What is a digital object? (and I missed Hegel)

This is a presentation I gave in Paris for the First Web and Philosophy conference last month. I wanted to propose a new metaphysics for digital objects. Indeed, digital objects present to us something totally exceeds the understanding of objects in traditional metaphysics. In this presentation I ran through Aristotle, Hume, Kant and Husserl, where I understand as traditional metaphysics of objects, and Simondon and Heidegger where I identify as metaphysics of technical objects (yes, the question of object is very complicated for Heidegger), and I want to propose that digital objects demand a new understanding because of its peculiar nature (object, data, and network).

And I missed the name Hegel! 🙂 The excuse is because I didn’t have time to run through a slide on Hegel, but there is no exception for Hegel I have to say! There are not many writings addressing the question of object in Hegel, except one from Robert Stern called Hegel, Kant and the Structure of Sbjects, Cathrine Malabou’s The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality and Dialectic also touches on that. I agree with Stern’s proposal that Hegel is looking for a new structure apart from the Kantian or empiricists influenced understanding, and indeed Hegel made it clear in “The phenomenology of spirit” that he wants to reverse the relation between understanding and reason in Kant. In Kant, as we know that understanding (with its 12 categories) are the condition of possibility for a phenomenal experience, reason plays no role here, and we are not able to know the-thing-in-itself. In Hegel, speculative reason is the force that grasp object through the dialectical movement and unification of the in-and-for-itself. But I cannot subscribe to what Stern proposes of Hegel’s project is to produce the understanding of universal substance, since Hegel’s method is more or less a dialectical movement from the substance to the subject. But the Hegelian approach still falls short to paradigm that from the very beginning, the absolute of the object is already known at the moment it becomes the in-itself-for-consciousness, then object is again the question of consciousness…

Latest from Blog


許煜的《藝術與宇宙技術》(2021)的俄文翻譯 (Искусство и космотехника) 最近由AST出版社在“Слово современной философии(當代哲學語話)”系列


阿根廷布宜諾斯艾利斯的出版社Caja Negra剛剛出版了《論中國的技術問題:宇宙技術初論》的西班牙語翻譯。該出版社之前已經出版了《遞歸與偶然》的翻譯和一本題為《碎片化未來:論技術多樣性》的西班牙語選

出版:《21世紀的控制論 卷1: 認識論重構》

《21世紀的控制論 第1卷:認識論重構》由香港Hanart Press 以開放獲取的形式出版。在這部選集中,歷史學家、哲學家、社會學家和媒體研究學者探討了控制論的歷史,從萊布尼茲到人工智慧和機器學習,