Floridi/Flusser: - Parallel Lives in Hyper/Posthistory

In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Computing and philosophy: Selected papers from IACAP 2014. Cham: Springer. pp. 229-244 (2016)
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Vilém Flusser, philosopher of communication, and Luciano Floridi, philosopher of information have been engaged with common subjects, extracting surprisingly similar conclusions in distant ages, affecting distant audiences. Curiously, despite the common characteristics, their works have almost never been used together. This paper presents Flusser’s concepts of functionaries, informational environment, information recycle, and posthistory as mellontological hypotheses verified in Floridi’s recently proposed realistic neologisms of inforgs, infosphere, e-nvironmentalism, and hyperhistory. Following Plutarch’s literature model of “parallel lives,” the description of an earlier and a more recent persona’s common virtues, I juxtapose the works of the two authors. Through that, their “virtues” are mutually verified and proven diachronic. I also hold that because of his philosophical approaches to information-oriented subjects, Flusser deserves a place in the history of Philosophy of Information, and subsequently, that building an interdisciplinary bridge between philosophies of Information and Communication would be fruitful for the further development of both fields.

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Vassilis Galanos
University of Edinburgh


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