Plastir Number 32 – 12/2012


Danielle BOUTET is professor in the department of psychosociology of the UQAR (University of Quebec) and also researcher in practice of the arts. She created and managed during a decade the Master’s degree of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts at the Goddard College (Vermont, the USA) and strongly contributed to the institution of new artistic practices of architecture and of the visual arts at the University Laval for the creation of the Master’s degree Inter-arts. Before taking this orientation, she had dedicated herself about twenty years to the domain of the andragogy. Her activity is centered today on “the epistemological dimension of the creative process in art”, which she approaches on its teaching practice mixing art, science and transdisciplinarity. Then, she proposes pedagogy centered on disciplinary knowledge, but also infra-and not disciplinary, on “the intermediality” and on the new artistic practices. For her, the art is clearly a shape of inseparable full knowledge of the other fields of the knowledge among which those of the science, the hermeneutics or the psychoanalysis. In summary, Danielle Boutet advocates a practice of the art which is at the same time relational, community and really activist. Among her recent publications, Vision and Experience: the Contribution of art to Transdisciplinary Knowledge. Transdisciplinary Journal in Engineering and Science, Vol. 4, December on 2013, Atlas Editor, Materialisms IV: Movement, Aesthetics, Ontology, University of Turku (Finland), in May 16-17th, 2013; Creation of art, creation of one, creation of meaning and thought, new short program in Study of the artistic practice in the UQAR. Colloquium to think about the artistic training, the congress of the ACFAS  » in May 9-10th, 2013 (Laval university, Canada); Metaphors of the Mind: art forms have modes of thinking and ways of being; Estelle Barrett and Barbara Bolt (dir.), Carnal Knowledge: towards has new materialism in the arts (London: I.B. Tauris), 2013. In the essay she proposes us for PLASTIR, it is about to approach the narrow relationships of the sciences and the arts under the point of view of a “materialist reductionism” whose keys Danielle Boutet gives us straightaway. It is a question of “the reduction of the consciousness and all the things of the mind in emergent properties, additional effects resulting from the interaction of material components” which establishes, just like the positivism or the ambient scientific materialism, a big part of the dominant thought. This “scientophilic” environment, she says to us, is particularly fashionable within the neurosciences which correlate well the phenomena of widened consciousness as the near-death experience or the Buddhist meditation, but reflects not at all the « contents » of the brain (the knowledge), the history of the subject and the intimate experience of the artist, his felt sound. And the author to quote Pinker and its psychology of the social status of man, in particular that, pejorative, that he grants to the activities “biologically trivial and pointless” as the art. The observer would be for him as for the neurologist Sachs an “extraterrestrial biologist” there wondering why the arts exist, what they bring to the man except a fleeting pleasure (analogue to a “hearing cheesecake” as regards to music)? Some people as Levitin or Heighten think that it would bring her certain evolutionary advantages, but they are a minority. Pinker adopts as for him on this subject as on the notions of aesthetics, beauty or fiction, a sarcastic tone, even contemptuous, but especially cannot understand at all the contents and the object of the art, says to us Danielle Boutet who prefers to question the philosophy, in particular the Australian one, that the neurosciences to understand the whys and wherefores of the artistic creation. So she quotes Grosz for whom “the art so declines: the art is the pleasure of the excess in the nature and the excess of energy in our bodies”, is the own of the seduction or “the constriction of materials so that they become aestheticized or pleasant”, in other words answers an erotic of the shape not purely aesthetic, but which, just like the sexuality of the orchid, is necessary for the survival of the species. The author indicates us that she made the choice to present these two authors (Grosz and Pinker) because they are representative of the scientist ideology and the epistemic drift which prevail today, while he would be fundamental, and some people (including renowned scientists) are there very fortunately conscious to deliver our internal world, our imagination, the dark side of our feelings in broad daylight!


Georges CHAPOUTHIER from the French ENS (Ecole Normale Supérieure) is highly skilled director at the CNRS. He followed a double program in neurobiology and in philosophy. It is to say that he is close to our centers of interest. His works in biology concerns the psychopharmacology of the anxiety and the memory at the rodent. However, the author wonders very early about the similarity and the disparities between the animal and human reigns, developing numerous epistemological approaches on this theme and more generally on the links crossed between science and philosophy. His works approach so naturally the complexity of the human beings where he recently went deeper into the epistemological concept of mosaic, the rights of the animal, and the concept of bestiality that he distinguishes clearly from the classic Kantian axiom or the Anglo-Saxon meanings of the world by giving them a specific place. A place differentiating them without ambiguity, on one hand from machines, and on the other hand from human rights. This posture leads the author to adopt an ethical, moral and cultural line of conduct repositioning the human condition. He published in particular on this subject The man, this monkey in mosaic, introduced by Patrick Blandin, Odile Jacob Ed. (2001); What the animal?, Le Pommier Ed. (2004); Kant and the chimpanzee, Essay on the human being, the morality and the art , Belin Ed. (2009), Prize Achille Urbain of the Veterinary Academyn (2010), The man, the animal and the machine perpetual redefining  » CNRS Ed. with F Kaplan (2011), Mosaic structures in living room beings in the light of several modern stanzas, (on-line) Biocosmology-Neo-Aristotelism, on 2012, 2 ( 1-2 ), 6-14 or still The animal question – Between science, literature and philosophy, supervised by JP Engélibert, L Campos, C Coquio, G Chapouthier, University Press of Rennes- Space Mendès France Poitiers, France (2011). Our friend Georges Chapouthier who recently approached other domains of the knowledge such as those of the real time communication, is also keen on poetry. He published in particular with one of his pen names in PLASTIR 5, 12/2006 an approach of the links science-poetry and a beautiful text on the structure of haikus. In the text which he delivers us here, it is about this junction assumed by the poet and by the man of science and also by the relevance of routes in mosaics crossing at the same time the domain of the alive (the training of beings, their fitting or their juxtaposition leading to the biological complexity) and the genesis of the language, the novel or the poem. Of very beautiful examples we are given such this novel written for four hands among which “the multiple tesselles harmonizes to establish the mosaic of the work”, these powerful analogies between the renku, haiku or the haïbun of the Japanese poetry and their French-speaking hillsides or still the narraotème of Bouraoui given as example of “the outcome in mosaic of the combination and the integration of diverse literary forms: prose and poetry get involved, in a continuous lyric flow of verses there, appropriate to draw the tesselles of the reality and the dream”.


Alfredo VEGA CÁRDENAS is a conservative-restorer of cultural property, a philosopher and a visual artist. He is a member of the CIRET (International Center of Researches and Transdisciplinary Studies), of the “International board of Museums ICOM France” where he belongs to the international committee of preservation and at the moment of the PSA (Plasticities Sciences Arts) research group. He finishes at present his doctorate in Art history to the University Pantheon – Sorbonne Paris 1. His areas of research approach subjects connected to the domains of epistemology, the contemporary art, transdisciplinarity as well as the preservation-restoration of cultural property. This article constitutes a first approach of the stakes in preservation and in transmission of the contemporary art, from a new epistemological horizon based on Xavier Zubiri’s philosophy. By presenting the foundations of the first part of the trilogy established by the Spanish philosopher in reference to the act of intellection, the author lays the foundations of a system of understanding of the contemporary art, for the restaurant owners(restorers) in particular, and more generally for the specialists implied(involved) in the contemporary art and the cultural heritage. So says to us Alfredo Vega “the restorable object can be analyzed as system of notes in the horizon of reality; the restorer, as subject of the act of intellection dreads this system of notes as restorable object. This apprehension establishes the axis of a new way of understanding of the contemporary art with the aim of its preservation and of its transmission. By this act of intellection, the subject and the object are in the reality, that is they establish the respective current events of a reity susceptible to transformation(processing).” It is a new dimension of the object of the restoration (the work of art) there and of the reflexive act which him according to the zubirian perspective. An initiative) which the author would want to see recognizing  » in a new system of construction my of the restorable object, while overtaking the categorization of objects prescribed in the theoretical and ethical corpus of the preservation-restoration « , in other words in an epistemological prospect really taking into account  » the sensing intelligence of the restorer  » lauded by the philosophy of Zubiri which he would be time to know and to widen to other crossed fields of the knowledge.


Abdelkader BACHTA is an epistemologist and a professor of philosophy at the University of Tunis. As we have already presented him, he published numerous works on the scientific rationality, the Lights or the Kantian idealism, as well as feature articles on the philosophy of the sciences in the review of epistemology DOGMA. After having published three articles in PLASTIR on the mathematician René Thom and his relation in the cognitive sciences, respectively in PLASTIR 27, 06/2012, PLASTIR 29, 12/2012 and in the present article, he has just published a book on Thom (René Thom and the scientific modelization) in the collection ‘Epistemology and philosophy of the sciences ‘ of the L’Harmattan Eds. in which he shows the indifference of the author of the theory of the disasters for the compartmental analysis and the cognitive models extending the quantificative logic, contrary to the physical model of Bohr. In this new contribution, Abdelkader Bachta places in a very interesting way the ontological foundation of the thomian theory of the disasters in the illuminating of Jean-Louis Lemoigne’s systematic and constructivist point of view. It is thus through the perception of the theory of the disasters and more generally the Aristotelians position of Thom by Lemoigne that we discover the fundamental notions of structural stability, of quantification or of arithmetisation and especially of thomian topology. So Bachta asserts:  » We can support also that Lemoigne seized the ultimate, separate meaning of any mathematical consideration, three constituents of the thomian theory of which we take care: the fundamental character of the structural stability, the fact that the conflict is an opposition, a fight and the idea that the disaster is a jump, a break (…) But the difference takes place when we consider the mathematical spirit reigning at our two author’s: we showed that René Thom is close to the concrete, that it is a land surveyor (…) Lemoigne, on the other hand, is an arithmetician. » He so updates by taking as example the embryology as « paradigm main part at both authors to treat the evolution » or their apparently anticartesian common position, a real ontological gap between both conceptions. The one, Lemoigne, adopt an anti-realistic position, even Platonic, whereas the other one, Thom, follows a realistic and metaphysical logic in the tradition of Descartes or Newton, what makes say to the author that « Lemoigne has « desaristotelize » the approach which adopts Thom or (…) that our thinker has platonized Thom « , but that finally, both thoughts, the constructivist one and the geometrician one do not meet.

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