Media theory


Journal Article

Poised on the cusp between phenomenology and materiality, media institute a theoretical oscillation that promises to displace the empirical-transcendental divide that has structured western meditation on thinking, including the thinking of technics. Because media give the infrastructure conditioning thought without ceasing to be empirical (i.e. without functioning as a transcendental condition), they form the basis for a complex hermeneutics that cannot avoid the task of accounting for its unthematizable infrastructural condition. Tracing the oscillation constitutive of such a hermeneutics as it serves variously to constitute media theory in the work of critics from McLuhan to Kittler, from Leroi-Gourhan to Stiegler, my interrogation ultimately conceptualizes the medium as an environment for life:by giving concrete form to 'epiphylogenesis' (the exteriorization of human evolution), concrete media find their most 'originary' function not as artifacts but via their participation in human technogenesis (our co-evolution with technics).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hansen, MBN

Published Date

  • March 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 2-3

Start / End Page

  • 291 - 306

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-3616

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0263-2764

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2005.11.008

Citation Source

  • Scopus