Transdisciplinarity in Progress –
Transmodernity and the Paradigm of Transdisciplinarity
Date: December 8th to 11th, 2005
Place: Alte Kapelle - Altes AKH, Campus University of Vienna - Hof 2, Spitalsgasse 2 - 4, Vienna, Austria
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There appears the prefix "trans" in the title twice. The first time with respect to a phenomenon of societies and the second time with respect to the paradigm of transdisciplinarity or that of the Archimedean perspective. Later I come back to the relevance of the double occurrence of "trans". At first the relationship between the social phenomenon of transmodernity and innovation as well as that of productivity is to picture out.
Nowadays innovation is a concept that is used as a parole for everything imaginable. It is the so-called contemporary trend that demands in all the possible social areas innovation: In the political, economical, scientific, legal, social and religious discussion, in arts and in whatever problem-orientated innovative discussion. Innovation means to introduce something of a kind of new and to carry it out, at least somehow. The confusion, however, persists and takes its way. Is it sufficient simply to declare something as innovation? For instance, for the purpose of advertisement and propaganda.
Is the innovation an illusion, such that only the illusion of the innovation is new, whereas reality mutates into a dystopia?
In order to bring this innovation into power in all areas of the society in favour of an utility for an as high number of people as possible the move from innovation to production and reproduction is of particular relevance. In this the claim for democratic societies is shown, according to the contemporary trend. Everybody should have access to innovation. To achieve such a situation, information, productivity, and reproduction do provide the technical preconditions and the multi-median mass media the corresponding institutions.
The innovative is the modern. The daily new. The modern is not new; it is as old as the history of our cosmos. There appeared already in the tenth century an explicit distinction between the "via moderna" and the "via antiqua" because of the scientific and social change of direction towards realism and the phenomena of nature. The modernity as a cultural phenomenon was declared by Hermann Bahr, the coming back from Berlin to Vienna, he is regarded as the so-called "organiser of the modernity". This happened about the year 1891. In the focus of the modernity there is situated the subject that is concerned with a social reality, in which she or he seems no longer to fit in. The subject conceives this unbridgeable gap as a crash, as an irreversible destruction of her of his identity. The modern subject does no longer fit into her or his world. It is the subject that according to Lukács conceives her or his ruination without being able to turn it away. The postmodern subject speaks out against this ruination.
The transmodern subject is the institutionalised subject, she or he has herself or himself adjusted to the institutions, which have produced and reproduced the subjects in terms of objects. The innovation consists in productivity and reproductablity. The innovative is exemplified in the repeatability, the classifyability and the predictability. There will be any future any more.
We meet the transmodern subject, for instance, in Orwell’s novel "1984". It can be produced and reproduced by the established and the establishing institutions. The main character, namely "Smith", shows how this can be realised. The transmodern subject exists in the shape of an institutionalised consciousness, it has not just any own identity, but it also vehemently speaks out against an own identity in favour of an institution. The transmodern subject thinks and acts because of the requirements and orders by a so-called powerful institution, it grasps herself and himself as an arbitrarily manipulable object within a general construction, in which something seemingly can be won. The winner is member of such an institution; the winner is part of it. Within such a construction the everyday life and the production of knowledge, ethics and aesthetics of the transmodern subject is exhausted.
The transmodernity is the contemporary cultural and social state of affairs.
The prefix "trans" appears in "transmodernity" in its dystopic meaning, contrary to its occurrence in "transdisciplinarity" that - in the literary sense - roots beyond the transmodernity.
The Paradigm of Transdisciplinarity - see http://www.inst.at/trans/15Nr/01_6/01_6inhalt15.htm- is situated beyond the Transmodernity.
The aim of this section is a grasping of the features of the transmodernity and that of the transmodern subject within the Paradigm of Transdisciplinarity.
The following approaches to the issue in question are of relevance:
- Philosophy of mind,
- Philosophy of language,
- Theory of literature,
- Theory of music,
- Basic and Human Rights,
- Political Theory,
- Theory of Religions and