Geschenk van de Maand van de Filosofie

Dit jaar wordt u voor het eerst een Geschenk van de Maand van de Filosofie aangeboden: een gratis e-book met fragmenten uit recente Nederlandstalige filosofietitels die het thema van de Maand op verrassende wijze belichten. Dit e-book wordt u aangeboden door een uniek samenwerkingsverband van de filosofie-uitgevers Boom, Klement, Lemniscaat, Octavo en Vantilt. Zij hebben uit hun fondsen een verzameling tekstfragmenten geselecteerd, sommige reeds verschenen, andere nog niet eerder gepubliceerd, die het thema steeds weer op een bijzondere manier aan de orde stellen. Samen bieden zij u een staalkaart van het denken over mens en techniek in binnen- en buitenland. De 24 tekstfragmenten zijn verdeeld over 5 delen, die de verhouding tussen mens en techniek elk op een andere manier belichten.

Van Jos de Mul is onder de titel 'De grandeur van de technologie'  en fragment opgenomen uit zijn boek De domesticatie van het noodlot. De wedergeboorte van de tragedie uit de geest van de technologie. Van dit boek is eind maart 2014 een Amerikaanse editiue verschenen bij de State University of New York Press (SUNY): Destiny domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology.  Het gratis eBook kunt u downloaden door op de 'Lees meer' link hieronder te klikken en vervolgens op de PDF link op de volgende bladzijde.

约•德•穆尔:《论(生物)技术崇高》,雷礼锡译, 载范明华、黄有柱主编:《美学与艺术研究》第5辑,武汉:武汉大学出版社,2014年,第175~185页。

Jos de Mul, "Lun (Sheng Wu) Ji Shu Chong Gao" (The (Bio)technological Sublime), trans. by Lei Li-xi, in Research of Aesthetics and Art (Mei Xue Yu Yi Shu Yan Jiu), Vol. 5, edited by Fan Ming-hua & Huang You-zhu, Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 2014, 175-185. 

论(生物)技术崇高 [荷]约·德·穆尔 著 雷礼锡 译

如果说崇高概念以前习惯用于表明人类主体感到努力代表自然所体现的不足,那么后现代境遇——其中自然本身已被淡忘——业已产生一种崇高感,人类发现自身与自己的造物相对立 戴尔·查普曼 引言

自从18世纪中叶美学作为哲学的一门特殊学科出现[],其历史就体现了两个明显趋向,体现了(后)现代艺术与文化作为一个整体的独特发展。一种趋向是,美学的发展表现为审美范畴的显著分化和增加。早期的美学主要集中在美的范畴,19世纪初至今宽泛的新的审美概念已经出现,如崇高、讽刺、滑稽、荒诞、平庸。毫无疑问,这一发展反映了现代艺术自身的发展,它不停地扩大审美经验和表达的领域。美的艺术成了“永不再美的艺术”。

Valerie Frissen, Jos de Mul, and Joost Raessens. Homo ludens 2.0: Play, Media and Identity, in Judith Thissen, Robert Zwijnenberg and Kitty Zijlmans (eds.), Contemporary Culture. New Directions in Art and Humanities Research. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013, 75-92.
 

Foreplay

Immense est le domaine du jeu.  (Emile Benveniste)

A spectre is haunting the world - the spectre of playfulness. We are witnessing a global “ludification of culture”. Since the 1960s, in which the word “ludic” became popular in Europe and the United States to designate playful behaviour and artefacts, playfulness has increasingly become a mainstream characteristic of our culture. Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind in this context is the immense popularity of computer games, which, as far as global sales are con­cerned, have already outstripped Hollywood. According to a recent study in the United States, 8 to 18 year olds play computer games on average for one hour and a half each day on their consoles, computers and handheld gaming devices (including mobile phones).1 This is by no means only a Western phenomenon. In South Korea, for example, about two-thirds of the country’s total population frequently plays online games, turning computer gaming into one of the fastest- growing industries and “a key driver for the Korean economy”.2Although perhaps most visible, computer game culture is only one manifesta­tion of the process of ludification that is penetrating every cultural domain.3 In our present experience economy, for example, playfulness not only characterizes leisure time (fun shopping, game shows on television, amusement parks, playful computer and Internet use), but also domains that used to be serious, such as work (which should chiefly be fun nowadays), education (serious gaming), poli­tics (ludic campaigning) and even warfare (video games like war simulators and interfaces). According to Jeremy Rifkin, “play is becoming as important in the cultural economy as work was in the industrial economy”.4 In ludic culture, sociologist Zygmunt Bauman argues, playfulness is no longer restricted to child­hood, but has become a lifelong attitude: “The mark of postmodern adulthood is the willingness to embrace the game whole-heartedly.”5 Bauman’s remark sug­gests that in postmodern culture identity has become a playful phenomenon too.In this article we want to re-visit Johan Huizinga’s Homo ludens (1938) to reflect on the meaning of ludic technologies in contemporary culture. First we will analyze the concept of “play”. Next, we will discuss some problematic aspects of Huizinga’s theory, which are connected with the fundamental ambigu­ities that characterize play phenomena, and reformulate some of the basic ideas of Huizinga. On the basis of this reformulation we will analyze the ludic dimen­sion of new media and sketch an outline of our theory of ludic identity construc­tion.

Jos de Mul. Destiny Domesticated, or Five Not-So-Easy Ways to Tame Fate, in Frank van der Stok (ed.). Daan Paans: Letters of Utopia. Breda: The Eriskay Connection, 2013, 145-157.

Fate. Sooner or later it knocks at everyone’s door. In many different ways. It can enter our lives gradually in the guise of an incurable disease or spring on us suddenly in the guise of an unexpected oncoming car in our lane. It can befall us from the outside like a devastating tsunami, or loom up from within like an all-consuming jealousy. Fate can happen unintentionally, or be done to us – or another person – on purpose. It comes in the horrible guise of war and the intoxicating appeal of an addiction. It is painful when it happens to us, and often even more painful when it befalls someone we love. Without wanting it our frail happiness is continuously interrupted by fatal events. And even when we are lucky enough to avoid grand catastrophes in our lives, in the end we inevitably lose our loved ones and we, ourselves die. While fate inescapably befalls us we find it hard to bear that thought. It is a burden that we cannot carry, but that we also cannot shed.

Jos de Mul, Ma, mateloosheid, metafoor, methode, monomanie. In R. de Brabander, P. Molendijk, T. Rahimy, S. van Tuinen (red.). Voorstellen tot werkelijkheid. Het denken en doen van Henk Oosterling. Rotterdam: Trichis, 2012.

Als in een spiritualitijd van hier en nu de schijn heilig wordt verklaard, dan in ieder geval inzoverre afstand wordt genomen van een schijnheiligheid die het Andere slechts tolereert, omdat dit niets bedreigt. En als dit leven in de heiligheid van de schijn een affirmatie is van de kunst-matige kwaliteit van een bestaan aan de grenzen van de waarheid, dus daar waar de waarde van de waarheden wordt beproefd, dan opent die niet-plaats zich als een afgrond die het nu en later, het hier en dat wat zich aan gene zijde ervan uitstrekt met elkaar verbindt. Het is in deze nimmer af te sluiten ruimte, dat de val van de metafysica plaats vindt en de tuimeling, die leven heet, een weg moet vinden.
(Oosterling, Door schijn bewogen, 650)

Collaboratie of zelfdestructie is geen keuze. Ze komen samen in wat ik een hypokritiek noem: een kritiek die zichzelf ondermijnt in het besef dat ze even noodzakelijk als onmogelijk is. (Oosterling, Radicale middelmatigheid, 13)

Beroerde inleiding

Kan dat, schrijven over - het denken, het leven van- Henk Oosterling? Is het mogelijk een dialoog aan te gaan met Henks kunst-matige teksten? Is het gepast in een feestbundel de middelmatigheid ervan te bevragen? Kan men Henk überhaupt kritiseren? Hoewel dat bij een gesprek met Henk altijd een reële mogelijkheid blijft, doel ik hier niet in de eerste plaats op het fysieke gevaar dat iemand loopt wanneer hij Henk tegenspreekt (zeker voor differentiedenker laat Henk de ander - met de kleine letter a – in een gesprek opvallend weinig ruimte), maar veeleer op de ‘afgrondelijke’ methodologische problemen waarvoor een dergelijke onderneming de criticus stelt.

Jos de Mul, eLife. From biology to technology and back again, in P. Bruno and S.Campbell (Eds.), The Science, Politics and Ontology of Life-Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 93-107.

One of the most striking developments in the history of the sciences over the past fifty years has been the gradual moving towards each other of biology and computer science and their increasing tendency to overlap. Two things may be held responsible for that. The first is the tempestuous development of molecular biology which followed the first adequate description, in 1953, of the structure of the double helix of the DNA, the carrier of hereditary information. Biologists therefore became increasingly interested in computer science, the science which focuses, among other things, on the question what information really is and how it is encoded and transferred. No less important was that it would have been impossible to sequence and decipher the human genome without the use of ever stronger computers. This resulted in a fundamental digitalization of biology. This phenomenon is particularly visible in molecular biology, where DNA-research increasingly moves from the analogical world of biology to the digital world of the computer.[1]

Jos de Mul, Understanding nature. Dilthey, Plessner and biohermeneutics. In:G. D’Anna, H. Johach, E. S. Nelson, Dilthey, Anthropologie, und Geschichte. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2013, 459-478. 

In Dilthey’s Lebensphilosopie, anthropology and history are closely connected. As Dilthey himself states in an often quoted remark: »Was der Mensch sei, sagt nur die Geschichte«.[1] However, for Dilthey history exclusively means cultural history. In order to develop a proper understanding of the historical condition of man, we should take natural history into account as well. After all, as a psycho-physical unity, Homo sapiens sapiens is the historical product of a complex interplay between both natural and cultural developments. Moreover, in the age of the life sciences, natural and cultural history seem to breach into one each other with an ever increasing tendency. Biotechnologies such as genetic modification, pathway engineering and genome transplantation transform organisms into cultural artifacts; and in the attempts to create artificial life (arguably the holy grail of synthetic biology), cultural artifacts increasingly display qualities that used to be restricted to organic life.

In the following, I will argue that Dilthey’s hermeneutics, especially his analysis of the triad Erlebnis, Ausdruck, and Verstehen, still offers a fruitful starting point for the development of a biohermeneutics that not only deals with human understanding and interpretation of human beings, (inter)actions and artefacts, but which also includes the understanding and interpretation of and by non-human agents. However, the fact that Dilthey, in his later hermeneutical writings often makes a rather dogmatic distinction between nature and culture, at first sight seems to be a serious obstacle for the development of a Dilthey-inspired biohermeneutics. For example, Dilthey explicitly denies the possibility of a human understanding of plant life: »Bedeutung oder Wert kann etwas nicht haben, von dem es kein Verstehen gibt. Ein Baum kann niemals Bedeutung haben« (GS VII, 259). The possibility of understanding or interpretation by non-human agents is not even considered by Dilthey. Despite that, I will argue that Dilthey’s later hermeneutic writings do contain some clues for the development of a biohermeneutics. I will further develop these clues with the help of the biophilosophy of Plessner and with reference to some recent developments in systems biology and neuropsychology.[2]

Jos de Mul. Redesigning Open Design. In Bas van Abel, Lucas Evers, Roel Klaassen, and Peter Troxler. Open Design Now. Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive. Amsterdam: Bis Publishers, 2011, 34-39.

 

The title of my talk today is “Redesigning (open) design” and the subtitle reads “Applying database ontology”. Let me start explaining this title, the question I want to address this afternoon and the answer I’m going to defend. One of the themes of Picnic 2010 is Redesigning design, of which (Un)limited Words and the (Un)limited Design Awards Ceremony are also part. In the program of Picnic 2010 the theme Redesigning Design is introduced as follows: “The design industry is going through fundamental changes. Open design, downloadable design and distributed design democratize the design industry, and imply that anyone can be a designer or a producer”. The subtext of this message seems to be that open design - for reasons of brevity I will use this term as an umbrella for the aforementioned developments, thus including downloadable design and distributed design – is something intrinsically good, so that we should promote it. Though my general attitude towards open design is a positive one, I think we should keep an open eye for the obstacles and pitfalls, in order to avoid that we will throw out the (designer) baby along with the bath water.

My talk consists of three parts. First I will present a short sketch of open design. I realize that most of you will be familiar with open design, probably even more familiar than I am, but as this concept has quite some different connotations and for that reason is prone to conceptual confusion, it might be useful to illuminate this tag cloud of connotations. In this first part, I will also summarize the main objections that can be (and has been) directed against open design.

Just like the other members of the ‘open movement’, such as open source software, open science, and open technology (as we will see, especially the open biology movement is an interesting example within this context), open design is strongly connected with the development of the computer and the internet. For that reason, in order to gain a deeper insight in both the chances and the pitfalls of open design, we should study the fundamental characteristics of the digital domain. In the second part of my talk I will give a sketch of the database ontology, the ABCD of computing, that underlies the digital domain. And finally, in the third part of my talk I will investigate some of the implications of this database ontology for the world of design. I will argue that in order to develop the positive aspects of open design without falling into the pitfalls, the designer should not so much give up his activities as a designer, but rather should redesign these activities. The designer of the future has to become a database designer, a meta-designer, who does not design objects, but rather a design space in which unskilled users are able to design their objects in a user-friendly way.

Jos de Mul. Genetic structuralism and conceptual relativism. In: Paul Weingartner & Gerhard Schurz, Berichte des 11. Internationalen Wittgenstein-Symposium, Wien (Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky), 1987, 31-34.

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