Throughout history, diverse currents have played out in the field of the theory of knowledge. The confrontation between realism and idealism occupies a prominent place. The starting point for this conference is the development of quantum physics that starteda hundred years ago, under the influence of idealism, prevailing in an era of crisis in which the media acquired perverse power. The idealist current went beyond the frontiers of science, reaching other spheres of thought and giving rise to an extended subjectivism that persists to this day and takes new turns. The production and circulation of knowledge, values and ideas, is now immersed in an unequally distributed digital mediality, which seeks to dominate the objective world and replace it with “realities” manufactured at convenience. Virtualism is thus presented as a “higher stage” of idealism, which allows us to withdraw from uncomfortable realities.
Against this background, we ask ourselves: To what extent is it feasible to recover contact with reality in the medialised world? The question takes on special importance given the urgency of dealing with strenuous realities such as the current environmental and humanitarian crises. In the field of production and circulation of knowledge, the answer depends on ensuring that medialities, far from serving to create fictitious or fragmented worlds, contribute to building an equitable, inclusive world, in which diversity is respected and nurtured and the multiplicity of problems and the wealth of contributions to address them are recognized.
Ana María Cetto is a researcher at the Institute of Physics and Professor at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Her main field of research is the foundation of quantum mechanics. She is also dedicated to the study of science publishing and communication, with an emphasis on open access.
The Public Lecture takes place as part of a workshop organized by the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut and the BMBF-funded project Mecila: Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America