Distinguishing the General from the Generic / Metalithikum / Pre-specificity / Thinking as an Algebraic Mechanist

Characteristica Designata V: legacies of philosophical realism

The distinctions I would like to draw involve whether and how learning can be considered a private activity or a personal one, whether and how we can think of it as being achievable by realizing ones potentials or by appropriating and identifying with the role of an intellectual princeps or master, or less Aristotelean and … Continue reading

Algebraic Concepts Characterized / Distinguishing the General from the Generic / Metalithikum / Pre-specificity / Thinking as an Algebraic Mechanist

Characteristica Designata IV: algebra as an undiscovered continent, and attempts to appropriate it as the symbolic positivity of ‘pure instrumentality’

In his classic textbook The Development of Mathematics (1950), E.T. Bell describes how abstract, symbolical Algebra appeared like an ‘undiscovered continent’ on the horizon.  Those who pushed the application of the symbolic method without dedicated political or economical commitment were ‘adventurers’, whom Bell calls ‘illegitimate Kings’ striving for ‘profit’: masses of young mathematicians were recruited, … Continue reading

Algebraic Concepts Characterized / Distinguishing the General from the Generic / Metalithikum / Pre-specificity / Thinking as an Algebraic Mechanist

Characteristica Designata III: an existential ‘genitality’ proper to symbolic numericalness

A resurfacing of the debate about amphiboly and concepts, and the relation of this theme to number theory,  took place in the 19th century and can perhaps best be associated with an address by Arthur Cayley, a British algebraist working on variational calculus and invariance-theory, to the the British Academy for the Advancement of Science … Continue reading

Algebraic Concepts Characterized / Distinguishing the General from the Generic / Metalithikum / Pre-specificity

Characteristica Designata II: Polynominality, and the question of structural amphiboly

“Bombelli [(1526-1572)] had given meaning to the “meaningless” by thinking the “unthinkable,” namely that square roots of negative numbers could be manipulated in a meaningful way to yield significant results. This was a very bold move on his part. As he put it: ‘it was a wild thought in the judgment of many; and I … Continue reading

Algebraic Concepts Characterized / Distinguishing the General from the Generic / Metalithikum / Pre-specificity / Thinking as an Algebraic Mechanist

Characteristica Designata I

This series of posts will focus a an old theme in philosophy, the idea that there can be a characteristics capable of expressing that of which we can say that it is a property of all things. My interest is to consider a shift in how we can relate to such universality which took place … Continue reading

»printed physics«
Metalithikum / Projective Theory of Technology

»printed physics«

»printed physics« war die erste Klausur in einer Reihe von Veranstaltungen, die ich am Laboratory for Applied Virtuality (CAAD, Institute for Information Technology in Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich) zusammen mit der Stiftung Werner Oechslin in Einsiedeln, Schweiz, organisiere.  Technology is not simply technology, it changes character over time. We suggest there is a … Continue reading

»domesticating symbols«
Metalithikum / Projective Theory of Technology

»domesticating symbols«

»domesticating symbols« war die zweite Klausur in einer Reihe von Veranstaltungen, die ich am Laboratory for Applied Virtuality (CAAD, Institute for Information Technology in Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich) zusammen mit der Stiftung Werner Oechslin in Einsiedeln, Schweiz, organisiere.  Technology is not simply technology, it changes character over time. We suggest there is … Continue reading