BCSSS Member Yagmur Denizhan at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. A short review.

In April 2017 BCSSS Member Yagmur Denizhan visited the Xi’an Jiaotong University, China.

She was invited by the International Center for Philosophy of Information, School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Xi’an Jiaotong University  to give guest lectures in the fields of Information and Communication and on Simondon’s Theory of Individuation.

 

Lecture 1 „Information: How to approach the elephant?“

There is hardly any notion in science and philosophy that has been approached from so diverse and seemingly incompatible angles. The broad diversity of interpretations are obviously due to the diversity of needs, conditions and assumptions of different disciplines, as well as of different cultural and historical origins. It is particularly interesting to observe the tight coupling between information and form in the Western culture. This lecture aimed to provide an overview of the various approaches to information plotted against the historical background and analyse the entangled relation between the technological and philosophical aspects.

 

Lecture 2 „Simondon’s Theory of Individuation as a Unifying Ontogenetic Framework“

Gilbert Simondon (1924 –1989), a French philosopher who died rather early and remained forgotten until his gradual revival from 2000 onwards, has left behind a theory of individuation that offers an ontogenetic framework for applicable to all domains of Becoming. Many recent findings in various domains of scientific research, as well as models by science-philosophers from different disciplines seem to fit smoothly and jointly into this framework, which offers a processual understanding of information. In this lecture the basic Simondonian notions was introduced and a few examples were given how they can be applied to some models from different disciplines.

 


Prof. Yagmur Denizhan in the middle, on her left, Prof. Kun Wu, the director of the ICPI,
on her right, Postdoc Jian Wang who had spent half a year at the BCSSS.

 

Lecture 3 „Achilles’ Heel of Human Communication“

Communication as a process of information can be analysed at three basic levels: physical, symbolic and semantic. In computer (or machine) communication the first two levels are significant, while the semantic level does not exist as an independent level separable from the symbolic one. In human-to-human communication, however, the semantic level, which harbours great difficulties, plays a nontrivial role. Nevertheless, there exists something (?) that renders these difficulties surmountable, and constitutes both the foundation and the Achilles’ heel of all human affairs. This lecture aimed to emphasise the unique importance of this notion in human communication and individuation.

 

Yagmur Denizhan is Professor at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, Bogazici University, Turkey. She has been working in the areas of Systems Theory, Social Impact of Technology, Cognitive Science, Biosemiotics and Mythology.

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