Call for paper: Special issue of Metaphilosophy journal dedicated to the Philosophy of the Web


The Philosophy of the Web: Special issue of Metaphilosophy

The advent of the Web is one of the defining technological events of the twentieth-first century, yet its impact on the fundamental questions of philosophy has not yet been widely explored, much less systematized. The Web, as today implemented on the foundations of the Internet, is broadly construed as an information space, the space of all items of interest identified by URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers, such as “”). Originally conceived as an hypertext system of linked documents, today the Web is rapidly evolving as a universal platform for data and computation, as URIs are used to identify everything from data on the Semantic Web and mobile code in Web applications. Even more swiftly is the Web-driven transformation of many previously unquestioned philosophical concepts of privacy, authority, meaning, belief, intelligence, cognition, and even embodiment in surprising ways. In response, we hope to provoke the properly meta-philosophical question of whether there is a consistent new branch or practice of philosophy that can weave these changes to technology and society into a coherent whole?

This special issue of Metaphilosophy comes from the first Symposium on Web and Philosophy held at the Sorbonne in 2010 ( We recently hosted another symposium in Greece (, and we hope that this special issue of Metaphilosophy will continue the momentum around the philosophy and the Web.

We welcome all submissions of a philosophical nature involving the Web.

Some questions that may be addressed include:

  • Is the existence of the philosophy of the Web justified?
  • What is the precise relationship between a more general philosophy and the Web?
  • Are there unifying principles underlying the architecture of the Web?
  • How are URIs related to the naming and reference in the philosophy of language?
  • What is the impact on models built from massive amounts of Web data on philosophy?
  • What is the impact of search engines like Google on questions of knowledge and belief?
  • Does the increasing mediation of our social interactions by the Web challenge our existing conceptions
    of privacy and individuality?
  • Can human cognition genuinely be extended by the Web?
  • How does the philosophy of the Web interact with other empirically-informed philosophical questions around neuroscience and cognitive science?
  • What are the historical and philosophical roots of the philosophy of the Web?
  • Does the communication and ubiquity accessibility of the Web alter our notion of embodiment?
  • Is “philosophical engineering” a genuine philosophical practice?
  • Are philosophers trading places with engineers or craftsmen?
  • Do philosophers of the Web have a special responsibility?

Deadline for submissions is November 30th 2011.

Manuscripts should be sent in duplicate and should not be longer than 8,000 words. Please refer to the Metaphilosophy author guidelines available at:

The guest editors for this journal issue are Alexandre Monnin (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/Institute of Research and Innovation/National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts) and Harry Halpin (World Wide Web Consortium/MIT). For details about the special issue, please e-mail and

Manuscripts should be sent to:


The Editors, Special Issue on the Philosophy of the Web
Department of Philosophy
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515 USA

Tel: (203) 392-6792 Fax: (203) 392-6338