Publication
Title
(Multi-)stabilities in the public sphere: why Arendt needs postphenomenology
Author
Abstract
Since the 1990s, political theorists studied the impact of digital media on the public sphere. These debates extensively employ Arendt’s theory of the public sphere to evaluate whether social media meets the expectations and criteria set forth in her account. This common approach rests on a methodological assumption that is itself not critically examined: it asserts that one should start with a clear understanding of what political action ‘truly’ is and only then attend to its potential relation with technology. However, this article identifies two issues with this approach: it overlooks the complex interplay between technology and political action, and struggles to adapt Arendt’s pre-digital era theory to digital environments. Nonetheless, I argue that Arendt’s phenomenological methodology (i.e., how she develops her political theory) does offer an effective starting point to explore the changing relationship between politics and technology in the contemporary public sphere. This approach begins with an exploration of the technological conditions shaping political action rather than with a pre-established notion of political action. I demonstrate how this methodological blueprint can be expanded with a postphenomenological framework to bring Arendt’s political theory into the digital age, revealing how digital technologies continuously re-stabilize the intentional structure of political action.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Human studies: a journal for philosophy and the social sciences. - Norwood, N.J.
Publication
Norwood, N.J. : 2024
ISSN
0163-8548 [print]
1572-851X [online]
DOI
10.1007/S10746-024-09716-7
Volume/pages
(2024) , 22 p.
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 21.03.2025
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 15.03.2024
Last edited 22.03.2024
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