On the Internet / Edition 2

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415775168
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/29/2008
  • Series: Thinking in Action Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 287,063
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Hype about Hyperlinks 9

2 How Far is Distance Learning from Education? 25

3 Disembodied Telepresence and the Remoteness of the Real 49

4 Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity vs. Commitment in the Present Age 72

5 Virtual Embodiment: Myths of Meaning in Second Life 89

Conclusion 121

Notes 145

Index 165

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2001

    The attraction and dangers of Internet Platonism

    The Internet Book raises the following questions: Can we leave our vulnerable bodies while preserving relevance, learning, reality, and meaning? The latest book of Hubert Dreyfus examines in complete details the various perspectives -of the Net through the eyes of a Philosopher -the attraction of life on the Internet as a way of achieving Plato's dream of overcoming space and time as well as bodily finitude. Drawing on philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Hubert Dreyfus discussed and seriously criticised the Net. In his criticism in the book, he explaines -that, in spite of its attraction, the more one lives one's life through the Net the more loses a sense of what is relevant, and so faces the problem of finding the information one is seeking. Also, in spite of economic attraction of distance learning, such learning by substituting telepresence for real presence (how much presence is delivered by the telepresence?), leaves no place for risk-taking an apprenticeship which plays a crucial role in all types of skill acquisition. Furthermore, without a sense of bodily vulnerability, one looses a sense of reality of the physical world and one's sense that one can trust other people. Finally, he discusses while the anonymity of the Net makes possible experimentation, the overall effect of the NET is to undermine commitment (what Kierkegaard spelled out in The Present Age) thus to deprive life of any serious meaning. This fascinating discovery shows that the Internet has profound and unexpected effects. Presumably, it affects people in ways that are different than the way most tools do because it can become the main way someone relates to the rest of the world. Given the surprises and disappointments through the Net, Hubert Dreyfus explores the question, what are the benefits and the dangers of living our lives on line?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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