Recursivity and Contingency
A study of the new conditions of philosophical reasoning for the contemporary era.
Yuk Hui is a philosopher, an author of books and articles on the philosophy of technology. He studied computer engineering at the University of Hong Kong and philosophy at London’s Goldsmith College. He teaches at the Bauhaus University in Weimar.
In his book “Recursivity and Contingency” Yuk Hui, the philosopher of technology and computer engineer reflects upon two fundamental concepts – recursivity and contingency which allow one to think about the interrelationship between the organism and the machine, nature and technology as well as that between freedom and necessity in a new way.
Building on German idealism and the philosophy of nature, Hui traces the evolution of recursiveness and contingency in the organicism and organology of the twentieth century and lays the foundations for a new type of philosophical reasoning that corresponds to an era in which environmental disasters and algorithmic failures become a feature of everyday life, and the difference between machine and organism a mere formality.
If the concept of posthumanism is a theoretical attempt to bring forward an ethics against anthropocentrism, it will fail if it does not take the trajectory that we are going to outline—that is to say, the study of the human-machine relation—into account, since otherwise it will remain a burlesque attempt to produce ‘high-level ontologies’.