Friday, April 23, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] Narcissism and Anthropocentrism


sorry Francesco, Roger and all for joining this discussion late. It is indeed a very intriguing topic, and, as Natasha noted, a multidimensional one.

Indeed the idea of "anthropocentrism" as some kind of ideology which puts humankind at the center of the known world has been historically put in discussion in a long path. 2009 was both the 400 anniversary of the telescope's invention by Galileo and the 150 anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "Origin of the Species" (and the 200centenary of his birth). [BTW 2009 was the centenary anniversary of the Futurism avantgarde too, with the central position their time's technologies had in their poetics, but we'd go too far]

With his invention Galileo gave an extraordinary push to the sky's observation, to the diffusion of the heliocentric system and of Copernicus' theories, also through the "scientific method" (which is often called "Galilean method"). Copernicus dethroned the humankind from his central position in the Universe, but, although dislocated in a remote zone the humankind remained the chosen creature, the first one, the highest among the living beings on the Earth. Darwin dethroned the humankind from his privileged position. Like all the living beings, humankind is the result of an extremely long process, of a "design without a designer". All the living beings, humankind included, were not created as they are and are not steady and unchangeable, but evolved starting about 3,8 billion years ago from a remote group of primeval common organisms.

Hence all the living organisms are related, and each individual, whatever species it belongs, is unique but it is pervaded by the matter and the processes which compose all the other living beings. The fundamental processes and the control mechanisms are essentially the same in all species; in our genes we have the genes of many other species, even of viruses. And the difficulties and discussions in the science domain on the definition of "species" and on the methodology to set the differences among the species emphasize this "unitarity".

It seems today the humankind is reaching another topic point in this relativization path, since he has the chance to use sciences and technologies to hugely modify some issues which deeply define the "human essence", which becomes basically uncertain. But does this all imply that anthropocentrism is fading out? Or, better, does it imply it will/can disappear?

More after.

Pier Luigi

Pier Luigi Capucci
skype: plcapucci

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