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)…

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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…

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序言 约斯·德·穆尔 In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art

序言 约斯·德·穆尔 In: Zha Changping. World Relational Aesthetics. A History of Ideas in Pioneering Contemporary Chinese Art

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:…

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The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life

The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life

Jos de Mul. The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010 (second edition - eBook), 424…

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The game of life

The game of life

Jos de Mul. The Game of Life: Narrative and Ludic Identity Formation in Computer Games.  In: Lori Way (ed.), Representations of…

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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.…

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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)…

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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…

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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.…

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Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy

Jos de Mul. Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999, 316 p.…

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Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology

Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology

Jos de Mul. Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology. Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, 334 p. Translation of Cyberspace…

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Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life.

Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life.

Jos de Mul. Noble versus Dawkins. DNA Is not the program of the concert of life. Translation of Dutch review, published…

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Marxism according to Groucho     "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog…

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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 (Chinese translation of Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology). Guilin:…

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Jos de Mul. de Kentering: over Zen, kunst, technologie en zinvol geweld. Openingslezing Kunst10daagse Bergen. Bergen, 16 oktober, 2015.

Zo’n groot bestand?
Het was vast heel erg nuttig.
Nu is het weg.

Kunst heeft vele gezichten. Kunst kan – als decoratie of recreatie– ons leven veraangenamen, maar zij kan ook verontrusten, de vertrouwde kaders van de ervaring doorbreken en  zo een Kentering in ons bestaan teweeg brengen. In het laatste geval is kunst nauw verwant aan Zen. In de woorden van Zenmeester Daisetz T. Suzuki, “Zen bezit een revolutionaire geest, en wanneer zaken dreigen vast te lopen – zoals dat gebeurt wanneer we zuchten onder het gewicht van conventionalisme – doet Zen zich gelden en toont het zich als een destructieve kracht”. Net als grote kunstwerken verzet Zen zich tegen orde, omdat orde, van welke orde dan ook, ons verhindert de wereld te ervaren in haar volheid, die door geen enkel begrip, geen enkele vorm kan worden gevat.

In zijn lezing zal Jos de Mul ingaan op de rol die door Zen geïnspireerde kunst kan spelen in onze huidige door een technologische orde getekende cultuur. 

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul. L’identité de base de données. Identité personnelle et culturelle à l’ère de la mise en données du monde. In Severo Marta & Romele Alberto (eds.) Traces numériques et territoires. Paris: Presses des Mines/ParisTech, 2015, 87-108.

Introduction [1]

Le 27 février 2004, j’ai pris part au débat plutôt passionné qui agitait les Pays-Bas sur le multiculturalisme en publiant un essai dans le NRC Handelsblad, un des grands quotidiens néerlandais [2]. Cet article commençait par la brève description d’une jeune Arabe qui, quelques mois auparavant, passait près de moi glissant sur des rollers dans la station de métro Kralingse Zoom à Rotterdam. Elle semblait être étudiante et se rendre, tout comme moi, à l’Université Érasme. Vêtue d’un sarouel bouffant et d’un t-shirt arborant un smiley, et portant un petit sac à dos, sa tête était couverte d’un foulard d’où dépassait le cordon de l’oreillette de son téléphone portable. Lorsqu’elle fut assez proche de moi, je pus capter quelques bribes de la conversation qu’elle menait, dans cet étrange mélange d’arabe et de néerlandais mâtiné d’un fort accent de Rotterdam, avec une amie, pour autant que je puisse le deviner au ton de la discussion. Pareille image d’une jeune musulmane patinant sur des rollers était assez inattendue en 2004. Pourtant, à en croire un des articles parus récemment sur le site Web de la communauté turque aux Pays-Bas, la pratique du roller connaît un succès grandissant chez les jeunes filles musulmanes néerlandaises [3]. De plus, cette pratique tendrait à gagner en popularité dans des cercles musulmans plus orthodoxes. En avril 2012, les amateurs de patinage artistique en Italie ont eu la faveur de voir Zahra Lari être la première patineuse venue du Golfe à évoluer en niqab.

La raison pour laquelle je commençais mon essai de 2004 par cette image pittoresque d’une jeune musulmane en rollers tenait à ce qu’elle était la proclamation vivante d’une identité personnelle et culturelle dans une société postmoderne. Elle se situait manifestement au-delà de l’opposition qui avait paralysé le débat néerlandais sur le multiculturalisme pendant de nombreuses années, à savoir : l’opposition entre le fait de conserver sa propre identité et celui de s’adapter à la culture néerlandaise. Dans le présent chapitre, je souhaite examiner plus avant l’identité postmoderne à l’aune de deux perspectives tendant à s’entremêler de plus en plus fortement : la globalisation et la mise en données (datafication). Je vais défendre la thèse que notre jeune musulmane de Rotterdam à rollers avec son téléphone portable incarne à la perfection ce type d’identité qui est élaborée par cette mise en données globale, caractéristique de la société postmoderne.

Ce chapitre se décompose en quatre parties. Premièrement, je vais traiter les notions d’identité personnelle et d’identité culturelle, en mettant en relief le rôle crucial des récits narratifs et des traditions. Avec ce contexte en vue, je procéderai à une critique de l’opposition stérile entre multiculturalisme et monoculturalisme, pour défendre au lieu de cela une position interculturaliste. Puis, je distinguerai entre les différents modes par lesquels les traditions sont constitutives respectivement des identités prémodernes, modernes et postmodernes. Dans la dernière partie, je porterai mon attention sur le rôle que joue la mise en données dans la construction d’une identité postmoderne. Je défendrai la thèse que les bases de données, telles que nous les trouvons installées dans les médias sociaux grand public comme Facebook, transforment de plus en plus l’identité narrative des personnes et cultures des âges prémodernes et modernes en ce que l’on pourrait appeler une identité de base de données (database identity). Dans les identités de bases de données, nous trouvons d’un côté certains aspects d’identités narratives radicalisées et, à l’inverse, d’autres aspects qui semblent être transformés en une forme culturelle purement et simplement différente. En lien avec le débat récent sur les big data, et en prenant Facebook comme exemple central, mes réflexions porteront sur certains des avantages et inconvénients de la mise en données et de la corrélationalisation de notre identité.

Published in Book chapters
Jos de Mul. Encyclopedias, hive minds and global brains. A cognitive evolutionary account of Wikipedia. Invited lecture at the Being Forum 2015. Beijing: Beijing University, November 7, 2015.

The Beijing Forum, initiated in 2004, is an annual event placed under the auspices of the Beijing Municipal Government. It is endorsed by the State Council and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, and co-sponsored by Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. The November 2015 edition will mark its twelfth successful session.

The Beijing Forum, organized by Peking University, encourages the study of the humanities and social sciences in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to facilitate international academic exchanges and trans-cultural discussions in order to foster social development, harmony between civilizations, and greater prosperity for mankind.

Held annually in Beijing, a city with a deep cultural tradition, the forum is an international academic event that advocates civilizational harmony, It brings together the world’s most eminent thinkers in order to stimulate the academic and cultural exchanges that are crucial for world peace and social progress. During the past years, the Beijing Forum has gathered a wealth of invaluable suggestions and insights that has helped generate outstanding academic advancement in the Asia Pacific region and around the world. The 2015 annual conference will uphold the Beijing Forum’s reputation, developed over the last decade, as one of the leading academic forums in the world.

Published in Lectures
Alberto Romelo. Multiculturalismo, nuove tecnologie e religione. Interview a Jos de Mul. Confronti. No. 6, 2015, 26-28.

Multiculturalismo, nuove tecnologie e religione

In epoche storiche lontane, i cambiamenti avvenivano con molta lentezza e le società tendevano a essere più omogenee. Oggi - soprattutto grazie ai nuovi media - c'è più scambio tra culture diverse, le persone sono in grado di entrare in contatto e conoscerle, quindi hanno maggiore possibilité di scelta.

Jos de Mul è professore di Antropologia filosofica all’università Erasmus di Rotterdam, dove è a capo della sezione Filosofia dell’uomo e della cultura. Inoltre, è direttore dell’istituto di ricerca «Filosofia delle tecnologie dell’informazione e della comunicazione» (ɸIct). Tra le sue pubblicazioni in inglese, Destiny Domesticated. The Rebirth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Technology (2014), Cyberspace Odyssey. Towards a Virtual Ontology and Anthropology (2010) e The Tragedy of Finitude. Dilthey’s Hermeneutics of Life (2004). L’abbiamo intervistato a Porto, in Portogallo, dove si trovava e ci trovavamo per una conferenza dal titolo «Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger? Philosophical investigations into Big Data».

In un suo recente articolo, per spiegare cos’è il multiculturalismo, fa l’esempio di una ragazza incrociata nella metropolitana di Rotterdam. Per me è stato illuminante. Potrebbe riprenderlo qui?

Si trattava di una sorta di fenomeno ibrido, perché era musulmana (portava il velo) ma allo stesso tempo usava dei pattini, aveva una t-shirt con lo smile e un telefono in mano. Stava parlando, probabilmente con un’amica, in uno strano misto di arabo e olandese con un forte accento di Rotterdam. Per me è diventata una specie di simbolo della società multiculturale in cui ci troviamo oggi. Certo, penso che le culture siano sempre state una specie di ricombinazione di elementi presi da tradizioni più antiche o da altre tradizioni.

Jos de Mul, Database Identity: Personal and Cultural Identity in the Age of Global Datafication. in: Wouter de Been, Payal Aurora and Mireille Hildebrandt (Eds.), Crossroads in New Media, Identity and Law. The Shape of Diversity to Come. Personal and Cultural Identity in the Age of Global Datafication. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 97-118. 

This volume brings together a number of timely contributions at the nexus of new media, politics and law. The central intuition that ties these essays together is that information and communication technology, cultural identity, and legal and political institutions are spheres that co-evolve and interpenetrate in myriad ways. Discussing these shifting relationships, the contributions all probe the question of what shape diversity will take as a result of the changes in the way we communicate and spread information: that is, are we heading to the disintegration and fragmentation of national and cultural identity, or is society moving towards more consolidation, standardization and centralization at a transnational level? In an age of digitization and globalization, this book addresses the question of whether this calls for a new civility fit for the 21st century.

Jos de Mul, to begin with, takes the issue of identity head-on in his contribution. He argues that new networked communication technologies are leading to a datafication of identity. New ICTs are transforming traditional ‘narrative identity’ into a more plastic form of ‘database identity.’ Identity as the product of a linear development, as an outgrowth of a particular personal or group history – the bread and butter of the imagined community – is on the wane. Increasingly identity is broken up into machine-readable elements and stored in digital memory banks. This allows for an endless combination and re-combination of features. By itself this process does not necessarily result in a world of freedom and play, however. Although database identities allow for an extraordinary range of choice and are well suited to the freedom and flexibility of postmodern culture, there is a great deal of uniformity in the forms that database identities actually take. Hence, De Mul also addresses the standardization of identity in the prefabricated formats of social media, underlining the new entrapments of the digital age.

 

Published in Book chapters
Jos de Mul. Photography in the Age of Digital Recombination. Hubei Institute for Fine Arts / Wuhan Art Museum. Wuhan, May 18, 2015.

 

讲座现场 || 数字化操控时代的艺术作品

2015-05-21 

5月 18 日晚,我馆特邀荷兰鹿特丹大学的约斯•德•穆尔(Jos de Mul)教授在湖北美术学院藏龙岛校区举办了主题为《数字化操控时代的艺术作品》的讲座。

【讲座内容实录】

HIFA

我(约斯•德•穆尔)将从本雅明的《机械复制时代的艺术作品》出发,阐述本雅明关于膜拜价值和展示价值的观念, 而后把数据库作为范式模型, 勾勒出创建计算机对象的基本操作, 最后解释为什么说数据库从本体论上把以展示价值为特征的现代艺术作品转变为以操控价值为特征的后现代艺术作品。

概 述

艺术和科技是密切相关的, 艺术家总是在利用媒体(media)不管是那些创作壁画的史前绘画者, 还是那些依靠计算机技术工作的新媒体艺术家。广义的媒体, 意即“传达信息的方式“, 对塑造人类的心灵和经验、认识和感知世界起着关键作用。

本雅明的著作《机械复制时代的艺术作品》提到,独一无二(unique)、奥若蒂克式的(Auratic) 的特点强调了古典艺术品的膜拜价值(cult value), 而机械地(mechanically)复制性的(reproduce)现代艺术品则强调了其展示价值(exhibition value)。然而在数字化重组(digital recombination) 时代, 数据库构成了后现代艺术作品的本体论模型,在此转变中, 展示价值(exhibition value)正被我们所谓的操控价值(manipulation value) 所取代。

本雅明的论述声称是对艺术的分析, 但其实际论域却要广泛得多。同样, 我在数字化重组时代继续本雅明的分析, 论域将超出艺术或美学。还将分析自然和文化的数字化操控, 它是当前“信息时代” 的特征。

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul. Philosophical Anthropology 2.0. In: Jos de Mul. (ed.), Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects. Amsterdam/Chicago: Amsterdam University Press/Chicago University Press, 2014, 457-475.


Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the relevance of Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology in the twenty-first century. In the first part of this chapter, I will argue that the heydays of philosophical anthropology in the first half of the twentieth is closely connected with the (Darwinian) naturalization of the worldview. Whereas the debate on naturalization resulted in an unfruitful opposition between ‘greedy reductionism’ and a no less ‘greedy transcendentism,’ Plessner’s philosophical anthropology, presented in his magnum opus Die Stufen des Organischen undderMensch (1928), offered a promising ‘third way.’

In the second part of this chapter, I will discuss some of the objections that have been raised in the course of the twentieth century against the alleged essentialism and anthropocentrism of the project of philosophical anthropology, and which, at least according to the critics, suggest that philosophical anthropology has to face the same fate as its subject ‘man,’ which - to use the often quoted metaphor of Foucault - is about to be “erased like a face drawn in the sand at the edge of the sea” (Foucault 1970, 387). I will argue that, although Plessner is far from being a hardboiled essentialist or a defender of anthropocentrism, the critiques invite a revision of at least some elements of Plessner’s philosophical anthropology in order to make room for a necessary reflection upon the challenges we face at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

In the third and last part of my chapter, I will argue that such a revi­sion is especially needed in light of neo-Darwinism and the converging technologies that are intertwined with it. These technologies promise - or threaten, depending on one’s perspective - to give Foucault’s ‘End of Man’ a material turn. While classical Darwinism challenged the human place in cosmos mainly in theoretical terms, converging technologies like genetic modification, neuro-enhancement and electronic implants, have the po­tential to ‘overcome’ Homo sapiens sapiens as we know it in a more radical, practical sense.[1] This creates within us a certain urge towards fundamental post-essentialist and post-anthropocentric human self-reflection. The claim I will underpin is that Plessner’s anthropology still offers a fruitful starting point for the development of this ‘philosophical anthropology 2.0.’ I will demonstrate this by a critical re-interpretation of Plessner’s three ‘anthro­pological laws’ in light of the aforementioned converging technologies.

Published in Book chapters
Monday, 05 January 2015 16:29

The game of life

Jos de Mul. The Game of Life: Narrative and Ludic Identity Formation in Computer Games.  In: Lori Way (ed.), Representations of Internarrative Identity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Representations of Internarrative Identity is based upon Ajit Maan's breakthrough theory of Internarrative Identity, which deals with one's sense of self as expressed in personal narrative, connecting the formation of identity with life experiences. This book is the first extensive examination of the adaptive qualities of Maan's work within diverse areas of scholarship and practice, including cultural studies, gender studies, computer gaming, and veterinary medicine. United by their research application of Maan's theory, these scholars demonstrate the far-reaching implications of Internarrative Identity.



Published in Book chapters
Jos de Mul. Transnationalizing tragedy. Comment on Jürgen Habermas' lecture "How Europe faces the challenge of transnationalising democracy". Rotterdam, October 10, 2014.

Dear professor Habermas!

In the past decades, you have been an inexhaustible supporter of the Idea of Europe and of the European Union, as well as a profound analyst of the forces that threaten to undermine the ‘faltering project’ of Europe (to quote the title of the English translation of your book Ach, Europa). In the lecture you gave this afternoon, you focused on one of these threats: the democratic deficit of the European Union.

I fully share your enthusiasm for Europe. Just like you, my enthusiasm is closely connected with my personal history. Born a decade after the Second World War I had the privilege to grow up in a democratic and peaceful European welfare state, which enabled me, moreover, to enjoy the great variety of European culture. However, only in the past ten years, in which I had the opportunity to live and work in the United States and in China for some time, I became fully aware of the fact that I’m not only Dutch, but a European as well.

This does not mean that it is easy to define Europe.  Europe in many respects remains a mythic phenomenon. Even the most basic questions – What is Europe? Where is Europe? When is Europe? and (especially since the Euro crisis that has strongly  undermined the public support of the European Union) Why is Europe? – are very hard to answer.

Published in Online publications
Jos de Mul. The biotechnological sublime. Research Seminar Dutch Research School of Philosophy. Utrecht University, October 31, 2014.

State of the Art Aesthetics (2014) – OZSW and UU Graduate Course

Invitation / Call for applications

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Utrecht University invite PhD students/ PhD and ReMa students in philosophy to register for the course “State of the Art Aesthetics” to take place in Autumn 2014. There will be room for approx. 25 students.

Dates of course:               24 and 31 October, 14, 21, 28 November 2014 (5 Fridays)
Location:                            Utrecht University, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Van Ravensteijnzaal
Application deadline:          Friday 15 September 2014 (registration form for this course)

 

About the topic

Art is a practice deemed central to modern culture, but how is its importance to be conceptualised? The course presents a survey of approaches in philosophical aesthetics, by specialists in the field. All speakers presents their own approach as explicitly as possible: their philosophical tradition and methodology. The traditions may or may not intermingle in the course.

The subjects of the lectures present the contemporary debates, and range from questions about the philosophical discipline as a whole, and art as a practice, to questions about specific fields of application, such as particular art forms or aesthetic phenomena.

Published in Lectures
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