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…

2017-11-25 (Trouw) Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd

2017-11-25 (Trouw) Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd

Jos de Mul. Hoe ik bijna boeddhist werd. Trouw. Bijlage Letter en Geest, 25 november 2017, 14-18. Het gastenverblijf van…

Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects

Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects

Jos de Mul. ( ed.), Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects. Amsterdam/Chicago: Amsterdam University Press/Chicago University Press, 2014. Helmut Plessner (1892–1985)…

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)…

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.…


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约斯·德·穆尔:《从开放设计到元设计——3D打印数据库本体的冲击》,《社会科学战线》2014年第10期。[Jos de Mul, From open design to metadesign. Social Science Front, no.10, 2014, 248-254]

国外社会科学从开放设计到元设计(metadesign)  ——3D打印数据库本体的冲击


(伊拉斯谟大学哲学系,荷兰鹿特丹 3062PA)



3D打印作为一项备受关注的技术,其令人咋舌的功能在医疗、工业、生活领域内引起的巨大变革已经使我们不得不持续对其关注和思考。3D 技术在法律、监管、社会、政治以及经济模型创新等方面都已经有了不同理论维度的探讨。在这篇文章里,我将不同于以往的讨论,从另外一个角度——设计,特别是开放设计(open design)的角度来讨论3D打印的问题。

在Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing[1]这本书中,Lipson和Kurman认为“3D技术是我们设计和制作东西的方式的一场革命”,因为它把一个物体的软件设计和它的实物显示(physical manifestation)之间的关系变得异常紧密。[2]尽管我认为在信息与通讯技术(ICT)世界里,当说起革命一词,我们应该多少有所怀疑,但是,很明显,3D技术在很多领域都有前途,而且,因其开放的特点(至少在一些方面是)而对传统设计实践提出了挑战。

接下来,我将讨论数据库本体(database ontology)的蕴意,这种数据库本体表征着我们当今设计界。我将要强调,为了发展开放设计的积极一面而不落陷阱,设计者不应该轻易放弃作为设计者的活动,而且更应该重新设计这些活动。未来的设计者不得不成为一个数据设计者,一个元设计者,他们不是设计一种客体对象,而是设计一个空间,在这个空间里,没有技巧的使用者可以通过使用者友好界面(user-friendly)设计自己的东西。

3D打印可以看作设计界的一个发展,它使设计行为的重新定义成为必要。2010年阿姆斯特丹重新定义设计大会[3]的宣传词中对开放设计的状况描述道:“设计工业正在经历着根本性的改变。开放设计、可下载的设计和分散的设计使得设计工业民主化,也意味着任何人都可以成为设计者和制造者。”这则消息的潜在意思似乎是说,开放设计,本质上是好的,我们应该发展它。(为了简略,我用open design 这个词来总括之前提到的那些设计界的发展,包括了可下载的、分散的设计以及重组模块使设计变得个性化,并用3D在家里或街角的专业商店打印出来)。尽管我对开放设计(或者任你管它叫什么)总体上持积极的态度,但是我认为还是应该注意这进程中的困难和陷阱,以避免我们会犯那种将孩子和洗澡水一起泼出去的错误。


正像“开放运动”(open movement)的其他成员一样,开放设计在很大程度上与个人电脑和互联网紧密相关(我们将会看到,开放运动包括多个运动,比如开放软件资源、开放科学、开放科技等。特别是开放生物学运动,是开放运动中一个很有意思的例子)。由于这个原因,为了能够对开放设计的机遇和陷阱都看得更清楚,我们应该研究一下数字领域(digital domain)的基本特点。因此,在论文第二部分,我会简要描述数据库本体,它是计算机的基础(ABCD of computing),也是数字领域的基础。



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
Geert Maarse. How can the Netherlands survive populism? Interview with Jos de Mul. Erasmus Magazine. #6 February 2017, 10-14.

The issue. From Trump to Wilders: political populism is making waves across the planet. Philosopher Jos de Mul explains how this came about, what can be done about this trend and which opportunities it presents.

The populist Party for Freedom (PVV) holds a lead in the polls. What’s going on?

“One of the key contributors to the rise of populism is the fact that – despite a large number of new parties – for quite a few years now, voters have had very little to choose between. In a democracy, all segments of the population need to be represented. But at the end of the day, does it really matter whether you vote the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) or Labour (PvdA)? This whole thing started with ‘Purple’ [the socialist-liberal coalition formed by PvdA, VVD, and Democrats 66 and headed by Wim Kok, eds.] and the embracement of the neoliberal model. For part of the Dutch population, the associated globalisation and European unification proved very advantageous: students were able to study everywhere; international trade became a lot easier for companies. But the free movement of persons and goods has also made a lot of casualties – people working in transport or construction, for example. And the same applies for the multicultural society. For some of us, it’s very nice to be able to eat in a Thai or Mexican restaurant and enjoy a novel by Kader Abdolah or Najoua Bijjir. But when you see your old neighbourhood going downhill, are one of the few white people left in your street, and you lose your job to boot, it may be a very different story. At that point, you want someone to stand up and say ‘we’re fed up with this’.”

Bruno Accarino, Jos de Mul und Hans-Peter Krüger (Hrsg.). Internationales Jahrbuch für Philosophische Anthropologie. Band 6 / International Yearbook for Philosophical Anthropology. Volume 6. Thomas Ebke, Sebastian Edinger, Frank Müller und Roman Yos. (Hrsg.). Mensch und Gesellschaft zwischen Natur und Geschichte. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016, 294 p.

Gegenstand dieses Bandes ist das Wechselverhältnis zweier prägender Traditionen moderner deutscher Philosophie: der Kritischen Theorie und der Philosophischen Anthropologie. Nach Jahrzehnten gegenseitiger Vorbehalte gilt es, Nähe und Differenz dieser philosophischen Richtungen in so grundlegenden Begriffen wie Mensch, Gesellschaft, Natur und Geschichte systematisch zu untersuchen.

This volume explores the interplay between critical theory and philosophical anthropology. After decades of reciprocal misgivings, the time has come to systematically examine the commonalities and differences between these philosophical approaches with respect to such fundamental concepts as the person, society, nature, and history.  



Published in Books
Geert Maarse. Is de parlementaire democratie in crisis? Interview met Jos de Mul. Studio Erasmus. Rotterdamse Schouwburg, 7 maart 2017, 20:00 uur.

Filosoof Jos de Mul presenteert zijn boek ‘Paniek in de Polder: Polytiek in tijden van Populisme’, waarin hij de zogenaamde strijd tussen volk en elite analyseert, het succes van Trump en Wilders verklaart en uitlegt hoe het wél verder moet.

Published in Interviews / tv
Jos de Mul. Games as the true organon of philosophy. On Schelling, Huizinga, and playful ontologies. Keynote at the 10th International Philosophy of Games Conference. Malta, November 2, 2016.

This year’s edition focuses on the theme of Knowledge. Games inspire curiosity – as we explore and experiment with a game, our engagement is to a great degree shaped by epistemic processes of inquiry and discovery. What knowledge is learned through playing a game? What does it mean to know a game? We invite papers tackling questions related to epistemology, knowing how versus knowing that, embodied knowledge, normative knowledge of rules, ecological knowledge and affordances, cybernetics, systems theory and knowledge. For more detailed information, jump to

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul. Meeting Erica and OSCAR. On almost living bodies, new media aesthetics, and the East-West divide. Lecture at the 20th In ternational Congress of Aesthetics. Seoul, July 26, 2016.

It is often noticed that the attitude towards robots and artificial intelligences in Western culture differs strongly from the attitude in Asia. Whereas in the Western world android robots are under taboo, Asian scientists and artists seem to be fond of  robots that mimic human appearance and behavior. It has been claimed that the differences in attitude towards android robots are connected with differences in worldview and religion. Whereas Asian, interconnected  cultures do not sharply distinguish between human subjects and natural objects, in Western, separative cultures a sharp distinction is being made between active subjects and passive objects. Moreover, in the Christian tradition the creation of living things is traditionally considered to be a taboo (‘Thou shall not play God!’). Although the notion of the ‘uncanny valley’ (the unpleasant feeling evoked by robots or other entities that closely resemble living human beings, such as corpses and zombies was introduced by the Japanese robot specialist Masahiro Mori,  at first sight it seems more applicable to the Western attitude towards android robots than to the Asian attitude.  Taking some prominent European and Asian new media artworks in which artificial life and robots play a prominent role as a starting point, I will focus on the question whether these stereotypes are still valid in contemporary, globalized intercultures.

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul. Cognitive space, global brains, and the hive mind An evolutionary account of information and communication technologies. Lecture at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. July 22, 2016.

The emergence of information and communications technologies (ICTs) can be regarded as a milestone in the cognitive evolution of mankind, comparable to the two other major transitions of the cognitive structure of the genus Homo: the development of spoken language, and the invention of writing. In order to fully understand the new cognitive space disclosed by recent information and communication technologies, we have to situate it against the background of these two earlier transitions. It will be argued that new technologies like the internet, wireless communication and brain implants are part of an ongoing construction of a global brain and the emergence of a hive mind. 

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul. The Turing Test in recent science fiction films. A philosophical analysis against the background of the Turing-Wittgenstein Debate. Kyoto: Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, June 21, 2016.

The British mathematician, computer scientist and philosopher Alan Turing (1912 -1954) is not only the inventor of the programmable computer, but also one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence. He also invented the imitation game, a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. This so-called Turing test plays a prominent role in several recent science fiction movies, such as Her (2013), Ex machina(2015), and Uncanny (2015). Against the background of the Turing-Wittgenstein debate on the possibility of thinking machines (1938), I will discuss what these movies tell us about the present prospects with regard to humanoid AI and robot systems.

EricaJosHiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories were founded to encourage and promote studies based on original and unique ideas from Hiroshi Ishiguro, ATR Fellow, who has remarkable achievements on robotics. We have explored new information media based on humanlike robots that harmonize humans with information-environment beyond existing personal computers, while inquiring the question "what is the essence of human beings?"

Erica is an android developed as a research platform for the autonomous conversational robot. We are developing total technology to enable Erica to have natural interaction with persons by integrating various technologies such as voice recognition, human tracking, and natural motion generation. It has nineteen degrees of freedom for face, neck, shoulder, and waist, and can express various facial expressions and some gestural motions. Its appearance is designed for beautiful and neutral female face, by which people can familiarly interact with it. It speaks in synthesized voice. 

Watch movie  Read the article in the International New York Times

Published in Lectures
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