Méditations sur le réel et le virtuel
(Meditations on the real and the virtual - in French)
L'Harmattan Publisher, May 2004
16 rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris
25 euros(280 pages, 16x24 cm)
ISBN : 2-7475-6640-4
EAN : 9782747566407
Press release 06/03/04
"Meditations on the real and the virtual"
authored by Denis Berthier, professor at the National Institute of Telecommunications,
L'Harmattan publishers, "Impact of New Technologies" series
In this age of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, "Meditations on the real and the virtual" explores the flickering borderlines between the real and the virtual. It analyzes the cultural impact of the information technology, based upon the kinds of interfacing it tends to establish between Man and Machine.
Meditations on the real and the virtual: considering our relation to Machines rather than considering ourselves as Machines.
Matrix, eXistenZ, Avalon, AI… : such cult films draw our imagination into virtual worlds or worlds inhabited by virtual persons…
Virtual images, virtual particles… : in no stage of its development can science avoid the magic of the virtual…
Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, Internet… : new computer technologies immerge us into virtual worlds and make us communicate with virtual agents – at the risk of disrupting our relationship to the surrounding world and to the world of signs and knowledge…
Those are but a few glimpses of a puzzling voyage along the unsettled borderlines separating the real and the virtual. One will notice the unrelenting rise of a digitally originated virtual. And one will understand it as the process of developing a double interface between Man and Machine – along the two major modalities of human experience: that of perception and action and that of signs, knowledge and reason.
Therefore, our trip cannot stop at that point: along with this virtual experience of a new kind, it has to explore how it transforms our everlasting quest for the real.
Prologue: Mechanical dogs and Rogerian psychologists 7
Introduction: The rise of the virtual and its meaning 9
Part one: Staging the virtual 17
Chapter one: The virtual worlds, in the movies 21
Chapter two: The individual and the virtual, in the movies 43
Part two: A questionable borderline 63
Chapter three: More than a matter of vocabulary 65
Chapter four: Real images and virtual images 79
Part three: The technologies of the virtual 103
Chapter five: Cloning the sensori-motor universe 111
Chapter six: Cloning the semiotico-cognitive universe 137
Part four: The culture of the virtual 163
Chapter seven: The structuralist culture and the virtual 165
Chapter eight: Feedback of the virtual 185
Part five: Philosophy of the virtual 211
Chapter nine: The theory of knowledge and the virtual 215
Chapter ten: The structural trilogy and the virtual 245
Epilogue: Here and now, everywhere and forever 271
(More on the French pages)