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Strategic Starting Points of the Sustainable Development: Between Global Harmony and Local Technologies - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Izabela Kopaniszyn Jagiellonian University Krakow Collegium Medicum Medical Faculty Department of Sociology of Medicine Michał Siciński AGH University of Technology and Science Krakow Faculty of Applied Social Sciences Department of Philosophy.

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Izabela Kopaniszyn Jagiellonian University KrakowCollegium MedicumMedical FacultyDepartment of Sociology of MedicineMichał Siciński AGH University of Technology and ScienceKrakow Faculty of Applied Social SciencesDepartment of Philosophy

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Strategic Starting Points of the Sustainable Development: Between Global Harmony and Local Technologies

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1. Concepts of the Universal Harmony Between Global Harmony and Local Technologies


Tao – the Taoism (China)

Brahman – the Hinduism (India)


Arche – the Ionic School

Melody of numbers and figures – the Pythagoreans school

Logos (the Word)–Heraclite, Preface of the John’s Evangelium

2. Concepts of the Human Activeness


Fill the Earth and subdue it

– the Old Testament (Gen. 1: 28)

The human - a Crown of the Creation

  • East

  • Act on the way that you have posessed the Tao

  • the Confucian Dialoques

  • The Human – an Element of the Universum

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3. Understanding the Laws of Nature Between Global Harmony and Local Technologiesstatical harmonies: geometry – the Pythagoreans, Euclidmechanical statics – Archimedesastronomy – Ptolemeo, Copernicusdynamical processes:mechanics – Newtonelectrodynamics – Maxwellchemistry, cosmology, biology, etc.

Dynamical processes and equilibriums replace statical harmonies

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4. Understanding the Laws of Society Between Global Harmony and Local TechnologiesThe Ideal State of Society:


the Lost Paradisethe Golden Agethe Savages’ Happiness


the Plato’s State

The More’s Utopia

The Utopian Socialism

The synthetical aproaches:

Statical – Confucius

Dynamical – Hegel, Marx

So far the nature and the ecology are absent in social thinking

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5. Understanding of the Universum Between Global Harmony and Local Technologies:Nature + Society + Human Individuals

In the point 2. a very simple scheme was suggested:

mutual dependency (East)



domination (West)



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5.1. In the point 4. a slightly more complex scheme was suggested:



Society Individuals


static/dynamic passive/active


Society Individuals

destructure/ new construction

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5.2. And below, we suggest a still suggested:more complex scheme:


Socio-economical structures

Nature Technology Individuals

Social consciousness (culture)

Each line indicates relationships between particular spheres regarded as friendly or hostile, dominating or subornatory, static or dynamic, passive or active.

The particular approaches to the environmental and techno-economical problems deal only with some of them, as for example the schemes 5. and 5.1. which are special cases of 5.2. To apply a more general approach, one must consider more of relationships as pointed out above.

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The way of understanding what does it mean (friendly/hostile, dominating/ subordinatory etc.) in particular cases, depends on approaches which vary between: the Eastern and Western religious, ethical and philosophical traditions, the different types of society (open/closed, traditional/liberal, authoritarian/democratic) as well as the different scientific paradigmes and methodologies, and especially the different technological cultures.

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Manifestations of the Universum (friendly/hostile, dominating/ subordinatory etc.) in particular cases, depends on approaches which vary between: the statical dynamicalevolutionary revolutionary

Each kind of the manifestation depends on the optimal level of the balance between particular elements, which can be described by a certain function, continous or discontinous one.

A significant discontinuity can cause a revolutionary change such as: technological revolutions, socio-political revolutions, ecological disasters, etc.

A system characterised by the continous funcions is evolutionary, and below a certain level of their variableness it can be qualified as static.

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Examples (friendly/hostile, dominating/ subordinatory etc.) in particular cases, depends on approaches which vary between: the :- the authoritarian macrosocial structures are considered as individual-friendly in the Confucian Asian tradition but as individual-hostile one in the liberal European tradition- the lifestyle of an Indian ascete is considered as extremely passive in the European indvidual-expansive tradition but as highly active one in the Asian contemplative tradition - the reductionist mechanistical approach was considered as dynamical one in biology of a half of XX’th Century but as static one in biology of the verge of XXI’st Century- the nuclear energetic technologies were considered as not nature-hostile in 1950ties but as nature-hostile by the collective consciousness after 1986

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Many (friendly/hostile, dominating/ subordinatory etc.) in particular cases, depends on approaches which vary between: the faults, theoretical and practical, within ecological researches and environmental movements, origin from a lack of understanding of their own background: historical, ethnical, philosophical etc.Limitations of neglecting of this fact are well known and recently disputed in the sphere of international policies, e.g. the war in Iraq. This is not so obvious, however, in the more general discourse which includes relationships between nature, society and individuals as it was pointed out at the scheme 5.2.That is why wilder approaches of the integral ecology, although they apperar, are not commonly considered.Integral ecology is a contemporary field of ecology that emphasizes the existence of multiple valid perspectives, including both scientific and philosophical perspectives. The most prominent figure in the area is philosopher Michael Zimmerman.

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Four Strategic Starting Points of the Sustainable Development:1. A sythesis of different approaches (applied in practical legislations and programs).2. Models including both: nature + society (in different combinations).3. A clear hierarchy of values (e.g.based on quality or quantity features) .4. A clear definition (and understanding) of themeaning of „social development”.