[spsp-members] CfPs: Hermeneutics of Science and Technology (and World of Games) - Technology and Language

Alfred Nordmann nordmann at phil.tu-darmstadt.de
Sun Apr 23 22:43:59 UTC 2023

The tenth issue of "Technology and Language" has appeared, and with it a 
new call for contributions that is primarily addressed to philosophy, 
cultural studies of technology and art, semiotics and hermeneutics.



The current issue features submitted papers that contribute to various 
ongoing discussions in the journal. The philosophical discussion of the 
work of Ernesto de Martino adds to the analysis of Technology and Magic 
in issue 3:4. Two papers are the first in a series on hermeneutic 
approaches to science – one regarding the authors and readers of 
experiments, the other on the question of “understanding” quantum 
mechanics. Three papers query on a fundamental level the conflation of 
technology and language and whether this conflation might prove 
productive, e.g., in respect to “computer languages” or the notion of 
“composition” in music, language, and programming. A third paper 
discusses two Wittgensteinian interpretations of technogrammar. Origami 
and the art of folding collapse three-dimensional complexity onto a 
surface, thus providing a technical method for mapping distance and 
proximity, for understanding Actor Network Theory and thus for providing 
a view of the social. Three empirical studies consider how technical 
gaming cultures can creatively expand and transform language, and how 
language acquisition benefits from team-work on technical platforms.

New Call for Contributions:

„Hermeneutics of Technology“ (Deadline: Dec 5, 2023) —  For a long time, 
hermeneutics was confined to the humanities and arts, to legal and 
religious studies, and to the exegesis primarily of texts. In recent 
years, however, the hermeneutics of science and technology came into its 
own, along with questions of „scientific understanding“ or „hermeneutic 
Technology Assessment,“ and along with the challenges posed by 
Artificial Intelligence or quantum technology which appear to elude 
human comprehension. Sense-making becomes especially important in a 
so-called culture of prediction, robustness, and reliability - and 
hermeneutics provides suitable methods for sense-making as well as 
observing and appreciating the various ways of making sense. Expanding 
the reach of the hermeneutic approach does not imply, therefore, that it 
now includes all forms of discourse-analysis or interpretation. In 
regard to science and technology as well, we can consider the 
transformative act of „reading“ within a horizon of meaning. Thus the 
consideration of an experiment or a historically significant device can 
remind us of their proximity to philosophically significant art-works. 
We invite contributions from philosophy, cultural studies of technology 
and art, science studies. There will be the possibility to present some 
draft-papers at a Chinese-German workshop on Hermeneutics of Science and 
Technology on June 2 and 3, 2023. (guest editors: WU Guolin and LUO Dong)

Other open calls (shortened): „Mythologies. The Spirit of Technology in 
its Cultural Context“ (expressions of interests until May 2, 2023): This 
special issue is concerned with technological developments in relation 
to state sponsorship and how these implicate myths of progress. 
Simultaneously, we wish to explore how scholars have explored 
technological determinism and critiqued techno-cultural imaginaries of 
national destiny. The different use of technologies in response to Covid 
19 has amplified the difference of national attitudes in national 
contexts, raising anew “The Question concerning Technology” in Europe, 
Russia, China, or the United States. (Guest editors: Coreen McGuire and 
Natalia Nikiforova)

”Future Writing“ (Deadline: June 5, 2023): Starting from a Derridean 
grammatological review of the act of writing today, this special issue 
invites us to consider writing-the-future along with the 
future-of-writing. The question is framed by our contemporary 
experience: Writing and the memory of the hand are becoming obsolete by 
way of typing and other technical proxies. At the same time, Chinese, 
Arabic, Roman typographies assume a new visuality and transformative 
power that veers toward the asemic, reminding us of enactment and 
embodiment in the digital world. (Guest editors: Dajuin Yao and Nikita 
Lin, originating from an intermedia investigative project by Dajuin Yao 
and the Open Media Lab at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of 

“Computational Models and Metaphors of the Mind” (Deadline: September 5, 
2023) Is the meaning of a text accessible to machine learning? Questions 
like these have become ever more puzzling. Mind, behavior, and machine 
are configured differently at different times, in different research 
programs. This concerns questions of intelligence, technology, and 
language: What is consciousness, is it possible to artificially 
reproduce it? What is a language in terms of information theory and data 
models? Can a language be expressive without ontology or semantics? How 
significant are shared features of brains and computers – e.g. neural 
networks, and how significant are the differences between human and 
machine intelligence – e.g. conceptual vs. statistical thinking? (guest 
editor: Pavel Baryshnikov)

Beyond these calls for special topics, any submitted paper and 
interdisciplinary exploration at the interface of technology and 
language is always welcome. The next deadline for submitted papers in 
English or Russian is May 1, 2023 - these may include issues of science 
and fiction, the literary and artistic treatment of technological 
catastrophes, the languages of tastes and smells.

Finally, a brief announcement of the conference „The World of Games: 
Technologies for Experimenting, Thinking, Learning“ (proceedings will be 
published in the Springer Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems). 
Gamification affords understanding of proper functioning, successful 
performance, and strategic cooperation, but is there also a loss? 
(Deadline July 10, 2023)

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to 
soctech at spbstu.ru or to Daria Bylieva (bylieva_ds at spbstu.ru) and Alfred 
Nordmann (nordmann at phil.tu-darmstadt.de).

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