Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Luciano Floridi
    Pages 1-3 Open Access
  3. The Onlife Manifesto

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. The Onlife Initiative
      Pages 7-13 Open Access
  4. Commentaries

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Charles Ess
      Pages 17-19 Open Access
    3. Luciano Floridi
      Pages 21-23 Open Access
    4. Jean-Gabriel Ganascia
      Pages 25-26 Open Access
    5. Mireille Hildebrandt
      Pages 27-29 Open Access
    6. Yiannis Laouris
      Pages 31-32 Open Access
    7. Ugo Pagallo
      Pages 33-34 Open Access
    8. Judith Simon
      Pages 35-36 Open Access
    9. May Thorseth
      Pages 37-38 Open Access
  5. The Onlife Initiative

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. The Onlife Initiative
      Pages 41-48 Open Access
  6. Hyperconnectivity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Luciano Floridi
      Pages 51-63 Open Access
    3. Jean-Gabriel Ganascia
      Pages 65-85 Open Access
  7. Identity, Selfhood and Attention

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 87-87
    2. Stefana Broadbent, Claire Lobet-Maris
      Pages 111-124 Open Access
  8. Complexity, Responsibility and Governance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 143-143
    2. Judith Simon
      Pages 145-159 Open Access
  9. The Public Sphere in a Computational Era

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Mireille Hildebrandt
      Pages 181-193 Open Access
    3. Sarah Oates
      Pages 229-243 Open Access
    4. May Thorseth
      Pages 245-258 Open Access
  10. The Onlife Initiative—Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. The Onlife Initiative
      Pages 261-262 Open Access
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 263-264

About this book


What is the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the human condition? In order to address this question, in 2012 the European Commission organized a research project entitled The Onlife Initiative: concept reengineering for rethinking societal concerns in the digital transition. This volume collects the work of the Onlife Initiative. It explores how the development and widespread use of ICTs have a radical impact on the human condition.

ICTs are not mere tools but rather social forces that are increasingly affecting our self-conception (who we are), our mutual interactions (how we socialise); our conception of reality (our metaphysics); and our interactions with reality (our agency). In each case, ICTs have a huge ethical, legal, and political significance, yet one with which we have begun to come to terms only recently.

The impact exercised by ICTs is due to at least four major transformations: the blurring of the distinction between reality and virtuality; the blurring of the distinction between human, machine and nature; the reversal from information scarcity to information abundance; and the shift from the primacy of stand-alone things, properties, and binary relations, to the primacy of interactions, processes and networks.

Such transformations are testing the foundations of our conceptual frameworks. Our current conceptual toolbox is no longer fitted to address new ICT-related challenges. This is not only a problem in itself. It is also a risk, because the lack of a clear understanding of our present time may easily lead to negative projections about the future. The goal of The Manifesto, and of the whole book that contextualises, is therefore that of contributing to the update of our philosophy. It is a constructive goal. The book is meant to be a positive contribution to rethinking the philosophy on which policies are built in a hyperconnected world, so that we may have a better chance of understanding our ICT-related problems and solving them satisfactorily.

The Manifesto launches an open debate on the impacts of ICTs on public spaces, politics and societal expectations toward policymaking in the Digital Agenda for Europe’s remit. More broadly, it helps start a reflection on the way in which a hyperconnected world calls for rethinking the referential frameworks on which policies are built.


The Onlife Initiative complexity, responsibility and governance digital revolution human condition hyperconnected information revolution information society infosphere media usage and the future of democracy the public sphere in a computational era

Editors and affiliations

  • Luciano Floridi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information