David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy in the Contemporary World 4 (1/2):16-25 (1997)
Does it make sense to talk about cyberspace as an alternative social reality? Is cyberspace the new frontier for the realization of the postmodern self? For philosophers Taylor and Saarinen, and the psychologist Turkle, cyberspace is the practical manifestation of a postmodern reality, or rather hyperreality (Baudrillard). In hyperreal cyberspace, they argue, identity becomes plastic, “I can change my self as easily as I change my clothes.” I will argue using Martin Heidegger that our being is being-in-the-world. To be-in-the-world means to be involved in the world; to have an involvement whole that is the always already present significance of what I do. Furthermore, that the making or choosing of self is only existentially meaningful in a horizon of significance, an involvement whole. I will argue that identity is tied to community, and community involves accepting some level of already there thrownness. Every cyber-traveler will eventually have to deal with the fact of being, always already, in-the-world
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