Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Bubbles or the Boiling Pot?: A Proposal for an Ecosystemic Model of Culture

Andre Francisco Pilon.

Nowadays reality appears torn apart in unrecognisable pieces. Current problems, as defined by mass media and even in academic work, usually express only the bubbles in the surface of a boiling pot: policies restricted to "piercing" them by segmented projects are not effective, since what really matters is what is going on inside the pot, as the matrix of what arises at its top.
A non-declared civil war makes daily victims, undermining mutual trust in the society at large, not only due to rampant criminality in some cities of the world, but also to all sorts of physical, mental and social injuries to its citizens. Social exclusion, dehumanization, depersonalization, pseudo-speciation and reification normalize atrocious behavior and violence towards others.
Current development strategies tend to ignore, often underestimate, and sometimes undermine cultural values and the inherited man-made and natural environment, which are essential to healthy human development. Delinquency express not only economic problems, but overall cultural trends. Growth, power, wealth and work should not be linked to consumerism and status symbols.
Security, sustainability and stability depend on a system of values that takes centuries to hold. Ethics, education and law cannot prosper in a political, economical and cultural system that disregard values and the necessary practices for an accountable, equitable and sustainable quality of life for all, which excludes the mass media images of people profiting from pleasures in a egotist way.
Prescription of human rights is not enough, we should have a "human" way of life in the society as a whole. Besides economical and political equity, a rewarding life includes the access to the best of the human heritage, the rights to education, beauty, conviviality, privacy, tranquillity, peace and creativity in different areas: philosophy, art, music, literature.
Quality of life depends on the imbrication of four dimensions of being-in-the-world: intimate, interactive, social and biophysical, associating, in a dynamic whole, subjects, groups, society and natural and man-made environment, Each dimension should be assessed at three levels of analysis: inducing events (risks and assets); suffering effects (desired/undesired); and potentiality to generate new events.
As donors and recipients, these dimensions should be intertwined according to an ecosystemic model of culture and not be in a disrupting or disparaging condition (as in the non-ecosystemic model of culture). Quality of life is associated with the development of new forms of being-in-the-world, it is not a matter of "adding" principles to a situation to make it "straight".


Andre Francisco Pilon  (Brazil)
Associate Professor
Faculty of Public Health
University of S. Paulo

Prof. André Francisco Pilon is a Associate Professor, at the Faculty of Public Health, University of S. Paulo (up to the present), served as a Psychologist, in the Court of Minors, S. Paulo. (1965-1980), as a Director of the Health Education Department, Ministry of Health, Brazil (1974) and as a Journalist and Publisher of the Journal “Academus” (BLISSN 0001-4230), (l958-1976).

  • Education
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Quality of Life

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)