Philosophy of Media : A Short History of Ideas and Innovations from Socrates to Social Media book cover
1st Edition

Philosophy of Media
A Short History of Ideas and Innovations from Socrates to Social Media

ISBN 9781138908338
Published September 13, 2016 by Routledge
262 Pages

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Book Description

Since the late-1980s the rise of the Internet and the emergence of the Networked Society have led to a rapid and profound transformation of everyday life. Underpinning this revolution is the computer – a media technology that is capable of not only transforming itself, but almost every other machine and media process that humans have used throughout history.

In Philosophy of Media, Hassan and Sutherland explore the philosophical and technological trajectory of media from Classical Greece until today, casting a new and revealing light upon the global media condition. Key topics include:

  • the mediation of politics
  • the question of objectivity
  • automata and the metaphor of the machine
  • analogue and digital
  • technological determinism.

Laid out in a clear and engaging format, Philosophy of Media provides an accessible and comprehensive exploration of the origins of the network society. It is essential reading for students of philosophy, media theory, politics, history and communication studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction - In Medias Res

Chapter 1 In the beginning was the (written) word…

Chapter 2 The Mediation of Politics

Chapter 3 Encoding the Universe

Chapter 4 The Question of Objectivity

Chapter 5 Automata and the Metaphor of the Machine

Chapter 6 Form, Matter, and Simulation

Chapter 7 Analogue and Digital

Chapter 8 Technological Determinism: A social Science fiction?

Chapter 9 Global Media Society

Chapter 10 End of Modern Politics?

Chapter 11 Time, Technology and an Ethic of Responsibility

Conclusion - Bridging the Past and Future

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Robert Hassan is Associate Professor and Head of the Media and Communications programme in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Thomas Sutherland recently completed his PhD in the Media and Communications programme at the University of Melbourne, Australia where he also currently lectures.


"A much needed and highly savvy examination of the contribution of philosophy to our understanding of media, especially social media, with refreshing attention to ancient philosophers."
Paul Levinson, Fordham University, USA

"Hassan and Sutherland offer a careful and lucid introduction to media as considered by philosophers over the centuries. The breadth of scholarship in Philosophy of Media is impressive, while the book also offers up some exciting and provocative thoughts about today’s society."
William Brown, University of Roehampton, UK