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The Idea of Levels of Reality and its Relevance for Non-Reduction and Personhood

1. Introduction - Problems of terminology

The words "reduction" and "reductionism" are e tremely ambiguous. !ifferent authors use different meanings and definitions and therefore e tremely un"roductive "olemics could be generated. #or e am"le$ "hiloso"hers understand by "reduction" re"lacing one theory by a newer more encom"assing theory$ while scientists understand by the same word e actly the o""osite o"eration. In other words$ "hiloso"hers reduce the sim"ler to the more com"le while scientists reduce the more com"le to the sim"ler$ understood as "more fundamental". In "hysics$ for e am"le$ one reduces everything to su"erstrings or membranes$ by ho"ing to arrive at a "Theory of %verything". In fact$ there are many other meanings given to the word "reduction"& in chemistry$ in linguistics$ in coo'ing$ in "hysiology$ in ortho"edic surgery$ etc. In order to avoid any confusion$ we will ado"t here the general scientific meaning& one reduces ( to )$ ) to *$ * to !$ etc. till we arrive at what is believed to be the most fundamental level. +uman thought follows$ in fact$ the same "rocess of reduction. Reduction is$ in many ways$ a natural "rocess for thought and there is nothing wrong about it. The only "roblem is to understand what we find at the end of the reduction chain& is the chain circular and$ if not$ how do we ,ustify the conce"t of "end" at the end of the chainIn any case$ we have to distinguish "reduction" from "reductionism". There are many ty"es of reductionisms and there is a real danger in confusing them. .ometimes "reductionism" is defined through the assertion that a com"le system is nothing but the sum of its "arts. /ne has to distinguish between& 1. methodological reductionism& reduce the e "lanation to the sim"ler "ossible entities. 0. theoretical reductionism& reduce all theories to a single unified theory. 1. ontological reductionism& reduce all of reality to a minimum number of entities.

Transdisci"linarity in .cience and Religion$ n3 4$ 0556$ *urtea 7eche Publ.$ )ucharest$ ". 11-08. /"ening tal' at the mini-conference "% "loring Non-Reduction and Levels of Reality"$ International *ongress ".ub,ect$ .elf$ and .oul& Transdisci"linary (""roaches to Personhood"$ 9niversidad Pontificia *omillas$ :adrid$ ."ain$ ;uly 11$ 0556.

In the literature one finds other 'inds of reductionisms& for e am"le$ !aniel !ennett defines the "<reedy reductionism"1 =the belief that every scientific e "lanation has to be reduced to su"erstrings or membranes>$ while Richard !aw'ins defines a "hierarchical reductionism"0 =there is an hierarchy of com"le organi?ational systems$ every entity on one level being reducible to one level down in the hierarchy>. The a""earance of both these ty"es of reductionisms serves as a criticism of the e treme forms of reductionism. +owever$ the very fact that there are so many varieties of reductionisms signals a situation of crisis of reductionism itself. To avoid any confusion$ we will acce"t$ in this tal'$ scientific reductionism as meaning the e "lanation of com"le s"iritual "rocesses in terms of "sychic "rocesses$ which in turn are e "lained through biological "rocesses$ which in their turn are e "lained in terms of "hysical "rocesses. In other words$ a ty"ical scientist reduces s"irituality to materiality. Philosophical reductionism will corres"ond to the inverse chain& reducing materiality to s"irituality. )oth ty"es belong to what can be called mono-reductionism. .ome "hiloso"hers acce"t a dualistic a""roach& materiality as radically distinct from s"irituality. The dualistic a""roach is a variant of ""hiloso"hical reductionism"& it corres"onds to a multi-reductionism. /ne can even see$ es"ecially in the New (ge ty"e of literature$ forms of what can be called an interreductionism& i. e. transferring of some material as"ects to s"iritual entities or$ vice versa$ transferring of some s"iritual features to "hysical entities. Non-reductionism is e "ressed through "holism" =meaning that the whole is more than the sum of its "arts and determines how the "arts behave> and "emergentism" =meaning that novel structures$ "atterns or "ro"erties arise from relatively sim"le interactions$ resulting in layers arranged in terms of increased com"le ity>. +olism and emergentism have their own difficulties& they have to e "lain from where novelty comes$ without giving ad hoc e "lanations. (s we will see$ the notion of levels of reality is crucial in conciliating reductionism =so useful in scientific e "lanations> and anti-reductionism =so clearly needed in com"le systems>. )ut before loo'ing at that$ we have to ac'nowledge the e treme ambiguity of the e "ression "level of reality". ( fast loo' at <oogle shows to us more than 1$455$555 entries@ ( true )abel Tower. This sim"ly means that the words "reality" and "level" are not well defined and everybody uses them in a non-rigorous way. In "hiloso"hical literature one finds many ty"es of levels& levels of organi?ation$ levels of integration$ levels of abstraction$ levels of
1 0

!ennett$ 1AAB. !aw'ins$ 1AC8.

language$ levels of re"resentation$ levels of inter"retation$ levels of com"le ity$ levels of organi?ation$ levels of 'nowledge$ and even levels of being. Dhy do we need a new conce"t "levels of Reality"!ictionaries tell us that "reality" means1& 1. the state or Euality of being realF 0. resemblance to what is realF 1. a real thing or factF 4. something that constitutes a real or actual thing$ as distinguished from something that is merely a""arent. These are clearly not definitions but descri"tions in a vicious circle& "reality" is defined in terms of what is "real". In a more restricted sense$ one can define "reality" as "everything that has effects on something else"4. This definition "uts the accent on causality$ but one has to define what ty"e of causality is here involved. In order to avoid any ambiguity$ I will define "reality" in a sense which is used by scientists$ namely in terms of "resistance"B. )y GrealityH we intend first of all to designate that which resists our e "eriences$ re"resentations$ descri"tions$ images$ or even mathematical formulations. It "uts the accent on a relational view of what "reality" could mean. In so far as reality "artici"ates in the being of the world$ one has to assign also an ontological dimension to this conce"t. Reality is not merely a social construction$ the consensus of a collectivity$ or some inter-sub,ective agreement. It also has a trans-sub,ective dimension& for e am"le$ e "erimental data can ruin the most beautiful scientific theory. The meaning we give to the word GRealityH is therefore "ragmatic and ontological at the same time. I will conseEuently denote by a ca"ital letter this word. /f course$ not everything is resistance. #or e am"le$ the notion of angels is certainly connected with non-resistance. (s are the "owers of <od$ they do not resist our e "eriences$ re"resentations$ descri"tions$ images$ and mathematical formulations. De have to distinguish$ in order to avoid further ambiguities$ the words GRealH and GRealityH. Real designates that which is$ while Reality is connected to resistance in our human e "erience. The GRealH is$ by definition$ veiled for ever =it does not tolerate any further Eualifications> while GRealityH is accessible to our 'nowledge. Real involves non-resistance while Reality involves resistance. I will now describe some historical as"ects concerning the conce"t of "level of Reality".

1 4

htt"&IIdictionary.reference.comIbrowseIreality Poli$ 0556. B Nicolescu$ 1A6B$ 0555.

0. Levels of Reality - +istorical as"ects& ;ohn of the Ladder =c. B0BJ858>$ Nicolai +artmann =1660-1AB5> and Derner +eisenberg =1A51-1AC8>
The idea of "levels of Reality" is not$ in fact$ new. The human being felt$ from the beginnings of its e istence$ that there are at least two realms of reality - one visible$ the other invisible. In a more elaborate way$ the theological literature e "ressed the idea of a "scale of being"$ which corres"onds$ of course$ to a scale of Reality. The scale of ;acob =<enesis 06&1510> is one famous e am"le$ so nicely illustrated in the *hristian /rthodo iconogra"hy. There are several variants of the scale of being. The most famous one is found in the boo' Climax or Ladder of Divine Ascent of .aint ;ohn *limacus =c. B0B J858>. The author$ also 'nown as ;ohn of the Ladder$ was a mon' at the monastery on :ount .inai. There are thirty ste"s of the ladder$ describing the "rocess of theosis. Resistance and non-resistance is nicely illustrated in the scale of ;ohn of the Ladder& the human being climbs the ste"s$ which denote the effort of the human being to evolve from s"iritual "oint of view through the resistance to his or her habits and thoughts$ but the angels$ these messengers of <od$ hel"s him or her to ,um" through the intervals of non-resistance between the ste"s of the ladder. This ladder is$ of course$ the o""osite of the )abel Tower. The advent of !arwinKs theory of evolution stimulated$ of course$ the thin'ing about a scale of Reality. The human being feels as being in some sense radically different from his or her brother and sisters$ the animals. In "articular$ consciousness is seen$ es"ecially by religious "eo"le$ as an emergent and mysterious "henomenon. +owever$ wishful thin'ing can not re"lace a scientific argument. (re we on a different level of reality then animals- +ere$ all the "roblems of reductionism and non-reductionism find their sentimental root. In the second "art of the 05th century$ two im"ortant thin'ers on the "roblem of levels of Reality are Nicolai +artmann and Derner +eisenberg. Nicolai +artmann =1660-1AB5> is a somewhat forgotten "hiloso"her$ who had +ans<eorg <adamer as student and :artin +eidegger as his successor at the 9niversity of :arburg$ in <ermany. +e elaborated an ontology based on the theory of categories. +e distinguishes four levels of Reality& inorganic$ organic$ emotional and intellectual. In 1A45 he "ostulated four laws of the levels of Reality& the law of recurrence$ the law of modification$ the law of the novum and the law of distance between levels8. The last law$ "ostulating that the different levels do not develo" continuously$ but in lea"s$ is "articularly interesting in the

+artmann$ 1A45.

conte t of our discussion. Roberto PoliC$ who wrote two nice review articles on the contem"orary develo"ments of +artmannKs theory$ will certainly s"ea' more about these as"ects in his closing tal' of our mini-conference. (lmost simultaneously with +artmann$ in 1A40$ the Nobel Pri?e of Physics Derner +eisenberg elaborated a very im"ortant model of levels of reality in his Manuscript of 19 !6$ which was "ublished only in 1A64. The "hiloso"hical thin'ing of +eisenberg is structured by Gtwo directory "rinci"les& the first one is that of the division in levels of Reality$ corres"onding to different ob,ectivity modes de"ending on the incidence of the 'nowledge "rocess$ and the second one is that of the "rogressive erasure of the role "layed by the ordinary conce"ts of s"ace and time.H L". 045M #or +eisenberg$ reality is Gthe continuous fluctuation of the e "erience as gathered by the conscience. In this res"ect$ it is never wholly identifiable to an isolated systemG L". 188M. Reality could not be reduced to substance. #or the "hysicists of today this fact is obvious& the matter is the complexus substance-energy-s"ace-time-information. (s written by *atherine *hevalley$ who wrote the Introduction to the #rench translation of +eisenbergKs boo'$ Gthe semantic field of the word reality included for him everything given to us by the e "erience ta'en in its largest meaning$ from the e "erience of the world to that of the souls modifications or of the autonomous signification of the symbols.H L". 14BM +eisenberg does not s"ea' in an e "licit manner about "resistance" in relation with reality$ but its meaning is fully "resent& Gthe reality we can tal' about J writes +eisenberg J is never the reality Nin itselfO$ but only a reality about which we may have 'nowledge$ in many cases a reality to which we have given form.H L". 0CCM Reality being in constant fluctuation$ all we can do is to understand "artial as"ects of it$ than's to our thin'ing$ e tracting "rocesses$ "henomena$ and laws. In this conte t$ it is clear that com"leteness is absent& GDe never can arrive at an e act and com"lete "ortrait of realityH L". 0B6M J wrote +eisenberg. The incom"leteness of "hysics laws is hereby "resent in +eisenberg$ even if he does not ma'e any reference to <PdelOs theorems. #or him$ the reality is given as Nte tures of different 'ind connectionsO$ as Ninfinite abundanceO$ without any ultimate fundament. +eisenberg states ceaselessly$ in agreement with +usserl$ +eidegger$ <adamer and *assirer =whom he 'new "ersonally>$ that one has to su""ress any rigid distinction between .ub,ect and /b,ect. +e also states that one has to end with the "rivileged reference on the outer material world and that the only a""roaching manner for the sense of reality is to acce"t its division in regions and levels.

Poli$ 0551 and 055C. +eisenberg$ 1AA6.

+eisenberg distinguishes Gregions of realityH =der "ereich der #ir$lich$eit> from Glevels of realityH =die %chicht der #ir$lich$eit>. GDe understand by Gregions of realityH J writes +eisenberg J L...M an ensemble of nomological connections. These regions are generated by grou"s of relations. They overla"$ ad,ust$ cross$ always res"ecting the "rinci"le of non-contradiction.H The regions of reality are$ in fact$ strictly eEuivalent to the levels of organi?ation of the systemic thin'ing. +eisenberg is conscious that the sim"le consideration of the e istence of regions of reality is not satisfactory because they will "ut on the same "lane classical and Euantum mechanics. It is for this essential reason that he was regrou"ing these reality regions into different levels of Reality. +eisenberg regrou"s the numerous regions of reality in three distinct levels. GIt is clear - wrote +eisenberg J that the ordering of the regions has to substitute the gross division of world into a sub,ective reality and an ob,ective one and to stretch itself between these "oles of sub,ect and ob,ect in such a manner that at its inferior limit are the regions where we can com"letely ob,ectify. In continuation$ one has to ,oin regions where the states of things could not be com"letely se"arated from the 'nowledge "rocess during which we are identifying them. #inally$ on the to"$ have to be the levels of Reality where the states of things are created only in conne ion with the 'nowledge "rocess.G L1C0M *atherine *hevalley underlines that +eisenberg su""resses the rigid distinction between Ge act sciences of the ob,ective real world and the ine act sciences of the sub,ective worldH and he refuses Gany hierarchy founded on the "rivilege of certain nomological conne ion forms$ or on a region of the real considered more ob,ective than the othersH L". 1B0M. The first level of Reality$ in the +eisenberg model$ corres"onds to the states of things$ which are ob,ectified inde"endently of the 'nowledge "rocess. +e situates at this first level classical mechanics$ electromagnetism and the two relativity theories of %instein$ in other words classical "hysics. The second level of Reality corres"onds to the states of things inse"arable from the 'nowledge "rocess. +e situates here Euantum mechanics$ biology and the consciousness sciences. #inally$ the third level of Reality corres"onds to the states of things created in conne ion with the 'nowledge "rocess. +e situates on this level of Reality "hiloso"hy$ art$ "olitics$ N<odO meta"hors$ religious e "erience and ins"iration e "erience.

/ne has to note that the religious e "erience and the ins"iration e "erience are difficult to assimilate to a level of Reality. They rather corres"ond to the "assage between different levels of Reality in the non-resistance ?one. De have to underline$ in this conte t$ that +eisenberg "roves a high res"ect for religion. In relation with the "roblem of <odOs e istence$ he wrote& GThis belief is not at all an illusion$ but is only the conscious acce"tance of a tension never realised in reality$ tension which is ob,ective and which advances in an inde"endent way of the humans$ that we are$ and which is yet at its turn nothing but the content of our soul$ transformed by our soul.H L". 01BM The e "ression used by +eisenberg "a tension never realised in reality" is "articularly significant in the conte t of our discussion. It evo'es what we called "Real" as distinct from "Reality". #or +eisenberg$ world and <od are indissolubly lin'ed& Gthis o"ening to the world which is at the same time the Nworld of <odO$ finally also remains the highest ha""iness that the world could offer us& the conscience of being home.H L". 16CM +e remar's that the :iddle (ge made the choice of religion and the 1Cth century made the choice of science$ but today any choice or criteria for values vanished. GThe conce"ts are$ so to say$ the "rivileged "oints where the different levels of Reality are interweavingH J wrote +eisenberg. +e s"ecifies as follows& GDhen one is Euestioning the nomological conne ions of reality$ these last ones are found every time inserted into a determined reality levelF it could not at all be inter"reted differently from the conce"t of reality NlevelO =it is "ossible to s"ea' about the effect of a level onto another one only by using very generally the conce"t of NeffectO>. +eisenberg also insists on the role of intuition& G/nly the intuitive thin'ing J wrote +eisenberg J can "ass over the abyss that e ists between the conce"ts system already 'nown and the new conce"ts systemF the formal deduction is hel"less on throwing a bridge over this abyss.H L". 081M )ut +eisenberg doesnOt draw the logical conclusion that is im"osed by the hel"lessness of the formal thin'ing& only the non-resistance of our e "eriences$ re"resentations$ descri"tions$ images or mathematical formalisations could bring a bridge over the abyss between two ?ones of resistance. The non-resistance is$ in fact$ the 'ey of understanding the discontinuity between two immediately neighbour levels of Reality.

1. Towards a 9nified Theory of Levels of Reality - The Transdisci"linary (""roach

Transdisci"linarity is founded u"on three a iomsA& i. The ontological axiom& &here are different levels of Reality of the '()ect and* correspondin+ly* different levels of Reality of the %u()ect, ii. The logical axiom& &he passa+e from one level of Reality to another is insured (y the lo+ic of the included middle, iii. The epistemological axiom& &he structure of the totality of levels of Reality appears* in our $no-led+e of nature* of society and of ourselves* as a complex structure. every level is -hat it is (ecause all the levels exist at the same time, The 'ey conce"t of the transdisci"linarity is the conce"t of levels of Reality$ which I introduced in 1A6015$ inde"endently of +eisenberg. )y Glevel of RealityH$ we designate a set of systems which are invariant under certain general laws& for e am"le$ Euantum entities are subordinate to Euantum laws$ which de"art radically from the laws of the macro"hysical world. That is to say that two levels of Reality are different if$ while "assing from one to the other$ there is a brea' in the a""licable laws and a brea' in fundamental conce"ts =li'e$ for e am"le$ causality>. Therefore there is a discontinuity in the structure of levels of Reality. %very level of Reality is associated with its own s"ace-time. The introduction of the levels of Reality induces a multidimensional and multireferential structure of Reality. )oth the notions of the NRealO and Nlevels of RealityO relate to what is considered to be the NnaturalO and the NsocialO and is therefore a""licable to the study of nature and society. /ur a""roach is not hierarchical. &here is no fundamental level. )ut its absence does not mean an anarchical dynamics$ but a coherent one$ of all levels of Reality$ already discovered or which will be discovered in the future. %very level is characteri?ed by its incompleteness& the laws governing this level are ,ust a "art of the totality of laws governing all levels. (nd even the totality of laws does not e haust the entirety of Reality& we have also to consider the .ub,ect and its interaction with the /b,ect. /no-led+e is forever open, The ?one between two different levels and beyond all levels is a ?one of non-resistance to our e "eriences$ re"resentations$ descri"tions$ images$ and mathematical formulations. Quite sim"ly$ the trans"arence of this ?one is due to the limitations of our bodies and of our


Nicolescu$ 1AA8. Nicolescu$ 1A60.

sense organs$ limitations which a""ly regardless of what measuring tools J internal or e ternal - are used to e tend these sense organs. De therefore have to conclude that the to"ological distance between levels is finite. +owever this finite distance does not mean a finite 'nowledge. Ta'e$ as an image$ a segment of a straight line J it contains an infinite number of "oints. In a similar manner$ a finite to"ological distance could contain an infinite number of levels of Reality. The unity of levels of Reality of the /b,ect and its com"lementary ?one of nonresistance constitutes what we call the transdisciplinary '()ect, Ins"ired by the "henomenology of %dmund +usserl11$ we assert that the different levels of Reality of the /b,ect are accessible to our 'nowledge than's to the different levels of "erce"tion which are "otentially "resent in our being. These levels of "erce"tion "ermit an increasingly general$ unifying$ encom"assing vision of Reality$ without ever entirely e hausting it. In a rigorous way$ these levels of "erce"tion are$ in fact$ levels of Reality of the %u()ect. (s in the case of levels of Reality of the /b,ect$ the coherence of levels of Reality of the .ub,ect "resu""oses a ?one of non-resistance to "erce"tion. The unity of levels of levels of Reality of the .ub,ect and this com"lementary ?one of non-resistance constitutes what we call the transdisciplinary %u()ect. The two ?ones of non-resistance of transdisci"linary /b,ect and .ub,ect must be identical for the transdisci"linary .ub,ect to communicate with the transdisci"linary /b,ect. ( flow of consciousness that coherently cuts across different levels of Reality of the .ub,ect must corres"ond to the flow of information coherently cutting across different levels of Reality of the /b,ect. The two flows are interrelated because they share the same ?one of nonresistance.


+usserl$ 1A88.

Rnowledge is neither e terior nor interior& it is simultaneously e terior and interior. The studies of the universe and of the human being sustain one another. The ?one of non-resistance "lays the role of a third between the .ub,ect and the /b,ect$ an Interaction term which allows the unification of the transdisci"linary .ub,ect and the transdisci"linary /b,ect while "reserving their difference. In the following we will call this Interaction term the 0idden &hird, /ur ternary "artition S .ub,ect$ /b,ect$ +idden Third T is$ of course$ different from the binary "artition S .ub,ect vs. /b,ect T of classical meta"hysics. The transdisci"linary /b,ect and its levels$ the transdisci"linary .ub,ect and its levels and the +idden Third define the transdisci"linary Reality or trans-Reality =see #ig. 1>.


The incom"leteness of the general laws governing a given level of Reality signifies that$ at a given moment of time$ one necessarily discovers contradictions in the theory describing the res"ective level& one has to assert ( and non-( at the same time. It is the included middle logic10 which allows us to ,um" from one level of Reality to another level of Reality. /ur understanding of the a iom of the included middle U there e ists a third term T which is at the same time ( and non-( U is com"letely clarified once the notion of Glevels of RealityH is introduced. In order to obtain a clear image of the meaning of the included middle$ let us re"resent the three terms of the new logic U ($ non-($ and T U and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality =see #ig. 0>. The included middle is in fact an included third. If one remains at a single level of Reality$ all manifestation a""ears as a struggle between two contradictory elements. The third dynamic$ that of the T-state$ is e ercised at another level of Reality$ where that which a""ears to be disunited is in fact united$ and that which a""ears contradictory is "erceived as non-contradictory. In other words$ the action of the logic of the included middle on the different levels of Reality is able to e "lore the o"en structure of the unity of levels of Reality.


Lu"asco$ 1AB1F )adescu and Nicolescu =ed.>$ 1AAAF )renner$ 0556.


(ll levels of Reality are interconnected through com"le ity. #rom a transdisci"linary "oint of view$ com"le ity is a modern form of the very ancient "rinci"le of universal interde"endence. The "rinci"le of universal interde"endence entails the ma imum "ossible sim"licity that the human mind could imagine$ the sim"licity of the interaction of all levels of reality. This sim"licity can not be ca"tured by mathematical language$ but only by symbolic language. The transdisci"linary theory of levels of Reality a""ears as conciliating reductionism and non-reductionism11. It is$ in some as"ects$ a multi-reductionist theory$ via the e istence of multi"le$ discontinuous levels of Reality. +owever$ it is also a nonreductionist theory$ via the +idden Third$ which restores the continuous interconnectedness of Reality. The reductionismInon-reductionism o""osition is$ in fact$ a result of binary thin'ing$ based u"on the e cluded middle logic. The transdisci"linary theory of levels of Reality allows us to define$ in such a way$ a new view on Reality$ which can be called trans-reductionism. The transdisci"linary notion of levels of Reality is incom"atible with reduction of the s"iritual level to the "sychical level$ of the "sychical level to the biological level$ and of the biological level to the "hysical level. .till these four levels are united through the +idden Third. +owever$ this unification can not be described by a scientific theory. )y definition$ science e cludes non-resistance. .cience$ as is defined today$ is limited by its own methodology. The transdisci"linary notion of levels of Reality leads also to a new vision of Personhood$ based u"on the inclusion of the +idden Third. In the transdisci"linary a""roach$ we are confronted with a multiple %u()ect$ able to 'now a multiple '()ect. 9nification of the .ub,ect is "erformed by the action of the +idden Third$ which transforms 'nowledge in understandin+. "9nderstanding" means fusion of 'nowledge and being. In some sense$ the +idden Third a""ears as the source of 'nowledge but$ in its turn$ needs the .ub,ect in order to 'now the world& the .ub,ect$ the /b,ect and the +idden Third are inter-related. The human

Nicolescu =%d>$ 0556.


"erson a""ears as an interface between the +idden Third and the world. The human being has therefore two natures& an animal nature and a divine nature$ inter-related and inse"arable. The erasing of the +idden Third in 'nowledge signifies a one-dimensional human being$ reduced to its cells$ neurons$ Euar's and elementary "articles.

4. /"ening remar's
It is ina""ro"riate for an o"ening tal' to "resent "concluding" remar's. The event of our mini-conference is in front of us$ full of e "ectations but un"redictable. I will therefore "resent ,ust few and short o"ening remar's. It is obvious that a huge wor' remains to be "erformed in order to formulate a unified theory of levels of Reality$ valid in all fields of 'nowledge$ which involve$ at the beginning of the 01st century$ more than 6$555 academic disci"lines$ every disci"line claiming its own truths and having its laws$ norms and terminology. I believe that the transdisci"linary theory of levels of Reality is a good starting "oint in erasing the fragmentation of 'nowledge$ and therefore the fragmentation of the human being. De badly need a transdisci"linary hermeneutics14. This is a really big Euestion. In this conte t$ the dialogue of transdisci"linarity with the "atristic thin'ing$ and in "articular with the a"o"hatic thin'ing$ will be$ of course$ very useful. The +idden Third is a basic a"o"hatic feature of the future unified 'nowledge1B. The theory of categories will be also certainly hel"ful. )ut one has not to be afraid about meta"hysics and to clarify how trans-cate+orial "ro"erties could be described. It is very difficult$ if not im"ossible$ to conceive such a subtle notion as ""ersonhood" without doing meta"hysics. Quantum "hysics is also very "recious because it leads a good understanding of the role of discontinuity in "hiloso"hical thin'ing. +eisenbergKs a""roach of levels of Reality is ,ust one magnificent e am"le on this way.
14 1B

van )reda$ 055C. Nicolescu$ 0558.


I also have very much ho"e for the "otential contribution to a unified theory of levels of reality of a new branch of 'nowledge - biosemiotics$ as e "osed for e am"le$ in the stimulating boo' %i+ns of Meanin+ in the 1niverse of ;es"er +offmeyer18. )iosemiotics is transdisci"linary by its very nature1C.De live in semiosphere$ as much we live in atmos"here$ hydros"here and bios"here. The human being is the uniEue being in the universe able to conceive an infinite wealth of "ossible worlds. These ""ossible worlds" are certainly corres"onding to different levels of Reality. Powerful conce"ts elaborated by biosemioticians$ li'e semiotic freedom$ could lead us to understand what ""ersonhood" could mean. "The human being is the most "erfect sign"$ says Peirce. )iosemiotics is based u"on the "hiloso"hy of *harles .anders Peirce =161A-1A14>$ a great "hiloso"her$ logician$ mathematician of the beginning of the 05th century16. #or Peirce$ Reality has a ternary structure. (ll our ideas about Reality belong to three classes& #irtstness$ .econdness and Thirdness. These classes have trans-categorial "ro"erties$ through the way in which Peirce defines what #irstness is. There is a "owerful theorem in gra"h theory established by Peirce$ stating that each "olyad su"erior to a triad can be analy?ed in terms of triads$ but triads could not be analy?ed in terms of dyads. This leads him to thin' about three modes of being$ manifestations of three universes of e "erience. The corres"ondence of PeirceKs ternary dynamics with the transdisci"linary ternary dynamics of Reality S.ub,ect$ /b,ect$ +idden ThirdT is stri'ing and has to be further e "lored. "#hat is Reality-" - as's Peirce1A. +e tells us that maybe there is nothing at all which corres"onds to Reality. It may be ,ust a wor'ing assum"tion in our des"erate tentative in 'nowing. )ut if there is a Reality tells us Peirce - it has to consist in the fact that the -orld lives* moves and has in itself a lo+ic of events* -hich corresponds to our reason. PeirceKs view on Reality totally corres"onds to the transdisci"linary view on Reality. Let me finally note that a unified theory of levels of Reality is crucial in building sustainable develo"ment and sustainable futures. The "resent considerations in these matters are based u"on reductionist and binary thin'ing& everything is reduced to society$ economy and environment. The individual level of Reality$ the s"iritual level of Reality and the cosmic level of Reality are com"letely ignored. .ustainable futures$ so necessary for our survival$ can

18 1C

+offmeyer$ 1AA8. Dit?any =%d>$ 055C. 16 .ee$ e. g.$ +artshorne =%d>$ 1A11-1AB6 and Peirce$ 1A88. 1A Peirce$ 1AC8$ vol. I7$ ". 161-164.


only be based on a unified theory of levels of Reality. De are "art of the ordered movement of Reality. /ur freedom consists in entering into the movement or "erturbing it. Reality de"ends on us. Reality is plastic, De can res"ond to the movement or im"ose our will of "ower and domination. /ur res"onsibility is to build sustainable futures in agreement with the overall movement of reality.

)asarab NI*/L%.*9

)I)LI/<R(+V +oria )adescu and )asarab Nicolescu =%d>$ %t2phane Lupasco - L3homme et l3oeuvre* Rocher$ :onaco$ 1AAA. ;ose"h %. )renner$ Lo+ic in Reality$ ."ringer$ 0556. Richard !aw'ins$ &he %elfish 4ene$ / ford 9niversity Press$ 9R$ 1AC8. !aniel !ennett$ Dar-in3s Dan+erous 5dea$ .imon and .chuster$ New Vor'$ 1AAB. Nicolai +artmann$ Der Auf(au der realen #elt, 4rundriss der all+emeinen /ate+orienlehre$ Dalter !e <ruyter$ )erlin$ 1A45. Derner +eisenberg$ Philosophie - Le manuscrit de 19 !$ Paris$ .euil$ 1AA6. Translation from <erman and introduction by *atherine *hevalley. The "ages Euoted in "arenthesis are from this edition. <erman original edition & 'rdnun+ der #ir$lich$eit$ :unich$ R. Pi"er <mb+ W R<$ 1A6A. Published first in D. )lum$ +. P. !Xrr$ and +. Rechenberg =ed.>$ #, 0eisen(er+ 4esammelte #er$e* 6ol, C-5 . Physi$ und 7r$enntnis* 19!8-1999$ :unich$ R. Pi"er <mb+ W R<$ 1A64$ "". 016-158. To my 'nowledge$ there is no translation in %nglish of this boo'. ;es"er +offmeyer$ %i+ns of Meanin+ in the 1niverse$ Indiana 9niversity Press$ )loomington$ Indiano"olis$ 9.($ 1AA1. %dmund +usserl$ M2ditations cart2siennes$ 7rin$ Paris$ 1A88. Translated form the <erman by <abrielle Peiffer and %mmanuel Levinas. .tY"hane Lu"asco$ Le principe d:anta+onisme et la lo+i;ue de l:2ner+ie Prol2+om<nes = une science de la contradiction* +ermann Z *ie$ *oll. G(ctualitYs


scientifiEues et industriellesH$ n3 1111$ Paris$ 1AB1 F 0nd ed.& Rocher$ :onaco$ 1A6C$ foreword by )asarab Nicolescu. )asarab Nicolescu$ G.ociologie et mYcaniEue EuantiEueH$ 1e :illYnaire$ no 1$ Paris$ :arch-("ril 1A60. )asarab Nicolescu$ Nous* la particule et le monde$ Le :ail$ Paris$ 1A6B. 0nd edition& Le Rocher$ :onaco$ GTransdisci"linaritY" .eries$ 0550. )asarab Nicolescu$ Manifesto of &ransdisciplinarity. New Vor'& .9NV Press$ 0550$ translation from the #rench by Raren-*laire 7ossF original edition& La transdisciplinarit2$ manifeste$ :onaco$ Rocher$ "Transdisci"linaritY" .eries$ 1AA8. )asarab Nicolescu$ G+ylemor"hism$ Quantum Physics and Levels of RealityH$ in !emetra .fendoni-:ent?ou =%d>$ Aristotle and Contemporary %cience$ New Vor'$ Peter Lang$ 0555$ 7ol. I$ "". 1C1-164. Introduction by +ilary Putnam. )asarab Nicolescu$ &o-ards an apophatic methodolo+y of the dialo+ue (et-een science and reli+ion$ in %cience and 'rthodoxy* a necessary dialo+ue$ *urtea 7eche$ )ucharest$ 0558$ edited by )asarab Nicolescu and :agda .tavinschi$ ". 1A-0A. )asarab Nicolescu =%d>$ &ransdisciplinarity > &heory and Practice$ +am"ton Press$ *ress'ill$ New ;ersey$ 0556. *harles .anders Peirce* Collected Papers of Charles %anders Peirce$ 6 volumes$ *harles +artshorne$ Paul Deiss$ and (rthur )ur's =%d>$ +arvard 9niversity Press$ *ambridge$ :assachusetts$ 1A11-1AB6. *harles .anders Peirce* %elected #ritin+s ?6alues in a 1niverse of Chance@* edited with an introduction and notes by Phili" P. Diener$ !over Publications$ New Vor'$ 1A88. *harles .anders Peirce* &he Ne- 7lements of Mathematics* 4 volumes$ *. %isele =%d>$ :outon +umanities Press The +ague$ 1AC8. Roberto Poli$ "The )asic Problem of the Theory of Levels of Reality"$ ( iomathes$ 10&081-061$ 0551. Roberto Poli$ "Three /bstructions& #orms of *ausation$ *hronoto"oids$ and Levels of Reality"$ ( iomathes 1&1-16$ 055C. Roberto Poli$ "rivate communication$ ;une 06$ 0556. ;ohn van )reda$ GTowards a Transdisci"linary +ermeneutics J ( New Day of <oing beyond the .cience I Religion !ebateH$ Transdisci"linarity in .cience and Religion$ No 0$ *urtea 7eche Publ.$ )ucharest$ 055CF originally "resented at the 055C :etane us *onference GTransdisci"linarity and the 9nity of RnowledgeH and "reviously "ublished on the <lobal ."iral htt"&IIwww.globals"iral.com . 18

<Xnther Dit?any =%d>$ "iosemiotics in &ransdisciplinary Contexts$ Proceedings of the <athering in )iosmiotics 8$ 9:D%) Publications$ #inland$ 055C.


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