Proceedings 1995 Interdisciplinary Conference: Knowledge Tools for a Sustainable Civilization. Fourth Canadian Conference on Foundations and Applications of General Science Theory

8-10 June 1995

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  • Proceedings 1995 Interdisciplinary Conference: Knowledge Tools for a Sustainable Civilization. Fourth Canadian Conference on Foundations and Applications of General Science Theory

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Knowledge tools for UN peace-keeping: developing the global watch

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Summary form only given. The UN needs reliable and up-to-date knowledge of events in order to prevent conflicts and maintain peace. However, there are severe political limitations on the ability of the UN to gather and analyse information. UN fact-finding, particularly if it involves the passive collection of information from open sources is the mildest of interventions. It is useful to examine th... View full abstract»

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  • Preservation and conservation: separate disciplines, common goals

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):212 - 219
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    The conservation of the natural environment and the preservation of the built environment are fields often distinguished from one another both in application and in theory. At academic institutions, courses in preservation and conservation are usually offered in different departments and faculty members concerned with either of the two disciplines are tenured into different departments. Special in... View full abstract»

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  • Human civilization and the main tool dimensions

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):330 - 339
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    In this work we cross human civilization, underline a humanization speed or rate (R), which is in relation with the morphological structures of our genus. Corresponding to this new concept, we detect new traits for a more complete human being definition. At the same time we propose two great eras for human civilization in relation to the representative tools dimensions. Along the same line, we dis... View full abstract»

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  • When science calls religion

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):110 - 111
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    Issuing a warning to humanity, world scientists say that a new ethic is required, a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth. The new attitude of the scientists seemed to be one as if people mattered. What I see here is an opportunity that we of the religious community need to grab with both hands. For here is now a way of putting back together... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainability theory and the design of knowledge tools

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):120 - 129
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (860 KB)

    Widespread support for the concept of sustainable development has developed over the last decade, and many organizations have adopted it as an important goal. However, the concept remains vague and wide disagreement still exists on what is sustainable, and what is not. The usual definitions do not specify what kind of knowledge is required in a sustainable civilization, nor how it should be treate... View full abstract»

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  • The correspondence between ontology and environmental attitudes

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):202 - 211
    Cited by:  Patents (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (796 KB)

    Alarms about the environment have brought about superficial changes of environmental attitudes, but deep attitudes will remain the same unless our conception of reality changes. Ontology determines how one pursues one's needs and welfare. The crucial element is the conception of an actuating factor (AF) in nature: whether personal or impersonal, one or many, in material things or separate. One's p... View full abstract»

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  • Institutional tools for change

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):321 - 329
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    In many constitutional democracies a resource allocation system has evolved which bears little resemblance to that prescribed by their constitutions. Due to systemic features of these decision-making frameworks, powerful development interests now receive benefits from public resources that are (arguably) disproportionate to their reciprocal contribution to the general public. This has occurred bec... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainability by design: education for the designed environment

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):100 - 108
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (652 KB)

    The paper notes connections between large scale environmental degradation on the one hand, and civilization as seen from conventional perspectives in western countries on the other. While population growth in less advantaged countries is often seen as the primary threat to sustainability in global development, it is argued that the high levels of resource consumption in the more affluent nations a... View full abstract»

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  • Uniting people through language and mind cultivation: a Buddhist response to the world scientists' warning to humanity

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):114 - 119
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    The author refers to the world scientists' warning to humanity which concerns caring for the environment. He considers how language has a significant bearing on our everyday living. His critique of the scientists is that by not bringing their scientific outlook to the use of language, it perpetuates, though unintentionally, the divisions that already exist in society View full abstract»

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  • Prolegomena to problemology (definition of social problematics)

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):190 - 201
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    Initiates a rigorous definition of complex problems as the first step in the emerging science of problematics. This is a prerequisite to any scientific treatment of problems, because it lays down the foundations for further systematic and systemic work by outlining the concept, structure and process of problems and, by doing so, answers questions related to the nature, meaning, type, location, tim... View full abstract»

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  • The tragedy of the global commons: dynamic aspects of a knowledge ecology and sociocultural entropy

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):20 - 31
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1100 KB)

    Contemporary misuse of resources is repeating on a massive scale in the global village “the tragedy of the commons” that once afflicted English villages. Why is the planet vandalized by diverse ecological degradations? In this simplified overview even small scale resource depletions are included to have a significant impact on primitive cultures, impelling migration, violent conflict a... View full abstract»

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  • Multinational corporations and their enablers

    Publication Year: 1995
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    Recent economic and technological developments have made global conquest a distinct possibility. Communication satellites allow for continuous global surveillance and financial transactions. New trade agreements have boosted stateless trans-national corporations (TNCs) into commanding positions from which they determine the policies of most governments in the world. The concepts of nation states a... View full abstract»

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  • Priorities for a sustainable civilization

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):1 - 10
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    What are the vital issues facing humankind? It appears that many of today's relevant issues are too big to be understood by knowledge from a single discipline, that they reach beyond the boundaries of individual nations, and that they last for many generations. Who can address these issues? Most political systems have a 5 year time horizon, and focus on national concerns. Our traditionally special... View full abstract»

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  • Sustainable use of agricultural ecosystems: an optimum control problem

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):62 - 69
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    Agricultural ecosystems comprise both natural and socioeconomic processes. By introducing fertilizing, harvesting or irrigation as control variables, one is led to the formulation of control problems. A main problem is the development of suitable performance criteria if both economic and ecological aspects are taken into account. The use of control theory leads to two major problems. The first con... View full abstract»

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  • Turning toward the integrative: a colloquium on integrative study

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):313 - 320
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    The paper discusses the use of knowledge tools of an integrative nature which would be needed to support a sustainable civilization. It is an experiment on integrative approaches to global thought. It considers the economics and social issues of Kerala on the south-east coast of India View full abstract»

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  • Institutions for a sustainable civilization: negotiating change in a technological culture

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):90 - 99
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    We have come to think of technology as a tool-as an extension of our grasp into the environing world. The metaphor of the tool is pervasive; it affects the way we think about virtually all of contemporary culture. I communicate a view of technology which is not anchored in the metaphor of the tool as instrument but sees technology as a way of life, an expression of cultural form, and an embodiment... View full abstract»

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  • Multiple-perspective co-channel communications as a knowledge and attitude reform tool for a sustainable civilization

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):274 - 281
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (508 KB)

    The sustainability challenge is to help people learn how to reform their habits of learning so that civilization can be indefinitely sustainable. This implies finding out how to alter attitudes and predilections so as to promote symbioses between nature and cultures, and also to promote symbioses among our various cultures (linguistic, religious, ethnic etc.). It is posited here that by enabling p... View full abstract»

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  • The correlation between philosophy, science, energy and world sustainable civilization

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):220 - 224
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    The correlation between philosophy and science has formed the topic of numerous essays. We have also included energy in this correlation, since for a long time, energy has proved its role through practical applications which have formed the backbone of our society. A sustainable civilization could only be achieved through philosophy, science and sustainable energy, which assures the economic and s... View full abstract»

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  • A Christian response to the world scientists' warning to humanity

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):112 - 113
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    The paper considers how Christianity recognizes its role in the ecological crisis and responds to this awareness: rethinking theology, articulating ethical principles, education of church members, and advocacy with government, industry and international agencies. It discusses the importance of inter-disciplinary dialogue and considers the future View full abstract»

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  • Operationalizing sustainable development in a technology choice context: moving from theory to practice

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):130 - 139
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (748 KB)

    The phrase “sustainable development” was coined to broadly address economic, social, technical and environmental interactions under a framework of intra- and inter-generational equity. Although very rich, the phrase “sustainable development” does not provide a robust and practical (i.e., operational) “knowledge tool” to help us understand and apply the concept. ... View full abstract»

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  • The rational choice and systemic paradigms compared

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):32 - 40
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    In describing and assessing the systemic approach to social phenomena, it is useful to compare it with other approaches. For the purposes of such a comparison, I have chosen the so-called `rational choice' approach, which is currently being intensively developed, particularly by some sociologists and political scientists. I chose this approach because it stands, in a way, at an opposite pole of a ... View full abstract»

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  • Philosophy for sustainable society??

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):185 - 189
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    If the problem of the sustainable society and sustainable growth is to be fully incorporated into the various overall conceptions we have of ourselves and our place in the world, it is questionable whether we can afford to neglect its relation to philosophy. It is within this context that we attempt to argue two points which may or may not be obvious, depending on the angle of approach to the conc... View full abstract»

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  • Knowledge and sustainability: can the planet survive human cognition?

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):11 - 19
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    Earth has run a successful biosphere for about three billion years. While the Earth process has experienced both periods of stability and periods of transition the overall process has been one of growing creativity and complexification. The emergence of human consciousness and reflective thought offered a unique mode of planetary self-awareness and self-expression. Can the planet successfully inte... View full abstract»

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  • Group problem solving: if we could save the Earth, how would that be done?

    Publication Year: 1995, Page(s):70 - 78
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    Characterizing something as a problem commits us to coping with the problem in a problem-solving mode. Furthermore, while individuals might make a difference, a large-scale task such a saving the Earth would call for a group problem-solving configuration. Communication, cooperation, shared vision and negotiation introduce new complexity and often unanticipated emerging phenomena. If group members ... View full abstract»

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