© 2011

The Philosophy of Software

Code and Mediation in the Digital Age

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. David M. Berry
    Pages 1-28
  3. David M. Berry
    Pages 29-63
  4. David M. Berry
    Pages 64-93
  5. David M. Berry
    Pages 94-118
  6. David M. Berry
    Pages 119-141
  7. David M. Berry
    Pages 142-171
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 172-200

About this book


This book is a critical introduction to code and software that develops an understanding of its social and philosophical implications in the digital age. Written specifically for people interested in the subject from a non-technical background, the book provides a lively and interesting analysis of these new media forms.


media New Media philosophy software

About the authors

David M. Berry is Reader in the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex and Director of the Sussex Humanities Lab, UK. His books include Critical Theory and the Digital; Copy Rip Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source; Understanding Digital Media and Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation and Design.

Bibliographic information


'This is a beautifully written book that pulls off the difficult task of introducing the subject of software and the workings of code to the non specialist whilst also providing an original take of the philosophical and the cultural importance of Code in contemporary culture.' - Michael Bull, University of Sussex, UK

'The book is warmly recommended:[Berry's] understanding of software is fantastic. It reaches out to so many discussions and has so many implications that it is an engine in itself: it produces ideas.' - Jussi Parikka, Leonardo on-line

'What is important about The Philosophy of Software is that it really is about what it claims to be about. Rather than trying to shoehorn software into an existing philosophical or political agenda it considers software as a thing in itself and finds those philosophers and philosophical ideas that best address the vitally important phenomenon of software. However much philosophy, computer science or cybercultural theory you may know this is a book that will set you thinking about software anew.' - Rob Myers, Furtherfield

'One of the most prolific contributors to the CCSWGs, David M. Berry has also contributed one of the most extensive manuscripts on reading code and code culture. The Philosophy of Software contains chapters on the epistemology and ontology of code, reading and writing code, running code, and the phenomenology of code. Written for a general audience, the book reads several code examples including the Microsoft Windows 2000 source code and obfuscated code competitions.' - Mark C. Marino, Computational Culture, 2014