1st Edition

Phenomenologies of the Digital Age The Virtual, the Fictional, the Magical

Edited By Marco Cavallaro, Nicolas de Warren Copyright 2025
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume explores the broad and rich spectrum of contemporary phenomenological engagement with digital technologies. By focusing on plural forms of the digital, it offers arobust and flexible framework for contemporary phenomenological investigations in the digital age.

    It contends that the impact of digital technologies on the lifeworld involves both the emergence of novel fields of lived experience in need of phenomenological analysis and the transformation of the method and attitude of phenomenologically oriented philosophers towards the world. The chapters cover topics including immersion in virtual environments, the impact of digital cognitive devices on our perception of time, the invisibility of digital technologies in the lifeworld, the new extension of reality rendered possible by the employment of digital devices, how new technologies affect our intimacy and sexual body, the new methodological paradigm for phenomenological research prompted by digital technologies, the additive upshot of virtual imaginary, the intersection of the real and the virtual in augmented reality experiences, the structures of perception in the regime of digitally generated environments, how it feels like to empathize with others in a regime of virtual reality, process of en-rolling in the constitution of a virtual subject, the transformation of virtual reality into conspiratorial reality by means of on-line media platforms, and the problem of the extent to which technological environments impact human cognitive and perceptual experience.

    Phenomenologies of the Digital Age will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in phenomenology, philosophy of technology, science & technology studies, and media studies.

    Introduction Marco Cavallaro and Nicolas de Warren

    1. Layers of Simplicity: Phenomenological Considerations of Immersion in Videogames Thomas Arnold

    2. The Otherness of the Other Interface: Relationality and Corporality between Humankind and the Machines-with (MitmaschinenThomas Bedorf

    3. Time-Consciousness and E-Memory: Arguing for a Phenomenological Revision of the ‘HEC’ (Hypothesis of Extended Cognition) Paradigm Federica Buongiorno

    4. The Vanishing Point: Digital Technologies and the Quest for a Phenomenology of Technological Invisibility Marco Cavallaro

    5. The Phantom Matrix: A Critical Phenomenology of Television Nicolas de Warren

    6. Large Language Models and the Patterns of Human Language Use Christoph Durt and Thomas Fuchs

    7. On Tertiary Retentions and Digital Sedimentations: Bernard Stiegler and Phenomenology Saulius Geniusas

    8. The Imaginary, Magic and Hypervirtuality: On the Phenomenological Nature of Digital Screens Daniel O’Shiel

    9. Perceiving the Virtual: Rethinking Blaustein within the Phenomenology of Virtual Reality Witold Płotka

    10. From Immersive Body Swap to the Apprehension of the Other’s Emotions: Perspective-Taking and Levels of Empathy in Embodied Virtual Reality Íngrid Vendrell Ferran


    Marco Cavallaro received his Ph.D. from the University of Cologne and is currently a researcher at the Rheinpfälzische Technische Universität Kaiserslautern-Landau. Specializing in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and digitality, he authored "Wissenschaft als System: Husserls Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre" and co-edited "The Existential Husserl: A Collection of Critical Essays". His articles are published in journals such as the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Husserl Studies, and Phänomenologische Forschungen.

    Nicolas de Warren is Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at Penn State. He is the author of Husserl and the Promise of Time (2010), A Momentary Breathlessness in the Sadness of Time (2018), Original Forgiveness (2020), and German Philosophy and the First World War (2023).

    “This collection presents a variety of significant contributions that employ the phenomenological approach to investigate the ways in which human experience is shaped and modified by new technologies in the digital age. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the theoretical, existential, and social implications of digital technologies.”

    Andrea Pace Giannotta, University of Florence, Italy