The essence of a tool is to enable humans to go above and beyond. The first inventions meant they were able to increase their strength, to see the invisible or to tame nature. The same can be said for computers and other tools related to thought. Their power should not come as a surprise since they were designed with that purpose in mind. But we should be aware that they allow us to think ahead while also influencing our way of thinking. Reasoning mainly consisted of speculating, confronting these hypotheses with reality and changing some of them as a result. But in a time of Big Data and algorithms, we refer to “virtual reality” and “augmented reality”! What is left of our ways of modeling and experimenting? Thinking is clearly no longer what it used to be!
This essay takes us back to ancient Greece where logical and critical thinking were first formalized. It also reminds us of more recent developments in cognitive sciences that include creative thinking. With these benchmarks, Luc de Brabandere and Lina Benmehrez introduce the reader to information technology using a philosophical approach, connecting necessary clarifications and useful questioning.
Luc de Brabandere is a corporate philosopher. Fellow of the BCG Henderson Institute and cofounder of Cartoonbase, he splits his time between the worlds of academia and business. This book is therefore aimed at teachers and students, but also entrepreneurs and consultants. Recognized as a talented popularizer and public speaker, he has published several books on subjects that form our daily lives such as language, mathematics, humor or fallacious arguments.
Lina Benmehrez has been working with Luc de Brabandere on the art of thinking since the end of her Master’s degree in Business Engineering. Having Luc as her thesis advisor on “business models for social entrepreneurs”, she now works in the impact investing sector. She managed the Oya seed fund for three years and has now taken the lead in impact assessment at the Shaping Impact Group, leveraging business intelligence. Her aim is to foster and highlight entrepreneurs’ creativity to make a difference.