My main research encompasses, on the one side, the human mind, and, on the other, digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whereas both sides are often opposed, I find that understanding the possibilities of computational manipulation of meaning and experience require a fundamental reconsideration of classical concepts concerning mind and world. For instance, my prize-winning essay “The Computation of Bodily, Embodied, and Virtual Reality” investigates the significance of embodiment in the digital age. Another essay that recently won a ($10,000) prize investigates how the digitization transforms human orientation.
The Human Mind
I regards self and subjectivity as core features of the mind, for instance in my paper “The Embodied Self and the Paradox of Subjectivity.” Yet, I also consider the human mind is embedded in intersubjective meaning and culture, for instance in my co-edited book Embodiment, Enaction, and Culture (MIT Press). Vice versa, Subjective experience is fundamental for intersubjective meaning. Communication is usually much more than a calculus and rather proceeds, in Wittgenstein’s later expression, in language-games that often involve creative rule-following. This reveals a fundamental challenge digital processing of meaning is confronted with.
AI and Digitalization
Even very new technologies build on old conceptual developments. I investigate the dynamic development of thought and language over the centuries not out of mere historical interest but because I see the impact of that development in today’s concepts and ways of thinking. For instance, in my dissertation I analyzed the main steps of the mathematization (or digitization) of the world over the last four centuries, which stands behind the four main metaphysical accounts of colors today. In my research, I draw on quite different traditions, such as phenomenology, philosophy of mind and language, and metaphysics.