Back Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge: Beyond the Science and Religion Dialogue

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Lucio Florio
The Historic Person as the Ultimate Knower


The debate on the nature of knowledge today stresses knowledge itself as an objective product. Nevertheless, it would be necessary to add to it a personal perspective of knowledge. In fact, the person is the ultimate “addressee” of the scientific, philosophical and artistic disciplines and religious institutions. The concrete human being is the one who knows. Modern Western philosophy based its thinking on the knowing subject—Descartes grounds it on the ego cogitans, Kant on the transcendental subject. Scientific thinking and hermeneutical philosophy have more recently contributed to the dissolution of the idea of an isolated man, a tabula rasa, a blank sheet, which can receive knowledge with an absolute naivety.

On the one hand, science has shown us that we are part of an evolutionary process and that we carry in our bodies and genes the accumulation of such process. Somehow we are this process, and we watch the universe by means of the features given by our genetic structure. There is a ‘transcendental’ structure of perception which is in our inner self and that implies a very slow and complex evolution of matter and living corporality.

Moreover, the sciences of language and hermeneutic philosophy have shown us that we always learn from a given language. Obviously, language is also a result of intellectual activity, and it is modified by the acquisition of new knowledge and new techniques.

It is necessary to remember a word considered a difficult expression today: worldview. This expression, which comes from the translation of the German word Weltanschaaung, indicates the global view of the reality shaped by a man or a society. The worldview involves a certain philosophy and/or theology which organizes the perception of reality. It is often distinguished from “image of the world” (Weltbild), which is the picture of nature, conformed by current time science. There is obviously a close relationship between them. Some authors say that, as a consequence of the present situation—generically called postmodernism—it is very difficult to achieve a worldview. Fragmentariness seems to be included as an essential part of present time mentality. In some way, there is not a real human knowledge but within a worldview elaborated by the individual.

But this man is a historic being. In fact, a human being is permanent in nature but never absolutely fulfilled. He keeps defining his personal originality in and through his story. This historicity is collective and individual.

The Western and Eastern medieval tradition developed the concept of “person” which validity perpetuates, at least as a semantic substrate, in our times. It is important to consider the originality of a person as a subject of knowledge. This person is unique and dynamic. It implies that every reflection on interdisciplinary or transdisciplinarity should include the existential and historic way of comprehension. It is finally this person in this context and this moment who does the comprehension and integration of knowledge.


Lucio Florio is Dr. in Theology for the Universidad Católica Argentina. He teaches at the Philosophy School and at the Theology School of that University and at the Santo Tomás de Aquino University, both of them in Buenos Aires. Florio has written many articles about Trinitarian theology and about topics of theology of creation. Florio is the leader of the La Plata Metanexus LS and he has the direction of a books collection on Science and Religion (“Ciencia y religión en diálogo”, Editorial Epifanía, Buenos Aires). He is the president of the “Fundación Diálogo entre Ciencia y Religión (DECYR)” of Argentina (

Lucio Florio is priest of the Roman Catholic Church, of La Plata Archdioceses.



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