Thursday, September 19, 2019
Philosophy of Time and Media with Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty :: Philosophy Philosophical Papers
Philosophy of Time and Media with Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty ABSTRACT: This paper is divided into four sections. The first provides a survey of some significant developments which today determine philosophical dealings with the subject of 'time.' In the second part it is shown how the question of time and the question of media are linked with one another in the views of two contemporary philosophers: Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty. In section three, the temporal implications of cultural practices which are developing in the new medium of the Internet are analyzed, and finally, related to my main theses. In his book The Transparent Society Gianni Vattimo, the Italian media philosopher, advocates the "hypothesis" that "the intensification of communicative phenomena and the increasingly prominent circulation of information, with news flashed around the world (or McLuhan's 'global village') as it happens, are not merely aspects of modernization amongst others, but in some way the centre and the very sense of this process" (Vattimo, 1992, 14f). Vattimo's hypothesis is shared by Jacques Derrida, the founder of postmodern deconstructionism. In the essay The Other Heading - Reflections on Today's Europe Derrida formulated his basic media-philosophical diagnosis with a view to Europe as follows: "European cultural identity cannot (...) renounce (...) the great avenues or thoroughfares of translation and communication, and thus, of mediatization. But, on the other hand, it cannot and must not accept the capital of a centralizing authority (...). For by constituting places of an easy concensus , places of a demagogical and 'salable' consensus, through mobile, omnipresent, and extremely rapid media networks, by thus immediately crossing every border, such normalization would establish a cultural capacity at any place and at all times. It would establish a hegemonic center, the power center or power station [la centrale], the media center or central switchboard [le central] of the new imperium: remote control as one says in English for the TV, a ubiquitous tele-command, quasi-immediate and absolute" (Derrida, 1992, 39f). What's expressed in this diagnosis is the inner ambivalence with regard to the basic structures of our understanding of the world and ourselves which is emerging in the wake of the comprehensive mediatization of human experience of time. On the one hand lies an indispensable chance in this for the constitution of "European cultural identity"; on the other hand it harbours the danger of "a hegemonic center's" establishing itself, one which might soar to beco me the media centre of a new imperium.