venerdì 1 dicembre 2006

2. The phenomenon

The explanation of a phenomenon is linked to the domain over the information that identifies it. In other words, a phenomenon remains inexplicable until the observation field is widened to the point of including the context within which the phenomenon is found. The phenomenon is defined as a set of relations.

If the observing subject is not aware of the intricate network of dynamic relations between a phenomenon and the matrix in which it is found, he or she will tend either to acknowledge something “magically mysterious” or will end up describing the object under study as having certain properties that the object-individual-phenomenon may in fact not have.

(I will henceforth use the term object-individual-phenomenon to indicate any subject, object or entity that sets up a communicative relationship with us)

This is already received wisdom in biology, but it seems that in philosophy and the arts the habit remains of considering an object-individual-phenomenon as a self-enclosed and freestanding unit. But if one studies an object-individual-phenomenon in isolation, one effectively traps one’s method in a labyrinth, and what one actually ends up doing is studying the nature of that labyrinth.

If, by contrast, we broaden the investigation to include the effects that the object-individual-phenomenon has on other objects-individuals-phenomena, thereby including the reactions and feedback between them, as well as the context in which these reactions occur, the sense of natural phenomena shifts from that of the artificially isolated freestanding unit to one of relationships between parts of a much vaster system.

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