Advanced search
1 file | 852.61 KB Add to list

Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil's and Dietmar Dath's Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity

Author
Organization
Abstract
Automatons and robots constitute an object of fascination and undiminished source of artistic inspiration. This interest precedes the actual coining of the word ‘robot’ itself and ranges well into antiquity. (Riskin 2010; Beatrice 2017; Tresch 2012; Kang 2011; Wood 2002) In more recent times, the fusion between man and machine has been discussed in the context of posthumanism. The declared goal of posthumanism is to surpass an anthropocentric view. I aim to take this discussion into a slightly different direction by focussing on representations of swarm intelligence. The central question is the following: Given the widespread dystopian narrative representation of swarm intelligence, can we identify what are the stakes for representations that aim to give a positive, or at least a more neutral view, of supra-individual and distributed cognition? I will answer this question in three steps: First, I will highlight some of the paradoxes besetting the dystopian representation of swarm intelligence. In a second step, I will turn to Robert Musil’s modernism and his entomological metaphors as precursors of swarm intelligence and network technology. Finally, I will deal with Dietmar Dath’s attempt to reconcile science fiction with a radically left and progressive view of data-driven distributed cognition. A comparison of Musil and Dath is warranted through their shared interest in behavioural psychology of the collective as well as in mathematics as means to approach and transcend the limits of human cognition and/or agency. Whereas Dath has been thematised in existing studies on posthumanism and swarm intelligence, Musil’s name has been remarkably absent from both fields.
Keywords
swarm intelligence, numeracy, literacy, code literature, sentiment mining, Robert Musil, Dietmar Dath, posthumanism

Downloads

  • Pages from SW CLW2019.11 proef GMartens.pdf
    • full text
    • |
    • open access
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 852.61 KB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Martens, Gunther. “Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity.” Cahier Voor Literatuurwetenschap, edited by Sophie Wennerscheid, vol. 11, 2019, pp. 69–86.
APA
Martens, G. (2019). Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity. Cahier Voor Literatuurwetenschap, 11, 69–86.
Chicago author-date
Martens, Gunther. 2019. “Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity.” Edited by Sophie Wennerscheid. Cahier Voor Literatuurwetenschap 11: 69–86.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Martens, Gunther. 2019. “Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity.” Ed by. Sophie Wennerscheid. Cahier Voor Literatuurwetenschap 11: 69–86.
Vancouver
1.
Martens G. Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity. Wennerscheid S, editor. Cahier voor Literatuurwetenschap. 2019;11:69–86.
IEEE
[1]
G. Martens, “Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil’s and Dietmar Dath’s Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity,” Cahier voor Literatuurwetenschap, vol. 11, pp. 69–86, 2019.
@article{8637446,
  abstract     = {Automatons and robots constitute an object of fascination and undiminished
source of artistic inspiration. This interest precedes the actual coining of the word
‘robot’ itself and ranges well into antiquity. (Riskin 2010; Beatrice 2017; Tresch
2012; Kang 2011; Wood 2002) In more recent times, the fusion between man
and machine has been discussed in the context of posthumanism. The declared
goal of posthumanism is to surpass an anthropocentric view. I aim to take this discussion
into a slightly different direction by focussing on representations of
swarm intelligence. The central question is the following: Given the widespread
dystopian narrative representation of swarm intelligence, can we identify what are
the stakes for representations that aim to give a positive, or at least a more neutral
view, of supra-individual and distributed cognition? I will answer this question in
three steps: First, I will highlight some of the paradoxes besetting the dystopian
representation of swarm intelligence. In a second step, I will turn to Robert
Musil’s modernism and his entomological metaphors as precursors of swarm
intelligence and network technology. Finally, I will deal with Dietmar Dath’s
attempt to reconcile science fiction with a radically left and progressive view of
data-driven distributed cognition. A comparison of Musil and Dath is warranted
through their shared interest in behavioural psychology of the collective as well as
in mathematics as means to approach and transcend the limits of human cognition
and/or agency. Whereas Dath has been thematised in existing studies on
posthumanism and swarm intelligence, Musil’s name has been remarkably absent
from both fields.},
  author       = {Martens, Gunther},
  editor       = {Wennerscheid, Sophie},
  issn         = {2294-1193},
  journal      = {Cahier voor Literatuurwetenschap},
  keywords     = {swarm intelligence,numeracy,literacy,code literature,sentiment mining,Robert Musil,Dietmar Dath,posthumanism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {69--86},
  title        = {Distributed Cognition in Robert Musil's and Dietmar Dath's Fictions of Man-Machine-Hybridity},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2019},
}