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Title: Overcoming objectlessness in today’s society of surveillance
Authors: Bugeja, Yanika
Keywords: Electronic surveillance
Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976 -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: In a culture that holds efficiency as an ethos, electronic surveillance has become a prominent feature of today’s society. The encounter with the human individual within such a state is one that reduces him to data; in its attempt to keep track of him within the virtual world that he inhabits, the system constructs a digital profile of the individual and categorises him accordingly. The resultant state, where man is no longer primarily met on a human dimension, is possibly one where objectlessness prevails. The question of who man essentially is, is superseded by that which is solely concerned with what he does. Bringing Heidegger’s critique of technology to an analysis of the rise of electronic surveillance, this paper explores the extent to which the condition of objectlessness can be considered a characteristic of the surveillance society. It seeks to determine the possibility of responsibility in such a scenario by drawing on a parallelism between Levinas’s face of the Other and Blanchot’s space of literature, as the place where transcendence of this perceived objectlessness could occur. This is succeeded by an analysis of the assumed implications underlying the development of the argument, whereby the discussion links back to Heidegger’s philosophy and to the conclusion that objectlessness is not, indeed, to be taken as the defining feature of the surveillance society. Thus, the space for responsibility within today’s society is retained.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtPhi - 2015

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