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  1. Understanding living beings by analogy with computers or understanding computers as an emanation of the living

    Understanding living beings by analogy with computers or understanding computers as an emanation of the living

    trópoς. Rivista di ermeneutica e critica filosofica

    A new look at theoretical computer sciences by changing perspective with a biological approach.


    The analogy between living beings and computers was introduced with circumspection by Schrödinger and has been widely propagated since, rarely with a precise technical meaning. Critics of this perspective are numerous. We emphasize that this perspective is mobilized to justify what may be called a regressive reductionism by comparison with physics or the Cartesian method.
    Other views on the living are possible, and we focus on an epistemological and theoretical framework where historicity is central, and the regularities susceptible to mathematization are constraints whose existence is fundamentally precarious and historically contingent.
    We then propose to reinterpret the computer, no longer as a Turing machine but as constituted by constraints. This move allows us to understand that computation in the sense of Church-Turing is only a part of the theoretical determination of what actually happens in a computer when considering them in their larger theoretical context where historicity is also central.

  2. Principles of Beginning

    • D Dwivedi
      D Dwivedi
      S Mohan
      S Mohan
      M Montévil
      M Montévil
    • en
    • 10h30-12h30, Salle des Actes, École Normale Supérieure

    The other beginning of philosophy arrives through a rethinking of the very meaning of beginning. The beginning in this case involves those philosophical works and intuitions from out of which one begins. The political and ethical questions arose from within and from outside of the philosophical archives of the past that are also demanding a new sense for "the history of philosophy. The deepest pre-conceptions of metaphysics which informs the sciences are being evaluated from out of the stasis in which several of the scientific pursuits find themselves today. For these reasons, the meaning of beginning is nothing simple.

  3. K as in "kaleidoscope"

    This webinar will be our eleventh meeting within the series of The Alphabet of Complexity webinars. The letter K (as in “kaleidoscope”) will guide us through the main questions of the day: What are the paradigms we live by? What are the implications of research which is genome-centred and how to compare it with the research based on the organism-oriented scientific paradigm? The lectures of three key speakers (Giuseppe Longo, Angelika Hilbeck, Maël Montévil) will be followed by a discussion on how these specific paradigms can inform our actions for the purity of seeds and against GMOs.

  4. Intersecting paths across mathematics, biology, and epistemology: A colloquium in honor of Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto

    In this colloquium, we celebrate the 75th birthdays of Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto. We have chosen to show their distinct trajectories and then how they intersect while working on the foundations of theoretical knowledge with a biology focus. In this respect, both Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto maintain a close relationship with philosophy and philosophers. At the same time, both are also involved in “the life of the polis”, this is, addressing the repercussions of science in society and the environment, both as scientists and intellectuals.

  5. Disruption, care and knowledge

    Disruptions are described in both the cases of biological organizations and human health int he scientific literature, but without a precise conceptualization of this notion yet. We have argued that disruptions are the loss of past novelties that contribute to an organization (first order disruptions) or of the ability to generate such novelties (second order disruptions). We focus on a specific case of disruption, the disruption of babies and toddler cognitive and psychologicological developpement by digital media, and the response that was developped with Bernard Stiegler and experimented in Saint-Denis (France), namely contributive research where care puts knowledge at the forefront.

  6. Technology and Biology in the Anthropocene: Overcoming the Stasis

    • M Montévil
    • en
    • HSS Tuesday Seminar
    • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India

    Technology and sciences, notably biology, have entered a stasis whereby the nature of the answers provided are remarkably unchanging. For example, most of biological technoscientific research aims to fix problem by finding a molecule that would interact with an intended target. We argue that this stasis is the result of a decline in theoretical work, and notably a weak relationship with philosophy. Then theoretical shortcomings and contradiction are no longer overcome by renewed perspectives, instead outdated frameworks remain undead leading to inconsistent discourses. To overcome this stasis, we propose to introduce a bastardized epistemology, both in biology and technology, that would articulate both systemic and historical reasoning.

  7. Penser au-delà de l’identité : philosophie et sciences

    Penser au-delà de l’identité : philosophie et sciences

    Philosophy World Democracy

    Si la philosophie est entrée en stasis et se porte vers un nécessaire Autre Commencement de la Philosophie, alors les sciences aussi sont à un autre commencement.


    Ce texte est le séminaire public donné le 31 mai à l’École Normale Supérieure de Paris. Les sciences se sont écartées de la philosophie. Si la philosophie est entrée en stasis et se porte vers un nécessaire Autre Commencement de la Philosophie, alors les sciences aussi sont à un autre commencement. L’Anastasis des sciences exige une enquête sur la persistance des concepts théologiques en leur sein et en même temps la découverte de nouveaux principes par lesquels les sciences peuvent recommencer de telle manière qu’elles soient libérées des fardeaux métaphysiques. Les homologies d’un autre commencement des sciences sont déjà visibles dans les crises conceptuelles, y compris dans les concepts de singularité en physique et d’immunité en biologie. Pour commencer à nouveau, une épistémologie bâtarde est proposée comme nouveau rapport entre les sciences et la famille bâtarde de la déconstruction.

  8. How should we think scientifically about biological objects?

    • M Montévil
    • en
    • Recording available
    • Seminar of the History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab
    • History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab, Universidade Federal da Bahia

    Scholars used Aristotelian reasoning in combination with theology to understand living beings, leading to natural theology, where god was the guarantee of biological norms. Transformism, notably Darwin, provided an alternative to this view; however, this alternative had to be acknowledged by scientists when the model of science was classical mechanics. It followed that thinking about biological objects remained similar to physics thinking, where norms are laws, or at least invariants and symmetries. The recurring analogies with technological objects, recently computers, as viewed by engineers (and not users or anthropology) also contributed to this theoretical and epistemological bias and confusion. On the opposite, we can think about biological objects differently, on renewed theoretical bases, by starting from theoretical principles that are sound in this field. Then, instead of fast analogies, numerous new questions, methods, and reasoning have to be fleshed out.

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