Saturday, February 18, 2006


Henryk Skolimowski
T'he idea of scientific philosophy arrived on the stage around 1910 with Bertrand Russell. Then the philosophers from the Vienna Circle in Vienna, in Austria, picked up the idea and pushed it to an extreme. Philosophy became a scrutiny of the structure of language and, in my opinion, was short-changed. Bit by bit, philosophy was made an inquiry into the nature of linguistic propositions. Philosophers became preoccupied, to the point of obsession, with how language works. Distinguished philosophers such as J.L. Austin started writing essays on "Ifs and Cans." If you think how much that is removed from the real quest of philosophy, then you realise that something bizarre has happened.
Nowadays, even analytical philosophers themselves are rather unhappy with the position they have been pushed into. They try to get out of it. Somehow, however, they are stuck. They try to get unstuck in a piecemeal way, while what we need is a total reconstruction, changing the whole mode of thinking, of perceiving and of valuing. It is here that Eco-philosophy comes into focus as a new cosmology, a new way of rethinking the multitude.Instead of conceiving the universe as a clocklike mechanism, governed by deterministic laws, in which we are stuck as a little bolt or screw, we can assume that the universe is a sanctuary and we am its custodians-priests if you will. The mechanistic universe was based on the assumptions of the mechanistic nature of the cosmos.
Eco-philosophy is based on the view that the nature of the universe is unfolding, evolutionary, and emergent. Because it's emergent, you don't know what will happen next. It is the glory and the beauty of evolution that it is creative, producing new variation f which the human mind is one. Every new idea is a blossoming of creative evolution. A new philosophy is for me a manifestation of the ability of evolution to create through us. Put otherwise, a new creative conception of the cosmos is a response of evolution-through us!-to get unstuck. For if we are stuck evolution is stuck. We have got locked In a cul-de-sac and now we are unlocking ourselves by creating new vistas through which we show that we have somewhere to go, and that evolution has somewhere to go.This is a very short answer to what Eco-philosophy wants to accomplish. It wants to create a new cosmology within which we are at home in this universe and at peace with all creation...
Take the history of science. Until the second half of the twentieth century, the view prevailed that science is like a monolithic pyramid to which scientists, like masons, add one stone each. If you look at the picture of the evolution of science as presented nowadays by such people as Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn, it is a different picture altogether. It is a dramatic picture, a discontinuous picture, reminding us more of a kind of Shakespearean stage in which main actors basic theories-like kings in old tragedies are slain and new ones emerge. After a new paradigm emerges, the old paradigm is dethroned like an old dynasty.
This is also confirmed by psychologists, according to whom our own individual development does not proceed smoothly from year to year. At certain points, there are periods of tension which is so great that we do not know who we are any more. After the process of Inner transformation, as it were, a new person has emerged. For instance, a teenager has become a young adult.

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