5. This I, or We or It, the Thing, Which Speaks (Objectivity and Thought)


Ascent to the Infantile

Our toy model automaton is now equipped with a spatially and temporally perspectival awareness. In other words, it has developed the capacity to handle space and time, the Objects (objekt) required for the rudimentary organization of an encountered item (an appearance) in the world—that is, an object (gegenstand) as distinguished from other items. However, at this point, both objekt and gegenstand are mere analogical correlates of our objects of thought (Objekte) and categorically determined sensible objects (Gegenstände). They are neither objective (factual or inter-subjective) nor subjective (in the full-blooded sense of the subject as one who is in the position of making veridical claims or critical judgements rather than a thin notion of subject as that which, in a de facto manner—under the rudimentary transition laws of imagination—is able to discern uncritically empirical associations in the order of appearances). The achievement of subjective and objective thoughts requires that the automaton advance from rudimentary capacities (abilities1) to advanced abilities (abilities2). To enable it to do so, we must equip our automaton with a new structure—not a structure that belongs to the automaton itself, but one it is plugged into or bound up with, namely the structure of a community: a multi-agent system such as a framework in which multiple information processing systems are constrained by their dynamic or concurrent interaction with one another (i.e. every system is the environment of the other systems). We must therefore introduce two modifications to our picture. The first modification is simply necessary whereas the second, although in essence necessary, could be introduced in forms other than that depicted in our toy universe:

• The automaton is now a part of a multi-agent system comprised of automata with a differential responsiveness to the items in the world. In its most basic configuration, the multi-agent system is designed to enable interaction between automata/agents as a way of increasing the probability of goal-attainment. This multi-agent system is then introduced into a specific environment wherein agents have to interact not only with one another, but also with the features of this environment. Inter-agent interaction is, accordingly, coupled with the dynamic inputs and constraints of the resulting ecology.

• The automaton is now furnished with built-in electromechanical devices whose coordination results in the production of quasi-continuous sounds. These quasi-continuous sounds are the primary means of communication between automata. In an alternative toy universe, this feature could be implemented in different ways that might not necessarily involve sound. However, insofar as this is a component of our particular toy universe, we have to abide by its characteristics and constraints…