[spsp-members] Call for Contributions - Metaphors of the Mind (Technology and Language)

Alfred Nordmann nordmann at phil.tu-darmstadt.de
Sun Jan 15 23:09:55 UTC 2023

The ninth issue of "Technology and Language" has appeared, and with it a 
new call for contributions that appeals primarily to the study of 
computer metaphors, philosophy of mind, histories of cognitive science 
and technology, modelling practices.



The current issue “Mimesis and Composition” presents a collection of 
papers associated with the Padova Summer School on Philosophy and 
Cultural Studies of Technology (Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti, 
guest editors). It includes several explorations of the relation of 
technology and magic e.g. in regard to charismatic research programs 
(Mareike Smolka), on the mythical aura of the digital (Benedetta 
Milani), on New Phenomenology, sound, and atmospheric art and technology 
(Irina Oznobikhina). Natascha Adamowsky contributes a paper on play as a 
mode of experimentally exploring the world, others are dedicated to 
Santa Claus, Walter Benjamin, urban smellwalks, and the technical 
performance of magic. The issue concludes with a pair of papers on 
biomimesis and principles of composition, biorobots and gardenworks 
(Astrid Schwarz and Marco Tamborini).

New Call for Contributions:

“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)

Other open calls: „Mythologies. The Spirit of Technology in its Cultural 
Context“ (Deadline March 15, 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. By republishing Nichola 
Berdyaev’s 1933 essay “Humanity and the Machine” alongside new critical 
discussions, we hope to stimulate significant analysis of the modern 
myths of technology and transformations of humanity, treating technology 
in its broadest sense as including material, digital, medical devices 
and systems. Following on from Benjamin and Barthes, we would like to 
explore how myths of immortality, renewal, heroism and community 
coalesce around toys, plastics, and advertisements for the amenities of 
modern life. 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 

”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. While most science fiction and utopian texts 
typically query the future, some also develop symbols and codes, 
technologies of writing, a whole new language. 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. Emancipated from the 
demand for readability, they re-claim the value of an a-synchronized 
togetherness – a technical as well as aesthetic value. (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 Art)

Beyond the special topic, 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 
Feb 1, 2023 - these may include issues of science and fiction, the 
literary and artistic treatment of technological catastrophes, the 
languages of tastes and smells. Always welcome are contributions that 
explore the expressive qualities of technical design: how do prototypes 
as well as archaeological artefacts speak to us?

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).

Alfred Nordmann
Professor em. Institut für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt
Homepage www.philosophie.tu-darmstadt.de/nordmann

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