Arquivo para September 16th, 2021

What is natural and the possibility of knowing

16 Sep

The problem of knowing the world (natural and not cultural, this is what we have) must start from a premise of clearing our minds of cultural convictions, most of them idealistic, that blind us to the possibility of understanding that we do not dominate nature as proposed the Enlightenment, and worse, we run the risk of destroying it and putting civilization in check.

Quoting Edgar Morin in the epigraph of his first chapter of the book “The Nature of Nature”, I write the second in capital letters even to deify it in the sense that it is still unknown to us, and contains mystery that affects us, as proved by the current Pandemic that still challenges us.

Edgar Morin, opening the first chapter: “The Spirit of the Valley”, quotes Karl Popper: “Personally I think there is at least one problem… that interests all thinking men: the problem of understanding the world, ourselves and our knowledge as part of the world”, so this knowledge is neither definitive nor eternal, as everything evolves and is perishable.

To introduce these convictions, he makes a second quote by Jacob Bronowski: “The concept of science is neither absolute nor eternal”, and he will make a third, which is for the next post.

He begins with 5 convictions that made him start this book and where is his “cogito” his suspension of judgment of everything he thought before, his first conviction of these problems states that he: “holds us to the present, they demand that we let go of it to consider them in depth” (Morin, 1973, pg. 13), and professes his second conviction: “the principles of knowledge hide what, henceforth, it is vital to know” (idem) thus detaches himself from his previous ideas.

His third conviction is the strongest, increasingly convinced that the relationship science Ʌ politics, Ʌ ideology when it is not invisible, continues to be treated in an indigent way, through the reabsorption of two of its terms in one of them that has become dominant” (idem) , gives you food for thought.

His fourth conviction is that “that the concepts we use to conceive our society — the whole society — are mutilated and lead to inevitably mutilating actions” (idem).

Finally, his fifth conviction is: “that anthroposocial science must be articulated in the science of nature, and that this articulation requires a reorganization of the structure of knowledge itself” (Idem), so the knowledge we have needs to be modified to from its bases.

He knew that his task was really encyclopedic and vast, that’s why he even isolated himself in a castle (I don’t have the precise data) because his task: “I myself needed exceptional circumstances and conditions’ to move from conviction to action, that is, to work” (idem).

And it is from there that he wrote his complex method with three initial questions: “What does the radical self of self-organization mean? • What is the organization? • What is the complexity?” (page 14).