The Idea of Levels of Reality and

its Relevance for Non-Reduction and Personhood*


1.Introduction - Problems of terminology

The words"reduction" and "reductionism" are extremely ambiguous.Different authors use different meanings and definitions and thereforeextremely unproductive polemics could be generated.

For example,philosophers understand by "reduction" replacing one theory by anewer more encompassing theory, while scientists understand by the same wordexactly the opposite operation. In other words, philosophers reduce the simplerto the more complex while scientists reduce the more complex to the simpler,understood as "more fundamental". In physics, for example, onereduces everything to superstrings or membranes, by hoping to arrive at a"Theory of Everything".

In fact, there are manyother meanings given to the word "reduction": in chemistry, inlinguistics, in cooking, in physiology, in orthopedic surgery, etc.

Inorder to avoid any confusion, we will adopt here the general scientific meaning:one reduces A to B, B to C, C to D, etc. till we arrive at what is believed tobe the most fundamental level. Human thought follows, in fact, the same processof reduction. Reduction is, in many ways, a natural process for thought andthere is nothing wrong about it. The only problem is to understand what we findat the end of the reduction chain: is the chain circular and, if not, how do wejustify the concept of "end" at the end of the chain?

Inany case, we have to distinguish "reduction" from "reductionism".There are many types of reductionisms and there is a real danger in confusingthem.

Sometimes"reductionism" is defined through the assertion that a complex systemis nothing but the sum of its parts. One has to distinguish between:

1.methodological reductionism: reduce the explanation to the simpler possibleentities.

2.theoretical reductionism: reduce all theories to a single unified theory.

3.ontological reductionism: reduce all of reality to a minimum number ofentities.

Inthe literature one finds other kinds of reductionisms: for example, DanielDennett defines the "Greedy reductionism"[1] (thebelief that every scientific explanation has to be reduced to superstrings ormembranes), while Richard Dawkins defines a "hierarchical reductionism"[2] (there isan hierarchy of complex organizational systems, every entity on one level beingreducible to one level down in the hierarchy). The appearance of both thesetypes of reductionisms serves as a criticism of the extreme forms ofreductionism. However, the very fact that there are so many varieties ofreductionisms signals a situation of crisis of reductionism itself.

Toavoid any confusion, we will accept, in this talk, scientific reductionism as meaningthe explanation of complex spiritual processes in terms of psychic processes,which in turn are explained through biological processes, which in their turnare explained in terms of physical processes. In other words, a typicalscientist reduces spirituality to materiality. Philosophical reductionism willcorrespond to the inverse chain: reducing materiality to spirituality. Bothtypes belong to what can be called mono-reductionism. Somephilosophers accept a dualistic approach: materiality as radically distinctfrom spirituality. The dualistic approach is a variant of "philosophicalreductionism": it corresponds to a multi-reductionism. One caneven see, especially in the New Age type of literature, forms of what can becalled an inter-reductionism: i. e. transferring of somematerial aspects to spiritual entities or, vice versa, transferringof some spiritual features to physical entities.

Non-reductionism isexpressed through "holism" (meaning that the whole is more than thesum of its parts and determines how the parts behave) and"emergentism" (meaning that novel structures, patterns or propertiesarise from relatively simple interactions, resulting in layers arranged interms of increased complexity). Holism and emergentism have their owndifficulties: they have to explain from where novelty comes, without giving adhoc explanations.

Aswe will see, the notion of levels of reality is crucialin conciliating reductionism (so useful in scientific explanations) andanti-reductionism (so clearly needed in complex systems). But before looking atthat, we have to acknowledge the extreme ambiguity of the expression "levelof reality". A fast look at Google shows to us more than 1,400,000 entries! A true Babel Tower. Thissimply means that the words "reality" and "level" are notwell defined and everybody uses them in a non-rigorous way. In philosophicalliterature one finds many types of levels: levels of organization, levels ofintegration, levels of abstraction, levels of language, levels ofrepresentation, levels of interpretation, levels of complexity, levels oforganization, levels of knowledge, and even levels of being. Why do we need anew concept - "levels of Reality"?

Dictionaries tell usthat "reality" means[3]:1. the state or quality of being real; 2. resemblance to what is real; 3. areal thing or fact; 4. something that constitutes a real or actual thing, asdistinguished from something that is merely apparent. These are clearly notdefinitions but descriptions in a vicious circle: "reality" isdefined in terms of what is "real". In a more restricted sense, onecan define "reality" as "everything that has effects onsomething else"[4].This definition puts the accent on causality, but one has to define what typeof causality is here involved.

In order to avoid anyambiguity, I will define "reality" in a sense which is used byscientists, namely in terms of "resistance"[5].

By “reality” we intendfirst of all to designate that which resists our experiences, representations, descriptions,images, or even mathematical formulations. It puts the accent on a relationalview of what "reality" could mean.

In so far as realityparticipates in the being of the world, one has to assign also an ontologicaldimension to this concept. Reality is not merely a social construction, theconsensus of a collectivity, or some inter-subjective agreement. It also has atrans-subjective dimension: for example, experimental data can ruin the mostbeautiful scientific theory.

The meaning we give tothe word “Reality” is therefore pragmatic and ontological at the same time. Iwill consequently denote by a capital letter this word.

Of course, noteverything is resistance. For example, the notion of angels is certainlyconnected with non-resistance. As are the powers of God, they do not resist our experiences,representations, descriptions, images, and mathematical formulations.

We have to distinguish,in order to avoid further ambiguities, the words “Real” and “Reality”. Real designates that which is, while Reality is connected to resistance in ourhuman experience. The “Real” is, by definition, veiled for ever (it does nottolerate any further qualifications) while “Reality” is accessible to ourknowledge. Real involves non-resistance while Reality involves resistance.

Iwill now describe some historical aspects concerning the concept of "levelof Reality".



2.Levels of Reality - Historical aspects: John of the Ladder (c. 525606), Nicolai Hartmann(1882-1950) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)

The idea of "levelsof Reality" is not, in fact, new. The human being felt, from thebeginnings of its existence, that there are at least two realms of reality -one visible, the other invisible.

In a more elaborate way,the theological literature expressed the idea of a "scale of being",which corresponds, of course, to a scale of Reality. The scale of Jacob (Genesis28:10-12) is one famous example, so nicely illustrated in the Christian Orthodoxiconography. There are several variants of the scale of being. The most famousone is found in the book Climax or Ladder of Divine Ascent of Saint John Climacus (c. 525606). The author, alsoknown as John of the Ladder, was a monkat the monastery on Mount Sinai. There are thirty steps of theladder, describing the process of theosis. Resistance and non-resistance is nicelyillustrated in the scale of John of the Ladder: the human being climbs thesteps, which denote the effort of the human being to evolve from spiritualpoint of view through the resistance to his or her habits and thoughts, but theangels, these messengers of God, helps him or her to jump through the intervalsof non-resistance between the steps of the ladder. Thisladder is, of course, the opposite of the Babel Tower.

The advent of Darwin'stheory of evolution stimulated, of course, the thinking about a scale of Reality.The human being feels as being in some sense radically different from his orher brother and sisters, the animals. In particular, consciousness is seen,especially by religious people, as an emergent and mysterious phenomenon.However, wishful thinking can not replace a scientific argument. Are we on adifferent level of reality then animals? Here, all the problems of reductionismand non-reductionism find their sentimental root.

In the second part ofthe 20th century, two important thinkers on the problem of levels of Realityare Nicolai Hartmann and Werner Heisenberg.

Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950)is a somewhat forgotten philosopher, who had Hans-Georg Gadamer as student andMartin Heidegger as his successor at the University of Marburg, in Germany. Heelaborated an ontology based on the theory of categories. He distinguishes fourlevels of Reality: inorganic, organic, emotional and intellectual. In 1940 hepostulated four laws of the levels of Reality: the law of recurrence, the lawof modification, the law of the novum and the law of distance between levels[6].The last law, postulating that the different levels do not developcontinuously, but in leaps, is particularly interesting in the context of ourdiscussion. Roberto Poli[7],who wrote two nice review articles on the contemporary developments ofHartmann's theory, will certainly speak more about these aspects in his closingtalk of our mini-conference.

Almost simultaneouslywith Hartmann, in 1942, the Nobel Prize of Physics Werner Heisenberg elaborateda very important model of levels of reality in his Manuscript of 1942[8], which was published only in 1984.

The philosophicalthinking of Heisenberg is structured by “two directory principles: the firstone is that of the division in levels of Reality, corresponding to differentobjectivity modes depending on the incidence of the knowledge process, and thesecond one is that of the progressive erasure of the role played by theordinary concepts of space and time.” [p. 240]

ForHeisenberg, reality is “the continuous fluctuation of the experience asgathered by the conscience. In this respect, it is never wholly identifiable toan isolated system“ [p. 166]. Reality could not be reduced to substance. For thephysicists of today this fact is obvious: the matter is the complexus substance-energy-space-time-information.

Aswritten by Catherine Chevalley, who wrote the Introduction to the Frenchtranslation of Heisenberg's book, “the semantic field of the word realityincluded for him everything given to us by the experience taken in its largestmeaning, from the experience of the world to that of the souls modifications orof the autonomous signification of the symbols.” [p. 145]

Heisenbergdoes not speak in an explicit manner about "resistance" in relationwith reality, but its meaning is fully present: “the reality we can talk about– writes Heisenberg – is never the reality ‘in itself’, but only areality about which we may have knowledge, in many cases a reality to which wehave given form.” [p. 277] Reality being in constant fluctuation, all we can dois to understand partial aspects of it, thanks to our thinking, extractingprocesses, phenomena, and laws. In this context, it is clear that completenessis absent: “We never can arrive at an exact and complete portrait of reality”[p. 258] – wrote Heisenberg. The incompleteness of physics laws is herebypresent in Heisenberg, even if he does not make any reference to Gödel’stheorems. For him, the reality is given as ‘textures of different kindconnections’, as ‘infinite abundance’, without any ultimate fundament.Heisenberg states ceaselessly, in agreement with Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamerand Cassirer (whom he knew personally), that one has to suppress any rigiddistinction between Subject and Object. He also states that one has to end withthe privileged reference on the outer material world and that the onlyapproaching manner for the sense of reality is to accept its division inregions and levels.

Heisenberg distinguishes“regions of reality” (der Bereich der Wirklichkeit) from “levels of reality” (dieSchicht der Wirklichkeit).

“We understand by“regions of reality” – writes Heisenberg – [...] an ensemble of nomological connections. These regionsare generated by groups of relations. They overlap, adjust, cross, alwaysrespecting the principle of non-contradiction.” The regions of reality are, infact, strictly equivalent to the levels of organization of the systemicthinking.

         Heisenberg isconscious that the simple consideration of the existence of regions of realityis not satisfactory because they will put on the same plane classical andquantum mechanics. It is for this essential reason that he was regrouping thesereality regions into different levels of Reality.

         Heisenbergregroups the numerous regions of reality in three distinct levels.

         “It is clear -wrote Heisenberg – that the ordering of the regions has to substitute thegross division of world into a subjective reality and an objective one and tostretch itself between these poles of subject and object in such a manner thatat its inferior limit are the regions where we can completely objectify. Incontinuation, one has to join regions where the states of things could not becompletely separated from the knowledge process during which we are identifyingthem. Finally, on the top, have to be the levels of Reality where the states ofthings are created only in connexion with the knowledge process.“ [372]

         CatherineChevalley underlines that Heisenberg suppresses the rigid distinction between“exact sciences of the objective real world and the inexact sciences of thesubjective world” and he refuses “any hierarchy founded on the privilege ofcertain nomological connexion forms, or on a region of the real considered moreobjective than the others” [p. 152].

         Thefirst level of Reality, in the Heisenberg model, corresponds to the states ofthings, which are objectified independently of the knowledge process. Hesituates at this first level classical mechanics, electromagnetism and the tworelativity theories of Einstein, in other words classical physics.

The second level ofReality corresponds to the states of things inseparable from the knowledgeprocess. He situates here quantum mechanics, biology and the consciousnesssciences.

Finally, the third levelof Reality corresponds to the states of things created in connexion with theknowledge process. He situates on this level of Reality philosophy, art,politics, ‘God’ metaphors, religious experience and inspiration experience.

One has to note that thereligious experience and the inspiration experience are difficult to assimilateto a level of Reality. They rather correspond to the passage between different levelsof Reality in the non-resistance zone.

We have to underline, inthis context, that Heisenberg proves a high respect for religion. In relationwith the problem of God’s existence, he wrote: “This belief is not at all anillusion, but is only the conscious acceptance of a tension never realised inreality, tension which is objective and which advances in an independent way ofthe humans, that we are, and which is yet at its turn nothing but the contentof our soul, transformed by our soul.” [p. 235] The expression used byHeisenberg "a tension never realised in reality" is particularlysignificant in the context of our discussion. It evokes what we called"Real" as distinct from "Reality".

For Heisenberg, worldand God are indissolubly linked: “this opening to the world which is at thesame time the ‘world of God’, finally also remains the highest happiness thatthe world could offer us: the conscience of being home.” [p. 387] He remarksthat the Middle Age made the choice of religion and the 17th century made thechoice of science, but today any choice or criteria for values vanished.

 “The concepts are, so to say, theprivileged points where the different levels of Reality are interweaving”– wrote Heisenberg. He specifies as follows:  “When one is questioning the nomological connexions ofreality, these last ones are found every time inserted into a determinedreality level; it could not at all be interpreted differently from the conceptof reality ‘level’ (it is possible to speak about the effect of a level ontoanother one only by using very generally the concept of ‘effect’).

Heisenberg also insistson the role of intuition: “Only the intuitive thinking – wrote Heisenberg– can pass over the abyss that exists between the concepts system alreadyknown and the new concepts system; the formal deduction is helpless on throwinga bridge over this abyss.” [p. 261] But Heisenberg doesn’t draw the logicalconclusion that is imposed by the helplessness of the formal thinking: only thenon-resistance of our experiences, representations, descriptions, images ormathematical formalisations could bring a bridge over the abyss between twozones of resistance. The non-resistance is, in fact,  the key of understanding the discontinuity between twoimmediately neighbour levels of Reality.



3. Towardsa Unified Theory of Levels of Reality - The Transdisciplinary Approach

Transdisciplinarity isfounded upon three axioms[9]:

i. The ontologicalaxiom: There aredifferent levels of Reality of the Object and, correspondingly, differentlevels of Reality of the Subject.

ii. The logical axiom: The passage from one level ofReality to another is insured by the logic of the included middle.

iii. Theepistemological axiom:The structure of the totality of levels of Reality appears, in our knowledgeof nature, of society and of ourselves, as a complex structure: every level is whatit is because all the levels exist at the same time.

The key concept of thetransdisciplinarity is the concept of levels of Reality, which I introduced in 1982[10],independently of Heisenberg.

By “level of Reality”,we designate a set of systems which are invariant under certain general laws:for example, quantum entities are subordinate to quantum laws, which departradically from the laws of the macrophysical world. That is to say that twolevels of Reality are different if, while passing from one to the other, thereis a break in the applicable laws and a break in fundamental concepts (like,for example, causality). Therefore there is a discontinuity in the structure of levels ofReality. Every level of Reality is associated with its own space-time.

The introduction of thelevels of Reality induces a multidimensional and multi-referential structure ofReality. Both the notions of the ‘Real’ and ‘levels of Reality’ relate to whatis considered to be the ‘natural’ and the ‘social’ and is therefore applicableto the study of nature and society.

Our approach is nothierarchical. There is no fundamental level. But its absence does not mean an anarchicaldynamics, but a coherent one, of all levels of Reality, already discovered orwhich will be discovered in the future.

Everylevel is characterized by its incompleteness: the laws governing this level are just a partof the totality of laws governing all levels. And even the totality of lawsdoes not exhaust the entirety of Reality: we have also to consider the Subjectand its interaction with the Object. Knowledge is forever open.

The zone between two differentlevels and beyond all levels is a zone of non-resistance to our experiences,representations, descriptions, images, and mathematical formulations. Quitesimply, the transparence of this zone is due to the limitations of our bodiesand of our sense organs, limitations which apply regardless of what measuringtools – internal or external - are used to extend these sense organs. Wetherefore have to conclude that the topological distance between levels isfinite. However this finite distance does not mean a finite knowledge. Take, asan image, a segment of a straight line – it contains an infinite numberof points. In a similar manner, a finite topological distance could contain aninfinite number of levels of Reality.

The unity of levels of Reality ofthe Object and its complementary zone of non-resistance constitutes what wecall the transdisciplinary Object.

Inspired by the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl[11],we assert that the different levels of Reality of the Object are accessible toour knowledge thanks to the different levels of perception which arepotentially present in our being. These levels of perception permit anincreasingly general, unifying, encompassing vision of Reality, without ever entirelyexhausting it. In a rigorous way, these levels of perception are, in fact, levelsof Reality of the Subject.

As in the case of levels of Reality of theObject, the coherence of levels of Reality of the Subject presupposes a zone ofnon-resistance to perception.

The unity of levels of levels ofReality of the Subject and this complementary zone of non-resistanceconstitutes what we call the transdisciplinary Subject.

The two zones of non-resistance oftransdisciplinary Object and Subject must be identical for thetransdisciplinary Subject to communicate with the transdisciplinary Object. Aflow of consciousness that coherently cuts across different levels of Realityof the Subject must correspond to the flow of information coherently cuttingacross different levels of Reality of the Object. The two flows areinterrelated because they share the same zone of non-resistance.

Knowledge is neither exterior norinterior: it is simultaneously exterior and interior. The studies of theuniverse and of the human being sustain one another.

The zone of non-resistance plays therole of a thirdbetween the Subject and the Object, an Interaction term which allows theunification of the transdisciplinary Subject and the transdisciplinary Objectwhile preserving their difference. In the following we will call thisInteraction term the Hidden Third.

Our ternary partition {Subject, Object, Hidden Third } is, of course, different from the binarypartition { Subject vs. Object } of classical metaphysics.

The transdisciplinaryObject and its levels, the transdisciplinary Subject and its levels and theHidden Third define the transdisciplinary Reality or trans-Reality (see Fig. 1).


The incompleteness ofthe general laws governing a given level of Reality signifies that, at a givenmoment of time, one necessarily discovers contradictions in the theorydescribing the respective level: one has to assert A and non-A at the sametime.

It is the included middle logic[12]which allows us to jump from one level of Reality to another level of Reality.

Our understanding of the axiom ofthe included middle — there exists a third term T which is at the sametime A and non-A — is completely clarified once the notion of “levels ofReality” is introduced.

In order to obtain a clear image ofthe meaning of the included middle, let us represent the three terms of the newlogic — A, non-A, and T — and the dynamics associated with them bya triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality andthe two other vertices at another level of Reality (see Fig. 2). The includedmiddle is in fact an included third. If one remains at a single level of Reality,all manifestation appears as a struggle between two contradictory elements. Thethird dynamic, that of the T-state, is exercised at another level of Reality,where that which appears to be disunited is in fact united, and that whichappears contradictory is perceived as non-contradictory. In other words, theaction of the logic of the included middle on the different levels of Realityis able to explore the open structure of the unity of levels of Reality.




All levels of Reality areinterconnected through complexity. From a transdisciplinary point of view,complexity is a modern form of the very ancient principle of universal interdependence.The principle of universal interdependence entails the maximum possiblesimplicity that the human mind could imagine, the simplicity of the interactionof all levels of reality. This simplicity can not be captured by mathematicallanguage, but only by symbolic language.

The transdisciplinary theory oflevels of Reality appears as conciliating reductionism and non-reductionism[13].It is, in some aspects, a multi-reductionist theory, via the existence of multiple,discontinuous levels of Reality. However, it is also a non-reductionist theory,via the HiddenThird, which restores the continuous interconnectedness of Reality. Thereductionism/non-reductionism opposition is, in fact, a result of binarythinking, based upon the excluded middle logic. The transdisciplinary theory oflevels of Reality allows us to define, in such a way, a new view on Reality,which can be called trans-reductionism.

The transdisciplinary notion of levels of Reality is incompatible withreduction of the spiritual level to the psychical level, of the psychical levelto the biological level, and of the biological level to the physical level.Still these four levels are united through the Hidden Third. However, thisunification can not be described by a scientific theory. By definition, scienceexcludes non-resistance. Science, as is defined today, is limited by its ownmethodology.

The transdisciplinary notion of levels of Reality leads also to a newvision of Personhood, based upon the inclusion of the Hidden Third. In thetransdisciplinary approach, we are confronted with a multiple Subject, able to know a multiple Object. Unification of the Subject isperformed by the action of the Hidden Third, which transforms knowledge in understanding. "Understanding" meansfusion of knowledge and being. In some sense, the Hidden Third appears as thesource of knowledge but, in its turn, needs the Subject in order to know theworld: the Subject, the Object and the Hidden Third are inter-related. Thehuman person appears as an interface between the Hidden Third and the world.The human being has therefore two natures: an animal nature and a divinenature, inter-related and inseparable. The erasing of the Hidden Third inknowledge signifies a one-dimensional human being, reduced to its cells,neurons, quarks and elementary particles.




4. Openingremarks

It is inappropriate for an opening talk to present"concluding" remarks. The event of our mini-conference is in front ofus, full of expectations but unpredictable. I will therefore present just few andshort opening remarks.

It is obvious that a huge work remains to be performed in order toformulate a unified theory of levels of Reality, valid in all fields ofknowledge, which involve, at the beginning of the 21st century, more than 8,000academic disciplines, every discipline claiming its own truths and having itslaws, norms and terminology.

I believe that thetransdisciplinary theory of levels of Reality is a good starting point inerasing the fragmentation of knowledge, and therefore the fragmentation of thehuman being. We badly need a transdisciplinary hermeneutics[14].This is a really big question.

In this context, thedialogue of transdisciplinarity with the patristic thinking, and in particularwith the apophatic thinking, will be, of course, very useful. The Hidden Thirdis a basic apophatic feature of the future unified knowledge[15].

The theory of categorieswill be also certainly helpful. But one has not to be afraid about metaphysicsand to clarify how trans-categorial properties could be described. It is verydifficult, if not impossible, to conceive such a subtle notion as"personhood" without doing metaphysics.

Quantum physics is alsovery precious because it leads a good understanding of the role ofdiscontinuity in philosophical thinking. Heisenberg's approach of levels ofReality is just one magnificent example on this way.

I also have very muchhope for the potential contribution to a unified theory of levels of reality ofa new branch of knowledge - biosemiotics, as exposed for example, in thestimulating book Signs of Meaning in the Universe of Jesper Hoffmeyer[16].Biosemiotics is transdisciplinary by its very nature[17].Welive in semiosphere, as much we live in atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The humanbeing is the unique being in the universe able to conceive an infinite wealthof possible worlds. These "possible worlds" are certainlycorresponding to different levels of Reality. Powerful concepts elaborated bybiosemioticians, like semiotic freedom, could lead us to understand what"personhood" could mean. "The human being is the most perfectsign", says Peirce.

Biosemiotics is basedupon the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), a great philosopher,logician, mathematician of the beginning of the 20th century[18].For Peirce, Reality has a ternary structure. All our ideas about Reality belongto three classes: Firtstness, Secondness and Thirdness. These classes havetrans-categorial properties, through the way in which Peirce defines whatFirstness is. There is a powerful theorem in graph theory established byPeirce, stating that each polyad superior to a triad can be analyzed in termsof triads, but triads could not be analyzed in terms of dyads. This leads himto think about three modes of being, manifestations of three universes ofexperience. The correspondence of Peirce's ternary dynamics with thetransdisciplinary ternary dynamics of Reality {Subject, Object, Hidden Third}is striking and has to be further explored. "What is Reality?" - asks Peirce[19].He tells us that maybe there is nothing at all which corresponds to Reality. Itmay be just a working assumption in our desperate tentative in knowing. But ifthere is a Reality - tells us Peirce - it has to consist in the fact that theworld lives, moves and has in itself a logic of events, which corresponds toour reason.Peirce's view on Reality totally corresponds to the transdisciplinary view onReality.

Let me finally note that a unified theory of levels of Reality iscrucial in building sustainable development and sustainable futures. Thepresent considerations in these matters are based upon reductionist and binarythinking: everything is reduced to society, economy and environment. Theindividual level of Reality, the spiritual level of Reality and the cosmiclevel of Reality are completely ignored. Sustainable futures, so necessary forour survival, can only be based on a unified theory of levels of Reality. Weare part of the ordered movement of Reality. Our freedom consists in enteringinto the movement or perturbing it. Reality depends on us. Reality isplastic. We can respond to the movement or imposeour will of power and domination. Our responsibility is to build sustainablefutures in agreement with the overall movement of reality.







Horia Badescu and Basarab Nicolescu (Ed), Stéphane Lupasco - L'hommeet l'oeuvre, Rocher, Monaco, 1999.

Joseph E. Brenner, Logicin Reality,Springer, 2008.

Richard Dawkins, TheSelfish Gene,Oxford University Press, UK, 1976.

Daniel Dennett, Darwin'sDangerous Idea,Simon and Schuster, New York, 1995.

NicolaiHartmann, Der Aufbau der realen Welt. Grundriss der allgemeinenKategorienlehre, Walter De Gruyter, Berlin, 1940.

Werner Heisenberg, Philosophie- Le manuscrit de 1942, Paris, Seuil, 1998. Translation from German andintroduction by Catherine Chevalley. The pages quoted in parenthesis are fromthis edition. German original edition : Ordnung der Wirklichkeit, Munich, R. Piper GmbH §KG, 1989. Published first in W. Blum, H. P. Dürr, and H. Rechenberg (ed.),W. Heisenberg Gesammelte Werke, Vol. C-I : Physik und Erkenntnis, 1927-1955, Munich, R. Piper GmbH §KG, 1984, pp. 218-306. To my knowledge, there is no translation in English ofthis book.

Jesper Hoffmeyer, Signs of Meaning in the Universe, IndianaUniversity Press, Bloomington, Indianopolis, USA, 1993.

Edmund Husserl, Méditations cartésiennes, Vrin, Paris, 1966. Translated form the German by Gabrielle Peiffer and Emmanuel Levinas.

Stéphane Lupasco, Le principe d’antagonisme et la logique de l’énergie- ProlégomŹnes ą une science de la contradiction, Hermann & Cie, Coll. “Actualités scientifiques et industrielles”,n° 1133, Paris, 1951 ; 2nd ed.: Rocher, Monaco, 1987, foreword by BasarabNicolescu.

Basarab Nicolescu, “Sociologieet mécanique quantique”, 3e Millénaire, no 1, Paris,March-April 1982.

Basarab Nicolescu, Nous, laparticule et le monde, Le Mail,Paris, 1985. 2nd edition: Le Rocher, Monaco, “Transdisciplinarité" Series,2002.

Basarab Nicolescu, Manifestoof Transdisciplinarity. New York:SUNY Press, 2002, translation from the French by Karen-Claire Voss; originaledition: La transdisciplinarité,manifeste, Monaco, Rocher, "Transdisciplinarité" Series, 1996.

Basarab Nicolescu, “Hylemorphism, Quantum Physics and Levels of Reality”,in Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou (Ed), Aristotle and Contemporary Science, New York, PeterLang, 2000, Vol. I, pp. 173-184. Introduction by Hilary Putnam.

Basarab Nicolescu, Towards an apophatic methodology of the dialoguebetween science and religion, in Science and Orthodoxy, a necessary dialogue, CurteaVeche,  Bucharest, 2006, edited by Basarab Nicolescu and Magda Stavinschi,p. 19-29.

Basarab Nicolescu (Ed), Transdisciplinarity– Theory and Practice, Hampton Press, Cresskill, New Jersey, 2008.

CharlesSanders Peirce,Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, 8 volumes, Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss,and Arthur Burks (Ed), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts,1931-1958.

CharlesSanders Peirce,Selected Writings (Values in a Universe of Chance), edited with an introduction andnotes by Philip P. Wiener, Dover Publications, New York, 1966.

CharlesSanders Peirce,The New Elements of Mathematics, 4 volumes, C. Eisele (Ed), Mouton Humanities Press The Hague, 1976.

Roberto Poli, "TheBasic Problem of the Theory of Levels of Reality", Axiomathes, 12:261-283,2001.

Roberto Poli, "ThreeObstructions: Forms of Causation, Chronotopoids, and Levels of Reality", Axiomathes1:1-18, 2007.

Roberto Poli, private communication, June 28, 2008.

John van Breda, “Towardsa Transdisciplinary Hermeneutics – A New Way of Going beyond the Science/ Religion Debate”, Transdisciplinarity in Science and Religion, No2, Curtea Veche Publ., Bucharest, 2007; originally presented at the 2007Metanexus Conference “Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge” andpreviously published on the Global Spiral

Günther Witzany (Ed), Biosemioticsin Transdisciplinary Contexts, Proceedings of the Gathering in Biosmiotics 6, UMWEB Publications,Finland, 2007.

* Transdisciplinarity in Science and Religion,n° 4, 2008, Curtea Veche Publ., Bucharest, p. 11-26. Opening talk at themini-conference "Exploring Non-Reduction and Levels of Reality",International Congress "Subject, Self, and Soul: TransdisciplinaryApproaches to Personhood", Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain,July 13,  2008.

[1] Dennett, 1995.

[2] Dawkins, 1976.


[4] Poli, 2008.

[5] Nicolescu, 1985, 2000.

[6] Hartmann, 1940.

[7] Poli, 2001 and2007.

[8] Heisenberg, 1998.

[9] Nicolescu, 1996.

[10] Nicolescu, 1982.

[11] Husserl, 1966.

[12] Lupasco, 1951; Badescu and Nicolescu(ed.), 1999; Brenner, 2008.

[13] Nicolescu (Ed), 2008.

[14] van Breda, 2007.

[15] Nicolescu, 2006.

[16] Hoffmeyer,1996.

[17] Witzany(Ed), 2007.

[18] See, e. g., Hartshorne (Ed),1931-1958 and Peirce, 1966.

[19] Peirce, 1976,vol. IV, p. 383-384.