John Wiley & Sons Prospective Philosophy of Software Cover Computer software (operating systems, web browsers, word processors, etc.) structure our daily lives.. Product #: 978-1-78630-443-8 Regular price: $104.67 $104.67 In Stock

Prospective Philosophy of Software

A Simondonian Study

Ferrarato, Coline

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1. Edition January 2020
168 Pages, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-78630-443-8
John Wiley & Sons

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Computer software (operating systems, web browsers, word processors, etc.) structure our daily lives. Comprising both a user interface and the electronic circuits of the machine it is printed to, software represents a hybrid object at the crossroads of materiality and immateriality. But is it, strictly speaking, a technical object ?By examining the status of software against the criteria of philosophy of classic techniques, in particular that of Gilbert Simondon, this book lays the groundwork of a philosophical reflection on this subject.Further, in order to help introduce readers to problematics, lines of code and explanatory schemas have been provided.

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1. Simondon's Philosophy of Technics: A Work Program 1

1.1. A philosophy of technicity 1

1.1.1. Simondonian functionalism 4

1.1.2. The question of the localization of technicity 12

1.1.3. The question of the representatives of technicity 17

1.2. The Simondonian method: approaching the technical object as closely as possible 21

1.2.1. The epistemological stakes: an inductive method 22

1.2.2. Case study of a technological example 24

1.2.3. Reproducing the Simondonian gesture 28

1.3. Confronting Simondon's thoughts with computers 29

1.3.1. Existing work on Simondon and computers 29

1.3.2. The positioning of our study 35

Chapter 2. Genetic Study of Technology: the Software Program, A Technical Object? 37

2.1. Definition and problem statement of the digital object 37

2.1.1. Technical objects according to Simondon 38

2.1.2. The browser, a digital object that represents software 40

2.2. Constructing the software program from the margin of indeterminacy 51

2.2.1. The computer-machine and the margin of indeterminacy 52

2.2.2. The complexification of computer code 59

2.2.3. Three hypotheses on the status of the software program 64

2.3. The levels of technicity of software 65

2.3.1. The genesis of the browser 66

2.3.2. The element, the associated milieu 70

Chapter 3. Psychosocial Study of Free Software 77

3.1. The problem of the industrial technical object 79

3.1.1. The question of the commensurability of technics 80

3.1.2. The dual alienation of industrial technical objects 81

3.1.3. Saving the technical object by dethroning it 87

3.2. The promise of openness of software as a postindustrial technical object 89

3.2.1. A complex system 90

3.2.2. A postindustrial configuration 91

3.2.3. The free software program, guarantor of software technicity 94

3.3. Bricolage with the digital technical object 98

3.3.1. Aspects and extension of the concept of bricolage 99

3.3.2. Computer bricolage 106

Conclusion 117

Glossary 125

References 131

Index 141
Coline Ferrarato is a discussion leader at Savoirs ENS in France. Her research focuses on the notion of immateriality in political philosophy. She is also developing a reflection around pedagogy.