University of Michigan Press
March 15, 1992
Recent developments in a range of disciplines, from high-energy physics to biogenetic anthropology, suggest a stunningly beautiful model of the cosmos. In A Blessed Rage for Order, Alexander Argyros explores the implications these discoveries might hold for literary criticism, for art, and more broadly, for our understanding of the place of human culture in cosmic evolution.
Argyros challenges deconstructionist paradigms, basing his own model largely on developing chaos theory, in combination with J. T. Fraser’s theory of evolution. He argues that the kind of dualism that postulates an unbridgeable gap between human culture and pre-human nature must be replaced by a view of the universe as a communicative, dynamic, and evolving system: a model that allows the natural and cultural worlds to coexist in an endlessly innovative continuum. Agyros presents a strong argument that although socio-institutional contexts play a large role in defining and constituting the world of human beings, other contexts must also be taken into account.
The study draws on the work of E. O. Wilson, Douglas Hofstadter, Ilya Prigogine, and Karl Popper, among others, in proposing a new, interdisciplinary chaotic paradigm that Argyros believes can reaffirm such concepts as universality, identity, meaning, truth, and beauty.
Alexander J. Argyros is associate Professor of Arts and Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas.