This first talk sets the scene for a 1997 discussion about emerging paradigms in science with Elisabet Sahtouris and Willis Harman. Was it just coincidence that the lifeless science of physics became dominant for centuries? How would our paradigms and technological developments be if biology had emerged instead as an overarching metaphor for reality? The machine like worldview is breaking down, argue Sahtouris and Harman.
Next we hear an interview with Gish Jen about different cultures' conceptions of the self. Jen suggests that there are two main conceptions: "the west and the rest". The "Western" view of humanity as a set of isolated individuals emerged from Northern Europe and is currently going global accompanying the spread of capitalism. This contrasts with a much older, more widespread view of humans as existing primarily in relationship to a larger whole.
We conclude with a resumption of chapter 5 of Walden, solitude, where we left off in episode 646. A reflective Henry David Thoreau questions the Western conception of the self as an isolated individual.
Music: You Are Free by Mates Of State and Great Bodies of Nature by Michael Holt
Thanks to TED for the talk from Jill Bolte Taylor, to Against The Grain for the Gish Jen interview and to Librivox for the Walden reading.
This show is a successor to UG#531