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Vernadsky's concept of the noosphere and its reflection in ethical and moral values of society

Journal: History of science and technology (Vol.12, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 231-248

Keywords : biosphere; noosphere; co-evolution; scientific thinking; ethics;

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The paper assesses the topicality of Vernadsky's concept of the noosphere, coined over almost twenty years starting in the early 20th century. Emphasizing the uniqueness of Vernadsky's concept of the noosphere as the transformation of the biosphere by a man using reason, we concentrate on the assessment of the utopian or realistic nature of his vision of the future of humanity. Based on the philosophical case-studies analysis, it identifies the ideological roots of the noosphere concept, the development of views on the concept in time, the role of reason and scientific thinking, the opinions of its supporters and critics, and Moiseev's related concept of co-evolution. We point out the correlation between Vernadsky's concept of the noosphere and Moiseev's bifurcation and his two imperatives as necessary conditions for the co-evolution of nature and man. We document that Vernadský did not only think about the positive role of reason in the creation and development of the noosphere, but he was also aware of the possibility of its misuse. We compare Vernadsky's idea of the collective reason creation with Kurzweil's concept of technological singularity, Crutzen's concept of the Anthropocene, Haff's concept of the technosphere and Cer's scenario of the possible future development towards the creation of tech subjects and the replacement of the biosphere with the technosphere. We also assess the possibility of approximating essential concept-forming elements, i.e. philosophical categories, collective reason, the collective intelligence of humanity, and scientific knowledge facilitated by information and communication technology. Ultimately, conclusions concerning the topicality of Vernadsky's concept of noosphere are formulated. We argue that Vernadský's concept of the noosphere is timeless and should be taken not as a utopia but, on the contrary, as a scenario of possible development along the line of geosphere – biosphere – noosphere, prospectively with its transfer to the cosmic dimension.

Last modified: 2023-01-06 14:03:43