Plastir Number 33 – 06/2013

THE ADOGMATIC UNVEILING

Michel MAFFESOLI is a sociologist, an honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France, a professor at the Sorbonne, where he founded in 1982 the Center of the Current Study and the Daily (CEAQ) with Georges Balandier, research laboratory focused on new forms of sociality and fantasy publishing two magazines (« Societies » and « Europeans Imaginary Cahiers ») and administrator of the CNRS. He also heads the Research Center on the Imaginary at the Home of the Human Sciences (MSH) he created with Gilbert Durand in 1988. Chair « Michel Maffesoli » welcoming sociologists of everyday life and imaginary was created at the University of Las Americanas (UDLA) at Puebla (Mexico). He has also published numerous works, many of which have been translated into several languages ​​- that can be consulted on the Michel Maffesoli website – and is a visiting professor at Universities all over Michel Maffesoli the world. These more recent books are « Homo eroticus » (CNRS Editions) and « Sarkologies » (Albin Michel Ed.). After publishing an essay on Dionysus as emblematic of postmodernism in PLASTIR 27, 06/12, he makes us the great honor send us an unpublished text related to the theme of his current teaching, namely ‘the non-dogmatic unveiling’, he defines as a way to recognize the multiplicity of truth, its « relativism » in the meaning of Simmel: « the relativity of one truth, and therefore the linking of these singular truths. This is an effective deconstruction of « substantialism » forming the basis of our usual way of thinking about things. » In fact, Michel Maffesoli, citing Schmitt, on the fact that all analytical categories within theologies which the unity of the West has so far had the scoop (arguing a single truth of Semitic origin), whose East -, just return of things in the meaning of Gilbert Durand’s metaphorical mythical Orients – grabs now. « Decline » to understand in the context of Christianity embodied by a papacy announcing the « dogma of papal infallibility » (Vatican I) and that has since continued to disappoint, to sow doubt, questions, of start beliefs, no longer meet the rapid development of humanity. Where the echo of that « orientalization », which undoubtedly gives the sense where we had lost and especially puts on the ‘polytheism of values’​ consisting, according to this or that particular time, for a given society, to « do the gods  » in the metaphorical sense of Bergson or the dialogical one of Foucault. However, « this is what the dogma of ‘papal infallibility’ means deny », says the Magisterium who knew open and dynamic periods before the major impact of Romanization standardizing and ushering in the development of science and method. This « curial Roman Empire », following Heidegger, or ecclesiastical dogma that will polarize a society too rigid, at least until the late nineteenth century when thinkers like Nietzsche , Freud or Jung will break this unity and bring relativity. This will accelerate the «Decline of the West» perceptible in postmodern holistic theories as «ecosophy», but also in the new prevalence of affect and empathy in social relationships. Michel Maffesoli confirms this: « This is such empathy that rationalism of the nineteenth century is used, having ordered to evacuate. The great fantasy of « infallibility » has a scientific name is the ‘taxonomy’. This obsession with quantitative thinking it is possible to understand the living through a systematic classification or rather a numerical ranking. Playing on words, I , at the time, showed that the taxonomy was rapidly becoming a  » taxidermy « . Social objects being therefore stuffed and having only the appearance of life! It is in this sense that the ‘ordinary Knowledge’ (1989) the ‘sensitive Reason’ (1996), I showed how a thought life should override the rationalistic reduction that was the heyday of science in their nascent social time. » These human mutations are confirmed every day more, giving more strength to non-conformists of any edge, new hermeneutic considering » knowledge as flavor, vibrant with the world as thought aqs unthought rather than ‘turn a deaf ear’. « This is why understanding is structurally tolerant. Basically adogmatic. Essentially relativistic « , says the author who opposes the theoretical approach which simply deals the dogma and do not question his faith « in God and his avatar which is a sovereign Reason. » The postmodern man carries the message which we associate stride.

GENERAL THEORY IN THE HUMAN SCIENCES: GILLES DELEUZE, RENE GIRARD AND THE QUESTION OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN CULTURAL SYSTEMS

ROBERT DRURY KING is an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sierra Nevada College (NV, USA) and a research fellow with the Centre Leo Apostel at the Free University of Brussels. His doctoral dissertation, « System Individuation in Differential and Dialectical Ontology: Deleuze, Hegel, and Systematic Thought, » received the 2011 College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Dissertation Award at Purdue University where he received his Ph.D. in philosophy. Robert has studied in the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University; the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Città di Castello, Italy; within the Unseld Lecture Series at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He has been as a visiting fellow of the World Congress Summer School with the Association for Social Economics; a visiting scholar of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Institutes; a visiting fellow with the National Humanities Center’s Summer Institutes in Literary Studies; a visiting fellow with Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy. Robert has been awarded the American Philosophical Society’s Franklin Research Grant, and he was selected as an inaugural member of the London Graduate School’s Summer Academy in Critical Humanities. He is also the book review editor for Constructivist Foundations, subject he touched concerning the operational closure on the epistemological and ontological point of view in PLASTIR 24, 09/2011. In this essay, he discusses whether the uses of scientific models, specifically drawn from systems theory, can address the intellectual crisis in the humanities. This discussion asks whether the human sciences can be grounded in a systems-based, scientific framework of analysis. Specifically, the author interpret René Girard’s theory of the scapegoat mechanism and his theory of the genesis of human culture on the model of a general systems theory, linked to the systemic ontology of Gilles Deleuze. This interpretation helps to decide whether theories of culture may be adequately conceived using scientific models. Robert Drury King describes Deleuze’s general systems theory and show how it works. Since many readers may be skeptical of the idea of linking the work of Girard with that of Deleuze, he begins this essay by reassessing Girard’s own view of Deleuze, focusing on his misinterpretations of Anti-Oedipus and Deleuze’s complex theory of desire. He then draws out the profound affinities between Deleuze’s and Girard’s projects. These affinities have gone unrecognized in the scholarship treating the two, he shows that Girard’s theory of the scapegoat mechanism can in fact be grounded in systems theory with its scientific models, thus opening up the debate about grounding the human sciences in the systems sciences.

REPRESENTATIONS OF ROMAN JULIO-CLAUDIAN EMPERORS IN EGYPT: A BALANCE ANALYSYS

DEBORAH MOINE is an archaeologist and art historian. She is currently a following a PhD in Antique Archaeology at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium), after a DEC in antique polytheism and an interdisciplinary MA in philosophy and letters. She is interested in heritage and its preservation, as well as cultural exchanges and art in all its forms, thereby working to CreA-Heritage – which brings together all the programs of archaeological research at the ULB University. His areas of interest are Egypt, Roma, history of religions, the Greco-Roman Egypt and the Celtic world. She is the author of many papers, symposia or conferences which may be found on ULB-Academy or of Arts and Letters, member of « the Belgian Society for Oriental Studies » (SBEO) and Egyptologist identified in the database « Fitzwilliam Museum » of Cambridge or even the « ULB Africa Humanities » gathering in a seminar for doctoral students with thematic research in Africa. In this essay, she immediately raises the issue of this unloved period of ancient Egypt illustrated by the Roman domination which study notes of an obstacle course as it is full of pitfalls (prejudice, segregation of Egyptology disciplines default method or exploration new tracks). Period that we should decrypt redefining the problem and in the light of a detailed analysis of the strategy Julio-Claudian representation. This is what is doing Deborah Monk for PLASTIR on all fronts : artistic and religious consideration with stele, reliefs, icons, rituals and offerings; literary decryption with theories of Latin authors, political and geographical with the review of the implementation of temples and shrines in Roman whenever connected to local contexts Egypt (literacy rate, Roman influences, roles of emperors and translators, stylistic Templar, specific buildings and scenes depicted…). For example, the author describes as follows the simplification of offering scenes during this era. “The arc between semiotic text, the tiara, the offering and the gods ». She shows also the importance of pastiches, images of the Caesars or feminine image used during the Julio-Claudian period, as for Julia Domna, lying whenever the degree of knowledge of the relevant time. All the text is illustrated by various ornamental details or examples of very telling terrain as « Auguste purified by Horus and Thoth » from the hypostyle of the temple of Kalabsha. As a multiple conclusion and strong interdisciplinary anchor, we will understand the crucial role of temples as « place of convergence between art, economics, religion, society and politics »; we will examine also the « empty » cartridges, centralized structures, representation or empresses policy Caesars in Egypt. Deborah Moine not only give us an overview of this rich and underestimated period, but would like to rehabilitate it, particularly showing us the value of the Roman art of Egypt in recent discoveries made in this area at Dionysias by the Professor Papi. I am sure we are all grateful for that.

A PLASTICIAN WHO GOES TO MEET COGNITIVE SCIENCES

JOSÉ-XAVIER POLET is defining himself as a multifaceted visual artist who has changed almost as often nicknames, which crossed countries and juggled styles. He is a man of contradictions, doing robust and strong choices, a Janus taking a course outsized capable of great mental gap enabling him to conduct a joint public activity businessman as well as an artist engaged in pictorial research related to cognitive science. All experiments included, in good self-taught art, he finally followed one way: that of Marcel Duchamp who stated, once invented photography, that pure creation was happening behind the retina, in the « alchemy » of the brain. Brushing this virtual world in the meaning of potential and latent, that is what provides the emerging field of cognitive science. A huge field of investigation where José Xavier Polet rushes with passion, who is working for years in the secular problems of line and shape, contour and color, as well as those more contemporary the will and the hazard. In 2003, he founded Art + Science, an Internet platform and a bridge between artists and men of science. Meet there members of MIT and the Institut Jean Nicod, and renowned artists. His enthusiasm is not enough and, if not quite focused on cognition, not to establish fairly precise boundaries between technologies, scientific research and advanced aesthetic, the precursor project is supported by any actor of importance. Although it does not persist, the company allows our man to rub innovative concepts, decisive questions for him, though embryonic. He enters into « land of cognitive Utopia » and passes a brain and intentional approach to a more impulsive bill, more in tune with affect and fusion. He appropriates the idea of ​​gambling, uncertainty. This involution is accompanied by abandonment, which showcases the runoff to the spot. He metabolizes concretely what the theory is slowing to show. The abstractions of José Xavier Polet are snapshots of a moment of his inner life. For a dozen years he exhibited regularly around the globe, delivering a little more each time, as auguries often confusing, foundations of a free continuum of contingencies. This time it is the Scientific Pole and Cultural Ales that the artist José Xavier Polet gave a major exhibition that links between his abstract work and cognitive sciences. In eight days time (from September 27 to October 5, 2013), more than 400 people visited fifty recent pieces, a dozen interpretive signs, a slideshow of over 500 photos depicting the artistic continuum of artist. And for good measure, the public had the opportunity to watch 3 DVD relaying scientific conferences dedicated to the relationship between art and science. Set on over 400 m2, in former stables beautifully refurbished. This rare exhibition stood carefully in the context of “The Researchers’ Night”. Readers of PLASTIR could have a preview of this event on or reading the transposing of the content showing most exposed panels, some of which are reproduced in this paper.

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