My lack of blog entries lately is not due to lack of desire or effort; only a lack of time. Projects and request always seem to stack up all at once. That said, I do have some exciting things coming up soon and others on the horizon.
First, I am nearing completion on a short book that I will be distributing here, for free, titled Introduction to Philosophical Principles. This introduces key questions about the disciplines of logic, physics (or “natural philosophy”), and the human person, which are fundamental issues in any philosophical program. While some of my own theorizing about theses issues (drawing largely from the Thomistic tradition) is included, the book is intended more for the sake of probing than for the sake of answering.
Producing my own e-books also allows me to incorporate my lifelong interest in visual design–something you don’t get to do much of in the standard routes of academic philosophy–so that’s been fun. I came up with this cover image, using Leibniz’ diagram of an ars combinatoria (itself an attempt to visualize relations of the constituent elements of the corporeal world).
The rough draft of the book is complete, and I anticipate about 2-3 weeks of editing. I was initially hoping to have this completed by mid-February, but some other arising concerns have shrunk the amount of time I have been able to dedicate. This is something which happens frequently in the standard routes of academia; delays, deferments, and excuses.
Second, I have been invited to give two guest lectures in a phenomenology course and a public lecture at Aquinas College, March 19-20. The phenomenology lectures will cover Heidegger’s approach to phenomenology, in contrast to that of Husserl, as well as what “Being” or Sein means for Heidegger. The public lecture is titled “Artificial Intelligence and Concept Formation: An Inquiry into Being Human in the Age of Robots”. The lecture will touch upon many things–what AI can and cannot do, what it might someday be able to do, what distinguishes human thinking from robot “thinking”–but will focus upon the effects of algorithmic mediation on human thinking, not only the unintended but also the unrealized.
I hope to be able to take this lecture elsewhere. This is my first presentation being given to a general rather than specifically-philosophical audience (though I suspect, seeing as it is being sponsored by Aquinas College’s philosophy department, that much of the interest will come from that quarter). It is a challenge–not just for the presentation but generally, and one I am attempting to hone with the business of Continuum–to distill philosophical research and insight into language comprehensible without a PhD and years of study in the subject.
It does seem today to be a hot topic–discussion of AI is everywhere, but far too rarely do we find discussions of AI’s effects on our psychological state, and, moreover, it is often carried on with gross and inaccurate presuppositions (especially presuppositions of an essentially materialistic reductionist view) about the nature of the human intellect.
Additionally, I have been working piecemeal on a number of articles–both for publication here and elsewhere. One of these pertains to a project mentioned this past week. Two were recently published: this piece on Epoche Magazine concerning the synechistic philosophy of Peirce (which was picked up by Philosophy Matters, a link-curator with a 500k+ following on Facebook), and this piece on Lapsus Lima concerning the digital diaspora from the global village–the change that digital technology is affecting on our souls, as we move away from the television era.
The recent popularity has also led to an increase in communication. So: I’ve been busy. But stay tuned.