Algebraic language and the algorithm: Art of thinking, thinking machines, and machines' thinking

Project Start Year
Project Area of Research
Project Description

The pervasiveness and relative invisibility of algorithms in our social and scientific life raise urgent questions and reveal new challenges. Our project aims to investigate current technological and social transformations from the privileged point of view of a long-term historical perspective, which traces the trajectory of automation and quantification back to the development of algebra and algebraic thinking during the European Renaissance. Tracing the genealogy of "algorithmic thinking" will make it possible to identify technical and semantic continuities, discontinuities, and breaks, and will thus enable us to bear upon current debates on automation and its effects. This interdisciplinary project includes methodologies and questions from the humanities and the social sciences, in order to explore the social, epistemological, and ethical implications of emerging technologies.

Massimo Mazzotti
Massimo Mazzotti
Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society / Department of History, UC Berkeley
France PI
Giovanna Cifoletti
Centre Alexandre-Koyré, EHESS, Paris