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.