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Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason Hardcover – March 24, 2011

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1441170286 ISBN-10: 1441170286 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Philosophy and Simulation is a book about affection - the capacity to affect and be affected by others - an organon for a non-reductive and emergent Theory of Everything, running from inorganic matter to the dawn of civilisation. Moving elegantly between science, history and computer simulation, the book is a fascinating and enormously wide-ranging introduction to DeLanda's singular world-view. —Andrew Pickering, Professor of Sociology and Philosophy, Exeter University, UK

Philosophy and Simulation is a book about affection — the capacity to affect and be affected by others — an organon for a non-reductive and emergent Theory of Everything, running from inorganic matter to the dawn of civilisation. Moving elegantly between science, history and computer simulation, the book is a fascinating and enormously wide-ranging introduction to DeLanda's singular world-view. — Andrew Pickering, Professor of Sociology and Philosophy, Exeter University, UK

'There is much fascinating material to chew on.'
(The Guardian)

The topic of this clearly written and well-documented text is the philosophical concept of emergence... Imaginative defences of philosophical realism are certainly to be applauded, and given the critical role that mathematical modelling occupies in both scientific and technical practices today, questioning computer simulation is undoubtedly important. Philosophy and Simulation does an interesting job of the former via the latter. (Radical Philosophy)

Philosophy and Simulation is a book about affection – the capacity to affect and be affected by others – an organon for a non-reductive and emergent Theory of Everything, running from inorganic matter to the dawn of civilisation. Moving elegantly between science, history and computer simulation, the book is a fascinating and enormously wide-ranging introduction to DeLanda’s singular world-view. – Andrew Pickering, Professor of Sociology and Philosophy, Exeter University, UK

'There is much fascinating material to chew on.’
(Sanford Lakoff)

The topic of this clearly written and well-documented text is the philosophical concept of emergence... Imaginative defences of philosophical realism are certainly to be applauded, and given the critical role that mathematical modelling occupies in both scientific and technical practices today, questioning computer simulation is undoubtedly important. Philosophy and Simulation does an interesting job of the former via the latter. (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Manuel DeLanda is a distinguished writer, artist and philosopher. He began his career in experimental film, later becoming a computer artist and programmer. He is now Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; First Edition edition (March 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441170286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441170286
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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75 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Review Guy on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You've read some Mandelbrot. You've read some Prigogine. You've wracked your brain against Alan Turing and Godel, Escher, Bach. You've watched spontaneous orders emerging from chaos and groked that is a metaphysical and epistemological game changer. You SENSE that there is something fundamentally wrong with the linear/reductive/determinist/Cartesian outlook. But where to go from here? What does it mean? Despite the best efforts of brilliant people like Stuart Kauffman, the philosophy of complexity has simply has not caught up to the mathematics.

But Manuel DeLanda has been living on this island for a very long time. He's been busy excavating the conceptual soil underlying the sciences of complexity, and he's made some intensely interesting discoveries. Where other thinkers' best efforts have foundered at the threshold of mysticism, DeLanda has hewn relentlessly to scientific materialism and, in so doing, has found objective patterns and significance in the logic of the complex.

But don't expect it to come easy. The reason for DeLanda's success is his aggressively ecclectic outlook, and it may be a bit difficult to see through his goggles. He's a continental philosopher who writes about science, and a dogmatic materialist who thinks like a medieval scholastic theologian. One can't help but feel that this book is the fruit of his different way of thinking. The back blurb describes this book as a new "Organon" (echoing Aristotle and Bacon). I can't put it any better. This is, quite simply, "what's going on" behind complexity/chaos/emergence. Sadly, the concepts can't be summarized for purposes of a book review, but it's breathtaking.
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Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason
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