In Amand Lagerkvist (ed.), Digital Existence. Oxon, U.K.: Routledge. pp. 29-60 (2019)

Authors
Ariana Nash
Moorpark College
Justin Dominic Clemens
University of Melbourne
Abstract
In Chapter 1, "Irremediability: On the Very Concept of 'Digital Ontol- ogy,'" Justin Clemens and Adam Nash set out by questioning whether there is such a thing as digital ontology at all, and if so, how it is different from 'traditional ontology,' or, at least, from 'non-digital' or 'pre-digital' ontol- ogy. They also probe what the adjective 'digital' actually signifies, includ- ing how it differs from 'data' or 'information.' The authors argue that the digital may in fact overturn the concept of 'ontology' itself, and that digital ontology is a paradoxical, nonsensical or contradictory phenomenon that resists its own consistent formalisation. Clemens and Nash begin with a pre- liminary analysis of some influential recent approaches in digital ontology, showing that they prioritise epistemology over ontology. Next, they re-examine some of the most important twentieth- century ontologies, arguing that digital technologies expose new phenomena that have no precedent in any metaphysical or logical tradition. These comprise not only the extraordi- nary advances in 'positive' knowledge thereby gained, but also new kinds of cogni- tive deadlocks and dilemmas that have emerged. The authors conclude that digital technologies therefore present aporias, or impasses of knowledge, to any attempt to think the ontology of the digital and that it is only on the basis of these aporias that the new lineaments of a properly digital ontology can be discerned.
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