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Thing Is a Verb #exsum13

Sogeti Labs
October 11, 2013

Floridi Skip the TH since things are not, they are INGS. Of course, philosophy should be done after the drinks, professor Luciano Floridi lectured his audience. But at the Sogeti Executive Summit 2013, the organizers had chosen differently. My talk, Mr. Floridi carried on, is going to be painful. Like an appointment with the dentist. The problem is not going to go away and waiting will just make it worse. And even more worse: you yourselves are in charge. So if we are in charge, what’s the score? Relying on our senses does not help us very much. Most of the spectral frequencies mankind simply cannot perceive. Therefore we should uninstall our intuitions and install some philosophy instead. That, by the way, is the main reason for humans to philosophize anyway. Because we are so unbelievably ignorant. Science is of some help and aided us in finding atoms, electrons and even the Higgs boson or ‘God’ particle. However, these THINGS are so small that there are more atoms in a grain of sand than grains of sand on earth. Quite particular, isn’t it? Most of the universe is zero, empty space. It is so-called ‘dark matter,’ which means no matter. Therein THINGS is tiny little stuff compared to 99,99% of everything else. As Alfred North Whitehead famously said: ‘We make sense of reality as being made of things and properties but this is a construction. By taking THINGS as the ultimate furniture of the universe we commit the fallacy of misplaced concreteness.’ Or to quote Quine, another philosophical giant: ‘The very notion of an object at all, concrete or abstract, is a human contribution, […] Science ventures its tentative answers in man-made concepts, perforce, couched in man-made language, but we can ask no better. The very notion of object, or of one and many, is indeed as parochially human as the parts of speech; to ask what reality is really like, however, apart from human categories, is self-stultifying. It is like asking how long the Nile really is, apart from parochial matters of miles or meters.’ Hear, hear! Did you properly hear these eminent men? THINGS are language, so let’s skip the TH. They are merely INGS like in doings, countings, sayings. Things are verbs, adhering to Searle’s Speech Act Theory. Things are us, they are human behavior. No more and no less. Precisely that can make them useful and practical, and beyond this we should not dare go. ‘We are the interface and at this very moment I am the one between you and your drinks,’ Mr. Floridi ended. ‘So this is where I stop.’

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    2 thoughts on “Thing Is a Verb #exsum13

    1. Talk to Heidegger. He said this in 1927.
      Apparently, I need to take more time in posting this. But the author should consider the two introductions of Being and Time before pretending to make such bold proclamations. Been there, done that. No its time to give credit where credit is due.

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