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Recursivity and Contingency


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Introduction. A Psychedelic Becoming / Chapter 1. Nature and Recursivity / Chapter 2. Logic and Contingency / Chapter 3. Organized Inorganic / Chapter 4. Organizing Inorganic / Chapter 5. The Inhuman that Remains / Bibliography / Index

About the Author

Yuk Hui is the author of On the Existence of Digital Objects (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and The Question Concerning Technology in China. An Essay in Cosmotechnics (Urbanomic, 2017).


Recursivity and Contingency is simply an outstanding philosophical treatise on cybernetics that re-opens the all-too human image of technology today. Alongside a zealous re-situating of system theory within philosophies of nature, Hui boldly defies current technocratic aspirations towards totalizing and deterministic systems with a metaphysical commitment to re-envision the relation with the inhuman. Cosmotechnical perspectives, alter-cosmologies, and techno-diversity are here part of human-machine genesis that promises to finally re-situate technology in various cosmic realities. -- Luciana Parisi, Reader in Cultural Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London
I hardly know how best to recommend this third major achievement in as many years by one of the most insightful younger philosophers. It reanimates an abandoned arc of reflection that includes cybernetics, organicism, and organology from both European and Chinese traditions to address aspirations for a pluralism of homes within the becoming of an artificial Earth. -- Carl Mitcham, Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies, Colorado School of Mines
Yuk Hui's rich, new writing shows that in order to understand our modern technological world, we need to understand modern thinking about organisms and organology - and not only to understand but, recursively, to think differently. Hui's cosmotechnical approach - from cybernetics to history of philosophy - is complex, and exactly because of that, deeply rewarding. -- Jussi Parikka, Professor in Technological Culture and Aesthetics, University of Southampton
Yuk Hui's Recursivity and Contingency is not simply a major contribution to the Philosophy of Technology - it is an immense resource in that respect - but it is also a lively work of pluralistic experiment in thought. Here Hui's invitation to think in terms of cosmotechnics comes into its full bloom, engineering an unsurpassably agile guide to questions of technology and culture, nature and mechanism, logic and existence as they have arisen before and as they manifest with full force in the present. -- Matthew Fuller, Professor of Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

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