Crisis And Creativity: Contemporary Insights From The Field Of Social & Basic Science
A global crisis is an event that influences the world as a whole, be it the human race, civilization, or something more calamitous such as severe ecological disaster bringing forth the destruction of the planet, or an earthquake that exterminates the population, or terrorism and genocide in the name of faith, politics or power. In this post-global era, pitfalls of economic and cultural globalization, environmental degradation, a rise of international terrorism and many other negative forces have turned our present world a slaughterhouse of liberal ideals. It is a splintered world racing toward apocalypse where looking around one can only notice the withering away of human interconnections-- a Hobbesian state of nature—an anarchic war of all against all.
If by creativity we mean the ability to produce something out of nothing, then it is interesting to note that the moments of crisis acts as a stimulant towards intensification of one's creative spirit. At times of severe existential crisis, people display a high degree of creative potentials as a part of their survival strategies and also to show ways for restoration of peace. The period of acknowledged crisis, as Thomas Kuhn, American physicist, and philosopher of science opines, turns scientists into philosophers in exploring the riddles of their field and to produce solutions that are original and useful.
This encourages us to valorize crisis as an impossible but necessary and inevitable ethical position which can make one creative. Appropriating French Philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s notion of relationality and responsibility, it can be argued that our moments of crisis are the moments of truth paving the way for the development of a new creative discourse through radical inversion of dominant ideas about the autonomous individual and his relation with the vulnerable world outside. This inversion recognizes a prior relationship to the Other – an acknowledgement of a sense of shared responsibility highlightingthe ethical potentiality of the relationality. The primacy of relationship in constructing subjectivity opens up a new world of shared exchange of ideas before a person. It invites us to think that as inherently relational beings we are co-implicated in each others’ lives, and drawn into responsibility for those with whom we stand in relation. Crisis and calamity thus teache one to transcend the state of a solitary enclosure to appropriate a position of complementarity and mutuality.
Many of the great ideas that shake the world have their origin inside the chaotic consciousness of their affiliated ideologues. The world of power and dominance, of violence and torture, of competition and cataclysm, is also germane for the unfurling of great ideas. In the field of knowledge, it means that so far the development of new ideas is concerned, a philosopher and a physicist share the same creative space. Fields of basic and social sciences and their trajectories are thus complementary; they continuously overlap to create and recreate in response to the crisis that engulfs them. The emergence of new ideas in these fields ensures societal sustainability in response to multiple calamities.
This book is a collection of selected papers presented in a UGC aided International Seminar titled,‘Contemporary Developments in Social and Basic Science in times of Global Crisis’, held at Surya Sen Mahavidyalaya, from 28-29 March 2017. These write-ups are the testimonies in support of the fact that global crisis of various sorts have acted as impetus for scientists, philosophers, historians and writers—men of ideas in general, to develop new concepts which may act as counteractive stratagems in analyzing and curbing the severity and intensity of threat perceptions of the people of the twenty-first century.