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Reality as an unbroken whole.,
This review is from: On Creativity (Routledge Classics) (Paperback)
This book really is a classic. For those interested in a discussion relating philosophy, science (particulary modern physics) and art, this is indispensible.
Bohm's vision, put simply, is that reality is entirely unified. The dominant picture of reality, drawn from Democritus,is that of a void filled by atoms. This view of reality suggests that it is by nature fragmented, composed of building blocks, each with its own independent essence that is fixed. This is the source of a great deal of confusion, Bohm tells us, and today's physics suggests the case may be otherwise. He compares modern uses of language to the origins of words, as used by ancient greeks, and shows that a fragmentary view has developed, it is not a 'given'. It is fruitful in specific cases, but as an overarching view of reality, it is the source of much predjudice and conflict, e.g. in seeing racial categories as natural, rather than as discursive abstractions, this can lead to racial predjudices and conflict.
Bohm compares science to art in particular (although also other things) and explains that landmark transformations in scientific revolutions and artistic movements are both produced by creativity - that is, being able to ask different questions to the normal ones posed within the present paradigms of thought and practice. Creativity is characterised by seeing 'different simularities' and 'simular differences'.
This book will be extremely useful to anyone interested in the wider philosophical significance of relativity and quantum theory. I would also recommend it to anyone thinking of tackling Bohm's monumental 'Wholeness and the Implicate order'. 'On Creativity' serves as a great outline to many ideas in that book, but is free of the technical jargon.
In conclusion, I found Bohm's philosophy highly appealing, and well thought through to the point of being compelling. His view of reality, a view he terms 'artamovement', is far more thought provoking and satisfying than the dominant atomistic worldview that reigns in the natural sciences. This is not to say that atoms don't exist at all, but that they are useful abstractions, part of a greater whole. Nothing has solitary independence of its place in the grand cosmos. A final word on Bohm's intelligent take on science itself, which is largely following Thomas Kuhn's paradigm model. Bohm sees scientific insight as part of an unbroken whole, a process of re-thinking and re-adressing natural phenomena, rather than fixing knowledge of stable, static objective essences of things. The book ends with a fascinating interview of Bohm by a friend of his, artist Lourwein Wyers.
Read this Book!