Informed Matter for Material Review

Based on the premise that our human existence is dependent on a myriad of microorganisms, on our bodily and cellular reactions, on pitiless cosmic motions, on socioeconomic structures and on the material artefacts populating our environment, philosophers Diana Coole and Samantha Frost ask: “How could we be anything else but materialists?” (1). In other words, how can we exist and be unaware of all these crucial material entanglements? Needless to say that, apart from the cells from which we are composed, and the macrocosmos by which we are surrounded, plenty of automated forces influence our existence by guiding and tracking our everyday activities, very often though the ubiquitous internet. Those apparently immaterial forces do indeed have a materiality, yet of a different nature than the one we were used to. Out of these facts arise not only the questions of what is material and what is not, but also of what social and political power matter has, and which epistemological approach is appropriate.

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