In Der Spiegel’s famous interview with Martin Heidegger, he proclaimed that cybernetics is the new philosophy. Many decades later, Heidegger's pronouncement appears prescient. Our age is one of ubiquitous digital technology, media, and algorithm — one in which social relations are rendered as networks, intelligence and cognition are conceived in terms of information processing, and humanity is believed to be replicable as programmable 'artificially intelligent' machinery.
While this new age precipitates utopian declarations of connectivity and democratization, there has also been continuous disquiet as to the social and political effects of the cybernetic orientation toward control. Cybernetics, however, is not a unitary field. Its concepts, orientations and logics are not exclusive to automation and “intelligent” automata, but surface in other domains, including but not limited to biology, psychology, and linguistics.
Thus, cybernetics has a complex legacy spanning a range of disciplines as well as different geographical regions. How do we evaluate the legacy of cybernetics? In what domains do we find cybernetic logics being applied or contested? This symposium responds to these issues and questions through engagements with cybernetic ideas in diverse areas of thought.
Center for Philosophical Technologies
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