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An Epistemology of Noise (Paperback)
  • An Epistemology of Noise (Paperback)
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An Epistemology of Noise (Paperback)

(author), (author of preface)
£28.99
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 28/11/2019
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What do we understand 'noise' to be? The term `noise' no longer suggests only aesthetic judgement, as in acoustic or visual noise, and is now relevant to domains as varied as communication theory, physics and biology. This trans-disciplinary usage leads to confusion and complication, and reveals that the question of noise is a properly philosophical problem. Presenting an analysis of the rising interest in the notion of noise, this book investigates if there can be a coherent understanding of what it is, that can be effectively shared among the natural and human sciences, technology and the arts. Drawing the philosophical consequences of noise for the theory of knowledge, Malaspina undertakes a philosophical revaluation of Shannon and Weaver's theory of `information entropy'; this forms the basis upon which to challenge the common idea that noise can be reduced to notions of error, disorder or disorganization. The wider consequences of this analysis relate the technological and scientific aspect of noise, with its cultural and psycho-social aspects. At the heart of Malaspina's argument is the contestation of the ground upon which we judge and distinguish noise from information and finally the exploration of its emancipatory potential.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350141766
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is one of the freshest intellectual works I have read in recent years. If you did not previously recognize the philosophical significance of Claude Shannon, Warren Weaver, and Norbert Wiener, you will after reading this book. Shannon's paradoxical claim that information and noise are both forms of entropy is revived by Malaspina and developed with ideas drawn from Gilbert Simondon and Nicholas of Cusa. The result is a challenging and compelling experience for the reader, who will want to study this book multiple times. -- Graham Harman, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, USA
The chapters that form this book are like cuts in a diamond, the precision of which is a thing of beauty. Bringing presuppositions to the fore, little is taken for granted when approaching noise and how to understand it. This is a philosophy of noise that is ultimately freeing and demands to be shared. -- Yve Lomax, Senior Research Tutor in Photography and Fine Art, Royal College of Art, UK
The received view that we now live in information societies obscures a more unsettling premise. For noise is not just intrinsic to information: as Cecile Malaspina contends, noise is rather the very basis of information. Information societies are then noise societies. This startling insight requires the resetting-or rather the upsetting- of basic categories across the board: for communication, sound, physics, biology, social organisation and, as Malaspina argues, of categorization itself. Noise is therefore primary and significant, yet its theorization is a demanding and necessarily transdisciplinary task. Epistemology of Noise attends to that task with rigour and precision. As such, Malaspina has written an establishing text for a new uncontainable field of noise studies. -- Suhail Malik, Reader in Critical Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
This important study offers a rewarding exploration of its subject, not the least by revealing the deeper philosophical underpinnings of the mathematical and scientific theories of information and noise. The book rightly places them in complex relationships to each other, and against an uncritical opposition between them that has prevented us from understanding the nature of these relationships, and of noise and information themselves, for so long. -- Arkady Plotnitsky, Distinguished Professor of English and Director of Theory and Cultural Studies, Purdue University, USA

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