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Philosophical Engineering: Toward a Philosophy of the Web

Harry Halpin (Editor), Alexandre Monnin (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-70016-7
216 pages
November 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
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Description

This is the first interdisciplinary exploration of the philosophical foundations of the Web, a new area of inquiry that has important implications across a range of domains.

  • Contains twelve essays that bridge the fields of philosophy, cognitive science, and phenomenology
  • Tackles questions such as the impact of Google on intelligence and epistemology, the philosophical status of digital objects, ethics on the Web, semantic and ontological changes caused by the Web, and the potential of the Web to serve as a genuine cognitive extension
  • Brings together insightful new scholarship from well-known analytic and continental philosophers, such as Andy Clark and Bernard Stiegler, as well as rising scholars in “digital native” philosophy and engineering
  • Includes an interview with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

Introductory Note
DUNCAN PRITCHARD AND LEE JOHN WHITTINGTON

1  Luck as Risk and the Lack of Control Account of Luck
FERNANDO BRONCANO-BERROCAL

2  Strokes of Luck
E. J. COFFMAN

3  Luck Attributions and Cognitive Bias
STEVEN D. HALES AND JENNIFER ADRIENNE JOHNSON

4  Frankfurt in Fake Barn Country
NEIL LEVY

5  Luck and Free Will
ALFRED R. MELE

6  You Make Your Own Luck
RACHEL MCKINNON

7  Subject-Involving Luck

JOE MILBURN

8  The Modal Account of Luck
DUNCAN PRITCHARD

9  The Machinations of Luck
NICHOLAS RESCHER

10 Luck, Knowledge, and “Mere” Coincidence
WAYNE D. RIGGS

11 The Unbearable Uncertainty Paradox
SABINE ROESER

12 Getting Moral Luck Right
LEE JOHN WHITTINGTON

Index

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Author Information

Harry Halpin is Postdoctoral Associate with the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Visiting Researcher at the Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation du Centre Pompidou, France, as part of a European Commission–funded Marie Curie PHILOWEB project. His research interests range from the complex dynamics of tagging to the philosophical foundations of Anonymous. He is the author of Social Semantics: The Search for Meaning on the Web (2012), which analyzes the impact of the Web on theories of semantics.

Alexandre Monnin is Head of Web and Metadata Research at the Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation du Centre Pompidou, France, and Associate Researcher at INRIA and CNAM. He has published research on tagging, the architecture of the Web, and its importance for ontology. In 2010, he organized the first interdisciplinary PhiloWeb conference and in 2012 he held the first international seminar on the topic, both at the Sorbonne. He co-initiated SemanticPedia, the semantic platform for Wikimedia projects in French.

 

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Reviews

'A surprising number of those responsible for the technical standards of the Web have a background in Philosophy. This eclectic collection brings together diverse perspectives on how the big questions of philosophy relate to the engineered realities of the Web. How do philosophical debates about representation, semantics and reference apply to Web documents and identifiers? Could the all-pervading presence of the Web even be changing how we think?'
Dan Brickley, Google

'This is a collection of essays that contributes to our understanding of the philosophical issues raised by the Web. The editors are to be congratulated for their constructionist methodology ("philosophical engineering") and for their "denaturalising ontology" program. Contemporary philosophy needs more of both.'
Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

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