This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, as the concepts of complexity, artificial life and artificial intelligence, information theory, and cybernetics become increasingly significant in more and more fields of activity.

Information and Knowledge

Information and knowledge
SuhailMalik

In his now venerable ‘report on knowledge’, Jean-FrançLois Lyotard states that technoscientific ‘transformations’ in cybernetics, communication theory, data storage and transmission, and so on, ‘can be expected to have a considerable impact on knowledge’. This has of course become a truism and a reality in the 20 years since the writing of The Postmodern Condition, as has the specific determination of this ‘impact’:

[Knowledge] can fit into the new channels, and become operational, only if learning is translated into quantities of information.… The ‘producers’ and users of knowledge must now, and will have to, possess the means of translating into these languages whatever they invent or learn.… Along with the hegemony of computers comes a certain logic, and therefore a certain ...

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