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101. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Paweł Pasieka Wisdom as Epistemological Utopia and Scepticism
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In this essay I wish to discuss the notions of utopia, especially the notion of epistemological utopia as Leszek Kołakowski described it in one of his paper. Epistemological utopia is not tantamount to the conception of perfect and unalterable knowledge. On the contrary, in its realm there is also a place for scepticism, because scepticism is a kind of epistemological utopia but à rebours. Epistemological fundamentalism and scepticism are indeed two opposite attitudes but they finally belong to each other. Nevertheless, no one from these attitudes satisfy our epistemological theory. Bertrand Russell described similar situation in his short essay titled On optimism: we can accept at most together pessimist and optimist, never only one of them. Therefore that situation provides to the necessity of overcoming theoretical field of these two, foundational and sceptical, conceptions. In this article I use Wittgenstein’s ideas to search for a ‘new’ epistemological attitude.
102. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Alexandru Marcoci Gold Medal Essay, the XIIIth IPO, Warsaw 2005
103. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Edith H. Krause Wisdom and the Tightrope of Being. Aspects of Nietzsche in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (1915)
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This article illuminates Nietzsche’s and Kafka’s spiritual kinship and its manifestation in Kafka’s story The Metamorphosis. Nietzsche’s role as a practitioner of “disruptive wisdom” serves as the point of departure for the examination of Gregor Samsa’s untimely and abrupt transformation into a giant vermin. The article explores Gregor’s development in light of Zarathustra’s parable of the three metamorphoses of the spirit, and it examines the relevance of the myth of the Way in the protagonist’s search for meaning. Central to this discussion are Kafka’s and Nietzsche’s fascination with animal similes and Kafka’s modification of the Nietzschean metaphor of man as a rope.
104. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Tomasz Przeździecki Gold Medal Essay, the XIIIth IPO, Warsaw 2005
105. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Mikołaj Ratajczak Gold Medal Essay, the XIIIth IPO, Warsaw 2005
106. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Leopold Hess First Prize Essay, the XIIth IPO, Seoul 2004
107. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Andrew Targowski From Data to Wisdom
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The paper defines units of cognition from data, through; information, concept, knowledge, and to wisdom, applying the Semantic Ladder. This concept is later used in describing different levels of computer information systems and defining a process of decision-making. Finally, the Semantic Ladder is applied in understanding art, where certain compositions reflect different units of cognition, including the simplest and most complex ones. This study implies that wisdom as the ultimate unit of cognition is the result of hierarchical processing of data, information, concept, and knowledge. What does it mean for civilization? The more we know, the more we want; and we may be in more trouble! Can we overcome knowledge that we created and become wiser?
108. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Lorraine Code Ecological Naturalism: Epistemic Responsibility and the Politics of Knowledge
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The thesis of this paper is, first, that ecological thinking—which takes its point of departure from specifically located, multifaceted analyses of knowledge production and circulation in diverse demographic and geographic locations—can generate more responsible knowings than the reductivism of the positivist post-Enlightenment legacy allows; and second, that ecological thinking can spark a revolution comparable to Kant’s Copernican revolution, which recentered western thought by moving “man” to the center of the philosophical-conceptual universe. Kantian philosophy was parochial in the conception of “man” on which it turned: a recognition central to feminist, Marxist, post-colonial and critical race theory. It promoted a picture of a physical and human world centered on and subservient to a small class and race of men who were uniformly capable of achieving a narrowly-conceived standard of reason, citizenship, and morality. As humanism vied with theism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, so ecological thinking vies with capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Here I outline its promise.
109. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Werner Krieglstein Compassion and the Wisdom of Nature
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This paper explores the possibility of finding wisdom in nature. For a compassionate relationship with the natural world to make sense, the author proposes nothing less than a paradigm change within science. Science must adopt the view that intelligence is not only reserved for living systems but that a minimal kind of consciousness is present at all levels, especially at the level of quanta. This is called quantum animism. Utilizing insights from system theory, cybernetics, and theory of complexity the author further suggests that the process of Collective Orchestration explains how natural systems advance to higher complexity. Thus Collective Orchestration could close the gap between Micro and Macro evolution. In the growing debate about intelligent design versus evolution Collective Orchestration could be the missing link that explains evolution as an ongoing process of self organization at all levels, eliminating the need for intelligent design.
110. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Joanna Kusiak Second Prize Essay, the XIIth IPO, Seoul 2004
111. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Zbigniew Wendland Dialogical Rationality as Cultural Foundation for Civil Universal Society
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After acknowledging that the crisis of the present-day-world is in its very essence the crisis of reason, I consider both the logical notion of reason and an odyssey which reason accomplished within the spread of the modern and postmodern Western history. Doing that, I regard reason not as a subjective human power, being a conventional and formal notion which means nothing if it would not be taken in action of great groups of people and in connection with material contents from which the most important are values or sets of values. I indicate two main kinds of hitherto existing rationality as paradigms of acting reason: (1) metaphysical rationality and (2) instrumental rationality. I put on a thesis that, at all contemporary conditionings: social, cultural, political, also philosophical and others, the two paradigms of rationality have exhausted nowadays their creative possibilities. It has come a time which inclines for looking for another kind of rationality better corresponding to the existing, at present, challenges that would fit better to the state of the contemporary philosophical awareness. The instrumental rationality seems to be ambiguous in consequences and, additionally, has an inclination to turn into irrationality. On the other hand, the traditional metaphysical rationality lost its power of being effective because of historical evolution of the philosophy itself. The 20th century has been by many currents of contemporary philosophy, and by many philosophers, announced as post-metaphysical or even antimetaphysical. I am of an opinion that, taking into account many essential threats of further existence of humankind as well as of physical world, the problem of the socalled metaphysics of foundations has lost its importance. All efforts of philosophers, and all reasoning and acting people, should be directed towards shaping a new kind of rationality as a new paradigm which could function within all contemporary existing civilizations. My proposal is to label this new kind of rationality with the term dialogical rationality. And I think that this rationality could be something that would unite peoples, nations, regions, civilizations, cultures, religions, philosophical directions etc., beyond all hitherto existing differences and controversies, and in the name of the most important present values as well as for diminishing, if not annihilating, great threats. The concept of dialogical rationality is discussed on the basis of views belonging to the greatest achievements of contemporary philosophy like philosophy of dialogue, views of Jaspers, Popper, Habermas, representatives of postmodernism, and others.
112. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5/6
Władysław Krajewski The Philosophical Olympiad in Poland
113. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
George F. McLean Poland’s Contribution to Contemporary European Civilization Both Wise and Good: From Abstract Universals to Global Cultural Dialogue
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This article sees the potential for Poland’s contribution to Contemporary European Civilization in its not having been submerged by the Enlightenment with its materialism and scientism. As a result Poland has resources of culture and spirit now recognized as important for these post modern and global times. For this the article points to the Czech philosopher Patočka’s sense of solidarity of the ébranlé; Adam Mickiewicz’s sense of Polish Messianism, and John Paul II’s sense of the place of religion in Polish history.
114. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Jan M. Kaczmarek The Role of Technosophy and its Alliances in the Building of a Civic Information Society in the Age of Universalistic Globalization
115. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Charles S. Brown Ecofascism and the Animal Heritage of Moral Experience
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Part One of this paper defends biocentricism, the view that all life has intrinsic value, against the charge of ecofascism. I argue that theocentric and anthropocentric worldviews are structured by a logic of domination that the radical egalitarianism of the biocentric world does not generate. In Part Two I sketch the foundations of a philosophical anthropology that unites a phenomenological understanding of human existence with a Darwinian view of human nature. The understanding of moral experience generated by this philosophical anthropology moves away from a metaphysical interpretation of intrinsic value toward an experiential account of moral phenomena.
116. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Werner Krieglstein Toward a Universal Ethics Based on a Naturalistic Foundation of Community
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This article explores a new scientific understanding of cooperative processes within the natural world, and demonstrates how this understanding could reshape our need for community. From this a new approach to a global ethics can be extrapolated. Instead of looking back in an attempt to rescue ancient values the author offers hope in looking forward. The author proposes to use a synchronizing process he calls Collective Orchestration to describe a dialectical transition from individuals to wholes. He employs concepts gained from system theory, cybernetics, and chaos theory to make his point. Collective Orchestration offers a novel solution to the problem of Macro evolution, the evolutionary developing of brand new species. From this naturalistic foundation the author derives a new global ethics, based on the principles of self-organization, cooperation, and connectedness.
117. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Hu Yeping, William Sweet George Francis Mclean and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy: Philosophy in the Service of Humanity
118. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Leszek Kuźnicki The Human in the Light of Contemporary Biology as a Subject of Universal Civilization
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Homo sapiens is a mammal of the order Primates. What most distinguishes primates from other mammals is their ability to cerebrate. Cerebration developed fastest among the Anthropoidea primates (monkeys, apes), and subsequently the hominids (Hominidae). The increase in brain mass only by Homo sapiens—and only over the past 10,000 years—possess superior Darwinian fitness: for the preceding 30 million years primates had played a rather marginal role in the world’s biological system.Homo sapiens’ success as the creator of developed civilization was possible only thanks to his special adaptation capabilities, shaped by natural selection at the dawn of his existence.Primates first appeared in the Oligocene about 30 million years ago, and the first two-legged anthropoid, Australopithecus, about 6.5–5.7 million years ago. The transition from Australopithecus to the species we call Homo was in many ways an evolutionary milestone. Australopithecus was exclusively herbivorous and formed neither organized communities nor settlements. His successor, Homo erectus, on the other hand, possessed heretofore unknown skills like hunting and gathering, which considerably influenced both his lifestyle and his diet—he increasingly ate meat from cadavers or animals he had killed himself. Fossil remains of Homo erectus dating back two million years have been unearthed throughout Africa, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe.Homo sapiens derives from the rather small Homo erectus population in East Africa and has been the earth’s only hominid for a relatively short time about 10,000 years ago before he still shared his world with Neanderthal man (Homo neanderthalensis) and the diminutive Homo floresiensis.Despite racial differences there is surprisingly little variation in the human genome. We are all 99 percent genetically alike, moreover genome variations do not correlate to skin color.Homo sapiens’ hunter-gatherer lifestyle led him to seek solutions which today find application only in human communities. In time his biological capabilities were enriched by the skill of speech, this in turn helping to develop creativity, self-awareness, a sense of dignity, and group, ethnic and national loyalty, eventually leading to the emergence of religion as a path to life’s fundamental truths and an antidote to the everpresent fear of death.The Neolithic Revolution began about 10,000 years ago. Several thousand years later the evolution of farming and breeding led to the emergence of the first civilizations. The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture changed radically not only economic and social structures but, as speech developed, helped form civilizations and cultures.Over the past 2000 years humanity has changed the global environment but has itself remained unchanged in heritability. The awareness that despite all racial, ethnic, cultural, or linguistic differences we belong to an exceptionally homogeneous species, can be an inspiration for humanity to strive towards a universal civilization in which all these differences could be contained.
119. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Amani Fairak, X. Dai Rao Universal Practices across Religions: Ecological Perspectives of Islam
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This paper discusses diverse practices across religions from a universalistic view. Various religions define their beliefs and rituals within an ecological context. Whether it is an Abrahamic, African or humanistic religion, they all have one ritual ground to facilitate their beliefs on. This ground takes the form of environmental or earth-based practices. Religious initiations and the history of spiritual leaders have illustrated that human spirituality is connected to nature and Mother Earth. In addition, Islam views contemplation about natural wonders as an essential pathway to approach God. Despite the variety of religious traditions held, ecology is what universalizes all religions.
120. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Andrew Targowski Universal-Complementary Civilization as a Solution to Present-Day Catastrophic International Conflicts
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The purpose of this study is to define the sources of crisis affecting civilization, and to define a solution by the development of a Universal-Complementary Civilization. The study’s conclusion is that neither Western nor Global Civilization can improve the order of civilization. Even worse, these civilizations threaten sustainability by depleting strategic resources at a fast pace, driven by the market forces only. World Civilization at this time is driven by two conflicting civilizations, Christianity and Islam, and is hurdling towards a huge disaster. Neither Christianity nor Islam has the right to impose its own values upon the other. To avoid wars and conflicts among civilizations one must break the human history of permanent negations and integrate eight autonomous civilizations and a global one by a set of Common-Complementary Universal Values, selected by each autonomous civilization and accepted by all the others as common values. Theimplementation strategy of this new civilization may take several centuries, but to start this civilization one must create a group of pioneers and “show cases” as soon as possible.