Transcending the Rational Symbol System: how ICT integrates science, art, philosophy and spirituality into a global brain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Symbols support the uniquely human capabilities of language, culture, and thinking. Therefore, cognitive scientists have tried to explain intelligence as founded on Rational Symbol Systems (RSS). RSS use syntactical and logical rules to combine discrete symbols into meaningful expressions and inferences. However, these symbols fail to capture continuous, felt experience. The proposed solution is to ground symbols in situated interactions and subsymbolic networks of associations. Historically, different approaches have attempted to overcome the shortcomings of RSS. These include science, by formalizing and operationalizing symbols; philosophy, by critically analyzing the relation between symbols and reality; art, by evoking subjective experiences; and spirituality, by expanding consciousness. Information technologies, such as artificial intelligence, neural networks, simulations and virtual reality, make it possible to integrate their results. That would allow externalizing and controlling creativity and intuition, thus inaugurating an evolutionary transition to a supra-human level of intelligence, the “Global Brain”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Human Symbolic Evolution
EditorsNathalie Gontier, Andy Lock, Chris Sinha
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780198813781
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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