Cautionary notes. (1) ‘Philososphie sauvage‘, in french, does not imply ‘savage’ by any means; rather: natural, living, unpolluted and so on, briefly to say : wild. The french acronym PhS would thus become something like ‘WPh’ unless precluded by earlier uses. (2) This English text will be longer than an usual Abstract because, in addition to saying what is to be found on this site (what an Abstract has to do), it will sum up the views and choices of PhS (what is to be found in a Summary). Both aspects will be dealt with at the same time indifferently.
‘Philosophy’ is understood here as considerations on life and world plus that strange ‘added value’ that man gains from knowledge and/or experience. For such a combination, the greek ancient language had two, most akin roots: soph- and sôphr- which merged together into ‘philosophy’ when this term was coined. Such was ancient philosophy, as I believe, namely knowledge-and-wisdom (in french: savoir-sagesse). As it happened, this was replaced sooner or later in most countries with a more elaborate, truly sophisticated stage wherein ideas and concepts took the place of life and world. In other terms, man did not considered nature anymore but rather the tools he had invented for studying it. Such a process is most common in the history and biology of thought, insofar as brain proceeds by successive and cumulative representations of nature. Science calls this modelling nowadays but Herbert Spencer used the latter term and wrote it under the heterodox form of ‘re-re-representations’ and so on. Spencer, by the way, was younger than Ch. Darwin by a dozen years and was equally convinced, if not inhabited by evolution as a primum motus.
All prehistorical sciences—they are numerous now—indicate that ancient philosophy began at some date between the birth of the human genus (Homo, around 3 million years ago) and that of human species (sapiens, around 100 000 years ago), at varying dates depending on countries and continents. As a matter of fact, we can only deal, at present, with the objective traces and fossils that such a philosophy has left, that is to say: writings. This is because, as far as philosophy is concerned, verbal language only may be considered, whereas all other cultural and technical remains can only serve as indices. This leaves us with 4 700 years BP or so (BP = before present) because several centuries elapsed unttil writing, which had been invented around 5300 yers BP, was used to note mental facts other than commercial or administrative or military acts.
According to this scheme, and curiuously enough, Greeks entered the world scene of philosophy relatively late altough western countries honor them as fathers, if not gods of this art (art and/or science whatever is preferred). Yet they practised ancient (true) philosophy during two centuries only, namely: the marvelous, opulent and explosive era of the so-called Presocratics, better to say Preplatonicians (they were called ‘students of nature’ at their time). Truly explosive as it was, it threatened the grecian way of living and thinking and building and fighting and conquering! Then, to make it short, a new school or Lyceum succeeded, which was duly comforting, rationalistic and operational. Its philosophy became what I call metaphilosophy or just metasophy and its emigrating members propagated it around widely up to now. Anyway, Greece soon entered its brilliant past, if one may say, but it should be kept in mind that its philosophical brilliance is that of a metasophy. The latter was promised to invade the whole planet when Europe conquested it.
What about previous philosophy, however, since the earliest times of Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, Persia and Iran, India, and China, not to speak of the Americas ? Suffice it here to say that pages and chapters of PhS are devoted to this, whereas little is said about european philosophy incidentally.
Enough may have been said above on the ‘metasophical’ problem. According to these views, the resulting situation would be severely detrimental to human species, inasmuch as ‘knowledge + wisdom » have been delayed by some 25 centuries with respect to the other activities of mind. Admittedly, the task of philosophy was the hardest. Furthermore, not only was mind progress delayed but noxious habits took place as consequences of competition between brain and thought on one hand, and between language and thought on the other hand. Changes of scales in demographical and technological evolution may be additional causes—all three aspects being developed in the forthcoming PhS book ‘Matériau…’.
However, unbelievable enough, new opportunities arose at the turn of the last century, that is: the scientific study of mind became possible! For millenia, man had not been able to produce but intuitions and projections about thought—whatever genious they may have been—until the possibility of seing and measuring thought suddenly arose on the screens of neuropsychologists and neurobiologists. Whether this is the next mirage, that is the present question. In any case, chance is there.
PhS claims to be a philosophy in the original sense. Because it considers thought as a reconnstruction and modelization of the world by means of a variety of neural processes—among which spencerian representations are definitely instrumental—it belongs to the constructivst stream of modern philosophy. Thus PhS is both ancient and modern, no matter! Last, whether PhS is a ‘natural philosophy’ or not, this depends on the acceptance given to these two words and this point will just be forgotten.
Practically speaking, PhS consists of a dozen books and a half dozen, published or unpublished essays, by a biological scientist working for the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN) and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Most of this work was written after his retirement in 2005. Each book is presented here under the form of its front cover, back cover, and table of contents, and a link is provided for on-line, extensive, and free consultation.
As regards the field of kwowledge and theories encompassed by PhS, it includes, as listed in an obscure order: the prevalence of information as an universal component for phenomena of all kinds; the resulting unity of knwoledge; the trilogy or triad ‘information → système → incomplétude‘ (ISI); instant, time and evolution; reality versus illusion; systemics; natural history of man; brain, behaviour and thought; ancient eastern philosophies and religions from Egypt to China; the so-called Presocratic times and the so-called axial era; the double nature (better than ‘duality’) of everything — and any related matters such as music and poetry in the sake of the unity of kwowledge!
The above, immense landscape is outlined on this site in ten small chapters consisting of provocative statements followed by a few explanations and comments.
The headline and very first line on the front of the present site expresses the double wish, and foolish dream as well, to re-introduce the world into philosophy and to restore ‘sophy’ into the human world.