Plastir Number 43


Ubiràtan D’AMBROSIO (born December 8, 1932 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian mathematics educator and historian of mathematics. He earned his doctorate from the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 1963. He retired as a professor of mathematics from the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil in 1993 having behind him an impressive career as teacher, administrator, council member of many societies, including Pugwash, and writer, and he also found time to serve the International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM) for five years. D’Ambrosio is the founder of the Brazilian Society for Mathematics and History of the International Group of Ethnomathematicians. He is also member of the council of numerous societies or transdisciplinary structures such as the CIRET (International Center of Research and Transdisciplinary Studies) and, recently of the scientific committee of the PSA research group (Plasticities Sciences Arts). He published a lot of works or books about his researches that you can consult on his blog. Ubiràtan D’Ambrosio also collaborated with us to several common articles on the societal, philosophic and transdisciplinary aspects in Plastir 8, 09/2007 and Plastir 11, 06/2008. He honors us with analyzing here with a great acuteness the current inventory of fixtures of a broken society which has difficulty in taking out from epistemological cages that it built up itself. Notion which is dear to the author and illustrates perfectly the societal stakes in the modernity. Ubiratan D’ Ambrosio depicts them to us alternately. First of all, the systems of knowledge, their traps and their outcomes, in particular, the adoption of an transdisciplinary attitude of search (that he differentiates clearly of the inter-and the multi – disciplinarily) that we support firmly. Then, the differences of strategy on the scale of the group or the social networks and of the individuality facing the same reality (as the violence and the human reactions which are attached to it such the submission, the drive of survival or the transcendence). And finally the heart of the humanity or Sapiens  (links with the technicality and the ecosystems, the complexity), what it means of deeper (human being’s status, links of cause with effect, metaphor, plenitude, dimensions of the reality) and what makes sense. The paper exposes us clearly challenges to recover and the possible strategies of action compared to the lessons of the past in the light of the breakthroughs of Goethe or of Gödel. It is a question before any not reconstituting ceaselessly vaster epistemological cages where we think free and where we are once more prisoner of an ideology or a system of « totalitarian » thought or « totalitarisant ». It is also a question of remaining humble and of exceeding the violence and the conflicts by the education (education for the peace, manifesto of Pugwash), the solidarity or the cooperation enters and through the cultures. Plainly we have to think upstream (to warn the belligerent or violent actions) and otherwise cross-culturally to embody our human being’s full status.


Alfredo VEGA CÁRDENAS is conservative-restorer and curator of cultural property, philosopher, PhD in art history and teaches at present as specialist of the theory and the history of the preservation in Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. His research works concern the new methodologies bound to the restoration-preservation and join an transdisciplinary approach looking at the epistemology, at the contemporary art and at the cultural heritage. He has already approached the stakes in preservation, in understanding and in transmission of the contemporary art from the thinking of the Spanish philosopher Xavier Zubiri in PLASTIR 32, 09/2013. In this article, he leaves the analysis of the object in the theories of the restoration to study the possibility of an epistemology capable of establishing the reconstruction of the restoration of cultural property as specific and irreplaceable domain of knowledge. By taking the concept of poietic to express this disciplinary creation-recreation, the author draws, through the philosophy of Zubiri, three components of his epistemological proposal: the restorable object, the subject restorer and the restorative act to add it the perspectives of transdisciplinary research which open with this proposal. He approaches in particular the correlation between the third mask and the act restorative as the zone of transparency there where the reductionism of objectivity and subjectivity can be abolished.


Abdelkader BACHTA is professor of philosophy at the University of Tunis is. He published a series of papers on the scientific modelling and the theoretical contributions of the mathematician René Thom in PLASTIR, whose entitled work he recently titled  » The scientific modelling and its foundations  » (MtL publishing House, 2015). In this issue, he dedicates himself to a meticulous study of the deficiencies and the assets of the scientific model as Cartesian system associated with a dominant theory. The author, leaning in particular on the works of Thom, shows that this territory defines a field marked out by the knowledge which is underlying it or brought back, but is rarely explicit or admitted. He differentiates it from archetypal or paradigmatic approaches, in particular in the physical or mathematical sciences, and places it in the alder of the  » dualities of dualism, the rationalism and the empiricism » on one hand, and the idealism and the realism, on the other hand, by quoting Kant, Wolff, Hume or Locke … At the end, we assist to a fine analysis of the link between the modelling and the theories of the knowledge and of the human potentialities, certainly subject to marry or to refer to a model or to a frame as the Cartesianism, or in contrast the aestheticism or the Kantian idealism, but sometimes capable of transcending the historicity and the dominant culture.


Ziva LJUBEC is a transdisciplinary researcher, trespassing boundaries of any discipline and avoiding any obsolete differentiation of researchers into artists and scientists. Trained as an architect and curious with the precision of a mathematician, Živa studied both architecture and mathematics, the most widely applied interdisciplinary language, at the University of Ljubljana. For further exploration beyond the disciplinary sciences and for evolving transdisciplinarity into an imaginary organism of living knowledge, Živa was awarded her PhD degree in 2015 by the University of Plymouth. In addition to actively spreading her ideas through art interventions, exhibitions and conferences worldwide, Živa has been lecturing at AVA – Academy of Visual Arts in Ljubljana, where she developed her course on Transmedia / Media Theory. In 2015 she was invited by her mentor Roy Ascott as a visiting lecturer / artist to his Technoetic Art Studio in Shanghai, a joint program between SIVA – Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts and Detao Masters Academy. Živa is currently appointed as the Coordinator of the Technoetic Arts Studio and a Senior Lecturer in the Advanced Course in Technoetic Arts. Additionally, she holds the position of Director of Studies in the doctoral and postdoctoral research program at Detao Node of the Planetary Collegium. She summarizes us the subject handled in her article as follows: « Returning to the origins of cyborg, conceived in order to automatize technologically the homeostasis of Earthlings exploring the outer space, outside the safety zone of planet Earth, this paper expands the exploration of outer and inner spaces by providing the means to survive beyond the offerings of our atmosphere and settling in a much vaster noosphere. The purpose of her paper is the following :  » In order to explore the sphere of mind – nous, this paper proposes how to consider noetics in terms of technoetics rather than simply and blindly relying on technology, and explains the difference between autoamputation of organs resulting from irritation of our central nervous system and the proposed solution of decentralising the nervous system by growing new cyberceptive organs. For this purpose the term cyborg is upgraded into a polyphibian that like amphibians survives and thrives in multiple environments. Likewise, the discipline of bionics morphs into a non-discipline of polyphibionics in order to encompass multiple forms of being. Last but not least the paper hints on what remains intrinsically human on the threshold between the animal and the technological, namely the human use of laughter. As unavoidable autonomous reflex, laughter maintains homeostasis in the most paradoxical situations and propels us over our own limitations. Should cybernetics incorporate humour to overcome the constraints of logic in technological and computational that is only a part of what could be utterly incomputable reality ? »

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