Mathematizing power, formalization, and the diagrammatical mind or

what does "computation" mean?

Sybille Krämer

pp. 345-357

Computation and formalization are not modalities of pure abstractive operations. The essay tries to revise the assumption of the constitutive nonsensuality of the formal. The argument is that formalization is a kind of linear spatialization, which has significant visual dimensions. Thus, a connection can be discovered between visualization by figurative graphism and formalization by symbolic calculations: Both use spatial relations not only to represent but also to operate on epistemic, nonspatial, nonvisual entities. Descartes was one of the pioneers of using this kind of two-dimensional spatiality as a cognitive instrument.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s13347-012-0094-3

Full citation:

Krämer, S. (2014). Mathematizing power, formalization, and the diagrammatical mind or: what does "computation" mean?. Philosophy & Technology 27 (3), pp. 345-357.

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