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A Heideggerian critique of cyberbeing

Richard Polt

pp. 179-197

"Cyberbeing" is the interpretation of all beings in terms of information processing, along with our everyday experience of immersion in a world that revolves around such processing. This essay draws on Heidegger to critique both aspects of cyberbeing. Norbert Wiener's cybernetics aspired to grasp humanity, society, life, machines, and the cosmos in terms of information, but Heidegger viewed cybernetic metaphysics as a form of the modern "humanist" project of representation and calculation, which misunderstands the human condition. This criticism is relevant to twenty-first century conceptions such as the information philosophy of Luciano Floridi. Heidegger's thought can also illuminate cyberbeing as experience, because his account of inauthenticity in Being and Time can be applied to prevalent uses of information technology today. The technology does not create inauthenticity, but it tempts us into behavior that illustrates Heidegger's concepts of curiosity, ambiguity, and idle talk, as well as inauthentic forms of spatiality and temporality. In conclusion, the essay considers the prospects for distancing ourselves from cyberbeing.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9442-8_12

Full citation:

Polt, R. (2015)., A Heideggerian critique of cyberbeing, in H. Pedersen & M. Altman (eds.), Horizons of authenticity in phenomenology, existentialism, and moral psychology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 179-197.

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