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WirelessnessRadical Empiricism in Network Cultures$
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Adrian Mackenzie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014649

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014649.001.0001

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Live, Forced, Momentous Options and Belief in Wirelessness

Live, Forced, Momentous Options and Belief in Wirelessness

(p.197) 8 Live, Forced, Momentous Options and Belief in Wirelessness

Adrian Mackenzie

The MIT Press

This chapter reframes the approaches taken in the preceding six chapters in terms of belief in wirelessness. How does a radical empiricist account of the contemporary moment as framed by networks, connections, services, and devices differ from other work on the present, on recent pasts, and on near futures? Here William James’s account of belief (in conjunction with Henri Bergson’s concept of duration) plays a distinctive role. Framing belief in terms of liveness, momentousness, and force allows us to pose the question of what possible relation we can have to change. The discussion contrasts James’s radical empiricism with its concentration on conjunctive relations and the overflow of experience with Bergson’s method of intuition and its concern with “true” and “false” problems. This contrast differentiates a pragmatist sensibility attuned to the vertigo and turbidity of change. In particular, the chapter offers an alternative reading of the network condition of experience of nothing.

Keywords:   radical empiricism, William James, Henri Bergon, conjunctive relations, intuition, change

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