Chapter VI: Knowledge Culture and the Progress of Democracy
235 Chapter VI Knowledge Culture and the Progress of Democracy Epistemic knowledge – culture – democracy – conceptual landmarks Formal democracy and substantial democracy (from framed theory to functional patterns of democracy) Knowledge and the progress of democracy (democracy as outcome and process) – Possible reversibility of democratic regimes All the great cultural eras have suggested theses, principles and knowledge is- sues.475 Even in the cultures and mentalities qualified as proto-historical, ar- chaic, mythological, myths, images and symbols were created to communicate the significance that the exponents of these cultures afforded to knowledge, an essential and existential coordinate of the human being. There is no rigorous definition of what we generally call knowledge. This is especially due to the fact that the term utilized in common language is vague, covering an imprecise area, undetermined by references and heterogeneous con- notations. Some clarification is therefore necessary. Above all, because there is no denying that knowledge is an essential and existential attribute of the human being. This reasoning becomes illuminating: a certain moment of knowledge is involved in any human activity and commitment. At the same time, it becomes critical and selective: we cannot consider the elementary, intrinsic knowledge (an attribute of human ontology) within the genetic human code, within the exis- tential project of the human being (as a life component) to be equal to objecti- fied, critical and reflexive knowledge. Elementary knowledge relates to the hu- man being’s universality and identity – as a bio-psychical, socio-cultural and active being and it is “knowledge or thought...
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