Science of Recording

Ferraris, Maurizio (2008) Science of Recording. In: Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information. Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2007. Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, pp. 109-123.

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In what follows I would like to recommend the creation of a new undergraduate course, or, rather, a brand new academic program, with all its MAs, BAs, and PhD programs, dean and faculty, freshmen and freshwomen, applications, debates on newspapers, government commissions, areas of study, Erasmus programs, faculty’s impact factor, and so on. The name of such a new academic program, or undergraduate course, would be “science of recording” and it would be designed to address the new needs of our society, which, in entering the new century, has to face the challenge of a world that was mistakenly thought to be dominated by communication (and, unfortunately, by all sorts of wannabe orators) and that unexpectedly discovers itself as being dominated by recording. Don’t worry, I am just kidding. I have no such intention. My aim is just to illustrate the signi?cance of writing and recording in our world, and to point out that such a significance has been sometimes overlooked, causing perspectival mistakes that, at least in my opinion, should be corrected, and there is no better occasion to start doing it than at a conference on the “Philosophy of the Information Society”. No doubt that our society, and almost certainly every conceivable society, is a society of information: one cannot live without knowing; not even Robinson can do it. A fortiori in a complex society, one cannot live without knowing. It is often thought that that means that we live in a society of communication, both in the sense that communication is necessary for society and in the sense of an unprecedented expansion of communication in our time. I doubt both such contentions. Of course, a society must communicate in order to exist; but communication alone doesn’t suf?ce. Indeed it seems a function that is subordinated to something more essential, namely recording. The idea I would like to sketch here is that we live in a society of recording and that this is the possibility condition of a society of communication, and, of course, of information. By saying that we are in a society of recording I just mean that if we look to all the transformations that have characterized our time we ?nd that they have mainly happened in the realm of recording and not in that of communication.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Medienphilosophie, Theorie der Virtualität, Cyberphilosophie
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2011 12:56
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:53

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