Ways of Worldmaking – Symbolic Orders and Material Compositions

Invited Talk, January 31, 2024 in HS 3D (NIG), 17:00-19:00

Abstract: Judging by its title, Nelson Goodman's Ways of Worldmaking appears to promise reflections on the physical process of making material artefacts. However, his discussion is limited to the making of symbolic forms. Still, Goodman was no traditional philosopher - he had a deep appreciation of the arts, created artworks of his own, and imagined ways of reconceiving philosophy, for example, by moving from "truth" to "rightness of rendering." In the end, his works may well shed light on the fusion of material artefacts and symbolic forms but also on the recalcitrance of the material and of knowing the world through making.

Alfred Nordmann is emeritus Professor of the Philosophy of Science and of Technoscience at the Technical University of Darmstadt. He explores epistemological and aesthetic dimensions of the technical practices that underwrite science, engineering, and the arts. Nordmann is editor of the Routledge book-series History and Philosophy of Technoscience and co-editor of the journal Technology and Language.