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From Hegel to Zielinski: An Essay on German Media Philosophy

This article discusses an original media philosophy emerging in the German-language since the 1980s. Its relevant contexts described here include phenomenology, social critical theory (the Frankfurt School), and deconstructionism. The starting point of this paper is Hegel’s romantic vision of culture as language, and the area of meanings conveyed by speech and writing, whereas the conclusion is the vision of culture permeated by digital technologies. The so-called “medial turn” is a new opening for philosophical reflection under the aegis of Medienphilosophie. The presentation of its conceptual framework and analytical style is addressed here by the methodological and philosophical devices of Siegfried Zielinski’s media archeology.

Hegel to Zielinski (PDF 284.82 KB)

Can We Think Computation in Images or Numbers? Critical Remarks on Vilém Flusser’s Philosophy of Digital Technologies

The article questions Flusser’s concept of the computational universe based on technical images. Emphasizing the role of the calculative, formal consciousness the article suggests a non-representational, non-hermeneutical approach to “calculating machines” as machines that allow to mechanize a certain type of thinking (mathematical thinking). At the same time, the article reformulates Flusser’s search for a new philosophy as a critical intervention into the programmed universe, arguing that this philosophy must not follow its technical logic, but find a way to reflect how different techniques and practices shape the numerical, imaginative and textual consciousness.

Can we think (PDF 411.42 KB)

Vilém Flussers Bild-Theorie. Zur Philosophie des technischen Bildes ausgehend von der Fotografie

Towards a Philosophy of Photography presents all aspects of Flusser’s theory of technical images as well as the images’ ambivalence and paradoxes: the relation of writing and image from a historical and a post-historical perspective, the definition of technical images as images of concepts and as products of the (here: photographic) apparatus. The starting point of this approach to the photographic image is meta-theoretical: Flusser’s philosophical method oscillates between ‘telling stories’, a philosophical argumentation in the tradition of phenomenology, language philosophy and structuralism, a specific use of metaphors – and often together with Flusser’s own reflections of his ‘stories’, of ‘method’ and ‘metaphors’. This article explores Flusser’s philosophy as a field of intertwined ‘layers’ of argumentation that overlap in Flusser’s search for a new philosophy, corresponding with the new kind of images he proposes: a new philosophy in or through images. From this perspective, the shift from writing to image is accomplished by a shift from meta-theory to a ‘dia’ philosophy (Dieter Mersch), referring to the ‘metaphorological’ dimension of Flusser’s texts and his ‘gestures’.

Bild-Theorie (PDF 358.3 KB)

Bilder – Denken. Über die Notwendigkeit einer Philosophie der Fotografie

In this contribution Claudia Becker examines the necessity for a “Philosophy of Photography” Flusser proposed in the 1980s. She expounds the problem that there is no deeper reception of his thought in the various discourses of the pictorial turn or media philosophy, even though Flusser can be read as one of the first who proclaimed a philosophy of (technical) images. She takes a closer look at the propositions of what Flusser calls a philosophy of photography and correlates them with other famous thinkers and philosophers.

Bilder – Denken (PDF 202.54 KB)

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