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Pressing agency beyond the flesh: three programmatic arguments grounding the notion of material agency

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Externalism in philosophy of technology, design studies, cognitive science, technology studies, and material culture studies, has taken theoretical center stage. It is increasingly fashionable to assert that agency is not exclusively a quality of human beings, but an intrinsically distributed quality - inescapably of both humans and material things (devices, artifacts, technologies...). It is a case of externalism regarding the notion of agency. But there is a potential tension between at least three strands of thought, each with its own distinct programmatic argument, prominent in this literature. The contribution of this paper does not lie in discussing whether externalism regarding the notion of agency is justifiable; but simply to highlight (what seems to me to be) three rather different central arguments (and claims) that organize and inform the idea of material agency in this recent literature.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Kirchhoff, M. 2010, ''Pressing agency beyond the flesh: three programmatic arguments grounding the notion of material agency'', in H. Hove & P. Galle (eds), Copenhagan Working Papers on Design, The Danish Design School Press, Copenhagen, Demmark, pp. 91-95.

Start Page


  • 91

End Page


  • 95

Place Of Publication


  • Copenhagen, Demmark

Abstract


  • Externalism in philosophy of technology, design studies, cognitive science, technology studies, and material culture studies, has taken theoretical center stage. It is increasingly fashionable to assert that agency is not exclusively a quality of human beings, but an intrinsically distributed quality - inescapably of both humans and material things (devices, artifacts, technologies...). It is a case of externalism regarding the notion of agency. But there is a potential tension between at least three strands of thought, each with its own distinct programmatic argument, prominent in this literature. The contribution of this paper does not lie in discussing whether externalism regarding the notion of agency is justifiable; but simply to highlight (what seems to me to be) three rather different central arguments (and claims) that organize and inform the idea of material agency in this recent literature.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Kirchhoff, M. 2010, ''Pressing agency beyond the flesh: three programmatic arguments grounding the notion of material agency'', in H. Hove & P. Galle (eds), Copenhagan Working Papers on Design, The Danish Design School Press, Copenhagen, Demmark, pp. 91-95.

Start Page


  • 91

End Page


  • 95

Place Of Publication


  • Copenhagen, Demmark