The Internet as Idea: For a Transcendental Philosophy of Technology

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This article attempts to render the Internet an object of philosophical consideration. It does so by referring to Kant’s transcendental approach. The argument is that Kant’s “transcendental idealism” is one example of an approach focused on conditions that much contemporary philosophy of technology misunderstands or ignores. Diverse contemporary thinkers are engaged, including Verbeek, Brey, Stiegler, Clark and Chalmers, Feenberg, and Fuchs. The article considers how these thinkers stand in relation to tendencies towards determinism, subjectivism and excessive forms of optimism and pessimism in relation to the Internet. In terms of Kant’s transcendental idealism, I argue that contemporary philosophy of technology does not go far enough in considering the Internet as a “regulative idea.” In terms of broader transcendental approaches, I argue that openness to the transcendental calls into question presuppositions regarding what constitutes an “empirical” object of enquiry, opening philosophy of technology to important new areas of research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-410
Number of pages29
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date15 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Internet
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Transcendental Argument
  • Transcendental Turn
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Regulative Idea


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