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Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity

Basarab Nicolescu, Karen-Claire Voss

Publication Year: 2002

Unifies science and the sacred based on what we've learned from quantum physics. In this manifesto for the twenty-first century, Basarab Nicolescu, a Romanian quantum physicist, uses the unification of the scientific culture and the sacred as his axis to address the problem of fragmentation which plagues contemporary life. Nicolescu identifies the dangers of self-destruction caused by modernity and increased use of technology and offers alternative ways to address them—a transdisciplinary approach that propels us beyond the either/or thinking that gave rise to the antagonisms that initially produced the problems. Nicolescu calls on us to rethink everything in terms of what quantum physics has shown us about the nature of the universe. He argues that reality is not something that exists on one level, but rather on many levels, and only a transdisciplinary approach can deal with the dynamics of several levels of reality at once.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity

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pp. v-vi

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1.To Avoid Any Misunderstanding

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pp. 1-4

For the moment, the term transdisciplinarity retains a certain pristine charm, mostly because it has not yet been corrupted by time. It has begun spreading around the globe, popping up in unexpected places, giving voice to a lively new concept that is not ...

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2.Tomorrow May Be Too Late

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pp. 5-8

Two authentic revolutions have bracketed our century: the quantum revolution and the computer revolution. The quantum revolution should have radically and definitively changed our vision of the world. And yet, since the beginning of the twentieth century nothing ...

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3.The Grandeur and Decadence of Scientism

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pp. 9-14

Since the beginning of time, the human spirit has been haunted by the idea of laws and order, which give meaning to the universe in which we live and to our own lives. The ancients therefore created the metaphysical, mythological, and metaphorical ...

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4. Quantum Physics and Levels of Reality

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pp. 15-22

By one of those strange coincidences, of which History alone holds the answer, quantum mechanics, World War I, and the Russian Revolution all arose at practically the same time: violence and massacres on the level of the visible, the quantum revolution on the level of the invisible. It was as if the death ...

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5. A Stick Always Has Two Ends

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pp. 23-32

Knowledge of the coexistence of the quantum world and the macrophysical world and the development of quantum physics have led, on the level of theory and scientific experiment, to the upheaval of what were formerly considered to be pairs of ...

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6.The Emergence of Complex Plurality

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pp. 33-38

At the same time that different levels of Reality and new logics (among them the logic of the included middle) were emerging within the study of natural systems, a third factor appeared that gave the coup de gr

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7. A New Vision of the World—Transdisciplinarity

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pp. 39-48

The process of the decline of civilizations is one of enormous complexity and its roots lie deep in obscurity. Of course, one can find multiple after the- fact explanations and rationalizations without ever successfully dissipating the feeling that there is an irrational element at work at the heart of the process. Neither ...

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8.Transdisciplinarity and the Open Unity of the World

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pp. 49-56

The transdisciplinary viewpoint allows us to consider a multidimensional Reality, structured by multiple levels replacing the single-level, one-dimensional reality of classical thought. This proposal is not enough, by itself, to justify a new world viewpoint. We must first of all answer many questions in ...

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9.The Death and the Resurrection of Nature

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pp. 57-66

Modernity is particularly deadly. It has invented all kinds of “deaths” and “ends”: the death of God, the death of man, the end of ideologies, the end of history. But, there is a death that is spoken of much less, perhaps due to shame or ignorance: ...

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10. Homo Sui Transcendentalis

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pp. 67-74

With the evolution of tools and measuring devices, we observe a spectacular example of the relationship between the levels of human perception and those of physical Reality. Since man first appeared on earth, he has invented tools for food gathering and protection from a hostile ...

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11. Techno-Nature and Cyberspace

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pp. 75-82

The last frontier of our body—that of our own brain—is about to be transgressed. Human mentation is projected beyond itself, generating results that are not the products of so-called natural processes. These results of the advance of technoscience, beginning with the conquest of space ...

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12.The Feminization of Society and the Poetic Dimension of Existence

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pp. 83-90

In 1991, the great Argentine poet Roberto Juarroz introduced a new expression into the terminology of transdisciplinarity: the transdisciplinary attitude. Was it the privilege of a poet to be able to grasp one of the most important aspects of the transdisciplinary ...

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13. On the Cult of Personality

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pp. 91-94

The most obvious and extreme manifestation of the masculinity of our world is the appearance of the cult of personality at every level of social life. Classic thought bequeaths to us a burdensome heritage: the dogma of the existence of a single level of Reality. In the absence of any vertical dimension, inevitably ...

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14. Science and Culture:Beyond Two Cultures

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pp. 95-101

At the beginning of human history science and culture were inseparable. They were animated by the same questions, those about the meaning of the universe and the meaning of life. In the Renaissance that tie was not yet broken. As its ...

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15.The Transcultural and the Mirror of the Other

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pp. 101-109

To contemplate twentieth-century culture is at once disconcerting, paradoxical, and fascinating. Since time immemorial, immense treasures of wisdom and knowledge have been accumulating, and still we continue to kill each other. It is true that the treasures of one culture are virtually ...

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16. Transdisciplinarity—Deviations and Wrong Turns

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pp. 109-118

Great changes in history and culture often have been brought about by a minute deviation: a small divergence in respect to the governing norms suddenly unleashes the unraveling of the system in place and later allows the emergence of new all-powerful ...

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17. Rigor, Opening, and Tolerance

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pp. 119-124

Rigor, opening, and tolerance are the three fundamental characteristics of the transdisciplinary attitude. Rigor is, first of all, the rigor of the language used in the reasoning based on the living knowledge—at once inner and outer—of transdisciplinarity. ...

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18. The Transreligious Attitude and the Presence of the Sacred

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pp. 125-130

The problem of the sacred, understood as the presence of something irreducibly real in the world, is unavoidable for any rational approach to knowledge. One can deny or affirm the presence of the sacred in the world and in ourselves, but, in view of elaborating a coherent discourse on Reality, one ...

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19. The Transdisciplinary Evolution of Education

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pp. 131-140

The emergence of a transdisciplinary culture capable of contributing to the elimination of the tensions menacing life on our planet will be impossible without a new type of education that takes into account all the dimensions of the human being. ...

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20. Towards a New Humanism: Transhumanism

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pp. 141-146

An expectant world. Expecting what? No clearheaded person can say for certain. I do not know. All that I know is that our world is waiting. For whom? For what? For Woman perhaps, for Man also, and for their not yet celebrated union. I do not know if “the madman” whom André ...


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pp. 157-169

E-ISBN-13: 9780791489161
E-ISBN-10: 0791489167
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791452615
Print-ISBN-10: 0791452611

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2002