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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Speaker: Örsan Şenalp on Unity of Science: Contributions from Bogdanov
Location: Zoom
Time: 10am
Speaker: Örsan Şenalp
Topic: Unity of Science: Contributions from Bogdanov
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In this talk I will present the outline of the argument I develop in my ongoing research at the University of Amsterdam. The subject of the research is a ‘lost paradigm’ that provided a creative answer to the unresolved question of the unity (or disunity) of science. This forgotten work is Alexander Bogdanov’s life work culminated in tektology, outlined in his 1913-29 book Tektology: Universal Science of Organisation. Tektology is increasingly accepted today as the first-ever systematic work which presented systems/complexity science. Therefore, the unit of analysis of the research is Bogdanov’s main writings. I hypothesise that, especially with tektology, which included a clear and accessible conceptual and methodological framework and the first principle that later systems and complexity approaches lacked, Bogdanov might have given a correct answer to the unity/disunity question.
The main objective of the research is to highlight the importance and relevance of Bogdanov’s work by rereading it against the unity/disunity of science debate. In doing so, I will be re-connecting two important unity/disunity of science debates that evolved somewhat independently in the history and philosophy of science (HPS) and systems/complexity fields in the absence of Bogdanov’s work. To re-connect these debates around the answer Bogdanov gave, I go back to the late modern writings on science and propose a reconstruction of the history of both fields as two candidate meta-or unifying sciences, which tried to solve the unity/disunity of science riddle yet failed. I also compare and 4 PMast the main arguments and aspects of these attempts with that of Bogdanov. My final objective is to intervene in the contemporary debates on the unity of science.

I am an academic researcher at the University of Amsterdam. In the past, I worked as a political advisor and consultant for the Turkish parliament and the trade union confederation DISK. I gained international experience in policy networks and union solidarity projects as a project advisor and consultant. I participated in transnational social justice and protest movements Water Justice, 15M, and Occupy Wall Street as an activist. I hold a master's degree in international relations and transnational governance and I am currently working on my research on Alexander Bogdanov's work and ideas, in the context of the question of unity/disunity of science and of systems/complexity paradigms, at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation.
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