This UNESCO World Philosophy Day, 2013, I thought it would be good to look for thinkers who are under appreciated. The (recently) late Henri Bortort is, I suspect, such a thinker. He was a phenomenologist whose major contributions revolve around our approach to complex systems, phenomena which find significance in environmental science, linguistics, business, and digital technology, among other disciplines. (Please excuse the few grammatical errors- it’s a great piece from a fascinating blog.)
Originally posted on Transition Consciousness:
Now that I am beginning to lecture and teach complexity, many people are asking me about who I teach, and what my key references are. This is quite a difficult question to answer on a number of levels, especially when you are trying to teach people that “thinking” is just one of the ways of knowing the world, and that “sensing”, “feeling” and “intuition” are just as important.
One very key person who I admire greatly and who I base much of my work around is that of Henri Bortoft, author of the book “The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way of Science”. I remember reading this book for the first time around February 2009, in preparation for my MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College. I had been recommended this book since Henri teaches the first week of the MSc, and Henri’s philosophy provides one of the foundation stones for the course. But on reading the book I remember being quite lost, and to be quite honest I really understood very little of what was in it. I have since re-read the book twice, and it was probably on the third attempt at reading that things really began to make sense.