Can the internet solve the problem of mass education, and bring human beings to a new level of community? Drawing on a diverse array of thinkers from Plato to Kierkegaard, On the Internet argues that there is much in common between the disembodied, free floating web and Descartes' separation of mind and body. Hubert Dreyfus also shows how Kierkegaard's insights into the origins of a media-obsessed public anticipate the web surfer, blogger and chat room. Drawing on studies of the isolation experienced by many internet users and the insights of philosopher such as Descartes and Kierkegaard, Dreyfus shows how the internet's privatisation of experience ignores essential human capacities such as trust, moods, risk, shared local concerns and commitment.
The second edition includes a brand new chapter on ‘Second Life’ and is revised and updated throughout.
Praise for the first edition:
"A well-crafted polemic…We need more teachers like Dreyfus himself, integrating the web into courses that are still deeply human." - Adam Morton, Times Literary Supplement
"…sharp and stimulating discussion of the promises of the Intenet. Going beyond the hype of the cybercrowd, Dreyfus a celebrated writer on philosophy and technology, asks whether the Internet can really bring humanity to a new level of community and solve the problems of mass education. Dreyfus' critique of huper learning provides much food for thought and raises the level of the discussions amongst concerned educators and technologists." - First Monday
"A clear discussion of the promises of the Internet…brings a philosopher's eye to bear on an issue that affects all of us." - Ubiquity
"Interesting and definitely much needed…a short and thought provoking book that can be read by any net enthusiast and/or scholar who is interested in the topics of learning, knowledge and identity in relation to the Internet." - Humanist
"At a time when bookstores and magazine stands are saturated with titles about the internet, it comes as no small, blessed relief to read one that is actually interesting and realistic, whose arguments are worth thinking about and engaging with Whether you're a novice to the internet or someone deeply involved with it - as a user or developer - On the Internet will engage you in topics ranging from the seemingly mundane (hyperlinks) to current trends toward distance learning." - Tech Directions
"This book is an important addition to the growing literature on the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet." - Revue Philosophique
'Three of the first batch deserve high praise: On Immigration and Refugees, by the great logician (and campaigner for racial equality) Michael Dummett; On Belief, by that master of postmodern paradox, Slavoj Zizek; and On the Internet by Hubert L Dreyfus.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
'This is clearly an important series. I look forward to reading future volumes.' - Frank Kermode, author of Shakespeare's Language
'Both rigorous and accessible.' - Humanist News
'The series looks superb.' - Quentin Skinner
'An excellent and beautiful series.' - Ben Rogers, author of A.J.Ayer: A Life
"Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series.' - Mute Magazine
'Routledge's new series, Thinking in Action, brings philosophers to our aid.' - The Evening Standard
'A welcome new series by Routledge.' - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society
Thinking in Action is a major series that takes philosophy to its public. Each book in the series is written by a major international philosopher or thinker, engages with an important contemporary topic, and is clearly and accessibly written. The series informs and sharpens debate on topics as wide ranging as the internet, religion, the problem of immigration and refugees and the way we think about science. Punchy, short, and stimulating, Thinking in Action is an indispensable series of books for anyone who wants to think seriously about major issues confronting us today.
Edited by Simon Critchley, New School University, USA and Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA