"The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere Is Reshaping Human Reality"

Oct 1, 2014

The Internet is changing life itself, and it's doing so rather quickly, and we all know this. But how is it changing...us? We speak with Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and the Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford. He joins us to discuss his newest book, which is just out from Oxford University Press (OUP): "The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality." As is noted of this book at the OUP website, Professor Floridi's far-reaching book "considers the influence information and communication technologies (ICTs) are having on our world; describes some of the latest developments in ICTs and their use in a range of fields; argues that ICTs have become environmental forces that create and transform our realities; and explores the impact of ICTs in a range of areas, from education and scientific research to social interaction, and even war.... Who are we, and how do we relate to each other? Floridi, one of the leading figures in contemporary philosophy, argues that the explosive developments in ICTs are changing the answers to these fundamental human questions.... Personas we adopt in social media, for example, feed into our 'real' lives so that we begin to live, as Floridi puts it, an 'onlife.' Following [the earlier revolutions triggered] by Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud, this [ICT-led] metaphysical shift represents nothing less than a fourth revolution."