Heidegger and the Media
July 2014, Polity
Topics covered include:
- an analysis of Heidegger's theory of language and its relevance to communications studies
- a critical interpretation of mass media and digital culture that draws upon Heidegger's key concept of Dasein
- a discussion of mediated being and its objectifying tendencies
- an assessment of Heidegger's legacy for future developments in media theory
Clear explanations and accessible commentary are used to guide the reader through the work of a thinker whose notorious reputation belies the highly topical nature of his key insights.
In a world full of digital networks and new social media, but little critical insight, Heidegger and the Mediashows how a true understanding of the media requires familiarity with Heidegger’s unique brand of thinking.
1 We Need to Talk About Media
2 Mediated Truth
3 In Media Res
4 The Dasign of Media Apps: The Questions Concerning New Technologies
Paul A. Taylor is associate professor in the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds.His previous publications include Zizek and the Media (Polity, 2011). He is the General Editor of the 'International Journal of Zizek Studies' and Editorial Board Member of the 'International Journal of Baudrillard Studies', 'Fast Capitalism' and the 'International Journal of Badiou Studies'.
"At last, a long overdue account of Heidegger’s profound relevance for understanding contemporary media. Gunkel and Taylor shed powerful light onto the philosophical corners of media and cultural studies that more timid scholars have stubbornly failed to reach. Neither Heidegger studies nor media studies will remain the same after the impact of this immensely engaging theoretical tour de force!"
Slavoj Zizek, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London
"Gunkel and Taylor reveal an unacknowledged dimension of Heidegger’s media theory which contradicts the predominant understanding of his work. They argue that there is something to be found in Heidegger’s thought which prevents one from succumbing to a widespread illusion – the illusion of the neutrality of technique, what McLuhan later called “the current somnambulism”. Thus, a profoundly productive, critical dimension in Heidegger’s theory becomes accessible which stands in harsh opposition to the “somnambulism” that this philosopher himself performed in his utterly problematic personal, ideological existence. Gunkel and Taylor perspicuously show how Heidegger could have done better, had he more carefully listened to his own findings. And we? We definitely can: under the condition that we do."
Robert Pfaller, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna
“[T]his book does not read as if it is an exhaustive study in the convergence of Heidegger’s philosophy and the study of media. Rather it is an exciting crash course in both fields with an eye on the possibilities at their intersection.” - Jared Smith, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy