Introducing The Fractal Character of dasein in the Digital Age
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This chapter investigates the way in which the development of non-Euclidean geometries, particularly topology, contributed to the dissolving of both the Cartesian dualism thought-extension and the Cartesian cogito. After a brief survey on the main theories that posited the existence of a topologic condition (e.g. Bergson’s devenir, Poincaré’s Analisis Situs and Whitehead’s concrescence and bifurcation), the chapter suggests to understand the Heideggerian Dasein as the culmination of a process that recognizes existence under topological terms. It is to say, the Heideggerian Dasein, in this chapter, is seen as a notion that displays a topological conception of the subject, which no longer represents the centre of the experience, a phenomenon that was already in nuce in Bergson, Poincaré, and Whitehead’s theories. Particular attention has been given to the technological context in which these theories were developed. In this chapter, The Second Industrial Revolution is analyzed as a decisive phase of industrialization that represents the exaltation of fragmentation and seriality (e.g. interchangeable parts and the production line). However, after this initial stage, the Second Industrial Revolution transformed the machine into an autonomous form of praxis and determined the end of fragmentation and seriality as an episteme, replacing it by an incessant flux derived from an electric technology. Starting from the recognition of this phenomenon, the chapter seeks to highlight the implications that emerged from the disappearance of the seriality that characterized the shift from a technological context to another. The investigation is built on the acknowledgment of the topologic nature of the Heideggerian Dasein and, through it, the chapter also deals with fundamental Heideggerian concepts, contextualizing them into our digital technological context. Particular interest is given to Heidegger’s understanding of technology, to the ways in which media technologies affect distances in space and time and the way modern technologies became instruments of reification of every form of information, placing the thing and thingness the middle of the philosophical thinking. To conclude, the chapter proposes an analysis of Heidegger’s oeuvre as a fundamental work from which new insights into the media condition – and into a possible current post-media condition – can emerge.