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 met twee extra hoofdstukken en…

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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. Essay Maand van de Filosofie. Rotterdam: Lemiscaat, 2014.1ste druk: 2014; 2de druk: 2016.  In…

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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) Press, 2014.  Destiny Domesticated investigates…

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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 the Philosophy of Information. Proceedings…

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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 Böll Stiftung. European Union. December…

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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. 4 (2011), 628-655. DOI: 10.1007/s11466-011-0159-x (DOI) 10.1007/s11466-011-0159-x…

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《主权债务危机还是苏菲的抉择:论欧洲的悲剧、罪恶与责任》

《主权债务危机还是苏菲的抉择:论欧洲的悲剧、罪恶与责任》

约斯·德·穆尔 (Jos de Mul),里斯贝思·努尔德格拉芙 (Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens):《主权债务危机还是苏菲的抉择:论欧洲的悲剧、罪恶与责任》(The sovereign debt crisis or Sophie’s choice. On European tragedies, guilt and responsibility),《社会科学战线》2012年第4期(Social Science Front no.4 2012),《新华文摘》2012年第13期全文转载(Xinhua Digest ,no13 2012).

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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. Boomen, Lehmann and S. A.-S.…

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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. In J.B. de Jong (red.),…

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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 of Computer Games Studies. Cambridge MA…

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Possible printings.  On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design

Possible printings. On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design

Jos de Mul. Possible printings. On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design. In: B. van den Berg, S. van der Hof & E. Kosta…

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Possible printings.  On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design

Possible printings. On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design

Jos de Mul. Possible printings. On 3D printing, database ontology and open (meta)design. In: B. van den Berg, S. van der Hof & E. Kosta…

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Boeken: beschrijving en recensies

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, 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.  

The Earth Garden. Going Back or Going Forward to Nature?

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

Turkish Delight. The lesson to be learnt from Commagene

Jos de Mul. Turkish Delight. In: Ayşen Savaş & Sevin Osmay (eds.), Jale Erzen Testimonial. Middle East  Technical University (METU) Press, 2017, 146-152.

Of all the times I met with Jale Erzen over the last couple of decades, our meeting in May 2002 was perhaps the most memorable. Jale had invited me to take part in the 6th International Symposium of SANART about Art and Social Engagement, held at the Middle East Technical University (METU). The Symposium took place shortly after 9/11, a time when many heated discussions were held in Turkey, just as in other countries, about the political Islam, the role of religion in society, and the separation of church and state, and in Ankara the tension was running high between the Kemalists and the politicians inspired by the Islam.  

Following the conference, I went on a short trip with Jale and about ten other philosophers, from five different continents, to the east of Turkey, which was planned by Jale. We flew to Diyarbakir and then travelled on by bus and later by jeep through the northern part of the virtual state of Kurdistan. It was a memorable trip because of several reasons. In the first place because of the awe-inspiring endless bleak mountains around us, in which the only humans living there seem to be goatherds herding their flocks in search of the last remnants of vegetation. It was difficult to imagine a bigger contrast with the polders in Zeeland where I grew up.  The impression the vast and rugged landscape made on me was intensified by the realisation that we were surrounded by thousands of years of history. This vast region situated 'between the rivers', the Euphrates and the Tigris, used to be called Mesopotamia in ancient times and was full of fig-, olive-, walnut- and pomegranate trees, vines and oleander bushes. According to tradition here was once the Biblical Garden of Eden.

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: Sanlian, 2017, xiv-xvi, xvii-xx.

序言约斯·德·穆尔(鹿特丹伊拉斯谟大学)

    2006年,我来中国参加学术讲座,访问了不同的城市。这些城市各具千秋,例如乌鲁木齐和上海。我也参加了国际美学协会在成都举办的会议。会上,我第一次见到查常平先生。介绍我们认识的是一位共同的朋友:上海的历史学者陈新。在成都逗留期间,常平和我有几次对话。我还记得六月一个炎热的夜晚,我们和雕塑家朱成以及我妻子格里(Gerry)一起坐在府河边的露台上,讨论中国和欧洲的当代艺术、宗教和政治的状况,一面享受着四川美食和冰啤,一面看着露台上小孩快乐地玩耍。真是一个美好之夜,让我难以忘怀。

    一晃十多年过去了。此间,常平和我保持着联系。他的出版物我都拜读过(可惜只能读翻译成英文的那些作品,因为我不懂中文)。他产出之多、涉猎之广,令我钦佩,从艺术批评和艺术史——如丰富多彩的《向上成都,身体美学与场景凸现》(2013)——到历史逻辑、日本历史、新约研究和一系列翻译作品。更令我印象深刻的是:他深谙西方艺术理论并且能够灵活应用于汉语语境中。常平确实是一位全面的人文学者,善于运用启发性的跨文化研究方法。

Preface. In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art

Jos de Mul. Preface. In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art. Volume One. Shanghai: Sanlian, 2017, xiv-xvi, xvii-xx.

In 2006, as part of a lecture tour through China, which brought me to cities as different as Urumqi and Shanghai, I also participated in a conference of the International Association of Aesthetics in Chengdu. It was on this occasion that I met Zha Changping for the first time. I was introduced to him by a common friend of us, the Shanghai-based historian Chen Xin. During my stay in Chengdu, Changping and I had several conversations, and I especially remember one hot evening in June, whenwe, together with museum sculptor Zhu Cheng and my wife Gerry, were sitting on a terrace near the Fu river, discussing the state of contemporary art, religion and politics in China and Europe, meanwhile enjoying the delicious Sichuan food and cool beers and watching the joyful play of the little children on the terrace. It was a wonderful evening, to which my memories often return.

Since that first meeting more than ten years have passed, in which Changping and I kept in touch. I followed his publications (unfortunately only being able to read the English ones, as I am not able to read Chinese) and was impressed by his productivity andthe broad scope of his publications, ranging from art criticism and art history – such as the very informative Up-On Chengdu, Somatic Aesthetics and Scene Connection (2013) - to studies in the logic of history, Japanese history, New Testament studies, and a series of translations. What moreover impressed me was his profound familiarity with Western art theories and the creative way he applied them within a Chinese context. Changping proved to be all-round humanities scholar with an inspiring intercultural approach.

Human nature after Neo-Darwinism

Jos de Mul. Human nature after Neo-Darwinism. in: Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture.Special issue: Is the Category of Human Nature Still Relevant? Vol 1 (2017), 1: 5-17. 

Abstract

In the course of the 20th century the so-called Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism has become the dominant paradigm in modern biology. First, it is explained how and why Darwin’s broad definition of evolution, in which the environment plays an important role, was narrowed down by Neo-Darwinism to a radical gene-centric view.  Next, the paradigm shift taking place today in ‘postgenomic’ evolutionary biology and genetics is discussed. It is argued that this shift opens the way to a more humane conception of evolution, more in line with Darwin’s view. Finally, I will discuss some of the implications of this paradigm shift for human self-reflection, taking The Music of Life. Biology Beyond Genes of systems biologist Denis Noble as a starting point.


Keywords

Neo-Darwinism, Dennis Noble, gene-centrism, postgenomics, agency, human self-reflection

From Yijing to Hypermedia: Some Notes on Computer-mediated Literary Theory and Criticism

Jos de Mul. From Yijing to Hypermedia: Some Notes on Computer-mediated Literary Theory and Criticism. In: Peng Feng (ed.), Aesthetics and Contemporary Art. International Yearbook of Aesthetics. Volume 16. Beijing University: 2016, 114-125.

The development and global dissemination of computers - from the mainframe computers in the middle of the 20th century up to the smart phones that enable us to be online everywhere at any time - has an enormous impact on virtually every domain in human life, including art and literature. In the past decades, we have witnessed the emergence of different kinds of new media, that – among many other things – also have given birth to new art forms and genres, such as computer animations, hypertext, and interactive netart. All these new (that is: computer-mediated) media can be called “hypermedia”, because they share two fundamental characteristics: they are media that are both multimedial and non-linear.

In this contribution I will discuss the impact of hypermedia on literary theory and criticism. More particularly, the question I will focus on in my lecture is: how to write about hypermedia? In what ways do hypermedia affect literary theory and literary criticism. However, when writing about hypermedia, literature can only be a point of departure of our examination. After all, hypermedia are media that absorb and thereby re-mediate the other “old media”, literature included.[1] And this, as I will argue, also applies to literary theory and literary criticism, which at least partly is going to be transformed into hypermedial criticism.

Geert Maarse. Panic in the Polder. Interview with Jos de Mul. Erasmus Today, March 28, 2017.

Panic in the Polder or how the Netherlands can survive populism. Days before the Dutch elections professor Jos de Mul spoke on Erasmus Studio, presenting his book ‘Paniek in de polder’ (Panic in the Polder) in which he analyses the so called fight between ‘the people’ and ‘the elites’. He also explains the popularity of Donald Trump and Geert Wilders among populist voters. The question is: who are these populists? And is our democracy in crisis?

Wat is Data?

Jos de Mul. Théo van Doesburg 2.0. Wat is Data? In: Mieke Gerritzen et al. Van Dada naar Data. Breda: Museum of the Image (MOTI), 2016, 23.

théo van doesburg 2.0: Wat is Data? (Uitgave: “Geen Stijl” Den Haag, 2023).

Wat is Data

Het zal u waarschijnlijk verwonderen, van iemand die aan het dataïsme onschuldig is, van een niet-dataïst een en ander over data te vernemen.

Data: de schrik van de beursgoeroe, van de privacy bewakers, van de designer, de cultuur-industrieel, de Gutmensch; van wie al niet.

Een dergelijk onderwerp is misschien allerminst geschikt om er een zwaarwichtige rede over te houden, wat ik dan ook volstrekt niet beoog.

Ik zal tevreden zijn wanneer ik de dataïstische levenshouding enigszins kan toelichten. Dit lijkt mij vooral nodig in een land, dat sinds 1960 voor elke nieuwe levensuiting hermetisch gesloten bleef.

Ik zou overigens pretentieus zijn, wanneer ik in de mening verkeerde, dat het mogelijk ware het mysterie Data intellectueel bevattelijk te maken.

2017-03 (AMC Magazine) Antigone op de intensive care

Jos de Mul. Antigone op de intensive care. De Vrijheidsillusie. AMC Magazine. Maart 2017, nr. 2, 16-18.

Over onze individuele vrijheid hebben we op het eerste gezicht weinig te klagen. Vergeleken bij eerdere generaties is er veel meer ruimte om een eigen leven te leiden. Hoewel - zijn we echt zoveel vrijer? Achttien toonaangevende wetenschappers en publicisten plaatsen hun kanttekeningen. Aflevering 10: Jos de Mul over de tragiek van het zelfvoltrokken noodlot.

‘Vrijheid’ is een begrip met positieve connotaties. Het duidt op de afwezigheid van factoren die ons denken en handelen beknotten. Van vrijheid, zo lijkt het, kun je nooit genoeg krijgen: hoe meer vrijheid, hoe beter.
Natuurlijk worden er omwille van de lieve vrede wel bepaalde grenzen aan de vrijheid gesteld. Zo zijn we bijvoorbeeld niet vrij anderen te bestelen of te doden. Maar ook als we grenzen aan onze vrijheid stellen, doen we dat doorgaans uit naam van diezelfde vrijheid. In dat geval uit naam van de vrijheid van de ander. Wat u niet wil dat u geschiedt, doe dat ook een ander niet.

Wij moeten elkaars vrijheid respecteren, want iedereen heeft recht op vrijheid. We dienen de vrijheid van eenieder zo groot mogelijk te maken met inachtneming van het recht op vrijheid van alle anderen. Maximale vrijheid voor iedereen, dat is ideaal.
Toch kunnen we ons afvragen of de vrijheid niet ook inherente schaduwkanten kent. Dat nu is precies de vraag die Griekse tragedies ons al vijfentwintig eeuwen voorleggen. Het is niet toevallig dat die Griekse tragedies op dezelfde plaats en in dezelfde tijd – Athene in de vijfde eeuw voor Christus - zijn ontstaan als de democratie, de regeringsvorm waarin de burgers in vrijheid zichzelf besturen. Tragedies legden de democratische Atheners een bijzonder unheimliche vraag voor: Jullie hebben nu de vrijheid nu wel ‘uitgevonden’, maar was dat werkelijk zo’n goed idee?

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