A philosophy of transport: Michel Serres’ recursive epistemology in the Hermes pentalogy

Media Theory 5 (1):201-218 (2021)
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Focusing upon the five books of his early Hermes series, this article argues that Michel Serres furnishes an accomplished, unconventional philosophical account of communication and mediation-a structuralist epistemology designed to comprehend the sciences in their complexity and plurality-that, even decades after its first publication, has significant value for media theory. Two key themes within this pentalogy are highlighted: firstly, its emphasis upon motifs of communication, transport, and circulation, attempting to grasp the scientific field in topological terms, as a kind of networked encyclopaedia; and secondly, its attempt to account for the intricate relationship between the formal and the empirical in all theorization.

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