Das ontologische Debakel oder was heißt: Es gibt Medien?


The current turn to new ontologies in media and cultural studies is accompanied by an effort to base ontology on pragmatics and thus to dissolve it in practices, processes and acts. Such attempts, however, run the risk that pragmatism turns into functionalism and the ontological question is answered in functional terms. This danger is evident in the concept of an ‘operative ontology,’ which was already used in computer science as early as the 1990s in the context of the automation of stored knowledge. By going back to Willard Van Quine’s notion of an ontological debacle, this paper asks about the opportunities that lie in the ontological crisis for a media philosophical approach beyond a functionalist and thus technical solution.

Download icon

Published in:

Preferred Citation
Deuber-Mankowsky, Astrid: Das ontologische Debakel oder was heißt: Es gibt Medien?. In: ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung, Jg. 8 (2017), Nr. 2, S. 157-167. DOI:
 author = {Deuber-Mankowsky, Astrid},
 title = {Das ontologische Debakel oder was heißt: Es gibt Medien?},
 year = 2017,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 8,
 address = {Hamburg},
 journal = {ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung},
 number = 2,
 pages = {157--167},
license icon

As long as there is no further specification, the item is under the following license: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen