requiem for certainty

Archive for November 2007

Open Source Problematization

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I am currently looking at developing concepts adequate to the general problematization in which practices of ‘open source’ (by which I am broadly referring to open content, open source, open development, open platform techniques and practices). These concepts are probably most helpfully thought about in terms of inquiring into the ‘conditions of possibility’ of the emergent equipment in question. On this view, inquiry into problematization is meant to facilitate the development of general concepts which establish the conditions of possibility of the equipment at all. It is in virtue of these conditions of possibility that potential practices can come to be taken up as open source equipment. This is not yet to say, of course, whether or not these practices are as yet ‘valid’, ‘intelligent’, or ‘right’ uses of open source. It is only to specify that they are intelligible as open source equipmental practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

November 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Foucault on Problematization

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The historiographical commitment undertaken by Foucault’s practice genealogy as problematization is a commitment to problems and responses as the units of historical explanation. This means that the genealogist will seek to explain historical processes by reference to the problems which motivate certain processes and the specific practices which develop in response to these problems. This can be contrasted to more common historiographical commitments to explanation by reference to familiar themes of economy, of territory, of spirit, of rationality, or of ideology. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

November 18, 2007 at 5:45 am

Deleuze on Problematization

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One source of a conception of philosophy as the work of problematization is the thought of Gilles Deleuze. Though the critical literature on Deleuze can hardly be said to have found many points of consensus, a number of commentators have not been hesitant to acknowledge the importance in Deleuze’s thought of what DeLanda calls “problematic epistemology” and what Rajchman describes as a form of thinking which consists in “making visible problems for which there exists no program, no plan.”  In Deleuze’s thought, the very practice of philosophy itself can be expressed in terms of this work of problematization. Deleuze is well-known for the view he developed with Guattari in What Is Philosophy? According to which “philosophy is the art of forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts.” Often not acknowledged, however, is their further claim that “concepts are only created as a function of problems” such that “concepts are connected to problems without which they would have no meaning and which can themselves only be isolated or understood as their solution emerges.” (1991, 2, 16) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

November 5, 2007 at 8:00 am