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From a Husserlian point of view, cyberspace is first and foremost a special kind of space; more accurately, a pictorial space in which we can move at will - a virtual space. As such, cyberspace is a relatively young ontological structure, no older than 40 years. In the first part of this chapter, I will try to establish the phenomenological structure of this virtual spatiality, using and combining two main lines of Husserl’s thought he kept apart: (a) his theory of pictoriality and (b) his theory of kinaesthetical constitution of space. With (a) we can explain the unreal actuality of cyberspace: We experience it as actually spatial, but do not confuse it with ‘real’ space, i.e. the space in which we locate the devices used for creating virtual space (computers). (b) allows us to theorise how virtual space is not like cinema or paintings, in that we can move around in it at will. By allowing for this kind of (bodily?) activity, I will argue with Husserl, cyberspace is much more space-y than the merely passively perceived space of paintings and movies; it’s virtually space. From (c) a Heideggerian point of view however, cyberspace does not just represent a space in which we randomly move, but a genuine realm of places that we can navigate (Greek: kybernao). Navigation is a special kind of existential involvement with places, so it seems appropriate to bring Heidegger’s famous theory of involvement to the fore. This will enable us to understand how cyberspace can be home to so many virtual worlds, in that for Heidegger, the world is just the totality of involvement, the horizon that gives every action and every means for action its meaning - no matter what kind of space this action might take place in.

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In: Transformative Learning Meets Bildung