Michel Serres and UNESCO

My Google Alert inbox this morning let me know that Michel Serres has contributed to a UNESCO book titled "Making Peace with the Earth" (Berghahn Books/UNESCO Publishing). I wasn't familiar with the series but apparently it is the third volume in the UNESCO 21st Century Talks which is edited by Jérôme Bindé. The article from a Turkish source states that Paul Crutzen, Nicolas Hulot, Javier Pérez de Cuellar, Michel Serres, Mostafa Tolba, Asit K. Biswas and Edward O. Wilson are among the contributors. A quick spin around the UNESCO site didn't turn anything up on the book. I'll check back later.


Steven Connor - paper on Serres and the Middle

A provoking meditation on the very common Serresian theme of the middle, as a passing between things. 
"There are two kinds of middle, static and dynamic. There is the abstract middle, or centre, that part of a structure which is equidistant from all bounding edges. Then there is the more dynamic kind of middling or mediation, which consists in a movement towards the middle, which never comes to reside there. The line which runs down the centre of an opening in a book divides it into two, but does not belong to the space of the page, since there is no part of the page that does not belong to the recto or the verso. The dynamism of the middle arises when the middle of the page is folded into the middle of one of the spaces it divides off, which then creates two more halves, and another middle into which the centre may be drawn. This kind of middling is always on the hop, an unbalanced attempt to re-topple itself into balance."

Weissman on the Birth of Physics

The title link will bring you to Joseph Weissman's article that explores some key ideas relating to Michel Serres, mathematics and physics.

Declination in a Laminar Flow

Serres begins the first section of The Birth of Physics by showing how the clinamen (atomic swerve) has been represented as a weakness of atomic theory, as a prescientific absurdity. Why has it been able to appear this way? First, because declination is a physical absurdity (since experimentation cannot reveal its existence); second, it is a mechanical absurdity (since it is contrary to the principle of inertia and would result in perpetual motion); and finally, it is a logical absurdity (since it is introduced without justification, as being the cause of itself before being the cause of all things.) Serres writes: “The thing is so absurd and so far from our experience that the physicalist minimizes it, as if to hide it.”


Legendas da Ciência - Emergir - Parte 5 de 5

Michel Serres dancing

Catherine Bernstein interviews Michel Serres on the Seine

Michel Serres - Fnac Boulogne (1/3)

Michel Serres - Fnac Boulogne (2/3)

Michel Serres - Fnac Boulogne (3/3)

Raoul Mortley - Interview of Michel Serres

ABSTRACT (click for PDF of interview)
Michel Serres was born in France in 1930, and is Professor in History of Science at the Sorbonne (Paris 1). He began his adult life by training for the navy, and a love for the sea and its metaphors is always evident in his work. Originally from the south of France, Michel Serres is keenly interested in rugby. His philosophical work began with the study of Leibniz, but following this he embarked on his own self-expression, which led him to the five-volume Hermes series of books. Some of Leibniz' themes persist throughout his work, particularly those concerned with combination, communication and invention. His method is based on an encyclopaedic approach, and this holism is evident in his writing: all kinds of data are held to contribute to philosophy, and the philosopher must not cut himself off from any form of investigation. His most recent work bridges the gap between philosophy and literature, and it has a wide readership.

Michel Serres on Sport