The Social Epistemologies of Software

Social Epistemology 26 (3-4):379-398 (2012)

This paper explores the specific questions raised for social epistemology encountered in code and software. It does so because these technologies increasingly make up an important part of our urban environment, and stretch across all aspects of our lives. The paper introduces and explores the way in which code and software become the conditions of possibility for human knowledge, crucially becoming computational epistemes, which we share with non-human but crucially knowledge-producing actors. As such, we need to take account of this new computational world and think about how we live today in a highly mediated code-based world. Nonetheless, here I want to understand software epistemes as a broad concept related to the knowledge generated by both human and non-human actors. The aim is to explore changes that are made possible by the installation of code/software via computational devices, streams, clouds or networks. This is what Mitcham calls a ?new ecology of artifice?. By exploring two case studies, the paper attempts to materialise the practice of software epistemologies through a detailed analysis. This analysis is then drawn together with a notion of compactants to explore how studying tracking software and streams is a useful means of uncovering the agency of software and code for producing these new knowledges
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DOI 10.1080/02691728.2012.727191
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Distributed Cognition Without Distributed Knowing.Ronald N. Giere - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):313-320.
Computationalism.Eric Dietrich - 1990 - Social Epistemology 4 (2):135-154.

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