Free Software and philosophy
My article on practical applications of Stieglerian philosophy in the online classroom, with some philosophical background, has been published by Routledge’s Educational Philosophy and Theory, 54(5), 545-556.
I am grateful to the editor who gave me the opportunity to share these ideas. Below is the abstract. The title links to the publisher’s page of the article.
A song of teaching with free software in the Anthropocene
Bernard Stiegler highlights many of the problems faced by education with respect to the ‘bringing forth’ of knowledge on an individual, collective, and technical level in the Anthropocene. These problems include the short-circuiting of dreams, automatization of thought, and toxic digital networks. Stiegler’s φάρμακον (pharmakon) seeks to treat the toxicity of the Anthropocene with a care-ful hermeneutic approach that is directed towards the disautomatized, inventive, co-individuating knowledge act. This paper first explores Stiegler’s Anthropocene and his development of Heideggerian ποίησις (poeisis) in terms of the challenge of the ‘bringing forth’ of knowledge acts, which are illustrated by free software. It then explores, through the additional example of Félix Guattari’s work in free radio, the problem and possibility of creative co-individuating ex-pression in the Anthropocene by expanding on Stiegler’s emphasis on the importance of hermeneutics. This raises the question of how to read Stiegler’s own ex-pression of the future of knowledge. Next, the paper reviews Stiegler’s educational project involving a dis-automatizable hermeneutic web. Finally, the paper gives an autoethnographic account of an attempt to ‘bring forth’ learning through the implementation of free software in local, online classrooms. The free software example does not solve the problem of the Anthropocene but does raise the question of our responsibility to choose our digital tools care-fully and the importance of maintaining the possibility of co-individuating ex-pression like the kind that is remembered in song and which online education should remind us of.
Keywords: Negentropy, co-individuation, digital humanities, critical pedagogy, mythopoeisis, hermeneutics
A version of the paper can also be downloaded:
Unfortunately, the published paper contains a few errors likely due to the fact I do not run the software that is recommended for correction input.