Epistemology Engine

Fine turn of phrase!  It’s a device that people of a given time and place recognise as a metaphor for knowledge. The “engine” bit implies that  the image drives the acquisition of knowledge.  In the “Merleau-Ponty and the Epistemology Engine” article, Ihde and Selinger conclude that despite his engagement with materiality, Merleau-Ponty did not get as far as describing technical inventions in this way.  I think Flusser did, although I’m not sure he understood knowledge in the same way.

It’s brilliant that the authors use the example of a camera obscura — which in turn drives the invention of photography.  I want this to be about subjects and objects, and the possibility of blurring, or even suspending the distinction.  Ihde, Don and Evan Selinger (2004) “Merleau-Ponty and Epistemology Engines,” Human Studies 27: 361-376.


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