Dominique Rousseau, Michel Morvan

Number 3: Limits Publication date : April 1, 2001

The previous century saw countless clashes between different forms of knowledge; the present century should be an era of reconciliation. The time has come to set aside dogmatic definitions of different disciplines and to break open closed forms of reasoning and academic compartmentalising. We should create areas where it will be possible to exchange various types of knowledge and to study their involvement in our political and social history.
Such is the goal of Le Temps des Savoirs, a thematic quarterly magazine which publishes the results obtained by the think-tank of the Institut Universitaire de France, whose members include dozens of renowned university lecturers representing a wide range of subjects.
Each issue of the magazine is divided into three parts: a theme which is examined in the light of various academic disciplines; an interdisciplinary debate; a bibliography, including works that have not yet been published in French.

The third issue of Le Temps des Savoirs, a magazine published by the Institut Universitaire de France, focuses on the subject of limits. How should we define limits — and thresholds, interfaces and transitions? Where does the limit lie between the finite and the infinite? Is there a limit to knowledge in the field of biology? Is chemistry’s only limit the imagination of chemists? And what are the limits of hospitality and citizenship? What are the limits of official history that tends to “white-wash” events — the so-called “Vichy syndrome”? The definition of limits can be regarded as an art form.