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Backing away from circles of control: A re-reading of interpassivity theory’s perspectives on the current political culture of participation

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The article re-examines the concepts of interpassivity with Pfaller and van Oenen in order to clarify conceptual difficulties and to develop a specific understanding of interpassivity and its counterpart interactivity. Contrary to the philosophers of interpassivity, it is argued that interactivity does not encompass any form of participation. Instead, the current culture of participation and the interpassive retreat are discussed as elements of a specific circular association connecting humans and other entities, or as a form of (quasi-cybernetic) control mechanism in relation to which the occurrences of interpassivity turn out to be different ways to drop out.
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Keywords: Gijs van Oenen; Robert Pfaller; actor-network-theory; cybernetics; interactivity; interpassivity; participation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Erfurt

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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