February 12, 2020

Aleksandar Ostojić Structures and the problem of meaning: infinite paths toward knowledge

The lecture examines how the determination of the nature of knowledge conditions the possibilities of approaching it. We will show that the notion of knowledge is inseparable from the problem of meaning, as well as the way in which these meanings are arranged or structured. Linking the approaches of Giordano Bruno, Leibniz, and Michel Serres, we will see that meaning is formed on the basis of the connections that notions build among themselves, and as the number of notions or concepts is infinite, it will reversibly mean that each notion potentially has infinitely many meanings in which it can occur. For Serr, this is impetus to connect the paths of knowledge, but not linearly and unidirectionally as it has been done so far, but manifold and divergent – hence Hermes, as a figure connecting the various paths and possibilities of knowledge. In exposing existing epistemological models, it will occur, not only how scientific and non-scientific knowledge intertwine, but also, why the idea of ​​hierarchy within the field of knowledge is wrong. “No epistemology is innocent,” say Serres. On the face of it, any rigorous methodology is wrong, because requirement of always crossing the same path closes the possibilities for new meanings to emerge. In order to avoid the ordered relation, and any kind of reductionism, the road to knowledge must become a journey, a wandering, with paths or the methods being infinitely many.

Aleksandar Ostojic is a PhD student at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad where He completed his master’s degree in 2019 with the paper “Clavis universalis as a evoking of meaning: Bruno and Leibniz on infinite possibilities toward knowledge”, for which he received the award “Dr Zoran Djindjic” for the best master’s thesis in philosophical and sociological sciences, in the same year. His areas of interest are philosophy of the Renaissance and Modern philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of education, but also postmodern approaches, especially the philosophies of Michel Serres and Gilles Deleuze. He currently works as a trainee researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade, and as a student demonstrator at the Faculty of Economics, University of Novi Sad.

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