[Humanist] 31.459 the anomalous, the odd, the peculiar?
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Dec 11 07:24:59 CET 2017
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 459.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:14:49 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: the anomalous, the odd, the peculiar?
What would be the best way to describe where we need to look, what we
need to look for, in order to make some real progress in understanding
the intellectual contribution of digital methods to the human sciences?
In Kuhnian terms I suppose we'd look for the anomalies. the odd bits
that don't fit. What are the questions we cannot answer? What
disciplines do we need to look to or help? AND, of course vice versa.
My nomination is for the re-integration or expansion of results from
computing back into whatever field of research has produced the question
being investigated. I'd say the field about which we need to know more
is cognitive psychology.
Some, I suppose, would nominate cognitive science. What bothers me there
so often is the silent marriage of 'computational' and 'cognition' or
'mind'. Curiously, as someone whose mind was formed by literary studies
and philological obsessions, the implications and connotations of words
matter a very great deal. So I am bothered by 'the computational model
of mind' because very quickly 'model' is forgotten or dimmed out beyond
recognition, and we lose the irony in mischievous Minsky's
identification of the brain as a 'meat machine'. But quite possibly
there are large swathes of cognitive science that are philologically aware?
It's difficult talking about what you don't know, hanging on the
analogical when using analogies.
Comments welcome, gifts via Humanist at a gift-giving time of year.
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of
Digital Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western
Sydney University and North Carolina State University; Editor,
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20)
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