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Philosophy Before Artificial Intelligence (English)

Philosophy Before Artificial Intelligence (English)

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Published by Christopher Eby

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Published by: Christopher Eby on Dec 26, 2010
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08/09/2014

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PHILOSOPHY BEFORE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEFrançois Laruelle
This modus operandi covers a tripartite program:1)
 
The inventory of philosophy’s traditional critiques of Artificial Intelligence (AI);
 2)
 
The description of spontaneous philosophies that defend AI;3)
 
The problematical extension of AI towards philosophy, the idea of an “artificial philosophy” (
 A Phi
).What grounds this program that inscribes itself in the broader program of a
science of philosophy
?Instead of describing the codified practices of AI, one sought its intimate goal, its
télos
, in order to extend to philosophy what is by itself only all too ambiguous [
ce qui
n’est encore en elle qu’en pointillé 
]. This
télos
seemed to be the latter, for AI
corresponds to a “break” [
“coupure”
] or a scientific “revolution” in the problem of a
science of thought, science in this case being experimental and rooted in technology.It is quite another matter, consequently, for formulas to simulate thought. This break [
coupure
] has historical and mathematically precise conditions, particularly theinvention of logical methods, mathematics, and new technologies, which enable the
reduction
of thought to reasoning and that of reasoning to calculation.This break specifies a hyperopia and a retrospection, an upstream and adownstream [
Cette coupure définit un amont et un aval
].Upstream [
 En amont 
]: the old philosophical and fantastical project of a simulation(or mirror image) of thought by machine. AI brings about a schism in this traditionand seeks to situate the problem upon a controllable terrain that is both experimentaland scientific. The long-
term ambition of AI is to found a science of “general” reason
or thought,
which will extract from philosophy its last object. Hence the philosopher’s
necessity to compare himself to philosophy and to consider the future.Downstream [
 En aval
]: the project of AI can be radicalized and transformed oraugmented. We can regard it as the top of a cone the base of which would bephilosophy itself, no longer as
cognition
, which is only a limited concept of philosophizing reason; the opening angle would undoubtedly be science, but liberatedfrom its reduction to logic and the sciences, which, as in cybernetics and theneurosciences, are combined with it. Under the nay [
le non
] of 
 A Phi
,
 
which acts asour main thread, we try accordingly to plot the course that runs from AI, such as itexists, to a true
Science of the most exhibited thought, that is, of philosophy: a scienceof philosophy that is obviously no longer a philosophy of philosophy
like we findrealized in the History of philosophy. Put another way, we are entirely wary of unilaterally critiquing AI as philosophers (especially those of the continental variety)often do. On the contrary, we treat it as a symptom to diagnose and remedy
 — 
ratherthan, for that matter, as a ready-
made model to “transfer”— 
or dogmatically andpredispositionally [
induement 
] extend
 — 
to the philosophical Decision.

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Christopher Eby added this note
This is a brief explication of Laruelle's non-philosophical engagement with AI insofar as it elucidates a "decision" regnant in philosophy since its inception: that of making itself suffice for reality (or, as the reader will see Laruelle use the term, the real). This essay should be read in conjunction with "The Transcendental Computer."

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