The Flowing Spring of Knowledge

價值、人生與社會 Values, Life and Society

The Flowing Spring of Knowledge
Speaker: Prof. Chen Tien Chi

Brief Description

The Chinese proverb,
    Three smelly coblers make one Juge Liang.
corresponds well with the riddle-lie saying by Aristotle two thousand years earlier,
    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,
despite the difference between East and West, the present and the past. Both point out that a system often possess “emergent property” not found in the constituent parts. The linear mathematics we usually rely upon here sadly fails, and must yield to simple “nonlinear mathematics” which in addition easily extend the domain of validity of the philosopher’s saying to all “quantitative changes.” But he never did raise the question of “qualitative change,” found in many physical phenomena, all chemical reactions and all life processes. These are also common of emergence.

This talk is based on the speaker’s forthcoming general education book, Geyser from the Sea of Knowledge, which start from simple systems theory, attempts with plain language, primary school and high school mathematics, to give a birds-eye view of science, and briefly introduce the intriguing beauty of fractals, the revelations of chaos, the appearance and nesting of self-organizations, the evolution of Mother Nature, and the operational harmony of mass societies.

In Cantonese