Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete

Sherry Turkle, Seymour Papert, papert.org, Mar 27, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Interesting paper highlighting the intersection of Seymour Papert and Sherry Turkle. In it, the two authors look at ways girls and women can approach computing and the use of a computer. The 'multiple epistemologies' route suggests that there are different ways of 'seeing' the computer - as something that you communicate with, say, or something that you are close to, like a musical instrument. Some telling remarks near the end:

"Emergent AI does not suggest that the computer be given rules to follow but tries to set up a system of independent elements within a computer from whose interactions intelligence is expected to emerge. Its sustaining images are drawn, not from the logical, but from the biological. Families of neuron-like entities, societies of anthropomorphized subminds and sub-subminds, are in a simultaneous interaction whose goal is the generation of a fragment of mind... the new trends -- icons, object-oriented programming, actor languages, society of mind, emergent AI -- all create an intellectual climate in the computational world that undermines the idea that formal methods are the only methods."
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