Noosphere

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The “noosphere”, is a philosophical concept developed and popularized foremostly by the biogeochemist Vladimir Vernadsky. Vernadsky defined the noosphere as the planetary “sphere of reason”.[1] [2] The noosphere represents the highest stage of biospheric development, its defining factor being the development of humankind's rational activities. [3]The word derives from the Greek νόος ("mind", "reason" or "to spin the thread of the mind") and σφαῖρα ("sphere"), in lexical analogy to "atmosphere" and "biosphere".[4] The concept cannot be accredited to a single author. The founding authors Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin developed two related but starkly different concepts, the former being grounded in the geological sciences and the latter, in theology. Both conceptions of the noosphere share the common thesis that together human reason and the scientific thought has and will continue to create the next evolutionary geological layer. This geological layer is part of the evolutionary chain.[5] [6] Second generation authors, predominantly of Russian origin, have further developed the Vernadskian concept, creating the related concepts: noocenosis and noocenology.[7]

Founding Authors[edit]

The term noosphere was first used in the publications of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1922[8] in his Cosmogenesis.[9]

Vernadsky was most likely introduced to the term by the common acquaintance Édouard Le Roy during a stay in Paris.[10] Some sources claim Édouard Le Roy actually first proposed the term.[11] Vernadsky himself wrote that he was first introduced to he concept by Le Roy in his lectures in 1927 at the College of France in Paris. Vernadsky added that: Le Roy emphasized he developed the concept was developed together with Teilhard de Chardin. [12] Vernadsky developed the concept further along the lines of his own field of study: biogeochemistry. According to Vernadskys own letters, he took Le Roy’s ideas on the noosphere (albeit developed together with Teilhard de Chardin) from Le Roys article „Les origines humaines et l’evolution de l’intelligence“, part III: „La noosphere et l’hominisation“.[13] The historian Bailes concludes that Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin were mutual influences on each other as Teilhard de Chardin also attended the Vernadskys lectures on biogeochemistry in Paris in the 1920’s before creating the concept of the Noosphere.[14]

Both Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky base their conceptions of the noosphere on the term ‚biosphere‘, developed by Edward Suess in 1875.[15] Despite the differing backgrounds, approaches and focuses of Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky, they have a few fundamental themes in common. Both scientists overstepped the boundaries of natural science and attempted to create all-embracing theoretical constructions founded in philosophy, social sciences and authorized interpretations of the evolutionary theory.[16] Moreover, both thinkers were convinced of the teleological character of evolution. There are, however, fundamental differences in the two conceptions.

History of concept[edit]

In the theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. In contrast to the conceptions of the Gaia theorists, or the promoters of cyberspace, Vernadsky's noosphere emerges at the point where humankind, through the mastery of nuclear processes, begins to create resources through the transmutation of elements. It is also currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project.[17]

Teilhard perceived a directionality in evolution along an axis of increasing Complexity/Consciousness. For Teilhard, the noosphere is the sphere of thought encircling the earth that has emerged through evolution as a consequence of this growth in complexity / consciousness. The noosphere is therefore as much part of nature as the barysphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. As a result, Teilhard sees the "social phenomenon [as] the culmination of and not the attenuation of the biological phenomenon."[18] These social phenomena are part of the noosphere and include, for example, legal, educational, religious, research, industrial and technological systems. In this sense, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere thus grows in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the earth. Teilhard argued the noosphere evolves towards ever greater personalisation, individuation and unification of its elements. He saw the Christian notion of love as being the principal driver of noogenesis. Evolution would culminate in the Omega Point—an apex of thought/consciousness—which he identified with the eschatological return of Christ.

One of the original aspects of the noosphere concept deals with evolution. Henri Bergson, with his L'évolution créatrice (1907), was one of the first to propose evolution is "creative" and cannot necessarily be explained solely by Darwinian natural selection.[citation needed] L'évolution créatrice is upheld, according to Bergson, by a constant vital force which animates life and fundamentally connects mind and body, an idea opposing the dualism of René Descartes. In 1923, C. Lloyd Morgan took this work further, elaborating on an "emergent evolution" which could explain increasing complexity (including the evolution of mind). Morgan found many of the most interesting changes in living things have been largely discontinuous with past evolution. Therefore, these living things did not necessarily evolve through a gradual process of natural selection. Rather, he posited, the process of evolution experiences jumps in complexity (such as the emergence of a self-reflective universe, or noosphere). Finally, the complexification of human cultures, particularly language, facilitated a quickening of evolution in which cultural evolution occurs more rapidly than biological evolution. Recent understanding of human ecosystems and of human impact on the biosphere have led to a link between the notion of sustainability with the "co-evolution"[19] and harmonization of cultural and biological evolution.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yanshin, A. L.; Yanshina, F.T.: Preface; in Vernadsky, Vladimir Ivanovich: Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon, Moscow, Nongovernmental Ecological V.I.Vernadsky Foundation, 1997, (Original: Научная мысль как планетное явление, translated by B.A.Starostin) p. 6.
  2. ^ See: Моисеев, Никита Николаевич: Человек и ноосфера, Молодая гвардия, 1990. (Translation of Russian Title: Moiseyev, Nikita Nikolaievich: Man and the Noosphere) 26 с.
  3. ^ Петрашов В.В. Начала нооценологии: наука о восстановлении экосистем и создании нооценозов. - М., 1998. (Translation of Russian Title: Petrashov, V.V.: The Beginning of Noocenology: Science of Ecosystem Restoration and the Creation of Nocenoses) 6 c.
  4. ^ "[...]he defined noosphere as the 'thinking envelope of the biosphere' and the 'conscious unity of souls'" David H. Lane, 1996, "The phenomenon of Teilhard: prophet for a new age" p. 4
  5. ^ See Vernadsky, Vladimir Ivanovich: Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon, Moscow, Nongovernmental Ecological V.I.’Vernadsky Foundation, 1997, (Original: Научная мысль как планетное явление, translated by B.A.Starostin) 1997.
  6. ^ See Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: Der Mensch im Kosmos, München, C.H Beck, 1959, (Orignal: Le Phénomène humain, 1955. English Title: The Phenomenon of Man, 1961).
  7. ^ Петрашов, 1998. 6 c.
  8. ^ In 1922, Teilhard wrote in an essay with the title 'Hominization': "And this amounts to imagining, in one way or another, above the animal biosphere a human sphere, a sphere of reflection, of conscious invention, of conscious souls (the noosphere, if you will)" (1966, p. 63)It was a neologism employing the Greek word noos for "mind". (Teilhard de Chardin, "Hominization" (1923), "The Vision of the Past" pages 71, 230, 261)
  9. ^ Tambov State Technical University: The Prominent Russian Scientist V. I. Vernadsky (Russian)
  10. ^ See: Fuchs-Kittowski, K.; Krüger, P.: The Noosphere Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Vladimir I. Vernadsky in the Perspective of Information and of World Wide Communication; in World Futures: Vol. 50, No. 1-4, 1997. p. 768.
  11. ^ Моисеев, 1990. 24 c.
  12. ^ Original Citation in: Вернадский, Владимир:Несколько слов о ноосфере,Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing, 2018. (Translation of Russian Title: Vernadsky, Vladimir: Some Words on the Noosphere) Aphorism 11. (Original Published 1944. Citation from Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing, 2018 here: https://books.google.de/books?id=REJKDwAAQBAJ&pg=PP16&lpg=PP16&dq=%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BA%D0%BE+%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2+%D0%BE+%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%84%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5+1927&source=bl&ots=HXfycczNUD&sig=ACfU3U0Dg7PyC70RHh448Nqfn8j7032Y_Q&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIqqLHhKXkAhWFY1AKHd2ZAR8Q6AEwDnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
  13. ^ Fuchs-Kittowski, K.; Krüger, P.: The Noosphere Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Vladimir I. Vernadsky in the Perspective of Information and of World Wide Communication; in World Futures: Vol. 50, No. 1-4, 1997. p. 769.
  14. ^ Bailes, Kendall E.: Science and Russian Culture in an Age of Revolutions - V.I. Vernadsky and His Scientific School, 1863-1945, Bloomigton, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990. p. 162.
  15. ^ Levit, Georgy S.: The Biosphere and the Noosphere Theories of V.I. Vernadsky and P. Teilhard de Chardin: A Methodological Essay, International Archives on the History of Science/Archives Internationales D'Histoire des Sciences", 2000. p. 161.
  16. ^ Levit, Georgy S.: The Biosphere and the Noosphere Theories of V.I. Vernadsky and P. Teilhard de Chardin: A Methodological Essay, International Archives on the History of Science/Archives Internationales D'Histoire des Sciences", 2000. p. 161.
  17. ^ "Global Consciousness Project—consciousness, group consciousness, mind". Noosphere.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  18. ^ P Teilhard de Chardin, (1959), The Phenomenon of Man, Collins, St James Palace, London.
  19. ^ Norgaard, Richard B., 1943- (1994). Development betrayed : the end of progress and a coevolutionary revisioning of the future. London: Routledge. ISBN 0203012402. OCLC 69862402.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

References[edit]

  • Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, Continuum, 2004, p. 77.
  • Hödl, Elisabeth, "Die Noosphäre als Bezugsrahmen für das Recht" ("The noosphere as a framework for the conception of law") in: Schweighofer/Kummer/Hötzendorfer (ed.): Transformation juristischer Sprachen, Tagungsband des 15. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposions, 2012, pp. 639-648.
  • Oliver Krüger: Gaia, God, and the Internet - revisited. The History of Evolution and the Utopia of Community in Media Society. In: Online – Heidelberg Journal for Religions on the Internet 8 (2015), online Text.
  • Norgaard, R. B. (1994). Development betrayed: the end of progress and a coevolutionary revisioning of the future. London; New York, Routledge. ISBN 0-415-06862-2
  • Raymond, Eric (2000), "Homesteading the Noosphere", available online.
  • Samson, Paul R.; Pitt, David (eds.) (1999), The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader: Global Environment, Society and Change. ISBN 0-415-16644-6
  • Various authors (1997). "The Quest for a Unified Theory of Information", World Futures, Volumes "49 (3-4)" and "50 (1-4)", Special Issue

External links[edit]