Plastir Number 35 – 06/2014


Philippe QUEAU is graduate of the Polytechnic prestige engineering school, engineer of the National Sup. Telecom school, and known as an international specialist in the field of the sciences of information and communication. Having been a study leader to the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) untill 1996 when he based the Imagina program dedicated to the synthetic image and the French Web server « MediaPort » which accommodated the first sites of the CSA (French broadcasting authority) and the diplomatic World (Le Monde), he will enter the UNESCO as director of the Division of the Information society, occupying various posts in Moscow (covering several countries among which, Georgia, Armenia and Russian Federation (2003), in Rabat (covering several countries of the Maghreb, 2005), then in Paris as director(manager) of the Division of the Ethics and the global Change ( 2013 ) and quite recently, general assistant manager of the UNESCO for the human and social Sciences. Philippe Quéau was also the initiator of an international project of creation of a monument of the communication in Kobé (Japan) and the director of several television series on computer generated images, first French movie in 3D  » House Flies  » with André Martin (1983) and the first world connection of televirtuality by phone link with 3D dumping « in » the abbey of Cluny. Philippe Quéau is also a prolix author, as we had raised it in the previous publication of the author in PLASTIR 25, 12/2011. His last book modern Wounds. Essay of theologico-political criticism of the « modernity » was published at Metaxu Editions (2011). Besides his spirit of initiative and land-clearer of new fields of the knowledge, what knocks in its course, it is his propensity to deliver as much in the symbol as in the meaning a premature and lucid vision of the structural consequences of the synchronous and irreversible breakthroughs of the cyberculture. It comes true amply in « Cyberearth and Noosphere », precursory text in which Philippe Quéau gives us the big lines of a global bioethics to be absolutely respected in this new jungle of the virtual. « This technical revolution also announces an unprecedented economic and social upheaval, because global and synchronous. Nation states been used to manage a « real » territory, have not known how to yet adapt themselves to the cyberspace. The toughening of the telecommuting, the generalization of relocated, virtualized cyber-companies, are going to constitute a frontal impact for the classic visions of the world, been used to the centrality, the territoriality, the materiality « , he told so from 1996, by describing exactly the dangers of the hybridization between real and virtual not mastered. Dangers of confusion of the images – between vision and comprehensibility – adjoining the “desimagination” of Eckart, bringing to wonder about the represented concept, the confusion of the values enters real and virtual, between fine and average or still enters the metaphor and the models concerning the systems representing the natural and formal languages. But possible reversal of the tendencies between notion of reality and virtuality or merger with the birth of the virtual arts. « The current success of paradigm of the « virtual » possesses, among others, a cause of psychological order. Le Monde, having lost any clear notion of the « reality », finds a kind of provisory answer in the anxiety, which ensues from it by calling upon a « virtual » which considers it place. The « virtual » appears as a kind of alibi of the reality, it seems to contain the unexplained sum of the mysteries of the world. The « virtual » is an ample and practical metaphor which summarizes of a word all that we « do not realize » clearly about the reality. « Virtual » introduced in the everyday life an almost philosophic distance towards the reality. He obliges us to consider the « realities » which we give us to see with more and more critical mind. The « virtual reality » and more still the increased  » reality  » come so just at the right moment to give us to experiment « intermediate realities » made in any old way, that is of mathematical models and physical sensations, abstract concepts and concrete perceptions. These realities of a new genre remind us obviously the Platonic intuitions and the « metaxu », these « intermediate beings » which allowed formerly to connect the matter and the shape, the knowledge and the ignorance, the beauty and the ugliness, the gods and the men. For Platon, the intermediaries allow to bind what it would be inconceivable to bind without them. The intermediaries are the angels, the quarks and the gluons which make the world hold together, and if not, they fill at least the deep ‘holes’ in which our language makes an incision in the flesh of the world « , dixit the author describing us the emergence of fertile art and science interactions and of new media or hybrid environments. After all, it is clearly the nature of man which is questioned in its foundations in the digital era. Confrontation between image of the reality and the reality of the image, between nature and virtual culture >, between mystic human and natural nature, between understandable world and sensitive world, enters semantic. Are we today taken out of the confusion? Nothing is less sure, however the multiple reality or the « trans-intelligibillity » of Metaxu and other intermediates beings helps us there, and we can say, to answer Philippe Quéau in a mesologic optics experienced by the extreme oriental civilizations, that the cyberearth is clearly this new « environment » which lives in us and what we live in completely while continuing to navigate visually in the noospheric dirigible.


Bernard CARMONA is phD in sciences of the education and develops transdisciplinary tools within the framework of trainings for the management. He recently published in this connection « The awakening of the genius of the learner » (L’Harmattan Eds., 2009) and approached the practice of the debate of the Tibetan Buddhism in PLASTIR 30, 03/2013, showing us how his doctoral project on the complexity of the apprenticeships had led him to become a transdisciplinary practitioner. In this paper, he approaches this practice as a mechanical creative process « putting in movement the intelligence » in its at the same time cultural, artificial and ethical aspects, describing us step by step how the debate builds itself, learns with the dominating role of the challenger, continues with ‘debators’ or disputants until the birth of a common consensus establishing the coherence of the Buddhist doctrine, then ends on a « finity » chanted three times by the challenger. The foundations of the space of artificial intelligence (IA) in the fall of the debate are according to Bernard Carmona stemming from acquired practices of the Buddhism such the body-mind relation, more recently changed into embodied cognition and into enactive practice very present in the physical language of the speaker, thanks to the Francisco Varela’s considerable contribution. They also base on a practice of the metaphor as the intelligent action such as described by one of the fathers of the IA, Herbert Simon (see PLASTIR 22, 03/2011 & PLASTIR 26, 03/2012). Accordingly, the position of the author who claims this methodology as essential to the practice of the debate seen as « a machine to produce, to embody and to experiment metaphors » and which is illustrated by three beautiful metaphors that we let you discover: that of the hot-air balloon, that of the conquest of the space Two cosmonauts in the odyssey of the space of the Buddhist vacuity « ) and that of the reincarnation. He will give us then some avenues of research onto the application of these rules such the modeling of this ethical practice and the inscription of the debate in the immaterial heritage of the UNESCO, before concluding so its approach « by reconciling imagination and reason, separated since the speech of the method of Descartes, Varela and Simon refresh the analog thought so precious to Léonard de Vinci who tells us:  » As the bolt rises which we screw in the nut, also will go(take) up the helix(propeller) which we screw in the air « . The practice of the debate proposes a scenography of alive metaphors in a space of artificial intelligence. As the metaphor transports the sense, the practice of the debate, behind the rigorous logic of the debates, transports and gives to see two other noble truths of the Buddhism: the cessation of the suffering and the way of liberation. By embodying the metaphors of his conception of the world, the Tibetan monk puts on imagination and reason in the pearl necklace of an artificial language. This creation of sharp mind made from time immemorial allows to face the complexity of the phenomena. »


Philippe LHERMINIER is a professor of genetics and highly skilled researcher at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research; Laboratory Populations, Genetics and Evolution), administrator of the Zoological Society of France and vice-president of the Society of French Mythology. He recently published « Of the species », Syllepse Eds. (2005) and « The myth of the species », Ellipse Eds. (2009) as well as of numerous articles such « The sort between impact strength and serendipity » CRAS (Nov. 2013) or collective works (Bulletin of history and epistemology of life sciences, Vol. 16/2, on 2009). He entrusted us this article in an a little provocative spirit in front of conformities of any edge connected to the question of the loss of the species and the consequences which it engenders as for the biodiversity. We are grateful to him for it all the more as the civil code has finally just recognized to animals the status « of alive beings endowed with sensibility « , and thus there, a specific value in the species. If it is not directly connected to the purposes of the author, it recover them, in particular when he re-places the real value of animals, their utility, their use, excessive sometimes, their work, their future. « Our interest for the individuals saturates our valuable scales. The horse specie has a value but the streaks have no value because no zebra is useful. » dixit the author. The thought of the species builds itself so gradually at the man’s according to the utility which we recognize it in the society, but also of its specific attractions or its emotional capacities (pets), of public recognition (zoos). However, Philippe Lherminier distinguishes very clearly  » the desire of the species from the interest carried to the useful and pleasant individual « , by giving the example of mosquitoes or molluscs which teem and resist heroically the hardest treatments (climatic, human or polluting) without for it to be valued by the man.  » Man who is not « more » a species than such midge, « sea lungs », as calls them Platon, are they our equals? Do we have to rank (organize into a hierarchy) the human beings according to a valuable scale all the more suspect(suspicious) as she(it) places automatically the man in the summit? Different are the values of the credit note but equal the values of the being: in the world of the survival the vulgarities of such tiny creature are well worth the golds of the human brain. » We approve this valuable scale of values and especially of the anthropocentrism there which characterizes us. « The bacterium which has least genes has a fascinating value because it evokes a kind of zero degree of the life. Of the blow the scale of the species is damaged. The said « superiors » species are not more sorts than other « subordinates »: the mutual recognition of two filamentous mushrooms is also specific as the exuberant sexual court of birds of paradise  » confirms us the author, from whom we cannot quote all the arguments such those bound to the survival of the species or the aesthetic qualities of biodiversity. However, for the author, since the Genesis, the value of a human being, a larva of fly in the human embryo amounts to its qualities of reproduction and « It is exactly in this endless tension which lies the seduction of the species ». Immoderation which seduces the man listing and searching ceaselessly the resources of the Earth and the conduit to adopt ethical and sometimes moralizing positions on the rights and the duties of the species, to promulgate sociobiological principles, hierarchies between animals or between flora and fauna and finally to idealize certain species (to the detriment of other). What is important finally tells us Philippe Lherminier to conclude, it is the desire of the species, in other words the fact to grant the real value to the species, to go out of the indifference to adopt a symbiotic thought, as far as possible, of the plasticity of life.


Abdelkader BACHTA is an epistemologist and a professor of philosophy at the University of Tunis. Author of numerous essays on the philosophy of the sciences, he makes every effort for PLASTIR to search the epistemological foundations of the thought of our friend the mathematician René Thom (to consult PLASTIR 27, 06/2012. PLASTIR 29, 12/2012 and PLASTIR 32, 09/2013). He recently published at L’Harmattan Eds. a work about him entitled « Thom and the scientific modeling » (Paris, 2013). In this article, the author approaches the question of the link enter mathmatics and linguistics, raising straightaway the question of the role of the Cartesian thought in the Thomian vision, in particular in the theory of the disasters and the mathematical models of morphogenesis. From the point of view of the applied mathmatics in the physics, he shows that Thom differentiates clearly those who are associated with the morphogenetic processes of the purely quantitative mathematics. « The dynamic theory of morphogenesis » and the concept of « elementary catastrophe » correspond naturally to seconds, more qualitative, without ever giving up to rigorous analytics. The linguistic hillside was approached by Thom, in particular in its work « language and disaster », is a matter of the same logic integrating the Saussurian rules of meaning and of meant and favoring the elementary structure, even « atomic » of the sentence while opening in the syntax and in semantics following a topological optics of his own. « The action is universalizing, whereas the comprehensibility is, on the contrary, localizing » summarizes us the author in this connection, by showing us that whatever the position adopted, the Thomian critics of the mathematical analysis is still relative, never anti-cartesian in the first degree, especially if we compare it to those of his contemporaries, including the linguists, tending to adopt this attitude split up in front of the consideration of the complex phenomena.

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