Against the Power of Abstraction

László Ropolyi

ETHICOMP Journal Vol 1 Issue 2


There is a close analogy between the situation of the citizens of the XV-XVI. century and that of the netizens of our age. In the late Middle Ages the crisis of belief, now the crisis of knowledge can be diagnosed.

Reorganisation of the relation of man to God was the most important purpose of the Reformation: one wanted to eliminate the entire church-institution system from this intimate relation. The goal was the individual freedom in matters of belief. Faith was conceived of as a personal and direct relation to God, without the interpretations of the experts of faith. For this direct relation to the Word of God printing ensured the “technical” background.

That old crisis produced a new era with the emergence of human knowledge, but now the modern knowledge arrived at a similar crisis situation. Now the question is the following: How could we emancipate ourselves from the rule of the uncontrollable, abstract reason?

The relation of the individual human beings to the knowledge is situated now in a similar position as the faith of the citizens of the late Middle Ages. The reformators of knowledge have to eliminate the power of the experts of the abstract reason, and the scientific-institution systems and they have to build up a new, direct and personal relation between man and knowledge. Fortunately, modernity produced the networks of computers as “technical” tools for this task. This is the time of the reformation of human knowledge, five hundred years after the reformation of belief. Our hero is a re-emancipated man who wants to throw off the yoke of the abstract feeling and the abstract reason, as well.