Science & Logic

JOHN W. CAMPBELL’S QUARTER TURN: √-1, cognition and estrangement (2)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Laruelle’s « quarter turn » has its precedent in science fiction. In his recently published book « ASTOUNDING: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction » Alec Nevala-Lee notes: ¶ The September 1971 issue featured the short story “On the Nature of Angels,” the last piece of fiction that he ever wrote. Campbell proposed that the soul was a complex number in which the variable b stood for the level of sin. No one knew the exact level at which a spirit became good or evil after death, so it would be best, he said, “to keep our soul’s b value as close to zero as possible.” (ASTOUNDING, 379). ¶ Taken at face value this story appears to be a silly tongue-in-cheek thought-experiment, but I think that as a metaphor it describes something of the genre of science fiction itself. and of non-philosophy. ¶ The superficial « humorous » level comes from the moralistic description of the imaginary axis as giving the level of sin or grace. However, this complex number could also be seen as determining the respective values of imaginary estrangement and real cognition. This would provide a formula for defining the difference between science fiction (defined by Darko Suvin as « the literature of cognitive estrangement ») considered  as escapism and as speculative fiction: ¶ Campbell had wanted to be an inventor or scientist, and when he found himself working as an editor instead, he redefined the pulps as a laboratory... -

Read More @ Agent Swarm

Symposium on Letheby and Gerrans, “Self unbound: ego dissolution in psychedelic experience”

I am delighted to announce the next symposium in our series on articles from Neuroscience of Consciousness.  Neuroscience of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary journal focused on the philosophy and science of consciousness, and gladly accepts submissions from both philosophers and scientists working in this fascinating field. ¶ We have two types of symposia.  For primarily theoretical articles, we will have several commentators from a variety of theoretical perspectives.  For novel empirical research, we will have single commentators whose goal is to bring out the theoretical challenges and import of the results.  This symposium is based on Chris Letheby and Philip Gerran’s fascinating paper, “Self unbound: ego dissolution in psychedelic experience.” We have excellent commentaries from John Michael, Inês Hipólito, and Raphaël Millière. These are... -

Read More @ Brains Blog
MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory 2019, Panel on Political Theory beyond the State

Contemporary political philosophy is centrally concerned with the Westphalian-Weberian state. For instance, the large number and variety of theories of justice prevalent in the discipline often are theories about what the state ought to do or indeed not to do. … Continue reading → -

Read More @ Public Reason
WORLD FAMOUS IN POLAND

Well, the Rawls lecture has now hit 1000 views, which is nice and cozy in a small way.  I should explain something that was more or less obvious in the lecture but may not be noticed by those who really care about Rawls.  What interests me about Rawls' argument is... -

Read More @ The Philosopher’s Stone

Recent Sites Posting In Science


All Posts in Science

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory 2019, Panel on Political Theory beyond the State Contemporary political philosophy is centrally concerned with the Westphalian-Weberian state. For instance, the large number and variety of theories of justice prevalent in the discipline often are theories about what the state ought to do or indeed not to do. … Continue reading → Public Reason -


JOHN W. CAMPBELL’S QUARTER TURN: √-1, cognition and estrangement (2) Perhaps unsurprisingly, Laruelle’s « quarter turn » has its precedent in science fiction. In his recently published book « ASTOUNDING: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction » Alec Nevala-Lee notes: The September 1971 issue featured the short story “On the Nature of Angels,” the last piece of fiction that he ever wrote. Campbell proposed that the soul was a complex number in which the variable b stood... Agent Swarm -


Une carte des corrélations entre positions philosophiques Bourget et Chalmers ont réalisé il y a plusieurs années un sondage auprès de philosophes pour connaître leur position sur un ensemble de questions philosophiques, suivi d'un article analysant les résultats. Ce sondage permet non seulement de savoir quelles sont les positions dominantes en philosophie contemporaine, mais aussi de quelles manière elles sont corrélées, au sens où les philosophes qui acceptent l'une sont plus susceptibles d'accepter également l'autre. J'ai réalisé à l'aide du logiciel Inkscape... Philosophie Des Sciences -


Philosopher Finnur Dellsén Wins Nils Klim Prize Finnur Dellsén, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland and part-time associate professor at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, is the 2019 winner of the Nils Klim Prize. The Nils Klim Prize is 500,000 Norwegian Kroners (approximately $58,000). It is “awarded annually to a younger Nordic researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to research in the arts and humanities, social science, law or theology.” The award is sponsored by the Norwegian... Daily Nous -


A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics 2019.03.18 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Karen Neander, A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics, MIT Press, 2017, 327pp., $40.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780262036146. Reviewed by Manolo Martinez, Universitat de Barcelona Karen Neander's is the first book-length defense of so-called producer teleosemantics. Teleosemantics is a naturalistic theory that aims at identifying sufficient conditions for a mental state to count as a representation, and, if it is, a procedure... Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews -


Bell’s Theorem [Revised entry by Wayne Myrvold, Marco Genovese, and Abner Shimony on March 13, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Bell's Theorem is the collective name for a family of results, all of which involve the derivation, from a condition on probability distributions inspired by considerations of local causality, together with auxiliary assumptions usually thought of as mild side-assumptions, of probabilistic predictions about the results of spatially separated experiments that conflict, for appropriate choices of... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Albert of Saxony [Revised entry by Joél Biard on March 12, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Albert of Saxony (ca. 1320 - 1390), Master of Arts at Paris, then Rector of the University of Vienna, and finally Bishop of Halberstadt (Germany). As a logician, he was at the forefront of the movement that expanded the analysis of language based on the properties of terms, especially their reference (in Latin: suppositio), but also in the exploration of new... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Epistemic Innocence and the Overcritical Juror In this post, Katherine Puddifoot, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University, discusses her paper “Re-evaluating the credibility of eyewitness testimony: the misinformation effect and the overcritical juror,” recently published in Episteme.Should we trust eyewitnesses of crimes? Are jurors inclined to trust eyewitnesses more than they should? People tend to adopt a default position of trust towards eyewitness testimony, finding it highly convincing. However, as has now been widely acknowledged, eyewitnesses are... Imperfect Cognitions -


In KMWorld, David Weinberger on the joy of machine learning. [H]e talked about the things of the world primarily showing themselves to us as available for our use in whatever project we have in mind. If we’re about to cut a tomato on our plate, we don’t see our knife as a simple metal object of a particular shape; the knife shows itself to us as something good for cutting tomatoes. In fact, said Heidegger,... Enowning -


WORLD FAMOUS IN POLAND Well, the Rawls lecture has now hit 1000 views, which is nice and cozy in a small way.  I should explain something that was more or less obvious in the lecture but may not be noticed by those who really care about Rawls.  What interests me about Rawls' argument is that he claims, with all his hedges and caveats and hemming and hawing, that it is a theorem in bargaining theory.  That is, in my... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Thinking about Things 2019.03.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark Sainsbury, Thinking about Things, Oxford University Press, 2018, 199pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198803348. Reviewed by Tim Crane, Central European University This is the second of Mark Sainsbury's books to have a unicorn on its cover. The paperback edition of Reference without Referents (a neglected classic in my opinion) was the first. The image indicates a common concern in the two books: how to... Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews -


Do we think only with the brain? Your mind is not only in your brain, but also in your body if not in the world around you or at least in some parts of it. I have sustained this view several times in my blogs. It is the main thesis of the so-called extended mind theory and also of the enactivist approach, which goes even a little bit farther. The first theory – defended for instance by Andy Clark and David Chalmers... Philosophy by the Way -


“Moral Zealotry and the Seductive Nature of Evil” Essay here. What's Wrong? -


35 brilliant women from the history of philosophy Have a look! Feminist Philosophers -


An excellent review of “k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher”  by Roger Luckhurst in the LARB.   Philosophy in a Time of Error -


Stephen Voss’ qualia talk on March 15, Friday at 17h in JFB Stephen Voss, Are there Qualia? March 15, Friday in John Freely 507 at 17h Hesperous is Bosperous -


The ant colony as a test for scientific theories of consciousness This in Synthese freely available here. We introduce the Ant Colony Test (ACT) as a rigorous reverse test for consciousness. We show that social insect colonies, though disaggregated collectives, fulfill many of the prerequisites for conscious awareness met by humans and honey bee workers. However only a small fraction of neurons in the brain might be… Man Without Qualities -


DIAGRAMMING PHILOSOPHIES (2): OOP and the problem of emergence In the previous post we examined the elements and (non-)relations posited by Graham Harman’s OOP. In this post we shall see the movements, authorised and prohibited, that characterise this version of Speculative Realism. Withdrawal is eliminative, deconstructive, abstractive, élitist – this ascent to the absolute is the defining movement of OOP. De-withdrawal is emanative, constructive, concretive, democratic – this inverse movement of descent or return to daily life is prohibited by OOP. Agent Swarm -


The Art Newspaper asks Siah Armajani about his "Bridge Over Tree". It was a poetic documentation about Heidegger’s notion of “location” and “neighbourhood”. I do not see the work differently years later, except the new context, the new location close to the Brooklyn Bridge. A bridge divides what is “above” the bridge, what is “below” the bridge, what is “before” the bridge and what is “after” the bridge, but at the same time it brings... Enowning -


David Wiggins Born on this day — a true gentleman in every sense. If ever Wiggins was miffed that I preferred to talk to him about his metaphysics rather than his ethics, he never let on. Sameness and Substance Renewed (2001) and its two precursors, 1967’s Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity and 1980’s Sameness and Substance, jointly remain one of my favourite reads. See discussion of… Man Without Qualities -