15. February 2024

Dr. Audrey Borowski discusses Hans Blumenberg's approach to Indeterminacy New publication by Dr. Audrey Borowski

In the latest volume of Mind and Matter Dr. Audrey Borowski shows how Hans Blumenberg offers a positive but also more nuanced approach to the question of indeterminacy than current algorithmic systems, whilst offering a corrective to its potential metaphysical drifts and dangers.

In her new article "The Absolutism of Data: Thinking Artificial Intelligence with Hans Blumenberg" (Mind and Matter, Volume 21, Number 2, January 2024, p. 167-190.) she explains that much of Blumenberg’s work addresses the same question at the heart of the digital namely how to address that which eludes conceptual capture. For Blumenberg theoretico-rational procedures will always be incomplete in addressing a radically contingent, unpredictable world.
Born deficient, man also needs “life-worlds” to orient us and shield us from the absolutism of reality. Digital life-worlds are possible to the extent, however, that they remain fictional mental constructs rather than aspire to be “literalized” and compete with reality.
Deployed properly, life-worlds ‐ in which such strategies as myth, rhetoric, pensiveness and more generally the art of detour play a crucial role and provide with the constant possibility of interruption and disruption ‐ do not make up for self-reinforcing and enclosed loops but allow for reflexibility, distance and criticality.
Instead of seeking to control reality and eliminate contingency ‐ futile tasks to begin with ‐ they offer flexible and resilient constructs that also cultivate the human realm.

Dr. Audrey Borowski

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