update: October 28, 2014

…and if one were to go the boring full-length PhD thesis-way, a synopsis (potentially of a publishable book, in due time) HERE (summer 2014)

Going in the opposite, length-reduction direction, I have been thinking about the conceptualization of a 1-line abstract for the 1-page thesis, which at this point has taken the shape of a semiotic reassignment of Einstein’s E=mc^2 formula, upgrading (on some level, reversing) the equation’s broader cultural symbolism. The idea was presented as a 3 minute thesis (3MT) talk on March 19, 2014. Latest thoughts on the subject HERE.

B.T.W.: Back in 2013, I seem to have toyed with the symbolism, and literal physical science, meaning, of E=mc^2 over a span of blog posts/post drafts, among which the one below:

my 1-page doctoral thesis (VERSIONS: January 2012 – December 2012)

last updated: Dec 14, 2010 | a few minor edits & terms: Jan 29, 2011


== episteme [Gk for “knowledge”] – used in a Foucauldian sense, to help theorize historical differences, at the same time tracking the indisputable cognitive inheritance (in varied linguisitic/cultural guises) that crosses time and space regarding notions related to the pivotal notion human fulfillment and its posited parameters Relatedness, Communicaiton.
== links in the fourth paragraph below – to abstracts and a PPt of four conference presentations

categories of analysis introduced:

== Relatedness, Communication, their modifier Profound – see synopsis below

== cognitive enhancement – cognitive change, excluding e.g. “forgetting” (which is not the same as cognitive replacement when one arrives at a new understanding of X, Y, Z)

== prefix trans- in combinations with terms in circulation
=== trans-sensoriality – transitioning/”translating” from one sense to another. E.g., percussionist Evelyn Glennie has developed a tactile translation for of hearing (in the sense of registering sound through the eardrum); being “deaf” she hears with her whole body – see conference abstract
=== trans-embodiedness – e.g., when one transfers one’s embodiedness from a physical body to a virtual avatar, in a sense broader than online avatars; acting involves trans-embodiedness + trans-identity

Ecosonance Episteme: Toward a Reality of Profound Relatedness and Communication

In today’s knowledge society distributed teaching and ubiquitous learning redefine the scope of education, and by extension the subject matter of its philosophy, as a superset of formal education environments, thus as inclusive of any instance and mode of knowledge exchange and (co-)creation [in short, “cognitive enhancement”]. In this broadened epistemological context, my thesis project theorizes what it means to be(come) human—moreover a fulfilled human within a global, ecologically situated plurality—in an information- and technology-driven age.

A theory of “ecosonance” is developed, combining the ideas of “ecology” and “sound”, hence vibrational-acoustic and socio-psychological “attunement”. Thus introduced, the term invokes cognitive connections to epistemologies of the natural (and social) sciences, aiding the intent to present a comprehensive philosophical analysis building on and beyond its own disciplinary heritage. The key categories of analysis are Relatedness as an attitude-defining and physically intrinsic relation, Communication as its expression and conduit, and their semantically loaded modifier Profound. Relatedness and Communication are conceptualized as obtaining between Human, on the one hand, and Self, Other, Abiotics and other Biotics, on the other, as well as any pair or combination of the above. Relatedness and Communication are “profound” (Lat. pro “for, toward” + fundus “bottom”) in the physical sense of applying all the way from the macro levels of a Newtonian universe to the subatomic realm of quantum phenomena. In a second sense, their proposed comprehensive conceptualization expresses cognitive depth philosophically and meta-philosophically.

Fulfillment of Relatedness and Communication is ultimately what human fulfillment (physical-biological, social-psychological, mental-intellectual) is predicated on. On a generic interpretation, it is defined as attunement (not glossing over evolutionary dialectics) obtaining within ecosystems of any size, including cosmic. In the case of humans, fulfillment as envisioned presupposes a consciousness shift that would maintain an optimal ecological balance seen as alignment of vibration/vibes with Self, Other and the rest of Nature (cf. quantum “entanglement”). In this way, for example the “threat of climate change”, which is turning out to be a geopolitical phenomenon as much as (if not more than) it may be geophysical, is transcended by (the potential for) socio-psychological “climate change”.

Boosted by the adopted holistic view of education(al philosophy), the ecosonic model is recruited in theorizing and (de-)problematizing, for example, geographical, socioeconomic, online, etc. trans-situatedness and trans-embodiedness (cf. trans-sensorial re-interpretation of the identities of the differently abled), the extension of epistemological entitlement beyond the scientific or any other authority/expert figure, technoscientific empowerment and environmental disruptions, overproduction and resources/wealth (mis)distribution (cf. climate science and policy-making), formal and informal educators’ role in mediating knowledge exchange and (co-)creation (cf. epistemic gapping in Canadian public radio, the breakdown of the mentorship relation in higher education).

Tokens of these are shown to occur in, even pervade, societal, (inter)national, political, cultural, disciplinary, (in)formal educational etc., spaces, spelling out the multilevel challenges—and promises—of a social-psychological-political “climate change”. Their analysis demonstrates that a knowledge society instituting imaginary (Castoriadis/Code) demands and inspires educating/getting educated for connected intelligence (de Kerckhove 1997) that is communicative, collective intelligence (Levy 1997/9) that is related, knowledge that is responsible (Code 2006 and elsewhere), thinking that is pragmatically good (Bredo 2010). These expectations are to be and are being met within and well beyond formal education, in accordance with the “fulfilled human” ecosonic standard, projected along the physical-biological, socio-psychological, mental-intellectual dimensions.

The way to human fulfillment has been explored and shown time and again throughout history, for example by native North American and indigenous African cosmologies, by traditional teachings of the East such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Tantra, Taoism…, as well as by Western thought from antiquity to the present. The contribution of Ecosonance Theory is therefore, borrowing William James’s gloss for pragmatism, “a new name for some old ways of thinking”, or if you will, a discursive rebirth and re-visioning of definitive/foundational, thus in some sense metaphysical, “true” knowledge.

The philosophically-pragmatically loaded—and educationally significant—question then is, What can make “real” what we’ve “known”, both at the conscious and the evolutionary/genetic level (cf. Gregory Bateson’s mental evolution), for as long as we’ve “been” ~ “acted” ~ “thought”?

last updated: Dec 14, 2010 | a few minor edits & terms: Jan 29, 2011