The entelechies of media: formal and material causality in media ecology

Sutherland, Thomas (2015) The entelechies of media: formal and material causality in media ecology. Explorations in Media Ecology, 13 (3-4). pp. 253-268. ISSN 1539-7785

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Abstract

Examining Marshall McLuhan’s idiosyncratic adoption of the Aristotelian concept of formal cause, this article contends that McLuhan’s emphasis upon form, and his refusal to engage with the question of materiality, traps his theory within a hylomorphic schema that considers mediation only in terms of its effects upon an audience, thus failing to take into account the configurational attributes of hardware itself. Comparing McLuhan’s media theory to that of Friedrich Kittler, it is argued that the latter offers a valuable rejoinder to such formalism, allowing us to properly consider both the formal and material qualities of media in the digital age.

Keywords:Marshall McLuhan, form, materiality, Friedrich Kittler, metaphysics, NotOAChecked
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:24306
Deposited On:27 Sep 2016 11:14

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