Panel 2: Paradigmatic Transitions

The advance of science has proven to be an unfinished and ongoing process. This progression has presented humankind with new challenges. Global technology has altered the face of the Earth, both positively and negatively. Deep scientific inquiry into our being, world and universe has produced a puzzle of enigmatic findings. While quantum physics and relativity theory are the fruit of the progress of theoretical physics in the 20th century, they continue to present scientists with the deepest challenges when it comes to understanding the nature of the reality modelled by these theories. Two fundamental notions of quantum physics are entanglement, referring to a state of deep inseparability of parts, and contextuality, indicating an intrinsic influence of the measurement on a system. This panel will explore how the formalisms originally developed to describe entanglement and contextuality in quantum physics can be used to model human thought processes. It will also address how the meaning of concepts shifts when they combine, and how context colours the way concepts are experienced and understood. Since concept combination is at the heart of creativity, the panel will consider the implications of this quantum modelling of human thought on the development of a formal theory of the creative process. The panel will also discuss the impact of technology on human intelligence. Technologies are increasingly relieving the burden of working memory, giving humans opportunities to unload their thoughts through various means, such as manipulating information on a computer or sharing information with others electronically in collaborative settings. A fascinating opportunity presents itself. Will further development merge the human with the computer, leading to a first stage of trans-humanism?

Speakers: Sandro Sozzo, Kai Chen, Shengjun Wu, Frank Theys, Liane Gabora, Jan Broekaert, Junde Wu
Date and time slot:  September 22, afternoon. Starting 1.30 pm.
Venue: Minsheng Art Museum, 570 West Huaihai Rd., Bldg. F, Red Town, International Art Community, 200050 Shanghai.
Participation: Attending the symposium is free, and all interested people are heartily invited. We kindly ask people who wish to attend to send us a message of subscription at clea@vub.ac.be, or send a message making use of the send form under the contact link of this website.