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On Byways and Backlanes:

By jo


The Philosophy of Free Culture

"In this short paper I attempt to follow Heidegger (2000) in suggesting that the work of a philosophy of free culture is to awaken us and undo what we take to be the ordinary; looking beyond what I shall call the ontic to uncover the ontological (Heidegger 2000c: 28-35). In this respect we should look to free culture to allow us to think and act in an untimely manner, that is, to suggest alternative political imaginaries and ideas. For this then, I outline what I think are the ontological possibilities of free culture and defend them against being subsumed under more explicitly ontic struggles, such as copyright reform. That is not to say that the ontic can have no value whatsoever, indeed through its position within an easily graspable dimension of the political/technical the direct struggles over IPR, for example, could mitigate some of the worst effects of an expansion of capital or of an instrumental reason immanent to the ontology of a technological culture. However, to look to a more primordial level, the ontological, we might find in free culture alternative possibilities available where we might develop free relations with our technologies and hence new ways of being-in-the-world." Read On Byways and Backlanes: The Philosophy of Free Culture by David M. Berry, NOEMA.

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