Onto-Cartography An Ontology of Machines and Media

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-04-30
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Onto-Cartography gives an unapologetic defense of naturalism and materialism, transforming these familiar positions and showing how culture itself is formed by nature. Bryant endorses a pan-ecological theory of being, arguing that societies are ecosystems that can only be understood by considering nonhuman material agencies such as rivers and mountain ranges alongside signifying agencies such as discourses, narratives, and ideologies. In this way, Bryant lays the foundations for a new machine-oriented ontology.

This theoretically omnivorous work draws on disciplines as diverse as deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, media studies, object-oriented ontology, the new materialist feminisms, actor-network theory, biology, and sociology. Through its fresh attention to nonhumans and material being, it also provides a framework for integrating the most valuable findings of critical theory and social constructivism.

Author Biography

Levi R. Bryant is Professor of Philosophy at Collin College outside of Dallas, Texas. He is the author of Difference and Givenness: Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence (Northwestern University Press, 2008), The Democracy of Objects (Open Humanities Press, 2011), and co-edited The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism (Re.Press, 2011). He has written widely on Lacan, Deleuze, Badiou, Zizek, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology.

Table of Contents


Introduction: For a Renewal of Materialism

Part I: Machines

1. Towards a Posthuman Media Ecology
1.1. Common Prejudices About Machines
1.2. Varieties of Machines
1.3. Posthuman Media Ecology

2. What is a Machine?
2.1. Machines Operate
2.2. Machines are Split Between Their Powers and Products
2.3. Machines are Binary Machines: Trans-Corporeality

3. Alien Phenomenology
3.1. Machines are Structurally Open and Operationally Closed
3.2. Alien Phenomenology, Second-Order Observation, and Post-Vitalist Ethology

4. Machinic Assemblages and Entropy
4.1. Machinic Assemblages
4.2. Assemblages and Individuals
4.3. Extended Minds and Bodies
4.4. Entropy

Part II: Worlds

5. The Structure of Worlds
5.1. Ecologies of Worlds
5.2. Content and Expression

6. Topologies of Time and Space
6.1. Space
6.2. Time
6.3. Overdetermination

7. Gravity
7.1. The Gravity of Things
7.2. Gravitational Relations Between Machines: The Objects
7.3. Subjects, Quasi-Objects, and Catalysis
7.4. Happenings and Events

8. Earth, Maps, and Practices
8.1. Geophilosophy: A Revised Concept of Nature
8.2. The Three Dimensions of Geophilosophy: Cartography, Deconstruction, and Terraformation


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