Heidegger and the Media (Theory and Media)
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The most significant philosopher of Being, Martin Heidegger has nevertheless largely been ignored within communications studies. This book sets the record straight by demonstrating the profound implications of his unique philosophical project for our understanding of today’s mediascape. The full range of Heidegger’s writing from Being and Time to his later essays is drawn upon.
Topics covered include:
- an analysis of Heidegger's theory of language and its relevance to communications studies
- a critical interpretation of mass media and digital culture that draws upon Heidegger's key concept of Dasein
- a discussion of mediated being and its objectifying tendencies
- an assessment of Heidegger's legacy for future developments in media theory
Clear explanations and accessible commentary are used to guide the reader through the work of a thinker whose notorious reputation belies the highly topical nature of his key insights.
In a world full of digital networks and new social media, but little critical insight, Heidegger and the Mediashows how a true understanding of the media requires familiarity with Heidegger’s unique brand of thinking.
instance, then US president George W. Bush and his administration issued a number of ominous statements regarding Iraq’s development, possession and potential use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). News of these statements, which consisted of various official documents, press briefings, public speeches and hearings before national legislatures and international organizations like the United Nations, circulated in both US and UK media, and they presented the public with an image of Iraq as a
and other forms of media, or what is often called ‘means of expression’, should not be looked at as mere pale reflections of a pre-existing world of real things. Instead ‘one must’, as Carey argues, ‘examine communication, even scientific communication, even mathematical expression, as the primary phenomena of experience and not as something “softer” and derivative from a “realer” existent nature’ (1989: 26). Consequently, what has been called Communication Studies or Media Studies needs to
uncharacteristic – he tells a joke or what he calls ‘a little story … Plato has preserved in the Theaetetus’: The story is that Thales, while occupied in studying the heavens above and looking up, fell into a well. A good-looking and whimsical maid from Thrace laughed at him and told him that while he might passionately want to know all things in the universe, the things in front of his very nose and feet were unseen by him. Plato added to this story the remark: ‘This jest also fits all those
claim that ‘all that is solid melts into air’, Heidegger’s phenomenological analysis of things has never been more relevant. Particularly pertinent for a networked digital society, he moves beyond the seemingly self-evident, but ultimately incomplete, understanding of things as entities or objects. Instead, he provides a much richer phenomenological account of how thingness is in fact inextricably related to human concerns and dealings that occur in a distinctly insubstantial and non-thing-like
37, 42 Wiener, Norbert, 50, 54 Wikipedia, 52, 67, 80, 82, 173n2 Winner, Langdon, 2, 135 Wired magazine, 92–4 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 30 Wolf, Gary, 93, 94 world picture, 154–7 Wozniak, Steve, 175n1 Wrathall, Mark, 28, 39, 44–5, 46, 47–8, 52, 84 Zimmerman, Michael, 104 Žižek, Slavoj, 64–5, 151, 160, 164, 170