Reflections on Bionormativity

“If as many Google- enabled robotic devices get installed as Google hopes, Google may soon know the contents of your fridge, your heart rate when you’re exercising, the weather outside your front door, the pattern of electricity use in your home”

Bernard Harcourt - Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age

Authentication and Verification: Defining the Problem

Throughout his career, one of the central concerns for Foucault’s work was to investigate, analyze and offer a genealogical account of truth-telling as a mode of subjectivation. The notion of Biopolitics implies many different ways of conceiving the modern problem of truth-politics…


“Where Are We Now?” Agamben’s Intervention

This small 100 page book was written by Giorgio Agamben and it could turn out to be the “Communist Manifesto” of the 21st century. It addresses the most deeply hidden hypocrisies concerning the current pandemic and the lockdown measures. The title of the first chapter speaks for itself: “The Invention of the Epidemic”, and it only gets worse from there. Agamben makes several radical pronouncements in his work. The discourse revolves around the central claim that the Pandemic is a political order of things in and of itself. …


Let’s talk about ethical issues in machine law. Specifically, I want to discuss the question of Artificial Intelligence and legal personhood. Could we grant an A.I. civil rights and let it represent itself or get represented by a lawyer in a court of law? Roman Yampolskiy, in his inspiring article: AI Personhood: Rights and Laws, discusses the possibility of legal representation of A.I.’s, its role in business automation, problems, difficulties, moral dilemmas and possible solutions.

Non-human entities like legal firms, corporations and governments are known to possess legal personhood. Yampolskiy argues that certain legal rights and privileges could be granted…


Decolonizing Mathematical Knowledge

What happens after typing “sociology of mathematics” into the google search bar? The very first “suggested” result is mathematical sociology. A very curious outcome, considering the fact that mathematical sociology is in a way the exact opposite of a sociology of mathematics. Sociology of mathematics is a discipline that investigates the conditions that enable mathematicians to practice mathematics. Mathematical sociology is, on the other hand, one of many possible applications of mathematics. In the first case, the human lifeworld is ontologically primary; people engage in symbolic interaction in order to do mathematics, whatever that means. In the latter, mathematical entities…


Considering the old question: “What is philosophy?”

While completing my thesis at the University of Louvain, I began to wonder about the implications of the philosophical process. As many writers have noted before, the act of writing itself tends to re-sensitize the writer to the discrepancy, an almost insurmountable gap between thought, speech and the written word. Thinking back 5 years, when I first decided to take up philosophical writing as a vocation, that was exactly how long it took me to minimize the distance, between what I wanted to write and what I actually wrote. Considering how little I…


Reflections on George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Michel Foucault

It has become a fashion of dystopian writing and thinking to place George Orwell and Aldous Huxley side by side. Both writers were obsessed with power and the means to resist its all-pervading effects. But despite the clear similarities in subject-matter, they seem to offer very different accounts of the real danger behind power, as well as the means by which power gets a hold of us and how we can identify it to counter its influence. They offer varying interpretations of how power tends to either hide and reproduce itself anonymously or reveal itself in order to dazzle, scare…


Toward a Bio-Political Critique of Mathematical Language

The following text will attempt to provide a critical history, or counter-history of mathematical knowledge by combining the philosophical legacies of two prominent 20th-century thinkers. Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michel Foucault. Ludwig Wittgenstein offers one of the most controversial accounts of mathematical knowledge.

Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics has often been termed (radical) conventionalism. It entails the rejection of any Platonic abstract realm of mathematical entities along with Empiricist, Formalist, and Intuitionistic accounts of proof. According to Wittgenstein, mathematical objects do not exist, there are no mathematical discoveries, and mathematics as such is not descriptive, but rather prescriptive.

Mathematics imposes a set…


Part I: A Genealogy of the Fighting Self

The work will attempt to trace a genealogy for the institution of professional boxing. Applying Michel Foucault’s method of Archeology and Biopolitical critique, the aim will be to demonstrate several things. First, that boxing has not been constituted as a proper object of Connaisance and therefore exhibits the same elusive features as for instance, Foucault’s conception of madness and the psychiatric ward. Instead, there is a proliferation of discourses that each constitute pugilism in their own way, with only a partial convergence of definitions, techniques, maneuvers, strikes, guards, postures and other discursive and non-discursive formations and practices. The various techniques…


Awakening from the Boolean Dream

I decided to delve deeper into the literature on AI and Psychoanalysis. Obviously, this is a very narrow and under-investigated field. You can imagine my surprise when I found a 1988 article by Sherry Turkle titled Artificial Intelligence and Psychoanalysis: A New Alliance. I kept wondering whether a psychoanalysis of artificial systems would be a sub-branch of another emerging field called Machine Behaviour. Assuming the relationship between the two would be similar to the relationship between empirical behavioristic psychology and traditional psychoanalysis. …


I recently came across an article that caught my attention. Written just last year. It draws a parallel between AI and psychoanalysis. Which seemed until now two completely divergent fields. It argues that we can psychoanalyze an AI. But how would that make sense? Machine Behavior, an emerging field in “psycho-robotics”, argues that it does.

“We need to study AI systems not merely as engineering artifacts, but as a class of social actors with particular behavioral patterns and ecology (Possati, L.M. 2020).”

It seems that for the psychoanalysts of Artificial Intelligence, the unconscious is structured more like a machine, a…

Giorgi Vachnadze

Philosopher

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