XII-2 - Le monde en réseaux (2007)

Revue des Facultés de Théologie et de Philosophie


Étienne Perrot - Within economic nets

Starting from a sociological definition of the net as social capital, this article means to part from this utilitarian approach. As a multiplex of relations, the net implies both a substructure of communication and a symbolic operator able to serve as a sign of recognition between partners, each member of whom knows only the fact that the others belong to the same network. Then the various drifts of the net can be visited, first in the political field in which the nets run side by side with Mafia regimes, then in the economic field in which the nets allow one to respond easily to the ups and downs of economic vagaries, while keeping stable links between partners. The economy of the networks, as a particular economic field, is shown as giving increased value to the positive externalities for the members of the network, named under this circumstance: club effect. This effect, added to the varied organizations aiming at opposing the uncertainty of the markets, increases the heterogeneity of the economic space and gives away the socio-economic complexity to the hermeneutics of the networks of these distinguished manipulators of symbols that economists are.

François Euvé - Theology and the nets

Being interested in the notion of « network » means spontaneously conjuring up our contemporary cultural environment: from the circulation of information on the world web of the Internet to the self-organization of biological systems, a new logic is at work. It cannot but touch theological reflection concerning creation, which is supposed to explain the origin and the distinction of created beings in their difference from the Creating Principle. This article is trying to think out this change theologically, first in taking up the move from a metaphysics of substances to a metaphysics of of communication (A. Delzant ), then from the latter to a metaphysics of dynamic structure (A. Ganoczy). Three key notions are examined in the conclusion: the body, time and freedom.

Olivier Perru - The whole and the parts. A philosophy of the networks of interactions in biology

The relationship between the parts and the whole in a living organism has been a philosophical issue since Antiquity. The necessary link between the parts and the whole as Aristotle understood it is to be found from the material constituents, even perhaps from the individuals belonging to a political society. This necessity of the parts does not answer, in its strict meaning, the formal causality which would imply the arrangement and the organization of these same parts. Aristotle set off the irreductibility of the whole to the parts, which can be found in other forms, in the modern approaches of the biological totality. Once this conceptual framework has been set, the article examines how the specialists of biological modelling analyse to-day the rise of organic life, the production of much from little. In the dialectic of the whole and the part are integrated the attempts at modellisation and simulations of life. The networks offer then an opportunity to reveal the interactions of life as a system and describes its states of balance, its evolution, also at the level of the molecule.

Gérard Defois - Living in the Church in a society of networks

In a social context in which the selective and the objective take the place of what is normative and objective, going back with saint Paul to an imaginative world of networks internal to the Church body does not mean taking refuge in some elementary vision of tribal or feudal societies, but is widening in a living way what bureaucratic rationalism had formalized in an only formal logic. We are sent back, as much on the social plane as on that of the Church, to the Pauline image of the body, a vital collection of forces and requirements, places of exchanges grounded on the plurality of the services, and the interaction of small units and networks. The question is to give full measure to the spiritual power, to God's grace, in the institutionalisation of Christian existence, considering the mobility and global urbanization of our society. Acknowledging the associative and fluid fabric of our cultural situation, isn't it a challenge to found an ecclesiology of transhumance?