Complex Thinking and the Radical Imagination
Building on Edgar Morin’s concept of complexity (or complex thinking), this faculty interest group intends to explore the powers and limits of the various disciplines, especially insofar as they naturally intersect and overlap with one another. Complex thinking grounds transdisciplinarity. Even what seems absolutely simple has its complexity, which relates to other complexities. The FIG intends to operate according to a twofold movement: analysis and synthesis. Analysis pertains to complex thinking proper. Synthesis is the attempt at imagining something radically new.
The ability to make connections among fields that might at first seem to lie far apart (such as literature and science, both the social and natural sciences) sharpens our curiosity, enhances our knowledge, and produces a philosophy of convergence. In this sense, another fundamental figure to keep in mind (but there are obviously many others) is Giambattista Vico, who in The New Science (1725) undertakes precisely the task of analyzing complexity and imagining, or inventing, something radically new.
This FIG is facilitated by Bruno Gullì (Philosophy/History/Political Science) and Tony Iantosca (English). We will read complex texts and engage in the discussion of basic concepts and problems using a transdisciplinary and convergent approach. The readings and discussions will prove valuable to faculty of all disciplines. They will facilitate, foster, and inspire an analytic and imaginative spirit in our teaching practices and in the civic engagement and existential growth of our students.