Abstract for roundtable discussion 2004 - Southeast European ...

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6/29/2004

Abstract for Southeast European Centre for Semiotic Studies
at New Bulgarian university, 10
th

Early fall School of Semiotics,
15
-
25 September, 2004, Sozopol, Bulgaria


A Cybersemiotic understanding of Cosmos, Infos and Semios:

The role of semioti
cs in creation of worldviews for integrating scientific visions of
manipulation of nature and mind into cultural views of meaning, human nature, ethics and
knowledge that shapes our design of organisations, communication and their technologies.


Søren Brie
r, Copenhagen Business School, Dept. for Management, Politics and Philosophy,
Philosophy group, Denmark.
sbr.lpf@cbs.dk

. Ed. Cybernetics & Human Knowing.


European culture stands in a watershed when it comes to make

the final step into a knowledge
culture. Either we can stay with our mechanistic understanding of knowledge and rationality that we
developed through the Renaissance and made central to our civilization and culture in the
Enlightenment or we can deepen th
e foundation to encompass human embodiment, first person
experience and life world practice. From the Greeks we inherited the idea of a well
-
ordered and
mathematically beautiful Cosmos, on which we in the Renaissance build the foundation of the new
mechani
cal physics. It is the belief that rationality and the order of the world fit a divine order of
logic and mathematics. As Prigogine has shown then from Laplace and forward the belief was
founded that the physical world you be explained in one mathematical
formula.


a ‘world formula’.
This was what Laplace took out of the Enlightenment. That is one of the reasons that Russell and
Whitehead tried to unite logic and mathematics in their Principia
-

and that Gödels incompleteness
proof was such a chock for the

mathematical view of Hilbert. Physics has continued the search for
the world formula. The paradigm has “spilled over” into the search for the genetic algorithms and
artificial intelligence. As Lakoff has shown, then it has created a myth of abstract un
-
em
bodied
intelligence as the highest goal of knowledge. This idea of intelligence and knowledge based on the
paradigm of the bit and the Turing machine has carried us a long way. It is now called
the
information processing paradigm of cognitive science.



Th
e present paper is based on the hypothesis that the usefulness of the informational paradigm has
been less and less for the modern complicated problems such as the deeper understanding of the
human
-
computer interaction and how to integrate the computer, I
nternet and robots in our culture in
a way that support human development and do not destruct the centre of European culture, whit its
respect for the uniqueness and rights of the individual human being. We need to know more about
the relation between hum
an meaningful signification and communication and the meaningless
algorithmic processing of information. We need to know more about how embodied and un
-
embodied information/knowledge differ, and we need to know more about the interaction between
culture an
d embodied knowledge. Knowledge seems to be both in the body, in the mind as first
persons experiences (the phenomenological aspect of reality) and in the conscious use of language.
These three levels seem to interact in complicated ways.
We know that we
are a kind of linguistic
cyborgs, because our individual minds become programmed with language and through that culture.
But how can we learn to reflect the technical
-
cybernetics, the biological, the phenomenological and
the social
-
linguistic in one broad
transdisciplinary non
-
reductionistic framework? Can a
Cybersemiotics encompass Cosmos, Infos and Semios at the same time?