Program and Venue
11-12 September 2013
The conference will include three events that are open to all.
11 September, 14.15-16.00
Science Studies Colloquium Series (Forum for vitenskapsteori) will be arranged as an open lecture and discussion with Terrence Deacon, Professor of Anthropology, Professor in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
Title of lecture: Cybernetics is to robotics as what is to life? Information theory is to computation as what is to mind?
Abstract. The two most well developed theoretical paradigms in use for exploring the nature of living and mental processes fail to account for the most fundamental facts of these natural processes. Living processes evade the spontaneous degradation of entropy increase by reciprocally synthesizing all their components, seeking new resources for this process, and both defending the organization of self from damage and reproducing this organization in new material replicas. Mental processes don't merely transform one pattern of data into other forms, they represent and model both self and its Umwelt to the higher-order form of self that assigns significance with respect to the needs of the living process that generates this self. The physical dynamical nature of "self" in both respects is therefore the critical feature that must be accounted for, and yet is precisely what is missing and presumed epiphenomenal in cybernetic and computational theories. One of the most ambitious previous efforts to describe the underlying dynamics of life and mind—autopoiesis theory—also fails to account for this core unifying principle, even though it describes its necessity. Teleodynamic theory offers an alternative approach that explains how this physical attribute can emerge from simpler thermodynamic and self-organizing processes, and how it is differently involved in living and mental processes. The key attribute is the emergence of substrate transferrable constraints that re-present the conditions of their own persistence.
Venue: University of Oslo, Georg Sverdrups Building, Seminar Room 1 (Blindern)
11 September, 19.00-21.30
After the film (60 minutes), there will be a panel discussion on some of our contemporary challenges of globalization in light of Bateson’s ideas. The panel will be chaired by prof Fred Steier, Department of communication, University of South Florida and prof Thomas Hylland Eriksen (UiO). Other members of the panel: Professor in Development Studies Randi Kaarhus, UMB - Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, prof. Tian Sørhaug, Department of Sociology and Human Geography (UiO) and prof. Terrence Deacon, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley. The public will also be invited to participate in the discussion.
Venue: University of Oslo, Georg Morgenstiernes Building, Arne Næs' Auditorium (Blindern)
Film screening fee: 100 kroners
12 September, 10.00-17.00
Venue: Large Auditorium, Kristen Nygaards Building, Gaustadallen 23 (Oslo Research Park/ Forskningsparken)
Conference fee: 300 kroners (inclusive of lunch)