Michel Foucault, Friedrich Kittler, and the interminable half-life of 'so-called man'

Sutherland, Thomas and Patsoura, Elliot (2017) Michel Foucault, Friedrich Kittler, and the interminable half-life of 'so-called man'. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 22 (4). pp. 49-68. ISSN 1469-2899

Full content URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0969725...

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Abstract

This article considers Friedrich Kittler’s deterministic media theory as both an appropriation and mutation of Michel Foucault’s archaeological method. Focusing on these two thinkers’ similar but divergent conceptions of the “death of man,” it will be argued that Kittler’s approach attempts to expunge archaeology of its last traces of Kantian transcendentalism by locating the causal agents of epistemic change (viz. media technologies) within the domain of empirical experience (thus tacitly deriving the transcendental from the empirical), but in doing so, actually amplifies the anthropological vestiges that Foucault hoped to eradicate. The result is an alluring, but dogmatically positivist theory of mediatic causality that, in spite of its best efforts, can only reify, rather than dispel, the image of “so-called man.”

Keywords:Michel Foucault, Friedrich Kittler, humanism, anti-humanism, transcendental, media archaeology
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:29900
Deposited On:06 Dec 2017 16:02

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