Wired Bodies. New Perspectives on the Machine-Organism Analogy

The machine-organism analogy has played a pivotal role in the history of Western philosophy and science. Notwithstanding its apparent simplicity, it hides complex epistemological issues about the status of both organism and machine and the nature of their interaction. What is the real object of this analogy: organisms as a whole, their parts or, rather, bodily functions? How can the machine serve as a model for interpreting biological phenomena, cognitive processes, or more broadly the social and cultural transformations of the relations between individuals, and between individuals and the environments in which they live?
Wired Bodies. New Perspectives on the Machine-Organism Analogy provides the reader with some of the latest perspectives on this vast debate, addressing three major topics:1) the development of a ‘mechanistic’ framework in medicine and biology; 2) the methodological issues underlying the use of ‘simulation’ in cognitive science; 3) the interaction between humans and machines according to 20th-century epistemology.

Preface – Elena Gagliasso
Introduction – Nicole Dalia Cilia, Luca Tonetti

  • I. Mechanistic view into trouble
  • Mechanism “Prehistory” and the Strange Case of Cureau de La Chambre – Simone Guidi
  • Machines and Diseases: Giorgio Baglivi and his Mechanistic Physiopathology – Luca Tonetti
  • Early Organicism and its Juggling Machines: Further from Nature, closer to Organisms – Alessandra Passariello
  • From Brains as Machines to Machines as Brains. A short Historical and Epistemological Reflection on the Simulation and “Reverse
  • Engineering” of the Central Nervous System – Mattia Della Rocca
  • II.Understanding by building. The use of simulation in cognitive science
  • Understand me or Duplicate me? Levels of Explanation in Artificial Methodology – Nicole Dalia Cilia
  • Take another Little Piece of my Heart: A Note on Bridging Cognition and Emotions – Giuseppe Boccignone
  • The Role of Emotions and Intrinsic Motivations on Decision-making: A Comparison between Natural and Artificial Systems – Valentina Trombetta
  • The Synthetic Approach and the Evolution of Cognition – Francesco Bianchini
  • III. Beyond the bodily boundaries: how do machines extend the bodies and their world?
  • The Organism, Maker of Machines – Fiorenza Lupi
  • Towards a Philosophy of Interaction. The Relation between Organism, Technique and Environment in Gilbert Simondon – Elisa Binda
  • Mixed Systems and Interplay. Norbert Wiener Meets Walter Benjamin – Francesco Restuccia
  • Only Connect. The Contribution of Michael Tomasello to the Machine-Organism Symbiosis – Francesco De Bei

Index of names

Wired Bodies. New Perspectives on the Machine-Organism Analogy

Curatore: Luca Tonetti, Nicole Cilia
Lingua: Inglese
Filosofia e saperi, n. 9
Roma, 2017
ISBN: 9788880802365