Paolo Totaro

The logical origins of social disembedding

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: social disembedding, time-space distanciation, work-discipline, bureaucracy, recursivity

The formal logic has found out that numeric functions and algorithms have a common root. This means that either the dominant cognitive knowledge (the mathematical representation of the world), or the dominant performative knowledge (the organization of processes according to formal rules) are based on the same logic and on the same culture, which is that of the recursive formalism. Using the recursivity concept, it is possible to understand better the historical and conceptual relationships among phenomena which have marked the transition from the traditional world to the modern word. That allows us - and this is the goal of this paper - matching different approaches to the social disembedding problem, typical of modern society. Understanding that calculus (used by both science and capitalism) and algorithms (used by bureaucratic organizations) have worked with a common logic makes possible to overcome the apparent contrast between the recent concept of "disembedding" as a result of "time-space distanciation", and the classic ideas of "alienation", "atomization", etc., tied to the formalization of the "work- discipline". At the same time, studying these concepts with the same analysis grid - freeing them from different models of interpretation - allow us to compare them on the bases of their common characteristics and different peculiarities.

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