UF045
Events, Commissions, Residencies

08 Nov 2018

Unboxing the Machines

TOY UP PHILOSOPHY!

To understand ‘how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term’: this is the ideal of what might be called philosophical Lego or, more generally, toy philosophy.

What sets toy philosophy apart from regular philosophy is its emphasis on play, counterfactuals, and model pluralism, as opposed to a game with pre-established rules and a set method.

Central to philosophical Lego is the concept of a toy model. Every model is bound to be theory-laden to some extent. Theories always come with their own baggage of implicit assumptions not only about how things are, but about how and by what means they should be structured. We often take such assumptions for granted, as if there is a direct correspondence between how we structure the world and what the order of things is—the traditional game played by philosophy. In contrast, we imagine a new form of philosophy where such correspondence is understood to be an unwarranted assumption, and where, in playing endlessly with our conceptual and logical resources, we enrich the very reality we are talking about, and even fabricate it anew.

So a toy model is a collection of models in which both methodological and theoretical assumptions are brought to the foreground, and become objects that can be modified, manipulated, and retrofitted.

If what we understand to be ‘human’ always depends upon hidden theoretical assumptions, then playing with the concept of the human is like tinkering with Lego®. Rebuild the figure of the human brickwise using different pieces. So long as the pieces (the so-called conditions of possibility of being a minded subject) fit together, then we are on the right track.

Such is the inexhaustible play of a child-philosopher who cares nothing for entrenched conventions or readymade blueprints.

At once philosophical model, thought experiment lab, and prototype K-pulp product engineered for maximum fun and conceptual density, the Toy Model AGI Playset gives the budding CHILD-philosopher all they need to recreate the thought experiments from Reza Negarestani’s Intelligence and Spirit and begin tinkering with the automata.

Made of genuine vintage Lego® parts, the set is accompanied in its specially designed box by a leaflet containing assembly instructions and a highly detailed map of Intelligence and Spirit’s journey from transcendental psychology through the ruins of conservative humanism to logoi, language, and time, as well as Acid Carnap, Psychedelic Sellars, and Automatic Laughing Bag diagram stickers, and a certificate of playset authenticity signed by Mackay and Negarestani.

Ordering Information
Produced in an edition of 50 sets including box, Lego®, stickers, leaflet, and signed certificate.
£75 including worldwide tracked shipping.
To register interest please contact office@urbanomic.com.
Sets will begin shipping 19th November 2018.
nb. This set is assembled from genuine vintage parts which exhibit moderate playwear. Part colours may vary from those shown above.

Credits
Design and development: Robin Mackay and Reza Negarestani.
Leaflet printing: BJ Press, Threemilestone, Cornwall, UK.
Box manufacture and printing: Tiny Box Maker, Redruth, Cornwall, UK.