intolerance of ambiguity, a contemporary pathology | EUROtoday

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Book. Towards a univocal world crossed the Rhine endowed with the halo of the Tractatus prize acquired upon its publication, in 2018. And with the credit score of its discovered creator, Thomas Bauer, previously topped with the distinguished Leibniz prize. This essay of greater than 100 pages is, nevertheless, removed from the sphere of specialty of this professor of Arabic and Islamic research on the University of Münster. Both in substance and kind.

Thomas Bauer opts for a light-weight vital gesture, quite than the exhaustiveness of a closely researched essay. Such a format implies a level of superficiality, which the creator admits by inviting his reader to “transpose these reflections to other areas”nevertheless it seems to be tailored to its difficult-to-grip object.

Because it’s a spirit of the instances, a surreptitious development of our modernity that Thomas Bauer intends to focus on. “My thesis is that our era is an era of low tolerance for ambiguity”and that this evolution leads “to make the world more and more univocal”. Behind the celebration of globalized range, a drying up could be at work, characterised by “less meanings, ambiguity and diversity in all fields of existence”.

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Thomas Bauer focuses on three of them – the humanities, politics and faith – which lead him to develop a second speculation: this reign of the univocal would produce two phenomena which can be each opposed and share a standard root, fundamentalism. and indifference.

Obsession with purity

Religion presents itself as an apparent software of this “modern disposition towards the destruction of diversity”. Indifference to religion has turn out to be the bulk in Western societies. As for fundamentalism, Thomas Bauer detects it in all monotheisms, from Christian evangelicals to Islamists fantasizing a return to the golden age. The creator refines it by detecting three actions particular to this fundamentalism: the obsession with fact, the aspiration for purity and the negation of historical past. Which, in politics, are discovered within the secularized variations which can be totalitarian ideologies, and at the moment within the obsession with id which is reconfiguring the European panorama.

This identitarianism joins up with one other up to date trait: the hunt for authenticity, vector of self-affirmation established as “supreme ideal”. But “only the colorful world of consumption still offers us a showcase of diversity”, laments Thomas Bauer, whose reflexive agility seduces, whereas generally changing into his weak spot. If it convinces on sure elements, its pointillism makes it lose finesse on tradition, handled by way of up to date artwork and music, or on transhumanism analyzed because the fruits of “utopias of fundamentalism”. This is probably the restrict of those sword blows.

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