In this essay Sarah Galloway considers emancipation as a purpose for education through examining the theories of Paulo Freire and Jacques Rancière. Both theorists are concerned with the prospect of distinguishing between education that might socialize people into what is taken to be an inherently oppressive society and education with emancipation as its purpose. Galloway reconstructs the theories in parallel, examining the assumptions made, the processes of oppression described, and the movements to emancipation depicted. In so doing, she (...) argues that that the two theorists hold a common model for theorizing oppression and emancipation as educational processes, distinguished by the differing assumptions they each make about humanity, but that their theories ultimately have opposing implications for educational practices. Galloway further maintains that Freire and Rancière raise similar educational problems and concerns, both theorizing that the character of the relations among teachers, students, and educational materials is crucial to an emancipatory education. Galloway's approach allows discussion of some of the criticisms that have been raised historically about Freire's theory and how these might be addressed to some degree by Rancière's work. Taking the two theories together, she argues that the possibility for an emancipatory education cannot be ignored if education is to be considered as more than merely a process of passing down the skills and knowledge necessary in order to socialize people into current society. (shrink)
_Laruelle_ is one of the first books in English to undertake in an extended critical survey of the work of the idiosyncratic French thinker François Laruelle, the promulgator of non-standard philosophy. Laruelle, who was born in 1937, has recently gained widespread recognition, and Alexander R. Galloway suggests that readers may benefit from colliding Laruelle’s concept of the One with its binary counterpart, the Zero, to explore more fully the relationship between philosophy and the digital. In _Laruelle_, Galloway argues (...) that the digital is a philosophical concept and not simply a technical one, employing a detailed analysis of Laruelle to build this case while referencing other thinkers in the French and Continental traditions, including Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, Martin Heidegger, and Immanuel Kant. In order to explain clearly Laruelle’s concepts such as the philosophical decision and the principle of sufficient philosophy, Galloway lays a broad foundation with his discussions of “the One” as it has developed in continental philosophy, the standard model of philosophy, and how philosophers view “the digital.” Digital machines dominate today’s world, while so-called digital thinking—that is, binary thinking such as presence and absence or self and world—is often synonymous with what it means to think at all. In examining Laruelle and digitality together, Galloway shows how Laruelle remains a profoundly non-digital thinker—perhaps the only non-digital thinker today—and engages in an extensive discussion on the interconnections between media, philosophy, and technology. (shrink)
Always connect—that is the imperative of today’s media. But what about those moments when media cease to function properly, when messages go beyond the sender and receiver to become excluded from the world of communication itself—those messages that state: “There will be no more messages”? In this book, Alexander R. Galloway, Eugene Thacker, and McKenzie Wark turn our usual understanding of media and mediation on its head by arguing that these moments reveal the ways the impossibility of communication is (...) integral to communication itself—instances they call excommunication. In three linked essays, _Excommunication_ pursues this elusive topic by looking at mediation in the face of banishment, exclusion, and heresy, and by contemplating the possibilities of communication with the great beyond. First, Galloway proposes an original theory of mediation based on classical literature and philosophy, using Hermes, Iris, and the Furies to map out three of the most prevalent modes of mediation today—mediation as exchange, as illumination, and as network. Then, Thacker goes boldly beyond Galloway’s classification scheme by examining the concept of excommunication through the secret link between the modern horror genre and medieval mysticism. Charting a trajectory of examples from H. P. Lovecraft to Meister Eckhart, Thacker explores those instances when one communicates or connects with the inaccessible, dubbing such modes of mediation “haunted” or “weird” to underscore their inaccessibility. Finally, Wark evokes the poetics of the infuriated swarm as a queer politics of heresy that deviates from both media theory and the traditional left. He posits a critical theory that celebrates heresy and that is distinct from those that now venerate Saint Paul. Reexamining commonplace definitions of media, mediation, and communication, _Excommunication_ offers a glimpse into the realm of the nonhuman to find a theory of mediation adequate to our present condition. (shrink)
While the common law may result in justice between heterosexual intimate partners in particular claims for a beneficial interest in the family home, it does so on its own terms—terms drawn up according to contractarian principles reflecting male sex-right, that subsist even as the world and the institution of marriage have changed. This paper uses examples from the case law across four common law jurisdictions to expose the terms on which the contractarian nature of intimate partner trusts permits claims for (...) a distribution of intimate partners’ property, and how it excludes. In particular, it identifies the pervasiveness of the sexual contract in subsuming women’s expression of individualism to those of her intimate partner, and the implications of this for the derivation of a property interest in the family home. (shrink)
The current study explored high school student cheating in communities of advantage, gathering survey data from 4,316 high school students in upper middle class communities and qualitative data from a smaller group of students, school leaders, teachers, and parents. Results indicated pervasive cheating among students (93% reported cheating at least once and 26% of upperclassmen indicated cheating in 7 or more of 13 ways listed on the survey). Students described schools as lacking clarity or consequences regarding cheating and expressed feeling (...) forced to cheat in a school culture that promotes getting ahead over learning. The discussion focuses on why advantaged contexts are ripe for student cheating and proposes strategies for change. (shrink)
This paper considers well known results of psychological researchinto the fallibility of human reason, and philosophical conclusionsthat some have drawn from these results. Close attention to theexact content of the results casts doubt on the reasoning that leadsto those conclusions.
Jacques Rancière, in his essay ‘Are Some Things Unrepresentable?’, puts forth a challenge that is ever more pertinent to our times. What constitutes the unrepresentable today? Rancière frames his answer in a very specific way: the question of unrepresentability leads directly to the way in which political violence may or may not be put into an image. Offering an alternative to Rancière’s approach, the present article turns instead to the information society, asking if and how something might be unrepresentable in (...) a world saturated by data and information. Thus one approaches the issue of transparency and secrecy here from the perspective of the relative perspicuity of data visualization. Two theses structure the argument, first that ‘data have no necessary visual form’ and, second, that ‘only one visualization has ever been made of an information network’. The tension between these two theses leads to a disconcerting conclusion, that the triumph of information aesthetics precipitates a decline in informatic perspicuity. One is obligated therefore to call for a strong reinvigoration of poetics and hermeneutics within the digital universe, so that representation as such can take place, perhaps for the first time. (shrink)
Introduction : the computer as a mode of mediation -- The unworkable interface -- Software and ideology -- Are some things unrepresentable? -- Disingenuous informatics -- Postscript : we are the gold farmers.
The goal of this paper is to offer, in straight forward terms, some practical insight into distributed data surveillance. I will use the software project Carnivore as a case study. Carnivore is a public domain riff on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s software “Carnivore,” which was developed to perform electronic wiretaps of email. As founder of the Radical Software Group (RSG), and lead developer on the Carnivore project, I will describe the technological, philosophical, and political reasons for launching the (...) project. I will also offer an account of the development cycle of the core engine, identify trends in “client” interface designs, and present a series of design challenges that still remain. (shrink)
This article discusses Charles Parsons’ conception of mathematical intuition. Intuition, for Parsons, involves seeing-as: in seeing the sequences I I I and I I I as the same type, one intuits the type. The type is abstract, but intuiting the type is supposed to be epistemically analogous to ordinary perception of physical objects. And some non-trivial mathematical knowledge is supposed to be intuitable in this way, again in a way analogous to ordinary perceptual knowledge. In particular, the successor axioms are (...) supposed to be knowable intuitively.This conception has the resources to respond to some familiar objections to mathematical intuition. But the analogy to ordinary perception is weaker than it looks, and the warrant provided for non-trivial mathematical beliefs by intuition of this sort is weak too weak, perhaps, to yield any mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Scholars have long recognized that riddles were part of literary and intellectual culture in late-medieval England, and considerable effort has been expended to ponder a prominent handful of late-fourteenth-century writings in Latin and English that use them, including John Ergome's commentary on the Vaticinium of “John of Bridlington,” the seditious vernacular letters circulated during the Rising of 1381, and most famously Piers Plowman, all notorious for the use of peculiar and difficult riddles that flaunt their interpretative challenges and the social (...) power of their hermeneutical barriers. Comparatively vast gaps, however, remain in our knowledge of the range, distinctive modes, and customary contexts of riddles in this period, so that the isolated uses of them that have been studied seem, in May McKisack's words about Piers Plowman, to speak “to us from a forgotten world, drowned, mysterious, irrecoverable.”. (shrink)
This article discusses Charles Parsons' conception of mathematical intuition. Intuition, for Parsons, involves seeing-as: in seeing the sequences III and III as the same type, one intuits the type. The type is abstract, but intuiting the type is supposed to be epistemically analogous to ordinary perception of physical objects. And some non-trivial mathematical knowledge is supposed to be intuitable in this way, again in a way analogous to ordinary perceptual knowledge. In particular, the successor axioms are supposed to be knowable (...) intuitively. This conception has the resources to respond to some familiar objections to mathematical intuition. But the analogy to ordinary perception is weaker than it looks, and the warrant provided for non-trivial mathematical beliefs by intuition of this sort is weak-too weak, perhaps, to yield any mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
This is a discussion of L. Jonathan Cohen’s argument against the possibility that empirical psychological research might show that lay deductive competence is inconsistent. I argue that, within the framework Cohen provides, the consistency of lay deductive practice is indeterminate.
Could it be that Deleuze's most lasting legacy will lie in his ‘Postscript on Control Societies’, a mere 2,300-word essay from 1990? While he discussed computers and new media infrequently, Deleuze admittedly made contributions to the contemporary discourse on computing, cybernetics and networks, particularly in his late work. From the concepts of the rhizome and the virtual, to his occasional interjections on the digital versus the analogue, there is a case to be made that the late Deleuze has not only (...) influenced today's discourse on new media but also proposes an original set of arguments about society and politics at the turn of the new millennium. Focusing on the ‘Postscript on Control Societies’ and a handful of texts that surround it, we will reconstruct an image of what it means to live in the information age. This will have consequences for how we define the digital and the analogue, what the computer means, and ultimately provide some insight into one of the more elusive terms in all of Deleuze, the superfold. (shrink)