Media Ontology and Transcendental Instrumentality

Parisi, Luciana. 2019. Media Ontology and Transcendental Instrumentality. Theory, Culture & Society, 36(6), pp. 95-124. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article takes inspiration from Kittler’s claim that philosophy has neglected the means used for its production. Kittler’s argument for an ontology of media invites us to reflect upon the cybernetic mechanization of logic, which has led practical or instrumental knowledge to challenge the classical division between theory and practice, ideas and demonstrations. This article suggests that procedures, tasks, and functions are part of an instrumental thinking. By drawing on information theory and the mathematical logic of constructivism, the article addresses indeterminacy within automated logic and proposes a re-habilitation of instrumentality whereby the connection between means and ends is articulated away from classical idealism and analytic realism. By following John Dewey’s argument for instrumental reasoning, the article suggests that post-Kantian critique of techne shall be revisited in order to account for a machine philosophy, which has originated from within the practical thinking of machines.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


media ontology; techne; instrumentality; machine philosophy; computational logic; information theory; post digital art

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


17 March 2018Accepted
22 May 2019Published Online
1 October 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 10:42

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 13:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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