Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: Agents that learn from perturbations of closed control loops are considered constructivist by virtue of the fact that their input (the perturbation) does not convey ontological information about the environment. That is, they learn by actively experiencing their environment through interaction, as opposed to learning by registering directly input data characterizing the environment. Generalizing this idea, the notion of learning (...) by experiencing provides a broader conceptual framework than cybernetic control theory for studying the double contingency problem, and may yield more progress in constructivist agent design. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: By analyzing Porr and Di Prodi’s model for addressing the double contingency problem, I try to take a step further by questioning the importance and implications of the loop concept in the constructivist approach.
Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: I acknowledge the value of Porr & Di Prodi’s piece for simulating Luhmann’s key process of subsystem formation and exploring how the concepts of “differentiation” and “binary code” relate to their model.
Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: There is merit to the continuous-signal-space homeostatic viewpoint on subsystem formation presented by Bernd Porr and Paolo Di Prodi; many of their ideas also align well with a heterostatic constructivist perspective, and specifically developments in the field of reinforcement learning. This commentary therefore aims to identify and clarify some of the linkages made by the authors, and highlight ways (...) in which these interdisciplinary connections may be leveraged to enable future progress. (shrink)
With the cascading effects of multiple ongoing health and economic crises, conditions are ripe for the emergence of a global progressive social project capable of moving us beyond business-as-usual and eradicating the fundamental causes of misery: namely, a global Green New Deal. But simply creating new "green jobs" within the current capitalist system is not nearly enough. If we are to take on climate change, it is imperative that we first of all engage in "system change," a process rooted in (...) socialism. Shifting beyond the American notion of the Green New Deal and adding vital internationalist dimension, A Left Green New Deal provides just such a blueprint for this worldwide undertaking. Written by Bernd Riexinger and his team in the German DIE LINKE [the left] Party, A Left Green New Deal unveils the powerful opponents of a genuine, left-wing Green New Deal-corporations, the wealthy, the ultra-rich and their political allies. But it also discloses the creation of a potent new counterforce, embodied in a left-wing mobilization strategy developed by DIE LINKE. This organizing model is based in "connective party politics"- transformative organizing practices that reach across class lines within and beyond the party. This essential book provides both a Left Green New Deal platform and the inspiration necessary to lay a path towards an alternate future. (shrink)
The author reflects upon her role as a public health nurse striving to attain practice authenticity. Client assessment and nursing interventions were seemingly sufficient until she became curious about ‘Who is this person sitting across from me?’ and ‘What are her experiences in the world as a lone parent living in poverty at the margins of society?’ The author begins to think that she could shift from mere client investigation to pure wonderment about the Other by imagining herself as a (...) researcher, an explorer of another's life world. Ultimately this process enables her to enhance the ‘caring’ in her practice with the knowledge gained of the perceptions and meanings impoverished clients assigned to their everyday lives. Jurgen Habermas’ theory of communicative competence serves as the reference map guiding exploration. The author uses Habermas’ theoretical principles of intersubjective mutuality – the validity claims of comprehensibility, truth, sincerity, and legitimacy. Comprehensibility embodies understanding, an attitude of unconditional acceptance, and care respect of another's individual person and self‐defined reality. Intersubjective mutuality also requires that one dwell in the moment with the Other, satisfied that communication is founded on truth. Sincerity implies fostering the Other's expression of authentic self apart from oppressive distracters. Lastly, legitimacy reconciles the author's altruistic pursuit to know the Other's ontological truth with the reality of the present world. (shrink)
In modern technical societies computers interact with human beings in ways that can affect moral rights and obligations. This has given rise to the question whether computers can act as autonomous moral agents. The answer to this question depends on many explicit and implicit definitions that touch on different philosophical areas such as anthropology and metaphysics. The approach chosen in this paper centres on the concept of information. Information is a multi-facetted notion which is hard to define comprehensively. However, the (...) frequently used definition of information as data endowed with meaning can promote our understanding. It is argued that information in this sense is a necessary condition of cognitivist ethics. This is the basis for analysing computers and information processors regarding their status as possible moral agents. Computers have several characteristics that are desirable for moral agents. However, computers in their current form are unable to capture the meaning of information and therefore fail to reflect morality in anything but a most basic sense of the term. This shortcoming is discussed using the example of the Moral Turing Test. The paper ends with a consideration of which conditions computers would have to fulfil in order to be able to use information in such a way as to render them capable of acting morally and reflecting ethically. (shrink)
Ethical issues of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are important because they can have significant effects on human liberty, happiness, and people’s ability to lead a good life. They are also of functional interest because they can determine whether technologies are used and whether their positive potential can unfold. For these reasons, policy makers are interested in finding out what these issues are and how they can be addressed. The best way of creating ICT policy that is sensitive to ethical (...) issues pertain to being proactive in addressing such issues at an early stage of the technology life cycle. The present paper uses this position as a starting point and discusses how knowledge of ethical aspects of emerging ICTs can be gained. It develops a methodology that goes beyond established futures methodologies to cater for the difficult nature of ethical issues. The authors outline how the description of emerging ICTs can be used for an ethical analysis. (shrink)
Ethical issues of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are important because they can have significant effects on human liberty, happiness, their ability to lead a good life. They are also of functional interest because they can determine whether technologies are used and whether their positive potential can unfold. For these reasons policy makers are interested in finding out what these issues are and how they can be addressed. The best way of creating ICT policy that is sensitive to ethical issues (...) would be to be proactive and address such issues at early stages of the technology life cycle. The present paper uses this position as a starting point and discusses how knowledge of ethical aspects of emerging ICTs can be gained. It develops a methodology that goes beyond established futures methodologies to cater for the difficult nature of ethical issues. The paper goes on to outline some of the preliminary findings of a European research project that has applied this method. (shrink)
Urban fragt nach der Literaturkenntnis Edith Steins in ihrem Lesen, Interpretieren, Ubersetzen, Theoretisieren, Dichten und Zitieren und arbeitet Praferenzen, Identifikationen und Schwerpunkte heraus. Die erstmals so zusammengefuhrten und mit ausfuhrlichen Textzeugnissen versehenen Daten und Fakten zeigen, wie ihre Denkwelt und karmelitisch-klosterliche Existenzweise dadurch gepragt wurden. Zugleich wird so ihre spezifische Anthropologie erkennbar. Im zweiten Teil wird nach der Wirkung und bleibenden Aktualitat dieser Anthropologie gefragt. Die Erfahrungen von Kreuz und Leid, Schrecken und Grausamkeit beruhren nicht nur tiefgreifend die Gottes- und (...) Lebenserfahrung der Karmelitin Edith Stein, sondern auch literarische Bewaltigungen und Konzeptionen von Le Fort und Camus bis Goytisolo und jungst Jonathan Littell. (shrink)
The contributors to _Constructing the Pluriverse_ critique the hegemony of the postcolonial Western tradition and its claims to universality by offering a set of “pluriversal” approaches to understanding the coexisting epistemologies and practices of the different worlds and problems we inhabit and encounter. Moving beyond critiques of colonialism, the contributors rethink the relationship between knowledge and power, offering new perspectives on development, democracy, and ideology while providing diverse methodologies for non-Western thought and practice that range from feminist approaches to scientific (...) research to ways of knowing expressed through West African oral traditions. In combination, these wide-ranging approaches and understandings form a new analytical toolbox for those seeking creative solutions for dismantling Westernization throughout the world. Contributors Zaid Ahmad, Manuela Boatcă, Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, Arturo Escobar, Sandra Harding, Ehsan Kashfi, Venu Mehta, Walter D. Mignolo, Ulrich Oslender, Isiaka Ouattara, Manu Samnotra, Aram Ziai. (shrink)
L’Euromed-MemoriaCarte, un projet initié dans le cadre de la Fondation Espace des savoirs Europe-Méditerranée, est une carte virtuelle des lieux de mémoire « euro-méditerranéens», tant en Méditerranée au sens strict que dans ses extensions en Europe et en Afrique subsaharienne. L’objectif de la carte, correspondant aux objectifs de la Fondation WEM, est de contribuer au développement d’une conscience « euro-méditerranéenne» par l’échange et l’intégration des savoirs dans un espace partagé euro-méditerranéen. En ce qui concerne particulièrement l’élaboration de la carte, il (...) s’agit de contribuer à la simplification et à la lisibilité de la masse et de la complexité des informations en faisant appel à un système de codage et de symboles qui se réfèrent à des lieux de mémoire. À travers ces lieux, chargés d’une superposition des savoirs des cultures des deux rives de la Méditerranée, la carte ne visualise pas seulement un héritage partagé mais aussi les enchevêtrements et le dynamisme culturels de l’espace euro-méditerranéen. Parce que les lieux sont vus à la fois de façon géographique et topographique, se pose alors la question de savoir si la carte est vraiment partie prenante du « tournant topographique» ou plutôt d’un tournant « post-topographique» qui prend en compte à nouveau les faits géographiques et historiques. Ce thème, ainsi que les concepts d’espace, de lieu et de mémoire sont discutés à la fin de la contribution. (shrink)
How does Christian ethics begin? This pioneering study explores the grammar of the Christian life as it is embodied and learned in worship as the formative experience of Christian communities. In a careful analysis of biblical and traditional conceptions of worship, Wannenwetsch demonstrates how worship challenges the deepest antagonisms in political thought and social practice. Particular worship practices are examined and their ethical and political significance is explored.
Stretching from Late Antiquity to the 18th century and including figures such as Leibniz as well as his Jesuit contemporaries, this book offers a survey of the extensive discussion devoted to the language of angels, one of the most lively and long lasting controversies in Medieval and Early Modern philosophy of language.
How can we best identify, understand, and deal with ethical and societal issues raised by healthcare robotics? This paper argues that next to ethical analysis, classic technology assessment, and philosophical speculation we need forms of reflection, dialogue, and experiment that come, quite literally, much closer to innovation practices and contexts of use. The authors discuss a number of ways how to achieve that. Informed by their experience with “embedded” ethics in technical projects and with various tools and methods of responsible (...) research and innovation, the paper identifies “internal” and “external” forms of dialogical research and innovation, reflections on the possibilities and limitations of these forms of ethical–technological innovation, and explores a number of ways how they can be supported by policy at national and supranational level. (shrink)
"Vortrèage von Bernd Dèorflinger... [et al.] auf der Gemeinschaftsveranstaltung der èOsterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, und der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz, am 8. und 9. Mèarz 1991 in Mainz.".
The reader will be familiarized with some inconspicuous additions to the theory of relativity and quantum theory, which concern the energy density in cosmic and sub-nuclear domains. These are seemingly technical details, but they make the extreme vividness of light and its speed understandable. We will also ask anew some questions that concern that apparently objective world, whose objectivity is not just a matter of self-evidence but is constantly being reconstituted in intelligent awareness. Thus, the vibrancy of the presence of (...) the world emerges as a most suitable basis for physical knowledge. Finally, we will discuss the sociological conditions, which, especially in the light of the increasing global epidemics, point to an impending disintegration, even to a collapse of civil society. While new strands of human, artificial and hybrid life forms are emerging, new aviation and nuclear time travel appear in a new light. Time as we knew it is gone forever. We experience both a time-out of time and time out of time. Only the happiest of us will keep our original shape and make our way across the galaxy. (shrink)
While work in modern corporations tends to take place in groups or teams it is not quite clear which status these groups have. Are they genuine agents or are they simply collections of individuals? The question is important because the answer is often held to determine whether collectives can be viewed as subjects ofresponsibility. This paper raises the question of collective responsibility and focuses on the impact the use of information systems has on it. Starting with an analysis of the (...) concept of responsibility it argues that the ascription of responsibility is admissible if it achieves certain social goals and it reviews the argumentsconcerning responsibility and collective subjects. Turning to information systems, it argues that their use can affect the process of ascribing responsibility both negatively and positively. It proposes the idea of ‘reflective responsibility’ and employs the reflective approach as a basis for using IS to support and enablethe ascription of collective responsibility. (shrink)
In this paper some parts of the model theory for logics based on generalised Kripke semantics are developed. Löwenheim-Skolem theorems and some applications of ultraproduct constructions for generalised Kripke models with variable universe are investigated using similar theorems of the model theory for classical logic. The results are generalizations of the theorems of .
The term “synthetic biology” is a popular label of an emerging biotechnological field with strong claims to robustness, modularity, and controlled construction, finally enabling the creation of new organisms. Although the research community is heterogeneous, it advocates a common denominator that seems to define this field: the principles of rational engineering. However, it still remains unclear to what extent rational engineering—rather than “tinkering” or the usage of random based or non-rational processes—actually constitutes the basis for the techniques of synthetic biology. (...) In this article, we present the results of a quantitative bibliometric analysis of the realized extent of rational engineering in synthetic biology. In our analysis, we examine three issues: (1) We evaluate whether work at three levels of synthetic biology (parts, devices, and systems) is consistent with the principles of rational engineering. (2) We estimate the extent of rational engineering in synthetic biology laboratory practice by an evaluation of publications in synthetic biology. (3) We examine the methodological specialization in rational engineering of authors in synthetic biology. Our analysis demonstrates that rational engineering is prevalent in about half of the articles related to synthetic biology. Interestingly, in recent years the relative number of respective publications has decreased. Despite its prominent role among the claims of synthetic biology, rational engineering has not yet entirely replaced biotechnological methods based on “tinkering” and non-rational principles. (shrink)
Wannenwetsch shows how worship challenges the deepest antagonisms in political thought and social practice through careful analysis of biblical and traditional conceptions of worship. Particular worship practices are examined for their ethical and political significance.
A game for testing the equivalence of Kripke models with respect to finitary and infinitary intuitionistic predicate logic is introduced and applied to discuss a concept of categoricity for intuitionistic theories.
Motivation: Classical definitions of information, such as the Shannon information, are designed for open loop systems because they define information on a channel which has an input and an output. The main motivation of this paper is to present a closed loop information measure which is compatible with constructivist thinking. Design: Our information measure for a closed loop system reflects how additional sensor inputs are utilised to establish additional sensor-motor loops during learning. Our information measure is based on the assumption (...) that it is not optimal to stay reactive and that it is beneficial to become proactive through increased learning about the environment. Consequently our information measure gauges the utilisation of new sensor inputs to generate anticipatory actions. We call this information measure "predictive information" (PI). Findings: Our PI is zero if the organism uses only its reflex reactions. It grows when the organism is able to use other sensor inputs to preempt reflex reactions and is able to replace reflexes by anticipatory reactions. This has been demonstrated with a real robot that had to learn to avoid obstacles. Conclusion: PI is a new measure which is able to quantify anticipatory learning and, in contrast to the Shannon information, is calculated only at the inputs of an agent. This information measure has been successfully applied to a simple robot task but its application is neither limited to a certain task nor to a certain learning rule. (shrink)