Critical digitality: from the virtual to the digital

  • Jorge Francisco Maldonado Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia
  • Dairon Alfonso Rodríguez Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Palabras clave: Digital, Virtual, Simulation, Codes, Hardware, Software


This paper argues that the idea of “virtual” or “virtuality” belongs to a theoretical perspective that intends to explain components of the phenomenon of technological society nowadays. Firstly, the digital perspective is explained in its ontological basic structure: binary codes that organize a physical set or hardware according to logical rules, therefore the idea of a network society, virtual communication and digital human beings are concepts that are not really grasping the problem of the digital technology in our society. A digital perspective assumes the need to understand digital technology in its physical functioning, which allows a complete picture of the problem and enables the subsequent critical analysis of the virtual perspective. Secondly, the virtual perspective is analyzed from the digital perspective to its main metaphysical assumptions: simulation, as a presupposed moral ideal; and functionality, as a presupposed instrumental ideal. Finally, the conclusion explains the possibilities given by the digital perspective in order to assume new challenges of the digital universe, in contrast to a virtual perspective which would pre-limit such possibilities to previous needs to be satisfied. Thus, this paper rather than showing a well-defined argument it urges a reorientation of our notions of the virtual and the digital.


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Biografía del autor/a

Jorge Francisco Maldonado, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia

Profesor asociado de la Universidad Industrial de Santander y miembro del Grupo Tiempo Cero. Doctor en filosofía por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


Dairon Alfonso Rodríguez, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia

Profesor asociado de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Doctor en humanidades por la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.



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