The social epistemologies of software

Berry, David M (2012) The social epistemologies of software. Social Epistemology, 26 (3-4). pp. 379-398. ISSN 0269-1728

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Abstract

This paper explores the specific questions raised for social epistemology encountered in code and software. It does so because these technologies increasingly make up an important part of our urban environment, and stretch across all aspects of our lives. The paper introduces and explores the way in which code and software become the conditions of possibility for human knowledge, crucially becoming computational epis- temes, which we share with non-human but crucially knowledge-producing actors. As such, we need to take account of this new computational world and think about how we live today in a highly mediated code-based world. Nonetheless, here I want to understand software epistemes as a broad concept related to the knowledge generated by both human and non-human actors. The aim is to explore changes that are made possible by the installation of code/software via computational devices, streams, clouds or networks. This is what Mitcham calls a “new ecology of artifice”. By exploring two case studies, the paper attempts to materialise the practice of software epistemologies through a detailed analysis. This analysis is then drawn together with a notion of compactants to explore how studying tracking software and streams is a useful means of uncovering the agency of software and code for producing these new knowledges.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0481 Theory. Method. Relations to other subjects
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: David Berry
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 08:11
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 10:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46276

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