Juan Luis Gastaldi: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021
|Dr. Juan Luis Gastaldi
Professur für Informatik
ETH Zürich, OAT W 17
|Humanities, Social and Political Sciences
|History of Formal Logic: The Emergence of Boolean Logic
|J. L. Gastaldi
|The invention of Boolean logic in the middle of the 19th century is considered a major event in the history of modern thought. However, Boole’s original system does not correspond to what we came to understand as Boolean logic.
We will study the early history of Boolean logic in relation to the mathematics of its epoch, in search of an alternative philosophy of formal knowledge for the present.
|During the course, students will be able to:
-Acquire a general perspective on the history of formal logic
-Review relevant aspects of the history of modern mathematics
-Obtain philosophical and historical tools for critically assessing the status of formal sciences
-Develop a critical understanding of the notion of formal
-Discuss the methodological capabilities of historical epistemology
|The invention of Boolean logic in the middle of the 19th century is considered a major event in the history of modern thought. Boolean algebras and Boolean rings lay at the basis of propositional logic and digital communication, contributing in a decisive way to the theoretical and technical conditions of our time. However, if attention is paid to Boole’s own work, it will quickly appear that his Calculus of Logic does not correspond to what we came to understand as Boolean logic. Instead of disregarding those differences as inevitable mistakes of any pioneering enterprise, waiting to be corrected by successive developments, we will try to understand them as the sign of an alternative philosophy of logic and formal knowledge, which later developments excluded and forgot, and from which recent advances in formal sciences could take advantage. Such an inquiry will give us the occasion of exploring the philosophical and scientific landscape in which formal logic emerged in the first half of the 19th century (focusing on the works of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole), and to build a critical perspective on the notion of “formal”, at the crossroad of the history and philosophy of mathematics and logic.
|Rebooting AI: Human and Social Aspects of Artificial Intelligence
Suitable only for MA and PhD students
|J. L. Gastaldi, O. Del Fabbro, A. Nardo, D. Trninic
|Several researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective on this phenomenon. Sessions will delve into aspects of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”.
|During the course, students will be able to:
-Discuss relevant aspects of the impact of AI in human and social life
-Obtain theoretical and methodological tools for critically assessing the place of technology in society
-Develop a critical understanding of the conceptual grounds of AI
-Acquire a general perspective on the different fields and points of views in the humanities
-Engage in collaborative work with researchers in the humanities
|The last decades have witnessed a remarkable development in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although mainly technical feat, such advances have decisive consequences in a wide variety of aspects of human and social life. Even more, AI is challenging in multiple ways our very understanding of what is to be a human. However, despite the significance of the transformations at stake, the perspectives of the humanities -traditionally established as a valid source of critical inquiry into human matters- are generally relegated to a secondary role in the development of AI.
In this seminar, several researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective which could be taken as a legitimate interlocutor in the debates arising around the current stakes of technology in our society. The seminar will take the form of presentations based on critical readings of chosen texts, followed by group discussions. Each session will delve into one aspect of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”, confronting how they are dealt with in state-of-the-art texts in AI and relevant works in the humanities.
We expect students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and other fields outside the humanities to actively contribute to a collective construction, which could lead to further collaboration within but also outside this course.
As part of the Turing Centre, this seminar intends to sow the seed of a suitable and long-term environment for the exchange of ideas between multiple fields in the natural sciences and the humanities.
The seminar will be conducted by Olivier Del Frabbro, Juan Luis Gastaldi, Aline Nardo, Vanessa Rampton and Dragan Trninic.
|Prerequisites / Notice
|Suitable only for MA and PhD students