Plastir Number 18 – 03/2010


Edgar MORIN is as each one knows emeritus research director at the CNRS and the eminent sociologist author of six volumes of La Méthode » “The Method” whose last relates to ethics. The CETSAH, recently renamed Edgar Morin Center, relates and continues its work. He is also honour member of PSA. Jean-François Dortier said recently in Human sciences N°6 Special, Oct.- Nov. 2007) that he was perhaps the last of the large thinkers of the XXIe century, namely a researcher not enlaced in fragmentation of the knowledge, but turned towards the universal one. It is unquestionably the case and we modestly work all to give him echo by looking at the homo complexus in his planetary ecosystem, in his capacity to be exceeded as in his share of eternity. In this article, he makes us see the limits of the human knowledge, which they relate to cognition, the experimentation, formal logic or rationality, while showing us that they open new horizons. Indeed, laplacian temporal infinitude, the infinite progress of Condorcet and, I will add, the infinite human plasticity of Pic de la Mirandole are blocked vis-à-vis the establishment of limits within the discoveries of contemporary science. It is the case of the theorem of incompleteness of Gödel or of the semantic logic of Tarski which says to us, I quote the author “no system can be able to explain itself, exhaustively; one and the other open ‘a going beyond’ to us: it is possible to conceive a metasystem, which, can enable itself to treat this system like object. Only we know that this metasystem itself needs a metasystem to be explained or treated completely. And from meta to meta, there does not have final term, or level of absolute higher explanation”. One thus arrives so that “reflexivity at the infinite finds its limits”, just as progress. What, for Edgar Morin, is salutary in a civilization turned towards physical certainties and a false idea of reality. The systems comprise uncertainties, knowledge needs separations, he says us, and the good news is that this uncertainty of the knowledge, the concepts and the human capacities to include them starts to show through today. One must recognize our finitudes while leaving an open door with what is in-on this side or beyond, he concludes on the basis from an experiment from lived. Such the new infinite one is profiled…


Marc-Williams DEBONO is neurobiologist and epistemologist. He develops since the end of the eighties an epistemological approach aiming at making recognize the concept of plasticity, not such as it is generally presented, namely a systemic, emergent or even a purely metaphorical attribute, but like the element-key of the cleavage between formed and informed, given and unspecified and matter and psyche. This report was unperceived during centuries due to the ubiquity of plasticity detected by Aristote and its propensity to marry the object or the subject which contains it. Container and contained at the same time, donor and receiver of the form, natural access road towards the third included, if one refers to the lupascian framework of reading, one does not perceive plasticity for what it is really: a single universal property, only able to bind in an intrinsic way the experiment and the human conscience, to take only this field of knowledge recently extended to psychic plasticity in connection with the Freudian unconsciousness. As the author previously said it, the overall use of the term of plasticity returns to an epistemological vacuum, it thus required there urgent to clarify these concepts and to show in what “Reality is neither a construction isolated from our spirit, nor a preconceived model in which we evolve as a blind man, but a plastic compost in which we unroll our space of thought. The mind, as much creative than crossed by the form and the world co-significate themselves there while interpenetrating.” This article opens therefore to the development of a true plasticity of the mind, after having done the point on the origins of the concept and the recent developments of the model. Developments which confine with the emancipation of the complex of plasticity, only able to bind or to incorporate substrates such matter and the form or space and time and to define an universal principle of “co-advenance” and/or co-significance of the event.


Olivier PENELAUD is a cognitive psychologist and was in charge of research to the INRETS. He recently supported his PhD on the topic “The Cognitive Opportunism: from because driving to Cognitive Psychology” and participated to three summer schools (CNRS & UTC) on the concept of enaction worked out by the neurobiologist Francisco Varela, including one in public with Michel Bitbol. It is to say if it looked further into the subject. He delivers us here one of the most complete paper on the subject today. However what is the enaction ? It is a cognition incarnated by the subject. Historically, one can say that it took its sources in the development of the autopoïetic systems and the operational fence that Varela developed with Maturana in the Sixties ten. Olivier Penelaud shows us by a meticulous and processual description at the same time the impact and the limits of the enactive theory at the level of the sciences of information and of cognition. The inclusion of an ethics in the world of cognitive sciences until there somewhat distant with respect to the self will be salutary. However, several open breaches will appear quickly, in particular in the relations between enaction and semantics or symbolic systems of the language and within the limits posed by the ontological framework of analysis (non trivial change) raised by this paradigm. These various arguments are historically put in prospect by the author with respect to the recent interpretations or criticisms of Peschard, Sebbah and Goddard showing the choices of Varela for a middle way, co-constitutive, naturalizing, integrating the human experience in its totality, contrary to Heidegger or Merleau-Ponty, and preaching an event-driven neurophenomenology. In other words, Varela, by involving the enaction within cognitive sciences registered there a dialectics between science and philosophy, a true ontological dynamism. But this one can be skewed when one speaks about cognition without representation, when one approaches the Saussurian concepts of meant and meaning and especially vis-à-vis the Pierce’s triangularity of semiotics. The third term is indeed underestimated, even absent for Varela which is a partisan of the interval confining with the concept of co-dismissal or of absence of base (sunyata). It is what Olivier Penelaud shows us, while releasing from new tracks of research which could answer the deficiencies or question marks of the “revolutionary” theory of the enaction. Revolutionist because it foments and nourishes the dynamics of all these interrogations which lead today to another vision of the cognitive approaches. Recent theories of quantum information continuing work of the school of Copenghagen (Zeillinger, Bub, Rovelli, Grinbaum) such as those which establish a relational formalism or locate the concept of information as a correlation could answer the recursive arguments of the auto-organized systems and rehabilitate relational ontology showed in the enactive theory. In the same way, the taking into account of the transverse or transcendental systems and especially of the third included, clearly perceived but not implemented by Varela, anchored by Pierce since 1879, developed by Lupasco and enriched by Nicolescu seems very promising from this point of view


Joëlle DAUTRICOURT, graphic designer and sculptor, undertakes a deepened research and experimentation around scripturality since 1979. In the continuity of the avant-gardes, of the book of artists and of typography, his last work of visual poetry “The Book of the Happy Writing” puts moving the Hebraic letters in a cabalistic fairyhood which will be exposed to the Cabinet of graphic art of the Museum of art and history of the Judaism in Paris from April 15 to July 4, 2010. According to her proper terms, Golem as myth founder of cybernetics deploys his Roller in the Book of the Happy writing. Megilah (the scroll of parchment) and Golemah (formless heap or female golem) have the same four Hebrew letters. The one is the anagram of the other. The root of these words (GL) is a rotation movement, a rolling up. Anne Dambricourt, pale-anthropologist, archaeologist attached to the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and writer makes him here a short echo in a partition with two voices – artistic and scientific – bringing us slowly to the penultimate page of this work. The whole work wants to revisit the myth of Golem in the light of the recent discoveries in human palaeontology.

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