Documentalità: ontologia del mondo sociale
Objects come in three kinds: (1) physical objects (mountains, rivers, human bodies, and animals) that exist in space and in time, and are independent from subjects knowing them, even though they may have built them, as for artifacts (chairs, screwdrivers); (2) ideal objects (numbers, theorems, relations) that exist outside of space and time, and are independent from the subjects knowing them, but which, after having been discovered, can be socialized; (3) social objects, that do not exist as such in space, since their physical presence is limited to the inscription, but last in time, and whose existence depends on the subjects who know, or at least can use, them and who, in certain cases, have constituted them. This latter circumstance display us the fact that social objects, for which construction is necessary, depends on social acts, whose inscription constitutes the object. As I show through the law Object = Inscribed Act, social objects consist in the recording of acts that encompass at least two people, and are characterized by being inscribed, on a physical substrate what so ever, from marble to neurons, passing through paper and computers. If all this is true, then a theory of social objects develops naturally into a theory of the document, understood as an inquire centered on the definition of what I call “documentality”, namely the properties that constitute, in each case, the necessary and sufficient conditions to be a social object. At last, there is no society if there are no documents, and documents are records with a particular social value.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
IX (2007) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Maurizio Ferraris, "Documentalità: ontologia del mondo sociale", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, IX (2007) 2, pp. 240-329.