'Descartes: From Technology to Metaphysics'
18th January 2021
Professor Hanoch Ben-Yami (CEU) will be our next speaker. His abstract is below:
Contrary to common interpretations, I show that Descartes developed much of his innovative and influential metaphysics not by arguments of the kind found and advocated in his Meditations. Rather, influenced by the technology of his age, primarily automata technology, he revised received views of life, soul and mind. Even the cogito, that cornerstone of his Meditations project, which is allegedly derived through casting everything in doubt, is in fact a result of his synthesis of old views with new technological horizons. I continue to show, concisely, how Turing’s revolution 300 years later is a result of a similar synthesis, in dialogue with Descartes’. On a meta‑philosophical level, the deeper forces shaping our philosophical worldviews are shown to differ, often, from those exhibited on the pages of our papers.
Date: 18th January 2021
Time: 6pm-8pm (GMT)
Joining instructions will be sent nearer the time.