Posts Tagged 'Marshall McLuhan'

Evolution, Extinction or Extension: What is the Risk of Adopting the Wrong Anthropic Principle?

The most recent paper continuing the work on human extension was published by EHU’s journal Topos.

Abstract:

The paper explores two main themes in science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse: anthropic principles and transhumanism. After providing a brief history of the first theme, it cautions about potential dehumanisation from adopting the wrong anthropic principle as a kind of ‘disanthropic’ reasoning. Part of the solution is to reclaim a proper meaning of ‘anthropic’ for the social sciences and humanities beyond the natural sciences of physics and cosmology or statistical probabilities. The second theme is investigated both in theistic and nontheistic variants as they influence what is meant by ‘human’ in the context of evolution and development. Transhumanism is portrayed in terms of both risk and reward with the rise of neoeugenics and biotechnological human enhancements. The paper closes by briefly acknowledging Human Extension (Sandstrom 2011, 2014) as a reflexive anthropic principle that can be applied in social sciences and humanities to help overcome the ideologies of naturalism and scientism. The Human Extension approach focuses on choices and actions that bring into relief the eschatological claims of some transhumanists and posthumanists who speak disanthropically about human extinction due to technocratic artificial intelligence or who deny human exceptionalism and instead promote species egalitarism among earthly creatures.

Keywords:

anthropic principle, anthropic reasoning, evolution, naturalism, transhumanism, dehumanisation, human extension

http://topos.ehu.lt/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Topos-2-3_2014-Sandstrom.pdf

The Social Epistemology of Human Extension – Presentation

Video Presentation by your blog’s host starts at: 30:55

Conference: Future Fundamentals of Social Epistemology

Session Title: Humanity 2.0 and the Extended Humanities

Co-moderators: Gregory Sandstrom and David Budtz Pedersen

Venue: Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Date: July 30, 2014

Title: “The Social Epistemology of Human Extension”

Session Abstract:

Extended cognition is the hypothesis that the reach of the mind need not end at the boundaries of the human body. Tools, instrument, technologies and other physical and social infrastructures can under certain conditions count as parts of human cognitive activity. The separation of mind, body, and environment has been imperative throughout the philosophical tradition. Yet, external objects play a significant role in facilitating cognitive processes. Directions written down in a notebook or on a digital device can serve the function of memory. In the not so distant future, one may imagine a biological being that retains information in non-neural ways (e.g. prosthetics to support memory). In this way, cognition is extended into the world through different media. Continue reading ‘The Social Epistemology of Human Extension – Presentation’

Human Extension – Book Publication

It’s a great pleasure to announce the publication of my first book – Human Extension: An Alternative to Evolutionism, Creationism and Intelligent Design. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

9781137464880.indd

This introductory book critiques the Intelligent Design Movement and its ideology, in addition to documenting the exaggeration of ‘evolution’ as a biological theory into the ideology of ‘evolutionism’. The ideology of ‘creationism’ is given rather short thrift as unfortunately linked with fundamentalism and biblical literalism in the USA. This does not, however, discount theistic views of Creation across a range of beliefs. Of main interest is the idea of Human Extension and how it impacts the current landscape of views involving origins and processes of change-over-time.

Thanks are expressed to the editors at NewGen and to the management at Palgrave Macmillan for their patient and consistent work on bringing this text to print in the Pivot Series.

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/human-extension-an-alternative-to-evolutionism-creationism-and-intelligent-design-gregory-sandstrom/?K=9781137464880

http://books.google.lt/books?id=2eRABAAAQBAJ&dq=sandstrom+%22Human+Extension%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Human Satellites and Creative Extension – SERRC

This was a risky short paper in response to a provocative article by Russian philosopher Lyudmila A. Markova at the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. The initial paper left out the ‘many worlds’ perspective, i.e. that human beings may perceive ourselves as living in a ‘human multiverse.’ I thought it would be helpful to add it as a brainstorming possibility. Quite openly, I ask for feedback from anyone with thoughts about it: “Do the satellites extend (as technologies, media, cognition) from human beings or are we all self-sustainable ‘worlds’ around which our satellites fly in a greater social epistemological multiverse?”

This is an on-going discussion related to extended mind and human extension, soon with a visit to the extended knowledge project.

http://social-epistemology.com/2014/02/23/human-satellites-and-creative-extension-gregory-sandstrom/

Continue reading ‘Human Satellites and Creative Extension – SERRC’

4 Causes and 4 Effects: “Intelligent Design Movement” and “Darwinian Evolution”

               “The combination of the four causes and the four effects is the most comprehensive and capable framework that has been developed so far whereby to evaluate the impacts and implications of new technologies.” – William Sheridan (“The Paradigm Shift of the Information Age,” 1990)

In response to Aristotle’s Four Causes – Material, Efficient, Formal and Final – 20th century culture, media and technology theorist Marshall McLuhan – the so-called “Sage of the Wired Age” – came up with Four Effects: Retrieval, Reversal, Obsolescence and Enhancement (or Amplification). This blog post briefly outlines the Four Effects and then applies them along with Aristotle’s Four Causes to two contemporary topics: the Intelligent Design Movement and Darwinian Evolution.

The Laws of Media: Four Effects

Viewed in the form of a (here sequential, but meant as simultaneous) tetrad, Marshall McLuhan poses the following questions about media:

A. “What recurrence or RETRIEVAL of earlier actions and services is brought into play simultaneously by the new form? What older, previously obsolesced ground is brought back and inheres in the new form?”

B. “When pushed to the limits of its potential, the new form will tend to reverse what had been its original characteristics. What is the REVERSAL potential of the new form?”  

C. “If some aspect of a situation is enlarged or enhanced, simultaneously the old condition or un-enhanced situation is displaced thereby. What is pushed aside or OBSOLESCED by the new ‘organ’?”

D. “What does the artefact ENHANCE or intensify or make possible or accelerate? This can be asked concerning a wastebasket, a painting, a steamroller, or a zipper, as well as about a proposition in Euclid or a law of physics. It can be asked about any word or phrase in any language.” (Laws of Media, 1988)     

Continue reading ‘4 Causes and 4 Effects: “Intelligent Design Movement” and “Darwinian Evolution”’


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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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