UC Irvine Recent Work Title The affordances of inscribed mediations: Troubling the subject/object dichotomy in knowledge production Publication Date The affordances of inscribed mediations: Troubling the subject/object dichotomy in knowledge production Proceedings of A Body of Knowledge-Embodied Cognition and the Arts conference CTSA UCI 8-10 Dec 2016
This paper concerns the role of inscribed mediation in bridging the experiential gap between cognition and knowledge production, where: (1) cognition refers to present tense, intelligence-inaction resulting from the coupling of environmental context and the standard kit of human sensation and perception; and (2) knowledge production refers to the transformation of intelligence-inaction into durable, generalizable statements about the world. The brunt of this work occurs at the coupling of the
... mponents of in situ mediations, or things: subjects and objects. As such, the Gibsonian concept of affordances will also play a central role, given its discursive foregrounding of the paucity of the subject/object dichotomy. A core assumption of the paper is that we are 'always already' living in a world of mediations, but that the knowledge productive role of mediation has not received adequate scrutiny from the phenomenological, experiential perspective of affordances. The lack of such scrutiny potentially occludes the merger of two categories of knowledge proposed by Bertrand Russell: acquaintance and description, thus fostering the possibility that formal knowledge products are only ever encountered via description. As grounding for my argument, I ask the reader to consider this paper, this thing of which they are a co-constituting part. As a specific thing, this paper illustrates the role of the object, an inscription-bearing substrate, in bounding the relationship between 'what is known' across time and 'knowing' via the interactive coupling of subject and object in the present tense. I end the paper by considering an emergent layer of mediation: the Internet of Things.