Introduction: It is often said that the Enneagram is rooted in ancient wisdom traditions, and these roots are often touted as one of the reasons why the Enneagram is such a powerful system for understanding ourselves and others. However, some of the philosophical assumptions underlying the traditional teaching of the Enneagram face significant challenges from more-modern philosophy and science. This article will look at some of those assumptions: essentialism (the belief that things, including humans, have an essence that is a fundamental property of the thing) and teleology (the belief that design and purpose are immanent in nature). I will explain the philosophical and scientific problems with those views, and offer an alternative perspective, methodological naturalism, that I believe not only avoids those problems but strengthens our understanding of the Enneagram and the aspects of human nature that the Enneagram addresses…


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