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Oral Tradition and the InternetPathways of the Mind$
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John Miles Foley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037184

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037184.001.0001

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Oral Tradition and the Internet

John Miles Foley

University of Illinois Press

This chapter argues against reductive claims that oral tradition and internet technology are the same. It emphasizes that, while the Pathways Project is devoted to exploring the homology between oral tradition and internet technology, homology itself describes a relationship of similarity, but not of identity. Related to this argument is the fact that the oral tradition–internet technology homology at the basis of the Pathways Project resists reductionism and makes room for the innate complexity of media-worlds—the oAgora and eAgora are hardly identical or superimposable, in other words. Hence the chapter argues that the variation between the limits of these two media are the ultimate source of their strength and their staying power.

Keywords:   reductionism, homology, oral tradition, internet technology, media-worlds

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