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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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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Books: description and reviews

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…

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Cyberspace Odyssee

Cyberspace Odyssee

Jos de Mul. Cyberspace Odyssee. Kampen:…

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Toeval. Inaugurale rede

Toeval. Inaugurale rede

Jos de Mul. Toeval. Inaugurale rede. Rotterdam:…

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.
Today's specials
Monday, 23 October 2017 13:27

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.  

Published 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

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.

Published in Book chapters
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。

Published in Book chapters
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.

Published in Book chapters
Sunday, 15 October 2017 17:12

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

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.

Published in Book chapters
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?

Published in Online publications
Jos de Mul. Database Identity. Invited lecture at the Herrenhausen conference Society through the Lens of the Digital. Hannover, May 31-June 2, 2017.

New information and communication technologies are changing the very nature of human identity. In my talk, I will argue that they facilitate a change from narrative to a database identity. Narrative identity is what has traditionally defined people. A narrative identity can be complex, multilayered and dynamic, but it is strung out over a spatio-temporal continuum and has a certain logic and coherence through time. It forms a tissue of stories that makes a person, defining who she is. This narrative identity is being giving way, increasingly, to a database identity. With a database identity a person’s experience, qualities and characteristics all become entries in a database. These can be called up, assembled and re-assembled in never-ending set of combinations. Database identity is a post-modernization of identity. It is a playful pastiche of qualities and characteristics, decoupled from their context of origin and from their role in a person’s history.

Published in Lectures
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:34

What is Data?

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

théo van doesburg 2.0: What is Data? (Publisher: “No Style” The Hague, 2023).

 


You will probably be surprised to be hearing something about Data from someone who is innocent of Dataism, from a non- Dataist

Data: the terror of the stock market gurus, of the privacy seeker, the designer, the cultural entrepreneur, the Gutmensch — of everybody?

A subject such as this is perhaps least suitable for a serious lecture, which is not at all what I have in mind.

I will be satisfied if, as an obligation to friends, I can illuminate the Dataistic attitude to life. This seems to me especially important in a country that has been hermetically sealed against any new expression of life since the 60s.

It would indeed be pretentious if I was under the impression that I could make the mystery of Data intellectually intelligible.

Published in Book chapters
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