Kant by Any Other Name?




This appears to have been around a while but I was just made aware of it and thought it was worth posting.

Robert Lanza and Bob Berman are pitching a cosmology that puts life at the creative center of the universe and they suggest that their idea could provide the foundation of a new “theory of everything.” Called biocentrism, their idea is that cosmology, indeed all of science, needs to undergo a radical shift. Instead of viewing science as a discipline of discover—the world imposes itself on mind and theories are born out of that imposition—mind imposes itself on the world and “creates” it. It’s a not-so-subtle shift from an ontology-focused view of cosmology and science in general to an epistemic one. Knowledge is a product of creative perception rather than a process of discovery and refinement. The idea is at least as old as Kant and may find new life in our postmodernist-friendly epistemic environment.

Could the long-sought Theory of Everything be merely missing a component that was too close for us to have noticed? Some of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or the idea that we are close to understanding the “Big Bang” rests in our innate human desire for completeness and totality. But most of these comprehensive theories fail to take into account one crucial factor: We are creating them. It is the biological creature that fashions the stories, that makes the observations, and that gives names to things. And therein lies the great expanse of our oversight, that science has not confronted the one thing that is at once most familiar and most mysterious — consciousness. As Emerson wrote in “Experience,” an essay that confronted the facile positivism of his age: “We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.”

Biocentrism – How Life Creates the Universe

See their article at the Huffington Post.

Thanks to Stan Dokupil for the links.



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