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.
Hubert Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley, USA.
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