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Towards a Philosophy of the Web – Representation, Enaction, Collective Intelligence

We present some initial forays into the questions that underlie the philosophy of the Web around the notions of  representation, enactive search, the extended mind, and collective intelligence.

Having philosophers seriously move their research programmes into the nature of the Web will doubtless cause a paradigmatic shift in the debate over cognition and the Extended Mind, and thus more generally in the relationship between philosophy and the Web. A successful philosophy of the Web depends on taking an approach to the philosophical questions that remains grounded in the science and technology of the Web, including detailed rigorous inspection of empirical work we have not had the space to delve into here. However, it should be clear that a careful analysis of a wide interdisciplinary literature is necessary, a literature that extends beyond the traditional grounds of cognitive science and into studies of online communities, human-computer interaction, information retrieval, hypertext, and the Semantic Web. Although we have not answered all the questions that a philosophy of the Web should answer in order to provide answers to outstanding questions from the philosophy of mind and language, we have at least made a map of the territory for future research. Philosophy may be part of Web Science after all.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm

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