• 1. Intelnetics and Cybernetics
  • 2.The contemporary status of disciplines claiming universality (philosophy, theology, semiotics, etc.)
  • 3.The possibility of a universal discipline in the humanities
  • 4. Intelnetics as a metadiscipline?


Verbal epigraphs:

In everything there is a part of everything. Anaxagoras

Everything exists only because of the argument between those who agree with each other and the love between those who argue. Giordano Bruno

Individuality contains infinity. Gottfried Leibniz

Every part is what it is only owing to the whole. Johann Fichte

About each truth one can say something completely opposite to it and it will be equally true. . . Everything that is thought by a mind and said in words is one-sided. . . But the world itself, everything existing around us and within us, never is one-sided. Hermann Hesse

Every thing can be described by means of any other thing. André Breton

Visual epigraph:


This picture illustrates how intellectual network (Intelnet) and, accordingly, intelnetics can be built of individual minds which already contain the structure of the whole. The pyramid is built of many smaller pyramids which in turn are build from smaller pyramids, and ad infinitum. This is not a whimsical artistic fantasy, but a so-called "fractal" picture produced by a computer on the basis of mathematical formulas discovered by an American matematician of a Polish origin Benoit Mandelbrot.

A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. Fractals describe many real-world objects, such as clouds, mountains, turbulence, and coastlines, that do not correspond to simple geometric shapes.

It can be proposed that ideal objects, such as concepts, ideas, and minds, can be also described as "fractals," in the sense that every idea potentially contains in itself all other ideas.

Philosophers of various epochs, in their attempt to achieve a universal knowledge, selected one, "primordial" aspect of the world and deduced from it all existing phenomena. "Water," "fire," "idea," "spirit," "matter," "will," "life," "existence" and other principles served more or less successfully to explain the totality of the world.

According to our epigraphs (both verbal and visual), the"world" as a whole consists not of abstract principles, but of smaller "worlds." Each world contains all above mentioned principles, and all other possible principles as well. Each discipline can better ot worse justify its universal claims. Intelnetics attempts to explain the totality of the world proceeding not from abstract particulars, but from their interaction within concrete totalities. The pyramid consists of pyramids, not from lines and points. Lines and points, as abstract units, or "principles" of the pyramid, function also as units of cubes, parallelepipeds and many other forms, but they cannot explain what makes the pyramid the pyramid.

Intelnetics, as any project of "universal science," could be easily challenged as a still another utopian project, a kind of "eternal engine." It is the birth of cyberspace, the all-embracing electronic network, that turns this abstract project into feasible humanistic imperative.


A remarkable "coincidence": cybernetics (now more routinely called "computer science") and what I propose to call "intelnetics," a humanistic metadiscipline, have one spiritual father, the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). [to be continued]