Breng mij die horizon! Filosofische reisverhalen

Breng mij die horizon! Filosofische reisverhalen

Jos de Mul. Breng me die horizon! Filosofische reisverhalen. Amsterdam: Boom, 2019.  Breng mij die horizon! laat zien wat er gebeurt…

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De domesticatie van het noodlot. De wedergeboorte van de tragedie uit de geest van de technologie

De domesticatie van het noodlot. De wedergeboorte van de tragedie uit de geest van de technologie

Jos de Mul. De domesticatie van het noodlot. De wedergeboorte van de tragedie uit de geest van de technologie. Rotterdam: Lemniscaat,…

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Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology

Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology

Jos de Mul. Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology. State University of New York (SUNY)…

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命运的驯化——悲剧重生于技术精神 内容简介 (Chinese translation of Destiny Domesticated\)

命运的驯化——悲剧重生于技术精神 内容简介 (Chinese translation of Destiny Domesticated\)

Jos de Mul. 命运的驯化——悲剧重生于技术精神 内容简介 (Chinese translation of Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology). Guilin:…

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Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

Jos de Mul. Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999, 316 p.…

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Het romantische verlangen in (post)moderne kunst en filosofie

Het romantische verlangen in (post)moderne kunst en filosofie

Jos de Mul. Het romantische verlangen in (post)moderne kunst en filosofie. Uitgeverij Klement, 2007 (4de druk), 284 p. 1de druk, 1990; 2de druk, 1991; 3de…

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后)现代艺术与哲学中的浪漫之欲。Chinese translation of Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

后)现代艺术与哲学中的浪漫之欲。Chinese translation of Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

Jos de Mul. 后)现代艺术与哲学中的浪漫之欲。Chinese translation of Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy. Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 2010, 306p. ISBN 978-7-307-08019-5RMB…

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Cyberspace Odyssee

Cyberspace Odyssee

Jos de Mul. Cyberspace Odyssee. Kampen: Klement, 6de druk: 2010, 352 p. 1de druk, 2002; 2de druk, 2003; 3de druk,2004;…

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Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology

Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology

Jos de Mul. Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology. Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, 334 p. Translation of Cyberspace…

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Siberuzayda macera dolu bir yolculuk. Sanal bir ontoloji ve antropolojiye doğru

Siberuzayda macera dolu bir yolculuk. Sanal bir ontoloji ve antropolojiye doğru

Jos de Mul. Siberuzayda macera dolu bir yolculuk. Sanal bir ontoloji ve antropolojiye doğru. Istanbul: Kitap Yayinevi, 2008, 400 p. Turkish…

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The sovereign debt crisis or Sophie’s choice. On European tragedies, guilt and responsibility

The sovereign debt crisis or Sophie’s choice. On European tragedies, guilt and responsibility

Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens and Jos de Mul, The sovereign debt crisis or Sophie’s choice. On European tragedies, guilt and responsibility. Heinrich…

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Paniek in de Polder. Polytiek in tijden van populisme

Paniek in de Polder. Polytiek in tijden van populisme

Jos de Mul. Paniek in de Polder. Polytiek in tijden van populisme. Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, februari 2017. Uitgebreide en geactualiseerde editie…

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Horizons of Hermeneutics

Horizons of Hermeneutics

Jos de Mul. Horizons of Hermeneutics: Intercultural Hermeneutics in a Globalizing World.  Frontiers of Philosophy in China. Vol. 6, No.…

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The game of life

The game of life

Jos de Mul. The Game of Life: Narrative and Ludic Identity Formation in Computer Games.  In: Lori Way (ed.), Representations of…

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PedoBot® is niet boos, maar wel verdrietig (en soms opgewonden)

PedoBot® is niet boos, maar wel verdrietig (en soms opgewonden)

Jos de Mul. PedoBot® is niet boos, maar wel verdrietig (en soms opgewonden). Over intelligente robots, emoties en sociale interactie.…

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Kunstmatig van nature. Onderweg naar Homo sapiens 3.0

Kunstmatig van nature. Onderweg naar Homo sapiens 3.0

Jos de Mul, Kunstmatig van nature. Onderweg naar Homo sapiens 3.0.  Rotterdam: Lemiscaat: 2016. ISBN 978 90 477 0925 1…

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2017-11-25 (Trouw) Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd

2017-11-25 (Trouw) Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd

Jos de Mul. Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd. Trouw. Bijlage Letter en Geest, 25 november 2017, 14-18. Het gastenverblijf van…

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The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life

The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life

Jos de Mul. The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010 (second edition - eBook), 424…

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Wittgenstein 2.0. Philosophical reading and writing after the mediatic turn

Wittgenstein 2.0. Philosophical reading and writing after the mediatic turn

Jos de Mul. Wittgenstein 2.0: Philosophical reading and writing after the mediatic turn. In: A. Pichler & H. Hrachovec (eds.) Wittgenstein and…

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Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects

Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects

Jos de Mul. ( ed.), Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects. Amsterdam/Chicago: Amsterdam University Press/Chicago University Press, 2014. Helmut Plessner (1892–1985)…

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2016-08-20 (Vrij Nederland) In Japan heeft Erica een ziel

2016-08-20 (Vrij Nederland) In Japan heeft Erica een ziel

Jos de Mul. In Japan heeft Erica een ziel. Vrij Nederland, 20 augustus 2016, 41-45. Kansai Science City doet op…

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Marxism according to Groucho     "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog…

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Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life.

Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life.

Jos de Mul. Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life. Translation of Dutch review, published…

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The game of life. Narrative and ludic identity formation in computer games

The game of life. Narrative and ludic identity formation in computer games

Jos de Mul. The game of life. Narrative and ludic identity formation in computer games. In: J. Goldstein and J. Raessens,Handbook…

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序言 约斯·德·穆尔 In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art

序言 约斯·德·穆尔 In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art

序言 约斯·德·穆尔. In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art. Volume One. Shanghai:…

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The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Recombination

The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Recombination

Jos de Mul. The work of art in the age of digital recombination. In J. Raessens, M. Schäfer, M. v. d.…

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Klaartje Jaspers. Will artificial intelligence create a shared supermind? Interview with philosophical anthropologist Jos de Mul. Newsroom Erasmus University. June 11, 2018.

Will robots outsmart humans? Erasmus philosophical anthropologist Jos de Mul thinks such beliefs show a gross overestimation of the capacities of robots. Self-replicating robots could take over, he thinks, but they would be inferior to their human counterpart. Instead of robots taking over, De Mul believes humans might develop like bees: sharing their individual psyche to form a shared supermind.

‘Plato was scared of the ability to read and write. He thought script would be a dead memory without the ability to think creatively. In the same way people now are scared of computers. But script and computers are just means, extensions of ourselves, allowing us to do certain things better.’ No, Jos de Mul is not scared of robots and algorithms, but he is urging us to think carefully about how we use them.

Zillions of neurons united

The fear that robots could become autonomous is justified, but they will not be superior in their intellect for a long time to come, De Mul believes. ‘Perhaps they can beat us at chess but they have had trouble learning how to walk up stairs or recognise faces. That’s not so strange, if you realise the human brain has billions of neurons, and so far we haven’t even managed to simulate the complete network of a species with very few neurons, like the Caenorhabditis elegans – a roundworm.’

Imagine what would happen if we could put all our neurons together. We’re already heading towards such a ‘swarm mind’, De Mul emphasises. ‘It’s already happening when you buy a book online and the computer suggests titles that other buyers of that book have bought. Amazon recently got a patent on an algorithm that can predict what book is going to be sold where, so they can send it before you realise you want it. “Anticipatory shipping”, they call it.’

Gepubliceerd in: Interviews / written press
 Floortje Scheepers,  Jos de Mul,  Frits Boer and  Witte Hoogendijk. Psychosis as an evolutionary adaptive mechanism to changing environments. Frontiers of Psychiatry, Volume  9,  June 2018.

Background: From an evolutionary perspective it is remarkable that psychotic disorders, mostly occurring during fertile age and decreasing fecundity, maintain in the human population.

Aim: To argue the hypothesis that psychotic symptoms may not be viewed as an illness but as an adaptation phenomenon, which can become out of control due to different underlying brain vulnerabilities and external stressors, leading to social exclusion.

Methods: A literature study and analysis.

Results: Until now, biomedical research has not unravelld the definitive etiology of psychotic disorders. Findings are inconsistent and show non-specific brain anomalies and genetic variation with small effect sizes. However, compelling evidence was found for a relation between psychosis and stressful environmental factors, particularly those influencing social interaction. Psychotic symptoms may be explained as a natural defense mechanism or protective response to stressful environments. This is in line with the fact that psychotic symptoms most often develop during adolescence. In this phase of life, leaving the familiar, and safe home environment and building new social networks is one of the main tasks. This could cause symptoms of “hyperconsciousness” and calls on the capacity for social adaptation.

Conclusions: Psychotic symptoms may be considered as an evolutionary maintained phenomenon.Research investigating psychotic disorders may benefit from a focus on underlying general brain vulnerabilities or prevention of social exclusion, instead of psychotic symptoms.

Keywords: psychosis, evolution, adaptation, social exclusion, defense mechanism

Jos de Mul & Maria Grever. Transnationalizing the public sphere. Laudatio Honorary Doctorate Prof.dr. Nancy Fraser. Honorary supervisors: prof.dr. Maria Grever and prof.dr. Jos de Mul. Erasmus University Rotterdam, November 7, 2014.

Op vrijdag 7 november 2014 viert de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam haar 101ste geboortedag met het uitreiken van een eredoctoraat aan de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Nancy Fraser.

De filosoof Fraser bekleedt de Henry A. and Louise Loeb leerstoel Philosophy and Politics aan de New School for Social Research in New York. Zij ontvangt het eredoctoraat vanwege haar uitzonderlijke werk in de filosofie en sociale wetenschappen en haar invloed op de discipline geschiedenis. Prof.dr. Maria Grever en prof.dr. Jos de Mul zijn haar erepromotoren. Klik hier voor meer informatie.

Gepubliceerd in: Lectures
Jos de Mul. Encyclopedias, hive minds and global brains.A cognitive evolutionary account of Wikipedia. In: Alberto Romele and Enrico Terrone (eds.) Towards a Philosophy of Digital Media. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 103-119.

This book uses the conceptual tools of philosophy to shed light on digital media and on the way in which they bear upon our existence. At the turn of the century, the rise of digital media significantly changed our world. The digitizing of traditional media has extraordinarily increased the circulation of texts, sound, and images. Digital media have also widened our horizons and altered our relationship with others and with ourselves.

Information production and communication are still undoubtedly significant aspects of digital media and life. Recently, however, recording, registration and keeping track have taken the upper hand in both online practices and the imaginaries related to them. The essays in this book therefore focus primarily on the idea that digital media involve a significant overlapping between communication and recording. 

 

Gepubliceerd in: Book chapters
Jos de Mul. Encyclopedias, hive minds and global brains A cognitive evolutionary account of Wikipedia. 立命館言語文化研究29巻3号. Ritsumeikan Studies in Language and Culture. Volume 29, no.3 (2018), 143-153.

 

Abstract

Wikipedia, the crowd-sourced, hypermedial encyclopedia, available in more  than  290 languages and  consisting  of  no  less  than  40 million  lemmas,  is  often  hailed  as  a  successful  example  of  the ʻwisdom of  the  crowdsʼ.  However,  critics not only  point  at  the  lack  of  accuracy  and  reliability, uneven coverage of topics, and the poor quality of writing, but also at the under-representation of women and non-white ethnicities. Moreover, some critics regard Wikipedia as an example of the development of  a  hive  mind,  as  we  find  it  in  social insects, whose  ʻmindʼ rather than being a property of individuals is a ʻsocial phenomenonʼ, as it has to be located in the colony rather than in the individual bees. In this article an attempt is made to throw some light on this controversy by analyzing Wikipedia  from  the  perspective  of  the  cognitive  evolution  of  mankind.  Connecting  to Origins  of  the  Modern  Mind (1991) of neuropsychologist Merlin Donald, in which three stages in the cognitive evolution -  characterized by a  mimetic, an linguistic, and an external symbolic cognition  respectively  -  are  distinguished,  it  is  argued  that  the  development  of  the  internet,  and crowd-sourced  projects  like  Wikipedia  in  particular,  can be understood as a fourth, computer- mediated form of cognition. If we survey the cognitive evolution of hominids and the role played in this evolution by cultural and technical artefacts like writing, printing press, computers, and internet, we witness a process of increasing integration of individual minds. With outsourcing and virtualization  of  the  products  and  processes  of  thinking  to  external  memories,  and  the  fast development of implanted computer interfaces, we appear to be at the edge of the materialization of the  hive  mind  in a  ʻglobal brainʼ.  The article ends  with  some  speculative  predictions about the future of human cognition.

Keywords: encyclopedias, Wikipedia, wisdom of the crowds, cognitive evolution, hive mind, global brain

Jos de Mul. Foreword: From the Mediatic Turn to Gua-le-ni. In: Stefano Gualeni. Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools. How to Philosophize With a Digital Hammer. London: Palgrave Macmillan 2015, x-xiii.

In the last couple of decades a new discipline, called ‘media philosophy’, has entered the philosophical arena. According to Reinhard Margreiter, one of its proponents, this name refers not only, and not even predominantly, to the exploration of yet another ontological domain, but rather designates a fundamental transformation  of  philosophy  itself,  which  is  characterized  by  a  turn towards (the descent and history of) the mediatic foundations of philosophy. In his view, media philosophy might become a contemporary ‘prima philosophia’ (Margreiter 2003, 151). However, Margreiter does not argue for a modernist kind of foundationalist superdiscipline, but rather for a critical discourse that has to accompany every act of knowing.

Though the name ‘media philosophy’ is a recent invention, the phenomenon is not altogether new. Already in Plato’s Phaedrus and Seventh Letter we find fundamental reflections on the impact of writing on philosophy, that is: on the type of oral philosophy that precedes written philosophy and which is still reflected in the dialogical form of Plato’s writings. However, in the tradition of Western philosophy, which is strongly connected with the book, this kind of reflection remains relatively scarce and marginal for a long time. Starting from Parmenides’ identification of being and thinking, a dominant part of the metaphysical tradition was based on the presupposition that thinking and being – nous and phusis – share the same form (eidos, morphé), guaranteeing the identity of what can be thought and what can be (cf. Allen 2004, 218).

Gepubliceerd in: Book chapters
donderdag, 01 februari 2018 12:57

Athens, or the Fate of Europe

Jos de Mul. Athens, or the Fate of Europe. Journal of Philosophical Research. Special supplement: Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy. 2015: 221–227.

 

ABSTRACT: In his essay ‘The Idea of Europe’ George Steiner claims that European culture derives from “a primordial duality, the twofold inheritance of Athens and Jerusalem”. For Steiner, the relationship between Greek rationalism and Jewish religion, which is at once conflictual and syncretic, has engaged the entire history of European philosophy, morality, and politics. However, given this definition, at present the United States of America seem to be more European that ‘the old Europe’ itself. Against Steiner, it will be argued that in order to fathom the distinctive characteristic of European culture, we have to take a third European tradition into account, which is inextricably bound up with Athens: the tradition of Greek tragedy. If we may call Europe a tragic continent, it is not only because its history is characterised by an abundance of real political tragedies, but also because it embodies, as an idea and an ideal, a tragic awareness of the fragility of human life. Instead of reducing the ‘idea of Europe’ to a financial and economic issue, Europe should remain faithful to this idea and ideal.

 

First of all I like to thank the organizers for their invitation to join this symposium on Art and Cultures. As a tribute to the magnificent city of Athens and its inhabitants, I will talk about the relationship between European culture and the art form that is inextricably tied to the city of Athens: Greek tragedy. The thesis I will defend is that European culture distinguishes itself from other world cultures, and in particular from North-American culture, with which it shares both its Christian and its scientific worldview, by its deeply tragic character. This claim, I will argue, is neither a pessimistic nor an optimistic one, because tragedy is beyond this simple dichotomy. If I claim that Europe is a tragic continent, I refer both to its grandeur and pitfalls.

My talk consists of two parts. First, in a critical discussion with George Steiner, I will address the question of the identity of European culture. In the second part I will relate this identity to Greek tragedy.

Jos de Mul, Kunstmatig van nature. Onderweg naar Homo sapiens 3.0.  Rotterdam: Lemiscaat: 2016.

ISBN 978 90 477 0925 1

De 1ste druk (10.000 exemplaren) verscheen in 2014 als Essay van de Maand van de Filosofie en werd eveneens uitgegeven door Uitgeverij Lemniscaat.

In Kunstmatig van nature bespreekt Jos de Mul de betekenis van recente ontwikkelingen in de robotica, neurowetenschappen en biotechnologie voor ons zelfbegrip en dagelijks leven. Wat te denken van de Japanse humanoïde robot Miim, ontworpen door Kazuhito Yokoi, die kan dansen, zingen en kleding showen op de catwalk? Zullen dergelijke robots dankzij erotische programmatuur, net als in de sciencefiction-serie Real Humans, een commercieel succes worden? Of neem het experiment van de Amerikaanse neurowetenschapper Miguel Nicolelis die elektroden in de hersenen van een resusaapje heeft aangebracht om de neuronenactiviteit tijdens zijn bewegingen te registeren. De aldus verkregen informatie brengt via het internet elders in de wereld de robot CB-1 in beweging. Een kleine stap voor de robot, maar een gigantische sprong voor het aapje -- en mogelijk in de nabije toekomst ook voor dwarslaesiepatiënten.

Op biotechnologisch gebied heeft men alternatieven ontwikkeld voor het DNA, het ‘bouwplan’ van al het leven. Terwijl de evolutie ooit bestond uit natuurlijke selectie, betreden we met deze alien genetics het tijdperk van kunstmatige selectie. Mogen we hiermee planten, dieren en mensen ‘verbeteren’? Deze nieuwe technologieën vergroten niet alleen onze kennis van het leven op aarde -- ze zijn allang begonnen dat leven fundamenteel te transformeren. Wie we zijn en wat we willen worden, is meer dan ooit een open vraag, een opgave. Zijn wij, ‘de eeuwig toekomstigen’ volgens Nietzsche, onderweg naar Homo sapiens 3.0?

‘Worden wij de eerste soort op aarde die zijn eigen evolutionaire opvolger gaat scheppen?’ -- Jos de Mul

‘Grote eruditie en lucide kijk op veranderingen in de hedendaagse cultuur.’ -- Marc Van den Bossche over Cyberspace Odyssee in Standaard der Letteren

‘Gloedvol pleidooi voor een tragisch levensbesef.’ -- Arnold Heumakers over De domesticatie van het noodlot in nrc Handelsblad  

 'Ik wou dat ik als student zoiets had kunnen lezen' - Piet Hut (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) over Kunstmatig van nature

Gepubliceerd in: Books
maandag, 23 oktober 2017 14:22

Meeting OSCAR and Erica

Jos de Mul. Meeting OSCAR and Erica. On almost living bodies, new media aesthetics, and the East-West divide. In Aesthetics and Mass Culture. Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Aesthetics. Seoul: Seoul National University, Invited Round Table. Seoul: Seoul National University, 2017,. 64-69.

Abstract In this paper OSCAR, the protagonist of the online science fiction project The Modular Body of Dutch media artist Floris Kaayk, meets Erica, an android robot, functioning as an autonomous conversation partner, and designed by the Japanese robotic engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro. It will be argued that these two cultural artifacts, despite striking similarities (both are advanced products of reductionist converging technologies, balancing between fiction and reality, and embedded in the mass medium environment of the Internet), from an ontological perspective they embody two different attitudes towards robots and artificial intelligences. Whereas The Modular Body is prototypical for the Christian Western worldview in which android robots are under taboo, the Asian love for android robots like Erica, which mimic human appearance and behavior as close as possible, is connected with the reflective anthropomorphism that characterizes Eastern religions like Buddhism and Shintoism.  Although we should be aware of a digital revival of orientalism (the more because in our globalizing world we increasingly exchange and share cultural forms, information and communication technologies being obvious examples), Westerners may learn something from Eastern robotics. Because of their religious traditions Asian people may be better prepared for the conceptualization and design of a society in which humans and artificial lifeforms harmoniously live together.  

Gepubliceerd in: Book chapters
Jos de Mul. The Earth Garden: Going Back or Going Forward to Nature? Frontiers of Philosophy in China. Vol.12 (2017) 2: 237-248.

Abstract Against the background of a short meditation on the contrasting ways in which landscape has been represented and idealized in Eastern and Western painting traditions, the article will try to show, using some striking examples, that the development of landscape painting in the last two centuries reflects the changing relationship of humanity and nature, leading in both the East and in the West to either the expression of a nostalgic longing for nature to be back as it once was, or to a gloomy expression of the vanishing of nature amidst the modern, technological world. Connecting to both the concept of “harmony,” which is a key concept in Eastern aesthetics, and to some recent reflections in Western philosophy on the relationship of nature and technology, a post-nostalgic conception of nature and natural beauty is defended, in which nature and technology are no longer seen as opposing categories, but rather as poles that are intertwined in an ever-lasting process of co-evolution. It is argued that we should not so much strive to go “back to nature,” but rather to go “forward to nature” and establish a new harmony between human and non-human nature and technology. The article ends with some reflections on the role artists and aestheticians may play in this transformation.

Keywords environmental pollution, environmental aesthetics, philosophy of nature, comparative aesthetics, philosophy of technology

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