II. Pedia Sapiens: A Planetary Progeny Comes to Her/His Own Actual Factual Knowledge
4. Whole World Philosophy: An Ubuntu Universe
Diagne, Souleymane Bachir. Postcolonial Bergson. New York: Fordham University Press, 2019. As his Wikipedia page notes, the author is a Senegalese scholar who has followed a similar path, 50 year later, as Leopold Senghor (search) as he received a philosophy doctorate from the University of Paris Sorbonne. After some years at Cheikh Anto Diop University in Dakar, from 1993 to 1999 he was national Counselor for Education and Culture. Dr. Diagne currently teaches philosophy at Columbia University in New York, check Amazon for his luminous writings. An edited version of the book summary below well describes this volume. See his 2018 Open to Reason below and also In Search of Africa(s): Universalism and Decolonial Thought with Jean-Loup Arnselle due in May 2020.
Henri Bergson (1859-1941) is a premier French vitalist writer, yet his influence extends well beyond to Africa and South Asia. Herein Bergson’s thought is shown to be a prime resource for two major figures in the postcolonial struggle, Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) and Léopold Senghor (1906-2001). One Muslim and the other Catholic, they played an central role in the independence of their respective countries. Both found in Bergson’s organic vision a deep support for their political and cultural projects. For Iqbal, a founding father of Pakistan, his conceptions of time and creative evolution resonated with a need to “reconstruct religious thought in Islam” which could allow for innovation and change. For Senghor, Bergsonian ideas of perception, intuition, and élan vital, along with those of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), informed an African socialism (in between Marx and money) and his visions of an unalienated African future. (Publisher, edits)
Dorato, Mauro. The Software of the Universe: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of the Laws of Nature. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2005. A University of Rome philosopher of science wonders whether physical parameters and biological invariances might be considered in some way as nature’s intrinsic algorithmic program. Huge questions result of whether we humans “construct” them, or might they exist “independently;” does order evolve from a primal chaos, or “precede” on by endemic plans? See also Dorato’s paper “Mathematical Biology and the Existence of Biological Laws” in D. Dieks, et al Probabilities, Laws and Structure (Springer, 2012).
What Can You Really Know?
New York Review of Books.
A review of Why Does the World Exist? by writer Jim Holt (Liveright, 2012) who interviewed physicists such as David Deutsch and Steven Weinberg in Britain and the U.S. about any meanings that may or may not be limned from quantum multiverse cosmologies. But immersed as anyone in this endeavor since the 1950’s, Freeman is distressed by the current abysmal state of conjecture. For centuries scientific pursuits were seen as “natural philosophy,” exemplified by a Newton or Darwin. But Dyson laments and indicts the late 19th and 20th century disconnect of science from philosophical guidance so that it could stand as a field alone. With philosophy seen as “dead” by Stephen Hawking (2012, search), or a “sorry lot” as below, with no succor from postmodern humanities, extant reality now just spins off into vacuous speculative theories and opinions. It is quite an intent of this website to scope out with much documentation how a 21st century recovery of a natural philosophy, in a radical way now due to a personal worldwide humankind, is possible and might be achieved.
For most of the twenty-five centuries since written history began, philosophers were important. Two groups of philosophers, Confucius and Lao Tse in China, and Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in Greece, were dominant figures in the cultures of Asia and Europe for two thousand years. Confucius and Aristotle set the style of thinking for Eastern and Western civilizations. They not only spoke to scholars but also to rulers. They had a deep influence in the practical worlds of politics and morality as well as in the intellectual worlds of science and scholarship.
Eco, Umberto. Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984. The renowned author is a true Renaissance person, and in this scholarly work from his University of Bologna years before The Name of the Rose can be found a unique history of dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Elias, Amy and Christian Moraru, eds. The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2015. As modernity and postmodernism become passé, this collection tries try to move to a vital global milieu going forward, guided by Gayatri Spivak’s “planetarity” image (search) so as to attain some manner of a “cosmodern philosophy” (search Moraru).
A groundbreaking essay collection that pursues the rise of geoculture as an essential framework for arts criticism, The Planetary Turn shows how the planet—as a territory, a sociopolitical arena, a natural space of interaction for all earthly life, and an artistic theme—is increasingly the conceptual and political dimension in which twenty-first-century writers and artists picture themselves and their work. In an introduction that comprehensively defines the planetary model of art, culture, and cultural-aesthetic interpretation, the editors explain how the living planet is emerging as distinct from older concepts of globalization, cosmopolitanism, and environmentalism and is becoming a new ground for exciting work in contemporary literature, visual and media arts, and social humanities. Written by internationally recognized scholars, the twelve essays that follow illustrate the unfolding of a new vision of potential planetary community that retools earlier models based on the nation-state or political “blocs” and reimagines cultural, political, aesthetic, and ethical relationships for the post–Cold War era.
Ellis, Brian. The Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the New Essentialism. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2002. An emeritus La Trobe University philosopher is brave enough to confront the banishment from mechanistic science since the 17th century of any intrinsic, independent properties or qualities. As a result, dross matter passively is imposed on by contingent laws, it has no active, internal force or essence of its own. Any effort today to remove this taboo would involve a new nature as a greater reality or creation, presently inadmissible and unthinkable. As a further attempt, the consideration is taken up by Olivier Rieppel, Curator of Evolutionary Biology at the Chicago Field Museum, in his paper “New Essentialism in Biology” in Philosophy of Science, (77/5, 2010) where he mentions Ellis’ advocation.
Farooqui, Jamil. Indegeneity of Knowledge: Criteria for Universalisation. Man in India. 92/3-4, 2012. An International Islamic University, Malaysia, sociologist reminds that for a learned global repository to be truly “universal” it needs, in addition to Western editions, to contain the vast erudite resources of the Restern, especially so called Third World peoples. Please refer to the website of its Indian publisher www.serialspublications.com/default.asp for an extensive array of scholarly and practical journals from the subcontinent and beyond, which testifies to a worldwide noosphere whereof such materials are, or should be, accessible to anyone everywhere.
A Brief History of Thought.
New York: Harper Perennial,
The University of Paris philosopher offers a synopsis of his many writings, which from our 21st century allows a view of the whole sweep of humankind’s conjecture, angst and wonderment. “Religion” becomes the human thrall before an encompassing Deity, but divinity can be seen as graced by transcendent and immanent realms. “Philosophy” by turns affirms “the exercise of our own resources and our innate faculty of reason,” which augurs for a dichotomy of God and human. A contrast also stands between an original Greek (and Asian) sense of an abiding, organic cosmos with a harmonious order to serve daily guidance, and its despair and abandonment unto enlightened, mechanical modernity. While it has been long hoped that human inquiry could “discover” a pre-existing reality, in our late “constructivist” postmodernism, we must struggle to make one up out of a chaotic nothingness.
Frodeman, Robert and Adam Briggle. Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. University of North Texas scholars argue that this venerable pursuit, for centuries seen as the “science of all things” and the “queen of the sciences,” has lately been turned into one more narrow, impotent discipline by institutional academic structures. Rather than a preeminent natural philosophy, as it was from the Greeks to Newton, Darwin, and Einstein, today it is preoccupied with arcane linguistic analysis. See also the author’s New York Times article When Philosophy Lost Its Way (January 11, 2016).
Professional philosophy has strayed so far from its roots that Socrates wouldn’t stand a chance of landing tenure in most departments today. After all, he spent his time talking with people from all walks of life rather than being buried in the secondary literature and polishing arguments for peer-reviewed journals. Yet somehow this hypertrophy styles itself ‘real’ philosophy. Socrates Tenured diagnoses the pathologies of contemporary philosophy and shows how the field can be revitalized. The first part of the book sketches the crisis facing philosophy in a neoliberal age and traces its roots back to the 20th-century move to turn philosophy into an academic discipline. In the second part the authors look at various attempts from applied ethics to their own brand of ‘field philosophy’ to confront the resulting problems of insularity and societal irrelevance. Part three connects this evaluation of philosophy with wider discussions in the politics of knowledge about the impacts of research on society. The final chapters consider both what impacts philosophy might have and what a philosophy of impact might look like.
Gade, Christian. A Discourse on African Philosophy: A New Perspective on Ubuntu and Transitional Justice in South Africa. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017. An Aarhus University (Denmark) professor of human security provides an academic review of how political movements such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission may or may not understand or avail this “ethnophilosophic” tradition of African culture. Although much analysis goes on, its reciprocal essence of person in community, I am because we are, is not well emphasized.
Gangadean, Ashok. Meditations of Global First Philosophy: Quest for the Missing Grammar of Logos.. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009. The Haverford College professor of global philosophy advises that the ultimate issue and task of our day, as it has been through history, is to realize that this phenomenal reality comes with, springs from, and is only comprehensible by way of a creative source code. Known by many names, it is well put as Logos, the original word, script, narrative, energy, and impulse that manifests and exemplifies itself from universe to human. In regard, with the 21st century advent of a worldwide mindfulness, a new realm of encounter is well underway. The First Philosophy is the many ancient citations that make up the crux of perennial wisdom from the Greece to the Orient. A most lucid encounter is the Primal Logos of Tao. As the archetypal complements of yin and yang blend and cycle, they urge persons to ascend from individual egos to a relational dialogue. For a luminous 2014 review by AG see Awakening Collective Global Intelligence in the Spanda Journal (Volume V/Issue 2).
There is one truth so powerful that if we had the courage to encounter it together it would change our lives forever and lift us to the next stage of human evolution. This truth has been emerging throughout history and has matured to such a point that if we did face this truth, our individual and collective lives would take a significant step toward well-being and flourishing, but if we fail to come to terms with it the current global crises and unsustainable trends that threaten our survival as a species may well grow worse. So we are in the midst of an ultimate evolutionary drama that is global in scope and centuries in the making. This historic truth is very simple. It is the truth that logos is real, that logos is the living foundation of all existence, the unified field of reality itself, the moving power of evolution. Logos is the source of all truths, the common ground of all religions and cultures, and it energizes all human experience. This logos is the very process of reality, and all history has been the story of the emergence in the human condition. (xi)
Gershenson, Carlos. The Implications of Interactions for Science and Philosophy. Foundations of Science. Online October, 2012. If the growing proliferation of entries from deeply technical as this to creaturely aspects (Nowak) and social networks (Dunbar) is attributed to our humankind progeny, such collaborative work is trying correct a long emphasis on entity competition by quantifying and qualifying, as here, the equally real contribution of empathic cooperation. The Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico systems scholar makes a well constructed case for a resultant “non-reductive, non-materialist, non-deterministic, and non-nihilist” reality by this inclusive recognition of nature’s universal, intrinsic propensity for interactive creativity. Carlos is also editor-in-chief of the richly informed, weekly posted Complexity Digest. To reflect further, after ages human inquiry seems at last to have clarified and established these dual, gender-like archetypes of a complementary creation.
Reductionism has dominated science and philosophy for centuries. Complexity has recently shown that interactions—which reductionism neglects—are relevant for understanding phenomena. When interactions are considered, reductionism becomes limited in several aspects. In this paper, I argue that interactions imply nonreductionism, non-materialism, non-predictability, non-Platonism, and non-Nihilism. As alternatives to each of these, holism, informism, adaptation, contextuality, and meaningfulness are put forward, respectively. A worldview that includes interactions not only describes better our world, but can help to solve many open scientific, philosophical, and social problems caused by implications of reductionism. (Abstract)