Maurizio Ferraris


Translated by Sarah De Sanctis


2022. XXII, 343 pages.

Reality and Hermeneutics 2

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ISBN 978-3-16-161666-2
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Published in English.
The time has come to stop thinking of the future as a projection of the past. The technological revolution has brought with it a new ecosystem. Understanding the Web's nature is the first step toward understanding this revolution, which generates a new world, a new capital, a new humanity: doc-humanity.
However you view the present time, it is a new century, a new world, and also a new humanity – in fact, humanity is not something that was ever defined once and for all, but remains an open project. For several decades we have been witnessing a revolution. However, unlike the political and ideological revolutions that took place around the First World War, this is a technological and much more radical one that does not depend on people's beliefs, but rather on the tireless labour of machines. The rise of automation has brought about a revelation of something that had hitherto remained hidden in the workshops of homo faber . That is, there are very few functions, apart from consumption, where a machine cannot replace a human being, be these material or spiritual – machines need energy, but they can also do without it, whereas humans die if deprived of it, or one can imagine a machine producing symphonies, but not enjoying them. So while human beings are still needed, their roles and scopes have to be reconsidered. Workers may be superfluous, but humans are still needed, including those who until recently only recognised themselves as producers. The exclusion of workers from production does not discount humans being able to produce value in the form of consumption. Recognising this will enable us to conceive the »Webfare” – a new digital system that will teach us to find new names and new forms, more tolerance and room for traditional human needs. Above all, it will teach us how to transform the time given to us by automation into an opportunity for progress.
Survey of contents
Prologue: The New World
Instructions for Use
1. Revolution: What is the Web?
1.1. Hysteresis
1.2. A Copernican Revolution
1.3. Solving the Mystery of the Commodity Form
1.4. The Mystery of Labour

2. Revelation: Who are We?
2.1. Foundation: Responsivity
2.2. Supplement: Prosthesis
2.3. Document: Capital
2.4. Monument: Value

3. Speculation: Where Do we Come from?
3.1. Ontology: Recording
3.2. Technology: Iteration
3.3. Epistemology: Alteration
3.4. Teleology: Interruption

4. Transvaluation: Where are we Going?
4.1. Deconstruction: The Other Side of the Hill
4.2. Analysis: Documedia Surplus Value
4.3. Action: The Struggle for Recognition
4.4. Redemption: Webfare
The time has come to stop thinking of the future as a projection of the past. The technological revolution has brought us into a new ecosystem, forcing the questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? The Web is the largest recording apparatus humanity has developed, and this explains the importance of the changes it has produced. Although more than one in two individuals do not yet own a cell phone, the number of connected devices is 23 billion: more than three times the world's population. This connectedness produces more socially relevant objects than all the factories in the world – an immense amount of acts, contacts, transactions and traces encoded in 2.5 quintillion bytes. That is why understanding the true nature of the Web is the first step toward understanding the revolution underway, which generates a new world, a new capital, and a new humanity: doc-humanity.

Maurizio Ferraris Born 1956; Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin and president of Labont (Center for Ontology). He is also the director of »Scienza Nuova”, an institute of advanced studies – dedicated to Umberto Eco and uniting the University and the Polytechnic of Turin.

Sarah De Sanctis is an author and translator specialized in contemporary philosophy.


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