Philosophy Without Nature — 3 Sept 2014

Information and Thinking – Michel Serres

Jules Verne L’etoile du Sud — precious gems

Immanuel Kant — the Sun Ego

  • billiant mirros sparkling flares… exhcnaging millions of inforatmions about themselves 
    • Kaprow quote about the computer 
  • the things of the world have the ability  reflect itself
  • Vernes cavern — the vision the universe has of itself
  • “I am a diamond”
  • Matter and mirror, media (support) and messages
  • I do not see any different between reality and representation 
  • Materialist versus spiritualism
    • Atoms encode — they are material but they are also sign
  • They encode, we encode, they count, we count, we speak, they speak. Knowledge is thus the ability to listen and to translate the scattered languages of things. They usually speak mathematics. 
Round Table:
  • Rosi Braidotti
    • Calvina — Six Memos for the Next Millennium — “the lightness, the rhythmic speed” – stands outside the flux of time… 
    • Serres is post-anthropocentric – flat ontology with a realist method
    • Profound ontological pacifism – with a knowledge of science as a great evil (thinking materialism without ideology) 
    • Style is not a rhetorical device it is the method
  • Francoise Balibar
    • The use of language in physics conferences… e.g.: 
  • Simon Glendinning
    • Classic cosmopolitanism – every other is my fellow (horizon of humanity)
    • De-centered humanisms
    • A responsibility to those not yet born
  • Mark BN Hansen
    • Whitehead – We’re the hosts for agents. 
    • Serres – no argumentation, not speaking from a position of privilege (speaking for others)
    • Flat ontology / Speculative Realism – 
    • (Zielinski’s comment about Kittler’s removal of the
    • Serres different than speculative realism as the ’things’ are not the enemy
    • Matter and information as non-dialectical — all things express other things 
    • “Any object can become the subject of other objects” 
  • Rahel Jaeggi
    • There is a difference between thinking and storing information
    • Distinction between what bees do, versus what people do when they work 
    • Not just referring to something but knowing that you refer to something
    • “I don’t blame the stone when someone throws it at me”
    • We’re human being that take responsibility for events 
  • Paul Ziche
    • The challenge is what distinguishes this text from naive scientism of 1800’s
    • The image of the starry sky — is familiar to Kant (symbol for the sublime, which precisely transcends knowledge)
    • Compares the starry sky to to the Verne cavern (the softness of the sky, the hardness of the rocks/crystals) 
    • Genesis: Its just too simple to say lets move from matter to information
    • Matter and mirror
Discussion
  • Derrida — No justice seems possible or thinkable without the principle of some responsibility

  • Romanticism — Why is romanticism so bad? Could this be a positive comparison?

Latour & Technology 
 
Shane Denson
    • We’ve Never Been Modern — ‘intermediaries’ versus ‘mediators’
    • Expansion of media
    • Hansen: “medium as an environment for life,” “marks an originally correlation of technics and thought, one that comes ‘before’ history and that is for this very reason… “ —> We Have Never Been Natural 
    • Stiegler “co-originarity” of technics and the human – epiphylogenesis
      • human life is unthinkable without technics
      • non-genetic evolution
    • Hansen “medium is environment for life” – a “transduction between the organism and the environment that constitutes life as essentially technical”
    • Quasi-autonomy view of technical and human evolution
    • “reciprocal (though asymmetrical) indirection” (302) — humans are concretely grounded through the body / physiology  
    • Medium naming the link between the human and the technical
    • Cinema as tertiary memory – stores experience 
    • Primary retention: immediate experiential process / Secondary retention: memory activated afterwards (Husserl) 
      • Hearing is not absolute / second audition is always different 
      • Tertiary memory is what allows us to discover this — that is, the presentation of a ‘recorded experience’ 
      • Temporal experience is problematically ‘mass produced’ as in ‘live television’ – where experience is present as tertiary memory 
      • Hanson responds that Stiegler reduces primary intention 
      • Salanskis – retention 
    • Stiegler prioritises mneotechnics —over the human (a kind of fatalistic ‘sucking of the human’ into the machine)
    • Tertiary memory – technology – might have its own form of embodiment that is marked its own material boundary between discrete object hood and environmental flux. 
    • For example film has a referential and non-referential side
    • The technical as also sitting between the unmarked environemnt of material flux
    • Merleau Ponty (flesh) — Viviane Sopjek — 
    • “As a body that does and then learns to think”
    • Question of Ontology: the cognitive phenomenal realm is embedded in the material realm — representation is a part of reality (Serres) 

Rumen Rachev

    • Onto-speculative theories
    • Matter of Care and Media Natures 
    • Software studies
      • application
      • network
      • code
    • How technologies arises — How software come to be perceived as software and how software actualise itself through material practices 
    • Coal Fired Computer – mining and energy
    • Crystal World – reselling
    • Maria dela Bellacasa ‘Matters of Care in Technoscience: Assembling Neglected Things’ 
      • Matters of care: “what care can actually mean for the thinking of things and how this notion involves doing and intervening”
      • Barcuh Gotlieb 
    • Software Mediatures — mining process of media and how it evolves into technologies
      • Investigating high-tech media culture is entwined with a variety of material agencies…
    • Google Black
    • Software matters
    • Questions: 
      • The digital is a principle — not material? But the development of the digital is brought about through materials — in terms of how software develops… 
      • Code and Spaces — the human ‘experience’ of code is not of these elements, not of the ‘gold’ in the pcb, etc.

Notes to self moral dimension of media geologies: 

  • One direction: the morality of production and the development of industries which exploit worker 
  • Second direction: the morality of material complexes of technology creating the ‘coding sweatshops’ 

Notes to self development of theories that absorb both the materiality and human experience of technologies 

  • There are always questions which speak of the gap between the material and experiential (e.g.: if we speak of the ‘material’ structuring of the digital for example)… but… There are many forces keeping this from occurring 
    • we cannot experience ‘multi temporality’ / ‘multi spatiality’ 
    • technologies are built (scale, integration) to resist ‘experiencing’ them
  • Note that this is what constitutes the problem of the ontological/epistemological divide. There is a mistake in the potential of objects to reveal themselves as they’ve been separated into an aesthetic (representation, immediate) and production — this is what analysis of the ‘practice’ of the technological helps in breaking down the onto/episto divide. That is, making software, is a way of understanding how we create ideas. The world is there to teach itself things. 
  • e.g.: Programming a low level circuit board allows you to understand the material substrate of software – the chip gets hot when you render too many objects on the screen – just as creating a clay pot would lend an immanent (internal, emergent) account of the object. 
  • Imagine a world in which you made everything you had, everything you used by yourself. You would not only have a full, and careful account, of the sorge (care) and  elements, but you would 
  • So this claim, that we must account for ‘both levels’ of the experience of technical objects (how they are made, and their cultural effects / human-deception) is a certain form of blindness to the practices which forge them, which are implied in the sensible but do not arrive there, always.

Moritz Gansen

    • AIME — 10 month extension — An Inquiry into Modes of Existence
    • Anthropology of the Moderns (We Have Never Been Modern) 
    • Overt philosophical orientations — 
    • Prince and Wolf — LSE — like a dog following its prey and 
    • Finally he could be a philosopher, sociologist, 
    • Etinne Souriaux — modes of existence — 1943
      • The manners of being of the diverse beings
      • A work of aesthetics?
      • Metaphysics is one of an ‘art of existence’ and ‘mode to be made’ (masterpiece to come in AIME) 
      • Souriaux lecture – the existential incompletion – ‘everything is given to us in a half light…’ – ‘everything is work to be made’ – sketches and drafts – everything demands its own accomplishment
      • Instauration – the creating of things (not the restoring, but the founding) 
        • White supremacist magazine 
      • To exist means to be in a fundamental way – to be in a specific manner and mode (planes of phenomenon, synaptic being) 
      • (Like AIME) leaving spaces for further modes of being 
      • Anti-hegelian, opposed to metaphysical machine: “We must beware of the dialectical fascination”
      • Orders and hierarchies bring into relations different modes of existence 
    • What good is philosophy that doesn’t contribute to your life
      • This proliferation as instauration – virtual / actual / becoming 
      • The virtual – calls out for its own instauration
      • Tiny instauratory acts (artists, painters, etc.) 
      • Everyone bears a certain responsibility to the virtual — they are never simply accomplished or given… 
      • Beware of which reality you pay most attention to — it judges you.
    • Simondon starts with a originally unity whereas Souriaud begins with plurality 
    • Philosopher is a dog ancient greece
    • The Great Instauration — Bacon
    • Genealogy — Bergson & William James … The Pluralist Philosophies of England and America … Stengers / Deleuze 

Critique of Forms of Life — Professor Rahel Jaeggi, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 

  • Hannah Arendt and the realm of the human
  • Practices are described 
  • Practices are situated (playing hide and seek versus hiding from the police)
  • Practice suppose a common horizon of interpretation (bundles of practices – which can and do transform) 
  • Practices are materialised 
  • Someone must be responsible — 
  • Immanent critique – transformative but rooted in an internal perspective 
  • Arendt — “one can never survive bare”
  • Hegel’s analysis of the modern bourgeois family
  • Problems are in a particular way self-made 
  • Problems call out in ways in which the practical side of the world requires 
  • The meta question – one can recognise if a process has succeeded in the ‘deepening of experience’ 
  • Ethical learning process 
  • Hillary Putnam – pluralism
  • Experimentation is the only path to new solutions 
  • Robin Celikates — Forms of Life — cultural shaped forms of human coexistence
    • Structure, Struggle, Progress 
    • Forms of life are embedded in material — can we account for this embeddedness in the form of practice theory? 
    • Bundles of practices have sedimentary elements which are not transparent or known by the forms of life which undertaken
    • Emphasis on system-like character 
    • It must be possible to blame or praise a person — this is difficult … 
      • Marxist analysis’ success was to recognise those structural dynamics – it wasn’t just a group of rich people sitting in a room saying, “lets’ try and convince the poor to be exploited…”
    • Problems / Solutions (instead of needs / satisfaction) — focus on learning processes 
      • conflict and oppression cannot always be described as ‘learning’? (e.g.: the fall of S.A. apartheid cannot be described as learning) 
    • Vulgar Hegelianism — “progress is just what has lead to us”

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