Is Geo-Logy the Umbrella for all the Sciences ? With a few Hints for a New University
Lecture given at Cornell University, 25th October 2016
My hunch is that the disorientation everybody feels about the dislocation of politics — even more evident at this time of the presidential election — is the direct consequence of this other disorientation regarding the territory. If politics appears so vacuous, it might be because it has not a solid and shared ground on which to raise issues of substance. How can you expect to have substantial policy debates if there is no territory to map, no cosmos to share, no soil to inhabit? How could we maintain a minimum of decent common institutions if we have no land in common, literally no common ground?
In this lecture I want to diagnose the origin of such disorientation and to imagine how this very special institution that we call the University could in some ways help us to land somewhere, to reach a place drawn realistically enough so that politics could start afresh. Let me look at some of the reasons why we feel so disoriented.