The heteronomy of algorithms: Traditional knowledge and computational knowledge

Author : David M. Berry

If critical approaches are to remain relevant in a computational age, then philosophy must work to critique and understand how the materiality of the modern world is normatively structured using computation and the attendant imaginaries made possible for the reproduction and transformation of society, economy, culture and consciousness.

This call is something we need to respond to in relation to the contemporary reliance on computational forms of knowledge and practices and the co-constitution of new computational subjectivities. This chapter argues that to comprehend the digital we must, therefore, know it from the inside, we must know its formative processes.

We must materialize the digital and ask about the specific mediations that are made possible in and through computation, and the infrastructural systems which are built from it. This calls for computation and computational thinking to be part of the critical traditions of the arts and humanities, the social sciences and the university as a whole, requiring new pedagogical models that are able to develop new critical faculties in relation to the digital.