The world we inhabit cannot be described completely. It is a proteon. And each of us has a small, partially private section of it, a part that we call our life. Interacting with the world, each of us can only, in our lifetime, build up a limited amount of knowledge about it. Some of this knowledge, maybe most of it, will be destroyed when we die. Some fraction of it is passed on to others, by talking, by writing, by making things, by acting, by being observed in our actions. And in turn, some of what we know we have received from others.
We are, in this way, part of a tradition. There is a web of tradition in which of which each of us is a small part. In this web, we might distinguish certain “currents”, or schools of thought, certain more or less well defined streams of information that we can call traditions or cultures. Such a description of traditions and cultures is, of course, partially vague and always incomplete. Our culture, our web of traditions that we form in response to the protean world, is itself a proteon. The unification of all the different streams of knowledge into one system is impossible.
Inside this cultural proteon, the development of a protean diversity and plurality of views, traditions, approaches, methods, concepts and cultures is an inevitable consequence of the protean nature of the reality to which it is responding. The historicity and plurality of human culture and knowledge is thus a direct consequence of this protean nature of both reality and human beings.
So we respond to the proteon of the world by creating the proteon of our culture. And this second proteon is part of the first. The world we inhabit cannot be described completely, nor can we.
(The picture, showing books in a library, is from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Library_Pengo.jpg. In the context of this post, it symbolizes the diversifying and expanding and intrinsically unsystematic nature of human knowledge.)