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· 189 ·· CHAPTER 5 · Logic and Object In the first two parts, we studied the concept of relations, which allows us to move away from the conception of objects as representations as well as allowing us to proceed from objects to systems. At the end of chapter 4, we left a question to be answered in Part III: the question of convergence as a philosophical task proposed by both Heidegger and Simondon. This is not only an interpretation of digital objects but also demands a consideration of the future development of digital objects. The answer is a “return to things themselves.” For Simondon, this means a return to technical objects; for Heidegger, it means establishing the ontological difference between objects and things. Our solution will also be to go back to digital objects, both to their technical components and to their working principles. Hence logic, the most fundamental aspect of computation, cannot be avoided. Before us is the philosophical task of answering the following question: what kind of logic would make it possible to produce a new type of reticulation in favor of convergence? This is the main question of this chapter, which proposes to address it by seeking a logic of the kind that Simondon calls transductive for the conceptualization of digital objects. I decided to go back to Husserl here, not only because Husserl is the originator of the slogan “back to things themselves,” but also because it will be valuable to retrieve what Husserl calls intentional logic, which was a critique of the formal logic or extensional logic of Frege and others. Husserl’s effort was to develop a logic that would be both formal and intentional. The debate between Husserl and Frege has rarely been addressed in computational theory. This chapter argues that the intentional logic can serve as a point of departure for the development of a transductive logic in the sense of Simondon. This will consist of a reflection on Husserlian phenomenology, whose key gesture is undermining the pure ego, as well as (if at all possible) enacting a reconciliation between Simondon and Husserl. 190 LOGIC AND OBJECT Toward a Transductive Logic If being-in-the-world has to be interpreted as being-in-a-technical-system, then Heidegger’s proposition could be read as an attempt to introduce new categories, which preserve the system and present it from a totally different perspective. When we ask ourselves how to understand a jug in terms of mortals, the divine, heaven and earth, we may feel we are faced with a joke: does the jug really have anything to do with the divine? If Heidegger succeeds, he will be able to bring this theological understanding back to things. This understanding may not affect the way the jug is produced and circulated, but it will at least transform how it is perceived and handled (Zen Buddhism can give us such an example). The jug hence regains a magical power that serves as a key point of convergence. For Heidegger, to move from objects to things, which is also the basis of a critique of formal logic (as is explained in chapter 6), is the fundamental project. For Simondon, classical logic constitutes an obstacle to thinking about individuation because “it requires that the operation of individuation be thought using concepts and relationships between concepts that only apply to the results of the operation of individuation, considered in a partial manner.”1 We can understand that there is certain rigidity in classical logic, in which relations only come from a predefined concept, whereby moving from one relation to another also implies moving from one concept to another. Such thinking is not a question of aesthetics. It seems that we can do many things with an interface; we can build different interactions within the limits of binary code, computational languages and hardware, and so on. These interfaces will produce effects that go far beyond the rigid logical limits. So are we to leave the lower-level abstractions intact as long as higher-level implementations are possible? I think this is why Simondon wants to distinguish aesthetic thought and philosophical thought, assigning to aesthetic thought the convergence effect of the primary level and to philosophical thought, because it always aims at fundamentals, the second level of convergence. For Simondon, the aesthetic impression is only effective in the first modality of bifurcation of magic power into technics and religions; in the second modality of bifurcation, where technics and religions, respectively, produced their own...


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