Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS


AIME Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 269567
Financé au titre de: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Pays: France

Final Report Summary - AIME (An Inquiry into Modes of Existence)

The AIME project is an inquiry, started by the PI, on a fairly traditional topic - What are the features that define Modernity - using some of the tools of anthropology. One of the novel aspects of this inquiry is that it is not pursued by the PI alone and with the classical tools of books and papers, but through an experiment in digital humanities. This experiment allows an extension of the participants in the inquiry so that readers of the paper book as well of the website are welcome as co-inquirers. They are not asked to develop, or follow, or criticise the proposals, but to accept a common protocol of observation to see if they may help validate or invalidate the observations first made by the PI.
Those observations all bear on the interpretation of experience: although contemporary societies pride themselves on being ''pluralist'', it turns out that such a pluralism is extremely difficult to verify in practice. Pluralism seems to mean the indifference to values rather than a plurality of values. As an explanation of this indifference, the PI offered up for collective inquiry the following hypothesis: the conventional view is that there is only one standard that is used to judge or calibrate all the other values. This standard is that information should flow effortlessly and with as little deformation and discontinuity as possible. Once this standard (called Double-click) is in place, then all the other activities are found wanting, even that of achieving scientific knowledge.
So the proposition made to the co-inquirers through the printed book, in the many face to face meetings and through the website and its editing and monitoring team, is to test whether other patterns of truth production could be observed in the practice of law, religion, science, technology, arts and economics—patterns that are constantly activated and ignored or repressed because, every time they express themselves, there is no other way to calibrate them than the information-without-deformation shibboleth. When the inquiry is successful, it is possible to extract patterns of interaction that are defined in completely different ways and that defend highly specific values that are not to be judged by any other template. It is at this point that pluralism happens to be visible, a pluralism that we call ontological to make sure that it is not confused with the superficial pluralism of a general indifference to values created by the indiscriminate application of Double-click.
The social and political reason why this is important is that the Moderns are now faced with ecological mutations for which the standard version of modernity is totally ill-adapted. They need to rephrase, re-experiment and re-configure what they really hold to under the institutions known as science, law, culture, economy and especially nature. For such an enterprise of redefinition, ontological pluralism is a necessity. You need multiple tools to absorb such a shock as the end of Modernity...
The AIME project is a proposal to equip those who are interested in sharing this inquiry to calibrate their protocols and to see if they can collectively define together a pluralistic definition of which values they hold to. This enterprise is called ''diplomatic'' since it aims at negotiating anew every feature of what was taken for granted under the confused term of modernity.

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