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Speed and Pessimism: Moral Experience in the Work of Paul Virilio

Hill, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3849-1170 (2020) Speed and Pessimism: Moral Experience in the Work of Paul Virilio. Journal for Cultural Research, 23 (4). pp. 411-424.

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Paul Virilio passed away on the 10th of September 2018. This article surveys his considerable legacy to cultural theory in order to locate a largely dormant contribution to questions of moral responsibility and experience. Whilst the phenomenological foundations of Virilio’s work are well known, it is argued here that, more than this, his work ought to be understood as an example of ethics as first philosophy. There is a certain methodological challenge to this, since Virilio’s work was, to a large extent, fragmentary, and he seldom connected the dots between essays on a disparate range of topics – from wars to cities to communication technologies – that are held in place by a sustained critique of speed and politics. As such, Virilio’s ideas are explored through three vignettes – on hikikomori, on viral events and on self-tracking – that are intended to draw these threads together under moral questions of proximity, distance and time. It is concluded that this quiescent legacy – a moral philosophy of communication too often (dis)missed as conservative moralism – ought to be taken up if we want to understand the impact of digital technology on moral experience.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is an accepted version of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal for Cultural Research, on 13/01/2020 available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14797585.2020.1716141"
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14797585.2020.1716141
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4249

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