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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Philosophy of Cyberspace

see New in Philosophy

THE METAPHYSICS OF VIRTUAL REALITY by Michael Heim ($9.95, Paper, Oxford University Press ISBN:0-19-509258-9)

Here's an interview with the author.

As we begin to move in and out of a computer-generated world, Michael Heim "the philosopher of cyberspace," asks, how will the way we perceive our world change? With a warm-hearted, cool-headed meditation on computer technology, Heim opens a window on a fascinating cosmos that promises--or threatens--to become everyday life in the 21st century. 'Heim forecasts both a new role and vocabulary for the field of metaphysics. He describes the future of metaphysics in terms of not having the unfluctuating religious implications as it did in the past. He also notes metaphysics as having a fresh vocabulary that will deal with issues such as "presence" and what is meant "to be present as a human being." This vocabulary, according to Heim, will be current enough to relate to the media and also ask question to the media about identity.' A useful preliminary discussion about the philosophical implications of cyberspace.

This engaging look into the past, present, and future of our computer-generated world shows the advent of virtual reality as changing the whole context in which our knowledge and awareness of life. Heim opens a window on a fascinating world that will become an integral part of everyday life in the 21st century.

Table of Contents:

1. Infomania
2. Logic and Intuition
3. Hypertext Heaven
4. Thought Processing
5. Heidegger and McLuhan: The Computer as Component
6. From Interface to Cyberspace
7. The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace
8. The Essence of VR
9. Virtual-Reality Check
10. The Electronic Cafe Lecture
Useful Vocabulary for the Metaphysics of Virtual Reality
Selected Readings

The author has an online discussion developing his ideas with any who wish to participate.

Michael Heim has also translated The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) by Martin Heidegger, Michael Heim (Translator). Published by Indiana University Press; Heim has written on Electric Language: A Philosophical Study of Word Processing. Published by Yale University Press.


How to Protect Yourself in Cyberspace

by Michael A. Banks

Corolis Group Books

$24.95, paper, 376 pages, illustrations


Worried about the psychos taking over the Web? You should be! They’re waiting for you. What do they want? Some enjoy watching you struggle helplessly as they harass you and stalk you. Others want to abuse you in other ways, to torment you for their own dark desires. Still others are out for your money, and won’t take no for an answer. The Web is a wide-open boomtown and browsers beware! Banks offers some survival tips on how to avoid the rackets and rip-offs that lay in wait for the rube. Much of it is commonsense and a better knowledge of the medium of the Web.

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