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Studying with the Internet: Giorgio Agamben, Education, and New Digital Technologies


Studies in Philosophy and Education Volume 37, Number 6, ISSN 0039-3746


This paper provides an analysis of the educational use of the Internet and of digital technologies that is neither pessimistic nor optimistic, that is neither critical nor post-critical. Turning to Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben's comments on studying and its relationship to the technology of the blank writing tablet, the authors argue that digital devises are a radical transformation in our relationship to the technologies of reading and writing. Traditionally, the scholar was able to experience his or her potentiality to communicate through writing via the blankness of the writing tablet. Yet, according to Agamben, such blankness has become inaccessible in the digital age, where the screen is always full of content. Here the authors argue that Agamben is correct in his diagnosis, yet his own theory of communicability (as the experience of our ability to and not to communicate this or that specific message) offers up a way to redeem the educational use of digital devices. It is precisely the overflowing saturation of communications on the Internet which produces a new kind of blankness. It is this blankness which should thus become the focus of a studious form of media literacy--one that is not critical or post-critical so much as "pre-critical" (in that it contemplates the very potentiality for communication as such).


Lewis, T.E. & Alirezabeigi, S. (2018). Studying with the Internet: Giorgio Agamben, Education, and New Digital Technologies. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37(6), 553-566. Retrieved October 17, 2021 from .

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