To be in love is to create a religion whose god is fallible.1
–André Maurois

If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent.2
–Alan Turing

Amore e ‘l cor gentil sono una cosa
(Love and a gentle heart are but one thing).3
–Dante Alighieri

The history of the concept of love is linked to physicalistic descriptions of its chemistry and biology or to a transcendental plane of ideas thus leaving it cloaked in an enigma. My attempt here is to redescribe love’s traditional enigma in terms of its ‘black box,’ namely, through examining the computability of love in reference to Alan Turing’s work on intelligent machines and its analysis in an alternative way to the anthropocentric conception of love. I will discuss Turing and P-Type (pain and pleasure) and B-Type (brain) Machines; love, computability and free will; computation and concepts of the sublime in relation to love; and black boxism and computational transcendentalism.

Computers in Love: From the Chambers of the Heart and the P-Type Machine and B-Type Machine

Computing the enigma of love invokes Turing’s own effort to crack the code of the German submarines in WWII, offering not only insight into the computational logic of the code but also a glimpse into the Lifeforms that established this bio-psychological stratum through computational algorithms, its compounded symbolic residue, so to speak.

For Dante Alighieri, love is instigated in a mechanical event which incidentally informs us that the ‘brain’ is the most animal-bestial of the bodily organs in the eventuality of ‘love’; insofar as, for Dante, the new life is born out the recollection of brain-heart interactionism, it is memory as a category that makes love intelligible. Thus, the memory and recollection of his beloved Beatrice enables the computability of sensations, which turns sentience into a spiritual event. Alas, event implies solely the indispensable computability of Amor as it is transmitted as spirits.4

Heart valves drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1510. Collection Windsor Castle, United Kingdom.

Ramon Llull and his ars memoria as well as later Neo-Platonists theories of love tightly interlink love with memory and hence computability, since various types of memory are integrated within computational processes. For Turing, the P-Type (pain and pleasure) and B-Type (brain) Machines as well as the pain/pleasure input/output of an intelligent machine remarkably reassign Dante’s mechanical qualities and Llull’s ars combinatoria mnemonics into a thinking-sensing-loving computer, one whose ‘intelligence’ is linked to fallibility and ‘behavior’ that entails the computer’s ‘state of mind’ in erring and correcting its decisions (Alan Turing’s Electronic Brain).5

Llull’s mnemonic wheels are semantic (and numerical) acronyms, whereas Turing’s are mechanical transcoding of algorithms (mathematical acronyms or symbolic abbreviations) into sensory and semantic plexuses.

The enigma of love can be decoded—following Turing—through a connectionist model between mechanical physicalistic conversions of algorithms back and forth from an agency in ‘love’. And inasmuch as love had always emerged through triangulating memory-physical mechanics—and computability, so it is that with Turing’s computing ‘love’ we move from arcane forms of interactionism to novel possibilities of connectionism which nevertheless are all grounded in an epistemological embrace of physicalism.

The life of Alan Turing—the principle modern progenitor of the computer—was entangled with love (forbidden), enigma (breaking the enemy codes) and computation (Turing Universal Machine). Specifically, Turing’s vision and work on computational machines as well as his insights regarding the mathematical basis of morphogenetic chemical foundations of life tell us a ‘story’ about a passion for the ‘love’ which makes us as agents the subjects of sentience and cognizance as well as empathy and intelligibility. Like Wittgenstein, his colleague and friend, Turing strived to understand human behavior not by following the Aristotelian polarization of the lower bodily constituents (e.g., rocks, plants and animals) in relation to mentalistic dispositions. Rather, perhaps due to their respective background in engineering and mathematics, both related to mechanical configurations, mathematical rules and foundations, as a play of inexhaustible formulations (life and its emergence) and its functional computability.

Turing’s Pain and Pleasure Machine fuses speculatively computation with the pain/pleasure principle as a threshold to love (with or without sex) insofar as computers do not fall in love but rather are ‘in love’ with respect to a feedback ‘looping’ through which the object and subject of love are either changed or mirrored (negative and positive feedbacks) continuously within a neural network.

The binary coding of love posits its computation as either pain/pleasure oscillations or “love as experiencing of beauty” (Goethe) and love as an emotive manifold (Wittgenstein’s Lebensform), as I will argue later, inasmuch allowing the rewiring and recoding of ‘sex’ through pain/pleasure sensorial interface, which strongly suggests a transition from the Burkean concept of the sublime—and Sadomasochist Deleuzian and Guattarian concept of desiring machines and abstract machines—to an Intelligent fallible (“unorganized”) machine.

Even a universal quantum computer or quantum Turing machine (QTM), based on Qubits and with a quantum algorithm is fundamentally conceived within the framework of Turing’s universal abstract machine. To some extent a Turing Qubit or quantum computer raises the possibility of superpositions which no longer (in a binary fashion) condition the love/sex opposition as that between desiring and abstract machines, but rather, of pain/pleasure as determinable both in terms of the level of energy or sensorial intensity determines whether an input is registered as pain or pleasure and in as much identified as the semantic localization of the computational-neuro sensorial network. A neural network that posits ‘feeling’ as that which is conducive to the holistic configuration of the machinic computation of love as universal and absolute, and without ‘falling’ into the moralizing (i.e., normative criteria) aspects of ‘selves’ or ‘subjects’ of love, or in other words, a corrupt or degraded love (Amor and Eros as a bifurcating point).

Computing love, thus, implies the dynamics and mechanics of computer-in-love by asserting an AI agency as the embodied connection between ‘intelligence’ and ‘sensations’ in a threefold fashion of a machine’s interaction with another machine, a machine with another sensorial system, and a machine with humans. All three are enabled through computation’s symbolic encoding and its implied transcendental plane.

To have or experience feeling necessitate not the prerequisite primitive conditions of sentience or cognizance as humanly or animal sensations, but rather, the degree of a system or computational machine de/coherence of its semantic de/stabilization of a pain/pleasure principle as holistically increasing or decreasing ‘love’ as quanta and qualia.6 Or, in other words, the increasing organization of a pain/pleasure principle (a dynamic order) seen as a transitive morphogenesis within a system (an intelligent machine’s evolutionary growth) resulting in the emergence of eidetic noema that we call ‘feelings’.7 Turing’s work on a mathematical theory of morphogenesis is also important here since it raises questions regarding symmetry and symmetry breaking in relation to the evolution of a morphogene, and hence can be extended in relation to the evolution of love. Is love that evolves symmetrically or otherwise reflected in its later phases?8

As such, love is constituted by feelings, and to feel is a co-genesis of sensorial-directional topological process. A process of mapping of space and time coordinates in correspondence to an intentional noetic-noematic signification of sensory data as transcendent to the mere facticity of ‘pain’ and ‘pleasure’ as ‘emotive manifolds.’9

Love is predicated on a neural network—and I refer here to neural networks specifically in Turing’s sense of fallible-learning-intelligent machines that are constituted by neural nodes. As such, love presupposes the complexity and superposition of data and input/output with the entanglements and complexification of pain, pleasure and indifference, and which explains the emergence of ‘feeling’ as such densified and compressed states/processes/nexuses—what I will explicate later as an emotive manifold.10

Turing contending that a universal intelligent machine can be configured on the basis of pain/pleasure input and output with a corresponding “character-expression and the situation-expression” suggests that the notion of ‘love’ can be construed as uniquely linked to intelligence, where the ‘human aspect’ can be construed in opposition to animality precisely through its invariance of computational mechanics. In that respect, computational models of love share with Neo-Platonists the top/bottom model of love as deduced from the intellect into the material, machine, and physical invariances.

A small B-type network from Turing’s 1948 paper ‘Intelligent Machinery’.

From interactionism to connectionism in a heart bit:

Connectionism is associated with the purporting of a cognitive model as based on artificial neural networks and such networks like the brain are made of large and multiple proliferation of synaptic nods or ‘units’. In this sense, Turing’s idea for “unorganized” intelligent machines entails computational processes along the same lines of neural networks. And what Turing regards and calls “unorganized machines” is precisely the evolution, like a child’s brain, from random connectivity to higher degrees of order through the education of the child – namely, its computational upbringing through reward and punishment feedbacks.11 Such ‘educational curve’ is not merely Pavlovian in essence (a carrot-stick conditioning), but rather, like love, involves higher degrees of organizational coherence.

Copeland and Proudfoot point out to three basic types of unorganized machines, which Turing distinguishes:

1) The A-type as an unorganized machine based on a “randomly connected two-state ‘neurons’ whose operation is synchronized by means of a central digital clock.”
2) The B-type machine which “by the application of ‘appropriate interference, mimicking education’ a B-type machine can be trained to ‘do any required job, given sufficient time and provided the number of units is sufficient’.”
3) Turing’s “P-type unorganized machines, which are not neuron-like, have ‘only two interfering inputs, one for “pleasure” or “reward” . . . and the other for “pain” or “punishment” ‘ […]. Turing studied P-types in the hope of discovering training procedures ‘analogous to the kind of process by which a child would really be taught’ […]. It is a P-type machine that Turing was speaking of when, in the course of his famous discussion of strategies for building machines to pass the Turing Test, he said ‘I have done some experiments with one such child-machine, and succeeded in teaching it a few things’ […]. A-type, B-type and P-type machines are described more fully in what follows.”[12]

Interactionists occupy, on the one hand, a general position that assumes the causal conversion between corporeal and mental ‘elements’ through ‘processes’. Connectionists assert, on the other hand, that all mental processes are imbued with neural elements and which can be causally and structurally linked to the general conversion of input → black box (or hidden variables) → output of ‘perception’. The architecture of a neuron like computational nod renders connectionism effective both in modeling and explaining the ways in which learning agents and memory work. Connectionism departs from interactionism in that it relies on complex neural networks as its primary basis for understanding causation in terms of layered neural perception involving different degrees and scales of environments.

Alan Turing: p type machine

Interactionism can be characterized at least by two kinds of cognitive epistemologies: (1) A rudimentary kind a la Descartes – to Churchland and (2) The kind of interactionism following the paradigm of concurrency beginning with Kant – to Fodor – that relies on explanatory gap or leap and is anchored in symbolic computationalism. Insofar as the former epistemological approach involves temporal succession or sequence, the latter raises the issue of concurrency as connected with synchronicity and teases out the common sensical notion of simultaneity.13

A computational theory of love based on connectionism may be traced earlier than Turing’s insights to Leibniz’ conception of God or Logos as infinite and as grounded in synchronicity and not in causality.14 However, Leibniz determinism leaves him apart from a connectionist embrace of complex dynamics and which entails the role of “unorganized” or random factors.

As an interactionist, or occasionalist, Descartes still retained the concept of the heart as a furnace and to that extent relegated the interactions of the body with mind’s I (pineal gland) as the basis of the interactive conversion of extentional-corrporoeal with intentional mental ‘flows’ or vectors. Cartesian dualism is interactionist in principle and follows a fourfold explanatory model according to which we identify causal interactions between body→ bodies, body→ mind, mind→ body and mind→ minds, all of which, unlike Leibniz synchronicity between bodies and minds, has a basis in causation.

The role of connectionism in envisioning and constructing intelligent machines is thus twofold: On the one hand, it articulates a complex computational system that is based on simple building blocks that like neurons in the human brain that evolves through time, learning and memory. On the other hand, connectionism identifies the core computational differences between functionality and mechanical configuration and hence offers a polymorphous understanding of intelligence, sentience and cognizance as emergent ‘rules’ rather than a fixed ‘laws’.

The transcendental plane of (computing) love

“Turing’s computational project contributes to the project of enlightened humanism by dethroning the human and ejecting it from the center while acknowledging the significance of the human in functionalist terms. For what is the expandable domain of computers if not the strongest assault upon the ratiocentricity of the human mind in favor of a view that the ratiocinating capacities of the human mind can be reconstructed and upgraded in the guise of machines.”15

If we resist a phenomenalistic reductive position of relegating love to sensation then the result is the admission of a transcendental plane; by which we imply the eidetic sense of ‘love’ without its vertical reducibility to cause/effect. The idea of love, for Plato, is linked to strive for immortality and as such humans are fallible in their pursuit to attain love through the senses and their correlative objects.

In Plato’s Symposium we can discern such transcendental plane with regards to the object/subject of love.

‘Quite clearly, it means love of something.’
‘Take a firm grasp of this point, then,’ said Socrates, ‘remembering also, though you may keep it to yourself for the moment, what it is that Love is love of. And now just tell me this: Does Love desire the thing that he is love of, or not?’
‘Of course he does.’
‘And does he desire and love the thing that he desires and loves when he is in possession of it or when he is not?’
‘Probably when he is not.’

“I told you before, Diotima, that this is precisely why I have come to you. I know that I need a teacher. So tell me the cause of this and of all the other phenomena connected with love.”
“Well, if you believe that the natural object of love is what we have more than once agreed that it is, the answer won’t surprise you. The same argument holds good in the animal world as in the human, and mortal nature seeks, as far as may be, to perpetuate itself and become immortal.”16

Diotima, perhaps, provides us (Socrates) with the clue in regards to the enigma of love, namely, love’s relation to immortality or infinite time. As such, a computational intelligent machine that is infinite (Turing’s) is a mathematico-mechanical expression of temporal infinitude. An infinite computational tape which unfolds in an endless future (empty time); thus, love and computability are linked by the pursuit to overcome time by time, namely by overcoming the evolution of time through its own computational ‘immortal’ continuity. In this respect, the ‘halting problem’ plays a central role in questioning whether or not a computer’s program will run its task to an end or will continuously run in infinitum is resonated in Plato’s sense of the infinite form of an idea and its specific representation of a mathematical or otherwise material objects. Two senses of time unfold – transcendental and/or computational temporality that is infinite and ‘immortal’ and an objective and/or mechanical of time as measured and continuous. However, computational temporality does not entail the “flow of time” or the “arrow of time”. Rather, it consists of discrete states or steps of information that are isometrically de/compressed and as such defy an anthropic principle.

If love is an idea irreducible to pure sensation then what kind of an idea is it? The idea of love entails love as the emotive manifold of sensations which otherwise are random and arbitrary. As such, the idea of love is constitutive to how the compounding of multiple sensations (of pain and pleasure and indifference alike) are reconfigured by systemic principles that transform random sensations into a sensory->emotive manifold that evolves in its degrees of coherence.

Emotive manifolds (analogous to complex computational neural networks) are in effect plexuses of sensations which acts synaptically as nods to what we commonly denote as ‘feelings’ without committing an emotivist fallacy (assuming that the sense of an emotion equals its constitution) that like any naturalistic fallacy would misplace the ‘sense’ and ‘reference’ and vice versa.

An emotion can be construed as a sentient tendency within an agent or agency, where the vector and motion of a given act or object is determined dynamically by the systems’ (e.g. intelligent machine) degree of organization. Emoting as a dynamic act is discernable as a nexus or a bundle of moving objects which as in the case of Dante (and Darwin) accounts of love is comprised of a beating heart, redness of face, dry mouth etc.

Turing provides a clue as to how computer’s love is possible:

“The behaviour of the computer at any moment is determined by the symbols which he is observing and his ‘state of mind’ at that moment.”17

Platonist love, in its transcendental level, would inadvertently spell a ‘type’ of emoting that is intricately connected to Turing’s B-type machine, fallibility and errors, whereas the fallible factor is ‘corrected’ by input and output of pain (discipline) and pleasure (rewards) interface. There is no cloning of love and emoting. The ability to construe the transcendental eidetic form or idea of love (as emergent emotive manifold) is never reducible to basic sensory input or output, but rather, by readdressing the symbolic in relation to the behavioral.

In his essay, “Intelligent Machines”, Turing states that, “[…] with suitable initial conditions they [i.e., B-type machines] will do any required job, given sufficient time and provided the number of units is sufficient. In particular with a B-type unorganized machine with sufficient units one can find initial conditions which will make it into a universal machine with a given storage capacity.”18

Thus, following Turing, the B-type machine with its randomness and learning capacity, presents to us with a ‘connection’ between the input/output and their respective encoding as ‘pain’ and ‘pleasure’. Consequently, the emotive manifold of love is wired and configured from the sensations of pain and pleasure or indifference (i.e. undecideable) and yet its continuous dynamic principles lie ‘beyond’ its functional scope.

Sadomasochism is a displacement of the emotive manifold with the sensory input/output of an agent; whereas the experience of ‘pain’ or ‘pleasure’ is metonymic and is enacted as the driving force or source of energy of ‘love’.

Emotive manifolds are hence neither purely sensory nor utterly ‘transcendent’ of sensations, but rather, the dynamic configuration of both enactions without relegating one to the other and without extricating the ‘sense’ and ‘reference’ of love from denotative, connotative or associative subject or object. In phenomenological terms, emotive manifolds are irreducible to either intentional acts or intentional objects (noetic-noematic) alone and call into attention their “genetic horizon” namely, their intersubjective (transcendental) constitution.

An abbreviated physicalistic history of Love

Physicalistic explications of love are epistemically contingent in character but resort to the transcendental through scientific approaches, which are grounded in the material (Ficino), chemical (Goethe), combinatorial or mechanical (Llull and Dante) or computational (Turing) interactions and connections between input and output.

The Neoplatonist conception of love and sex signified through the myth of Amor and Eros commonly receives the attention (as in Titian’s painting Amor Sacro e Amor Profano) and reconfigured as sacred (folded and dressed) and profane love (nude and uncovered). However, Neoplatonist theories of love are more than such binary opposites and following Yates, Rossi and even Agamben we can designate two principal conceptions which are intertwined: the combinatorial (analog) computational modes of occult and mnemonic mechanisms and the theory of vapors.19

The combinatorial via Ramon Lull (1305) all the way to Leibniz (1666) later migrated from Islamic tradition transplanted in Medieval Spain, was a precursor to modern computational memory machines. The Ficinian theory of love introduced a physicalistic ‘vaporic’ or ‘humors’ and ‘spirits’ to the dynamics of love; where the former offered a mechanical explenanda the latter addressed the physical and dynamic models of love. For Ficino as well as Bruno the ‘basis’ for love, in a Neoplatonist sense, is the intellect; a top down model of love.20

Following the bottom up model of love, contrary to the Neoplatonist ones, as springing from libidinal somatic stratum or drive leads us in a Freudian manner to repudiation of love as an intellectual (psychic) illusion or better neurosis. Neoplatonists models of love are quite different in their explanatory methods; on the one hand we have an assertion of a top bottom model of love, namely, that it is induced (e.g. Platonic love) from the intellect to the body (as the topos of eroticism). On the other hand, the mechanics of love is explained physicalistically via the theory of vapors or spirits.

In Neoplatonists theories of love, the energy related agencies such as the different vapors are always ‘calculated’ or computed in relation to the caesura between the ‘intellect’ (namely, the computational program or software) and the ‘body’ (or the hardware) and as such concealed by the Platonic tropes of ‘ideas’ and ‘shadows’ we encounter a physicalistic re-description of ‘love’ in terms of ‘Amor’ and ‘Eros.’21

Much later, in 1809, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel Elective Affinities (Die Wahlverwandtschaften), portrays the predicament of human love as based on “chemical affinities” and governed by chemical laws which re-describe the socializing and humanization of ‘love’ as a deflection from its foundations in the natural realm of chemistry and synthesis. And unlike Turing’s attempt to find a mathematical computational basis for morphogenesis Goethe’s is an attempt to underline the chemico-morphological stratum of love.22

Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Morphologie are both instantiated from chemistry and plants studies as a physicalistic and naturalistic foundations to human ‘life’ and is a step forward his phenomenologie and Lebenphilosophie, both of which had an impact (historical, cultural and tacitly philosophical) on Wittgenstein’s articulation of the concept of Lebensformen. Lebenformen or Lifeforms are the encoded ‘flows’ or ‘stream’ in Wittgenstein sense (“expression should be left to the stream of life”) – or in Turing’s sense the computational superposition of pain/pleasure and of the distribution of signals of ‘feeling’.

When and how amplitude and intensity of computational de/signs of love are determined is contingent upon a vertical ‘transcoding’ of the body’s energies (e.g. vapors) into computation (e.g. spirits). Thus, the task of computing love in connection to its energies (e.g. vaporic, mechanical, erotic and thermodynamic) unravels the enigma of love. Not as the ‘paradox’ of subject/object mitigation, but rather, as the vertical coding, recoding and transcoding of love as a physical event and its registrar as an intellectual image.23

From a physicalistic vantage point, Turing’s ideation for different types of Intelligent Machines is critical to reviewing the organizational stages of a system’s evolution. Turing argues that: “Machinery may be described as ‘controlling’ if it only deals with information. In practice this condition is much the same as saying that the magnitude of the machine’s effects may be as small as we please, so long as we do not introduce confusion through Brownian movement, etc. “Active’ machinery is intended to produce some definite physical effect.” Moreover, he provides example of machines, such as:

“A Bulldozer – Continuous Active
A Telephone – Continuous Controlling
A Brunsviga [a desk calculator]  – Discrete Controlling
A Brain (probably) – Continuous Controlling, but is very similar to much discrete machinery
The ENIAC, ACE, etc. – Discrete Controlling
A Differential Analyser – Continuous Controlling.”

Furthermore, Turing reminds us that, “However, the property of being ‘discrete’ is only an advantage for the theoretical investigator, and serves no evolutionary purpose, so we could not expect Nature to assist us by producing truly ‘discrete’ brains.”24

Body-like superposition such as corporeal computability of registered sensations (e.g. Husserl and Merleau-Ponty on the hand sensing and registering the other arm pressed) is often referred to as ‘embodiment’ but in a rather elusive way since the body-sensation is not themathized or computed as sensation but its sign or input-output encoding is registered as sensation symbolically.

“The configurations of the machine are described by two expressions, which we may call the character-expression and the situation-expression. The character and situation at any moment, together with the input signals, determine the character and situation at the next moment. The character may be subject to some random variation. Pleasure interference has a tendency to fix the character, i.e., towards preventing it changing, whereas pain stimuli tend to disrupt the character, causing features which had become fixed to change, or to become again subject to random variation.” (Turing)

Love is the superposition of signs of sensations computed as a feedback loop between input and output; thus, love is the computability of character-expression and the situation-expression instantiated as “being in love” – what otherwise is taken to be the double constitution of consciousness.

There is no supervienance between sentience and cognizance and each may be multiple and varied in its possible kinds or types. A mechanical computational agency may be wired by both (such as humans) or be of a different (exclusive and even singular) forms of intelligibility. The Aristotelian De Anima assumed the vertical ascent of the soul (anima) over that of rocks, plants or other animals and such assumption has been carried into cognitive science and AI contentions on the sensory input and output of computational machines without retaining Turing (and Wittgenstein) assertions about to categories of intelligibility: learning agents and mimetic (x-correspondence) criteria of ‘behavior’.

Love letter procedurally generated on the Manchester University Computer by Christopher Strachey 1953

Love is a lifeform

Wittgenstein’s Lifeforms (Lebensformen) as an explanatory resorting to the inexhaustibility of behavioral mechanism and senses; namely, meta and extra linguistic and logical meaning that is not defined as function, as his early position in Tractatus, but rather the generative processes in which language and perception ‘maps’ the lifeform as pregnant yet fluid inter-play rather than axiomatized as game.

Love is a lifeform that on the one hand open to computability (i.e. universal encoding) but not necessarily reducible to a universalistic natural language (i.e. universal symbols).

Goodman’s non-proto cognitivist (avoiding the pitfalls of interactionism 1 & 2 – Descartes/Churchland and Kant/Fodor) is enabled by parading exemplification as opposed to representation (see his Problems and Projects and Languages of Art) which accordingly, love or feeling are neither neural correlates of linguistic mentalistic expression (which rests on a sort of mind body identity theory or correlationism), nor mental representations of neuro bodily states. Rather, exemplification means that a relational expression or analogy is need not be isomorphic mechanically-computationally but merely be as sensorial expression (of feelings, love etc.) based on samples with a signified referent. We can demarcate a computer without its environment and interactionism is more general than its various types of computationalism. Computation involves a time sensitive problem of input and output synchronicity, of concurrency.

For Wittgenstein, pain would prominently figure in his pursuit in his Philosophical Investigations of “language games” and otherwise of the Lebensformen that inform the interplay between axiomatization (game) and emergence (play). Equally, for Turing computers are not to be construed as mimicking human intelligence but instead as grounded in a general intelligence which is regulated as a code chaining apparatus in which pain and pleasure are ‘rewarded’ as an interface of a computational machine. In different ways the works of both Wittgenstein and Turing suggest that ‘love’ cannot be deciphered as the enigma of subject’s relation to other subject perceived as object, but instead as a lifeform. In other words, love decoded neither as pure (personal or universal) sentience (a naturalistic emotivist fallacy) nor as pure cognizance (an intellectual theory of love as empathy), but rather, as the intelligibility of forms and their computable emergent ‘life’ in an ongoing and open dynamics.

Love is effectively the virtual structuring of feeling. Turing and Wittgenstein’s respective takes on sentience) systematized in terms of symbolic↔ structuring is based on energy transcoding of agencies and computational agents feedbacking ‘sensations’ as ‘signs’ or on their meta and extra linguistic factors drawn from the environment. Any theory of love offers a configuration of the ways in which sentience and cognizance converge on the same infinite ‘strip’ or tape of coding equivalent to the input and output of a computer.

Turing’s pain/pleasure computational machine is a re-working of the classical theories of love where the oscillation between profane and sacred, Eros and Amor, body and mind, matter and spirit, conditions the agency of love in correspondence to its informed agents. Thus, the learning agent is in fact the computational vector so to speak of love. And it is love’s enigma, its oscillatory dynamics that is computable but never decoded.

Goodman’s questioning of the ontological stratum of art can serve also as a useful way to address the epistemological concomitants of the what and the when (of love). Goodman’s suggestion to replace the ‘when’ with the ‘what’ effectively liberates the need to assume mono-perspectival inference regarding the ‘object’ and ‘objectivity’ of the work of art which as in the case of ‘love’ is a superposition of states that can be instantiated temporally both as context and multi encoding that deliberates the structure of projectability.

Projectiles, as predicates of the range and layering of superpositioned references of art or love are the symbolic exemplification of analogous codes.

If to follow Goodman’s distinction between the modes of representation and that of exemplification, than, love can be construed accordingly as symbolic exemplification (which in turn can be computationally encoded) and not a representational reference to a given state of affairs within a particular and irreproducible coordinates.25

Love, following Goodman, is a symbolic exemplification and not a representational reference of or an emotion.

The concept of love is linked to a double constitutive ‘instant’ (instantiation) with the very occurrence of philosophy; namely, philo and sofia as the love of wisdom or else the wisdom to love. This significant double instantiation appears in Plato’s discourse on ‘love’ (e.g. Diotima) where the subject and object mitigating love are problematized:

Is one in love with the object or subject of love, or else do we love a person for what ‘it’ is or stands for or becomes?

The perplexity of ‘love’ is at the ‘heart’ or inception of philosophy – even though the ‘heart’ as an organ had its instantiation as a combustion machine or a furnace (Descartes) or a pumping machine (contemporary science) – the mechanics of love had its romance with various physicalisitic attempts at re-describing its enigma.

In as much as defining the ‘nature’ or and ‘purpose’ involves the vacillation between ‘love’ and ‘wisdom’ such enigma implicates two explanatory realms: that of ‘love’ with its physics and psychology and that of ‘wisdom’ with reason and logic. The former involving the psychophysical constitution of love where the latter the rational and inferential rules of thinking. In other words, the agency and the agents of love are to be construed either in terms of physical thermodynamical interactions or else as computational processes or entractions.

In so far as the philosophical engine is instantiated on the principles of more or less descriptive attempts to articulate in the broadest sense the dynamics between energy and computation – its affinity to ‘love’ marks a caesura in terms of the vertical ascent or descent (i.e. bottom up or top bottom models) of the energies that in-form love (agencies) and the computational agents of love. Love emerged with the possibility of physcalistic descriptions of ‘materials’, ‘forces’, or ‘energy’ and can be re-described as computational agents through its encoding back to symbols.

Love letter procedurally generated on the Manchester University Computer by Christopher Strachey 1953

Computation and the Structure of Feeling

How does ‘love’ relate to ‘feeling’? Are they co-constitutive? I will examine here the work of Suzanne Langer in relation to ‘feeling’ and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his analysis of ‘love’.

For Langer, ‘feeling’ has a constitutive stratum that is symbolic and is of a non human-centric signification as in the case of birds’ communication and flight formation. Insofar as the structure of feelings is symbolic it involves, unlike sentiments or sensations that are stimuli activated, a correlation between semantic webs and neural networks. Langer analyzes the biological and group organization of animals in relation to ‘feelings’ within the scientific findings of her day, but her conclusions are far reaching and imply a cognitive (neural-semantic) mapping of the ways in which feelings are structured both ontogenically and phylogenically. In humans the symbolic is augmented through the role of traditions, cultural memory and memes but it still mapped into animals (or agencies) representational modeling of their worlds (Umwelten) and their respective inner worlds (brains). And since feelings are structured symbolically as emoting manifolds they can be regarded, in contrast to sentiment or sensory perception which are elemental and pre-symbolic, as computable. Feelings are co-emergent with a ‘body’ (be an organism or an intelligent machine) and its symbolic gestalt and as such are akin to the hardware/software of a system’s dynamic evolution.

What is to have a feeling? To ask, a la Wittgenstein, how one uses the word ‘feel’ (e.g. “how do you feel about changing your schedule?”) would fall short of addressing ‘feeling’ not as empty intentionality as Wittgenstein takes it in Zettel that:

Intention is neither an emotion, a mood, nor yet a sensation or image. It is not a state of consciousness. It does not have genuine duration.
“I have the intention of going away tomorrow” – when have you that intention? The whole time; or intermittently?26

Intention is neither contingent on its being signified in language nor derived from sensation but instead is constitutive of one’s consciousness. As Langer writes in relation to music and the structure of feeling,

The tonal structures we call “music” bear a close logical similarity to the forms of human feeling—forms of growth and of attenuation, flowing and stowing, conflict and resolution, speed, arrest, terrific excitement, calm, or subtle activation and dreamy lapses—not joy and sorrow per­haps, but the poignancy of either and both—the greatness and brevity and eternal passing of everything vitally felt. Such is the pattern, or logical form, of sentience; and the pattern of music is that same form worked out in pure, measured sound and silence. Music is a tonal analogue of emotive life.27

The structure of ‘feeling’ and of emoting is symbolic in Langer’s sense but not merely linguistic; and therefore comes close to Kant and Cassirer in asserting the symbolic representational forms, grounded in intuitions and schemata, and as cognitively structured. As such, the symbolic input/output can be also modeled to generate and be generated from a mathematical and mechanical structure that entails the possibility of computing the structure of emotion and its intensities.28

Quantum computation, with its implied superposition and entanglement, may explain the dynamics of feeling of love as connected to the phenomenon of two initially related particles, which retain their causal connectivity (i.e. entanglement) despite their being separated (after firing) in space (non-locality). The phenomenon of quantum entanglement that is manifested in physical microscopic states is still speculative in terms of quantum computation and calls into question the extent to which the quantum world prevails equally in the constitutive physical laws and its application to computation.29 In order to address the notion of love’s entanglement we should consider Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of ‘love’ in terms of its ‘negative’ and ‘affirmative’ nexus of feelings. Love in terms of ‘institution’ and not ‘passivity’. That which is instituted as ‘love’ is not found or given to us by accident or choice, namely, passively, but rather is equally instituted as self and other, feelings and alienation from feelings.

Intelligence and love are both marked by error, by fallibility, and as Turing’s supposition on intelligent machines, so Merleau-Ponty in his account of ‘love’ analyzes it in terms of ‘negation’ and ‘memory’ in reference to Proust and can be regarded as a reworking of a Bergsonian vantage point on the role of the absence or suspension of feeling in the context of laughter and the comic.30 As Merleau-Ponty argues:

The idea of institution is precisely the foundation of a personal history on the basis of contingency. Conclusion about Proust and the Institution of Feelings, Impossibility of love, “error” of love. We exist alone, we know only our feelings, the object is only a “sheaf of thoughts” which do not relate to what is, “error of localization” which results in the fact that we put ourselves into another or that we put the other into ourselves.31

The feeling of love is instituted, as a superposition and entanglement of affirmation and negation without the ability to delineate it as objective and extrinsic or else as subjective and intrinsic, and still its reality, despite its illusory aspects, are not dismissible as an illusion.

It would then be necessary to say that love is not an illusion, but negative reality, actual alienation. The error lies in believing that it is only an error.32

The institutive, rather than passive, structure of the feelings of love corresponds to the negative and absent dimension of love’s projection and memory; its reality is ‘entangled’ in a non-local causal interactions between agencies and through their computable calculus of love – “does Swan in love?”

The question posed at the beginning: is love real? There’s doubt. Love results from the encounter, from circumstances chosen for other reasons. But what would we demand so that it would be real? That is was born from nothing, that it was pure choice. Now, if it were pure choice, construction, it would still not be “real.” It would be imaginary as well. This is to say that the requirement is false. Love is not created by circumstances, or by decision; it consist in the way questions and answers are linked together – by means of attraction, something more slips in, we discover not exactly what we were seeking, but something else that is interesting.33

But what does it mean that love’s institutive (and not passive) structure of feelings evade intentionality in its urform of intentional act or object? As long as we embrace Wittgenstein’s phenomenalistic and somewhat behaviorist account of ‘intention’ and ‘feeling’ respectively, there is no way to account for ‘love’ beyond the scope of its constitution as ‘sensation’ or ‘idea’ or a language game. And unlike Lifeforms that are grounded in passivity (namely the passive syntheses of the genetic horizon or constitution a la Husserl), ‘love’, as stressed by Merleau-Ponty in entrenched in localization of self and other as a play of memory and forgetfulness, desire and alienation, emoting and negation.

Nevertheless, consider Langer’s contending that the structure of feeling has a symbolic and representational constitution and in that sense the manipulation of symbols (following Cassirer’s conception that entails the symbolic as cognitively irreducible and which unlike linguistic constructs or sensory data) is pointing to the dynamic factor of a representational system whose agents share the same or a common consciousness.  And in as much, Merleau-Ponty’s take on the institutive structuring of the feelings of love, suggests then, the agencies and subjects of love are both negated or alienated as the object or localization of love. To be in-love is to admit and compute errors whereas to have feelings of love is to be entrenched in the institution of infinite and perfecting computational task: to perfect love without falling in love with one’s self-love (e.g. Swan’s solipsism).

Merleau-Ponty’s reading of Proust’s Swan acknowledges the benefiting aspects of errors and negation in the process of coming to accept and learn the feelings of love. Similarly, Turing, as opposed to Wittgenstein, situates machine-learning behavior along the axis of errors and sensations. The possibility of a P-Type machine to evolve into having or processing (computing) ‘feelings’ of love – whereas the input and output of such feelings are symbolically encoded not as ‘feelings’ but rather as their sense-bestowment.

In this light, can we ask how do we discern symbolic encoding or computation of love as ‘feelings’ of love?

Since neither elementary sensations nor linguistic rules can instruct us in discerning love in respect to its emotive manifold of feelings we must return to the issue of decision and the question/problem raised by Merleau-Ponty whether we can truly decide to love.

As in the case of Turing’s solution to the decision-problem (which I will discuss in the next section) so love through errors is exceedingly systematized (despite not being axiomatized as decision making process) by the agents as they correct or auto-educate themselves in how not to simply identity the object or agency of love but rather how to compute its trajectories; how to discern a certain decision about feeling (and emoting) that are directed and oriented (rather than intended) for the sake of love.

Turing and the Enigma of Love: The Illusion of Free Will

Free will is repeatedly debunked by physicalistic accounts of love, which at their ‘core’ are transcendental. The inevitability and spell of love (Cupid’s arrow) is a material causal determination, which as in the case of the chemistry of love (Goethe’s elective affinities) subvert the bonds (vincolis in Bruno’s sense) of love through the objective mediation and interaction between elements, forces, and substance composites. As such, love with its physicalistic genealogy renders free will an illusion since it is informed by interactionist explanations of one’s “falling in love” as a causal inevitability; love as a choice is hence an illusion.

But what if we adapt this physicalistic vantage point to a connectionist explanandum a la Turing? What if factors of randomness are built-in to the computational machines and as a result, re-describe the notion of ‘choice’ not as a selection menu but rather as an ongoing process of extemporizing possible interactions, and, as in a complex computational systems dynamics, the degrees of ‘freedom’ are defined by intensities or amplitudes of tendencies (‘Will’) or as degrees of choice.

In his essay, Time and Free Will, Bergson cites Darwin in observing the physical manifestations of love and thus grounding it in a physicalistic perspective reminiscent of Dante:

There are also high degrees of joy and sorrow, of desire, aversion and even shame, the height of which will be found to be nothing but the reflex movements begun by the organism and perceived by conscious­ness. “When lovers meet,” says Darwin, “we know that their hearts beat quickly, their breathing is hurried and their faces flushed.”34

With great insight, Bergson traces the problem of free will to that of time being conflated with spatial divisibility and motion:

It is to this confusion between motion and the space traversed that the paradoxes of the Eleatics are due; for the interval which separates two points is infinitely divisible, and if motion consisted of parts like those of the interval itself, … identification of this series of acts, each of which is of a definite kind and indivisible, with the homogeneous space which underlies them.35

Following Bergson, we can contend that free will occurs in time and not in its spatial analogs and as such, that freedom is a degree of determinacy of a given intensity or ‘motion.’

Free will ought to be construed as degrees of freedom (i.e., randomness) to will (i.e., behavioral tendencies), or what we can conceive as a lifeform expressed intersubjectively as intentionality. Such intentionality is induced from the connectivity between subjects as objects and not their first-person perspectival stratum. The Ich-raum and the Ich-körper (following the line of phenomenological analysis of Husserl and Stein) are corporeally defined by a directional and orientational constitution of the ‘body’ as the manifold object onto which subjectivity is generated.

Free will and probability are the key conceptual duo in Husserl’s Experience and Judgment, articulating kinematic and machinic organization of bodies and randomness as long as the subject is not misplaced within the category of subjectivity (namely, first person perspective), but rather, realigned with intersubjectivity as the degrees and scales of relative organizations of agents (free will) or agencies (“order out of chaos” or nascent orders out of randomness). Through time, recursiveness and repetition of input/output turn degrees of freedom that were first introduced into a system as random into a tendency or a ‘will.’

Copeland accounts for Turing’s assertion on free will as connected to the probabilistic organization of the brain, stressing that:

In his essay ‘Can Digital Computers Think?’ Turing raises both the possibility that “the feeling of free will which we all have is an illusion” and the possibility that “we really have got free will but yet there is no way of telling from our behavior that this is so”. Turing discusses partially random machines further […] where he mentions the possibility of including in the ACE a “random element, some electronic roulette wheel”.36

Interactionist theories of love either negate free will as an illusion or else enable it by positing free will from an internalist or mentalistic stance, hence purporting a mind/body dualism through which a first-person perspective is unmitigated with a third-person perspective and which leaves out a consideration of their intermediate second-person perspective as what I would later return in reference to “black boxism” – a conversion of input/output feedback.

Functionalist theories thus remain connected with their causal umbilical cord to the efficacy of computational apparati that are equally mechanical and abstract. And yet, as Reza Negarestani asserts:

In reality, neither functionalism nor computationalism entails one another. But if they are taken as implicitly or explicitly, that is, if the functional organization (with functions having causal or logical roles) is regarded as computational either intrinsically or algorithmically, then the result is computational functionalism.37

A connectionist theory of love (following Turing but without singling out computational functionalism as the sole path) would disentangle degrees of freedom (randomness) from will (decision). Turing’s interpretation of the decision-problem or paradox is crucial to conceptualize the connectivity between randomness and decision within a B-type machine.

Turing’s view on the decision-problem (Entscheidungsproblem) helps us in constructing a type of an intelligent machine based on the interplay between ‘randomness’ and ‘decision’ and as related to fallibility and computational learning agents. As such, these agents learn from errors of the computing of input and out in correspondence to pain/pleasure/indifference feedback.38

Unlike Wittgenstein’s concept of the “language game” which implies rules but not laws, Turing’s AI learning agents rely on a feedback process, which modifies the ‘rules’ without changing the ‘laws’ (mechanical, computational, or logical and mathematical). And in as much as Wittgenstein’s approach in Philosophical Investigations suggests a more or less behaviorist reckoning with free will, Turing’s connectionism allows a greater explanatory flexibility in defining the dynamics between ‘rules’ and ‘laws’ without assuming the ontological primacy of either a “black box” inner-systemic or a lifeform as intra-systemic complexification.

As such, free will is construed as the connectivity between de-randomized or organized rules based on “morphogenic” laws—namely, mathematically formulated or expressed (without altering the ‘game’ be it AI, machine, brain, organism etc.) in an anti-Darwinian or contra evolutionary fashion. As Turing argues:

[A] picture of the cortex as an unorganized machine is very satisfactory from the point of view of evolution and genetics. It clearly would not require any very complex system of genes to produce something like the A- or B-type unorganized machine. In fact this should be much easier than the production of such things as the respiratory center.39

According to “Turing’s degree,” any measure of the non-computability inherent in any solution overcomes the binary nature (yes/no) typically connected with a mathematico-computational conception of a computational complexity theory. As such, it would hence relegate un/decidability to the infinite character of an intelligent machine, where (following Church and Gödel) an inexhaustible number of ‘problems’ as well as ‘solutions’ may rise given infinity. Inasmuch as decision can be given either as ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or else remains ‘undecided,’ free will is posited from the degree of decidability with its random factors as well as its infinite sets.

An IBM Q cryostat used to keep IBM’s 50-qubit quantum computer cold in the IBM Q lab in Yorktown Heights, New York on March 2, 2018. Credit: IBM Research Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Sublime computation

The Burkean concept of the sublime – as opposed to the aesthetic which conforms to the Kantian harmonized, bound and enframed experience – is marked by a gliding axis of pain and pleasure whereas the dynamic amplification of quanta and qualia interchange along the sublime phenomenal constructs, like that of love, present the enigma of a complex and multiple sentience and cognizance without its reducibility to its atomic parts. In the earlier Wittgensteinian sense, we can thus assert that there is no “picture” of love unless one altogether dismisses ‘love’ as an emotivist fallacy reducible to a sensation; which in turn is contradicted by the very fact that “there is no such sensation” – atomically speaking as ‘love’.

Turing’s P-type machine (with its pleasure-pain input/output) allows as of a connectionist paradigm to view the complexification of sensations (interchangeably of pain with pleasure) within the framework of the computational dynamics of ‘love’ as it emerges from the ‘black box’ of the sensory feedback of input/output and gather momentum and engulfs the lover and the loved ones in an intertwined interplay as subjects/objects without assuming a first person perspective that would assert internalist or subjectivist information. And such epistemological behaviorism does not negate a phenomenological constitutive grounding but rather bypassing it as a pre-requisite for computing love’s black box (enigma) as the entanglement of causes and affects (rather than effects) and as defying the demarcation of objective and subjective boundary conditions.

Furthermore, the fluidity and topological transformation of such boundary conditions are manifested in ‘love’s’ traversal trajectories between pain and pleasure. There is no greater pain than the one incurred by a loss or infliction of love and as such beyond a Sadomasochist principle – a feedback loop as opposed to love in which the symmetry is never grasped but assumed as a black box through which the input/output dictates a dynamics of love – as an emergent process (‘negative’ in the cybernetic sense) rather than being transparent and conspicuous love remains enigmatic.

In so far as the Kantian concept of the sublime (Das Erhabene) is a concept marked by the unbound and un/intelligible as constitutive to a sensorially deprived or empty experience, the Burkean sublime is a ‘negative’ feedback through which the sensorial is not entirely denied or dismissed but rather is dynamically reversed and registered as an ‘input’ or ‘output’ of pain—pleasure.

The grounding of such pain—pleasure is not to be found with the system, machine or computational model but rather ‘outside’ in the embedded or interwoven modes of the ‘world’ and ‘sub-worlds’ (Welt and Umwelten) and what in Wittgenstein’s sense we can regard as Lebensformen. Such Lifeforms determine (apodictically) ‘how’ and ‘when’ we perceive an input and or an output as pleasure or pain.

Love is a computational configuration of ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ as symbolically registered as a ‘Lifeform’. As a Lifeform it has a symbolic stratum and only encoded signal but without being reduced or reducible to any given sign, act or form of signification. And like most lifeforms their irreducibility to logical inference or mechanical interaction (since they set forth their very criteria) expels love from the pure sensory (e.g. pleasure or pain) and purely mechanical (input and output) since it is always the system’s trajectories in terms of connectionism. Lifeforms entail the behavioral dynamics that is assumed by a black box without implying its ‘logic’ or ‘mind’.

The principle of indifference, or what can be regarded a la Turing as ‘undecided’, is found in Burke’s conception of the sublime. Burke’s conception of the sublime is articulated in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful, in opposition to the concept of beauty and as being induced by “negative” physiological and psychological experiences of fear, revulsion and an identification of “negative pain” as sublimity.

Burke cannot be accused of conceiving the relation between pleasure and pain as that of simply phenomenal and psychophysical opposition. Rather, his triadic conception of the sensory axis of psychophysical experiences is positioning indifference as the sensation/condition, which relegates pleasure with pain as sensory extremes or poles.

The significance of ‘language-games’, for Wittgenstein, introduces physical principle of pleasure and mostly of pain and can retract and invigorate the learning agency from the domain of pure rules (i.e. logic) with the possibility of pure play (i.e. experiential combinatorics). Emotive manifolds allow conditions under which pleasure and pain are enacted not as polar opposites along the axis of sensations but instead as sensorial manifestation of generative indifference.

Generative indifference can be construed on two different planes that involve the wiring or encoding of sensation as pain, pleasure or ‘undecided’ and acts like a neural net or node.

The first plane relates to the quasi equilibrium state/s in complex dynamical systems in which neither ‘order’ nor ‘disorder’ is discernable in terms of the system’s entropy or “strange attractors.” Such a state is typically behaving as fluctuating and oscillating conditions, which are ‘indifferent’ to any anisotropic unfolding of processes. Emotive manifolds vacillate between ‘chaos’ (pain) and ‘order’ (pleasure) or vice versa through a continuously interrupted indifference to either.

The second plane mitigates pleasure and pain through the axis of indifference and not opposition (as suggested by Burke) and such indifference as opposed to either pleasure or pain is generative precisely because it can go or unfold either way depending on how the agent is interacted with as ‘play’ or ‘game’ of love with corresponding joy or disciplinary repercussions associated with each case.

The concept of generative indifference can be construed in relation to three constitutive processes:

(1) A ‘play’ not yet regulated into a ‘game’ – more extemporizing and less axiomatization occurring.

(2) CDP (complex dynamical processes) which like the case of dissipative structure are states of quasi-equilibrium where as perturbations non linear systems – in a chaotic state/s within a system can generate spontaneously and recursively nascent ‘orders’ or organizational identifiable aesthetic ‘events’ within the system’s otherwise indifferent order/disorder parameters. The emotive manifold thus assists us in addressing the grey zone or twilight zone between formed or signified sensations/concepts (such as ‘pain’) by designating a quasi-equilibrium flux that is generative precisely since its indeterminacy and flux is equally logical, linguistic and phenomenal.

(3) The concepts of ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ as underlying organizing principles are mitigated by a general field of indifference which like the Burekean axis is transitive and non-relative to either poles.

The emotive manifold is extended between the dynamics of play (and chance) with its variations, improvisations and extemporizing as often enacted by children and as noted by Wittgenstein himself, and regulated regime of game (and accidents). Unlike the Kantian model of analyticity and contingency, the emotive manifold is structured on the complex dynamics between laws and rules, and is a lifeform in itself – a testimony of how the possible and the actual are interchangeably flipping sides of order and disorder, or stochastic order and deterministic chaos.

Love and black boxism

Black box is typically applied as a topological (heuristic) construct that stands for what amounts to the transmission between input and output – be it a brain, algorithms or transistors – without assuming phenomenologically a subjectivist or internalist topos. As Mario Bunge had contended in relation to phenomenological theories in physics, “black boxism” carries the mark of causal inferences, which are assumed within a theory without being proven or demonstrated. And thus, the input and output collected or generated by a scientific theory does not necessarily entail its ‘black box’ as a construct derived from its inferences.40

“Black boxism” exemplifies in as much the enigma of love where the PP (pain—pleasure input—output) of sensory dynamics assumes the ‘lover’, ‘mind’ or ‘heart’ in a transitive yet seldom symmetrically congruent relation between the agent and agency, or the subject and object of love.

Typically, love is associated not only with pleasure and exaltation but with pain and torments. The fatal love of the romantics, which may lead to illness and death, is an amplification of the ‘enigmatic’ aspect of love turned into the ‘riddle of nature’ (Hegel) whereas its “black boxism” is literalized or rendered materially as a blinding and annihilating force.

We never quite know if transparently love is reciprocated and if its reciprocity is isomorphic (think of the love for God!) and hence ‘love’ remains a captive of the opaque and impenetrable aspects of “black boxism” where its ‘causes’ and ‘effects’ are converted and transcoded to inputs and outputs interchangeably and collapsing in the open (an opening of the box experiment) to either the ‘object’ or ‘subject’ of love.

Despite Kant’s critique of Burke’s psychologistic take on the sublime in his Critique of Judgment, Burke, nevertheless, captures an aspect of the sublime which applies to love; a dark, sinister and ‘negative’ dimension that binds it to neither the subject nor the object of infatuation and precisely for that reason according to Burke, the sublime is ever more powerful an experience than that of the beautiful. Rather, the sublime (or love) is bound to a ‘black box’ and not in the Kantian epistemic sense of dynamic or mathematic conceptions of the sublime, but instead, to a particular dynamics that converts/transcodes input to output.

Black boxism does not deplete the significance of first person perspective in respect to love but it assumes a third person perspective for its constitutive analysis which in turn strongly delineates the genesis of ‘love’ – above and beyond its biological horizon (Maturana) – in the physicalistic realm of mechanics, chemistry and dynamics leading us to computational models (Turing) of intelligence and fallibility and love.41

To fall in love, the cadence and in as much its heavenly Icarusian ascent, invokes Maurois and Turing assumptions involving being in/fallible in terms of love and intelligence, both of which involve a machine and a ‘brain’ of a B-type and that is dynamically informed by errors and their feedback input output only to subvert the course of ‘love’ away from nature (Darwin) to its inclusive mechanically dynamics emergence as a second nature (Hegel).

Insofar as secondary nature is assumed abstractly and teleologically, the immanence of nature is given through concrete evolutionary biological instantiations.

Incidentally, a first person perspective does not explain the mechanical or dynamical principles of love but rather delineates its own ‘blind spot’ or ‘imperceptible limits’ in assuming the field, nexus or medium of love as based at least on degrees of resonance and at most on reciprocity. A first person perspective account of love is hence ever egological and never ventures into the Platonic realm of Ideas or Spirit (Geist). And in so far as ‘love’ is sense-bestowed only if it is assigned to a transcendental plane it requires an explication – physicalistic by character – that involves ‘objects’ and ‘objections’ – input and output of love’s elusive and enigmatic black box.

Is the enigma of love doomed to remain in vacillation between a black box of sensations or/and a transcendental plane of ideas, or else, analyzed either as physically constituted processes or captured through a computational calculus of its inputs and outputs?

Computing the enigma of love is precisely reasserting a transcendental computational plane – which is never simply reducible to either the immanent energy and mechanical forces nor the transcendent codes and mathematical forms – it stretches between mathematics, anthropology and biology.