Will and desire along Modern Philosophy II

Let’s continue with our work on philosophy and text mining. Looking our last post (http://man.herm3tica.tv/will-and-desire-along-modern-philosophy/) we can confirm how each philosopher speaks from a different point of view. In this new post, we will analyze these difference trying to find out how they express the concepts of will and desire along the philosophers chosen. First, I share with you again the last plot we created, we are going to talk about it now.

Philosophy Text Mining
click on the image to open it

Spinoza’s keywords

Quick looking at Spinoza’s results of analysis, we easily can affirm that his thought is deeply determined by a deductive point of view. Words like whatsoever, wherefore or contrariwise appear very high in the table -and after cleaning words like qed or corollary-. Also words like anyone, everyone or solely seem to refer to an expository reasonings. Then, we find words like emotion, affected, pleasurably, painfully which talk about sensations, the relation of the reason with the body. We can confirm this in a new plot where we represent the most frequent word bigrams in Spinoza’s Ethics:

Philosophy and text mining, Spinoza
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Schopenhauer’s keywords

On Schopenhauer’s case, we find some similarities with Spinoza. For example, there are words related with reasonings such as principio, individuationis or even priori. However, I would highlight how Schopenhauer relates, these reasonings, with a complex process which goes from the abstract to the inner, from phenomenon and manifestation to an empirical objectification. To Schopenhauer, we live this as a suffering state. Of course, we should take in account we are considering just the first volume of Schopenhauer’s work, more introductory-. Let’s see on the Schopenhauer bigram plot how these ideas are represented:

Philosophy and text mining, Schopenhauer
click on the image to open it

Hegel’s keywords

If we look at Hegel, curiously, although he is always presented as an abstract an idealistic philosopher, we find that he has a lot of words related with the opposite: subjective, concrete, immediacy, subjectivity, actuality, particularity. Of course, we also have the others: universality, liberty, ethical, universal. Actually, the work of Hegel is plenty of contradictions and opposite movements. Also, we can see the term phase, as well as the opposites externality and implicit. Finally, we can find these contradictions on the Hegel bigram’s plot. However, the opposition is not so emotional than in Spinoza and Schopenhauer: instead the word body -as in Spinoza- now is a form that can be empty what is correlated with human.

Philosophy and text mining, Hegel
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Nietzsche’s keywords

Finally, we have Nietzsche’s case, which is the most different approach. Of course, we have to consider the work we chose of Nietzsche: Zarathustra is not exactly a philosophical essay, but almost a novel. What Nietzsche tries with this work is to move the conflict between the abstract and the concrete, previously treated as reasoning matter, to a problem already embodied. Zarathustra represents that enbodyment, always speaking directly to ye, to brethren, yourselves, your

In this sense, is also interesting how he talks about the truth with an adverb –verily– as something that is happening; or how he introduces the pain and the suffer directly, with the scream of Zarathustra –ah!-. If we look at the bigram plot, we can also check how there is an important node on the thou; always with this coloquial and informal register which emphasizes closeness. On the other hand, we can see the great doubt of Zarathustra, between give and receive –spoke versus answered-. Actually, it seems he decided to give.

Philosophy and text mining, Nietzsche
click on the image to open it

So this post try to explore relations between philosophy and text mining. You can find more uses of tidytext package – https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/tidytext/index.html – applied to text minig here: https://www.tidytextmining.com/preface.html. I hope that in this case, the application to philosophy was, at least, attractive.

Will and desire along Modern Philosophy

In text mining, Tf-idf values (Term frequency- Inverse document frequency  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tf%E2%80%93idf) measure the frequency which a term appears in a document, but compensated with the more common terms that appear along the corpus where you are searching. In this way, you can obtain the key terms which, within a corpus, make more difference in between the documents –I presented some of these techniques before-. What it has to do with philosophy?

Philosophy Text Mining

As an approach, I decided to perform a Tf-idf analysis on a corpus of philosophy works. As everybody knows, sometimes, philosophy is hard to read, and not always we are able to finish a book or, even, we forget many things when days, weeks and months pass. Is because of this, and also because we are less and less able to manage the large amount of books published and traduced that arrive to our hands, that many people are beginning to use text mining to get closer to them. To be frank, in my case, I had already read the books I analyze here and, because of this, I realized that, even more, text mining could help you not just to get an approach, but also to learn, from another point of view, the texts you are working with. In fact, a similar perspective was proposed by Berry (2011, https://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49813/1/BERRY_2011-THE_COMPUTATIONAL_TURN_THINKING_ABOUT_THE_DIGITAL_HUMANITIES.pdf) as a third wave of digital humanities trend some years ago.

From my point of view, one of the more interesting topics in philosophy always was the treatment of the will on the modern philosophy. There are several philosophers who were thinking about the human and the way in which we can overcome ourselves from different positions giving place to different philosophical movements. Among them, we can observe, for example, the philosophy of Spinoza -who on his Ethics treats the concept of desire as a conatus-; the philosophy of Hegel -who, although thought about the Spirit and rationality, includes in its movement the will, the force and the pain of its tearing-; Schopenhauer -who declared, inspired by oriental religion, that all we see is apparently an illusion but, ontologically, a will or volition; and finally Nietzsche -who transformed Schopenhauer nihilistic concept of will into a will of power-.

Philosophy Mining
Wordcloud with philosophers by color

On present visualizations, we can see the words that, being frequent in each work, are at the same time different in the whole selected corpus. I mean, we are front of the words which characterize Spinoza, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche philosophy -always taking in account that just some of their works have been analyzed, and after a cleaning- making more differences between them. In a quick look, we can state each philosopher is focussed in different aspects. What do you think about?

For this text mining work, the open text files available in the Gutenberg Project have been used.

Tec21 challenge model

Work on Tecnológico de Monterrey is being a vibrant experience. We are now developing a new pedagogical model which is called Tec21. The model is a challenge based model where the students have to face problems and real situations, most of them in contact with a professional stakeholder. In this sense, the lessons have to go further than just the contents. As a professor you always have to try to find the point where the theory touches the practice or, saying in other way, how the theory can be applied.

One of the problems we are finding has to do with the humanities. Of course, humanities are, at the beginning, a kind of knowledge that is not easy to connect with practice. Think about literature, art or philosophy; how all of these knowledges can be understood in a practical way? Are they actually related with our reality, daily worries and opportunity areas? Of course, we come from a modern society based on industrial development where is not very easy to locate the role of the humanities. If we think about the 19th and 20th century, of course, is going to be quite difficult to point out a very relevant role of the humanities along society and culture; however, it is being the same in the 21st century?

Many things have changed when entering in the 21st century. And probably, many of them have to do with a new value that humanities are gaining in the global context. The digital transformations have pushed us to an scenario where the value is not already the industrial force, but the information and the way in which we put it in relation. The mind and the subjectivity, as they are part of the core of any information process, are nowadays in the core of the culture and, even, in the social production. Of course, it is being a very strong transformation which, as is known, is being called the 4th or even the 5th industrial revolution. So, observing these important changes, humanities has to be relocated in the whole of the knowledge, taking in account how important are the subjective processes of cognition and sensibility.

Many people could think that it is not true, that our era has nothing to do with the humanities skills because the machines have taken the control. However, it is not accurate. Precisely, the challenge is to demonstrate how humanities skills can not be reduced to their replication on machines. Of course, machines can transform and even improve processes of though and sense; the question is that, doing it, what is more and more in the center are, in consequence, these skills.

In conclusion, as a Tec21 professor, the challenge we have is more and more clear, although it keeps difficult at the same time. We don’t have to show how the competences and subjects we treat at humanities are important, more and more it is becoming obvious; we have to understand better and deeper these competences because what is becoming darker is their essence, their originality. Tec21 is going to be an opportunity to do it and I hope I could share it soon.

Participation at the VIII International Conference of Borderlands

I participate with the paper Cyber borderlands and geopolitical crisis, at this International Conference on Thursday, October 3 at 5:30 pm; organized by Department of Humanities and Education of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. You can consult the paper on ResearchGate platform.

Internet appears in the 90s as a promise of utopian state without borders or bureaucratic restrictions. This is what Barlow (1996) proposes in his Declaration of independence from cyberspace; or also theorists like Pierre Levy (1997) when they reflect on the possibilities of cyberspace as a hyperconnected nomadic space of knowledge. With the arrival of the first 2000 the situation begins to change. New online service platforms appear in which access to information is no longer absolutely free. The new toll that is required is informational: the user registration, together with the new geolocation technologies incorporated into the devices that connect to the Internet, is setting up more and more a cyberspace in which borders reappear. The Internet ceases to be an open, smooth and absolutely hyperconnected space of knowledge and becomes a place of registration or even of a new, more incisive control and surveillance (Tiqqun, 2015; Deleuze, 2006). Analyzing this double movement, which we could read as a simultaneous or complementary movement of deterritorialization and reterritorialization (Deleuze & Guattari, 2002; Poster & Savat, 2009; Rogers, 2015) the question is to define how each of these components acts, what traits can be compensated and which ones stand out in one way or another. As Bratton (2015) points out, the new global cybernetic mega-structure erases the political map on which the current international geopolitics is based, putting in crisis, perhaps with more emphasis than in World War II, the Treaty of Peace of Westphalia (1648).

Workshop “Data Mining for Humanities with R”

On II Digital Humanities Journeys | 11 October 2019 | Tec de Monterrey

While data mining and statistical learning are born as tools of the exact sciences, business and government agencies, their value for human and social sciences has been increasingly demonstrated. Due to the growing interest aroused by the large amount of non-structure information shared on the Internet, techniques that explore texts, images, relational networks or geographic data have been required for analysis. It is precisely this type of data that the Humanities work with, thus benefiting from the evolution of computing tools. During this workshop we will examine some of the possibilities for this type of analysis with the free software tool R.

Collaboration on Automata’s Inner Movie book

My latest publication: “Is Big Data the new capture machine? Correlations between Data Mining and Gilles Deleuze philosophy”, in Curado, M. & Gouveia, S. S., (Eds.), Automata’s Inner Movie: Science and Philosophy of Mind, Vernon Press, 2019. Available at 24% discount using coupon CFC1720A4D2 at
https://vernonpress.com/book/692 or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Automatas-Inner-Movie-Philosophy-Psychology/dp/1622736311/

Rural and urban cultural thinking and action meeting

I was invited to discuss the possibilities of the cultural and artists actions which connects the rural and the urban. Because of my experience at Alg-a Laboratory where an independent community produced many contents related with art and technology, the purpose of the meeting was to share several experiences of this kind. You will find more information on the Ministry of Culture of Spain.

herme3TIC-tv. Digital Humanities Lab

I have presented the paper herm3TIC-tv: Prototype of a human and social sciences laboratory based on Deleuze-Guattari philosophy and the application of the new ICT at the International Conference SIGraDi 2018 treating the subject of “Technopolitics” where I proposed a prototype of a Digital Humanities Lab based on an interdisciplinary approach. The project was part of my research on an “herm3TIC” discipline, which overcome humanistic and hermeneutic difficulties when they try to face new technologies and interaction, designing a space where social sciences can reach the experimentation going further the mere documentation. This experience is also developed in a proper site http://herm3tica.tv .

Our social interactions, increasingly mediated by technology, require subjectivity singularization spaces. The philosophy of Deleuze-Guattari gives us the keys of a machinic device that can counter-actualize the generic arrangement we suffer, derived from media and technology. This space is considered as a scenic space but also scientific and analytical, developing what Deleuze-Guattari called schizoanalysis clinic but that we can also understand as the development of a proper and interdisciplinary methodology for the new laboratories of human and social sciences.

Areas of technological transvaluation through the Deleuze-Guattari philosophy

The philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari is used both to encourage the current technological and cybernetic evolution of society and to the contrary: to proclaim the need for areas and opaque layers to interconnectivity. Probably this is because technology itself is neutral: it depends on our uses and applications, the type of social formations that it gives rise to. But, if we contrast the current uses and applications, which areas would be the most critical, those in which there is more sensitively a transvaluation of the use of technologies? Four axes are proposed around which we critically decide the human and social use of technology.

Lapsus, interrupciones, balbuceos… Deleuze vs. NLP

Anomalías del lenguaje en Deleuze frente a los algoritmos Natural Language Processing

La filosofía de Gilles Deleuze desarrolla la crítica nietzscheana al lenguaje y la gramática. “No nos libraremos de Dios mientras sigamos creyendo en la gramática” dice Nietzsche (El crepúsculo de los ídolos, 1889). Desde la crítica metafísica a la noción de sujeto y su dependencia del predicado como “accidente”, Deleuze propone un pensamiento basado en el “infinitivo” (Lógica del sentido, 1969) donde la acción se suspende sobre sí misma en un eterno presente “sin espesor”. Si bien, esto ya había sido esbozado, según el propio Deleuze, en filosofías como la de Spinoza (Spinoza: Filosofía práctica, 1981), a través de las afecciones (en vez de accidentes) inmanentes de la substancia, el estudio deleuziano va más allá estudiando la agramaticalidad como fenómeno de desbordamiento creativo.

En algunas de sus principales obras escritas junto al psicoanalista Félix Guattari (El AntiEdipo, 1972 y Mil mesetas, 1980) nos presentan rasgos de esta agramaticalidad creativa que, aproximándose al fenómeno de la esquizofrenia, crea un claro más allá del lenguaje constreñido por la sintaxis. En otras obras menores (Crítica y clínica, 1993) Deleuze estudia casos concretos, pertenecientes a la literatura y el arte en los que la expresión subvierte la propia lengua y fenómenos como los lapsus, las interrupciones o balbuceos lingüísticos, no son taras psicoanalíticas, sino potencialidades creativas y deseantes.

La pregunta fundamental que nos surge, ante las nuevas metodologías de procesamiento de lenguaje natural (NLP) es hasta qué punto son compatibles ambas visiones del lenguaje. Aunque en un principio, los algoritmos NLP pueden darnos una sensación muy técnica, computacional y por ello también constreñida del lenguaje, ¿sería posible encontrar usos y aplicaciones creativas de estos algoritmos de manera acorde a las potencialidades deleuzianas del lenguaje? Tal como se ha señalado en algunos otros artículos sobre Big Data y filosofía (Pensar después de Big Data) no hay, probablemente, una única respuesta. 

El artículo será presentado en el 3º Congreso Internacional TechLing’18.