Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Nature as Discourse: A Co-evolutionary Systems Approach to Art and Environmental Design
Susannah Hays
2nd Author
3rd Author
Doctor of Philosophy, PhD
May 2016
Number of Pages
146 pages
University of California, Berkeley
Thesis Supervisor
Prof. Galen Cranz
Supervisor e-mail
galen AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Greg Niemeyer, Alva Noë, Richard Norgaard, Hertha D. Sweet Wong
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interdisciplinary Studies / (Art, Environmental Design, Philosophy, English)
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
URL forthcoming. Please contact author: Susannah Hays
Art Practice, Consciousness Studies, Ecocivility, Epistemics, Human Evolution, Sustainability, Transdisciplinarity
Abstract: 200-500 words
Transdisciplinarity, an international education movement that explores pathways to a coherent epistemology beyond all disciplines, seeks to become a sustaining vital force in human development. To do so, it needs to be complemented by a branch of epistemology called epistemics or self-knowledge. Only if co-evolutionary phylogenetic principles of human-brain and autonomic nervous system functioning are included in transdisciplinarity’s model can individuals experientially evolve to the levels of reality the model entails. An actual, “true to life,” transdisciplinary education teaches isomorphic qualities intrinsic to perception, pattern mapping, language, and aesthetic (non-directive) skills. Curricula utilizing these educational tools will result in indispensable, creative learning environments. A trajectory not yet explored in other literature on Transdisciplinarity is an emphasis on cross-cultural research in humanbrain and autonomic nervous system dynamics. Three key understandings that guide human biological evolutionary processes toward higher levels of consciousness are Paul MacLean’s triune-brain neuroethology, Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory of emotions, and G. I. Gurdjieff’s three-centered self-study practice. Each chapter describes a non-profit organization whose goal is to raise humanity’s normative level of participation in environmental sustainability. These organizations demonstrate how Transdisciplinarity can recalibrate human evolution, if the educational movement synthesizes the autonomic/cognitive forces within Homo sapiens’ biological organization.