© 2016

The Online Self

Externalism, Friendship and Games


Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 25)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 1-16
  3. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 17-49
  4. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 51-82
  5. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 83-116
  6. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 117-145
  7. Soraj Hongladarom
    Pages 147-164
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 165-171

About this book


This book investigates the emerging phenomenon of the self as it exists in the online world. It argues for an externalist conception of self and identity, one that does not depend on the continuity of consciousness of the subject. It also offers an analysis of related phenomenon such as online friendship and games based on this analysis. An outstanding feature of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace is that it allows for the user to put forward their “selves” or their identity onto the Internet and use the online self as an anchor to connect with any number of “friends” each of whom also has their own online selves. A number of questions then arise which are deeply conceptual and philosophical in nature: What is the metaphysical nature of this emerging online self? Is it the same or fundamentally different from the “offline” self with which we are already familiar? Since increasing numbers of  people are connected to the online world, this world itself seems to be taking on a reality of its own. This much has been appreciated by a number of scholars in the field. However,there seems to be lacking a systematic study of the philosophical and metaphysical nature of the self that has become a key element in cyberspace, a key topicwhich this volume addresses. Apart from the problem of constitution of the online self, this volume addresses related questions concerning personal identity in the online world and scrutinizes computer games and the characteristics that they share with social networking sites. Unlike the majority of the existing literature, which discusses the topic from a more social scientific perspective, this volume fills the lacuna of a philosophical and theoretical study of the online world.​  


Friends and Identities in Social Media Identity and Social Media Identity and avatar Online self Philosophy on Facebook identity Philosophy on online identity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, Department of PhilosophyChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

About the authors

Soraj Hongladarom is an associate professor of philosophy at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has published books and articles on such diverse issues as bioethics, computer ethics and the roles that science and technology play in the culture of developing countries. His concern is mainly on how science and technology can be integrated into the life-world of the people in the so-called Third World countries and what kind of ethical considerations can be obtained from such relation. A large part of this question concerns how information technology is integrated in the lifeworld of the Thai people and especially how such integration is expressed in the use of information technology in education. He has organized the second and third Asia-Pacific Computing and Philosophy conferences at Chulalongkorn University in 2005 and 2007. His works have appeared in The Information Society, AI & Society, Philosophy in the Contemporary World and Social Epistemology, among others.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Online Self
  • Book Subtitle Externalism, Friendship and Games
  • Authors Soraj Hongladarom
  • Series Title Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Philosophy Engineering,Tec.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-39073-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-81812-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-39075-8
  • Series ISSN 1879-7202
  • Series E-ISSN 1879-7210
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 171
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Technology
    Media Research
    Philosophy of Man
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