crucial to understand because it creates a new grammar for these concepts. In particular, it changes how we think about the "Animal-Mental" and "Culture-Person" concepts.
From 2007 to 2011, the framework had grown into into the "Unified Theory" of psychology, which included the Influence Matrix and more applied developments. The shift was framed by the 2011 book, A New Unified Theory of Psychology. It is important to be aware that, starting in 2005, Dr. Henriques had become the director of the "Combined-Integrated" Doctoral Program at James Madison University. This is an innovative applied professional program that trains "psychological doctors" in a way that cut across the traditional practice areas of clinical, counseling, and school psychology.
In 2011, Dr. Henriques started his blog Theory Of Knowledge: A Unified Approach to Psychology and Psychotherapy. It is useful to know that the society goes by the same name as the blog and both are abbreviated TOK (with a capital "O") .
Between 2011 and 2016, the framework shifted to the applied side of psychotherapy. This gave rise to CAST, the Wheel of Development, the Nested Model, and CALM-MO. It also resulted in the development of a systematic approach to assessing psychological functioning called The Well-Being Check-Up. In addition, Dr. Henriques was heavily involved in the Unified Psychotherapy Movement, which was focused on clarifying why unification was a viable pathway in the psychotherapy integration movement. All of this started to become organized separate as "the unified approach to psychotherapy". Thus, there was the Unified Theory (UT) of psychology and Unified Approach (UA) to psychotherapy, each of which consisted of four ideas.
Between 2016 and 2019, the Unified Theory and Unified Approach were merged into the "UTUA Framework." It was in part because of the somewhat unusual title of UT-UA that set the stage for a significant shift in how the system might be conceptualized and visualized (see here for the story). The result was "The Garden of UTUA" with the Theory Of Knowledge Tree in the middle (see below). This was a "sincerely ironic" artistic representation that was designed to offer "a place for the two cultures of the academy, the sciences and the humanities, to come together in a mutually inspiring dialectical dance". The Garden then gave rise to the iQuad pathway and iQuad Coin, such that the iQuad-Garden complex represents a new form of educational/knowledge technologies that Henriques believes will be relevant for 21st Century educational practices.
This was also the time when the Theory Of Knowledge Society officially launched, first as a listserve and then its opening conference in April of 2018. There was a second conference in 2019. The listserve has been very active during this time. In 2020, new developments were launched, including a W I I Thrive Well-being community. This resulted in the TOK Thrive Weekly Meetings, and represents a domain of future development.