Myth, Chaos, and Certainty
Notes on Cosmos, Life, and Knowledge
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 31, 2020
This book offers a study of the three evolutions in a circle (cosmos, life and knowledge) with the aim of discussing the human social behavior, a metaphor of the general behavior of nature (from which man derives) within the fluctuating equilibrium between the opposite tendencies to cohesion and shredding; a circularity revealing an indefinite and probably never conclusive run-up of human beings to the knowledge of nature; an analysis that demonstrates any theoretical/practical impossibility to formulate absolute certainties, since it depicts a situation in which man finds himself hovering between a rational way of living and the contradictory modus operandi of mythos. All that, within a society where the powerful communication and transportation technologies give rise to conflicts and fragmentations, where anyone’s will to self-distinguishing is enhanced by highlighting any small difference and obscuring any large similarity.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Law, Chance and Evolution. Premise: Dissipative systems and self-organisation processes. The Evolution of the Universe. From Lemaître’s predictions to Hubble’s observations. From the Big Bang to particles. From thermonuclear fusion to neutron stars. Pulsar, black holes and the future of the Universe. The Origins of Life and Its Evolution on the Earth. The anthropic principle. Nature’s constants and the conditions for the existence of life. The physical-climatic conditions on the earth. The epochs of life’s evolution on the earth. Looking for ‘sufficient’ conditions. What if matter were engraved with life? The Evolution of the Cognitive Experience. Mythos and archetype. The ‘nuclear’ conscience. From mythos to logos: the ‘extended’ conscience. Two cerebral hemispheres, two logics. A mixing of unpredictable result in the ‘project’ of living. The mental models of reality: filters, ambiguities, contradictions. Part 2: Within Human Society between Mythos and Logos. Premise: Antinomies and their contribution to knowledge. Human Societies and the Social Models of Reality. The pathway of human societies. Democracy and migrations. Stereotypes, prejudices and the common sense. Specialization and fragmentation, self-referencing and radicalism. The Conflict between Faith and Science. God’s idea and the gaps of knowledge. Monotheisms face-to-face. The opinion of a theologian. From a necessary dialogue to a possible super-religion.
The Search for Equilibrium. Antinomies’ tension and control. Tolerance as the first objective. Part 3: Integrative and Final Considerations. Premise: The debate about ‘exophysics’ and ‘endophysics’ . Between Dream and Reality. The unity of culture. The myth of unity and the theory of everything. Constraints posed by the flow of time. Utopias: consoling fantasies? About the General Meaning of ‘Myth’. The positive role of myth in the development of sciences. Rationality and myth in music, architecture and literature. Myth-reason in Hermann Hesse and Luigi Pirandello. Where Is Evolution Bringing Us To? The ‘open’ society and the mindful pluralism. The future human society: a superorganism or a Babel Tower? A possible future for human beings.
Rosolino Buccheri, retired research director in astrophysics and cosmic physics, National Research Council (CNR), Italy, was the leader of the Palermo CNR group for the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration international space missions in high-energy astrophysics.