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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. Disruption, care and knowledge

    What does it mean and what would it take to: “establish, without hierarchy, all “that” which cannot be stolen from us: silence, a future, caring for the dead, daily freedoms, quality of life, physical and psychic health, long spans of time, the possibility of living and becoming; but also the ways that make it possible to prevent such thefts from taking place: proof of care, a climate of care, field surveys, the right to experiment, the productivity of vulnerability, and, more generally, furtivity—the clever and imaginative ways of dealing with life's and systems' hurdles” (Cynthia Fleury and Antoine Fenoglio 2022)? This colloquium is devoted to the need for imagining other ways of thinking health and care, ethical approach to health, patient-oriented and institutional care, interrogating medicalization and equally the chasms between the clinic and the world in a time of exacerbating inequalities and erosion of welfare.

  3. Technology and biology in the anthropocene: Overcoming the stasis

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The anastasis of philosophy — seminar

    The multiple crises of philosophy (conceptual, institutional, vocational, political, economic) which have constituted a situation of more than crisis—a criticalisation—from which philosophy will not be able to recover into anything resembling what it was in the past. However, these moments of crises also offer a chance to question what were properly philosophical evils and initiate an inventive era of philosophy which will be able to comprehend a new relation with other disciplines including the sciences, psychoanalysis, politics, and technology. The analytic of the stasis of philosophy began with the tradition of deconstruction through Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Bernard Stiegler. Today we already have glimpses of philosophy in anastasis, or the experience of philosophy coming over stasis. The four speakers will outline and discuss the other beginning of philosophy.

  7. Texts as technologies of community building: The contributive research approach

    The concept of ‘contributive research’ was introduced by Bernard Stiegler for the multiple, bifurcating ways communities of care are created and cultivated through the production of knowledge, as opposed to the consumption of information. From this perspective, participation in a community constitutes a transformative experience of trans-individuation, oriented toward the re-appropriation of technological artefacts as an ethico-political response to the global challenges of the Anthropocene. The concept shares many qualities with other strands of interventionist research such as collaborative, dialogical, action, practice and participatory research. In this virtual salon we intend to investigate the relevance of the ‘contributive research’ approach for the field of theoretical psychology, suggesting an open, experimental and hermeneutic process of trans-individuation where communities are built through the reflection on and discussion of scientific, aesthetic and other textual representations. According to this approach, and following Stiegler’s theory of grammatization, texts are technological artefacts which constitute communities by rendering knowledge technically reproducible and simultaneously subject to differentiation and bifurcation. We do not aim to present cases of the ‘application’ of contributive research as a ‘method’. Rather, we conceptualize 4 cases of the interaction of emergent communal care and agency with research and with other forms of representation.

  8. Fundamental theory and epistemology of biology, and applications to the anthropocene

    Biology is a science where, evolution possibly put aside, theories are not significantly developed. Nevertheless, at the theoretical and epistemological level, we argue that biology raises major challenges, notably in contrast with the theorizations of physics. In a nutshell, biology has to accommodate objects endowed with historicity: the ways they live are the result of their history, and they continue to generate history by the appearance of functional novelties. At the same time, they have organizations that require systemic understanding. We will introduce some aspects of this theoretical situation and show how it leads to peculiar vulnerabilities of the living that have acute manifestations in the Anthropocene. In that regard, we will discuss disruptions in biology, from ecosystems to early cognitive and psychological human development, and some responses to them.

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