Mondialisation du savoir : obstacles intellectuels, organisationnels et culturels

Mercredi 15 mai, 11h15, 3e session : Passé, présent

Immanuel Wallerstein, université de Yale, président de l’association des Amis de la FMSH

Amidst all the debate concerning a crisis in the world-system, we have largely neglected discussing a crucial subsidiary crisis, that of the structures of knowledge. Our existing structures of knowledge date only from the nineteenth century and were organized around a presumed epistemological difference between science and philosophy (or the humanities). The resulting structures made sense in terms of the power realities of the time, but have been losing their intellectual pertinence since 1945, to the point that today the division of knowledge into the particular prevailing list of so-called disciplines no longer makes intellectual sense.

However, disciplines are not only intellectual constructs but organizational and cultural constructs as well. While therefore these structures have outlived their intellectual justifications, they are stronger than ever organizationally and to a lesser but real extent culturally. In order to contribute, particularly as historical social scientists, to the reconstruction of our existing world-system, now in terminal crisis, it is essential to overcome the real obstacles to a transformation of our structures of knowledge.

 

Old school knowledge


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