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Humanist Archives: March 20, 2021, 7:23 a.m. Humanist 34.290 - pubs: Wittgenstein; the algorithm concept

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 290.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2021-03-19 09:42:19+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: two new from CI

Many here will, I suspect, be glad for the following articles in
Critical Inquiry 47 (Spring 2021). I quote the last few sentences from each.

Lydia H. Liu, "Wittgenstein in the machine" (pp. 425-55)

> To conclude, what does the machine modeling of the philosophical
> distinction between ideograph and logos accomplish? The answer is
> that the machine sets a contextually-based analysis of semantic
> patterns in motion; it means that the machine promises to measure up
> to the ambiguity and multiplicity of word meanings, analogies,
> metaphors, human creativity, and fallibility in language use; and it
> means that machine learning and AI technologies have been part of a
> major philosophical breakthrough even if their practitioners remain
> unaware of it. In that sense, the computable thesaurus is the
> philosophy machine Masterman and her team invented to bring the
> post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of language into being.


Mingyi Yu, "The algorithm concept, 1684-1958" (pp. 592-609)

> Tarrying with the algorithm concept’s deep history shifts the focus
> from that concept’s fixation on automation to an assessment of the
> conditions which lead it to be framed in that way. More importantly,
> it also provides an opening for the expanded critical imaginaries for
> what else an algorithm could be.

Read them tonight!


Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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