Kneebone worries about the loss of skills in his profession, he sees the brilliant advancement of technology but believes manual dexterity, a feeling for the materials, how human tissue behaves and how it reacts, needs to be preserved. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger calls profound sensitivity to materials “relatedness”. It’s knowing how hard you can pull and how hard you can’t, which things can separate from other things and which things can’t, where you can use sharp scissors and where you can’t.
Last Friday, De Paul, Chicago, Heidegger Circle 2017.
Kate Withy, Richard Polt and Gregory Fried discussing Heidegger's singulare tantum, Tom Sheehan moderates.
I'm reading a book on general relativity by my namesake, and I'm starting to entertain the notion that for Ereignis to be a proper basis for ontology, it must apply to everything, not just dasein. But only dasein understands temporally. Two billiard balls come out of unconcealment and immediately withdraw in an flash of Ereignis. Wherever there is gravity, a clearing is possible. From this first beginning, explaining dark matter, dark energy, and uncanny action at a distance is left as an exercise; my gifts to physics students looking for dissertation topics. If only Aristotle had understood gravity, we'd a had a different metaphysics.
SCHOLAR: What is certain, however, is that the jug is a jug without itself thinking its essence; for indeed, it cannot think at all.
GUIDE: We would do well to leave even this still open.
My favorite talk was John Sallis's keynote address, where he explained the transformation of space-time into space and time. But I don't remember the steps, and it's not in the proceedings.
¶ 10:45 PM0 comments
For Heidegger, language was the “house of Being,” a conservative idea that ceded to language an anonymous power beyond human amendment or appeal. For Habermas, however, language is a fragile and cooperative project that comes alive only in the space between subjects. Open-ended and potentially universal in its reach, it is the house of mundane reason.
Nautilus interviews M.I.T.'s David Chapman on why robots can't dance.
The philosopher Hubert Dreyfus anticipated this technical impasse by more than a decade in his book What Computers Can’t Do. He drew on Heidegger’s analysis of routine practical activities, such as a making breakfast. Such embodied skills do not seem to involve formal rationality. Furthermore, our ability to engage in formal reasoning relies on our ability to engage in practical, informal, and embodied activities—not vice versa. Cognitive science had it exactly backward! Heidegger suggested most of life is like breakfast, and very unlike chess.
Heidegger didn’t have much to say about learning, but his insight that human activity is always social was an important clue. Phil and I took inspiration from several schools of anthropology, sociology, and social and developmental psychology (some of which had, in turn, been inspired partly by Heidegger). We began working toward a computational theory of learning by apprenticeship. “Robots That Dance” sketched parts of that. Shortly thereafter, we realized that turning these ideas into working programs was not yet feasible.