Culture Magazine

McCulloch, Computers, and New Forms of Abstraction

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
Leif Weatherby, Digital Metaphysics: The Cybernetic Idealism of Warren McCulloch, The Hedgehog Review, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 2018)
McCulloch never thought the real would yield to data; nor did he ever think humans would defer to their machines. Instead, he saw that the machines would make new principles of abstraction—new kinds of cognition—available. It was a kind of mutated Kantian question. Kant had wanted to know how much mind is in the world, and McCulloch thought the sum might shift. That is, the shape of the relation between abstraction and the real might change with the new machines.

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