Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

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Rosa San Segundo, Adelina Codina-Canet

Last modified: 2018-04-03



Epistemology is the discipline that addresses the fundamentals, criteria, and validation through which knowledge is justified, nuclear discipline in the construction of scientific knowledge, it is a metadiscourse that ascribes itself to order and analyzes science. Epistemology is born in European modernity, as a construction of the symbolic order, which will establish the ways to legitimize knowledge and as a strategic need to control it.

In the history of science, culture and in every age, there is always an order that underlies and regulates knowledge (a mute order). This mute order is what enables and conforms the constitution of knowledge, and knowledge in each moment. Thus, scientific knowledge has gone through different stages and has not always been built on the same epistemes, but has been subject to constant epistemological changes. It is necessary, therefore, to analyze the experience of order from the experiences that exist in every culture. We think, know and value inserts in the schemes of the episteme in force, in the time in which we live. Discursive practices may seem free, but they are strongly conditioned by the epistemic structures that embrace them.

So it is intended to illuminate the configurations that have given rise to the forms of knowledge, and how scientific knowledge is produced in each epoch. For the epistemological fleetingness and current volatility leads to the necessary dissection of the old epistemology.


At the beginning of the 20th century, in Western European culture, scientific knowledge, its modes and truth in science point to an epistemology based on objectivity, and inserted in its new conditions. The transition to postmodernity occurs at the end of World War II, through the creation of the digital technological universe, proposing a shift of that objectivity, rationality and cognoscibility, where nothing is alien to its process or time, therefore, nothing is totally objectifiable.

Likewise, technological postmodernism emerges based on a translation of the primacy of technology over science, and specifically of digital information technologies, with a new world of technology, virtual and electronic world information, that make possible the transmission of an overall vision of both experience, culture and history. Thus, since the beginning of the 21st century, digital information technologies have become the driving force of the information and knowledge society, an agent of socio-economic change, a scientific discipline par excellence, which leads to the current determinism technological.

In addition, the digital interaction characterized by the development of technologies aimed at participation and collaboration between virtual communities, with social networks that make up communities where users interact, will establish the digital identity space. In this way, a global interconnection of information and semantic information is generated, which can also produce an exponential pattern of technological growth. Our postmodernity, with the digital network, has triggered revolutions in different contexts, whether mediatic, scientific, epistemic, symbolic and  organizational.

Thus, the transit of modern epistemology to the postmodern and digital has been conveyed, with the emergence of the technological paradigm of information. This new technological paradigm is a new way of thinking, doing and living in the digital environment. Consequently, the current epistemological configuration must address the treatment of a multiplied volume of multidisciplinary information from a heterogeneous digital environment.

Main results

The new digital materiality transforms the material context, and science itself, so the new epistemological framework must be addressed, and the organization of knowledge must be shaped by an open, critical and transdisciplinary analysis. The new digital materiality transforms science, its contents and also its organizational forms.

At present, a totalizing technological model of interaction has been reached that determines and floods the substratum of epistemologies. The structure of information that has been mediated by orality and writing and now will be by digital information, and semantic interconnection, with adaptation of our brain to digital. The digital medium has shaped the message, but now it seems also to shape the structure, and even more it already conforms reality

Conclusions The WWW begins as technology, as communication, also for the commercial, business, economic, military, university and many others. And even as a speech, and later as imaginary, as an identity space, the WWW being our constituent part. For under every concept or construct a metaphor beats, and with its repeated use we forget that it is a metaphor. The metaphors that we use habitually shape our perception, moment in which we no longer perceive that they are metaphors. It is not we who say them, it is they who tell us and conceptualize the world. In digital reality beats a metaphor that has forgotten that it is, and that forgetfulness is what paradoxically gives it consistency. And it is precisely this occupation of the digital environment where the digital metaphor thinks us, constitutes us, conforms and shapes us, and we can not perceive. Consequently, the epistemological challenges to be addressed in organizing the knowledge of the digital age are very numerous and profound.