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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Taking Up McLuhan’s Cause

Perspectives on Media and Formal Causality

This book brings together a number of prominent scholars to explore a relatively under-studied area of Marshall McLuhan’s thought: his idea of formal cause and the role that formal cause plays in the emergence of new technologies and in structuring societal relations. Aiming to open a new way of understanding McLuhan’s thought in this area, and to provide methodological grounding for future media ecology research, the book runs the gamut, from contributions that directly support McLuhan’s arguments to those that see in them the germs of future developments in emergent dynamics and complexity theory.

302 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2017

Media Studies

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“Very good essays on a crucial intellectual topic. . . . I’m hopeful that this anthology will help kick off another McLuhan movement . . rooted in McLuhan’s place in the great tradition of philosophies of causation.”

Graham Harman, American University in Cairo

Table of Contents

Eric McLuhan
A Trialogic Introduction
Robert K. Logan, Corey Anton and Lance Strate
Chapter One: The Form of Things to Come: A Review of Media and
Formal Cause
Corey Anton
Chapter Two: McLuhan, Formal Cause and the Future of Technological
Mediation & Postscript
Corey Anton
Chapter Three: Medium as ‘Metaform’: An Inquiry into the Life of Forms
Paolo Granata
Chapter Four: From Aristotle via Aquinas: Understanding Formal Cause
in Marshall McLuhan’s Philosophy
Laura Trujillo Liñán
Chapter Five: The Effects That Give Cause, and the Pattern That Directs
Lance Strate
Chapter Six: McLuhan and Causality: Technological Determinism, Formal
Cause and Emergence
Robert K. Logan
Chapter Seven: Formal Cause: McLuhan’s ‘Objective Turn’?
Yoni Van Den Eede
Chapter Eight: Forms of Causality
Chad Hansen
Chapter Nine: Anti-Environmental Art and Its Role in Making Formal
Cause Visible
Steve Reagles
Chapter Ten: Of Memes, Modes, Minor Audiences and Formal Cause
Eric S. Jenkins
Chapter Eleven: After Effects, Before Causes: Technique, Artistic Intent
and Formal Causality
Kirk Zamieroski
Chapter Twelve: Re-Cognizing Formal Cause
Peter Zhang
Chapter Thirteen: Disrobing the Probe, Unpacking the Sprachage: Formal Cause or
the Cause of Form Reframing McLuhan and the Kabbalah
Adeena Karasick
About the Authors

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