Existential Aspects of the Development E-Culture

Existential Aspects of the Development E-Culture

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch038
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This chapter is devoted to the study of a new information-age phenomenon: the electronic culture. The author introduces the philosophical analysis of electronic culture, its definition, characteristic features, and functions within the society. The purpose of the chapter is justification theory electronic culture as a special “third nature” generated by human creativity and information technology. The chapter described existential aspects of the formation of e-culture. E-culture gives human beings new ways to solve existential problems (death, desolation, not liberty, relations with strange ones, and ethical choice), forming in this regard new dependences and risks for person. First of all, internet-dependence refers to such risks. It enhances “existential vacuum,” axiological disorientation in real sphere; deformation of interpersonal communication essence with the virtualization of its sensual and emotional aspects; appearance of new freedom forms of personality ethical choice, generated by virtual interaction.
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The e-culture first was mentioned at the end of the 1990s. According to the European tradition, e-culture was originally understood as a form of cultural heritage preservation and the opposition to the e-commerce. Later, the term was used for the notion of different objects having an electronic or other digital form. Nowadays, the “e-culture” is an interdisciplinary concept having connotations in Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Economics and of course in the field of information technologies.

In general, E-culture represents cumulative results of creative activity and communication of people under the conditions of the information technology implementation, which characterized with creating of free information space, a virtual form of expression, distant technology and content liberality.

Advanced high technologies represent a vector of the civilization development, mediating economic and communicative processes of the world formation. Under these conditions, the crisis of socio-cultural and individual identity escalates, “technogenic” values extrapolate on the sphere of the interpersonal interaction. The ideologeme of technocentrism devaluates the traditional axiological models, informative and technogenic directivity of social and anthropological dynamics and determines new types of interaction both on structural and spiritual levels of social being. Under the domination of new technogenic institutes, the dysfunction of cultural and spiritual regulators of the social development occurs, in particular, the traditional ethical and epistemological mechanisms of the public conscience shifting to massive, irrational and virtual sphere are broken. The sphere of the social discourse, mediated by electronic mass media, separates from subjects, making human beings feel the quasi reality being, solitude and desolation in the “boundless” information space.

The peculiarity of the present day age became the situation of the uncontrolled technological development, that is unique in its own way and requires detailed study, as its consequences have already caused significant deformation of psychology, world view, values and society. One of the most striking phenomena of the digital age becomes the formation of new digital culture (e-culture). Although, the concept “e-culture” has been still developing, it is evident it cannot be compared as a phenomenon with anything that has ever existed what requires the necessity of its detailed study.

Methodological basis of the research is related to the set of categories and the principles of existential philosophy and philosophical anthropology. The theories by M.Heidegger, V.Frankl and N.Abbagnano, A. Meneghetti have influenced on the formation of the conception of existential axiology in different ways. The research of the structure and the essence of values by R. Hartman, R. Frondizi, S.О. Hansson, symbolic and logical expression of a value by G.Vernon, the correlation of meaning and significance of a value structure, the search for subject and object of values by K.Baier, the ethical content of values by R.Brumbaugh, vital and existential analysis of values - A. Maslow, Ph. Foot, E. Levinas, D. Vokey, the analysis of the priorities of postindustrial and information epochs by Y. Masuda, А. Giddens, М. Castells, B.J. Kallenberg, A.Toffler, P.Drucker, M.McLuhan etc. played an important role in our research.

The most significant for understanding e-culture and existential and axiological aspects of development research by A.M. Ronchi, R. Capurro, D. R. Raban, L. Floridi, etc. deal with the study of ethical and anthropological issues of the information space. These studies influenced greatly on the author’s research representing the theoretical basis for the further development of the ideas. The study of human issues, communications, cultural values, social norms, threats to an information culture are made by such scientists as Baarda, R., Rocci, L. , Zhou, L., Ding, L., Finin, T., Sartor, G., Ott, M., Pozzi, F., Cockton, G. etc.

A feature of my approach to the study of electronic culture is existential-axiological research methodology. This approach allows to identify the values and intrapersonal problems of human existence, which are formed under the impact of e-culture. E-culture is considered in the framework of this approach expanded as a sphere, created with the help of digital technology.

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