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…

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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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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…

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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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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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Geef pedofielen legaal toegang tot levensechte, maar virtuele kinderporno: die oproep deden de seksuologen Erik van Beek en Rik van Lunsen maandag in deze krant. De maatregel zou mensen die worstelen met pedofiele gevoelens een onschadelijke uitlaatklep geven en - daar lijkt het de seksuologen vooral om te doen - misbruik van kinderen kunnen terugdringen.

Of het laatste klopt, daarover kan een filosoof natuurlijk niet veel zeggen. "Maar nog even los van de vraag of je hiermee het misbruik terugdringt, vind ik het een moedig voorstel", zegt wijsgerig antropoloog Jos de Mul (1956) van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. "Ze doorbreken hiermee namelijk een enorm taboe: pedofilie."

Jos de Mul, Information hunters in the newest stone age. Guest lecture at the School of Journalism and Communication, Henan Universtiy, Kaifeng, October 22, 2012.
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Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul, eLife. From biology to technology and back again, in P. Bruno and S.Campbell (Eds.), The Science, Politics and Ontology of Life-Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 93-107.

One of the most striking developments in the history of the sciences over the past fifty years has been the gradual moving towards each other of biology and computer science and their increasing tendency to overlap. Two things may be held responsible for that. The first is the tempestuous development of molecular biology which followed the first adequate description, in 1953, of the structure of the double helix of the DNA, the carrier of hereditary information. Biologists therefore became increasingly interested in computer science, the science which focuses, among other things, on the question what information really is and how it is encoded and transferred. No less important was that it would have been impossible to sequence and decipher the human genome without the use of ever stronger computers. This resulted in a fundamental digitalization of biology. This phenomenon is particularly visible in molecular biology, where DNA-research increasingly moves from the analogical world of biology to the digital world of the computer.[1]

In their turn, computer scientists have become increasingly interested in biology. One of the highly promising branches of computer science which has developed since the 1950s was the research into artificial intelligence and artificial life. Although the expectations were high – it was predicted that within some decades computers and robots would exist whose intelligence would exceed by far that of man – success remained limited to some specific areas, in spite of the spectacular development of information technologies in the past decades. It is true that, more than fifty years later, we have computers which can defeat the chess world champion, but in many areas toddlers and beetles still perform better than the most advanced computers. Top down programming of artificial intelligence and artificial life turned out to be much less simple than expected. This not only resulted in the fact that computer scientists started to study in depth the fundamental biological question what life basically is, but it also inspired them to use a bottom up approach, which consists of having computers and robots develop ‘themselves’ in accordance with biological principles.

Published in Book chapters
Jos de Mul, Keynote lecture at the conference  The Shape of Diversity to Come: Global Community, Global Archipelago, or a New Civility? Erasmus University Rotterdam, January 25, 2013. 

Shape of_Diversity_to_Come_Banner625The nation state, imagined as a formation encompassing a culturally unified people, is now straining under the challenges of globalization and the revolution in communication technology. This conference will consider the dynamic changes that are currently taking place with respect to cultural and religious diversity as a result of the explosion in communication technologies, address the conflicts they give rise to, and discuss the ramifications for both law and politics.

Two views on the impact of communication and information technology dominate the scholarship: one in which communication leads to the emergence of a global community and an interconnected global culture; and a second in which it leads to an archipelago of communities that do not necessarily converge with the boundaries nation states, i.e. to a cultural Balkanization of the world across national borders.

This conference will also address a third alternative. Instead of presenting the implications of the networked information and communication infrastructure in the opposing metaphors of a global community or a global archipelago, one can also argue for a normative understanding of what is at stake. Instead of endorsing either utopian notions of global community or dystopian fears of an Internet with walled gardens, one can vouch for an internet that allows for interconnectivity without accepting the increased personalization that leads to unprecedented surveillance and social sorting in both the private and the public sphere.

We hope this conference will be a stimulating gathering of scholars from different disciplines and increase our understanding of the legal and political implications of globalization and communication technology for national and cultural identity.

Published in Lectures
Jos de Mul, Understanding nature. Dilthey, Plessner and biohermeneutics. In:G. D’Anna, H. Johach, E. S. Nelson, Dilthey, Anthropologie, und Geschichte. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2013, 459-478. 

Wilhelm Dilthey, der Begründer der Philosophie der Geisteswissenschaften, starb am 1. Oktober 1911 in Seis am Schlern (Südtirol). Zum Gedenken an seinen 100. Todestag trafen sich Hauptvertreter der internationalen Dilthey-Forschung zu einem Symposion „Anthropologie und Geschichte“ in Meran vom 26. September bis zum 1. Oktober 2011. Mit der Titelgebung verband sich die Idee zu überprüfen, wie weit Diltheys Denken für heutige anthropologische Fragestellungen und die aus der gesellschaftlichen Globalisierung resultierenden Probleme von Diversität und Universalität fruchtbar zu machen ist. 
Die Herausgeber Giuseppe D´Anna ist Professor für Philosophie an der Università degli Studi di Foggia/Italien. Helmut Johach, Dr. phil., ist Mitherausgeber von Diltheys Gesammelten Schriften, Bd. XVIII und XIX. Eric S. Nelson ist Associate Professor am Departement of Philosophy der University of Massachusetts in Lowell/USA.

In Dilthey’s Lebensphilosopie, anthropology and history are closely connected. As Dilthey himself states in an often quoted remark: »Was der Mensch sei, sagt nur die Geschichte«.[1] However, for Dilthey history exclusively means cultural history. In order to develop a proper understanding of the historical condition of man, we should take natural history into account as well. After all, as a psycho-physical unity, Homo sapiens sapiens is the historical product of a complex interplay between both natural and cultural developments. Moreover, in the age of the life sciences, natural and cultural history seem to breach into one each other with an ever increasing tendency. Biotechnologies such as genetic modification, pathway engineering and genome transplantation transform organisms into cultural artifacts; and in the attempts to create artificial life (arguably the holy grail of synthetic biology), cultural artifacts increasingly display qualities that used to be restricted to organic life.

In the following, I will argue that Dilthey’s hermeneutics, especially his analysis of the triad Erlebnis, Ausdruck, and Verstehen, still offers a fruitful starting point for the development of a biohermeneutics that not only deals with human understanding and interpretation of human beings, (inter)actions and artefacts, but which also includes the understanding and interpretation of and by non-human agents. However, the fact that Dilthey, in his later hermeneutical writings often makes a rather dogmatic distinction between nature and culture, at first sight seems to be a serious obstacle for the development of a Dilthey-inspired biohermeneutics. For example, Dilthey explicitly denies the possibility of a human understanding of plant life: »Bedeutung oder Wert kann etwas nicht haben, von dem es kein Verstehen gibt. Ein Baum kann niemals Bedeutung haben« (GS VII, 259). The possibility of understanding or interpretation by non-human agents is not even considered by Dilthey. Despite that, I will argue that Dilthey’s later hermeneutic writings do contain some clues for the development of a biohermeneutics. I will further develop these clues with the help of the biophilosophy of Plessner and with reference to some recent developments in systems biology and neuropsychology.[2]

Published in Book chapters
Sunday, 12 August 2012 20:18

Redesigning Design

Jos de Mul. Redesigning Design. In Bas van Abel, Lucas Evers, Roel Klaassen, and Peter Troxler. Open Design Now. Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive. Amsterdam: Bis Publishers, 2011, 34-39.

 

The title of my talk today is “Redesigning (open) design” and the subtitle reads “Applying database ontology”. Let me start explaining this title, the question I want to address this afternoon and the answer I’m going to defend. One of the themes of Picnic 2010 is Redesigning design, of which (Un)limited Words and the (Un)limited Design Awards Ceremony are also part. In the program of Picnic 2010 the theme Redesigning Design is introduced as follows: “The design industry is going through fundamental changes. Open design, downloadable design and distributed design democratize the design industry, and imply that anyone can be a designer or a producer”. The subtext of this message seems to be that open design - for reasons of brevity I will use this term as an umbrella for the aforementioned developments, thus including downloadable design and distributed design – is something intrinsically good, so that we should promote it. Though my general attitude towards open design is a positive one, I think we should keep an open eye for the obstacles and pitfalls, in order to avoid that we will throw out the (designed) baby along with the bath water.

My talk consists of three parts. First I will present a short sketch of open design. I realize that most of you will be familiar with open design, probably even more familiar than I am, but as this concept has quite some different connotations and for that reason is prone to conceptual confusion, it might be useful to illuminate this tag cloud of connotations. In this first part, I will also summarize the main objections that can be (and has been) directed against open design.

Just like the other members of the ‘open movement’, such as open source software, open science, and open technology (as we will see, especially the open biology movement is an interesting example within this context), open design is strongly connected with the development of the computer and the internet. For that reason, in order to gain a deeper insight in both the chances and the pitfalls of open design, we should study the fundamental characteristics of the digital domain. In the second part of my talk I will give a sketch of the database ontology, the ABCD of computing, that underlies the digital domain. And finally, in the third part of my talk I will investigate some of the implications of this database ontology for the world of design. I will argue that in order to develop the positive aspects of open design without falling into the pitfalls, the designer should not so much give up his activities as a designer, but rather should redesign these activities. The designer of the future has to become a database designer, a meta-designer, who does not design objects, but rather a design space in which unskilled users are able to design their objects in a user-friendly way.

Published in Book chapters
约斯·德·穆尔 里斯贝思·努尔德格拉芙 《主权债务危机还是苏菲的抉择:论欧洲的悲剧、罪恶与责任》《社会科学战线》2012年第4期 [Jos de Mul and Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens. The sovereign debt crisis or Sophie’s choice. On European tragedies, guilt and responsibility, Social Science Front, no.4 2012, 1-5]

主权债务危机还是苏菲的抉择: 论欧洲的悲剧、罪恶与责任

[荷] 约斯·德·穆尔 1  摇里斯贝思·努尔德格拉芙 2

(1作者简介: 约斯·德·穆尔( Jos de Mul), 荷兰伊拉斯谟大学哲学系教授, 研究方向: 哲学人类学; 里斯贝思·努尔德格拉芙(Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens), 伊拉斯谟大学经济系副教授, 研究方向: 哲学、经济学。郾伊拉斯谟大学哲学系, 荷兰鹿特丹3000 DR; 2郾伊拉斯谟大学经济学系, 荷兰鹿特丹3000 DR)

摇摇摘要: 2011 年, 针对金融危机, 欧洲峰会叠起, 但效果不佳。 我们应该开始在金融领域之外进行深入 思考。 文章将以希腊神话中俄狄浦斯的故事及《苏菲的选择》 为例, 阐释悲剧的意义, 从而透视欧洲危机 的深层问题。 解决欧洲危机的关键在于唤起人的责任感。 新自由主义弊端开始在欧洲显现, 当前, 迫切需 要将政治与经济联系起来, 在政治和文化的意义上定义欧洲, 而不是纠结于金融政策的改革。

关键词: 欧洲; 主权债务危机; 悲剧; 责任
中图分类号: G02摇文献标识码: A摇文章编号: 0257-0246 (2012) 04-0229-05

Jos de Mul. Zeitenwende. Wie die digitale Revolution unsere Wahrnehmung von Geschichte verändert. Kulturaustausch. Zeitschrift für internationale Perspektiven. 59. Jahrgang, no. 3 (2009), 76

Der Computer ist eine Zeitmaschine. Er verwandelt unsere Wahrnehmung und er verändert unser Verständnis von Zeit. Mehr noch: Er untergräbt unser historisches Bewusstsein. Die digitale Welt revolutioniert unsere Zeiterfahrung.

In der westlichen Kultur ist das aus dem Altertum stammende zyklische Geschichtsverständnis unter Einfluss der christlichen Heilsgeschichte zunehmend der Überzeugung gewichen, dass sich Geschichte in einer unumkehrbaren, geradlinigen Bewegung vollzieht. Dieses historische Bewusstsein, das seinen Ursprung im 19. Jahrhundert hat, begreift die Wirklichkeit nur in ihrer chronologischen Entwicklung. In den Geisteswissenschaften interpretierte man Sprache, Moral oder Kunst aus ihrer Geschichte heraus. 

Geert Mul en Jos de Mul. God's browswer: the biotechnological sublime. Performance at the Next Nature Powershow. Amsterdam, Stadsschouwburg, 5 November 2011.

Philosopher and professor Jos de Mul and media artist Geert Mul set out to visualize God's Browser in a unique art-science collaboration. The result is a conceptual poem of words  and an excess of images. Welcome in the technological sublime.

The Next Nature Power Show is an intellectual spectacle where artists, scientists, designers, filmmakers, politicians and philosophers present their radical ideas, visionary statements and powerful images on how to design, build and live in Next Nature: the nature caused by people.

More about the NextNature Powershow at NextNature.net

Published in Performances
 
Jos de Mul, Popular culture in the age of digital recombination. Keynote lecture at the conference  Aesthetics of popular culture. Organized by the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava, and the Aalto University, Finland. Bratislava, 29. November – 1. December, 2012.

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Published in Lectures
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