Marcello Vitali-Rosati, on October 6, 2022 at 10 a.m. (EST) online here, gives the inaugural talk of the workshop "Écosophie du numérique" of the EVEille Project: "Thinking Matters: From Plotinus to Livia Canestraro"
October 6, 2022
From Plato through Plotinus, until we arrive at our digital age, matter has always been regarded with a certain contempt. Matter would be passive, given, neutral. Meaning, ideas, and everything that seemed "high" to us would be on the side of immateriality. According to this rhetoric, any activity associated with matter -- for example, everything that concerns the formatting of content, technical choices, the activities of tagging and encoding data -- would be neutral, uninteresting and to be entrusted to "subordinates" -- often women. In my presentation I will quickly trace the history of this "rhetoric of immateriality" and show its effects in a certain -- dominant -- conception of what we call "the digital."