Top Message Works and Projects Founder Information Company Profile Recruit Link
Books and Thesis
– Critique of Popular Formalism –
December 18, 2006
The paradigm shift that I declared with “From the Age of the Machine to the Age of Life” in 1958 was actually interlinked with a parallel paradigm shift that was occurring at the same time in a variety of fields.
In particular, there is a particularly strong interconnection with the paradigm shift in the knowledge systems (philosophy and other academic fields) in the West at that time.

It goes without saying that the dualism, rationalism and purism proposed by Aristotle, Descartes and Kant made a significant contribution to economic development and the development of scientific technology in the 20th century, but on the other hand, these philosophies had clear limitations. Criticism of dualism, rationalism and metaphysical philosophy, which began in the first half of the 20th century, had become the mainstream philosophy around the time modernism was established.

The structuralism of Lévi-Strauss assigned a relative and structural value to the interpretation of the world by the West in “The Savage Mind” (Wild Thought). The semantics (symbology) that was born from the linguistics of Saussure also became an ideological paradigm for the 20th century. In his “On the Geneology of Morals”, Nietzsche stated “Facts and the like do not exist. The only things that exist are interpretations. The only things that can be defined are things that do not have a history.” The role of Foucauld was also considerable, and he effectively stated that the weave woven by history is in actuallity fiction, although precise details that cannot be refuted are provided. This was probably due to the influence of Nietzsche.

Merleau-Ponty, whom proposed the philosophy of ambiguity or physical philosophy, sharply points out the double meaning or ambiguity of the relationship of the spirit and the body.

The following things are common with these philosophies and the philosophies during the first half of the 20th century:

1. Anti-Western-centrism
2. Anti-rational-centrism
3. Anti—anthropocentrism
4. Anti-Enthnocentrism
5. Anti-purism or anti-metaphysics

These philosophies concur with the philosophy of symbiosis (from the age of the machine to the age of life) that I have been promoting since 1958.

This movement has seen rapid progress since 1960, and has had repercussions in a variety of academic fields.

This represents a shift away from a Bourbakian system to a non- Bourbakian system.
The Bourbakian system appeared with the dynamics of Newton, the geometry of Euclid, the science of the Lavoisier, quantum mechanics that replaces the theories of Darwin, fractal geometry of Mandelbrot and the symbiotic theory of evolution of Margulis.

The field of quantum mechanics brought about the Copenhagen interpretation which states that facts found through scientific observation are nothing more than one chance occurrence out of an infinite number of facts. Furthermore, in “Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind and the Resurrection of Spirit in the World” by David Peat, it explains that the connection between the mental and material is not clarified with dualistic thought.

Philosophy has advanced into the realm of post-structuralism as the information society has continued to evolve. Rather than propose a unified alternative, philosophy is now headed towards complete diffusion where there is no center and no universality.

The philosophy of post-structuralism proposed by Deleuze/Guattari, Roland Barthes, Derrida and others reflects this.

Architecture is a spiritual statement and an expression of thought of the age in which it is created. Therefore, architecture has also entered the age of symbiosis, the age of diversity and the age of diffusion.

Formalism, style and symbolism similar to fashion design are currently rampant in the architecture industry. There is no future for architecture without thought.

I think that the movement to re-evaluate the ambiguity and intermediate areas proposed by Consciousness-Only philosophy, and the philosophy of symbiosis and philosophy of the metabolism, which evolved from this, is a reflection of this movement.

December 18, 2006
Kisho Kurokawa