The Re:Enlightenment Project since its inception has been committed not only to the exploration and understanding of how knowledge works in the world but also to making knowledge work in the world. For that to happen in a moment when our established institutions and practices are under increasing pressure to change, we need to develop new resources. We see as fundamental a collaborative effort to articulate with precision the conceptual architectures which shape, illuminate and produce both knowing and knowledge now. The 'tiles' you see on this webpage are the first efforts to build that resource.
Think of these short pieces of prose as rubrics for thinking in a Re:Enlightenment mode—tools, if you will, that we may use for advancing knowledge now. Each one has already helped us to forward the Re:Enlightenment effort to participate actively in reshaping our Enlightenment inheritance. To make them useful to others, we have been experimenting in form as well as in content. They are not meant to be exhaustive but suggestive; they are short, we hope clear, and free of proper names and documentation.
Each rubric can stand on its own, but we also see them as potentially modular; as conceptual architectures, they may connect to each other to construct larger-scale arguments. They are themselves carefully constructed products of connections across the disciplines. We call them “The Oxford Protocols” because each one was written for—and then collectively developed by—a gathering of scholars from physics, the history and philosophy of science, literary and historical studies, sociology, engineering, and art. We offer these joint efforts not as final products but as the start of an ongoing process in which these rubrics will change—and others will be added—as they help us to change what we know and can know. We invite all of you who encounter this webpage to participate in that process.