University of Twente Student Theses


Critique of digital money

Reijers, Wessel (2014) Critique of digital money.

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Abstract:The master thesis “Critique of Digital Money” is a philosophical investigation into the phenomena and practices that can be designated as “digital money” and their moral and political significance. Money, in its digital form, is a phenomenon that we deal with on an everyday basis and it governs the ways we go about in economic life. It seems that the digitalization of money confronts us with paradigmatic phenomena and practices of money like crypto currencies, algorithmic trading systems, digital derivative trades and short selling practices. In my thesis, I ask the question how the technological form of money alters its meaning and use; and consequently how it alters power-relations in society. This project has a three-fold structure, which is reflected by the three chapters of this thesis. Starting point is an empirical and conceptual exploration of digital money and its place in the main academic discourse on the theory of money. The second part concerns a discussion and theorization of digital money that incorporates the works of John Searle and Georg Simmel according to which the constitution of digital money can be analysed. Thirdly, I construct a critique on the basis of this analysis along the lines of Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology. The main question that will be the guiding thread throughout the text of this thesis is: how does the digitalization of money change the meaning of money and its corresponding moral and political structure of power-relations? Handling this question requires insights into the nature of money, its relation with technology and in the overall position of its phenomena and practices in the power relations between people and institutions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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